Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kelly egg attack man remanded | the Daily Mail

Remanded in custody - imprisoned - for throwing an egg at a Minister? What has Britain come to? This gentlemen's actions were in the best traditions of British democracy. It comes to something when a mob may incite murder unpunished, and a protestor who throws an egg is such a danger to society that he is refused bail!

Kelly egg attack man remanded | the Daily Mail


ContraTory said...

You will have to excuse me for thinking out loud, here. As you will be aware, by virtue of the Bail Act 1976, everyone has a right to bail unless one of the statutory exemptions applies. In a minor case such as this, that means: (1) interfering with witnesses; (2) likelihood of not answering bail; and (3) committing offences on bail. The likely sentence to be imposed is a relevant consideration too - you don't grant bail to a defendant who is likely to receive a custodial sentence of say, four years or more. You are entitled to assume he is going to do "a runner".
This chappy pleaded "guilty", so as a matter of Law he is entitled to a discount amounting to one third of his sentence. The maximum sentence for common assault, a "summary only" offence is six months, so only four months imprisonment can be imposed - a bit short of the aforementioned four years. Thus, the Court could not have assumed he would fail to answer his bail.
As he pleaded guilty, he cannot interfere with witnesses - he is now convicted and the Crown don't need any witnesses for a trial. That leaves "committing offences" on bail. The Court has to find that he will commit any offence in the few weeks before the sentencing hearing - fairly improbable, I should have thought. There might have been something in his previous convictions that gave the Court an excuse, but I doubt it.
All in all, this looks like a thoroughly "political" decision and accordingly, wholly unacceptable. If matey applies to a judge in chambers for bail, he should get it. I hope.

sam_m said...

From the Daily Mail
"Downes, a painter and decorator, denies one charge of common assault with beating."

I don't know the ins and outs of the Bail Act but he hasn't plead guilty.

Deogolwulf said...

On a different topic, Mr Paine, what do you as a lawyer make of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill?



Raw Carrot said...

He should have just held up a big banner:


Or perhaps:


Hmmm... What a laugh (or not).

Tom Paine said...

Deogolwulf, I commented on it here By way of "executive summary", it's anti-democratic and evil; another piece of police state apparatus. There's another interesting piece of the police state jigsaw being debated in the House of Lords at present. I heard it on "Today in Parliament" last night, but did not catch the name of the Bill. Essentially, a policeman can give your ISP notice that he considers something on your website to be racist, homophobic, glorifying terrorism or whatever, and if the ISP does not take it down immediately it will risk that, if prosecuted for publishing, it will not be able to plead ignorance. Any criminal liability attached to the publication of this blog, for example, would also attach to the ISP hosting Blogger. No business can sustain that risk. Imagine what it will do to free speech on the internet.

Deogolwulf said...

Sorry, I missed that post. Well, I must say, it is all rather unsettling.