Dr. Eireann Kerr: the law worse than an ass

The conviction of Dr. Eireann Kerr raises more questions than it answers and brings the law into disrepute.

Dr. Kerr was in 2013 a 30 year old anaesthetist working in Altnagelivn. On a work night out she became grossly intoxicated and attacked a police officer biting his finger and calling the police officers peasants before waking up claiming no memory of the event in the police station the next morning.

So far, so unremarkable. Maybe Dr. Kerr was a little older then those usually involved in this sort of behavior and maybe a bit more middle class but neither of those was grossly out of the ordinary and neither in any way excused her behaviour.

Where the case becomes interesting is that Dr. Kerr claimed her behaviour was caused by her drink being spiked: nothing exciting yet; a common claim. Then, however, after forensic analysis of her hair it was established that that was indeed the case. Furthermore her work colleagues reported a sudden dramatic change in her behaviour presumably following her inadvertent ingestion of the drugs.

Dr. Kerr was prosecuted and the magistrate found her guilty despite stating that he had no doubt her drink was spiked. This apparent contradiction was explained by intoxication not being a defence in law.

That is no doubt correct in most cases: getting intoxicated with alcohol or drugs prior to committing crimes is no defence. In this case, however, it has been accepted by the court that the intoxication was maliciously procured by a third party: most likely for other more sinister criminal motives towards Dr. Kerr.

Dr. Kerr’s punishment of a conditional discharge might seem fairly trivial were it not for her profession. She will now automatically be referred to the GMC and faces a very real prospect of her career being severely impaired or even ended: all for something that the judge accepted she had no control over. She also faces a further investigation which even if it does not end up in her being punished will hang over her career prospects until it is concluded.

It also transpires that she was offered a caution but of course a caution is a criminal conviction and being a doctor that would have resulted in her referral to the GMC where as noted above the potential sanction is much greater.

This doctor seems pretty clearly to have been the victim here and also to face the possibility of what is in effect double jeopardy and a punishment (loss of career) which seems excessive to the crime: a crime the judge has decided she was guilty of but not responsible for.

The Belfast Telegraph has an opinion piece calling the law an ass. It is, however, rather worse than that. Rather in this case the law seems intent on punishing the victim.

Also from the Belfast Telegraph:

Dr Doherty, a consultant anaesthetist at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, where Eireann trained for a year before moving to the Royal in Belfast, said: “I feel strongly that she is a good doctor and that it’s not in the public interest to remove the opportunity to let her continue.
“It is grossly unfair that Eireann should face any charges, as she is the obvious victim here.”
Dr Kerr said yesterday that she must have believed that she was under attack whenever she lashed out at the police. She also said that she had been in a “completely confusional state” when she assaulted two officers.

What the purpose of punishing this young woman is and what deterrent it will be to her or others is unclear. It also raises the question of how often this happens to people less articulate and less well supported without the injustices coming to public attention.

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  • david crookes

    Seann, we need to beware of the Mighty Ones as soon as they begin to take themselves far too seriously.

    When I was about eight, our family was given a biscuit-tin whose lid bore a picture of ‘The Laughing Cavalier’.

    Before long I started to wonder why there seemed to be no picture of ‘The Laughing Roundhead’.

    Of course there may well be such a picture, and I’ve missed it.

    By the way, I’ve added a bit more to what is becoming a literary composition in the manner of Samuel Richardson.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    David, I certainly have not seen such a painting in the course of my pursuit of my two principal interests, painting and the Stuart period. The Roundheads were a pretty humourless lot who discouraged physical vanity (the other kinds seem to have been acceptable if John Milton is anything to go by), although to define these Presbyterians and Independants as exclusivly “puritan” is to ignore the equally serious moral standards of their Anglican foes. If “The Laughing Roundhead” exists, it would probably have been a portrait of that improbable Roundhead, the notorious rake and bon viveur, Henry Marten, whose irreverence so shocked the more devout of his erstwhile allies (or his hypocritical partners in wickedness and treason if I’m wearing my SKCM hat).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Marten_(regicide)

    Wikipedia includes a rather sour portrait of this cynical freethinker and radical, whose most endearing traint for me is his loathing of Oliver Cromwell, whom the otherwise insightful John Buchan unacountably admired. Perhaps Marten simply did not like anyone in authority!

    Of course “The Laughing Cavalier” is not actually an English Cavalier Royalist, as you probably know. I cannot comment on his horsemanship, but the subject is certainly a jaunty Dutchman of 1624 rather than an amused British Royalist. And of course you are right, the courtious balancing of ideological polarities has seldom been a human priority. I doubt if the greater number of our fellow citizens will lead the way in such cissy behaviour at any time in the near future.

  • david crookes

    Bless you, Seaan, much of this is new to me. I feel like Solon, learning things in my old age.

    It’s funny. When many of our fellow-citizens accuse you of ‘cavalier behaviour’, they don’t mean to praise you for being humble. Yet learning to ride a horse should be an education in humility, because the horse is so much stronger than its rider. I learned to ride on a horse called Flame whose eloquent eyes never failed to give me a friendly warning. ‘Be wise enough always to remember that you are the junior partner in our joint enterprise.’

    Must say ‘The Laughing Cavalier’ always struck me as an icon of ideality, rather than as an oil-painted photograph! In my wickedness I prefer that kind of icon to the grim theologians who glare at me in black and white from the rear dust-covers of their commentaries. Please treat gently that admission from a regular part-time preacher.

    John Buchan, whom you mention, was one of the three or four most potent influences on my life, but even JB got it wrong sometimes, as for example when he made one of his characters in ‘The Courts of the Morning’ declare that cavalry would never be out of date. Mind you, the exemplary horse of Job 39. 22 never goes out of date.

    Must go for dinner and listen to the scherzo of Bruckner Eight, which has been helping me to stay awake for more than a week.

    What did Nietzsche say?

    …..ihr höheren Menschen, lernt mir – lachen!

    ( = oblige me, you higher men, by learning — to laugh!).

  • SeaanUiNeill

    David, I know what you mean about horses and junior partnerships! During my teens I was once offered a very spirited thoroughbred by a host in England, who thought someone from Ireland in hand made riding boots could easily handle any horse they encountered. The horse took one look at me, and instantly guessed who would win any contest of wills. He was certainly “not afrighted” at all my attempts to control him, or even simply remain in the saddle. I did stay on for the five mile round canter (gallop in my case), but lost (and, luckily, regained) a single stirrup three times when he caught me out, and tried to tip me off. A bit like commenting on Slugger…….

    Buchan, perhaps just as influential in my own life, may have been almost right in the long run. The Germans in the last war quickly found conditions during their Russian campaign favoured traditional cavalry to motorised units in many theatres of action. In the east both China and India still retain sizable operational cavalry units for scouting and logistical use. I’m now told that the Poles have just commissioned a new operational cavalry force under the auspices of their army. And when oil ends….

    And to slightly develop the Nietzsche theme, from the third book of ‘Menschliches, Allzumenschliches: Ein Buch für freie Geister—Der Wanderer und sein Schatten’, (1880):

”The true measure of wisdom.— development in wisdom may be measured exactly by the decline in bile”. I’m very impressed by Danny Kinahan’s call for courtesy in political discussions, on the video clip over on another of this morning’s threads. I’ve been attempting to meet his challenge, not always with sucess even in the one day.

  • david crookes

    Seaan, your latest piece of information has brought me fierce joy.

    I have more than thirty good friends in Belfast who happen to be Poles.

    If they all gang together, they should be able to wangle me a commission in the new cavalry force.

    Then when I’m dead I’ll be able to have an equestrian funerary monument.

    My family will jolly well have to pay for that monument, and no nonsense about it.

    I’d better go to bed now in case I write something stupid.

  • david crookes

    Seann, in my youth I heard Revelation 14. 20 (‘And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles…..’) ridiculed by a speaker as an eschatological absurdity. How might there be such things as martial horse-bridles, the speaker asked, in a day when technology had made the use of cavalry in war obsolete?

    That speaker could not have foreseen the facts which you mentioned in your last posting.

    Once again I’ve expanded my ‘Letter to Pasty’. I was going to play a bit of ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ before going belowstairs to eat my supper, but I’m afraid that the Jazz Police will arrest me for having the word ‘Rusticana’ in my subconscious mind, so I’ll play the first movement of ‘The Planets’ instead. Cheers-frightfully-ho!

  • david crookes

    “…..how readily prosecutions may be made against the relatively innocent and defenceless, while much harder but more deserving targets avoid any serious attempt to prosecute.”

    Indeed, Seaan. One thinks of a gentlemen whose name may be mentioned at the Justice Committee meeting in Stormont on Thursday.

    Of course other names may be mentioned as well.

    I’m still expanding the ‘Letter to Pasty’. Only a student of Cicero will understand my temptation to talk about the Kerrine Orations. Mind you, Seaan, what is going on here today is a lot worse than what went on under Verres.

    ‘We don’t need no education’ — of a certain species.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    There is a lot to be said for evil lurking under the mask of banality across our community, but especially in the seats of power. The sheer “ordinariness” of most these people entirely modifies how they are perceived by the public.

    The Roman habit of realistic portraiture allows us to recognise that shock of discovering just how very different someone looked to how they may have acted in life. Augustus looks like Augustus certainly, but that great aesthete and patron of what may be the world’s golden age in all the arts, Gaius Maecenas, looks eerily like Willie McCrae! I’ve looked long and hard for portrait bust of Gaius Verres to see if he drips corruption and vileness in his looks or is simply very ordinary, like Eichmann. Every time I thumb through my set of Burke I wonder that Warren
    Hastings looks back at us out of those eighteenth century portraits with such mild, kindly eyes.

    Of course sometimes a cast of mind is evident in looks, but all too often the very best of men may have ill looks while those who do most harm to their fellows look like smiling fools, whose very normality encourages them to be voted in as “one of us”.

  • david crookes

    Seaan, you remember how Cicero dealt with a witness who bore a notably countrified name. (‘Honest Oswald’ is the merest verbal shadow of that name — it sounds funnier when you leave it in Latin.)

    Decimo vero loco testis exspectatus et ad extremum reservatus dixit, senator populi Romani, splendor ordinis, decus atque ornamentum iudiciorum, exemplar antiquae religionis, Fidiculanius Falcula…..

    The tenth witness to give evidence, eagerly awaited and kept till the end, a senator of the Roman people, the glory of his order, the pride and ornament of the law courts, the model of old-time uprightness, was Fidiculanius Falcula…..

    Cicero may be prosecuted for rurophobic thought crime if he comes back and delivers that speech in the Northern Ireland of 2020.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I seem to remember mention of Fidiculanius Falcula was a stock piece in Ciceronian legal orations, a byword for the combination of someone even more of a “Novus Homo” than Cicero himself, of even more rustic background, but with not a strand of Cicero’s financial and moral probity! For those others reading here who may not get Cicero’s massive irony, FF was a Senator, but the other descriptions could not have been further from the reality of the man.

    Even that one fact that Falcula was a Senator had an element of contradiction to the other three descriptions, in a Senate restocked with his like, after many of those who had been “the glory of [their] order” and models of “old-time uprightness” had been purged by the triumphant reactionary Sulla, their severed heads adorning the Forum, their estates plundered to feed the greed of Sulla’s friends and allies…..it is of some interest that Cicero’s career began with his courageously acting against a creature of Sulla’s in law at a moment when he could have been casually killed for opposing the dictator’s will.

  • david crookes

    Bless you, Seaan, for a moment I construed your ‘FF’ as the Fidiculanius Falcula Party.

    Might be a good idea, that name, if FF wanted to consolidate its rural base.

    Now let me be serious. Only those who are at home in the past can be trusted to build us a home in the future.

    The thing which most characterizes the modern writers of mission statements and policy documents is their spectacular illiteracy. They don’t know any history, and they can’t write grammatical English, but they know what we all ‘need’.

    More regulations.

    Thought control.

    I used to wonder how the Beast of Revelation would manage to take over the whole world.

    Now I think I know.

    He will win a landslide victory in a referendum.

    As Le Corbusier said, ‘I’m glad I’m going to die. People are so stupid.’

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Regarding “those who are at home in the past”, have you come cross those caricatures of Cicero offered in contemporary fiction? Both Steven Saylor and Robert Harris have written extended characterisations of him, Saylor as a bit player, but Harris presents Cicero as the central character in a trilogy, the last part of which will be in publication this autumn.

    Even decent modern writers appear to be incapable of grasping who and what Cicero actually was, their heads full of the harsh animosities of contemporary politics today.

    Throughout my life, I have seldom found anyone or any cause worth leaving my chair to vote for, but now I know that I will not even have an opportunity to vote against the “Beast”, as that particular referendum appears to have taken place while I was looking elsewhere.

  • david crookes

    Indeed, Seaan. And if Dr Who’s take on Ancient Rome was a product of the modern education system, it’s a wonder that people are able to read the editorials in ‘The Sun’.

    Billy Bunter was a prophet.

    MAGISTER NOSTER BESTIA EST.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    David, you are treading dangerous paths calling those who have the power of decision “Magister Noster” alongside the fat (may I even use that word?) owl of the Remove. When I employ the proper description for those elected to govern us, “Our masters”, here, I am constantly reminded by other posters that we live in a democracy and can vote them out if we are dissatisfied.

    Why then do we simply get pretty much the same quality of person, but with a rosette of different colour?

    Regarding education, Pádraig Pearse wrote a most eloquent Jeremiad against an education system that was even in his day endeavouring to develop tools for trade rather than encouraging the mind of a child to flourish: “The Murder Machine.” But then Pearse, and the teachers he employed, had read Cicero and his like. I have always found that “Pearse the revolutionary” entailed a gross waste of “Pearse the educationalist”, and it is a great pity Pearse did not see that what he was achieving at Scoil Éanna with a few growing children was of far greater import for the culture he loved than anything that violence could ever bring about.

  • david crookes

    Thanks, Seann. The trouble with being canonized is that your votaries nearly always ignore your most serious achievements.

    It is a mark of the Thought Control State in which we live today that the bad, bad, bad Billy Bunter books have been mutilated by censors.

    On the other side of the coin is the politician who is so important that he may not be called bad.

    But that’s enough about the Justice Committee’s meeting in Stormont today.

  • david crookes

    Deux? Today?

    From now on we have to be like the nice old lady in Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’, and say, ‘Ich warte.’

  • david crookes

    When I was young, Seaan, and when we still had an education system, literate journalists might have adduced the tales of Andromeda, Hesione, Angelica, and Olimpia in discussing the case which presently occupies us.

    Nowadays journalists are more likely to adduce the tale of a briefly incarcerated Paris Hilton. Vulgarity rules, and Magister noster is every bit as vulgar as the Thought Police. ‘We’re making a film about St Patrick. It’s 432 AD, so we need tin whistles and Irish union pipes.’

    [Sorry, that last instrument must have been called up by my inner bitter oul Protestant. Am I in trouble with the Jazz Police?]

    Mrs Amanda McKittrick Ros once observed, ‘Where
    ignorance and arrogance attend the demise of education, we must bid adieu to the liberal services of the ancients.’

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Amanda’s next door neighbour was a headmaster named Willie Yates. He saved her manuscripts from the bonfire an uncaring family would have consigned them to, to the benefit of us all.

    A poem from his namesake:

    Here is fresh matter, poet,
    Matter for old age meet;
    Might of the Church and the State,
    Their mobs put under their feet.
    O but heart’s wine shall run pure,
    Mind’s bread grow sweet.

    That were a cowardly song,
    Wander in dreams no more;
    What if the Church and the State
    Are the mob that howls at the door!
    Wine shall run thick to the end,
    Bread taste sour.

    Those we once trusted have sold the pass……

  • david crookes

    Yes. In time the state ‘church’ of a clever secularized ruling class will become ‘the mob that howls at the door’, and we shall all be told, ‘Eat manure. Millions of flies can’t be wrong.’

    While Ray Overholt’s hymnic phrase ‘a million
    voices’ is merrily sung by American Christians, the Russian word мильонноголосое ( =
    million-voiced), which once appeared in a poem about Nikolai Yezhov, evokes the Poisonous Dwarf in his homeland even today.

    We are heading for Stalinism with millions of gas-barbecues and minibus-jeeps and quarter-acre television-screens and mobile phones that cut your toenails for you. In the world that is coming, if you cry ‘J’accuse!’, everyone will think that you’re talking about a jacuzzi.

  • david crookes

    Seaan, the great fuss that was made recently about the biting of someone’s finger reminded me of two magnificent sentences from Amanda McKittrick Ros that you will recall.

    1. “She bit Barry so severely underneath the blankets with her teeth of unfathomable fanginess, infusing their poisonous saliva so strongly throughout his pores of retention, that ease was only procured by lashing the result, in its most fangy nature, on a page.”

    2. “It has more than once suffered the scores of the carving-knife that mostly lies scabbarded by two hemispheres of dentistry.”

    Mrs Ros was a unique and genuinely great writer. Why endure Joyce’s tedious verbalistic posing, or Kafka’s twenty-page runs of unartistic stodge, when you can read about hemispheres of dentistry?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “We shall not see her like again….”

  • David Crookes

    If Mrs Ros was able to join in our present discussion, Seaan, she might say, “…..a judicious advice, extended to the stubborn and self-willed, proves futile, and incurs the further malice and fiery indignation of the regardless, the reckless, and the uncharitable.”

    One senses that an aeneous reboation has returned to the fold.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed it does David. I have been engaged on a long and increasingly sterile discussion over on another Slugger thread (the Kennaway/Bryan thread) with a most abusive poster with hagiographic views on the 36th. “Ulster” division since the weekend. Amanda’s sentence might have been crafted to describe my situation there exactly.

    Turgon’s most valuable posting above has highlighted a gross injustice, and I have been amazed at just how many others commenting on the thread seemingly are unable to understand this.

  • David Crookes

    I know what you mean, Seaan. It’s as if Wilkie Collins had been compelled to change the plot of ‘The Moonstone’, as follows. The hero is found guilty of stealing a precious stone, and the judge tells him that the fact of being involuntarily drugged with opium ‘is no defence in law’.

    Must go to church.

  • David Crookes

    Here’s part of a story which appeared in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ on 11 March 2010.

    “In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.

    “For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.”

    I wonder how judges in Northern Ireland would treat the victims of such an outrage today. Might we hear the phrase NO DEFENCE IN LAW?

  • David Crookes

    After attending a lecture in Antrim Library today, I bought a copy of the current ‘Antrim Guardian’ (May 21 2015). On page 9 there appears a story which is headlined as follows.

    ” Man who kicked and spat at police ‘given a chance’ ”

    Here are a few excerpts from the story.

    The man “…..became ‘aggressive’ at the sight of police.”

    ” ‘He barged one of the officers, knocking him off balance,’ the prosecution said. ‘He was taken to the ground where he struggled and kicked one of the constables.

    ” ‘He spat on the trousers of one of the officers…….’ ”

    ” ‘…..officers found a small bag of drugs.’ ”

    “The District Judge accepted that [the man — I shan’t name him] was taking steps to address his problems and said
    he would be ‘given a chance before his record became too long’. ”

    To what extent does the case of a certain lady from Strabane resemble the case of a particular gentleman from Antrim? Discuss.

    I’m typing a separate message here because for the last six days the EDIT button has been missing from the bottom of all but a few postings on the site. Hard to understand.

  • David Crookes

    FROM ‘THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER’

    Student walks free from court after admitting dealing drugs

    Published: 20 Apr 2015

    A 21-year-old Ulster University student from Fermanagh walked free from court on Monday with a two-year suspended jail sentence for dealing in illegal drugs.

    Sean O’Brien, of St. Patrick’s Terrace, Lisnaskea, had pleaded guilty last year to possessing Ecstasy tablets and cannabis with intent to supply.

    His co-accused, Dylan Quaile, a 20-year-old plasterer from Main Street, Maguiresbridge, had pleaded guilty to attempted possession of Ecstasy and received a six month suspended jail sentence.

    Sentencing had been deferred for six months by Judge Stephen Fowler QC to give the two men an opportunity to stay out of trouble and desist in drug offending.

    Prosecuting counsel, Mr. Simon Reid, told Omagh Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, that O’Brien got off a bus in Enniskillen on November 20, 2013, and met up with Quaile. They appeared to be “nervous” when they saw police sitting in a nearby patrol car and ran off.

    “Police commanded them to stop and they did,” said Mr. Reid. “O’Brien was carrying a black safe box which was in his possession. He told police the key was at home but when officers searched him they found the key on him. The box was opened and a quantity of drugs were observed inside.

    “This amounted to 31 grammes of cannabis, 44 Ecstasy tablets, a set of scales and deal bags. A total of £324 in cash was recovered from him, which police say was the proceeds of the drugs.

    “O’Brien’s home was searched and traces of cannabis were found along with money bags and a set of digital scales,” added Mr. Reid.

    The court heard that Quaile was arrested and admitted that he was trying to buy drugs from O’Brien to “feed his drug habit”.

    Defence barrister Conan Rae said O’Brien had made full admissions to police during interview after his arrest.

    “He was a student at the Coleraine campus of the Ulster University in his second year of a business studies degree course,” explained Mr. Rae. “He was on a gap year at the time of this offending.’’

    Mr. Rae added that following his detection, O’Brien had voluntarily attended with a drugs counsellor in Enniskillen.

    The defence barrister said that last October, the court had deferred sentence for six months “to put his future in his own hands” and it set down a number of stipulations which included no further offending, desisting from all drug use and attending drug counselling sessions.

    “I have spoken to the officer in charge of the case and he says the defendant has not come to further adverse attention of the police. In fact police intelligence states he is no longer dealing in drugs,” stated Mr. Rae.

    “Your Honour gave him a chance and in fairness to him he has grabbed it with both hands. He is a young man with a bright future and I would see no benefit in sending him to prison,’’ he added.

    A defence solicitor for Quaile said he had now “kicked his drug habit” and had desisted from further drug taking.

    “This is possibly a turning point in this man’s young life,” added the solicitor.

    Judge Fowler QC told O’Brien that he should “consider himself extremely lucky at being given the chance to turn his life around”.

    Acknowledging that O’Brien had complied fully with the order of the court from last October, the judge said the although the custody threshold had been reached, he was giving him a two-year sentence, suspended for three years.

    “There is no doubt that this sentence will have a detrimental effect on his career and that’s the way it will be. That’s the price he will have to pay for this offending,” the judge stated.

    He said Quaile had also complied with the court order by staying out of trouble and had remained drug free.

    He sentenced him to six months in prison, suspended for three years.

    The judge said that if the defendants stayed out of trouble for the next three years “you will hear no more about this”. However, he warned that if they were convicted of another offence which carried a term of imprisonment, the court would implement the suspended sentences on top of any other sentence imposed.

    In conclusion, Judge Fowler QC told the pair: “Be warned – stay out of trouble.”

  • David Crookes

    A headline will serve as a summary of the next story.

    “Four rapists among sex offenders given cautions by Humberside Police”

    From ‘The Hull Daily Mail’ (October 21, 2014)

  • David Crookes

    As the active viewership of this month-old thread approaches four thousand, let me draw four strands together.

    A man carrying drugs who kicks and spits at members of the police is given a chance.

    Another man deals in drugs and walks free from court.

    Four rapists get off with a caution.

    A lady involuntarily ingests a date-rape drug, and is found guilty of behaviour which that drug causes.

    These four strands may be drawn together under a single title.

    BRITISH JUSTICE.

    PS Is some gremlin uniquely affecting my computer, or do other readers note the disappearance of the EDIT button from the bottom of all but a few postings?

  • David Crookes

    ‘Swindon Advertiser’, 17 May 2014

    A judge has been told how a drug dealer caught peddling cannabis took his arrest as a chance to turn his life around.

    Sabin Thapa was delivering packages in Old Town when he was stopped by the police on October 29 last year.

    And when the 29-year-old’s house was searched officers found a dealer’s list which contained names and amounts of money owed for them.

    But after hearing Thapa had been using cannabis in Nepal before coming to the UK and was straightening out his life a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

    * * * * * * * * *

    A man carrying drugs who kicks and spits at police, two drug-dealers, and four rapists are all treated with astonishing leniency, but an involuntarily drugged lady doctor is found guilty because she uses the word ‘peasants’.

    The case of Dr Kerr represents part of a plan to get Thought Crime on to the statute-book.

    Anyone who disagrees should try to get the part of an oyster in the next theatrical production of ‘Through the Looking-Glass’.

    The present thread is still alive and well. Plenty of people are still reading it, and anyone who wants to contribute to it can still do so.

    What is the most remarkable thing about the earnest, impassioned, and studious contributors who were finding fault with Dr Kerr a while ago?

    I’ll tell you. It is their present silence.

  • David Crookes

    We must refuse to go one inch down the road that leads to Thought Crime, even if that road is fifty miles long. Listen to Bronze Echo.

    “To go down that route is to embark on a pathway on which
    more demands for ‘sensitivity’ about the ‘feelings’ of others would inevitably appear.

    “We would be asked, or it would be demanded of us, to
    apply our own ‘conscience clause’ to our public utterances.”

    Anyone who imagines that I have been motivated in contributing to this thread by poor-wee-girl emotionalism needs a brain implant. The Thought Police are on the way. At present they have put all their money on a hypersensitive Cunning-Old-Fury analysis of the word ‘peasants’. That word was used by an involuntarily drugged lady who knew neither what she was doing nor what she was saying.

    The Thought Police are not genuinely obsessed with the crime of rurophobic hate-speech. They are obsessed with something else. Everyone should be able to see clearly what that something else is. Once Dr Kerr is found guilty of Thought Crime in the obscure area of rurophobia, lots of lovely prosecutions will follow in the area of something else. There will be no such thing as a private utterance any more. Every utterance will be actionable at law.

    If you haven’t yet signed Dr Kerr’s supportive petition, you ought to sign it now.

  • David Crookes

    A stray Lamb stood drinking early one morning on the bank of a woodland stream. That very same morning a hungry Wolf came by farther up the stream, hunting for something to eat. He soon got his eyes on the Lamb. As a rule Mr. Wolf snapped up such delicious morsels without making any bones about it, but this Lamb looked so very helpless and innocent that the Wolf felt he ought to have some kind of an excuse for taking its life.

    “How dare you paddle around in my stream and stir up all the mud!” he shouted fiercely. “You deserve to be punished severely for your rashness!”

    “But, your highness,” replied the trembling Lamb, “do not be angry! I cannot possibly muddy the water you are drinking up there. Remember, you are upstream and I am downstream.”

    “You do muddy it!” retorted the Wolf savagely. “And besides, I have heard that you told lies about me last year!”

    “How could I have done so?” pleaded the Lamb. “I wasn’t born until this year.”

    “If it wasn’t you, it was your brother!”

    “I have no brothers.”

    “Well, then,” snarled the Wolf, “It was someone in your family anyway. But no matter who it was, I do not intend to be talked out of my breakfast.”

    And without more words the Wolf seized the poor Lamb and carried her off to the forest.

    The tyrant can always find an excuse for his tyranny.

    The unjust will not listen to the reasoning of the innocent.

  • David Crookes

    “A decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams for allegedly withholding evidence about his rapist brother was correct, a review has concluded.”

    Oh, so that’s all right, then. Now everyone can be happy.

  • David Crookes

    A man being hit with a biscuit and a child being brushed with a stinging nettle are among “jaw-dropping” incidents recorded as violent crimes.

    Norfolk police and crime commissioner (PCC) Stephen Bett said he “couldn’t believe” some examples his county’s officers were having to record as violent crimes, adding: “You could not make this up.”

    Mr Bett recently asked the county’s chief constable to explain a 14% rise in crime as he suspected there was more to the figures than the bare statistics, and was told that due to (sic) a change in the way the force had to record certain crimes, numerous incidents were now falling into the violent crime category.

    He said: “You could not make this up – it’s jaw-dropping. I am sure people will find these examples of what the police are having to record as violent crime hard to believe, to say the least.”

    [From today’s BT news site.]