Tag Archives | Crime Section

Bernadette Smyth: conviction and restraining order quashed

Anti abortion campaigner Bernadette Smyth was cleared on appeal yesterday. She had initially been convicted of harassing Dawn Purvis at the end of last year. At the original trail the judge Chris Holmes made a number of interesting comments. He stated: “I want to make it absolutely clear that I do not feel it’s appropriate more…

Anders Behring Breivik: murderer, fascist; and object of derision?

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik was found guilty (and sane) last week. There is an excellent article on Breivik and his ultra right ideology by Matthew Feldman on the BBC website. Feldman (a Reader in History at Teeside University) is an expert on fascist ideology and the far right. Feldman notes the “Lone Wolf” more…

Stepping Hill Hospital, nurses, the police and the media

After all the recent scandals involving the press one might hope that they are being careful to avoid the assorted pitfalls they fall into with such frequency. More likely, however, than a collective discovery of higher journalistic and editorial standards is that the fear of the current Leveson Inquiry is temporarily keeping them from the more…

Northern Ireland’s roads remain safe: possibly not at 111mph

Some good news was published by both the BBC and News Letter yesterday. There were 59 deaths on the roads in Northern Ireland last year, a rise from 55 the year before, but still vastly lower than in the past. Prior to 2010 the lowest number of deaths was in 2008 at 107. As the more…

Thoughts on Robert Black’s conviction

Last week saw another of the murderers of the past brought to justice. In this case, however, there was absolutely no controversy. Robert Black was convicted of the 1981 kidnap and murder of Jennifer Cardy. Black had already been convicted of the murder of three other little girls and is suspected of a number more. more…

Terrorists: the good, the bad and the ignored

I blogged my views about Gusty Spence previously. However, Mr. Spence’s death also raises the issue of how ex-terrorists (or ex-combatants for those who prefer the term: exactly how the actions committed terrorists could be called combat is bizarre, but I digress) are viewed especially by the media. The way in which the media views more…

Innocent nurses, landlords and trial by tabloid

I blogged some months ago about the case of Chris Jefferies who was landlord to Jo Yates. Mr. Jefferies was arrested over Ms. Yates’s murder and then became the target of frenzied media speculation. Essentially it seemed that he was a bit eccentric, had odd hair, was an elderly bachelor and, hence, must be guilty. more…

HET to interview McGuinness over Joanne Mathers murder

The News Letter is reporting that Martin McGuinness may be about to be interviewed by the Historical Enquiries Team regarding the 1981 murder of census worker Joanne Mathers. From the News letter: On Monday, MP Gregory Campbell referred to the fact obliquely when he raised a point of order in the assembly. Addressing assembly speaker more…

Ken Clarke’s rape gaffe

Ken Clarke has a reputation as one of the most formidable politicians of the past twenty years. He is also a bit more popular than many Tories amongst many in the media due his seemingly more liberal views, his eminent quote-ability and maybe his penchant for brown suede shoes. He has, however, also a bit more…

Ian Tomlinson unlawfully killed

The jury at the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson on the day of the G20 protests in London two years ago has found that Mr. Tomlainson was unlawfully killed and that PC Simon Harwood used “excessive and unreasonable” force in striking him. Mr Tomlinson, who was not taking part in the protests in more…

Thoughts on the saga of Hazel Stewart

The saga of the murders of Trevor Buchannan and Lesley Howell has all the ingredients of a horrible human interest story or a perfect opportunity for voyeurism depending on one’s views. It has had a perfect; practically Shakespearian villain who finally seized with remorse has told all for the benefit of his soul and for more…

Free speech and insult: Britain and America

The Americans sometimes claim to be the world’s greatest democracy and the rest of the world enjoys laughing at and mocking such comments. Their commitment to free speech is, however, at times highly impressive. The Westboro Baptist Church campaigns against homosexuality by having protests at the funerals of American soldiers killed in the line of more…

Jo Yeates landlord no longer suspect

Chris Jefferies The landlord of Jo Yeates the young woman from Bristol who was murdered late last year has been released from police bail and is no longer being treated as a suspect. Mr. Yeates owned the flat which Ms. Yeates and her partner lived in. He was initially arrested a number of days following more…

Brigadier Jackie McDonald

Jackie McDonald demands recognition for UDA

Jackie McDonald one of the UDA’s self styled “Brigadiers” has been speaking to the Belfast Telegraph. McDonald’s ire seems largely directed at Tom Elliott, who unlike McDonald did actually defend Ulster as part of the UDR: McDonald preferred being a leader of the yabba dabba doo any taig will do UDA. It seems that Mr. more…

Colin Howell should be released by 2014?

The story of Colin Howell had all the necessary ingredients to excite those with an interest in crime stories. The villain was a successful, respectable member of the community; a religious man, a family man who went on to commit what looked like a perfect murder. The police were apparently a bit suspicious about the more…