Teenager who bludgeoned OAP to death claimed he was “scared” of 8 stone victim

Liverpool Echo | 26 Feb 2018 |

Giving evidence for the first time today, he told a jury how he had smoked cannabis since the age of 11 and described himself as sometimes not sleeping for three nights due partly to drug abuse.

On 2 Mar 2018, the defendant, 17, was found guilty of murder. The following month, he was sentenced to life in prison and revealed to be Cameron Cruddace.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/face-teen-who-murdered-oap-14585335

Schoolboys recorded themselves brutally assaulting shopkeeper in sickening racist attack

Liverpool Echo | 8 Mar 2017 |

Julian Linskill, defending the other 16-year-old, said the attack came after they smoked £90 of cannabis.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/schoolboys-recorded-themselves-brutally-assaulting-12713275

Punishments that don’t deter, part 94

Remember these pitiful punishments, all from south London in March this year, next time somebody tells you there is a ‘war’ on drugs in Britain:

Jamal Musse, 22, of Clay Avenue in Mitcham, was ordered to pay £265 and to forfeit his drugs after he was found with cannabis on Clapham Road on February 23 and for refusing a breathalyser test at Woodgreen Police Station.

Kirk Anthony Reid, 21, of Kimberley Road in Lambeth, was ordered to pay £90 and had to forfeit drugs after he was found with cannabis on Alphabet Mews on February 23.

Joseph Sseruwo, 25, of Peabody Avenue in Pimlico , was ordered to pay £90 and to forfeit drugs after he was found with herbal cannabis on Clapham Road on February 23.

Kadeem Omar Vidal, 24, of Prague Place in Clapham, was ordered to pay £365 and to forfeit drugs after he was found with 633mg of cannabis and six grams of crack on Prague Place on February 24.

Dwayne Russell, 17, Laburnam Road in Mitcham, was ordered to pay £160 and to forfeit drugs after he was found with cannabis on February 23 at the Old Bailey.

Federico Euston Smith, 30, of Oak Avenue in Croydon, was ordered to pay £165 and had to forfeit herbal cannabis he was found with on Lodge Lane in New Addington on February 20 at 3.35pm.

Jaiden Rashaan James, 19, of Selhurst New Road in South Norwood , was ordered to pay £214.99 and forfeit cannabis he was found with on St James New Road on February 21.

Mustafa Aziz, 22, of Donnybrook Road in Streatham, was ordered to pay £315 and to forfeit cannabis and cocaine discovered on him on Tanworth Road in Croydon on February 22 after failing to stop his car when asked to by police on Roman Way.

Winston Weir, 45, of Charlotte Despard Avenue in Wandsworth , was ordered to pay £105, given a year-long conditional discharge and made to forfeit his cannabis after he was found with it in Croydon on February 24.

Emma Jane Miskin, 41, of Edgeworth Road in Eltham, was ordered to pay £470 and made to forfeit her drugs after she was found with a small block of cannabis resin and MDMA at her home on October 10 2018.

Jahnine Chambers, 20, from Greenwich, was given a year-long conditional discharge, ordered to pay £20 and to forfeit her drugs after she was found with one joint of cannabis on a pathway near Slade Green Road on February 2.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-sutton-wandsworth-bromley-bexley-16066201

‘Terrorism’ and cannabis

This seemingly minor case, ‘Discovery of mystery substance at west London property leads to terror arrest of 16-year-old’, in which police officers found cannabis at the flat of a teenager suspected of ‘terrorist’-related activity, is a suitable excuse to discuss the vital issue of ‘terrorism’ and cannabis.

Peter Hitchens has for many years pointed out that in nearly every case of so-called ‘Islamic’ terrorism – London, Woolwich, Westminster Bridge, Manchester, Paris, Charlie Hebdo, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, Tunisia, Boston, Quebec and others – the attacker, or attackers, smoked cannabis. I do not include such cases on this site because, unfortunately, the question of Islam clouds many people’s judgement, but I shall say here that I think the link is as obvious and important as in all other cases of psychopathic violence. I shall further add, though I wish I didn’t have to, that to say I am no apologist for Islam would be an understatement.

Yet another mad, ‘motive-less’ murder in which nobody asks about drugs

Last month a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was found guilty of murdering a stranger in London and sentenced to six years in prison. The case has all the hallmarks – random, unprovoked, savage – of a young mind deranged from smoking cannabis, but, once again, nobody has bothered to investigate (or, if they have, report) whether the boy, aged 16 at the time of the murder, has ever taken mind-altering drugs.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/north-london-news/teenager-jailed-after-stabbing-chingford-16218891

Two cannabis smokers murder young man in London

Here’s a good example of a news outlet failing to mention cannabis in a report of a conviction for murder.

Last month, two men were found guilty of shooting a 22-year-old man named Hashim Ali at point blank range as he was sitting in a car in Hayes. In both its report on the conviction (Hayes murder trial: How jury convicted two friends of shooting Hashim Ali to death) and, a week later, the sentencing (Hashim Ali’s murderers jailed for a minimum of 30 years each over fatal shooting in Hayes), My London failed to mention what it reported in some detail a week prior to the conviction, which is that the two men had smoked cannabis the day of the murder, but were disappointed in the quality (Friends accused of murdering Hashim Ali in Hayes blame each other for shooting him through the heart).

My London is not alone in this. Most news outlets in their reports of the conviction mention only ‘drug dealing’, failing, or refusing, to see that it is the effect of cannabis on the mind, not a desire to control the trade in it, that is a more significant factor in this act of cold-blooded murder. Such selective reporting, sadly, is common.

Young man jailed for possessing 14-inch blade and cannabis

My London | 26 May 2019 |

Mukhtar Mohamed was carrying five bags of cannabis and a 14-inch bladed sword (Image: Met Police)

A stop and search in High Street, West Ealing revealed a man had been carrying a sword with a 14-inch blade tucked into his waistband.

Mukhtar Mohamed had been stopped at around 4.30pm on December 5, 2018 during Met Police ‘s Operation Wolverine, which targets knife crime.

Mohamed, was not only carrying the huge 14-inch blade but also had five snap bags of cannabis.

The 23-year-old from Canham Road, Acton , was taken to Acton Police station, arrested and charged with possession of cannabis and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was bailed to Ealing Magistrates’ Court on New Year’s Eve 2018, where he pleaded not guilty to both offences.

Due to legal discussions, the case was not taken to trial until Monday, May 13 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court where again Mohamed professed his innocence.

However police were able to supply bodycam footage of their stop and search, convincing the court Mohamed was in fact guilty of both charges that same day. He was jailed for six months by magistrates.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/locked-up-london-criminals-who-16332084

What do we want?

Our demands are simple:

  • acknowledge that cannabis is a dangerous drug and a prime factor in countless acts of suicide and psychopathic violence, and that no amount of ‘regulation’ will eliminate this danger;
  • acknowledge that the alleged medicinal benefits of particular aspects of cannabis are a red herring to soften attitudes to the pleasure drug and ensure that certain corporations are well placed if and when the pleasure drug is legalised;
  • admit that since around 1973 cannabis has been decriminalised in all but name, and that this has been a grave mistake;
  • begin punishing possession: a caution for a first offence, a mandatory six-month prison sentence and £1000 fine thereafter.

Woman killed by taxi driver ‘might be alive if he had been properly managed’

Shropshire Star | 19 Mar 2018 |

“From the limited evidence which was available to the independent investigation team, it appears possible that, if MB had been fully compliant with anti-psychotic medication and had refrained from misuse of cannabis, then he may not have suffered from a relapse of his psychotic illness.”

Martin Bell had been sectioned for about nine months in August 1999 and was released around six weeks before he killed Gemma Simpson.

The family of a woman who was killed and partially dismembered by a taxi driver who was suffering from a psychotic illness have said she “might still be alive today” if he had been managed properly.

Gemma Simpson’s family were responding to the publication of a report into the treatment of Martin Bell, who killed 23-year-old Miss Simpson in 2000 with a hammer and a knife before sawing her legs off and burying her at a beauty spot near Harrogate, in North Yorkshire.

Bell admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after leading police to her body 14 years later, and was told he must serve a minimum of 12 years in prison.

Bell had been sectioned in a hospital for about nine months in August 1999 and was released around six weeks before he killed Miss Simpson.

On Monday, NHS England published an independent report into his care and treatment.

The report, which said its authors were severely hampered by a lack of medical records, concluded: “From the limited evidence which was available to the independent investigation team, it appears possible that, if MB had been fully compliant with anti-psychotic medication and had refrained from misuse of cannabis, then he may not have suffered from a relapse of his psychotic illness.

“In these circumstances, the death of Gemma Simpson might have been prevented.”

The new report confirmed that doctors had considered Bell’s cannabis use may have contributed to or exacerbated Bell’s illness and he had smoked the drug on the day he killed Miss Simpson in his Harrogate flat.

But it said that “notwithstanding the failures in service provision outlined in this report, there were no actions that clinicians could have specifically taken to enforce the continuation of medication given MB’s presentation in May 2000, nor to enforce his abstinence from cannabis.”

In a statement issued by the campaign group Hundred Families, Miss Simpson’s family said they broadly welcomed the findings of the report but added: “In 2000 Martin Bell was known to carry a knife, was delusional, and recognised as a real risk to others, yet he was able to be released without any effective package of care, monitoring, or even a proper assessment of how the risks he posed to others would be managed.

“There appear to have been lots of red flags, just weeks and days before Gemma’s death, that should have raised professional concerns.

“We believe that if he had been managed properly, Gemma might still be alive today.”

The family said they understood the pressures on mental health services but said: “We keep hearing that lessons have been learned, but we want to make sure they are truly learned in this case.”

In court in 2013, prosecutors said Bell struck Miss Simpson, who was from Leeds, an “uncountable” number of times with the knife and hammer in a “frenzied” attack before leaving her body for four days in a bath.

He then sawed off the bottom of her legs so she would fit in the boot of a hire car before burying her at Brimham Rocks, near Harrogate.

Bell, who was 30 at the time of the attack, handed himself in at Scarborough police station in 2013 and later took police to where she was buried.

https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/uk-news/2018/03/19/woman-killed-by-taxi-driver-might-be-alive-if-he-had-been-properly-managed/

NHS England report: https://www.england.nhs.uk/north/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2018/03/independent-investigation-mb-march-18.pdf

British media abnormally incurious about the role of cannabis in a gruesome act of uxoricide

On 14 May 2017, Akshar Ali, acting with his friend Yasmin Ahmed, murdered his wife and mother-of-four Sinead Wooding, stabbing her with a knife six times and bludgeoning her with a hammer before dumping her body in a woodland and setting it alight. On 17 January 2018, he and his accomplice were sentenced to 22 years in prison.

One might think the fact that the guilty pair smoked and grew cannabis together would be of interest to reporters, and worthy of at least a fleeting sentence or two, but I have found it mentioned in only two news reports, one in the Yorkshire Evening Post, the other in South African news site IOL.

Of far more interest to some British media, sadly, is the fact that Ali was an ostensible Muslim and Ms Wooding a Muslim convert who had, in the weeks before she was murdered, defied her husband by wearing western clothing and seeing a friend he did not approve of. Some media, including the BBC, the Guardian and, curiously, the Sun managed to avoid mentioning either the matter of Islam or the smoking of cannabis.

Is it, I wonder, an abnormal lack of curiosity that prevents reporters from mentioning the smoking of a powerful psychoactive drug that is a prime factor in countless thousands of similar cases? Or is it a deliberate omission?

An extraordinary murder in Ireland

The following story from Ireland, which occurred ten years ago, is extraordinary for two reasons. First, the 143 injuries the attacker inflicted is, as far as I’m aware, a record. As I have noted many times, a frenzy of violence involving multiple stab wounds is nearly always a sign of a mind unhinged by drugs. 143, though, points to a frightening level of madness, and, as such, the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is unsurprising.

But then there is this:

The jury had deliberated for under one hour and had returned during that hour to ask if the fact that Mr Connors had smoked cannabis before the killing was relevant to his culpability.

Mr Justice Birmingham told the jury that consultant psychiatrist, Dr Damien Mohan, had considered whether Mr Connors’ behaviour was attributable to drugs or mental illness and was of the “firm and clear” view that the accused’s mental disorder was the causative factor.

In other words, the fact that the defendant had smoked cannabis before the killing, which occurred around six o’clock in the morning, was not deemed relevant, and the link between the his mental disorder and his consumption of cannabis appears to have gone unexplored.

Man found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity

Irish Examiner
4 Feb 2009

A jury has found a Dublin man who killed a stranger with garden shears not guilty of murder by reason of insanity at the Central Criminal Court.

Thomas Connors (aged 25) thought Michael Hughes (aged 30), from Banagher in Offaly, was the embodiment of the devil when he found him sleeping in the stairwell of an apartment block.

Mr Justice George Birmingham told the jury that it had reached “absolutely the right verdict in accordance with the expert evidence”. He thanked it for its careful attention to the case and exempted its members from jury service for seven years.

Mr Connors, of Manor Court, Mount Argos, Harold’s Cross, killed Mr Hughes in a savage attack in the stairwell of an adjacent apartment block, Manor Villa, on the morning of December 15, 2007.

Mr Justice Birmingham said this was a case of “mind boggling sadness” and, were it not for the issue of insanity, would have been a perfectly clear and appalling case of murder.

He said: “Consequent on the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity I direct that Mr Connors be committed to a specially designated centre, the Central Mental Hospital, until further order.”

Prosecuting counsel, Paul O’Higgins SC, said Mr Hughes’ family were aware that victim impact evidence would not be heard because the case did not involve the imposition of a sentence.

Mr Justice Birmingham said to the family: “You truly have been through the most appalling experience. Words can’t and don’t describe it and all I can do is express my sympathy.”

The jury had deliberated for under one hour and had returned during that hour to ask if the fact that Mr Connors had smoked cannabis before the killing was relevant to his culpability.

Mr Justice Birmingham told the jury that consultant psychiatrist, Dr Damien Mohan, had considered whether Mr Connors’ behaviour was attributable to drugs or mental illness and was of the “firm and clear” view that the accused’s mental disorder was the causative factor.

Yesterday, the jury heard that Mr Hughes had gone out for a night in Dublin with his cousin and friends. He was to stay at his cousin’s flat in Harold’s Cross but the cousin had gone home early and Mr Hughes was unable to get into the flat when he returned after 4am.

Mr Hughes decided to sleep in the stairwell and sometime after 6am Mr Connors came crashing through the glass doors of the apartment block with garden shears and savagely attacked him, inflicting 143 injuries.

Residents heard screaming and rang gardaí who found Mr Connors walking away from the scene with the shears. He told gardaí that he had fought with the devil and the devil was gone now.

In the days leading up to the killing Mr Connors, a married man with one child, had gone to hospital three times seeking help. He was hearing voices and suffering delusions that his wife was the daughter of the devil. On the second visit he was given tablets. His wife was so frightened by his behaviour that she took their child to a women’s shelter.

On the third occasion, the day before the killing, doctors at Saint Vincent’s Hospital decided Mr Connors should be admitted to Saint James’ but he absconded during the four-hour wait for an ambulance.

In the hours before he killed Mr Hughes, Mr Connors thought the devil was in his apartment and had taken a duvet outside and stabbed it, believing the devil had been hiding in it.

Dr Mohan told the jury that Mr Connors suffered from schizophrenia, as did his father. He had been hospitalised with psychosis in 2004 and 2005 and believed that his father-in-law was the devil.

The victim’s father, Liam Hughes, made a statement outside the Four Courts on behalf of the Hughes family. He said that the family’s thoughts, as always but especially today, were on the 30 years of “love, kindness and generosity of spirit they enjoyed with the deceased”.

Mr Hughes said his son would be remembered by his friends as “a respectful and decent person”. He said a former teacher had contacted the family to pay tribute to Michael as “an honest, kind, sincere, popular and respected person who was a credit to his family and school”.

Mr Hughes said Michael had been a hard-working young man who commuted from Offaly to Dublin each day to work and had recently entered into further education. Mr Hughes said his son had coped admirably with the demands of full-time work and part-time study.

On October 27, 2007, he had become engaged to Deborah Lynch, who was with the family in court. Mr Hughes said his family had shared in their joy at setting up a home together and planning for their future.

He said: “Only seven short weeks later Deborah’s hopes and dreams were shattered.”

He said the Hughes family earnestly hoped that she would find happiness in the future.

Mr Hughes thanked UCD, which had honoured Michael recently on what would have been his conferring day, and his employer, Dublin Bus. He also thanked the team who investigated his son’s death, the Garda family liaison officer and the many friends who had offered comforting words.

He said it had been 13 months since the killing but the pain and horror of it had “scarcely lessened”. He said the natural “role reversal” in the cycle of life could not now happen as he had lost his son.

He said the family was disturbed and saddened by the evidence given in court, but there relieved that the process was over. He asked that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/man-found-not-guilty-of-murder-by-reason-of-insanity-397642.html

Jail for man who shot girlfriend 13 times with airgun – before trying to strangle and suffocate her

Leicester Mercury | 27 July 2017 |

Kristian Pole had been smoking cannabis when he ‘flipped out’ and attacked his partner at his home in Leicester

A man who failed to take a chance given by a judge, following an airgun attack on a girlfriend, has been jailed for two years.

Kristian Pole repeatedly fired pellets at close range into his then girlfriend’s face, limbs and body. Then he tried to strangle her and suffocate her with a pillow, Leicester Crown Court was told.

The frightened woman managed to run from Pole’s home in Leicester and alert the police, having suffered bruising and red marks from 13 plastic pellets and being gripped around her neck, in August last year.

Judge Robert Brown gave Pole a chance, in June, by imposing a two-year community order, with rehabilitation requirements, because he had already served several months on remand in custody.

Pole later failed to inform the probation service he had moved address – a condition of the order. He also refused to tell them where he was living with a new partner. This resulted in him being brought back to court, where Judge Brown re-sentenced him on Tuesday.

The judge told 24-year-old Pole, of no known address: “I’ve no choice but to revoke the order and impose custody. You’ve thrown away the chance of a community order by your own actions. When I sentenced you in June, for possessing a BB gun with intent to cause fear of violence and causing actual bodily harm, you’d already served eight or nine months in custody.”

He told Pole, who admitted the offences: “You’d done well on remand and changed your attitude. I was invited to take a chance on you and put you on a community order.

“You’ve failed to engage with the probation service and moved out of your mother’s address, without notifying those concerned about where you were living. This was a serious example of an assault.”

Lynsey Knott, prosecuting, said the assault with the BB gun happened when Pole’s then girlfriend visited his home, where he was smoking cannabis with a male friend.

When the cannabis ran out he erupted in violence, attacking her and shooting “at close range” her face and limbs.

James Varley, mitigating, said: “He’d smoked too much cannabis and flipped out.

“Your Honour will have told many defendants it’s not the harmless drug that many young people think it is.

“It has deleterious effects … what else could explain his conduct other than he was completely out of it when his cannabis supply was cut off.”

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/jail-man-who-shot-girlfriend-243489

Couple killed friend, set him on fire and then had sex to celebrate, court told

ITV News | 16 Feb 2019 |

Cold-hearted killers who brutally murdered a vulnerable friend before setting him on fire and then having sex will spend at least 28 years in jail

Evil William Vaill and Deborah Andrews were handed life sentences for killing Skelmersdale dad Eamon Brady in a “brutal and sustained” attack.

Mr Brady was hit in the head with a hammer at least 17 times and repeatedly stabbed and slashed in the neck and body in the early hours of July 21.

Vaill, 37, and Andrews, 44, then wrapped his body in bedding and set it on fire before stealing a PlayStation 4, sound bar, DVD player and bank card belonging to their victim.

Andrews later described the couple as “the new Bonnie and Clyde”.

After the callous killing, the pair went to Beacon Country Park where they burned clothing and hid the weapons. They are also believed to have had sex in a nearby park hours after the attack, the court heard.

They also went on to attempt to sell his PlayStation 4 and use the stolen bank card in a local shop.

The evil couple, who had been friends with Mr Brady for several years, bumped into him by chance after Vaill had attended a funeral. They went back to his flat in Elmridge, Skelmersdale, where they drank and smoked cannabis.

By the time of the murder, Vaill, whose previous convictions include arson and criminal damage, had been drinking for 40 straight hours.

The pair left the flat at around around 4:50am and later told police that Mr Brady was alive and well when they left. But recordings in the police van heard that Andrews was ‘buzzing’ about the murder and describing the pair as the new Bonnie and Clyde.

Vaill, of Evington, Skelmersdale, pleaded guilty to murder and arson last month and was today given a life sentence with a minimum of 28-and-a-half years in prison.

Andrews, of Elmstead, Skelmersdale, was found guilty after a trial and given a life sentence with a minimum of 28 years in prison.

Both appeared emotionless throughout the sentencing at Preston Crown Court while Andrews sat with her hands in her pockets throughout.

Prosecuting, Francis McEntree said Mr Brady was a vulnerable man who was regularly taken advantage of by those around him. He had earlier told family that he wanted to move out of Skelmersdale to escape from people who were ‘leeching off him’.

He knew both of the victims well, having been friends for several years and they had all spent the together socially in a “happy, if noisy” manner.

Mr Brady had been friends with Vaill since their teenage years and an earlier incident in which Vaill stabbed him in the foot with a penknife was considered no more than horseplay after Mr Brady had laughed at him getting hurt when he kicked a lamppost.

An emotional victim statement read on behalf of Mr Brady’s daughter Amy Brady told of the devastating effects she has suffered since the murder of her best friend.

Her father’s death came 17 days short of the second anniversary of her brother Ryan’s death and that after seeing his battered and burnt body, Ms Brady now regularly suffers nightmare and is left “angry with the world”.

“There was a hole in my heart when my brother died that has been made bigger and will never be filled,” it stated.

“My dad was not only my dad, he was my entire being.”

Defending Vaill, Stuart Denney said he had begun cannabis and alcohol use since before he was a teenager and that Skelmersdale was “the worst place in the world for him”.

Michael Lavery, defending Andrews, said she had “limited capabilities and intelligence” and was previously of good character.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Mark Brown said: “Having killed him you set fire to his body to destroy evidence of what had happened and in doing so you committed arson with reckless disregard for the lives of the other residents in the building who were asleep at the time.

“It’s another matter of this case that having just murdered this a man in extremely violent and brutal circumstances that you had sex with each other soon after.”

https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2019-02-16/couple-killed-friend-set-him-on-fire-and-then-had-sex-to-celebrate-court-told/

Teenager found guilty of fatal stabbing of Luke Howard

Liverpool Echo | 22 Jan 2009 |

A LIVERPOOL teenager has been found guilty of killing a friend he stabbed 12 times in a drunk and drug-fuelled rage.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court found Charlijo Calvert, 15, not guilty of the murder of 16-year-old Luke Howard but unanimously convicted him of manslaughter.

Calvert, of Ronald Street, Old Swan, stabbed Luke, from Dovecot, in the early hours of August 30 at the house of a friend in Ashcombe Road, Knotty Ash.

During the week-long trial, the court heard a group of teenage boys, including the victim and defendant, had gone to the house and drank alcohol, smoked cannabis and snorted cocaine.

Throughout the night, and into the early hours, witnesses said they saw Luke prodding Calvert with a screwdriver and the pair “winding each other up”. At one point, the court heard, they threatened to stab each other but the fatal attack at around 7am.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/teenager-found-guilty-fatal-stabbing-3462600

Four ‘racist’ killings, two years apart, with one important commonality

  1. Skunk addicted schizophrenic fulfils sick fantasy by killing a black woman:  ‘Psychiatric reports stated that Maxwell was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and his abnormality was so great that it affected his judgment [sic].The reports also said his condition was exacerbated by the heavy use of skunk.’ (3 Apr 2007)
  2. Drive caught in gang’s ‘revenge’: ‘The 41-year-old minibus taxi driver was dragged screaming from his cab and beaten to death in July by several white teenagers in Huddersfield… Some of the teenagers had been drinking and smoking cannabis with some girls, who they then persuaded to call up and order the minibus – with fatal consequences.’ (26 Jan 2007)
  3. Racist thugs face 30 years in prison for axe murder: ‘The two men who murdered black teenager Anthony Walker were last night each facing up to 30 years in jail after the trial judge ruled the killing was racially motivated, effectively doubling the time they will serve… Anthony Walker wanted to be a lawyer, maybe a judge. He loved God, worked hard at his studies, practised his basketball skills whenever he could, though not on a Sunday if it clashed with church. Paul Taylor and Michael Barton revelled in the nicknames Chomper and Ozzy. One wanted to be a burglar, the other wanted to join the army, but was too stupid to pass the exams. They spent their time hanging around, smoking cannabis and, in the words of one, “going out robbing”.’ (1 Dec 2005)
  4. Asian gang kicked man to death: ‘Three Asian men who kicked a white computer expert to death and bragged: “That will teach an Englishman to interfere in Paki business” were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday… The court heard that the three had been drinking all evening in the West End before returning to east London to drink vodka and smoke cannabis.’ (23 Nov 2005)

You know, of course, what the important commonality is, a much more important factor than apparent ‘racism’. I will note here only, as the article does not, that the ‘skunk addicted schizophrenic’ who deliberately targeted a black woman is himself black.

In defence of Peter Hitchens (@ClarkeMicah) and the theory of mental illness

Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, author of The War We Never Fought, has received a lot of abuse recently for pointing out in his MoS column of 7 April that the killer of Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, was mentally ill, not a ‘political actor’, and that his mental state was not discussed at his trial (at which Mair himself did not speak).

This matters a great deal, because those who cannot accept that, far from being part of a ‘far-right terrorist plot’, Mair was simply mentally unhinged, and that this mental illness was likely the result of or exacerbated by psychoactive medication, often equally refuse to believe that the prime factor in a particular act of suicide or psychopathic violence isn’t terrorism, Islam, immigration, austerity, video games, gangs, gun laws, ‘depression’, or racism, but cannabis.

Many have cited the following sentencing remarks of the judge in the Mair case, Mr Justice Wilkie, as evidence that Mr Hitchens is barking up the wrong tree:

There is no doubt that this murder was done for the purpose of advancing a political, racial and ideological cause namely that of violent white supremacism and exclusive nationalism most associated with Nazism and its modern forms.

Those who believe that Mair was a ‘terrorist’ are not open to the possibility that the judge is mistaken, nor aware that his remarks are, as Mr Hitchens points out, unusually political in tone. I wonder, then, what such people would make of these sentencing remarks of Judge Findlay Baker, QC, to a man who stabbed his friend’s father to death with a pair of garden shears: “This was an attack of extreme and persistent violence. And I have no doubt it would not have happened if you had not consumed cannabis.”

Or these, of Judge Anthony Niblett, to a man who punched his girlfriend and burnt down her house: “Those whose minds are steeped in cannabis are capable of quite extraordinary criminality. Your mind has been steeped in cannabis for much of your adult life.”

Or these, of Judge Rosalind Coe, QC, to a young man who attempted to murder his infant son: “If any case demonstrates the dangers and potentially tragic consequences of cannabis abuse, such as you had taken part in for many years, this is such a case.”

I could go on.

By contrast, some judges all but shrug and hold up their hands when trying to make sense of a heinous crime. The judge who sentenced 16-year-old Aaron Campbell, for example, said he had “no idea” why Campbell abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail, even though it was noted during the trial that he was high on cannabis when he committed the crime, and knew the MacPhail family from having bought the drug from Alesha’s father. Some judges, like some people, can see the wood amid the trees. Some cannot.

PS Hot off the presses, here is Mr Hitchens’ review of Tell Your Children, by Alex Berenson: ‘Reefer Sadness’

 

Jessica McCagh’s killer gets 21 years under tougher sentencing rule

Scotsman | 5 Jan 2010 |

A YOUTH who murdered his girlfriend by soaking her in petrol and then setting her alight was ordered yesterday to serve at least 21 years’ detention, in one of the first tests of Scotland’s new, tougher sentencing regime for killers…

Jessica and Blackburn had been in a relationship for some time, but, on the night of her death in April last year, she had told friends at a party she was leaving him.

On their way home to his flat in Arbroath, Blackburn – described as being “legless” through drink – pushed her into a hedge and punched her.

The row continued in the flat, and Blackburn claimed petrol had spilled on to Jessica and was ignited by a burning flake from a cannabis joint. The petrol had been in the flat because he had been repairing a motorbike and had drained the fuel tank, he claimed.

However, the jury at Blackburn’s trial last month rejected his version, which would have allowed him to be convicted of the lesser crime of culpable homicide and to have received a lighter sentence. He was convicted of murder, by deliberately dousing her and a bed with petrol and setting them alight.

Lord Bracadale told Blackburn that a sentence of detention for life was mandatory for murder. Also, the judge had to set the minimum term which Blackburn would have to serve before he could be considered for parole.

Lord Bracadale said Blackburn had threatened on an earlier occasion to use petrol to torch the home of Jessica’s parents while she was staying there. During the preparation of background sentencing reports, Blackburn also admitted that, aged 13, he threw a petrol bomb at a house because of a fall-out with the occupant.

He had a previous conviction for assault since becoming an adult, and a history of violence as a child.

“The evidence disclosed that there were three stages in the murder of Jessica McCagh,” said Lord Bracadale. “First, you threw petrol over her. Then you set fire to her. The expert evidence made it clear that that was a more difficult thing to do than many of us would have thought, and must have involved holding a naked flame at her or the bedclothes in order to set her alight.

“Once she was a alight, you did something of quite extraordinary cruelty – you held the door of the bedroom shut to prevent her escape. Jessica McCagh was your girlfriend, aged 17 years, and she died a terrible death at your hands.”

The judge said the crime’s level of wickedness had to mean a long minimum term, which he set at 21 years.

The jury had heard that Blackburn fled the flat, shouting: “Jessica’s dead.” He went to her parents’ home and repeated to them that she was dead. His neighbour, Mr Foreman, tried to save Jessica and threw water from a fishtank over her but the flames kept reigniting.

He got her out of the flat as her father arrived on the scene. She had suffered fourth-degree burns which affected more than 85 per cent of her body.

Jessica died in hospital later that day. More than 400 people attended her funeral.

An angry mob of about 200 gathered outside Arbroath Sheriff Court when Blackburn was due to make his first appearance on the murder charge. The hearing was moved to a police station. The prosecutor at Blackburn’s trial, Frank Mulholland, QC, the solicitor-general, said of the murder: “It is difficult to envisage more cruel or sadistic treatment of another human being.”

Blackburn was from Dundee and spent much of his childhood in foster care. He subsequently moved to a small flat in Arbroath and often smoked cannabis there with other teenagers.

He has previous convictions for housebreaking and assaulting Jessica’s father.

Jessica – the youngest of five daughters – had gone out with Blackburn since she was 15.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/jessica-mccagh-s-killer-gets-21-years-under-tougher-sentencing-rule-1-784959

 

Violence and legalised cannabis in Uruguay: a clarification

I would like to clarify the meaning of a tweet I sent yesterday of a link to an article on violence and homicide in Uruguay, ‘Uruguay gets tough on crime after posting record homicide rate’.

The article reports that in 2018, a year after cannabis went on sale, following legalisation in 2013, there were a record 414 homicides in Uruguay, a small nation of 3.5 million people once famed for its peace and tranquillity. So alarming was this figure (up from 284 in 2017) that 400,000 voters signed a petition calling for exceptional measures against violent crime.

I must stress first that, while it is likely that at least some of these acts of homicide were committed by people whose minds have been damaged by cannabis, I do not say that cannabis legalisation was the cause. I tweeted the article whilst arguing about correlation and causation with a dim-witted young drugs enthusiast who had claimed that an apparent decrease in rates of cannabis consumption amongst teenagers in Washington state was caused by cannabis being legalised there. I have written before that dope heads parrot the phrase ‘correlation does not equal causation’ only when the correlation upsets them. When they find a correlation they like they immediately claim cannabis legalisation as the cause.

Again, I do not say that homicide rate in Uruguay is exceptionally high because cannabis has been legalised. As Peter Hitchens points out in an article on Portugal, ‘The Alleged Portuguese Drug Paradise Examined’, legalisation or decriminalisation nearly always follows years of lax enforcement, making any before-and-after comparison meaningless. By contrast, in his largely excellent book Tell Your Children, Alex Berenson spends too much time, as I write in my review, trying to prove that violent crime has risen in those American states that have legalised cannabis, when he would have done better to expand his section on the alleged ‘war’ on drugs in America and the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, rates of incarceration solely for drugs possession in the USA have been quite low for many years.

I would further add that suggestions that ‘gang warfare’ is involved in Uruguay’s high homicide rate seem similarly erroneous. Drug rivals killing each other makes a good subject for a film or TV series, but the reality is often a much blander case of a paranoid young man in possession of a weapon killing somebody (often not his ostensible target) out of fear or delusion.

Xixi Bi Llandaff murder: Jordan Matthews jailed for life

BBC News | 21 Feb 2017 |

He accepted he was smoking “quite a lot” of cannabis at the time and the court heard he felt “insecure” when his girlfriend visited her family in China.

A jealous man who murdered his girlfriend after getting “paranoid” about her being unfaithful to him has been jailed for at least 18 years.

Xixi Bi, 24, died in hospital after the attack by Jordan Matthews, 24, at their flat in Llandaff, Cardiff, in August.

He was sentenced to life at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday and must serve at least 18 years after being found guilty by a jury last week.

Judge Nicola Davies said Matthews had relentlessly attacked Miss Bi.

The assault was the “tragic culmination” of a course of physical and verbal abuse over a number of months, Judge Davies said.

Her brother, Zexun Bi, said “the heart has been ripped out of our family”.

Barman Matthews admitted manslaughter but denied the murder of Miss Bi, a post-graduate student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

She suffered 41 injuries as a result of the attack, including a broken jaw and ribs.

In a victim impact statement, her brother said his sister had been due to run their family’s multimillion-pound company and had the “whole world in front of her”.

“No sentence imposed will ever reflect the heartache and pain he has inflicted upon my family,” it read.

“Xixi will always be in our hearts, no matter how broken they are.”

During the trial, the court heard Matthews, who said he had a black belt in karate, regularly beat Miss Bi and called her “worthless”.

Matthews said he hit Miss Bi, believing she had cheated on him, and cried when he was later told she was dead.

He accepted he was smoking “quite a lot” of cannabis at the time and the court heard he felt “insecure” when his girlfriend visited her family in China.

He said he became “paranoid” about Miss Bi being unfaithful to him and believed she had received a message from someone called Ben on the Tinder dating app.

Miss Bi did not have the Tinder app or any contacts called Ben.

Christopher Henley QC, defending, said Matthews “misses her, he loved her, but he accepts that the way he treated her was atrocious”.

Judge Davies said: “Xixi provided you with a home, clothing, she bought a car for you. You took what she gave.

“You lied and lied again in order to attempt to exculpate yourself from the overwhelming evidence which was that during the early hours of August 19 2016 you relentlessly and remorselessly inflicted physical injury upon a defenceless young woman.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-39026270

‘Cannabis made my boy a killer’

THE mother of a violent schizophrenic who stabbed his best friend to death last night described how her son’s long-term cannabis habit turned him into a monster.

Julie Morgan, formerly from Cardiff, claimed her 20-year-old son Richard Harris’ ‘kind and gentle’ side disappeared not long after he started smoking cannabis from the age of 14.

“Cannabis took my son from me, I have no problem saying that,” said the 45-year-old.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/cannabis-made-boy-killer-2229963