"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Apt Headline: 'Lord Ahmed's shame at jail sentence for texting while driving'

It was indeed a moment the entire nation can be ashamed of; 'Lord' Nazir Ahmed's ridiculous 12 week jail sentence for killing a man, automatically reduced to 6 weeks, reduced to 20 days, reduced to 16 and a suspended sentence on appeal.

However, I think he sees things slightly differently than I do - he feels shame that he actually received a jail sentence at all.

This interview, in the much-maligned Mail on Sunday, opens with a snivelling run down of the events that saw Ahmed jailed, and just how bad he must feel. This simpering opening concludes:

'It is 6.20pm on Christmas Day 2007 – the moment when the Labour peer’s life changed for ever and 28-year-old Slovakian Martyn Gombar’s life ended.'

I don't personally feel that there's a comparison to be made between the two. But then, it's quite clear where the sympathy of the Mail's editors/owners lies:

'That Lord Ahmed had most recently been lauded for securing the release of British teacher Gillian Gibbons, jailed in the Sudan for calling a teddy bear Mohammed, only added irony to the interest.

On February 25, Lord Ahmed was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison. His solicitors spoke of their respect for the court’s decision but launched an immediate appeal against the sentence.'

Excuse me? Gillian Gibbons was released on 3rd December 2007 - is that really the last significant thing that occurred in Ahmed's career?

Oh no, that's right - the last significant thing to occur in his career was a mere 13 days before he was sentenced, when he ensured a Dutch politician was banned from the United Kingdom for disagreeing with him.

How did he do this? By threatening to lead 10,000 Muslims on Parliament, of course. What else would a good, moderate Muslim committed to democracy, free speech and other British values do in his position? Oddly, his respect for this country and its ways seems to correlate with his solicitor's respect for his sentence - actions speak louder than words.

If I'd written the article, the above passage would read:

'That 'Lord' Ahmed is now in prison is deliciously ironic; for it's where, in my opinion, he should be after his treasonous remarks and intentions during the Geert Wilders fiasco'.

The nonsense continues:

'Lord Ahmed’s lawyers persuaded the court that his community work would be ‘irreparably and permanently damaged’ if he remained in prison.'

You can read some more about how ridiculous this statement is and the potentially dangerous precedents it sets here. However, from what I've read about some British prisons and their extensive 'Muslim communities', I would have thought Ahmed felt right at home. Maybe he just doesn't like preaching to the already converted, so to speak?

The article continues:

'Justice Hallett found that he was ‘neither legally nor morally guilty for Mr Gombar’s death’.
But, however relieved he may be to be home, guilty is what Lord Ahmed feels. Speaking for the first time about the crash, court case and his time in prison he admits:

‘That man’s death is a burden I will carry for the rest of my life. It is a terrible thing that happened. I didn’t know it at the time, but Mr Gombar was over the legal alcohol limit, which may have been why his car had spun out of control and why he was standing there like he was.

‘His car had been clipped by two other vehicles before I hit him. But, of course, I regret everything from that night. I am so sorry that he died in such a way.’ '

...I shouldn’t have been texting when I was. It was wrong, wholly wrong. That’s why I pleaded guilty when the charge was read out in court. I am filled with remorse and regret, of course I am.
‘It was a couple of weeks after I had returned from the Sudan after rescuing Gillian Gibbons, and I was getting a lot of calls and texts from journalists. The texts were between me and a journalist.'

So sorry that, in the space of two paragraphs, you try to exonerate yourself and pin the blame firmly elsewhere? All I can hear above are excuses.

If Gombar had collided with Ahmed's car and then died, his blood-alcohol limit would be relevant, and I'd have a degree of empathy with the man.

But it's not, and I don't. Whatever led Gombar to spin out of control had already occurred; his car was a road hazard, the sort of thing that any safe, responsible driver must attempt to be prepared for, especially on a motorway when the speeds used leave very little margin for error.

But, Ahmed continues his whining. The police investigation stretched over 14 months, during which he was interviewed a grand total of four times. Again, I get the distinct impression that I'm supposed to feel sorry for him at this point. I wonder how many terrorists and anti-semites had to miss their tour of Parliament due to this unforgivable inconvenience?

He continues, still in 'poor me' mode:

‘I found out that I was being charged last October when a journalist called to ask for my reaction to my files being sent to the Crown Prosecution Service,’ he says.
‘The circuit judge who heard the case [initially at Sheffield Magistrates Court] asked for a probation report. It recommended a 12-month ban and financial penalty.’

The night before sentencing, Lord Ahmed met his legal team: ‘I asked my QC, “What if the judge sends me to the cells?” He replied, “If that happens, then tomorrow’s the day I lose faith in the British judicial system.” ’

Isn't it curious how two independent minds can have a completely opposite impression of the same event? I lost faith in British justice (well, even more so) when he only got 12 weeks, and I knew that only meant 6 anyway.

'The next day, Lord Ahmed arrived at Sheffield Crown Court with a train ticket to London in his pocket. He planned to go straight to the House of Lords after sentencing. ‘I saw my grandchildren off to school that morning,’ he recalls.
‘I said goodbye to my wife and told her I would call her that evening when I got to London.’

But, while Mr Justice Wilkie accepted that Lord Ahmed was blameless in the collision, the matter under consideration was, he concluded, no less grave.
‘By reason of the prolonged, deliberate, repeated and highly dangerous driving for which you have pleaded guilty,’ he said, ‘only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.’
'

Ah well, I'm sure he claimed the ticket on his expenses anyway. Who does this man think he is? Am I supposed to feel sorry for him because he's so cocky and arrogant that he thinks sentencing is a foregone conclusion for someone like him? The fact that he was so confident he would get away with it does him no favours.

Although it's quite long, I will reproduce here his experiences after sentencing and arrival at prison:

Recalling that moment now, Lord Ahmed admits: ‘I nearly crumbled. I was devastated. I turned to the Group 4 security guard, who cuffed me and led me down to the cells. I was told to hand over my watch, my wallet, my tie, my belt, empty my pockets and take the laces out of my shoes.

‘I just stood there looking through the officers as they spoke to me. I had been a magistrate myself for eight years. I had been to prison before in that capacity, working with young offenders.

'My maiden speech to the House of Lords in 1998 was about Muslim prisoners, prison conditions and rehabilitation. Now here I was, in handcuffs.’

Lord Ahmed describes the journey from court to prison as ‘the most terrifying journey of all’.
He says: ‘I was loaded into a bus, split up inside with steel cages. You can’t stretch out your legs and you have a window but you can’t see the other inmates on the bus. You just hear them.

'They were glorying in their crimes, shouting about what they had done, the acts of violence they had committed or the drugs they had taken. They swore loudly and vilely, words I would not repeat.’

Hang on a moment; his maiden speech to the Lords was about prison conditions and reform, rehabilitation and Muslim prisoners. In my book, a criminal is a criminal - black, white, Jewish, Christian, Muslim. There should be no special treatment for any particular group. But more than that, Ahmed's attitude concerns me; he acknowledges that the people who had been jailed deserved to be, yet he was once a lobbyist for what amounts to releasing them and absolving them of any blame for their actions.

Can it be that these people are good enough to mix with the public in the street, yet not good enough to keep Ahmed company at lock-up? Maybe serving 12 weeks would have done him some good, by penetrating the nonsensical liberal fuzz which surrounds his brain.

He goes on:

'Forty-five minutes later, Lord Ahmed arrived at HMP Marshgate, known locally as Doncatraz. It is a remand facility built to house Category A offenders.

‘I was taken to a small room where a guard told me, “You’re not allowed to wear a suit. Only the governor and lawyers wear suits.”

Then they put on their gloves and I was told to strip. I was handed a tracksuit to wear and my photograph was taken. What few possessions I had were put in a bag and sealed.
My money was taken and I was told it would be banked for me. I’m diabetic and, bearing in mind I had been up since eight in the morning, I asked about my medication and was told I could see a nurse.

‘I was given a small bar of soap, a packet of Polos, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a packet of crisps. Then I was taken to my cell.

‘By then, my fear had really accelerated. There was a toilet in the corner and a powerful smell of urine, a bed with a dirty towel on it and a chair. There was a small window with bars on it.

'The moment I stepped out of my cell, I was afraid. I asked a guard if I could use the bathroom and take a shower. They watched me throughout.
Lockdown was at six o’clock and the cells are locked until eight in the morning. That was a long, long night.’ '

I imagine Martyn Gombar's widow has had a few long nights since some egotistical moron wiped out her husband with his Jaguar, to be honest.

Why was that again? Oh yes, because the poor chap was just so popular and full of his own importance after coming back from Sudan that he would have needed surgery to remove him from his mobile phone.

Ahmed then goes into some detail about being transferred to an open prison, HMP Moorlands, and what life was like there. There is also more whining about how sorry he apparently is. But his true colours are revealed once more near the end of the article:

'But his mood is not one of celebration. Lord Ahmed is aware of the criticism that continues to be levelled at him: ‘People have said that my sentence was suspended because of who I am. But that’s not true. I feel my sentence was a custodial one because of who I am.
‘One police officer told me he didn’t think they would be pressing charges were it not for the fact that I was Lord Ahmed.’

It is not possible to escape the fact that his reputation as a standard bearer for British Muslims and as a political force has been tarnished.'

Right, so despite being so full of guilt, he thinks he was only punished for the crime he committed and pleaded guilty to because of 'who he is'. The maximum possible sentence for dangerous driving is two years in prison. He was sentenced to 12 weeks, in reality more like 6.

Just the other day a man got 6 months for riding his motorbike at over 100mph with his 14 year old son on the back. Reckless and foolish, yes - but no one died.

As for 'who Ahmed is' - I doubt anyone could think as highly of him as he clearly does himself. I only know who he is for negative reasons, and they go far beyond this car crash.

Incidentally, does the Mail not think that threatening to lead 10,000 Muslims on Parliament if a controversial speaker he did not agree with was invited, when he'd been responsible for several controversial invitations in the past himself might have tarnished his reputation?

In fact, that entire article does not mention said incident once, even though it was initially reported by Mail columnist Melanie Phillips.

Sickeningly, Ahmed ends by thanking his supporters, claiming he got over 25,000 messages of support 'from all communities'.

I'll bet. I wonder how many he got condemning his actions and the leniency of the sentence?

The Mail insists that he received no payment for the article; perhaps they just donated it to a charity for the worthy cause of equipping Jihadists around the world?

8 comments:

LibertyMine said...

The Mail On Sunday right?

I would have expected it to be the Guardian for sure. The MoS is such a two-faced rag of s**t, what with its outrage over Wilders and now this.

I know they hand out these titles with ignorant abandon these days, but usually there is something in the citation where you can go, 'oh yes, I see, he did a good job there.' But honestly, what did this man do? Or was he simply making up a quoto? Or filling the house with nodding yes-men for Blair's islamic revolution of the UK.

MK said...

When i read of this fellows release and i heard the judge saying there wasn't one law for you peasants and a different one for the elites, i knew it was bullsh*t. Thanks for confirming Earl.

Nick said...

So drivers in the UK aren't done by the bobbies unless they're Lord Ahmed?

What planet is this guy on?

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Liberty:

The Mail on Sunday indeed. It seems that they're about as 'Right-wing' as Boris Johnson.

I know what you mean - the man is simply a professional Muslim. I can't think of a worse candidate for the Lords myself, if boosting the repuation of Islam was the goal.

Yes men are always good though, as are quotas. Now repeat after me...

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

MK:

No problem - this idiot thinks he only went to jail at all because he's a lord. But driving offences these days are treated more seriously than assault - unless you kill someone, then it's treated quite leniently.

Perverse really.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Nick:

The same planet where Islam is a religion of peace and Mohammed is a role model?

He really is a piece of work.

Dr.D said...

'Justice Hallett found that he was ‘neither legally nor morally guilty for Mr Gombar’s death’.

But, while Mr Justice Wilkie accepted that Lord Ahmed was blameless in the collision,..."

I'm inclined to think that (in)Justice Hallett and (in)Justice Wilkie are perverted. They need reeducation in basic morality.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Dr. D:

Oddly I think morality is seen as an old-fashioned word even by judges here.

Sad but true.