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

Saturday, 9 May 2009

British Justice is an Oxymoron (IV): The Case of the G-Block Gang

I have discussed before how short prison sentences given to convicted violent criminals often are in Britain today.

This was confirmed yesterday when the 'G-Block Gang', a gang of violent street robbers active in South West London, were convicted and sentenced for their crimes.

The newspaper report trumpets that the gang was 'jailed for a total of 32 years'; but considering that there were at least eight of them, is that really very much?

The gang were convicted of 52 violent robberies, but the police believe they may have been responsible for up to 113. In five months, they managed to send the rate of street robberies in their area up by 15%, something which they revelled in.

The prosecution described how they hunted for victims 'like a pack of wild dogs'. They generally targeted professional people in their 30s, often splitting up to trap their victims. They preferred to attack people from behind 'with extreme violence', after dark.

All of them were armed with knives, mallets and metal rods; they enjoyed psychologically torturing their victims and 'having the upper hand over adults'. The attraction of the robberies quickly changed from easy cash to using gratuitous violence in itself.

One lone female victim was hit in the face with a mallet over 30 times. Another had her throat stepped on by the ringleader until she nearly passed out; yet another was hospitalised with a footprint shaped bruise on her face.

After an attack in which a female student was left seriously injured, the ringleader boasted on MSN:

'almost killd da woman 4 nothing. I stamped her face out an bust her head open coz she was getting me mad. She said why, so boi she had it comin 2 her... blud she got me so vex I wernt showin any mercy.'

Although the gang revelled in their notoriety, sending pictures of each other with weapons and wearing 'robbing gear' over the internet (as seen above), they were also determined they would not get caught.

The ringleader described how next time the gang would do so much damage that the victims would not be able or willing to go to the police:

'**** it im still gonna eats (rob) its jus now im gonna **** the person up so dey cnt even describe wat we look like or even know der location.'

But get caught they did, after robbing a young couple called Alex and Caroline de Groote on Wandsworth Common. Despite being threatened with further violence and being shot if they reported the attack, they called police and picked out some of the gang as the police drove them around the streets.

How were they and all the other victims rewarded for their bravery and fortitude?

Six of the gang admitted conspiracy to rob - including the 18-year-old ringleader, who was sentenced to seven years in a young offenders' institution.

Akheem Gray, 16, of Tulse Hill, south London, was sentenced to four years, while his brother Ameel Gray, 15, of nearby Streatham, was given three and a half years.

The eldest member of the gang, 19-year-old Lufter Ahmed, of Wandsworth's Gearing Close - the street after which the gang was named - was sentenced to three years and nine months in a young offenders' institution.

Abdi Nur, 18, also of Gearing Close, was given a four year sentence and Jordan Rattray, 17, also of Gearing Close, was given a two year detention and training order.

The two remaining members of the gang were both found guilty at trial.

Peter Hyatt, 18, of Tooting, was sentenced to four and a half years in a young offenders' institution. Jerome Blake, 15, of Crystal Palace, was jailed for four years.

So pretty much all of them will be out within three years, most of them within two, thanks to the stipulations of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 that all sentences are automatically halved as they are passed.

In a civilised country, most of these 'youths' would have been looking at fifteen to twenty years for the fear and misery they enjoyed inflicting on people. Stamping on people's faces for pleasure goes beyond youthful indiscretion and into the realms of severe personality disorder.

You can't accuse modern Britain of being that, however - here it seems the rights of the criminal always trumps those of the victim.


Dr.D said...

Two questions, Earl.

1) What is the rationale for halving all sentences automatically?

2) Is there anything to prevent doubling the normal sentence, knowing that it will be halved? (I'm thinking, if a 10 year sentence is the reasonable sentence, give 20 years, knowing that it will automatically be cut to 10 years.)

The failure to adequately punish is a major part of the problems of society today. When pathological criminals are quickly returned to society, and they know that they will be, conviction has no deterrent effect at all.

DP111 said...

Doubling sentences will do no good, as they will be appealed, a lower tarrif set, and then halved in the usual way.

One of the reasons that society is crumbling is that the state has reneged on its compact with the people. The compact was that the state will administer justice fairly, and thus people would not have to take the law into their hands.

With the failure of the state to stick to its side of the compact, a time is soon arriving when people will take the law into their hands. The state will then exact heavy retribution on these people, but yet refuse to recognise that it is the state's failure that led to the present state of affairs.

If this continues, then breakdown of law and order is inevitable. Morality and common decency will have been lost. In such circumstances one will see the government elite enriching itself as fast as it can, with no care for the people. The police, and all the rest of the establishment, again more interested in enriching themselves at the expense of the public purse, as well as protecting their own. Every man for himself, will be the rule of the day.

The nation will fall apart. Fortunately for Britain, there is a monarch around which the nation can still unite. In this, we are fortunate. The rest of the republican West is in much greater trouble, especially the USA.

Dr.D said...

DP111 you make some very interesting comments, but I don't quite understand why you put them in the future tense. Should they not be in the present perfect tense? Are these things not on going at the present moment?

You say, "the government elite enriching itself as fast as it can, with no care for the people." Didn't the Earl just recently post about the various government officials who are lining their own pockets at the expense of the people?

I would suggest that everyone of the things you mention is happening at the present time in the UK.

You go on to say, "The nation will fall apart. Fortunately for Britain, there is a monarch around which the nation can still unite. In this, we are fortunate.The rest of the republican West is in much greater trouble, especially the USA."

The collapse of the nations seems to be a foregone conclusion, and I think we can certainly agree on that part. Your next statements are worthy of some discussion, I think. What can the nation rally around?

You say that the monarch will serve as a focus of unity for the UK, and I'd like to think you are correct. I worry that you are not. There was a time when I would certainly have agreed with you, but in recent years, the Queen has done absolutely nothing to prevent the dissolution of her country. There have been literally countless occasions when, if she would have stepped forward and said, "No," she could have done so very much to help save the UK from its present sad state, but instead she has sat on her hands. She seems to be clearly afraid to hand the monarchy off to Charles, for very good reasons, but she is unwilling to act to make the monarchy of any value to the nation as a focus of unity in itself. I'm sorry to say, I think the monarchy is a lost cause for the UK, sad to say.

For the US, we certainly have no monarchy to turn to. But we do have something else that may prove more useful. That is the Constitution. Although it has been sorely abused, there are many of us that still believe in it, and would like to see a return to strict Constitutional government. That is what I hope will be the focus of the attempt to rebuild the US out of the chaos.

Anonymous said...

Think how much better off society would be if these savages were summarily executed. Execution would also prevent these miscreants from procreating and producing future criminals and welfare dependants.

Anonymous said...

i think that what they did was wrong and they should be punnished , but one of my friends os in that group and i know that he is realy sorry beacuse when i talk to him , you can tell prision could kill him....x

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Dr. D:

As I understand it, it was the then Tory government's method of appearing tough on crime whilst avoiding funding new prison places.

We're pretty much at full capacity in our prison system, so the solution is... to send less people to jail (obviously), whilst making the public think it is business as usual.

The judges have sentencing guidelines imposed so they can't use the common sense you suggested.

Seeing as huge numbers of people are robbed, raped or killed by criminals who should still be serving their sentence every year, this must count as one of the greatest betrayals a government has ever inflicted on its people (and in modern Britain and Europe, as you know, we have a lot to choose from).

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...


Thanks for stopping by.

You make an excellent point re: the social contract. It is now almost as one sided as in a tyrannical master/slave state - we do as we're told or we face the consequences, whilst authority and those it favours can break the rules at will.

Observe the way in which the recent Tamil demonstrators were treated with the way the G20 riots and the Luton protest were policed.

The police are clearly more afraid when dealing with a group that isn't 'just' British - why?
Because of the framework the government has put in place to protect such people.

The Queen would and should be an excellent centrepiece for any grass roots patriots' movement, but I'm not sure she'd be willing - the thought police have everyone on the run these days.

I know that the blogger Lionheart has written tirelessly to the Queen regarding her role as the protector of this nation and its values, urging her to stand up for the sake of the people.

I think if she did she would have a lot of support from ordinary people, but the media would kill it - far too dangerous to the established order.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Anon 14:36:

Everyone has to face the consequences of their actions.

Having your throat stamped on or being hit repeatedly with a mallet can kill someone too - the difference he chose the path which has led him to prison, and his victims had no choice at all.

DP111 said...

Dr D, The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer

Thank you for your kind remarks.

First, I mentioned the monarch, and not the present Queen. The reason being that the monarch is a symbol of the state and crown, while if I had written "Queen" it would imply the present head of state. In our constitution, if one may call it that, the monarch is guided by her PM. The Queen has thus fulfilled all her duties and obligations. If the situation changes, and a PM advises a different course, then again she (monarch) becomes the figure around which the people can unite. The monarch then becomes a living symbol of the state. A real live one, and not a collection of ideas, no matter how idealistic.

Over the years since 9/11, many people have commented that Europe, and Britain in particular, are in grave danger from the Islamic threat - the USA not so much, as it has a constitution.

The US constitution is indeed a marvellous document. But a document is what it is. And it has force only as long as the vast majority of Americans have a living tie and ownership to it. This was true as long as a majority of Americans were Anglo-Protestant. The constitution was after all written in English, and came out of the history of the English speaking Christian civilisation. With huge immigration into the USA, I wonder how many Americans have that feeling of ownership to the constitution? I certainly don’t think that American Muslims view it as sacrosanct- for they have the Koran they hold in greater esteem.

There are other issues that put America in greater danger then Europe.

Europe and America both have a serious problem with immigration, particularly Islamic. In fact, were it not for this, there would be no real significant problem. However America has another immigration problem - the Hispanic one, which too has irredentist aspirations.

America has a long-standing racial problem, which has been exacerbated by the election of Obama. Though this racial problem is a real one, and made worse by the election of Obama, it transpires that it has now become the central issue between the Left and Right in America. The Left and the Right (in common parlance), now view each other with increasing vitriolic hatred.

Encapsulating, America has four serious divisive issues.

1. Immigration in general – one of which is irredentist in its aspirations
2.Islamic problem.
3. A historic long standing racial tension
4. Obama’s election is polarising the Left and Right to a dangerous degree. The civil war comes to mind.

I wont write on this subject any further without first getting some views from others. I hope this post is not too long.

DP111 said...

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer wrote this must count as one of the greatest betrayals a government has ever inflicted on its people (and in modern Britain and EuropeCouldnt agree more.

Islam poses a far greater threat to western civilisation then Fascism, communism or even Nazism. The last three, though totalitarian, are to some degree rational in their purpose. Islam OTH, a 7th century bloodthirsty desert cult, is motivated by world domination. Its texts are immutable and are not amenable to change or even rational analysis.

Fascism, though bad, would not be totally alien to our culture, as in many matters, it would not infringe on many aspects of Western civilisation, that it itself takes for granted. Islam OTH would be totally alien. It would ban the education of women, reducing them to the role of baby producers. Islam would be against all forms of music, and any literature that did not give prime importance to the Koran. Islam is so alien to Western civilisation that it can be regarded as virtually out of this planet as far as we are concerned.

I can forgive NuLabour for its destruction of education, the armed forces, NHS, and a whole host of others. What I cannot forgive it for is that it has the put the existence of Britain, nay its very soul in jeopardy, by allowing millions of Muslims to settle here.

Dr.D said...

There is no benefit in arguing over who is in the worst condition. There are quite enough problems and difficulties to go around, and it really is not constructive to either side.

We will see how things play out in the long run.

DP111 said...

Dr D

You are right. I just wishe to remove any complacency that Americans may have.

Anonymous said...

Just for general infortmation, all will be serving the entire sentence given to them as they were given IPP, so no sentences will be halved in this case

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Thank you for the information, Anon 22:41.

I still think the sentences are ridiculously short in their complete format, but halving them would have simply been insanity.