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

Saturday, 13 June 2009

British Justice is an Oxymoron (VII): The Case of Imran Arif

Rupert Martinez, 81, was enjoying a cup of tea at his flat when he was disturbed by a knock at the door.

Upon opening it, Mr Martinez was repeatedly struck with a piece of wood embedded with nails wielded by drug addict Imran Arif. His accomplice, Leanne Twist, then forced entry to the flat where Arif stole the sum of £10.

Mr Martinez escaped with an injured wrist, but he was left so shaken that he was terrified to go back to his own home alone.

The ordeal worsened an existing illness - and just weeks later Mr Martinez was dead, robbed of his own peace of mind in the last few weeks of his life.

Arif and Twist admitted robbery at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court and were convicted in January. However Arif felt his sentence was too long and appealed.

That appeal was rejected yesterday:

Barrister Jane Dagnall, for Arif, appeared before Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Maddison, and argued that his sentence was too long.

But the judge disagreed, saying that Arif had used “gratuitous” violence on his vulnerable victim.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom refused the appeal, saying: “Although there is no suggestion that this incident contributed to Mr Martinez’s death, it is clear that as a result of this crime, in the last few months of his life, he was less comfortable, less well and less peaceful then he should have been.

“He was unable to go back to his flat as he was afraid to be there on his own. He was unable to spend any of his last weeks at home.

“This incident meant he lived the last few weeks of his life in fear and in poor health. He was entitled to feel safe in his home and to spend the last few weeks of his life there.

“Arif denied him that, as well as the small amount of money he took.”

What sentence was deemed too long by Arif but long enough by the judge?

Five and a half years.

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