Tuesday, September 09, 2008

British landlady ordered to pay damages to serial rapist for clearing his apartment after arrest

You can't beat British law for insanity

A serial rapist has been awarded compensation after his landlady cleared his flat of his belongings while he was awaiting trial. Thomas Cope, 55, tied up his teenage victim with a computer mouse cord and raped her twice before letting her go after an eight hour ordeal. He was jailed for life after a judge branded him 'a serious danger to women'.

But in a publicly funded county court case, the former debt collector sued Melody Goymer for clearing his flat - where he raped his latest victim - following his arrest. The court ruled grandmother Mrs Goymer, 60, had unlawfully terminated Cope's tenancy by failing to seek a court order for possession of the flat in Hailsham, Sussex. The judgement was described yesterday as 'shocking' and 'sickening' by critics, including a rape charity.

Cope was flanked by two prison custody officers as he complained that items including a 20in TV, computer desks, coffee table and tin openers had been put into storage. He admitted Mrs Goymer, who rents three properties in the Eastbourne area, was a 'very good' landlady but said he had been 'angry and stressed' by the eviction. 'It has caused problems between me and my wife,' he told Eastbourne County Court. 'On two or three occasions she has stopped phoning and writing to me because of it. 'I've just been banging my head against a brick wall since I've been in prison.'

Cope - who was living alone in the flat after moving out of the home he shared with his wife, Ann - was first jailed for rape for four years in 1976. He received eight years for rape in 1979, five years in 1985 for indecent assault and another ten years for attempted rape in 1990. He is currently serving a life sentence for attacking a 19-year-old woman on April 25, 2006.

Judge Austin Issard-Davies, sitting at Hove Crown Court in Sussex in June last year, ordered him to serve a minimum of four-and-a-half years for the latest offence before being considered for parole. He told Cope: 'I have no doubt that you are a serious danger to women.'

Mrs Goymer told Eastbourne County Court how she cleared Cope's two-bedroom flat days after he was remanded in custody in December 2006. She said: 'We had no contact from him and didn't know where he was so we used a pass key to get into the flat which we found in a terrible condition. 'It looked as if he had done a runner and just left. There was no electricity and the food in the fridge freezer had rotted away.'

Deputy District Judge Smith awarded Cope $1500 and ordered Mrs Goymer to return his goods within 14 days during the hearing on Thursday. He said: 'He was not thrown out on the street and he may not have been physically removed but his belongings were. 'What would have happened if he had been released on bail or found not guilty? He was unlawfully evicted and his possessions were wrongly removed and wrongly retained.' The amount of costs to be awarded to Cope is to be decided at a later date after the judge said the $26,000 claimed by his lawyers was 'awfully high'.

Afterwards, a Rape Crisis spokeswoman said: 'This case is shocking. 'We are outraged that the same system that can reduce the compensation for victims of rape can financially compensate a serial rapist who has committed violent sexual crimes against women over the last 20 years.' A TaxPayer's Alliances spokesman said: 'All right-minded people will be sickened their hard-earned tax is being used in this way. 'This case demonstrates how courts routinely waste money and how judges often make judgments that go against natural justice.'


"Green" rules helped crash British airliner

By Ray Massey

British pilots have called on regulators to reconsider some of the environmentally friendly requirements of planes, to prevent a repetition of the harrowing crash landing of a passenger jet at Heathrow in January. They said that green" rules demanding that planes burn less fuel could cause planes to crash, after investigators reported that a rush of ice crystals in fuel lines caused the British Airways accident, in which three passengers received minor injuries.

The ice choked off the fuel supply of the plane, which was carrying 135 passengers, less than a minute before the touchdown. The results of the eight-month investigation immediately sparked calls for world-wide safety checks.

David Reynolds, head of Britain's pilots' union, said: "These rules need to be looked at again. Fuel flow is an important factor in the safe running of an aircraft engine. With reduced burn, that means that less fuel is circulating, which makes it easier for water to separate and turn into ice "

Referring to the BA crash, Mr Reynolds said: "In this case, this was combined with very low temperatures and perhaps fuel which may have had a bit more water than usual - even though it complied with international standards. It was an unfortunate combination of circumstances but it does pose questions for all manufacturers, regulators and airlines.

In the wake of the incident, every long-haul passenger plane in the world faces strict new safety checks. They could also be ordered to fly at lower altitudes after investigators admitted they had no idea how many other planes may be vulnerable to the "previously unforeseen threat".

The investigators said they still did not know exactly how ice could have formed in the 777 - because it had not done so before during millions of flight hours. They now think a unique combination of three events conspired to create the conditions that choked off the fuel. They are:

* The length of time the fuel stayed in the tank at below freezing point in unusually cold weather over Siberia.

* The fact the plane was flying at a steady cruising speed and altitude for a long period, which allowed ice to form in the tank because it was using minimal fuel.

* The demand for a burst of fuel to the engines on landing, which went unmet as the ice blocked the pipes.

Emergency directives have been issued to all airlines, including BA, which operate Boeing 777s. They feature stop-gap measures to prevent a repeat of the conditions which led to the crash on January 17. This includes a requirement for planes to fly on maximum power mid-flight to prevent the long-term build up of ice in the tanks. One expert said, that in motoring terms, they have to "gun the accelerator", even when that is not necessary. Asking pilots to do this inevitably increased fuel consumption. With costs soaring, this may affect ticket prices.

The above report appeared in the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" on 7 September, 2008

It's official: you can be fat and fit

Contrary to the government hysteria, being obese is not an indicator of ill-health, and it's far from a death sentence.

One of the more depressing things about the constant talk of an obesity epidemic that is killing us all, and most particularly our children, is the media's constant readiness to give room to almost any nonsense so long as the word fat appears in it, while ignoring significant research that fails to fit the now-conventional wisdom that `being fat = death'.

Recently this trend has been on display in the way in which the British press has uncritically reported the views of Professor David Hunter of Durham University. Described by the Daily Telegraph as a `leading public health expert', Hunter has claimed that the UK National Health Service (NHS) will become unaffordable due to the costs of treating obesity-related diseases, opined that obesity requires `strong action' from government, and demanded that the government require tobacco-like warnings on foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar. Claiming that the obesity epidemic posed as significant a threat as terrorism, Hunter derided the official response as nothing more than `piddling'. According to Hunter, half the British population will be obese by 2032 (1).

Yet just days before Hunter's outburst, the quality dailies, with the exception of the Telegraph, which published a small piece deep inside the paper, failed to cover two new studies published in the same issue of Archives of Internal Medicine which give the lie to a good many of today's doomsday scenarios as well as to much of the government's propaganda about overweight and obesity, not to say its `obesity strategy'.

The studies come from Germany and the US. The US study found that despite claims, such as Hunter's, about the dangers of obesity and the risks of the diabetic obese overwhelming the NHS, roughly half of overweight people in the US - about 36million people - do not have raised blood pressure or cholesterol levels. The same applies to about a third of the people - 20million - who are categorised as `obese'. Moreover, about a quarter of normal-weight individuals have high blood pressure or problematic levels of cholesterol. As the authors concluded, `the present data suggest a high prevalence of cardiometabolic abnormality clustering among normal-weight individuals, as well as a high prevalence of obese individuals who are metabolically healthy.' The conclusions were based on a representative sample of over 5,400 adults surveyed in the National Health and Nutrition Examinations from 1999 to 2004 (2).

The German study found that insulin sensitivity was not statistically different in obese individuals compared with normal weight individuals. In effect, the image of hordes of fatties with metabolic problems leading to high levels of heart disease and diabetes is a myth. As the German research team put it, a `metabolically benign obesity that is not accompanied by insulin resistance and early atherosclerosis exists in humans' (3).

This is indeed unwelcome news to the obesity crusaders, for it shows just how scientifically unjustified their claims are, how generally untruthful the government's claims about the dangers of being overweight are, how compromised is their health advice about overweight and obesity, and how unwarranted are the calls for draconian government interventions such as tobacco-like warnings on so-called unhealthy foods. As MaryFran Sowers, one of the co-authors of the US study, told the New York Times: `We use "overweight" almost indiscriminately sometimes. But there is lots of individual variation within that, and we need to be cognizant of that as we think about what our health messages should be.'

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise since there is considerable evidence that `fat-and-fit' is not an oxymoron. For instance, last December the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study which followed 2,600 American adults aged over 60 for 12 years. Two striking findings emerged from the study. First, as in other studies, the overweight - that is those with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30 - had slightly lower death rates than those of `normal' weight. Second, levels of fitness, not BMI, was the most reliable predictor of death. Those with the lowest levels of fitness were significantly more likely to die, regardless of body weight.

Despite the incessant claims that the government's obesity strategy is `evidence-based', don't expect to hear about any of this research from anyone connected with the Department of Health. After all, having invested so much time and money in spreading fears, it would be a shame now to have to stop picking on the overweight and obese and find a genuine health problem on which to focus.


British Labour Party parliamentarian calls for curbs on migrants

The leading Labour rebel, Frank Field, has teamed up with senior Tories to demand a cap on the number of immigrants settling in Britain. In a move that will alarm Downing Street, Field will tomorrow become the first prominent Labour figure to tackle Gordon Brown openly over the explosive issue of immigration. A former welfare minister under Tony Blair, Field will join Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP, to call for a huge reduction in the numbers of non-European Union workers who settle permanently in Britain. Soames, a former minister under John Major, is a hate figure among many Labour MPs. Together with the pressure group Migrationwatch, Field and his allies will launch the first cross-party parliamentary immigration group. The move has tacit support from at least one government minister.

Field aims to push Brown to end Britain's open door immigration policy, which he says is costing British jobs and is deeply unpopular with voters. The Labour maverick led the backbench rebellion over Brown's controversial abolition of the 10p tax rate. His latest intervention will be seen by Downing Street as likely to cause division within Labour ranks by challenging Brown on a key area of Labour policy. Until now the idea of imposing any kind of immigration quota has been taboo in Labour circles. Field believes that unchecked immigration is placing an intolerable burden on schools, transport, the health service and the environment. He will cite figures showing that the rise in immigration means that Britain will need to build seven new cities the size of Birmingham by 2031.

A forecast by the European commission predicts that Britain's population will rise from 60.9m today to 77m within 50 years, making it Europe's most populous country. In 2006, the latest year for which figures are available, an estimated 591,000 people arrived in the UK. About 400,000 left the country, leaving net immigration at 191,000.

Field will call on Brown to balance the number of those coming to settle in Britain with those emigrating. He will propose that all but a tiny minority of the skilled foreigners from outside the EU coming to work here on new four-year work permits should leave as soon as their permits expire. Under the present system, most stay on and are allowed to settle permanently. "The group believe that this should be the central aim of immigration policy. Only a small number would be allowed to settle and that number would be capped," said a source close to Field.

Yesterday one government minister said he privately supported the move. "We absolutely have to have a cap, otherwise how can you control it? Any sensible person will say that predictions that the population will grow to nearly 80m is unsustainable," he said. "If you don't have a cap on those who stay after their work permits expire, you can't control the long-term trend."

Field has spoken about the need to control immigration from eastern Europe. But this is the first time that any Labour figure has called for a quota on migrants coming to settle. Ministers have consistently dismissed Tory calls for a quota, saying it would make little difference as most migrants come from the EU and have a legal right to stay. But that view is challenged by Migrationwatch, which has found that immigration from the EU will soon balance out. The pressure of immigration in future will come from non-EU countries, including those in Africa and Asia. Unofficial estimates suggest that as many as 100,000 foreigners a year who come to Britain under work permit schemes decide to flout immigration rules and stay on when their permits expire.

The Home Office has recently introduced an Australian points-based system designed to restrict the number of non-EU migrants entering under the work permit scheme to those who have proper qualifications and experience. But the Tories - and Field - believe that the scheme is still an open door because it does not set an annual limit on numbers. David Cameron, the Conservative party leader, said last year that he wanted to reduce "substantially" the number of non-EU immigrants. He has promised to announce a specific limit in the party's next election manifesto.

Field will emphasise that he does not want a limit on the numbers of new migrants per se. Instead he plans to target the more important issue of placing a cap on those who settle here permanently. Field's friends say his move is designed to reflect genuine concern among working-class people in his Birkenhead constituency. Last December the MP revealed new figures which showed that most new jobs were going to migrants. The figures made a mockery of Brown's declaration that he wanted "British jobs for British workers". The Statistics Commission said that 1.4m workers born abroad had taken jobs in Britain since 1997 - up to 81% of the 1.7m new jobs.

The new group believes it has backing from business leaders such as the Institute of Directors and the CBI. Field expects to receive substantial public support. Previous opinion polls show about half of existing migrants felt there should be curbs on future immigrants coming to Britain.

A Home Office spokesperson last night said: "Migration is good for employment and good for the economy - new migrants contributed œ6 billion to the UK economy in 2006 alone. "The tough Australian-style points system means only those Britain needs and no more can come here and it's flexible - allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of business and the country as a whole. When setting the pass mark, we will listen to the advice of the Migration Advisory Committee, an independent panel of economists. "All migrants must speak English and obey the law if they want to gain citizenship."


It's the mavericks who squelch debate??

Blame the victim! A loony British-Indian academic blames the VICTIMS (not the perpetrators) of censorship for shutting down debate:
"A troubling collaboration between parts of the media and some academics and writers becomes visible here. Pervasive silences or gaps in knowledge around difficult issues of race, class and difference may be periodically breached by the Maverick Don, that mythologised figure to whom the media seem irresistibly drawn. Rather than a thoughtful intervention, this apparently eccentric academic or writer will toss out a provocative and authoritative pronouncement that appears to fly delightfully in the face of "political correctness".

Such putatively daring truth claims ("Islam is the problem", "Racism is natural", "Men are being emasculated by women") allow for silences to be broken dramatically and temporarily, while closing off the possibility of sustained and knowledgable debate. Pronouncement, outcry, apology - so unfolds the soap opera after which we return to business as usual. Meanwhile truly substantial and necessary scholarship on race and culture, at Cambridge included, simply drops off the radar


Somehow this stupid bint equates opening up topics for discussion with "closing off the possibility of sustained and knowledgable debate". It's only because these topics are taboo that it needs mavericks to raise them! I think Matthew 7:3-5 is again relevant here. She should read it.

The writer is a woman with an Indian name. The name does not sound Muslim but her logic does.

I guess I can unravel her thinking, though. "Sustained and knowledgable debate" is debate that comes to the "right" conclusions -- and she knows what those conclusions are. So anything that upsets her neat little assumptions is disruptive and upsetting and should be STOPPED!

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