Archive for the ‘crime and law’ Category
So Baby Peter’s tormentors have finally been named. It hardly comes as a surprise yet I fail to see what good this will do apart from sell a few papers. Peter lived a short life, full of unimaginable cruelty, which was cut short by his father and uncle while his mother looked on. His injuries beggar belief, broken spine, fractured skull and numerous internal injuries. All delivered, courtesy of the people who should have loved him the most.
The parents are the least savoury people since Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, devoid of pity or compassion. The mother, revealed as Tracey Connelly, 28, had a long history of abuse, which she then passed on to her offspring. Her own mother was a drug-addicted prostitute and Tracey spent most of her childhood around social workers. She became familiar with their methods and learned how to play on the weaknesses of the system.
Her choice of partner was Steven Barker, 33. His brother, Jason Owen, is also accused of abusing little Peter.
The two brothers had a long history of violence and viciousness. In the 1990s they had been accused of holding their own Grandmother in a wardrobe until she agreed to change her will. Tragically she died before the case could get to court.
Barker and Connelly were also tried, secretly, for the rape of a two year old in the weeks preceding baby Peter’s death.
What in God’s name were these people doing walking the streets?
Baby Peter was on the Haringey council’s list of high risk child abuse cases. In spite of being visited no less than sixty times, he was not taken into care. The question everybody is asking is: why not?
Haringey council have yet to provide a satisfactory answer.
It has recently been revealed that the convicted robber, Ronald Biggs may be released soon due to health grounds.
Privately I am satisfied that the Home Secretary has made this decision as Biggs is now pushing eighty and far too frail to carry on his sentance.
I don’t think, in the current climate of bare-faced financial irregularities, that it is fair to keep a dying man in prison while so many banks have themselves turned robbers.
In many ways Ron’s life on the run has proved a sentance on it’s own. His life has been stressful and traumatic. It separated him from his family, it left him unable to attend the funeral of his son in the seventies. It left him financially destitute and unable to work under Brazilian law. It deprived him of healthcare and it left him prey to kidnappers and a clique of detectives and journalists who swore to bring him down.
Yet it is hard not to marvel at the man’s fortitute against such adversity. Surprising, in hindsite, that his friend, Bruce Reynolds, did not give him a more active role in the robbery.
But Ron’s days are nearly over and I sincerely hope for all concerned that he does get his dying wish, to have a drink in a British pub as a free man before he dies. I don’t care what anybody says he is a national treasure.
To read his fantastic autobiography check out Ronald Biggs – Odd Man Out ISBN 0330-33768-8
The gunfight of downtown Mumbai is now over, and all there is left to do it bag up the bodies and count the cost.
To briefly bring you up to speed if you have been off-planet for the last week: On Thursday the city centre of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) was attacked by ten gunmen armed with AK-47s, pistols and grenades. They walked into restaurants and hotels and began shooting at foreign nationals, particularly targeting British and Americans
Several hostages were taken in the Jewish quarter of the city. Other sieges included the five-star Taj Mahal palace, where gunmen holed themselves up. Fire was later seen spewing from the windows.
Within minutes Indian N.S.G. Commandos were on the scene and taking control of the situation.
They assaulted the Jewish day centre, killing the militants within. They sadly found the five Jewish hostages dead.
Their sweep-and-clear operation in and around the Taj Mahal Palace took several hours, as they were hampered by fire and fleeing guests. Only one militant have been reported captured alive.
The these killers managed to infiltrate the city is a cause of some controversy. They seem to have arrived in dingys from a fishing boat discovered yesterday by Indian marines who are still on high alert. On board they found the captain, bound with his throat cut, and also a Global Positioning System in one of the holds. This device may indicate where the militants arrived from.
A lot of people are quick to implicate Pakistani intelligence in the plot. It is not the first time they have been accused of colluding with Al-Quaeda to carry out actions in the Indian State. As a result the head of Pakistani intelligence has flown to Mumbai to co-operate with the investigation.
The Militants are said to be Al-Quaeda inspired fanatics. But their tactics seem to have been pulled straight from an action movie. Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?
As a Yorkshireman this case has been of some interest to me, even more so as I suspect there is still so much that could still come to light.
The facts to date are as follows:
Shannon Matthews (9) disappeared from her home in Dewsbury on 19 February this year. A massive police operation was mobilized costing an estimated £3.2 Million
On 14 March she was found alive, hiding in the space under a bed in her uncle’s house. Her uncle, Michael Donovan, was arrested at the scene.
The trial of her mother and uncle is underway at Leeds Crown Court (where I dropped off many an affidavit in my previous job life), and it has had many revelations.
As the facts emerge the complicated relationships between the Matthews family goes under the microscope. A prevailing atmosphere of fear and denial hangs over the proceedings.
As I stated in a previous post, the story has a long way to go, and a lot of questions need addressing.
Why was Shannon drugged with sleeping pills?
What was happening to her while she was out of it?
What part did her uncle (who has already been charged for possession of child porn) play in all this?
What was the mysterious noose-like strap hanging out of his loft?
The fact is there is a lot of lying going on, and nobody is really sure what the collective motive was, possibly rewards money. The motives of some individuals are far more sinister, and it seems Shannon may have, in fact, had a lucky escape.
For further information follow this link to the BBC website
In early April 1988 the Larne ferry arrived from Scotland. On board was an 18 year old girl from Munich called Inga Maria Hauser and shortly after arriving in Larne she was brutally attacked.
Her neck was broken and she was found in a shallow grave. Her body, next to her rucksack and diary were found by a forestry worker in Ballypatrick Forest, near Ballycastle.
Since the DNA revolution tests have been conducted on these items but no suspects have ever been found. Now in a new investigation, headed by Detective Superintendant Pat Steele 1500 people have been called to take DNA swabs in the latest attempt to find the killer. These include the passengers and crew of the Galloway Princess, dock workers, soldiers, local taxi drivers and other members of the general public.
In April 2002 Ballycastle police station received a phone call anonymously. The caller confirmed the suspicions of the identity of Inga’s killer. Unfortunately the caller could not speak to detectives directly and they are desperate to re-establish contact.
The reason why all this is of interest to me is that two members of my family were on the same boat and they too have provided DNA swabs. No suspicion has ever been pointed towards them I would like to add.
In an unrelated story, another family member, a retired CID detective, has been assigned to the Madelaine McCann case. Let’s just hope they come up with something.