Friday, 1 February 2013

Thinking deficiencies and old racist views

Financial Adviser Ricky Lee Davies of Swansea, was told by magistrate Chantal Patel that he clearly had thinking deficiencies and old racist views before she sent him down for 8 weeks (suspended for 2 years) and slapped him with 150 hours of unpaid work and £85 costs.

His crime? After watching a programme about muslim extremism he tweeted, "Why don't you f*** off back to the desert, you c**ts." Which is not very polite. However, it seems to have been aimed at terrorists rather than any particular racial or religious grouping, which makes his punishment unfair.

The trouble is Ricky pleaded guilty. He would have lost his job if he had been sent to jail so he opted for the more lenient sentence and the suspended jail time rather than risk the nuclear option of losing his job. In all likelihood he would not have been convicted had he pleaded Not Guilty.

The exact wording of the law here is:

4A.–(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he–

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

Clearly a tweet is a "visible representation", but the Crown would have needed to prove that a) he made the tweet, and b) he intended that some people be alarmed, harassed or distressed. He could argued that the object of his ire, terrorists, are far too robust and insensitive to be alarmed, harassed or distressed by mere tweets. Certainly the High Court has recently ruled that swearing at police is not a crime since they are used to it! How much more used to it must terrorists be?

That said, the magistrate certainly had no business telling him off for his "views". He is entitled to any views he likes. Referring to "thinking deficiencies" is Orwellian. Thought cannot be a crime in the UK. She could have told him off for "expressing his views publicly" but just having the views is entirely his right.

And really, the law is too widely drafted. Some people should be alarmed or distressed or harassed. They deserve it. If criminals are alarmed by a "Neighbourhood Watch" sign - is that unreasonable? Of course not, although it could be unlawful.


jewamongyou said...

Even more ridiculous is the fact that one of the invaders, a person named "Patel", is telling native Brits what opinions they may or may not have!

Nationalist said...

I have to admit I would prefer certain occupations to be reserved for people with a history in this country, ie not immigrants or their descendants.

Jobs in the judiciary, police, civil and military service and government generally should not be open to non-natives. These jobs are too sensitive to be given to people with foreign allegiances.