To Archive List PageOne of our regular correspondents forwarded this piece to us as another example of what passes for justice under New Labour.

Under New Labour, it's apparently okay for a judge, who wishes to curry favour with the Lord Chancellor's office, to hand out an excessive sentence 'to make an example of someone' on party political grounds.
   Where's the justice in this?

Mr. Kevin Hughes, 46, a joiner, charity organiser (with royal commendations for his efforts for motor neurone disease), a married man and a member of the British National Party, was in an altercation with an Iraqi asylum seeker in December 2004.
   This is Kevin's version of events:

Whilst walking along the road an Iraqi Kurd fell into step beside him. After a few minutes Kevin asked the Iraqi where he was from. Kevin claims he meant nothing more by this than an interest. People often ask an obvious foreigner where they are from. In fact. people will often ask a fellow Briton to identify a dialect.
   The Iraqi took exception to this however and hit Kevin in the face with no other provocation. (The police doctor viewed the bruise on Kevin.)
   In self defence Kevin pushed the Iraqi away, by the shoulder. He made no mark whatsoever on the Iraqi. Kevin then walked away. The Iraqi complained to the police that Kevin had assaulted him and racially abused him. He said that Kevin had asked him if he was a Muslim.
   This was the sum total of the 'racial abuse' in the charge and Kevin denies even that.

There were no witnesses to this altercation. Somehow the police were able to identify Kevin from a description and find him remarkably swiftly. Kevin was arrested and charged with racially aggravated common assault.
   Within 10 minutes of his being arrested the police said, "You're a member of the BNP, aren't you?"
   Note: They didn't ask - they knew.

The case came to court in March 2005. The police had lost all the paperwork and the district judge threw it out. Three months later Kevin received a letter saying that charges were being resumed and, in May 2006, the case was heard in Worcester Crown Court. The charges had been upgraded to religiously and racially Aggravated Section 47 Assault.
   The police (allegedly) lied in court, saying the Iraqi had a graze on his forehead, however they produced no doctor's report and no photographic evidence to this accusation. In fact Kevin is a big man, 6 foot 2, well built and very fit. If he had hit the Iraqi the man would likely have been hospitalised.

To begin with the judge discredited the Iraqi in Court, finding discrepancies between his original statement and the evidence he was now giving; asking why he needed an interpreter when he claimed to have understood Kevin in the street and then gave a description of him, in English, to the police.
   At this point the prosecution revealed (although they had said that they wouldn't) that Kevin was a member of the British National Party.
   The judge immediately changed his tune and insisted that Kevin tell the jury about BNP immigration policies, in spite of Kevin not being an executive member. The judge said, in court, that, although there was no factual evidence and no witnesses, he had instructions from the Home Office to make an example of racist behaviour and he then went on to jail Kevin for 30 months.
   Pre-sentencing reports were not allowed and no one was permitted to speak on Kevin's behalf.

Kevin has friends and customers who are Sikhs and Muslims who were willing to attest that he is not racist. His charity work was not mentioned. He has never been in trouble before and yet he received an excessive sentence.
   He is currently in a category C prison in Wolverhampton, where he is on observation for his own safety, although since this was implemented he has had a bucket of urine tipped over him during exercise.

The judge said that he had instructions from the Home Office and it certainly seems as if any member of the BNP can expect excessive and extreme vilification and punishment from the establishment even when they commit no crime but merely because of their membership.
   In fact it seems as if Worcester BNP have been particularly singled out, since they won a seat at Redditch, because there have been trumped up charges brought against two others from there.

A comparison

In July 2006, a 21 year old Muslim was jailed for racially aggravated assault when he and his friends set upon an innocent passer-by, beating him badly.
   Zuber Khan, 21, Bury Road, Haslingden was part of a gang of 15-20 men, which carried out a "vicious and racist" attack on Neil Lord (who had been at school with Kahn) in May 2005. Racist abuse was hurled at Mr. Lord and a friend for no apparent reason, Burnley Crown Court was told at the trial in July, 2006. Both men were punched, knocked down and kicked, and required hospital treatment.
   Khan was picked out in an identity parade by all three of the witnesses to the assault. He denied being part of the gang but he was gaoled for 8 months.


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