Courtroom Antics

hunck

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A good decision - the sentence seemed unduly harsh. No actual harm was done to anyone.
 

sherbetbizarre

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JUDGE HOLDS SELF IN CONTEMPT FOR HIS SMARTPHONE

A Michigan judge whose smartphone disrupted a hearing in his own courtroom has held himself in contempt and paid $25 for the infraction.

Judge Raymond Voet has a posted policy at Ionia County 64A District Court stating that electronic devices causing a disturbance during court sessions will result in the owner being cited with contempt, the Sentinel-Standard of Ionia and MLive.com reported.

On Friday afternoon, during a prosecutor's closing argument as part of a jury trial, Voet's new smartphone began to emit sounds requesting phone voice commands. Voet said he thinks he bumped the phone, and the embarrassment likely left his face red.

"I'm guessing I bumped it. It started talking really loud, saying 'I can't understand you. Say something like Mom,'" he said.

Voet has used a Blackberry mobile phone for years, and said he wasn't as familiar with the operation of the new touchscreen, Windows-based phone.

"That's an excuse, but I don't take those excuses from anyone else. I set the bar high, because cellphones are a distraction and there is very serious business going on," he said. "The courtroom is a special place in the community, and it needs more respect than that."

Over the years, the judge whose court is about 110 miles northwest of Detroit has taken phones away from police officers, attorneys, witnesses, spectators and friends. During a break in the trial, Voet held himself in contempt, fined himself and paid the fine.

"Judges are humans," Voet said. "They're not above the rules. I broke the rule and I have to live by it."
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/judge-ho ... smartphone
 

ramonmercado

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The judge is a Daniel come to justice.

Juror Jailed For Texting During Trial
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/0 ... or-jailed/
BY DAVID KRAVETS04.19.131:45 PM

Benjamin Kohler. Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Department

A 26-year-old Oregon man serving as a juror in an armed-robbery case was ordered jailed for two days after he was caught texting during the trial, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

When prosecutors were playing a video-taped interview with the defendant, Judge Dennis Graves suddenly halted the trial after noticing a light glow around juror Benjamin Kohler’s chest. The judge, who had previously instructed jurors to pay attention and not to use mobile phones, immediately halted the proceeding and ordered everybody to vacate the courtroom except Kohler, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The authorities said Kohler “had no explanation for his actions.”

The judge declared him in contempt, and ordered the juror jailed for two days at Marion County Jail. The judge said he wanted to teach Kohler a lesson.

“The duty to serve as a juror must be taken very seriously. Every juror has the responsibility to devote his entire attention to the witnesses and evidence being presented,” the judge said in a statement. “In this case, Mr. Kohler failed to meet his obligations and failed to honor the direction of this court. My hope is that he will use his time in jail to reflect upon his behavior.”

An alternate juror filled Kohler’s spot, and the defendant was found guilty of armed robbery, the Sheriff’s Department said.
 

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Hong Kong taxi driver sued for 6 cent overcharge
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22565263

Hong Kong taxi drivers often round up fares to the nearest dollar

A Hong Kong taxi driver prosecuted for overcharging a passenger by HK$0.5 (£0.04; $0.06) has had the case against him thrown out.

The lawsuit, which was withdrawn on Thursday after the prosecution offered no evidence, lasted six months.

Tam Hoichi said the case had tired him out, and he wanted an explanation as to why he was sued.

Hong Kong taxi drivers frequently round up to the nearest dollar when giving change.

It is considered a common practice by many drivers and passengers in Hong Kong.

The overcharging incident is reported to have occurred during a taxi ride in October.

The journey fare was HK$136.5 (£12; $18), and Mr Tam kept HK$0.5 of the change, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

The passenger did not demand the missing change at the time, but later reported the incident to the police, the SCMP said.

Mr Tam attended the trial hearing on Thursday morning on charges of "taxi overcharge", but was cleared after the case was dismissed.

"The case was reviewed by the Prosecutions Division," Hong Kong's Department of Justice said. "Given the trivial nature... it was considered not appropriate to proceed with it."

Mr Tam told reporters at the court that he felt the lawsuit was "really not just".

"I want to know why the opposite side, for the reason of this small amount, would want to sue me," he said.

A representative for Hong Kong taxi and minibus drivers told AFP news agency that the court case had wasted taxpayers' money and time.
 

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Judge charged with stealing cocaine from evidence of cases he presided over
http://rt.com/usa/judge-pozonsky-cocaine-charge-772/

A former Pennsylvania judge has been charged on allegations that he stole confiscated cocaine used in case trials, in some instances replacing the contraband with baking soda.

Paul Pozonsky, a 57-year-old former Washington County judge, resigned from his position last year amid reports that he was the target of a state grand jury investigation. In May 2012, state police investigators discovered that evidence envelopes meant to contain cocaine were either missing, had been tampered with, or contained baking soda. The packets filled with baking soda also contained the former judge’s DNA.

In May 2011, Pozonsky requested that police bring all confiscated drugs into the courtroom. After these drugs were entered as evidence in their respective cases, Pozonsky or a member of his staff kept the envelopes, CBS News affiliate KDA reports. In one instance, Pozonsky allegedly asked a state trooper to bring a stash of more than 200 grams of cocaine to his personal chambers. The trooper obliged, handing over the haul in a sealed evidence bag, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“It was brought to my attention that inappropriate requests were being made by Judge Pozonsky to possess drug evidence for pretrial hearings for pretrial matters,” District Attorney Gene Vittone, who took office in 2012, told the Post-Gazette. It was unclear what happened to the drugs until police made the shocking discovery shortly after Vittone and other court officials noticed Pozonsky’s strange requests.

This month, a year after investigators made the find, Pennsylvania police charged Pozonsky with eight counts of theft, four counts of drug possession, one count of misapplication of entrusted property and one count of obstruction – all of which are misdemeanors. Pozonsky was also charged with a felony conflict of interest.

“This is troubling. This is humbling as you might expect,” Bob Del Greco, the attorney representing the former judge, told KDKA. “And it’s a serious matter and he’s taking it as such.”

Paul Martino, a general assignment reporter for KDKA, expressed the suspicions that this case raises, without making any accusations.

“What this looks like, is a sitting judge accused of snorting evidence – cocaine?” Martino asked Del Greco.

“That’s a fair representation of the allegations,” Pozonsky’s attorney responded, thereby admitting that his client had used the white powder.

When asked if his client has a drug problem or has gone to rehab, Del Greco refused to comment.

“I… I’m really not in a position to discuss with any particularity the allegations now,” he said.

Pozonsky had been on the bench for nearly 30 years, first as a magistrate and eventually in the Common Please Court. He oversaw high-profile criminal cases, and launched the Drug Treatment Court, which provides treatment and rehabilitation services for drug and alcohol users as part of the justice system case processing.

Pozonsky was arrested and released on $25,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled forJune 13.
 

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Class-action lawsuit formed against 'kids for cash' scandal
http://rt.com/usa/kids-for-cash-scandal-lawsuit-714/

A new ruling may finally push forward long-languishing civil lawsuits against a pair of former judges in Pennsylvania, who plaintiffs allege made millions by sending children to profit-making detention centers on minor charges.

On Tuesday, a federal judge combined several lawsuits filed against the former judges, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan, into a unified class-action case in what has come to be known as the "kids for cash" scandal.

The extensive list of plaintiffs - over 4,000 - were found to involve a common enough set of facts and legal questions to combine them into one suit, which means that after four years with little progress plaintiffs may finally see their day in court.

The cases have been brought forward by hundreds of parents and children who claim that they were victimized by the two former judges as part of a kickback scheme. Ciavarella and Conahan pleaded guilty in court to making $2.6 million in exchange for sending juveniles to privately run detention centers, PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care, between 2003 and 2008.

Ciavarella sentenced children to extended stays in private juvenile detention for offenses as minimal as mocking a principal via a social media website, trespassing into a vacant building and shoplifting DVDs from Wal-mart.

According to Courthouse News, lead plaintiff Florence Wallace alleges that her 14-year-old daughter was taken directly from Ciavarella’s courtroom in shackles during a case involving threats on MySpace, and sent to the PA Child Care camp.

AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand

Plaintiffs have also gone after attorney Robert Powell, former co-owner of PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care, and Robert Mericle, owner of a construction firm which built the children’s prisons as part of another class action lawsuit.

Parents involved in the suit claim that, on top of the wrongful imprisonment of their children, their wages and Social Security benefits were seized in order to pay for the privately run centers. In one case, Edward Kenzakoski committed suicide following a jail sentence handed out by Ciavarella, despite his first-time offender status.

Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years behind bars following his conviction on 12 counts, including racketeering, and is currently being held at a minimum-medium security facility in Illinois.

Conahan was sentenced to 17-and-a-half years, a reduced sentence resulting from his pleading guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy. He is being held at a facility in Florida and is scheduled for release in 2026.

Amidst the unfolding number of cases, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court authorized a rarely appointed “special master” to review, and possibly expunge the detained children's records.

Illustrating the number of juveniles involved in the vast kickback scheme, some 2,421 children had adjudications dismissed by the state Supreme Court by 2010.
 

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Judge John Devaux attacked at Ipswich Crown Court
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-22754580

Judge John Devaux's wig came off during the attack, eyewitnesses said

A judge has been assaulted during a sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.

Judge John Devaux was attacked by a man who stripped to his vest and raced from the public gallery, eyewitnesses said.

The plucky judge, who had sentenced a man to 30 months in prison for driving offences, returned to court minutes later and said he was "unharmed".

Suffolk police said a man was being held in custody on suspicion of contempt of court.

'Battering the hell'
But officers said the man had not been arrested over the attack, which happened in courtroom two at about 10:45 BST.

Continue reading the main story
Judge John Devaux

Born in 1947, he was called to the Bar in 1970
He has been a circuit judge since 1993
He has presided over some of the most high-profile murder cases in Suffolk
The judge presided over the the trial of Ireneusz Melaniuk who was given a life sentence for the murder of Bury St Edmunds jeweller Peter Avis in November last year
Witnesses said the judge's robes and wig were pulled off during the drama.

Jaimie Budd, who was in the public gallery, described seeing the man take off his top to reveal a black vest.

"We thought that he was going to reveal some sort of statement or tribute, but instead he got up and ran to the judge's bench," she said.

"He ran up the steps and started battering the hell out of the judge."

She added: "He pulled his robes, his wig came off. It was extremely horrific."

John Weston, who was also in court, said: "I looked into the court and saw a couple of chairs had been turned over.

"I was grabbed on the back and told to 'wait' by two security guards who rushed past me."

Judge Devaux returned to court minutes after the assault to hear the next listed case.

He told the court: "I think we're all unharmed."
 

sherbetbizarre

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New Jersey Man Who Named Son After Adolf Hitler Shows Up For Family Court Hearing Wearing Full Nazi Uniform

The New Jersey man who is fighting to regain custody of his young children--one of whom he named Adolf Hitler Campbell--showed up today for a Family Court hearing wearing a full Nazi uniform and a Hitler mustache.

Heath Campbell, founder of the Hitler’s Order hate group, appeared this morning at a Flemington, New Jersey courthouse for a closed hearing on his request for visitation with his youngest child, a two-year-old boy.

In November 2011, the child (and his three siblings) were taken into custody by state welfare officials, who accused Campbell, 40, and his wife of child abuse. Campbell has contended that he never neglected his children, claiming that they were seized by the state solely due to the their names (one of his daughters is JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell).

As seen above, Campbell was accompanied to court by a woman wearing a costume with a swastika on its sleeve and a Nazi Iron Eagle.

When asked if wearing the Nazi uniform would hurt him in the eyes of the Family Court judge, Campbell told a TV reporter, “Well, if they’re good judges, and they’re good people, they’ll look within and not what’s on the outside.”

While Campbell's uniform appeared authentic, historical records contain no reference to Nazis carrying laptop bags.
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/naz ... urt-691243
 

ramonmercado

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This could go into a few threads. Maybe the scammers instead?

Met Police sued by 'amnesia' officer with criminal past
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22926711

The Metropolitan Police is being sued for discrimination by a PCSO denied promotion after she failed to notify them of a conviction for theft.

Rachida Sobhi did not reveal her criminal record when applying to the Met owing to reported amnesia.

It is understood she was convicted of an offence of theft from a previous employer in 1991, for which she received a conditional discharge.

The Met vowed to "vigorously defend" its position.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Stealing is not in my character and it is not how I was brought up”

PCSO Rachida Sobhi
PCSO Sohbi previously worked for a safer neighbourhoods team in Notting Hill before joining the force in Bromley, south London.

The previous conviction emerged when she applied to become a police constable.

On Sunday evening, PCSO Sohbi told BBC London: "I believe that I was wrongly accused of the theft and there was maladministration.

"We are talking about a conviction for stealing £20 all the way back in 1991.

"In 1999 I found a wallet with thousands of pounds in, and I submitted it to the authorities - I have evidence of that."

'Vigorous defence'
She added: "Stealing is not in my character and it is not how I was brought up."

A Met Police spokesman said: "We believe the first hearing outcome was the correct one and we will vigorously defend our position at future hearings."

The issue of police employees claiming compensation was brought to light earlier this year when it emerged that a police constable was suing a petrol station owner after she tripped on a kerb while answering a 999 call.

Pc Kelly Jones, of Norfolk Police, claimed the owner failed to ensure she was "reasonably safe" when she attended a suspected break-in last August.

According to figures from the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents 124,000 rank-and-file officers, more than £67m has been paid out to injured officers from 2009 to 2012.
 

ramonmercado

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Perth hoax caller Grant Robertson happy to go to jail
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-t ... l-23449199

At Perth Sheriff Court, Robertson said a jail sentence was "good news"

A hoax caller was so happy when a sheriff locked him up that he thanked her and burst into song.

Grant Robertson grinned and launched into a chorus of the Tartan Army favourite "We'll be coming..." as he was led off to prison.

He asked to be sent to jail after he admitted making a dozen nuisance calls to the 999 service when he was drunk.

Robertson, 35, from Perth, was sentenced to six months in prison.

His solicitor Pauline Cullerton told Perth Sheriff Court: "He would not be willing to comply with any order, and rather unusually would wish to go to jail.

"He wouldn't pay a fine or comply with a community payback order and he would simply wish to go to jail to serve a sentence."

'Good news'
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis confirmed: "You wish to go to jail? Well, it is certainly within my power to do that.

"It is perfectly apparent to me that at the time of the offence - and now - alcohol is a considerable factor.

"You will be sentenced to a total of six months."

Robertson replied to the sheriff: "That's not a problem. That's good news."

As he was taken away by G4S officers, Robertson sang: "We'll be coming, we'll be coming, we'll be coming down the road..."

'Great intoxication'
He then shouted at the sheriff: "What about my phone? I want my phone back. You're a Dundee supporter."

Robertson admitted making a variety of spurious 999 calls from Princes Street in Perth on 6 January this year.

Fiscal depute Jim Eodanable told Perth Sheriff Court: "There were 999 calls to the control centre in Dundee. The male stated he was in need of assistance.

"Robertson was traced in possession of two mobile phones. He made a total of 12 calls.

"There had been some failed attempts to dial 999 due to his lack of sobriety. He was in a state of great intoxication."
 

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Umakant Mishra: Indian postman cleared of stealing less than $1 after 29 years
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25196622

Umakant Mishra

Umakant Mishra attended court 348 times in 29 years before he was cleared

Related Stories

The Indian court case that started in 1878

India Bihar families fight for 66 years over a plot of land
An Indian postal worker who was accused of stealing less than $1 in 1984, has been cleared by a court after nearly 350 court hearings over 29 years.

Umakant Mishra was suspended from his job after being charged with fraud when 57 rupees and 60 paise (92 cents; 56 pence) went missing in his post office.

Mr Mishra told BBC Hindi that the battle to clear his name reduced him to penury and his family would have starved if not for his relatives.

He is now seeking compensation.

Correspondents say cases in Indian courts can drag on for years, even decades, and official figures show that more than 30 million cases are pending in Indian courts, some dating from 1950.

Mr Mishra's troubles began on 23 July 1984 when he worked in a post-office in the Harjinder Nagar area of Kanpur city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

"I was given 697 rupees and 60 paise ($11.19; £6.83) which the post-office had received as money orders and I had to distribute it. I distributed 300 rupees and in the evening deposited the rest with a senior official," Mr Mishra says.

When the refund was checked, it was found to be short by 57 rupees and 60 paise (92 cents; 56 pence).

"I was charged with fraud. I was suspended from my services and a complaint was lodged with the police."

Mr Mishra was jailed briefly and although he was freed on bail shortly afterwards, his long legal battle had started.

"I was summoned 348 times by the court. Initially I had to sell my house in Kanpur, then I had to sell my agricultural land in Hardoi district. I went bankrupt."

He did various odd jobs to support his family and fight the legal battle and says he was helped by his relatives who "helped me and provided me with shelter".

He was absolved of all charges last week after the prosecution could not produce any witnesses in the case.

"I was suspended when I was in my 30s. Now that I have been absolved, I should be compensated. I should get all the money that is due to me," he says.
 

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The cows of justice will be served.

India orders DNA test on cows to settle ownership dispute
By Sham Mohammad
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25678498

Trivandrum

The disputed cow

Both Geetha and TS Sashilekha say the cow belongs to them

A court in southern India has ordered a DNA test on two cows to settle an ownership dispute between two women.

A woman, known as Geetha, alleges her cow was stolen by her neighbour TS Sashilekha, who says the cow is hers.

The court said the result of the cow's DNA test would be matched with one of Geetha's cattle which, she claims, is the mother of the disputed cow.

The blood samples of the two cows have been taken and results are awaited, police in Kerala state say.

"We are awaiting the DNA report from the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology [in the state capital, Trivandrum] where the blood samples have been sent," police sub-inspector G Raju said.

He described the case as the "rarest of rare incident".

The case began nine months ago when Geetha filed a petition in court accusing Ms Sashilekha of stealing her cattle.

"We have about 15 cows and one of these, Karthika, had given birth to the missing cow," Geetha said, adding that she hoped the DNA test would prove her claim over the cow.

"I am 100% confident that the cows are mine and I would appeal if the test results go against me," she said.

Many families in Kerala are farmers who also make a living through cattle-breeding. Also, cows are considered sacred by Hindus who worship them.
 

escargot

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This trial sounds sillier every day. Last week we heard that Clifford would ask his alleged victims if they'd ever seen a smaller penis than his.
The whole thing has now descended into sensible underwear and innuendo.

Max Clifford jury told to 'settle down' after laughing at penis size evidence


The jury in the sexual assault trial of the publicist Max Clifford was instructed to "settle down and remember where you are" by the judge after they burst into laughter while hearing evidence.



Clifford told her how important he was to the press, how he made people's careers, and that he had had sex with Diana Ross, she said. "For me, Diana Ross was a very beautiful, famous woman, I couldn't imagine why she would sleep with him," she said.

The jury heard that Clifford told her to take her dress off, which she did reluctantly as she was wearing a thermal vest and her tights had holes in. Clifford was "overcome", saying how turned on he was, she said: "It was the tights, he was absolutely riveted about the tights."

...

The woman said in her evidence she thought Clifford was well-endowed and his penis was very large. "I had only seen one before, I had never seen one in that proximity and that situation."

The court has heard claims that his penis is "tiny" and no more than two-and-a-half inches when erect. When Richard Horwell QC, defending, asked her about the issue, the woman remarked: "I have a small mouth. I do, my dentist has always said."

This prompted laughter on the jury, which was sent out for a few minutes. Jurors returned to be told by judge Anthony Leonard QC: "It is inevitable in a case dealing with this sort of graphic detail that members of the jury want to burst out laughing.

"I can remember a very boring court case and we – I wasn't a judge then – became helpless with laughter and the judge had tears in his eyes and it took over 25 minutes to recover.

"But we have got to remember that this is a court of law and we are dealing with serious allegations, and, in fairness to the witness, and the rest of the court, you have got to learn not to react to what's happening. Can I ask you to settle down and remember where you are?"
 

OneWingedBird

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I wonder if this is some really clever ruse for them to not have to bring up their kids while avoiding being seen to be responsible for having them put into care?

Or maybe I just can't get my head around how they expect to stand a chance of being deemed fit parents after a stunt like that. :?
 

Mythopoeika

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This kind of thing seems to be on the increase. Misguided, not-very-bright in'duh'viduals dressing up as nazis. I've heard of a few cases lately.
 

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http://blog.sfgate.com/hottopics/2014/03/21/man-charged-with-rape-uses-good-looks-defense/

Man charged with rape uses ‘good looks’ defense

A Georgia man says he couldn’t possibly have raped a woman at a CVS store. He’s just so good looking.

That’s Darrious Mathis’ defense in the second trial of a kidnapping, robbery and rape case out of Cobb County, according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV. Mathis used the same defense in September 2013 trial that resulted in a hung jury.

The 24-year-old victim says two and a half years earlier, she was making a quick midnight stop at an Austell CVS store when Mathis kidnapped her at gunpoint and raped her.

“He had told me to get in the car and I actually begged him to take my car. I had pushed my wallet that was in my hand and my keys toward him and I was like ‘Please take my car. You can take my cards and everything,” she said.

Mathis says the above did not happen. He says he was at the CVS, selling pain medication in the parking lot when the victim approached him to buy some pills.

Any sex following was consensual because of his charming personality and handsome features, according to his defense team.

Mathis is also facing additional weapons and assault charges.
 

Mythopoeika

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That guy? 'Good looking'? :lol:
'Selling pain medication in the parking lot'? Why isn't he being done for drug dealing?
 

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Lisburn court cleared over coughing fits
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-26870596

Dozens of people began to cough after an unknown substance, believed to be pepper spray, was released in Lisburn courthouse
A County Antrim courtroom had to be cleared due to the suspected spraying of an unknown substance that made dozens of people cough.

It happened in Lisburn courthouse on Thursday morning and disrupted proceedings inside the packed court.

In between coughing fits, police officers told those present that they believed a canister of pepper spray had been released.

The court was evacuated and proceedings moved to another room in the building.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Courts Service said: "Court business was temporarily adjourned for a short period of time following the apparent release of a spray inside courtroom one of Lisburn courthouse.

"An investigation has now commenced into the cause of action."
 

rynner2

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This may have been brewing for 50 years, but I think it's the first I've heard of it:

50 year battle over £2 million Falmouth landmark an 'extraordinary saga', 'motivated by hatred'
9:00am Friday 4th April 2014

An “extraordinary saga” stretching back 50 years spilled over into a venomous legal feud as two elderly women battled it out in court over a £2 million Falmouth landmark.

Retired academic, Dr Kathleen Baker, 72, denied claims that she was “motivated by hatred” in pursuing an “obsessive and destructive” campaign against 71-year-old Audrey Line, the current owner of Harrogate House, in Falmouth.
Miss Line’s barrister, Guy Adams, said Dr Baker’s firm belief that the house should in part be hers had led to a series of bizarre episodes over the years - including unfounded fraud accusations against Miss Line and others that “resulted in her arrest and investigation”.
None of the allegations led anywhere and Miss Line's reputation remained completely untarnished, he added.

On another occasion, he claimed Dr Baker had “rampaged” through a hotel in Falmouth then owned by Miss Line, pointing out items she claimed belonged to her family.
That and all other accusations of unreasonable behaviour were vehemently denied by Dr Baker.

The origins of the legal tangle stemmed from Dr Baker's “unsubstantiated suspicions about the administration of her father, Albert Line's, estate in the early 1960s”, Mr Adams told London’s High Court.
He added: “This has caused her ... to pursue claims against Miss Line’s property over very many years in an obsessive and destructive manner”.

Albert had had an affair with Miss Line’s mother, Norah, in the 1950s, claimed Mr Adams, although he added that Dr Baker “does not accept there was any such relationship”.
He and Norah set up a company to manage the hotel she ran in Falmouth - the Palm Beach - four years before Mr Line died there in 1961, said Mr Adams.
The following year, 250 of Mr Line’s shares in the company were transferred to Norah, making her the effective owner of the company and the hotel.

She continued to run the Palm Beach with Audrey, who the barrister said was “paid a pittance” but was always assured that she would ultimately inherit the business.
Norah later transferred her shares to her daughter and died in 1995, said Mr Adams.
Miss Line finally sold the Palm Beach and acquired Harrogate House in 2007, and that property - a spacious villa close to the beach that was designed by renowned architect, Alfred Cornelius, in the 1920s - is now at the centre of the dispute.

Dr Baker’s barrister, Graham Sinclair, said it is her case that the transfer of Albert Line’s majority share holding in the Palm Beach was invalid, and that she is entitled to "trace and follow the value of such shares into the hands of Miss Line" and, ultimately, to Harrogate House.

However, Mr Adams urged Judge Kevin Prosser QC to finally call a halt to a legal battle that had been raging for decades.
He argued that the time had come for the court to declare that Dr Baker has “absolutely no claim whatever in respect of this property”.
Miss Line, he added, was desperate “to put an end to this extraordinary saga”.

In the witness box, Dr Baker, who lives near Colchester, roundly rejected Mr Adams’ claims that Norah had been her father's “mistress”.
“Now you are going too far - that I will not accept”, she told the court.
She claimed that, in his final years, her father had regarded Norah as an “employee” and that he was planning on “asking her to go” shortly before his death.

Dr Baker was also pressed by Mr Adams about an episode in 1997, when Miss Line was still ensconsed at the Palm Beach.
The barrister claimed that Dr Baker and a sibling had “rampaged around the hotel, pointing out things they said belonged to them”.
“They said the hotel belonged to their father”, said Mr Adams, who also alleged that the incident had ended with the police “ejecting” Dr Baker from the hotel.
“That’s what happened isn't it?” the barrister went on. “You had to be forcibly ejected from the hotel didn’t you?”

Dr Baker denied the suggestion, insisting that she and her sister turned up at the hotel to examine some documents in connection with the case.
They were “there on lawful business”, said Dr Baker, who added: “My husband and sister’s husband were outside waiting and I’m sure they wouldn't have encouraged any rampage”.
She said that, during his lifetime, her father had always told her that the Palm Beach would be “her portion” after his death.

Far from pointing out heirlooms, claiming they belonged to her family, Dr Baker said the only item she “registered” during her visit was an old bench at the front of the hotel where she and her father once sat and “watched the tugs in the harbour”.

When asked by Mr Adams if she had been “motivated throughout by hatred of Miss Line”, Dr Baker told the court: “No, I don't bother with hatred; it is such a negative force.
“I am a religious person and you get nowhere hating anyone.”

Judge Prosser has now reserved his decision on the case and will give his ruling at a later date.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11 ... d_/?ref=mr

If this had been a story by Agatha Christie, one or other of the old biddies would have been murdered! :twisted:
 

Mythopoeika

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This is a completely barking story.

Pakistan: Nine-month-old boy accused of planning murder

A nine-month-old boy has appeared in court in Pakistan on charges of planning a murder, threatening police and interfering in state affairs, it appears.

Baby Muhammad Mosa Khan is one of more than 30 people facing charges after a police raid to catch suspected gas thieves in the city of Lahore, The News website reports. Police say the suspects tried to murder security officers by pelting them with stones. But the Times of India newspaper quotes the infant's father as saying the group was protesting an electricity shortage.
Rest of the story is at the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-26887186

Look at that face - he's the evil mastermind of it all, I tell ye!

 

rynner2

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The sort of headline that promises a disappointing story - just another sad tale about the human condition:

Truro postman Andrew Salmon locks wife in garden shed and calls her a "common prostitute"
4:10pm Tuesday 8th April 2014

After locking his wife in their garden shed and then, when she got out, locking her out of the house, a Truro postman called her “nothing but a common prostitute” and said she was finished in his house.

When she got in with her own key and they were arguing, he tried to drag her out of the house by her legs. Upstairs, he threw her on the bed, got on top of her and grabbed her breasts.

In Truro Magistrates’ Court postman Andrew Paul Salmon, aged 42, of Malabar Road, Truro, pleaded guilty to assaulting Beverley Anne Salmon at Truro on February 6.
Gail Hawkley, for the CPS, said in his police interview Salmon said he did not remember what caused him to assault his wife as he was drunk.

He said he had been suffering from depression as his mother had recently died. Mrs Salmon did not like his mother and was not being supportive. She was also unkind about her death.

He believed that she was having an affair.

He admitted locking her in the shed, saying it was to “p*** her off”, knowing she would be able to get out through a window.

Salmon was given a community order for 24 months, including a requirement to take part in a building better relationships programme. He was fined £100 and told to pay £145 costs and surcharge.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11 ... e_/?ref=mr

"building better relationships programme" - yeah, that'll work - not!
 

sherbetbizarre

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Rogue alcoholic court reporter kept writing ‘I hate my job’

An alcoholic Manhattan court stenographer went rogue, channeling his inner “Shining” during a high-profile criminal trial and repeatedly typing, “I hate my job, I hate my job” instead of the trial dialogue, sources told The Post.

The bizarre antics by Daniel Kochanski, who has since been fired, wreaked havoc on some 30 Manhattan court cases, sources said, and now officials are scrambling to repair the damage.

One high-level source said his “gibberish” typing may have jeopardized hard-won convictions by giving criminals the chance to claim crucial evidence is missing.

Kochanski’s botched transcripts include the 2010 mortgage-fraud trial of Aaron Hand, who was also convicted of trying to hire a hit man to take out a witness against him.

A source familiar with the case said Kochanski’s transcripts of that trial were a total mess.

“It should have been questions and answers — instead it was gibberish,” the source said.

And in a scene right out of 1980’s “The Shining,” where Jack Nicholson’s off-the-rails writer repeatedly types “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” a source said of Kochanski: “He hit random keys or wrote, ‘I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job,’ over and over.”

Claudia Trupp, of the Center for Appellate Litigation, said her office was handling the appeals in Hand’s and nine other cases.

“I never had a situation where a single court reporter was responsible for so much damage,” she said.

Kochanski, 43, was fired in March 2012 for misconduct, said Office of Court Administration spokesman David Bookstaver.

Sources said the Manhattan DA’s Office arrested Kochanski and forced him to try to make sense of his shorthand typing.

But that effort apparently failed. Judges have been holding “reconstruction hearings” at which everyone involved in a case has to testify about what they remember.

“This situation is terrible for everybody,” Trupp said. “It’s very difficult to come up with a sufficient record based on everybody’s recollection years after the event.”

The troubled stenographer’s dad, Ed Kochanski, said his son “became an alcoholic” about five years ago, costing him his marriage and job.

He said his son was in rehab when they last spoke about three years ago.

Ex-wife Heather Kochanski said, “The pressure of that job pushed him over the edge, leading him to lose everything.”

By phone Wednesday, Kochanski denied screwing up his transcripts.

“I never typed gibberish. I always did my job 100 percent. I was let go because of substance abuse,” he said.

“I’m in recovery. July will be one year I’m clean,” he said.
http://nypost.com/2014/04/03/alcoholic- ... -verdicts/
 

Mythopoeika

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I must admit, I've almost got to that point myself! :lol:
But I'm not an alcoholic, so I am able to restrain myself from repeatedly typing 'I hate my job'.

Edit: Why do we need court recorders in this day and age? Aren't they a bit of an anachronism? I mean, we now have video and sound recording technology that eliminates the human error.
 

rynner2

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I'm no longer fit enough for long country walks, but even back in my prime I was wary of fields with cattle in. There have been many instances of a herd of cows trampling people to death.

Bull killed a rambler 'after owner said it kept walkers on their toes': Farmer accused with manslaughter after engineer, 63, died when he was repeatedly charged by animal
By Amanda Williams
Published: 18:00, 7 April 2014 | Updated: 00:23, 8 April 2014

A farmer accused of the manslaughter of a rambler who was gored to death by one of his bulls had admitted it ‘kept walkers on their toes’, a court heard.
Paul Waterfall, 39, denies manslaughter by gross negligence after Roger Freeman died on a public path on Underhill Farm in Stanford-on-Soar in November 2010.
The 63-year-old died after he was allegedly attacked by the bull while walking with his wife Glenis, 70.

Waterfall is accused of breaching his duty of care to the public by failing to ensure the bull was safely confined on his land on the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border.
Opening his case at Nottingham Crown Court today, prosecutor Andrew McGee told the jury Waterfall was aware of the ‘deadly risk’ posed by the bull, who was named Moonriver Zac Pi, and of the public footpath that ran across his land.
The trial, being held at Nottingham Crown Court, is expected to last five weeks

The court heard that the bull, known as Zac, the 19-month-old Brown Swiss bull had been involved in two previous incidents just weeks before the fatal attack on Mr Freeman.
Mr McGee said: ‘As a farmer Paul Waterfall had a duty of care to those who used the public footpath. Paul Waterfall had that duty of care and knew his bull posed a real risk of death to people using that path’
The prosecutor added that Waterfall had been ‘grossly neglectful’ in failing to take any steps to prevent that risk.
‘The death was made all the more tragic because it was completely avoidable’, he added.

The jury of four women and eight men heard Mr Freeman, from Glen Parva, Leicestershire, was walking with his wife along the public footpath through a field off Leake Lane in Stanford on Soar at around 4.30pm on Friday November 12 2010 when the bull struck.
The couple were experienced walkers who had been on a walking holiday.

Dressed in walking clothes and boots, the couple had walked for about 12 miles when they reached the public footpath near Mr Waterfall’s farm, Mr McGee told the jury.
Mrs Freeman told police after the attack that the couple had seen cows and a bull in the field when they had got on to the path, Mr McGee told the court.
She was walking ahead when she heard an ‘oof’ from her husband and turned around, the prosecutor told the court.
‘Glenis saw Roger on the ground with the bull there,’ Mr McGee said.
‘She tried to distract the bull but it attacked her and continued to attack Roger.
‘Roger told her to go and get help. He told her “I’m sorry my baby I can’t get us out of this.”’

Mrs Freeman told officers the animal had 12-inch horns which were long and curved and described it as ‘brown and slobbering’.
She told them the animal had “looked excited and had started pawing at the ground” before attacking her husband, Mr McGee told the jury.
It then pawed at the ground and ran at her, he said.
She told police it was like ‘a bull charging in a bull fight’.

Mrs Freeman ran from the field and flagged down a motorist who called for an ambulance.
She was taken to Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham where she had surgery for chest and abdominal injuries.
Police and paramedics found Mr Freeman, a father-of-two, face down with only his underpants and boots on.
His clothes had been stripped from him and were scattered at the scene, Mr McGee told the court.
He was declared dead at the scene and taken to hospital where tests confirmed he had died from multiple injuries including fractures to his ribs and shoulders.

The court heard the bull had allegedly been involved in two previous incidents with humans in the weeks leading up to the attack.
On October 1, two Central Networks engineers had attempted to carry out emergency electrical repairs on the farmland but were chased off by the bull when it charged at them, Mr McGee told the jury.
But the workers managed to fend of the animal with metal rods, and were rescued by Mr Waterfall, who picked them up on his truck.

He told the workers that Zac was ‘a nasty, aggressive bull’ that he himself was wary of but that ‘he did keep walkers on their toes’, Mr McGee said.
A second incident just two weeks before Mr Freeman was attacked involved another Central Networks engineer who had been carrying out work on the farmland.
The prosecutor told the jury: ‘These comments are obviously significant in that they reveal as of October 1 - six weeks before the fatal incident - Paul Waterfall was well aware that Zac was aggresive and presented a risk to walkers in the field.’

The court heard Mr Waterfall had farmed at Underhill Farm for ten years and kept around 500 cattle of various breeds on the 300 acres. He bought Zac in 2009 to breed with his heffers. (sic)
Mr McGee told the court that one previous owner had described Zac as 'a cocky bull' but none had reported any aggresive behaviour.
However the prosecutor said dairy breeds were recognised as being ‘potentially more aggresive and dangerous’.

Zac was put down immediately after the attack on Mr Freeman, however Mr McGee claimed experts said the bull should have been culled following two previous incidents in the weeks before the fatal incident.
Mr Waterfall was charged last year following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.
The trial is expected to last up to five weeks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... d-air.html

I heard this story on the radio this morning. What gave it extra resonance for me was that I once knew a couple called Roger and Glenys.
 

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US defendant shot dead by officers in courtroom attack

A man accused of robbery and assault was shot and killed in a Salt Lake City court after he lunged at a witness giving evidence.

Siale Angilau, 25, died in hospital after being shot several times by a US marshal in front of the jury at the new federal courthouse.

The FBI said he had rushed towards the witness with a pen in an "aggressive, threatening manner".

Angilau was the last of 17 accused gang members tried as part of a 2010 case.The case included 29 counts, including assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offences.

Perry Cardwell, who was in the courtroom with his adult daughter, told the Associated Press news agency at least six shots were fired.

Siale Angilau, 25, an accused street gang member, is seen in a picture provided by the Utah Department of Corrections taken in February, 2012.
Siale Angilau was the last of 17 people to be tried in the 2010 case
"It was kind of traumatising," Sara Jacobson, his daughter, said.

The witness on the stand at the time was not identified and was not injured. He appeared to be in his mid-20s and was testifying about gang initiation, Mr Cardwell said.

US District Judge Tena Campbell declared a mistrial, writing in her order that members of the jury were visibly shaken and upset.

Angilau's lawyer declined to answer questions as he left the court on Monday. The accused had been transferred to federal custody last week after serving time in prison in Utah on other charges.

The new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City opened just a week ago. It was designed with several security features, including bulletproof glass in some areas and separate routes in and out for judges, prisoners and the public.

The building was closed for a while after the shooting but later reopened.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27106445
 

rynner2

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Judge Constance Briscoe faces prison over lying in Chris Huhne case
Constance Briscoe, the judge and barrister, faces prison after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice in connection with the investigation into speeding points passed by Chris Huhne, the former cabinet minister, to his wife Vicky Pryce
By Agencies
3:42PM BST 01 May 2014

A barrister and part-time judge has been told she faces prison after being found guilty of lying to police investigating the Chris Huhne speeding points scandal.
Constance Briscoe was accused of trying to pervert the course of justice in connection with the investigation into how Mr Huhne, the former energy secretary, passed speeding points to his then-wife Vicky Pryce a decade ago.
Briscoe, 56, who has been suspended since her arrest in October 2012, denied three counts of intending to pervert the course of public justice.
Briscoe, dressed all in black, stood impassively in the dock as the jury at the Old Bailey found her guilty after deliberating for around five hours.

Sentencing will take place on Friday at the Old Bailey from 10am and the defendant remains on bail.
The judge Mr Justice Baker warned: "It's almost inevitable there will be a custodial sentence."

Briscoe was found guilty on three counts. The first charge alleged that, between May 16 2011 and October 6 2012, Briscoe provided police with two inaccurate statements, and the second that on October 6 2012 she produced an altered copy of a statement but claimed it was the correct version.

A third charge alleged that between October 5 2012 and October 8 last year she deliberately got a document expert to view the wrong version of her witness statement.

Briscoe stood trial at London's Southwark Crown Court in January but a jury failed to reach verdicts on any of the counts.
A re-trial was ordered, which has been heard at the Old Bailey.

Jurors were told that Briscoe helped economist Miss Pryce, who was a friend and also her neighbour, to reveal information about Mr Huhne's points-swapping to newspapers after the couple split in 2010.
The scandal led to Mr Huhne's resignation and subsequent prosecution.
He pleaded guilty in February last year, while Ms Pryce was convicted after a trial. Both have now served jail sentences.

When the allegations emerged in 2011, Briscoe made a witness statement to police on May 31 that year claiming Ms Pryce confided in her in 2003 after she found out that Mr Huhne had asked her to take his speeding points, portraying herself as an "independent and objective" witness.

In a second statement on August 16 2012 she denied having any contact with journalists or newspapers about the story.
However, emails obtained by court order ahead of the Huhne-Pryce trial showed that Briscoe had spoken to journalists.
Once her involvement was revealed, Briscoe was dropped as a witness in Huhne and Pryce's trial and she was arrested in October 2012.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... -case.html

It probably speaks well for our justice system that even judges can get banged up!
 

CarlosTheDJ

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I saw the TV report about that case yesterday - deserves everything she gets.

In fact, everyone involved in this Huhne speeding ticket fiasco deserves everything they get, they're a bunch of bloody idiots who think they're above the law because of their job.
 

rynner2

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CarlosTheDJ said:
...everyone involved in this Huhne speeding ticket fiasco deserves everything they get, they're a bunch of bloody idiots who think they're above the law because of their job.
Ex-minister Chris Huhne ordered to pay £77,750 in legal costs

Former cabinet minister Chris Huhne has been ordered to pay £77,750 in legal costs relating to his prosecution for passing speeding points to his ex-wife.
His ex-wife, economist Vicky Pryce, was ordered to pay £49,200 by Mr Justice Sweeney at Southwark Crown Court.

Huhne had been fighting the claim for more than £100,000 in legal costs following his conviction for perverting the course of justice in 2013.
Lawyers for the former couple had argued the sums were not reasonable.

The pair were both jailed for eight months in March 2013 after it emerged she had taken speeding points on his behalf a decade earlier, while they were married.
The former Lib Dem energy secretary admitted asking Pryce to take the points, and Pryce was convicted of having agreed to do so.

The order comes a week after barrister and part-time judge Constance Briscoe was jailed for 16 months after a jury found she had lied to police investigating the points scandal.
Briscoe also faces being barred from the judiciary after being found guilty of three counts of intending to pervert the course of justice.

Her trial heard she helped Pryce to reveal information about the points-swapping to newspapers after the couple split in 2010, then lied to police about her involvement.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27350050
 

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Awesome.

One for the Happy News Thread surely? :)
 

rynner2

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rynner2 said:
I'm no longer fit enough for long country walks, but even back in my prime I was wary of fields with cattle in. There have been many instances of a herd of cows trampling people to death.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... d-air.html
Another one:

Staffordshire walker killed by stampeding cows, say police

A walker has been killed by a "stampeding" herd of cows on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, police have said.
Peter Jakeman, 62, from Cornwall, was fatally injured while walking at Upper Mayfield at 09:05 BST on Wednesday.

Staffordshire Police said Mr Jakeman died in hospital.
A spokesperson said his death is not being treated as suspicious and has been referred to the Health and Safety Executive

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-st ... e-27434484
 
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