And the “Cotsworlds” would be where, exactly?
That should be ‘proof-reader.’
@Keith: And there was me about to offer ;)
Sorry, Rachel, babes..!
You are probably a working lady and have probably only just got in, whereas I am an old fart, now, and have nowt to do all day except trawl various online nudespapers and litter them with my nonsense..!
You’ll be 70-odd too, one day and can take my place.
Luvs and xxx
Keith, 70 odd? You haven’t been in the Cotswolds recently have you?!?!
@Keith: I’m online at five to five in the afternoon, with an essay to write, which roughly equates to night better to do :) Typical student. xxx
This comment thread is full of win! :D x
“Night” better to do…?
You’ll never make a Lancashire lass..!
Do you mean ‘nowt’ better to do…?
And LUCKY lisp…
No, wasn’t me guv..!
But I have been to the Cotsworlds.
Lovely and quite out of this world….as its name would imply!
And HEY, SAM…!
Too much wit and too much levity..
So .. that’s it from me….else we’ll all be run out of town by that nice Mr. Cohen, for ‘conduct likely to breach the orderly conduct of a fred..’
Thanks for all the wit and levity above, Keith et al. Most amusing. :-)
But, to return to serious comment, (1) good for the two men involved being plucky enough to report this incident, (2) good for the Gloucestershire police for treating the matter appropriately, but (3) how could the judge possibly be sure that the convicted pair who carried out this awful attack on gay men at a gay crusing ground “had not been motivated by homophobic hate”?
Was it a case of “We love and respect gay men, but we wanted money so we intimidated them, made them feel guilty for doing what they were doing, and thus handcuffed them and frog-marched them to an ATM with the promise that if they paid up we wouldn’t arrest them and expose them to publicity!” ?
… this may not be a helpful comment but … it sounds like an average night at The Backstreet to me. Loads of fun ;)
I reckon the cruisers who were gulled needed some basic instruction in the law. A cop who demands money on the spot is obviously fake.
It could well be that the extortioners were not motivated by homophobic hate. They could have been simply scumbags looking to con people who were vulnerable on any basis.
But, Riondo, they made a choice, didn’t they. If they simply wished to blackmail and terrify people into handing over money, WHY did they CHOOSE to blackmail and terrify gay men? No, there is no getting away from the fact that a degree of homophobia MUST have been involved in the choice that was made.
To prove this let us imagine the opposite case: two swine who wish to terrify money out of people but who say “No, we will choose people other than gay people to victimise because gay people have a tough time of it and deserve our respect! So we will choose some other people.”
Do you see? Do you agree now?
@14 I disagree Eddy. Though the crimes were deplorable and must have been terrifying for the victims, it is by no means conclusive that they were homophobic ´hate crimes´.
For example, if I am a criminal, and I come up with a plan to successfully extort money from wealthy stock-brokers (who I discover have been committing an offence by fiddling their tax returns) It does not follow that I must therefore hate stockbrokers.
It would simply mean that I had come up with a scheme to make money illegally by exploiting their own fear of prosecution.
Likewise, by the sound of it, these crimes appear to be financially motivated rather than ´hate´ crimes.
Difficult one, but I would rather see hate crimes being reserved for occasions when they clearly ARE hate crimes. Anything less would simply water-down their effectiveness when they are really needed.
It is easy to try and claim that ANY crime against a gay person is a hate crime…. just as it would be to claim that any crime against a straight person must also be a heterophobic hate crime.. Obviously this is an absurd idea.
So, let´s please reserve hate crimes for when they really are motivated by hate. I would suspect that having heard all of the evidence in this case, the judge would be best-placed to make such a ruling. I am sure that if there had been any evidence of it being a hate crime, he would have used the greater sentencing powers available to him.
No BBB, if I put myself in the shoes of those muggers and imagine I’m sitting in my miserable bedsit thinking of how to get hold of money and I consider a number of different victims and then I hit on the idea of the homos up in the woods and say “Yeah!”, I can feel the homophobia in the heart. I can feel the “Yeah, and it serves them bloody right, the fcuking queers!” I can feel the “Yeah, and the pathetic little pansies will be a walk over! Easy meat!”
Now that is homophobia. Yes, the initial motivation may have been the extortion of money, but homophobia is also involved and therefore it was wrong of that judge to say that no homophobia was involved.
@16, Sorry Eddy, you cannot ´suppose´ something, or add thoughts or words that were never (proved) to have been used. Where in the report (or the Police or court proceedings) was what you mentioned actually said? You can project motivation as much as you like, it does not make it so, and it does not make it a homophobic hate crime, any more than you can automatically add ´heterophobic hate crime´ when some straight person gets burgled by a gay man. The law is not about supposition, it is about facts and evidence. This was not presented in evidence.
Again, lets not jump on the bandwagon of homophobic hate crimes EVERY time the law is broken and it concerns a gay person. Now, if they went into the woods to kick the sh-t out of gay people, calling them ´dirty fags´ whilst they did it, then that clearly IS a homophobic hate crime and deserves the harsher sentencing powers available to the judge.
Whilst distressing to the victims, this was ´just´ a crime.. there was no evidence presented that it was motivated out of any hatred of gay people. To label it as such would just be an abuse of the anti-hate laws and would water them down for the purposes they were actually meant for.
A homophobic hate crime is a crime motivated by hatred of gay people.. and like any crime or aggravating factor in a case, it needs to be proved.
“I reckon the cruisers who were gulled needed some basic instruction in the law. A cop who demands money on the spot is obviously fake.”
That’s a bit unfair …I’m sure the victims had already worked out they were fake Plod but if they had already been cuffed and thought the perps were armed then they had little choice to make the payments .
Brazil, I think you have failed to put yourself into the minds of the perpetrators and to have judged why they should have chosen to target gay men rather than any number of other kinds of vulnerable people in the community.
@19. Hi Eddy, No, not really. Cannot really explain it to you much simpler than I have done already. If you cannot grasp a point of law, there is not really any further to go on this. Did you not read my previous replies? Was I taking to myself? I was not stating ´my opinion´, I was stating the laws of the land.
As I said previously, it is not up to us to project motivation on anyone else. This must be clearly shown and proved by the evidence presented in the case. The motivation you spoke of could equally have been the ease by which these criminals could obtain money from their victims. Opportunistic.
It was said during the trial that no animosity was shown toward the victims specifically relating to their sexual orientation.
So, with respect, I have not ´failed´ to do anything… I have simply looked at the hate crime laws and seen, quite clearly, that the criteria for their use does not apply here.. I seem to be in good company in this view as the learned judge also ruled this to be the case.
I would like to have seen the robbers locked-up for 20 years each for terrorising ANYONE like that! But this will be my last word on a subject that there is little point in debating further… The judge ruled fully in accordance with the LAW. We might think it is wrong and that any offence against a gay person should be a hate crime, but that is not what the law says. By all means, debate whether the laws should be changed, but to suggest that the judge was somehow wrong for doing his job in accordance with the law, is not worth debating…. He was quite correct in his actions.
Brazil, the judge’s conclusion was that no homophobia was involved. HE judged the motivation and HE concluded from HIS judgement of motivation that no homophobia was involved.
I believe that HE failed to put himself into the minds of the perpetrators sufficiently to consider why they should have chosen to target gay men rather than any number of other kinds of vulnerable people in the community.
I am not talking about points of law and the verdicts which may be arrived at.
From the outset I have taken issue with the conclusion of the judge that homophobia was in no way or in any degree involved.
The only way that I can be convinced that no homophobia was involved in the perpetrator’s choice to victimise the gay men rather than some other vulnerable group is for hard evidence to be found that the perpetrators literally spun the bottle or rolled a dice and the queers unfortunately lost.
Other than the above situation, judgement would have been involved and gay men deliberately targeted instead of other vulnerable groups.
I do hope they get also get done for impersonating a police officer – I know there are a lot of thugs who impersonate being police officers too, but at least they do have valid warrant cards!