Friday, 19 October 2012

15-year old Angus Whittall was the victim of an unprovoked attack – guess what happened to his attacker

So, you’re a 17-year old walking down a country lane in Northamptonshire. You see a younger boy coming towards you on crutches (he’d just had a knee operation). Unprovoked, you attack the boy, beating him so severely with his own crutches that he needs 12 stitches for a gash in his mouth. The police arrest you and charge you with actual bodily harm. Just before your court case, the CPS decide that prosecuting you would “not be in the public interest”, and you’re given a “final warning” by the police instead.

Come again? Not in whose interest exactly?

Last time I looked, I was a member of the British public, and I’m really quite keen to see criminals punished. My son just turned 19, and we've spent the last four years chewing our nails to the quick every time he's gone out in the evening wondering whether something like this will happen to him. I imagine 80% of the British public - even those who don't have teenaged children - feel the same way as I do. The only people who might feel otherwise are dyed-in-the-wool bleeding-heart liberals and criminals (though, according to retired prison psychiatrist, Theodore Dalrymple, most of them are right-wing as well - after all, they know what evil lurks in the hearts of men).

Part of the unwritten contract between the state and those of us who pay for it is that it will do its best to protect us and our families from those who wish to do us harm. That is the state's over-riding duty to us. After all, if the state is unwilling to protect us, what’s the point of paying taxes?

Here’s what the East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service had to say:
The circumstances behind this assault fit the national criteria for a final warning, which has now been formally administered by a police officer. (Well, change the criteria, then.) 
Reprimands and warnings are often used as a method of addressing the behaviour of young people with the intervention of the local youth offending team. (Well, they shouldn’t be - obviously.) 
The views of the victim and his family have been taken into account in reaching this decision. (Given the victim’s family is outraged, I presume that in this instance “taken into account” means “entirely ignored”.)
A few random thoughts:

The papers are full of reports that crime has fallen by 6% in the year to June. Can you imagine how much further it would have fallen if we had a remotely effective criminal justice system?

Given the sort of horrible crimes now being routinely committed by teenagers, isn’t it time we started naming the perpetrators of certain types of offence (such as this one), rather than allowing the little bastards to snigger behind a cloak of anonymity? The 17-year old who attacked Angus Whittall isn’t a child.

Would the CPS have let the perpetrator of this unprovoked attack walk free if his victim hadn’t been a white Briton?

One of Angus’s parents is a company director. The other is a recruitment consultant. They sound like the sort of people who pay a lot more in taxes than they get back in services. That shouldn’t ensure them special treatment, of course – but it would be nice if it at least meant that the state didn’t treat them like dirt.

As the blogsite, A Tangled Web, put it - "Remember, the state is not your friend"

You can read the full Mail story here


  1. The only legitimate reason for the state to exists is to protect pre-political rights (liberty, life, etc) and institutions (marriage, the family, etc) has no other justifiable purpose.

    If the state fails to protect these's existence is unwarranted. When it attacks these is lawless.

    1. Agreed, in big bold capital letters, underline and followed by lots of exclamation marks.

      Actually, what you say sounds so spot on, I googled it just to make sure it wasn't a famous quote I was meant to recognise!

    2. Ha...well, it's a subject dear to my Southern heart.

      I'm glad it worked...thank you.

  2. The scum who did this to Angus has an extreme western european accent!

    crime rates in rural Northamptonshire are on the rise, due to having lots of people with extreme western european accents.

  3. There used to be a sliding scale of injury which determined what the charge for this sort of assault would be, with broken limbs or open wounds usually attracting GBH, lesser injuries ABH and others some sort of affray-related charge. Any assault was taken seriously.

    Maybe the difference now is contained within the 'mission statement' of the East Staffordshire Youth Offending Team. I am sure these teams were set up with reasonable intentions - to try and prevent boys (mostly) who got into trouble from turning into vicious criminals who end up in and out of prison at vast expense. Blunkett loved these sort of interventions. None of them had lasting effect.

    Somewhere along the way, was there what sociologists call "client capture"? In other words, is the corporate objective now to keep thugs out of prison at all costs, short of a victim near death experience which would tick the right number of boxes?

    Unless Mr Wittall had some sort of sub-machine gun fitted into one of his crutches it's difficult to see what sort of mitigating factor persuaded the ESYOT social workers, police or the CPS that the thug who attacked a boy unable to defend himself deserved any sort of leniency.

  4. I think I once mentioned this in an earlier post, but I'll repeat it here.

    I had the misfortune to be unemployed for a spell during the 1990s, so I took a filler job as a postman for a while. Quite an enjoyable job actually, because you do at least feel you're providing a useful service to the community.

    Anyway, one day I was attacked by a resident's dog. When I told the man I would have to report it, he eventually proceeded to add insult to injury by actually assaulting me. Not too badly I must say, just pushed me against a wall and slapped my glasses off my face. There was also another postman who witnessed it. Incredibly, though, on trying to report it to the police, and I emphasise the word "trying", I was told that as he hadn't drawn blood there was nothing they could do, and with a distinct "don't pester us" kind of tone. SW6 by the way - maybe they used to dealing with Chelsea thugs or something, but still ...

    I've completely lost faith in the police force or even the judicial system as a whole as a result of this. What it means is that basically you can beat someone up, but provided you keep it to just a few bruises, that's quite alright. Do you think I felt safe and protected by state after this. What are you paying taxes for? And this guy was almost certainly a drug dealer. Most of them keep a dog. It's almost a status symbol in their world.

    It does unfortunately seem that the law often protects the perpetrators of crimes rather than the victims. And what happened to Angus Whitall is just another example of this. I was certainly in no way surprised when I read Scott's article.