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Excuse me your honour, but what has race got to do with it?

Judges comparing notes

Yesterday we reported on the case of Judge Trigger who was reprimanded by the Lord Chief Justice for making offensive comments whilst passing sentence on a Jamaican man at Liverpool Crown Courts. Today we reveal just how widespread such remarks are in British courts.

Consider the case of two Icelandic women who came to the UK to engage in serious criminality. They trawled London nightclubs looking for gullible men whom they would entice back to their flat in a classic “honey trap” whereupon their accomplices would kidnap them and threaten serious violence if they did not hand over cash and other valuables.

The two white Icelandic women concerned pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court and were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. Both, having been remanded for 299 days, were immediately set free. The Icelandic Ambassador to the UK who took an unusual interest in this case supported them in Court. The Judge in the case seems to imply that these women were themselves victims of a gang of black men who had forced them to commit these serious crimes. This is despite the fact that no black men had been arrested for the crime and in any case were not on trial. It seems the combination of white women, sex, violence and race was just too much for the presiding Judge.

Recorder Robin Pearse-Wheatley who in his summing up portrayed the two women as ‘innocents abroad’ went on to say:

“This is a cautionary tale which unfortunately illustrates how London can be an exciting, international and vibrant city, but also a dangerous one. You arrived from Iceland on April 6 last year and frankly your time in the country has been nothing short of disastrous. You seem to have a fatal attraction for the very worst elements of London society.”

He went on:

‘You seem to have fallen in with a group of black men which seems to have been the beginning of your unfortunate adventures.

‘This court can very well imagine the pressures that would have been brought upon you by the extremely unscrupulous who take advantage of people like you. I make the point in passing – your fate could have been worse.’

Such comments are completely unacceptable and once again reveal just how widespread the problem of racism in the Judiciary really is. Magistrates and Judges racist stereotypes and personal prejudicial views are being openly displayed in courtrooms across the country.

Race had nothing to do with this case and although the women concerned told the police that black men were involved no arrests were ever made and because the men involved hid their identities its is impossible to say if black men were indeed involved.

Time and time again we are hearing an increasing number of such stories of racism in the courtroom both in terms of black people as defendants or victims of crime. Furthermore, there is no effective procedure or means of redress for those who wish to complain about such remarks.

Such people see themselves above the law and feel free to exhibit their prejudice in an unashamed and frankly blatant manner. However, such comments are completely unacceptable and the new Government will need to seriously address judicial racism if it is to increase trust and confidence of Black communities in the judicial system.

Right now the majority of black communities believe the British Criminal Justice System is institutionally racist These examples only reinforce that perception.

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One Response

  1. My thoughts exactly.
    Although regardless of whether the men have been caught, it is difficult to see what the relevance of their skin colour in this case. I have written to the newspaper’s publishing this as well as to the Press complaints office.
    However, as you point out, my main concern is that if such arguments are used legitimately to support court decisions then such insitutional racism must be challenged.

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