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Monday, 7 July 2014

Did the Crown Prosecution Service exceed its powers as John Humphrys was suggesting to Alison Saunders?

https://twitter.com/flutterbyfjl/status/485854220844019712

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/code_for_crown_prosecutors/codetest.html

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/may/02/alison-saunders-director-public-prosecutions-interview

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/01/rolf-harris-victims-bravery-dpp

http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/why-is-alison-saunders-of-gender.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047z8ws From 150th minute

JH
Rolf Harris is by far the biggest scalp that has been claimed by the police in what they call Operation Yewtree in an attempt to bring to justice famous people who were guilty of using their positions to abuse young women.  It was a success.  He was convicted on all twelve counts of indecently assaulting girls, some as long as 50 years ago, but questions have been asked whether the police have cast their net too wide and have sought publicity by pursuing cases where the evidence doesn't justify it - in other words, a witch-hunt.  17 men have been arrested: 2 have been convicted.  But it's not the police who decide in important cases who will be prosecuted, it is the Crown Prosecution Service for England and Wales and its Director is Alison Saunders.  Your reaction first to the conviction of Rolf Harris?

AS
We are pleased that it was a success for the victims who have been very brave in coming forward and I think we should not triumphalise [?]in these instances because what it means is that abuse took place against young girls and women and therefore we ought to think about them first. [non sequitur]

JH
Is there a danger that you the Crown Prosecution Service can get caught up in - hysteria is probably too strong a word here  ...  It becomes almost a campaign.

AS
The reason why we are here is to make sure we don't do that, and we have very clear guidelines about when we will prosecute. We have to have enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and if we don't have that the prosecution doesn't go ahead no matter who or what we are looking at, and then we have to decide whether it is in the public interest, and only when we have satisfied those tests will we actually bring a prosecution.

[http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/code_for_crown_prosecutors/codetest.html It is clear that these rules have been breached.]

JH
But the first test is not the public interest one, is it? The first test is whether you have a strong enough case to prosecute.

AS
Absolutely. And we must have the evidence before we can get into the public interest. We quite often will not prosecute cases because we don't have sufficient evidence because that is what we are there for: to analyse it.

JH
But your critics have said you have gone further and you yourself have talked about "victims" when the accused has been acquitted.  They are not "victims", are they, if nobody has been found guilty?

[So, even when the accused was acquitted, the DPP still called the complainants victims - another show of biased man-hating.]

AS
They are complainants ...

JH
And that is the difference!

AS
They are saying that something has happened to them. What the jury has decided is whether or not there is sufficient evidence that an individual did it. It doesn't mean to say that the incident didn't happen; it's about whether that person did it.  And what you have to remember is that we get it right in 86% of cases. We get convictions in 86% of those cases that we take, so we are not risk averse and we have to be very careful that we don't get to a situation where we are only taking very sure cases. It is a matter for the criminal justice system and for the jury to decide whether they believe they are satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt with the evidence that we put before them, and that is a very different test to the one that we take, which is: is there a realistic prospect of conviction.

JH
So what does that tell us about Operation Yewtree then? 17 men arrested: 2 convicted.

AH
I think we shouldn't just focus on Operation Yewtree because it is one specific bit ...

JH
Take that one first and then we'll  move on.

AS
That's been really because what it has shown is that nobody is above the law ...

JH
Only 2 convictions out of 17 arrests?

AH
Actually, when I think you look at the sort of over-arching sort of ... looking at everything in total, we prosecute lots of non-recent abuse cases across the country and we gain convictions every day.  In similar cases I think there is a particular issue with these because they are high profile cases but we look at them objectively.  We haven't prosecuted every case under Operation Yewtree that has come to us because we  have looked at the evidence , decided whether there is sufficient evidence to go forward and only  when we think there is do we go forward.

JH
What about other operations then? As you say, there are others as well as Yewtree. Operation Weeting: we saw the end last week of that big hacking trial.  One man was convicted, the others were acquitted.  One of your senior lawyers said "This has been a lengthy and complex trial which was required to explore a culture of invading privacy.  That's a campaigning statement, isn't it?

AS
What he meant by that was that we have looked again at the evidence and have decided that the evidence was there to prosecute. The trial was lengthy and complex and it was about the jury looking at all the evidence and deciding whether or not they thought the individuals had done the acts alleged.

JH
Indeed, but you are not there, are you, and Libby Purves made this point in The Times yesterday, to explore culture.  You are there, as you have made very very clear a moment ago, to prosecute people if there is evidence enough to prosecute.

AS
Absolutely. We are not there to campaign ...

[Oh, yeah?
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jan/30/rape-victims-acquittals-chief-prosecutor
http://www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/54258/who-alison-saunders-lawyer-announced-new-dpp
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/juries-need-to-be-taught-about-the-reality-of-rape-says-dpp-9324838.html
http://www.newsguardian.co.uk/news/north-east-news/commissioner-backs-rape-action-plan-1-6659281]

JH
Or to explore culture!

AS
We look at the evidence that is put before us and decide whether or not to take that to the court, whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction. If there is, we look at the public interest, and we do that in lots of cases ...

JH
So what is your man doing talking about "exploring culture" then?

AS
I think the context he was explaining ... or, I think it was slightly taken out of context from his statement ... I think what he was saying was "This was a matter for the court to decide. We've got the evidence that proves there is a realistic prospect of conviction, so we'll put it before the jury to decide whether or not it happened. The jury quite rightly considered all the evidence and came back with a verdict which we respect and which, you know,  absolutely is right.

JH
But you would accept that that is the wrong language because when one of your senior lawyers talks about "exploring culture" in that sense, it sounds as though what you are doing is kind of looking at a broad picture: you are saying society is wrong in this respect or in that respect; it's our job to help put it right, but it's not.

AS
No, we are there to look at the evidence, to decide objectively whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction and then to look at the public interest and in that way it has to be evidence first and then public interest.

JH
And you are quite satisfied,  are you, that neither you nor  the people who work for you and obviously you make these decisions collectively - that you don't get caught up in this atmosphere - "Something's got to be done! We don't like phone hacking, we gotta do something about it"?

AS
No, absolutely not. You can see that from decisions we make both to prosecute and not to prosecute in both Yewtree and Weeting, so you can see that some we have decided to prosecute and some we have not.

JH
So will you perhaps be having a word with some of your staff about the language they use.

AS
We will always look at the language very carefully but I am satisfied that we make our decisions objectively and and in accordance with the Code.

JH
Alison Saunders, thank you very much.

***************************************


  1. What would be the public interest in sentencing an 84 year old man to nearly 6 years in prison? 
  2. How would it be in the public interest to start a feeding frenzy of indecent assault accusations that are impossible to refute? http://www.barristermagazine.com/archive-articles/issue-54/the-cult-of-victimhood-and-the-limits-of-the-law-part-1.html
  3. How would it be in the public interest to give the impression that retired entertainers of Britain who used to be lionised are mostly paedophiles?
  4. How would it be in the public interest to leave men of property vulnerable to blackmail? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-27746374
  5. How would it be in the public interest to give other nations the idea that most men in Britain are sex offenders?
  6. How would it be in the public interest to give other nations the idea that most men in Britain must be terrified of their women because of how easily any malicious woman could ruin the life of an innocent man? 
  7. How would it be in the public interest to encourage women to make malicious accusations against their ex-lovers?
  8. How would it be in the public interest to have unilaterally lowered the criminal standard of proof that was established for the purpose of protecting the accused? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corroboration_in_Scots_law  http://www.richardwebster.net/similarfactevidence.html
  9. How would it be in the public interest to make it official that the alleged emotional distress of a probably malicious woman over being groped is worth as much as the pain of a man being stabbed, cut or glassed? http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.com/2014/07/what-sentencing-of-rolf-harris-means.html
  10. How would it be in the public interest to further demoralise the already emasculated and effeminate men of Britain who are either too stupid or fearful to protest against the blatant gender favouritism and feminazism of the DPP? This woman doesn't even bother to hide it. http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/why-is-alison-saunders-of-gender.html
  11. How is it in the public interest to encourage women to make rape accusations and make it easier for men to be convicted when we already know most women in Britain are fornicating sluts who don't know their own minds and are not beneath making the occasional false rape accusation for really quite trivial reasons? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10741867/Trainee-barrister-cried-rape-11-times-to-avoid-taking-exams-court-told.html http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150576/Brian-Banks-Football-star-jailed-falsely-rape-wants-219k-compensation.html  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358759/Leanne-Black-finally-jailed-FIVE-false-rape-allegations-ex-boyfriends-years.html
  12. How is it in the public interest for the world to know that UK law is an ass because a feminazi DPP is on a mission to persecute men and make a point about how precious and inviolate is a woman's body is in Britain when the rest of the world knows British women are mostly sluts? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2285670/Most-children-of-British-mothers-born-out-of-wedlock.html http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/lifestyle/big-issue/blow-jobs-for-taxi-fares The more promiscuous the woman the more likely she is to get raped and the more promiscuous she is the less one would expect her to mind. 

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