to think that 15 years sentence for Philpott is not enough?

(132 Posts)
Missbopeep Thu 04-Apr-13 11:17:01

15 years for the deaths of six children?

I thought you could get 15 years or life for one murder ( and yes, I know the charge was manslaughter.)

The term life is meaningless if it's only 15 years.

Welovegrapes Fri 05-Apr-13 15:01:15

Just watched the Panorama documentary sad sad

I couldn't believe they didn't sit with Duwayne when he was dying.

PopeFrancis
Thanks for the info on intent. I will look up that case.

Shagmund
If, as some people suspect, Mick Philpott has sociopathic tendencies he really could be unaffected by the childrens' death other than the impact it has on him and his way of life.

Its hard for us to comprehend but he may not have a normal emotional reaction to this at all.

Floralnomad Fri 05-Apr-13 09:22:19

shag according to the Panorama programme all he did was the school run in the morning , he had little other involvement with the kids .I would love to think that they feel terrible but TBH his behaviour shows the opposite and surely if she felt that bad she would have stopped trying to protect him and told the police the truth .

Posterofapombear Fri 05-Apr-13 08:30:15

Normally in these cases I would say that any sentence that could be given would be nothing compared to the punishment of having to live with the deaths of your children.

But they don't care do they? Not once have I seen either of them look genuinely upset. The defence haven't used their grief to prove lack of intent. There is not one shred of evidence that they feel anything for those poor children. It's unnatural.

Shagmundfreud Fri 05-Apr-13 08:12:59

Or even misogyny. blush

Shagmundfreud Fri 05-Apr-13 08:12:12

It's rare for house fires to take so many lives. It strikes me as likely that the Philpotts were so profoundly ignorant that they wouldn't have known how quickly children can die from smoke inhalation.

I don't believe he is unaffected by the deaths of his children however weird or inappropriate his behaviour since.

I think people want to believe he doesn't care because they want to make him out to be less than human. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that he was an involved dad before the fire.

I think it's depressing that he is being dehumanised in this way and being made out to be a monster, and that people can't see that the problems which bedevilled this family - extreme ignorance, violence, mysogyny, are prevalent in many of the grimmest UK households.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 05-Apr-13 03:07:39

I think both women have learning difficulties. Serious learning difficulties.

Unlikely, because she was tried as an adult, and if she had serious learning difficulties then at the very least that would have been cited in mitigation. If there was even a sniff of learning disabilities, her lawyer would have gone for that. Apparently (might be an urban myth) Jonathan Woodgate's lawyer tried that as he is not the brightest.

I think she had a very very difficult childhood/ teenage years. Not that that is an excuse, but for someone like me to understand the judgements that someone like her makes in terms of her domestic set up is impossible.

mayorquimby Fri 05-Apr-13 02:21:41

"Virtual certainty test"

mayorquimby Fri 05-Apr-13 02:20:28

"I understand the point about the miraculous rescue the Philpotts intended to effect, but is there a point at which English law would say, "Ok, no matter what you say you intended to acheive, shooting x at point blank range was sheer madness and no reasonable person would have foreseen any consequences other than death ... ergo, Murder"?"

Yes it's known as the "virtual certainty" in other words where the outcome of a persons actions are so foreseeable/probable so as to make them a virtual certainty you can infer or attribute the intention to bring about that outcome to the person.
I'm not an English lawyer so I can't remember the car off the top of my head and I'm also very sleepy so don't have the will to even google the case law.

vivizone Fri 05-Apr-13 02:01:00

Has the other woman who got away from him made a comment? I wonder how she is processing all of this and explaining to her children about the monster that their father is. I wonder if they have moved her/offering counselling etc.

This is shallow but what struck me is that both women were very young and OK looking - I refuse to believe the bloke is early 50's. He has no teeth and looks about 65.

I think both women have learning difficulties. Serious learning difficulties. The wife has the look of 'the lights are on, but nobody is home' type of dazed look. It's not shock as she looked like that in the JK show.

What could be worse than that for a parent? And to know it was your fault? Their hearts must be broken and prison will be the least of their troubles

Anecdotal evidence suggests he couldn't give a Castlemaine XXXX. Their own families - who are understandably angry and bitter - speak of him attempting to cop a feel with any passing bit of skirt whilst his son lay dying in the hospital.

thebody Fri 05-Apr-13 00:28:44

Shag you would think wouldn't you but mick didn't look bothered to be honest and she just looked vacant.

Shagmundfreud Fri 05-Apr-13 00:22:24

They were a pair of amoral fucking idiots. But they've lost their children. Six of them. What could be worse than that for a parent? And to know it was your fault? Their hearts must be broken and prison will be the least of their troubles.

I don't know about cases - I was perusing Wikpedia (road to hell, yes I know) and came across this definition, "malice aforethought" apparently being one of 5 elements of common law murder:

With malice aforethought - ... The courts broadened the scope of murder by eliminating the requirement of actual premeditation and deliberation as well as true malice. All that was required for malice aforethought to exist is that the perpetrator act with one of the four states of mind that constitutes "malice."

The four states of mind recognized as constituting "malice" are:
Intent to kill,
Intent to inflict grievous bodily harm short of death,
Reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (sometimes described as an "abandoned and malignant heart"), or
Intent to commit a dangerous felony (the "felony-murder" doctrine).

Under state of mind (i), intent to kill, the deadly weapon rule applies. Thus, if the defendant intentionally uses a deadly weapon or instrument against the victim, such use authorizes a permissive inference of intent to kill. In other words, "intent follows the bullet."

Under state of mind (iii), an "abandoned and malignant heart", the killing must result from defendant's conduct involving a reckless indifference to human life and a conscious disregard of an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily injury

And so on.

I understand the point about the miraculous rescue the Philpotts intended to effect, but is there a point at which English law would say, "Ok, no matter what you say you intended to acheive, shooting x at point blank range was sheer madness and no reasonable person would have foreseen any consequences other than death ... ergo, Murder"?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Apr-13 00:11:21

Sorry to interrupt but the question was asked.

I'm pretty sure there have only been 4 possibly 5 new identities actually given to criminals on release in the uk

Loads who have changed names via deed poll but that's different.

Also Maxine Carr has never outed herself but it is a popular urban legend, there has however been a woman near her age with mental health issues who has pretended to be her on several occasions in several locations.

As well as about 13 different women who have been assumed to be her being assaulted after red top stories about her apparent location were printed

Maxine carrs legal team obtained the injunction on her behalf about a year after she was released and extended it to protect her first child when said child was born in 2011 she is also married. And yes she would be unable to leave the uk for longer than a month.

PopeFrancis Thu 04-Apr-13 23:54:10

Yes and no. The technical definition still includes 'malice aforethought' but it's a pretty meaningless phrase until you superimpose the cases which have interpreted the meaning.

By the way, R v Moloney has since been followed by a few cases which changed the test slightly. I think R v Woollin is currently the leading case on the issue of intent in murder cases, unless there has been something new quite recently.

Cheers for that, both.

Does English law currently have "malice aforethought" as part of its definition of murder?

PopeFrancis
x post

This is from the HoL judgement in R v Moloney - Lord Bridge
"In the rare cases in which it is necessary to direct a jury
by reference to foresight of consequences, I do not believe it is
necessary for the judge to do more than invite the jury to
consider two questions. First, was death or really serious injury in
a murder case (or whatever relevant consequence must be proved
to have been intended in any other case) a natural consequence of
the defendant's voluntary act? Secondly, did the defendant foresee
that consequence as being a natural consequence of his act? The
jury should then be told that if they answer yes to both questions
it is a proper inference for them to draw that he intended that
consequence."

The problem the prosecution faced is even if death or serious injury was a natural consequence of the fire being started the defendant's didn't foresee those consequences because the intention was always a "heroic" angry rescue of the children. So you can't infer the necessary intent to kill or cause harm.

However, with a manslaughter charge their recklessness as to the consequences of their actions could be considered and they could receive a sentence similar to that given for murder.

PopeFrancis Thu 04-Apr-13 23:21:13

You cannot recklessly murder in English law. Murder requires intent to kill or cause GBH. Foresight of a virtual certainty of either of those is sufficient (equated with intent).

Managed to find a quote from trial reporting:

On the fifth day of the trial, Mr Murphy added: "Mark Bonini admits that he fired the shot that killed Andrew Morton.

The Crown accepts that when he fired the shot he did not deliberately intend to kill Andrew.

This prosecution is on the basis that Mark Bonini's action was wickedly reckless."

Note - there may be a difference between English and Scottish law on this point.

Maybe there is, I'm happy to learn too. smile. The case I'm referring to is that of Mark Bonini who was convicted of the murder of 2 year old Andrew Morton in 2005. He is serving a minimum 13 year sentence. He pled guilty to culpable homicide (Scots equivalent to manslaughter) but this was rejected by the Crown who sought - and got - a conviction for murder.

From memory, I don't think it was the Crown's case that he intended to seriously injure or kill anyone (he had been aiming for the teenage brother holding the boy having already shot at a fireman dowsing a fire).

Note - there may be a difference between English and Scottish law on this point.

Pumpkin
"They didn't have to try and prove they intended the kids to die to get a murder charge to stick in any case"

Which case are you relying on for that. I know when I studied this the position was clear that you did have to intend to kill or seriously harm. It wasn't enough that the harm or death might flow from your actions, you had to intend for it to happen.

I wasn't aware the position had changed, but I am happy to learn.

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