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6 months for disrupting University Boat Race

(22 Posts)
0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 20-Oct-12 08:38:53

"She said: "You did nothing to address inequality by giving yourself the right to spoil the enjoyment of others"

I'm really struggling to understand how this man is now in prison.

When did putting yourself in danger and "spoiling the enjoyment of others" become a criminal offence?

Or am I missing something?

What do others think?

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 20-Oct-12 08:40:10

Sorry - the link:

BeeBawBabbity Sat 20-Oct-12 08:45:29

Jeez, it was a piss poor attempt at protest but 6 months is surely excessive. Disrupting a race and spoiling other people's fun is pretty bad manners, but a criminal offence...?

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 20-Oct-12 09:14:08

That's what I thought...British 'Justice' is concerning at the moment.

This seems to compare to the trainee accountant (?) who made a joke bout blowing up an airport via social media. I know his conviction was eventually overturned but not before his life had been turned inside our.

I'm glad I'm not alone in being shocked by this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Oct-12 14:40:05

I'm not shocked. The man disrupted a major sporting event and was convicted of causing a public nuisance. Public nuisance covers a wide range of offences including hoax phone-calls to emergency services. In 2001 Chee Kew Ong was convicted of the same offence & sentenced to 4 years for planning to disrupt a football match in order to gain from a betting syndicate. For all we know, this man could have been attempting something similar.

BeeBawBabbity Sat 20-Oct-12 17:35:53

I bet the judge went to Oxbridge...

ttosca Sat 20-Oct-12 18:49:59

It's the same old story. The ruling class are trying to discourage protest by criminalising dissent.

Andrew Mitchell swears at the police and calls them 'pleb[s]' who should 'know their fucking place', and he keeps his job is not arrested. (Yes, he finally resigns - but he was not forced out by Cameron).

Anybody else who did this would be immediately thrown in the slammer and charged.

Trenton Oldfield, for is given 6 months for disrupting a sporting event, even though he put no one in danger.

A 23 year old woman with no previous convictions was given 6 months for stealing a £1 bottle of water. Meanwhile MPs continue to cheat on their expense claims, worth tens of thousands of pounds each.

Your jail sentence seems to depend entirely on who you are, your position in society, and who you were harming. The Roman rule of all laws applying equally to everybody is a fantasy more than ever.

tiggytape Sat 20-Oct-12 20:22:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 20-Oct-12 21:30:34

But nobody rescued him...

Does anybody still believe we live in a democracy or have the right to free speech anymore?

fourwalls Sun 21-Oct-12 10:08:33

His punishment wasn't just for upseting posh people who like boat races. It was for endangering his own life and those of the people who'd have to rescue him.

If that was actually the basis for his conviction, jails would be full of dopey middle class hikers who wander up Snowdonia and Ben Nevis without checking the weather.

It's not really about that though, is it? It's simply about deterring people from any form of non- 'state sanctioned' protest.

The judge has been wonderfully creative in re-defining PREJUDICE to criminalise anyone who might choose to protest against the existence of unjust privilege in society.
It seems she regards having a pop at elites as on a par with racism or sexism.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sun 21-Oct-12 11:46:35

Yes - and that is quite terrifying - I wanted to go to the march yesterday in London, but it feels too big a risk. I can't afford to lose my job and have no confidence in the judicial system in ths country. It 'feels' like registering anti establishment sentiment too strongly is now a risk.

edam Sun 21-Oct-12 12:21:37

Agree with the posters who suspect the judge might have been to an elite university. I hope the guy appeals. What he did was dangerous but it's ridiculous to prosecute, let alone imprison him. Should have been a caution at most.

There are some mad sentences being given out atm - that guy who got banged up for wearing a T-shirt (not very nice wearing an anti-police slogan on the day those policewomen were buried but holding unpopular views is not a crime and should never have been prosecuted). The guy who was sent to jail for disrupting the boat race and the guy who was sent to prison for joking about Robin Hood airport. While people who have done far worse often get far more lenient sentences.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 21-Oct-12 13:09:42

The man could have just as easily had a 'pop at elites' from the riverbank - although the idea that only posh people enjoy a rowing race after the mass support for the Team GB rowers in the Olympics is frankly laughable. Thousands of people take part in hundreds of protests each year perfectly legitimately & peacefully who never get arrested and never appear before a magistrate. He has been tried and convicted of causing a public nuisance. He took a risk that didn't pay off and he targeted the wrong event in the process.

edam Sun 21-Oct-12 13:23:13

It's the Oxford v. Cambridge Boat Race, it's nonsense to claim it isn't elitist!

FWIW, dh and I used to nip down from our flat to watch it. And we have plenty of friends who went to either one or the other university. But that doesn't make this man's protest illegitimate and it certainly doesn't make a six-month sentence just.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 21-Oct-12 14:24:53

His protest wasn't illegitimate it was irresponsible. If he'd chosen to lie down in the middle of M1 bringing that to a halt he'd have faced a similar prosecution. Finding all this mock indignation and 'all people who appear to be posh are bad' inverse snobbery very hard to stomach at the moment

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 21-Oct-12 14:29:15

"When did putting yourself in danger and "spoiling the enjoyment of others" become a criminal offence? "

To answer that specific question... The definition of this offence, according to Archbold's Criminal Pleading and Practice, is as follows: “Every person is guilty of an offence at common law, known as public nuisance, who does an act not warranted by law, or omits to discharge a legal duty, if the effect of the act or omission is to endanger the life, health, property, morals, or comfort of the public, or to obstruct the public in the exercise or enjoyment of rights common to all Her Majesty's subjects.”

edam Sun 21-Oct-12 15:08:58

Remember Emily Davison, Cogito? Exactly the same arguments were used against her. Presumably you'd have been one of those condemning the suffragettes?

tiggytape Sun 21-Oct-12 15:16:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 21-Oct-12 16:06:25

I agree that's a ridiculous comparison and an incorrect assumption.

edam Sun 21-Oct-12 17:54:48

The comparison is one you created, cogito: "His protest wasn't illegitimate it was irresponsible. If he'd chosen to lie down in the middle of M1 bringing that to a halt he'd have faced a similar prosecution."

Protesters do often cause disruption, that's the point. FWIW I'm not particularly sympathetic to this protest - seems a bit vague and chaotic - but I do object to the ludicrously severe sentence and to the idea espoused here that protest is illegitimate if it causes any disruption.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sun 21-Oct-12 19:54:51

I doubt you'd get far with your cause if you didn't disrupt something.

Obviously there has to have been something in law to 'hang it on' - but that doesn't make it right.

Cogito - the elite are currently wiping out large parts of the welfare state and many of our public services. That is a fact.

But I have never said anything about posh being bad...

Btw I do believe there needs to be welfare reform but not in the slash and burn way this government is approaching it.

MissM Mon 22-Oct-12 20:38:46

I'm more disgusted that he got six months for doing something stupid and pissing off a few people, and Justin Lee Collins got - what, eight months or whatever it was community service for seriously abusing his girlfriend.

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