Free Pugs?

Less than 24 hours after the photo on the last post was taken, there were people walking in the vicinity whom you would not wish to hug. Messrs. Griffin, Darby and Doofus Molloy were basking in the Pyrrhic victory of having charges dropped by Merseyside Police. Molloy even brought his medals with him but no spiderman suit this time. Shame.

I'm a little troubled by the decision not to pursue a prosecution of the BNP over their leaflet. I was not totally convinced that a successful prosecution would be possible, thus affording the BNP the maximum publicity if they were acquitted at a trial. However, it really does depend on how one interprets the law coupled with the CPS attitude. I understand that the local TUC will be seeking legal opinion on the merits of a private prosecution.

I'm not sure exactly what the police were hoping to charge them with as newspaper reports merely refer to racism. I've a feeling that they may have been hoping to use Section 19 Public Order Act 1986. This states:

  • 19.—( 1) A person who publishes or distributes written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting is guilty of an offence if-
  • (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
  • (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is
  • likely to be stirred up thereby.
(2) In proceedings for an offence under this section it is a
defence for an accused who is not shown to have intended to stir
up racial hatred to prove that he was not aware of the content of
the material and did not suspect, and had no reason to suspect,
that it was threatening, abusive or insulting.
(3) References in this Part to the publication or distribution of
written material are to its publication or distribution to the public
or a section of the public.

I think the pertinent part is 19(1)(b). Whereas we can guess that the BNP does intend these actions to stir up racial hatred, it is submitted that the standard of proof is quite high. However, the subsection (b) seems less difficult to establish. I'll try to find out more regarding the interpretation later.

Obviously, a lot of the leaflet involves the twisting of figures and downright lies - the use of s0-called incidents that are nothing of the sort - which would mean The Daily Mail would be banged to rights every week, but the most controversial element concerns the use of the assertion that the Islamic community somehow condones the systematic 'grooming' of 12 year old girls. It doesn't just highlight isolated incidents and present them as the norm - as the rest of the leaflet does - it clearly links Islam with paedophilia.

The Pdf on their site provides this claim (I assume it was on the actual leaflet given out) and i make no apologies for repeating it:
  • All ethnic groups contain paedophiles.... but in most communities these sickos operate alone ashamed of what they do. One community is different. Wherever there are large number of young Muslim men, groups team up to lure girls often as young as 12/13 into nightmare world of sex abuse, rape, beatings, drugs and prostitution. Some of these perverts are recently arrived asylum seekers others come from settled immigrant communities and were born in Britain.
There is also the cumulative effect of the material as a whole. I need to consider whether this could be admissable from an evidential standpoint.

At an All-Party Inquiry on anti-Semitism, the CPS gave a number of examples of cases dealt with ranging from prosecutions for soliciting murder (Danish cartoons protester) to a BNP leaflet on housing and immigration (action not deemed appropriate). In the latter case, it was felt that whilst some of the material was offensive, it was considered that free speech in a political setting was a factor.

It does appear fishy that the police were able to hand deliver the notices informing the arrested men of the no action decision, hours before their organised demo. Maybe the CPS was stung with the criticism it received when prosecuting the Liverpool leprechaun case.