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DOMINIC LAWSON: The real travesty of UK justice? The endless delays

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dominic lawson the real travesty of uk justice the endless delays

When the heat is on a government — as it definitely has been on this one over the past week — a distraction is customarily offered.

This will typically involve claims to be ‘getting tougher on crime‘, as concern on this matter is always among voters’ highest priorities. It certainly was among the so-called Labour ‘red wall’ voters of the North and Midlands, whose seismic switch to the Tories was the key to Boris Johnson‘s thumping majority at last December’s General Election.

So I was not surprised that two Sunday newspapers yesterday led with Government-inspired stories of this sort.

One had ‘Boris Johnson set to opt out of human rights laws’, with the promise that ‘opt outs from the Human Rights Act’ would make it much easier for foreigners convicted of crimes in British courts to be deported to their country of origin.

And another had ‘Dangerous terrorists will stay locked up for life under new rules’ — based on an article purportedly written by the Prime Minister (apparently he hasn’t got much else to do).

I was not surprised that two Sunday newspapers yesterday led with Government-inspired stories of this sort. One had ‘Boris Johnson set to opt out of human rights laws’, with the promise that ‘opt outs from the Human Rights Act’ would make it much easier for foreigners convicted of crimes in British courts to be deported to their country of origin

I was not surprised that two Sunday newspapers yesterday led with Government-inspired stories of this sort. One had ‘Boris Johnson set to opt out of human rights laws’, with the promise that ‘opt outs from the Human Rights Act’ would make it much easier for foreigners convicted of crimes in British courts to be deported to their country of origin

I was not surprised that two Sunday newspapers yesterday led with Government-inspired stories of this sort. One had ‘Boris Johnson set to opt out of human rights laws’, with the promise that ‘opt outs from the Human Rights Act’ would make it much easier for foreigners convicted of crimes in British courts to be deported to their country of origin

Despair

Specifically, the ‘new rules’ promised would enable ‘whole life sentences’ to be passed on those who were at least 18 years old at the time of their crime. Currently, it is necessary for the perpetrator to have been 21 or older to receive such a sentence.

This follows the trial of Hashem Abedi, the accomplice and younger brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, for whom the judge said he would have considered a ‘full life’ term, but could not as he was only 20 years old at the time.

Well, fine: change the law. Although Hashem Abedi was told he must serve at least 55 years before being considered for release, which might well see him die in prison. And in any case, whole life terms are exceedingly rare (our jails house not much more than 70 such offenders).

But these two initiatives — even assuming they translate into law rather than remain mere newspaper headlines — are also a distraction from the much bigger insult to our sense of justice in the way the criminal law system is now working (or, rather, not working).

The backlog of cases set to be tried in our courts now exceeds 500,000.

Certainly, the closing of the courts during lockdown has contributed to this scandalously high figure — which multiplies the risk of further offences being committed by those freed on bail rather than held on remand.

But the wheels of justice have been grinding ever more slowly over the past decade, and, as the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied. 

This is true for both defendants and victims, but it is the latter whose misery most perturbs the public: our sympathy naturally rests most with those seeking restitution for their suffering.

33141690 8729225 image m 51 1600043053858

33141690 8729225 image m 51 1600043053858

The Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, last week pledged £80 million to fund a series of measures to address the trial delays, including so-called ‘Nightingale courts’ (analogous to the Nightingale hospitals for Covid patients)

In the words of one involved professionally in this field: ‘The criminal justice system was pretty dysfunctional before coronavirus, but we are on a journey towards it being totally broken . . . we are looking at three to five-year delays [in trials] across the board.’

Imagine the scale of frustration, despair and trauma this imposes on victims, whose lives are effectively suspended in the deepest uncertainty, anxiety and irresolution.

As James Mulholland QC, the vice chair of the Criminal Bar Association, says: ‘There is unquantifiable psychological damage that can’t be recompensed… from unreasonable delays due to trials being pushed out another one to two years on top often of intolerable delays put upon many trial dates even pre-Covid-19.’

I gained some insight into this when I spent a day at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London a few years ago (I wrote about it for the Mail at the time).

I was invited by a friend who happened to be a judge doing hearings there. With 21 courtrooms, it is the biggest such complex in Europe, although now, because of social distancing rules, it is processing only three trials at any one time.

Even then, I was struck by the length of time that had passed between the crime and the trials which I was witnessing. One was a straightforward case of causing death by dangerous driving which took less than a day to be processed in court. Yet the incident (and the arrest of the perpetrator) had taken place two years earlier.

Imagine what this means in the case of trials for rape, which are vastly more complex — and what it means for the women who must be wondering as the years pass: ‘Is this worth it?’

Intolerable

To give a sense of the extent to which the system had been congealing even before the coronavirus struck, it is only necessary to observe that while in 2010 police and prosecutors took an average of 392 days to bring a suspect to justice, by 2017 the figure had risen to 600 days.

Who is responsible for this, politically?

Ken Clarke was appointed Justice Secretary by David Cameron when he formed his first (coalition) government in 2010

Ken Clarke was appointed Justice Secretary by David Cameron when he formed his first (coalition) government in 2010

Ken Clarke was appointed Justice Secretary by David Cameron when he formed his first (coalition) government in 2010

Step forward Ken Clarke, who was appointed Justice Secretary by David Cameron when he formed his first (coalition) government in 2010.

Cameron had sworn to bring the deficit under control, but also to protect the budgets in such areas as health and overseas aid. So some departments suffered disproportionately from ‘austerity’ — and Clarke, with his customary insouciance, happily offered up his own. In June 2010, the ministry announced plans to close more than 150 of the 530 courts in England and Wales.

In the same week, Clarke made a speech declaring that the prison population was, in any case, ‘too high’. This had always been his view, and he had long been an internal Tory opponent, philosophically speaking, of his old friend from Cambridge University days, Michael Howard. It was Howard who declared, as Home Secretary, that ‘prison works’ — and broke with decades of Home Office defeatism in the battle to reverse the rising crime rate.

Howard succeeded, and the tougher sentencing was, indeed, followed by a drop in crime rates.

Boris Johnson, though in many ways a more socially liberal figure than Michael Howard, nonetheless campaigned in the last election on a pledge to recruit ‘20,000 more police officers’. The only purpose of that — and why it would be thought a vote-winner — could be to arrest more criminals.

Tardy

And understandably so. The most recent Home Office data revealed that only 4 per cent of burglaries result in the offender being brought before the courts.

But if we get those extra policemen and women, and the promised increase in arrests of burglars, that will only intensify the pressure on an already hopelessly tardy criminal justice system.

The Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, last week pledged £80 million to fund a series of measures to address the trial delays, including so-called ‘Nightingale courts’ (analogous to the Nightingale hospitals for Covid patients).

But as Judge Keith Raynor said, this did ‘not amount to highly significant expenditure given the scale of the problem’.

Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips (pictured with his wife) has urged that 'judge only' criminal trials should be introduced

Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips (pictured with his wife) has urged that 'judge only' criminal trials should be introduced

Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips (pictured with his wife) has urged that ‘judge only’ criminal trials should be introduced

I gained some insight into the damage of delayed trials when I spent a day at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London (pictured)

I gained some insight into the damage of delayed trials when I spent a day at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London (pictured)

I gained some insight into the damage of delayed trials when I spent a day at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London (pictured)

Last month, the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, urged that ‘judge only’ criminal trials should be introduced ‘because the alternative of rising delays to trials is horrible’. Clearly, this would solve the difficulties of assembling juries of 12 men and women, when social distancing measures are still mandatory.

But I would be very reluctant to see even a temporary abandonment of the jury system, though Phillips proposed it should happen only with the consent of the defendant (‘any defendant who would like to be tried by a judge only should be allowed that facility rather than waiting years for a jury’).

However, I can’t see that our hallowed principle of criminal trials being invigilated by juries assembled from the citizenry would be compromised if, temporarily, the size of the jury were to be cut to six — which just happens to be the maximum number allowed for day-to-day social gatherings under the latest Covid rules.

This might not have the headline appeal of promising to change the law to enable whole life terms to be given to teenage mass murderers or to make it easier to deport foreign criminals already in our jails.

But the agonising delays in justice, especially for the victims of crime, are the greatest affront — and require the most immediate action.

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Police find stash of EIGHT guns at home of jealous husband, 53, who shot his wife’s secret lover

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police find stash of eight guns at home of jealous husband 53 who shot his wifes secret lover

 A jealous husband was found with a stash of eight guns after shooting his wife’s secret lover, a court heard.

Andrew Jones, 53, is accused of murdering Michael O’Leary, 55, after luring him into a trap over his affair with wife.

Businessman Jones told police he became ‘upset’ after finding his wife’s secret phone that she used to send intimate messages to Mr O’Leary.

 According to claims made in Swansea Crown Court, Jones’ wife Rhianon, 51, boasted to her husband that she enjoyed sex with her secret lover more than with him.

Rhianon’s husband later shot Mr O’Leary by accident in a bitter confrontation over the affair, the court was told.

 A court heard police found bullet casings at the farm where Jones allegedly used a forklift truck to move Mr O’Leary’s body.

The jealous husband is accused of murdering  Michael O'Leary (pictured with wife Sian)

The jealous husband is accused of murdering  Michael O'Leary (pictured with wife Sian)

The jealous husband is accused of murdering  Michael O’Leary (pictured with wife Sian)

Andrew Jones (left), is alleged to have murdered Mr O'Leary over his affair with his wife Rhianon (right), 51

Andrew Jones (left), is alleged to have murdered Mr O'Leary over his affair with his wife Rhianon (right), 51

Andrew Jones (left), is alleged to have murdered Mr O’Leary over his affair with his wife Rhianon (right), 51

According to claims made in court,  Rhianon, 51, boasted to her husband that she enjoyed sex with her secret lover more than with him

According to claims made in court,  Rhianon, 51, boasted to her husband that she enjoyed sex with her secret lover more than with him

According to claims made in court,  Rhianon, 51, boasted to her husband that she enjoyed sex with her secret lover more than with him

The court was told that Jones shot Mr O'Leary, 55 (pictured) by accident in a bitter confrontation over the affair

The court was told that Jones shot Mr O'Leary, 55 (pictured) by accident in a bitter confrontation over the affair

 The court was told that Jones shot Mr O’Leary, 55 (pictured) by accident in a bitter confrontation over the affair

The bullets were believed to be from a Colt.22 rifle found at the home address of Jones.

A locked gun cabinet in the home also contained a 303 Lee-Enfield rifle, a 22 Luger rifle with suppressor, a.308 Armalite rifle with suppressor and a.233 Southern Gun rifle.

Jones also owned three shotguns – a 12-bore Mossberg shotgun, a 12-bore Mossberg pump-action shotgun and a 12-bore Beretta over and under shotgun.

The court heard all of the weapons had firearms certificates.

Prosecutor William Hughes QC said: ‘Mike O’Leary was lured to this location expecting a private meeting with Rhianon Jones. Instead he was met by this defendant who was armed with a powerful rifle which he used to deliberately shoot him dead.

‘Steps were subsequently taken to hide and cover up his crimes – not in panic but a clear and calculated approach.’

He added: ‘This was a carefully planned and well thought-out murder far from an accident.’

Members of the jury were taken to Cyncoed Farm in Cwmfrwdd, and the home address in nearby Carmarthen.

The jury heard Mr O’Leary’s DNA was found on pieces of bloodstained clothing at the address.

Jones allegedly found a second hidden phone belonging to wife Rhianon, 51, under a pile of clothes.

Mr O’Leary’s number had been listed under a nickname in the address book.  

Jones allegedly found a second hidden phone belonging to wife Rhianon, 51, under a pile of clothes

Jones allegedly found a second hidden phone belonging to wife Rhianon, 51, under a pile of clothes

Jones allegedly found a second hidden phone belonging to wife Rhianon, 51, under a pile of clothes

According to claims made in Swansea Crown Court, Jones’ wife Rhianon, 51, boasted to her husband that she enjoyed sex with her secret lover more than with him.

Rhianon’s husband later shot Mr O’Leary by accident in a bitter confrontation over the affair, the court was told.

 Jones told police: ‘I was upset about the sex stuff.

‘He had done stuff with her that we had done and she enjoyed it more with him.’

Jones, of Bronwydd, Carmarthen denies murder.

The trial at Swansea Crown Court continues. 

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Coronavirus cases in people in their 20s have DROPPED for first time in 10 weeks

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coronavirus cases in people in their 20s have dropped for first time in 10 weeks

Covid-19 cases among people in their 20s have started to fall for the first time in 10 weeks, Public Health England data shows.

Those in the 20-29 age group still have the highest infection rate of anyone in the country but the number of cases per 100,000 people dropped in the second week of September.

It fell from 55.9 per 100,000 to 51.8 between September 6 and September 13, according to PHE’s most recent surveillance report.

The only other age group that saw a drop in its case rate was the over-80s, among whom it dropped from 20.6 to 19.8. In all other age groups infections kept rising.

Government officials have pointed the finger at young people in recent weeks for driving infections back up by spreading coronavirus at social events, gathering in larger-than-allowed groups and hosting parties in ignorance of social distancing.

PHE’s report also showed that outbreaks of coughs and chest infections – some of which will be Covid-19 – are skyrocketing in schools, offices and care homes.

‘Acute respiratory infections’ rose five-fold in care homes in the week to September 13 and increase more than eight times in schools after term resumed in England. 

Data shows that coronavirus infections in people in their 20s fell for the first time in 10 weeks recently (Pictured: Young people out in Birmingham yesterday, Thursday September 17)

Data shows that coronavirus infections in people in their 20s fell for the first time in 10 weeks recently (Pictured: Young people out in Birmingham yesterday, Thursday September 17)

Data shows that coronavirus infections in people in their 20s fell for the first time in 10 weeks recently (Pictured: Young people out in Birmingham yesterday, Thursday September 17)

Coronavirus infections among young people are not a huge cause for concern themselves, scientists say, because they are not likely to lead to serious illness.

The disease is generally worst for people over the age of 50, and those with serious health problems such as diabetes, while most of the deaths have been in the elderly.

But the biggest worry about young people catching the virus and spreading it is that they keep it circulating and inevitably pass it on to their parents and grandparents.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson even held the first Downing Street conference in weeks to tell under-30s to consider their behaviour ‘for the sake of your parents’ and your grandparents’ health’. 

Data tentatively suggests the message may have got through, although it was only a small fall and does not yet represent a downward trend. 

Cases are still rising in teenagers and younger children, which is likely accelerated by the fact that they have returned to school.

Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said at a Downing Street briefing this month that while cases among older people and children remained ‘flat’, in other age groups there were ‘rapid upticks’.

He said among 17 to 18 year-olds and 19 to 21 year-olds the numbers had gone up ‘really quite steeply’ since mid August.

PHE data shows that the infection rate is at 10.2 per 100,000 for under-fives; 16 for five to nine-year-olds; and 29.8 for 10 to 19-year-olds.

In adults, in the week up to September 13, it was 37.5 for people aged 30 to 39; 30.7 for people in their 40s; 26.6 for those in their 50s; 16.7 for 60 to 69-year-olds; 11.1 for 70 to 79-year-olds and 19.8 for the over-80s.

Public Health England also records outbreaks of ‘acute respiratory infections’ in its coronavirus report.

These are a measure of how often different settings are recording outbreaks of more than two people coming down with a cough or chest infection. 

They are not all explicitly caused by coronavirus but judged by similar symptoms and included in the Covid-19 report. 

The number of these outbreaks has skyrocketed in recent weeks, with a total of 729 across all settings in the week ending September 13, up from just 246 the week before.

In schools – which have resumed classes after a lengthy lockdown and summer – the number of coughing outbreaks shot up from 23 to 193 in a week.

In workplaces it rose from 65 to 110, and in care homes it spiked from 69 to 313 in the same time period.

The increase in outbreaks come as statistics across the board show that Covid-19 infections are rebounding.

Another 4,322 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 today in the highest one-day rise since May 8, as a raft of worrying statistics revealed the Covid-19 crisis appears to be rebounding. 

Data from the Office for National Statistics estimates 6,000 people are catching the life-threatening illness every day in England while hospital admissions have doubled in a week and government scientists warn the R rate could now be as high as 1.4.

Professor Kevin McConway, a statistician at The Open University, said: ‘This is undoubtedly concerning, and particularly so when we take into account that the data behind these estimates come from several sources, many of which – such as hospital admissions, admissions to intensive care, and deaths – lag behind the growth in new infections, because it takes time for people to become ill enough to require hospital treatment or, sadly, to die. 

‘So the estimates cannot take into account very recent changes in the patterns of new infections.’   

COUGHS AND CHEST INFECTIONS ALWAYS SPIKE IN SEPTEMBER, DOCTOR SAYS 

September’s normal increase in coughs and colds caused by schools going back is causing ‘utter chaos’ in the UK because people are terrified of Covid-19, according to a top scientist.

Professor Carl Heneghan, an evidence-based medicine expert at the University of Oxford, today vented his frustration about the ‘panic’ being stirred up over the coronavirus crisis. 

Meeting with MPs on Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee, he insisted coughs and colds spike every September when children head back to class, and become even more common during the winter.

But Government messaging about the deadly consequences of Covid-19 and forcing entire towns and regions into lockdown – rules that now cover 9.2million people – have left members of the public ‘fearful’ and ‘terrorised’.

He said there has been a 50 per cent increase in reports from family doctors seeing patients with chest infections that have the same symptoms as the coronavirus.

Professor Carl Heneghan today appeared in front of MPs on the Science and Technology Committee and said the Government's approach to tackling coronavirus and its messaging about the virus has left people 'terrified'

Professor Carl Heneghan today appeared in front of MPs on the Science and Technology Committee and said the Government's approach to tackling coronavirus and its messaging about the virus has left people 'terrified'

Professor Carl Heneghan today appeared in front of MPs on the Science and Technology Committee and said the Government’s approach to tackling coronavirus and its messaging about the virus has left people ‘terrified’

The numbers of people going to doctors with chest infections can be seen starting to rise sharply in September, and the annual average (dotted line) shows that it spikes every year, even before coronavirus

The numbers of people going to doctors with chest infections can be seen starting to rise sharply in September, and the annual average (dotted line) shows that it spikes every year, even before coronavirus

The numbers of people going to doctors with chest infections can be seen starting to rise sharply in September, and the annual average (dotted line) shows that it spikes every year, even before coronavirus

The same is true of lower respiratory infections, which also cause coughs and breathing difficulties

The same is true of lower respiratory infections, which also cause coughs and breathing difficulties

The same is true of lower respiratory infections, which also cause coughs and breathing difficulties

‘Keeping our children in school is important but at the moment it is utter chaos because of the 50 per cent increase in other respiratory pathogens that mimic Covid in children,’ Professor Heneghan said.

He refers to illnesses that produce similar symptoms to Covid-19, which are usually viral infections referred to as respiratory tract infections, or chest infections.

Cases of these spike every winter because people spend more time indoors close together, and coughs and sneezes spread them easily. 

And they are rising now, Professor Heneghan pointed out, because children are returning to school and mixing more with others every day. This would happen regardless of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

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Coldstream Guard is found guilty of racially abusing colleague after calling him a ‘Muslim b*****d’

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coldstream guard is found guilty of racially abusing colleague after calling him a muslim bd

A British Army soldier in the Coldstream Guards has been found guilty of racially abusing a colleague after he expressed his happiness that Muslims had been ‘butchered’ just 10 days after the New Zealand mosque attack.

Lance Sergeant Derek McHugh was working in the guard room at a barracks in Windsor when he pretended to shoot a rifle while saying he ‘loved’ what the far-right gunman had done.

The 37-year-old called Corporal Momodou Sonko a ‘Muslim bastard’ before voicing his admiration for the white supremacist who claimed the lives of 51 people in the shootings in Christchurch.

Lance Sergeant Derek McHugh, 37, has been found guilty of racially abusing a colleague who he called a 'Muslim b*****d'. Pictured: McHugh leaving Bulford Military Court

Lance Sergeant Derek McHugh, 37, has been found guilty of racially abusing a colleague who he called a 'Muslim b*****d'. Pictured: McHugh leaving Bulford Military Court

Lance Sergeant Derek McHugh, 37, has been found guilty of racially abusing a colleague who he called a ‘Muslim b*****d’. Pictured: McHugh leaving Bulford Military Court

When confronted, Lance Sergeant McHugh admitted he didn’t like Islamic culture and told Royal Military Police officers that he ‘didn’t see what was wrong with that’?

Corporal Sonko told a court martial he was working as guard commander at Victoria Barracks on March 25 2019, when a letter was delivered that needed to be passed to the medical centre.

Because of where the guardroom was located, only a few hundred metres away from Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s residences, any post was subject to intense scrutiny.

Corporal Sonko began to ask the woman who had delivered the letter a few questions but was interrupted by Lance Sergeant McHugh who told him to ‘just leave it’.

Corporal Momodou Sonko (pictured) told the court that racism was 'like drinking water' to Lance Sergeant McHugh and was only the latest in a long line of racial remarks directed at black and Muslim soldiers

Corporal Momodou Sonko (pictured) told the court that racism was 'like drinking water' to Lance Sergeant McHugh and was only the latest in a long line of racial remarks directed at black and Muslim soldiers

Corporal Momodou Sonko (pictured) told the court that racism was ‘like drinking water’ to Lance Sergeant McHugh and was only the latest in a long line of racial remarks directed at black and Muslim soldiers

Corporal Sonko told the court: ‘I said to him in a joking manner that this could be a security risk. He didn’t respond to that. 

‘I think he thought either that was not a concern or he didn’t care about what I was saying.

‘Immediately after [the woman left] I was sat doing work on my screen and from nowhere, I heard ‘you f***** Muslim b******.’

Corporal Sonko said it was only himself, Lance Sergeant McHugh and another unidentified soldier in the room at the time, and he was the only Muslim.

The Gambian born soldier, who was attached to 1 Rifles said he ignored the comment, as he had heard Lance Sergeant McHugh make similar statements numerous times before.

He told the court that racism was ‘like drinking water’ to the veteran Coldstream Guard and he would regularly use ‘derogatory’ language about minorities.

Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, heard that a few moments later, Lance Sergeant McHugh stood up and pretended to hold a rifle while saying ‘I love the way that man just went into the mosque and…’ before pretending to shoot.

In 2019, 51 people were killed and 40 injured in two shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday prayer. 

The gunman was 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant, from Australia.

The attacker, described as a ‘white supremacist’ and member of the ‘alt right’ live streamed the shooting on Facebook and published an online manifesto.

Prosecuting, Solomon Hartley said: ‘[McHugh] doesn’t accept the exact words but he accepts that he doesn’t like Muslims.

‘He doesn’t like Muslim culture and he says he has a right to feel that way and to express that view.

‘He says his view of the culture was formed during tours overseas and he says his son was almost blown up in the Manchester terrorist attack.’

Lance Sergeant McHugh’s outburst was only the latest in a long line of racial remarks directed at black and Muslim soldiers.

Lance Sergeant McHugh voiced his admiration for the white supremacist who claimed the lives of 51 people in the shootings in Christchurch saying, 'I love the way that man just went into the mosque and...' before pretending to shoot

Lance Sergeant McHugh voiced his admiration for the white supremacist who claimed the lives of 51 people in the shootings in Christchurch saying, 'I love the way that man just went into the mosque and...' before pretending to shoot

Lance Sergeant McHugh voiced his admiration for the white supremacist who claimed the lives of 51 people in the shootings in Christchurch saying, ‘I love the way that man just went into the mosque and…’ before pretending to shoot

Corporal Sonko told the court: ‘[At first] I thought to educate him would be better than reporting the case and it being blown out of proportion.

‘There are people who would call it banter but I viewed it as crossing the line…

‘I told him to stop. I told him that is enough. He didn’t say anything. He was just concentrating on the computer but immediately after he giggled and left the room.

‘He was saying ‘I am happy your fellow Muslims were butchered’. I had to think about reporting the matter.’

Lance Sergeant McHugh, who was representing himself, tried to claim in cross examination that the Corporal had misread his hand gestures and misheard what he had said.

He said: ‘You say that I liked the guy in New Zealand who did the shootings.. Couldn’t you have misheard me and I [in fact] said it didn’t bother me and I don’t condone it?’

Corporal Sonko replied: ‘The words you uttered were linked to the actions you were making’

Lance Sergeant McHugh was found guilty by the court martial panel of two charges of using racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

He will be sentenced at a later date. 

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