World’s smallest nativity scene

Wednesday 30 December 2009 at 12:21 pm | In News | Post Comment
World's smallest Nativity scene
An Italian craftsman has created the world’s smallest nativity scene – on the head of a pin. Aldo Caliro sculpted tiny hand carved figures of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and an angel together with a tiny baby jesus in his crib.

The whole scene fits on the top of the pin that was then mounted on a piece of velvet surrounded by a halo of diamonds that dwarf the figures.

Low Copy Number DNA approved by Court of Appeal

Thursday 24 December 2009 at 9:16 am | In News | Post Comment
DNA in very tiny amounts can be used in criminal cases
Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA testing had been suspended since the judge in an Omagh bombing case questioned its validity in 2007.

The Home Office carried out a review of its applicability for court purposes and in 2008, which concluded that it was scientifically robust and therefore appropriate for court cases.

This week the Court of Appeal upheld the convictions of two brothers Terry and David Reed who were convicted of murder in 2007.

The court said challenges to the science behind Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA testing should no longer be permitted in most trials.
The Court of Appeal rejected evidence from a former senior scientist with the FBI who had said that results using the LCN method should not be put before a jury.

Whole case here

Sentencing – Probation Service and the effect of a release on licence

Wednesday 23 December 2009 at 5:05 pm | In News | Post Comment
Boy George
The full effect of early release on licence from prison has been discovered by former Culture Club singer Boy George who failed in judicial review proceedings in the High Court to overturn a Probation Service ban preventing him appearing in the final series of “Celebrity Big Brother”.

The singer – real name George O’Dowd – served time in prison for handcuffing male escort Audun Carlsen to a wall in his London home in April 2007, but was released early.

Mr Justice Bean said,
“I consider that right-thinking members of the public would take the view that an offender serving the non-custodial part of a sentence of imprisonment should not be allowed to take part in a high profile, controversial television production, promoting his status as a celebrity and with considerable financial gain.”

Full judgment here

Convict claimed the word ‘prisoner’ breached his human rights

Sunday 20 December 2009 at 8:13 am | In News | Post Comment
Priosoner Bernard Pennington

A violent prisoner tried to sue a volunteer jail worker for not calling him ‘Mr’.
Bernard Pennington, who is serving a life sentence for a machete attack on his wife claimed the term ‘prisoner’ was derogatory and a breach of his human rights.

He tried to sue David Luckett, voluntary chairman of the Independent Monitoring Board, which checks up on day-to-day life at Kingston Prison in Portsmouth, for £300. The case cost the tax payer £6,000,

Mr Luckett, who is also a magistrate, had referred to him as ‘prisoner Pennington’ in a letter after the convict made a complaint to the board about his treatment Mr Lucket resigned his post after 13 years of volunteering.

But District Judge Peter Jolly threw the case out at Portsmouth County Court, saying there was ‘no merit’ to the complaint.

Pennington, 63, who was jailed for nearly killing his wife Jessie in 1984, did not attend the hearing, despite a bus being laid on to drive him from Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight where he is now held.

The judge said, “This case is totally without merit. There are no reasonable grounds for Mr Pennington to bring this case.
Had I not struck it out on that basis I would have struck it out on the grounds of non attendance or I would have struck on the grounds of abuse of process.”

Whole life tariff for Peter TOBIN

Wednesday 16 December 2009 at 8:24 pm | In News | Post Comment
Peter Tobin
Peter Tobin
Serial sex killer Peter Tobin was convicted of a third murder this afternoon as it emerged that he could have claimed 20 victims as he preyed on young women for over forty years.

Tobin, 62, was found guilty of drugging and strangling 18-year-old Dinah McNicol for which he received a third life sentence.

He picked up the student as she hitchhiked to her Essex home from a pop festival in August 1991.

The Scottish-born drifter had already been convicted of murdering Vicky Hamilton, 15, whose body was buried alongside Dinah 18 years ago in the killer’s garden in Margate.

Tobin’s third known murder victim was Angelika Kluk who he stabbed in 2006 and hid her, still alive, under the floorboards of a church in Glasgow.

The jury at Chelmsford crown court took just 15 minutes to convict Tobin today. He had pleaded not guilty but refused to offer any defence in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Tobin had also been convicted of drugging and raping one 14-year-old babysitter and sexually assaulting another in 1993.

He received 14 years imprisonment for the sex attacks in which he used the same drug, amitriptyline, as he was to later use on Vicky and Dinah.

Tobin will spend the rest of his life in prison and will join less that two dozen other murderers who will never be released.

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