#AceNewsReport – Feb.15; A 47-year-old West Australian man has been fined $5000 for making a threatening and menacing comment online towards a Federal Member of Parliament.
#AceDailyNews says a WA man sentenced for online threat was sentenced yesterday (14 February 2022) after pleading guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court to using a carriage service to menace, contrary to section 474.17 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth), at the start of a planned two-day trial.
The Australian Federal Police charged the man after investigating a comment posted in 2020 on the Federal politician’s official Facebook account.
The Marangaroo man likened the politician to a terrorist supporter and predicted they would be murdered.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) takes all reports regarding Australian High Office Holders (AHOHs) safety and security seriously, and assesses each matter against information provided.
AFP Commander Western Command John Tanti said no one should be harassed or threatened, online or in person, and the AFP would take action when any offences were identified.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Nazir Ahmed resigned from the House of Lords but retains the title Lord Ahmed of Rotherham according to GB News: Jamie Micklethwaite: Published friday 04 February 2022 – 14:46 Last updated friday 04 February 2022 – 15:10
Peer and former politician Lord Nazir Ahmed has been jailed for five years and six months for the attempted rape of a young girl and sexually assaulting a boy under 11 in the 1970s.
The 64-year-old, who has resigned from the House of Lords but retains the title Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court in January of two counts of attempted rape and one of buggery.
The court heard how the repeated abuse happened in Rotherham when he was a teenager in the 1970s.
On Friday a judge, Mr Justice Lavender, jailed Ahmed for five years and six months.
He told Ahmed: “Your actions have had profound and lifelong effects on the girl and the boy, who have lived with what you did to them for between 46 and 53 years.
“Their statements express more eloquently than I ever could how your actions have affected their lives in so many different and damaging ways.”
The victim of the attempted rapes read her own victim personal statement in court, saying: “An overwhelming feeling of shame remained with me throughout my childhood and early adult years.
“It was a burden I was made to carry, and it silenced me for many years.
“It is now time for me to pass that burden to him – the paedophile who I know feels no personal shame.”
She added that Ahmed had however now been “publicly shamed” for his actions.
Ahmed’s two older brothers Mohammed Farouq, 71, and Mohammed Tariq, 66, were also charged with indecent assault in relation to the same boy that Ahmed abused.
Both men were deemed unfit to stand trial, but a jury found that they did the acts alleged.
Farouq and Tariq were both given absolute discharges after the judge said the only other two options – a hospital order or a supervision order – would not be appropriate in this case.
A victim personal statement from the male complainant read in court said being sexually abused by the three men had “affected me on a daily basis” and left him unable to show affection to his own children.
He said: “I buried the abuse and carried it with me on my own for years and years.
“I feel shame because of what these men did to me.
“This is not about revenge, this is about justice.”
In mitigation, Imran Khan QC said Ahmed had “devoted his life to public service” and that his “fall from grace” had been “in the full glare of publicity,” including a campaign for him to be stripped of his title.
Mr Khan said: “That very good reputation he had has gone.”
The judge said that according to legal guidelines, the sentence must be in line with the one that would have been imposed at the time the offence was committed.
He jailed Ahmed for three and a half years for the offence of buggery, and imposed two concurrent sentences of two years for each of the attempted rapes.
Mr Justice Lavender also adjourned the case for six weeks to determine whether Ahmed could pay prosecution costs.
During the trial, the jury was played a recording of a telephone call between the two complainants, made by the woman after she went to the police in 2016.
Tom Little QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the call was prompted by the man contacting the woman by email saying: “I have evidence against that paedophile.”
Former Labour member Ahmed resigned from the House of Lords in November 2020 after reading the contents of a conduct committee report which found he sexually assaulted a vulnerable woman who sought his help.
The report made him the first peer to be recommended for expulsion, but he resigned before this could be implemented.
Ahmed had previously denied all the charges
Ahmed was charged along with his two older brothers, Mohammed Farouq, 71, and Mohammed Tariq, 65, but both these men were deemed unfit to stand trial.
Farouq and Tariq faced charges of indecent assault in relation to the same boy that Ahmed abused and the jury found that they did the acts alleged.
#AceNewsReport – Feb.06: The sentencing comes after he was convicted at the same court on Thursday, 6 May.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Rapist Abdallah Baballah, 26 (16.01.96) of no fixed address, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 3 February where he was jailed for three counts of rape, three counts of robbery, attempted rape, sexual assault and threats to kill.
Baballah had pleaded guilty to rape, attempted rape, actual bodily harm and robbery on 24 September 2019 with a further guilty plea of robbery on 18 February 2020 before the trial.
COURT CASE NOTES:
The court heard that Baballah followed each of his victims into quiet residential streets as they walked home alone late at night.
He threatened each of the women, claiming he had a knife. Baballah raped two of his victims and seriously assaulted three of them, robbing them of their belongings before making off.
On 25 July 2019, officers on patrol in Newham saw Baballah walking along Barking Road at around 23:00hrs.
Recognising him from the CCTV images, they detained and arrested him and he was taken into custody where he was found to have one of the women’s mobile phones in his possession.
The phone was also found to have been used to view a number of news articles about Baballah and to download CCTV images of him released in the media.
Officers used forensic evidence to match Ballabah to a number of the offences, while identifying – from three Oyster cards found in his possession upon arrest – that he had been in the vicinity of the attacks close to the times they took place.
He was charged with multiple offences including rape, attempted rape and robbery on 27 July 2020 and remanded in custody.
Detective Sergeant Sara Yems, of the Specialist Crime Command, said:
” Baballah is an extremely dangerous offender who targeted these women as they walked home alone in the dark. He waited for the most opportune of moments before making his attack and his actions have left these women traumatised by what happened to them.
“I would like to thank them for coming forward and supporting the police investigation, and for providing crucial evidence which led to this conviction and has ensured Baballah cannot subject anyone else to such horrific attacks.
“I hope this result and lengthy prison sentence reassures our local community that we will not tolerate sexual assault and violence. Victims of abuse and sexual violence should feel confident that their local officers will work tirelessly to seek justice.
“We fully appreciate how recent events have heightened concerns about violence amongst women in London. We share that concern. The Met is absolutely committed to doing everything we can to keep women and girls safe, and to ensure they feel safe.
“Working with our partners across the criminal justice system, we are determined to bring offenders to justice. We will prioritise action against sexual and violent, predatory offenders and we would ask any victim or witness to sexual assault, to please contact us. We have specially trained officers who will help and support you.”
If you need to report a crime, you can do so by contacting police on 101 or reporting online. Always call 999 in an emergency.
+ If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape or you have information about an offender, contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency – there are specially trained officers who will listen and investigate where needed.
Further information, including details of agencies and charities that can offer support can be found on our website.
#AceNewsReport – May.15: He then ran through the CBD with a knife, seriously injuring bystander Lin Bo and slashing at members of the public until bystanders pinned him down with a milk crate and chair:
SYDNEY: ‘Mert Ney jailed for 44 years over CBD murder of Sydney woman Michaela Dunn he repeatedly stabbed the 24-year-old in a CBD apartment in August 2019, before filming the crime scene on his phone and sending graphic videos to friends on social media’
Justice Peter Johnson today sentenced Ney to 44 years in prison with a non-parole period of 33 years.
“This was a cruel, brutal and terrifying attack made for no reason,” he told the NSW Supreme Court.
When Ney arrived in the Clarence Street apartment for a sex work appointment, Ms Dunn asked him several times if he was OK, the court had previously heard.
Justice Johnson today said Ms Dunn was alone and vulnerable with a stranger who met her for the purpose of killing her.
He described Ney’s social media videos as “gruesome and bizarre” and rejected the murderer’s claims that he intended to leave the apartment without paying.
Justice Johnson said the 22-year-old created “bedlam” in the streets, wearing a balaclava to “maximise the fear” in members of the public.
The judge praised the intervening bystanders for placing themselves at risk.
“Despite the offender’s repeated pleas to be killed, he had in fact been captured by a courageous group of citizens who had come together for the single purpose of restraining the offender so as to bring his violent, terrifying and chaotic rampage to an end.”
Despite proclaiming “Allahu Akbar” in both his social media videos and on the streets, Ney denied being motivated by religious extremism and said he was only pretending to be a terrorist in the hope of dying at the hands of police.
While the court also heard Ney was “obsessed” with footage of the Christchurch massacre, Justice Johnson concluded he wasn’t adherent to radical beliefs himself.
The judge said Ney “took on the trappings, gestures and language of a terrorist”.
“It appears he was influenced by the Christchurch terrorist murders and mass killings and had a morbid interest in shootings associated with his descent into the fantasy world of violent interactive games in which he indulged himself for some time,” Justice Johnson said.
The Crown had called for a life sentence to be imposed.
Justice Johnson took into account Ney’s mental health issues and also applied a 10 per cent discount for him pleading guilty.
He said Ney presented as ” a self-centred individual” with concern only for himself.
“The offender is a dangerous man and continues to be a dangerous man,” the judge said.
“The position appears bleak in the extreme with respect to the offender’s prospects of returning to the community and living a lawful life in the future.”
Ney’s earliest release date is August 2052, when he will be 53 years old.
‘I’m really frustrated’
Outside court, Michaela Dunn’s sister Emily said there would always be a permanently empty spot at their dinner table.
She lamented that her child would grow up not knowing how funny and kind her aunty was.
“I’m not angry, because there’s no point being angry, but I’m really, really frustrated,” she said.
“I’m frustrated with the system. There were so many times that could have and should have stopped what happened on the day that Mikki died.”
But Ms Dunn said the family was trying hard to leave the frustration behind and craft their future in a way that would honour her sister.
“We’ll always make space in our lives for an Aperol spritz and some cat photos,” she said.
“We’ll always make time for rich experiences shared with the ones that we love and we’ll always prioritize love and laughter in our families.
#AceNewsReport – May.07: In handing down her sentence, District Court Judge Helen Syme said she found that Hayne was fully aware that the victim was not consenting and went ahead anyway:
Jarryd Hayne jailed for sexually assaulting woman on night of 2018 NRL grand final: ‘A jury in March found Hayne guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual assault which the victim said left her feeling “dirty, scared and ashamed” Hayne must serve a minimum of three years and eight months according to ABC News’
“The reliability and honesty of the victim’s evidence was tested at length and in my view, her reliability was not in doubt. She said no several times,” Judge Syme said.
“The use of force was such that the victim had no prospect of stopping him physically.
“He was at least twice her weight at 100 kilograms and an athlete at the top of his form.”
In a victim impact statement read out in Newcastle District Court today, the woman, who can’t be named, said she would never get over the pain and emotion.
“I was flooded with emotions and incomprehensible feeling.,” she said.
“Why didn’t you stop, [there were] so many questions were running through my head.
“I felt dirty and violated, you made me feel like an object and was looking straight through me.”
There were hectic scenes as Hayne arrived at court this morning flanked by a dozen supporters.
During the trial, the Crown alleged Hayne sexually assaulted the woman in her bedroom while her mother was also in the house, causing two injuries in the process, before leaving.
The woman said the incident left her “shocked and scared”.
“I have spent countless hours crying, the feeling of feeling dirty doesn’t go away,” she said.
“Sometimes I am so depressed that I can’t get out of bed.”
She told the court she was trying to recover from the ordeal.
“Yes I am destroyed and damaged but I am still standing,” she said.
Hayne took the stand as part of the hearing and said he had been poised to sign a new NRL contract with the St George Illawarra Dragons on the day he was charged in 2018.
He said the contract was worth $500,000 but that he was told it would not be going ahead due to a “media frenzy”.
The former NRL player Tim Mannah was next on the stand, giving evidence for the defence.
He provided a reference for his former teammate describing their shared love of the bible and Christian faith.
Defence barrister Richard Pontello used his submission to talk up Hayne’s reconnecting with his faith.
Mr Pontello also highlighted that there could be extra-curial punishment because Hayne was a high-profile offender whose career had been destroyed.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.17: The verdict comes as the mainland is increasingly cracking down on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms: Several other activists were sentenced on Friday for participating in two demonstrations, on 18 August and 31 August 2019: They include veteran campaigner Martin Lee, 82, and lawyer Margaret Ng, 73, whose sentences were suspended:
Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai sentenced to 14 months for pro-democracy protests: ‘ Mr Lai was one of several activists in court on Friday who were earlier found guilty of charges relating to large pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019’
‘Hong Kong billionaire risking it all by speaking out & the 73-year-old founder of Apple Daily is a fierce critic of Beijing’
Earlier this week, Mr Lai’s Apple Daily newspaper published a handwritten letter by him, sent from prison, which read: “It is our responsibility as journalists to seek justice. As long as we are not blinded by unjust temptations, as long as we do not let evil get its way through us, we are fulfilling our responsibility.”
Mr Lai was sentenced to 12 months for the 18 August demonstration and another eight months for 31 August. However, the judge ordered for the sentences to be served concurrently except for two months. Former lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan was also jailed for both demonstrations.
The tycoon faces another six charges – two of which were imposed under the country’s new National Security Law, which can carry a maximum term of life in prison. It is possible that prosecutors could file further charges against him.
The law, implemented in Hong Kong by China last year, criminalises secession and subversion. Earlier this month, Beijing overhauled the territory’s electoral rules to ensure more loyalty to the mainland.
Getty ImagesFormer lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan speaks to pro-democracy activists at the courthouse prior to the sentencing
Thumbs-up from the audience
By Grace Tsoi, BBC News, Hong Kong
Some of the most long-standing and well-known activists were in the dock today. Except Jimmy Lai, all of them were elected legislators.
At 82, Martin Lee was the oldest defendant. Often called as the “father of democracy” in Hong Kong, he is also the most senior barrister in the city.
The court was filled with their families, friends and supporters. Before the hearing started, some in the audience stood up, waved to the defendants and gave them a thumbs-up.
Jimmy Lai appeared to be calm during sentencing, even though he had been charged with two additional charges earlier today.
But one of the most striking parts of the hearing came in the speech delivered by Margaret Ng, a barrister who served as a lawmaker representing the legal profession for nearly two decades, after discharging her lawyer during mitigation.
Adapting a quote from Thomas More who was executed by King Henry VIII, she said: “I stand the law’s good servant but the people’s first. For the law must serve the people, not the people the law.”
There was a round of applause from the audience after her speech.
During sentencing, the judge said: “Actions have consequences for everyone irrespective of who they are.”
Five of the defendants have to be sent to jail as they didn’t get suspended sentences. When they left the dock, many in the audience waved and cried out, “Stay strong!”
What have they been sentenced for?
The sentencing is part of a series of trials all relating to the large-scale pro-democracy protests two years ago.
In 2019, protests culminated in the most tense wave of demonstrations in years, often ending in widespread violence between police and activists.
EPAPro-Beijing supporters have been celebrating the sentences
The pro-democracy campaigners were already found guilty of unauthorised assembly earlier this month.
Their defence team had argued that freedom of assembly is protected under Hong Kong’s constitution, and that authorities had approved a demonstration which only then grew into the unauthorised march.
The prosecution argued that freedom of assembly – while granted in the constitution – was not absolute in Hong Kong.
Mr Lai is one of the most prominent supporters of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement – and faces separate charges under Beijing’s national security law.
Estimated to be worth more than $1bn (£766m), he made his initial fortune in the clothing industry and later ventured into media and founded Next Digital.
Next Digital publishes Apple Daily, a well-read tabloid which is frequently critical of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese leadership.
In a local media landscape increasingly fearful of Beijing, Mr Lai has been a persistent thorn for China – both through his publications and writing.
It has seen him become a hero for many residents in Hong Kong but on the mainland he is viewed as a traitor who threatens Chinese national security.
Interviewed by the BBC before his arrest, he said he would not give in to intimidation.
“If they can induce fear in you, that’s the cheapest way to control you and the most effective way and they know it. The only way to defeat the way of intimidation is to face up to fear and don’t let it frighten you.”
‘Ex-Hong Kong Civic Party members charged under national security law call for the party to disband’
Ex-members say their morale is being “eroded day by day” as they await trial.
Four former Civic Party members charged under the national security law have called for the party to disband in an open letter made public on Thursday, saying it “has completed its historical mission.”
Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, Jeremy Tam, and Lee Yue-shun, in the letter to members of the pro-democracy party, said it “has no room for political participation at the level of the Legislative Council (LegCo).” (From left to right) Alvin Yeung, Jeremy Tam, Lee Yue-shun, and Kwok Ka-ki. Photo: Civic Party.
“Earlier in last year’s LegCo election, four people in our six lists were disqualified; three out of four of the legislators disqualified in November were Civic Party members,” the letter read. “…All of you in the district councils might very well face the same destiny. The political truth written on the wall is that the Civic Party has completed its historical mission.”
The news that they had resigned from the party came during their bail hearings last month. Yeung, Kwok, and Tam later announced their decision to leave politics.
“Please forgive and understand our decision to leave the party and make the suggestion to disband [the party]. Things have developed unexpectedly to this stage. As former party members, your peace is our concern,” Thursday’s letter read.
“Soon the Civic Party will have to face the problem of district councillors taking oaths, requiring an imminent decision. Thereafter, we no longer have any role in the Civic Party to give an opinion. We can only wish here that you will act with wisdom, to avoid more members falling into the abyss.”Civic Party members meet the press on July 30, 2020 regarding the disqualification of four members from the 2020 Legislative Council Election. Photo: Civic Party.
The four also said their morale was being “eroded day by day” as they faced “endless waiting and what could be years of trial.” They thanked the members of the Civic Party for their “care and teachings over the years.”
In a response to the open letter, the Civic Party said that after “in-depth discussion” it had decided not to disband.
“We have communicated sincerely within the party on multiple occasions,” the response read. “After repeated and in-depth discussion [we] decided to preserve the Civic Party and actively reform our direction of development.”
“[We] hope to continue to walk with Hong Kong people, justice, and conscience.”
Martin Lee, the veteran of Hong Kong’s struggle for more political rights, is the founding chairman of the Democratic Party.
Known as the father of Hong Kong democracy, he said in 2020 he was “very much relieved” by his arrest.
EPAMartin Lee was the most senior defendant
“For so many years, so many months, so many good youngsters were arrested and charged, while I was not arrested. I feel sorry about it,” he added.
Many of the others had been at the heart of the pro-democracy struggle for years dating back to the Umbrella Movement in 2014 and even further.
Leung Kwok-hung, known as “Long Hair”, was a member of the city’s parliament, the Legislative Council (LegCo) and even once tried to run as chief executive, the territory’s highest office.
Margaret Ng was a key figure in the Civic Party, another opposition group pitted against Beijing’s rising influence and also served several years in LegCo.
What’s the background to this?
Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997, and the Basic Law was created under the handover agreement under the “one country, two systems” principle.
This is supposed to protect certain freedoms for Hong Kong: freedom of assembly and speech, an independent judiciary and some democratic rights – freedoms that no other part of mainland China has.
But fears that this model was being eroded led to huge pro-democracy protests in 2019.
Some protests turned violent and in 2020, China introduced a controversial national security law in the territory, criminalising secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces with the maximum sentence life in prison.
Beijing said the law would target “sedition” and bring stability. Since the law has been enacted in June, around 100 people have been arrested, including Mr Lai.