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Car Fire Mum Had Been 'Terrorised By Gang'

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Mother And Daughter Killed In Car Fire Were Terrorised By Gang Of Youths For Years

http://xr.com/xrnn9jpq3

If you were the head of police, what would you have done? (The family feared retaliation) (Quote: Chris Tew, former assistant chief constable at the force, insisted it was difficult to bring prosecutions against the gang because it was not what the family wanted.)

Being an extreme case, should the English government have provided some sort of relocation assistance for this family?

What steps will England take to help stop this from happening again?
post #2 of 10
That story hits hard, because my youngest daughter is similarly disabled, and yes, those members of our society are too vulnerable. Here in the States, we have Victim-Witness programs that shield the victims and help them relocate. I know that Americans are considered lawsuit-happy (sometimes true - we frequently get calls from people who want to get monetary compense for some very trivial things ) but I hope that Anthony is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the police - it may not get him any money, but it may spur some legislation that will correct the problem.....
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1atsite View Post
If you were the head of police, what would you have done? (The family feared retaliation) (Quote: Chris Tew, former assistant chief constable at the force, insisted it was difficult to bring prosecutions against the gang because it was not what the family wanted.)
I saw this on the news and it's disgusting!

The police IMO should have acted on it, and quick!. And yes, they should have relocated them. They relocate children who have murdered such as the ones who murdered James Bulger along with giving them new identities and their not the victims!!

The family were scared for Goodness sake, so it's not rocket science why they never wanted to prosecute.........is it Mr Tew!!
post #4 of 10
I read this in the papers and it showed extracts of the mothers diary of events i was disgusted by what the people did. the poor family were terrified!!

the police want to be very ashamed of themselves and to a certain extent the local council theres many ways in which the system had let the family down
post #5 of 10
That is so awful! It also reflects badly on the police for their inaction. It shouldn't matter whether the family didn't want to prosecute because of the fear of retaliation... Did the police know that the family was afraid of retaliation? If so, shame on them!
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
Did the police know that the family was afraid of retaliation? If so, shame on them!
I assume they did know. Police are overall a smart bunch. Okay, so the family was not comfortable pressing charges against the gang of "yobs" but if the community banded together, wouldn't it be possible to have the community as a whole file the lawsuit ? there's strength in numbers. here in America, if you look at litigation, you'll often see "State of Wisconsin v. blahblahblah person" for example. So entire states are able to press charges (someone in the U.K. please define "yobs" for us. I can only guess what it means since I'm American. the word "yobs" was used in other webpages about the Fiona Pilkington case) If the community where Ms. Pilkington and Frankie lived had banded together and took action as a united front, who knows, they might still be alive.
post #7 of 10
Yob = thug.

I find this story so difficult; we drove by the car that night, it could be seen ablaze from over half a mile away. The fire brigade were just turning into the layby as we passed. Because of the area we assumed somebody had stolen the car and set it alight.

I would be very surprised if the community as a whole wanted to do anything about what she and her family went through - the people giving out the abuse would have been the very people who constitute the "community".

I was so shocked when I turned on the news the next morning and the police were appealing for witnesses to what was suspected, at the time, to be a double murder. We gave our account, but it felt inadequate somehow. I feel terrible for her, that the emphasis on the "rights" of people often means that respect for rights gives a misplaced emphasis to those who make the lives of others a misery. I am so keen to emphasise to my students that every "right" has a correlative "duty" -if only that was made clearer.

The image of that fire haunts me to this day.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
And yes, they should have relocated them. They relocate children who have murdered such as the ones who murdered James Bulger along with giving them new identities and their not the victims!!
That still burns me to know those boys are free adults now, and the cost to the taxpayers to make their lives comfortable and safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flisssweetpea View Post
I would be very surprised if the community as a whole wanted to do anything about what she and her family went through - the people giving out the abuse would have been the very people who constitute the "community".

I was so shocked when I turned on the news the next morning and the police were appealing for witnesses to what was suspected, at the time, to be a double murder. We gave our account, but it felt inadequate somehow. I feel terrible for her, that the emphasis on the "rights" of people often means that respect for rights gives a misplaced emphasis to those who make the lives of others a misery. I am so keen to emphasise to my students that every "right" has a correlative "duty" -if only that was made clearer.
Beth, I can only imagine how the image still haunts you.
Kudos to you for trying to instill a sense of duty in your students too. IMO that's a huge problem for society today - the lack of any responsibility and obligation to society as a whole, it's all about our individual rights and freedoms.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1atsite View Post
here in America, if you look at litigation, you'll often see "State of Wisconsin v. blahblahblah person" for example. So entire states are able to press charges
That doesn't mean the citizens of that state voted to sue them or whatever--it's like People v. Whoever, it just means that the district attorney's office, at least ostensibly on behalf of the people, initiated the proceedings, which is the case is criminal proceedings. Such a case has either already been investigated by the police (which is generally initiated by the victim's police report, though sometimes it starts in other ways like a bystander report or 911 call), or the victim bypassed the police and convinced the district attorney's office to file the charges.

I believe that in the UK, and in those former British territories that didn't shoot back such as Australia, the equivalent of "People v. Whoever" is "Crown v. Whoever" because of different underlying assumptions about who is represented by government actions such as initiating criminal proceedings. (Things I learned from watching JAG.)

Now, the community could pass the hat to retain a lawyer to sue the gang members in civil court (e.g. Judge Judy), with those members of the community who can show damages (such as vandalism) as the plaintiffs; however, penalties in civil court are generally financial only, unless anyone committs flat-out dumbassery of a level that constitutes contempt of court in which case they can be imprisoned for a limited amount of time.

Theoretically, it would be possible for the community to petition the district attorney (or equivalent) to file charges without the victim's official complaint, however to the best of my understanding such a case would be unlikely to be successful because the effect on the victim's state of mind is critical to harassment cases, and you really can't get that without victim testimony.

Final disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer; my legal training is from Perry Mason, Matlock, Judge Judy, People's Court, JAG, Judging Amy, Law and Order, etc., and I'm pretty sure you can't pass the bar exam with a JD-by-Barcalounger.
post #10 of 10
I am a lawyer in the UK (although I no longer practise).

You are right, in the UK, criminal prosecutions are instigated by the Crown and are written as R v (whoever). It is said aloud as Crown v (whoever). R meaning Rex or Regina depending whether it is a King or Queen on the throne at the time.

It is possible for their to be a private prosecution where an individual brings the prosecution, but if I remember correctly this must be somebody with locus standi - in other words the legal standing to bring the claim. I.e. somebody directly associated with it.

Again, in the UK, an individual could bring civil proceedings, but this would be for a civil remedy, as you rightly say normally monetary compensation. Again, this must be brought by somebody who has lost something as a result of the actions or suffered some other kind of damage directly.
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