Monday, March 31, 2008

Judge Beverley Lunt

The Burnley/Bacup/Nelson zone, so close to the beautiful Pennine moors, seems like a wee microcosm of modern England, with its cast of smackheads, paedophiles, thieves and unruly (if not downright murderous) gangs, all mixed in with the unique issues that pertain to such a vibrant part of the multicultural UK, and presided over by a bunch of visionary social engineers.

Mixed in with said ne'e'r-do-wells are a lot of ordinary hardworking types, heavily taxed to pay for the social workers, youth workers, solicitors and drug outreach workers of which the former have such need. They only tend to be seen in the comments boxes of the local press, raising metaphorical eyebrows as yet another serious crime is given yet another non-custodial punishment.

I was visting the Burnley Citizen site to find out, in the light of the recent reports on 'grooming', what sentences had been handed down to the gang who kidnapped, beat up, and dumped a fourteen year old schoolboy - for the crime of talking to their (female) cousin at school.

Suspended sentences. Not surprisingly the boy's father is extremely unchuffed.

The court heard that the gang of five set upon the boy because he had been seen talking to one of their cousins. He was hit with a crook lock during the assault and a footprint was left on his face by one of his attackers. After the violence he was left to walk home alone.

But the father of the victim, who has asked not be named, said the sentences, handed out by Judge Andrew Woolman last week, were 'unduly lenient and disappointing'. He said: "I really feel that a golden opportunity has now been lost to send a strong message to the community. I am particularly saddened that it has taken a great deal of effort from my young son, standing up to these people and willing to go to court where others may not have. And all this effort has amounted to nothing. The original attack and in particular the subsequent sentence has been devastating to him. His grades at schools have slipped and he is nervous in unfamiliar places and never allowed to go out unaccompanied"

The father has contacted Lancashire's Crown Prosecution offices in Burnley, urging lawyers to launch an appeal against the sentences. He has paid tribute to the police and prosecutors in bringing the case to court - but feels 'appalled' at the outcome. A Lancashire CPS spokesman said: "We are reviewing the issues which he has raised in his letter."

Where was I ? Ah, yes - the comments. Another of the stories in the Citizen featured a couple of guys who, baseball-batted, hooded and balaclava'd, kicked down a front door to "have a word with" the occupants. Mr Balaclava, Lee Rainford, got sent down (two months - what's that in real money - 3 weeks ?) and Mr Hoodie, Shaun Rushton, got a community order, which he failed to turn up for.

Judge Beverley Lunt told him "you have thrown a chance in the judge's face and I will not stand for that" - before giving him 12 weeks suspended and more community service.

So far, so normal. It was the comments that struck me.

"I KNEW who would have presided over this case before I even opened the link."

"Well what a surprise finding out who the judge was"

"Judge Beverley Lunt - a name that must warm the hearts of all the local thugs and criminals"

She seemed to have quite a fan base. Time for a quick Google. Wow.

"How did I know when I read the headline that this judge would be Judge Beverley Lunt?"

"when i first saw the headlines "troubled youth spared jail" how come my first instincts was to say "It has got to be Beverly Lunt" and sure as glass is glass it was! What is wrong with this woman?"

"I guessed the name of the Judge before I read the report."

When ever a case like this comes up in court and Judge Beverley Lunt is in the chair she gives out outlandishly lenient sentences.

Joseph McDonald had a long record even though he was only 17 and Judge Beverley Lunt said structured assistance from the Probation Service could be just what he needed. Burnley Crown Court heard how the defendant had stole victim Syed Kazmi's money bag and punched him.

The judge warned the defendant: "People who attack taxi drivers in this town must expect a custodial sentence. The courts are going to protect taxi drivers. They are serving the public during unsociable hours."

But she then spared him jail, saying support could help "make a man out of him".

"So, Beverley,you've been duped yet again."

"Beverely Lunt is THE worst judge that this county has had the misfortune to ever meet"

"As soon as I read the headline I knew who the Judge would be"

"Lunt has struck again"

"I saw the headline and thought to myself, I'd put my house on this Judge being let em go LUNT. If only I was a betting man"

"I am now awaiting the approval for a petition that I have set up demanding the resignation of Judge Beverley Lunt on the Downing Street website"

A soldier suffered a fractured skull after he was attacked by a gang in Burnley whilst on leave from the army. Scott Condron, 20, who serves with the Royal Signals Regiment, was punched in the face by drunken Luke Thompson before the gang repeatedly kicked him. Signaller Condron suffered a fracture to his temple as well as cuts and vomited repeatedly after he was taken to hospital, Burnley Crown Court heard.

But a judge decided not to jail Thompson, 18, who pleaded guilty to inflicting grevious bodily harm, for the appalling attack' saying it was time for him to turn his life around.

Judge Beverley Lunt said anybody involved in street fighting with kicking should expect prison and added it was appalling Mr Condron was home for rest and relaxation and was the victim of such an assault. But she said he was working and the authorities prevailed upon judges to impose an alternative if a sentence of 12 months or less could be passed. Judge Lunt said Thompson had had too much to drink and added the number of drink fuelled offences by otherwise responsible young men was becoming frightening. She added it was now the time to turn his life around.


"Here's some more on the judge who appears convinced prisons are so overcrowded that she shouldn't send anybody there...

1 ARMED MUGGING – WALK FREE ONE of a gang of three hooded and masked knifemen who took a mobile phone off a terrified teenager has kept his freedom. Burnley Crown Court heard how Shumel Mahmood (16) was said to be the "main player" in the incident in which all three attackers were armed with multi-tool weapons. Mahmood, of Gordon Street, Burnley, admitted robbery in March. He was given 200 hours of community punishment with £100 costs and £100 compensation.
2 MUGGING & SERIOUS ASSAULT - A CUSTODIAL!!!!! A TEENAGER has been sentenced to five years in jail for a vicious mugging which left a Brierfield man scarred and needing surgery. Baron Paul Newton (19) pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to the July robbery in which he taunted and punched a man in the face as he walked home from a night out in Burnley
And yet a soldier gets beaten to the point where he may lose his career and the criminals WALK!!!!
3. ATTEMPTED MURDER _ WALK FREE A DISTRAUGHT middle-aged mum who knifed her ex-partner after he found a new woman, has walked free from court. Depressed Joan Harris (46) had hidden in victim Harold Bleasdale's garden, armed with a 4in. weapon, before pouncing on him from behind as he walked home with his new girlfriend in the early hours, Burnley Crown Court heard.
So, attempted murder = walk free
4. PUB GLASSING _ WALK FREE A DRUNKEN teenager who glassed a man, leaving him "scarred for life", has kept his freedom - even though a judge slammed him as a menace. Burnley Crown Court heard how Mark Steer (19), of Woone Lane, Clitheroe, immediately rang his victim to apologise. When the police answered, he owned up. Judge Beverly Lunt told Steer he worked hard all week, but then went out, got drunk and was out of control. She went on: "That has to stop and one way is to make sure you don't have the money to do it." Steer admitted wounding in January and had been committed to sentence by Hyndburn magistrates. He was given 52 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, with 12 months' supervision.
6. FRAUD – WALK FREE DVD pirate was so successful he installed CCTV in his garage "store" to deter shoplifters. Hugh Hamer, 59, had 7,500 Hollywood bootlegs with a value of £100,000, on sale for £5 a copy. Trading standards said his garage was like a high street store, selling DVDs, CDs and computer games. The divorced dad-of two, who lives with his mum in Billington, Lancs, also admitted selling ****. Burnley judge Beverly Lunt said: "You have done a wicked thing. Continue and you will go to prison." He was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 250 hours' community work.
7. PUB GLASSING – WALK FREE Kirsty Ryan (22) hit one victim with a glass and then sank her teeth into the landlord as he tried to break up fighting between her and another girl at the New Black Bull pub in Padiham. Burnley Crown Court heard how Ryan had descended into a downward spiral of drink and drugs after her three-year-old daughter was mowed down and killed by a disqualified driver in September last year. This offence was committed just a month after she received a conditional discharge for throwing a vase at her mother's partner. The defendant's barrister told the court how Ryan had struggled to cope with not only her loss, but also the high-profile court case following the accident and the ensuing publicity.
Despite personal tradegy it is somehow OK to go around glassing people and not get locked up…
8. ARSONIST WALKS FREE A woman set fire to her flat after a vodka binge with her partner still sleeping inside, a court was told. Deborah Ryan set fire to curtains on the flat on Albyn Street East, Preston last December. Preston Crown Court prosecutor Paul Cummings said she and her partner George Crompton had been drinking during the day. Eventually she asked him to leave, he refused and fell asleep only to be woken by smoke. Ryan was heard to say: "Let the place burn", Mr Cummings added. Mr Crompton was able to douse the flames and damage was confined to curtains and a window costing about £250 to repair, the court heard. Ryan, 43, pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless arson. Her barrister, Miss Nadine Hope said immediately after the fire she accepted what she had done, in drink, when police arrived at the scene. In her state at the time, she had wanted to harm herself but recklessly started the fire, not intentionally. She had been allowed to stay in the property and was now repaying the costs for the damage to the Housing Association who own it. Miss Hope said her client was successfully fighting an alcohol problem. She also had mental health difficulties. Jude Beverly Lunt told Ryan she could have put her own life, that of her partner and neighbours at risk. She had come close to receiving an immediate prison sentence but the judge told her she had decided to suspend the 12 month term for two years."

But it's this one that takes the biscuit.

On Friday at Burnley Crown Court Judge Beverley Lunt gave Jason Davies a last chance to kick his habit after he admitted twice raiding Nelson fire station on one occasion threatening a firefighter with a screwdriver and violent behaviour.Davies, of Dover Street, Nelson, who had almost 150 previous convictions, also asked for 45 offences carried out to fund his addiction to be considered.

Judge Lunt gave him a suspended jail sentence, 12 months supervision and a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Magistrates had earlier warned Davies who also faced charges of supplying amphetamine he faced jail when they sent the case to crown court.The crown court was told Davies was on bail from a prison term at the time of the fire station break-in, which happened on April 14.

So he was a violent smackhead, with 140+ previous convictions, out on bail when he committed more crime - and Beverley Lunt thought a 150th last chance might just turn him round.

That was Friday morning. Friday afternoon ...

A Nelson man returned from a shopping trip to find a body in his living room.Jacob Sadiq today spoke of his horror at finding drug addict burglar Jason Davies, 33, slumped on the settee of his home in Fir Street, Nelson, following a suspected drug overdose.

Mr Sadiq, 30, returned from a two-hour trip to Nelson town centre to find Davies lying in his living room surrounded by drug paraphernalia.

Just hours earlier, Davies had walked from court after Judge Beverley Lunt gave the career criminal a last chance to kick his addiction.

Mr Sadiq was questioned by detectives but quickly cleared of any involvement in Davies' death.

He said: "I was totally shocked. I was in total disbelief. I thought he was just lying there so I called the police ". I just closed the door straight away. It turned my stomach. I felt sick. He had been foaming at the mouth and the sofas were moved all over the place. He had had a good rummage around."



JuliaM said...

"Mr Sadiq was questioned by detectives but quickly cleared of any involvement in Davies' death."

How nice for poor Mr Sadiq!

Not sure why coming home from a 2 hour trip to find a dead junkie oxygen thief in your house should warrant more than a 'We'll call the council waste removal for you mate, get this taken away right quick!' from the boys in blue...

Anonymous said...

Masterful stuff Laban. Where do they come from, these people? Their long march through the institutions is surely complete now. Or are there new depths to plumb?

Laban said...

No, I think it's going to get worse. If ordinary people start 'taking the law into their own hands' I think we'll find the jails aren't quite as crowded as we thought.

You can see that in the comments re there being plenty of room for pensioners who don't pay council tax.

Anonymous said...

But the pendulum has swung before. At the start of the 19th century we had a high crime wave typified by the London Mob. Yet the Victorian age saw social attitudes change and measures adopted that caused the crime rate to drop to a low at the turn of the 20th.

Surely at some point the pendulum must start to swing back.

Anonymous said...

The Lunt woman is obviously getting a cut of the takings - or she's screwing the local riff-raff.

Anonymous said...

TDK - indeed so, but the measures taken by the Victorians were stern, not to say, severe, punishment allied to a strict moral code that encouraged hypocrisy but maintained a sense of shame. In our, er, wisdom in the 20th c. we decided that no one should ever feel ashamed of anything. The results can be seen clearly here (pdf format), if you scroll down to p.14.

Laban, an excellent post and if I may I would like to link to it from my place.

Brian said...

Is that Burnley rhyming slang?

Thud said...

I thought changing rooms had finished?..or is burnley and interior decor that behind the times.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Beverley will see the good in everyone. Even when there ain't none she goes out of her way to find it.

Anonymous said...

So, Lunt killed this man. If she had sent him down, he would have been less likely to get the drugs which killed him. Way to go, Bev. Personally, it is one less scumbag on the streets and Nelson's crime rate should decline appreciably, but I bet you are mortified.

North Northwester said...

She finally sent one down, Laban. I think she might read you, sometimes.

...Or maybe she was mugged?

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this article, it explains loads. I've just become another of Judge Lunts unsatisfied customers as the people who assaulted me, tried to cut my throat but missed and got my face instead as well as a battering with a plank of wood, have just been sent home. One not even tried, the judge thought he was mistaken for his brother and the other got 12 months supervision. Both these people being long term persistent offenders

Anonymous said...

This detestable woman however jailed a recently widowed man with three kids for over two years for theft. No violence involved in the crime.

Anonymous said...

Lunt the c@@t jailed a man with chronic MS for theft, due to a breakdown after loosing his wife and fearing for his Stephen Calderbank, not a violent man but a heartbroken man, see what this creature did to him.

Anonymous said...

I read Lunt allowed a hooligan who beat up a young squaddie on home leave from Afghanistan to walk free from court, no thought for the soldier and what sacrifices he makes to enable her fat greasy a**e to sit on the bench each day. I read about the guy with MS who she jailed for 26 month over theft, Ok yeah he was wrong to break law but the poor guy was so ill and so desolate from loosing his wife too, I felt so much for that poor little family, much as I did the poor soldier. This woman is a traitor to her own country, I hope Karma soon deals her natural justice's own unique blow.

Anonymous said...

I read she has a soft spot for the violent criminals let's them off, but is tough on financial crime so basically like most British judges Lunt values money over human life, interesting to note she is being studied on these cases by a student friend of mine in China who is writing up a paper on western human rights issues and how judges here evaluate life on such terrible merits.

Anonymous said...

I know what aught to be done to Lunt but looking at her picture in a news item I can only assume I would get done for breaking the international ban on whaling lol!