RADICAL FEMINISTS 3
|FIRST PICTURE OF MOTHER CHARGED WITH KILLING 3 YR OLD DAUGHTER WITH ACID DRINK
This is the first picture of the mother accused of murdering her three year old daughter as she arrived for court this morning.
Iman Omar Yousef appeared before magistrates at Sutton Coldfield Magistrates court charged with murder.
Yousef, who is known locally as Niman Mohamood, is accused of killing her daughter, Alia Ahmed Jama.
The 24-year-old, who could not be seen in the public gallery, only spoke to confirm her name, age and address.
It is feared the girl may have drunk or inhaled acid or had her body burned by a hazardous substance found at the address.
Yousef, of Birmingham, was remanded in custody until her next hearing at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.
Fresh tributes were placed by a tree today in front of the home of the toddler who was allegedly burnt by acid.
Flowers, teddy bears and cards appeared overnight in a makeshift memorial.
There was an outpouring of emotion after ghastly details of Alia's tragic death were revealed.
Strangers and neighbours left heartfelt cards to honour the child's memory.
One tribute read: 'To a precious little 'angel'. May your little soul be at peace. Sleep tight xxx'
Most of the cards were left anonymously. Another tribute said: 'Rest in peace sweet angel. Heaven is a richer place.'
A pink teddy bear placed at the scene by a neighbour included a note that said: 'To a special little girl who deserved so much more in life. Sweet dreams. God Bless xxx'
More heartfelt good byes to the vivacious little girl were left with bouquets.
One card said: 'To a beautiful little princess gone too soon. Now you're in God's hands. May your beautiful soul be at peace now. You'll shine bright with the stars. R.I.P. baby girl xxx'
Police were still stationed outside the home while a forensic team continued its investigation inside the residence to verify what substance was used and whether it caused or contributed to Alia's death.
A spokesman said: 'Extensive medical and forensic testing is continuing today to ascertain what the 'substance' is and whether it caused or contributed to Alia's death.
'The investigation continues apace today. Detectives, forensic experts and local officers continue their quest to find out what happened to this little girl.'
Yousef was arrested after the youngster's body was discovered at about 5.30pm on Saturday.
Forensic officers and specially-trained hazardous chemicals officers took samples of the unidentified substance over the weekend.
Last night neighbours described their horror at the tragedy in the home of what they described as 'happy, nice and respectable' young professionals.
Helen Gilfoyle, a 42-year-old teacher who lives a few doors away, said: 'She was a lovely happy little girl with braids in her hair. Every now and again she would see my cat in the front garden and chase after him, but always in a very playful way.
'I used to see them going up the road most days and they seemed like a normal mother and daughter.'
Neighbour Sharon McCourt added: 'It's so sad what's happened, that a young life has gone.
'The couple who lived in the house looked like a respectable, nice couple. They have lived there for six months, but they keep themselves to themselves.'
Local resident Richard Bartlett said: 'It's so bizarre. I would see the little girl and her mother walking up the road almost every day as she took her home, presumably from nursery.'
|MOTHER ARRESTED OVER ACID ATTACK ON DEAD 3 YR OLD DAUGHTER
Acid link in Birmingham girl murder inquiry
Detectives are exploring the possibility a three-year-old girl from Birmingham may have been killed with acid, the BBC understands.
A woman in her 20s, believed to be the child's mother, has been arrested in connection with the girl's death.
Police discovered the child's body at a house in Milverton Road, Erdington, on Saturday evening.
Police said they were investigating whether a hazardous substance found at the scene had caused the death.
A post-mortem examination has failed to determine the cause of death.
Ch Insp Mark Payne, of West Midlands Police, said: "During the search of the house we came across a hazardous substance and officers and colleagues from West Midlands Fire Service helped in the removal of [it].
"Part of the forensic testing was establishing whether that hazardous substance was used during the death of the child."
Further toxicology and forensic tests are due to be carried out on the child's body.
Mr Payne said: "The death of the little girl in suspicious circumstances has led to an immediate and comprehensive investigation.
"Detectives, forensic experts and local officers are working together to establish how the girl died and who is responsible."
|WOMAN WHO CRIED RAPE AFTER SEX IN PUBLIC TOILET WALKS FREE FROM COURT
A woman who accused a student of rape after dragging him into a public toilet for sex was spared jail today.
HERE'S WHAT THE EVIL FEMINIST BBC PUMP OUT IN RESPONSE
Bisexual Sarah-Jane Hilliard, 20, seduced Grant Bowers when the two bumped into each other during a night clubbing.
Mr Bowers, also 20, attacked the 'ridiculous' suspended jail sentence she has been given.
He was arrested and thrown into a police cell after she claimed she had been attacked.
It was more than a week later that he learned he would not be charged - during which time Hilliard, who was in a relationship with a woman at the time, had already contacted the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in the hope of claiming up to £7,500.
Similar cases typically attract jail terms of between four and 12 months. But Hilliard walked away from court with a 12-month sentence suspended for two years, despite forcing her victim to give evidence at a trial because she refused to admit perverting the course of justice.
Furious Mr Bowers - who is afraid to speak to women since the false allegations - said: 'It's absolutely ridiculous. That's not even a slap on the wrist.
'She's been let off and I'm still having to sneak around because there are still people after me who think I did it.'
His father Tony, 48, added he was 'dumbfounded', saying: 'My son was facing up to ten years in prison for rape on the strength of her lies. The least I expected was for her to have been given a prison sentence.
'My son cannot come and visit his parents unless it is under the cover of darkness, he's lost his flat, and we cannot even know where he is living for his own protection.
'He is the victim and he has lost his freedom yet she has still got hers.'
During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Jackson read extracts from Mr Bower's victim impact statement, which said the teenager sat crying in police custody fearing he was going to prison.
He told the court: 'This incident has changed him. He speaks of his lack of confidence approaching young women, not trusting them and having trouble sleeping.
'He was physically sick through worry, constantly teary and feeling like he wanted to cry.'
Hilliard, from Basildon, Essex, told police she bumped into Mr Bowers at a nightclub called Liquid in the town on July 26, 2008.
She claimed she shared a taxi with him and a friend before stopping at the railway station to use the toilet.
The telephone sales worker, who had been drinking, said she went into a cubicle and the next thing she remembered was waking to find her underwear and trousers around her ankles.
She claimed she only realised she had been raped when Mr Bowers sent her a text message the following day in which he mentioned they had 'gone all the way'.
Mr Bowers, also from Basildon, was arrested on July 30, 2008, at his father's home and taken to a police station where he had DNA swabs taken, as well as fingerprints and mugshots. He then spent four hours in a cell before being interviewed for two hours.
Hilliard's lie began to unravel when police were unable to find CCTV footage of the pair leaving the club.
'The last 11 months have been horrendous. I've lost all my self-confidence and I can't speak to women any more. I don't know why she did it but her lies have ruined my life'
A friend of hers eventually admitted they had been at another nightclub, called Colors, and detectives trawled through more CCTV footage before discovering footage of Hilliard and Mr Bowers, who was 19 at the time, kissing and holding hands before leaving.
Eight days after the rape allegation was made, officers contacted the teenager to tell him they believed his version of events before arresting Hilliard.
She was convicted in May last year after college student Mr Bowers told a jury at Basildon Crown Court he had walked to the station with Hilliard and she pulled him into a cubicle for unprotected sex.
Afterwards, she warned he had 'better be there for the baby' if she fell pregnant.
Judge Christopher Mitchell gave Hilliard the suspended sentence, ordered her to carry out 300 hours unpaid work, and pay £2,000 costs after hearing she had 'deeply personal issues' including suffering abuse from a relative.
Jacqueline Carey, defending, added since the conviction her client had been assaulted by two men, had the word 'bitch' scratched onto her car, and lost friends and her partner.
Miss Carey said she had also suffered 'extremely unpleasant' comments on Facebook, saying: 'One wished Miss Hilliard had been raped then she would understand what rape victims went through.'
Describing her client as 'hard working', she added that she had a number of 'deeply personal issues'.
'Since her conviction, her relationship with her partner has ceased and a number of friends, due to the publicity, are no longer friends with her.'
Judge Mitchell acknowledged that Hilliard had problems: 'I have come to the conclusion that the doctor is right in saying you ought not to go to prison.'
But he warned: 'This case is no precedent at all for future cases of women who make up false allegations of rape.
'You alleged that you had been raped and as a consequence of that allegation, a young man was arrested, held in custody for four hours, interviewed and subsequently bailed.
'But for six or seven days thereafter he had the concern, the worry, the fear that he was going to be charged with rape when he knew perfectly well that you had consented to the intercourse and that you, on his account, had frankly initiated it.'
The judge added: 'False allegations of rape have a terrible knock-on effect.
'When women who have actually been raped make complaints there is always the background of people like you who have made false allegations and that's why it's considered so serious.'
Last year a GP was spared jail by Judge Christopher Mitchell despite smacking female patients’ bottoms, grilling them about their sex lives, and pressing his groin against a Swedish student's arm.
Married Rajinder Aggarwal, 54, was instead ordered to pay £3,000 and do 80 hours of unpaid work.
Hilliard refused to comment as she left court.
|PROFESSOR CHARGED WITH KILLING THREE CO-WORKERS SHOT HER OWN BROTHER IN 1986
Amy Bishop, the professor charged with Capital Murder for allegedly killing three co-workers, also shot and killed her own brother in 1986.
Amy Bishop Anderson was never charged for killing her brother?
At the time, the shooting of her teenage brother in their Massachusetts home was ruled an accident, but the police in Braintree, Mass, have lost the reports detailing the incident.
According to Paul Frazier, the Braintree Police Chief, Bishop fired three shots, one hitting her 18 year old brother, and two hitting her bedroom wall. Frazier also said that after taking Bishop into custody, the former Police Chief, John Polio, told officers to release her.
Polio disputes this account, saying that he gave no such order.
|TARZANA WOMAN SET FIRE TO WOMAN IN BIKINI BAR FEUD
Wannabe dancer found guilty of setting fire to woman in bikini bar feud
Roberta Dos Santos Busby of Simi Valley spent five months in the hospital and underwent 30 operations since the Feb. 5, 2009 attack outside a bikini bar.
VAN NUYS - A Tarzana woman was found guilty Thursday of dousing an exotic dancer and single mother with gasoline and setting her on fire last year outside the Tarzana bikini bar Babes N' Beer.
Rianne Theriault-Odom, 28, who had been rejected as a dancer at the club, faces mandatory life sentences for the guilty verdicts of one count each of aggravated mayhem and torture. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury acquitted her of a third count, attempted murder and the lesser charge of attempted voluntary manslaughter.
"I'm satisfied that the jury listened to all the evidence and obviously deliberated thoroughly and held the defendant accountable," said prosecutor Marcus Musante, with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.
Rianne Theriault-Odom, 28, of Tarzana was found guilty Feb. 11, 2010, in an attack on a bikini dancer last year in which she doused the woman with gasoline and set her on fire outside a Tarzana bar.
"All you can ask for is that justice be carried out."
Based on testimony and evidence during the trial, the prosecution might renew an investigation into a possible accomplice in the case, Musante said.
The victim, Roberta Dos Santos Busby, sat in the Van Nuys courtroom with her mother and aunt, looking down and holding a tissue to her tear-stricken face as the verdict was read.
"I was angry at first that they didn't convict her of all the counts," Busby, 28, said after the verdict. "But I'm happy they convicted on the other (counts), and that she will be punished for what she did.
"She will be spending the rest of her life in prison."
Busby, a single mother of two from Simi Valley, spent five months in the hospital and underwent 30 operations after the Feb. 5, 2009, attack. The burn and skin-graft scars were still strikingly visible on her legs and face as she sat in the courtroom.
The defendant listened to the verdict in silence, at times biting her lips.
Minutes before the jury entered the courtroom to read the verdict, Theriault-Odom's public defender, Leni Jacobs, approached Busby and her mother and aunt to console them. She told Busby she had been courageous throughout the ordeal.
"You're incredible," Jacobs told Busby.
"I just want it over," Busby replied.
Jacobs, who was holding back her own tears and took tissues to Busby's mother, later said:
"The jurors were very good. They deliberated for quite a long time and, you know, we respect their verdict."
Musante also indicated that prosecutors may now go back and reassess whether to charge Nathaniel Marquis Petrillo, 23, of Reseda.
Authorities originally sought Petrillo along with Theriault-Odom in the attack, and they were arrested together. But prosecutors decided at that time they did not have enough evidence to charge Petrillo.
Petrillo, however, figured prominently during testimony and in surveillance video documenting the attack.
"The jury (said it) looked at him and thought he was involved," Musante said after the verdict. "And we're going to take another look at him."
The jury of five men and seven women deliberated over three days, at times asking that testimony be read back to or video be played for them.
On Thursday morning they requested to see a portion of the surveillance video taken outside the club, but by the time the footage was delivered to the jury room, they canceled the request, announcing they had reached a verdict.
Superior Court Judge Susan M. Speer set sentencing for March 4.
During the trial, witnesses said that Theriault-Odom, who had been rejected for a job at Babes N' Beer, had feuded with Busby and felt disrespected by her.
Theriault-Odom testified that "I felt offended - I felt she was trying to punk me. I had to stand up for myself. That's the way it is on the streets."
She also testified to being "very drunk" on the evening before the 1:45 a.m. attack, saying she had consumed two double shots of Russian vodka, half a fifth of Patron tequila and five shots of Hennessey cognac.
She denied, however, setting the dancer on fire. Instead, she testified that while she scuffled with Busby outside the club, she was not the one who doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.
But witnesses identified Theriault-Odom as the assailant, saying they saw her douse Busby with gasoline from a bottle, pull out a lighter and try three times before setting her on fire.
Surveillance video was shown of Busby running into the bar on fire - "like a human torch," Musante said - as frantic club workers tried several times to put out the flames.
The defendant's mother was not in the courtroom Thursday, but said in an interview Wednesday that she did not believe her daughter committed the attack.
"There isn't any doubt in my mind that my daughter didn't do this, knowing how she was raised," said Elizabeth Odom of Van Nuys.
"I think she was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. She's a sweet girl. Never in my mind would I think that she would be somebody who could do anything like this."
|MOTHER ARRESTED AFTER SON 12 FOUND DEAD IN BARKING
A 44-year-old mother has been arrested on suspicion of murder after her 12-year-old son was found fatally injured at his home.
Police and ambulance services went to the property in Barking, east London, after the child's mother dialled 999 at about 2230 GMT on Tuesday.
The boy was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital, but pronounced dead a short time later.
The woman was arrested following medical examinations at the hospital.
A second boy, aged 11, was also discovered at the property unharmed.
He has been taken into the care of social services.
It is understood that the dead boy was not stabbed or shot but had visible injuries.
A post-mortem examination was due to be held at East Ham Mortuary at 1400 GMT on Wednesday.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's child abuse major investigation team are responsible for the inquiry.
Police declined to give further details of the location of the murder as they tried to trace the boy's next of kin.
|CURRY POISONING WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER
A woman has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering her lover of 16 years by poisoning his curry.
Lakhvir Singh, 45, killed Lakhvinder Cheema, 39, who died hours after eating the meal with his new fiancee at his home in Feltham, west London, in 2009.
Singh was found not guilty of the attempted murder of Gurjeet Choongh, 22, but was convicted of causing her grievous bodily harm.
Singh could not bear the thought of her lover's marriage to another woman.
Mr Cheema and Miss Choongh, who had been due to marry on Valentine's Day 2009, fell ill in January after eating leftover curry which had been in the fridge of their home.
Within hours, Mr Cheema was dead and Miss Choongh was fighting for her life after being poisoned with Indian aconite - known as the Queen of Poisons.
After her arrest Singh, a mother of three, tried to blame her brother-in-law Varinder for the death.
But a lodger at the house saw her take a container with the curry out of the fridge earlier in the day, the court heard.
Edward Brown, QC, prosecuting, said: "Perhaps jealousy, anger and revenge all playing their part, Lakhvir Singh decided to poison them using an extremely toxic and deadly poison, possibly brought especially from India."
The court heard that after the engagement became final in November 2008, Singh went to India and returned three weeks later. Another week later, Mr Cheema was taken to hospital.
|FEMALE TEACHER CHARGED WITH INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR
WESTCHASE — The mother became suspicious of Tammy Renee Clinton when she started showing up at the parent-teacher conferences.
Her son, the mother said, was not in any of Clinton's classes at Farnell Middle School.
Yet the eighth-grade geography teacher seemed to always be around her son, the mother said.
So she sat him down and asked if everything was okay. She repeated a lesson she had taught him early on: "If you can't tell me what's happening, you have to tell somebody."
He did. Authorities say he told a school official last week that Clinton's made sexual advances. Then, he told his mother everything.
During a tearful interview at their home Monday afternoon, the mother, whom the St. Petersburg Times is not identifying because of the nature of the charges, talked about her suspicions, how proud she is of her son for stepping forward and about the blind trust students have for teachers.
"(My son) is not the bad person here," the mother said. "He's not the type of person who makes things up. Reporting it was excruciating and painful. He relied on her and he trusted her."
Clinton, 39, of 15613 Eastbourn Drive in Odessa, is accused of forcing the boy to touch her breasts as she groped his buttocks and of trying twice to arrange to meet him off campus for sexual activity, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies arrested Clinton on Thursday on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct. She has been released on $30,000 bail. Clinton, who could not be reached for comment on Monday, was suspended by the school district with pay.
She is at least the sixth female Hillsborough teacher arrested in recent years on charges involving inappropriate sexual behavior with students.
There are no other known victims in this case, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Clinton taught at Farnell for eight years. She was a popular teacher who wore fashionable clothes that her students also found cool — especially her Chuck Taylor Converse shoes.
The mother said she became so concerned about Clinton's behavior that she started asking about her background at school.
"She seems very involved in his education. Who is she?" the mother recalled asking. "Why is she giving him so much attention?"
In addition to Clinton's presence at his conferences, there were many other instances, other red flags, that made the mother uneasy, but she would not say what they were because the case is still under investigation.
Principal John Cobb sent out a recorded message to parents Thursday evening alerting them to the arrest. There was no school Friday, so parents and students were left wondering — and talking — for three days. Cobb called the family Sunday night to check on the boy's welfare, his mother said. The boy did not want to go to school Monday, but changed his mind.
On the way to school, she warned him that people were going to talk. "People are going to say, 'we know what happened,' " she said. "They're just words. You don't engage in that."
Indeed, at school, rumors and gossip swirled, students said, but teachers kept a tight lid on it.
Patricia Dunnerparker, whose son is in seventh grade at Farnell, said they used the opportunity over the weekend to discuss bullying, self-awareness and inappropriate behavior.
"If you feel awkward, speak up," she told him. "And whatever you hear about what may have happened, don't repeat it."
Jill Amore, president of the Farnell PTSA, said she was glad her daughter attends Farnell.
"I know she feels very safe," Amore sad. "We have a wonderful guidance staff and wonderful teachers. It's a tragedy that it happened at all."
The boy's mother, meanwhile, said she believes that instructors are becoming too chummy with their pupils.
"As parents, we have to be looking harder and deeper into the types of relationships that could develop between teachers and their students," she said. "I just hope (Clinton) gets whatever help she needs."
|MOTHER STARVED AND NEGLECTED BABY DAUGHTER WHO DIED UNNOTICED
A JAILED mum who failed to notice her daughter had been dead for two days says the tragic tot she starved and neglected was a "little angel" - and that her cruel partner was "a fabulous husband".
In an astonishing series of letters written from behind bars Sabrina Hirst, now aged 23, admitted she failed her "precious first-born little girl" Tiffany Wright.
But she added: "I miss her so much and would give anything to have her back in my life."
Hirst locked away her tiny three-year-old for hours on end in a squalid flat above The Scarbrough Arms in Upperthorpe, Sheffield, failed to feed her, and left the toddler to fend for herself.
Tiffany, who had not put on any weight at all in the last year of her life, had been dead for up to two days when her lifeless body was finally noticed by her mother and stepfather Robert Hirst. She was covered in insect bites, in a flat infested with beetles and soiled with dog excrement and dirty nappies, and was lying on a filthy bed without covers.
She had not been fed for at least 20 hours, and had been suffering bronchial pneumonia - a condition more commonly associated with famine victims - for which her parents got her no medical help.
Sabrina Hirst was jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Robert Hirst, now 46, was locked up for child cruelty. The couple had initially been charged with murder.
In one letter penned from prison to a relative five days after her arrest, Sabrina Hirst - then eight months' pregnant - lamented: "Six months ago I had it all - a fabulous husband, two gorgeous children, one little bump on the way, a home albeit not a good one, and a steady job.
"Now I've lost my precious first-born little girl. I miss her so much and would give anything to have her back in my life."
A few weeks later, in another letter, she admitted she "failed my little angel" but then tried to turn the sympathy on herself, complaining: "I feel totally lost, lonely and empty.
"Someone up there must really hate me, always has and probably always will. Why did it all have to fall apart?"
In her most recent letter she said she plans to collect Tiffany's ashes from a funeral parlour where she has asked for them to be kept until her release from jail.
"I've got the most important thing in the world waiting for me when I get out and that's Tiffany," she said.
Hirst, from Shirecliffe, gave birth to Tiffany in 2004, and in one of her letters said the tot was "the only good thing to come out of my teenage years".
She added: "I was so happy. She finally gave me something good in my life."
But at the time of Tiffany's death Hirst, who worked in the pub she and her husband ran, had been preoccupied with worries her partner was cheating on her, and discovered he was still seeing his ex-wife and children.
In one of her letters from prison she wrote: "When Rob wasn't away with his other family he was on the phone to them or texting them and lying to me about where he was going or meeting them in secret."
On her daughter's last day alive Hirst was heard on the phone discussing concerns about her dog's weight and its feeding problems, while Tiffany starved upstairs.
A Serious Case Review criticised social services and other child care professionals for the way the youngster slipped through the net.
|SOCIALITE MOTHER MURDERS SON, 8 IN NEW YORK HOTEL
A wealthy New York socialite is suspected of killing her eight-year-old son in a botched murder-suicide attempt at one of Manhattan's most luxurious hotels.
Police found the body of Gigi Jordan's only child hotel face up on the bed near his mother in a £1,500-a-night suite at the five-star Peninsula hotel on Fifth Avenue.
She was 'babbling incoherently' after downing a cocktail of pills, according to U.S. reports, but survived.
The multi-millionaire claimed to have donated most of her fortune to charities helping Haiti earthquake victims in the hours before her suicide attempt.
The boy, named as Michael Jude, was discovered in his pyjamas and 'foaming at the mouth' from an apparent drug overdose, police said. He had been dead for a day.
His mother is thought to have fed him prescription drugs and spent the night with his body before trying to kill herself, insiders told the New York Daily News.
Police who broke into her suite on the hotel's 16th floor found hundreds of pills and a bizarre two-page suicide note in which Jordan, 49, suggested her son was a rape victim and was 'in constant pain'.
She wrote: 'I can tell you the only true happy moment in my life was when Jude was born. He was all the love I ever had in my life.
'I hope Jude is in a better place.'
Belgian-born Jordan was said to be upset after the collapse of her marriage to second husband Emil Tzekov, a pharmaceuticals executive.
She checked into the exclusive hotel, which boasts a rooftop pool popular with celebrities such as Rod Stewart, on Wednesday.
Hotel insiders said she paid in cash, ordered room service and then barricaded herself in the room for two days with furniture propped behind the door.
The boy's aunt in Belgium alerted police in New York yesterday after Jordan sent a number of disturbing emails in which she threatened to kill herself and her son.
Officers first went to her apartment in the city's famous Trump Tower complex overlooking Central Park before tracking her to the Peninsula.
She was rushed to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital in a critical condition, and was later arrested.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said Jordan had already 'made statements implicating herself in her son's death'.
Jordan's rambling note reportedly hinted that her son, who reportedly had autism, had been the victim of a paedophile ring, and directed police to examine her computer for further details.
She also said she had sent a $12 million donation (£7.7 million) to Doctors Without Borders and $8 million (£5.1 million) to the Red Cross for Haiti relief before the apparent murder-suicide attempt.
The remaining $7.5 million in her estate, she wrote, could 'be used for some better purpose in society.'
Jordan is set to undergo a psychiatric examination today.
|AUSTRALIAN MOTHER DROWNS TWO SONS IN BATH IN BITTER CANADIAN CUSTODY BATTLE
Two Alberta boys found dead this week in their home were victims of homicide, police said.
RCMP confirmed Wednesday that Connor and Jayden McConnell, aged 2½ and 10 months, died in their home in Millet, Alta., about 40 kilometres south of Edmonton.
The bodies of the two boys were found by their father Monday afternoon.
Investigators are not releasing the cause of death. No charges have yet been laid in connection with the deaths.
Boys subject of custody fight between their parents
The parents of the two boys were in the midst of a divorce and custody battle, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.
A neighbour of the McConnells told CBC News on Tuesday that she had seen the bodies of the boys on the floor of the bathroom in the family's home in Millet, a town of about 2,100, 40 kilometres south of Edmonton.
She said the boys' father, Curtis McConnell, 31, told her he found their bodies in the bathtub.
Court documents show that Curtis and Allyson McConnell, who got married in Australia in January 2007, separated in November 2009 and began divorce proceedings in December.
According to the documents, Allyson McConnell, 31, wanted to take the children back to her native Australia, where her family lives and where she would be entitled to government support and have better prospects of generating more income than in Canada.
In her statement of defence and counterclaim, McConnell said the father would "continue to have reasonable and generous access" to the children.
Curtis McConnell did not want his children to leave Canada.
"I am completely opposed to this, and I am fearful that she will attempt to do this without my consent or knowledge," he stated in an affidavit filed in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench on Dec. 11.
McConnell said he had taken the children's passports for "safekeeping." He said his wife had applied for Australian citizenship for the two boys and that he worried she would also be applying to get them Australian passports.
On Dec. 21, a judge ruled the children needed to stay in Canada for now and both parents would have joint custody of the boys. The judge ordered Curtis McConnell to vacate the family home in Millet by Dec. 31, 2009, and continue paying child support and the mortgage on the home.
Mother in hospital with broken bones, neighbour says
Police have provided few details about what they suspect happened at the Millet house on Monday afternoon.
RCMP confirmed a car found parked near Gateway Blvd. in Edmonton Monday is connected to the house in Millet, but they have not said how.
Edmonton police said a woman tried to kill herself by jumping off a Gateway Blvd. overpass an hour before the boys' bodies were found.
A neighbour of the McConnells said the mother of the boys was in hospital with several broken bones.
|16 YEAR OLD MOTHER ACCUSED OF STABBING NEWBORN BABY
PANOLA COUNTY, MS – Authorities say a 16-year-old girl stabbed her newborn baby to death.
According to police, 16-year-old Linda Nash was arrested over the weekend after she was accused of killing the baby shortly after giving birth at a Pope, Mississippi home Saturday night.
The baby was taken to the hospital with a stab wound to the abdomen and pronounced dead.
Nash has been charged as an adult and is being held at the Panola County jail on a $100,000 bond.
|SUICIDE TOWN BRIDGEND STUDENT MURDERED BOYFRIEND WITH STEAK KNIFE
A sixth form student stabbed her boyfriend to death after going on a drinking spree to celebrate her A-level results, a court heard yesterday.
Katherine McGrath, 19, allegedly plunged a steak knife into Alyn Thomas's chest after a drunken row on the night of her exam results.
The court heard Katherine and Alyn, 22, downed Malibu, cider, lager and whiskey in a day-long drinking session
McGrath told police she grabbed the knife from the kitchen drawer to 'scare him off' when the pair argued at her large luxury home.
The court heard the teenagers fell out after a woman colleague of supermarket worker Alyn offered to buy him another drink during the night out.
Cardiff Crown Court heard she stabbed Alyn at her £400,000 detached house while her parents were out.
Prosecutor Roger Thomas QC said: 'The wound penetrated Alyn Thomas's heart and he died shortly afterwards.
'There was no justification or excuse for Katherine McGrath taking hold of what was in effect a weapon - the steak knife - and using it to cause his death.'
The court heard McGrath was 'distressed and emotional' during a 999 call in which she admitted stabbing her boyfriend.
McGrath claimed she acted in self-defence after her boyfriend attacked her and bit her thumb.
The court heard she told the emergency operator: 'I did it in self-defence. He's my boyfriend and he came and attacked me and I didn't know what to do.'
McGrath was arrested and taken to a police station where she was told Alyn had died.
The jury heard a woman work colleague had earlier bought Alyn drinks - and McGrath claimed he shouted her name during their row.
She told officers: 'My boyfriend pushed me to the floor twice. He's got two convictions for assault.
'He started biting me and I didn't know what to do. I just wanted him to get away from me. I love him.'
The jury was told Alyn and McGrath went to Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend, South Wales, on the morning of August 20 last year to collect her A-level results.
McGrath was due to go on to university but had failed to achieve the necessary grades.
The pair spent much of the day drinking before Alyn went to work at a Tesco supermarket in the nearby town of Maesteg.
They met up again later and together drank Malibu, cider, lager and whiskey before meeting friends at bars in Bridgend town centre.
Mr Thomas said: 'They were in one pub where Alyn met Tesco colleague Carys Stanton who had accidentally bumped Alyn's car previously.
'She was embarrassed even though Alyn Thomas laughed it off and made very little of the incident.
'She apologised for bumping his car and offered to buy Alyn some drinks.
'Katherine McGrath will later refer to this and will describe how it was the start of the incident.
'McGrath claimed that when Alyn attacked her he was aggressive and angry - shouting the name Carys.'
Jurors were told that a taxi driver who drove McGrath and Alyn to her home in Brackla, Bridgend, thought they were 'in good spirits and were a lively couple'.
But McGrath told police that once inside the house Alyn's behaviour changed.
She claimed he pushed her around the living room before she took the steak knife from a kitchen door to 'scare him away'.
The court heard McGrath and Alyn Thomas were together just three months before the night she stabbed him.
McGrath's best friend Claudia Ferri, 19, said: 'They got on really well. They were the other half of each other.'
Former classmate Claudia said McGrath was looking forward to starting a university course in Bristol.
Claudia described her friend as 'very studious and a hard worker' who was 'very popular and got on well with everyone'.
The court heard that after being arrested, McGrath was seen banging her head against a wall.
She told police: 'I want to kill myself.' But the prosecution claimed she was 'devious' and changed her story to detectives during interviews.
Prosecutor Roger Thomas said there was 'nothing by the way of violent threats or words' from Alyn to McGrath.
He added that McGrath was upset by her 'boyfriend's having spent time with, spoken to and accepted a drink from Carys'.
The court heard Alyn feared McGrath had cheated on him and was worried about her staying faithful during a long distance relationship.
John Charles Rees QC, defending, said: 'He was concerned about her going away to university. He didn't trust her. He was very fond of her.
'He was concerned she would go off to university and have a relationship with somebody else.'
McGrath's parents, Martin and Carla McGrath and 20 friends and family are supporting her from the court's public gallery.
The teenager, of Bridgend, South Wales, denies murder.
|TWO AND A HALF MEN STAR JON CRYER FEARS EX-WIFE HIRED HITMAN TO KILL HIM
Save Duckie!! Two and a Half Men actor Jon Cryer believes his ex-wife hired a hitman to kill him.
Last Friday, production on the CBS series had to be sent down after an unidentified party made a death threat against Cryer. The cast was later able to resume taping — but did so without the usual presence of a studio audience. The 44-year-old star and his former spouse Sarah Trigger have been embroiled in a bitter custody fight over their son, Charlie Austin. The legal wrangling has turned particularly ugly in recent months — Jon’s convinced there’s now a mark on his head.
Cryer, who stars in the hit sitcom with accused batterer Charlie Sheen, alerted authorities of his suspicions last Friday, and sources tell TMZ.com that the FBI has been investigating the allegation for the past week.
The FBI declined to comment but sources say the agency has no suspects.
|MOTHER WHO CREATED HER SON'S PHANTOM ILLNESS
There are THOUSANDS of fathers facing the same devious lies in family courts when golddiggers
and their crooked lawyers manufacture utterly ridiculous lies to fleece unsuspecting men.
Lisa Hayden-Johnson has been jailed for three years and three months after putting her son through years of unnecessary medical treatment.
But how did she use his fake illness to dupe doctors, meet the prime minister and rub shoulders with royalty?
Lisa Hayden-Johnson attracted sympathy and admiration in equal measure.
She seemed to be living every mother's nightmare. Her child, born prematurely, was battling a life-threatening allergy which left him unable to eat.
She was stoically coping with this cruel twist of fate, struggling to make her son as happy as possible.
But it was all a lie.
If her goal was to attract attention, she succeeded - appearing on GMTV and selling her story to magazines.
Hayden-Johnson even took her son to collect a Children of Courage award at Downing Street where they met the then prime minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie.
She is a cruel, manipulative, evil mother who constantly lied to the medical professionals that her son was the illest child in Britain.
said Det Con Mark Uren
Woman jailed for 'sick son' con
The boy, who believed he was ill, was also introduced to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
In reality, Hayden-Johnson had forced her son into a wheelchair, fed him through a tube and let doctors, taken in by her deception, operate on the child despite the fact that there was nothing wrong with him.
And she managed to keep the fabrication from her family, including her husband.
The 35-year-old from Brixham, South Devon, has been sentenced at Exeter Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to child cruelty and perverting the course of justice in October 2009.
Hayden-Johnson appeared to thrive on the attention that was lavished upon her and her son, who has not been named for legal reasons.
And the lies were lucrative.
She amassed £130,000 in benefits after claiming £20,000 a year in disability living allowance over a six-and-a-half year period.
Meanwhile, dozens of children's charities gave her freebies including a new car and a cruise in Tenerife. She even received free X Factor tickets.
The lies began when the boy was born prematurely in 2001 and given a tube for feeding.
He made a recovery but his mother, perhaps seeking more of the attention lavished upon her by sympathetic well-wishers, insisted that this was not the case.
For about six years she continued to lie about her son's health, insisting that he was allergic to nearly all food, had cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis, even though medics could not find any symptoms.
She also told doctors the child had diabetes and spiked his urine samples with glucose in order to fool tests.
Doctors, friends, family and even the boy's father believed the child was unable to eat or swallow food.
And the youngster was taken to school in a wheelchair fitted with oxygen bottles.
Doctors eventually performed surgery to fit a feeding tube directly into the then four-year-old child's stomach after he began losing large amounts of weight, because of a lack of nutrition.
Meanwhile, she became well known in Brixham where members of the community rallied round to provide whatever help and support they could.
But the woman's lies were not only about her child. She also fabricated her qualifications to gain a job as a nurse.
And in 2007, when medics insisted that detailed tests should be carried out on her son, Hayden-Johnson claimed she had been sexually assaulted in a bid to cancel the hospital visit.
The fantasist also harmed herself in a bid to make the fictitious attack seem authentic.
She only admitted that this was a lie when police said they were about to arrest someone.
Her fantasy life finally began to unravel when a paediatrician raised the alarm after reviewing her son's medical files and became suspicious that his health problems had gone on for so long without a clear diagnosis.
Hayden-Johnson was eventually arrested in October 2007.
Her husband was also arrested but, after questioning, police concluded that he had not been aware of the deception and he was released without charge.
Last October, two years after her arrest, she pleaded guilty to charges of child cruelty and perverting the course of justice.
Following a court hearing, Det Con Mark Uren of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary said of Hayden-Johnson: "She is a cruel, manipulative, evil mother who constantly lied to the medical professionals that her son was the illest child in Britain."
He pointed out that this had gone on for "a sustained period of time" during which she had "been calculating" and lied.
Det Con Uren revealed that police seized a computer from the woman's house and found a video showing her son eating a roast dinner with Yorkshire pudding at a pub and running without the aid of oxygen or a pump.
The boy, who is now eight, lives in another part of the country where he is recovering from the wounds left from an illness he never had.
|MOTHER JAILED IN SIX YEAR SCAM TO PROVE SON WAS SICKEST BOY IN UK
A 'sadistic' mother was jailed today for subjecting her healthy son to '24 hour-a-day torture' by pretending he was severely ill to gain publicity and financial rewards.
In an astonishing six-year deception, Lisa Hayden-Johnson paraded her son around claiming he had a number of life-threatening conditions.
Craving attention and money, the 35-year-old claimed the boy suffered from cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, a metabolic disorder, diabetes, food disorders, the throat condition dysphagia and a sunlight intolerance.
In order to make people believe her bizarre lies, she forced the boy to go to school in a wheelchair, and to wear sunglasses to protect his eyes and a bright yellow and green hat so he could be easily identified in case of emergency.
The boy spent his early life in and out of hospital being examined by a stream of medical specialists, as his mother convinced them that she had correctly diagnosed her son's illnesses.
Hayden-Johnson also persuaded her son's school to spend much-needed money on improving wheelchair access for the boy.
At home she would often wear a green nurse's uniform and had transformed the boy's bedroom into a miniature hospital-style ward, complete with oxygen cylinders and boxes of medical supplies.
She even allowed him to undergo invasive gastro-surgery under general anaesthetic so doctors could examine her claims that he could not keep his food down.
Police believe she may also have spiked his drinks with sugar, so tests would back her claims that he had developed diabetes.
Hayden-Johnson pocketed around £20,000 a year in benefits, as well as free holidays which were donated to the pair by generous well-wishers.
The boy was paraded around to a string of events and television appearances including GMTV and the Children of Courage awards, where she met the Duchess of Cornwall and Cherie Blair.
She also wrote to SImon Cowell telling him about her son's terrible ordeal and was sent tickets to see the X Factor being filmed.
So convincing was Hayden-Johnson's con that even her husband was fooled, as doctors and nurses were baffled by the boy's supposed conditions.
In one magazine article in 2004 she claimed that without his food pump her son would die, and that he had an allergy so rare that there were only six documented cases in the world.
She went on to describe the torment he suffered when he watched other members of his family eating normal meals. 'What choice did we have - make him sit with us at the dinner table, watching us eat, or get him to sit alone while we all ate together?' she said. 'Either of those seemed too cruel.'
As the net closed on her and her pack of lies threatened to be exposed the defendant sank to a new low, telling police she had been raped by a mystery motorcyclist on a country road near her home in South Devon.
To make her ordeal appear more convincing she rubbed oven cleaner into self-inflicted wounds.
It was not until police announced they were close to arresting a suspect in the rape case that Hayden-Johnson eventually came clean and admitted she had lied about the rape - and the rest of her lies were exposed.
Detective Constable Mark Uren, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: 'She dedicated most of her time to convincing and deliberately deceiving medical professionals that her son was the sickest child in Britain.
'She was craving attention for herself and also to get financial rewards.
'She bullied health professionals, she was so aggressive - and her only medical qualification was as a failed nurse.
'Even his school was nervous about the way she was and bowed down to her.'
During investigations police uncovered evidence that the boy was entirely healthy, in the form of a video shot while the pair were on a cruise.
The film showed the boy, who cannot be named, running around in his swimming trunks - a far cry from being confined to a wheelchair.
DC Uren said: 'He looked like Mark Spitz or Ian Thorpe running around in his Speedos. And there was not a feeding or breathing tube in sight.
'And one family photo showed him eating the biggest carvery you have ever seen with Yorkshire puddings. And he was seen tucking into a burger and bap at a local fair - things his mum said he could not eat.'
In one instance, DC Uren said, the mother sent him to school in a pair of her own sunglasses to protect his eyes from the light. However they were too big for his head so she used Sellotape to keep them in place.
DC Uren said: 'He looked like the singer Roy Orbison.'
He added: 'And in case of an emergency at school, she also insisted he wore a fluorescent green and yellow cap so he could be easily picked out - he looked like a fishing float with the cap on.'
'His bedroom at home was like a scene out of TV's Casualty. There was a specialist bed and boxes of unopened pump feed and medical gear.'
Hayden-Johnson admitted at Exeter Crown Court child cruelty between February 2001 and October 2007 and perverting the course of justice in May 2007 over the false rape claim.
Her children - the boy and his sister - now live with their father in another part of the country.
DC Uren said: 'Both are really happy. The boy is playing sports and thriving.
'His sister grew up without the shared attention playing second fiddle and not knowing if her little brother would die.
'There was great difficulty for us getting to the truth. There were 15 huge files with both the boy and his mum's medical records going back to his birth. She constantly denied being cruel to her son.
'At no stage has she ever apologised for what she has done to her her son and her family - there has never been an explanation.'
|PAEDOPHILE SINGLE MOTHER HAD SEX WITH BOY 12 OVER 200 TIMES
Single mother had sex with boy, 12, almost 200 times... and marked each encounter with a star in her sordid diary
A single mother had sex with a 12-year-old boy almost 200 times - marking each encounter with a star in a sordid diary.
Angela Sullivan, 36, could face an indefinite jail sentence after admitting ten child sex charges.
Sullivan even bought the youngster a pair of trainers as a reward when the pair slept together for the 100th time, Teesside Crown Court heard.
She first seduced the boy by plying him with alcohol and performing a sex act on him, the court was told.
The pair went on to have a ten-month affair, which was only uncovered after rumours circulated at the boy's school about Sullivan being pregnant.
Investigators also discovered the schoolboy had been boasting to friends in internet chatrooms about his relationship.
The mother would often have sex with the youngster in her Middlesbrough home after sending her own son to stay with his grandparents.
When police arrested Sullivan in October, they found a diary filled with childish entries and 191 stars to mark each encounter.
She initially denied having sex with the boy and tried to explain away some of her diary entries - such as 'Angela loves (the boy's name)' - as innocent scribblings.
But when she appeared in court yesterday, Sullivan admitted ten specimen charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity - one for each month of the affair.
Her case was adjourned and Sullivan was remanded in custody so psychiatric and probation reports can be drawn up.
She will return to Teesside Crown Court to be sentenced next month.
Lawyer Andrew Turton, defending, applied for the psychiatric report.
Judge Tony Briggs said: 'I think that is likely to be necessary.'
Sullivan, who has no previous convictions, faces being placed on the sex offenders register.
She could also be jailed indefinitely for the protection of the public.
Several windows at the unemployed mother's home have been smashed since she was arrested.
|CRY RAPE BUSINESSWOMAN JAILED FOR FALSELY ACCUSING FATHER
An innocent man who was arrested after a woman he had never met made a false rape allegation spoke of his continuing ordeal after she was jailed yesterday.
Rosanne England, 21, tore her underwear, scratched her own face and then told police she had been attacked by a stranger who knocked on her door.
Retired engineer Derek Cummings matched the description of her 'attacker' and had no alibi because he had been walking his dog in woods alone at the time England said she was raped in May last year.
He was arrested and detained for 28 hours before being released on bail.
After 24 days England finally admitted the allegation was untrue and Mr Cummings, 59, was exonerated.
However after England was jailed for 18 months yesterday, Mr Cummings said he still had trouble from people around his home in Fawley, Hampshire, who wrongly believe 'there is no smoke without fire'. He said he could not go into certain pubs.
'My family has been through hell,' he said. 'I have two teenage daughters who were doing their A-levels at the time. I do not want to see a 21-year-old woman jailed but she knew I had been arrested and I was totally innocent. I have mixed feelings about her.
'I do not blame the police - they had to do a job. They were heavy-handed with me initially but they realised I was innocent and I knew DNA tests would clear me.'
Mr Cummings's estranged wife Cheryl, 41, described the family's ordeal as 'a nightmare'.
Mrs Cummings, an office cleaner who separated from her husband before the rape claim, said: 'Derek has been through hell and it's likely to haunt him for ever. It's ruined his life and he's changed because it's affected him so much.
'But it's still hard for us because mud sticks and we've both had to put up with comments and so have our children.'
Winchester Crown Court heard that 73 staff were involved in the investigation and the costs of forensic work and overtime alone totalled £14,000.
England, a former care worker who suffered from mental health problems, admitted perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing and the court was told she was remorseful for the trouble she had caused.
Sentencing England, of Holbury, near Southampton, Judge Keith Cutler said: 'You made a convincing complaint and as a result an innocent man was arrested, a man of good character, a family man.'
| MARY J. BLIGE PUBLICLY ABUSES HER HUSBAND KENDU ISAACS VIDEO
| CHINESE STEPMOTHER CHOPS OFF EAR AND FINGERS OF ADOPTED 6 YR OLD GIRL VIDEO
Stepmother chops off 6-year-old's ear and fingers
IT WAS the worst possible start to the new year for this little girl.
On 1 Jan, her stepmother allegedly cut off her left ear and four of her fingers, reported Guangzhou Daily.
The newspaper reported that the suspect allegedly dragged the 6-year-old girl into the kitchen of their home in Guangdong, China.
There, she reportedly cut off her stepdaughter's left ear with a kitchen knife. The girl screamed and struggled as her blood spilled all over the kitchen floor.
Tried to run
She tried to run out of the kitchen, but her attacker caught her and allegedly put her right hand on a chopping board before cutting off four fingers.
Reports in the Chinese media said that a wound was also found near her private parts. Mr Liang Zutian, the security director of Hefeng Village in Foshan City, told reporters that he had never seen such a cruel mother.
The girl was taken to a nearby hospital by her father. He left her there with 6,000 yuan ($1,200) for her treatment. The Chinese press has been unable to contact him.
The hospital alerted the police, who arrested the stepmother.
Website sina.com reported that when she saw the police, she burst into tears. She kept crying and said she wished she were dead.
It is not known what had sparked off the attack.
Villagers told reporters that the couple got married 12 years ago but were childless at first.
The victim is from her father's previous relationship. The couple later had two children together, a girl and a boy, both born in the last two years.
She did not live in the same house as the couple and was only visiting them that day. Police are still investigating and are trying to locate the girl's nanny, who disappeared after the incident.
When reporters visited the home, the door was locked. Neighbours said the family was not badly off financially.
They added that the father was a nice man, but his wife was somewhat snobbish. She also behaved oddly, which caused her neighbours to not have too much contact with her.
Reporters visited the victim at the hospital, and watched as a nurse helped to change her bandages. The little girl started crying, and the nurse hugged her and wiped away her tears.
A member of the nursing staff said that she had not spoken much ever since she was admitted.
She refused to talk about her injuries and said: "I can't tell even if you kill me."
| CHINESE WOMAN DRESSES AS NURSE TO STEAL BABY FROM HOSPITAL VIDEO
Ge Qianru, a 20-year-old peasant woman from Shaanxi, is alleged to have donned a nurse uniform and taken a baby girl from the hospital on November 21, only 15 hours after the baby was born. She allegedly used a fake birth certificate to board a flight to southern China's Guangdong Province with the baby.
Police seized the woman in Dongguan, a manufacturing base in Guangdong, on November 30. Th More..e baby was reunited with her parents two days later after a DNA test.
Yan Xiaohong, the baby's father, said he was ready to sue the hospital for the distress to his family.
Xi'an hospital is blamed in theft of baby
"My wife was so distraught that she was beside herself," said Yan, a migrant worker who was not in Xi'an when his wife, 32-year-old Zhang Lanfang, had a Caesarean section. "The baby also had abnormal heart murmurs in the latest health check."
The baby had a cold and was feverish after she was taken to Dongguan. Ge Qianru was detained when she allegedly took the baby to a hospital in Dongguan, said Huang Lin, a police officer from Xi'an.
Yan said he had named the girl Yan Anzhe - "An" for police and "zhe" for journalists. "The name conveys my thanks for the police officers and press who helped find my daughter," he said.
Meanwhile, Yan said he was collecting evidence to file the lawsuit and would demand 110,000 yuan (US$16,100) in compensation. But with the baby still in the hospital, Yan said he couldn't get the birth certificate, which is crucial for the lawsuit.
Management of the hospital insisted they too were victims.
"It's very hard for us to monitor every single person coming and leaving the hospital every day," said Li Xu, president of the hospital. "But we did everything we could to help find the baby, and will continue to assist authorities in their investigation."
|FEMINIST GULAG: NO PROSECUTION NECESSARY
Liberals rightly criticize America’s high rate of incarceration. Claiming to be the freest country on Earth, the United States incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than Iran or Syria. Over two million people, or nearly one in 50 adults, excluding the elderly, are incarcerated, the highest proportion in the world. Some seven million Americans, or 3.2 percent, are under penal supervision.
MORE RADICAL FEMINIST CLAPTRAP
Many are likely to be innocent. In The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2000), Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton document how due process protections are routinely ignored, grand juries are neutered, frivolous prosecutions abound, and jury trials are increasingly rare. More recently, in Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (2009), Harvey Silverglate shows how federal prosecutors are criminalizing more and more of the population. “Innocence projects” — projects of “a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing” — attest that people are railroaded into prison. As we will see, incarcerations without trial are now routine.
The U.S. prison population has risen dramatically in the last four decades. Ideologically, the rise is invariably attributed to “law-and-order” conservatives, who indeed seldom deny their own role (or indifference). In fact, few conservatives understand what they are defending.
Conservatives who rightly decry “judicial activism” in civil law are often blind to the connected perversion of criminal justice. While a politicized judiciary does free the guilty, it also criminalizes the -innocent.
But traditionalists upholding law and order were not an innovation of the 1970s. A newer and more militant force helped create the “carceral state.” In The Prison and the Gallows (2006), feminist scholar Marie Gottschalk points out that traditional conservatives were not the prime instigators, and blames “interest groups and social movements not usually associated with penal conservatism.” Yet she names only one: “the women’s movement.”
While America’s criminalization may have a number of contributing causes, it coincides precisely with the rise of organized feminism. “The women’s movement became a vanguard of conservative law-and-order politics,” Gottschalk writes. “Women’s organizations played a central role in the consolidation of this conservative victims’ rights movement that emerged in the 1970s.”
Gottschalk then twists her counterintuitive finding to condemn “conservatives” for the influx, portraying feminists as passive victims without responsibility. “Feminists prosecuting the war on rape and domestic violence” were somehow “captured and co-opted by the law-and-order agenda of politicians, state officials, and conservative groups.” Yet nothing indicates that feminists offered the slightest resistance to this political abduction.
Feminists, despite Gottschalk’s muted admission of guilt, did lead the charge toward wholesale incarceration. Feminist ideology has radicalized criminal justice and eroded centuries-old constitutional protections: New crimes have been created; old crimes have been redefined politically; the distinction between crime and private behavior has been erased; the presumption of innocence has been eliminated; false accusations go unpunished; patently innocent people are jailed without trial. “The new feminist jurisprudence hammers away at some of the most basic foundations of our criminal law system,” Michael Weiss and Cathy Young write in a Cato Institute paper. “Chief among them is the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.”
Feminists and other sexual radicals have even managed to influence the law to target conservative groups themselves. Racketeering statutes are marshaled to punish non-violent abortion demonstrators, and “hate crimes” laws attempt to silence critics of the homosexual agenda. Both are supported by “civil liberties” groups. And these are only the most notorious; there are others.
Feminists have been the most authoritarian pressure group throughout much of American history. “It is striking what an uncritical stance earlier women reformers took toward the state,” Gottschalk observes. “They have played central roles in … uncritically pushing for more enhanced policing powers.”
What Gottschalk is describing is feminism’s version of Stalinism: the process whereby radical movements commandeer the instruments of state repression as they trade ideological purity for power.
Path to Prison
The first politicized crime was rape. Suffragettes advocated castrating rapists. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who opposed it for everyone else, wanted rapists executed.
Aggressive feminist lobbying in the legislatures and courts since the 1970s redefined rape to make it indistinguishable from consensual sex. Over time, a woman no longer had to prove that she was forced to have non-consensual sex, but a man had to prove that sex was consensual (or prove that no sex had, in fact, happened). Non-consent was gradually eliminated as a definition, and consent became simply a mitigating factor for the defense. By 1989, the Washington State Supreme Court openly shifted the burden of proving consent to the defendant when it argued that the removal of legislative language requiring non-consent for rape “evidences legislative intent to shift the burden of proof on the issue to the defense” and approved this blatantly unconstitutional presumption of guilt. The result, write Weiss and Young, was not “to jail more violent rapists — lack of consent is easy enough for the state to prove in those cases — but to make it easier to send someone to jail for failing to get an explicit nod of consent from an apparently willing partner before engaging in sex.”
Men accused of rape today enjoy few safeguards. “People can be charged with virtually no evidence,” says Boston former sex-crimes prosecutor Rikki Klieman. “If a female comes in and says she was sexually assaulted, then on her word alone, with nothing else — and I mean nothing else, no investigation — the police will go out and arrest someone.”
Almost daily we see men released after decades in prison because DNA testing proves they were wrongly convicted. Yet the rape industry is so powerful that proof of innocence is no protection. “A defendant who can absolutely prove his innocence … can nonetheless still be convicted, based solely on the word of the accuser,” write Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson in Until Proven Innocent. In North Carolina, simply “naming the person accused” along with the time and place “will support a verdict of guilty.” Crime laboratories are notorious for falsifying results to obtain convictions.
The feminist dogma that “women never lie” goes largely unchallenged. “Any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes,” says Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for zealous prosecutions. Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin found that “41% of the total disposed rape cases were officially declared false” during a nine-year period, “that is, by the complainant’s admission that no rape had occurred.” Kanin discovered three functions of false accusations: “providing an alibi, seeking revenge, and obtaining sympathy and attention.” The Center for Military Readiness (CMR) adds that “false rape accusations also have been filed to extort money from celebrities, to gain sole custody of children in divorce cases, and even to escape military deployments to war zones.”
In the infamous Duke University lacrosse case, prosecutor Michael Nifong suppressed exculpating evidence and prosecuted men he knew to be innocent, according to Taylor and Johnson. Nifong himself was eventually disbarred, but he had willing accomplices among assistant prosecutors, police, crime lab technicians, judges, the bar, and the media. “Innocent men are arrested and even imprisoned as a result of bogus claims,” writes Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex-crimes unit for the Manhattan District Attorney, who estimates that half of all reports are unfounded.
Innocence projects are almost wholly occupied with rape cases (though they try to disguise this fact). Yet no systematic investigation has been undertaken by the media or civil libertarians into why so many innocent citizens are so easily incarcerated on fabricated allegations. The exoneration of the Duke students on obviously trumped-up charges triggered few investigations — and no official ones — to determine how widespread such rigged justice is against those unable to garner media attention.
The world of rape accusations displays features similar to other feminist gender crimes: media invective against the accused, government-paid “victim advocates” to secure convictions, intimidation of anyone who defends the accused. “Nobody dependent on the mainstream media for information about rape would have any idea how frequent false claims are,” write Taylor and Johnson. “Most journalists simply ignore evidence contradicting the feminist line.” What they observe of rape characterizes feminist justice generally: “calling a rape complainant ‘the victim’ — with no ‘alleged’.” “Unnamed complainants are labeled ‘victims’ even before legal proceedings determine that a crime has been committed,” according to CMR.
Rape hysteria, false accusations, and distorted scholarship are rampant on university campuses, which ostensibly exist to pursue truth. “If a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape,” opines one “women’s studies” graduate, “she may have had reasons to. Maybe she wasn’t raped, but he clearly violated her in some way.” This mentality pervades feminist jurisprudence, precluding innocence by obliterating the distinction between crime and hurt feelings. A Vassar College assistant dean believes false accusations foster men’s education: “I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration.… ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’”
Conservative critics of the Duke fiasco avoided feminism’s role but instead emphasized race — a minor feature of the case but a safer one to criticize. Little evidence indicates that white people are being systematically incarcerated on fabricated accusations of non-existent crimes against blacks. This is precisely what is happening to men, both white and black, accused of rape and other “gender” crimes that feminists have turned into a political agenda.
The Kobe Bryant case demonstrates that a black man accused by a white woman is also vulnerable. Historically, this was the more common pattern. Our race-conscious society is conditioned to remember lynching as a racial atrocity, forgetting that the lynched were usually black men accused by white women. Feminist scholars spin this as “the dominant white male ideology behind lynching ... that white womanhood was in need of protection against black men,” suggesting fantastically that white “patriarchy” used rape accusations to break up a progressive political romance developing between black men and white women. With false rape accusations, the races have changed, but the sexes have remained constant.
“Domestic violence” is an even more purely political crime. “The battered-women’s movement turned out to be even more vulnerable to being co-opted by the state and conservative penal forces,” writes Gottschalk, again with contortion. Domestic violence groups are uniformly feminist, not “conservative,” though here too conservatives have enabled feminists to exchange principles for power.
Like rape, domestic “violence” is defined so loosely that it need not be violent. The U.S. Justice Department definition includes “extreme jealousy and possessiveness” and “name calling and constant criticizing.” For such “crimes” men are jailed with no trial. In fact, the very category of “domestic” violence was developed largely to circumvent due process requirements of conventional assault statutes. A study published in Criminology and Public Policy found that no one accused of domestic violence could be found innocent, since every arrestee received punishment.
Here, too, false accusations are rewarded. “Women lie every day,” attests Ottawa Judge Dianne Nicholas. “Every day women in court say, ‘I made it up. I’m lying. It didn’t happen’ — and they’re not charged.” Amazingly, bar associations sponsor seminars instructing women how to fabricate accusations. Thomas Kiernan, writing in the New Jersey Law Journal, expressed his astonishment at “the number of women attending the seminars who smugly — indeed boastfully — announced that they had already sworn out false or grossly exaggerated domestic violence complaints against their hapless husbands, and that the device worked!” He added, “The lawyer-lecturers invariably congratulated the self-confessed miscreants.”
Domestic violence has become “a backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,” write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in Aggression and Violent Behavior. “No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice.” Scholars and practitioners have repeatedly documented how “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in custody cases and “become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” Domestic abuse has become “an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice,” according to the Rutgers Law Review.
Restraining orders removing men from their homes and children are summarily issued without any evidence. Due process protections are so routinely ignored that, the New Jersey Law Journal reports, one judge told his colleagues, “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating.” Attorney David Heleniak calls New Jersey’s statute “a due process fiasco” in the Rutgers Law Review. New Jersey court literature openly acknowledges that due process is ignored because it “perpetuates the cycle of power and control whereby the [alleged?] perpetrator remains the one with the power and the [alleged?] victim remains powerless.” Omitting “alleged” is standard even in statutes, where, the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports, “the mere allegation of domestic abuse … may shift the burden of proof to the defendant.”
Special “integrated domestic violence courts” presume guilt and then, says New York’s openly feminist chief judge, “make batterers and abusers take responsibility for their actions.” They can seize property, including homes, without the accused being convicted or even formally charged or present to defend himself. Lawyer Walter Fox describes these courts as “pre-fascist”: “Domestic violence courts … are designed to get around the protections of the criminal code. The burden of proof is reduced or removed, and there’s no presumption of innocence.”
Forced confessions are widespread. Pennsylvania men are incarcerated unless they sign forms stating, “I have physically and emotionally battered my partner.” The man must then describe the violence, even if he insists he committed none. “I am responsible for the violence I used,” the forms declare. “My behavior was not provoked.”
Equally feminist is the child-support machinery, whereby millions have their family finances plundered and their lives placed under penal supervision without having committed any legal infraction. Once they have nothing left to loot, they too are incarcerated without trial.
Contrary to government propaganda (and Common Law tradition), child support today has little to do with fathers abandoning their children, deserting their marriages, or even agreeing to a divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those involuntarily divorced without grounds (“no-fault”). It is an entitlement for all divorcing mothers, regardless of their actions, and coerced from fathers, regardless of their fidelity. The “deadbeat dad” is far less likely to be a man who abandoned the offspring he callously sired than to be a loving father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham writes in From Courtship to Courtroom, “forced to finance the filching of his own children.”
Federalized enforcement was rationalized to reimburse taxpayers for welfare. Under feminist pressure, taxpayers instead subsidize middle-class divorce, through federal payments to states based on the amount of child support they collect. By profiting off child support at federal taxpayer expense, state governments have a financial incentive to encourage as many single-mother homes as possible. They, in turn, encourage divorce with a guaranteed, tax-free windfall to any divorcing mother.
While child support (like divorce itself) is awarded ostensibly without reference to “fault,” nonpayment brings swift and severe punishments. “The advocates of ever-more-aggressive measures for collecting child support,” writes Bryce Christensen of Southern Utah University, “have moved us a dangerous step closer to a police state.” Abraham calls the machinery “Orwellian”: “The government commands … a veritable gulag, complete with sophisticated surveillance and compliance capabilities such as computer-based tracing, license revocation, asset confiscation, and incarceration.”
Here, too, “the burden of proof may be shifted to the defendant,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Like Kafka’s Joseph K., the “defendant” may not even know the charge against him, “if the court does not explicitly clarify the charge facing the [allegedly?] delinquent parent,” says NCSL. Further, “not all child support contempt proceedings classified as criminal are entitled to a jury trial,” and “even indigent obligors are not necessarily entitled to a lawyer.” Thus defendants must prove their innocence against unspecified accusations, without counsel, and without a jury.
Assembly-line hearings can last 30 seconds to two minutes, during which parents are sentenced to months or years in prison. Many receive no hearing but are accused in an “expedited judicial process” before a black-robed lawyer known as a “judge surrogate.” Because these officials require no legislative confirmation, they are not accountable to citizens or their representatives. Unlike true judges, they may lobby to create the same laws they adjudicate, violating the separation of powers. Often they are political activists in robes. One surrogate judge, reports the Telegraph of Hudson, New Hampshire, simultaneously worked “as a radical feminist lobbying on proposed legislation” dealing with child support.
Though governments sensationalize “roundups” of alleged “deadbeat dads,” who are jailed for months and even years without trial, no government information whatever is available on incarcerations. The Bureau of Justice Statistics is utterly silent on child-support incarcerations. Rebecca May of the Center for Family Policy and Practice found “ample testimony by low-income non-custodial parents of spending time in jail for the nonpayment of child support.” Yet she could find no documentation of their incarceration. Government literature “yields so little information on it that one might be led to believe that arrests were used rarely if at all. While May personally witnessed fathers sentenced in St. Louis, “We could find no explicit documentation of arrests in St. Louis.” In Illinois, “We observed courtrooms in which fathers appeared before the judge who were serving jail sentences for nonpayment, but little information was available on arrests in Illinois.”
We know the arrests are extensive. To relieve jail overcrowding in Georgia, a sheriff and judge proposed creating detention camps specifically for “deadbeat dads.” The Pittsburgh City Planning Commission has considered a proposal “to convert a former chemical processing plant ... into a detention center” for “deadbeat dads.”
Rendered permanently in debt by incarceration, fathers are farmed out to trash companies and similar concerns, where they work 14-16 hour days with their earnings confiscated.
More Malicious Mayhem
Other incarcerations are also attributable to feminism. The vast preponderance of actual violent crime and substance abuse proceeds from single-parent homes and fatherless children more than any other factor, far surpassing race and poverty. The explosion of single parenthood is usually and resignedly blamed on paternal abandonment, with the only remedy being ever-more draconian but ineffective child-support “crackdowns.” Yet no evidence indicates that the proliferation of single-parent homes results from absconding fathers. If instead we accept that single motherhood is precisely what feminists say it is — the deliberate choice of their sexual revolution — it is then apparent that sexual liberation lies behind not only these newfangled sexual crimes, but also the larger trend of actual crime and incarceration. Feminism is driving both the criminalization of the innocent and the criminality of the guilty.
We will continue to fight a losing battle against crime, incarceration, and expansive government power until we confront the sexual ideology that is driving not only family breakdown and the ensuing social anomie, but the criminalization of the male population. Ever-more-repressive penal measures will only further erode freedom. Under a leftist regime, conservatives must rethink their approach to crime and punishment and their unwitting collusion with America’s homegrown Stalinists.
Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family.
|SELF-RIGHTEOUS FEMINIST HARMAN HAS SERIOUS DRIVING CHARGES DROPPED BY CROWN
Harriet Harman Fined £350 On Driving Charge
Anger as Harman escapes driving ban for mobile phone crash
Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has been fined £350 after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.
Ms Harman appeared at Cabinet, rather than at court
City of Westminster Magistrates' Court heard a second charge of driving while using a mobile phone had been withdrawn.
Ms Harman was fined and ordered to pay £75 costs and a victim surcharge of £15.
She was also given three points on her driving licence.
The MP for Camberwell and Peckham was at the centre of a police inquiry after she was involved in a minor collision with a parked car.
The 59-year-old minister did not attend today's hearing.
Instead she was at a Cabinet meeting in nearby Downing Street.
A spokeswoman for the minister said: "Ms Harman fully accepts the court's judgement.
"Ms Harman is pleased that the potential charges of leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging particulars and failing to report an accident to the police have been dropped.
"Ms Harman is pleased that it has been established that this was not a 'hit and run' accident as portrayed in some media reports.
"It was a parking incident and no damage was done."
The case is particularly embarrassing for Ms Harman as she is a QC, Privy Council member and former Solicitor General.
Ms Harman already has six penalty points on her licence after being caught twice speeding in a 30mph zone.
|SOME PROBING QUESTIONS FOR RADICAL FEMINIST MINISTER HARRIET HARMAN
THE BRITISH EQUALITY MINISTER
1. How often has she changed the tyre of a car? Does she know of any female that can
change a car tyre , does she know of ANY female that has changed the tyre of a truck?
2. Name any war in history were only women were on the front line?
3. Name ANY invention by a female leaving out hairdrying and manicuring items?
4. List any female Prime Ministers and if females voted for them to stay in power?
|SENTENCE INCREASED FOR AUSTRALIAN ABUSE MOTHER
A MOTHER who drugged her 13-year-old daughter and allowed her serial sex-offending boyfriend to photograph and indecently assault her was yesterday found to have been given a "manifestly inadequate" sentence by a County Court judge earlier this year.
The Victorian Court of Appeal yesterday resentenced the 40-year-old mother and her 60-year-old boyfriend for a string of sexual offences, including the repeated abuse of her teenage daughter.
The judges determined the sentences handed down by judge Pamela Jenkins in March -- a non-parole period of 4 1/2 years for the boyfriend and a non-parole term of one year for the mother -- "were so manifestly inadequate as to reflect error of principle".
The Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the sentences and yesterday judges Chris Maxwell, David Ashley and Marcia Neave determined the mother's non-parole sentence should be almost tripled to two years and eight months, and her partner should serve the increased non-parole term of six years.
The mother, referred to as MS, met her boyfriend, TDJ, through an internet dating site in 2005 and the couple moved in together within a few days.
TDJ had two prior convictions: one for the sexual penetration of his four-year-old niece and another for aggravated rape.
The court heard that when MS's eldest daughter came to stay with the couple, TDJ filmed as the 13-year-old was administered a cocktail of vodka and sleeping tablets by her mother, who at one point had to hold her head up to pour the liquid into her mouth.
The film, viewed by the judges, shows the mother removing her daughter's clothes so TDJ can photograph her naked on the bed and digitally penetrate her.
"MS can be seen laughing and smiling as she goes purposely about her task (of drugging her daughter)," the court heard.
The judges said: "It was, in our view, quite appalling for two adults to overpower the will of a 13-year-old girl in this way, so as to put themselves in a position to abuse her sexually. What makes it worse is that they exploited the daughter's natural trust in her mother to achieve this result."
The court heard the girl was similarly assaulted on three other occasions.