The news cycle consumes stories. If an article is not about something no sane politician would contemplate, like sending nuclear missile submarines on patrol without being armed with their lethal cargo, then it can sometimes be of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety.
The following tale is of that kind. The story has received scant coverage in the national news. But that is because it is a hate crime that is not a hate crime due to the fact that the victim does not conform to type.
A 27-year-old man, one Jonathan Dalton – a civil servant who worked as a planning officer – assaulted a 69-year-old man, Charles Bonello, on a train with a single punch of such force that it was believed for a time that Dalton had used a knuckleduster. Mr Bonello had been returning from watching his beloved Surrey Cricket Club playing at the Oval.
Dalton committed this assault at the behest of his partner, who objected to comments made by Mr Bonello in a private conversation with another passenger about the remuneration of female tennis players.
Dalton and his partner had taken it upon themselves to police the speech of a complete stranger on public transport. They took political correctness to its logical and violent conclusion, virtue signalling with a fist on a defenceless man.
Mr Bonello has lost most of the sight in the eye Mr Dalton hit. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph:
“The victim had 12 stitches in his eye and a large cut. An eyeball was reddened and bruised and an eye socket fractured. He describes getting a flashing sensation in his right eye that would happen at any time. He got severe headaches as a result of this attack, but these have tailed off now. His sense of smell comes and goes, he says.”
Dalton admitted grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 2 years. This probably means that, with good behaviour, Dalton will be back on the streets in 12 months’ time. Who knows? There may be some corner of the State-funded sector that will welcome him back into a taxpayer-funded position regarding him as the ‘true’ victim in this case.
I do not believe that two years is sufficient punishment for Dalton’s crime. Given his previous good character and presumably good behaviour once he is behind bars, Dalton may find his incarceration quite comfortable, especially since he will not be required to earn a living. From the outside, the modern prison experience seems more akin to a rather frugal holiday camp with mildly hostile staff and surly guests.
I do believe, however, that this was a hate crime. Dalton’s only motivation was his literally violent disagreement with Bonello’s opinions. The law does not seem to be seeing things this way.
Hate crime should not just apply to victims who are members of ethnic minorities or those of differing sexual orientations. There should be exemplary justice in this case.
Dalton and his partner probably would not have committed this hateful crime had Mr Bonello been a tall, well-built man in his twenties with a shaven head and neck tattoos. There was obvious targeting involved here against an easy victim. Mr Bonello was assaulted because of who he was. That is a definition of a hate crime.
I also believe that Dalton’s partner should have been convicted for the assault as a participant in a joint enterprise. According to a report in the Evening Standard:
“[…]a woman moved down the carriage to sit opposite him, then shouted: “I’m a woman, what’s your point?””.
She nodded towards her partner Jonathan Dalton, 27, who came across and punched Mr Bonello so hard in the face he was left needing 12 stitches…He has since lost 60 per cent of the vision in his right eye.
The pair were spotted laughing on CCTV footage, before disappearing down the train and jumping off as it pulled into Deptford station. They called for a taxi and fled…”
This woman seems to have, for some reason, to have escaped justice for no discernible reason. She clearly has a case to answer.
Mr Bonello’s declining years have been ruined by this hate-motivated attack. According to the Evening Standard article:
‘Mr Bonello has since resigned his membership at Surrey County Cricket Club and fears going out alone.
He said: “To be honest it’s all been too much. I’m 70 this year – I don’t know what the world is coming to. Crimes like this shouldn’t happen and now I’m thinking of moving abroad.”’
It is not for members of the public to continually second-guess learned judges and the authorities in the administration of justice. In this case, however, the law appears to have been rather lenient and over-sympathetic to a felon due to allegedly previous good character by treating this case as routine. It is clearly not.
I think this case should be referred to a minister at the Ministry of Justice due to its aggravating features to see if Mr Dalton’s sentence can be increased by appeal. Pensioners need to be protected and defended just as much as members of minorities.
Mr Bonello is not a young man. If he passes away in the next year or so, the cause of his death be properly investigated and, should there be a case, that Mr Dalton is further prosecuted for manslaughter, should the double jeopardy provisions introduced by the Stephen Lawrence case be applicable here.
Consideration could be made into the prosecution of Mr Dalton’s as-yet-unnamed partner. While it is not the practice of elected politicians to interfere in the operations of the CPS, I do believe that there appears, based on information available, no good reason why she should not be arrested and tried for her part in this vicious and cowardly attack. If Dalton was just trying to impress her by supporting her opinions with his fist, then she has a share of responsibility for this assault.
There is no evidence that Mr Dalton or his partner were under the influence of any substance. The assault took place merely because Dalton and especially his partner disagreed with what Mr Bonello had been saying in remarks that were not actually addressed at Mr Dalton. I understood that the law is especially harsh on violence committed due to differences between attacker and victim. In this case I believe the punishment has not fitted the crime.
I have contacted my MP to request the above three items. Perhaps if readers of this blog were to spend a few minutes contacting their own MP with the same request then Mr Dalton’s example may be use to deter others who use violence to virtue-signal. Proper justice for Mr Bonello has to be seen to be done here.
If an American politician with opinions as questionable as his hair can be made to be the subject of debate by our politicians on the basis of internet activity by the people of this country, then surely the same politicians can be made to intervene here to send a message to politically correct vigilantes that their opinions cannot be backed by violence against the vulnerable.
This is one case which should not be buried in the endless news cycle, especially as it concerns a hate crime.