Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeDemocracy in DecayTragic wrong decisions, nobody punished. Where’s the justice in that?

Tragic wrong decisions, nobody punished. Where’s the justice in that?


JUST how gullible are the decision-makers in the justice system? If they make a major error, are they ever held to account? Are the tribunals incredibly naïve, misinformed or just negligent?

Recently a number of decisions have been so obviously wrong and have led to such catastrophic results that one wonders if this is a general trend across the public sector. Or is it just a few isolated cases?

I want to look at four cases, two involving the criminal justice system, one the family ‘care’ system and one the immigration system, all of which I have written about previously to highlight the disastrous decisions. We rarely are told who makes these decisions. If the same occurred in the private sector it is likely that it would lead to legal action and media outrage.

The first two cases involved granting bail to teenagers who subsequently murdered innocent people. I wrote about them here and here.

The decision to return ten-month-old Finley Boden to his drug-addicted and dangerous parents Shannon Marsden, 22, and Stephen Boden, 29, also proved fatal for Finley. I wrote about this here. 

The decision to grant the Clapham alkali attacker, Abdul Ezedi, leave to remain proved catastrophic for the mother and child he went on to attack. I wrote about this here. 

I have covered all these cases individually, but it is important to keep in mind the broader picture. Were these decisions that ended up destroying lives isolated or are they part of a trend of incompetence or worse, a general sense that the authorities are not on your side?

In both of the cases of murder in plain sight, the killers came before courts which had to decide whether to grant bail. In both cases the defendants had previously been involved in very serious knife crimes, which when I was at the Bar meant that they should not be granted bail. It meant they were a danger to others and freeing them risked unleashing this danger on an unsuspecting public. Instead, the defendants were granted bail and free to murder.

The case of Finley Boden was particularly tragic and highlighted not just total societal collapse in some parts of the UK but how tolerant social workers and courts are of parenting that is so dangerous that it is obvious no child, let alone a baby, should be in their care. It also highlights how cannabis use by parents of young children is indulged and tolerated.

I wrote about the initial criminal trial but there has since been a Review. This is where someone examines just why Finley Boden ended up being returned to his parents and beaten and murdered 39 days later. Again it makes infuriating reading.

And see here. When Finley Boden was born he was taken into care. Then his parents Marsden and Boden decided they wanted him back. They also had an older child, ‘Ruby’.

This was the decision a family court had to make. Should the children be returned to the parents? From reading the report it seemed that everyone involved from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) guardian to Derbyshire council were eager to get the children back into the ‘care’ of the cannabis-using couple. Only one social worker was unhappy with the outcome. The ‘pivotal’ court hearing, held remotely over the phone as a result of the covid event, decided the children should be returned to the parents over an eight-week transition period. This was a shorter timescale than that recommended by social workers, who suggested a four-month transition.

Not only that but the court also failed to require drug testing of his parents to continue, despite concerns about substantial cannabis use. Social workers were ‘disappointed and frustrated’ by the court’s decisions, the report stated.

So, the family court did not even think it necessary to make the parents undertake regular drug testing. Cafcass, which is supposed to look out for the interests of the child, was ‘neutral’ on the drug testing requirement.

I mean, what would be the point of that? So what if the parents are known cannabis users and are taking care of a young child and a ten-month-old baby? Everyone knows cannabis is harmless.

Just how many children are being returned to drug-taking parents who are not required to take drug tests? I’d like a review into that.

What kind of decision-making is this? How low can you go?

So Finley and Ruby were now both with their drug-taking parents. The transition period was shortened. What happened after that? The couple posed a ‘not unmanageable risk’ to the child. The use of a double negative is telling, if you ask me.

In other words, the risk they posed was manageable. And what kind of risk was that? The fact that they were both users of cannabis, for a start.

Here are some facts of the review:

A social worker made an unannounced visit to the house, but did not get to see the baby, being essentially fobbed off by the mother. The report continues [it uses different names from the reported ones, for some confusing reason]: ‘At some point during this encounter, the social worker saw Ms Taylor in the street. Ms Taylor had approached a car and was seen to make some kind of transfer which the social worker thought might have been ‘drugs related’. The social worker went towards Ms Taylor, but Ms Taylor was on the phone. Ms Taylor looked upset but she did not disclose any concerns. There is no reference to the social worker challenging Ms Taylor about what she had observed. There is no evidence either that this incident was discussed with the social work manager, other members of the core group or the children’s guardian.’

In other words, the social worker witnessed the mother taking part in a drug deal and this was not deemed sufficient to warrant the child’s removal. She did not even think it serious enough to mention to her manager or others involved in the children’s care. No doubt it was a ‘manageable risk’.

So the risk to the children was substantial but not unmanageable. And how did the social worker manage that risk? Oh, by missing appointments, going on ‘leave’ and accepting excuses by the parents for injuries seen on Finley when the social workers did get to see him.

‘Of the six children’s social care visits that should have taken place during this time, only four were attempted. On one of those four occasions, there was no response at all. On each of the three visits where contact was made, issues arose that warranted further enquiry, but necessary actions were not taken.

‘Managerial oversight of compliance with the visiting schedule was absent.

‘Of the two health visits that should have taken place, only one was achieved and the other cancelled by Ms Taylor. Two phone calls to Ms Taylor were also unanswered.’

Such great risk management there. Fantastic!

So much for a ‘not unmanageable risk’ to the children. It took just 39 days for Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden to murder the helpless ten-month-old Finley. He died after suffering 130 separate injuries, including 71 bruises and 57 fractures that left almost every bone in his body broken. He died on Christmas Day 2020. We don’t know what the people who made the decision to return Finley to his death or the social workers were doing on that day, but I suspect it was something pleasant.

Then we have the alkali attacker. This one is a real gem. I wrote about Abdul Ezedi before. Ezedi, an Afghan refugee, arrived illegally in Britain on the back of a lorry. Of course he did.

He had two applications for asylum rejected by the Home Office. He was never removed from Britain because it is essentially impossible to do that now as there are an army of immigration lawyers willing to make it impossible. However, one Judge William O’Hanlon allowed Ezedi’s appeal on asylum and human rights grounds, overturning the Home Office’s decision not to grant him leave to remain. So that’s nice.

Two years after his asylum was rejected, Ezedi, still living in Britain, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of a sexual assault/exposure offence. He pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure, the CPS confirmed. He was sentenced on January 9, 2018, to a nine-week jail term suspended for two years for the sexual assault. For the exposure he was given 36 weeks’ imprisonment to be served consecutively, which was also suspended for two years. Ezedi finished his unpaid work order and was discharged from probation supervision.

It is understood Ezedi was granted asylum on a subsequent appeal – despite his criminal history – after getting a priest to vouch that he had converted to Christianity. He said he was ‘wholly committed’ to his new religion. The vouching Baptist minister however was a little concerned about his newfound Christian, requesting that Ezedi sign a seven-point document barring him from entering the church alone.

Ezedi went on to travel from Newcastle to Clapham and attack a mother and her daughter with alkali. An excellent addition to the UK, I am sure you will agree!

So there you have it. Involved in a machete attack? Not to worry, you will be granted bail leaving you free to murder other innocent citizens.

You are a cannabis user and an obviously dangerous parent? Not to worry, you can have your ten-month-old baby back. By the way, that drug deal you made will not warrant even a mention by a social worker, who may or may not make the required number of calls to check on the health of the baby. And no, you don’t need to take a drug test. What do you think this is? A civilised society?  

You enter Britain illegally in the back of a lorry and go on to commit some sex offences? Not to worry, your local Baptist minister and human rights lawyer and immigration judge will conspire together on your behalf and against the interests of the law-abiding public to make sure you can stay in the UK.

What kind of show do you think we are running here? One that abides by the rule of law? Don’t be stupid! You are now free to carry out a brutal corrosive chemical attack on a mother and her daughter.

On and on we go. That’s just four cases.

Is it just me or do you get a feeling that there is something in the water? Either that or the authorities are really not on your side? But be careful, do not misgender someone online. Now that really is harmful. 

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