Friday, November 13, 2009

So much for attempting to do the right thing

This story is really and truly outrageous, even for the worst Nanny-state hellhole on the globe.

Former British soldier Paul Clarke found a black plastic bag in his garden, and discovered that it contained a sawed-off shotgun and two shells. He immediately turned in the weapon to the local police, who promptly arrested him for possession of a firearm:

"'I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets.'"

In a sane nation it would have been, Mr. Clarke. You live in England, however, and so the rules of a rational society unfortunately don't apply.

Unbelievably, Mr. Clarke has been convicted of that charge, and now faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison:

"The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden.

In his statement, he said: 'I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges.

I didn't know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him.

At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall.'

Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells.

Defending, Lionel Blackman told the jury Mr Clarke's garden backs onto a public green field, and his garden wall is significantly lower than his neighbours.

He also showed jurors a leaflet printed by Surrey Police explaining to citizens what they can do at a police station, which included 'reporting found firearms'.

Quizzing officer Garnett, who arrested Mr Clarke, he asked: 'Are you aware of any notice issued by Surrey Police, or any publicity given to, telling citizens that if they find a firearm the only thing they should do is not touch it, report it by telephone, and not take it into a police station?'

To which, Mr Garnett replied: 'No, I don't believe so.'

Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a 'strict liability' charge – therefore Mr Clarke's allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added."

And so now an honorably discharged veteran who volunteered to serve his country in wartime is going to be given years of hard time for attempting to do the right thing, even while thousands of "yobs" in that joke of a nation get slaps on the wrists for their truly society-endangering intentional evil behaviors.

Special contempt has to be reserved for the judge in the case, who seems to be suffering from the same "zero-tolerance" disease that's currently afflicting many school officials here in America:

"Judge Christopher Critchlow said: 'This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant.'"

A law-abiding British subject would now have to be nuts to even think about contacting the "authorities" should they notice illegal behavior or a suspicious situation, lest they end up just like poor Mr. Clarke.

We suspect this case's outcome will be the act that finishes off the last shreds of what was once a decent country over there.


Bike Bubba said...

It's a bit like the case of the Wisconsin man (alas, successfully) prosecuted for having a malfunctioning weapon that fired a few rounds at a time instead of one. (Olofson?) The prosecution admitted that there was no intent, and they also admitted they had to "tweak" it to get it to malfunction.

Still a few years in the poker for that. Stupid

zombywolf said...

scary that the court there in the UK said that it didn't matter what the intent was of the defendant--just that he had a gun--meanwhile youths roam the streets there and if you ask them to behave or watch their language you might get kicked and beaten to death.