Caven blog

October 2012

Justice was a witch in the 1600s

As today is Halloween we thought we’d do something a bit different and have a look at the witch trials of the past, to show that while the justice system does have some creases in need of ironing, things used to be a great deal worse.

The most famous UK trial is the Pendle witch trial of 1612, in which twelve people from Pendle Hill, Lancashire, were charged with murdering a total of ten people by using witchcraft.


UK Government told child benefit cuts may be discriminatory

The Telegraph reports that the Institute of Chartered Accounts for England and Wales has informed the Government that cutting child benefit for higher earners through the tax system could break European law.

From January 7th 2013, parents earning between £50,000 and £60,000 will lose some of their child benefit on a sliding scale; while any household where one person earns more than £60,000 will lose entitlement to child benefit altogether.


Informal sperm donor must pay child support 13 years later

Mark Langridge, 47, was shocked to be told by the Child Support Agency (CSA) recently, that he must pay £26 a week child support for two children he fathered as a favour to a lesbian couple, as yet unnamed, who were his friends years ago.

The Daily Mail reports that Essex-resident Langridge and his long-term partner, Shaun Keeble, met the women in a gay nightclub in Southend in 1997.


Young man claims police locked him up for filming on-duty officers

The Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that a 20-year-old man, Jake Coplestone, is claiming Wiltshire police locked him up overnight because he filmed some on-duty officers apparently taking a break.

Coplestone, who played ruby for south-west England under-16s, claims he saw five on-duty police officers gathered in a Marlborough café-bar one evening this September. He filmed them with his phone, but was spotted doing so and approached by two of the officers.


Landmark ruling on equal pay case could generate wave of new claims

This Wednesday, at the Supreme Court in London, five senior judges ruled on a case concerning whether equal pay claims could be made in the civil court rather than being confined to Employment Tribunals, as reported by the BBC.

The ruling, which follows those made previously by the High Court and the Court of Appeal on the matter, also has implications regarding the time-limit in which ex-employees can launch such claims.


Politician obtains shocking figures on crimes committed by bailed offenders

Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester east and Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has obtained statistics from the Ministry of Justice, via a parliamentary question, relating to the number of crimes committed in England and Wales by those released on bail.

The Daily Mail reports that last year around three offenders per month were convicted of murder, while already on bail for another crime. Going back over the past 12 years, 436 murders have been committed by someone out on bail. Overall, 180 crimes are committed by bailed offenders every day.


Comedian Boyle wins libel case against Daily Mirror

Comedian Frankie Boyle has won a defamation case against the Daily Mirror after the newspaper described him as racist in an article published in July last year, according to the BBC.

Boyle was awarded £50,650 by a High Court jury after deciding that the description was libellous, and another £4,250 for allegations that he had been “forced to quit” comedy show ‘Mock the Week’.


Two men jailed for possessing legal drugs in landmark case

Two men have made legal history by becoming the first to be convicted for possessing a large quantity of legal drugs; namely, powdered caffeine and paracetamol mixed together.

According to the Daily Mail, 23-year-old Anthony Woodford, from Harlow in Essex and 44-year-old David Lewison, from west London, were both sentenced to eight years in jail at Canterbury Crown Court last Friday.


Supreme Court re-definition of ‘miscarriage of justice’ to be tested in compensation claim

In May 2011, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that re-defined the legal meaning of a ‘miscarriage of justice’. This ruling is about to be tested at the High Court in a compensation case launched by Barry George, among four others.

A panel of nine senior judges arrived at the re-definition last year, by a majority of five to four, after debating when compensation should be paid to those wrongly convicted of a crime, as reported by The Daily Mail.


Victim of subprime mortgage collapse launches class action against banks

A 68-year-old American woman who suffered a home re-possession, Annie Bell Adams, has launched a class-action lawsuit in New York against 12 banks, including Barclays, Lloyds, Bank of America and RBS, according to The Daily Mail.

Adams, along with four other complainants, claims the banks manipulated the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in such a way that her mortgage (which was directly linked to the rate) was far more expensive than it should have been.


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