"The false retraction had perverted the course of justice, which meant 'the imposition of a prison sentence is inevitable'." - The Telegraph quotes the sentencing judge in Woman who accused husband of rape jailed for "falsely retracting" the claims - "A woman who claims she was repeatedly raped by her husband has been jailed for eight months for "falsely retracting" the allegations," the piece continues.
From this Wikinews piece, to quote myself: "Salim and Hafiz's mother Gulshan admitted perverting the course of justice; her role was to intimidate witnesses... Gulshan was given a 44-week sentence suspended for two years..."
It's just as well you made your point without the diatribe.
Intimidating witnesses is pretty nasty. Is the Lord Chancellor paying attention to this chaos?
I'd like to think the powers that be are watching, but I don't think it's a new problem. I've heard grumblings before, but it's only now I pay attention to a few stories that I see just how bad it gets.
See also my call for changed sentencing law and guidelines on rape. I know of a recent case where four rapes and (twelve?) sexual assaults all against one schoolgirl netted just ~7 years.
You are probably right that the Ministry of Justice probably won't notice that a convicted witness intimidator did not go to jail.
I don't want "RICO" type laws that automatically give gang-related crime stiffer sentences. But I would like to see some sanity in sentencing.
I would like to think that the Lord Chancellor and his ministers discussed the prison sentence for the person who "falsely retracted" the rape allegation. I bet that discussion is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, but a civilised society should expect judges to be held accountable in some way.
Sure, intimidation is not an excuse for a witness to withhold evidence (or to lie). Yet when that witness is the victim of the alleged crime, judges have leeway and discretion, and they should use that discretion in the interests of justice.
How many more crimes will now be hushed up, when witnesses have cause to fear the courts as much as they fear the accused?
I could always shoot for it under the Act (or re-read the Act to identify if it is indeed exempt). I've already got an FoI request pending on that and plan to sub another tonight. I shan't explain what publicly, at least while it's pending, but I'm happy to email you with details.
Sorry, Blood Red Sandman, but I didn't understand the meaning of the verb 'doubled-up' in the following context:"....who doubled-up as a senior figure in a Preston, England drugs gang".
Thanks a lot for your explanation!