Tuesday, 29 April 2008

A Wednesday miscellanea

A round-up of a few recent developments, some more trivial than others. Thanks to Greg Gordon for details of one of the reports in (1).

(1) More inanimate objects

As this blog started with news of a man having sex with a bicycle, it seems only right to keep readers up to date with such practices, even belatedly. So click here for the Sun’s report of an unnamed Polish builder sacked for having sex with a hoover (apparently his “defence” that vacuuming one’s own underwear was “a common practice in Poland” failed), and here for the Telegraph’s report of an unnamed 32 year old Wiltshire man arrested for allegedly simulating sex with a lamppost.

(2) Anwar contempt hearing

On more important matters, the High Court hearing in respect of the contempt allegations against Aamer Anwar (see, most recently, this post) took place today. A report is available here on the BBC News website. It appears that the judges have made avizandum and will issue a decision in due course. Significantly, it appears that Liberty were granted permission to make submissions as ‘interveners’ (see this Scotsman report): such third-party intervention has not hitherto been a feature of Scottish criminal cases.

(3) Victim statements to be rolled out

The Scottish Government announced on Monday that the victim statement schemes – previously piloted in Ayr, Edinburgh and Kilmarnock – are to be rolled out across Scotland from April 1st 2009 (click here for the press release). It appears that the statements will be restricted to solemn procedure (not surprising given that the evaluation of the pilots found that take up was much lower in less serious cases) and that the statement will be made “after finding of guilt but before sentencing”. Quite what this means is unclear. Under the relevant statutory provisions (introduced by section 14 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003), victims (strictly, alleged victims) are to be afforded the opportunity to make a statement once a decision to prosecute has been taken, and not only after the accused is convicted – if this happens at all. There may be some sense in only taking statements after a “finding of guilt” (although it could lead to problems of delay in sentencing), but it would not be implementing the legislation as passed by Parliament.


FS said...

Have police forces across the UK started some sort of combined "sex with inanimate objects" task force? Or is this problem one which has only emerged recently?

RW said...

On that note see page 6 of today's sun, "Sex With Car Rap". Callum Ainsworth (18) - who was "exhausted" after the act - is to face trial in August for attempting to have sex with a car.