THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Chez Madame Mao
Lies, damn lies and government statistics

Innocent until proven guilty? Not in Hampshire.

Dead surfer had been held over child porn |

Apart from coping with the sudden death of their husband and father, "...wife Diana and daughter Sofia..." must now also live with the shame of his alleged crime. Have Hampshire Police never heard of "innocent until proven guilty?"

There is no suggestion that this death was connected with the charges. Quite the contrary. The dead man can never now clear his name (and, let's face it, it's remarkably easy to plant something incriminating on a hard drive). Yet his grieving wife and daughter must live with the stigma of a crime of which he is, as a matter of English law and tradition, innocent.

The British police are no longer the friends of ordinary citizens. They are (with such honourable exceptions as this one) the lickspittles of government and a disgrace to a free nation.

My sympathies are with Diana and Sofia in their grief, especially as to that part of it caused by Hampshire's heartless Plods. Whatever the truth of the charges against their husband and father, they are suffering innocents. That the "police spokesman" took his moment in the limelight rather than spare their feelings is proof enough that, socially and morally, Britain is broken. God rot him.


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David Davis

I knew a man, while we lived in London, an entirely blameless guy who retired from his business, he was a multiple-retailer. He was "fingered" a few months later to the Police (on such a count as this) by a person whom he had decided not to promote to a store manager's position, a little time before his retirement. His lawyer had found out, much later, who it was.

He told me, much much later after no charges were laid by the DPP, that the periods between seizure of (all his family's) computer(s) and photograph albums, wedding pics, etc, and after months his arrest, and then from arrest to predicted court-date, together with three court-date-postponements of about a month each, amounted to almost exactly a year.

In this time, his life and that of his family was effectively terminated. He contemplated suicide but was unable to go through with it. Apparently the police people, who turned over and ransacked his entire house one day, came from something called something like the "Family Support Unit" of the Met. He thought it was irony but they were serious and even refused coffee.

He in the end decided that although he had none of what they were looking for - and they finally said so by letter - the process itself was designed as a king of sentence, for anybody under some sort of "suspicion".

The guy now drinks very heavily which he didn't before, but fortunately his wife stayed on with him so I hope he'll be OK.

There is an unrevealed iceberg, I think, somewhere in the UK, all over it, of people in this position. There may be thousands and thousands of them. The guy said he tought it was the mmodern equivalent of being accused of witchcraft, and could be used by anyone with a grudge against someone, and was probably available on purpose.


They said on suspicion of possessing, not that he actually had any. Maybe he was on a contacts list of one of those awful nursery women, or the guy.

I also hear that some sites can download stuff that takes over your computer, sends spam and can even host. Also that legitimate internet software can follow links off a page and download stuff to speed up display, supposing If that is true, then there could be anything on your computer and you would never know.


Thank you, James. Thank you also for continuing the discussion at to which you modestly failed to link.


I have practised law in both Common Law and Civil Law countries and you can build a just society under either system. The people of France, Germany and Italy are not serfs, Dave. They are free men and women, like us - as long as they keep a wary eye on on their governments. Again, just like us.

Instinctively, I prefer the Common Law, because the default position is liberty, whereas liberty in a Constitution/Code based system can be seen as a gift of the state. Even there, civil law jurists will argue that the Constitution merely confirms the natural rights of citizens. Either way - even on your sentimental analysis of the Common Law - you can move from anarchy to tyranny or from tyranny to anarchy and still meet somewhere in the middle.

England is not moving from the Common Law to the Civil Law. Would that it were so simple. It is moving from freedom and it is doing so by the demand of an infantilised population which thinks "the government should do something" is the answer to every problem. With the state's dependents an actual majority now, I find it hard to see a way back.


This is very true, Tom. Agatha Christie wrote about just such a thing - the spread of rumour, the planting of evidence and people have been hung for that too.

Christie said that the worst of it is the living relatives or those "never quite accused" - they live in a private hell in perpetuity.

Good post.


Does this not prove the inexorable move away from the Common Law that has been the cornerstone of our legal system for the last thousand years, to the Napoleonic Code, which is how the rest of Europe's laws are based?
Common law = everything is allowed unless it is banned
Napoleonic Code = everything is banned unless it is allowed.
One more nail in the coffin.

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