January 18th, 2011

Lord Taylor’s Playground Defence

Lord Taylor’s claims were connected to a residence in Oxford – an address the prosecution say he never stayed at and doesn’t own. This is conceded by his barrister who says John Taylor was told by another senior peer that his claims were ‘acceptable’. His defence amounts to “a big boy told me to do it” and “all the other kids do it”. His barrister said peers, including Taylor, treat expenses as “in lieu of a salary” and that falsely claiming for expenses like this was ‘commonplace’ in the Lords. They were all at it.

You might think that admitting falsely claiming for expenses was a clear admission of guilt. It seems that the defence is trying to show there was no mens rea or “guilty mind” without which they could argue there is no criminal liability because actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea“the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty”. How Taylor will demonstrate an innocent mind when he gave false addresses will be interesting…


114 Comments

  1. 1
    begorrah and bejabbers says:

    Oh yeah, it’ll be interesting alright.

  2. 2
    South of the M4 says:

    Contra principia negantem non est disputandum. – Against one who denies the principles there can be no debate . A similar stance then to the one Ed is taking over the economy. Bastards the lot of them. Tunisia has it about right.

  3. 3
    jack strawman, ex barrister says:

    So what happened to, ignorance of the law is no excuse that applies to the rest of us?

  4. 4
    It'sAlreadyTooLate says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12214546

    Dear George, so sorry

    Love Mervyn

  5. 5
    South of the M4 says:

    Dear Mervyn,

    Keep ignoring it there’s a good chap.

    Love, George

  6. 6
    Sambo says:

    Piano wire + lamppost = result

  7. 7
    Engineer says:

    Perhaps accountancy wasn’t his strong point, Jack.

  8. 8

    I’ll wager that Taylor is a member of some fruity ‘club’. I’ll also bet that the judge presiding his case is a member of a fruity ‘club’*.

    A nod and a wink is all that’s needed.

    * (not the Super Adventure Club)

  9. 9
    David Cameron says:

    I found out today why Women are banned from front line.

    I was with Samantha today in Falugia. We were stuck in an alley. The taliban were firing at us from all angles.

    ‘Quick..’ I said, ‘Blow the door!!!’

    She dropped to her knees and put the knob in her mouth.

  10. 10
    Doc Trough. says:

    mens rea. How Mandelson.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    With you there, Bro!

    Rastus

  12. 12
    It'sAlreadyTooLate says:

    Lets hope the jury doesn’t accept ignorance as an excuse.

  13. 13
    Jude says:

    So he’s pleading insanity?
    Since he’s in the Lords, he might get away with that.

  14. 14
    Mark Austin says:

    Unfortunately, this is (potentially) a legal defence. While I am not a lawer, a course I went on at my (then) place of work made it clear that if an organisation rule (e.g. for expenses) is routinely breached; and the management knows and/or colludes in the breach, unless the action breaches statute law – i.e. would be illegal under any circumstances, rather than illegal in that it breaches the rules of the organisation – “custom and practice” can be a valid defence.

    As it would be perfectly legal (if not sensible) to have a rule that you can claim travelling expenses from any residence (rather than the one you actually travel from), if he can prove that the management knew this was happening, colluded in its happening, or even encouraged it, he may get off.

  15. 15
    artful dodger says:

    Otherwise known as the, ‘Gordon Brown defence.’

  16. 16
    Up sh1t creek says:

    Piggy Taylor…

  17. 17
    streamfisher says:

    The plea of non compos mensis is a novel but clever line of defence by his QC council especially in a case like this, the translation into common parlance being : Guilty as charged but insane, no conflict of interest there then with his House of Lords ‘Job’.

  18. 18

    Application for position of head of state

    NAME: Gordon Brown
    Country applied for: TUNISIA

    Qualifications.

    Tunisia is almost bankrupt. I can take it way beyond that.
    Dictators need to be unpopular. My poll ratings showed me to be unpopular on an international scale.
    I have already successfully survived 3 coups in just 3 years. I could easily survive another 7.
    I can bring a whole new N.Korea vibe to my dictatorship. A parade of rocking horses. Dancing Nokias ..

    ANY OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION THAT MAY HELP YOUR APPLICATION
    I know you are an Islambpic country. Well I really hate women. And any form of opposition. And I will always, always put the narrow self interests of the party before the country.
    And i know where to get my hands on a cheap aircraft carrier.

    Please reply and let me know how my application is proceeding.
    I’ll be in most days.

  19. 19
    gildedtumbril says:

    I am with you too.

  20. 20

    Accountancy isn’t necessary at the Treasury
    Recorded delivery. Sign ‘ere please guv..

  21. 21
    Righty Right Wing (Mrs) says:

    For the love of God – is that really his defence?

    Unbelievable, simply incredible.

    He has to go down for 2 years.

  22. 22
    Swift Justice says:

    So he is guilty then. Why carry on with the trial?

  23. 23
    David Chaytor says:

    actus fucking well non facit David Cameron reum nisi bollocks mens buttocks sit arse rea Nick Clegg toilet rolls

    He is guilty as fuck

  24. 24
    Smig says:

    Ignorance of the law is not an admissable defence.

    I hope the theiving gobshite gets sent down.

  25. 25
    Righty Right Wing (Mrs) says:

    Thanks Bill, I “lol” at that.

  26. 26
    Anonymous says:

    The guy is a barrister for god’s sake. There are lots of jobs where “fiddles” are endemic – that doesn’t mean that anyone, let alone a lawyer, could possibly think that they were legal. If only Clive Goodman had thought of this defence: “Sorry we listened to their messages, m’lud, but we were all at it.’ Or: “Sorry I beat up the black guy, your honour, but all my friends are members of the BNP.” Nice.

  27. 27
    Up sh1t creek says:

    According to the Sky News bimbo, inflation rose because of the rise in VAT…. which happened waaaaaaaaaay back in January 2010. Still, better not mention the BoE’s secret money printing which is trying to smash the value of the UK Pound. Please read up on the currency war starting up.

    Don’t forget, these figures are massively rigged by the BoE / ONS / government – the real inflation rate is far worse.

  28. 28
    Gordon Brown PM says:

    It wisnae me.

  29. 29
    Misterned says:

    What happened to ignorance not being a defence? That only applies in Criminal Law to us peons. We are only equal in natural law, not Criminal law or Statute law.

  30. 30
    You ain't seen nothing Yet says:

    Going to be far worse next month when the increase VAT and fuel duty is added to the figures.

  31. 31
    Roundell says:

    I have 2 recollections of this gentleman

    1 Because we was working as an adviser to M Howard he just thought he could barge past the entry system to a champagne reception at Blackpool without paying.

    2 He lived in my Ward in Kensington when I was chairman and was asked to be a speaker at a wine and cheese – a fat “NO” even if it was to a date of his choice

  32. 32
    Smig says:

    Hahahaha, same old BBC panicking over nothing. 5% inflation is fuck all to worry about.

    Leave the interest rates where they are and cut consumer taxes. A reduction in fuel duty, VAT and scrapping the TV tax will soon cut inflation.

  33. 33
    House of the Perverted says:

    He’s not saying he is ignorant of the law. He’s saying everyone was encouraged by the HoL to break the law as the law was a pretend law so that Lords could make a bob or two for their unpaid duties.

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    Daily Mail and Sky both reported yesterday that judge worked in same area as Taylor when they were young barristers, and that they attended the same Social functions! I cannot now access those stories from my history or via websites. Judge said he saw no problem with this. Also seems the judge gave some very strict guidance to the jury, and made odd reference to Parliamentary Privilige and the fact that Taylor had not sought it (mitigation?) and that it was not relevant to the trial.
    It is all stitched up.

  35. 35
    Be afraid be very afraid. says:

    I fear you may be correct. But we are talking about the country’s Law makers, the judge hopefully will make an example of him.

  36. 36
    Ratsniffer says:

    That defence should be laughed out of court. Can you imagine one of us plebs standing up in court and saying: yes i fiddled my expenses at work because a/everyone else was at it and we’re not paid enough and b/ I didn’t know it was illegal. Cue stiffled titters from the prosecuting team as they look towards the judge who is already donning his black cap….

  37. 37
    South of the M4 says:

    Dear Mervyn,

    I have read the concerns about inflation on this blog. So, I suggest when it reaches double figures I will pretend to shout at you. Just stick to the script we agreed Merv, and it will be ok. See you Sunday. Beef this week.

    Love George.

  38. 38
    David Cameron says:

    Look here, he is a Conservative for crying out loud.

    I shall submit the following plea on his behalf

    “de lunatico inquiriendo”

  39. 39
    Sir William Waad says:

    The doctrine of ‘mens rea’ is that you have to intend the act that constitutes the crime. It doesn’t mean that you have to make a conscious decision to do wrong, otherwise anybody who truly believed that ‘property is theft’ could nick anything they wanted without fear of prosecution.

    “Yes, officer, I was indeed doing 55 in a 30 mile per hour zone, but so do lots of other people.”

  40. 40
    interesting says:

    Blatant trougher denies intent to trough.

  41. 41
    rattattat says:

    He must have been a shit barrister if he thinks what some one told him will save himself from a fraud charge.
    Seems to me simple- he either did or didn’t live at the addres and did or didn’t claim the milage. If he ‘lied’ on the forms, then to use the legal term – he’s fucked. The same as the poor benefit claimant. however if he’s potted he deserves all he gets.

  42. 42
    P. Doff says:

    Well if Liebor MPs could got elected by claiming spurious “postal” votes… perhaps his little cnut thought he could get away with claiming expenses on “PO Box” (LOL) addresses.

  43. 43
    Why me Officer? says:

    A bit like the driver who is pulled up for speeding in a line of speeding traffic then.

  44. 44
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    Lock him up with Chaytor and Ilsley

    He is lucky stupidity isn’t a crime as well otherwise he would be doing 20 years.

  45. 45
    Dianne Fatbut says:

    You is jus picking on him cos he is black, innit.

  46. 46
    Sir William Waad says:

    I asked him a question many years ago at a public meeting, at a time when the government of the say was flogging off bandwidth to the phone companies. I asked him how the Government could sell something that it hadn’t created and didn’t own, that is, a part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  47. 47
    road runner says:

    So in theory I could say everything is a pretend law. I’ll remember that next time I’m caught speeding. A lot of people seem to get off that don’t they, if they know the right loopholes?

  48. 48
    Willsteed says:

    I see from today’s Telegraph that his lawyer is also playing the ‘His parents were immigrants, he was the first in his family to go to university, he almost put his family into poverty to take up his peerage’.

    I mean FFS, shouldn’t Taylor be embarrassed having this bull wheeled out?

  49. 49
    TOO FAR says:

    Un fucking believable. I was caught speeding, 35mph in a 30 limit by a GATSO
    Guilty!!
    I was following a long line of traffic all doing the same speed (this is true)
    Just emagine if I went to court and used the defence…. everyone else was doing it sir, I didn’t mean to speed sir. Hired an expensive lawyer.
    Still bloody GUILTY!
    Yes there is one law for us “plebs” another for their lordships
    Come on Guildo, give this/these ars*hole(s) hell! if he/they get off with a slap on the wrist

  50. 50
    Martin Day says:

    And now for something completely different

    Gordon Brown

  51. 51
    Up sh1t creek says:

    Increase interest rates and crash the unsustainable house price boom. Notice how the UK economy is NOT moving because the housing market is overpriced, and the savers savings disappearing to help the buy to letters.

    Savers are moving their money into anything except savings and houses. When the BoE and government have no more places to steal money from, the UK will REALLY tank.

    Crash the house prices and you might avoid the doomsday scenario.

  52. 52
    Gordon Brown says:

    It was the right thing to do.

  53. 53
    Engineer says:

    “…a champagne reception at Blackpool…”

    Now there’s a phrase you don’t see very often. Does champagne go OK with fish and chips?

  54. 54
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    That would appear to depend on how serious it was.
    If everyone took £10 for lunch, even if you only had a £1 sandwich, you’d probably get away with it. If you were part of Tony Soprano’s garbage disposal company and “doing what everyone else does” , it might not wash.

  55. 55
    Yap! Yap! says:

    No! because it never happened.

  56. 56
    Dodgy handshake says:

    Today Mr Justice Saunders said: “For a while we both practised as barristers in Birmingham.

    “We were in different chambers but from time to time we would see each other in crown court.

    “We could have attended the same social occasions organised by the circuit but not many.”

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3356181/Judge-I-knew-exes-trial-Lord-when-we-were-barristers.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News

  57. 57
    EdMiliband says:

    Gorwdon, don’t forget vhat you could provide a succession!

  58. 58
    Wavy Davy the Wimp says:

    Dave will be sacking BoE Governor Mervyn King any day now….

    Like fuck he will.

  59. 59

    West Ham have turned into the Labour party.
    They pick a leader with a stellar reputation who just can’t manage. his team slips down the table and now faces relegation.
    So the bosses secretly decide to replace him with another manager. but it all leaks out. Then the new managerial choice backs away from the job and the directors are left no option back to back peddle and declare total loyalty and support to the man they were just minutes away from kicking out.

    The difference being people actually like and respect Mr Grant.

  60. 60
    Roundell says:

    It is more common at Labour party conferences

  61. 61
    Crash Gordon says:

    It started in America and here I am trying to make some money out of them.

  62. 62

    Shouldn’t he be at work?

  63. 63
    William Hague says:

    I’m ready to fly out with my Spad at a moments notice. Our love for backing up the Tunis is well know.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    Steve Miliband says:

    0.28 is that Piers fucking Morgan? Hope his TV show is a success in the US so he fucking stays there out of sight.

    ”Thanks for helping me launch my book here – by the way it’s all your fault”

  66. 66
    Woof! says:

    No he isn’t. It didn’t happen.

  67. 67
    streamfisher says:

    Good point, but it hasn’t stopped them charging us for oxygen either, they just call it carbon emission reduction tax.

  68. 68
    Aesop o'Sardis says:

    Lawyers have no interest in right and wrong or guilt or innocence. There is merely what they and their client can get away with or not get away with.

    Politicians share the same moral compass.

  69. 69

    Took some of the moblies down though didn’t it Gordon?

  70. 70
    Calamity Clegg says:

  71. 71
    Totty Watch says:

    So he will presumably have no objection to getting up the arse in the showers provided that the lifers say it is business as usual

  72. 72
    pissed off voter says:

    ‘this was ‘commonplace’ in the Lords.’

    I hope the prosecution press for named examples and then initiate fresh prosecutions, but given the record of the CPS I guess it’s unlikely.

  73. 73
    John Major's Face Full of Curry says:

    The public talk about Gordon almost as much as me these days.

    Oh yes!

  74. 74
    Pargle says:

    The Conservative Party ?

  75. 75
    Tricoteuse says:

    +1

  76. 76
    Engineer says:

    I’m no expert on wine, but I suspect that Co-op own brand may not be the finest of champagnes. They’d be at home with the fish and chips, though; at least the older ones would, the recent intake are probably more familiar with caviar and hummus.

  77. 77
    Anonymous says:

    MP’s and Lords are impervious to embarrassment.
    That’s one of the reasons they’re such accomplished liars and cheaters.

  78. 78
    Engineer says:

    Given his record when he was, arguably not.

  79. 79
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    So he almost put his family into poverty to take up his peerage – sounds like a nasty combination of vanity and Lord Levy’s high prices.

  80. 80
    Penfold says:

    So, rather than accept that he did wrong and got found out, Taylor is now trying to bring the whole house of cards down by implicating all his fellow members.
    What a shit.

    What a defence though, the Nuremburg option, I followed the system and me mates, it was orders m’lord.

    Bah total humbug orff with his gonads…..

  81. 81
    Engineer says:

    Must have been posted by a BBC employee. It’s a repeat.

  82. 82
    Lord ****y, Lord ****** of P****, Lord S******** says:

    Unlikely, though not impossible if he names names just to save his own skin.
    But an honest upright chivalrous person like a Lord would never do that?
    would he?

  83. 83
    TOO FAR says:

    Just had a look at his site on

    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/john-taylor/26785

    He hasn’t been much use to the “running of he UK” so why has he been given a peerage? Is it because he is bla*k?

    Seems to know how to fiddle expenses, got to be good at something I suppose!

  84. 84
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    I have an innocent mind. My mind is at its most innocent when it is contemplating the form of… well almost woman.

  85. 85
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    ‘Beyond the Crash’? He should call the book ‘Beyond fucking belief’.

  86. 86
    Gazza says:

    Ha,way an eat neeps, whats with the lager man!, nuwunder my mate moaty shot his elf with a police bullet, that charlie Kinnedy’s still ok for a few brews like, north of the border, no tax increese there and me thinking the scotties wur the worst ones for a bevvie or too and urinwanting in the street.

  87. 87
    Bullsh1t-o-meter says:

    The needle just went off the scale.

  88. 88
    Smig says:

    Without improving exports, I dont think there is any way to pay off the stupendous amount of debt run up by Liebour.

    Tanking the houseprices might be an option. That’s really going to hurt a LOT of people.

  89. 89
    Joss Ayinglike says:

    You are officially a twat.

  90. 90
    Just Asking says:

    Why is after dinner confectionery taxpayer funded?

  91. 91
    Weygand says:

    This is not really a question of ‘mens rea’ which applies to all but strict liability offences and is merely the intention to commit the act – Taylor admits that he intended to make the claim.

    The argument is over the specific element of this offence which requires not just that the accused intended the act but that he also acted ‘dishonestly’. If he convinces the Court that he genuinely thought he was entitled to claim (for whatever reason) he will be acquitted.

  92. 92
    he's a loony lefty libcon says:

    But it’s always funny watching Lib Dums like you splutter in rage about it.

  93. 93
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    Ignorance is no defence !
    nail his fucking head to the wall !

    parasite !

  94. 94
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    So if he gets off because it was an acceptable way of boosting earnings
    then they can all claim that is what they were doing and get off with it ?

  95. 95
    Anonymous says:

    Lord Taylor = Dollar Tory

    Promoted only because of his colour.

  96. 96
    Beyond the Crash-Gordon says:

    Hire me and I will take your Countries debt to the next level !

  97. 97
    Jackie Spliff says:

    It worked for me !

  98. 98
    Beyond the Crash-Gordon says:

    Just so you know the little photos of me on the billboard behind me are not of me picking my nose ok !!!

  99. 99
    Anonymous says:

    Its a bit like leaving a note to your wife on the kitchen table explaining that you have been having an affair and have left her only to find out that your bit of stuff has changed her mind about leaving her bloke and you have to dash back home hoping you arrive back before wife gets home from work to read said note…..er maybe not but you get the picture

  100. 100
    Beyond the Crash-Gordon says:

    The book is about what happened next !

  101. 101
    Anonymous says:

    Did Gordon write the slogans on those billboards himself ? The handwriting looks familiar.

  102. 102
    Anonymous says:

    Devine will do the same.

  103. 103
    Anonymous says:

    Too many effing laws Misterned.Only one needed is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

  104. 104
    Anonymous says:

    I remember the time when a Judge would find that enough to debar himself from hearing the case. Oh happy times.

  105. 105
    rattattat says:

    I fucking hope not!

  106. 106
    rattattat says:

    Here we go the old he’s only in the shit because he’s black rubbish.
    He’s in the shit because he’s a thieving bastard who though he would not get caught

  107. 107
    TomTom says:

    Isn’t Taylor a lawyer ? They are usually ignorant of the law and rely upon the old boys club to look after them. Look at Blair and his inability to understand why Field Marshall Keitel was hanged at Nuremberg for “planning an illegal war”

    What can you do with such people ?

  108. 108
    Voice of Treason says:

    He’s bound to get off as he has the right colour of skin.

  109. 109
    Hepworth says:

    Big problem then. You and I are his employers, did you acknowledge the practice, or for that matter condone it?
    I know I didn’t.

  110. 110
    BrownianMotion says:

    True story. I was in Ansdell, just down the road from Blackpool and decidedly more up-market. There was a cafe, quite near another cafe and obviously competing with it. For prominently displayed outside the cafe was a notice with wording (as close as I can remember):
    “We don’t serve any old rubbish here. Only genuine Nescafe and Tetley’s.”

  111. 111
    City of Vice says:

    Unfortunately for Taylor the Nuremburg defence didn’t quite cut it at Nuremburg…

    This guy is a barrister ffs. Given the insultingly puerile nonsense he’s trotted out in his defence, Taylor deserves to be made an example of.

  112. 112
    Popeye says:

    And him a barrister?

  113. 113
    1381 says:

    And lost Cheltenham.
    Loser all round.
    Bit like Warsi – promoted for only one reason.
    Blatant.

  114. 114
    Vecten says:

    He’s a black man so he’ll be ok. I’m just wondering where I’ll be if I ever commit an antisocial offense, or did I just do that?


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