A gang of fraudsters who who faked up ID cards in a million pound online swindle have been jailed for a total of 22 years. Cops found this driving licence in the name of David Cameron was used to advertise the conmen’s services. How on earth did they get caught?
Andrea Leadsom’s office tell Guido they have complained to the police about this Brexit death threat she received this morning. Guido also understands four other such letters have been reported to the police today. Six Leave donors received the letters last week. Grim stuff…
UPDATE: Met statement:
“Police are aware of threatening letters sent to four Members of Parliament at the House of Commons. Two of the letters were reported to police on Friday February 9, and two on Monday February 12. The letters are being investigated by officers from the Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation Team within the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. There has been no arrest at this stage. Enquiries are ongoing.”
When Zac Goldsmith first drew attention to the coordinated campaign of death threats being sent to Leavers this week, most responded with horror. Not everyone, though. If you look at the replies to the original tweet, hundreds and hundreds of nutty Remain supporters claimed Zac had fabricated the letter himself. Disturbingly, the worst offenders were three prominent journalists. The @hrtbps account, an anonymous lefty columnist with 66,000 followers, wrote a perverse article for the men’s website Joe.co.uk implying Goldsmith was responsible. He was joined by New European writer Mike Hind, who mocked the death threat and claimed there is “no evidence” it wasn’t a set up by Zac. Byline’s Peter Jukes suggested the death threat was “coordinated” by Steve Bannon. This morning Guido revealed that at least six Leave donors have been sent the chilling letters and the police are investigating. Don’t hold your breath for these embarrassed Remain cranks to apologise…
At least six prominent donors to the Leave campaign have received identical death threats in the past week as part of a concerted campaign of intimidation from a group calling itself “The Real 48 Per Cent”, Guido can reveal. The chilling letters, which were typed but sent in handwritten envelopes, told the recipients: “You have stoked the fires of Brexit and led us to this moment. You can no longer be tolerated. We are coming for you. We are going to kill you”. Guido is aware of six Leave donors who have received the same letter. At least three have complained to the police. It is suspected that the sender of the letters identified the donors using this article listing the names of those who gave money to the Leave campaign. It is likely more letters were sent to other donors. The sender identified themselves as an opponent of Brexit, writing: “We were born in Britain. We live in the UK. We are European”. If you are a Leave donor who also received the letter and haven’t spoken to Guido yet, get in touch. The police would also like to hear from you…
Tonight The Sun and The Daily Mail have begun judicial review proceedings to force the Parole Board to reveal its reasons for allowing black cab rapist John Worboys to be freed. They have seven days to publish the Worboys reasoning or else the two newspapers will launch a legal challenge. Elsewhere, tomorrow’s papers report that a fresh sex assault allegation may keep Worboys behind bars. Wheels in motion to keep Worboys inside, at last…
The chairman of the Parole Board has all but admitted that procedures were breached during the John Worboys case, that the decision to release him could be wrong and that the black cab rapist could reoffend. In a statement welcoming the judicial review of the Parole Board’s decision, Nick Hardwick says “there should be an independent investigation” because “some victims who should have been kept informed were not and victims and the public deserve to know exactly what happened”. Hardwick concedes that the Parole Board’s decision to release Worboys could be wrong: “Do they always get it right? No”. And he admits it is possible Worboys could reoffend: “I would not be honest if I pretended risk could be eliminated completely”. Hardwick implies the decision to release Worboys was based on “evidence of how the prisoner has changed”, yet also confirms he was deemed too dangerous to move to an open prison just two years ago. This is clearly the Parole Board trying to cover their backs knowing they’ve messed up. How can the Justice Secretary possibly let Worboys out now?
The psychologist who reportedly influenced the decision to release rapist John Worboys has spent her career calling for a softer approach to dealing with sex offenders, Guido can reveal. Yesterday’s papersreported that Dr Jackie Craissati was hired by Worboys’ defence team to compile the report that helped convince the Parole Board he should be released. She declined to comment. We can now reveal that Dr Craissati has spent the last 30 years lobbying for soft justice for sex offenders:
She was quoted in an article headlined “Can paedophiles be good people?” downplaying the crimes of less “severe” child sex abusers, even comparing some sex offenders to people involved in bar fights
She claimed the police should only be “worried about” 25% to 33% of people who access child pornography, despite evidence showing the number who pose a risk is 85%
Wrote a book aimed at the Probation Service calling for “a community treatment approach” for sex abusers
She began the book by quoting extensively from Lolita
She repeatedly promoted pro-release viewpoints and downplayed the likelihood of sex offenders to reoffend, writing that “not all perpetrators reoffend, and some not for long periods of time” and “The message that ‘there is no cure’ is disheartening and probably untrue: it would seem that – despite under-reporting – a number of convicted sex offenders do not sexually reoffend”
She unbelievably argued that “treatment… has allowed some [abusive] fathers and children to re-establish a warm and close relationship”
She criticised the “excessive emphasis” on “punitive controls” on sex offenders for “increasing an offender’s emotional instability”
She wrote an academic paper asking “Should we worry about sex offenders who deny their offences?”, in which she claimed there was a lack of association between sex offenders denying their crimes and an increased risk of reoffending
She has criticised media coverage of paedophiles: “The coverage tends to make child molesters defensive, anxious, withdrawn, uncooperative. It makes my job much more difficult. It makes them go back into themselves”
In just two weeks she is due to give a speech at Goldsmiths University titled “Ten myths about sex offenders” where she will criticise the “emotionally-driven response” of the public
The psychologist who reportedly wrote the Worboys report has spent her career calling for sex offenders to be “treated” in the community and downplaying their likelihood to reoffend. Just this month she is due to lecture us on “myths” about sex offenders. Is this how Worboys ended up being approved for release? Because some right-on academic with a penchant for soft justice has been waging a 30-year personal crusade against giving sex offenders the punishment they deserve? The public should be told…
A judicial review of the decision to release black cab rapist John Worboys has been backed by Lord Pannick QC, one of the country’s leading JR experts. Pannick tells the Times that he endorses Justice Secretary David Gauke’s attempts to JR the Parole Board, and says the challenge should focus on whether the board followed a fair process: “The process issue appears to turn on whether the victims have been properly consulted, as fairness requires”. This is the key point: it has now emerged that there were multiple clear breaches of the proper procedure – victims were not consulted on either his release or the conditions, as was their right. Which means the original process is now likely to be declared unsound. With Pannick’s expert backing, Gauke has no excuse not to proceed…
Biggest development in the Worboys story yet. Lawyers for the black cab rapist’s victims have written to the Crown Prosecution Service formally asking them to reassess 93 unprosecuted cases against him. Lawyers from Slater and Gordon and Birnberg Pierce wrote:
“As you would expect, our clients were shocked and dismayed to learn of Worboys’ imminent release. The decision of the Parole Board, the manner it was communicated to victims (most found out through the media), and the seeming failure to put in place proper measures to protect victims following his release are all matters of grave concern to our clients; we are raising these matters with the appropriate authorities.
However the purpose of this letter is to formally request that the CPS undertake a thorough review of all available evidence against Worboys to determine whether he can be prosecuted in respect of further offences.
Worboys was only prosecuted in respect of a small fraction of the allegations against him: 12 complainants out of some 105 in total whom, we understand made complaints to the police.
It is understood that the intention was that ‘the indictment was not overloaded and that the case was as simple as it could be to present to a jury’. In the course of the trial an additional four allegations emerged which were linked to Worboys. Furthermore, in the wake of media observations following the conviction an additional 45 incidents were reported of which 18 were linked to Worboys. The total number of allegations linked to Worboys upon the closure of the investigation was 105.
Victims were told Worboys would “not be coming out for a long time” and, as a result, it was not necessary to prosecute the serial rapist with another trial. To the extent that this was the CPS’s expectation at the time, this has clearly not happened and this justification for not bringing further prosecutions has fallen away. We therefore formally request that the CPS make a public commitment to reconsidering the evidence in all Worboys cases with a view to further prosecution.”
These cases against Worboys were not dropped for lack of evidence, but rather “in the public interest” because they thought he would never be coming out. Ball now in the CPS’s court to seek justice for those women who never had their day in court, and keep the public safe from Worboys once and for all…
Significant developments in the John Worboys story this afternoon. It has been revealed that the sex attacker’s victims have not yet been allowed to make representations to the Parole Board about his licence conditions, despite the meeting to finalise the conditions taking place tomorrow. Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represented 11 of Worboys’ victims, is demanding to know why victims have received no notification of the meeting and insisting a ban is imposed on Worboys visiting Greater London. He has issued this extraordinarily damning statement accusing the criminal justice system of treating victims with “contempt“:
“It is unbelievable that Worboys’ victims have not been consulted on their attacker’s licence conditions when they are living in fear of his release. Considering the shambles of this sorry episode so far it is inexcusable that all victims have not been asked to make representations about his restrictions. Our clients already felt betrayed by the way they have been treated by the criminal justice system; they now feel like they are being treated with the utmost contempt. This is an absolute disgrace and we demand that all victims – those involved in the criminal trial and those who were not – are consulted before Worboys’ licence conditions are finalised.”
How can it be that victims have not yet been consulted on the conditions of Worboys’ licence? The Ministry of Justice is handling this spectacularly badly – they need to get a grip, it is in danger of blowing up into a national scandal…
UPDATE: A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said:
“The licence conditions for John Worboys have not been finalised, and he will not be released until victims have had an opportunity to make representations to the Parole Board on his licence conditions.”
Real anger in the Commons during the statement on John Worboys this afternoon. Zac Goldsmith told the new Justice Secretary that “until the Parole Board publicly explains the rationale behind the decision it took, people can’t possibly have confidence in our criminal justice system”. David Gauke replied that he will look at changing the rules to allow this to happen retrospectively for the Worboys case. It’s crucial that the Ministry of Justice get a move on here. The Parole Board must surely explain how they came to this decision before Worboys is released, otherwise how can the public possibly be safe?
Justice Secretary David Gauke jumps straight into his new job with a statement on John Worboys at 1:15pm. Over the weekend we learned that the Parole Board was considering publishing a rationale of its decision to release Worboys, though nothing has been forthcoming. This seems an obvious opportunity for Gauke to take the initiative and put some pressure on the Parole Board. As Patrick O’Flynn astutely points out, the Worboys story is of far greater interest to the public than the disastrous reshuffle currently grabbing the headlines. And so far Richard Burgon has been doing better than the government with his response…
Just a hunch but I reckon the only story to have cut through with most people so far this year is the Worboys fiasco. Growing feeling justice system is in a mess and gone soft. Open goal for someone.
Today’s papers reveal rapist John Worboys has boasted that he is “ready for the ladies” when he gets out of prison. A prison source says:
“He exercises daily in the gym to get himself ready for release. He says he wants a ‘porn star’ body to be ready for the ladies. Given his delusions, I would have to say he must still be considered a danger to all women.”
There can be little doubt this story is true – in court Worboys described his behaviour towards women as “banter“, showed no remorse and was described as believing he is “a stud, a Casanova”. The words attributed to him today fit his character and previous statements entirely, and the Star’s crime sources are impeccable. Given he is suspected of attacking hundreds of women, talking about being “ready” for women is nothing less than a threat. This should be of huge concern to the government, whose response so far has been feeble at best, and the Parole Board, who are under pressure to reveal their rationale. Worboys is patently a danger to the public – how did the Parole Board ever reach the decision to release him?
These are the two men in charge of the Parole Board which has decided to release serial sex attacker John Worboys from prison. Above left is the Parole Board’s chief executive Martin Jones, a career civil servant who has the leading role in the board’s decision making. He is paid £130,000-a-year.
Above right is the Parole Board’s chair Nick Hardwick. He hit the headlines last year for saying that prisoners held indefinitely after completing their minimum sentences should not have to prove they are safe before being released. A spokesman for the Parole Board says both Jones and Hardwick stand by the decision to release Worboys and accept ultimate responsibility.
The judgement on the Worboys case was made by three unnamed members of the Parole Board. A spokesman for the Parole Board has refused to give their names, citing safety concerns. What about the safety of Worboys’ victims?
Guido also asked if the Parole Board would be releasing any further information explaining or justifying their decision, in light of the massive public outcry. We were told that details of individual cases are usually not released to protect the privacy of the prisoner. A joke.
These men will surely be called before the Justice select committee to explain themselves and the opaque decision-making process that has led to the imminent release of one of the country’s worst prisoners…
This is the extraordinary moment fearless Tory aide Chris Muspratt pursued Kieron Nickles, the vandal who had thrown a brick through the window of Andrew Rosindell’s car. Nickles testified that he had lost his temper after hearing “Vote Conservative” blaring out of Rosindell’s vehicle during the election campaign. The defence stated: “He believed it was a breach of the peace, and so picked up a brick from the garden, and put it through the window”. What Nickles didn’t bargain for was Rozza’s parliamentary assistant Muspratt giving chase, leading to not one but two nasty falls for the perpetrator and a demolished garden fence for a constituent. Nickles was yesterday given an 8 week curfew and ordered to pay £300 costs. Justice served…
The police have dropped their investigation into Keith Vaz after he was caught on camera offering to buy cocaine for rent boys. This particular police investigation was always at the mild end of Vaz’s sleazy private life…
A Tory parliamentary candidate and former chairman of LGBTory has been arrested in connection with alleged child pornography offences. Matthew Sephton is a Tory councillor in Manchester who was the party’s candidate in Manchester Central. He is well-known on the Tory party circuit and has met with Theresa May and David Cameron. He’s also a primary school teacher and has been suspended by his school.
The National Crime Agency say in a statement: “National Crime Agency officers have arrested a 41-year-old male in the Altrincham area in relation to child abuse image offences”. A Trafford Council spokesman said: “Trafford Council is aware of the situation but cannot comment further due to an ongoing investigation by the National Crime Agency”. The Tories confirm Sephton has been suspended by the party. He has deleted his Twitter account, LinkedIn and councillor’s Facebook page…
With this morning’s maximum fine and referral to police of the LibDems, which follows Labour’s maximum fine for expense irregularities, attention inevitably turns to the Tories’ spending. The focus will be South Thanet where the Tories ran a highly professional “Stop Farage” effort deploying some of their top operatives. All this was helpfully documented for the police in Tim Ross’ book Why the Tories Won: The Inside Story of the 2015 Election. Guido sources say that Conservative HQ is bracing itself for the police investigation resulting in criminal charges.
South Thanet misspending a not an Electoral Commission matter. It is a police matter and potentially a criminal offence under sections 81, 82 and 84 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. Back in June Craig Mackinlay, the Tory who beat Farage, failed to block police extending the time available for their investigation of his election expenses spending. The Tories – in a very rare move – tried to block the police from further investigating the campaign. Guido believes that the South Thanet campaign will prove to be the biggest overspend by any political party in any individual seat ever. Guido understands the Tories spent over £200,000 to stop Nigel Farage winning the seat…
Could 2017 see Nigel Farage in parliament? When Guido asked him if he would stand in a re-run in Thanet he was ambiguous about it. Never say never, Nige….
Shamed former Tory MP David Ruffley, who was forced to quit parliament in disgrace at the election, has failed to pay back wrongly claimed expenses almost a year and a half after he stopped being an MP. IPSA say Ruffley double claimed a £144 house removals bill – they have tried again and again to get Ruffley to reimburse the taxpayer but have now given up.[…] Read the rest