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History > 2008 > UK > Justice (III)





'World's most dangerous hacker'

to be extradited to US


Wednesday July 30 2008
Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Wednesday July 30 2008.
It was last updated at 12:14 on July 30 2008.


A British man who hacked into computers at the Pentagon will face trial in the US after the law lords ruled that he should be extradited.

At the House of Lords this morning, Gary McKinnon, 42, was told that his appeal against extradition would not be granted.

McKinnon, an unemployed computer systems administrator from north London, invaded computer systems belonging to the US military in 2001 – shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

He said he was merely searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life, but American officials labelled him the world's most dangerous hacker and accused him of deleting important files and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage.

According to prosecutors, McKinnon scanned more than 73,000 US government computers and hacked into 97 machines belonging to the US army, navy, air force and Nasa.

His lawyers have fought vigorously against the extradition, arguing that McKinnon could face up to 60 years in prison as a result of his actions, and could even be classed as an "enemy combatant" and interned at Guantánamo Bay. Instead they argued that he should face prosecution under Britain's more lenient computer crime laws because he carried out the hacking from his bedroom in London.

But the law lords today rejected that argument. "The difference between the American system and our own is not perhaps so stark as the appellant's argument suggests," said Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood in his ruling.

"It is difficult to think of anything other than the threat of unlawful action which could fairly be said so to imperil the integrity of the extradition process as to require the accused to be discharged irrespective of the strength of the case against him."

In a statement, McKinnon's legal team said it would be taking the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

"Gary McKinnon is neither a terrorist nor a terrorist sympathiser," the statement said. "His case could have been properly dealt with by our own prosecuting authorities. Instead, we believe that the British government declined to prosecute him to enable the US government to make an example of him.

"American officials involved in this case have stated that they want to see him 'fry'. The consequences he faces if extradited are both disproportionate and intolerable and we will be making an immediate application to the European Court to prevent his removal."

Cybercrime: 'World's most dangerous hacker' to be extradited to US, G, 30.7.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jul/30/gary.mckinnon






4.15pm BST update

Canoe man and wife jailed for six years


Wednesday July 23, 2008
Lee Glendinning and Angela Balakrishnan
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Wednesday July 23 2008.
It was last updated at 17:59 on July 23 2008.


John Darwin, who admitted staging his own death in a canoe accident was today jailed for six years and three months.

His wife, Anne, who was convicted today of helping him in the elaborate ruse to obtain £250,000 in insurance benefits, was jailed for six and a half years.

Anne Darwin, of Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, had denied her part in the fraud and claimed her husband forced her to go through with the plan.

She showed no reaction as she was found guilty of six counts of deception and nine of money laundering, after the jury had deliberated for four hours. Her sons, Mark and Anthony, who believed their father had died, sat in the public gallery as the verdicts were read out.

The judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, said the couple's sons were the "real victims" of the crime, which he called a "determined, sustained and sophisticated fraud".

"Although the sums involved are not as high as some reported cases, the duration of the offending, its multi-faceted nature and in particular the grief inflicted over the years to those who in truth were the real victims, your own sons, whose lives you crushed, make this a case which merits a particularly severe sentence," he said.

Addressing the defendants, the judge said he found John Darwin had been the "driving force behind the deceit". Anne Darwin was perhaps initially unconvinced but played an "instrumental rather than organising role", he said. "In my judgment, you operated as a team, each contributing to the joint venture."

The crime, the judge went on, was "borne out of your desperation at having become financially overstretched and your being too stubborn or lacking in insight to accept the lawful consequences of your financial folly.

"You both emigrated to a country which you no doubt thought would put you beyond the law and to that end organised and salted away your ill-gotten gains. You would in all likelihood have got away with it if you, John Darwin, had not decided to return to the UK and try to brazen it out with a further false story of amnesia."

Peter Makepeace, mitigating for John Darwin, said his client hoped one day to be reconciled with his sons.

"He struggles to come to terms with what he has done to those boys," the lawyer told the court. "He continues to harbour the hope that a day will come when he can be reconciled with his sons. That may be as fantastical and unrealistic as the views he has held at times throughout his life."

He said that hope would sustain Darwin through his jail term and "through what is presumably to be a very lonely existence when he is released".

The jury at Teesside crown court heard during Anne Darwin's trial that the 55-year-old convinced insurers, a coroner and even her sons that her husband had died in a canoe accident.

She claimed the unusual defence of marital coercion, saying he forced her to go along with the plot. However, the defence required John Darwin to have been present with her each time an offence was committed and for her to have been forced to break the law.

Her claims of an unhappy 35-year marriage to a man who was bullying and domineering were undermined when the jury was shown loving and sometimes flirtatious emails sent between the pair.

While giving evidence, a tearful Darwin said she wished her husband had really disappeared at sea and that she contemplated suicide as the immense strain of living a double life became too much.

The prosecution told the court that Darwin was "far from ... a shrinking violet" and a "determined, resolute woman who is able to lie and deceive at length".

The jury heard that when the wife of the "canoe man" – as John Darwin has been called in the media – phoned police to report her husband missing, she had just dropped him off at Durham train station.

Andrew Robertson QC, prosecuting, said during the trial: "The initial idea may have been John Darwin's rather than Anne's, but it was a scheme in which Anne Darwin not only played an equal and vital role – but it was a role she played with superb aplomb."

John Darwin shocked police when he walked into a London police station in December last year claiming he had amnesia and could not remember anything since 2000 – two years before he went missing.

Five years ago, an inquest into his disappearance after a canoe trip recorded an open verdict and the case was closed. However, three months before he turned up at the police station, officers revisited the case after being alerted to new information.

The Darwins had been struggling with financial difficulties and the court heard how six days before the scam took place the couple were refused a £20,000 bank loan and were facing bankruptcy.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it would ensure that all profits from the "callous and calculated" fraud would be confiscated.

Gale Gilchrist, of the CPS, said: "The Darwins were willing to deceive family and friends and to waste considerable resources of the emergency services, all to maintain a lie that John Darwin had died and then exploit any compassion extended to them. We will now be working together with the police to ensure that all the profits of the crime currently held by the Darwins are confiscated."

Detective Inspector Andy Greenwood, who led the investigation, said outside court after the sentencing that Anne Darwin was a compulsive liar. "I just don't know how any mother could do that. She was out and out despicable and I don't have the time of day for her," he said.

    Canoe man and wife jailed for six years, NYT, 23.7.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jul/23/ukcrime





4.30pm BST

Couple jailed after leaving girl to die in 'filth and squalor'


Friday June 27, 2008
James Sturcke and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Friday June 27 2008.
It was last updated at 16:43 on June 27 2008.


A judge today questioned the decision by prosecutors not to charge a mother with murder, after she left her three-year-old daughter to die from malnutrition in her bedroom.

Tiffany Wright died in "squalor, filth and degradation" last year, when she was "entirely neglected" by her parents at the pub they ran in Sheffield.

Her mother, Sabrina Hirst, 22, did not find her body until two days after her death.

Hirst was jailed today for 12 years after admitting manslaughter.
Her husband, Robert Hirst, 44, was jailed for five years after admitting child cruelty.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Alan Goldsack QC, expressed his surprise that the Crown Prosecution Service accepted her guilty plea to manslaughter when she was initially charged with murder.

The judge described the case as "about as bad a case of child manslaughter as there can be". He said had she been convicted of murder, he could have sentenced Tiffany's mother to 22 years imprisonment.

Sheffield crown court heard that the circumstances of Tiffany's death were "truly appalling". The judge was told how the little girl's body was found decomposing by police in a beetle-infested room at the Scarbrough Arms, in Upperthorpe, Sheffield, in September last year.

A pathologist said she had been dead for between two and three days and tests showed she had not eaten or drunk anything for at least 20 hours, probably more.

The court heard Tiffany died from bronchial pneumonia, which was a direct result of malnutrition.

Opening the case, Jeremy Richardson QC told the judge Tiffany died because she "simply had not been fed or given fluids".

CCTV film found in the pub showed Sabrina Hirst carrying on working in the bar in the days before her daughter's death. At one point she is heard talking on the phone showing concern about whether her dogs had been fed.

Even Sabrina Hirst's own barrister admitted his client's version of events was that she last checked on her poorly daughter at 7am on the Friday, before she found her body in the early hours of Sunday, September 30.

An analysis of her bones showed she had been subjected to intermittent malnutrition for a prolonged period of time.

Richardson explained how the family lived above the pub where Tiffany was brought up in "circumstances of abject squalor and degradation".

He said the couple would regularly go out leaving the little girl with no supervision in a flat which was covered in dog faeces and had bare electrical cables exposed from wall sockets. He said the couple "entirely neglected" their daughter.

She was often "never fed properly, if at all" and lived in "squalor, filth and degradation". The prosecutor added that the squalor "almost defies description for any human being to live in".

The court heard Robert Hirst, who became involved with his wife in 2004 and married her in 2006, initially wanted to formally adopt Tiffany but later seemed to become more detached from her.

One witness said she saw him shout at the three-year-old: "You little bitch. Eat your fucking food."

The court heard how the pub's CCTV caught him talking to his sobbing wife after they had found Tiffany in her room and before the police arrived.

He was heard to say: "We've fucked it all up" and "we're going to get banged up for this".

The court heard how Tiffany was about one and half stone (9kg) at the time of her death, and was 3ft 4ins tall.

She had put on less than a kilo in weight in the last two years of her life. The couple had also admitted child cruelty in relation to a one-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Sabrina Hirst sobbed almost continuously throughout the three-hour hearing today but her husband showed no emotion in the dock.

Judge Goldsack told them: "Most members of the public, particularly parents, will find it impossible to understand how you could treat your children in this way.

The couple left Tiffany and a one-year-old boy often unattended and locked in the living quarters, he said, against orders from social services.

"One almost unbelievable piece of evidence is that on what was probably Tiffany's last day alive you, Sabrina Hirst, were discussing on the phone concerns you had about one of your dogs' weight and feeding problems."

The judge concluded: "In my judgment all those factors make this about as bad a case of child manslaughter as there can be."

    Couple jailed after leaving girl to die in 'filth and squalor', G, 27.6.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/27/ukcrime.childprotection






Teenager jailed for life for 'Wild West' shooting


Monday, 23 June 2008
The Independent

A teenager was jailed for life today after being found guilty of murdering Polish nursing assistant Magda Pniewska in a "Wild West" shoot-out.


Armel Gnango, 18, was told he will have to serve at least 20 years after being sentenced at St Albans Crown Court.

Miss Pniewska, 26, was caught in the crossfire while Gnango and a mystery teenager in a bandana fired at each other across a car park in New Cross, south London, in October last year.

Mr Justice Cook told Gnango: "The fact of the matter is that you went armed to find your man who then shot at you and a gun fight ensued.

"Either of you might have been killed. You plainly intended to kill the other and instead of either of you dying an innocent nursing assistant was killed instead."


Miss Pniewska was talking on her mobile phone to her sister, Elzbieta Luby, in Poland when a bullet struck her in the forehead.

Both teenagers, then aged 17, ran off as she collapsed on the bottom step of some stairs where the other teenager was firing at Gnango.

Her mobile fell to the ground, as did her shopping bags which contained toys for her dog donated by pensioners at the care home where she worked next to the car park.

Gnango denied murder but was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury last month.

For the protection of the public the judge also gave Gnango a minimum 12-year sentence for attempted murder and a five-year sentence for possession of a firearm. Both sentences are to run concurrently.

Gnango also pleaded guilty to having a prohibited weapon. The judge ordered this count to remain on the file.

The court had been told that the gun which fired the fatal bullet in John Williams Close, New Cross, was not Gnango's.

But prosecutor Brian Altman QC said Gnango was still responsible for the killing because he was involved in the gun fight.

The court was told a second youth, who had a red bandana over the lower part of his face, had also been arrested but not charged.

He had been named by Gnango but had denied being involved. Police had insufficient evidence to charge him, the court was told.

    Teenager jailed for life for 'Wild West' shooting, I, 23.6.2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/teenager-jailed-for-life-for-wild-west-shooting-852508.html






4.30pm BST

Abu Qatada: Radical preacher freed on bail


Tuesday June 17 2008
Allegra Stratton and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Tuesday June 17 2008.
It was last updated at 19:01 on June 17 2008


Abu Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden's righthand man in Europe, will be freed on bail in the next 24 hours.

The move comes despite a government promise that the radical preacher would not be released.

A senior judge today signed papers authorising Qatada's release. It is believed he will be subjected to a 22-hour home curfew and other restrictions on his liberty.

Qatada won his fight against deportation to Jordan from Britain in April, but the government is currently appealing against the decision. The Home Office minister, Tony McNulty, said at the time that he would not be released.

Qatada, a Palestinian Jordanian, arrived in the UK on a forged United Arab Emirates passport in September 1993.

The following June, he was allowed to stay in the country after claiming asylum for himself and his family.

In December 2001, he became a fugitive on the eve of government moves to introduce new anti-terror laws allowing suspects to be detained without charge or trial.

After he was tracked down and imprisoned in Belmarsh, he was briefly freed on bail before being returned to custody at Long Lartin jail in Worcestshire pending extradition to Jordan.

    Abu Qatada: Radical preacher freed on bail, G, 17.6.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/17/uksecurity.ukcrime1






4.15pm BST update

'Lyrical terrorist' has conviction quashed


Tuesday June 17 2008
Lee Glendinning and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Tuesday June 17 2008.
It was last updated at 16:33 on June 17 2008.


A former Heathrow shop assistant who called herself the "lyrical terrorist" and was the first woman sentenced under new anti-terror laws today had her conviction overturned.

Samina Malik, 24, from Southall, west London, was convicted under section 58 of the Terrorism Act in November last year after she wrote poems celebrating the beheading of non-Muslims.

Today, she won an appeal against her conviction for collecting personal information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The lord chief justice, Lord Phillips, sitting in the court of appeal with Justice Goldring and Justice Plender, quashed the conviction after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) conceded it was unsafe.

Phillips said: "We consider that there is a very real danger that the jury became confused and that the prosecution have rightly conceded that this conviction is unsafe."

Malik was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months. At her trial, the judge, Peter Beaumont QC, the recorder of London, said her offence ''was on the margin of what this crime concerns''.

One of her poems, called How to Behead, said: "It's not messy or as hard as some may think, It's all about the flow of the wrist… You'll feel the knife hit the wind and food pipe, But Don't Stop, Continue with all your might."

She also wrote on the back of a till receipt: "The desire within me increases every day to go for martyrdom."

Malik, who worked at Heathrow's airside branch of WH Smith, said she chose to call herself the lyrical terrorist because she thought it was cool, and denied she was an actual terrorist.

Phillips explained in today's judgment that in February the court of appeal gave detailed consideration to section 58 of the Terrorism Act. It ruled that an offence would be committed only if the document or record concerned was likely to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Propagandist or theological material did not fall within the section, he said.

In Malik's case, the jury was told 14 documents - out of 21 – that did not fall within Section 58 were also capable of founding a conviction.

Malik was acquitted of the more serious charge, under section 57 of the Act, of possessing an article for terrorist purposes.

The CPS said it had decided not to seek a retrial in the case.

Sue Hemming, the head of the CPS's counterterrorism division, said Malik had not been prosecuted for her poetry, but for possessing documents that could provide practical assistance to terrorists.

Since Malik's conviction the law had been clarified by the court of appeal, she said.

"The result is that some of the 21 documents we relied on in Ms Malik's trial would no longer be held capable of giving practical assistance to terrorists.

"However, other documents in her possession, including the al-Qaida Manual, the Terrorist's Handbook, the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook and several military manuals, clearly retain that potential.

"We therefore have no doubt that it was right to bring this prosecution."

    'Lyrical terrorist' has conviction quashed, G, 17.6.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/17/uksecurity.ukcrime






12.30pm BST update

Michael Dosunmu: Two found guilty of teenager's murder


Tuesday June 17 2008
James Sturcke, James Meikle and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Tuesday June 17 2008.
It was last updated at 12:34 on June 17 2008.


Two gunmen were today found guilty of murdering a schoolboy after mistaking him for his brother.

Michael Dosunmu was hit by four bullets from a submachine gun as he slept, wrapped in his duvet, at his home in Peckham, south London.

The men mistook the 15-year-old for his older brother, whom they were seeking, the prosecution at the Old Bailey alleged.

The teenager "had no chance of surviving", Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said.

Mohammed Sannoh, 19, of Peckham, and 22-year-old Abdi Omar Noor, of Camberwell, also in south London, denied murder and possession of a submachine gun that could fire more than 1,000 rounds a minute.

They were convicted after nine days of jury deliberation.

Michael's sister, Shakira, was in another room and was woken by the gunfire on February 6 last year.

She hid under the duvet but later emerged when she heard Michael gasping for breath, entering his bedroom and raising the alarm.

The prosecution alleged that the men were after Michael's brother Hakeem, 26, who they believed had cheated them out of proceeds from security van robberies, and also wanted revenge following the murder of another man a few days earlier.

Hakeem Dosunmu had been out at a club where he was trying to sell drugs when his brother was killed, the court heard.

In April, he was sentenced to two years in prison for his part in the security van robberies. He had been acting as the getaway driver for the robbers and hoped to use the money to deal drugs.

Laidlaw told the jury that Sannoh was part of a gang that carried out a series of armed raids on security guards.

He said Hakeem had been involved in drug dealing and in three robberies from security firms.

Following the last robbery, Sannoh's friend Javarie Crighton, one of the robbers, had been stabbed to death after confronting the organiser, Orando Madden, about money, the court was told.

Madden later surrendered to police, leaving only Hakeem as the target for revenge, Laidlaw said. There were rumours that Madden had cheated the younger robbers and that Hakeem had the money, he added.

Firearms residue was found on Noor's clothing and a partial DNA match was found on a casing of one of the bullets fired from the machinegun, the court heard.

Scientists also found low traces of gunpowder on hooded tops belonging to Sannoh.

Michael had been staying at the house with Shakira while their mother was in Nigeria and their father was in hospital.

"This boy's brother killed my friend," Sannoh told police.

"I don't care about the murder. I don't care what happened to that boy."

Hakeem, who had once been a Sunday school teacher, found his life going downhill as he struggled to adapt after five years in the army.

He served in 32 Engineers during the invasion of Iraq, and later in Bosnia, and was well-regarded by officers, but was court-martialled over an assault following what he claimed was a racial incident.

When he left the forces he struggled to hold down a job and fell in with a group involved in robbing transit vans.

After his brother's killing, Hakeem admitted his part in the robberies and gave evidence in the murder trial.

He also helped secure the conviction of former friend Madden for the murder of Crighton.

He wept in the dock as his defence barrister, Robin Barclay, told the court how he carried around the guilty feeling that "it should have been him".

Judge Brian Barker, the common serjeant of London, told Hakeem he had served his country "with distinction".

He said he took into account the "obvious guilt and regret that as a result of your activities your younger brother is now dead".

    Michael Dosunmu: Two found guilty of teenager's murder, G, 17.6.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/17/ukguns.ukcrime






Teenager jailed for life for killing youth worker


Friday, 6 June 2008
The Independent

A teenager was given a life sentence today for shooting dead a young youth worker he blamed for his gold chain being taken.


Innocent Nathan Foster, 18, collapsed in a hail of bullets in a cold-blooded act of revenge, the Old Bailey was told.

He had been shot by 17-year-old Junior Glasgow as he sat on a low wall with friends on a hot night in August last year.

Glasgow, of Brixton, south London, was found guilty of murder last month. He was told he would have to serve a minimum of 21 years.

There were cheers and claps from the public gallery as Glasgow was sentenced by Judge Peter Rook.

He told Glasgow: "At your young age, you have become part of the gun culture which is a blight on some of our big cities."

Glasgow did not have the "emotional maturity" to deal with being robbed of his prized £800 chain and "reacted wholly out of proportion", said the judge.

He added: "You carried out this terrible revenge on someone you mistakenly thought was responsible.

"You carried out a cold-blooded, premeditated execution in a public place."

The court was told Glasgow went into the cul-de-sac where they all lived in Marcus Garvey Way, Brixton, on his motor-scooter and started firing with an automatic gun.

Mr Foster, who worked with inner-city children using horses, was hit by six bullets including one through the heart.

The court was told that six hours earlier a chain was taken from Glasgow's neck by another youth.

Mr Foster's older sister Shannel told the judge: "Nathan was killed by a coward.

"He was my best friend and my favourite brother."

She also read an impact statement from his girlfriend Rochelle Martin, the mother of his baby son Raheem.

She said it was for the "little boy" who killed her childhood sweetheart.

She said: "You aim at an individual but did not see anyone else standing behind. You have broken so many lives and hearts."

    Teenager jailed for life for killing youth worker, I, 6.6.2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/teenager-jailed-for-life-for-killing-youth-worker-841756.html






Major UK drug gang jailed


Thursday, 22 May 2008
The Independent

Five drug dealers, who pocketed millions flooding the country with amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, were jailed for up to 14 years each today.


The gang - which included an ex-Met police officer imprisoned earlier - smuggled most of the banned substances from Holland and then used a lock-up garage near London as a distribution depot.

Inner London Crown Court heard the operation - headed by a Mr Big too ill to ever stand trial - made millions as orders were delivered across most of southern England and all of Wales.

Kenneth Millett, prosecuting, said neither he nor any of his minions suspected police spent six months watching their every move.

Investigators quickly realised those involved were enjoying an "extravagant lifestyle" despite their obvious lack of jobs.

Day-to-day operations chief and "treasurer" Robert Burnell, for example, drove an Audi TT, had wardrobes crammed with designer clothes and paid for everything in cash.

The investigation, codenamed Operation Carbonel, gradually dismantled the gang's lucrative enterprise with a series of swoops across the country.

During the raids, officers found an amphetamines factory in another lock-up - the gang supplied £650,000 of the drug altogether - and retrieved a library of detailed accounts listing all its deals.

They revealed that apart from the amphetamines, the defendants sold one million Ecstasy tablets worth £5 million, and skunk cannabis - sold mainly in London - with a street value of £1 million.

Police also discovered £80,000 cash and a "large quantity" of Rolex watches in a safety deposit box.

In the dock were Burnell, 37, of Ribway, Buntingford, Hertfordshire (12 years); David Sangster, 40, from Webster Road, Southall, Middlesex (10 years), who organised the drug shipments, and Gary Pettican, 37, the gang's "distributor and facilitator" of Matlock Gardens, Hornchurch, Essex, (three-and-a-half years).

Two other men, Joseph Fisher, the gang's 39-year-old "bookkeeper", of Pavilian Drive, Leigh-on-Sea, and Oliver Jenner, 40, of Shepherd's Croft, Stroud, Gloucester, got 14 and eight years respectively.

All five had variously admitted conspiracies to supply the Class A,B, and C drugs between September 1, 2006, and February 28 the following year.

Passing sentence, Judge Roger Chapple told them: "Unlawful drugs wreck the lives of those who become addicted and wreck the lives of the families and those connected to them. Drugs kill and engender crime.

"When supply networks are brought to justice it is both appropriate and apt that those participants are firmly dealt with.

"These courts will do all in their power to stem or at least reduce those effects.

"The amounts of drugs involved in these conspiracies was absolutely massive."

"Thanks to the vigilance, professionalism and dedication of the police the activities of these conspirators are now over," he added.

After the case, Detective Inspector Grant Johnson said: "This case demonstrates the Met's fight against the criminal networks who operate nationally, importing vast quantities of controlled drugs for distribution across the UK.

"The Projects Team of the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Directorate continue in their efforts to dismantle and disrupt these networks and to stem the flow of drugs across the country.

"In this case we have dismantled a highly sophisticated and professional drug syndicate."

He added: "These convictions are the result of months of work between law enforcement agencies in the UK and the sentences represent the substantial damage these drugs would have caused."

Former policeman Andrew Shepherd, 46, from Hornchurch, Essex, who used to be stationed in Romford until he quit on health grounds in 2001, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine at an earlier Kingston Crown Court hearing and was jailed for 36 months.

Two other gang members have also been dealt with. Robert Gregory, 64, who lived in Ferndale, south-west London, admitted plotting to supply cannabis and got 18 months at Inner London Crown Court.

Matthew Ryder, 33, of Ford Close, Ivybridge, Devon, pleaded guilty to a similar charge at Exeter Crown Court and also received 18 months.

    Major UK drug gang jailed, I, 22.5.2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/major-uk-drug-gang-jailed-832435.html






4.30pm BST update

Youth found guilty of gunfight murder


Thursday May 22 2008
Anil Dawar and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Thursday May 22 2008.
It was last updated at 16:31 on May 22 2008.


The investigation into the death of a Polish nursing assistant shot in a gunfight will continue, police said today, after a teenager was found guilty of her murder.

Armel Gnango, 17, did not fire the bullet that killed Magda Pniewska, but an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of causing her death.

The 26-year-old Polish victim was caught in the crossfire when Gnango and another teenager fired handguns at each other across a car park. She was talking on a mobile phone to her sister in Poland when a bullet struck her in the forehead.

Speaking outside the court, Detective Chief Inspector Tony Boughton said: "The investigation into Magda's murder is not over. Detectives will continue to gather evidence against the young man we have been told was seen firing a gun at the top of the steps."

Jane Scholefield, a lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service, said the facts of the case and the legal issues it had raised were unprecedented.

"Even though the defendant did not fire the fatal round and even though Magda Pniewska was not the intended target of either gunman, the defendant bears a joint criminal liability for her death," she said.

"The prosecution could not show that he fired the lethal shot but the issue was one of joint enterprise. Each fired their guns with intent to kill at a time when there were bystanders present between them."

Gnango was also found guilty of the attempted murder of the second gunman and having a gun with intent to endanger life. He pleaded guilty to having a prohibited weapon.

The court was told a second youth was arrested but not charged over the incident in John Williams Close, New Cross, south London, last October. He was named by Gnango but denied being involved. Police had insufficient evidence to charge him, the court was told.

During the trial, the jury heard Pniewska's sister Elzbieta Luby describe the last time the pair spoke.

She told the court: "I heard shots. I heard several shots - three or four. There was a short break between the third and fourth shot, like a moment's hesitation.

"I asked Magda: 'What's happening, what is going on, who's shooting?' She said: 'Wait a minute, Ella.' The fourth shot came. I heard the last breath of Magda. I heard when she fell down, I heard when all the bags fell down."

Luby said she heard the mobile phone fall to the ground, a few seconds of silence and two more shots that sounded further away.

A statement from Pniewska's mother, Barbara, read out in court said: "We have lost a much-loved and loving daughter. My child's life has been untimely cut short. The ray of sunshine which was Magda has gone from our family."

Gnango told the court he was in a car talking with a friend when he saw the other youth on the stairs take out a gun and start firing.

The pair were said to have had "a score to settle" over an unpaid debt, the court heard. Taking shelter behind the car, Gnango said, he assembled a gun that he had intended to sell for a friend.

"I put my hands over my head as I was crouching and let off a shot. It was not more than two shots," he said. "I was aiming at the sky. I had never shot a gun before. I was panicking. I was trying to scare him off."

Gnango's version of events was not accepted by the jury.

The court was told the other gunman probably fired the fatal shot when Gnango broke cover from behind the car to seek shelter in a nearby alleyway. Both gunmen were unharmed.

Two 9mm pistols were found later. Gnango's gun was discovered in a bag hidden near a sports centre. The other weapon was found in a scooter during a police search.

Pniewska lived with her partner, Radoslaw Lipka, 500 metres from where she died and was taking a shortcut home when the gunfight erupted.

Gnango was remanded in custody until June 23 when he will be given a life sentence and told the minimum number of years he must serve.

    Youth found guilty of gunfight murder, G, 22.5.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/may/22/ukguns






Teenager jailed for killing sisters in fire


Monday, 19 May 2008
The Independent
By Hugh Macknight and Rod Minchin, PA

A teenager who killed his two young sisters when he set fire to his family home was today jailed for life with a minimum term of six years.

Shane Spence, 18, was found guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court of the manslaughter of Tatum Leah, 14 and Demi Jade, 12.

He poured petrol on to the living room sofa then set it alight as the family slept at their three-bedroom house in Lisle Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, in April last year.

In February the jury found Spence guilty of manslaughter and arson, but not guilty of the attempted murder of his parents Anita and John, both 37.

The father-of-one, who was not living at the family home at the time, crept in at around 12.45am on April 4, after telling a friend he had gone to pick up a CD.

The teenager, who was 17 at the time, then doused the living room sofa in petrol and set it alight before returning to the friend's house to continue watching the film 28 Days Later.

The fire tore through the house in minutes.

Spence's father John Spence, 37, sustained 42 per cent burns trying to rescue his children, but Demi Jade and Tatum Leah both died in their bedrooms of smoke inhalation and burns.

The court was told that Spence, father to one-year-old daughter Leeanda, had set the family's garden shed alight when he was 12-years-old. He also had three previous criminal convictions.

Prosecuting, Alistair MacDonald QC said Spence's life was "in a state of turmoil" at the time of the fire.

He had attempted suicide a few days earlier, after an argument in which he pushed his girlfriend, the mother of his child.

He had also recently given up his job, which Mr MacDonald said was much to his father's "disgust".

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Paterson, said the inquiry by Northumbria Police had centred on complex forensic issues.

Officers conducted a full reconstruction of the fire using a nearby house, which was owned by the council and due for demolition, to ascertain the timing of the blaze and the speed with which it spread.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Paul Simpson said it had been one of the most "difficult and harrowing" cases he had ever been involved in.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Simon passed an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public. He ordered Spence serve at least six years behind bars before he be considered for parole.

He said: "This case stands as a warning of the appalling consequences of setting fire to houses, even where the intention is not to kill or cause really serious injury.

"In less than half an hour, the house had been engulfed in flames, your two sisters had died and your father had been badly burned.

"The deaths of these two young girls in these appalling circumstances caused shock and outrage and the extent of your parents' grief can only be imagined.

"The reason you set the fire may have been jealousy or sibling rivalry.

"The reason may simply be one that lies beyond the present reach of human understanding.

"In my opinion, these crimes and the circumstances in which they were committed show clearly that you present a considerable risk of serious injury to the public.

"I am not satisfied that life imprisonment is appropriate, but I am clear that it is appropriate to pass an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public."

Spence will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

The teenager, who the court heard was of low intelligence and was dyslexic, was expressionless as he was led from the dock.

His father, John Spence, a former doorman, is convinced of his innocence.

He said his son had been "set up" and has offered £25,000 for information that will lead to the conviction of the person he believes is responsible for the deaths of his two "babies".

He was too upset to speak after the sentence.

Speaking outside the court, John Spence said: "The verdict was what we expected, but the campaign still goes on. The lad is innocent."

    Teenager jailed for killing sisters in fire, I, 19.5.2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/teenager-jailed-for-killing-sisters-in-fire-830863.html






Family-killer will never be free


Friday, 16 May 2008
The Independent
By Mike Taylor, PA

Jeremy Bamber, serving life for killing five members of his family in 1985, must never be released from prison, a judge decided today.

"These murders were exceptionally serious," said Mr Justice Tugendhat after reviewing Bamber's whole-life tariff.

In a written decision to be communicated to Bamber, who had asked for a specific minimum term to be set to give him some hope of parole, the judge said: "In my judgment, you ought to spend the whole of the rest of your life in prison, and I so order."


Bamber, now 47, who continues to maintain his innocence, was found guilty of shooting his wealthy adoptive parents, June and Nevill, his sister Sheila Caffell, and her six-year-old twin sons Daniel and Nicholas at their farmhouse in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex, in August 1985.


The prosecution alleged he had murdered them out of greed, hoping to inherit a £500,000 fortune.

But Bamber consistently argued that his sister, a model known as Bambi, who had a history of mental illness, killed her family before turning the gun, a .22 semi-automatic rifle, on herself.

In October 1986 Bamber was convicted by a majority of 10 to two of the murders.

He was sentenced to life with a recommendation by the trial judge that he should serve a minimum of 25 years.

But he was later told by the Home Secretary and the Lord Chief Justice that in his case life must mean life.

Bamber has twice lost appeals against conviction.

Today the judge said he had read submissions from Bamber's solicitors pointing out that he was not suffering from mental illness and was behaving and progressing well in prison.

He had also read victim impact statements from the next of kin of the deceased.

    Family-killer will never be free, I, 16.5.2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/familykiller-will-never-be-free-829475.html






5.30pm BST update

Teenagers jailed for life for killing goth woman


Monday April 28 2008
Allegra Stratton and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Monday April 28 2008.
It was last updated at 17:35 on April 28 2008.


Two teenagers were given life sentences today for murdering 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster because she was a goth.

Passing sentence the judge called the murder a "hate crime" against completely harmless people because of their appearance.

Ryan Herbert, 16, who had pleaded guilty before the trial started last month, was jailed for life today at Preston crown court and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years. His accomplice, Brendan Harris, 15, who was found guilty at trial, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years.

The two teenagers killed gap-year student Sophie Lancaster last August. They kicked and stamped Lancaster to death as she begged the pair to stop beating her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, in Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Lancashire.

Neither of the defendants knew the couple, who were both goths, and the only motive for the violence was that they looked different from them, a jury was told last month.

Judge Anthony Russell QC said both victims were totally innocent and were subjected to cruel and sadistic behaviour.

He described goths as "perfectly peaceful law-abiding people who pose no threat to anybody".

He added: "The intolerance you displayed in this case is shocking evidence of the attitudes of some of our people.

"I am satisfied having heard all the evidence there was an intention by each of you to inflict severe pain and suffering.

"This was a hate crime against these completely harmless people targeted because their appearance was different to yours."

Speaking after sentencing today, the chief crown prosecutor for Lancashire Robert Marshall described the case as "truly shocking".

"Very occasionally, in spite of all the tragic and distressing cases that the CPS has to deal with, we come across a case that stands out as truly shocking.

"The murder of Sophie Lancaster and the vicious attack on her boyfriend Robert Maltby stand out for their utter pointlessness and sheer brutality.

"Worse still, it seems very likely that the attack started as a form of amusement for those involved."

Passing sentence today, Judge Anthony Russell QC, told the defendants he thought their behaviour in court had been unacceptable and described it as "swaggering".

"I noticed the wink that one of you exchanged with the public gallery when the murder charge was not proceeded with against you and that one of you thought it appropriate to shout out 'love you mum".'

The court also heard today how Maltby, who did not appear in court himself, still suffers from long-term physical and emotional damage after the attack.

A statement from him was read out by Michael Shorrock QC, prosecuting: "Before all this happened I was settled into a life quite independent.

"My life was set up and I had control over everything. Now I have regressed to being something similar to a child. I really just like to think I'm now only eight months old. I'm finding the whole world a terrifying place."

Lancaster and Maltby had crossed paths with Herbert and Harris on their way home from a friend's house in the early hours last August, initially having a chat and offering the youths cigarettes.

Then, according to four teenage witnesses, who were praised by Judge Andrew Russell QC for defying gang loyalties, someone shouted "let's bang him" and Harris landed a flying kick on Maltby's head.

Herbert and three other youths joined in by kicking and stamping on him as they beat him unconscious.

When Lancaster cradled her boyfriend in her arms and pleaded for mercy, Harris delivered a flying kick to her head and Herbert volley-kicked her in the face "like a ball in flight".

The injuries to both victims were so severe that paramedics could not tell which sex either was. A clear footwear pattern was visible on Lancaster's head.

Both fell into comas but Lancaster never regained consciousness and died in hospital 13 days later.

Following the trial verdict, Maltby, who has no recollection of the attack in the early hours of August 11, said he had "lost his entire world" and wished he had been kicked to death instead so his girlfriend could have been spared.

Lancaster's mother Sylvia, 52, said she was uncertain she could continue her job as a youth worker — trying to prevent teenagers following a life of crime.

Today Sylvia Lancaster, along with Maltby's mother, father and brother, and 15 other friends and relatives, some in goth clothing, sat in the jury box and seats alongside it to hear the sentence.

Detectives investigating the murder criticised the conduct of the defendants and their families throughout the criminal proceedings as "appalling".

Harris and his mother were said to have been "laughing and joking" when they were first interviewed about the incident.

Harris, of Spring Terrace, Bacup, had denied the murder charge but pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm to Maltby.

Herbert, of Rossendale Crescent, Bacup, pleaded guilty to murder and assault.

During the trial it also emerged that Harris, who admitted starting the frenzied attack because he was "drunk and showing off", had been convicted of kicking and stamping on a 16-year-old in April 2007. He and Herbert, who was also involved, were given six-month community sentences.

Three other teenagers who took part in the initial attack on Maltby can now be named after the trial judge, Anthony Russell QC, lifted an order banning the press from identifying them.

Brothers Joseph, 17, and Danny Hulme, 16, both of Landgate, Whitworth, near Bacup, and Daniel Mallett, 17, of Rockcliffe Drive, Bacup, all pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent on Maltby. They did not take part in the attack on Sophie, the court was told.

They will also be sentenced this afternoon.

    Teenagers jailed for life for killing goth woman, G, 28.4.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/apr/28/ukcrime






1.15pm BST update

Teenager charged with Rhys Jones murder


Thursday April 17 2008
Anil Dawar and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Thursday April 17 2008.
It was last updated at 14:29 on April 17 2008.


The parents of Rhys Jones today came face to face with the teenager accused of killing their 11-year-old son.

Stephen and Melanie Jones, who wore a purple ribbon as part of a campaign against gun crime in Liverpool, looked on at the city's magistrates court as the 17-year-old defendant was charged with the schoolboy's murder.

Wearing a black hooded tracksuit top, the teenager - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - spoke only to confirm his name and address.

He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody to reappear at the court next Friday.

As the details of the charge were read out, Rhys's mother broke into tears, dabbing her eyes with a white handkerchief.

Rhys was walking home from football practice on August 22 last year when he was hit in the neck by a bullet. He died in his mother's arms at the scene.

Five other defendants will appear in court today. Melvyn Coy, 24, Gary Kayes, 25, and three teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will all face charges of assisting an offender.

The 16-year-old will face an extra charge of possessing a firearm.

Security at the court was increased for today's hearing.

Officers with dogs were stationed inside the court building, and airport-style metal detectors were put up at the entrance.

All the defendants are from Croxteth, where Rhys lived and was killed.

They were among 13 people arrested this week in connection with the murder. Four adults, aged 54, 50, 49, and 22, and a 16-year-old youth, have already been released on bail.

A 21-year-old woman was released without charge, and a 20-year old man remains in custody but has not yet been charged since his arrest yesterday.

The arrests followed one of the biggest murder inquiries carried out by Merseyside police in recent years.

Yesterday, Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly thanked Rhys's parents for their "support and patience".

"They have shown courage, strength and dignity during what must have been a truly terrible time for them," he said.

    Teenager charged with Rhys Jones murder, G, 17.4.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/apr/17/ukguns.ukcrime






1pm BST update

SFO wrong to drop BAE inquiry, court rules


Peter Walker and agencies
Thursday April 10 2008
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Thursday April 10 2008.
It was last updated at 14:03 on April 10 2008.


The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted unlawfully in dropping an investigation into alleged bribery in an arms deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia, the high court ruled today.

In a stunning victory for the activist groups that launched the legal challenge, the two judges said Tony Blair's government and the SFO caved in too readily to threats by Saudi Arabia over intelligence sharing and trade.

Lord Justice Moses and Justice Sullivan, using some scathing language, rejected the SFO's argument that it was powerless to resist the Saudi threats.

"So bleak a picture of the impotence of the law invites at least dismay, if not outrage," they said.

"Had such a threat been made by one who was subject to the criminal law of this country, he would risk being charged with an attempt to pervert the course of justice."

To give in so easily, the judges said, "merely encourages those with power, in a position of strategic and political importance, to repeat such threats, in the knowledge that the courts will not interfere with the decision of a prosecutor to surrender".

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Corner House Research had sought a review of the decision by the SFO director, Robert Wardle, in December 2006 to drop the investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption over the £43bn Al-Yamamah arms deal, agreed by the Thatcher government in 1985.

"No one, whether in this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice," Moses and Sullivan ruled.

"It is the failure of government and the defendant [Wardle] to bear that essential principle in mind that justifies the intervention of this court."

The judges said the SFO decision was unlawful but made no formal orders for further action - something they will consider at a further hearing. It is believed the most likely course will be that the SFO will have to reconsider its decision.

In a brief statement, the SFO said it was "carefully considering the implications of the judgment and the way forward".

The judges had harsh words for the attitude of the SFO and the Blair government in never even considering the option of telling the Saudis their threats would be ignored.

"Noone suggested to those uttering the threat that it was futile, that the United Kingdom's system of democracy forbad pressure being exerted on an independent prosecutor whether by the domestic executive or by anyone else; no-one even hinted that the courts would strive to protect the rule of law and protect the independence of the prosecutor by striking down any decision he might be tempted to make in submission to the threat."

The SFO's decision, at the urging of Blair, prompted widespread condemnation. The UK has since faced investigation by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which combats international corruption.

At a two-day hearing in February, lawyers for CAAT and Corner House argued that the SFO dropped its investigation due to Saudi Arabian pressure that amounted to diplomatic blackmail.

Blair, who was then prime minister, said the Saudis had privately threatened to cut intelligence cooperation over terrorism unless the inquiry was stopped.

The government did not dispute this version of events, the judges noted in their ruling.

They decided that Wardle "was required to satisfy the court that all that could reasonably be done had been done to resist the threat", and said: "He has failed to do so."

CAAT and Corner House greeted the ruling with delight.

"This is a great day for British justice," said Susan Hawley, of Corner House. "The judges have stood up for the right of independent prosecutors not to be subjected to political pressure and they have made sure that the government cannot use national security arrangements just because a prosecution is not in their interests."

Symon Hill, of CAAT, said the judgment "brings Britain a step closer to the day when BAE is no longer calling the shots".

He said: "It has been clear from the start that the dropping of the investigation was about neither national security nor jobs."

The SFO's decision, at the urging of Blair, prompted widespread condemnation. The UK has since faced investigation by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which combats international corruption.

At a two-day hearing in February, lawyers for CAAT and Corner House said Blair put "irresistible pressure" on the SFO and his attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, to end the investigation.

Blair "stepped over the boundary between what is a permissible exercise and impermissible attempts to influence or dictate a decision on the investigation by expressing his view," Dinah Rose QC, representing the activist groups, told the court.

"This is the clearest case of intervention that goes too far."

David Leigh, the Guardian's investigations editor, said: "The Guardian unearthed and published the facts about BAE's dealings with Saudi Arabia as long ago as 2004. We passed our evidence to the SFO, who embarked on a long inquiry.

"Recently we also decided to name Prince Bandar as the recipient of £1bn from BAE. We are very pleased that today's high court judgment vindicates all the work the Guardian has done in the public interest to expose this scandal."

The judges were told Prince Bandar, a Saudi national security adviser allegedly involved in the bribery, was behind threats to hold back information about potential suicide bombers and terrorists.

According to an SFO document, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia warned that "British lives on British streets" were at risk if the fraud investigation continued. The memo added: "If this caused another 7/7, how could we say our investigation is more important?"

The Al-Yamamah arms deal involved BAE Systems – then still called British Aerospace – providing Saudi Arabia with 72 Tornado and 30 Hawk jets plus other military equipment.

Soon after it was signed, allegations emerged that the contract had been won through the payment of hundreds of millions of pounds in bribes. BAE and Prince Bandar deny the accusations.

    SFO wrong to drop BAE inquiry, court rules, G, 10.4.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/10/bae.armstrade






Midday BST update

Law lords reject mothers' bid to force Iraq inquiry


Wednesday April 9 2008
Peter Walker and agencies
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Wednesday April 09 2008.
It was last updated at 11:57 on April 09 2008.


The law lords today dismissed an attempt by the mothers of two soldiers killed in Iraq to force the government to hold a public inquiry into the war.

The panel of nine lords agreed unanimously to rule against the appeal, lodged on behalf of Beverley Clarke and Rose Gentle.

However, one of the panel cast considerable doubt on the government's arguments as to why the March 2003 invasion was legal - the issue at the centre of the case.

Baroness Hale said she found the legal advice given to the government at the time by then-attorney general Lord Goldsmith "very far from [being] clear and unambiguous". She was ruling against the case "with sorrow", she added.

The case was based around whether the government was right to send troops to war without a new UN security council resolution.

Ahead of the invasion, Goldsmith advised the government that UN resolution 678, passed by the security council in 1990, before the first Gulf war, was still in force and justified military action.

Hale, while ruling that the decision to deny a public inquiry was correct, said that a state sending troops to war had a "duty to its soldiers to ensure that those orders are lawful".

If the invasion decision had been unambiguously lawful, Clarke and Gentle would have "some comfort to know that their sons had died in a just cause," she said.

"If it was not, there might at least be some public acknowledgement and attribution of responsibility and lessons learned for the future.

"If my child had died in this way, that is exactly what I would want. I would want to feel that she had died fighting for a just cause, that she had not been sent to fight a battle which should never have been fought at all, and that if she had then someone might be called to account."

Gentle, whose son, Gordon, died in June 2004 in a roadside bomb attack in Basra, said she was "bitterly disappointed" at the law lords' ruling.

"Only Baroness Hale - a woman - has had the decency to even consider how my family and I feel that Gordon was killed, and we don't even have the comfort of knowing that he died fighting for a just cause," she said.

"I will never accept that Gordon did die for a just cause and I will never stop fighting for those responsible to be held to account."

The case brought by Gentle and Clarke, whose son David died in March 2003 in a "friendly fire" incident west of Basra, challenged an appeal court ruling in December 2006.

This ruling stated the government was not under an implied obligation to order an independent inquiry under article two of the European convention on human rights, which protects the "right to life".

Lawyers for the mothers said a government promise to hold an inquiry "when the time is right" was not good enough.

At a hearing in February, the lawyers argued the Blair government breached its duty to the armed forces by failing to ensure in advance that the invasion was lawful and justified.

At the centre of the argument was the families' demand for an explanation of how 13 pages of "equivocal" advice from Goldsmith on March 7 2003 was reduced within 10 days to one page of completely unequivocal advice that an invasion would be legal.

The mothers' lawyers argued it had become clear the legal advice received by the government indicated strongly the invasion would not be lawful without another resolution from the UN security council.

The families' solicitor, Phil Shiner, complained after today's ruling that the lords had "taken a very narrow approach" to the case.

"Ever since the hearing in mid-February, there have been more damaging disclosures which all support our case that the invasion of Iraq did not have a shred of legality," he said.

"It is common ground that my clients are entitled to an inquiry that has to look at the broad circumstances of the deaths, and that the inquests could not possibly look at the invasion question."

Law lords reject mothers' bid to force Iraq inquiry, G, 9.4.2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/09/iraq.military




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