Rolf Harris released from prison.

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Swami, May 19, 2017.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Winner 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    Rolf Harris released from Stafford Prison
    • 55 minutes ago
    • From the section UK
    [​IMG]
    Image caption Photographers were awaiting Mr Harris on his release
    Rolf Harris has been released from Stafford Prison.

    The TV entertainer is currently on trial on four counts of alleged indecent assault against three teenagers between 1971 and 1983 - but has been appearing via video link.

    Mr Harris, who denies all charges, will attend the trial at Southwark Crown Court in person from Monday.

    Jurors have already been told that Mr Harris, 87, was convicted and sentenced following a trial in 2014.

    The current trial, which began on 15 May, is not sitting on Friday.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

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    Not much of a sentence, was it?

    Swami
     
    Zable likes this.
  3. Ome

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    Do you know how to edit a post when you use C&P Swami?



     
  4. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Active Member

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    No. It seems inadequate. And, here's why:

    Mr Harris was, on paper, jailed for 5 years and 9 months in 2014 after being convicted on 12 assorted sexual assault charges, involving 4 victims. (Seven of the charges involved 1 victim.) The sentencing concept was 'totality'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totality_principle He did not receive more than a 15-month jail term for any one charge; and 7 jail terms were to be served concurrently, not consecutively.

    In addition, there appears to have been an opportunity for ‘parole’ at half term. Refer this BBC news report: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28163593.

    According to the report, Mr Harris “was prosecuted based on the law at the time of his offences, when the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years in prison, or five years for victims under 13”. (That covered Charges 1-9. It was 10 years each for Charges 10-12.)

    In addition, the sentencing judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, took mitigating factors into consideration. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10946230/Rolf-Harris-Judges-sentencing-remarks-in-full.html

    In 2015, the Telegraph, in another report on Mr Harris http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/child-protection/11673837/Rolf-Harris-cannot-be-denied-parole-despite-mocking-victims-in-prison-song.html said: “Under laws passed by the former Labour government in 2003, he qualifies for automatic release halfway through his jail term - a point he will reach at the end of May 2017. Amendments made to the law by the Coalition earlier this year allowed some sexual offenders to be barred from early release but the legislation does not apply to the offences of which Harris was convicted.

    [Btw, this BBC report with the headline ‘Rolf Harris released from Stafford Prison’ is correct in its headline but misleads by omission in its report – Mr Harris was granted bail by Judge Deborah Taylor to attend his second trial (involving different victims, which began May 15). He has not actually completed his ‘half time’ sentence for his first trial (by a few days it seems.)]

    The kind of sex crimes Rolf Harris was convicted of in 2014 is, I think, in the lower end of the scale of grievous sexual assault. It did not put him in the grand pantheon of horrendous sex offenders, no matter what his feelings were/are towards those who brought/bring complaints against him.

    Some might say what he did was heinous. I don't agree. I think “heinous” is an abused word, too often either absurdly or carelessly misapplied. Also, he’s 87 now. He’s not meant to be in jail for the term of his natural life – not unless he’s viciously raped and/or killed someone.

    But it’s possible that he may be, if the Crown lines up more trials each time he’s about to be released from prison, like now. And possibly, the first trial judge suspected that would happen.

    I don’t think the timing of the second trial is coincidence, starting 2 weeks before his potential 'half time' parole.

    And, who knows how many more trials like this lie waiting for Mr Harris.

    If that keeps up, and with the same kind of timing.... each time, it can’t be kept from the new jury that the accused is currently behind bars – over similar charges as now. Mr Harris will be seen as a repeat offender right off the bat. Tactically, that’s an edge in securing a conviction: once that knowledge is in a juror’s mind, it would be hard to shake it out. With a conviction, time behind bars would be inevitable. Then, it's rinse and repeat.
     

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