Brick Lane shopkeepers threatened with 40 lashes for selling alcohol | The Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3948391.ece

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‘Killer’ of Lee Rigby describes moment Woolwich soldier died as he takes to the witness stand | Mail Online

Woolwich \’murderer\’ Michael Adebolajo today admitted killing Lee Rigby in a \’military attack\’ and  described his attempts to decapitate him at the Old Bailey today.

The 28-year-old\’s account of knocking down the Fusilier and trying to cut off his head led to Drummer Rigby\’s widow running from the court.

He and Michael Adebowale, 22, are accused of murdering Fusilier Rigby by running him down with a car and then hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives near Woolwich Barracks in south east London on May 22.

He told the court: \’After I struck the neck, I used another of the knives I had sharpened to try and remove the head but I was unsuccessful in this attempt.\’

via ‘Killer’ of Lee Rigby describes moment Woolwich soldier died as he takes to the witness stand | Mail Online.

Lee Rigby murder trial: Michael Adebolajo ‘a soldier of Allah’

A man has admitted killing soldier Lee Rigby but said it was not murder because “I am a soldier of Allah” and “this is a war”.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, described the killing as a “military operation”.

He also told the Old Bailey he loved extremist network al-Qaeda.

The prosecution says he and Michael Adebowale, 22 – who also denies murder – rammed Fusilier Rigby with a car in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May, before attacking him with knives.

They are also both accused of attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer.

Bible readings

 

Under cross examination by prosecutor Richard Whittam QC, Mr Adebolajo replied “yes” when he was asked if he had killed Fusilier Rigby, describing it as a “military operation”.

Fusilier Rigby’s widow Rebecca left the courtroom in tears as Mr Adebolajo claimed the soldier was still moving after being hit by the car.

He refused to answer questions about how long he had planned the attack, but said he had not planned to run down Fusilier Rigby, saying “it just so happened that Allah caused him to cross in front of my car.”

He described attacking Fusilier Rigby with a meat cleaver in graphic detail, and said the soldier was already dead by the time Mr Adebowale had joined him in attacking the soldier.

Earlier the court heard Mr Adebolajo, from Romford, east London, give his name as Mujaahid Abu Hamza and confirm he was married with six children, including a seven-year-old boy and a baby who was four days old on the day of the incident.

He said he had been brought up as a Christian by his family and his parents had taken him to church every Sunday.

“The memory that sticks in my mind… is probably every New Year’s Eve in the evening around 11 o’clock we would gather around in candlelight and read passages from the Bible,” he said.

He converted to Islam in his first year as a student at Greenwich University.

He told the court: “My religion is everything.

“When I came to Islam I realised that… real success is not just what you can acquire, but really is if you make it to paradise, because then you can relax,” he added.

Of al-Qaeda, Mr Adebolajo said: “Al-Qaeda I consider to be Mujahideen. I love them, they’re my brothers. I have never met them. I consider them my brothers in Islam.”

 

Last week the jury heard detailed and, at times, graphic detail of the prosecution’s version of the events of 22 May, when 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby, of Middleton, Greater Manchester, was killed as he returned to Woolwich Barracks.

In one of the interviews Mr Adebolajo said soldiers were the “most fair target” because they joined the Army “with kind of an understanding that your life is at risk”.

In court on Monday he said he had prayed the night before that he would target the right person.

“To be 100%, I don’t believe there’s a way to know 100% that was a soldier, however there were some steps that we took. For example before we started out on that day and the night previous to that I started worshipping Allah and begging him that… we strike a soldier and a soldier only.”

He said he knew Fusilier Rigby was a soldier because of the camouflage backpack he was carrying and because he was going towards the barracks.

‘Brainwashed by BBC’

When he was later asked what his defence to the charge of murder was, he said: “I am a soldier. I’m a soldier of Allah”.

He continued: “I understand that some people might not recognise this because we do not wear fatigues and we do not go to the Brecon Beacons and train and this sort of thing. But we are still soldiers in the sight of Allah as a mujahid.

“This is all that matters, if Allah considers me a soldier, then I am a soldier.”

Last week, the court was shown mobile phone footage of Mr Adebolajo in the aftermath of the attack.

 

On Monday he said he wanted to film the scene of the attack to get his message across without people being brainwashed by the BBC.

He said he was “almost certain” he would be shot and killed by the firearms officers who arrived at the scene of the attack in Woolwich.

Last week, CCTV footage of him running towards the police car with a meat cleaver raised was shown to the court.

He complained on Monday that the officers had not shot him in the head but said he had no grievance with them, because they were “just doing their duty”.

He said he should be ransomed back to other jihadi fighters, set free or killed if he was found guilty.

Earlier, he told the court the “vast majority” of his friends growing up in Romford had been white and British.

One of them, Kirk Redpath, joined the Army and was later killed in Iraq.

Mr Adebolajo said: “I hold Tony Blair responsible for his death.”

The defendant told the court that he had tried to travel to Somalia in 2010 but was captured in Kenya and returned to the UK.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

via BBC News – Lee Rigby murder trial: Michael Adebolajo ‘a soldier of Allah’.

Grooming case prompts council review

See on Scoop.itEnglish Volunteer Force News

A council is reviewing arrangements at its children’s homes following the conclusion of a sexual exploitation case on Teesside.

Middlesbrough Council is assessing contact with other agencies after a 13-year-old girl in its care was groomed.

The authority said staff could not legally prevent the girl from leaving.

“An initial review has shown no evidence that staff could have acted differently to prevent these crimes from occurring,” the council said.

The jury found six girls from the town were victims of exploitation by a “loosely connected” group.

‘Communication improvements’

Two men and a 17-year-old boy from Middlesbrough are awaiting sentence following the trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The council said it was “clearly a matter of concern” that a girl in its care “should be exploited in this way”.

“Staff at the children’s home in question did all they could to ensure the girl was protected, but were legally unable to prevent her leaving the premises,” a spokesman said.

“We will look at possible improvements in communication between agencies, and a further review will take place once legal proceedings have been completed and we have had an opportunity to consider any comments made by the trial judge.”

The council, which commissions residential care from other providers, said only children legally placed in “secure accommodation” could be prevented from leaving homes.

Councillor Brenda Thompson, executive member for children’s services, said the case highlighted the importance of agency co-operation in identifying victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Taxi driver Shakil Munir, 32, of Tollesby Road, was found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a child and one of child abduction.

On the eve of the trial, Sakib Ahmed, 19, of Cambridge Road, admitted five counts of sexual activity with a child.

Ateeq Latif, 17, of Abingdon Road, was convicted of two counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

See on www.bbc.co.uk

BBC receives 1,350 complaints for ‘excessive’ Mandela coverage, including some viewers angry at interruption of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’

See on Scoop.itEnglish Volunteer Force News

The BBC has been forced to defend its coverage of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela after more than 1,300 viewers complained that it was excessive.

As of today the BBC had received 1,350 complaints from viewers, including some who grumbled about the comedy programme ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ being interrupted. Programme chiefs broke into a repeat of the BBC1 sitcom to break the news.

A number of the complainants said that too much time was spent reflecting on the death of Mr Mandela and not enough on the record storm surge that hit Britain on the same night.

BBC News director, James Harding, defended the corporation’s coverage saying Mr Mandela was a man of “singular significance” and the “most significant statesman of the last 100 years”.

A BBC spokeswoman said today: “Nelson Mandela was a hugely significant world leader with an enormous political and cultural influence across the world. His death is of considerable interest to our audiences at home and across the globe.

“We know that people turn to the BBC for authoritative coverage of breaking news and we will continue to provide comprehensive coverage for a wide range of BBC News outlets, across TV, radio and online, as the world reacts to his passing, reflects on his legacy, and prepares for his funeral.

“After the initial announcement we have, of course, continued to coverother major stories as they have developed.”

See on www.independent.co.uk

Lee Rigby from Middleton murder accused tells jury he ‘loves al Qaida’ and ‘doesn’t regret soldier’s death’

See on Scoop.itEnglish Volunteer Force News

Michael Adebolajo gave evidence at the Old Bailey today, surrounded by five security guards in oak-pannelled Court Two.

 

One of the men accused of murdering Lee Rigby has told a jury he loves al Qaida and does not regret what happened to the soldier.

Michael Adebolajo gave evidence at the Old Bailey today, surrounded by five security guards in oak-pannelled Court Two.

He and Michael Adebowale, 22, are accused of murdering Fusilier Rigby by running him down with a car and then hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives near Woolwich Barracks in south east London on May 22.

The soldier’s relatives sat feet away as Adebolajo, a married father-of-six, spoke to the court.

Asked who al Qaida were by his counsel, David Gottlieb, Adebolajo replied: “Al Qaida, I consider to be Mujahideen. I love them, they’re my brothers. I have never met them. I consider them my brothers in Islam.”

The 28-year-old told the jury that he does not regret what happened to Fusilier Rigby.

He said: “I will never regret obeying the command of Allah. That is all I can say. I’m a mujahid, I’m a soldier, I’m doing what Allah commands me to do. I can’t do anything else.”

But when he was asked how he feels towards the soldier’s family, he told the court: “I have no animosity or bad feelings towards them.

“Every soldier has a family, has a family who loves him just like me,” he said. “My family didn’t stop loving me the moment I became a soldier.”

He added: “Muslims feel pain too.”

“That soldier’s life, his death might protect the lives of other soldiers who are being sent to die in unjust wars,” he went on.

When asked what his defence to the charge of murder is, Adebolajo insisted that he is a soldier.

“I’m a soldier. I’m a soldier of Allah and I understand that some people might not recognise this because we do not wear fatigues and we do not go to the Brecon Beacons and train and this sort of thing. But we are still soldiers in the sight of Allah as a mujahid,” the jury heard.

“This is all that matters, if Allah considers me a soldier, then I am a soldier.”

Asked what should happen to him after this case, he said he should be ransomed back to other jihadi fighters, set free or killed if he is found guilty.

“As an enemy soldier, I believe I should be ransomed to my mujahid brothers,” he said.

“Or I should be set free, or I should be killed.”

The jury of eight women and four men heard that he took the name Mujahid, meaning fighter, after he converted to Islam in 2002 or 2003.

“Growing up I never did think of killing a man. This is not the type of thing that the average child thinks of and I was no different.

“When a soldier joins the Army he perhaps has in his head an understanding that he will kill a man at some stage. When I became a mujahid I was aware that perhaps I might end up killing a soldier.”

In 2010 he tried to travel to Somalia but was captured in Kenya and brought back to the UK.

Adebolajo said: “There’s a lot more to the story but I won’t mention that.”

He told the jury that he and Adebowale prayed to Allah that they would attack a soldier and not a civilian.

“To be 100%, I don’t believe there’s a way to know 100% that was a soldier, however there were some steps that we took. For example before we started out on that day and the night previous to that I started worshipping Allah and begging him that … we strike a soldier and a soldier only.”

The court heard that he used to attend demonstrations “in the hope it might make a difference”, but added: “I was somewhat naive.”

Adebolajo told the jury that at one protest he was arrested, and later sent to prison for assaulting two police officers.

He said that in his cell he realised the demonstrations were “impotent rage”.

“In reality, no demonstration will make a difference,” he added.

Adebolajo said that, while he was not a member of any group, the demonstrations were organised by al Muhajiroun, a group proscribed under the UK Terrorism Act.

Adebolajo discussed the group’s co-founder Anjem Choudary and said he thought he was a “good man” but he disagreed with some of his views.

He said he handed a letter to an eyewitness to make it clear that the events happened “for one reason and one reason only – that’s foreign policy”.

He said: “The life of this one soldier might save the lives of many, many people, not just from Muslim lands but from this country.”

Adebolajo said he asked people at the scene at Woolwich Barracks to film him to “make it clear to everybody why the soldier lost his life” and “how this can be avoided in the future”.

The 28-year-old told the jury that he has no complaint against the police marksman who shot him in the wake of the killing.

“It was a man who shot me, the female she tasered me. I have no grievance with them, they are not the ones who are killing Muslims. They are just doing their duty.”

Earlier in the hearing, he said: “My religion is everything. When I came to Islam I realised that… real success is not just what you can acquire, but really is if you make it to paradise, because then you can relax.”

Adebolajo said he converted to Islam in his first year at Greenwich University. He was raised as a Christian by his parents.

The court heard that Adebolajo is married and has six children, including a seven-year-old boy and a baby born shortly before the incident.

He said that, growing up in Romford, the “vast majority” of his friends were white British, and one, Kirk Redpath, joined the Army and was later killed in Iraq.

Adebolajo said: “I hold Tony Blair responsible for his death.”

See on www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Sexual predator who celebrated his birthday by raping a teenage mother in front of her eight-month-old baby is jailed 14 years after attack | Mail Online

A man who broke into a teenage mother\’s home and raped her has been jailed for ten years.

Neville Williams, 56, broke into his victim’s home and boasted it was his birthday as he brutally raped her.

After her ordeal, which happened on October 1, 1999 – Williams’ 42nd birthday – he threatened to return and rape the young mum again if she called police.

The terrified victim, aged 19 at the time, fled her home in Birmingham and resettled in another part of the country to escape the memory of what happened.

But after 12 years of silence she finally went to police in November 2011 and officers launched a search for her attacker.

Specialist teams were able to track Williams after his victim remembered he called himself by his nickname ‘Crunch’.

After his arrest in June last year unemployed Williams denied the attack and went on trial earlier this year.

But a jury found him guilty after hearing evidence from a friend and the woman’s GP about a change in her personality following the attack.

At Birmingham Crown Court, Neville, from Smiths Wood, Solihull, West Midlands, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and subjected to a restraining order to protect his victim.

via Sexual predator who celebrated his birthday by raping a teenage mother in front of her eight-month-old baby is jailed 14 years after attack | Mail Online.

‘Muslim Patrol’ members to be sentenced

See on Scoop.itEVF NEWS FEED

Two members of a vigilante group calling itself the ‘Muslim patrol’ are due to sentenced today.

Ricardo MacFarlane, 36, of Boyden House in Walthamstow, and Jordan Horner, 29, of Radbourne Crescent in Walthamstow, last month admitted threatening, assaulting or abusing people on the streets in three attacks between December 2012 and January this year.

In one incident the group approaching five men walking with cans of beer and shouted: “Why are you poisoning your body? It is against Islam. This is Muslim Patrol. Kill the non-believers.”

 

The pair are set to appear at the Old Bailey.

See on www.guardian-series.co.uk

European court is not superior to UK supreme court, says Lord Judge

See on Scoop.itEVF NEWS FEED

Former lord chief justice says law should be changed to make it clear British courts do not have to implement Strasbourg rulings.

 

The law should be changed to make it clear that British courts are not obliged to implement judgments of the European court of human rights (ECHR), according to the former lord chief justice.

Declaring that Strasbourg “is not superior to our supreme court” in London, Lord Judge, who retired in October, said parliamentary sovereignty should not be exported to “a foreign court”.

He is the third senior judicial figure in recent weeks to warn about the dangers of an emerging “democratic deficit” if the ECHR continues to evolve into in effect a law-making body and forces the UK government to give prisoners the vote against parliament’s expressed will.

Last week Lord Justice Laws, the longest-serving court of appeal judge, called on UK courts to stop deferring to Strasbourg on every issue. The week before, the supreme court justice Lord Sumption criticised the ECHR for exceeding its legitimate powers, and undermining the democratic process.

Their interventions are clear evidence of growing judicial resentment of the absolute authority of the Strasbourg court. Even Lady Hale, a staunch defender of the Human Rights Act, expressed concern in a speech last week that “the current problem facing both Strasbourg and the member states is whether there are any limits to how far the [European convention on human rights] can be developed”.

In his wide-ranging speech to the Constitution Unit at University College London, which included a sideswipe at the home secretary, Theresa May, Judge said: “My profound concern about the long-term impact of these issues on our constitutional affairs is the democratic deficit … in our constitutional arrangements parliament is sovereign.

“It would make sense for the [Human Rights Act] to be amended, to express that the obligation to take account of the decisions of the Strasbourg court did not mean that our supreme court was required to follow or apply those decisions, and that in this jurisdiction the supreme court is, at the very least, a court of equal standing with the Strasbourg court.

“Are we … prepared to contemplate the gradual emergence of a court with the equivalent jurisdiction throughout Europe of that enjoyed by the supreme court in the United States of America?”

Judge insisted he was not adopting a pro- or anti-European stance, adding: “You can argue for and against prisoner voting rights … My personal belief is that sovereignty on these issues should not be exported, and we should beware of the danger of even an indirect importation of the slightest obligation on parliament to comply with the orders and directions of any court, let alone a foreign court.”

In a separate passage, Judge hit back at May’s address to the Conservative party conference criticising the judiciary. He said: “I suspect that I was not the only judge, and I suspect that it was not only judges who were astounded to read the observation of the home secretary at the recent Conservative party conference that some judges chose to ignore parliament and go on putting the law on the side of foreign criminals instead of the public.”

The former lord chief justice also warned that the decision to amalgamate the office of justice secretary and lord chancellor, currently held by Chris Grayling, had left the judiciary without an independent voice at the highest level of government.

“The role of the lord chancellor [traditionally the head of the judiciary] has been diminished,” Judge said. “Faced with this situation, I asked … to see the prime minister on a more or less regular basis about twice annually to speak to him about matters of concern to the judiciary.”

The problem, he suggested, could be partially solved if the lord chief justice, who is currently prohibited from speaking about the administration of justice in parliament, was allowed to address the House of Lords.

Judge also said he had become “increasingly dissatisfied” over new funding arrangements for the courts which were being overshadowed by the financial requirements to sustain the prison service. Future lord chief justices should be given the power to block the justice secretary’s demands, although the final decision should be subject to parliament’s authority. “If the separation of powers is to mean anything at all, the concurrence of the lord chief justice is required,” Judge said, “and … his concurrence to any change affecting the administration of justice should, from now on, automatically be built into any proposals for further change.”

See on www.theguardian.com