Three thugs who carried out vicious attacks on you

first_imgThree thugs who carried out vicious attacks on young disabled men have avoided being sentenced for hate crime for the second time, raising fresh questions about the criminal justice system’s commitment to addressing targeted offences.One prominent disabled campaigner said the case showed the treatment of disability hate crime by the criminal justice system was “a joke” and a “toothless weapon”.Last week, Ben Dean, Keian Heap and Jack Clark, all from Bury, were convicted by a court of offences relating to a “merciless, sadistic and bloodthirsty attack” last October on a young man with bipolar disorder.The trio had already been convicted of a separate attack on a young man with Asperger’s syndrome in a Bury park, in 2013.Neither of the attacks appears to have been treated by the courts as a disability hate crime, which would have seen the three young men handed stricter sentences.They are just the latest in a long line of violent, targeted crimes carried out against disabled people, which have not been treated as hate crimes by judges and magistrates, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police forces.In the latest attack, on 4 October last year, Dean and Clark had shouted disablist abuse outside the home of Kieran Clark – calling him a “mong” – and threw stones at his windows and banged on his door, until he came out to confront them in a bid to protect his home and pregnant girlfriend.Following an initial scuffle in a nearby field, Kieran Clark returned home, but the gang persuaded him to follow them back out to the same patch of land.They then hit him with a fence post, punched him, stamped on his head, and repeatedly stabbed him, in a 10-minute attack, during which he thought he was going to die.Two days earlier, on 2 October, also in the early hours of the morning, members of the gang had again hurled disablist abuse at Kieran Clark – calling him a “muppet” and “schizo” – and threw stones at his window. The court heard that they had a history of chasing and antagonising him.Dean, of New Cateaton Street, Bury, and Jack Clark, of Walnut Avenue, Bury, both 15, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and were ordered to serve five years juvenile detention, while Heap, 19, of Walmersley Road, Bury, admitted violent disorder and was jailed for three years.All three defendants had a previous conviction for assaulting a young man with autism in a Bury park in 2012.The judge told the trio that they had “targeted” Kieran Clark, and added: “There is something about people with learning difficulties that you three take a serious exception to.”And he said it was “plain that you have no compassion for others who are different from you and those you perceive as inferior, even though they are not”.But despite the judge’s comments, he does not appear to have increased their sentences using the disability hate crime provisions contained in section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act.Sources suggest that the judge was invited to apply section 146, and agreed to do so, while the defence barrister declined to contest the suggestion that it had been a hate crime.But despite the judge indicating that the offences would be treated as hate crimes, he appears to have failed to increase their sentences.There was further confusion among the criminal justice agencies when a spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the attack on Kieran Clark was initially investigated as a potential hate crime, but that officers had decided later that it was not hate-related.A police spokesman insisted that investigating hate crime was “a priority for GMP and we have strict policies in place to investigate incidents that occur and provide support to vulnerable victims”, while the investigation “was carried out thoroughly in line with GMP’s hate crime policy”.Stephen Brookes (pictured), a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said he was “deeply concerned” with the way the criminal justice system was dealing with section 146.He said: “It is a facility that would make people think twice about hostility towards a disabled person, but section 146 is just not being used [and so that is not happening].“It has become a joke, almost, a dusty file on the back shelf. It is being missed either by the police, the CPS or the judiciary – each one is failing to grasp the nettle.“Until people work together, it is a toothless weapon.“The facility is there but nobody either is using it or they are using it inappropriately. The message that comes out is that it really doesn’t matter.”He added: “I think the judiciary are totally and utterly inept on section 146 at the moment.“Somehow, we have to get to the judiciary for training, but they are an elite group who say they do not need training.”Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said there were still “too many reports of courts, the CPS and the police failing to identify and treat disability hate crime appropriately”.She said: “Labour has committed to a new specific offence of disability hate crime. We will also make changes to the criminal records framework, so hate crimes are clearly marked on the criminal records of perpetrators.“We will produce new guidance from the Sentencing Council to ensure the appropriate use of aggravated sentencing for hate crimes, particularly for repeat offenders, and review police and CPS guidance to ensure hate crimes on social media are adequately covered.“We also need to ensure that those working in the criminal justice system receive proper training and that monitoring systems work effectively.”last_img read more


Safe Injection Sites for Drug Users in Shelters Get Health Department Nod

first_img 0% Traduccion en español aquí.Sites where drug users can safely inject or where alcoholics’ consumption is regulated received a warmer than expected endorsement at a hearing Thursday afternoon about progress toward the city’s six Navigation Centers.While the expansion of navigation centers, like the rest of the city’s budget, is running up against a shortfall the Department of Public Health appears to have warmed to the idea of safe consumption sites. The idea of helping homeless people who struggle with addiction at supervised sites was written into a city mandate requiring no fewer than six Navigation Centers by mid-2018. The mandate was authored by Supervisor David Campos and approved by the Board of Supervisors, but the proposal met with strong disagreement from the Mayor at the time. At Thursday’s meeting, Barbara Garcia, the director of the Department of Public Health, expressed support for including such sites or beginning to incorporate supervised consumption into existing harm reduction infrastructure – pending state legislative permission to do so. “We do believe that that is worth pursuing,” she said in reference to safe consumption sites. “We have a public health responsibility to ensure that these individuals are safe and getting services.”She estimated to have a real impact, the city would need to establish some six safe injection sites, at a cost of $3 to $3.5 million each.Federal prohibitions on consumption of controlled substances put city service providers who allow such consumption at risk of law enforcement, said Laura Thomas, who works with the national Drug Policy Alliance.At the hearing, she explained that the Alliance supported state-level legislation last year that would allow municipalities to permit such sites, but the legislation was rejected in committee. If such legislation is approved on the Alliance’s second attempt to foster it, an effort which would be greatly aided by municipalities showing their support for safe injection sites, San Francisco may move forward.Campos had called the hearing to check in on the city’s progress in building a total of six of the alternative shelters following concerns that a shortage of shelter beds has slowed down the process of clearing out homeless encampments around the city. “What keeps me up at night is the fact that, as we’re trying to resolve encampments we’re running out of beds, places to send people, so what are we going to do?” Campos wanted to know.San Francisco has some 1,300 shelter beds, but anywhere between 6,600 and 10,000 homeless people, not all of whom necessarily live on the streets. There are about 900 people on the waitlist to enter the city’s shelter system.Jeff Kositsky, who heads the city’s Department of Homelessness, said the legislation requiring new Navigation Centers would not alleviate the need entirely but is a start.“It’s great to have wind at our backs in terms of that at least we know we’re going to add another 500 to 600 beds based on this legislation,” he said. “It is less than what we need, but it is an important start.” center_img Tags: drugs • health care • homeless • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more


Neighborhood group rejects bike share expansion to 24th Street

first_img“I think it will be a clash on 24th Street,” he said and questioned whether the service that allows bicycles to be rented from the stations using a smartphone application will benefit the local community.Dani Simon, a spokesperson for Motivate, the bike-share company that runs Ford GoBike in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, said the conversation with community groups including Calle 24 is ongoing.“We really want this to be seen as an asset to all communities around the city,” said Simon.But Arguello said that his group will not negotiate. “We told them no, and there will be opposition,” he said. Simon said that the company has done rigorous community outreach, including more than 30 town hall meetings with residents, to gauge approval and need in the city’s neighborhoods.She said the company’s vision is to bring “affordable means of transportation to neighborhoods for people that need it.” In an effort to remain accessible to low-income community members, the company offers a first time, year-long membership at a $5 rate for anyone who is eligible for “the Muni discount program and other affordability programs.” Arguello said that the neighborhood council, representing businesses, residents, nonprofits and artists, was first approached by the bike share company some three months ago. “We appreciated that the company approached us… Most of the time things happen without even asking the community,” said Arguello.Regionally, the company hopes to expand to 7,000 bicycles in the Bay Area by next year, which can be rented from select stations via the app or through the Clipper Card system.A map showing the company’s proposed stops excludes the corridor stretching from Valencia Street to Potrero Avenue along 24th Street, with the closest stations proposed at 24th and Valencia streets and at 24th and Mission streets.Simon said that the stations will vary in size, with smaller stations holding 15 to 20 bicycles and larger stations holding as many as 30 to 50 bicycles.“The station could go into a plaza, it could go on sidewalks, or in parking spaces,” said Simon. “We really try to be creative and try to work with communities to figure out where the best places [for them] are. Obviously, the sidewalks are crowded and that space is precious.”Arguello agreed, and said that is precisely why bike share should not set up in the cultural district. “24th street is a very narrow street – some of these stations are about three to four cars long,” he said.Parking, Arguello feared, could become an issue. “Neighbors are constantly complaining about not enough parking,” he said. “[Ford GoBike is] proposing [the stations] on the street and at the plazas.”Arguello added that his group has its “own plans for its own community.”The group wants the plazas along 24th Street where the bike stations are proposed, such as the 24th and Mission Bart Plaza, for example, to remain accessible for community members to utilize as performance, event and social spaces.The group is also mulling over its plans for streetscape improvements – “our vision is to become a Chinatown or a Japantown,” said Arguello. “Some people have talked about creating Mayan temples on the entrance of 24th Street, representing Latin America.” Arguello also questioned the need for the app-based bike share program along the transit corridor and whether its utilization by the local community. A dramatically expanding bike share company that is set to place some 31 proposed bicycle-dock stations on the streets of the Mission District this year and next year will be steering clear of one: 24th Street. There, the neighborhood group representing the Calle 24 Cultural District  – a stretch of 24th Street that is recognized by the city and state as a protected cultural District – was anything but thrilled with Ford GoBike’s (formerly Bay Area Bike Share) plans, which include adding some 3,500 bicycles under its program in San Francisco by the end of next year.“There’s a lot of cultural social and economic impacts that it would have on low income working class community. Part of our vision is to preserve this area for working class families. This doesn’t really fit into our vision and mission,” said Erick Arguello, who heads the Calle 24 Latino Cultural Corridor group. Arguello called the bike share company backed by the Ford Motor Company “very corporate.” Tags: 24th Street • bikes • Calle 24 Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more


Casa Bonampak to close in January owner still hopes to sell

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Casa Bonampak is shutting down its retail store on Valencia Street by mid-January 2019, after months of unsuccessfully searching for an apt candidate to carry on with the business. The cultural enterprise will move on to an online and wholesale afterlife, where it will continue supporting the fair trade of Latin American artisan work.“I did not find the right energy in the community to continue the work,” said Mexican-born owner Nancy Chárraga, who had hoped to sell both the store and the website, “perhaps to a non-profit,” and stay on as a consultant.She added the right suitor would have had to be “inclusive and, of course, understand the Mission and its Latino community, and also bridge beyond that to the greater, diverse community” in the neighborhood.Casa Bonampak started as a street fair stand in 1996. The business evolved into a storefront at 24th and Mission, and later moved to its current space at 1051 Valencia Street. Chárraga’s business involved importing fair-trade artisan work for clients in the U.S., as well as working with the artisans on the design and approach of their products. Email Addresscenter_img Nancy Chárraga and “Individual-1” at Casa Bonampak, back in 2015.“People often think about the glamorous side of a retail store, but it requires hustle and a sense of business,” she said. “You need to love creating community, and to keep a store open, you need to steer the ship all the time.”Twenty-three years in, the business was taking a toll on Chárraga, who wants to dedicate more time to her aging mother and aunts, and continue running the business from home.“It was a heartbreaking decision, but my body wants to slow down,” she added.Although the closure has already been announced and the landlord is already showing the place, Chárraga said the business is still available, if someone were to swoop in on time — Chárraga says her business is still viable and had “survived gentrification, so far.” Failing that, the plan is to liquidate the store mid-January and move out.“It is not the outcome that I wanted, but I am very thankful,” she said. “I feel like the richest girl, full of wisdom, and of so many intangibles that you can’t put a number on.” last_img read more


LANCE Hohaia believes Saints have a great chance o

first_imgLANCE Hohaia believes Saints have a great chance of taking home the World Club Challenge if they harness the advantage of Langtree Park.Tickets are now on General Sale for the big match against South Sydney Rabbitohs which kicks off at 7pm on Sunday February 22.And the former New Zealand Warrior and World Cup winner says every fan counts if Saints are to lift their third Challenge crown.“The Bunnies are definitely a team that have improved in last three to four years,” he said. “They have always been talented but have probably been a little bit inconsistent over the years.“They have found that consistency now with their coaching structure and the players they have. They play behind a big forward pack and that helps how they play the game… then they have some of the best players in the world too like Greg Inglis.“They will be a tough side to beat but we have the advantage. They have to come over here to play at Langtree Park and we have to use that to our advantage and not take a backward step.“I know if we play our best on the day then we give ourselves a great challenge of becoming World Club Champions.”He continued: “It will be a great spectacle and we are taking it very seriously. The chance to be World Club Champions is prestigious and we are very much looking forward to it.”Tickets are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more


RICKY Bailey and Aaron Smith have been selected fo

first_imgRICKY Bailey and Aaron Smith have been selected for England Academy’s international against France on Saturday.Morgan Knowles was also due to play in the clash but has been named in Saints 19 for tonight’s Challenge Cup tie.Jake Spedding misses out because of other reasons.The game gets underway at 4pm in the Stade Albert Domec, Carcassonne.last_img


Wins over Hull and Catalans have pulled his side t

first_imgWins over Hull and Catalans have pulled his side to within three points of their opponents – and that makes the match all the more important with the Super 8s set to begin in two weeks.“We’ve had two testing games and now have another one coming up,” he said. “It was important we won the last two and now we are in a position to make some inroads.“We have to continue doing that and we have to play well on Sunday.“Wakefield are a tough team to face on their home ground. They have a big pack that offloads, fast wingers and two smart half backs. There is a reason why they are sitting where they are.“We will have to play well to come away with the win.”Holbrook expects Kyle Amor to come back into the reckoning after he missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury whilst Matty Smith is continuing to progress.He continued: “We had some good news on Matty; luckily it (his eye) has improved dramatically which is great because up until last week we weren’t too sure. Within a week it has improved a lot and he has started training again too.“Kyle should be ok too. The pack has been going well. Luke Thompson and Louie (McCarthy-Scarsbrook) have both been playing fantastic. Big Al has been playing well too and it was good to see all three scoring tries at the weekend.”Tickets for Sunday’s game at Wakefield remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online.last_img read more


As part of our Seat of the Day feature we will be

first_imgAs part of our Seat of the Day feature, we will be highlighting some incredible ‘specs’ that are available to reserve for the 2018 season.Today we have selected Block North E, Row T, Seat 135 which is in the highly sought-after middle Gold section of the Totally Wicked North Stand, very close to the half way line.The seat offers incredible views of the action – check out the images below taken from the seat itself.We also have available seats either side of this one – T134 and T136 so a group of up to three people could reserve together.Check out the map below!Up to the Early Bird deadline, 30 November, this seat is priced at:£369 for adults£276 for Concessions aged 65+ or 19-21£200 for Youths aged 17-18and just £116 for juniors (aged 5-16)All under 5s are free with a paying adultIf you buy your Membership before November 30 you will save ££ on matchday prices.You’ll also secure a whole host of other benefits too.Your Membership allows you to watch all Saints Betfred Super League home games in 2018 … and a Junior Membership will get you in to all our away League games too!Membership Benefits:Membership Access CardYour ticket reserved for additional major home games (World Club Series/Challenge Cup)All your Betfred Super League and Super 8s home games included in one great Membership packagePriority match tickets for major games including finals*Exclusive Club news straight to your mobile or other device via emailExclusive local partner offers giving you even more value with your MembershipExclusive Membership only merchandise & stadium promotional offers sent directly to you via emailExclusive news including new signings, via SMS before general releaseExclusive invites to Member only events during 2018Bring a friend for just £5 to a 2018 home match of your choice (excludes Wigan home games)50% off your 2018 Magic Weekend ticketAccess to our Member feedback channels to engage with the Club and give us your views and opinionsDiscounted away travel via Club Travel Partner Hattons TravelAnd, you could be named our Ultimate Fan too!So what you waiting for? Click here for prices and how to buy.Be #saintsandproudlast_img read more


13 first team players including the likes of Ben

first_img13 first team players, including the likes of Ben Barba, Luke Thompson and James Bentley, visited 12 Primary Schools and two Secondary Schools this afternoon.They posed for pictures, signed autographs and delivered special gifts from our Community Development Foundation.We visited Allanson Street, Broad Oak, Carr Mill, Holy Cross, Holy Spirit, Merton Bank, Parish Church, Queens Park, Rivington Road, Robins Lane, St Augustine’s High School, St Cuthbert’s High School, St Marys & St Thomas, St Peter & Paul and St Theresa’s.As a thank you, the Foundation donated a family ticket for the Castleford match to every school they have worked with, alongside the Sky Try programme, to use as a raffle prize or reward.They also entered the school in a special raffle to win a framed signed shirt amongst other prizes.We will continue our Santa Dash over the next three weeks as we aim to visit every primary school in the town!last_img read more


First all female half marathon held in Wilmington

first_imgRunners after competing in half marathon (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Southeastern North Carolina held their first, and only all female half marathon and 5-K this weekend in Wilmington.The Wilmington Women’s Half Marathon and 5-K was aimed to meet the needs of women runners.- Advertisement – Proceeds from the race will be used to help the Rape Crisis Center of Coastal Horizons Center assist victims of sexual assault.One runner said this was her first race she has ever entered and was excited to be a part of the all female half marathon.“I mean of course the whole feminism thing, but just to be surrounded by people who are kind of in the same mindset as you, and it was very like supportive environment, and I assumed since it was such a small race it wouldn’t be so peppy and outgoing, but I think it was more because it was just women,” runner Logan Forbis said.Related Article: Runners gear up for another wet Boston MarathonThe course started and finished at the Watermark Marina pier.Men were able to participate if they wanted, but were not eligible for awards.last_img read more