This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm not a murderer, just a necrophiliac.

As Mark Dixie goes on trial for the murder of Sally Anne Bowman with the most ludicrous defence I think I have heard yet ("I didn't realise she was dead until after I raped her"), I find myself wondering just how crazy a defence has to be before there is no chance of it succeeding.

Let's examine the evidence, starting with the top ten most memorable Blandmore defences that I have seen work to get defendants off in court:
  1. I thought she was going to hit me, so I picked up a hockey stick and hammer and battered her with them until she was senseless and unmoving.
  2. Another guy who looked exactly like me, with the same tattoo of the same girl's name on his arm, was standing just behind me and reached over my shoulder with a crowbar to hit the victim.
  3. I've recently had threats that someone dressed as a police officer in full uniform would turn up at my door to kill me, so when I saw the policeman there I punched him in the face for self-defence.
  4. A guy I've never seen before or since, appeared out of nowhere, ran up to me and pressed the glass hammer into my hand, before smashing a car window next to me and vanishing into thin air.
  5. [Of a 10yr old] She consented.
  6. I only confessed because I was fed a disgusting ready meal in custody and wasn't thinking clearly.
  7. I'm a terrorist and I'm going to set off a bomb soon [he was acquitted due to insanity, despite medical evidence to the contrary].
  8. The Feds have it in for me cos I've been in trouble so much, they stitched me up, innit.
  9. My parents are dead and nobody loves me.
  10. [And the most successful defence of all time...] No Comment.
It only goes to show, the concept of "reasonable" doubt is just that: a concept. In reality, if the prosecution can't prove their case beyond the wildest shadow of an insane impossible doubt, you'll walk.

Anyone got any examples of their own?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright of PC Bloggs.

37 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about…

I wasn’t burgling the shop - I just fell through the window, smashing it but luckily not cutting myself, and knocked over loads of stuff. I was just tidying it up when the nasty policeman arrived. He just assumed that I was stealing all the stuff in my arms. I had no intention of passing it to my mate on the other side of the window. I only ran because I know the police always think the worst of people.

Don’t you just hate it when that happens to you????

19 February, 2008 03:48

 
Blogger Paradise Driver said...

Sounds like it is time for the people of the UK to arm themselves. Even if they should actually shoot someone, your courts would never find them guilty of any crime greater that causing a disturbance or public disorder. Maybe antisocial behavior. Maybe.

Of course, the Police will not be allowed to carry firearms, for their own civil and legal protection. Lets face it, if an officer so much as released the safety strap on the holster, he would face the loss of employment, definite civil action and most likely charges of attempted murder.

I wouldn't worry about the job any more. The people are getting exactly what they have voted for. Maybe, before you retire, the tide will shift again. Probably not, but maybe.

19 February, 2008 07:55

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about..........

"i did not have sexual relations with that women "

It worked for the worlds most powerful man

19 February, 2008 08:33

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is the fault of the last tory government".

This one has worked for 11 years so far.


Ted

19 February, 2008 11:11

 
Blogger Metcountymounty said...

OIC, my partner and I had already given evidence in crown court and sat behind to watch the rest of the show as I only had a year or so in and crown court is interesting. Asked to explain dna evidence at a high value burglary a couple of years before, scroaty McSroate blames his twin brother who is apparently serving a prison sentence in taiwan and won't be
back to the UK for at least 10 years. His mum takes the stand to witness as the defence apparently with an alibi as scroaty was always at home at night, she hasn't spoken to scroaty since his arrest because she was on holiday and he was on remand.

Solicitor "were you aware that scroaty's twin brother was out committing burglary"

mother "I'm sorry?.... who did you say?"

S "scroaty's twin brother"

M "his twin brother died when they were 8 months old"
(mother now raging with anger and screaming directly at scroaty)
"how f&cking dare you blame your dead brother you disgusting thieving little b&stard!! I warned you didn't I that if you kept going out nicking then you would get yourself in trouble and you didn't listen to me did you!! how dare you blame my dead baby for this, I hope you get sent to prison for the rest of your life I HATE YOU!!"

Solicitor "er...... perhaps the court would benefit from a recess so I can consult with my client"

19 February, 2008 11:21

 
Anonymous nightjack said...

No comment is the category killer. Absolutely no point in the suspect saying a thing unless there is a v v good alibi to be given.

From my personal archives I am thinking "It was pop-ups planted on my computer by MI6 because I defected to the CIA". Hmmm pass the tinfoil helmet.

19 February, 2008 11:27

 
Anonymous Michael said...

The penalty for rape should be death by blood loss, shock and sepsis from unanaesthetised and unsanitised castration with a couple of heavy, blunt objects.

Unfortunately, that sentence would probably be contrary to the Labour Party's Human Rights Act.

Michael

P.S. Yes, I know I normally post more calmly than this: but a sentence like that would reduce rape reports to almost zero (yes, I said reports).

19 February, 2008 12:06

 
Anonymous Michael said...

Sir Bloggs:

Sorry,
it posted twice for some reason.
Would you please delete the second occurrence.

Michael

19 February, 2008 12:09

 
Anonymous Michael said...

Oh...
You must have been watching.
It's now okay.

Sorry for the bother,
and
thank you.

Michael

19 February, 2008 12:11

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Radio 4 last year, a famous defence lawyer recalled one of his last cases. He had decided it was in his client's best interest not to question any witnesses at all, because for a technical reason he didn't want to add to the juries' knowledge of the facts of the case, or help them to think about it in an open-eyed way.

(Ahem -it was Clive Anderson on Chain Reaction, but still might be true: he must have defended some hopeless cases occasionally).

An equally hopeless but unfunny defence was in the trial of one of the 21 July failed suicide bombers: he acknowledged buying gallons of dilute hydrogen peroxide and spending ages trying to concentrate it by boiling down, but in his defence explained how he afterwards diluted the concentrate with water to make it safe again...

Perhaps this answer was the best his lawyer could think of too.

19 February, 2008 12:56

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burglar caught red handed in a house that is not his, he smashed a window to get in, filling bags with loot. Wearing gloves and already on bail for another burglary. Sounds straight forward.

Got to court, his defence was "I needed a poo, and if I had done one in the street, I'd have been arrested, so I broke into this house to use the toilet."

This happened around the corner from 2 pubs and a busy NHS hospital, (so plenty of places to go)

Ths verdict from the magistrates..............."NOT GUILT"

This happened in Nottingham, middle of 2007.

19 February, 2008 12:59

 
Blogger John B said...

"[Of a 10yr old] She consented."

I don't quite understand how you could have seen this 'work to get defendants off in court' - sex with a 10-year-old is classed as rape on a strict liability basis (whether or not she says she consents and whether or not the defendant knows her age), and has been for over 100 years.

It may have reduced the defendant's sentence compared to otherwise, but that's completely different - it's equivalent to giving a shorter sentence to a man who commits GBH by gouging one of your eyes out than a man who gouges both of your eyes out...

19 February, 2008 14:51

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

John b - first of all it shouldn't reduce the sentence. The opposite should be the case, that if violence was used, the sentence should be greater. This is because 10yr olds are not legally capable of consenting to sex, and the law understands that someone of that age might be tricked, bribed or intimidated into consenting. Secondly, ok I simplified the case, as there were problems with a lot of the evidence, but this was still his defence.

19 February, 2008 16:18

 
Blogger John B said...

"John b - first of all it shouldn't reduce the sentence. The opposite should be the case, that if violence was used, the sentence should be greater."

That's not the opposite, it's the same thing. As I made clear with my blinding-in-one-eye vs blinding-in-two-eyes example, I'm not suggesting the guy should get a /short/ sentence, just that it would be fair grounds to give him a less long sentence than if he had used force.

(and I've no problems believing that that was his defence - I just don't believe that he could have been acquitted on the basis of that defence, because his defence involved admitting in court that he was guilty of the offence he was charged of!)

19 February, 2008 19:05

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Er... no it's not the same thing. If you start out with a standard sentence of say 10 years for rape of a 10yr old, by your argument if the child consented this could be reduced below that. My argument is that you should start out at a standard say 10 years, then increase it if violence has been used or there are aggravating factors. There can't be any mitigation for rape of a 10yr old or you may as well re-write the law.

19 February, 2008 19:28

 
Blogger matt said...

Pc bloggs. Loved the book. Team up with inspector g and write a sequel!

These cases seem insane! Do the courts just roll a dice which has five sides saying "not guilty" and one saying "guilty" on it to get the verdict? If a suspect admits being in someones house and having got there by breaking in , and having empty bags why the hell are they not convicted. If being in the police is like this , you can have all that evidence and still the courts let them off , I'm thinking seriously of withdraw my application.

19 February, 2008 19:50

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, having served on a Jury last year I think he will get off with it and perhaps get a £100 out of the poor box.

19 February, 2008 20:00

 
Blogger Sarah1981 said...

I was incredibly drunk, fast asleep in hospital and due to a bad dream woke up swinging my fists randomly. Unfortunately I happened to hit a nurse who was trying to hold me down during my fist swinging nightmare. What an unlucky coincidence!

As excellent as that one is my all-time favourite has got to be: I'M INNOCENT! I'VE BEEN SET UP BY THE POLICE!! WHYYYYYY MEEEEEEEE????

19 February, 2008 20:27

 
Blogger John B said...

"My argument is that you should start out at a standard say 10 years, then increase it if violence has been used or there are aggravating factors."

All I'm saying is, that would be exactly the same as starting at a standard 15 years and reducing it by 5 if the girl said she consented (assuming the average abused 10-year-old doesn't say she consents, which I imagine she doesn't).

Sorry to turn this into an argument, we're in agreement on what should actually happen - just not about angel-dancing-on-pin questions of philosophy.

Still don't understand how the guy in this case could have possibly been acquitted though.

19 February, 2008 20:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not drunk as I can remember the incident, used as a defence to drunk and disorderly. Found guilty but only after calling the custody sgt who said it was ten hours before he was fit to be charged due to his drunken state.

19 February, 2008 21:02

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

John b, as I said there were other factors. Not trying to argue either, just think the principle of how the thing is worded is important in that example.

Like the examples, keep them coming...

19 February, 2008 21:14

 
Anonymous Mohamed Al Fayed said...

How about

The blood samples from his body (that we swapped when no one was looking) show that he was over the limit when he drove the Mercedes too fast into the tunnel.

19 February, 2008 22:01

 
Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

Actually, that was me just messing around.

19 February, 2008 22:02

 
Blogger blueknight said...

Two men who worked for a frozen food storage depot were passing boxes of frozen food over the fence. The man outside the fence was caught loading 36 boxes of food into the back of his estate car. The man on the inside had left and was never identified.
The man with the estate car went not guilty.
He said he had walked behind a warehouse for a smoke break and noticed boxes of frozen food on the wrong side of the fence. Wanting to do the right thing, he decided to return them to the depot and that is what he was doing when he was caught.
But, he did not tell anyone about the found boxes, not his work colleagues, not his supervisor even though he had to ask for permission to leave early, not security, even though he had to pass out through them,- no one. Luckily he had been wearing a very identifiable shirt and his general description and clothing matched the man who was seen receiving the boxes over the fence, so the Magistrates did not believe him either.

20 February, 2008 00:02

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago in Belfast a few scrote's were caught in a stolen car after it had broken down.There was a guy pushing the car and his defence was that he didn't know it was solen and that the car stopped beside him and the people inside asked for a push just to get it started as it had broken down.
Unbelievably the magistrate sort of believed him and his punishment was to write out the parable of the good samaratan five times.

20 February, 2008 12:15

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't do it...anyway it wasn't just me.

20 February, 2008 12:34

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A family returned from a holiday to find a Transit parked outside their house and a group of travellers on the roof removing the tiles and putting them in the van. Police were called and the one traveller who had not managed to get down from the roof and drive off in the van, was arrested. His defence was that he was talking to a bloke, who he didn't know and had never met before, in a pub who offered him some roof tiles at a knockdown rate if he collected them himself. By a strange chance of fate there were several other travellers, who didn't know each other and had never met each other before and whose names he didn't know, who offered to help him remove the said tiles. The magistrates accepted his story and he was aquitted (Egham 1986)! At this stage I would like to say that this is action is not representative of the traveller community who are mainly law abiding people, courteous of others views and feelings and who usually leave a farmer's field in as good as, or even better, condition when they leave than when they moved onto it, under the impression that the farmer would have given permission if they had been in a position to ask him, but what with Attention Deficit Syndrome, Aspergers, Dyslexia, etc, this was not possible at the time.

20 February, 2008 21:14

 
Anonymous Ordinary Joe said...

Good write up on the back story to this guy in the Times:

Times Article

Chilling that he was clearly able to live two lives. He was not a 'loner' or particularly a misfit, he was able to function well socially...

22 February, 2008 14:15

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The voices in my head told me to do it... That always works!

22 February, 2008 18:51

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A few years ago in Belfast a few scrote's were caught in a stolen car after it had broken down.There was a guy pushing the car and his defence was that he didn't know it was solen and that the car stopped beside him and the people inside asked for a push just to get it started as it had broken down."


I know it sounds silly but a pretty similar thing hapened to me once...a bloke crashed into a ditch and asked me and a mate for help getting it out. One thing led to another and I ended up spending a night in the cells for theft of a motor vehicle.

Luckily they found out the next day the car hadn't been stolen. Or who knows what would have hapened to me.

23 February, 2008 01:34

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is brilliant!

Funny :]

23 February, 2008 13:33

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I was too drunk and off my face on cocaine to remember the incident but I don't think I'm the kind of person that would usually steal a load of stuff from a shop, punch out four of the manager's teeth when he tries to stop then assault four police officers when the try to arrest me. I know it's (partly) on CCTV and there was property in my pockets but still."

Got off largely because the CPS barrister failed to properly explain and evidence the law around 'intention' to the jury.

23 February, 2008 13:45

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago while a young PC in Southall I arrested a chap for D&D. He was charged and bailed. Well he pleaded NG and weeks later I found myself at Ealing Mags having to prosecute the case.(You can tell how long ago that was!) He pleaded NG on the grounds that he was not drunk as due to his religion and stomach cancer he could not partake. Naturally he was represented by a solicitor who had a letter from the consultant backing this assertion and before we went into court suggested that perhaps it would be sensible to drop the case. Heck would I be in deep poo! The clerk to the court suggested an adjournment to allow me to produce the custody sgt who had accepted the charge. I retreated to Southall nick only to find the custody sgt on holiday. My short career appeared to becoming to a sudden finish until the custody officer suggested I look at the custody record.
Well on my return to court a brief word with his defence solicitor led to a guilty plea and me in the box giving the brief facts.
Afterwards as the court was finishing the Clerk to the court spoke to me and said that he was interested to discover why such an apparently good NG plea had changed. He smiled when I showed him the defendants property sheet with the first listed item a half empty bottle of vodka.

27 February, 2008 22:51

 
Blogger staghounds said...

Two seventeen year olds beat and kicked an elderly man to death, like 30 fractures.

"He called us the N word".

I've had that "They were all over me, they wanted it" from a 35 year old babysitter. On tape, to the father of the victims who called the pervert for an explanation.

The boys were 9 and 6!

On having 43 rocks of crack found in his y fronts at the jail,

"This is not my underwear!"

Of course, most really great defenses begin with

"I was just minding my own business..."

04 March, 2008 02:31

 
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