Thursday, 19 November 2015


I have a couple of hand-held circular saws but they usually remain  in their cases; if I can't bring the timber to the table saws I will use a hand saw or one of those multi-tools; circular saws have always given me the heebie-jeebies and if sometimes I have no option but to use one I inhale deeply from my personal flask of Infinite Paranoiac Possibilities, make a terrified supplicant's offering to the Accursed Universe and proceed, using every safeguard known to man.

 These things can kick and jerk and although they have a deadman's-thumb safety cut-out they could nevertheless, in an instant, rip through the flesh of your thigh, embedding in the bone, blinding you with your own body tissue and blood.

A lifetime  ago, when hotels taught their employees skills other than saying Enjoy! I learned what they called larder skills and to this day, although I never do, I can bone-out an uncooked chicken or duck or turkey or leg of lamb in seconds, I can bone-out a sirloin or a rump leaving virtually no flesh on the glistening bone and I can skin and fillet the ugliest bastard fish in the sea, leaving just a cartoon skeleton of tail, backbone, ribs and head; that I can still do these jobs more skilfully than all the tellycooks put-together is just another signpost on Ruin's Highway. It is just a matter of having  a good, sharp knife, a mental image of the creature's skeleton and lots of practice. And of concentrating, instead of playing to the camera.

If it fell to me, therefore, to dismember a human body I would have a head start on most murderers. Although I would have less appetite for butchering a human than I do, these days, for butchering any other creature, I could swiftly and neatly remove legs at the knee and hip, arms at the elbow and shoulder and the head at the fifth or sixth cervical vertebrae, blackbinbag the whole lot up  and dump it somewhere an early-morning dog-walker would find it and notify, skymadeupnewsandfilth, Crimewatch and  the police.

Murder and subsequent  dismemberment are by no means uncommon but it is hard to ascribe it to anyone who is not deranged, dwelling outside all commonly accepted boundaries of conduct and taste. I understand that cadaver dissection  is now relatively rare even among medical students, virtual presentations now being preferred, yet the taste for it lingers, still, amongst some; maybe some killers just kill for the opportunity of literally butchering their victims. I dunno.

Ask me to perform the same task with a circular saw and I would just hand myself in to the cops, and yet that is what this chap did, 

Nathan Mathhews killed and dismembered his step-sister, 

Becky Watts, 16,
killed her  and then dismembered  her with a Black and Decker. 

Leaving aside the fountains of gale-force-ten blood and flesh  and  bone which would strike him, the saw teeth would be locking-up on thighs,  kneecaps and shoulders because this guy could barely read and write, much less wield a high-speed power tool with the necessary surgical precision, and his workplace must've
looked like  what the Mediaevals called a Shambles, a right bloody Shambles.

Maybe it was this imagined gruesome aesthetic which moved the court so, for, passing sentence, 

Mr Justice Never In All My Days On The Bench 
said that never in all his days on the bench had he tried a case so heinously wicked, sadistic, cruel, vile and lots of other reproachful words and he would be failing in his duty to the public if he didn't pass the maximum sentence possible, 
and then some. 

He then sentenced matey as the man now in the dock, as the man be would be after ten years' time, as the man he would be after twenty years' time, as the man he would be after thirty years time, and as if that wasn't long enough for the convicted man to remember  and reflect upon what a cunt he was, the judge gave him another three years, just as an aide memoire, so to speak. After having passed a minimum term to be served of thirty-three years, Mr Justice Slag 

a veteran of the Hutton Inquiry.
left the bench with tears in his eyes.

There is no question that this was a dreadful murder - although  aren't they all dreadful, there's no nice murders, are there -   but  the manner of the disposal of the body seems to me only of passing, morbid interest, best, in the interests of mental health,  forgotten  about, not a subject on which the Court should dwell. 

Matthews said that  the killing was something which went horribly wrong - he had only meant to teach his victim a lesson, for having disrespected  a party to the step-menage, his own Dad, I think,  and it is true that these step-relationships can quite naturally, though jealousy and hormonal storms,  become poisonous and  potentially destructive  -   the Crown, however,  argued that he was a sexual pervert, drawn to petite young girls and their  chastisement, or at least to the video-taped respresentation of such, which is not quite the same thing;

Matthews, was,  it  claimed, motivated by lust and depravity, rather than by step-filial resentment.

  It is a complex tragedy all too common, seems to happen almost weekly: 
somebody snatches a  teenager and kills her, 
savaging both her family and his own and becoming, himself, a migrant burden, an unwelcome guest, shuffling handcuffed from prison to loonybin, an occasionally resurrected tabloid beast,  regurgitated and chewed over on slow news days;

Carrion at work.

his incarcerated life, however harsh and comfortless, too comfortable by half; he becomes the main course in a regular, national banquet of hate, thrown by Virtue's handmaidens, people like Rebekah Brooks and the walking shitheap that is Kelvin McKenzie;

Yeah, cut their goolies off and kick 'em to death;
it's what Britain needs, public executions, Phwoar!
And teenage tits, younger the better, but legal, mind, always legal. Thirty seconds after they turn sixteen, they're fair game.

   worst of all, he remains forever defined - and which of us could bear this? - by the worst thing he ever did.  No matter what agonies of remorse he suffers, no matter how he longs for warmth he will be forever in the cold, he has been sentenced to perpetual, lonely Despair
In his thirst for vicarious Vengeance, Judge Dread does service to none, but flays all those around him - the bereaved family, made unique by his words, will now never recover; the offender's family, well, nobody ever spares a thought for their sorrow; the offender is damned, denied the possibility of remorse, repentance and rehabilitation, denied the opportunity of making apology.  The only beneficiaries of His Honour's hysterical adjudication are skymadeupnewsandfilth and their viewers and readers.
This is tabloid justice. It is a savagely squalid response to a savagely squalid  crime, committed within God knows what sort of grubby, modern, toxic domestic arrangements.

In his way, Judge Wotsisname, coarse, unmeasured, vulgar and self-indulgent,  is as lame a jurist as Frankie Hollande is a statesman, 
Je suis le little red rooster,
too lazy to crow for day.

now that shit has happened Frankie will do things, rant and rave, close borders, bomb other innocent civilians, in other lands. That will make everything alright again.

Now that the poor child is failed, murdered and butchered, 
I will do such things......

No, mate, you won't, 
all you'll do is make things worse. 
That's what you people do,
make bad things worse.

If, after Chris Grayling and Michaels Spit, we still have a Lord Chief Justice, he should  kick this guy's arse.
Judges aren't supposed to cry when they're passing sentence, they are supposed to be above all that, detached, that's why they're judges, they are there to judge, not fucking blubber like big girls, not identify with the victim's relatives, gang-up with them against the perp.  Maybe he should be on the Jeremy Kyle Show, as a guest presenter.  I know this offence was a bit extreme but only post-mortem, there are far more cruel murders than that of  poor Becky Watts, God bless her, and the reason Judges are appointed is that  they are able to act dispassionately in the interests of justice, deterrence, public protection and rehabilitation of the offender before them, they are not there to sob their silk socks off.  They are not supposed to be in showbusiness. And even if they are, this is still no way to go on.  
I remember the only time I have ever heard young father, Lady Sir Elton John, say a few sensible words: 
talking about his performance of the dreadful Candle In The Wind at Diana's showy funeral, he said, My God, how I wanted to cry, I just so-o-o-o wanted to cry, all the way through that, I wanted to cry; I just adored Diana, we were soulmates, but I was there to sing the song, not to cry, so I sang the song, that was my job. Or words very much to that effect.  The repulsive, screeching, pampered prima donna has more about him than this wretched judge.

In the pantheon of murder Nathan Matthews is small beer,  I have met worse. Judge Fenton Atkinson, sentencing Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, after hearing truly, truly, blood-curdling,  horrifying-beyond-belief evidence of serial, sadistic, prolonged child murder, never shed a tear.   Justice Charles Mantell, similarly, must have felt his blood run cold, trying Rosemary West for serial, sadistic murders committed by her late husband, Fred, and herself;  sentencing her to life-without he displayed the Right Judge Stuff, stern but dignified.

And imagine, Nuremberg, where the judges were trying some of the worst crimes in history, proper determined murderers, torturing and murdering millions of people, imagine them, reaching for their hankies as they sentenced those bastards to death, or life imprisonment, Oh, you nasty, wicked Nazi criminal, in all my days of sitting on war crimes tribunals I have never heard of such things, I am so upset, I must go and have a big weep, in my chambers. No, dash it, I'll do it here, on the bench.  And we are going to fetch that nice Mr Pierrepoint over from England, to hang you by the neck until you are dead, you horrible man, boo-hoo-hoo. 

Publicly identifying with the victim's parents,  because he has daughters, too; speaking of his personal distress and crying on the bench,  Justice Dinglemans, QC, is a disgrace and he should be sacked. 
He'll probably be offered his own show, 
on Cruelty TeeVee.


Mike said...

I have one of those circular saw thingys, and yes they are frightening tools - hard to believe they are legal.

Now, I'm a peace loving sort of chap, but in the last week I've harboured evil thoughts. We have a lovable little black pug; a similar one has gone missing in the last few days in our neighbourhood. I've been worried some sadistic bastard could have harmed it. If anyone harmed my little pug, the circular saw would be the least of their worries.

Its odd, but cruelty to animals outranks cruelty to humans in my book.

call me ishmael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
call me ishmael said...

I know just what you mean, mr mike, been thinking about it a lot. Doesn't seem right, being more concerned about animals, but then it does. A human suffering cruelty, an adult human, anyway, can at least understand the why of it. I had both Harris and YumYum, the cat, at the Vet's today. Both were hurt and distressed by treatments which will only make them better, Harris yelping, bewildered, and YumYum, much less domesticated, crying pitifully and shitting herself in her travelling box. We, the most considerate and fretful of companion-animal persons, instigating such distress, made my blood run cold to be reminded that some people hurt and torment animals, just for fun. I suppose that logically and ethically there is no difference between the perpetrators of cruelty to animals or those who do it to children. it is, though, widely accepted that the most cruel of killers have childhood behaviour patterns which involved cruelty firstly to insects and then to animals and then to people. I am not entirely sure that I agree with you, although sometimes I most certainly do - the images which sent me, sobbing and raging, to vegetarianism, last summer, are a case in point.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, and i think I may have mentioned previously that visiting Glasgo one time, I had walked, I dunno, a coupla hundred yards from the carpark, caught a glimpse of the shell-suited, amaemic, tattoed Weegies and ran back to the car to protect Buster from being stolen and tortured, as you now fear for the local missing dog.

Doug Shoulders said...

I don’t have a Dewalt, but one of these challengers to the supremacy of Dewalt Mikita and such like.
Can’t even remember what make it is.
I use it to cut most things when a clean cut is not required.
Including, inadvertently, bolts left in a door I was cutting in half to get into the boot.
The blade is probably quite blunt now, but will still see most things off.

The crying judge…pure theatre, could have taken an earlier opportunity in the proceedings to get it out.
Why wait until the end to start blubbing?
‘praps maximum effect could be achieved that way.

mongoose said...

Well, the are not that bad, are they? If you get them set up, a sharp blade helps, and use them in a safe place. But throw away those adjustable depth (width) fence attachments. Deadly crap - never seen a safe one let alone a good one. Deploy these as a sort of upside-down and portable table-saw. Nice and straight, a decent fence edge to work against, heavy material, and all will be well. I find they cut heavy sheets easier than manhandling stuff onto a small table saw but maybe I need a big, fuck-off table saw and a 30' workshop to house it.

The notion that such an implement therefore is at all suitable for cutting up a body is a lunatic one. It's just stupid - or deliberately Freddie Kruger grotoesque. And after all of this mad cutting up, he stashed the poor kid's remains in a neighbour's garden shed. So the lad involved, while a despicable and horrible little bastard, and desperately in need of a good hiding as he is, is likely coming at us from way down whichever spectrum you want to choose. This isn't a criminal genius or a tortued mastermind.

Quite agree about the judge. Useless prat. But it does matter, doesn't it, about the mutilation after death. Not to the poor dead kid but to us. Maybe it's a vestigial religious reaction, resurrection of the body and all that jazz but whatever it is a sanctity worth preserving.

Doug Shoulders said...

I thought so as well. Removing the limbs with a circular saw would be nigh on impossible unless the cutting depth at least 150mm…which it wouldn’t be.
That’s why I think the thing is whole or partly theatre. I’m inclined to think these things are jazzed up for the slavering public. I pay more attention to the minor details that are let slip than the “facts”.
Then make my own mind up about what happened.
A great philosopher once said: “Everything you read in the papers is shite”

call me ishmael said...

Well, mr mongoose, tool talk. You can obtain upside-down tables for these things, although they are useless if, for instance, you need to remove a foot from a fifteen-foot length, something wbich I couldn't even manage in my radial arm saw, not having fifteen feet on either side of it; too hard a hand-saw job for my tools/weakened wrist and so I must proceed as you describe, with a stout fence clamped to the stock AND with the slideable saw-fence set on the end of the biard AND. with the end of the board resting on another support, so as to fall inwards, rather than be pulled outwards by its own weight as the cut is completed, preventing damage to the underside and instability of the saw.. You and I, we've been through that, though, and my paranoia is retrospective, for my younger self, who was too clever and self-assured to be of a precautionary disposition; I also take these pains lest anyone impressionable be around, fearful of not setting them a good example. Used properly, these saws are OK, but for a novice they hold all the sudden, irreversibke dangers I mention.

As to the post-mortem mutilation, it doesn't make the victim any more dead and I do believe, myself, that we permit ourselves to be over-ritualised by the authorities -if anyone came to me, saying I must identify mrs ishmael's remains, for instance, I would simply say, well, if it wasn't her you wouldn't be here, would you, and she would, innit?

There may be grounds for grievance and affront if the body is deliberately mutilated, Mafia-style, but I think in this case the purpose was utilitarian, although the relatives certainly feasted on telling the press of every visible wound and how they would endure perpetual nightmare. I rest my case vis a vis corpse-worship.

call me ishmael said...

That was also my conclusion, mr doug, black theatre; not to delve too deeply, anyone with the knowledge and skills to remove limbs with a Black and Decker, would, for preference, deploy a boning knife, far more efficient and incalculably less messy, this was mr mike's news-as-theatre at work.
That is not my De Walt saw, I do have a big, DW radial arm saw, and a fair few Makita tools - which do seem to be worth the money - but I don't have a tradesman's circular saw, just a B'n'D, I think; my preference is to bring the wood to the saw, where possible, rip, cross or band. I have one of those Xact plunge saws but I haven't really had occasion to try it out properly, it looks very good, in a prissy sort of way. From the same source, IdealWorld shopping TV, I bought a stash of those miracle DrillAll bits and they really are fantastic. Used sideways-on they would cut through bone and sinew, should the need arise.

This philosopher of yours, sounds like one of us, although even the late grotesque, Dr Lou Reed of the New York sewers, did counsel that we should disbelieve half of what we read, and all of what we hear. I never liked him, even so.

Bungalow Bill said...

It is said that Lord Goddard used to come in his stripy breeches when passing the death sentence. This fucking idiot has spent himself across so many people's lives, as you say, and done justice to nothing. But who now cares for restraint and rigour anywhere? Emote as though wilt shall be the whole of the law.

call me ishmael said...

And as we see with Paris, meaningless mourning by hashtag.

mongoose said...

All of that is true, Mr I. The cutting of big bits is usually safer I think because we stand there saying "This is a big bastard. I had better be careful or I might cock this up and even hurt myself." It's the little slivers that I sometimes fire backwards off the table-saw because I'm being dozy. And in truth, with big bits, and especially expensive big bits, I pay the extra and have the supplier rough cut it. They have all the kit and I do not.

It is a caution to note that the Paris head loon has been found, cornered, shot at just the 5,000 times, and is now safely beyond words. And all within a day or two. (If indeed it is and was him etc.) And I cannot help but think that some hidden agreement has been made and that now mayhem will ensue. There is even talk of N Syria being carved out as a southern satellite of the a USSR-lite. So it looks like Vlad has decideed that Assad will have to go hang. Maybe even literally. I reckon that this hints at the reason Saudia Arabia has got that great big air force. Much good it would do them.

Doug Shoulders said...

You have to rest (I do anyway) when you’re ripping a ½” off a 78’ hardwood door. Maybe my blade does need replaced, but just about a foot from the end and my arm, wrist and shoulder are done (In that order). Plus you have to shift the supporting batons back into place …we’re doing this on the floor.
That’s when the thing can jump out and give you an awful fright. I tend not to not be wearing steel toecaps anymore.

5000 eh? Is that the official count? Pets a whole new meaning to “I’ll fill you full ‘o lead". That would make his body having a scrap value of whatever 600kg is.

Anonymous said...

Serves the bastard right and it was surely a crime that would make a stone weep, so although it was bad form for the judge to lose his professional detachment I don't have a problem with the verdict. If it was one of mine that had been murdered I would have hoped for an even longer sentence ie key thrown away.

call me ishmael said...

If you cried, mr richard, you know you'd fill a lake with tears. Whether or not you empathise with him, Judge Slag is paid NOT to cry and if I was matey's brief I would appeal this sentence on the grounds that the judge's conduct fell far short of what it should have been and that the sentence is excessive, inspired by the judges lack of self control, by comparison with other murderers Matthews has been harshly sentenced. I do not share your enthusiasm for throwing away the key, as you know; I feel it is appropriate for cynically serial killers, people like Tony'n'Imelda or Marty'n'Gerry but for one-off killers, lime Matthews, we should temper Vengeance with the possibility of Remorse and Atonement. If we don't wish to so proceed, then at the very least we should abolish the Christian prayers, said daily in Parliament, and replace the swearing on oath which characterises so many of our procedures, denying the possibility of eventual forgiveness is just so fucking unChristian. I thought we were opposed to the vengeful immutability of raghead Sharia.

In other news, it looks like right worshipful brother, Robinson, is off to spend more time with his multi-million pound property empire, all acquired perfectly legally from he and the wife's multiple parliamentary salaries and expenses, God bless his wee pointed orange head.

call me ishmael said...

For relatively little money, mr doug, you can buy plastic trestles and/ or heigh-adjustable rollers, better than working on the floor. The other thing that terrifies me about circular saws is the fucking power lead, tripping you up or being caught in the blade, dreadful fucking things. There is a new, 20v battery model on the market, which seems to be an improvement, no doubt Clarke or Lidl will be marketing a cheaper version in due course.

Anonymous said...

Talk of judicial propriety reminds me of the grief coming out of Liverpool a few weeks ago when the policeman was run over and killed. Maybe the timing of it all was innocent and above board, but immediately after the incident and just before arrest and charge we had a full-on devastated-for-the-cameras circus starring young daughters who read out a "best daddy" tribute, and then the lad was snatched up and charged. He may be guilty as fuck but the fairness of his fair trial already looks a little ropey. Maybe there's now a bench-hankie meme and Judge Hard-Time will feel free to shed a few tears in memory of the poor little girls when the time comes to throw away the key.


call me ishmael said...

I turned my face to the wall for that one, mr verge, only wondering why so many cops can take funeral leave, or were they all giving up their days off. Justice, like most things, is also now commodified, packaged-up, with all the right ingredients. I didn't follow this particular case but it seemed to be just a TDA that went horribly bad. Somebody playing Top Gear. Time for the death penalty.

yardarm said...

Agreed about the blubbering beak; that is exactly what he is not paid to do. As for Robinson, Mr Ishamel, didn`t you tell us a while back up the road the bastard collects ties ? Over a thousand of them ? Who`d want to wear a single one of the fucking stupid things.

SG said...

Messrs I & V, to help with these feelings may I recommend a visit to a nearby 'Grief Shrine''. They pop up everywhere these days at a moment's notice and are also available online!

I know you've seen them before folks but no harm in promoting the availabilty of essential public services and free at the point of use to boot!

Anonymous said...

I've thought about your reply and you're right about the judge and I was wrong. There is no way to know if the sentence wasn't unduly lengthy due to his lack of detachment. Maybe it was. As for the crime, not being on the jury and not cognisant of all the facts, it is an uninformed opinion which follows. Which is that the prisoner is a ruthless psychopathic menace. If so, there is no hope of rehabilitation because psychopaths are not capable of being anything other than a predator that happens to looks human. Intelligent ones go into politics. Stupid ones buy circular saws and chop up girls.
If a murder occurs as a crime of passion, in the heat of an argument, or a criminal enterprise or even political violence then yes, you are right again, a man can redeem himself by reflecting on the enormity of what he's done, pay his debt and move on. But some small percentage of the populace are incapable of empathy or remorse, brain scans reveal the lack of activity in the centres associated with empathy, and such ones must be confined forever. They aren't like us.
Peter Robinson resigning, presumably to spend more time adding to his tie collection and slapping the bake off his missus, comes after this;
Read it and laugh at the horrible bastard.

Anonymous said...

And this;

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, Mr SG; pretty much nails it.


SG said...

Good link Mr Richard, hadn't spotted that one. Surprisingly sharp piece of reportage from the FT. Fuck, maybe there are still some real journalists at large out there... They'd better watch out - they are an endangered species...

Anonymous said...

Where to start?

That heads of state appear to have escaped justice, at least for the moment, is no reason that lesser men should also do likewise.

There is so little room for maneuvre in this case, no 'wiggle-room', as the lawyer-types call it, it appears to me. There is not one shred of doubt that the convicted is guilty. There is a very telling and sizeable element of pre-meditation, there is the callousness and brutality displayed in the disposal of the body; there is the total lack of acceptance of culpability but there is an attempt to share the blame with another moral retard, whose said retardation was ably assisted by the murderer; there is the perverted, sexual element, the ridiculous 'alibi' and the lack of genuine remorse, except for himself.

No, there are cases that would be better dealt with if the court were to exercise mercy, but I'm afraid this is most certainly not one of them. A bullet would be the best cure for this particular type of rodent. And yes, I would, with heavy heart, be willing to despatch him.

As an aside, 33 odd years with the possibility of parole IS an act of mercy. He will be out in around half the lifetime he stole from his victim, and it is quite likely that some of the other victims of this wickedness will live to see him resume a life that they will never see again in their daughter, friend or cousin. They will see him released, but not poor Becky resurrected. No more birthdays for Becky, but a release date for matey will already have been issued to him.

The deal with the British public was that the death penaly was to be replaced, with life imprisonment. The public took this to mean that a murderer would never be able to commit any crime outside of a prison, for the rest of his days. They NEVER thought it would mean an average of 12 years, followed by release and life parole. I'm sure they would never have envisaged the possibilty of the mercy that instinctively flows in the souls of half-decent men would be taken as weakness by indecent men, and subsequently used to release murderers after a mere dozen or so years, to murder again. This nightmare scenario has happened over 100 times since the abolition of the death penalty, and THIS is the real travesty of justice. Those poor, brutalised vitims. Stabbed and shot and battered and God knows only what; where is their judicial review, over and over, ad nauseum, leading to pardon in 40, 50 or 60 years? Where is their Longford? Why do those of a certain age know who Derek Bentley was, but couldn't name his shot-up victim for all the tea in China, nor all the compo in the Criminal Review Board's distended coffers?

Justice Crybaby should be defenestrated at the earliest available opportunity, by the way.

call me ishmael said...

I think that I was making two points in the commentary, one of which. mr anonymous, you concede: the unsuitability of the judge and from that point flows the other, that the sentence should not stand but be reviewed by less hysterical, less vigilante minds.

As to vigilanteism, as to so-called victims' justice, the lust for this cannot be satisfied and we have not attempted so to do since the twelfth century when jurisprudence was codified and exercised by the state, in the form of the king and from which point laws are now enacted by parliament, questions of guilt or innocence of serious charges decided not by victims but by juries and sentences determined by judges; all three are independent of each other. That the court now formally hears a relative's statement as to the impact upon them of the crime is, in my view, regrettable theatre, but no moe regrettable and foolhardy than the notion implied in your response as well as in others', doubtless sincerely held, that punishment can or indeed should satisfy the frankly insatiable need for Vengeance.

As to the life sentence, very rarely is a life license discharged, the licensee is liable to be recalled to prison for the slightest offence or even for a suspicion that he might offend, he must live and work and conduct his affairs under the scrutiny of officials of the Court, he is not free to do as he pleases. As to a deal with the British public, a quid pro quo, such things do not and cannot happen and although it was before my time I cannot imagine that the concept of a life sentence was misrepresented so as to mean a whole life spent in prison, without release. As a matter of fact, not hyperbole, the last time I looked, admittedly some tome ago, only a fraction of one per cent of those released on life license reoffended in any way.

The Parole Board acts in strange, impenetrable ways: I knew an utterly charming Sikh who was released after serving only six years for the HonourKilling of his own daughter, at the same time I knew a Northern lad who, assured by the authorities that after twelve years he was heading for open prison and release was, along with others,,effectively resentenced to Year Zero by the repulsive Leon Brittan, arguing, for the benefit of the Tory Party Conference that life should mean life. I am glad that before his own death, Brittan knew what it was to be hounded, vilified and unjustly treated.

Life never was meant to mean life-in-prison and I believe that even for those we most abominate - people like Brady. whose crimes were probably the worst civilian crimes of recent memory - it should not. I believe that there should be some end-of-life, curtailed and modified freedom of movement and choice afforded to all, that we should practice, towards them, just a little of the Grace which they
lacked. Hindley's rotting, crazy and hated, rots us all. If we truly loathe, as we must, his offences, we must demonstrate that we are
better. continues.....

Anonymous said...

SG - Re "Grief Shrine"

I saw one of them called a "Cellotaph" the other day - wonderfully inventive name.

Mr Ishmael - I agree there is no place for an emotional Judge.

call me ishmael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lilith said...

You can get 8 years for wearing a strap on if you get the wrong girlfriend/judge.

walter said...

mr ish
rehabilitation someone!

call me ishmael said...

call me ishmael said...


To speak of Matthews' lack of remorse is also to make my wider point. He was obviousy a fuck-up, either he was a born fuck-up or his family and his environment fucked him up, they fuck you up, your parents, and so on, but leave that aside, as someonr remarked here, recently, ms sgatha, I think, a not-guilty plea is not, upon conviction, treated as perjury and I am sure that in denying his intent Matthews was acting under his lawyer's advice, had hoped, as would anyone, for understanding and acquittal and mercy, I am sure that he would have constructed, insofar as he was able an internal reality which prohibited immediate confession and remorse, that is partly what prison is for. You may know that when prisons were constructed in the nineteenth century, as a substitute for death, branding, forfeiture and transportation, they were called penitentiaries - places of reflection and repentance, of strict religious observation, where enforced worship occurred in chapel stalls, with timber panels, blinkers, in effect, around each prisoner's place, preventimg even eye contact with his neighbour. Unpicking ropes, pointless labour and treadmilling towards God, these were them Rehabilitation's tools, now, of course prison's road to Redemptive Industry is metalled with the acquisition of CV-writing skills and participation in an Anger Management course.

As for the mindboggling futility of the currents system,even today, in the supremacy of the Godlesshesthenbastard, the Parole Board is not allowed to grant early release unless the subject of their deliberations has repeatedly expressed his remorse throughout his sentence, even if he is innocent and is known to be innocent he must lie about his guilt, in order to be released from a sentence which he should not be serving. Hiow is Matthews to find a truth in this wilderness of mirrors?

Although I am grateful for your detailed response I recognise that we are poles apart on the subject of crime and punishment, mr anonymous. Apart from the judge, we differ on everything but I would not want you to consider me a woolly liberal, or not just a woolly liberal, I do think that some offences require imprisonment, although relatively few -many in prison belong in hospital, many in remedial education, many should be doing useful things in the community. And as for thr murderer, the nonce, the armed robber, well, I would rather a system of punishment which would help usvunderstand the beast, rather than merely punish him, acknowledging that obliquely, at least, he is our creation and by understanding him we might have early warning of others and thus, perhaps, save future Becky Watts, that seems a more desireable outcome than the remorseless incarceration or execution of any one oarticular culprit.

As I said, in snother comment, the wretched, punitive judgementalism of the Abrahamist - be he Jew, Moslem or Christian - butters not my parsnips, I do not believe in an-eye-for-an-eye, in headchopping, flogging, amputation, stoning or in imprisonment without hope. Like Hamlet, like everyone, I have more sins at my beck than I can list, that they are lesser than those of Nathan Matthews does not make be better, just luckier.

call me ishmael said...

It was twelve-hundred neckties, mr yardarm, there's a weird vanity. And even if they only cost a tenner that's still twelve grand of our money; He's made a fortune in bungs and salaries, him and his mrs; how anyone can claim that Ulster is a better place after his squalid, sticky-fingered reign is a mystery to me. He shouil dbe in the Crumlin Road jail.

call me ishmael said...

Although I steered clear of it, that seemed utterly bizarre to me, ms lilith - the events, the charge, the verdict, the sentence, seemed more like witch-hunting than criminal justice, poor girl.

call me ishmael said...

Couldn't open that one, mr walter.

walter said...

Mr ish A man being hunted by police after a woman was found dead is a convicted murderer who strangled a former partner to death.

Police were called to Fairlop Avenue, Canvey Island, just before 5pm on Thursday, after reports of a serious assault.

Kelly Pearce, 36, of North Avenue, Canvey, was taken to the Royal London Hospital with a serious neck injury and died soon after 7.30pm.

Detectives from Essex Police said they urgently need to speak to Anthony Ayres, 48, in connection with the investigation. He is described as around 5ft and of average build.

The force first confirmed it was looking for Ayres on Thursday night, but has only now released details of his violent past.

"He is considered dangerous and has a previous murder conviction," an Essex Police spok

call me ishmael said...

You may be right, mr richard, about the psychopath, and although it is outside my ability to knowledgeably comment upon I do recall that Mr Oscar Pistorious was able to mount a much better defence than was Mr Nathan Matthews.

I do wonder about Prince Harry's legless comrades, they do make me uneasy, they would not fit your description of a born psychopath but they surely look like crazy bastards to me.

call me ishmael said...

Doesn't alter the fact, mr walter, that only a tiny fraction of released-on-license prisoners re-offend in any way. Maybe he was held too long to be safely released; I knew one of those, did 25 years to the day and fortunately for all concerned died before reoffending - which he surely would have done.. There is no perfect system, if there was poor Ms Pearce wouild still be here.

I am only guessing but aren't most of these "considered dangerous" arseholes people like Kenny Noy and John McVicar, serious armed criminals, although not actually convicted for murder?

call me ishmael said...

We are coming to the Cellotaph phenomenon, the Grief Shrine. I blame Diana, getting herself killed like that.

Alphons said...

"He is described as around 5ft and of average build."

Well that narrows things down enormously. There are only 1.2 million men in the country that would fill the bill.

Anonymous said...

8 years for a strap-on, but a slap on the wrist (while your boss pays the fine) for 8+ years of no-informed-consent-required-when-you're-undercover.


Anonymous said...

I was generalising, but I must object to a couple of your specific assertions, one being that I am merely lucky that I do not sit next to Matthews, as I am as degenerate. Piffle. I am better than he. I have recognised that murder lies somewhere in the dark recesses of my filthy heart, and learned to control it. I am aware that I could lose my temper, swing a punch, aim a kick, etc. What I really do struggle to believe is that I would plan to murder a step-sister because she would not have sex with me, then butcher the remains, then lie about it, then seem indignant that society takes a dim view of this and claim innocence. Innocence! Insolence more like.

If he had been overtaken by a moment of madness, a moment I am fully aware could overtake me if I am not careful, why claim to be not guilty if truly sorry, except to escape a punishment a penitent man would readily accept as the due reward of his deed? There is doubtless an element of added punisment in the sentence for the right-royal piss-take of pleading not guilty whilst admitting killing and hacking up, bin-bagging and lying, blame-shifting and self pitying.

I never mentioned vengeance. You have attributed to me the traits of some of those with whom you have had similar conversations previously, it seems. We could argue the toss about the differences between vengeance and justice, between deterrence and spite, but I rather think we'd neither of us shift our respective positions. It would serve no purpose, except perhaps for the reader, but this is a comment box and not an essay box, and so I shall be as brief as I can.

These pages speak mostly of ruin; they record the mad, sad and head-long fall of decency in these isles of ours, and a very good job they do of it too. For me, a key-indicator of the collapse of decency is the ridiculously low value that has been attributed to human life. We see this mis-valuation has actually led to a de-valuation in the minds of most, that bombing arabs is ok, for example, if they're the right sort to be bombed, that murderers are not to be blamed for their appalling crimes, whether they wear the peaked cap of the RAF or the hooded top of the street thug. The value of the butchered is displayed in the punishments we issue to the butcher.


Anonymous said...


We have arrived at the ridiculous point where you have actually claimed that, in some small way, I, as a member of society, am to blame for this moron's murderous rampage, that it is a little bit your fault, a little bit mine, a little bit the system's, etc. We can agree on the last one. The system has indeed contributed to this man's actions, for the system had not instilled in this man a fear of punishment. It had not taught him to fear the wicknedness in his own heart, and to learn to control it. And it failed in these points every single time previous to this particular murder that this man read or heard of a murder being classified as a manslaughter, when he saw an attempted murder classified as an assault, when he saw men released from life imprisonment after 12 years. This was when the doubt was sown that he would face sure, certain and terrible punishment should he so transgress. Years of exposure to such left him with the idea that he was unlikely to face a lifetime in prison should he carry out the plans he crafted, over months, with an accomplice, with malice aforethought. He was of the mind that he should chance his arm, plead not guilty when so obviously he was indeed guilty, then listen to the weak whine when the expected 12 years became 33, a sentence too short by half, in my mind anyway. It should be written in boldface, double size, on the front page of every law manual in the land, that the primary purpose of the criminal justice system is the protection of the person, that innocent human life is utterly sacrosanct and those that will steal it will face a terrible reckoning, a punishment that is utterly assured and certainly executed, no pun intended.

He has had his mercy. He receives mercy anew every day that he continues to draw breath. He will be fed and watered, clothed and educated, entertained and medicated for his entire sentence and, upon release, a make-work employment will be found for him, along with an apartment, replete with furnishings, perhaps even a Playstation 17 by then. A new identity, a professional friend, or four, replete with meaningless diplomas will stroke his hand and commend his progress, 'How well you've done' will be the chorus, reinforcing, yet again, still, the idea that he is not completely to blame, he is a little bit the victim himself, that he has overcome by mere strength of his spirit and become a valued member of society again, when in fact he is nothing of the sort.

And all the while, a different but similarly stupid step-brother, years from now, with unrequited teenage lust for his newly aqcuired step-sister will be observing what has happened, learning the consequences of such actions, assesing his chances, the risk/reward ratio, if he were to become another 'victim of society', as he plugs in his Black and Decker and arranges the plastic sheeting.

PS It really was assumed that life meant life when the death penalty was initially suspended, and all the then current death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment without parole. I am not, actually, a hang-em-high sort, and would be satisfied with a full term life sentence instead, but in the absense of such, well, I'm afraid I can see no middle ground.

Finally, if ever there was an exception to a rule, in this case the due process of law, it was Hindley and Brady. No need for brutality, just a couple in the back of the head, save everyone the gruesome histrionics we've been afflicted with for decades. We don't blame the fox for killing the chickens, that's his nature, and we do not blame the farmer for shooting the fox, that's the tried and tested, sure-fire solution to a vermin problem. And if ever there was vermin that walked on two legs, they were it.

Anonymous said...

One last thing.

You say, with regard to re-offending '...there is no perfect system..'

How many times did Bentley shoot someone after recieving his punishment the first time?

call me ishmael said...

I am sorry that you find my difference of opinion with you ridiculous, mr vincent, I generally try to be provactive but courteous, being an abolitionist and everything, perhaps it is a sign of my stupidity. Foolishly, I prefer to work for a system in which fewer people are killed by whatever means. If capital punishment deterred, mr anonymous, then the United States would be the most peaceful country on Earth, but to stay with Matthews, we ARE partly to blame, Consider the Language and Culture of Diss, in which he was no doubt fluent.

I remember when this started, it was some stupid, angry, black sprinter, rampaging around the TeeVee studios complaining that he hadn't been treated like some ancient Nubian king, an' 'e was fed-up wid bein' dissed, knowharramean, 'e wanned respeck. I protested it then and since, the notion of respect as right and yet I now hear govament ministers, like the old bag, Annie Soubri, finger-waving and gibbering that she doesn't mean to diss so and so, but.... We have wrought a climate, you and I, all of us who can frame a sentence, in which the worthless dictate to us the terms of our surrender to them, wherein those who have no respect and who have earned no respect for themselves are encouraged to demand that as of right we respect THEM; some drunken Geordie slut, lying in the gutter, insisting that the arresting officer not diss her; regiments of unemployed and underactive young men, schooled by a series of uncles or commonlaw stepfathers in the craft skills of idleness and stupidity, demanding respect. We, the elders, have permitted this horseshit, a delusion which potentiates the frustrations of these, like Matthews, the Children of Consumer Darkness.

We permit public servants like Mick Fallon, to angrily denounce his staff for his own fiddling and get away with it, we permit filth like Duncan Smith to burn the wheelchairs, close the libraries and sell the hospitals, in order that WE learn not to Diss our masters, and his, the bankers.

But never mind all that, never mind a rational appraisal of how, slaves of GlobaCorp, we come here; let us not differ respectfully amongst ourselves in the dissection of Ruin, instead, let's dig up some dead murderers and hang them, as we did in Cromwell's time, a period which, judging by your seemingly unquenchable thirst for angry-violence-as-justice, you would joyously return us. Christ, how the Filthsters must laugh at us.

call me ishmael said...

Line of duty, mr verge, line of duty, keeping us safe from HuntSabs and their like. Home-grown terrorists, the Met., with one thing and another.

I really must look at the dildo case. I remember thinking, at the start, that this was a waste of the Court's time, then ignoring it, and then being surpised by the sentence, it all seemed so like something from Peter Cook that I ignored it. All seemed a bit weird, like William Burroughs' hanging ejaculators, a world beyond my ken.

Anonymous said...

Can't really blame you for shielding your eyes on this one (the cops I mean) - the more one thinks on it the stranger it becomes; a terrorist cell wouldn't have had the stamina and discipline to maintain the charade for so long. You have to wonder if DC Line O'Duty had regular in-house counselling to help him develop Coping Strategies for the marathon cruelty involved in the deception. Maybe it's a Bloke Thing - secret parallel families are not unheard of by any means. But surely you have to be some species of psychopath to fuck someone over like that?

One of the women involved was interviewed on the radio last week. Heroically calm in her anger. The Met has coughed 400K for the 8 years in question - broken down to an hourly rate that's less than the minimum wage: Madam May should dish out a few pats on the back for commitment to value-for-money.


Anonymous said...

I meant no discourtesy.

I have no thirst for violence, and you painting me the vindictive tyrant is strange. I am though wandering, parched, through a desert of daily injustice, made all the more desirous of a sip of common sense by its apparent absense.

I am not, as I have previously stated, a hang 'em, flog 'em type. There should be room for repentance, if we dare call it that nowadays, in the criminal. There is, there most certainly is, the possibility of reform for most, and it is to be vigorously pursued, nurtured and encouraged, wherever its tender shoots appear, after the punitive and deterrent elements of a sentence have been served. There are a handful of crimes where it is more important that the notion of murderous violence is utterly intolerable in a sane society is promoted, and that the maintenance of security within that society supercedes the lofty hope of the reform of the thug, and as a signal lesson to all observers that that crime is dealt with in the strongest possible manner.

Execution does indeed deter. Those executed are certainly deterred. There will always be those who are insensible to warnings, stupid enough to act without care for the consequence. This is no reason not to punish them. You do not say that we should abolish fines for petty theft, for example, as petty theft still exists, and therefore we can see that the fine is no deterrent. We may as well hold up our hands and give up if we were to accept such a notion. The same is true of prison, with around 50% of inmates going on to serve numerous sentences of detention. Should we scrap prison, as it does not deter?

It is, to my apparently narrow mind, the height of incivility to promote the needs and hopes, wants and desires of a nasty piece of turd like Matthews, above those of his numerous victims. He may, only may, be suitable for coddling in a few decades, but more likely than not his stay inside will kill all hope of finding any decency within him in a decade or so, and so there he must stay, and quite rightly so.

I do fear also that, rather than the kind-hearted reformist the abolitionist is usually seen as, he is actually just hedging his bets. He does not speak out for the end of hanging, or weak sentencing in general, from an entirely dis-interested position; I fear he can see the possibilty that one day he himself will be in the dock, and would prefer a lighter sentence for his crime, than one that might smart so keenly as to teach him never to touch that particular flame again.

As I said, no offense.

call me ishmael said...

I had, I dunno why, mr verge, instinctively shrunk from that one; it was not physical cruelty as such, but it must've hurt as much, if not more, and the fact that it was cynically perpetrated by lawnforcement makes it worse, intolerable, really, a sustained, intimate deception; as you say, beyond the capacity of most felons. They need a good fucking thumping, from father or brother. I remember seeing an expose documantary, at the time, and just backing-off from the cruel impertinence of these fuckers. He needs a special tattoo, on his forehead: All Coppers ARE Bastards.

call me ishmael said...

There is no more signal a lesson than being injected with lethal, painful, protracted poison, in front of sick witnesses motivated by God alone knows what level of disgraceful hypocrisy and yet the US murder rate, its massacre rate and the populations of its wickedly mediaeval maximum security Hellhole prisons all continue to rise, some would say to rocket. We simply do not protect future victims by killing current offenders, nor by sentencing them to 999 years. As well as debasing us all, the death penalty does nothing of any use; similarly, here, the natural-life sentence, used with increasing regularity, serves no deterrent purpose.

My position is quite clear: a more thoughtful, more productive and more humane approach to criminal justice can only reduce offending, save lives; the Path of the Brute, as trod in America, is demonstrably ruinous, resulting in a land where a case can genuinely be made for arming schoolchildren.

There will always be particularly abhorrent offences, which rouse the beast in us all, they need not be lethal, they may not even be committed against humans. Society, however, denies us individual retribution and vengeance, which is where we came in, with Judge Dread. There is no evidence, anywhere in the world, that more severe punishments deter further offending, there is, however, evidence that the approach which I suggest bears deterrent and rehabilitative fruit, may preserve the lives of all the Becky Wattses, all the Nathan Matthewses, all the parties to this frightful affair.

yardarm said...

An important issue is do you believe the coppers and Crown Prosecution Service never fuck things up, either through malice or incompetence. That they act fairly, impartially and efficiently each and every time. That no one is wrongly convicted or charged. That no one goes to nick, or is hanged that doesn`t deserve to. Others will no doubt think differently but personally I wouldn't trust the coppers or Crown prosecution Service as far as I could throw New Scotland Yard.

Mike said...

Quite right Mr Yardarm, but that consideration applies equally to both Mr I's and Mr Anonymous's arguments. Given the fallibility of the system, where should the balance of risk/reward lie? With the innocent or guilty? Buggered if I know. But as I said in my earlier remark, if someone harmed my pug I would not be holding back my inner beast with thoughts of education and rehabilitation.

Anonymous said...

That those who are in prison cannot commit further offences is self evident, therefore the longer they are there, the less harm they will cause. I am, of course, talking about those individuals who appear incorrigible and/or whose crime is so heinous that drastic measures need to be taken.

I've never argued in favour of lethal injection, or any other weird and wonderful methods other than a pistol or a rope, both painless when used by an expert. I am not speaking of America either, as I would need my own blog to post sufficient comment on the idiocies of their 'justice'.

No need for all the macabre contraptions, just bang, bang, you're dead. I'm not even arguing in favour of the death penalty at all, because, mainly, of the reasons mr yardarm suggests, although in some of the most notorious cases, such as the one at hand, there is no doubt as to guilt. I am saying that, in the absense of a death penalty, the punishment for murder should be life behind bars, not twelve years. Thirty three years is a good start, and not a grotesquely excessive sentence, even though it was awarded by an emotionally incontinent judge. It contains an element of mercy, as the offender will be released in his late forties, if he behaves. 30 odd years of freedom await him, possibly. There is his hope, a hope, it must never, ever be forgotten, he denied another, and by well planned design.

To trivialise the offence of murder to the point we have, by awarding trivial prison sentences for such crimes is, well, dehumanising, as dehumanising as screaming for a flogging when a loaf of bread goes missing.

I am, I think, in broad agreement that more humanity to the offender would go a long way, in most cases. It is just that murder is so very extreme, there is no reparation that can be made, and sentencing should reflect the permanent nature of the offence.

What, precisely, do you suggest would be a suitable sentence for this man, if the the one he actually received is so wide of the mark?

Anonymous said...

Fifties, obviously.

call me ishmael said...

But you may not logically dismiss US jurisprudence from the argument because even in jurisdictions without the death penalty they pass the natural life sentences which you demand, here, with no noticeable deterrent effect. If I might commend Colin Wilson's Criminal History of Mankind, it contains centuries of examples in which no type of punishment has deterred the most horrifyingly cruel behaviours; as to the loaf of bread question, a glance at any assizes list from the eighteenth or early nineteenth century will reveal that crimes kf oroperty and against the person continued unabated by the harshest of deterrents. Furthermore, most of the murderers whom I have encountered were first offenders, normal people, betrayed by a flash of anger, a heat of the moment event, a so-called Domestic murder, inexcusable, of course, but should the perpetrator spend fifty years in jail, over a forgetful, impulsive lashing out, a brief moment of rage, at partner or drinking companion? The answer to that lies in the system through which a judge may or may not make a minimum order and the Parole Board may consider an earlier than usual release date.

I am not versed in sentencing and even if I were it is an exercise - usually - based on social and medical pre-sentence reports, on governmental and judicial guidelines, or tarrifs, as well as on the assessment by the judge of the offender. not hanving sny of these, zi cannot suggest a sentence for Matthews;,unless you have access to same, I suggest, with no disrespect, that neither should you.

call me ishmael said...

Far too many of those, mr yardarm, to permit executions, to be sanguine about any conviction, for anything. And while I tend to mr mike's view on cruelty to animals it is only because they have no meaningful protection in the courts.

Anonymous said...

I shall attempt to obtain Mr Wilson's writings.

The conclusion of your logic is ineluctable. That because the crime of murder persists, all measures we have taken against it have failed to deter, and therefore those measures should be continually diluted in the hope of finding said deterrent.

It won't work, obviously, and deterrence is somewhat of a red herring, as, at the risk of being repetitive, I have pointed out that a multitude of crimes continue to persist, yet we do not think we should fail to punish the thief because theft is so prevalent. I would also again point out that I have made a clear distinction between those crimes that are a result of provocation, or momentary lapses, and thoses that are a result of malice aforethought, particularly in the case of murder.

I shall now retire to my chambers to consider the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks executions are a good idea should watch Penn and Teller's "Bullshit" series on capital punishment. This includes an interview from a man who was on death row, having been convicted of a crime for which his alibi - he was in prison at the time - was somehow not good enough.
The thing about life sentences is that if the chap is subsequently exonerated he can be set free. This is not easy to do with a corpse.
Mr Ish, I do agree with you with regards to restorative justice except in the case of psychopaths, who have no more sense of empathy than a blind man has of colours. Attempts to rehabilitate them result in their learning how to appear normal and thus get parole. They cannot be helped.

call me ishmael said...

I am too steeped in that stuff, mr richard, to need refreshing, gives me nightmares, already.

call me ishmael said...

iThat is not my logic but yours, I believe in law enforcement, but also that punishments which fail to deter should be revised, in order that they do, thus preventing the deaths of and injuries to future victims, your detestation of murder is no greater than mine.