Nick Hogan has become the first person in Britain—and one of the first in the world—to be imprisoned for taking a stand against the smoking ban. He has been given a six month prison sentence for non-payment of a £10,000 fine. His crime was allowing people to smoke on his own property.
Both the fine and the prison sentence are completely disproportionate to the offence but it has been clear from the outset that the authorities intended to make an example of Hogan. The offence itself—"allowing people to smoke"—is absurd and has no place in a civilised society; the state has no right to force individuals to act as policemen.
The excessive fine of £3,000 was bolstered by ludicrously high court costs and further penalties. In my view, Hogan was right to refuse to pay it. In taking a stand he may have expected some sort of custodial sentence. Nobody could have expected a sentence of six months. A quick Google search shows us what company Nick Hogan has been placed amongst...
Brighton woman jailed after campaign of violence
A woman who carried out a campaign of violence and intimidation against council tenants has been jailed. Shirley Miles, 45, has been given a two-month prison sentence for anti-social behaviour.
During her terror campaign at a number of council properties in Kemp Town, Brighton, Miles abused two vulnerable tenants, using a razor blade toattack and cut a tenant's face and body.
She also caused criminal damage to council property and stole property and money.
Dungiven man jailed for three months
A Dungiven man convicted of sexual offences has been sent to jail for three months and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for seven years.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of gross indecency with a child and indecent assault on a female.
Merseyside teenager jailed for four months for 'despicable and horrendous' animal cruelty
A MERSEYSIDE teenager was sent to jail for four months for setting dogs on defenceless animals and filming them being ripped to pieces.
Baby beater jailed for six months
A man who was caught on camera repeatedly punching a friend's sleeping baby has been jailed for six months.
Hogan's 'crime' was, above all, a political protest so perhaps it would be better to compare his sentence against other political protesters. Like Greenpeace, for example, who cause criminal damage and yet are still acquitted:
Not guilty: the Greenpeace activists who used climate change as a legal defence
Six Greenpeace climate change activists have been cleared of causing £30,000 of criminal damage at a coal-fired power station in a verdict that is expected to embarrass the government and lead to more direct action protests against energy companies.
Note that these people admitted to causing £30,000 worth of damage. Despite being manifestly guilty, they were acquitted because their defence was, effectively, that global warming was sufficient provocation.
This is not a unique case. Take this one from 2001...
Trident protesters found not guilty
Two anti-nuclear protesters who entered a dockyard planning to disarm one of Britain's Trident submarines with an axe were yesterday cleared of conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
Sylvia Boyes, 57, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, and River - formerly Keith Wright - 45, from Manchester, admitted that they plotted to damage HMS Vengeance while it was docked at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in November 1999.
But they denied criminal damage, claiming their actions were justifed because nuclear weapons were immoral and illegal under international law. They argued politicians could not be trusted with Britain's nuclear arsenal, so civilians had to act to stop disaster.
Or this from 1996...
£1.5m Hawk attack women freed
Four women walked free from Liverpool Crown Court yesterday after a jury found them not guilty of criminal charges despite their admission that they did more than pounds 1.5m worth of damage to a Hawk warplane.
They broke into hangar 358 and used hammers to damage the plane in 25 places. All four claimed their actions were justified because the Hawk was destined for Indonesia, where it would be used against the civilians of East Timor.
The three cases above involved a jury trial, something that Hogan was not afforded. The disgraceful treatment dished out to a decent man who has caused no harm to anybody is further proof that the idea of equality before the law is a dead concept in Britain. If you have a politically correct excuse for your crimes, you are set free. If not, you are thrown to the dogs.
Leg-Iron has more on this.