Oh, I Hate To Be Proved Right….*

So, just a few days after I wrote this:

A man is facing court after allegedly trying to organise a 1,000-person waterfight in Colchester town centre.

Not that – not ‘holding’ one, ‘allegedly trying’ to hold one!

A 20-year-old man from Colchester has been charged with attempting to encourage or assist in the commission of an indictable only offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007.

Yes, you read that right. The Serious Crime Act. Someone needs to look at a dictionary.

Another 20-year-old, arrested on suspicion of inciting public disorder on Facebook after allegations he tried to organise a waterfight, was released without charge.

*sigh*

When this went round Twitter like wildfire, the Essex Police official Twitter account (usually just used for puff-piece PR announcement) was stung into a response:

“Re water fight comments – police believe there may be more involved in light of recent disorder”

That excuse is going to be used a lot, in the coming months, I fear…

* Nope, I’m lying! I love it!

7 comments for “Oh, I Hate To Be Proved Right….*

  1. August 17, 2011 at 6:07 am

    It’s supposedly only a crime if you commit the act, not plan it. Normally I’d expect this to be thrown out of court, but I grew up in a different generation where the police didn’t waste their time on frivolous activities such as stopping people having fun.

    • August 17, 2011 at 7:14 am

      Not quite, since there’s all the ‘conspiracy to commit’ type offences, and you wouldn’t want to have to wait until they actually get round to doing what they plan to be able to nick ’em. But ‘conspiracy to have a water fight’? Serious Crimes? Yeah, Essex plod need to get a grip. All the likely negative outcomes like passersby getting their clothes wet or maybe having property damaged are trivial and/or a tort. This is using a sledgehammer to crack someone in the nuts.

  2. August 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

    As I recall conviction for conspiracy carries a limitless sentence so you could end up doing more time for conspiracy than for the crime that you were conspiring about.

    It used to be the case that you could not be done for conspiracy with your spouse, dunno about Civil Partnerships what with all that equality they demand.

  3. August 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

    On the other hand there are these two, apparently charged with the same offence (my bold):

    IN Britain, two men who tried to incite a riot on Facebook have been handed the longest jail terms so far by British courts dealing with last week’s rioting, looting and violence.
    Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, were both sentenced to four years, despite neither of the events the men attempted to organise actually happening.
    The pair pleaded guilty to intentionally encouraging another to assist the commission of an indictable offence after police discovered Facebook pages created by them that urged rioting in their home towns.

    Firstly, that might not be terribly good news for that wicked scofflaw who was planning such an orgy of water based violence that Colchester would look like it had been hit by a natural disaster on the scale of a long afternoon’s light rain (tongue so deeply in cheek I’m at risk of bursting one side of my face). And secondly, why this suspiciously convoluted charge and what does someone have to do to actually be charged with incitement?

    Edit: Google is our friend, and had I asked it first I’d have discovered that Nu Labour abolished the common law offence of incitement nearly three years ago and replaced it with this ‘encouraging or assisting’ thing instead. Should have guessed that it would have their grubby fingerprints all over it.

  4. August 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    What about the self-important Jody McIntyre? If others are getting jailed for trying to organise ‘water fights’, then why hasn’t the tweeting that cost him his Independent based blog put him up before the beak for ‘conspiracy’?

    Anyone?

    • August 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Good question….

    • David
      August 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Simple – he’s the current darling of the liberal idiocracy.

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