Monday, November 29, 2021


Why Grenfell Tower effigy burners might not face prosecution

Police have arrested five men over a video that showed a model of Grenfell Tower being burned but there is a..

By admin , in England , at November 6, 2018

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Police have arrested five men over a video that showed a model of Grenfell Tower being burned but there is a strong possibility no one will face prosecution.

The suspects include a 19-year-old, a 46-year-old and a 49-year-old, all from South Norwood, a 49-year-old from Lambeth and a 55-year-old from Beckenham.

They were arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody after they handed themselves in at a south London police station yesterday night.

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Footage earlier emerged online showing a large flammable model marked Grenfell Tower, complete with paper figures at the windows, being set on fire.

The clip was widely criticised, including by Prime Minister Theresa May who said it utterly unacceptable.

Grenfell campaigners called it sickening act of hate.

A total of 72 people died as a result of the tragedy at the west London block on June 14 last year.

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MORE: Man claimed £103,000 by pretending he lived with Grenfell Tower victims

THIS is the sickening moment a group of Bonfire Night party-goers laugh as they torch a replica of Grenfell Tower in place of a traditional Guy. Shocking footage shows the throng jeering as they burn a cardboard structure with Grenfell Tower written on the side in a sick nod to the tragedy that claimed 72 lives. Onlookers can be heard mockingly chanting "help me, help me" as the tower - with cut-out drawings of residents trying to escape - is lifted onto the bonfire. A woman can be heard heard smirking "Bye everyone! Bye!" as the replica catches fire. In a twisted reference to the London Fire Service's deadly 'stay-put' advice, a man can be heard jeering: "Stay in your flat we are coming to get ya" - while another tells residents to "jump out the window". Another joked: "That's what happens when they don't pay their rent"

Five men have been arrested after setting fire to an effigy of Grenfell Tower

The five men handed themselves in at a police station in South London (Picture: PA)

But according to barrister Andrew Keogh, who is editor of crimeline.co.uk, there may be no prosecutions because there are no thought crimes.

Mr Keogh wrote: #Grenfell there are no “thought crimes”, nor is it illegal to tell a joke, even a poor one or grossly distasteful one.

We see this enshrined in case law already, for example Chambers v DPP (airport bomb tweet), in Chambers the court said “We would merely emphasise that even expressed in these terms, the mental element of the offence is directed exclusively to the state of the mind of the offender, and that if he may have intended the message as a joke, even if a poor joke in bad taste, it is unlikely that the means required before conviction for the offence of sending a message of a menacing character will be established.”

But, and this is the important bit, context is everything.

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#Grenfell there are no “thought crimes”, nor is it illegal to tell a joke, even a poor one or grossly distasteful one. We see this enshrined in case law already, for example Chambers v DPP (airport bomb tweet), in Chambers the court said “We would merely emphasise that even

— CrimeLine (@CrimeLineLaw) November 6, 2018

expressed in these terms, the mental element of the offence is directed exclusively to the state of the mind of the offender, and that if he may have intended the message as a joke, even if a poor joke in bad taste, it is unlikely that the mens rea

— CrimeLine (@CrimeLineLaw) November 6, 2018

required before conviction for the offence of sending a message of a menacing character will be established.” But, and this is the important bit, context is everything.

— CrimeLine (@CrimeLineLaw) November 6, 2018

They were arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody (Picture: PA)

He added in cases like the Grenfell Tower effigy the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had to consider detailed guidelines set out here.

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Mr Keogh said we did not know enough about the current case to know if a crime had been committed.

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