False accusation cases 87: Oliver Mears

An Oxford University student has become the latest accused rapist to have his case dropped against him after two years on bail amid wider public concern about the actions of police and prosecutors. Oliver Mears, 19, was told he was to be found not guilty following a review of evidence just days before he was due to go on trial. The Crown Prosecution Service said it decided to offer no evidence against Mr Mears after reviewing evidence handed to them by Surrey Police, some of which was only received last week. A police spokeswoman told the Times prosecutors decided to discontinue the trial “for a number of reasons”. It comes at a time where the Metropolitan Police has ordered a review of all its investigations into rape and serious sexual assault following the collapsed trials of Liam Allan, 22, and Isaac Itiary, 25. A third case against Samson Makele, 28, was also halted at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday after his defence team unearthed key images from his mobile phone which had not previously been made available, law firm Hodge Jones and Allen said. Chemistry student Mr Mears, of Horley, Surrey, was arrested weeks after his 17th birthday and accused of raping and indecently assaulting a woman in July 2015. He was charged last June. He reportedly left St Hugh’s College because of stress.

His lawyers complained of a failure to disclose evidence, including social media material, which they believed may have proved his innocence. His trial was due to start on Monday at Guildford Crown Court, but his hearing was brought forward to Thursday morning. Lawyers asked for the case to be dropped hours after Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, raised eyebrows when she said photographs and social media accounts do not necessarily need to be fully checked in rape cases. She insisted she does not believe anyone is in jail after being wrongly convicted because of failures to disclose evidence. She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The police obligation is to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry. That doesn’t mean going into every single avenue of your life.” Ms Saunders met senior police officers and barristers on Thursday to discuss concerns that vital material is not being disclosed.”

Advertisements

Talk at International Conference on Men’s Issues (2018)

This is the draft of a talk “A Feminist Witch Hunt at Oxford” (about being stalked by a psychopath and then being witch hunted in Oxford by feminist vigilantes) that I shall give in July 2018 for the International Conference  on Men’s Issues (2018) in London, organized by Mike Buchanan. The speaker list is here.

Banned article: “Abstract structure”

In 2013-14, I was witch hunted by vigilante feminist zealots, with unhinged lies about me. These false accusations originated from a violent mentally disturbed stalker, Charlotte Coursier, and were later distributed by unhinged vigilantes: Coursier’s American feminist housemate Brooke Berndtson and Berndtson’s feminist supervisor, Dr Paula Boddington. Modern academia being what it is — saturated with feminist fanaticism, false accusations and social justice hysteria — these fantasies were treated as true, and I (and my family) were harassed out of our home by these feminist savages and I was fired from my position as an academic at Oxford, on the basis of zero evidence. Eventually, I was reinstated, after a long and painful fight. In September 2014, I described on my academic blog being vigilante witch hunted by the Oxford lynch mob, and then several more vigilantes had me thrown off my own blog, which one of them then bravely uses for himself, while at the same time blacklisting me. These people are bonkers, lack even minimal respect for human beings and are socially toxic.

In early 2013, I had worked on a technical academic paper, “Abstract structure”. In late 2014, when the witch hunt had (at least, as I hoped; I was wrong) ended, I finished it and submitted it for publication. It then got rejected and it became clear to me, over several later tries, that it was being blocked by anonymous powerful individuals who wanted me blacklisted. This is that banned academic paper, “Abstract structure“, whose abstract is:

Structured mathematical objects|orderings, graphs, rings, groups, fields, topological spaces, etc. typically have the form “carrier set + distinguished relations (structure)”. When A  and B  are isomorphic objects, we say A  and B  “have the same abstract structure”. But what is abstract structure? Intuitively, it is what all isomorphic copies of structured objects have in common. With this in mind, one aims to identify for each structure A , a corresponding object, the “abstract structure” \tilde{A} , satisfying the condition: \tilde{A}  = \tilde{B} \leftrightarrow A \sim B  (we call this Leibniz Abstraction). The proposal given here is that, for each (setsized) structure A , we identify \tilde{A} with the propositional function \langle \Psi_A \rangle expressed by a certain categorical second-order “diagram formula” \Psi_A, which defines the isomorphism type of A . The propositional function \langle \Psi_A \rangle  encodes all “structural information” given by any representative structure, while “abstracting away” from the particular domain/carrier set.

False accusation cases 86: Stephen Simmons

Man convicted of theft in 1976 cleared after Googling his arresting officer. Stephen Simmons was convicted of mailbag theft over 40 years ago but a chance discovery led to his acquittal.

A man found guilty of stealing mailbags more than 40 years ago has had his conviction quashed in what the lord chief justice described as an exceptional case. The court of appeal heard that the arresting officer in the original trial had died in prison not long afterwards while also serving a sentence for mailbag theft. Stephen Simmons, now 62, a businessman from Dorking in Surrey, was arrested with two friends in Clapham, south London, in June 1975 by DS Derek Ridgewell of the British Transport Police, who attributed incriminating remarks to the young men. They were allowed to see a duty solicitor who told them that if they called the police liars, the judge would jail them for a long time. Despite the solicitor’s warnings, they pleaded not guilty but were all convicted.

Simmons was sent to a borstal in Suffolk and served eight months. He said that the conviction had haunted him ever since and until recently he had not even told his grown-up daughters about the case. Steven Powles, for Simmons, told the court: “Mr Simmons has been waiting for 43 years for this day.” The crown did not contest the application nor seek a retrial, he said. The court heard that four years ago Simmons was given “friendly advice” by barrister Daniel Barnett on LBC radio’s legal advice programme to Google the name of his arresting officer if we wished to overturn his conviction. He did so without expecting to discover anything but what emerged was that Ridgewell himself had been jailed for seven years for mailbag thefts totalling £300,000 in 1980, and had died in prison in 1982. “I was gobsmacked,” Simmons told the Guardian. He then took his case to the criminal cases review commission whose “meticulous research”, carried out by case worker Adam Bell, led to the appeal. The lord chief justice, Lord Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Warby and Mr Justice Julian Knowles, paid tribute to Bell’s “remarkable” efforts and expressed regret to Simmons that the case had taken so long to come back to court. He said that the evidence before him was “extremely telling … It is an exceptional case”. What also emerged, the court heard, was that Ridgewell was responsible for a series of notorious cases in which young black men were falsely accused of “mugging” on the London Undergound. One victim was Winston Trew, who along with three others became known as “the Oval 4”, and who was present in court for Simmons’ appeal. Trew has written a book, Black for a Cause, which detailed Ridgewell’s long history of “fit-ups” and and which became part of the investigation.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” said Simmons outside court after his conviction was quashed. “It has hardly sunk in but I am not a criminal any more. I can hold my head up high. One of the hardest things for me was that my parents did not believe me because they were of the generation that believed that the police could not lie.” He had suffered ill-health as a result of the prosecution and one of his co-defendants became an alcoholic and is now dead. “Ridgewell ruined three lives for no reason and I am sure many, many more … if this can help someone else who was also arrested by him then at least something will have been achieved.” Trew, who embraced Simmons after the case, said: “Today is a great day. This opens the door for me to present my case. It means that evidence that Ridgewell gave in our trial is as tainted as in Stephen’s case”.”

Eight Invisible Gender Gaps

Eight gender gaps that no one likes to hear about:

1. Education Gender Gap:

The fact that the majority of college and university students, undergraduates and postgraduate, are women (57% women, on average, to 43% men; in some UK universities, like Edinburgh, over 60% women); that the majority of students of Law, Medicine, Vet, Biological Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences are women; that girls do substantially better than boys do (which has been true for 20-30 years); that boys have to operate in an openly hostile environment that demonizes them, teaches them that they are bad, and excludes them. All of this is well-known to educational specialists and all is covered up by activists.

2. Homelessness Gender Gap: the vast majority of the homeless are men (80-90% men).

3. Suicide Gender Gap: the vast majority of suicides are men (about 80% men). In the UK, the excess is about 3,000 per year. That is an excess 8 men losing their lives per day.

4. Workplace Death Gender Gap: the vast majority of workplace deaths are men (over 90% men).

5. Incarceration Gender Gap: the vast majority of prisoners are men (over 90% men). In 1900, men were about five times more likely to be imprisoned than women were, in the UK. Men are now 21 times more likely to be imprisoned, according to UK MoJ figures (2016).

6. Criminal Justice Gender Gap: men receive significantly harsher punishments for the same crime than women do.

7. Domestic Violence Gender Gap: the fact that while all robust criminological and social psychology research for 40 years has demonstrated that about 50% of perpetrators of domestic violence are women against men, still there is no government support for male victims of rape and domestic violence; and, as criminologists have shown, male victims of domestic violence routinely get punished and arrested.

8. Life Expectancy Gender Gap: women live 3-5 years longer than men do.

Male vs female incarceration in UK: 1900-2016

This is a short data analysis of the levels of male and female incarceration in the UK between 1900 and 2016, using figures from the UK government’s Ministry of Justice. The raw data for UK incarceration, per 100,000 of the population, are these:

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 17.29.45

The plot of these data gives:

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 17.27.24

The Male/Female ratio looks like this:

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 17.34.27

As one can see, the ratio increase from less than 10:1 before 1920 (5.6 in 1901; 8.9 in 1920), reaching a peak of around 35:1 in the 60s (34:1 in 1960; 36:1 in 1970), and then falls afterwards, to the level now around 20:1.

Plot:

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 17.33.22

 

(This analysis and plots were done using R.)

 

 

Antisemitism in Britain

Antisemitism is a quite interesting form of prejudice because typically racists see those they racially dislike as inferiors. This was the outlook of some people I knew as a child in Birmingham who racially disliked either those they called “Pakis” (even Indians were called that) or black people, who in the UK were mainly first or second generation immigrants from the West Indies. I saw examples of that often at football matches in Birmingham, where people like Cyrille Regis and Viv Anderson received monkey chants from fans and had bananas thrown at them. Though I should add that this was forty years ago, and I am fairly sure this sort of racial intimidation is far less usual now.

On the other hand, those who are antisemitic are able to juxtapose feelings of superiority with their own perceived victimhood, seeing Jews also as oppressors, often tied in with one or many of the various antisemitic conspiracy theories.

This is from George Orwell “Antisemitism in Britain” (1945):

I have no hard-and-fast theory about the origins of antisemitism. The two current explanations, that it is due to economic causes, or on the other hand, that it is a legacy from the Middle Ages, seem to me unsatisfactory, though I admit that if one combines them they can be made to cover the facts. All I would say with confidence is that antisemitism is part of the larger problem of nationalism, which has not yet been seriously examined, and that the Jew is evidently a scapegoat, though for what he is a scapegoat we do not yet know. […] To study any subject scientifically one needs a detached attitude, which is obviously harder when one’s own interests or emotions are involved. Plenty of people who are quite capable of being objective about sea urchins, say, or the square root of 2, become schizophrenic if they have to think about the sources of their own income. What vitiates nearly all that is written about antisemitism is the assumption in the writer’s mind that he himself is immune to it. “Since I know that antisemitism is irrational,” he argues, “it follows that I do not share it.” He thus fails to start his investigation in the one place where he could get hold of some reliable evidence — that is, in his own mind. […] The point is that something, some psychological vitamin, is lacking in modern civilisation, and as a result we are all more or less subject to this lunacy of believing that whole races or nations are mysteriously good or mysteriously evil. I defy any modern intellectual to look closely and honestly into his own mind without coming upon nationalistic loyalties and hatreds of one kind or another. It is the fact that he can feel the emotional tug of such things, and yet see them dispassionately for what they are, that gives him his status as an intellectual. It will be seen, therefore, that the starting point for any investigation of antisemitism should not be “Why does this obviously irrational belief appeal to other people?” but “Why does antisemitism appeal to me? What is there about it that I feel to be true?” If one asks this question one at least discovers one’s own rationalisations, and it may be possible to find out what lies beneath them.