Friday, 19 January 2018

Every now and then, the Daily Mail manufactured outrage is perfectly justified

From The Daily Mail:

A Pakistani paedophile who claimed he didn't realise it was illegal to have sex with 14-year-olds intends to use his conviction for grooming to help him claim asylum in the UK...

He now claims his conviction means he cannot return to his homeland, as anger over a recent child rape case means it is now unsafe for him.

If he gets away with this..? FFS.
What is not quite clear, is how and why it is a crime to ask online vigilantes posing as 14-year olds for sex.

You ask a 14-year old you know to be 14 for sex, you're in trouble. You ask a 14-year old you genuinely believe to be 17 for sex (because she told you and she looks it), surely that's a defence or a plea in mitigation.

Let's assume having sex with a 17-year old you know is 17 is OK. What if you have sex with a 17-year old you genuinely believe to be 14 (because she told you and she looks it)? Would it make a difference if you knew she was lying?

They tried to explain inchoate offences on the criminal law unit, stuff like "attempt".
One of the questions was, is it a crime to (attempt to) do something you believe is a crime, but actually isn't?

Or would be impossible, like sinking a ferry by firing an airgun at the hull? IIRC, they can do you for criminal damage to the paintwork, but not for attempted murder.

IMHO, it would be impossible to have under-age sex with online vigilantes posing as a 14-year old, so attempting to do so can't be a crime either. Or perhaps it is. I never understood that bit.

But hey, in the instant case, deportation would seem like a reasonable punishment.


Lola said...

Isn't that the point about 'entrapment'? I am no lawyer.

jack ketch said...

He really needs to bolster his asylum claim and claim the correct Entitlement Cards. I mean, the 'paedophile' thing is not a bad start but his legal team should be explaining to him the benefits of 'identifying as a lesbian woman'.

Could we deport the 'Guardians Of The North' to Pakistan while we're at it?

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, entrapment, that's the word. Like with DeLorean.

JK, good ideas. Would you like to be Home Secretary in a YPP cabinet?

Bayard said...

There's the law on the statute books and then there's thoughtcrime - invented by George Orwell, brought into reality by Tony Blair. If you want to do something illegal, especially something to do with race, paedophilia or terrorism, you are guilty of thoughtcrime and you will by tried by the Court of the Daily Mail.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, or in this case, an actual court. We will see whether they let him off the deportation hook... on the grounds of really bad behaviour.

In any event, it would appear that from a Pakistani point of view, there is no age of consent, as such. The rule is that sex outside marriage is illegal. Girls can be married when they are 14.

From here.

Therefore, even if he genuinely thought that his own country's rules apply here (highly implausible), he would have thought that he was trying to commit a crime.

Or he knows that the laws are different here, in which case the risk of being deported was just a gamble that he took - and lost (hopefully).

jack ketch said...

Would you like to be Home Secretary in a YPP cabinet? I'm tempted and flattered, truly I am but I know also my reign would be a Reign Of Terror, Freedom of Speech would be enforced with an iron fist, all forms of censorship would be forbidden, and claiming to be 'offended' would be a criminal offence. Only English would be allowed on all government forms (and Welsh and Gaelic of course). Anyone wishing to immigrate here would have to prove that after 2 years they were fluent in English or face instant deportation.

And the very first law I would bring in would be the mandatory sentence for people who don't clear up after dog- and there'd be public floggings for thsoe who hang their dog turds on bushes.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JK, you've got yourself the job.

How are you fixed, start Monday morning at 10 am, in about twenty years' time, after we've won the General Election?

Bayard said...

"Therefore, even if he genuinely thought that his own country's rules apply here (highly implausible), he would have thought that he was trying to commit a crime."

I am surprised his legal counsel allowed him to try such a tactic. Hadn't he heard that "ignorance of the law is no excuse"? Perhaps that was the advice he was given and he ignored it. Despite being in the DM, I do think this is a rather pathetic try-on. OTOH it may not actually have happened, at least not in the way that it was reported. The DM isn't very reliable when it comes to immigrants.

Mind you, the legal code is now so long and complicated that I am eagerly awaiting the day that the principle of "ignorance of the law is no excuse" is overturned in court, which will give some impetus to the campaign to simplify the law. Unfortunately it seems to be a common delusion amongst MPs that the world can be made perfect through legislation, if only that legislation is comprehensive enough, and that's before all the special interests start putting their oars in.

jack ketch said...

The DM isn't very reliable

...there, right there, you needed a full stop. :P

Shiney said...


"How are you fixed, start Monday morning at 10 am" - surely that should be Friday (as the GEs are held on a Thursday). Or are we expecting a hung parliament, rather than a landslide, and coalition negotiations to last over the weekend?

If the latter then who are we 'cohabiting' with?

BTW - I'd like to be "Business Secretary" or whatever the post is called nowadays. I will then abolish the department by midday and retire to the pub for a pint. Is that OK?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sh, we'll take Friday off.

And sure. You're not the first to suggest that.

Shiney said...


Nicholas Ridley, I believe.