Sunday, 18 July 2010

Mum is Asleep in Him !

"But I will not have you to be ignorant , brethren , concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not , even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again , even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him ".
I Thessalonians 4:13,14.

We Love you Mum !

Victims , All .

Human rights campaigners have called for compassion and amnesty for long-serving condemned prisoners who have shown remorse for their crimes and those who are deemed to be " now harmless" to the society .
However , the clamour to bring back the Death Sentence and to make life sentences actually "life" in the UK Justice System ,has become stronger by the day .
The argument for this clamour is that justice should be the human rights of the victims of crimes and their loved ones and not for the criminals.
Majority of the members of the public strongly believe that ,pardon should not be freely dispensed to the guilty who ask for it, just because they are able to present convincing arguments for their release.
To buttress these arguments are statistics confirming that, many paroled and released criminals have , indeed, gone on to commit more atrocities soon after their release!

First hand encounters with remorseful condemned "lifers", who desire a reprieve after decades of imprisonment would convince one of the need for mercy and amnesty from the State , towards these incarcerated citizens of the UK , who desire to breath the air of freedom , once again, before they die.
But after meeting with the victims of their crimes , one would be torn between these two arguments for convicts to be or not to be released and pardoned.
I have been privileged to meet and discussed with many of such victims of crimes in recent years .
One of them is Richard McCann , a victim of Peter Sutcliffe ; whose mother Wilma McCann , was the very first victim of Peter Sutcliffe , the Yorkshire Ripper.
He stabbed her 14 times in 1975!
Little Richard was just 5 years old when his mother was murdered.
The trauma of his loss has left him and his siblings scarred , for life.
I met and spoke with Richard during a seminar in Cheltenham in February, 2009; at which he was one of the guest speakers and after which he did a book signing of his best-seller: " Just A Boy - The True Story of a Stolen Childhood ".
I wrote " Amazing Grace !", a blog about that encounter with Richard ; on this website on 24th February, 2009.
After that encounter and after reading his book; I became further convinced that the real victims of crimes are not only the dead or injured actual victims but also their loved ones who are " collateral victims", who suffer and are, just as well affected by the pain and hurt caused by such crimes .
Often , not recognised are the sufferings of innocent families of the criminals. They too suffer shame and pain because of their relation to these convicts.
Some of such families have had their lives torn apart .

Outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London; Richard who had attended the court hearing , spoke to the BBC News, expressing his relief after the court ruling that the notorious serial killer must spend the rest of his life behind bars.
He described the ruling as "small justice for my mum!"
These were the words of Theresa Toth , another victim of Sutcliffe :
"I'll never forget that face !"
Then Theresa Sykes, she was 16 when she was attacked with 3 hammer blows on her head by Peter Sutcliffe , near her home in Huddersfield on Bonfire night 1980.
She was fortunate to survive and live to tell her story of the harrowing encounter with Sutcliffe.
Recently, she returned to the scene of the deadly attack with the BBC's Home Affairs correspondent, June Kelly, and recalled events of that night.
"He should never be let out, at all !", Theresa concluded.

Judge John Mitting ruled on Friday that ''early release provisions'' were not to apply in the case of the Sutcliffe , the Yorkshire Ripper.
The judge said he had based his decision on the ''moving accounts of the great loss and widespread permanent harm'' in statements by relatives of six murdered victims.
''This was a campaign of murder which terrorised the population of a large part of Yorkshire for several years,'' he said.
''The only explanation for it, on the jury's verdict, was anger, hatred and obsession. Apart from a terrorist outrage, it is difficult to conceive of circumstances in which one man could account for so many victims.
''Those circumstances alone make it appropriate to set a whole life term.''
Justice has been served to all the victims in this saga of Peter Sutcliffe Coonan.
However , like in all such cases ,the sad facts are, there are no victors.
There are only victims and wasted lives of both the criminals and their victims.
Just a long list of pathetic statistics of wasted , promising lives ; cut short in their prime.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Prerogative of Mercy

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe will never be released from prison, a High Court judge has ruled.
An application was made by the 64-year-old to have a minimum term set to give him the chance of parole.
Many people received , with relief , the news that there will be no release for the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.
Victims of the serial killer who had survived his attacks and the families of Peter Sutcliffe murdered victims , received the news with gratitude to the British legal system .
Sections of the society who had watched the court proceedings keenly and with bated breath were members of the public , law enforcement officers , Social Workers and other staff of the Department of Social Services.
Peter Coonan - formerly Peter Sutcliffe - is serving 20 life sentences in Broadmoor for the murders of 13 women and seven attempted murders.
Sutcliffe remains a hate figure within the Press, with much criticism of the Home Office in 2005 when it emerged he had been allowed to visit the site where his late father's ashes had been scattered.

The Yorkshire Ripper's crimes took place across the north of England between 1975 and 1980.
The murderous campaign of the then truck driver against prostitutes and young women between 1975 and 1980 sparked widespread fear until he was arrested in January 1981. He would batter women over the head with a hammer and stab them in the chest and abdomen, often mutilating them, with a knife or screwdriver.
The trial judge recommended he serve at least 30 years and he is held at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital in south-east England.
Sutcliffe was never formally given a minimum term of imprisonment.
The original judge said he must serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars, a period that expires next year. The 64-year-old, now known as Peter Coonan, subsequently applied to have a minimum term set to give himself a chance of parole but the application was rejected.
In February 2009 the prime minister, Gordon Brown, said it was ''very unlikely'' Sutcliffe would be released.
The latest court attempt revolved around a medical report in November 2006 by Kevin Murray, who is treating Sutcliffe.
If verdicts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility had been accepted by the prosecution or returned by the jury, Sutcliffe could have been sentenced to an unlimited stay in a psychiatric hospital.

At the High Court in London, Justice Mitting said he had ''no doubt'' that the appropriate term was a whole life sentence.
The ''brutality and gravity of Sutcliffe's offences speak for themselves'', he said.
The diagnoses of psychiatrists who had considered Sutcliffe's mental condition was that he was ''suffering from encapsulated paranoid schizophrenia when he committed the crimes and that his responsibility for the 13 killings was, in consequence, substantially diminished'', the judge said.

Other condemned notorious "lifers",like Sutcliffe; who had attempted to escape the constraints of incarceration through applying to the courts for amnesty or parole ; abound world wide.
Chief amongst these in the UK are :
1.John Straffen , Britain's longest serving prisoner who spent 55 continuous years in custody. Straffen died, having never been released, in Frankland prison in November 2007.
2.Myra Hindley - The other of the Moors Murderers, Ian Brady's girlfriend and accomplice who was involved in all five murders with Brady, with two murder convictions and one as an accessory.
Hindley was given a 25-year minimum term by the trial judge, which was endorsed in 1982 by the Lord Chief Justice. Reports suggested that Hindley was rehabilitating in prison and had found religion( Christianity ) and rejected Brady and her past.
Hindley subsequently made three appeals against the whole life tariff and launched a further bid for freedom in 1996 when she had served 30 years, but all her efforts were rejected and she died in jail at the age of 60 in November 2002, less than two weeks before a law lords' ruling would probably have secured her freedom.
3.Donald Neilson (1976)-The Black Panther, so-called for his penchant for wearing a black balaclava, shot dead three postmasters during robberies in various areas of the country, then abducted a 17-year-old heiress from her Shropshire home. He attempted to ransom the heiress, but her body was found two months later in a drain in Staffordshire. In 2008, Neilson lost an appeal to have his tariff reduced to 30 years.

The urge for self-preservation is strong in any living creature ; especially in homo sapiens ,in the grip of prolonged and permanent imprisonment or imminent execution.
This urge results in the audacity of the guilty to make demands on God the Father and on the State ; seeking forgiveness and pardon for their heinous crimes.
God is impressed by such requests and he desires the audacity of the sinner who admits his sins and who boldly, asks God for forgiveness.
Hebrew 4 :14-16.
With God , mercy and forgiveness are always present and they are given full and free to the repentant sinner. Proverbs 28:13 , Isaiah 1:18,19 .
God would forgive and forget ; but not so in the physical realm .
Sometimes , the State and people are not inclined to accept remorse and audacious requests for forgiveness from serial murderers.
The repentant convict could ask for mercy but with no assurance of liberty.
"With audacity one can undertake anything, but not do everything."Napoleon Bonaparte .
The Judiciary has the power to deny or grant a convict the Prerogative of Mercy.
Since the European Court of Human Rights decision, only trial judges and the High Court have had the right to decide that a killer should never be released.
In that time, there have been more than 20 reported instances of trial judges recommending that an offender should never be released.

Friday, 9 July 2010

We give Thanks .

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me , though he were dead , yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Believest thou this?" John 11: 25, 26.

With heavy hearts but with thanksgiving ; my family announce the glorious home - call of our Beloved Mother , grandmother and great grandmother , Mrs. Victoria Ibitayo Edgal , who slept in the Lord in her residence , on the 17th of June, 2010.
She was aged 81 years. She is survived by three daughters and three sons and dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren and scores of foster children .
Our mother , friend and confidante lived a life worthy of emulation; a life well -spent in the service of her God ,of her husband of 44 years , her children , family and her community.
Blessed art thou , O Lord of Heaven and earth for you are a giver of good gifts.
We give you praise and thanks for the blessing and privilege of having Mama in our lives and knowing her as our " Mother", for over six decades.
We thought our mom's whole purpose was to be our mom. That's how she made us feel.
Although , Mama had her own profession and hobbies, but she lived for us and our father. She lived a fulfilled and happy life being "Mom" to us all.
The most important thing a Father can do for his children is to love their mother.
Our mother was dearly loved by her husband and children.
We give thanks for the precious memories of a good Home filled with love ,laughter , joy and peace which our mother and father gave us.
Thank you, Lord for blessing us with the world's greatest mum and dad!
Glory,glory halleluyah ! For both our parents , their epitaph , forever shall be :
"I have fought a good fight , I have finished my course , I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness , which the Lord , the righteous judge , shall give me at that day: and not to me only , but unto all them that love his appearing ". 2 Timothy 4 : 7-8.

Happy New Year !