A 17-year-old rape victim, treated with callous indifference and arrested by UK police who accused her of lying, has been awarded £20,000 in a settlement.
Hampshire Constabulary apologized for refusing to properly investigate the victim's complaint, and admitted liability for false imprisonment and assault.
The girl was attacked in April 2012, reported it immediately, and provided her clothing for forensic analysis. But police decided within two days that she was lying and threatened her, The Guardian reports, with charges of her own should she pursue the matter.
When she did so, she was arrested on suspicion of "perverting the course of justice," and was told by one detective that "this is what happens when you lie."
The police failed to test the evidence and, reportedly, were told by a supervisor to "fucking nick her."
"I was horrified," her mother told the BBC. "A woman comes forward and tells the police authority she has been raped: You expect them to do everything they can to put the rapist away."
The case only proceeded months later after an official complaint was made, prompting prosecutors to ask for thorough tests on the garments.
The attacker, Liam Foard, was subsequently identified. After denying any sexual contact at all with his victim, he was convicted and jailed for five years in 2013. But it's taken another two years—and a lawsuit filed under human rights legislation—for Hampshire Constabulary to say sorry.
In the meantime, one of the officers responsible for the girls treatment was given a written warning, and three others allowed to resign or retire before the investigation into their conduct could be completed. Read the rest
The UK is to see its first new electricity transmission tower design in nearly a century, reports the BBC.
The new design abandons the traditional "Mutant Eiffel Tower" style in favor of a sleek "T" shape.
This renders obsolete all those weird British science fiction TV shows from the 70s and 80s, where the regressed medieval future was illustrated with pastoral landscapes studded by the obsolete but still-looming pylons of the barely-remembered 20th century.
The new ones, however, are far more obscenely symbolic of totalitarian self-regard, and surely have a great future in spooky hauntological sci-fi where leather and sack-clad villagers worship science and its manifestations.
This is already most of West Sussex, yes, but just imagine everyone doing it. Pictured above is new pylon, with some classic pylon in the background. Read the rest
Did you know you can enjoy raw eggs relatively fearlessly in the UK? As an American often found hiding out in England, I was surprised to learn that they don't have egg nog here. Read the rest
A local council in the UK has decided not to prosecute an accused park pooper's owner, which seems just as well, since she claimed there was no poo in the first place and the poo inspector could not identify the alleged poo in question.
Amber Langtry, 35, was walking her dog with a friend on New Year's Day when a lone Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officer accused her of not clearing up after her pet.
When she explained to the officer that he'd made a mistake and asked to see the offending evidence, he refused to show her, then pointed to a spot in the opposite direction to where Miss Langtry's dog had been. He then proceeded to issue her with a ticket and called the police.
It's a fantastic video, pitting an ineffective but invincible jobsworth against angry but self-controlled normals. Standout lines include "where is this phantom poo?", "non-compliance of female" and "there isn't even a poo, is there?" Read the rest
A small tornado that struck Chobham, England, left 13,000 without power over the weekend—and was said to have "lifted cats in the air."
Local fire crews also found extensive damage to trees and roofs from the storm, which also dumped hail and heavy rain on the county of Surrey, the BBC reported.
"We've got four feral cats in the yard and they were being lifted off the ground - about 6ft off the ground," said area woman Shirley Clay, adding that the animals were uninjured by the ordeal. "They just went round like a big paper bag."
Serious tornados are extremely rare in Britain, though the tabloids there claim weather data proves the nation is a 'hotspot' of miniature whirlwinds that usually go unnoticed.
Rhys Johnson, 14, shaved his head to raise cash for medical research after three of his relatives were diagnosed with cancer. His school, Milford Haven School in Pembrokeshire, Wales, took him out of class for breaking its "haircut rules," leading to a 250-kid walkout of the school. The BBC reports:
On Thursday, a Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: "School policy is set by a school's governing body and implemented by the head teacher and school staff.
"When this policy is disregarded by a pupil - and in this instance the policy has been clearly communicated to the pupil concerned - the school is acting appropriately in enforcing its policy."
Note the dismissive, yet evasive bureacratic tone! And the fact that the BBC gave an official spokesperson, of a publicly-funded government body, the cloak of anonymity behind which to further criticize a child. Read the rest
Working as an private detective is to be made illegal in England and Wales without a "license." The BBC:
Read the rest
The Home Office said it wanted to "ensure rigorous standards" in an industry where "rogue investigators" had been infringing privacy. Those who break the new rules - to be rolled out from autumn 2014 - could face up to six months in jail.
The last episode of Black Mirror’s second season airs tonight on UK Channel 4.
Do you remember the first profoundly shocking image you saw on the internet? Perhaps it would have been something you came across by accident; perhaps you followed, half horrified and half compelled, a trail of digital whispers to see if you could handle it.
Maybe you don’t remember the first one, but you remember some of them. Maybe you shut the window, sick at yourself, at the glimpse of a woman’s eyes glassed with something unsettling, not staged. Maybe you lingered on eruptions, lacerations, in spite of yourself. To see if the image could possibly be real. Read the rest