The Judge who so unreservedly condemned teacher Jeremy Forrest’s behaviour last week has himself been the subject of controversy in the past. Judge Michael Lawson QC (left) seems, for one thing, to be in favour of slave labour. Rebecca Edmonds was doing a criminal law pupillage at his chambers in Essex Street London some years back. The problem was that, um, there didn’t seem to be any payment forthcoming from the altruistic scion of perverts. So Becky sued him, perhaps fearing that the next step might involve living up his chimney, so to speak. Law Lords Bingham, Pill and Hale ruled that ‘at the end of the long procedure leading up to pupillage, it would be surprising if there were no intention for a contract at all…..on balance, pupils do provide consideration by agreeing to enter into a close, important and potentially very productive relationship. The object of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 was not, as we understand, to enlarge the categories of those entitled to be paid wages, but to ensure that those entitled to be paid wages are not paid at anything less than a specified minimum level.”
Or put another way, “Pay up you tight-arsed bastard”. Subsequently, the Bar Council agreed to regulate the wages of pupils, setting a minimum wage of £10,000 a year. This has since been increased to £12,000.
So Judge Michael Lawson…no committed philanthropist defending the inalienable rights of the female gender he. More to the point, Mr Lawson seems to be something of a vigorous defender of the status quo….as well as showing highly dubious judgement on occasions.
You remember that odd moment in the Stuart Hall Show Trial when, after umpteen months of “vigorously denying” any paedophile tendencies, the defendant suddenly changed his plea, following which it became de rigueur for all media, cop, judicial and Westminster statements to add “with children as young as nine” to his carnal sins? Well, I can let you into one of the worst kept secrets in Britain: there was one girl aged nine, who made one allegation, it did not involve rape – and Hall denied it from the start. But under extreme duress, the former TV star caved in. Privately, he still denies the charge: but in the contemporary nightmare that is Cruel Britannia, he went along with the plea bargain, aka blackmail, from the CPS.
Well, fast forward to this snippet from one of the ‘quality’ newspaper reports of the Jeremy Forrest trial:
‘Forrest did not initially face sex offence charges for reasons linked to his extradition from France, but admitted them in court shortly before sentencing’
Now it’s quite likely that his defence team advised him to plead guilty to these charges so he couldn’t be hauled back after five years in the pokey – and charged with something else. But it’s equally likely that Mr Plod’s “if you know what’s good for you, chummy” was also involved. It was yet another nail in Forrest’s coffin, because it confirmed him as a sex offender.
Now let’s briefly take a look at what his lover’s mum had to say. She told the media that Forrest had “robbed my daughter of her childhood”…which is absolutely potty, given that for most kids, 13 is the end of their childhood, not the start of it. But Mum just couldn’t resist laying it on with a trowel:
“I feel the daughter I knew is dead. I cannot understand how someone could do this to my child, and it upsets me beyond words….my daughter’s childhood has been stolen from me — her last day at school, dressing her in her party dress and seeing her off to the prom has all been taken from us. My relationship with her will never be the same again. She has aimed all her anger at me.”
Hmm. Prom? Party dress? Did you ever get the feeling that Mum thinks this is all about her? Anyway, having listened as the Jury found Forrest guilty, Judge Michael Lawson then had this question to ask during his bizarre sentence of over five years in prison:
“Is there material to suggest communication, indirect communication between the parties?” he enquired of prosecutor Richard Barton, and Barton replied yes there is M’lud. I’ve never really understood why Beaks are allowed to pull this kind of stunt: the effect is to hand the media a damning slur which then allows them to go off and write, ‘Paedophile teacher jailed for five years’. But the reality is that there is not a shred of evidence from his past or this trial to support calling him a paedophile.
It has all the hallmarks of a crude Establishment stitch-up, largely designed (along with the Ageing Celeb Gropers’ Gallery) to distract attention away from dead MPs and living ex-Ministers. Little reported but equally significant is the fact that Jeremy Forrest’s sister and Mum have not disowned him – or wittered on about how much this has upset them. Their statement, by contrast, had an enduring simplicity and dignity to it:
“We always have been and will be, behind him 100 per cent. His relationship with the girl has been totally misconstrued. He has been misunderstood.”
But what of Judge Michael Lawson’s wisdom in this case….has he given any other similarly bonkers sentences? Well yes, as a matter of fact he has…just three months ago.
Recently, drug user Christopher Cook was brought before this Judge acccused of growing cannabis at his home. But he walked free after Judge ‘Mad Mike’ Lawson sympathised with him over being dumped by his wife.
Cook’s defence was that he only resorted to the drug after his wife left him….and because he was fearful about problems with his children.
Now I ask all you listeners at home to think about that defence: you’re 38 years old, you’ve never taken cannabis before…and you only do so now because your Missus walked out. And – a corker this – because you’re so worried about the welfare of your kids, you think it very important to be sh*tfaced out of your brain……..the better to look after them.
Had I been than man in the silly wig on Lawson’s bench, I would’ve thought “bollocks”. But in the light of one other fact, the explanation really does look like total cobblers: for when police raided 38-year-old Cook’s home in Somerset Close, Chatham last March, they found 126 cannabis plants growing.
Right then. You know nothing about cannabis and you’ve never taken it before: but there you are growing 126 plants at home, purely for your own consumption. A hundred and twenty-six dope plants to, you know, take the edge off your personal tragedy. Listen folks, when I lived above four medics in a Clapham Junction flat at age 24, their sole requirement for getting stoned was ten cannabis plants. So fuggy was the air down their, my girlfriend’s cat used to come back weaving all over the place.
But Judge Michael Lawson believed Christopher Cook….and so the bloke walked free. Just as he believed the prosecution in the Forrest case….and gave the luckless teacher five years.
Now what I’m thinking is this: wouldn’t it be interesting if – after sentencing – the defence counsel was allowed to ask of the local constabulary, “Is there material to suggest, officer, that Judge Lawson is a completely f**kitted naif?” And wouldn’t it be even better if Plod replied, “Wull, iss funny yer should mention that squire, becorz I ‘ave ‘ere…..”?
Obviously, I’m just being silly. Allegedly.