Friday, December 15, 2006

Just fucking leave it, will you?

There are always those who think that the world revolves around them, eh?
The natural family of Billie-Jo Jenkins want to change the law so they can bring a civil action against her foster father Sion Jenkins, they told the BBC.

Mr Jenkins was cleared at a second retrial in February of killing the 13-year-old in East Sussex in 1997.

Billie-Jo's natural family, from east London, want to bring a civil action to establish liability for what happened.

But they say they are being prevented by a law which means civil action must be brought within six years.

Well, I'm sorry but that's just tough shit. Why the fuck should the law be changed simply because you don't happen to like it; where the hell would it end?
They told the BBC they are consulting lawyers about their options.

Billie-Jo was beaten to death at her foster parents' home in Hastings in 1997.

Her foster father, Sion Jenkins, of Hampshire, served six years for her murder before he was freed on appeal. He was then formally acquitted when juries in two re-trials failed to agree a verdict.

Right, so the evidence was not considered strong enough to convict him on those retrials; I imagine that, if he were in Scotland, the verdict may have been the famous Not Proven. But, as it is an English court, he is now considered an innocent man.
Billie-Jo's natural family want to bring a civil action but considered the move only after criminal proceedings concluded in February, nine years after her murder.

I'm sorry, but I really object to this idea. If someone is found innocent in a criminal court of justice then they should not have to go through the whole thing again in a civil court.
Billie-Jo's aunt, Maggie Coster. told the BBC: "All we're interested in is getting some sort of justice for Billie-Jo.

"She was a 13-year-old child brutally murdered - battered - and there's nobody to answer for it."

Look, I'm really sorry that you feel that way, but sometimes that's what happens. Sometimes murderers get away with it. Sion Jenkins has been found freed and that is how the situation should remain. Unless, of course, you have some particularly compelling new evidence?

Couple of questions here: does anyone know the reason why, and for how long, Billie-Jo was with her foster parents?
BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the government is drawing up plans to change the limitation period in civil cases, but it is not clear how far the reforms will go and if the new rules would apply retrospectively.

You cannot, you simply cannot do that. Retrospective laws are always difficult to implement and are, really, fundamentally rather unfair.
Next year, the Law Lords will rule on the case of the serial rapist Iorworth Hoare, who won £7 million on the lottery. One of his victims was prevented from suing him because the attack happened 18 years ago.

If, as is implied, she didn't attempt to bring the case until after he won the Lottery, then I'm afraid that she is simply gold-digging. That should be no more a compelling reason to drag someone through the courts than that this is the Year of the Fruitbat, or something.

Fucking hell, I hate people sometimes...

8 comments:

JuliaM said...

Rather than go after the former accused, wouldn't the family be better served by asking questions of the police & CPS and their failings in this case...?

Particularly their reliance on the discredited 'expert witness' Southall. Another case of the police choosing the evidence that best suited their initial suspicions and forging ahead with it regardless.

In choosing to focus on only Jenkins, they perpetrate the belief that he 'got away with it'. The fact that he may have been innocently accused in the first place seems not to have crossed their minds...

chris said...

What I want to know is why Billy-Jo was with foster parents anyway? Why wasn't she living with her biological parents?

Martin said...

DK,

For the avoidance of doubt, 'Not Proven' is an absolute acquittal. Those thus discharged are considered innocent.

Otherwise, bang on the money.

The whole foster parenting thing raises a very interesting legal issue; quite a disturbing one.

The child was in foster care. Was this the consequence of her being the subject of compulsory measures of care, or due to a voluntary arangement because, as sometimes happens, her parents couldn't cope?

If the state has intervened on that child's behalf before her death, then the state has assumed the rights held by her natural parents - perhaps leaving them with no title to sue; or if such title exists, then greatly diminished.

How can one claim damages for the loss of soicety of a child who you've been deemed unfit to look after?

Anonymous said...

The family are just pond scum grubbing for a few bob , I say beat them to death with a tent peg and do the world a favour.

Tom Paine said...

For once you are wrong, DK. It is perfectly rational to have a "balance of probabilities" test for civil claims and a "beyond reasonable doubt test" for criminal convictions. Hence, not enough evidence to bang up OJ Simpson, but enough to bankrupt him. However, the family are out of order in expecting the limitation period to be waived for them. They could have filed the claim at any time in the past six years and if they have a beef now it's with their lawyer.

Frankly, no amount of money would compensate any loving parent for the loss of a child and you have to question the motives of anyone who sues in such circumstances. I would feel degraded to make money from (God save the mark) the loss of one of mine. Were I the judge in such a claim, I would offset the saved costs of bringing the child up against the compensation for its loss. That would teach the greedy ***** to think about it in monetary terms.

ghost of john trenchard said...

interesting - she was adopted relatively late in life, at age 9.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie-Jo_Jenkins

ghost of john trenchard said...

i did some digging around and found this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/126073.stm

"Newham Council took Billie-Jo into care when she was six-years-old."

Anonymous said...

I got as far as 'shit' and 'fuck' and stopped reading.