Not attempted murder?

A few days ago Lugman Aslam was jailed for driving his van at a group of men on a pavement with the obvious intent to murder. Somewhat surprisingly though he wasn’t charged with murder.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and attempting to inflict intentional grievous bodily harm and got 2 and a half years.

Okay, the sentence actually passed by the judge was 5 years but thanks to one of Tony Blair’s justice reforms that means a maximum of two and a half years in jail.

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Also a few days ago Darren Osborne drove a van into a group of people on a pavement outside a mosque. Once again his intent was clearly to murder.

But unlike the first case this one merited:

• a press conference on the doorstep of No. 10

• a minute's silence

• wall to wall media coverage

• national soul searching

• and renewed calls for strict censorship of right-wing hate mongers (i.e., anyone who thinks there’s a problem with Islam)

• and unlike the first case this man has been charged with terrorism related murder and attempted murder and will no doubt be jailed for life.

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To be fair in the case of the Muslim driver, Lugman Aslam, there were some mitigating circumstances:

First off Aslam didn’t succeed in murdering his victims. Though according to the judge:

“… you deliberately mounted the pavement and drove straight at them and right through the middle of them at speed…

It’s quite remarkable that nobody was seriously hurt or killed…”

Second, the offence was committed during Ramadan (apparently a time when no Muslim can be held fully responsible for their actions).

Third, the victims had earlier used racial abuse (according to the defendant).

Fourth, the defendant is short (according to his defence). I guess she was scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one.

And finally and crucially the judge noted that the defendant is ‘a good family man and I take that very much into account’.

And that he certainly did!

He took it into account to the extent of jailing an attempted murderer for just two years and change. Needless to say if the perpetrator had been a white Christian his status as a racially abused, good father on a Lenten fast would have been considered entirely irrelevant.

And while the judge was considering mitigating circumstances perhaps he should also have considered aggravating ones too. After all there have been a number of terror attacks using vehicles as murder weapons recently. In light of this shouldn’t the judge have ‘sent out a message’ with an exemplary punishment to this latest murderous Muslim behind the wheel?

That’s what happened to John Cox who started a fire on a flight to Sharm el-Sheikh by carelessly disposing of a cigarette in the toilet. He saw his original sentence doubled to nine years and six months by appeal court judges who wanted to send out a message. It was an exceptional case and called for a deterrent sentence said the judge.

But Aslam’s treatment by the judge is only exceptional if compared to cases of a generation ago when justice was more partially sighted than it is now.

The only significant difference between these two cases of attempted murder is that Darren Osborne succeeded in killing whereas Lugman Aslam failed. All of the other ‘mitigating’ factors are inventions of activist lawyers and politicians to go easy on certain favoured groups, above all Muslims.

In Britain justice is not blind. And that’s a shame because the only equality worth a damn is equality under the law.

Embarrassing reminder of an ideal


That blindfolded symbol of justice with a sword in one hand and a pair of scales in the other that adorns our highest courts is long out of date and ought to be torn down as an embarrassing anachronism.

Now our high courts should sport a statue of a bespectacled social justice warrior with a calculator in one hand and a hierarchy of victimhood in the other.


That would aptly symbolize what actually goes on in our courts these days.
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