Not Guilty does not mean Innocent

Ched Evans this week had his conviction for rape over turned, proving at last he is an innocent man, wrongly accused, wrongly convicted, and wrongly imprisoned. Wrong.

What definitely did happen is Ched Evans, instead of going home to his girlfriend, got a text from his buddy, and went to a hotel room to have sex with a drunk girl he had never even spoken to before. Whilst the adulterous aspect isn’t relevant to the criminal outcome, it does give an indication to the calibre of this talented young man. Did Ched ponder over his decision to go meet his friend? No. Did they engage in a foreplay, for want of a better word, about the moralistic dilemma it would put them both in? No. He got a four-word text then jumped in a taxi with a semi-on. To me, this suggests that this is not the first time this has happened and again, whilst not relevant to the criminal outcome to the case, does once more, give a clear indication as to the moral fibre of this talented, young, wealthy, individual.

From what I’ve read, the girl involved doesn’t sound the classiest of women, in fact evidence that helped ‘free’ Ched Evans involves statements from two men who slept with her on consecutive evenings. These witnesses for the defence concurred that on both occasions the girl demanded them to bend her over and “fuck her harder” – a phrase Ched remembers well from that evening. This was used as evidence to suggest the girl had in fact consented. What’s missing from this sentence however is the name “Ched”. “Fuck me harder Ched”… she didn’t say that did she? Was she even aware who was behind her? Then did she deserve to be treated like a piece of meat then smeared on the internet by Ched’s fiancé’s family?

The fear is this will start a lot of victim-bashing about girls who cry rape and ruin lives. What should be made abundantly clear is this girl never once said she was raped by Ched Evans. Her story throughout this entire debacle is she woke up naked in a hotel room and has no recollection of the evening. Having investigated CCTV, the police and CPS decided that there was adequate evidence to suggest a rape had occurred and proceeded accordingly.

If Ched’s defence is 100% accurate and he came in the room, asked if he could join in, she said yes, he ‘fucked her harder’ then skulked out leaving her to literally pass out naked in and wake up in a strange hotel room, does this make him any less innocent? Not in my books.

I can accept the reasons why Ched’s conviction was overturned but being found not guilty does not mean he is innocent.


Note: check out The Secret Barrister for a good overview of the facts regarding his overturned conviction




Knox Knox… Part Two

Okay, so I said previously that I had seen a BBC documentary on Amanda Knox and thought she was totally guilty… well I’ve now watched the Netflix programme too. And my opinion hasn’t changed.

Whilst I can appreciate the reasons why her guilty verdict was overturned (the possible contamination of DNA evidence, the lack of organisation and professionalism of the Perugia investigation, the pressurised statements, the media witch hunt), I can’t help but still feel like this is murder equivalent of getting away with a speeding fine because the camera that caught you hadn’t been re-calibrated in a timely fashion – Knox’s solicitor is basically Mr Loophole.

I think she and Sollecito tried to get Kercher to have kinky sex and when she said no she encouraged Sollecito to kill her. Rudy Guede was having a massive shit during this and legged it when he came out and saw the scene. I don’t think he saw who did it but made up seeing Knox when it was clear she was involved.

Whilst I have never been pressurised by Italian police, I find it hard to believe that this would lead me to change my story when I know it to be the truth. Knox said she saw Lumumba when she probably saw Guede briefly after they had killed Kercher so thought she was setting him up perfectly. When she got this wrong she had to back track her story and say she wasn’t really there after all – despite Sollecito now saying Knox hadn’t stayed the night after all.

But the biggest thing that makes me doubt her innocence is the fact she claims she came home, saw her door wide open, possible break in, and instead of ringing the police, she jumped in the shower – ignoring the blood in the sink, the blood on the bath mat, and the massive dump in the toilet.

Will she kill again? No. Is she a threat to society? No, I don’t think so. Will her next boyfriend be found in a cupboard asphyxiwanking? Quite likely. The point I want to make, and one that I wish to evidence in my next post also, is not guilty does not mean innocent.

Amanda Knox is, once and for all, not guilty and I accept this. There were errors in her case, evidence against her is inadmissible, and there isn’t enough to prosecute her. However, this does not mean she is innocent. This will never be proven.


Just say No

So Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as leader of the Labour Party, a man who is arguably Britain’s best hope induce a modicum of respect into a political system currently viewed with such disdain by the majority of the population.

A year or so ago this man caused an outcry of opposition for daring to suggest that if he were Prime Minister he would never fire a nuclear weapon.

Let’s just think about that for a minute. People were genuinely upset with him for not wanting to fire a nuclear weapon. NOT wanting to fire a nuclear weapon. A Nuclear Weapon. Nuclear.

On the other side of the world we see Kim Jong-Un grinning like the a Cheshire Cat as he manically presses his Fisher Price ‘My First Nuclear Launch Button’. Clapping like a fat kid seeing a birthday cake at the sight of vast wasteland being reduced to…erm… glowing vast wasteland by the resultant explosion. Is this what we’d prefer? If Jeremy came out and said he couldn’t want to get his sweaty palms on that big launch button and start wiping out the planet?!

I for one, do not feel comfortable living in a world where willingness to launch a missile that can kill a million people and ruin land for generations is a trait that we want in our leader. If all world leaders stated they would never fire one then we’d all live in a much safer place.

And I don’t accept the argument that we need a nuclear arsenal for defence either. If Putin were to launch a nuclear attack on London tomorrow I still disagree that a proportional response is to send a nuke of our own to destroy millions of their innocent civilians. That would almost certainly trigger the end of days.

We live on an island, we should have a huge navy and the most sophisticated air defence system money can buy. We should not have nuclear weapons sat in submarines in Scotland.



Do Not Open The Box…

The Earth is melting and the end is nigh. CJ De Mooi from Eggheads is on the run for murder and a cryogenically reanimated cyborg* Noel Edmonds is telephoning your pet cat to talk through it’s depression. The year is 2052 and….

No wait, that’s happening right now. (*unconfirmed at time of publish). Noel Edmonds is actually calling animals to tell them everything is going to be alright, he’s even setting up his own radio station solely for pets to listen to. But it’s not all good news for Barkie the ironic kitten, as Noel warns, if they kill a bird or mouse in this life they will be dealt with in the next. So mind your haunches. But also relax, as everything is going to be juuuuuust fine. Because Noel Loves You.

He’s gone mad. Actually mad.

This comes only 3 months after claiming a box of wires and LEDs from Maplins cured his cancer. And if you poo-poo his claims then you’re going to get cancer too for being a negative-nelly. If this was my Nan we’d be wheeling her down to local nut-house, pumping her full of pills, and inducing her in to a harmless catatonic state. But it’s Noel Edmonds, so we write about it in the press and invite him on to prime time TV or radio to hear him out. If ever there was a poster boy for more funding in the mental health system it’s him.

I genuinely fear we are 6 months away from Noel, in a crudely homemade Mr Blobby suit, marauding down Wood Lane towards BBC Television Centre, taking out waving children with a burning crossbow. Don’t say the warning signs weren’t there.

His only saving grace will be the fact he didn’t get caught up in the 80’s Children’s TV star quagmire that was Operation Yewtree. Although on this evidence, would touching some kids really have been any worse?**





**Yes. Yes it would. Much worse. Don’t touch kids. 



Woy’s Eurwoes

So England bowed out of Euro 2016 in spectacular, yet inevitable, fashion this summer. But what hope did Roy Hodgson really have, falling victim to an international coach’s worst nightmare following a qualification campaign that bore ten wins from ten, 31 goals scored, 3 conceded, and a system tried and tested:

  1. Injuries / poor form to numerous players integral to qualifying.
  2. Average players playing well in a winning team / system (Leicester).
  3. A group of young players having an impressive season / last 3 months.
  4. An English media that demanded the above to be included.

I hadn’t considered Roy to be a weak manager before this summer but one thing Euro 2016 made abundantly clear is that when it came to making difficult choices and standing by his methods, Roy melted like a Solero. For ten games Roy played with a system he liked, and it worked. People may moan about having favourite players (Wilshire, Henderson, Milner etc.) but with that team, he won them all. If you look at the players that started that qualifying campaign and were stalwarts during (including dynamic sub appearances) yet played a minimal or zero role in Euro 2016 its clear to see that it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing; Jagielka, Clyne, Baines, Shaw, Jones, Delph, Milner, Townsend, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley, Walcott, Welbeck.

Whilst some of these exclusion were due to injury, Roy still had enough choice to continue to play his system with minimal fuss, the likes of Walcott, Townsend, and Stirling flanking Rooney or Kane up front with workhorses Milner and Henderson and Roy’s golden boy Jack Wilshire behind. The defence would be fine with Cahill and Smalling between Clyne and Bertrand with Joe Hart ever-dependable between the sticks. And what a bench and opportunity to change systems we had – Bring on Drinkwater and Vardy, sit a bit deeper and hit stronger teams on the counter. Then we have Delle Alli – a genuine prospect. First season in the premiership, playing without fear, looks a great option to bring on if you need a bit more creativity than Henderson and Milner. And Eric Dier, centre back, right back, defensive shield, a perfect utility player to have on the bench or to utilise if you need to sit back or neutralise a Pirlo or Payet. Things shouldn’t have been so bad.

Unfortunately, the world and his dog had got a hard-on for Jamie Vardy by now, a man who’s game is 80% based a 60 yard ball pinged over the top for him to chase and finish. Yes, he scored lots of goals, but not in the system Roy had spent 2 years perfecting. As media and public pressure built, the outcry to include and start all of these amazing new England players proved to be too much for Roy to fight. And whilst we’re at it, you better start Rose and Walker as they play with Kane and Alli a lot, oh and don’t forget to take Marcus Rashford too – an 18yr old kid who has played about 10 first team games in his entire career. Because if you don’t, we will destroy you.

So what we ended up with was a muddle of a system, warped by stats like a 16 year old’s Sun Dream Team. For the first time in a competitive game Roy played with a defined ball winning midfielder in Dier instead of the defensive playmaker in Wilshire he prefers, meaning he had to find deep midfield creativity elsewhere. Luckily for him the press had already dictated how Alli and Kane have to play off each other up front so Rooney was now free to drop deeper than the Titanic to satisfy his Nike contract clause of never being dropped to the bench in an England shirt.

For width, well Roy still had Stirling – A man dropped by his club for the last 3 months and void of confidence, and for the other side…. oh fuck, he forgot to bring 2 wingers. That’s okay though, Lallana can play there, having never scored a goal for England, and if that doesn’t work we’ll stick Vardy on the left to hug the touch line like he has done for approximately 22 minutes of Leicester’s 38-game championship winning season.

Whilst the loss to Iceland was unpredictable, the underwhelming results before and early exit were not. I forget the last time England had a settled side and a boss willing to manage the team more like a club side. The starting line up for Euro 2016 included 7 different players from the starting line up of the 2014 World Cup. And that included 6 different players from the line up for Euro 2012. How many players do you think Germany or Spain have changed in that time? I can guarantee that England are not producing 6 new world class players every 2 years so what’s happening? Picking a squad / team based on short bursts of form and basing a system around those individuals at the detriment of the team. It has to stop.

International tournaments are equivalent of the last games of a season where you’re chasing silverwear. If, with ten games to go this year, Leicester were given Aguero and Iniesta would they have won the league still? I doubt it. They had a style and a system and to suddenly ask Vardy to partner Aguero, or Drinkwater to play with Iniesta, it just wouldn’t have the same effect. Don’t get me wrong, stick them on the bench, bring them on to change games, but don’t change your entire team to accommodate them – Something the media and Big Sam needs to realise now.