Above the Old Bailey stands the symbol of Great British Justice, the scales of justice. Scales held by Lady Justice symbolizing the measure of a case's support and opposition. The British Justice system was regarded as the best (fairest) in the world - until July 1st, 2007 that is! That day will be the most memorable for smokers for that was not only the day all smokers were banished from the interior of pubs but also the day that any form of justice for smokers went out of the window.
The scales were now heavily weighted against 13 million people.
When you consider the cast array of crimes that are dealt with by the courts in this country you would think that smoke related misdemeanours would languish near the bottom of the muck-heap.
You would be seriously wrong!
Smokers, apparently, are the new 'cash cows', the new breed of miscreants to fill the judiciary coffers. Licensees are even better prey for the courts as the system vilifies every smoker in every way possible.
Just imagine the young girl standing outside her shop having a welcomed cigarette break. She innocently chucks the cigarette butt down the nearest street drain only to be immediately accosted by some un-uniformed creature brandishing an 'on the spot' penalty ticket. Very dear cigarette-£80! As far as she was concerned she was not littering the streets with her spent cigarette but the law states otherwise!
An elderly gentleman in Kettering sat quietly smoking his cigarette in his car whilst his wife was in a shop. As was his wont he carefully flicked the ash into the ashtray and also condemned the butt to said receptacle. An EHO pounced and issued him with a ticket for littering.
Outraged he took the case to court to prove his innocence - and here is where the bizarre takes over! Despite his protestations and letters of affirmation that he was a person who picked others litter up and put it in bins provided, and despite the fact that he was in direct view of a CCTV camera he was found guilty of littering and also had to pay for the courts time - more than £600 if you please. The bizarrest point is that the court, upon request, refused to allow the CCTV footage to be shown - which would have proved his truthful defence.
As far as the magistrates were concerned the EHO would not be wrong - after all, he/she was performing a vital service and was trained to the hilt!
In the city of Leicester a serial car thief was hauled up in court for yet another car break-in, and was referred to the Crown Court for sentencing. The Judge berated this young hoodlum who's track record consisted of more than 200 vehicle break-ins and told him that this was his last chance before a custodial sentence would be imposed - 200 hrs community service and his picture published so that the public (yes, the public!) could phone 999 if he was spotted anywhere near a car park. Oh yes, fines total:- £00.00.
Now we come to the creme de la creme of this financial war against smokers smoking - or not in this case. Our friend the Liverpool tanker driver ws recently issued with a fixed penalty notice for 'smoking in his cab' during an enforced lunch break. An ever vigilant EHO happened to drive into the parking area and spotted what she considered to be an offence.
From 88ft away she observed him 'flicking ash' form the end of his 'cigarette' before, finally, she states, tossing the cigerette end out of the cab window onto the ground. Being ever vigilant the EHO took photographs of the rear of the lorry, from which the cab was invisible and the front of the lorry which showed a nice big windscreen but no driver inside - not even a driver smoking. The photographic evidence did not extend to a picture of the supposed 'dog-end' hurled from the cab, the photographic evidence did not even show an arm hanging outside the cab with a 'cigarette' in hand.
In fact, the photographic evidence was a waste of time as all it proved was the fact thet the lorry, carrying toxic materials was parked in a certain place at a certain time! Worse still, this EHO went to the drivers place of work 2 days later to issue the fixed penalty notice which promptly ensured his dismissal from employment. The driver argued that he was not smoking but in actual fact "vaping" as he was using an electronic cigarette; ie non ignited, non tobacco substitute for the real thing. His cigarettes were on the shelf at home - after all, just look at what he was transporting!
He refused the FPN and went to court to prove his innocence - big mistake! Bigger mistake - he represented himself in the belief that truth and honesty would prevail. All his protestations were ignored, the magistrates deciding (probably before the case even started) that the driver was a smoker therefore guilty, after all, the EHO was a 'most credible witness'.
In actual fact, the EHO was a useless bag of crap who could not possibly have seen what she said she had seen from the distance reported. I doubt superman could have either! This is all the proof smokers ever needed that the dice, sorry, the scales of justice, are firmly set against them. There is no justice for smokers - because they smoke - and in this nannyist, healthist state we now live in where smokers are the scourge of the earth smokers will never get any justice. The above cases are but a few, there are hundreds of cases where the penalties far outweigh the 'crime' but the powers that be have passed the order down the line to hammer any would be miscreant smoker.
The judiciary has sold its soul to the devil as far as smokers are concerned, they are not interested in truth or justice, they only want whatever money they feel they can get out of each individual.
Justice -What Justice?