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PUNCHY PACIFIST PUNISHED

Remember Christiaan Briggs, the former human shield who punched a teenager into a coma after being accused of leering at the kid’s girlfriend? He’s been sent to prison ... for eight months:

In mitigation Bartholomew Casella said Briggs was a “committed pacifist” and was “absolutely horrified by his behaviour”.

He told the packed courtroom that Briggs was a man of “far beyond good character, quite an exceptional young human being who has devoted a lot of time to helping others, who has rather selflessly gone about in his own way trying to make the world a better place.”

He said Briggs, of Bacon Lane, Kingsbury, North West London, did not smirk as he left the scene, but nervously smiled back at a bus passenger.

As you do after punching a teenager in the face. Briggs’ lawyer offered a Fisk defence:

Mr Casella said that Briggs was bullied as a child and was horrified that he had now turned into the bully and was capable of such violence.

Judge Peter Birts QC bought it:

He said Briggs was being punished by his own insight, but a custodial sentence was necessary to act as a deterrent and by way of reparation ...

“You are a serious, intelligent, hard-working and utterly decent young man of talent and ability and you will undoubtedly bear a heavy burden of guilt and sorrow about what you have done.

“It’s a tragic irony that you, yourself as a gifted musician and theatre lover, caused such great injuries to someone who is so talented and has given pleasure to so many others in life.”

Via Lumberjack, who asks, reasonably enough: “Why not five years?”

Posted by Tim B. on 10/23/2006 at 01:44 PM
  1. So the law is different for different people? If a normally law-abiding soccer far knocks some guy into a coma, he’d face a five-year-stretch in the House of Many Doors because he can’t play music and hates the theater?

    Posted by SoberHT on 2006 10 23 at 02:02 PM • permalink

  2. It disfigres our civilisation.

    And, apparently, our spelling.

    Posted by m on 2006 10 23 at 02:19 PM • permalink

  3. Expect more sociopaths consciously disguising themselves as pacifists.

    Posted by PW on 2006 10 23 at 02:44 PM • permalink

  4. Of course, the other shoe here is that now Lloyd Webber can beat up anyone he wants and just pay a fine or something.

    Posted by SoberHT on 2006 10 23 at 02:56 PM • permalink

  5. Hey, I love theatre, too!

    Think maybe I can get out of the citation I got this morning for driving on an expired tag?

    Posted by bovious on 2006 10 23 at 03:00 PM • permalink

  6. Some years ago I was visiting the UK and I happened to notice a small news item. A young foreign woman had been arrested on a train. She was being molested by a thug and pulled out a large knife. She was charged with concealing a dangerous weapon or something. I emphasise she did not use the knife.

    She explained to the court that she carried the knife because she had been raped a year earlier.

    She got two years. What happened to the thug was not recorded.

    Posted by geoff on 2006 10 23 at 03:10 PM • permalink

  7. Someone ought to point out to the court the terrible consequences, the costs of increased death and maiming, caused by the kind of “pacifism” practiced by this man.  He is guilty of much more than the injury of one person.  But that has nothing to do, one way or the other, with the case before the court, of course. 

    Most importantly, what does this man’s supposed good character have to do with the injustice perpetrated by him against his victim?  All it does is add a second injustice, perpetrated by the entity that is supposed to protect him and make sure justice is done when someone victimizes him.  I know it happens all the time these days, but it doesn’t mitigate the outrage I feel every single time it happens.

    Posted by saltydog on 2006 10 23 at 03:14 PM • permalink

  8. Shit, I’ve known Christiaan to spar with on the newsgroups, and I think this whole thing sucks. If he’d just learn from this, that he’s not the earthly embodiment of Peace, but that he has his own measure of flawed human nature to contend with. And that anyone who wants to impose utopia from without on others is in the same boat. But he seems obtuse. After the human shields debacle he went into hiding, and we never heard a peep from him on usenet. I thought he might have learned his lesson, and given up the peace activism as a bad joke and gotten on with his life.

    And then I found his blog! What a hate -filled screed against the US and the UK - twice as bad as when he could be argued with on usenet. I’d like to hope that a syint in prison for crippling a guy might sober him up, but he’s already been given a hard lesson and failed to learn from it. My bet is he’ll emerge from prison even more “peaceful” than before, and will be blaming the system, or the Elders of Zion, but not himself, for what happened. And who knows how many more peaceful comas he will put people into??

    Still, it’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good - at least now, with gaol-time for violence, the number of countries that will let him enter their borders for the purposes of “peaceful protest” has decreased dramatically.

    Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 10 23 at 03:19 PM • permalink

  9. syint = stint

    Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 10 23 at 03:20 PM • permalink

  10. Anybody know anything about the social customs and hierarchical structures of British prisons?  Do they employ the same hazing rituals they do in American prisons?

    Here’s hoping the gen-pop of whatever rathole this skinny prick ends up in shares the same love of music, theatre, and liberal politics as that travesty of a judge.

    Posted by Mark V. on 2006 10 23 at 03:23 PM • permalink

  11. Lucky he did’t have to opine on WC’s “Finest Hour” speech, coulda cut both ways.

    Maybe the judge is the one that deserves the 5 years-and in a cell with “Bubba”.

    Posted by yojimbo on 2006 10 23 at 03:29 PM • permalink

  12. No one ever completely recovers from a serious brain injury.  That young man’s life has been forever changed because this idiot took him out with a sucker punch.  For sure he’ll probably never have the musical career he planned for.  And all the idiot gets is eight months in prison?  I don’t call that justice, friggin’ punished by his own insight or not (which I highly doubt).

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 10 23 at 03:33 PM • permalink

  13. My family and I happened to be in England at the time of this attack. The tenor of the media coverage then (before they knew the attacker and presupposed him to be a NF-type) was extremely supportive of the victim, an up and coming alt rocker.

    I guess Briggs’ lefty street cred cancelled out the other young man’s lefty street cred with the bienpensant crowd.

    As # 10. Mark V. suggests, it might be nice for Briggsy to get to know others who beat victims for no reason.

    Sidewager: Briggs signs up with the Religion of Peace while away at “college”.

    Posted by JDB on 2006 10 23 at 03:43 PM • permalink

  14. Sidewager: Briggs signs up with the Religion of Peace while away at “college”.

    I didn’t think of it before, but it’s probably a safe bet! (although at Odds-on, a low paying one)

    Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 10 23 at 04:06 PM • permalink

  15. Wow, sound’s like the Judge and Briggs ought to get a room. Good to know British law is being ajudicated by chinless closet-cases who are infatuated with their violent criminal’s rugged good looks and bad-boy attitude.

    Posted by Amos on 2006 10 23 at 04:17 PM • permalink

  16. It’s hardly news that the British are not serious about controlling crime.

    Posted by tim maguire on 2006 10 23 at 04:25 PM • permalink

  17. Well, he’s a “committed” pacifist now, at any rate.

    Posted by paco on 2006 10 23 at 04:34 PM • permalink

  18. Hmmmm.

    I suppose it would be terrible of me to state that, were that my son in a coma, I’d hire a dozen men to beat that bastard into meat paste.

    Posted by memomachine on 2006 10 23 at 04:45 PM • permalink

  19. But not committed enough, Paco.

    Posted by Burbank on 2006 10 23 at 04:45 PM • permalink

  20. 19: Oh, I quite agree. I think the guy should have gotten more time, and been shackled to the wall of a damp, dripping cell, to boot.

    Posted by paco on 2006 10 23 at 04:48 PM • permalink

  21. The judge’s sentence reads like an Iowahawk parody.  Did the judge have a man crush on Briggs?  Is he going to write to him in prison and ask him to be his Valentine?  After Briggs get out, will he and the judge go to the theater together?  I hope some English version of SNL makes relentless fun of these two.

    Posted by Bill Ramey on 2006 10 23 at 04:51 PM • permalink

  22. A former human shield?

    They should send him to Iraq for eight months to serve as a human shield against the ROPer IEDs and self-exploders.

    Duct tape him to the side of a hummer.

    Posted by rinardman on 2006 10 23 at 05:03 PM • permalink

  23. The judge (if you can dare call him that) deserves 20 years in a lunatic asylum (in the same cell with a ‘human’ shield).

    Posted by stats on 2006 10 23 at 05:04 PM • permalink

  24. Jeez, the Court gave time to a theatre lover. Is there no justice!

    Posted by stats on 2006 10 23 at 05:06 PM • permalink

  25. Well, what should happen next, if it hasn’t been started at this point is, Billy Leeson needs to hire one of the best Barrister’s in England and sue Christiaan Briggs, for damages.

    Everything may have garnered in the past, everything that he has now and everything will have into the future,

    belongs to are us <——(LGF rotating title, I believe).

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 10 23 at 05:25 PM • permalink

  26. You beauty! I’ve seen Rocky Horror a couple of times - does that mean I can sucker punch teenagers and just get a fine?

    Posted by Harry Buttle on 2006 10 23 at 05:26 PM • permalink

  27. The mind boggles.

    And, Paco, let’s add “upside-down, by his gonads” to your prescription for his being shackled to the wall of a damp, dripping cell.

    With that pansy of a judge right beside him.

    Posted by texasred on 2006 10 23 at 05:28 PM • permalink

  28. New bumper sticker -

    “My RWDB has maimed fewer people than your pacifist.”

    Posted by Dave S. on 2006 10 23 at 05:31 PM • permalink

  29. Eight months seems ridiculous, but what would be the standard jail sentence for this type of violence? I’m looking for something to compare this to.

    Posted by TimT on 2006 10 23 at 06:23 PM • permalink

  30. #6: if only she’d quoted some Harold Pinter.

    Posted by Henry boy on 2006 10 23 at 06:41 PM • permalink

  31. Well, this explains why “pacifists” and the “Religion of Peace” get along so well: they have violence in common.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 10 23 at 07:05 PM • permalink

  32. Here’s our boy Christiaan:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/christiaanbriggs/18716002/, which was a pre-invasion photo he took of Iraqi troops on an armored personnel carrier.

    Comments on the photo:

    ——————-

    mazinalizzi says:
    where r they now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Posted 16 months ago. ( permalink )

    Christiaan Briggs says:
    I would guess most of them are dead.
    Posted 16 months ago. ( permalink )

    MAZeN. says:
    or setting up IEDs…
    Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

    Christiaan Briggs says:
    Let’s hope the later.
    Posted 2 weeks ago. ( permalink )

    ———————

    Nothing like being a pacifist, eh?

    Posted by kpom on 2006 10 23 at 07:07 PM • permalink

  33. Bullied as a child eh? He’s gonna be bullied a hell of a lot motre over the next 8 months.

    Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 10 23 at 07:14 PM • permalink

  34. #33 Motre is of course franco-cokney for more.

    Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 10 23 at 07:22 PM • permalink

  35. In other news, who’d have thought this would have happened?

    Posted by The Prez on 2006 10 23 at 07:27 PM • permalink

  36. #32 kpom,

    A good or at least competent prosecutor would have discovered the flickr images, webblog, and various and sundry comments left by Briggs as you did and put the lie to that son of a bitch.

    How do you look in a wig?

    Posted by JDB on 2006 10 23 at 07:28 PM • permalink

  37. O/T

    Lookout Rush!
    Lookout Sean!
    Incoming!

    novamradio.com (don’t do the linky thing)

    Have to contact them and see what their opinion of the “Fairness Doctine” is. Bwahahahaha!

    Posted by yojimbo on 2006 10 23 at 07:57 PM • permalink

  38. Well, he’s a “committed” pacifist now, at any rate.

    So do all pacifists have to go through committal hearings, in order to be the “committed” kind?

    Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 10 23 at 08:04 PM • permalink

  39. Congratulations to stats for joining the 1000 club - all goodun’s

    Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 10 23 at 08:13 PM • permalink

  40. If he’d just learn from this, that he’s not the earthly embodiment of Peace, but that he has his own measure of flawed human nature to contend with.

    He won’t.  The first rule of being a ‘liberal/progressive/pacifist’ is, you have nothing left to learn.  Just ask them.

    Eight months.  The victim’s friends should still remember him when he gets out then.

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 10 23 at 08:23 PM • permalink

  41. Wow, sound’s like the Judge and Briggs ought to get a room.

    Glad I’m not the only one.

    Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 10 23 at 08:54 PM • permalink

  42. A gifted musician and theatre lover…
    Like Clockwork Orange?

    Posted by crash on 2006 10 23 at 09:47 PM • permalink

  43. I was wondering who the subject of Chris Masters’ second tome in a reportedly two-book deal would be. Perhaps he can do some thinking on the judge’s secret self intruding on public behaviour and out him. Oh wait, he’s is a left-wing judicial activist so does that count…?

    Posted by Hanyu on 2006 10 23 at 09:48 PM • permalink

  44. #29 - TimT

    As a point of reference, in the state of Texas, this crime would qualify as aggravated assault, a first degree felony, which carries a sentencing range of no less than 5 and no more than 99 years (though, probably toward the lower end of that range).  I don’t know anything about British penal law, though.

    Posted by Mark V. on 2006 10 23 at 09:53 PM • permalink

  45. Whoa, hold on - I was wrong, in Texas, aggravated assault is a 2nd degree felony - so more like 2 to 20 years.

    Posted by Mark V. on 2006 10 23 at 09:57 PM • permalink

  46. Anyone who denies the fundamental violence of human nature *also* denies any effort of self-control of that nature.

    Why learn to control your emotions and reactions if you believe with all your heart that you are a good and peaceful person?

    Pacifism requries denial of human nature in yourself and in others.  Peace requires facing the truth of our violent natures head on and doing something about it.

    Posted by Synova on 2006 10 23 at 10:11 PM • permalink

  47. And then when you hurt someone because you are unable to control the temper you’ve always denied existed, you can blame it on the other person for “making you lose control.” I wonder how many of these “pacifists” are abusive to their spouses and kids.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 10 23 at 10:19 PM • permalink

  48. I wonder how many of these “pacifists” are abusive to their spouses and kids.

    Didn’t Tim blog (or note in his column) such a case a couple of years ago?

    Posted by Andjam on 2006 10 23 at 11:52 PM • permalink

  49. The more pathetically weak sentences like this, the more likely vigilante-style justice or mandatory sentencing will occur.

    Posted by Andjam on 2006 10 23 at 11:54 PM • permalink

  50. Eight months for GBH seems a bit lenient. However, the NW London chapter of the ROP are on to this and charges will soon be laid because he resided at Bacon Lane, Kingsbury.

    I would expect a far lengthier custodial sentence to be handed down.

    Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 10 24 at 12:01 AM • permalink

  51. #32 kpom

    Nothing like being a pacifist, eh?

    All together now,

    They’re not anti-war, they’re just on the other side.

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 10 24 at 12:21 AM • permalink

  52. By the way, has anyone else seen this atrocity?

    Bali bombers released for Ramadamadingdong.

    Meanwhile, Christian activists are executed for “inciting riots”.

    BOYCOTT INDONESIA!

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 10 24 at 12:32 AM • permalink

  53. 7 years for aggravated assault, ten for gbh in Queensland (if you can find a beak who wasn’t the former head of the civil liberties council, or the spouse of a sitting Labor eejit; seeing as there’s bugger-all of them, I’d say about 8 months would be the upper limit, and seeing as he’s a nice committed lefty pacifist it’d be somewhere tough like Palen Creek prison farm).

    At least when he’s sprung I’d say Christiaan will be in for a one way trip to Heathrow, to be bunged on the next flight to Auckland. Hopefully once there he’ll ogle some member of the Mongrel Mob’s squeeze, and have to be removed from the tarmacadam with a large spatula.

    Posted by Habib on 2006 10 24 at 12:44 AM • permalink

  54. Hopefully once there he’ll ogle some member of the Mongrel Mob’s squeeze, and have to be removed from the tarmacadam with a large spatula.

    ::wipes eyes::

    That’s beautiful, Habib.

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 10 24 at 12:49 AM • permalink

  55. At least when he’s sprung I’d say Christiaan will be in for a one way trip to Heathrow, to be bunged on the next flight to Auckland.

    Hey there’s always a bright side: I could always buy him that beer I promised him, all those years ago… Hmmm, better make that something non-alcoholic. And I’d better make sure he promises to not be “peaceful” towards me…

    Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 10 24 at 12:59 AM • permalink

  56. Don’t know about the UK, but certainly here a conviction for an indictable offence would have the Minister for Immigration seeking your removal upon completion of the term, with your elibility for a visa rescinded. The bastard’s just as likely to turn up here though, and fib about his record; just what we need, another punchy kiwi crim. Maybe he can sign on as a bouncer up the ‘Cross.

    Posted by Habib on 2006 10 24 at 01:10 AM • permalink

  57. BTW, have a gander at the sympathy and empathy exhibited by Sluggo over the London tube bombings.

    Must be a terrible moral quandry to live off the fruits of western democracy while hating every single facet of it.

    What a fuckwad.

    Posted by Habib on 2006 10 24 at 01:18 AM • permalink

  58. NZ would love to have him back, particularly the NZ Greens. He was a fierce defender of their policies, no matter how pointless or stupid. I’m sure they’ll stick with him through thick and thin, as you’d expect these peace-loving types to do.

    Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 10 24 at 01:21 AM • permalink

  59. In a fair and just place this slimeball arsehole social menace would have been given at least five years even before he bashed the kid half to death.

    Posted by geoff on 2006 10 24 at 03:48 AM • permalink

  60. If he was carrying a tree branch, he’d be doing a longer time. The judge who awarded the sentence ought to be given a good beating to see how he likes it. Preferably by a pacifist like myself.

    Posted by Wylie Wilde on 2006 10 24 at 04:14 AM • permalink

  61. A disgraceful sentence for a foul king hit.
    May he find peace.

    Posted by Simon Darkshade on 2006 10 24 at 04:33 AM • permalink

  62. Likes show tunes eh?
    I’m sure the lags doing porridge are going to love it when he sings ‘there’s nothing like a dame’ during his first visit to the showers.

    Posted by Nic on 2006 10 24 at 04:35 AM • permalink

  63. “You are a serious, intelligent, hard-working and utterly decent young man of talent and ability…”—Alleged Judge

    The law is an ass.

    Posted by Dave Surls on 2006 10 24 at 04:53 AM • permalink

  64. What does “utterly” mean anyways?

    “completely and without qualification” last time I checked. Just another case of not letting the facts intefere with what a Lefty wants to believe.

    Posted by moptop on 2006 10 24 at 07:02 AM • permalink

  65. Gosh I wonder why emigration from Blairistan is at an all time high.

    Posted by Rob Read on 2006 10 24 at 07:04 AM • permalink

  66. Paco,

    Well, he’s a “committed” pacifist now, at any rate.


    Maaate, he’s a ‘convicted’ pacifist now.

    *****

    punched a teenager into a coma

    I bet he “didn’t mean to hurt him”.

    He should have been locked up for a lot longer to think about what he did.

    ***
    I remember a New South Wales judge was sentencing a man for the rape and attempted murder of a woman (she was left for dead in a park in Wagga or Albury-Wodonga with her throat slit from ear to ear and multiple stab wounds), the judge said that the sentence shouldn’t be the most severe for the crime as, because the woman was semi-conscious when she was raped she didn’t suffer as much as if she had been conscious.

    Idiot.

    Posted by kae on 2006 10 24 at 08:14 AM • permalink

  67. #66 kae: About time we started to see some pacifists with real convictions.

    Posted by paco on 2006 10 24 at 08:52 AM • permalink

  68. #53: if you can find a beak who wasn’t the former head of the civil liberties council, or the spouse of a sitting Labor eejit; seeing as there’s bugger-all of them

    It’s interesting how virtually every judge and magistrate in this country is drawn from the ranks of the far left. From this case, we can assume that it may be the same in the UK.

    Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 10 24 at 08:54 AM • permalink

  69. Andjam at #49 has read it well.

    How long before all this bullshit from the courts enrages people to the point where they take the law into their own hands?

    The law should never have been taken out of the people’s hands.

    Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2006 10 24 at 10:14 AM • permalink

  70. Another headline lost for lack of interest.

    “Punchy Pacifist Imprisoned. Prepares to Bite Pillow.”

    Posted by mojo on 2006 10 24 at 10:54 AM • permalink

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