Tuesday, April 05, 2005


We're not entirely happy about it, but we find ourselves having a smidgen of sympathy for Jonathan King again. He'd attempted to have the costs order against him for the two collapsed trials struck out; a judge has ordered him to pay up.

There had been plans for two additional trials on charges relating to his having sex with young friends, but after the prosecutions fell apart King's "not guilty" pleas were accepted. Even so, he was instructed to pay GBP14,000 of the Crown's costs. Judge David Paget rejected King's request for the money back:

"It seems to me that, as I recollect the whole of this case and the whole of the indictment, that his conduct did bring suspicion on himself," he said.

The judge added the original 14,000 pounds in costs awarded against King in 2001 were "a fraction of the costs" incurred by the Crown in bringing him to justice.

So, despite being officially cleared on the charges, King has effectively been fined 14,000 for the crime of having suspicious conduct. It all sounds rather like the Judge has decided that King was guilty and decided to punish him anyway.

The wider point, of course, is that GBP14,000 is a "fraction" of what the CPS spent on these extra prosecutions, which implies that the tax payer must have wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds pursuing these extra cases. With King convicted of what could have stood as a sample charge, was that really a wise use of our money?

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