Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No racial motive in Phipps murder

21 year old admits murder

One the one hand we should be relieved that 21 year old Scott Trevor Nichols had admitted murdering Lee Phipps, and saved the victim's family the anguish of sitting through a trial reliving the details of the horrendous knife attack. On the other hand, we should question, like Phipps' father, why such a dangerous young man was walking freely around the streets of South Shields.

Phipps was a keen amateur photographer, and on March 2nd. of this year had walked from the home he shared with his mother to capture scenes of a recent snowfall on Cleadon Hill, South Shields. Whilst he was making his way up Occupation Road, known to us as The Ash Path, Nichols pounced with the intention of stealing Phipps' camera and equipment, but 31 year old Phipps resisted the attempted mugging and tried to hang on to Nichols. It was at this point that a knife was produced and Nichols stabbed his victim a number of times inflicting a fatal wound to the heart. Phipps body was found slumped nearby in the doorway of a house in Cleadon Hill Road, South Shields where he had made his way to look for help.

It emerged in court yesterday that Nichols had no fewer than 37 previous convictions for robbery, violence, burglary, and carrying a knife. At the age of 21 this young and very dangerous man had not been sufficiently dealt with by our legal system, had still not learned any hard lessons in life, was not in any way 'reformed', and was still wandering around carrying a knife, with the intention of using it to aid his greedy attempted thefts and make good his escape. One needs to question WHY?
Curly has run into Nichols at the Corner Shop in the past, and I found him to be wholly untrustworthy and wildly unpredictable, the type who deserved a 'wide berth' and relished his 'reputation'.

Nichols will return to Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday to face what is known as a Newton inquiry, so that Judge David Hodson can hear further evidence surrounding the events before deciding on the minimum tarriff of the inevitable life sentence.

Without wishing to add to the family's grief and heartache, I have to ask whether Barbara Yuuf-Porter, Phipps' mother, was right to insist on pursuing relentlessly, her contention that there was a racial motive behind her son's murder? It is reasonably well known that South Shields has an excellent reputation for racial integration and social harmony, the town has enjoyed a very long history of social inclusion since her ancestral Somalians first began arriving here on ships in the late 1700s. The pressure applied to the investigating police team was already high, as in most murder cases, and they cannot have been helped by this distraction (probably made in error during a period of extreme anxiety and grief.)


Shields Gazette
Newcastle Journal.

I have come into contact with Barbara in the past and whilst it is true that she has been subject to racial abuse and harrassment I feel she is now like the boy who cried wolf. Everything that happens to her has a racial undertone. She has accused police officers of all kinds of things which have been proved to be untrue. Membership of the NF/BNP for example.I'm no friend of the police but I don't think they ignore racially motivated crime.
As for the lad who committed the terrible crime I would imagine some of his crime is low level stuff( I agree its awful for the victims). Burglary theft and carrying a knife are not necessarily indicators that someone will go on to commit murder sadly there are many such young men with similar records.
If we advocate 3 strikes and you're out the prepare for bigger jails and bigger taxes.
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