“Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner.”
Yep. Afeared that I’ve been concentrating too much on the disgusting stuff going on in Lancashire and ignoring all the rest of my home region, I thought I’d look at how things were faring elsewhere in the North West, and naturally I thought of Stockport; glittering city of Cheshire and the old stomping ground of my social conservative pal way back when I was a starry-eyed libertarian. Man how I irritated that poor chap! But see, I came right in the end, huh?
Now, once upon a time the late and lovely Frankie Vaughan, the British Dean Martin, had this big Broadway-sounding New York New York showbiz song about his home town of
The Stockport Express is a rich hunting ground for the evil that men do, as well as the good, and just for once I’d like to introduce a topic in a cheerful and unfamiliar way by coining the headline that the paper didn’t use:
'Happy slap' sadist locked up
Vanessa Cornall September 08, 2009
A TEENAGE thug who took part in the torture of two boys for a `happy slap' video posted on YouTube has been locked up.
Ricardo Poli, who was 17 when `torture house' was filmed, was branded 'inhuman' by a judge who sentenced him to more than four years in a young offenders' institution.
Judge Bernard Lever QC told Poli: "This was simply about public humiliation. It was not only humiliating but sadistic.
"I think it was about power and the feeling of demeaning a fellow human being. Extraordinarily, the motivation behind all of this was so the defendant could post a video on YouTube."
In the 49-second video, Poli, of
Manchester Crown Court heard the boys' hands were bound behind their backs, their feet tied together and they were stripped from the waist down.
One of the boys was also seen being horrifically attacked with a broom handle.
The video was found on Poli's mobile phone by police after his arrest for possession of an illegal firearm.
Michael Leeming, defending, said: "Mr Poli did not have the best upbringing.
"He spent most of his childhood moving around different foster homes. His dad is a drug addict, and he has no contact with his birth mother and the only rock he had in his life was his grandmother, and she died when he was 14.
"He has asked me to ask if he can be sent to a young offender's institution away from here so he can try and change his life."
Now you could pick holes in that for a year and a day but, mirabile dictu, the authorities, I mean the actual authorities who are all paid and trained and everything to help peaceable people not have their lives ruined by monstrous wasters only actually went and did their actual job, didn’t they?
Det Con Barry Conway, of Trafford police, said: "The two young victims were extremely frightened.
"They had no idea how that dreadful attack was going to end and they must have feared the worst.
"What happened to them was shocking and, to add to their degradation, they were filmed on a mobile phone for Poli's warped gratification.
"Poli is a violent bully whose behaviour towards those younger boys was absolutely despicable."
Poli, now 18, pleaded guilty to possessing a sawn-off shotgun, false imprisonment and common assault.
He was sentenced to four years and four months.
Judge Lever said: "It's no wonder the victims did not want to help with the prosecution's case. Not only did they have to put up with being stripped and bullied, they had to come to terms with being humiliated in the community they live in, by knowing that video got out. It was utterly demeaning and inhuman behaviour.
"I warn you and your friends and associates, stay a million miles away from weapons like this."
Well okay, four years and four months is not long time, but it’s four years and four months during which Poli won’t be loose hurting other people. He won’t be on the lam from probation officers who never see him, or ignoring an ASBO he laughs at, and he’ll be under some kind of adult supervision. And even though he’ll likely not serve his full term, his next and probably unluckier victims (who would have come on the scene if he’s gotten away with a ‘walker’ on this one) have another couple of years to live and possibly be happy. Who knows? And he didn’t walk like this scrote to do harm eleswhere.
It’s a small victory in the culture wars, and should be celebrated,
Take it away, Frankie!