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A MAN who reportedly slapped a heavily-pregnant black woman during an unprovoked attacked, has walked free. Nasir Ali, who was accused of hitting Chancelvie Njoy in the back of her head on a train station platform after she ignored his racist taunts, was slapped with a supervised community order and was banned from using London Underground for six months for the April 21 attack. Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Njoy, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was called a b**ch as she waited on a train platform with her boyfriend. It was then alleged that 25-year-old Ali told them that he hated all black people. Njoy and her partner ignored Ali, but say this is when he got physical. British Transport Police is said to have intervened after the trio began arguing, according to reports. Ali then claimed that the couple had tried to rob him and that he was acting in self defence. George Papageorgis, Ali's defence lawyer, claimed that Ali suffers from Asperger's syndrome, non-organic psychosis and has difficulties communicating.
"He tends to be aggressive towards black people because he has been robbed," the lawyer said. Ali admitted racially aggravated assault and was handed a supervised community order and was banned from using London Underground for six months. Njoy suffered a headache but did not need medical treatment following the attack. Judge John Cavanagh said: "Miss Njoy was an innocent victim in this incident and she and her boyfriend acted in an exemplary way." He said that the defendant would have gone to prison were it not for his severe behavioural problems. He added that since the attack, Ali has been involved in two further incidents on public transport including one in which he racially abused a black man.
A COALITION of families who have lost loved ones has urged 100,000 people to support their e-petition to force the Government to take action over almost 6,000 deaths in custody. Members of the United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) told The Voice they need 100,000 signatures on the petition, which is calling for a judicial inquiry into all suspicious deaths that occur in state care. This would include deaths of people in police stations, immigration detention centres, youth and adult prisons and detained under the Mental Health Act. “We are looking for 100,000 signatures which would be demanding that the Government debate this issue and take action,” UFFC spokesman Ken Fero told The Voice last week (January 25). “This is another route. We have had a series of campaigns, marches (and) demonstrations outside police stations, the Crown Prosecution Service, the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission), and this is another way for us to highlight the issue. We are asking the public to sign the petition.” UFFC’s petition, backed by other campaigners, follows a statistical analysis of recorded deaths in custody conducted by the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody and published in late 2011.
The report showed there were 5,998 deaths recorded from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010. ‘This is an average of 545 deaths per year. Despite the fact there have been 11 unlawful killing verdicts since 1990 there has never been a successful prosecution,’ UFFC’s petition stated. Among controversial deaths following police contact the UFFC have campaigned about are those of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, shot dead by police in 2005 after being mistaken for a terrorist, and musician Sean Rigg who died in Brixton police station after being detained under the Mental Health Act in August 2008. In 2011, more controversy erupted with the deaths of Kingsley Burrell in Birmingham and reggae legend Smiley Culture and Mark Duggan in London. Each of the deaths led to Independent Police Complaints Commission investigations. Anger over Duggan’s death triggered the riots last August, and those of the other men sparked several public marches for justice. Initial Justice Ministry figures released in January also showed there were 57 ‘apparent self-inflicted deaths among prisoners in England and Wales during 2011.’
The coalition has held an annual march to the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street since 1999, to demand action over deaths in custody, including prosecuting officers responsible, putting cameras in the back of police vans, replacing the IPCC, and ensuring ‘deaths in psychiatric detention must be subject to a system of properly funded investigation that is completely independent.’ The police have previously said they are working to reduce deaths in custody or following police contact. A Justice Ministry spokesperson told The Voice last week: “With every death in custody there is an investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and there would be an inquest.” Minister for Prisons Crispin Blunt also said in a statement last month: “The Government remains fully committed to reducing deaths in custody.” The UFFC petition can be found at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/26276