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'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

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'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by Tony Bennett on 07.01.15 21:31

A long article by Martin Samuel, popular sports writer, in the Daily Mail today, in which Brenda Leyland gets a big mention (highlighted in red below).

His article is basically an attack on 'social media mobs'.

He questions, for example, the 'hounding' of Ched Evans, the former Sheffield United footballer who has just served a prison sentence for raping a woman who was adjudged to be too drunk to give consent.

The interesting thing is that although he criticises the 'hate mob' who descended on Brenda Leyland as soon as Martin Brunt and SKYNews outed and exposed her to the world, he effectively blames Martin Brunt and the mob fury that followed for her taking her life.

In other words, Martin Briut and SKYNews must have known what was likely to follow, and so, in effect, were indirectly responsible for her suicide (which by the way he states as a fact, although there hasn't been an inquest finding yet.

Here is the article:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Beware the fury of the mob! It will only turn convicted rapist Ched Evans into the victim

Why is blue-collar labour (a dustman or a road sweeper, for example) the rightful preserve of rapists and violent offenders?

Footballers are placed in same bracket as doctors, teachers or legal professionals - and an Oldham forward should not be on such a pedestal

The hate mob also came after Brenda Leyland (@sweepyface) - the 63-year-old mother accused of trolling Madeleine McCann's parents on Twitter

Leyland committed suicide in a Marriott hotel in Leicester on October 4

By  Martin Samuel - Sport for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:30, 6 January 2015 | Updated: 11:26, 7 January 2015


Of course, there will come a tipping point. There always is a tipping point.

There will come a moment when the fury around Ched Evans is so intense, so unbounded, so utterly uncivilised and lacking in that most basic human capacity for forgiveness that the impossible will be achieved. He will become a sympathetic character.

We are not there yet, but the first stirrings have begun. Rational people are beginning to feel pity for him, to feel sorry for him, despite their better judgement. Not because they believe he is innocent of rape, because it is very hard to make that leap and not require the cleansing rain of a hot shower, but because they stand against the mob. And we should all stand against the mob.

[ VIDEO Scroll down to watch Oldham Athletic release a statement on Ched Evans ]

[ PIC Convicted rapist Ched Evans returns to his Cheshire home with girlfriend Natasha Massey after shopping ]

[ PIC Evans has dominated headlines recently as the striker has been linked with a move to Oldham Athletic ]

[ PIC Evans leaves the hairdressers in Cheshire on Tuesday as the League One club decided on his future ]

Nothing good comes from mobs. Our entire justice system is designed to resist men with pitchforks and flaming torches.

His mob, that pursues the victim in its vain stand for justice; their mob, that argues against the best instincts of our civilised society. All mobs. Nothing good comes from mobs, of any hue.

Our entire justice system is designed to resist men with pitchforks and flaming torches, surrounding the castle.

The mob would have emotively tried minors as adults in the Bulger case.

The mob would have sentenced innocents to death in Birmingham and Guildford.

Now the mob is making Ched Evans the victim. And he isn’t the victim. She is the victim. But we never hear from her. We hear from him, and from them. And, together, they are a toxic combination.

The tipping point for horrid little @sweepyface came on Saturday, October 4, when she killed herself. The mob was noisily at work that day, too, although not so much when news of her death leaked out.

The mob isn’t big on personal responsibility. Not their own, anyway.

Sweepyface had a real name, which was Brenda Leyland. She was a 63-year-old divorced mother living in the Leicestershire village of Burton Overy.

[ PIC Using the Twitter handle @sweepyface, Brenda Leyland posted dozens of messages attacking the McCanns ]

[ PIC Leyland was a 63-year-old divorced mother living in the Leicestershire village of Burton Overy ]

She was a university graduate and churchgoer, with a well-hidden and rather nasty alter ego, existing behind an alias on social media, where she obsessively posted spiteful and unfounded allegations about Gerry and Kate McCann.

Sky News identified Leyland, although not by name, in a story about internet trolls. Its reporter, Martin Brunt, confronted her in the street and said her tweets were now being studied by the Crown Prosecution Service. Sweepyface was suddenly the subject of widespread online vitriol. Taking her own medicine badly, she fled her home and hid at the Marriott hotel in Leicester. Three days later she committed suicide.

You’d think the mob would have been made happy by this turn of events — after all, some of them had as good as wished for it — but no.

It turned on Brunt instead, demanding his resignation and calling for Sky News to be prosecuted.


[ PIC This is the moment Sky News reporter Martin Brunt asked her about her tweets about the McCanns ]

[ PICSky News spoke to Leyland about her Twitter activity and she disappeared a day after it was broadcast ]

[ PIC Leyland was found dead by suicide at the Leicester Marriott Hotel, pictured, about 15 miles from her home ]

[ PIC Many users joined a Facebook page demanding the sacking of Sky News presenter Brunt in the aftermath ]

WHO WAS @SWEEPYFACE?

@sweepyface was Brenda Leyland, the 63-year-old mother accused of trolling Madeleine McCann's parents.

She was found dead in a Marriott hotel room on October 4.

A new round of blame shaming began. And what if Brunt had become depressed at this development and taken his life, too? Would a new mob have turned on that old mob, hounding its most vocal members to death, social media’s own strange circle of natural selection?

Survival of the mouthiest.

Leyland wasn’t a troll, anyway. That’s the irony. She was a nutter. An old-fashioned, green ink, one-note conspiracy theorist, fixated on the case of Madeleine McCann.

She rarely posted on any other topic and could spend three hours or more in any one sitting, debating, questioning, flooding the internet with her obsession.

Trolls aren’t committed like that. Trolls drop little spite-filled bombs on all manner of topics, seeking reaction. Katie Hopkins is a troll: a failed reality show contestant of weak intellect with an unhealthy influence on public debate.

In any other age, she would be nobody; now she is courted by television companies and print media, too obsessed with faux-controversy to care about the content. She waded in on the Evans controversy on Tuesday with a statement too facile for words.

[ PIC Katie Hopkins (pictured) is a troll having been a failed reality show contestant of weak intellect

[ PIC Hopkins (right) unleashes one of her many opinions towards Deirdre 'White Dee' Kelly (from Benefits Street) ]

[ PIC Wild moment Katie Hopkins is reported to police for 'hate crimes' ]


Some of what Leyland said about the McCanns was truly vile. Yet in death she became a sympathetic, almost pitiful, figure. She was bad, it was decided, but the mob was worse. And that is where we may end up with Evans eventually, unless our better nature prevails.

The mob misses the point. This is not about him or the prospect of his return with Oldham Athletic. It is about us. The right of rehabilitation is not his to earn. It is ours to give. That is why it cannot be conditional. That is why we do not enforce obligations, draw up set rules demanding remorse and contrition.

Yes, we would prefer offenders to say sorry. That makes us all feel better. But there is no contract, no terms and conditions apply. We may despise Evans, his attitude, his absence of guilt; but we do not abandon our entire belief system because the stance of one individual is a challenge to us. We’re better than that; or we should be.

Gerry Adams says he was never a member of the IRA despite many allegations to the contrary, but nor does he beg forgiveness. ‘I’m very, very clear about my denial of IRA membership but I don’t disassociate myself from the IRA,’ he said in 2013.

Despite this, Adams has long been accepted as a statesmanlike figure. We knew who he was and who his friends were. We decided to move on because that is what the circumstances demanded.

If rape carried a 20-year sentence it would be different. It doesn’t. Evans served the portion of his term that was considered appropriate — or are we rethinking clemency, as well? — and then society’s process begins. We don’t start doctoring it according to the fashions of the day, or the popular vote. We keep the pathway free from the mob.

[ PIC Evans has caused uproar after his attempt to get back into professional football following a conviction for rape ]

[ PIC Evans and his fiance leave their Cheshire home on Tuesday amid the striker's attempt to join a club ]

[ PIC Evans has been attempting to get back into football after serving half of his five-year sentence for rape ]

Stewart Lee, the comedian, advanced an interesting concept at the weekend. He said this was a post-UKIP country. He said that the rise of UKIP had coarsened public discourse and allowed greater expression of feelings of hatred. He gave examples: the career of Katie Hopkins, the recent events at Wigan Athletic and the ‘public reaction’ to Dapper Laughs.

It appears in the last instance Lee was offended as much by the mob as the sexist material, which he appeared to view as being clumsily expressed by an inexperienced artist. So the new intolerance is not limited to the right. ‘The Tories are winning the battle to appeal to the unhappy English voter — Labour needs to sharpen up,’ read a headline from The Guardian’s comment pages on Monday.

And how do we appeal to the unhappy? Shifts on immigration, on nationalism, on all the dog whistle post-UKIP issues. We become harsher, coarser, less forgiving.

Clive Efford, the Shadow Minister for Sport, this week called for the Football Association to step in and suspend Evans’s playing registration, ‘at least until the Criminal Cases Review Commission comes back with its conclusion’. Drink that in, for a moment.

[ PIC Oldham chief executive Neil Joy reads out a club statement outside Boundary Park on Monday afternoon ]

[ PIC Oldham football club release statement regarding Ched Evans ]


[ PIC Lee Johnson arrives at Oldham's training ground on Tuesday with the club still in talks with the PFA ]

[ PIC Oldham Athletic players begin training but there was no sign of convicted rapist Evans with them ]

Do not forget, this man could help form your government soon. Efford, a socialist one presumes, would have the FA make retrospective rules governing the rights of workers, in order to deal with a single case that does not conform to his preferred type.

Now, if the FA wished to bring in harsh regulation for future offenders that is a different matter. If they wished to learn from the chaos and negativity around Evans and ensure this is not repeated, with clear-cut rules on when an offender can return and under what conditions, that is a good idea.

But to amend the laws midway, to construct legislation on the hoof as a means of quelling a controversy, or satisfying a public outcry? What kind of leadership is that?

Everyone believes in rehabilitation, but many of its firm supporters somehow balance this stance with another that Evans should not play again, even at backwaters like Hartlepool United or, now, Oldham Athletic.

[ PIC Evans pictured in 2012 for Sheffield United as the striker plays in a League One match at Bramall Lane ]

[ PIC Evans on March 28, 2012, in Sheffield as he plays for United as a striker against Chesterfield ]

[ PIC Ched Evans: 'I'm determined to clear my name' (archive) ]


 Tony Lloyd, the police and crime commissioner for Greater Manchester, led the way. ‘While I strongly believe in the principle of rehabilitation,’ he said, ‘it will send out entirely the wrong message if... ’ You know the rest. Lloyd strongly believes in rehabilitation right up until the point when he doesn’t.

So, too, Charlie Webster. She resigned as a patron of Sheffield United over the principle of Evans’s return, and was rightly commended for her stance. Evans was coming back a hero at Bramall Lane, and that was intolerable. She no doubt received the standard abuse that comes with this territory.

Since then, however, Webster has gone further, deciding Evans should not return at any club. ‘Of course I believe in rehabilitation,’ she said. ‘He should get a job, where he’s not influencing the next generation...’

This is conditional rehabilitation, which is not the same thing at all, and certainly not when those conditions are deployed as the market dictates. Also a big believer in rehabilitation is campaigner ‘Jean Hatchet’. She said so in the petition drawn up to stop Evans returning to work. The third and final paragraph leads off, ‘We do believe he has the right to work...’ So that’s those liberal consciences nice and clean.

Evans has his own mob and they have forced his victim to live what her father described as a life on the run. We are familiar with these types, however. We have laws and courts that deal with them, as it is hoped they will soon deal with the website that as good as tries to shame his victim, as a way of espousing Evans’s innocence.

[ PIC Oldham Athletic were considering signing convicted rapist Evans, pictured in Cheshire on Sunday ]

[ PIC Should Ched Evans join Oldham? Fans split on potential signing ]
[/url]



EVANS TO OLDHAM MOVE STILL ON

[ PIC Footballer Evans pictured after his arrest for rape ]

Oldham Athletic are pressing ahead with plans to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Yet what are we to do when there is another mob that feels it is on the side of the angels; that talks of Oldham Athletic having to shut their social media sites as if this is any way forward for our society.

We are now discussing rehabilitation and reintegration as something that is staged or managed, rather than a grace offered by modern society, without squinting through six pages of conditional small print.

If any good is to come of this it is that society changes, and not by growing armour or reneging on our commitment to rehabilitate offenders. One of the most common arguments against Evans’s return is the hero status he will be afforded. And who controls that?

Leaving aside the argument that not all footballers have the profile and influence of Steven Gerrard — and if you think Evans could achieve that at Hartlepool or Oldham, take today’s test and name one of his team-mates — maybe we should re-evaluate how enthralled we are by even the slightest celebrity.

Who puts Oldham’s centre forward on this pedestal; who cannot be or find a more credible role model for a son or daughter? And even if a footballer is the best of it, why must Evans soak up the adulation? There is a whole team out there. Other brands are available. Footballers only have the power you bestow.

Luke McCormick killed two young boys driving while drunk. Released from prison, he returned to Plymouth Argyle and now captains the club. There has been no reported increase in drink-driving among Plymouth fans as a result. Similarly, nobody could look at the maelstrom around Evans and think rape was a crime without consequence. Evans will never be a role model if the youth are properly schooled.

[ PIC Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick (left) killed two young boys driving while drunk ]

[ PIC McCormick was released from prison and returned to Plymouth Argyle, where he now captains the club ]

[ PIC Plymouth goalkeeper McCormick was able to be released from prison and return to professional football ]

[ PIC Evans is attempting to do the same and return to professional football as McCormick previously did
Footballers are placed in the same bracket as doctors, teachers or legal professionals. Have we no control over how sick we are becoming? ]

Yes, he can return to work, but it should be in a menial position, as a dustman or a road sweeper, ha ha. You will have heard that one by now, too. Except why is blue-collar labour the rightful preserve of rapists and violent offenders?

What does that say of our view of the working class? How sad is a society that regards dirty toil serving the community as worthless, fit only for rapists and the like?

Footballers, meanwhile, are placed in the same bracket as doctors, teachers or legal professionals. Have we no control over how sick we are becoming?

Evans’s side of the story was put in a national newspaper on Sunday and, if anything, it further counted against him.

Crucial details were omitted in the retelling, as usual, and if there is new evidence for the commission to consider it had better amount to more than lurid details about how drunk his victim was, because we’ve heard those tales and they make his behaviour no less despicable.

[ PIC Evans' move to Oldham is still on despite no PFA statement as the wait continues over the striker's future ]

Yet this is almost not about Evans any more. This is about us, where we are and our embrace of harsh attitudes and the red button vox pop, controlling every element of our lives.

Commissioner Lloyd and many others say they strongly believe in rehabilitation, but that isn’t true. They mildly believe in it, because strength comes from knowing that your instincts are right and unshakeable and cannot be undermined because one individual refuses to abide by polite convention.

We do not need to meet Evans and his mob at their level. We need to keep our distance, our composure, and to remember a principle that is the cornerstone of any civilisation.

Kindness is not weakness.

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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by Angelique on 08.01.15 1:42

Luke McCormick didn't get drunk and get in a car specifically to kill people. Admittedly that is a risk that that is what would and unfortunately did happen.

But am I correct to understand from your post that Evans knew the lady was unable to consent as she was too drunk.

I haven't read his defence etc. or what, if any, mitigating circumstances there were.

I don't think it's mob rule that Evans should not take up his career in football again. It's my opinion that having raised football, the sport, to such heights of celebrity, with enormous salaries, some responsibility should come with it. And it doesn't include abuse of women.

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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by Okeydokey on 08.01.15 2:59

Wow! Thumbs up to him...that's really brave for any journo to diss the McCanns. :)

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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by ultimaThule on 08.01.15 5:30

"The mob misses the point. This is not about him or the prospect of his return with Oldham Athletic. It is about us. The right of rehabilitation is not his to earn. It is ours to give. That is why it cannot be conditional. That is why we do not enforce obligations, draw up set rules demanding remorse and contrition."

Martin Samuel has missed the point:  In the full sense of the word rehabilitation can only be achieved by the offender taking full responsibility for their crime(s) and demonstrating their contrition by word as well as deed.

Furrthermore, rehabilitation is not 'ours to give'.  There are very few professions that would welcome a convicted rapist returning to their previous career path full stop and even fewer that would do so without the offender having shown any remorse or made any apology to their victim(s).

I agree with Angelique and would add that footballers are idolised by many and, given Evans' attitude, it would send entirely the wrong message to the youth of today for this convicted rapist to be welcomed back into the fold as if he is blameless.  

As it cannot be said that there is any shortage of talent available to football clubs, Evans should be advised to retrain in a less visible field of employment.
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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by Joss on 08.01.15 8:23

Some of what Leyland said about the McCanns was truly vile. Yet in death she became a sympathetic, almost pitiful, figure. She was bad, it was decided, but the mob was worse. And that is where we may end up with Evans eventually, unless our better nature prevails. (Quoted from the article)


I do not agree what Brenda Leyland said about the McC's was truly vile, no more than anyone else posting on the case. In fact her opinions were quite tame in comparison to some. Wonder if the person that wrote the article had researched into Brenda's postings? I think he is wrong to state what he does about Brenda.
And how in death did she become a "Sympathetic, almost pitiful figure"? I don't see BL in that way at all, especially not in lieu of the fact her cause of death remains inconclusive to date, and will we really know the truth anyway considering what this was all about. It certainly remains suspicious, at least IMO. I really don't like the underhanded jabs at BL by the author in this article, he could of got his point across differently.
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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by PeterMac on 08.01.15 21:58


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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by AlexBG on 10.01.15 17:32

@Okeydokey wrote:Wow! Thumbs up to him...that's really brave for any journo to diss the McCanns. :)
"Thumbs up" my arse.
Puppet journalist #11379 writes what can at best be described as a propaganda article under the guise of 'sharing his compassionate concern regarding the mob mentality on social media', into which he embeds a nasty and unfounded hit piece against Brenda (plus mandatory nod to the McC's undisputed innocence), before going on to victimise Brunt by suggesting that those who expressed their outrage at his treatment of Brenda are mob villains too, and we're supposed to be grateful and give a "thumbs up"? Grateful for what exactly? Grateful because a member of the mainstream media actually bothered to acknowledge that Brenda even existed perhaps?
It's a "thumbs down" from me, thanks very much.

All just my opinions.

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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by Joss on 11.01.15 2:32

@AlexBG wrote:
@Okeydokey wrote:Wow! Thumbs up to him...that's really brave for any journo to diss the McCanns. :)
"Thumbs up" my arse.
Puppet journalist #11379 writes what can at best be described as a propaganda article under the guise of 'sharing his compassionate concern regarding the mob mentality on social media', into which he embeds a nasty and unfounded hit piece against Brenda (plus mandatory nod to the McC's undisputed innocence), before going on to victimise Brunt by suggesting that those who expressed their outrage at his treatment of Brenda are mob villains too, and we're supposed to be grateful and give a "thumbs up"? Grateful for what exactly? Grateful because a member of the mainstream media actually bothered to acknowledge that Brenda even existed perhaps?
It's a "thumbs down" from me, thanks very much.

All just my opinions.
That's how i see it too, but you said it better.
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Re: 'The mob' killed Brenda Leyland. Will the same mob kill Martin Brunt? - Article by Martin Samuel in the 'Daily Mail', 7.1.2015

Post by Okeydokey on 12.01.15 4:27

@AlexBG wrote:
@Okeydokey wrote:Wow! Thumbs up to him...that's really brave for any journo to diss the McCanns. :)
"Thumbs up" my arse.
Puppet journalist #11379 writes what can at best be described as a propaganda article under the guise of 'sharing his compassionate concern regarding the mob mentality on social media', into which he embeds a nasty and unfounded hit piece against Brenda (plus mandatory nod to the McC's undisputed innocence), before going on to victimise Brunt by suggesting that those who expressed their outrage at his treatment of Brenda are mob villains too, and we're supposed to be grateful and give a "thumbs up"? Grateful for what exactly? Grateful because a member of the mainstream media actually bothered to acknowledge that Brenda even existed perhaps?
It's a "thumbs down" from me, thanks very much.

All just my opinions.

Sorry. My fault for not ready the whole of the article - just the beginning.

I don't dissent from what you say. :)

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