On November 16, 1986, Clarke Pearce was murdered in a Birmingham restaurant; for the next decade and a half and more, his murderer spat on his corpse aided and abetted by a broad coalition of unscrupulous liars.
I never met Clarke Pearce, and by the time I first heard his name I was somewhat long in the tooth, over forty, and having had at times bitter experience of both the criminal and civil justice systems as accused, victim, plaintiff, witness and McKenzie friend. I had also had extensive and bitter experience of liars, from the first girl I ever asked out - who accepted twice and stood me up both times - to plausible cranks, fantasists and fabricators who validated ESP, flying saucers, psychic detectives, and more prosaically alleged government conspiracies like the phony Kennedy Assassination cover up; and non-governmental fabrications like the Column 88 Nazi Underground hoax, the many identities of Jack the Ripper, and all manner of frightened little women whose cry of rape resulted in some poor sap or other spending years in gaol.
I thought I’d seen it all, but the murder of Clarke Pearce and the campaign to exculpate his murderer made me realise I hadn’t seen the half of it.
On November 16, Clarke will have been dead for twenty-five years; the campaign to free the man who stabbed him in the back in a drunken frenzy and then gloated over him as he lay dying is long forgotten now. The only time his name is likely to be heard today is when a certain braindead Asian band perform Free Satpal Ram, which is described oh so typically in one interview as “a song about a Birmingham man who was given life imprisonment for stabbing a racist attacker who subsequently refused medical attention.”
Remember that phrase, it is very important; now a few words about how I came to proselytise the truth about Clarke’s murder.
It started when my colleague Mark Taha gave me a leaflet he’d picked up on his travels that related the story of a miscarriage of justice in which the victim, Satpal Ram, who had been dining in an Indian restaurant, was attacked for no reason at all after being racially abused by a group of six white thugs, one of whom backed him into a corner, slashed his face, and was obviously just about to deliver the fatal blow when brave Satpal pulled out “a small knife” and stabbed his attacker, who was then taken to hospital, refused to be treated by a woman doctor - he being sexist as well as racist - pulled out his drips, went home, and died.
At the time, the Internet was not the force it is today, so it took me a little while to research the background to the case, and to establish what had actually happened. I wrote to Clarke’s mother, and in response received a telephone call from his sister, Mrs Nadine O’Neill, who witnessed her brother’s murder. Later, I met her, her husband - Clarke’s brother-in-law, who had also witnessed the murder -and the couple’s sons.
The O’Neill’s were working class to the core, “the best type of the working class” in the words of Fenner Brockway when alluding to the family of James Hanratty, the man convicted of the notorious A6 Murder.
The thing I noticed most about the O’Neills was their transition from the best type of working class to white working class or underclass pond scum, because it is no exaggeration to say this is how Mrs O’Neill, her husband and most especially her murdered brother were treated by the supporters of and advocates for Satpal Ram, while this knife wielding drunken thug was portrayed as a genuine working class hero.
By the time I appeared on the scene, Ram had appealed his murder conviction twice; I found the transcript of his first appeal in the Supreme Court Library, and purchased a copy of the full transcript of his second appeal from the official stenographers. I also managed to obtain a copy of the pathologist’s report by asking Mrs O’Neill to write to the Coroner, and to my surprise, the Coroner’s office sent her a copy - unlike the case true crime author Ian Hitchings is currently working on.
These documents - the 1995 appeal judgment and the autopsy findings on the victim - together with unbiased contemporaneous press reports on the case paint an entirely different picture of what happened in the Sky Blue restaurant in the small hours of a Sunday morning from the claims of Ram and his supporters, but sadly, like the family of the victim, they don’t count, you see, they were all racists: the O’Neills, the police, even the jury. Added to that, the police were incompetent, as was the judge, and most of all Ram’s barrister, whose reputation incidentally was vindicated by both the Court of Appeal and a libel action against the BBC (see entry for July 5, 1996).
Although the Internet was just coming into its own, Satpal Ram’s supporters made full use of it as well as the regular media. During the 1990s, and even after the dismissal of his second appeal in a strongly worded judgment by Lord Justice Beldam, the propaganda and lies intensified. The nadir has to be the Early Day Motion that was put down by the Labour MP John McDonnell. This repeated the lie that Clarke Pearce died because he refused medical treatment. This and other lies were parroted uncritically by not only the usual suspects but by supposedly distinguished journalists, politicians, and even lawyers.
There can be no doubt that many of these people were conscious liars, by that I don’t mean they failed to perform even the most peripheral due dilligence on a man whose conviction had been upheld twice by the Court of Appeal, but that they parroted the lies of Ram and his supporters in the full knowledge they were lies. They simply did not care. It is not even as though this were a borderline case or a he said/she said type situation like where a jury has to decide if a man is a cunning date rapist or an innocent sap; the victim of an honest mistaken identity or a thug; an absent-minded shopper or a thief.
While preparing my website about the case, I researched and wrote an article which I offered to three major national newspapers; the nearest I got was an offer from some divvy woman at the Guardian who invited me to send it in “on spec”. I declined, and eventually sent it to Nick Griffin who was at that time my number one fan because of my successful libel action against Gerry Gable, among other things. He arranged for it to be published in his party’s magazine, albeit edited to suit his own particular ideological slant. I wasn’t happy with this, but beggars can’t be choosers. The original, unedited article as published by me, can be found here. I have to say that there is and was absolutely no racial angle to this case at all, unless one includes Ram’s allusion to “Paki music”. Not that the world would notice.
An official mugshot of convicted murderer Satpal Ram.
I had come to expect this of both race agitators and the likes of the Socialist Workers Party who if they can find some way to affix the word racist to any person, document or institution will dismiss that person, document or institution as unworthy of belief, unworthy of even a hearing, and indeed unworthy of or even dangerous for, anyone else to hear them. Of course, the loony left are not able to inflict a blanket censorship on their perceived enemies now that we have the Internet, although they still try. I had not expected this same unthinking denial from the likes of the Guardian or the so-called Independent, though in retrospect I should have. For several years I was literally the only person in the world proselytising the truth about this case; how damning is that of the Western media?
Four years ago when I was sharing my bed with a retired doctor (of which no more anon) I showed her the autopsy report, and although she had been out of medicine for many years, she took one look at it and realised Clarke had been stabbed in the back, yet not one of Ram’s supporters stopped to ask exactly how badly Clarke must have been stabbed if by refusing medical treatment he had simply gone home and died. Even if that had been true, it would have been only a partial defence, because the law decrees that people must take their victims as they find them, but it was a total lie, because the semi-conscious Clarke Pearce died on the operating table, as the doctor who treated him confirmed.
In 2009, I took the aforementioned Guardian to the Press Complaints Commission after it refused to correct the lies of Gerry Gable in an obituary he was commissioned to write for Colin Jordan. The paper didn’t simply ignore my complaints, it kill-filed me.
Some people would argue that Colin Jordan was such a notorious individual that it doesn’t matter if Gerry Gable, the Guardian or anyone else lies about him. I take a slightly different view, namely if they can’t find something unpleasant to say about Colin Jordan that is also true, how can they be trusted to tell the truth about anyone else?
The lies of his supporters led eventually to Ram being parolled, but he didn’t last long. After continuing to protest his innocence, he disappeared from sight until early 2004 when it was revealed that in May the previous year he had been recalled to prison for violating the terms of his parole. Alas, Mr Ram had other ideas, although he did have the audacity to attempt to collect a thousand pounds from the government - through his brother - while unlawfully at large. Audacious though this attempt was, it is little less than astounding that a firm of solicitors would attempt to press a claim on his behalf under such circumstances, as did Birnberg Peirce & Partners.
Obviously, no government official nor anyone in his right mind would pay any sum of money to a felon unlawfully at large, although quite reasonably the Secretary of State agreed to pay Ram in person, the condition being that he collect the cheque from Islington Police Station at 10am on September 12, 2003 - when of course in addition to being given the cheque he would have been arrested.
Mr Ram was subsequently arrested, and, surprise, surprise, not only has he now disappeared totally off the radar but his (former) supporters have not so much as whispered his name since, although some muppet has continued to renew the domain of his lie-ridden website until next year. The reader is invited to compare the lies therein with the documented facts on the dedicated Satpal Ram website I set up 10 years ago.
This site has only one photograph of Ram’s victim, Clarke Pierce, though I have another I will post shortly. Mrs O’Neill promised to get me another couple but after a while she stopped responding to my letters and phone calls. This is a phenomenon I have noticed in cases such as this, phony miscarriages of justice, namely while the supporters of the convicted murderer attempt to fight the case in the court of public opinion by spreading all manner of lies, and in this case libels on both the living and the dead, the other side, the family and friends of the victims, and the state prosecutors, are reluctant to say anything. There was also I think in this case a desire to draw a line under the issue and move on, Clarke’s death having caused considerable trauma to Nadine and their mother also. She died in December 2002 aged 79.
The reluctance of state prosecutors is understandable, as Spencer Lawton explained on the eve of the execution of Troy Davis.
In one sense, his supporters actually went further than those of Satpal Ram, because while Mr Ram’s small but dedicated band of liars sought to suborn perjury (in addition to spreading the sick lie that his victim was responsible for his own death), the supporters of Troy Davis actually did suborn perjury, by persuading up to seven of the original witnesses against him to retract their testimony. The supporters of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal have gone even further, fabricating not only new witness statements but new, and totally unbelievable, witnesses.
Of course, the courts will not tolerate such nonsense no matter how often it is repeated in either the fringe or the mainstream media.
Before new evidence can be admitted there must a valid reason, and it must be worthy of belief. Likewise, a witness who testifies at a trial - especially a capital murder trial - cannot simply turn around ten or fifteen years later and claim he was pressured to lie by the police, or make some other, equally bogus, plea.
Another cold-blooded killer who has been portrayed as the victim of the piece is Zoora Shah, who made more than one attempt to rid herself of her lover (and steal his house) before successfully poisoning him.
As like her, her victim was of Pakistani origin, it would have been futile for her supporters to simply play the race card, so they concocted a scenario which saw her as a poor, illiterate woman victimised by a taboo ridden macho culture. Thankfully, the Court of Appeal saw through this sham.
One more point I will make is the total ruthlessness the proselytes of these lost causes exhibit. Mrs O’Neill and her family had been subjected to threats including at the Court of Appeal of the "we know where you live" variety.
I had a personal experience concerning the case of Linda Carty, whose guilt is as transparent as Ram’s. After telling some of her braindead supporters on Facebook the truth about their heroine, pointing to inconvenient facts like minutely detailed appeal judgments that document her guilt, I found my Facebook account suspended. One, or more likely two, of these braindead bimbos had contacted Facebook and told them I was operating multiple accounts - a violation of the terms of service. I was asked to scan and e-mail Facebook identity documents, which I did, but it was only after I wrote directly to CEO Mark Zuckerberg that my account was restored.
In all the above and similar cases, none of the victims has been traduced and slandered quite as much as Clarke Pearce, even the local press that should have known better, failed to set the record straight, which would have been easy enough.
More than anything else these cases and the case of Clarke Pearce and his murderer represent the triumph of ideology over reason, which for leftists and “anti-racists" in particular dictates that wherever, whenever and however facts come into conflict with ideology, the facts must be changed. It is for this reason more than any other that the world is sliding slowly towards our inevitable destruction.
[The above op-ed was published originally November 4, 2011 (UK time).]
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