Yesterday Jonnie Marbles, the prankster who threw a “foam pie” at Rupert Murdoch as the media magnate gave evidence to a Commons select committee about “phone hacking”, pleaded guilty to assault and “causing harassment, alarm or distress“. I suppose that’s fair enough – but why hasn’t Murdoch’s wife been charged with the same offence? According to the Guardian newspaper, Murdoch’s wife, .”Wendi Deng, leapt to her husband’s defence, first slapping May-Bowles away and then throwing the plate at him as he was led away by police”. Jonnie Marbles was in police custody when she threw the pie, so her action can’t be excused as defending her aged husband. So, if part-time stand-up comedian Jonnie (real name Jonathan May-Bowles) is guilty of assault and harrassment, surely Mrs Murdoch is equally guilty?
Jonnie Marbles is being dealt with as an example, to show the world how seriously Britain takes parliamentary process. The judge in the case, district judge Daphne Wickham, was asked by Marbles’ solicitor if she could change the date when he has to return to court for sentencing as the date she set conflicts with Marbles’ booked family holiday. But she wouldn’t have any of it. Said a warrant would be issued for his arrest if he did not turn up.
She said: “He is on bail for a serious offence which carries a risk of imprisonment.
“It’s due process.
“He should have thought about this on the 19th of July when he committed these offences.”
Judge Daphne is just being stupid here. If throwing a “foam pie” at someone is a crime deserving of imprisonment, the world has gone utterly bonkers. Also, as I just pointed out Mrs Murdoch is guilty of the same crimes, so surely she should be arrested, and have her passport confiscated so she can’t flee back to the USA where she lives. But of course that won’t happen. It’s okay for the Murdochs to hack murder victims’ phones and “assault” people in a Commons committee room; but a mere mortal like Marbles must be treated like an evil fiend.
Luckily, Marbles hasn’t lost his sense of humour. Outside Westminster magistrates court, he said “I would just like to say this has been the most humble day of my life”, the very same comment made by Murdoch when he was giving evidence to the committee.
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