Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

guilty as charged

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 09, 2006

Here's the story. A 37-year-old Englishwoman, impressed by the anti-war activism of Cindy Sheehan, took it upon herself to mount her own solo pacifist campaign in the UK. Dorothy Manning-Lees mailed grisly photographs of civilian Iraqi victims of bombing raids carried out by Coalition forces to the acting commandant of the 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, based in Lancashire. The photos, described by Fusiliers as "offensive, horrendous and absolutely disgusting," prompted Lt. Colonel Mark Greyshaw to burst into tears while giving evidence against Manning-Lees in the course of a trial held at the Swaffham Magistrates' court. In sentencing her to 20 hours of community service, district judge Phillip Brown told Manning-Lees: "It is clear that you intended to shock and I am certain your purpose was to cause distress and anxiety." Media and civil rights groups kept mum about the punishment, acknowledging that Manning-Lees simply got what was coming to her. These were pictures of corpses, after all.

OK, I did change one or two minor details. The activist was actually named Edward Atkinson. And he was 74 years old, not 37. And he got 28 days in jail. And the target of his mailings was the staff of a National Health Service hospital.

Because of his shocking behavior, Atkinson, who was on a waiting-list for a hip replacement, has been removed from the list and refused treatment by the hospital.

Oh yes. The criminally distressing photos were pictures of aborted babies.

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