Here’s a name that came to my attention today – Dean Popham. You can see by his picture that Popham isn’t really human, more like some sort of bad early copy of a human that natural selection forgot to phase out.
Popham is now doing ten months at Her Majesty’s pleasure. This is certainly better than zero months until you take on the full catalogue of his actions;
A VIOLENT thug slit a puppy’s throat in the street after swinging it around by its neck and headbutting his girlfriend in a bizarre and horrifying drug-fuelled rampage.
Dean Popham, of Wallace Road, Grays, killed the young Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, named Edley, using a kitchen knife taken from the young woman’s flat after leaving her with a cut lip.
The unemployed 30-year-old then fought with police officers and bit one on the thumb before they dragged the blood-soaked maniac to the ground.
Popham was jailed for a total of 20 months at Basildon Crown Court.
Loreen Hussain, prosecuting, said the horrific incident in Thames Road, Grays, on September 4, was preceded by vile sexual threats Popham made over text message and Facebook.
He then stormed round to his victims flat in a rage, forced his way in and began kicking Edley.
She said: “The puppy, not knowing any better, was happy to see the defendant.
He ran towards him but the defendant started kicking him, so much so that he lost one of his shoes.
It was so bad that Edley lost control of his bowels. The young woman was screaming and told Popham to stop”.
He said; ”I don’t care, he’s lucky I don’t throw him out the window”.
Popham then picked the dog up by the ears and swung it around by its neck. ”You can imagine the pain that he must have felt”, Miss Hussain said.
Popham headbutted his girlfriend before marching out of the flat clutching Edley and a knife.
The police officers who later found Popham covered in blood said he told them”meeting me is the worst mistake” before threatening to bite them.
Popham carried out his threat against one officer, sinking his teeth into his thumb and knee. The officer later had to have a tetanus injection.
Edleys body was found nearby. A vet told police the wound would have caused Edley pain, unnecessary suffering and distress.
Miss Hussein said: ”Not only did the victim have to deal with her own injuries and her upset children, but she had to deal with the death of a much-loved family pet”.
Madeline Corr, mitigating, said Popham was full of remorse and wanted to throw himself on the mercy of Judge Ian Graham after admitting the offences at an earlier hearing.
She said he still has no memory of the night and cannot explain his behaviour, but she said he was self-medicating for mental problems.
Popham, who has previous convictions for violence and cultivating cannabis, suffers from emotionally unstable personality disorder.
Jailing Popham for a total of ten months, Judge Graham said he had gone berserk for no apparent reason and called the killing of the dog ‘bizarre and horrifying’.
Popham was jailed for 12 months for causing actual bodily harm to his partner, six months for actual bodily harm to the police officer and two months for criminal damage to the dog, all to run consecutively.
He was handed one month each for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and assaulting a police officer, to run concurrently to each other and the other sentences.
So let me try to break this down a bit for you. Of that 12 months a mere eight weeks were given for the “criminal damage” done to this dog. To put it another way if he had purely carried out the dog attack and only that then he’d be looking at just those two months – at best.
He only got six months for assaulting a police officer which is extremely lenient imo and demonstrates that the courts are letting down officers who are literally putting themselves in the line of real danger as this officer did.
His defence lawyer citing “remorse” is just standard practice in that situation. For some reason judges and parole boards are utterly obsessed with hearing that. Whether or not the person is sincere seems secondary to them so long as the offender states that he is remorseful that seems to work like magic sprinkles.
Its almost like the legal system was designed by overly altruistic middle class mums who are used to putting an errant toddler on the naughty step and demanding they “apologise to their sister”.
In most cases in which someone like Popham claims remorse they are simply lying. They lack the basic emotional depth to even conceive of such a thing. They are only ever sorry over one thing – getting caught.
This individual is blatantly a class A lunatic. This is someone whose motives were different to those of Frankish. The outcome amounts to tragedy just the same but this particular individual is someone that clearly has the capacity to cause great harm if angry.
Biting an officers thumb is not the actions of an advanced being, it is evidence of some sort of feral wild beast. The stuff he did to the dog speaks for itself and there’s not a lot you can add to it save to say how obviously dangerous such an action makes him. From reading the article he also has previous convictions and all for violence.
There is no way that a sentence of 12 months is suitable for everything he did. He will serve about five and what happens when he is maybe in a queue and there’s a women with a crying baby behind him and he has another mental fit? I really so no logical or ethical basis to this system in which we patently put innocents at danger by habitually releasing extremely unstable individuals like this back into society.
This supposed ’emotionally unstable personality disorder’ was cited, but to be honest I am getting bored by this. I do not doubt there are people with very real mental health issues, and by all means give them the support they may need. But what does an ’emotionally unstable personality disorder’ really mean? To me it sounds like sophistry by psychiatrists to attach a condition to someone who is just … bad. Can’t someone just be bad, wrong or evil anymore?
If I murder someone can I get some shrink to claim that I suffer from a phobia of living people? I jest but not entirely. We’re already in black comedy mode after all.
In the end, whether Popham is mad or bad the end conclusion is the same – you simply cannot take the risk of letting such an individual having his full liberties restored. If he is now 30 how many more victims is his demonic personality going to claim by the time he is 40 and what right do the state have to take that gamble?
I honestly think that for individuals like this we need a dramatic change. While it would certainly be a massive improvement to send him down for a few years and not a few months, I think there’s a case for saying that maybe something needs done over and above that, or as an alternative to that.
I see no reason whatsoever why individuals such as this cannot be deemed criminally insane by dint of their actions and history and simply held in a secure psychiatric ward without a specified release date.
It is already within the powers of the state to do that as things stand, all they’d need do is extend it somewhat. I think some of these offenders are so badly disturbed that they may not even belong in a conventional prison at all. It might be better (at least as an option) to order them to be held under the grounds of insanity and without limit of time. Maybe a bunch of head doctors (plus security) would be better placed to oversee such people than prison officers.
I guess some uber liberal people might take issue with them being held without a time limit, but surely it is better that than people get murdered? Because that’s where an individual like this is heading – toward being a murderer.
He’s not going to suddenly turn his life around and have a personality transplant at 30. He is what he is and what he will always be. We need to somehow get over this idea that these people belong back into society once they have been seen to carry out some penalty. They don’t.
I think there are actions that are so mad and so extreme that they define that person and there are actions so extreme that you cant ever take the gamble of letting the person have full freedoms ever again.
If that means having to place far more of these people in secure psychiatric units then so be it. They can bounce around in a padded cell the next time they have a fit. Maybe one day science or technology will come up with a real cure for these “humans in disguise” but until that day it is perfectly reasonable for any society to want to reject and expel them – for good.
We’ve sort of been brainwashed into thinking that the only option is to keep letting dangerous people back out again and hope for the best. Even when one of them offends another dozen times we are still stuck on this idea that “once he has served his time he should be allowed back out”.
Not if the person is bloody mental they shouldn’t.
Keep them in prison or section them without limit of time. Either is fine but do not keep letting this type of scum go. The main argument against holding them without limit of time in a psychiatric unit will be “lack of availability”. In short the state will say there are not enough such facilities.
Build more then.
Or take on remote and derelict large houses and have them fashioned into new places. It will stimulate the building market and be good for the economy. Needs must. Then they will argue that they have a shortage of qualified staff. No problem – train more up and employ more. That’s also good for the economy as the new jobs stimulated will increase consumer spending. Not all positions in such places require years and years at medical school anyway, you’d need porters, generic nurses, security staff, I think there is already a surplus of labour in those markets just begging for a role.
If it meant having to initially send a couple of thousand away then so what? Its not like you’re saying good bye to great men and women, these are really demented freaks that would kill or rape anything.
(At the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the N.H. State Prison, patients who are deemed most dangerous are put in 4×10 cage-like booths set up next to one another )
Let me put it this way. If there was no such thing as Government and all of its apparatus would society naturally want to accept these individuals back into the fold or not? I’d strongly suggest they wouldn’t and they would drive that person out of the community.
The modern way to do that (since we do have Government and its mechanisations) is for the community to still drive such a defective person out but by way of using the tools that already exist – such as the secure psychiatric unit.
Can anyone present a logical or ethical reason why Popham MUST rejoin us? Let me know in comments.