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Cruelest Farmer Gets Two Years for Vet Attack
March 1, 2004 12:42 PM   Subscribe

'Cruelest Farmer' Jailed for Vet Attack
Roger Baker, dubbed Britain's "cruelest" farmer, has just gotten a two year sentence for attacking a vet and pushing her into "a mire of manure and cow urine." He then held her down in the nasty muck.
Given his history of violence and cruelty, doesn't two years seem a little light?
posted by fenriq (30 comments total)

 
To me it sounds just right for someone convicted of aggravated assault (perhaps even a little harsh, but that's me). The "victims" came there looking for a fight and got one. There was nothing premeditated about the attack, he (in his mind) was defending his homestead. There's no lasting injuries, so Case Closed. Good job judge!
posted by shepd at 12:47 PM on March 1, 2004


That's pretty shitty.
posted by dr_dank at 1:03 PM on March 1, 2004


The "victims" came there looking for a fight and got one.

Tell me you're joking. The victims were a "veterinary surgeon...and animal health inspector" acting "in the course of their normal duties." So the assault did more than just harm the two of them; it was an attack on the rule of law. It deserves to be punished more harshly, because an attack on public officials doing their duty is more harmful to society than an attack on ordinary citizens.

I don't think you can judge the guy more harshly just because the RSPCA says he's bad, though you can take into account the time he was jailed.

Two years in jail seems appropriate, though I'd say it's on the low end of possible appropriate sentences.
posted by Dasein at 1:12 PM on March 1, 2004


Veterinary surgeon Susan Potter and animal health inspector Jonathan McCulloch were filming a dead lamb and emaciated cattle on Baker's land near Truro in Cornwall when the attack took place in February 2003.

For some reason, I have to assume they didn't have his permission for that. Did they?

If not, did they provide him with a search warrant? The story lacks details, and I can't comment on what I don't know, but I have to assume that if it isn't mentioned, it never happened.

Assuming they didn't have his permission (very likely) and that they never provided him with a search warrant (assumed) then yeah, they busted into his joint. Not cool, and quite aggravating, if you ask me.

If the police raided my shop like that I'd damn well be REALLY aggravated too. However, I know better than to beat up the police. Better just to call a lawyer.
posted by shepd at 1:17 PM on March 1, 2004


They had a perfect right to do what they did under English law. So the implicaiton that they were wrongly on his land is false. Americans suspend property rights in the fight against terrorism. We'll do it for animal rights.
posted by alloneword at 1:21 PM on March 1, 2004


This man must be mentally ill. By not taking proper care of his animals he's ruining his own bottom line. Farm inspectors aren't that hard to please. He would have no problems if he just ran his farm competently.
posted by orange swan at 1:28 PM on March 1, 2004


Assuming they didn't have his permission (very likely) and that they never provided him with a search warrant (assumed) then yeah, they busted into his joint. Not cool, and quite aggravating, if you ask me.

I'm not sure why you assume that he didn't know who they were. Sounds like he's had a lot of trouble with the government about the way he keeps his animals, and he might well have known the inspector on sight. We don't know that, but why give the benefit of the doubt to a guy who attacked these people and shoved them into a pile of manure? (It was also clearly premeditated; this was no bar fight - he thought about attacking these two people, who were just standing around, filming.)

And since when does someone filming a dead animal on your land excuse, in any way, aggravated assault? You imply in your first post that he should be given a lighter sentence in consideration of this. That, sir, is bullshit.
posted by Dasein at 1:30 PM on March 1, 2004


Two years seems a little harsh for an assault without a weapon and when no real physical damage was done. It would actually make more sense to me if he was jailed for the cruelty to animals offenses which he seems to have an extensive history of.
posted by cedar at 1:32 PM on March 1, 2004


pushing her into "a mire of manure and cow urine."

"Into the mud, Scum Queen!"
posted by jonmc at 1:34 PM on March 1, 2004


He's wrong.
They're right.

Such is a MeFi post these days...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:02 PM on March 1, 2004


Such is a MeFi post these days...

[joking mode=ironic]
No it isn't, you ignorant slut
[/joking]

well someone had to.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:12 PM on March 1, 2004


Kill the bastard.
posted by scarabic at 2:19 PM on March 1, 2004


Well, if English law lets inspectors do that, then they are taking on a dangerous job, aren't they? Seems like having the respect to tell the man you'll be invading his property can keep these incidents from happening in the future.

Whether the law lets it happen or not, I still think anyone coming on my property uninvited, WETHER THEY ARE FILMING A CRIME OR NOT, is extremely beligerent, and certainly worthy of the word "aggravation". I always felt invasion of privacy was an aggravating event worldwide, but perhaps the British have a different spin on it?
posted by shepd at 2:25 PM on March 1, 2004


We British do not have guns. We only have poop. AND YOU SHALL HAVE TO PRY IT FROM OUR COLD DEAD HANDS! (tm)
posted by chrid at 3:16 PM on March 1, 2004


Pictures! I demand pictures!
posted by fluffycreature at 3:17 PM on March 1, 2004


Just so you know, they will have had a search warrant and the legal ability to film, without this they wouldn't have been able to use the evidence in court.

Mr Baker was clear who they were and why they were there which is the very reason that he did what he did.

And of course, if you are committing a crime and someone catches you doing it and records the evidence that is belligerent. However, I don't really think it counts as mitigation.
posted by lerrup at 3:18 PM on March 1, 2004


"Frow him down and the pigs will d'vour him, every bit 'cept
the palms of his hands."
posted by dorian at 3:25 PM on March 1, 2004


Well, in that case, lerrup, that changes everything. However, 2 years seems about right, still, even for regular assault, when there's no lasting damage, except to one's pride.
posted by shepd at 3:35 PM on March 1, 2004


What about the vet thinking that he was trying to drown her by holding her head under in the nasty mess?

I would think it could also be argued that the unhealthy nature of the urine and manure could constitute an aggravated assault as well. Exposure to all kinds of nasty pathogens and whatnot, ya know?
posted by fenriq at 4:03 PM on March 1, 2004


I can't believe the gall of today's victims. Doing her job?! She was so fucking asking for it.
posted by squirrel at 5:45 PM on March 1, 2004


I can't believe nobody's caught my obscure reference. And you call yourselves geeks.
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on March 1, 2004


Just curious: what would the penalty be for committing such an act to an FBI offical executing a warranted search of your property?
posted by Ptrin at 6:24 PM on March 1, 2004


I can't believe nobody's caught my obscure reference. And you call yourselves geeks. -jonmc


"I get so excited when you get angry! It makes me feel so much closer to the reading of the will."
posted by dejah420 at 8:17 PM on March 1, 2004


I can't believe nobody's caught my obscure reference. And you call yourselves geeks. -jonmc

"Ladies and gentlemen, I can envision a day when the brains of brilliant men can be kept alive in the bodies of dumb people."
posted by Dreamghost at 10:05 PM on March 1, 2004


on Baker's land

I don't know about Britain in particular, but in some european countries you cannot deny people access to agricultural land, except in special cases (wheat fields during season, for example).

In Norway, for example, you're perfectly within your rights to walk across someone else's forest/field and even camp for one night, providing you don't disturb or destroy anything.

What's the situation in Britain?
Where they trespassing on his land, or where they not?

Regardless, the article says the two officials were carrying out their duties, and that should be that.
Furthermore, people who are held sufficiently long under the surface of urine will die, and attempted murder should be punished harshly.

Dreamghost: I heard a techno-remix of that once. Pretty good.
posted by spazzm at 12:21 AM on March 2, 2004


I can't believe nobody's caught my obscure reference. And you call yourselves geeks. -jonmc

She's not ill, she's a cheap, vulgar slut!
posted by ciderwoman at 3:18 AM on March 2, 2004


That's 1 cruel farmer.
posted by troutfishing at 6:25 AM on March 2, 2004


Am I the only one who thinks that knowingly holding somene's head inside a pile of liquid manure constitutes two counts of attempted murder?
posted by magullo at 6:34 AM on March 2, 2004


*sigh*

That's better. I was getting worried.
posted by jonmc at 7:02 AM on March 2, 2004


Magullo, that was my original point in posting it. Seemed like attempted murder rather than assault. And two years for attempted murder is way light.
posted by fenriq at 7:47 AM on March 2, 2004


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