18 months ago, I was forced to retract a story on this site. That hurt; I am well known for careful research. I hadn’t written the story myself, Andrew Withers had done that, and within hours I received e-mails which left me in no doubt that the story was manifestly untrue.
Obviously I contacted Andrew and explained the situation. He gave me a version of events which I accepted as being truthful, and I published a retraction which exonerated Andrew in as far as that was possible. Unfortunately for Andrew, the subject of that story, Brian Howes, had recorded his conversation with Andrew, and retaliated by putting that recording on line, thus incontrovertibly proving Withers to be a liar. Withers responded, not by admitting his guilt, but by attempting to bludgeon Brian with the full force of the law in an effort to get the recording removed, contravention of the Communications Act, if I remember correctly. It didn’t work, the recording is still there to this day.
As the owner of this site, I then became a full target for Brian Howes’s undoubted ability to wage cyber warfare. Middlesbrough Council had had to take out an injunction to deal with his displeasure at their publishing information they held on him. I just had to deal with a stream of foul e-mails.
The gist of the problem was that whereas Brian Howes wished to elicit support and sympathy for his position as an ‘honest businessman, running a legitimate chemical business’ who was on the wrong end of the disastrous decision by David Blunkett to sign the Extradition Treaty with the USA, the truth of the situation was a good deal more complicated than that. The chemicals which Brian was supplying are common components of ‘Crystal Meths’, a fact which a cursory delve into his history whilst in the USA would reveal to be unlikely to be unknown to him. The fact that he found it necessary to keep handguns in his house in Scotland also suggests that, let us say, he had some unusual customers, who required unusual methods to keep in an orderly queue.
Like Julian Assange, Brian Howes had used every legal trick in the book to avoid extradition. He has been on hunger strike, he has enlisted the help of the Roman Catholic church, he has run a high profile internet campaign professing his innocence – and all the time, he has concealed some information which somewhat changes the picture.
Three days ago, the Supreme Court heard the last of his appeals – Brian is Father to six children, and by some complicated legal manoeuvres, he was attempting to avoid extradition on the grounds that his children had ‘the right to a family life’. In plain English, that he was such a good and devoted Father, that his children should be allowed to retain him as a physical presence in their lives. The Supreme Court made mincemeat of that argument in a remarkable judgment. I do not propose to link to it here, for sound reasons, which I will explain. Those children are entitled to privacy, the Supreme Court judgment reveals some distressing details of quite what a ‘good Father’ Brian has been to them. I would ask that you resist the temptation to jump up and down in the comments going ‘Please Miss, I’ve got a link to that’…
Regular readers of this site are all ready well aware of the truth of the situation – however, this morning, the Scottish Sun has published a carefully worded story which will come as an unwelcome surprise to Brian Howes.
On Tuesday morning, he was one of the ‘hard men’ of Barlinnie Jail in Glasgow. They won’t have fallen for the ‘respectable business man who had no idea of what he was supplying under plain cover all over the world’ – they know a drug dealer and gun carrier when they see one, and he would have had a certain amount of respect for the way he had been cocking a snook at the law and avoiding extradition to face charges.
Unfortunately, his legal manoeuvring has resulted in the truth coming out – and, oh, dear, Barlinnie Jail will prove to be an uncomfortable place to face up to life as a publicly identified ‘Nonce’ in prison parlance. Doesn’t carry the same cachet at all.
Brian Howes will be extradited to the US, and as part of that process, he will be answering the warrant for his arrest on paedophilia convictions in Arizona, and thus will very probably shortly be wearing the humiliating pink underpants as ordained by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County Jail, Arizona, reputably America’s toughest jail.
I still don’t agree with the one sided Extradition Treaty, as with the European Arrest Warrant, it is deeply flawed; on this occasion though, it is resulting in justice for a young girl who has waited 20 years to see that justice, and I wish her well this morning; she has been remarkably patient and understanding as to why I had to remove so many of her comments on this site. Not something I like doing, but it was for honourable reasons, I didn’t want to affect any forthcoming prosecution.
I am also cheered to know that at least one of the people who has caused me so much hassle behind the scenes has met his Karma.
I’d give the shower a miss tonight, if I were you, Brian.