Ayoade and Bamber — The Street thug and the mass killer


The thug who attacked a teenage girl in a London Street earlier this month has admitted his guilt. The wretch who murdered five members of his own family 27 years ago is still protesting his innocence.

A CCTV still of a thug who assaulted a schoolgirl
in Plaistow, East London, for no apparent reason.
He was later identified as Nigerian immigrant
Michael Ayoade. He pleaded guilty.

On November 22, it was reported here that the police were looking for a man who carried out a vicious and apparently totally random attack on a schoolgirl in the East End of London. The attack actually took place on November 13, but there was a delay until the CCTV was released for the police appeal.

This thug has now been arrested, and pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court. He was named as Michael Ayoade and is either 34 or 36 years old depending on whom you believe, the BBC or the Daily Mail.

Apparently he attacked his victim, who from her name appears to be Asian, because she “didn’t have a friendly face” – aren’t you glad it wasn’t a hate crime?

Marianna Christou, who had the unpleasant task of representing him (as Jerry Guerinot might say) said he had come to the UK from Nigeria when he was three years old, had to fend for himself from a young age, and had no contact with his family. As the violins played in the background, she added “He has drunk since he was 16 and smokes up to 10 joints a day which in my submission is excessive and perhaps this causes some degree of paranoia and low self esteem”.

It’s also illegal! which is why he was charged additionally with and pleaded guilty to possessing a Class C drug. This admission – or perhaps we should call it a claim – begs the question, where does he find the money to smoke so much? It may be true that smoking whacky backy helped induce the mental state that compelled him to attack a young girl half his size and minding her own business, but as Thomas Szasz would have pointed out, this was a voluntary act which requires punishment rather than treatment.

Having pleaded guilty and clearly warranting a substantial sentence, Ayoade was remanded in custody until the Crown Court can find a date to deal with him. Hopefully he will also get himself thoroughly detoxed before he is allowed back on the street, because we don’t want him repeating this sort of attack with a knife.

Unsavoury though Michael Ayoade may be, a good QC will be able to make out a case for compassion in sentencing based on his antecedents. No one could do that for Jeremy Bamber, because although he was illegitimate and given up for adoption by his mother, the daughter of a vicar, no less, his parents – who had also adopted his (unrelated) elder sister, Sheila – gave him a lifestyle that Michael Ayoade would envy.

Bamber’s tale was related here briefly last July and also in June, when it was reported that one of his most high profile supporters – Bob Woffinden – had the courage to do what the supporters of other lowlifes like Mumia Abu-Jamal and Linda Carty don’t, namely, he re-examined the facts and admitted he had been duped.

Jeremy Bamber

Educated privately, including at Gresham’s School in Norfolk, Jeremy Nevill Bamber did not enter higher education, but his landowner father Nevill Bamber sent him to Australia where he took a scuba diving course. He ended up working in the family business, and might have made something of himself. Upper middle class, almost of the landed gentry, charming, charismatic, he was what some women would called drop dead gorgeous. They said the same thing about Ted Bundy. While Bundy murdered primarily for lust, Bamber murdered primarily for money. The only problem was that if his father died, there was still his mother, and if they both died, his sister Sheila would probably inherit a great chunk of the family business. So he murdered them all, and Sheila’s twin sons for good measure. Then he staged the crime scene to make it look as though Sheila had killed the other four before committing suicide.

Audacious though this was, Bamber might have got away with it but for two, possibly three mistakes.

A) He made a classic blunder – possibly the one deliberate clue every murderer is said to leave subconsciously. That involved a silencer.

B) He told his then girlfriend, Julie Mugford.

C) Did he really have to alert the police himself by that fake telephone call cameo?

Bamber lost his first appeal, but in 2002, following a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, he was back in front of the Court Of Appeal. The CCRC went to extraordinary lengths to give him this day in court; the exhaustive judgment can be found here, but briefly, although the police were too quick to jump to the conclusion that the mentally troubled Sheila Caffell was indeed responsible for the White House Farm murders and handled the crime scene very inexpertly, it is clear that only her brother could have been responsible, the reason for this being the phone call he claimed to have received from his father.

The police have also blocked the release of a large number of documents relating to this case on the grounds of public interest immunity. Bamber and his amen corner have made much of this, but the police and other organs of the British state are notorious for this sort of cloak and dagger nonsense, and it is doubtful if any of these documents contains anything of importance. What is most noticeable about this case is that, as Spencer Lawton, the DA who prosecuted the American murderer Troy Davis pointed out, there are two cases here: the one fought in the courts – which the state won every time, and the one fought in the court of public opinion, where there are no rules and where anything goes.

Although white posh boy Bamber can’t be pushed as a victim of racism or some other prejudice, like Ted Bundy, he has his groupies, although unlike Bundy they come in both sexes and apparently over a fair sprinkling of age groups. And they like Bamber are not shy about telling outright lies or peddling nonsense. One of these is that when Bamber and the police turned up at the farm, one of the officers entered into a conversation with someone inside the farmhouse. This is based on a gratuitous twisting of the truth. What actually happened was this:

The police turned up at the property without any real understanding of what they were facing. They had only Bamber’s word for what had happened inside the house, and for all they knew he could have been high on drugs, or the victim of a sick practical joke.

They assumed, indeed had to assume, that there were people alive inside, and that there was a hostage situation, so they shouted into the house. And of course, nobody shouted back. A police telephonist miles away entered in his log words to the effect that the officers had arrived and had made contact with someone inside the house, that they had started a conversation. This telephonist was telling the truth as he saw it, but unfortunately for Bamber if not for justice, shouting into a morgue does not constitute a conversation.

This week, Bamber’s application for a Judicial Review to keep his hopes alive was thrown out by the Court Of Appeal. Don’t think you’ve heard the last of him though. Ironically, he is being held at Full Sutton High Security Prison along with Michael Stone, a man convicted of the heinous crime known as the Chillenden Murders. The evidence against Stone is so ridiculous you couldn’t make it up. Well, actually they did! As things stand, both men will die in prison, but in the case of Jeremy Bamber, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

[The above op-ed was first published November 30, 2012.]

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