Saturday, 16 August 2014

Off-Topic: Internet Censorship

Under the "right to be forgotten" ruling by the European Court of Justice, people can request Google to omit topics or individual web pages from search results. For instance, in 2001 Patrick McVeigh, the sales director of the Yorkshire Post, vandalised a shop in Leeds, attacked the owner and stole several items. His brother Terence also took part in the crime. They were both jailed for nine months. Newspaper reports about this incident still exist online, but Patrick would like them to disappear, i.e. he would like to pretend it never happened. After all, information like this could be harmful to his career.

This is the article that Patrick McVeigh has requested to be removed. It was written on The Guardian's website by Martin Wainwright on February 8th, 2001.

Leeds fans jailed over shop attack

Two businessmen were jailed yesterday for smashing up an Asian-owned corner shop during last year's tense Uefa Cup clash between Leeds United and the Turkish champions Galatasaray.

Patrick McVeigh, who was advertising sales director at the Yorkshire Post at the time, and his brother Terence, who worked for a mobile phone company in Leeds, were given nine month terms for the "mindless" attack.

Leeds crown court heard that the two men went berserk in Holbeck Wines off-licence on April 20 last year, hours before the second leg of the European fixture at United's nearby Elland Road stadium. Tension was high in the city after the deaths of two Leeds fans two weeks earlier in Istanbul, during violence before the first round.

Ian Skelt, for the prosecution, said that the McVeighs were part of a gang who invaded the shop in front of the terrified Patel family who ran it, and tore it apart. Patrick, 30, and Terence, 35, initially started grabbing beer bottles from a fridge while others created a diversion, he said.

When the Patels protested, Terence McVeigh reached up to remove a closed circuit TV security camera. Mr Skelt said: "At about that point one of the group threw a bottle, narrowly missing Mrs Patel's head. Mr Patel sustained a cut lip".

Patrick McVeigh then overturned the shop till and swept goods off the shelves.

The men were later identified from video footage taken outside Elland Road, where other Leeds fans attacked police and journalists.

Both brothers pleaded guilty to causing affray and were also ordered to pay £300 each in compensation.

Anthony Kelbrick, defending Patrick McVeigh, said that an "exemplary life with numerous achievements" had been marred by a moment of drunken madness. He had also been depressed at the time over the death of an uncle whom he had treated like a father. He has been sacked by the Yorkshire Post.

Bryan Cox, for Terence McVeigh, said that alcohol and emotion about the fatal stabbings in Istanbul had influenced his client's behaviour.

Passing sentence, Judge Stephen Gillick told the brothers: "This was not high-spirited drunkenness. It was violent and terrifying conduct".

He added: "The only way courts can protect premises such as this from mindless hooligans is to make it clear to you and others that, drunk or not, depressed or not, good character or not, well paid or not, if they are brought to justice inevitably a sentence of imprisonment will be imposed".

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