Charles Cox – The Verdict Is In

It’s been a long wait since we first heard that someone was to be tried for the manslaughter of Charles Cox. Charles was assaulted – we now know – in November 2007 and died in July 2009. Jeremy Aylmer was, today, acquitted of Charles’ manslaughter. The accusation was that he had “pole-axed” Charles with a single punch. Mr. Aylmer’s defence was that Charles had been the aggressor – an unlikely scenario but one that the jury evidently agreed with although there is a further aspect to the defence that implied that Charles did not die from the punch but from the tube that he was being fed with (which, of course, he wouldn’t have needed had he not been punched).

A City trader has been cleared of killing a company vice-president in an alcohol-fuelled row over a woman.

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Jeremy Aylmer, 36, held his head in his hands after being acquitted of manslaughter at Inner London crown court. He was accused of “pole-axing” IT executive Charles Cox, 56, with a single “vicious” punch outside Floridita, in Wardour Street, in November 2007.

Mr Cox, of South Kensington, a member of the CBI and the Institute of Policy Studies, fell backwards, hitting his head on the pavement and suffering a fractured skull.

Mr Aylmer insisted the older man was the “aggressor” who pushed him, shouting “f**k off, f**k off”, causing the petroleum trader to retaliate with a punch.

Andrew Campbell-Tiech, QC, defending, suggested Mr Cox’s death could have been caused by the naso-gastric tube he was being fed with. Jurors heard Mr Cox was married but separated from his wife, and worked for Hewlett Packard-owned EDS.

The full story is in today’s London Evening Standard.

I believe in our justice system. But that doesn’t mean that I am not incredibly saddened to see it work in this way – plainly a punch was thrown and it resulted in Charles fracturing his skull and, much later, despite the care of multiple hospitals, his death. QED.

The Rain in London Falls Mainly On the Marathon

Yesterday’s weather forecast has been updated. The BBC now think:

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Any marathon runner would take rain over shine … once they get going. The downsides of rain are threefold:

1) A miserable wait at the start getting wet and cold

2) Fewer people on the course cheering you on

3) Slippery man hole covers and rains

But give me a day like this any time over 20+C … But as I write this the skies are clearing and I wonder whether the forecast is wrong yet again and it will warm up, making for a tough run for those finishing in more than 4 hours.

Good luck to all those running.

Hot To Trot – London Marathon, April 25th 2010

The weather for tomorrow’s London Marathon is looking a little mixed. Warm in the morning and a probable shower around 3pm or 4pm. Almost everyone will long since be home by then so it could be a tough run for the middle of the pack. Here’s the BBC’s forecast:

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The last 5 years have seen 3 hot race days and 2 rainy ones. On a rainy day, I run about 20-30 minutes faster over the 26.1 miles than on a hot day.

Top tips for hot weather

– With the recent spell of warm weather, hopefully you’ve figured out how to run in such conditions and so are practiced. If not, take it gently – start slower and pace yourself

– Watch out for the Lucozade stops. The slower you are, the more sticky fluid there will be on the ground when you get to each station. It feels like running over velcro.

– Hydrate but don’t over hydrate; drink before the race rather than too much during it. Too much water will slow you down, probably result in a rest stop and almost certainly lead to stomach discomfort as all the extra fluid sloshes around. And you’re hot, but drinking warm water from the water marshalls won’t necessarily cool you down.

– Look for the shade along the course, not that you will find much but use it when you can. The London Marathon folks are kind enough to install a few spray showers along the route – use those when you can. In Docklands, there’s lots of shade from the tall buildings, but there’s less wind so it tends to feel more humid

– Wear sunscreen and/or a hat. And a t-shirt to cover up your shoulders unless you’ve put some strong sunscreen on those. Being hot, tired and sun-burned isn’t any fun at all.

If you feel dizzy, cold, damp or in any way disorientated, ask St John’s Ambulance people to take a look at you – you’ll seem them regularly along the course.

Elevation Profile

For those looking for a last minute elevation guide, here’s one – the purple line is elevation, the green bars are my pace per mile last time round. Note that I’m not great at negative splits!

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Update: For those kind people wishing me luck, I’m not running this year – this is what I’m doing instead.

Government Requests of Google

Hard to know what to make of this. Google says that greater transparency will lead to less censorship. The UK is high in the top 10 for both requests and removals, yet neither number (1166 and 59 respectively) seems like “a lot”, whatever that might mean. As google says, “We’re new at this, and we’re still learning the best way to collect and present this information. We’ll continue to improve this tool and fine-tune the types of data we display.” I’d start with “here’s the problem we’re trying to solve”, from the FAQ:

Do your statistics cover all categories of data requests from governments?

No, the statistics primarily cover requests in criminal matters. We can’t always be sure that a request necessarily relates to a criminal investigation, however, so there are likely a small number of requests that fall outside of this category. For example, we would include in the statistics an emergency request from a government public safety agency seeking information to save the life of a person who is in peril even though there is not necessarily a criminal investigation involved. As we improve our tracking, we may add more categories.   

How many of these requests did you comply with?

The “removal request” numbers represent the number of requests we have received, and the percentage we complied with in full or in part per country. The “data requests” numbers reflect the number of requests we received about the users of our services and products from government agencies like local and federal police. They don’t indicate whether we complied with a request for data in any way. When we receive a request for user information, we review it carefully and only provide information within the scope and authority of the request. We may refuse to produce information or try to narrow the request in some cases.   

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