I have some good news for you if you like a bit of shoplifting. You can pretty much get away with it if you’re intelligent and talented.

Ms Natalia Sikorska, a denizen of Chelsea, which is pretty much Toff Central, tried to walk out of Harrods (I always refer to it as Toff Shop. UK residents will get that.) with a jacket by Markus Lupfer, Claudie Perlot shoes, a Pinko handbag, and a silver knife of unspecified provenance.

I’d never heard of any of the designers, but they clearly don’t aim for the prole market, because this little haul would have jingled the tills to the tune of £959.59. Anyway, she got her collar felt, and ended up in front of the beak at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Mr Grant McCrostie (crazy name, crazy* guy) gave her a 12 month conditional discharge, which is little more than an official Chinese burn. His ‘reasoning’ may interest you.

‘You are a newcomer to this country (she’s Polish), you are a student with a place at university. You are obviously a woman of considerable talents; you are obviously intelligent.’

Newcomer or not, stealing is stealing. Talents and intelligence shouldn’t skew the judgement. If this had been a baglady, she’d have gone to the slammer. This is a bit of middle-class bias that compares with that mad bat who stabbed her boyfriend, but may not go to jail (I think she’s being sentenced next month) on the grounds that a sentence might affect her promising career as a heart surgeon. I wouldn’t want to let her near me with anything sharp, if it’s all the same to you.

Then a revelation that makes no sense at all. Sir Ken Knight is a former government chief fire officer. You might in that case think he’s an ideal appointee for the post of the government fire safety panel set up, rather belatedly, after the fire at Grenfell Tower.

What if I tell you that he’s the chairman of the ‘impartiality committee’ of Warrington Certification? Still no wiser? That’s an independent company that safety tested the cladding used on Grenfell. Ken himself would have signed off the certification. No conflict of interest there eh?

However, on a lighter note, Marcus Hutchins** got busted in the US this week, while he was attending the Def Con hacking conference in Vegas. That may not be a good event to attend if you’ve been accused on six counts of developing, distributing, and maintaining some malware that targets banks. You might expect the Feds to be keeping a close eye on attendees. That means YOU, Marcus!

*ie completely batshit.

**He’s the Brit computer expert who managed to find the ‘kill switch’ during the WannaCry attack a couple of months back.

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