Saturday, 12 September 2009

Genevieve's support for accused student demonstrates compassion and courage

I have to admit I was quite scared when I learned that my colleague, Isleworth councillor and former Mayor Dr. Genevieve Hibbs, had put up a five-figure surety to support the bail application of a 19-year-old local lad who had been charged with the murder of his sister's tenant.

I wasn't that I at all doubted the correctness of her belief that he had acted in self-defence and was therefore innocent. It was simply the thought that any young man of his age, faced with the horrendous prospect of a hefty, even possibly life sentence if members of the jury were to be unconvinced by his evidence, must inevitably consider at some point the appeal of jumping onto an aeroplane destined for someplace else.

In the event I needn't have worried. The young man in question, Jahangir Hussain, honoured the terms of his bail as Genevieve had always insisted he would, and was duly acquitted of all charges at the Old Bailey where it was ruled that he had acted in lawful self-defence. The young man can now hopefully put his ordeal behind him and is free to get on with the rest of his life.

In my view Genevieve displayed extraordinary Christian faith and courage in supporting Jahangir throughout the time he was awaiting trial. I believe that as a friend, a colleague and a fellow human being she has done us all proud.

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