"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 4 April 2011

Rub Your Eyes & Blink

I had to read this article twice to make sure I'd picked out the facts from the reporter's opinion. These are the basics:

Defendant was 14yrs old
One count of racially-aggravated harassment
Two counts of common assault
One count of actual bodily harm

The charges stemmed from bullying and racist abuse culminating in what the paper calls "a vicious attack" on a mother, 13 yr-old daughter and 7 months-old baby in which the baby was thrown to the ground from the daughter's arms and into a bus lane.

The sentence on conviction:

12 months on anger management and victim "empathy" course.
A £50 fine consisting of £10 to the mother, £20 to the daughter & £20 to the baby
24 hours community work.

Apparently, a spell in a detention centre wasn't possible because the defendant was "just fourteen" at the time of the attack. These insulting and derisory sentences must stop. Fourteen is not too young to be sent to some sort of borstal or boot camp for three or so months - and that's where this girl should have gone. The time taken for pre-sentencing reports should be reduced as well. This incident happened last July but sentencing was delayed to allow assessments and reports to be prepared. Another thing that should be changed is that fourteen year-olds should be named once convicted; I see no reason for the law to protect them by guaranteeing anonymity.  Fourteen is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong.

I wondered what sort of organisation hands out sentencing guidelines like the one above so went here and found a lot of high-sounding principles and empty words that don't translate back into the real world.


Related news from the same paper:  More lawyers than police:   165,000 solicitors and 142,363 police officers.


  1. Things have just got worse than 20+ years ago when my neighbours lad was a one boy crime wave (never did me any harm) responsible for hundreds of warehouse burglaries and car thefts.

    He was arrested countless times (but not on Friday since that might mean a weekend in the cells), before eventually spending a short while in "Council Secure (LOL) Unit". Endless cautions, bails and other "walks" before finally doing half of a 3 year stint in Her Majestys Young Offender Institute which is where he always knew that he would end up.

    The only difference was that then they didn't do "anger management and victim "empathy".

  2. Hi Banned, I suppose in the 90s all this touchy-feely stuff was just beginning to make itself felt in the judiciary. Maybe if your neighbour's boy had been sent to a month-long boot camp run by ex-squaddies instead of being cautioned so much he might have avoided three years in the YOI. Do you know what happened to him when he came out?

    Yes, 'anger management and victim empathy' - don't make me cry!


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