Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Criminal Justice System - Well Named....

A teenager who posed as a schoolgirl to con a pensioner was caught after she left behind a form giving the address of a family member.
That's pretty amusing. But her sentence isn't:
Hay, of Woodhill, Woolwich, pleaded guilty to burglary and obtaining property by deception.

She has previous convictions for similar attacks on vulnerable homeowners in 2005 and 2006
She's 17, according to the report, so her previous crimes were committed when she was around 14-15. Not exactly keeping her nose clean then? Well deserving of a suitable punishment?

She didn't get one:
But Recorder Mr Alan Saggerson gave her a nine month sentence suspended for two years.

He said: "This burglary was a nasty and mean offence that involved stealing from a 93-year-old lady, the consequences of which don't even begin to cross your mind.

"Both of these offences are plainly so serious that only a custodial sentence can possibly be justified.

"However, I am going to suspend the sentence, firstly because of your age and also because the Probation Service is able to offer some positive courses.
Because of her age...? She was committing offences against vulnerable pensioners when she was even younger, for god's sake!
Hay, who had been on conditional bail, left the court apparently in tears.
They must have been of laughter...

7 comments:

Dave H. said...

One can only marvel at the elevated ratiocinations of the judiciary: "Only a custodial sentence is justified..." and the defendant walks free.

Your Honour, if I ever get sent down can I do my time posthumously? As quid pro quo, I'll waive my right to parole.

woman on a raft said...

Wonder if the re-arrangement in prison places last year had anything to do with this? As many places as possible were made available to try to deal with over-crowding in male prisons, which is fair. Even the punitive Victorian system didn't expect people to be stored in cupboards.

This automatically meant that womens' places became scarcer, which is also fair because some custodial sentences are inappropriate. For example, whilst not wishing to excuse the canoe woman, her fraud was against a commercial entity and the premium payers at large rather than fleecing an individual regardless of the vulnerability and pain of that person, but the judge acted as if she had done something uniquely criminal and horrible. Do we really need her in prison, especially since she has immediately launched an appeal against the sentence which is going to cost us more money (she hasn't got any) and, given the judge's irrelevant remarks, looks like it will suceed.

Maybe if we stopped jailing the women who don't need to be there, but use other community penalties, it would be simpler for judges to use lock-up when they need to.

JuliaM said...

"...whilst not wishing to excuse the canoe woman, her fraud was against a commercial entity and the premium payers at large rather than fleecing an individual regardless of the vulnerability and pain of that person, but the judge acted as if she had done something uniquely criminal and horrible."

Yes, that was a bizarre punishment, wasn't it? I'd rather this woman went to jail, to protect the pensioners in the area.

Anonymous said...

Woman on a raft:

So in your view, crimes against companies don't count, because they are in some sense victimless?

Tell us, do you pay car insurance?

Oh, actually, probably you don't - because not being insured would only be fraud "against a commercial entity and the premium payers at large" - which doesn't matter.

I wonder if you have really thought this through.

Longrider said...

Anon, do you know what a strawman is? I only ask because you've just constructed a perfect example.

JuliaM said...

"I wonder if you have really thought this through."

I certainly think she has. For one thing she didn't say it didn't count. Just that it wasn't the sort of offence for which prison was the best option, and I agree.

You see, for another thing, Miss Hay is a habitual petty criminal who preys on the weak - with no job prospects and no real requirement on her to keep her nose clean (thanks to kind-hearted magistrates and the wonderful welfare state), it's probably all she's ever going to be.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if she graduated to more violent offences in the future either.

On the other hand, how is Mrs Darwin going to have the chance to defraud an insurance company ever again? Would sell her insurance...?

Rick said...

I'm so sick and tired of reading the same stuff all the time. It's time for the revolution. Who's with me?