Monday, 27 September 2010

Oh, I Give Up...

A man who teamed up with a friend to beat up a 62-year-old in a pub has walked free from court despite a criminal record of 48 offences.
Note the careful wording there. Not 48 convictions...
O’Connor has 27 convictions for 48 offences, “overwhelmingly for theft and dishonesty”, the court heard yesterday.

Just days before committing the pub attack he was given a community order for an ABH offence.
Sounds familiar...
Clare Fraser, defending O’Connor, said: “His previous offending was driven by addiction to heroin and crack but for the last 17 months or longer he’s portrayed himself as a different man. He has not used drugs since January 2009.

“He’s in a relationship with a young lady of good character, who doesn’t drink and doesn’t do drugs.

He seems to have got himself sorted.”
Well, yes, sweetie. Apart from the recent ABH and now this offence, that is...
Passing sentence, Judge Julian Hall said Pitts’ hammer caused the injury and O’Connor’s spirit level was actually “feather light”.

Giving O’Connor a three-year supervision order and four-month curfew, he said: “The appropriate sentence would have been in the order of two, maybe two-and-a-half years.

“But one of the objects of a prison sentence is to reform somebody. It seems to me, because the case has taken so long to come on, you’ve had the chance to reform yourself before it came to trial.”
Huh..?!?

Seriously, is this bewigged cretin saying that, because chummy managed to keep his nose clean for the duration of the remand and trial (or more likely, wasn't caught doing anything), he has now reformed?

I wonder what I'd get for twatting a judge round the head with a spirit level? Apart, that is, from a great sense of personal satisfaction...

11 comments:

Grob Bone said...

The judiciary is simply beyond the pale. 'Justice', depending as it does on the foilbles and idiosyncracies of individuals whose judgements have been mangled and minced by the aggrandisement that accompanies their promotions, is random, arbitrary. It is in no sense scientific, repeatable, predictable. The 'bewigged cretins' may as well toss dice.

MTG said...

You have brought our attention to Judge Julian Hall's sagacity on previous occasions, Julia. He is better known for his 'visions' and the seer of sex attacks upon little girls. He interprets these less as criminal acts than expressions of repressed feelings.

We are all not partial to the overwhelming nutty flavour of his judicial cooking.

Take him down said...

We have a system of 'justice' that hinges on fairness. If you are ever on jury duty you are told continually that you can only find guilty if there is not the slightest doubt.

The result is that there are very convincing advocates for criminals and the feckless who can introduce just enough doubt, which combined with the flakiness of some judges and the spectre of overcrowded prisons as well as the desire for liberalism makes finding 'not guilty' too powerful to resist.

James Higham said...

Is the judge under orders from above? Is he a total moron? What?

allcoppedout said...

I have a very large, heavy spirit-level not doing much Julia. I was thinking of getting it valued at an Antiques' Roadshow. I now feel, rather as with Excalibur and Arthur, that its destiny should lie in your hands.

Woman on a Raft said...

It was judge Julian Hall who freed Mark Andrews pending the appeal against his conviction for knocking seven shades of wotsit out of Pamela Somerville.

The application was heard in secret and then reported afterwards, but I'm not sure if Hall had much choice in law about freeing Andrews.

It has been noted that Judge Julian Hall seems to have a remarkable capacity to empathize with dangerous offenders in more than a few cases.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=924190

However it is also true that Hall has been handed cases in which the CPS seem to have lost the files, found the files, buried them in peat for three months, and then finally dug them up handed the scrambled sheets to some hapless brief when it is so late the accused might well try arguing that it is an abuse of process to try them now if the CPS couldn't be bothered earlier.

Woman on a Raft said...

Judge Julian Hall also threw out a controversial case of historic abuse.

A teacher, Jeremy Malim, formerly of the Cothill School in Oxfordshire, was accused of abuse which took place in the 1970s.

Historic abuse cases are difficult because if complainants have psychological problems now, they may be projecting those back on to an innocent victim as a way of explaining things to themselves. It doesn't even have to be calculated or for the money.

The other explanation can be that they really were abused and it has taken decades to get the courage to complain.

The job of the court is to decide which one of these it is. Judge Julian Hall decided he already knew:
"I think the best thing that should happen to people who behave in this way," Hall told Oxford Crown Court, speaking of the former teacher, Jeremy Malim, "is that they should get a very brisk elbow in the ribs at the time or be rejected."

Which hardly amounts to a ringing endorsement of Jeremy Malim (who now lives in France) and betrays an idiotic lack of understanding of employment law and how it interacts with the criminal law.

Roue le Jour said...

I think what the judge meant to say was:

"I'm under enormous pressure to find the flimsiest excuse for not sending someone to prison. Luckily for both of us, you have provided me with one. Now run along, there's a good boy."

JuliaM said...

”The 'bewigged cretins' may as well toss dice.”

I suspect that might, overall, prove a fairer outcome...

”You have brought our attention to Judge Julian Hall's sagacity on previous occasions...”

Ah! I thought he sounded familiar. And as WoaR points out, he's certainly got a lot of form for dodgy sentencing...

”If you are ever on jury duty you are told continually that you can only find guilty if there is not the slightest doubt.”

And yet, despite that, this one was found guilty. Perhaps, knowing that, the judge should sentence accordingly?

”I now feel, rather as with Excalibur and Arthur, that its destiny should lie in your hands.”

:D

”...betrays an idiotic lack of understanding of employment law and how it interacts with the criminal law.”

Is there no compulsory 'retraining' for judges, then? I've heard Bystander report on similar upskilling schemes for magistrates.

”I think what the judge meant to say was...”

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Sadly, far far to many non-violent offenders seem to be behind bars, blocking the needed spaces for people like this.

NickM said...

Now if he'd over-filled his wheelie bin...

Anonymous said...

in response to "Woman on a raft",and her discussion of Judge Hall:
I was at Cothill when Jeremy Malim was molesting boys on a consistent basis.
I was aware that something was happening,but not the extent of it.
It was only when I ran into one of his victims later in life that I got to understand how devastating it had been and continued to be in that persons life.
I believe that he spoke very forthrightly at the trial, but that the judge felt that the events had happened too long ago to be acted on.