A 12-year-old schoolboy who raped two little girls was sentenced to four years' detention yesterday.
The boy is one of the youngest in the country to have ever been convicted of such offences.No excuses here - this wasn't a case of 'society' at fault. This judge laid the blame squarely where most of it should lie:
Sentencing the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, Judge Mark Brown pointed out that he came from a broken home and his parents had a difficult relationship.
'There is no longer a father figure in the home, which may be a relevant factor.'
Speaking to the boy, he said: 'The psychologist indicates you feel rejected and hurt by his lack of interest in you.'
The judge said it was felt 'a lack of boundaries and behavioural controls has been a factor in your offending which may be due to the absence of a father figure who should be setting a mature example for you.'It seems we're back to Phillip Larkin once more! And we have to ask ourselves why judgements in this wretched legal system can be so perverse and out of whack with each other.