A judge is regularly held up by thieves - his daily train journey to work is often delayed because signal cables have been stolen. So when a crook came up before him for robbing the railways of the valuable copper, senior judge Roger Thomas decided it was time to crack down.
Reece Gardner, 41, was starting three years in jail after the judge revealed how he had been personally affected by crooks who cripple the rail network and sell the cable for scrap.
So, it can be done, with a little incentive for the judge?
The judge said even Gardner's early plea of guilty only gave him `limited' discount, as he was caught red-handed with cabling and a hacksaw.
Judge Thomas told the court: "I travel here daily on the trains and it has become a concern that stealing cabling is virtually epidemic.
"The train I travel on is delayed very regularly because people such as this defendant choose to steal the cabling.
"The reasons this happens . . . is that the metal from this cabling can command a considerable price.
"This sort of offence is happening time and again, causing disruption and inconvenience and financial losses to many people who travel on trains. In addition, there is danger caused to the system of the signalling which is interfered with."
Splendid! Now we just need to see a few judge’s relatives stabbed, shot, raped, beaten up, falsely arrested and summonsed for having a bin lid open, and we might just have some real
justice in this country at last…
No, judges should be disintersted.
Not that I disagree with the sentence, but he should have recused himself.
I was wondering (as I read it this morning) why he didn't?
And also wondering if the publicity this has garnered has opened the door for an appeal?
"a few judge’s relatives stabbed, shot, raped, beaten up, falsely arrested and summonsed for having a bin lid open"
Please, please, please, Miss, can I add in a few 'Grauniad' writers as well?
You surely can!
It should be a retrial. Did the judge declare his conflict of interest before the trial started?
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