Monday 28 February 2011

Is Our Justice System Irretrievably Broken?

Mark Anthony Smith, 19, of Church Lane, and Stephen Marson, 20, of Cochrane Street, attended Selby Fair on March 13 last year with the intention of attacking the boy, York Crown Court heard.
Premeditation, then?
David Garnett, prosecuting, told the court Smith believed the boy had made derogatory remarks about his niece, who had died.
Well, of course. Isn’t that what pretty much all underclass-on-underclass attacks seem to boil down to?
The court heard Smith and Marson had approached and confronted the victim at the fair, before Smith butted him, breaking his nose. The victim fell to the ground as Smith walked away, but was then punched by Marson, also known as Stephen Marsden, and fell to the ground again, where he was also kicked in the jaw.
The court heard both Smith and Marson had a history of violent behaviour and had each appeared at court on several occasions.
Of course they had...

Please for mitigation are going to be good, eh?
John Bumfrey, for Smith, said: “This defendant has had a difficult background and is making progress and appears to be gaining a greater insight into the factors behind his offending and problematic areas of his life.”
Really? After this occasion? Because all the others didn’t clue him in, did they?

Or did some hired mouthpiece make the same claims to another magistrate at those appearances too?
Kevin Blount, for Marson, said he had heard the victim say a number of hurtful things about Smith’s niece, and had heard about similar abuse on a social networking site and by word of mouth. Mr Blount also said Marson was currently undergoing an anger management programme, and was currently under a supervision order for an unrelated offence.
It just gets better and better, doesn’t it?
Recorder David Hatton QC said there was potential for much more serious injury in the actions of the pair, even death, but acknowledged that the behaviour of both had shown some improvement since the incident.
And guess what!
Smith was given a 16-week sentence suspended for 12 months, a supervision and curfew order to be monitored by an electronic tag, and ordered to attend a 19-session thinking skills programme.
Marson was also given a 16-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.
And that’s what you get when you assault a child in a public place. Do I hear a peep out of Childline, or any of the other advocacy groups or fakecharities?

No. Why not?

And I don't think it's just the violent scum that require that 'thinking skills' programme; the judiciary should all be signed up for it too...


Anonymous said...

This kind of thing has always gone on. Street Justice, if you like.

You badmouth someone you get a smack in the gob for it. Lesson learned...don't gob off or accept you got what you deserved.

The only thing that has changed in recent times is that lines have been crossed and punishment now far outweighs the offence.

So we now have a situation where someone who deliberately went looking for trouble... and got it in bucket loads... is perceived as a victim.

Was the "victim" given "words of advice" I wonder ? "Keep away from scum, don't shoot your mouth off and mind your own business" kind of thing ?

Nope. Wonder how long it will be before he claims his victim status again then.

Kevin B said...

"...thinking skills programme..."

That's a new one to me. I'm obviously not up with the latest in sociology gobbledegook since I'm having trouble imagining the content of the course.

"Now Darren, you know when you see a bit of stuff down the club and you get the idea that you'd like to give 'er one? Well that's thinking, that is."

Nah, just doesn't work for me.

JuliaM said...

"This kind of thing has always gone on. Street Justice, if you like. "

It's what our justice system is supposed to prevent, though.

"That's a new one to me."

Me too. Seems a spectacular waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

"It's what our justice system is supposed to prevent, though."

True Julia but... as we all know...the system does a brilliant job of preventing many people from seeking or obtaining anything like what most of us believe to be "justice".

The only real problem here...IMHO... is that the two guys went over the top. A smack in the gob was what he deserved and that's all he should have got.

If that had been the case there'd be precious little to arrest for or prosecute, it wouldn't have made the papers, the lad might have learned a lesson and kept his mouth shut in future and taxpayers wouldn't be forking out thousands to settle a petty squabble between deadheads.

No compensation claim from the "victim" either.

The Law is a game we all have to play and it's not so much What you do but How you do it that counts.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me it is obviously broken. Both the boys had pasts of violence and were were probably bragging to their friends about how they 'beat up' a young boy. All children say things about something they know nothing about they should have explained to the boy the situation instead of resorting to violence straight away. The sentance was not enough seen as the marson boy then assaulted a girl only a few months later. They learn nothing and people like this are the scum of society and should be locked up for a long time.