Tuesday, 20 March 2018

In Today's 'You Couldn't Make It Up' News...

An armed robber has walked free from prison after raiding a corner shop with a shotgun to pay off drug debts.
Wait, what...?
Tristan Bassett, 20, had been bundled into a car, assaulted and threatened with having his family’s home burnt down before he was then given a shotgun and ordered by his dealers to raid a convenience store to get the money he owed them.
He proved as inept at this as everything else, and was run off by the shopkeeper's wife, without ever getting the shotgun out.

Which provided quite the excuse-generator for his mouthpiece:
James Partridge, defending, told the court that although the robbery was not under duress – the drug dealers remained nearby but not in sight of the shop – it amounted to exceptional circumstances.
He said Bassett, who appeared in court via video link from prison, should be dealt with leniently.
He said: “He used cannabis and alcohol in the past as a crutch for him which made his situation worst (sic).
“He ended up in a situation where he owed money for drugs. On October 21 he encountered the men and was bundled in the car.
“The gun was something given to him to carry out the robbery and he did not take it out.”
Yeah, that's not going to fly, surely?
Judge David Rennie accepted the case had exceptional circumstances, allowing him not to impose the minimum sentence of five years for firearms offences.
Oh. Silly me.
He said: “It was your fault you got into debt, but nothing would prepare you for the situation you were forced into by the individuals who saw it as a way to get their money back. Yes you could have run away when they car drove off, but I understand you were unable to do so, governed by fear.”
Did he name the dealers? We aren't told. 


Anonymous said...

Gosh, I must try a get out of jail card robbery. After all, the council has just sent me a huge demand for money and doesn't care how I get it.

James Higham said...


Anonymous said...

The last and only time I have got away with the "A big boy did it, then ran away defence" was when I was 5.

John M said...

I don't know where they get some of these judges from.

Back in the day there used to be Judges who, when presented with a Pinocchio sized story about a group of invisible drug dealers taking a defendant hostage and then handing him a shotgun (!!) to raid a store whilst they hid out of sight, would simply have called the whole story "bollocks" and sent the moron down for a lot more than the minimum term.

And in my world, the defending lawyer who proposed that piece of bullshit as a defence would do a month or two for wasting the court's time as well...

Sobers said...

To be fair, this is a known phenomenon in the criminal justice system. Its a common thing for criminal elements, particularly of the drug dealing kind to do what is known as 'cuckooing' whereby they befriend often vulnerable (read mentally ill basically) people living within the welfare system, and use them for their own ends. Such people often have drug habits already, so them being in contact with dealers is commonplace, and its a simple step from selling someone drugs, to going round their house as a 'friend', to getting a key ('Give us a key mate so we can get in and have a cuppa when you're not in'), to dealing drugs out of the house, to then forcing the householder into criminal activity under duress.

I have no idea if this is really what happened in this particular case, but it does happen, for sure, someone I know has been involved in a very similar situation.

selsey.steve said...

Being in possession of a firearm with criminal intent, whether or not the firearm was produced/used ought to attract a mandatory sentence of 25 years.

JuliaM said...

"After all, the council has just sent me a huge demand for money and doesn't care how I get it."

*bakes you cake with file in it*

"...was when I was 5."

Neoteny seems to be a factor of our so-called justice system.

"I don't know where they get some of these judges from."

Ah, well, you see, they needed more women & ethnic minorities, and this is the inevitable result. Why the surprise? We've seen the same consequence in every other arm of the state, after all.

"To be fair, this is a known phenomenon in the criminal justice system."

Yes, indeed. Predators prey on the weak. That shouldn't excuse the weak, should it?

"...ought to attract a mandatory sentence of 25 years."

We can't seem to get them to do that with knives. Guns are out of the question.