Monday, 11 October 2010
A problematic sentence: R v Bolton, Griffin and Marshall - Manchester Crown Court
Some sentences handed down by judges make people wonder just where the law is heading. Three men in Manchester have just received "Intensive Alternative to Custody" - (which is available in Greater Manchester) - sentences for an appalling crime. Please read Manchester Evening News 11th October 2010.
It is extremely hard to see why they are not now serving a substantial prison sentence. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm - to which they pleaded guilty - carries a maximum sentence of 5 years. It also makes one wonder what help and support is being given to their victim - see here.
The case also highlights the need for "Sentencing Remarks" to be published in full. The public ought to be entitled to see the reasoning behind sentences handed down in serious cases. The new Scottish Judiciary website does so.
Addendum 16th October: The Guardian refers to the case at Manchester in an article by Ian Birrell - "A whirlwind of hatred against the disabled." Mr Birrell is the father a child with severe learning difficulties. With reference to the Manchester case he wrote: 'In Manchester this weekend there are three sadistic young men swaggering around, no doubt still laughing, not least at how they escaped jail. And in another part of Britain their scarred victim is trying to rebuild his life, having being forced to move home as punishment for being tortured. Is this really the kind of country we want to live in?