Poll

Which is worse?

Hitting someone over the head with a hammer.
3 (100%)
Dropping a cigarette butt.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 3

Author Topic: Which is worse?  (Read 2483 times)

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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Which is worse?
« on: February 12, 2015, 09:27:20 PM »
Which is worse, hitting someone over the head with a hammer:-

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11788648.Hammer_attack_pair_from_North_Young_Guns_gang_in_court/

or dropping a cigarette butt:-
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11782741.It_s_a_big_fine_4U__ex_manager_told_after_dropping_cigarette_butt/?ref=arc



Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 09:42:29 PM »
Im glad that I am not the only one who has noticed that the legal system in Swindon is right up the creek, these two are a brilliant example, but look also at the hgv driver who was pulled on the m4, high on drugs, what did he get, almost zilch.. and so it goes on, Mr Ross defends these morons every day, and makes a living out of it, and they walk away scott free almost..
I wonder what that judge would have said if the lad hit with the hammer, was his son... :wakeup:

Offline Tobes

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 08:58:02 AM »
The answer to your question Spunks would depend upon whether you're a judge, who knows that there are next to no available places in prison to start with, who knows that instead of being rehabilitated, if he does give him a custodial, he'll come out more brutalised, unemployable, crime-trained and likely to re-offend....

...or...

if you're a zealous SBC employee who knows that a successful prosecution and costs pays for your salary and justifies you continuing to draw a salary to continue doing the same thing.

I don't actually have a problem with the punishment for the arrogant litterer - but the first story is just another example as to how the law is no longer acting as any form of deterrence or cure.

 :(
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Phil Chitty

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 09:38:27 AM »
Did I read this correctly, was a great chunk of the litter bug's fine for refusing to give details to a council warden?

Cos if that realy is the case then I'd better get the cheque book out now. I know one thing for absolutely sure - any Council Warden who stops me in the street and asks my mane and address will get 2 words and the second is OFF.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 10:44:54 PM »
I don't actually have a problem with the punishment for the arrogant litterer.

Neither do I, but the system needs to be fair and the punishments proportional to the crime. We seem to have a system where dropping litter, putting your recycling in the wrong box, smoking in public, or doing 35mph in a 30mph zone attract larger fines and penalties than violent crimes which result in a warning and a second chance.

Quote
The answer to your question Spunks would depend upon whether you're a judge, who knows that there are next to no available places in prison to start with, who knows that instead of being rehabilitated, if he does give him a custodial, he'll come out more brutalised, unemployable, crime-trained and likely to re-offend....

I understand that judges hands are tied by budgets and prison overcrowding. Call me a dinosaur but I am bit fed of hearing the rehabilitation argument. Someone capable of hitting another human being over the head with a hammer deserves to be punished. Ideally punished, educated and rehabilitated, but definitely punished.

The lack of any meaningful punishment means there is little or no deterrent to violent crime.

It is hard to imagine how prison can make someone capable of hitting someone over the head with a hammer more brutal, unemployable or likely to reoffend. Someone with such little respect for human life isn't going to have respect for rules.

These violent thugs are taking the piss out of the system. The police and government announce that they are getting tough on knife crime, so the gangs start carrying hammers instead. When they are caught, they suddenly become model citizens whilst awaiting trial and this is used to get them a last chance in the form of a suspended sentence, except that it isn't a last chance because if when they reoffend they are let off again with a final warning which isn't really a final warning. The system is toothless and the criminals know it. 

The rehabilitation argument is also surrounded in hypocrisy. Just look at the Ched Evans case. He serves his time in jail and there is public outrage when he tries to go back to work.

Going to a shopping centre armed with a hammer and hitting someone over the head is as brutal and pre-meditated as is gets. What do you have to do to get custodial sentence these days?   

Offline Mart

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2015, 09:42:34 AM »
I would like my mortgage to be subject to the same chronological flexibility as a prison sentence.

I would like to be released early from its terms because I have been a model payer.

Just a passing thought.
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Offline Tobes

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2015, 09:49:29 AM »
Quote
Neither do I, but the system needs to be fair and the punishments proportional to the crime. We seem to have a system where dropping litter, putting your recycling in the wrong box, smoking in public, or doing 35mph in a 30mph zone attract larger fines and penalties than violent crimes which result in a warning and a second chance.

I couldn't agree more - its  totally iniquitous. It also masks another creeping societal problem: as the police actually effectively enforce fewer and fewer laws (and ironically, as politicians add ever more to the statute - like the forthcoming ban on smoking in cars containing kids), much more of the law is being pushed into civil and private hands. These laws are effectively 'cherry-picked' - ie, they're the ones the enforcer can either make money from or are which are self funding through punitive fines; Like parking enforcement or dropping of cigarette buts. But tell me this, would anyone sooner tread on a cigarette but, or a gobet of some chav's potentially TB riddled phlegm, casually spat out onto the pavement? One act of anti-social behaviour would be enforced by a council gumpty, and one won't. The other factor which comes into play is whether or not the purportrator might look traceable and able to pay, eh?

Quote
Call me a dinosaur but I am bit fed of hearing the rehabilitation argument. Someone capable of hitting another human being over the head with a hammer deserves to be punished. Ideally punished, educated and rehabilitated, but definitely punished.

Again, I agree. But none of these anti-social behaviours come from a void. Shit parents beget equally unpleasant kids as a rule. And if you come from a poor background and a dysfunctional family, prison isn't perhaps the kind of punishment it might be to other more aspiring people. It seems to me that stick only ever works properly if accompanied by carrot - and this basic fact is one of the very few things psychologists agree about when it comes to getting people to alter their behaviours. If we can't change the way these people think, we're not going to change them fundamentally. I agree that if nothing else, fear of punishment ought to be a deterrent - but for that to become more effective, we'd need to see prisons on the scale of America. And their system of utter social inequality is not something I'd like to ape, however much I'd like to see certain practitioners of crime suffer for their actions.

Quote
These violent thugs are taking the piss out of the system. The police and government announce that they are getting tough on knife crime, so the gangs start carrying hammers instead. When they are caught, they suddenly become model citizens whilst awaiting trial and this is used to get them a last chance in the form of a suspended sentence, except that it isn't a last chance because if when they reoffend they are let off again with a final warning which isn't really a final warning. The system is toothless and the criminals know it. 

Completely agree.

Quote
The rehabilitation argument is also surrounded in hypocrisy. Just look at the Ched Evans case. He serves his time in jail and there is public outrage when he tries to go back to work.

Completely agree again. I was appalled by the moralising scramble as various people and groups tried to shout the loudest about ostracising him for the rest of his life.

And that brings us back to rehabilitation. If there is no sense of its possibility, why are we letting these people back out of prison at all? If you effectively remove the ability to at least return to a semblance of normality after they've served their sentence, then we may as well return to mob-rule and take a casual attitude to lynch mobs in the first place - or adopt a more shar'ia kind of law in which heads or limbs get lopped for all kinds of infringements.

Quote
Going to a shopping centre armed with a hammer and hitting someone over the head is as brutal and pre-meditated as is gets. What do you have to do to get custodial sentence these days?

I would have said cheat the tax man, but even that doesn't seem to hold now, eh?

 :-\
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 11:32:18 AM by Tobes »
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Muggins

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2015, 09:16:43 AM »
Not really followed this case in any depth, but have you checked the background of the story to see if the victim might have been as bad as the accused? 

Was it the first time he had been violent?   

Had been a lot of problem in that neck of the woods leading up to this incident?

No excuse of course for going armed with an hammer.

Just checking!!
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Offline Tobes

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 10:14:57 AM »
Quote
but have you checked the background of the story to see if the victim might have been as bad as the accused? 

 ??? - But THEY are the accused, the victim isn't being accused of anything.

It might be of interest to the bystander, but it ought not to have any bearing on the sentencing, unless the defence could show provocation (and even then, it would be pretty tenuous to try and argue that hammering someones head was a proportionate response, eh?)

The victims name doesn't come up in any google search I've done.

The single most revealing piece about the motivation of the purportrator in this case is that they were apparently a leading figure in a self-styled gang with the pathetic but revealing name of the 'North Young Guns'.

I hate gang culture with a passion - and all the more so when its a bunch of relatively well-off kids in a wiltshire town doing their best to ape the worst excesses of people forced to live in real ghettos.

Adopting a bit of faux jamaican patois, wearing your cap at a jaunty angle and smoking weed all the time does not make you cool or justify your further anti-social behaviour on the basis that you're 'disrespected' or marginalised.

We need to nip this terrible and naive urge for some members our youth to pretend they're in some kind of city suburb. It might be what they hear in the songs they like or the accompanying videos on Youtube, but its not the reality of living in Swindon. If our courts effectively allow them to snub their noses at the consequences of running with their fantasies, it'll only get worse.
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2015, 01:47:11 PM »
Not really followed this case in any depth, but have you checked the background of the story to see if the victim might have been as bad as the accused?

The victims history shouldn't relevant to the perpetrators sentence, unless you are saying that it is okay to hit a bad person over the head with a hammer. If the victim is as bad as the accused, he should also be in prison.

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Was it the first time he had been violent?

Considering the brutality of the violence almost certainly not. I don't believe that many people go from law abiding citizens to hammer wielding thugs in one step. In a case as bad as this I don't think it is relevant whether the attacker has been violent before. Would you allow a violent rapist to walk free on the basis that it was his first offence?

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Had been a lot of problem in that neck of the woods leading up to this incident?

More reason to impose a tough sentence in my opinion.

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No excuse of course for going armed with an hammer.

Absolutely. Give him 3 years for going armed with a hammer and another 7 for using it. If he was carrying a knife, he would have been jailed.

We need to get tough on all crime, especially violent crime. The experts may tell us that prison doesn't work because it doesn't rehabilitate offenders who go on to reoffend after release, but the alternative namby-pamby approach doesn't appear to working either.

If we stick these thugs in jail for 10 years, they might reoffend after release, but at least they will be off the streets for 10 years at the world will be a better place without them.


Offline Muggins

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2015, 07:36:07 PM »
Don't make the mistake of thinking they are 'relatively well off' Tobes. 
Mixed housing tenure over there.
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Offline Tobes

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2015, 07:41:34 PM »
That approach would only work if there was a massive and expensive expansion of the prisons in this country. There isn't any likely move in that direction for the foreseeable future - so demanding more custodial sentences is just rhetoric - it'll only happen if the treasury make extra millions (if not billions) available to provide the cells. T'ain't gonna happen.

I have much sympathy with your views on this, but as much as id like to see more scrotes eating porridge, it's clear that punishment without rehabilitation is just a way of burning folding money for no real return except to appeal to your right-wing vote. The USA is the biggest example anyone could imagine as to how simply locking even hundreds of thousands of people away doesn't work in the long run.

I suspect we're stuck with what we've got for a long time to come.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Tobes

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2015, 07:55:02 PM »
Mugs, you and I both know that many of these kids come from households un-threatened by hunger, which are full of white goods, have satellite dishes on the walls, cars on the drives and who's yoot strut around in new trainers and baseball caps. They might not be 'rich' - but neither are they financially poor compared to all kinds of families who still manage to bring up well behaved and intelligent children.

 They're 'poor' most importantly in terms of the parenting skills they've received and the ethical values which have (or haven't) been instilled by the culture which surrounds them. Their financial background may not be their fault, but neither is it a blanket excuse.  :(
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Which is worse?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 05:45:53 PM »
I suspect we're stuck with what we've got for a long time to come.

I agree. I just feel that we are reaching a point where no one has any respect for the system anymore. We may be going through difficult times, but the system needs to be seen to be fair otherwise the public will lose confidence in and respect for it.

Ordinary working families feel that the system is unfair because they pay their taxes whilst wealthy individuals and companies are avoiding them.

Ordinary law abiding people get hammered in fines for minor first offences whilst violent thugs go unpunished for serious multiple offences. If claiming to be remorseful with a smirk on you face gets you off of a serious violent assault, why doesn't saying sorry for dropping litter get you off the fine. How did law and order stop being about justice and start being a fund raising exercise?

These inconsistencies are breeding a 'them and us' culture. The government like to tell us that the UK is a tolerant country. In my opinion, we are becoming less tolerant by the day.