Why is sentencing such a lottery for the decent folk out there?
In April 2008, James Howard (then of Carlisle) was sentenced to a 12 month suspended sentence for GBH when he broke a man’s cheek during an assault. (he also got a night-time curfew for 4 months & 200 hours community service). Judge Barbara Forrester said Howard appeared unable to control his temper after drinking and offered him a ‘last chance’. The probation service assessed him as ‘a medium risk’ to the public.
He then moved to Lancashire.
Just days after the move a neighbour was found dead. A post mortem examination showed he had died of “external haemorrhaging from a severe fracture to the nose”. Howard has been charged with manslaughter. The victim, a Mr Waterworth, was 42. His family must be so pleased the previous judge was so thoughtful as to offer a clearly violent man another chance. It’s a pit Mr Waterworth was not offered the same chance.
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old, Peter Savage, was arrested for drink driving just 15 minutes after a previous 3-year-ban for drink driving had ended. He was found to be twice the limit. He was jailed for 3 months in 2005 & banned for 3 years for drink driving. On the latest occasion he was banned for 3 years, given an 18-month supervision order & 200 hours community service.
I wonder how many of the good folk of Canterbury are playing the lottery right now as they make their way around the leafy roads of Kent.