Archive for November 10th, 2008

November 10th, 2008

When Prosecutors Fail

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The Crown Prosecution Service isn’t known as the Criminal Protection Service for nothing. Ask Karen Nicholson, a 53-year-old platform staff assistant with First Great Western Trains.

She had cause to feel completely let down by the judicial system – and CPS in particular – after intervening when a colleague was getting battered by serial thug, Robert Halkett.

Halkett was caught trying to evade his fare from Plymouth to London & attacked the train manager who caught him.

Mrs Nicholson ran onto the train to help the manager & was punched in the face twice by Halkett for her troubles, leaving her with 2 black eyes.

Halkett was arrested the following day when he was seen at the same railway station. He was interviewed & charged with two cases of ABH.

The CPS subsequently dropped the charges with the excuse that the victim’s injuries were not serious enough for a trial.

First Great Western, in a landmark case,  took out a private prosecution against Halkett & he was last week sentenced to four years; 39 months for assault & 9 months for theft.

Judge Paul Darlow commented that it was “only down to the rain company that proper charges were laid & the proper sentence passed…. while lawyers squabble the two people who were actually there are at the back of the court and have a real sense of grievance.”

What made the CPS decision even more crass was that Halkett had a string of convictions for attacks on rail staff.

I guess that’s what happens when you base a prosecution system in the hands of people who know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.