EU weighs in to protect human rights and is right (for once) but ...

Tom Winnifrith Tuesday 18 September 2012


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The European Court has today ruled that the UK has breached the human rights of prisoners by handing out “Indeterminate” sentences – i.e. ones where the crim is not actually released until he is shown to be reformed. The legislation was daft ( it was a Labour Act) since it created a bureaucratic nightmare and it does seem unfair not to tell a crim when he is going to be set free. For once Europe has got it right. Well done the Evil Empire. Busted clocks, twice a day and all that.

But as it happens the UK was going to scrap this legislation anyway.

And it is when you get to the detail of this case that your blood starts to boil. The Telegraph reports:

More than 6,500 offenders have been sent to jail without any fixed date for their release using indeterminate sentences for the protection of the public (IPPs) since they were brought in by Labour in 2005.

The case concerned three Britons – Brett James, Nicholas Wells and Jeffrey Lee – who were given automatic IPP sentences in 2005 and claimed that a failure to ensure they had access to courses in prison harmed their ability to show they were rehabilitated and able to be released.

They and others will now be in line for compensation.

James was jailed for two years for unlawful wounding with intent and had a series of convictions for violent offences. Wells and Lee were jailed for serious violent offences.
The Parole Board ruled he could not be released because he had not completed assessments to make a judgment of his character. However he was unable to get places on anger management and substance abuse programmes.

Oh heaven help us.

Firstly big payouts are on the way for thousands of hardened criminals. More compensation all round. Talking about spending taxpayers money where it is most needed.

Secondly, two years for “unlawful wounding with intent”. James is clearly a dreadful piece of shit. His criminal career started at 17 and before the crime which is earning him a payout of £16,000 he had prior convictions for battery, common assault, affray, disorderly behaviour, racially abusive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Which limp wristed excuse for a Judge thought two years was an appropriate punishment?

Thirdly – a place on an anger management and substance abuse programme? Because James is the victim in all of this is he not? He must have had a deprived childhood, suffered domestic abuse or been allowed to watch too many video nasties. And so the state has to help him. Is there no idea of self responsibility?

Men like James should be banged up for a long stretch. At the very least it might deter others and will keep monsters like him off the streets. And when he gets out it is his choice whether he goes around beating folk up or not. If he repeat offends send him down for even longer next time.

Incidentally, Wells will not be able to spend his payout just yet. He is already back in prison for committing another offence. Let’s hope he is not deprived of some good anger management therapy this time.

I cannot bear to think about this any more. I feel an increasing need for anger management myself.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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