Bradley Wernham 18 and a prolific thief, was given a unique chance to turn his back on crime when Judge Christopher Ball QC gave him and his girlfriend a rent free flat courtesy of the taxpayer. He was also ordered to stay away from the area where he had caused so much distress, given 150 hours of community service and given a curfew. This was in response to some 660 burglaries, 20 he admitted to and 640 he asked to be taken into consideration. (I bet the police were more than happy to clear up all those cases in one go! If you get my drift.) Conservative MP for West Chelmsford, has protested at this and written to Jack Straw the Secretary of State for Justice.

Wernham and another man were arrested then last week over the suspected theft of a Porsche.

What was that judge thinking? There are hundreds of people whose lives had been blighted by this man and the only person the law had any regard for was the perpetrator. Unbelievably the police were also happy with this arrangement!

It is not called the Criminal Justice System for nothing. Because the criminals appear to be the only people who receive anything like justice, they get compensation, the people they attack are arrested for fighting back and the sentences are a joke. Maybe we need to re-name it the ‘Victim Justice System’ so we put the people that actually matter at the heart of the whole process. That would remind the police and the courts who the people that really matter are.

Judge Ball called this a “wholly exceptional” case. Yes it is, wholly exceptional in the reward that was given to a criminal. What sort of message does this put out, not only to criminals but also to the victims? When people become disenchanted with the law they are likely to fill the gap by taking the law into their own hands. Is that something we want?

We also need judges with nous. Being legally knowledgeable is not sufficient.

Would this have occurred if the local Chief of Police and / or Judge were elected into their posts? Somehow I doubt it.

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