I think I mentioned the crime a while ago but the case came to court a few days ago and now we have the verdict.
Here is the story of the incident in brief : family watching a Harry Potter movie in a Leeds theatre when rowdy teens cell/mobile phones keep going off and they were generally making a lot of noise. Mother asks them to be quiet, no joy. Mother calls for member of staff and it's not reported what happened after that. After the movie, family leave theatre to walk across car park to nearby restaurant for a meal and the defendant (one of the teens) leans out of their car and swears at woman. Family eats in restaurant.
The teens then go to nearby service station where the defendant buys a bottle of bleach. Return to restaurant and defendant enters and pours bleach over mother's head, splashing other members of family with it (including children) and runs off, gets in car and all drive away.
Ok so 5 months later and the defendant is up in court pleading guilt to "actual bodily harm" but not to the more serious charge of "causing grievous bodily harm with intent."
Now first of all, is it just me or could going to a service station, buying bleach, returning to a restaurant, going in and pouring said bleach over someone's head EVER be classed as 'without intent ?' Maybe this is some sort of legalese terminology at work here but I'd have to think doing all that involved a fair bit of intent.
Next, the jury actually needed several hours and an overnight stay before deciding that the defentant was guilt of the more serious charge ! Were they having a laugh ? Did someone need to be physically scared for life before this was a no brainer for them ? Jury of peers my ass !
Finally comes the really 'good' bit.
Ohhhhhh but this makes my blood boil. If the mother (46) had given this punk a good slap and told him to shut up or leave the theatre, she'd have been up before the court in double quick time and you can be sure her name, address and family history would've been spread all over the news articles. If the father had done it, he'd have had the same punishment with sexual abuse added on for good measure (man slaps boy) and he'd have been put on a sex offenders register for the rest of his natural.
But oh no. This teen gets the full protection of the dumb ass law around him so we don't ever get to know his name or anything about him.
I understand that knowing his name or seeing a photo of him wouldn't do much for my blood pressure over this whole sorry story but why oh why can these people NOT be named and shamed ? I'd be all for having their photos on display in theatres so they would be refused admission but then we'd have cries about civil rights and liberties.
What about the rights of this family ? They've been named, we know their ages and even that they live in Leeds. No doubt video footage of them arriving and departing the court has been shown on local, if not national, tv news reports. Wouldn't take much for these teens to track down where they live and make their life hell for bringing this case to court.
Of course there was nothing stopping family and friends from taking photos of the defendant as he arrived or left the court. Just for the family album you know !
The sentencing was put off till January 11th and I'm sure he'll get an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order) or some other slap on the wrist and he'll come out smiling and grinning at this fellow teens and go off binge drinking to celebrate, probably kicking some old ladies along the way.
I know no one was killed or even seriously hurt but this sort of thing is a symptom of the youth of today and laws that seem to protect the criminals and not the.....................
Oh God I'm going off on one now.
Time to leave the soapbox free for the next person. Thank you for your time and patience.
Update (15/12) : I'm going to need to stop reading news reports about my home city or I'll be pushing people off the soap box and taking control of it full time.
I despair, I really do. Can these asshole judges be charged with crimes against justice ?