Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Judge For Yourselves !

The law is an ass.

How often have we heard and said that over the years ? I know I've said it quite a few times myself.

Usually we don't mean the law itself but those that we rely upon to enforce it. Or not.

I don't often get annoyed with anything I read in a newspaper as, for one thing, I haven't bought a newspaper since 2001 and that was only to get the historic editions that came out the morning after 9/11. Prior to that ? Well when was the internet 'invented' as I know that brought about the end of my newspaper buying days as I could get news minutes after it happened rather than many hours later ?

However I do like to get news sent daily to my email inbox via newspaper web sites so in a way, I guess I'm still supporting these businesses, albeit for free, which is fine by me.

So it was that I was lying in bed this morning, scanning the headlines from my local newspaper, the Yorkshire Evening Post. The following headline grabbed my attention : -

Have a read and I'll wait for you.............

Well ? What do you think ?

The article annoyed me on so many levels. Putting aside the actual story for a minute, what about the reporting of the details ? Did these 7 children actually belong to the woman as it's not clear, is it ? What ages were they ? Did she drive them to the club before her binge drinking session and if so, where were they during this time ? Did she leave the club and THEN pick them up somewhere ? What were they doing out at 11:30pm ? And best of all.....how do you get 7 children and an adult into a ford Escort anyway ??!!!

I have no answers for any of those questions (and you may think of a few more) and obviously neither did the reporter or if he did, he decided to keep them to himself. I don't see a Pulitzer Prize on his CV anytime soon. I fear a Yorkshire Reporter Of The Week award might pass him by too.

And then we have the details he did actually supply.

Let see now; a woman gets blathered and drives a car on our roads, endangering herself (a VERY minor consideration it has to be said), the occupants of the car (7 sardines, sorry, children, somehow squished in with her) and then any other pedestrians or motorists who might come into contact with her, literally. Mercifully for all concerned, it was just an inanimate object in this case.

Then she left those children (after 11pm remember and some of them were slightly hurt) and went off to get help. But lets not be too harsh on her for that as, after all, she was drunk so not really in the best frame of mind, eh !

The number of laws she broke that night had to have been impressive when read out before the judge. Then we read she had a bit of 'previous' too. A prior drink driving offence in 2005 and others for wounding and criminal damage. Nice.

And what does she get for all this ? A suspended sentence ! WHAT ???? I mean even if the 7 kids were hers and so would be motherless for a few months/years, it hardly seems a big loss ! And does having 7 kids give you immunity from prison ? I sense a population explosion if it does !

Then we read that she expressed regret, no wait, deep regret, for her behaviour that night and "accepts full responsibility for it." Well that's just awesome. That's spared the kids from sharing the blame and lets that bollard off scot-free. Brilliant.

Given the lack of relevant details in the article, I guess we may not have all the facts. Hell I KNOW we don't have all the facts as shown by my questions at the start. But you know what ? The part of the article that infuriated me more than any other was the following......

...the 37 yr old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.....

And THAT, my friends, is why in this case not only is the judge an ass, but so is the law !


Daphne said...

GRRRR! It's really not clear whether they were her kids but my first impulse would be to take them all into care and let her earn the right to have them back - if indeed she wants them - by her future responsible behaviour (HAH!) Bad reporting of an infuriating story. Suspended sentence? HAH again!!

rhymeswithplague said...

The names of juveniles are not revealed in the U.S., but the names of adults are published all the time, along with photographs. Then the nice telly reporters interview the neighbors wot found the kiddies, the policeman on duty, the children themselves, and the person on the next block who heard the crash, thereby tainting the local populace from whom an unbiased jury is supposed to be chosen.

Maybe your way is better.

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