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There is a saying in my neck of the woods that the law is an ass. I daresay you have your own version of this as no doubt those who make a pig's ear (mess) out of deciding how convicted offenders are punished are not confined to these shores.
I find myself getting quite cross sometimes at the stupid statements some of our Judges make whilst handing down equally stupid sentences and a case in today's newspapers is a good example.
Three young men - dubbed the 'SMT' graffiti gang - daubed graffiti on train and tube carriages across London over a three year period, causing £150,000 worth of damage (our picture, courtesy of the Daily Mail, shows one of their finished works). In saying he would pass the 'least possible' sentence (a combined total of under four years) Judge Henry Blacksell called the defendants 'talented artists'.
Apparently the trio had been caught three times carrying paint, face masks and gloves between January and June at stations around London before they were even remanded in custody! So it's not just the Judge who's made an ass of himself but the people who let the trio go free when they were first apprehended.
Graffiti causes damage and in this case it disrupted (on many occasions) people's travel arrangements and working days as the trains they were due to catch had been vandalised and taken out of service. That's not talent!
I only wish the trio could be put to work every day, cleaning graffiti from trains and buildings so they can see how difficult it is. That way they might just realise that their 'talents' should be put to better use once they're back in the real world again.
What do you think?
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13th December 2012