Punishment or Mercy

Occasionally I scour the web looking for stories that might interest my esteemed readers. But most of the time the story jumps out. As an erstwhile journalist one gets a gut feeling about what's hot and what's not and at the risk of sounding immodest I can usually predict what the media will lead on that day. That is more a function of the lazy. unimaginative mainstream media becoming predictable, rather than any special skill.

But far more interesting are the stories that are not big news; they are a blip on my radar and only register subliminally. And then a weird thing happens. They bubble under and won't go away. They sit fermenting in the back of your mind and then....

42 years ago a former soldier and petty criminal, Harry Roberts was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of three policemen. The year was 1966. There were no mitigating circumstances: the officers confronted Roberts, a career criminal and others after stopping their car. All carried guns and they decided to shoot it out. The officers who died were:

PC Geoffrey Fox, 41
Sgt Christopher Head,30
Detective Constable David Wombwell,, 25

I am against capital punishment. It serves no purpose, is not a deterrent and is frankly barbaric. Not only that, too many innocent people could be wrongly executed.

However, and this is a big however. Criminals and murderers should be in no uncertaintly that crimes as wicked as this one should carry life imprisonment, meaning LIFE. The prospect of spending the rest of ones life in prison should be enough to make scum like Roberts think twice about carrying a gun. And on the subject of guns, all those youths who carry weapons should be imprisoned for several years, just for carrying them. It is the only way. If they are not apprehended and go on to kill, they should be under no illusion about what awaits them. Life means LIFE.


Faux Cu said...

I remember that period well, at least a part of it, for I was quite young.

I seem to think it involved a bank raid and there were more than Roberts involved.

I think there was another two, all ex-soldiers, one of whom was called Duddy.

I think Roberts was no ordinary soldier as he was reputed to have "SAS" (then a word unspoken) training and holed out in some forest somewhere.

His brother stayed across the road from us in Inner Bearsden and one morning at dawn there was an armed police raid at Duddy's brother's house.

I said to my Dad that it was exciting to live near criminals and my my Dad took me aside and explained thus.

Mr Duddy, whom he knew well was a good man and if his brother had been involved in what was going on, it was not the fault of Mr Duddy.

He, despite the fact that he was not at all religious, said that Mr Duddy was not his brother's keeper.

Each of us have to be responsible for our own actions and not blame other people.

My Dad was alright.

So, fuck Harry Roberts I say, let him rot.

ex-bobby said...

If the police were allowed to ignore the people carrying drugs, in order to prosecute more effectively the people carrying weapons, then we'd all be a lot happier. I'm no longer a serving police officer, but the number of times I saw some poor sod get jail time for possession/dealing a tiny amount of drugs, while gangs of kids with knives walk out of the station drove me to distraction. From a professional position, the fact that those knives would likely be used against me or colleagues in an arrest situation was the most worrying part of the job, and anyone who trusts their stab jacket should always be aware that it was supplied by the firm that promised to deliver the CHEAPEST equipment, not the best.

The war on drugs is lost, and was always pointless, but if we don't win the war against weaponry, British society will change forever - there is no alternative to an increasingly remote, armed, european-style police force if we do not remove the weapons from all sides of the equation.

Policing by consent is the only way to maintain the nature of current british policiing, and there's no way to maintain that consent when we're required to enforce laws that a large part of society does not support. If you'd ever had to nick a nice middle-class kid for posession of ecstacy, then seen his outraged Daily Mail reading parents berating you for "not dealing with the REAL criminals", you'd know what I mean, and how far the opposition to drug laws goes. I grew tired of prosecuting people for the things they put into their own bodies, when the real problem was the stuff people were putting into OTHER PEOPLES bodies - bullets and knife blades, mainly. Drug laws need a wider laxity, and knife/gun proscriptions MUST be prosecuted more effectively.

Take the crime out of drugs, take the criminals out of the equation. That way the police can prosecute the crimes that the citizenry actually want us to.

Faux Cu said...

Too sensible an approach for politicians