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.