Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Justice Equal For All; Not

Edward Woollard, 18, has been given a thirty two month sentence for 'violent disorder' for his part in the student protest at Tory HQ recently where he dropped a fire extinguisher from the roof of the building, narrowly missing police and protesters.

It's a stiff sentence for a stupid act but he'll be unlikely to receive much sympathy. His actions are indefensible; they were criminally reckless and could have resulted in severe injury or death of a protester, police office or passer-by.

Jim Jepps says:
Sadly this does not herald a list of prosecutions against violent behaviour. We will not see those who put Alfie Meadows in hospital before the courts, nor those who put Ian Tomlinson in the morgue. This prosecution may well be the first of many against students though, many of whom will not have endangered lives or been violent in the way that Mr Woollard undoubtedly was.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said in his sentencing;
"It is deeply regrettable, indeed a shocking thing, for a court to have sentence a young man such as you to a substantial term of custody.

"But the courts have a duty to provide the community with such protection from violence as they can and this means sending out a very clear message to anyone minded to behave in this way that an offence of this seriousness will not be tolerated.

"It is my judgment, exceedingly fortunate that your action did not result in death or very serious injury either to a police officer or a fellow protester."

Jim Jepps says:
My personal view is that this sentence seems comparatively high compared to others who have committed violent offences, but I'm more concerned that this does not herald the start of a series of convictions against those who did not endanger lives on these protests, whilst violent police officers appear to be immune from the law.

One the same day another young man who drove while twice over the legal limit was jailed him for four months, with a two-year driving ban while his mum (who tried to cover up for him) received a two-month sentence suspended for two years (ie nothing). He was an ex copper, and the son of a Tory MP. The cases are different, and only the judge knows all the details, but; is it a coincidence that people with connections get a surprisingly small sentence, while those protesting about MPs get a large one?

Last year I wrote about Labour Peer Lord Ahmed who got a 12 week sentence while others committing a similar offense got between 2 and 4 years in prison.

Personally I would like to see these privileged people treated just like the rest of us.


Jonathan said...

He got a lesser sentence because he killed someone using a car rather than by another means.

For some reason, if you kill using a car you get charged with "causing death by dangerous driving" which is considered a less serious offence than "manslaughter" which is the charge in all other cases of non-intentional killing.

Adrian Windisch said...

In the older post i was comparing Lord Ahmed killing with his car while texting with two others.

The other case no one was killed, but it could have happened. So not the same but similar.