Thursday, January 27, 2005

Be a Judge for a Day

I am going to set out the bare facts (suitably disguised) of a case that I saw sentenced at a Crown Court. I would really appreciate replies giving honest estimates of the sentence that was handed down. I will wait until we have a few responses from you and I will then tell you what happened.

A woman was out at night with a bag on her shoulder. A man approached her and tried to grab it. She screamed and fought him. He punched her to make her let go of the bag. A brave man who lived nearby intervened and was punched in the head. The assailant gave up and ran away.

He had in fact been holding broken glass so his punches caused the woman to have lacerations that needed many stitches. The good samaritan also needed stitches to a head wound.

In the melée the attacker cut himself, leaving blood that enabled the police to get a DNA match that resulted in his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to Assault with intent to rob, and GBH. He had only trivial previous convictions. So what did he get?

I have asked this question of magistrates, police officers, judges, blokes in the pub, and neighbours. I have done an unscientific survey on public expectations of sentence.

So come on then, what did he get? And,if you like, what should he have got?

Answers when I have enough replies.

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