Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Some People Can't Take a Hint

Earlier this year a repeat offender is dealt with by my colleagues. They give him one of the brand-new orders combining a prison sentence, suspended, plus unpaid work, probation supervision and drug treatment. He is given his first supervision appointment for the day after the court hearing. He doesn't turn up. He isn't AWOL for long though, because the very next day he is arrested for an offence that is near-identical to the previous ones.

Not a tricky sentencing exercise, really. We had the pre-sentence reports that had only been written a few days previously. His solicitor mitigated, but I don't think that his heart was really in it. Inevitably we implemented the four month suspended sentence, added another four for the latest offence and made them consecutive - eight months in all.

What on earth was in his mind? Surely even the dimmest little yob could see that he had reached the end of the line? His solicitor will have told him that he was on just about the highest level of penalty short of prison. So he spurns probation and goes thieving as soon as he can find something worth nicking.

Sometimes we just have to accept that a few of our clients are beyond any reach of what we would call reason.

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