Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't Ask Me

A joint charge - one man, one boy. One 25, one 15 but looks younger. About eighty convictions between them, thirty down to the boy. The man looks at the bench with a lowering scowl. Domestic burglary of course. The man is a run of the mill local low-life criminal, and is off to the Crown Court to see what a jury makes of him.
Because we are sitting as an adult court and the boy is young we have limited powers to deal with the case and the lawyers need some time to sort out the procedure. We sit outside with some tea while they do so and my colleagues and I wonder just what anyone can do to make any difference with this out of control child who, child or not, is a menace to the local people we are there to protect. He has been born into and grown up among a large extended family among which the violent criminal young men are the role models, and to whom the police and any other kind of authority are sworn enemies.
So what can be done?
Have another look at this post's headline.

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