There are a number of blogs out there highlighting the failure of the justice system to punish criminals and I won't make a habit of joining them. This case though just highlights how our justice system fails to protect anyone including those charged with upholding the law.
Two police officers intervened when five thugs were threatening a doorman. The thugs turned on the police and assaulted them both causing significant injuries. Three of the five were convicted of affray and one of assault after a week long trial.
Philip Rawlings was sentenced to 46 weeks in prison suspended for 2 years. David Rawlings and Michael Pulford were sentenced to 36 weeks in prison suspended for 2 years.
This is what the sentencing guidelines have to say regarding the offence of affray.
'Custody is the starting point in their sentencing decision but there is power to reduce the sentence by up to 1/3 for an early guilty plea, which may mean that custody can be avoided by the offender co-operating at the earliest stages. As an alternative to custody, the sentence may be a community punishment e.g. community service, which is served in the community.'
These three didn't plead guilty and because the attack was on police officers there were aggravating factors that should have meant an immediate prison sentence.
Our ineffective justice system will argue that the three received a prison sentence but the court chose to suspend it. A suspended sentence means no penalty. A suspended sentence means if you commit another offence within the 2 year period of its suspension you might have to serve the sentence.
Many years ago I was sucker punched in the cells by an offender. I had a black eye and four stitches in my eyebrow as a result. The offender pleaded guilty to ABH and was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment suspended for two years. A year later he was charged and convicted with ABH. He was fined £150 for that assault and the suspended sentence was not invoked.
Our justice system is so focused on reducing the prison population in order to save money it is of no deterrent effect at all. It is rewarding offenders and failing to protect the vast majority who uphold and obey the law.