String ‘em up. It is the only language they understand. I am not talking about hanging criminals here but Britain’s Guardian reading drippy Judges who appear ever more useless. Talk of “brave burglars” compounds the agony we all feel as we see soft sentence after soft sentence handed down. Today’s entry for the Judge you’d want to hang competition goes to Judge Carol Hagen of Bristol Crown Court.
Karmal Mustafa had been found guilty of claiming £39,000 in handouts while working. He used this to support two families. One in Bristol and one in his native Somalia. But Judge Hagen reckoned that sending Mustafa to prison for a year would cost the taxpayer £40,000 and so in order to trim the budget deficit she let him off with a sentence of doing 250 hours unpaid work. What sort of work I wonder? My guess is not hard labour or indeed anything remotely useful.
The fact that it costs £40,000 a year to look after a prisoner in gaol is pretty annoying in itself. But the fact that this cheat walks free really irks. How about a sentence which deals with restitution of the lost taxpayers cash? Convert the £39,000 into a loan paying interest at LIBOR plus 2% and deduct the repayments and interest automatically from any benefits/income which Mustafa’s family now get. That is the Bristol family not the one in Somalia. And if Mustafa does not like that then he and his Bristol family can bugger off back to the Horn of Africa. Do you think that we’d care?
As for Judge Hagen, she could do us all a favour and cut the deficit at the same time with an announcement of her immediate retirement.