Now don't do it again!... Oops.
In what country does the rapist of a seven-year-old child fail to receive a prison sentence, and then go onto rape a younger child within days of his 'community order' starting?
Surely nowhere in the civilised world.
Well done, Judge Adrian Smith, who thought it would be a good idea to let this depraved sex offender back onto the streets because the parents of the victim "forgave him".
Could this be the same judge who sentenced three teenagers to six months in prison for accidentally setting fire to a charity in 2000, when the charity did not want them jailed at all? He said to them, "Young people on estates and communities up and down the country must realise that the courts view their activities very seriously indeed."
The same Crown Court judge who jailed a man for 40 months for stealing cash as a customs officer, telling him, "You have committed the greatest possible breach of trust when dealing with members of the public"?
The self-same Judge Adrian who put a woman inside for five years for smuggling drugs to her boyfriend in prison, her main crime appearing to be her "type" (ie middle class)?
Or the one who imprisoned a man for just a few months for recklessly endangering an aircraft saying, "This was a serious offence that could have had fatal consequences"?
It's pretty clear that Judge Adrian Smith and myself have a very different interpretation of the words "serious", "greatest" and "very seriously". How can we hope for consistency in sentencing if one judge isn't even consistent with himself?
Then again, there is some consistency. Back in 1999, Judge Adrian Smith sentenced a 12-year-old girl for sexually assaulting a number of very young boys over a period of time. He said the following:
"The courts always take a serious attitude view when someone sexually interferes with children. Normally adults appear before the court, but sometimes other children interfere with children as well. The difference in age between you and these children was a big difference. They would have looked at you and thought of you as a very big girl and that's important, because why the courts take a serious view is that this sort of behaviour is very, very confusing to young children."
She got a 12-month supervision order.
Comments? Questions? Confusion?
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.