Friday, 6 November 2015

What Does it Take These Days?

What does it take these days to actually get a serious prison sentence? I ask this, bearing in mind that there is 50% remission before you even serve a day of the pitifully small sentences, and usually concurrent sentences we give out.

I was prompted to ask because a monster called James Canning, who lived in the Doncaster area, was recently convicted of the following crimes: Along with his 'friends' Jay Blade and Amy Gaines, he tortured a girl with metal chain whippings and beatings, until she fainted and feared for her life. She was a friend of Jay Blade's. They all filmed the event as a birthday present to Canning.

Canning And His Accomplices

So what were the charges they faced? ..... Kidnap, Torture, False Imprisonment, Assault and Battery, or even Endangerment of life? ... potentially the list seems endless. No, despite it all being on film, so a no contest court case of any sort ... I mean what sort of 'not guilty plea' could they put up? .... they were only charged with, and admitted to, 'false imprisonment and wounding' .... In Cannings case, he also had added the charge of sex with an under age girl who he had impregnated.

Well at least these charges will be attract a stiff sentence you might have expected ... but not for this catalogue of violent crimes. He and his accomplices only got 4.5 and 5 years youth custody. It used to be that statutory rape (which is what sex with a minor is, or perhaps that's, was), would be a minimum of 5 years imprisonment, and kidnap up to 10 years, with torture another 5 to life.

But now, under our sentencing practises of concurrent sentences and 50% remissions, this man ends up with just a 5 year sentence, and will be back on the streets in 2.5 years. We have to ask ourselves if this is 'justice' anymore. Do the weak sentences and 50% remission mean that criminality is no longer deterred, and that we have lost the streets?

Habitual Criminality ....

Another example of this was the serial burglar and habitual criminal Anthony Darnley (aka Anthony Phillips), who resides in Croydon South London, and who was spared jail for his latest string of offences, after the judge said it would be 'unjust' to send him there ..... in fact he was so well known as a local crack addicted crimbo, that his picture was just posted in all the local press, when the police wanted to pick him up again. He had been convicted of burglary offences in 2007, 2010, and even jailed in 2011 .... but recorder Tom Kerk said "It seems to me that the background to this and the reason for your falling into offending makes it unjust to pass the statutory sentence."

The statutory sentence he referred to, is the sentencing guidance that states that after three offences for burglary, he should have got a mandatory 3 years imprisonment. What hope have we got when judges just ignore parliament or guidance, and do what they damn well want ... this man had been caught in the house of his last offence, and a struggle took place with the occupier.

I, and many others I suspect, believe that we have gone far too far in light sentences ....I believe that sentence remission for any crimes of violence should be restricted to 20% of the sentence, and that has to be earned. I believe that concurrent sentences should be stopped immediately and if you robbed 50 houses you do the time for each offence ..... I suggest that it wouldn't take long for the penny to drop on habitual criminals, and if it didn't, well at least it would be clear to everyone what the result would be.


  1. Concurrent sentences are an insult to the victims and a message to criminals that they should commit as much crime as possible or face the same sentence for just one offence. The case of those 3 animals who kidnapped a young girl leaves me speechless, it's incomprehensible.


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