Is this really justice??

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by 2nd man down, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    John Humble, surely the most cowarly scum sucking low life that ever walked the planet.
    I hope the fires of hell are stoked good and hot for when he arrives down there cos that's surely where he's headed after what he's done.
    For those of you who have been living in a box for the last few weeks and have no idea who he is, John Humble is Wearside Jack, The man responsible for the most hideous, cruel hoax in the annals of British crime history, and who's hands are stained with the blood of the last three Yorkshire Ripper victims.

    John Humbles' tape and letters caused total and devastating confusion amongst the police ranks and undoubtedly forced the re-directing of vital resources away from the area that the police should have been (and had been up until that point) looking in, and as a result, Peter Sutcliffe was able to butcher three more innocent women before being caught, as it happens purely by chance. No one can say for certain that the police would have caught Sutcliffe before they did had this hoax not have taken place, but the facts are that Sutcliffe slipped through the net on numerous occassions, purely because he didn't fit the known profile of Wearside Jack.
    As it turns out, Humble would still be a free man today had it not been for the fact that a sample of his DNA was put on the central DNA database following his arrest on a drunk and disorderly. The DNA that todays forensic scientists managed to pull from the envelope seal would mean nothing if they had not had a sample of his to compare against. Thank God that Humble proved himself to be as thick now as he was then and that he was stupid enough to get himself arrested more recently.

    So, and here's the point of this post really, with millions of pounds of police money wasted looking for him, and the deaths of three women partly attributed to his actions, and possibly even the early death of George Oldfield as a result of the stress that the hoax caused, what does the law of the land sentence him to once they catch him? Do they throw the book at him? Do they make sure this idiot of all idiots never see's the light of day as a free man again?

    No. They give him 8 years.

    8 years!! Unbelievable. He'll be out in 6 no doubt!!

    The laws that limit the available penalty for a crime such as this stink. As far as I'm concerned this man should be made to rot away in the most inhumane cell they've got, and then have his remains fed to the rats.
  2. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    This is one of the major problems with our justice system today, punishment no longer fits the crime.
    For starters, this early release thing needs stopping completely, and replacing with full sentences, plus time ADDED ON for bad behaviour. In other words, if you're a good boy (or girl) in prison, you'll get out at the end of your sentence. If you're not, you'll be in LONGER. And if there's a capacity issue (which there is), build some more prisons. (Instead of wasting £250k on a ROCK outside a hospital entrance, for example).
    Then, sort out the serious inbalance between sentences for crimes against people, and those against property. When a hit-and-run coward kills a young child, and gets 18 months, but people who steal get more, there's sonething seriously wrong. If you kill someone through neglect, or driving like a loony, it should be treated as manslaughter and sentenced appropriately - 15 years. Plus 50% if you drove off and left them for dead. (this could be called the "cowardly scum penalty").
    I think the people who decide these things are somewhat removed from reality, and public opinion.

    Awwwwwww, now look, you made me rant!
  3. HSB

    HSB Member

    I'm sure the early release is there because some people are genuinely changed by their time in prison. As a tax payer, I wouldn't want to have to pay to keep someone in there an inordinate amount of time. You have to trust other people's judgement. Prison should be about reforming someone and bringing them back into the community when it's felt they're ready. The people who make those decisions have nothing to gain (success stories are never reported, for obvious reasons, they don't sell tabloids) but everything to lose.

    In the case of Wearside Jack, he may have been abused by his father, left home, lived on the street and become an alcoholic and an attention seeker. He may have been your brother, your uncle, your cousin. He didn't kill anyone, he wanted to attach himself to a 'celebrity' (and, let's face it, we do have a tendency to make serial killers 'celebrities').

    To call him the lowest scum-sucker ever and hope the fires of hell are ready for him should be reserved for people like Ian Huntley, Ian Brady, etc.

    Let's put it all into context. This guy (however bad his crime) is probably (or was then) a washed up fool. To crucify him as the lowest of the low is playing into the hands of the tabloid press.
  4. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sorry but i disagree. What he did was past sick or misguided. It was born from pure evil. In his own admission he did it out of a grudge for the police because of a previous conviction.
    If he really felt that guilty about it or seen the wrong in his actions he would have handed himself in. He made one hasty phone call to try to absolve himself of blame. What a scumbag.
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I've personally felt for a long time that anyone involved in a hoax call of any sort whould face a penalty equivalent to the possible consequences: for example, a hoax call to the fire brigade should lead to a sentence quivalent to that for manslaughter, since their actions could lead to the brigade being unable to respond to a genuine call resulting in loss of life.

    In this instance, the hoax calls definitely impeded the police enquiries, sending them off on a wild goose chase and delaying the capture of Peter Sutcliffe. Therefore I would say that it should be a sentence euqivalent to that for manslaughter in this instance as well, and agree that what he's actually received does not seem sufficient. I admit that I have not followed the court preceedings in any detail, but I'm not aware of any expressions of remorse on his behalf.
  6. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    One of the reasons the crime rate keeps rising, is because the 'powers that be' forget that Prison is to Punish NOT rehabilitate. If prisons were the extremely unpleasant places they used to be, criminals would not want to take the risk of going back! Taking away their liberty for a few years is not enough. Most lenient sentences are a result of government pressure on the judiciary because of overcrowding. They need more prisons.
    When the death penalty was abolished, we were told that instead murderers would be locked up for life! Now 'life' is around 10 years, often out in 6! How can it be right that I could break into your house and rob you at knife point but get the same sentence if I break in and kill you?

    Remember that most criminals are repeat offenders and even 'first' offenders just haven't been caught before.

    One of my 'pet hates' is that perjury carries a possible 7 year term, so if I plead not guilty, lie like a loon in the box and then am found guilty, why isn't some of that perjury sentence added on to my punishment?
  7. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I agree that prison should be there to punish, however if someone ants to change and leave prison a more valuable member of society then I think the opportunities should be there for them.
    I also agree with the comment that a full sentence should be served with time added on for bad behaviour.

    However I feel that going back to Victorian style "unpleasant" prisons would be counter-productive. If you look at prision around the world that are unpleasant they only serve to toughen up prisoners more. Some of the people coming out of Russian prisons are extrmely ruthless and have been toughen up trying toi survive in these places. There hasn't been any evidence that it cuts crime
  8. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Well, while they are in prison they don't commit offences. ;) In my experience, most people sent to prison have had plenty of chances to change their ways before a custodial sentence is passed.

    I don't want our prisons to be brutal regimes like some of the countries you mention, but I don't want games rooms, gyms, TV's, sports halls etc. A cell, books and a radio would be about it. I'd like a 2 year sentence to seem like 10 just from the boredom.
  9. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I totally agree with you on all that, I just think that we shouldn't lose sight of the people who geuinely want to sort their lives out and want to go 100% straight and should be agiven as much help and support as possible. However in their case they should still serve the full term as we can't forget the victims who are affected when they see these people seeminlgy walk away with a light sentence
  10. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    You may have a point. I just never met anyone who really wanted to change, except when talking to a parole board or psychiatrist! ;)

    Here's a little story about our wonderful Justice system.

    I'm driving a patrol car round Stoke Newington in London when we get a call to a suspect trying to break into a flat. A few moments of swift driving later we arrive and go to the door. The woman next door says she called us. A man wearing black shirt and trousers had been trying to force the door with a large screwdriver, but had run off when she saw him. We return to car and drive to the end of the road, looking for our man. A guy at a bus stop says you looking for a guy dressed in black? He ran down that road. We drive to the end of the road, where a man washing his car tells us that the suspect ran down an alley. My colleague leaps out and goes down the alley. I drive to where the alley comes out and enter, on foot, from that end. In the alley we meet up with a man wearing black shirt and trousers. Stop and search him and find a large screwdriver stuck down his waistband. We nick him and stick him the car and go back to our witnesses to get details for statements later. The woman next door identifies him and we get Scenes of Crime to check door for prints and they also match our man's screwdriver to the marks on the door. The suspect had only just come out of prison after 3 years for burglary.

    Now the good bit! At the Inner London Crown Court trial, on a Monday, the Court police Inspector asks me how long we'll take. I explain. 2 police witnesses. 3 civilian witnesses and a Forensic Scientist. The Inspector says hmmmm could be tight. Jury sworn in, and off we go. We all give evidence and get to Thursday morning. The defence lawyer tells the court that the suspect had polio as a child and wore calipers so couldn't have run from the scene. We point out that he was not wearing them at the time of arrest, nor for the days in custody between arrest, Magistrates Court and the trial at Crown Court and never asked for any. The Judge sent the jury out and then told us that there was an element of doubt in his mind that the civilian witnesses were correct and he was not going to let the jury decide. He called the Jury back in, told them he was not satisfied with the prosecution case and was not going to ask them to decide. He dismissed the case!

    As I'm leaving the court in disgust, the Court Inspector said "Told you it would be tight"! "The Judge has a Golf Tournament this weekend and needed to be away by Thursday afternoon"!!
  11. Andy Cooper

    Andy Cooper Member

    And its not just crown court - the magistrates are just as bad if not worse the amount of times they are taken in - I work in the murky world of fraud, and the number of times Ive seen some idiot of a magistrate let a 100% provable case off with a slap of the wrist just because they turned the tears on at the court and "i only wanted to get some money to buy my child a Christmas / birthday * (delete as appropriate) present.
  12. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Being a fairly right-wing sort of chap I have no sympathy whatsoever with the prison reform /bleeding hearts brigade. Making sure the naughty / misguided / deprived / socially inept people have a comfortable time in prison, with a nice single cell, ensuite toilets and TV etc is not a punishment to my mind. I don't have an ensuite bathroom at home, so why should they have one when they are supposedly being punished?!

    Prison is entirely, completely voluntary - the people who fill them have a choice whether to go there or not. If they don't want to go there, don't do the crime, it's a simple as that.

    I applaud :clap: whoever it was who said that prisons are to punish, not rehabilitate. However, I have no problem with rehabilitation coming after the punishment. So 10 years should mean 10 years in prison with a rehabilitation period tacked on the end. Never mind having a 10 year prison sentence reduced to 6 years of ping-pong for good behaviour. Let's make them do something useful while they are in there, never mind playing ping-pong! Do they still sew mailbags in prison these days? ;) Or is that now done by a machine somewhere in Hong-Kong?
  13. The other son

    The other son Member

    Actually - if his sentence was 8 years, he'll be out in 4 if he behaves well, but he'll have 4 years of suspended sentence over him. My mate does sentencing, so thats what he reckons

    of course he's been wrong on no fewer than a google of occasions
  14. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    I agree with you, but still, innocent people go to prison. Of course, this is a very small minority, and you cannot change it just for them, but they have to be taken into consideration!
  15. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Not necessarily disagreeing with people saying that prisoners should serve their full sentences, but how is this to be paid for? Extra prisons would be needed and extra staff. And a probable consequence would be that people were given smaller sentences, so that while they served the full length of their sentence, that sentence was in reality the same as it is now.
  16. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I still don't see how it can possibly be deemed fare that someone who takes another persons life, and is given a life sentence in return, can be out and free before their life has expired.

    Life should be life, not just the best years of it.

    As for Humble, I just think the 8 that he got was disgusting considering the devastating effenct he had on that whole enquiry.

    And having heard him now, and having been amazed at how much like the taped voice he still sounds after all this time, how come none of the people round him shopped him???? There should at the very least have been one person that came forward and said "I know this guy and he doesn't half sound like the bloke on that tape!"
  17. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I agree to a point, but this should only apply to someone who callously takes a life. If instance a wife has been abused by her husband over a course of many years and snaps and is sent to prison there is an argument that that person shouldn't necessarily "rot in prison" (some may say that she shouldn't be in there at all.)

    My cousin died when he fell out with his mate, they had a scuffle and he fell and hit his head on the pavement. He went to sleep that night and never woke up. His friend actually got done for it but luckily the court saw sense and he never got sentanced. However if he had been sent down there is no way he should have spent the rest of his days inside. It was an obvious accident and he was full of remorse and guilt anyway.

    It's easy to tar all criminals with the same brush but there are different circumstances.
  18. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Of course there are extenuating circumstances which must be considered on their own merit. Self defence against domestic violence or abuse and involuntary manslaughter surely must carry a much lesser sentance, I was indicating like you said towards the deliberate taking of anothers life rather than accidental or coincidental.
    The effect Humble's involvement had on the ripper enquiry could be seen as neither accidental or coincidental because he didn't accidentally send the tape or letters, and he must have known that his hoax would severely hinder the investigation which is exactly why he did it, and that that could only result in the increased risk of further murder victims.
  19. persins

    persins Member

    I think the whole system is fundamentally flawed. There is no real fear of prosecution anymore, especially for the younger offenders. It may just be media hype but the actions of the youth of today are getting worse and worse.
    I'm only 25 but when I was younger, I was petrified of doing anything wrong and that was just from my parents. If the Police were involved, that would have meant immediate and total loss of bodily functions!

    There seems to have been so much watering down of the punishment of ever layer of crime that it is in danger of becoming totally ineffective.

    Thanks for starting that 2md. It's angried up the blood nicely for a night out with a few beers. A couple of stella's and a footy match followed by a discussion on the British justice system should make for some interesting arguments tonight!!!

    Good thing I'm not aggressive ehh!!