Letter: Sentences must fit crime
This letter sent to the Star was written by Mike Lawton, Grenoside
There have been reports in The Star recently, about a spate of burglaries affecting business premises, such as those on Ecclesall Road
Thanks to some fine police work, an arrest has been made for two of these burglaries, and two shoplifting offence, followed by a conviction.
The good news ends there, for whoever passed sentence on the guilty party, is out of touch with reality, and should be put out of a job.
I am not in the habit of swearing, but when I saw that the offender had been jailed for a paltry six months (meaning he will probably be out in three months), an expletive came forth from my mouth.
That being my reaction, I wonder what the owners of Cafe Aroma, and Nonna’s think, whose premises were broken in to, and also, all the other businesses that have been affected in this way.
It could also have a disheartening effect on the police force, who receive criticism for not catching burglars, but when they do, this happens.
This case needs referring to some sentencing authority, and a more appropriate sentence passing.
If not, what sort of message does it give out to other would be burglars, and what encouragement is there for people to set up in business, knowing they won’t receive proper protection from the courts.
Since I composed this letter, The Star has stated five more arrests have been made over burglaries.
Police Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has rightly praised the police for success in catching criminals, but his words would mean much more if he publicly spoke out about the people doing the sentencing, failing in their duty to the public.
You have been re-elected Dr Billings, now show you deserve it.
I am sure The Star would welcome words of action.