Home Office minister Hazel Blears on anti-social behaviour :
"we are seeing much more cooperation from the courts in making sure decent people who are prepared to stand up and challenge this behaviour are properly protected."
The practice :
An unemployed kickboxer who killed a pensioner with a single punch was jailed yesterday for just 2 1/2 years.
Brutal Craig Swann hit out at 67-year-old William Bird who had asked him to stop cycling on a footbridge. Swann, 21, then cycled off, leaving Mr Bird seriously injured, and boasted later to his mates that he had "beaten the c*** out of an old duffer".
The grandfather-of-five died five days later in hospital. The attack in the Somerset seaside town of Bridgwater sparked outrage at the time and feelings were running high yesterday.
Deputy Mayor Bill Monteith said: "It's an absolute scandal that this happened in the first place. It's hardly a sentence at all. With good behaviour, he'll be out in 14 or 15 months."
More on the story here.
Distraught wife Jane broke down when the sentence was read out and was too upset to comment after the case.
Naturally the Tories have condemned Judge Thomas Crowther's (who described the killing as ‘unnecessarily violent’ – how much violence did he consider necessary ?) derisory sentence on the 'unemployed father-of-one who has previous convictions for battery'. Not.
Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said: "There is no excusing what he did, but he has pleaded guilty and it must be left to the judge to decide on the sentence."
The Home Office are putting lots of resource into tackling anti-social behaviour. Faced with three yobs riding their bikes towards you on a pedestrian bridge, they recommend Mr Bird should go here. What a pity his Blackberry wasn't working that day.
Meanwhile, just up the A38 in Bristol. This hardly bears thinking about. That poor child. England, 2005 :
A boy aged three spent three days alone weeping over the body of his father, who had been battered to death at their home in an apparently motiveless attack.
Abraham Marshall is thought to have survived on a few biscuits and had been sleeping huddled next to the corpse. He was finally rescued when relatives called at the flat in Bristol.
And in High Wycombe the girls are proving that when it comes to killing your schoolmates, equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity, is the name of the game. Sisters are doing it for themselves.
A girl aged 12 has been questioned over the “sudden and unexplained” death of an 11-year-old girl, police said yesterday. The suspect, who has not been named, was arrested on suspicion of assault after Alisa Haywood died from acute swelling of the brain.