1. The Telegraph reports that “between April 2006 and April this year, offenders serving community sentences and suspended sentences were convicted of a total of 121 murders. There were a total of 1,004 serious crimes committed by offenders being supervised by the Probation Service, including 22 attempted murders, 103 rapes and 682 other serious violent or sexual offences. Another 374 alleged offences committed by criminals in the community have yet to come to trial.”
2. It would appear, from Ministry of Justice figures, that there has been a rise in the number of offenders being spared jail and given community-based sentences instead.
3. It has been some years, of course, since I sat as a judge but it seems to me that the present Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, who isn’t a lord because of Charlie Falconer’s jiggery pokery with the Constitution some years ago, has got a fair amount of work on his hands. Fortunately, for the Justice Secretary, The Sun and other newspapers of appeal to the majority of English readers in this country, are more concerned with what Jonathan Ross and Willy Brand are up to, but it won’t be long before their attention is engaged by these remarkable figures and readers, as they eat their full English breakfasts in the cafes of our beautiful island, will be able to rant about prison, transportation, hanging, PCSOs, congestion charging, traffic wardens and anything else that comes into their heads at the time – possibly punctuated with appropriate words derived from Anglo-Saxon.
Old habits die hard… but I think it is time to depart from the strictures of the English judgment writing style and break out…..
It is a pleasure to be invited to be a columnist on this blog and I shall take advantage of the invitation, freed as I am from the need to sit in judgement, freed from the need to insert unusual bits of Da Vinci style code into my judgments to keep up with Mr Justice Peter Smith and his magnificent black moustache worthy of a Victorian beadle, and enjoy what is happening in the legal world.
I haven’t worked out quite how I am going to play this. Charon simply asked me to keep to the rules of late night blogging and hit the juice while I blogged. This, I am finding remarkably easy to do – and the convenience of an Oddbins, but 45 yards from my present lodgings will, no doubt, assist.
I keep my hand in by reading the usual stuff and I note today that LawandMore have a list of ten legal blogs and Charon’s blog is on it. I also noted the rather unusual editorial reference, a salutation to Charon from the Editor.. and I quote: ” Charon, we salute you and sorry for setting your chest hair on fire.”
Charon explained that he had been to a lunch at the LawandMore offices earlier in the year – and had enjoyed the experience immensely. He declined to comment as to how his chest hair came to be set alight… he merely muttered res ipsa loquitur as he left to buy a bottle at the bar.
I hope to be able to write once a week or so, provided the Grim Reaper does not get tooled up with a new Googlephone (as Geeklawyer seems to have done) and finds out where I am. I have taken the precaution of not taking foreign holidays so I do not need one of these new passports with antennae built allowing the government to track my whereabouts at all times. I shall be back, hopefully at the weekend. Do call me Henry – it is the name I am now using.
Have a good one….