Extreme overreaction

A magistrate, posting a comment on the excellent Magistrate’s Blog:

A case: Man in his 30s bought a bunch of flowers in an old-fashioned florist. Long story, but groped the 16 year old assistant through her overall – no flesh-on-flesh contact. Immediate apology – with an unwanted peck on the cheek. Long story but he got four months. Lost his job as an architect’s draughtsman. Well known member of the Pakistani community here – lost face. Probably an even bigger shock than our sentence. Appealed and sentence upheld. So yes, we ruined his day.

Right. So for something so trivial that only an Andrea Dworkin-esque loony could view it as anything other than a bit rude and thoroughly slap-worthy, this poor bugger has his life ruined – and the courts and appeal courts think this is entirely acceptable?

I’m not Richard Littlejohn, and often find that stuff that gets labelled “politically correct” is sensible and reasonable behaviour (teaching children not to be bigots, making people actually do their jobs, etc). But for the love of God, what kind of loony would call the rozzers in the first place in such a context; and what kind of mad rozzer would take it further than a caution? Jesus Christ…

4 thoughts on “Extreme overreaction

  1. dsquared says:

    [Right. So for something so trivial that only an Andrea Dworkin-esque loony could view it as anything other than a bit rude]

    PDF, the guy was sentenced to four months in the magistrates’ court and the sentence was upheld on appeal. Since you don’t know what actually happened, why gainsay two courts? “Groped the 16 year old assistant through her overall” can cover a multitude of actions and it’s quite possible this guy got what he had coming.

    there’s also local knowledge; it could be that this guy was a local perve and was catching the consequences of a lifetime’s work.

  2. PDF says:

    First of all, I don’t think your final point is likely: the magistrate posting in the original thread would surely have mentioned if the chap had prior form.

    I’m writing up this story based on the facts as reported by the sentencing magistrate. On that basis, I think the sentence (although presumably in line with that mandated by law) was extremely harsh. I can’t remember whether it’s politicians or judges who set tariffs for non-life-sentence crimes; if the former then I apologise to the judges for suggesting that they were at fault.

    It’s possible that there is additional information that the sentencing magistrate chose not to disclose that makes the case actually worse than it sounds on the basis of the facts above, but I don’t think I need to assume that.

  3. dsquared says:

    furthermore, your point is fucked; groping a sixteen year old girl is a serious offence. The poor lass probably thought she was about to be raped, and I bet she won’t have got over it in four months’ time. This looks like a sensible sentence and it isn’t the beak’s fault that the Pakistani community takes a hard line on sex pests.

  4. PDF says:

    Hmm. If he’d done this in a park or other secluded place I’d take your point, but I don’t think there’s the same element of lack-of-control or fear at what might happen in a shop.

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