This little story has popped up on my radar.
First the crime.
(Trainee Paramedic) Stephen Mason was attacked in August last year. He was unconscious for 12 hours and off work for four months.
Now the people who admitted the attack.
Soldier Jake Roe, 21, and doctor Nik Mann, 27
And the punishment?
200 Hours community service and a £3,000 (or £300, reports differ) compensation.
The reason the judge gave for why they didn't receive prison time?
“If they receive prison sentences they will lose their jobs which serve the country and the community,” he said.
GAH! And possibly a false assumption.
Primarily the judge is sending the message that you can nearly beat someone to death, and as long as you have a 'worthy' job you can receive a much lighter sentence. This isn't as bad as the judge that told the paramedic who was beaten by his patient that it was 'part of the job and he should expect it', or the mental health trust that had a job description including “Exposure to verbal and physical aggression from patients and their relatives and or carers.”
So a trainee paramedic gets the crap kicked out of him, but because the guilty parties have the right jobs they pretty much get away with four hours a week for a year of voluntary work.
My brother the teacher is taking this story into his school today, so that he can explain to the children that if they get good exam results and a decent job then they can get away with a lot more than if they are unemployed. Also that they shouldn't work for the ambulance service, because then your bruises (and coma) mean less.
I wonder if I would get a similar sentence were I to come across these people and put them in a coma? Or would I get a heavy sentence because these jobs are more 'worthy' than mine?
There is nothing quite like a story like this to make you realise exactly how valued you are.
I'm going to be kicking a lot of 'friends' on Facebook in the next few hours – After looking at it I think that it will be much more use if I restrict that particular network to people that I know rather than including people who read my blog. I'll still be accepting anyone on Livejournal and Myspace. Sorry – it's not that I hate you, just that I think that Facebook works better if I keep the numbers small.
Comments have been disabled from this post so that no-one can influence any further action from legal or professional bodies. I am so proud of people that it didn't turn into a classic internet flame-war.