‘THEY live in Guardian Land’ – this was the rebuke to indulgent judges delivered by a former police chief on LBC radio last year.
He was talking about the case of an 18-year-old who tried to stab another teenager with a 12-inch ‘zombie knife’ (garishly coloured with a serrated blade), only to receive a derisory suspended sentence, a nine-month curfew and 150 hours of community service.
Leaving aside the judge’s unfathomable decision to set a 7pm curfew for someone convicted of an offence committed at 5pm, this sentence is a scandal, especially when one considers the Home Secretary’s promise to get tough on knife crime.
It is also indicative of our elites’ morally perverse and reprehensible approach to dealing with offenders. The judge justified his leniency by citing the offender’s traumatic history. Apparently, some years ago he had been profoundly disturbed by the sight of his brother’s corpse. But does that justify his behaviour? Is that really a mitigating circumstance? Many people experience traumatic events. Life is indeed full of them. We don’t all brandish knives though.
Such an inadequate punishment sends a truly appalling message to violent offenders. You only have to tug the judge’s heartstrings with a hard-luck story like a contestant on a TV talent show and, at worst, you’ll receive a community sentence. Where’s the deterrent?
Worryingly, our increasingly out-of-touch judges appear to view criminals as victims. And this is the crux of the matter. The legal establishment consists of liberal-Left activists who see offenders as helpless victims of an unjust society. They must be mollycoddled and protected from punishment, not locked away. If anything, this extraordinary and perverse view of the world sees the victim as the de facto guilty party, at least partly responsible for the societal conditions that spawned the criminal.
It is therefore no surprise that we’ve seen such an astronomical rise in crime. And before you scream ‘cuts’, or even ‘Khan’ in the case of London, it’s not a recent phenomenon. As TCW has pointed out, crime has been rising since the 1960s when these views first became fashionable.
As a teacher, I witness exactly the same approach on a daily basis. Bullies and violent pupils are treated as the victims of an uncaring society. They are therefore permitted to torment their targets with impunity. The poor souls they abuse, in contrast, are left unprotected and, in some cases, even take the blame for the cruelty inflicted on them.
It really is shocking in its perversity. Morality has been upended by Leftist elites. Criminals go unpunished and bullies unchecked. Guardian Land is indeed a world of chaos and confusion. And as we mourn another victim of knife crime, another promising life snuffed out, one can only conclude that it’s going to get worse.
Footnote: A measure of sanity prevailed in the case mentioned at the beginning of this article when the sentence was reviewed and judges at the Court of Appeal jailed the offender for three and a half years.