Friday, August 05, 2011

comparitive justice

Jonnie Marbles tries to throw shaving foam at Rupert Murdoch. He gets six weeks in jail.

Two men attack TV presenter Fiona Bruce with aerosols of silly string. They get £80 fixed penalty fines.

Marbles' judge, Daphne Wickham (the same judge who acquitted Delroy Smellie, the G20 cop filmed slapping a woman in the face), said that in sentencing him she had taken into account the fear of injury Mr Murdoch would have experienced. I wonder who had the greater fear of their attackers, given that for years Bruce has been dealing with a stalker who breaches the restraining order to keep away from her?

Contrary to the BBC's headline in the Bruce article, a fixed penalty notice is not a fine, it's something much less than that. A fine is a sentence after somebody has been found guilty. Police sometimes issue a Caution instead, whereby the accused person admits guilt and gets a temporary criminal record lasting five years. A fixed penalty notice is a flat fee for alleged minor anti-social behaviour; it does not admit guilt and is not a criminal record.

Marbles, meanwhile, immediately appealed against his sentence. His judge decided to undermine it by sending him to jail while the appeal is pending, so even if it quashes the custodial sentence he will have spent the time incarcerated and not be due any compensation for it.


Jay said...

So is the Fiona Bruce judge too soft on criminals, or the Murdoch judge too harsh? or both?

merrick said...


there was no judge for the Fiona Bruce thing! The police decided that there didn need to even be a Caution.

They'd have to look at what actual distress was caused before making the call, so whetehr they were too lenient or not I can't say. If she's not in fear of her stalkers, which is definitley an if, then it's just arsing around and nothing to be treated as criminal.

Marbles, on the other hand, was waaaaay over the top. Personally I'd be giving him a fucking medal, but the dea that waving shaving foam near someone warrants 6 weeks in chokey (reduced to 4 on appeal) is absolutely absurd, unless it's someone with a lethal extreme allergy to shaving foam.