If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 4 March 2010


I'm almost too weary of this kind of thing to bother commenting. But here goes:

A joyrider has walked free from court after killing a police dog and injuring two officers in a road smash while three times over the drink-drive limit. Sean Lawson, 20, shouted ‘get in’ as his 12-month prison sentence was suspended at Newcastle Crown Court.

Let's just review the offences committed in one 'incident':
  • Rammed a car and then stole it when the owner got out
  • Tried to evade arrest by driving away
  • Lost control and mounted the pavement while being pursued
  • Rammed a police car trying to prevent him driving away
  • Speeding, driving on wrong side of the road, blind bend, no lights
  • Lost control again
  • 90mph with no lights on wrong side of dual carriageway
  • Handbrake turn
  • Hit police car, injuring two officers
  • Hit police dog van, breaking back of police dog, which had to be put down
  • All of this while THREE TIMES over the drink-drive limit.
Here's a question.

If you, or I, or any other law-abiding person, had been caught after doing just one of these offences, what do you suppose the penalty would be? Certainly a fine and points for the minor stuff like the handbrake turn or driving on the pavement. Big fine, many points, and a possible ban for the speeding, evading arrest stuff. Definite ban for the drink-driving. Imprisonment for injuring two officers, killing a police dog, causing God-knows-how-much damage to the police vehicles (which you and I will have to pay for, one way or another). Definitely imprisonment for ramming an innocent motorist and stealing his car. And if you or I did all of this in one crazy episode of mindlessness?

They would throw the book at us. And then lock us away for a very long time indeed. And we wouldn't be able to drive for a long time either, which would affect our jobs and our ability to function in society.

But for Sean Lawson? He walks free.

A 12-month prison sentence - suspended for two years.
200 hours unpaid work - will he even turn up? Many don't bother.
A curfew - which of course he will diligently observe, as many have before him
A 3-year driving ban - will this make him start walking to the benefit office? I'm not sure it will.

He looks a nice lad.

As he heard his 'punishment', he was heard to shout "Get in", which I assume means that he had a feeling of victory over the system, rather than any kind of remorse. And no wonder - he's got away with it.

It wouldn't happen to us.

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