Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's pathetic! Judge attacks 'ridiculously low' sentencing powers as she lets off benefits cheat who swindled £12,700 - 30th Mar 2011

Sentencing laws that meant a £12,000 benefits cheat could not be sent to jail have been condemned as pathetic by a judge.

Beverley Lunt said it was wrong that the maximum term she could impose on Darren Blagboro was 12 weeks behind bars.

And because the double-glazing salesman had admitted fraud, she had to reduce that sentence and, in the end, suspend it completely.

‘Some may think it’s pathetic and that includes me,’ said Judge Lunt.

The judge said the 12-week starting sentence was itself ‘ridiculously low’ for the theft of taxpayers’ money.

But she complained she had to follow the Sentencing Guidelines Council, which advises the judiciary on what punishments to impose.

She was obliged to give the 27-year-old credit – in this case a reduction of a third – for his guilty plea, which took the sentence down to eight weeks.

Guidelines say that a jail term of a ‘question of weeks’ should normally be suspended, meaning Blagboro walked free from Burnley Crown Court. Read More