Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Call me naive but until I was about 40 years old I always thought the judiciary of England (when I lived there) and Scotland would protect the law-abiding from those who are hell-bent on criminal activity. In recent years some judgements in both countries have left me feeling considerably confused and in certain cases wondering about the mental health of some judges.
This is one example of my doubts concerning the Scottish legal system.
A registered paedophile Graham McLean, 65, has a record of indecent assault and indecency. This individual pleaded various health problems when he was caught with over 1500 indecent photographs of children on his computer(s). The Sheriff at Perth's Sheriff's Court decided his sentence would be 27 months in prison and granted an order that the pervert should not to access the internet for 25 years through an SOPO order.
An SOPO order prevents a sexual predator from possessing, owning, using or having access to any computing or other equipment including a mobile device with internet facilities.
What good is it to imprison a man for 27 months when he'll be back in the community within 9 months and who has a history of indecency from accessing the internet? How would this be policed?
Again I despair at our legal system. This man will always get his rocks off and will probably have access within the prison system to computers - albeit it controlled access.
More and more often I despair at our our laws. Why is it that a man who has a history of paedophlia is allowed out of our prisons? For many years I thought that people who abused children in this way deserved a certain sympathy. Let me assure you their defences can be quite emotional.
Now my opinion has hardened. Men (and women) who use children for their sexual gratification should be locked up for a long time.
As I said, this man will serve around 9 months, but how will it be possible for him to be policed? Anyone can access the internet at any time and a man who has managed to download so many photos of children will never be deterred.
The question of permitting mobile phones in prison is another post of course.