Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Justice - What Justice?
Let's imagine one of your neighbours or acquaintances was a world renowned expert in the oil industry and was one of the few businessmen in the world who has the experience and knowledge to move oil rigs.
I would assume he was a clever man who had a hectic but interesting life. He would very possibly be respected by those connected with the oil industry and anyone of his acquaintance.
Liam Gibson is a man who fits the above description and I must state that until last night I'd never heard of him. Neither did I know that there were so few people in the oil industry with the knowledge associated with moving rigs. He is a former Merchant Navy sailor who owns Gibson Marine and by all accounts possibly had a seemingly contented family life in his Pathhead home.
Laim Gibson is 56 and has just avoided a prison sentence. Shame on the Scottish justice system. He should have been locked up for a lengthy period.
Why? Because he pleaded guilty to downloading 49,809 indecent images onto his computer. The images were of children and some seized by the police were at level 5 - the category deemed by authorities to be most serious.
Last Friday he was sentenced to three years' probation and 150 hours' community service at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. The Sheriff passed the sentence after hearing how Gibson provided full co-operation to detectives who are trying to bring online paedophiles to justice and the other reason for the lenient sentence was that he'd pleaded guilty from his first court appearance.
In other words he 'held his hands up' and decided being 'helpful' would go in his favour - and it did.
Three years' probation for a paedophile who had nearly 50,000 indecent images of children in his possession while a woman, who had her father's WW2 gun in her home (no ammunition was found), had to spend 6 weeks in prison before her sentence was quashed, had to carry out 240 hours community service instead.
As I've grown older I've become more and more cynical about the justice system both here and in England. The judiciaries' rulings seem to lack any punishment value. Fines are imposed on whose they know are financially unable to pay and allowing Gibson to freely walk the streets, on the condition that should he access internet child pornography again he would be imprisoned, shows how out of touch the system is with public opinion.
I despair at the lack of common sense within those who hold positions of authority at times. This is one of those times.