Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ten months? My blood boils!

A TALENTED chef was permanently disfigured in a vicious glassing attack after making a joke about another man's mother, a court heard today.
The District Court in Brisbane heard 23-year-old Paul Watson was drinking in a Fortitude Valley nightclub with friends when a man smashed a martini glass into his face in an unprovoked attack.

Mr Watson was left with shocking facial injuries including effective blindness in one eye.

Prosecutor Ben Power said Watson's visual perception of depth had been permanently altered, severely impacting on his ability to perform his work as a fine dining chef.

Electrician Andrew Walter Hudson pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm.

For this the assailant plead guilty, he received only three years, of which he will serve ten months.

Ten months.

If he'd killed his victim maybe he'd have got the three full years? This is crazy.

Read more here.


1735099 said...

It would only be crazy if you believe that tough sentencing (or for that matter, any time in jail at all) reduces the likelihood of re-offending. This isn't borne out in either the research - or crime stats in places with draconian penalties -
Admittedly, this is true for non-violent offenders, but similar patterns have been observed across the board.
When you understand what this perpetrator had consumed prior to the assault, there may be an explanation for his behaviour - six beers and between 10 and 15 rum and cokes - hardly a recipe for sanity.

kae said...

Oh, the perpetrator was rotten drunk, that explains his anti-social behaviour. Are you saying that his drunkenness excuses his behaviour? That being drunk or drugged mitigates or excuses violent assault?

He chose to be drunk.

I think that he should be removed from society for a lot longer than 10 months (a custodial sentence in minimum security, without access to alcohol), to let him have a bit of a think about his drinking habits. To let him think about the choices he makes in the future.

It's too late to deter him, but let him think about what he's done to someone else.

If he is not remorseful and has not learnt any lesson from this which is common in assaults these days, he should be given a lot longer to think about what he's done.

Merilyn said...

Sorry don't agree with numbers up above. Sadly the Judges these days are very soft on crime, it is time to think of the VICTIMS, not whether the person who committed the crime, came from a broken home, wasn't toilet trained properly or has a drug and drink problem. They chose to break the law and they should serve the full time.
I'm sick of bleeding hearts making excuses for them. [Sorry for the rant kae, but my mother was a victim.]

1735099 said...

I assume that putting someone behind bars has two purposes - one to remove the dangerous individual from society, and the other to discourage him/her from reoffending.
Now we know from every scintilla of research that has been done on the subject (an example of which I posted above) that incarceration actually increases the likelihood of reoffending.
We also know that in societies where jail time is maximised (or "truth in sentencing" to quote the euphenism is applied) in order to discourage offenders, the crime rate actually increases. (Again - reference posted above).
Also worth considering is that it costs $67000+ annually to jail someone for a year - see -
What you're advocating simply doesn't work.

kae said...


Fine, so how about we abolish the courts (no point, what can the court do?), and shut down the prisons, they're too expensive and don't work.

Minimum security.

What's your alternative, 17?

1735099 said...

Amd ..speaking of victims - my 18 year old daughter was assaulted last month. Whether the guy they have charged is put away for six months or six years is not going to alter anything for her. We need to be looking at crime prevention rather than retrospective vengeance. The latter draws more votes and populists like J-P Langbroek and Anna Bligh know this, so we end up each election with a Law and Order auction. It's a race to the bottom.
The road you're walking leads down the track towards Sharia.

Merilyn said...

You and I will have to agree to disagree numbers, because I think lack of discipline, by parents, and teachers [and I don't mean bashing a child, but simply removing or not giving in to every thing they want is the way to go], has created a generation of people who think if they want something they just take it regardless of how it affects their victims.
So do tell as kae says how you would fix the problem by not jailing them?

1735099 said...

Since you ask, I'd probably start with examining international crime statistics and identifying the countries where rates were low. I'd then attempt to pinpoint the factors behind these low rates, and seek to duplicate them. You'd probably be looking at 50 years before anything began to change. You'd also have to look at de-glamorising violence and intimidation as problem-solving strategies, and somehow reverse the media-driven trend towards consumerism, which is rapidly becoming the religion of choice in this country.
This -
is probably a good place to start. It's interesting to note which country has the highest rate. We follow their trends - usually ten years behind.

kae said...

Prison is not a deterrent. I'm pretty sure that most people who commit violent crime don't care or think about any consequences of their actions, they aren't concerned at all that they might go to prison, or even be charged. They're not thinking about that.

Prison is not a deterrent, it's not meant to be. Nor is it vengeance, if it was vengeance we wanted we'd inflict the same pain/suffering/damage upon the person sentenced (an eye for an eye).

Prison is, in this case, the removal of a dangerous person from society, and therefore the removal of the risk of reoffending. Prison is also supposed to be a place where offenders are rehabilitated. I have my doubts about some serious offenders and serial offenders being rehabilitated by prison - some should never be let out.

Prevention is better than crime, however, it needs to start at home and it begins with discipline of self and respect for others, two things which seem to be lacking in many young people these days.

1735099 said...

"Prison is not a deterrent. I'm pretty sure..."
Couldn't agree more, and you're also right about it all beginning at home - with family, although I'd call it values, rather than respect. We need to be looking at everything we can do to reinforce the family unit, and the constant emphasis on the material, which comes to us via the media in all it's forms, interferes with this.
I don't agree with Tony Abbott very often, but I think his idea of a $10000 stay-at-home mother's payment was a good idea. Pity he got rolled by shadow cabinet on it.

Merilyn said...

Well at least all three of us agree on the family unit and the lack of discipline these days, and the lack of respect for others.
Good debate folks!

kae said...

Values? No. Respect. Respect for self, respect for others. You can't have discipline without self respect.

Values is a different kettle of fish.

I think that people of our vintage would have instilled self respect, respect for others, respect for authority, understanding consequences of action taken in our children (shame I missed that boat).

I read about the horrible, sickening things that people do to other people and I cannot understand how they can do it.

Watching one of those police programs I saw a group of young teens attack an old man, a vagrant. The police caught them in the act, and found film on one of their phones of them beating and kicking and stomping this old man. The kids were of an ethnic group (islander) which teaches their children that physical retaliation is manly. When asked why these kids gave the homeless man a beating they said that he'd done something to them. Then the story changed to (paraphrased), "Well, he deserved it. He's nobody. He shouldn't be sleeping on the street."

This is just one example of a mindset which must be changed. But the same problems with discipline and respect can be found in the youth of many families these days - I don't understand how the parents have forgotten to parent, the parents have had their parental discipline methods eroded, the schools can no longer discipline children or even let them fail. It's all a level playing field these days, until kids grow up and want everything on a platter - including a well paid job straight out of the education stream.

I don't think you can blame advertising and the materialistic society, the foundation of discipline and respect, and a good character, begins with the parents.

Merilyn said...

You said that well kae, not much more I could add to that, except to say that my Dad walked out on the Youth Conference on the lad who assulted my mother [they wouldn't let her go, as she threatened to hit him with her walking stick], telling them it was a total waste of time, and they were shocked.

Merilyn said...

P.S. should have said why Dad walked out, the lad was complaining that "he was missing his favourite T.V. show". He showed no remorse whatsoever for what he had done. By the way he was bought up in a fairly wealthy family. He never wanted for anything.

Minicapt said...

1. Punishment
2. Retribution
3. #17 can offer housing ...


Boy on a bike said...

I think prison works - for the likes of us commenting on this blog. ie, it keeps the generally law abiding and moral in line. I don't want to go to prison - it would royally wreck my life, and that of my family. So I keep my nose clean. In that sense, it works for 90-95% of the population.

1735099 - I read with much amusement your description of your escape after the UD. You feared the punishment enough to do a runner. I would too.

The issue is the 1-5% of the population who have no fear of prison. They have always been with us. For most of history, they were either branded and banished (as good as a death sentence in many societies), turned into slaves or hung. Prison is a fairly recent innovation. Bad eggs were done away with as expeditiously as possible.

So we have a paradox. Prison works as a strong deterrent for those who are unlikely to ever commit crime, but doesn't for those who do commit crime.

1735099 said...

The average reading age of prisioners in Qld jails is 9 (stats courtesy of my younger brother who retired recently from the position of DDG Corrective Services).
That's got to be significant.

Boy on a bike said...

Re: the reading age. I don't know if you ever read Maralyn Parker's education blog, but I find it quite engaging.

Check out the graph in this post:

Every man and his dog had a crack at it - except me. From what your younger brother says, it makes perfect sense. Get a good education and you can go somewhere. Get a lousy one, and you are setting yourself up to be one of life's losers.

Minicapt said...

1. Lack of education is an excuse, not a reason.
2. Penitentiary is not just a word, it gives prisons meaning.