Rehabilitate the victim, not the criminal 10

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I‘m increasingly disillusioned at the sentences handed down to criminals by magistrates and judges.

Take for example the case of TV presenter Glen Wheeler. On his way to work on his scooter, he was hit by a drugged up drunk driving a van. The driver was given a suspended sentence and also lost her license for 3 years.

The driver, the one in the wrong by the way, had good representation which convinced the judge that her rehabilitation would be impaired by a term of imprisonment. Poor baby!!!

Glen’s sentence on the other hand was rather more severe – he has brain damage, can’t work and support his family.

For goodness sake, is there any justice for the injured person?

Then in Queensland, a man who assaulted a Paramedic, was sentenced to 18 months, but will serve only 6 months, because he bashed the paramedic, he didn’t spit on him. This man was on prescription drugs and has a long history of violence. It was revealed that his mother had committed suicide in recent days and this and being high as a kite provided “mitigating circumstances”.

Another man knowingly infected another person with HIV-AIDS, but the judge found his sentence was too harsh and reduced it.

A murderer is released from prison, after 22 years, because he did a university course and is rehabilitated – then less than 12 months later he murders another young woman.

Where are these magistrates and judges living? Is it a parallel universe to where most of us spent our lives? How is being on drugs, legal or illegal, a mitigating circumstance?

The person infected with HIV-AIDS will serve their full sentence! Glen Wheeler will serve his full sentence! The young woman murdered will serve her full sentence! Why is the only truth in sentencing applied to the victims? Why are the victims the only ones who suffer the consequences of crime?

Is there not a man or woman in the judiciary who is prepared to say, “You have committed a crime and you will be punished for that crime”. And yes I deliberately use the word Punish! Rehabilitation should be reserved for the injured person, be that physical or mental rehabilitation.

When will enough be enough?

Karen O'Brien-Hall

I've had many careers in my life and loved each one! My new career blossomed when I retired and become an OAP. I am passionate about childhood literacy, books in general and my garden. I love Ballet, Opera, Concerts, Theatre, (both professional and community) and Movies. I tend to have opinions on most things and enjoy a good debate about the topic, not the person. In my thirties, I married my GOM (Gorgeous or Grumpy Old Man) the love of my life.

  1. Yes its been that way since I can remember we all protest about it but nothing happens. They let them out of prison only to reoffend its usually women who bare the brunt of it. Or children. Look at all the pedeophiles let out in the community where there ate schools and parents are not warned. One judge sent a criminal to another town and wasn’t allowed back for 12 months, so he can go to another town to commit a crime there. Have u heard of anything so ridiculous. The judges are out of touch with the community or they are too old. Bring judge Judy over here.

  2. My husband is a solicitor and when I helped him review cases I used to say “that isn’t fair” and his reply was there is no “fair” or” justice” there is only the law. The judges only follow legislation. It needs all of us to lobby our MP’s to make a change. The other consideration that the powers that be put before “justice” is the cost of keeping someone in prison, I might be a bit cynical here though!

  3. Maybe when they release these vermin, they should housed next door to the judge and their family who sentenced them.

  4. There are some ridiculous sentences handed out but I don’t believe mandatory sentencing works either. Just look at America. They have the highest number in prison per population in the world. There can be mitigating circumstances. You are right Rosemary when you say that the law isn’t about justice. That’s a saying which has been around a long time and it’s time things changed.

  5. This subject is deeply wrapped controversy, having been involved in the intervention of a domestic violence crime, not only as the member of the public who stopped the blatant act of violence but also as the CPS witness I can say that our system is faulty..

    I was shocked at how hard it was for the Police to actually get this disgusting man into court, having watched him commit the worst act of violence against a defenceless women… He skipped bail 3 times, avoided court 3 times… And when he was finally in court his solicitor questioned the validity of my evidence… Ironically the depth of violence is imprinted for ever on my memory.. So giving evidence in a clear and effective was was easy.. What shocked me was the reality of it… The man was not held in remand.. The woman was too scared to press charges and if I’d chosen not to give evidence he simply would have walked away free… It took three years.. Three years where this man could continue to be violent…

    In this case the police and CPS wanted to get this man off the streets, the process is so messed up that he almost walked free… In the mean time the woman endured more domestic violence… Some women simply do not know how to escape this situation… I now run a face book page that helps victims of trauma and DV, giving them somewhere to come that is safe to express them selves and seek support.. If you are in a space of trauma you can get help and support at

    Thanks… Pete

  6. Unfortunately that is so true. But, it’s not the judiciary at fault. It’s your local state and federal MP’s (Representatives & Senators) fault for not voting legislature laws and terms of punishment to guide the judiciary to stronger sentences that give justice to the victims and the public at large. We have puny little minded legislators, they are the problem!

  7. Unfortunately “justice and common sense died a long time ago” most of the lawmakers seem to live in their own little world far away from reality.

  8. The so called justice system is a victim of the same ethos which tells us it is wrong to discipline our children and it’s OK to pop out babies and live off the taxpayers.

    No one is expected to be responsible for their own actions any more. We give our kids a merit certificate for turning up and murderers a free pass for a university course.

    There is something to be said for the death sentence. We would at least begin to cull the gene pool again.

    That being said, it is time for the judiciary to get a bit of lead in their pencil and start applying the laws as they are written.

  9. Unfortunately if the perpetrator didn’t mean to do a crime eg they were drunk or under the influence of drugs they are often let off lightly. The criminals who are able to afford top barristers are more likely to get off as well.

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