Friday, August 24, 2007

On that...

Further to my last post, I've noticed a few stories like this one recently.
A 20-year-old woman who was attacked by a gang of youths in a park in Lancashire, has died in hospital. Sophie Lancaster and her 21-year-old boyfriend Robert Maltby were found with serious head injuries in Stubbylee park in Bacup, Rossendale, on 11 August. Mr Maltby was left in a coma with bleeding on his brain but has since made a recovery. Lancashire police have charged five teenage boys, aged between 15 and 17, with section 18 wounding.
For fuck's sake! These boys battered a 21 year old man into a coma, and killed his girlfriend. They beat her up until she died. There's a word for this, and a very ancient offence. What they did, if it fulfills the criteria for wounding - ie a deliberate attack - also fulfills the criteria for one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. If you attack someone, and they die as a result, that's murder - not manslaughter, not wounding: murder. Fucking Hell! There's a law, so bloody well apply it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Section 18 GBH is an extremely serious offence, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. It doesn't sound as serious as a charge of murder, but it carries, if the judge so decides in sentencing, the same penalty, whilst being easier to prove.

(NB, the main difference between being found guilty of GBH for something this serious, and being found guilty of murder, is that murder carries a MANDATORY life sentence, whilst GBH allows a judge discretion. Since the introduction of that mandatory sentence, the ways of avoiding murder charges (like Diminished Responsibility) have increased. So the lesson is, Be careful what you wish for - all those people calling for mandatory sentencing just made it less likely that murder would be given as a verdict...)

6:23 pm  
Blogger Tim J said...

True - except that if you prove GBH and the victim dies, as is the case here, that is murder.

Murder is after all when you kill someone with intent either to kill or commit GBH.

I agree entirely with you on mandatory sentences by the way.

6:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm - good point. (Knew I should have revised Criminal more)

11:30 pm  

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