Thursday, January 13, 2011

Edward Woollard

The young idiot who threw a heavy metal fire extinguisher off the roof of Millbank Tower towards a group of policeman has been sentenced to 32 months in a Young Offenders Institution.   Or, more accurately since he will only serve half this sentence, 16 months.  Given that he pleaded guilty to violent disorder I don’t see that he can have much cause for complaint – indeed he’s extremely lucky that the extinguisher didn’t hit anybody, as the sentences for GBH or manslaughter are generally a touch stiffer.

One can, however, always rely on the Guardian to find an opposing argument – that sending people to prison for violent disorder is just, well, unfair.  The reasons for this are fabulous.

He clearly had no awareness that the media would be filming the "trouble", and that identifying him as a culprit would therefore be easy. Woollard had no idea that within a couple of months the judiciary would be "making an example of him", and nor did his mother, Tania Garwood, who, after the event, drove her son to a police station so that he could make a statement at the earliest opportunity.

Well, quite.  If he had known that he’d be caught and jailed he probably wouldn’t have done it.  That seems to me to be rather the point of the whole affair.

Again, only the sincerely peaceful are going to be discouraged by this sentence, and the scenes at Millbank which spawned it.

I suspect the sincerely peaceful aren’t the ones throwing fire extinguishers off roofs.


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