Suffolk Judge highlights concerns in justice system motoring offences

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    Does anyone fear the law anymore? Is this why there is so much crime about these days?

    The custodial sentence was essentially bypassed by the judge becoming “impressed” by the defendants CV. It appears the criminal wasn’t a millionaire or politician. Now, cannot criticise the judge too much but how are judges able to be so flexible in sentencing… The judge clearly felt one last chance was needed to give the drug taker an opportunity to change his ways rather than a life of crime and little progression. This should be black-and-white… no matter who you are, if you are found guilty in a court of an offence then the appropriate “punishment” is sort.

    Too many dangerous and careless driving on the roads. In this case someone who has previous and not been caught. Just this morning I witnessed two vehicles jumping the red light, one vehicle a red Ford Fiesta (what a coincidence!) old model without lights on (this was just after 7am) passed the A1214 junction when the London Road lanes into town were on green.

    Why does the UK see motoring offences as minor crimes? The law is specifically written to allow rich, royal, famous, politicians or anyone with the right legal representation to get out of most motoring offences.

    This doesn’t really apply to this case as far as I am aware; but highlights this problem. Cars can easily kill. Police are never around when you need them to be (or if they are, they are too late by even seconds) but when they are the justice system is letting their hard work down.

    Full Ipswich Star article:

    Judge brands Suffolk drug-driver ‘a maniac on the roads’ after his fourth driving offence

    A drug-driver has been spared jail after being caught jumping a red light in Cemetery Road, Ipswich while over the legal limit – his fourth drink or drug-driving-related offence in eight years.

    Andrew Parkes, of The Street, Stonham Aspal, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to being over the drug-driving limit for a derivative of cocaine on December 20.

    The court heard the 29-year-old had been convicted of drink-driving in 2008, and had further convictions for driving while unfit in 2009 and 2012.

    Parkes was stopped in Cemetery Road in Ipswich after police saw him going through a red light in his Ford Fiesta.

    A drug test showed he had 231 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine in his blood. The legal limit is 50mcgs.

    After hearing this District Judge Roy Brown said: “He’s a maniac on the road. He doesn’t learn it seems.”

    Following a pre-sentence report Judge Brown told Parkes, a digital artist: “This offence and your record clearly merits a custodial sentence. There’s no other way of putting it.

    “You have been to court on several occasions before. You have been disqualified on three occasions before.

    “I find it difficult to believe that someone of your obvious intelligence does not realise that if you continue to use drugs and drive you will end up in court again.

    “It is really a question of how many chances someone should be given. Other people on the road or pedestrians could be injured or killed.

    “You don’t seem to have become aware either of the dangers to others, or the risk to yourself of going to prison.

    “I am however, impressed by your work history and I suppose you can put this down as chance number four.

    “It will be the last chance you get and I make that clear.”

    The judge said he would take an exceptional course and give Parkes, who works at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, a 12-month community order with 240 hours’ unpaid work.

    He banned Parkes from driving for three years and fined him £300. Parkes was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £85 to the victims’ fund.

    The judge added: “You don’t have a drug habit or addiction so all of your offending has been your choice. You are a very lucky young man.”

    Your thoughts?

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