18 Year old Convicted to Life for Burning 2 Trashcans

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posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 07:43 PM
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An 18 year old homeless man in Devon UK, was sentenced to Life Enprisonment after setting 2 trashcans on fire.

His crime wasn't that severe, but both in court and while talking to other people he was in contact with, he treatend to commit more serious crimes once released.

 



news.bbc.co.uk
Homeless Christopher Brown only caused a few pounds damage when he set fire to the bins in Barnstaple.

But Judge Graham Cottle gave him an indeterminate sentence under new laws after hearing Brown threatened to commit more crimes if he was released.

Judge Cottle called it a "highly unusual case", but said he had to protect the public.

Brown must serve at least 18 months and show he is no serious risk to people before he is eligible for parole.

The new legislation applies to people over 18 who commit crimes which are punishable by life. This includes arson, no matter how small.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The Judge choose this ruling because the person had stated openly and publicly that he would commit more serious crimes when released.


Peter Ashman, defending, said: "My client is looking for a sentence which is as long as possible. He cannot countenance living in the community at all.


When I read that quote, it seems that "his client" was activly trying to get the longest sentence posible.
If so, this is probably caused by his homeless status, which might make jail look like a bright future.

I find this article especialy interesting because it shows how the new anti-terror and other recently passed laws in the UK can and are being used for even the smallest crime, unrelated to terrorists.

[edit on 16/12/05 by thematrix]

[edit on 16/12/05 by thematrix]

[edit on 17-12-2005 by asala]

[edit on 17-12-2005 by asala]




posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 09:12 PM
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He's lost his mind from being hungry and cold.
Too bad he said the wrong things, still, this sentence is outrageous!



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 09:36 PM
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nevermind....homeless, cold, etc, this isnt abuse, he wants it so he can eat, have a bed..etc, sad that he had to resort to this....

seriously dont twist this from poverty and desperation to government abuse, this guy wanted this, the judge was actually being sympathetic to him if you consider the situation instead of your personal view of some conspiracy...

[edit on 16-12-2005 by namehere]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 09:51 PM
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I agree with namehere, it is obvious he wants off the streets. Jail will give him shelter and food.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 09:56 PM
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heck i'd argue this shows this judge cares for the people, not that hes a corrupt judge who wants to oppress everyone by manipulating tyrannical laws.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 09:59 PM
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I agree, namehere. Three Squares and a Cot. It's a better life than he had. I don't know about UK prisons, but to be honest about American prisions, a lot of the time, the prisoners have an easier and better life than a lot of the impoverished people on the outside, even if they do have a roof over their heads. I can easilly see how, for someone in his situation, he'd want to get life in jail. At least then, he'd feel safer knowing that he'd never worry about a roof over his head or a meal on his plate.

When you have nothing, a roof and a meal is like heaven.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 10:18 PM
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well US prison has high rates of abuse by guards and prisoners so i dont think it would be the same here....



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 10:27 PM
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He need only serve 18 months. If their system works remotely close to others he will get time less good behavior. Moreover, he falls into a time-group who typically gets jail time, not prison.

In any event, this is a good example of a judge applying the law in a manner that will serve the interests of both the public and the conviced - the public can be relatively assured this man will under go an evaluation of danger to the public and the public can rest easy knowing that he will not be immediately placed back into the public to carry out a threat that should not be ignored.

Sometimes the spirit of the law works better than the letter of the law.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 11:52 PM
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Anybody that would request life in prison obviously is a few bricks shy of a load.

What this poor soul needs is treatment in a mental health facility; not prison or jail.

His threat to commit more crimes, was a cry for help, not an actual threat.

I hope his case is reviewed and he gets treatment not punishment.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 12:42 AM
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Good points Whaaa. I suspect we are looking at it the same way. I'm confident he'll be assessed in either institution. One might be hard pressed to determine which one is a gentler place - there are horror stories concerning both.

You are quite right though, he is pleading for help.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 12:42 AM
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I suppose when you are possibly facing the coldest winter for many years and you are hungry, have been sleeping on a park bench jail looks an OK alternative. Many down and outs commit crimes because jail is better than the alernative. Yes, it is sad but then most of the care homes have been closed down so where else do these people go. Better this poor young guy is housed (yes it is a jail) and the rest are safe from what he might do if he were to stay on the street. Many others are much worse off. That is life today.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 07:08 AM
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I disagree with the statement that it isn't abuse; I think it's a blatant abuse of the British taxpayer.

If I point one finger at the UK I've obviously got to have the other four directed back at my own country; god knows that both our prison system and our social conscience could use a little reworking on several levels (and yes I know what a large can of worms the cost of such a proposal opens). That being said, it seems to me that Britain needs to choose between helping this kind of person or not. The instance of people wanting and being allowed to abuse the prison system as a free housing program seems to indicate problems on many levels.

My greatest concern however is the indefinite sentence (by the by, i think the "life sentence" title is misleading). This sort of sentence essentially allows the man to check in and out of the prison system at will, does it not?
He can go into custody for a short minimum period, and then, if he chooses, can conduct himself appropriately, say he's sorry, and go back out until he needs a warm bed and hot food again?

My humble opinion is that if the man is to be incarcerated, as he desires to be, they should prosecute him to the fullest possible extent for his threats, put him in for a couple of years if possible, in hope that it is realized that the prison system is not an inn to be checked into for a few weeks at a time.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 07:26 AM
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Namehere, dont be silly


If this judge was only being compasionate and giving this guy a place to live for life, you think he would have thrown him in the clinker for a year or two then "placed" him in some sort of home...they are out there, you know.

This is outrageous to put someone away for life just because.....

Pleeeeez...



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:05 AM
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I'd like to reitterate that my understanding is that this is not a life sentence. If I read correctly, it is an indefinite sentence which will last a minimum of 18 months and can then be ended providing that the individual demonstrates that he is not a threat.

I would like to point out that I missed the 18 month part on my first reading, which is why my earlier post may seem slightly out of touch with the ruling- I guess they've basically already done a decent part of what I was suggesting.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 05:01 PM
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Its pretty sad when prison is an alternative for the homeless, sad for the rest of society who work for a living. Everybody does menial work at sometime or another or sometimes all their life, what make some homeless feel that the rest of us are responsible for their plight just because they simply refuse to get a job.

This person committed a crime and he should be punished. How is 18 months a life sentence?

I live in Canada and I'm surprised more homeless here don't commit crimes as our prisoners here have, it seems, more rights than law-abiding citizens.

Summer day-trips to Canada's Wonderland ($65.00) a pop.
Evening trips to the movies with pop, candy and popcorn.
A bustrip to the beach so they may frolic in the sand, complete with picnic lunch.
Neon bowling.
Oh, and not to mention an armed escort to keep'em all nice and safe from those law-abiding citizens who may wreak havoc on their little excursions.

All at the expence of those law-abiding citizens who do work and pay those very taxes that gives them the comfort they so richly desire.

Maybe this kid is not so stupid after all . I guess if he is smart enough to screw society and the system, he is smart enough to know right from wrong and get a fricken job



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by alphacenturi
Summer day-trips to Canada's Wonderland ($65.00) a pop.
Evening trips to the movies with pop, candy and popcorn.
A bustrip to the beach so they may frolic in the sand, complete with picnic lunch.
Neon bowling.


Well you just messed up my friend. If the cost of living gets any higher, every American on ATS is going to be in Canada comitting petty crimes in hopes of getting a little vacation (hey I could put my savings into a bond to accumulate interest, get myself a 10 year sentence in Canada, take a year off to use up my savings then go back in for retirement!)



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 09:23 PM
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Service With A Smile

Opinions seem to vary on this, but in my opinion if someone wants to go to jail, it's best to accommodate them.

Or would we prefer to insist that they go out and commit more serious crimes instead?

That sort of logic eludes me.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 06:55 PM
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The problem isn't that he was sent to jail. The problem is that a system exists whereby A. Jail is an appealing option. B. Jail is the only option.

I'm all for sending the guy to jail, but I don't think that it should be a convenient option for him, I definately don't think he should be able to change his tune and "check out" whenever he sees fit a some point (as opposed to serving an appropriate sentence and getting kicked out), and it only seems reasonable that there should be some other system for his type if there are enough people in his position to justify such a program.

I'm not saying that there should be handouts for people who don't feel like making something of themselves, but I could certainly see starting a special "prison" of a sort wherein his type are forced to work to provide for themselves, instead of being able to take a free ride off of the prison system. And of course you'd have to make sure that typical prisons were less appealing than the ones I have just proposed, so that guys like this wont commit felonies to avoid work.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:24 PM
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Vagabond, I hope you are not implying all American members at ATS are petty criminals
How did I mess up by writing what is common knowledge here in Toronto, our newspapers are full of stories about our criminals rights.

I guess I could say it's to make sure us law-abiding citizens never forget who's boss when it comes to who is more deserving.

Oh, on top of all the 'perks' that come with 'Club-Fed' they can also receive a free college or university education. Just ask notorious school girl killer Karla Holmoka.

There are alot of kids here who have never experienced half, or for some none of the activities these convicts enjoy for free. And you can bet none of them will grow up and recieve a free post-secondary education at taxpayers expence.

Sorry, not trying to be bitter, just tired of others taking the rest of society for a free ride.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by alphacenturi
Vagabond, I hope you are not implying all American members at ATS are petty criminals


No, mostly just me... although I object to being called only a petty criminal.


How did I mess up by writing what is common knowledge here in Toronto, our newspapers are full of stories about our criminals rights.

Granted, but it's one thing to pay for your own people's sins. At least you can rationalize your tax bill by saying that it's more humane than just setting them adrift on a raft and hoping they find somewhere where that behavior is acceptable.
But now we Americans, who haven't been doing nearly enough bowling since gas prices got so high, may be tempted to give Canada an illegal immigration problem and a prison crowding one to boot. (kidding of course)


Oh, on top of all the 'perks' that come with 'Club-Fed' they can also receive a free college or university education. Just ask notorious school girl killer Karla Holmoka.


I'll keep that in mind. Would they let me go for a masters or a doctorate, or would I have to start behaving and go back into society when I finished my bachelors?


Sorry, not trying to be bitter, just tired of others taking the rest of society for a free ride.


I'd say welcome to my world, except it sounds like yours is the truer version.





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