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EDITOR’S COMMENT: Who’d be a judge?

Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001
Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

The courts have a tough job these days – what was acceptable a few years ago is frowned upon today. Sentencing options are broad but there are guidelines and, in reality, little wriggle room for today’s finest legal brains.

The case which struck a chord with me this week was the provisional driver, aged 24, who took police on a chase (sorry, pursuit), had no insurance and forced a minibus of OAPs into an emergency stop. The defendant was jailed – for 16 months. That’s right and proper.

My thoughts, though, moved to those OAPs. If the driver of that bus had been distracted for a moment and lady luck had not been smiling down, the Bury Free Press story could have been a very different read.

The line between crime and very real tragedy is thin at best and I hope others will study the outcome of cases like this and realise that vehicle crime has the potential for very violent consequences.