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Accounting student caught looting

Accounting student caught looting

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"Saffron Armstrong tried to explain that he had gone into a looted computer store because he was inquisitive - and a freelance journalist.

This drew sniggers from the press bench, but not from district judge Elizabeth Roscoe, who told him he faced a prison sentence.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to burglary after being arrested in a PC World store in Colliers Wood, south London, the day after it was hit by looters.

The accounting student from Mitcham, who also worked for Marks and Spencer, was remorseful and admitted his intentions had "not been for the best"."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14495104

Replies (8)

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By jules25
11th Aug 2011 21:53

Sentencing needs to be consistent

 

I have read some of the reports and there does seem to be striking differences, 6 month sentence for stealing a bottle of water no previous and 22 weeks for assaulting a police officer with previous. 

As far as I am concerned all should be treated harshly but it doesn't make sense to make one harsher than another when the crime is assault while the other is opportunistic. Perhaps it should be 6 months minimum period, criminal record, and upwards from there.

 

Frankly we should pick an empty Shetland island pack them all off there with tents, seeds, emergency rations and a boot camp, fend for themselves or attend boot camp. Leave them there over the winter, no boats, internet, TV or phones, until they wise up and appreciate the country they have the good fortune to live in despite it's problems and short comings. They will soon learn how fortunate they are and more besides. 

Human rights, if you abuse other peoples you loose your rights and have earn them back. It's no good locking any of the gang members up in Prison they'll just carry on in the same vein and come out more criminally intended I suspect.

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Replying to Andy Reeves:
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By Richard Willis
12th Aug 2011 09:07

Dealing with rioters

jules25 wrote:

 

Frankly we should pick an empty Shetland island pack them all off there with tents, seeds, emergency rations and a boot camp, fend for themselves or attend boot camp. Leave them there over the winter, no boats, internet, TV or phones, until they wise up and appreciate the country they have the good fortune to live in despite it's problems and short comings. They will soon learn how fortunate they are and more besides. 

Human rights, if you abuse other peoples you loose your rights and have earn them back. It's no good locking any of the gang members up in Prison they'll just carry on in the same vein and come out more criminally intended I suspect.

The French used to have a place like that.  It was called 'Devil's Island' and was off the coast of French Guinea in S. America.  I understand that the island used in the TV series 'Castaway' has recently come up for sale so perhaps we could use that.  Then when Scotland gets its independence we could disown them all.

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By Top_Cat
11th Aug 2011 22:55

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For an "accounting student" he obviously has a lot to learn because his excuses just don't add up.

 

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By JC
12th Aug 2011 13:06

Papillon ...

On the other hand presumably any accounting professional body he subsequently applies to join will refuse him membership - as will any prospective employer refuse employment?

With this in mind there is really no point in continuing his studies because there will be no work for him in this sector

Of course if they allow membership that will raise all sorts of other questions!

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Replying to Andy Davis:
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By jules25
12th Aug 2011 13:35

That would depend on if they time lapse the criminality record after 5/ 10 years for example. I don't think it should preclude him working as that is an additional penalty for a crime which he has been punished for, yet it is an affect of having a criminal record one must accept has repercussions. Again it comes down to consistent sentencing, one guy stole two designer shirts spent two nights in a cell and the judge ordered that time served fitted the crime and release him. That hardly seems fair to this lad in the OP. 

The crime was not falsifying records or embezzlement etc it shows poor character and lack of judgement are those enough to prevent him being an accountant when he matures? If a future career is denied him what incentive is there to mend his ways.

Should the other student be expelled for example from Exeter university for bringing the University name into disrepute? I think not they should serve they judgement and then do additional charitable work in the community on behalf of the organisation they want to represent or work under to redeem themselves perhaps.

With a criminal record he won't be travelling to the USA for example..

 

Shipping them off to an island isn't an answer in itself but giving offenders rights they have denied/ deprived others of must have consequences they will see as a punishment and learn from which currently the justice system is not doing, namely Justice _ and I say JUSTICE not Retribution. 

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By JC
12th Aug 2011 14:41

Deterrent rather than justice/retribution ....

@jules25
 
The justice/retribution argument is rather spurious and generally used to support inadequate sentencing and therefore bias the outcome in favour of leniency which in turn perpetuates the problem

Any punishment should be solely concerned with being a future deterrent otherwise it is worthless. All that happens is that those wishing to commit a crime often balance the upside against the downside and take the risk. Consequently if the punishment is the soft option then what is to prevent risk/reward being balanced too far in favour of committing a crime

For instance if the upside is £5,000 of designer clothes and the downside is 20 hours community service then this is a 'no brainer' will be perceived as a risk worth taking

Of course the other end of the spectrum is the draconian approach taken by some middle eastern countries whereby theft incurs the loss of a limb (hand) - un surprisingly theft is not such an issue in those countries and is anyway a self-limiting occupation

The trick is to strike a balance whereby it is just not attractive enough to commit the crime (risk/reward too high in favour of risk).

Anyway those concerned need to understand the immediate & long term implications of their actions and in this respect the impact on their continued education or employment is all part of the equation - furthermore, the outcome (remedy) is in their own hands

 

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By Top_Cat
12th Aug 2011 15:21

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Whether it affects him depends on whether or not he has to declare it when applying for membership. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 a prison sentence of 6 months or less becomes spent after 7 years,a a prison sentence of 6 months or less becomes spent after 7 years, a prison sentence of over 6 months after 10 years, fines, community orders etc are spent after 5 years .

Once a conviction become spent not only does he not have to declare it, but, it is a criminal offence for anyone to base any decision upon it or to demand details of it. This is an interesting point because whilst accountancy bodies are exempt from the above provision and are therefore able to ask for details of spent convictions, there is no legal obligation on an applicant to give the information.

Also, whilst a professional accountancy body can be informed of a spent conviction, a potential employer interviewing him for the possition of, say, company accountant, has no such right.

 

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By jules25
12th Aug 2011 16:10

@JC

 

Justice Retribution I meant by this that often Retribution is seen as Justice when it is not Retribution is not Justice. 

And I agree with you the punishment metered out must be seen to be Just and a deterrent, it should neither be Retribution i.e Cutting off a limb nor Lenient it must also be fair and proportional sentencing, currently from the cases highlighted in the Media it is would appear to disproportional sentencing, which is unfair and sends a mixed message.

 

However 

JC wrote:
"Anyway those concerned need to understand the immediate & long term implications of their actions and in this respect the impact on their continued education or employment is all part of the equation - furthermore, the outcome (remedy) is in their own hands"
 

Presupposes that some of those concerned care or not let alone understand and therefore their actions will never be thought through because they have never been properly held to account to have that perspective. Hence a Boot camp to learn these values?

 

 

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