Tag: rossfield

Faultless addiction

It’s disappointing but no surprise that the comedy double act Ross & Field are once more doing their bit to ensure that Swindon is a less secure place to live. Mr Ross, it would appear, believes that people should not be held responsible for their own addictions.

He said Burrows tried to buy methadone illegally on the streets but eventually reverted to heroin and had to offend to fund the habit. Urging the court not to impose a jail term, he said: “The offence was committed out of desperation, desperation through no fault of his own.”

If a compulsive gambler hasn’t won the lottery yet, it’s not their fault. Would Mr Ross be happy for them to burgle his house to make up for the money they haven’t won? (If he could claim the legal fees for defending them, quite possibly.)

Judicial sense

It’s nice to see that, at last, on appeal one of judge Douglas Field’s notorious lenient sentences has been overturned and a criminal gaoled. In a judgement that the people of Swindon have become familiar with, Mr Field allowed someone with a very long and ignoble history to walk away from court with a suspended sentence described as a ‘final chance’. With 38 previous convictions for over 130 offences, the time for chance should be thoroughly in the past.

Just a word

One of the more frustrating aspects of reading reports of proceedings at Swindon Crown Court in the Adver is the double act of Mr Field as judge and Mr Ross as defence lawyer and the incredibly lenient sentences that result. It’s a well known double act, widely commented on, though not in the pages of the Adver where comments are not allowed on their reports of court proceedings. I don’t usually bother to comment on these reports — it would get monotonous — but the comments from Mr Field reported today just beggar belief.

Judge Field quizzed prosecutors at Swindon Crown Court. “Why are these two charged with affray, which has a maximum sentence of three years rather than actual bodily harm which carries a maximum of five years?” he said.

With a comment like that you’d think he was about to hand down a stiff sentence, something close to the maximum he could perhaps? Err… no. Just 36 weeks… suspended, 200 hours unpaid community work and £250 compensation to the victim. That’s more like a single word than a sentence.

Now, I appreciate that the government’s sentencing guidelines don’t help, but with buffoonery like this it’s not surprising that the judiciary is held in such low regard.