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Happy Slappy Killers

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Drusilla | 17:00 Mon 23rd Jan 2006 | News
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The four young killers of gay barman, David Morley, have been convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

Chelsea O' Mahoney (16) was believed to have recorded the incident on her mobie phone was jailed for 8 years. Reece Sargeant (21), Darren Case (18) and David Blenman (17) were each sentenced to 12 years and told they would have to serve three quarters of their sentence, minimum. This means the oldest, Sargeant, could be out when he's 30.

Are the public really happy with this level of sentencing and if not, what can be done to 'let the punishment fit the crime', more appropriately?

Is it possible for ordinary people to change this system, or are we content?



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My jaw hit the floor when they announced the sentence on the news and then showed the CCTV footage.This it must be remembered was the only fatality that night not for the want of tring.They left seriously injured in their wake.She did indeed film it on her mobile.

They are barbaric monsters and should have received far heavier sentences-without being told it would be reduced.I suspect this case will go to the Appeals Court and if people in England and Wales wish to object I think its the CPS you write with your objection to a lenient sentence.The Law system is entirely different in Scotland but I will stand corrected on any misleading info.

we don't really know anything more than the superficial about this crime, so i guess i am content to have a jury judge their guilt and then a legal expert sentence them based on the evidence that was available in the court - i can't think of a better system... how would you improve what we have in place (i am not saying it is perfect it's jsut better than all the alternatives)
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I am concerned that crimes involving violence are treated so leniently. A man has died and his killers will walk free before they hit thirty years of age. I don't believe such sentencing truly reflects the severity of their crime.

I'm sorry for the tone of my answer, but if they don't learn their lesson, and there's no doubt about their guilt, they will be back on the streets, to commit further crimes, they were all equally guilty, and they all should be equally hung, then, ordinary law abiding citizens can walk the streets that little bit safer.
It would help if the sentence served was the one that was handed out. Far too many criminals get 6 years and serve 3. People will say that prisoners need some incentive to behave well hence the need for the carrot of early parole.
Why shouldn't they serve the sentence given in court as a minimum with time ADDED ON for BAD behaviour?
Particularly in the incidence of "happy slapping" where violence is purely recreational I think that whatever sentence is given should be adhered to and I think the sentences meted out in this particular case were not heavy enough.It would be nice however if as a society we could address the problem that a lot of young people's role models are violent offenders. It's currently trendy to be ghettoised and I think we need to move away from our kids having role models like Mike Tyson, some Gangsta Rappers and others who promote violence as something which will make you socially cool.If the only people kids can feel on a par with is some bloke from Detroit whose gone down for drugs and gun crime then we're also failing as a society.I'm personally not happy with this sentence as I don't think it has addressed the sadistic nature of this crime sufficiently, however I'm not an advocate of "people's justice", the law much be fairly created and fairly meted out by those who have heard all of the evidence, not by a mob which is where democratic sentencing leaves you if you are not careful.
noxlumus - its not the first time appeal court judges have overturned sentences and increased a sentence.I am glad we live in a democratic country where we are entitled to voice our concerns, through the proper channels, if we do not agree with ultimately one persons perception and sentencing.After all Judges are human and fallible.
No indeed drisgirl, but appeal courts also have the power to reduce sentences which they may well do in this girl's case as she was only 14 at the time.By all means excercise your democratic right to object to any sentence but since you are not privvy to all of the facts in any case where you were not a jury member,court official or in the public gallery, then I'm doubtful that the appeal court will allow itself to be swayed by your opinion.The judicial system may be flawed, and I agree that these particular sentences seem too lenient in my opinion, but it has to be consistant with other sentencing for similar crime and take into account other factors, otherwise our much prized British justice will become worthless.

I didnt need to be privvy with all due respect - I saw a footage of a heinious crime and also the broken father of the murdered man outside the court.

If people do not stand up and be counted - even although the majority dont think anything can be done - then at least you can say you did not just sit back and tut tut.

I have personally written to my MP and the Solicitor General in Scotland and received lengthy reports regarding my own perceived injustices.If nothing else they are obliged to sit up and do something even if it is only to get a flunky to draft a reply.

Just a couple of points here

From the news broadcasts, it would appear that many people are questioning the nature of the charge ,manslaughter, as opposed to murder.... does anyone know if the sentence could be "adjusted" , ie upgraded from manslaughter to murder?

Secondly, the father seemed very dignified, and from what I heard seemed to think the sentence appropriate... did I mishear him? If the father of the dead victim thinks it sufficient, then I would respect his views on the matter.

drisgirl you are free to decide what you think of people based on the factors you have stated but the courts are not, it is these differing philosophies i'm afraid that will stop your opinion influencing the judical process in anyway... i don't think they would even let you sit in a jury if you stated that your judgement would be based on these two factors alone.

Well I'll be your whipping girl.

My god you give polite answers proferring your opinion and suddenly I wouldnt be allowed to sit on a jury.I saw a broken man outside the court that was my opinion..I didnt mention what he said.I am not going to even attempt to justify why I would have found them guilty.

Perhaps one of the legal brains can enlighten me - I was under the impression that if you intend to commit gbh and you kill someone that is murder?
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Thanks for all of your answers and apologies for not involving myself in the debate. Unfortunately, we have just had a nine hour power cut in my area of London and I'm having to rummage through my freezer to decide what food has to be cooked today.
Power cuts- now there's a question!!!!!!

I agree with ludwig. Criminals should serve the sentence given and special courts should be set up to deal with bad behaviour within prison and given the right to add to sentences if necessary, or insist a prisoner is segregated if excessively unsociable. (I accept unsociable prisoners is a strange use of language, but its late and I'm a tired bunny.)

I'm not saying the sentence is long enough but I think people tend to forget how long 12 years is.

Think of all the things you have done over the last 12 years. Then imagine if all you had done in that time was sit in a small room every day for that very long period.

sorry if you felt i was attacking you drisgirl - this was not my intention was simply trying to make the point that people may not like the legal system but i can't see how you could hope to improve it. It was a jury just like you that found these people guilty, if they had found them guilty of murder they would have face a life sentence (though i know life doesn't mean life usually in this circumstance)... but they had to look at all the evidence and decide these peoples guilt from this. I am content with this system but if you think it can be improve then i respect that and would encourage you to see it though, though if you do take up the mantle don't be suprised if people question the "hows" and "whys" of your feelings... this is just my opinion for what its worth (not much really :)

Thanks undercovers.I just am not a person who is prepared to be complacent - and I am not suggesting you are!!

I just think if you feel strongly about something instead of moaning do something.I know I wont change the world but its akin to people moaning about the Government and not voting!!

I'm just a wee sensitive soul and take things to heart when I shouldnt - will try to address this in future:)

How many times have I heard that one?
Might have guessed you would rear your ugly head (or it could be gorgeous) - thankfully I'll never know :) x

Nuts!! We need to start sentancing people properly and treating them tougher in prison for these violent crimes, if people keep shoplifting or burgling fair enough reabilitate but murder and violence come on they need to be punished.

On a similar subject my friend and I were talking about myra Hindley and how she has a host of Open University stuff under her belt which she will probably never ever use. Yet my friend who worked straight from school cause she couldnt decide what to do, is 22 now, has worked full time since then and has no criminal record cannot get ANY help to go to university apparently. Crazy society we live in.

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