Boss of the charity Bernardo’s said the court had overreacted when the youngest rioter in Britain, aged 11, was sentenced too harshly for his participation in the London riots. The youngster was charged with stealing a bin from a nearby smashed up shop.
However, the boy had been handed a ten-month referral order, 5 days earlier, for criminal damage, arson and carrying a craft knife. He was caught and ordered to pay £617 costs after slashing the seats on a bus and trying to set light to the foam inside on July 18.
When the bus driver refused to let him leave, the boy took a rock from his pocket, smashed the glass door and kicked a hole in it so he could jump from the moving vehicle.
Sentencing the boy to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order, District Judge J Wollard said: ‘You seem to think nobody can stop the way you behave … and everybody else has to put up with it. If you were a little older you would be locked up in prison but the law says I can’t take that course of action with you because of your age.”
So just because he is 11 the law cannot charge him with the serious sentence for his serious crime? Where’s the point in that? At the age of 11 I was reading books and going places with my friends, not slashing seats on buses then trying to set them on fire! It scary to see that society has changed so much in the past 11 years. Kids aren’t like kids any more, the majority are more like thugs. Walking around in intimidating gangs and causing trouble just for the fun of it. And you can just tell which ones will never amount to anything, if they cared about their future they wouldn’t be committing crimes.
The law should be reformed when it comes to youth crime. He was old enough to think about the actions, he knew it was wrong to carry out his actions, therefore he should know that the outcome of his actions would result in prison. The rehabilitation is a waste of time, he will never be rehabilitated and will continue to commit offences way into his adult life because he knows no better.
As for the boss of Barnado’s, well he is obviously going to say that isn’t he? If he said “I think the sentenced wasn’t hard enough!” then it would be a bit hypocritical being the boss of a children’s charity wouldn’t it? However, I have always said that there are two different types of people in society; the people who can see the world as it is. And the people like the Barnado’s boss who walks around with rose tinted glasses on and tries to make the world a better place by giving their opinions on equality and fairness… Truth is though, it is the people who think like that who have the country in a mess to start with.