British Justice

From "Electronic Telegraph", 6 Nov 98

TWO police officers were sentenced to four months' imprisonment yesterday after being found guilty of cruelty to police dogs.

Pc Kenneth Boorman, 45, was found guilty of six charges of inciting officers to commit cruel acts, in breach of the Protection of Animals Act. Sgt Andrew White, 38, was convicted of seven similar offences. Both worked at Essex police dog headquarters, at Sandon, near Chelmsford.

Kevin Gray, the stipendiary magistrate, found that White, Boorman and Hopkins operated a cruel policy of disciplining and punishing dogs to dominate them. He told White and Boorman: "The method you used could only be described as brutal. I would be failing in my duty if I did not reflect the seriousness of these offences by passing custodial sentences."

AN OXFORD graduate who boasted of growing "the champagne of cannabis" had his jail term increased yesterday for running his drugs business from his cell.

Robin Scott, 50, was sentenced to an extra two and a half years despite a promise to Recorder David Ticehurst that he had renounced the drug because it was "highly addictive psychologically". In a letter, Scott told the judge that using cannabis had made him over-stimulated, aggressive, paranoid and greedy for money, food and sex.

Scott told the judge that he still believed that the drug could have medicinal uses but promised that, if freed, he would never again grow it.

"I now intend to devote my horticultural talents to organic farming and self-sufficiency," he said. The judge read Scott's letter but decided to increase his jail term. "The sentence I impose must reflect the fact that these offences were committed while you were in prison and were organised and orchestrated by you."

A JUDGE decided yesterday it was not in the public interest to jail two men who attacked a black man, calling him "a stinking nigger".

Judge Peter Fingret sentenced Timothy Heat, 19, and Jason Huczek, 28, to two years' probation, 100 hours community service each, attendance at an anger management course and ordered them both to pay Marlon Watson, 19, 500 compensation.

Judge Fingret, sitting at the Old Bailey, told the pair: "I am satisfied that there was no deep-seated racist attitude or hatred. Under the influence of alcohol, words were uttered which may well not have been offensive used in one's racial group. Here they are deeply upsetting and offensive. The circumstances are such that a custodial sentence is highly appropriate."

But after reading reports, the judge said: "It is clear that there is no history of racism and indeed you mix well with people of all ethnic origins. Having heard from the victim, I am satisfied that he would not feel there was any lack of justice if I did not impose a custodial sentence."

The court heard that the men confronted Mr Watson as he left the Sainsbury's store in Victoria where he worked, chased him into the store, broke his nose and bruised his face. Heat, of Dulwich, and Huczek, of Croydon, both south London, admitted assault.