WE feature two separate stories today which paint an interesting picture of how our justice system is operating.

On the one hand we have a woman prosecuted and taken to court for stealing four pouches of cat food each worth 30p, a decision understandably criticised by her solicitor.

While not condoning theft, it is surely right as the solicitor suggested, that this was a matter that could have been dealt with at a police station.

On the other hand, we report that in one in 13 cases, offenders in West Yorkshire who commit violent crimes – including making threats to kill and domestic violence – are being ‘let off’ if they apologise or offer compensation.

Community resolution is what it is called but it is surely something which should be applied to minor offences and not to incidents where violence is even threatened.

If cost is an issue when considering who is and isn’t taken to court then perhaps it is time to take a closer look at a system which can’t be good for victims or for justice.