SENTENCING of offenders has always been something of a hot topic with many people thinking judges are too soft on defendants.
But, after recent cases, it seems some judges are not only getting tough, but using their powers and discretion to make a difference to both offenders and the victims.
A judge at Bradford Crown Court yesterday said he would not send a defendant to prison for an unprovoked attack because it would mean the victim would not get any compensation.
Andrew Modeste saw red after a refuse wagon held him up on his way to work so punched his victim in the face and threw stones at him, fracturing his cheekbone.
Of course, it does raise the issue as to why the defendant shouldn’t both serve time and pay compensation to his victim, but it shows the judge is trying to put a victim first and consider their needs too.
Recently there have been more cases of judges handing out unusual sentences, including ordering a teenage defendant to sit in court and watch others sentenced for drug-dealing.
It’s a balancing act and a risk, but whether it’s one worth taking sometimes remains to be seen.