Monday, 22 August 2011

Unfair Sentences for Protesters

We all saw the news, "tuition fee protests turn violent" (or something in that vain), but how are the authorities handling the situation? Recently there has been a massive uproar over controversial "over sentencing" intended to send out a message to other protesters. 


The most recent example of this was during the tuition fee protests in London. An A-Level student (Edward Wollard) from Brockenhurst college, who had reached the roof of the 30 Millbank building after a splinter group had smashed a ground floor window, threw the empty casket of a fire extinguisher from the top of the 7th story building. A fellow student had recently drained it, spraying its contents over the crowds bellow. If it had not been emptied the fire extinguisher would have exploded upon hitting the ground. As it was it actually it the floor causing no damage. The courts said that it was his intention that was to fault, even though it landed several meters from the policeman it was aimed at. Edward Wollard wasn't in fact caught, several days after the incident he handed him self in, to plead guilty to attempted man slaughter.    


On the 14th of January 2011 Edward Wollard was sentenced to a minimum of 2 years 8 months in jail. with the possibility with it rising to over 5 years. This is an extremely high sentence considering no harm was actually caused, if the incident was not so rare and wasn't on the increase the ruling would have undoubtedly been less severe. Such a large sentence was designed to send out a message to other protesters in future riots. Every body has their own interpretation on the ruling and ultimately it is up to you to make up your own mind, was the sentence the right severity, or did the judge rule unfairly?  







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