Image courtesy of http://www.torange.us
Picture the scene. It is Valentine’s Day. You’ve taken your beloved to Canterbury, home of Christopher Marlowe, the splendid cathedral and the delightful Canterbury Crown Court.
You’re sat with your other half. You’ve made a bit of effort for your day out – put a shirt on no less. Unfortunately, the day takes a turn for the worse. The food is awful and there’s no wine – only water. Oh, and you’re sat in the dock of HHJ Byers’ court. But it is about to get even worse.
Samson Paine (pleaded to attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon) and Karla Shaw (pleaded to robbery and ABH) were before HHJ Byers and presumably were adjourned for sentence.
The Judge had reportedly admonished Samson for slouching and talking in the dock and asked for him to be taken to the cells. A female dock officer stepped between Samson and Karla but Karla reportedly threw her arms around her boyfriend and ‘planted a lingering kiss on his lips’
Kent Online, (from which we have taken the facts) stated that a barrister said:
“It was a smacker of a kiss. I was married for 15 years and didn’t have a kiss like that.”
The pair were remanded in custody and the Judge said:
“At the end of this case they will be sentenced for contempt. I am not having it. They misbehaved last time, they misbehaved this time. Unless I make a firm stand, that will go on.”
“I hope it was worth it.”
Karla replied: “You don’t know how worth it that was. Happy Valentine’s. Sorry.”
The Judge later said: “You can tell them, with my felicitations, they can look forward to a consecutive sentence. They plainly have absolutely no respect.”
Should they be looking at custody? My personal view is no. I understand why the Judge was irritated, especially as they had been ‘misbehaving’ previously. Any sentence is understandably consecutive because there is little point if any punishment is subsumed into the sentence for the offences to which they have pleaded.
Perhaps there is a need to ‘send a message’ by adding on a couple of days to the sentence, but my preferred approach would be one I would probably take with any children I might have in the future; humiliation rather than punishment.
Is it not far better to bring them before the court, make them apologise, tell them they are immature and how they won’t be kissing one another for a while etc.?