The murder of Sarah Everard in March was one of those crimes that periodically shock the nation. A serving police officer was arrested fairly promptly, and now in what some may consider a surprising move, Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping her. He is also said to have accepted responsibility for her death, although he has not yet entered a plea on the murder charge.
As this is Britain and not the United States, it would not be right to comment further on the case except to say that the victim’s friends and family will doubtless be relieved, and whatever its final outcome, this dude won’t be back on the streets for a very long time. The maximum sentence for rape alone under UK law is life imprisonment. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the lunatics who run the Parole Board have decided that Colin Pitchfork – discussed here December last year and last month – can indeed be released, and will be soon. That is unless the public does something to stop this obscenity.
On Tuesday, the case was debated on Good Morning Britain. Retired detective Sue Hill voiced a common sense opinion while Chris Daw – a QC no less – made a total fool of himself by arguing that keeping people locked up indefinitely increases the crime rate. He also said there is no such thing as deterrence in criminal justice, a ludicrous claim for any lawyer to make. Why is the crime rate so low in Saudi Arabia and so high in Portland, Oregon? Daw is the author of a book called Justice On Trial. If you haven’t read it, don’t.
Pitchfork’s imminent release is also being debated heavily on Facebook, in a dedicated group, which includes family members of his victims. The release of serial rapist John Worboys was prevented by a public campaign; it is to be hoped that Pitchfork’s will be too. This isn’t about mob justice. While it is right that public pressure should not be allowed to influence the Parole Board’s decisions unduly, this one is so far off the scale it beggars belief.
One of the arguments made for Pitchfork’s release is that he is now over sixty so extremely unlikely to offend again. So was Milton Brown, he is in fact older than Pitchfork. He will shortly be facing a potential life sentence after being convicted of rape yet again last month.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.