Friday, November 13, 2009

When turning in a gun can get you jail time

The animus against gun possession in England is so strong that a man who found a gun in his backyard and delivered it to the police is now facing a jail term.
A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon.
Apparently, his crime is bringing it to the police himself and not calling the police to come pick it up themselves. And for this the guy faces a minimum of five years in jail. This in a country that has been letting criminals out of jail because of overcrowding. That problem has gotten to be so bad that the British Ministry of Justice estimates that criminals let out of English prisons commit an average of a murder and a rape every week.
In the two years to April this year, offenders serving community sentences and suspended sentences were convicted of a total of 121 murders and 103 rapes.

The Figures from the Ministry of Justice put new pressure on ministers over their drive to keep offenders out of jail because of prison overcrowding.

Community sentences are supposed to be passed on to criminals who have committed only relatively minor offences and who do not pose a danger to the public.

There were a total of 1,004 serious crimes committed by offenders being supervised by the Probation Service between 2006 and 2008.

The offences included 22 attempted murders, 44 acts of manslaughter and 682 other serious violent or sexual offences.

Another 374 alleged offences committed by criminals on community sentences have yet to come to trial.

The number of offenders being spared jail and given community-based sentences instead is rising. Some 162,650 offenders started supervised community sentences in 2007, a 5 per cent rise from 2006.

The number of offenders supervised by the Probation Service was 242,720 at 31 December 2007, up 3 per cent on the previous year.

Earlier this week it was revealed that prisoners set free early to cut jail numbers have been accused of three murders.
We'll see if there is discretion in sentencing for Paul Clarke.


tfhr said...

Suspend the sentence on the condition that he should not turn in any more guns - just let them lay where they've been discarded. In fact, a zealous prosecutor might believe that the person notifying the police had previously been in the possession of the disembodied gun and pursue a case against a good Samaritan. A cautious British subject might want to keep walking rather than report any future finds.

The UK has watched it's crime rate, particularly violent crime, skyrocket over the past decade. A ridiculous case like this one in which a member of the community believed he was helping only to be prosecuted in the process is another example of laws that needlessly target the good among us while others possessing criminal intent to do harm and who frequently carry out that intent are given massive leeway.

Gun control laws in both the UK and the United States seem only applicable to the law abiding as criminals are not deterred. The police could have made do with a stern warning but instead the system seems to have advanced this situation to a ludicrous confrontation that will give good people reason to think twice before assisting the police in the future.

ic said...

He should have shot a couple of people and claimed stress for being a former soldier, then he would be a victim and hero, and would be paid to write a book.

Pat Patterson said...

The people of the United Kingdom are not quite as foolish as their courts and politicians might be on these questions. In 2008 a YouGov poll in England found that 55% of the repondents were in favor of bringing back the death penalty. The follow up questions was why and that answer was that they were quite aware that violence was on the rise and that the murder rate, which had been a ratio of 8 to 1 compared to the US had fallen to 3.3 to 1 in just twenty years.

I found only one poll that touched on legalizing handguns from 2005 at that showed that a plurality favored loosening some restrictions and at the same time make the use of a gun in a crime a capitol crime, or what the US calls a Class A felony.

ZZMike said...

Formerly Great Britain is an asylum and a laughing-stock.

I remember the case from 2 - 3 years ago, where a farmer shot two burglars who broke into his home while he was there. He shot both with a shotgun, killing one and wounding the other. He's still in jail and will be for some time.

Meanwhile, the wounded burglar is suing for "workman's compensation".

Just go to the UK Daily Mail now and again. (It's partly a gossip paper, but carries stories highlighting the lunacy over there.)

sykes.1 said...

The coming Islamic government and Sharia will rid Britain of these lunatics.

old and angry said...

This is what 12 years of Socialism has done to my country.
We are Bust, with a Prpme Minister (unelected ) who is an international laughing stock.
Take care America,
Or it very well could happen to you!

Skay said...

Unfortunately, the left is pushing us down the same kind of road.

equitus said...

This is a foreshadowing of Eric Holder's America.