The war on ignorance

In honour of the Daily Mail-itis going on in the comments section, here’s a little quiz from the magistrate.

A woman was out at night with a bag on her shoulder. A man approached her and tried to grab it. She screamed and fought him. He punched her arm to make her let go of the bag. A brave man who lived nearby intervened and was punched in the head. The assailant gave up and ran away. He had in fact been holding a broken glass bottle so his punches caused the woman to have lacerations that needed many stitches. The good samaritan also needed stitches to a head wound. In the melée the attacker cut himself, leaving blood that enabled the police to get a DNA match that resulted in his arrest. He pleaded guilty to Assault with intent to rob, and GBH. He had only trivial previous convictions. So what did he get?

The answer is here, but do take a guess before you read it…

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3 thoughts on “The war on ignorance

  1. You omitted the first line, which was the clue – " a case that I saw sentenced at a Crown Court", which means that the sentence would be more than the 6 months a magistrate could give. 9 years seems a lot, mind; I’d have thought 3 or so..

  2. One thing which isn’t pointed out enough is that loads of violent thugs who go through the system plead not guilty on the grounds of self-defence, because they know juries tend to be on the side of people defending themselves from attack – although, of course, in most cases it’s fairly obvious the defence is entirely spurious ("he brutally attacked my fist with his head", etc).

  3. This was the tactic tried by the defendant in a case where I served on the jury, but it didn’t work: we found him guilty on every count and he got ten years.

    I can see why he tried it, though – there was no doubt whatsoever that he was the assailant (far too much forensic evidence, witness statements and CCTV evidence for him to get away with a "not me, guv" approach), so it was pretty much his only option. But we saw right through him at a very early stage, and I’d be amazed if any other jury had felt differently.

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