At last a Judge has handed out a sensible and fully justified sentence for murder, and in his summing up said:
"The starting point is 40 years. If you die in jail, few will shed a tear and many will say it will be more than deserved."
The case at Swansea Crown Court concerned two drug addicts who were paid as hit-men by a so-called "businessman" to kill a "customer" who owed him money. But, filled with drugs, they went to the wrong house and killed the wrong person, a 17 year old boy.
Judge Justice Royce should be congratulated on passing the 40 year sentence, although something inside me tells me that it will probably be overturned on appeal and reduced on the grounds that it is against the criminals' human rights to imprison them for such a period without hope of release.
As they are both drug addicts, I would like to think that they have no access to drugs, but again I seem to remember that in another case, this was ruled to be against a criminal's human rights.
Nevertheless, short of bringing back an earlier Welsh judge, Judge Jeffreys, from his grave, we now have a judge who is prepared to hand out sentences which are real punishment and which will also prevent re-offending. Hopefully, as the judge suggests, they will die in jail, although why we should keep them there at public expense until they die, rather than hanging them, is beyond my comprehension.
The case is reported here in the Daily Mail.
The report tells us that the "businessman" who employed the killers cannot be named "for legal reasons". Presumably he is awaiting trial on an appropriate charge, and one can but hope he gets a similar sentence.
Alastair Campbell New Hereditary Peer
6 minutes ago