Friday, 7 January 2011

Why spend more taxpayers' cash on locking up this man?

There is some understandable glee at the incarceration of David Chaytor, former Labour MP and criminal. I guess justice is seen to be done - but why lock him up for 18 months?

Symbolism aside I can see no sense or purpose to sticking this particular criminal in some open prison where we'll feed, clothe and warm him and where he can catch up on his reading. Doubtless followed - as was the case with Keith Best and Jonathan Aitkin - with Mr Chaytor becoming the pundit du jour on prison reform, gaol conditions and such like. Probably accompanied by a well-remunerated position with some righteous 'charity' or campaign organisation.

We should be fining him - not just the £18,000 he stole but enough for him to have to sell the house he funded from his expenses, the nice car he's got and maybe a few of the geegaw's MPs are wont to accumulate. A fine that would hurt - and no I'm not interested in whether doing this hurts his family, perhaps they'll give him some grief too. And he should be doing something 'in the community' - cleaning out public loos for the National Trust, fixing walls and painting railings. Not for a few hours but full time for at least six months.

Locking David Chaytor up makes us feel better. But hitting him where it hurts - in his wallet - would be a more apt and less costly punishment.



Dick Puddlecote said...

Very good point, Simon. But ...

"Locking David Chaytor up makes us feel better"

... very much so. :)

Jack P said...

This is probably the most honest written piece on the subject I've read thus far. A non-custodial sentence would be acceptable and would also do away with the need to accommodate him in prison, at the taxpayer's expense again!

SadButMadLad said...

Why lock him up? Because he stole money - pure and simple. If I stole money (without violence or threats) from my employer I would expect to get locked up not told to pay it back plus a bit on top.

If he does become a pundit for prison reform after he gets out it'll probably be just about the only job he can get as his reputation is pretty much in tatters.