Is the le­gal sys­tem do­ing right by Elisha?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR VIEWS -

Ibe­lieve the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of crim­i­nals is best for all of us. And there­fore I ac­cept that “lock­ing the door and throw­ing away the key’’ is not an op­tion. But some­times the sen­tences handed out by the courts baf­fle me.

The case of James Mil­lard is one ex­am­ple.

Mil­lard (22), of High Street, Flet­ton was high on drugs when he got be­hind the wheel of a Ford Fo­cus.

Driv­ing at twice the speed limit along Bourges Boule­vard, he lost con­trol of his ve­hi­cle and smashed into a fam­ily walk­ing along the pave­ment.

Lit­tle seven-year-old Elisha Hills-Steed­man was thrown in the air and badly in­jured. Her fam­ily feared she would die.

And Mil­lard? He didn’t even stop at the scene.

In an in­stant the fam­ily’s life was turned up­side down, never to be the same again... and not for the bet­ter. Mum Michelle Steed­man , who was also badly hurt in the crash, says the fam­ily are suf­fer­ing a life sen­tence.

Mil­lard isn’t. He could have been jailed for five years, but he was given just 14 months. His de­fence even pressed for a sus­pended sen­tence!

Even if he keeps his nose clean – and as he had taken co­caine that day, that’s not a given – he will be back on the streets in seven months, maybe even ear­lier.

I have to cling to the hope that Mil­lard will learn his les­son and when he comes out of jail he will be a de­cent, use­ful mem­ber of so­ci­ety.

But if he isn’t, and he does some­thing like this again... we should throw away the key.

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