I blogged a while back :
I've often thought there was room for a blog specialising in the crap spun by defence solicitors - the sort of thing you'll see in your local paper each week.
"Fred Bloggs, defending, said that since his release from an eight-year sentence for manslaughter, his client had made a determined effort to go straight, with only two convictions over a five-year period. Tragically the death of his grandmother, ongoing relationship difficulties, and his struggles with addiction had left him vulnerable to irrational outbursts of violence, for which no help had been made available by social workers or the local health authorities."
Looks like we've found a suitably gullible judge :
Paul Grumbar, defending, said in the year since the offence Minaides had undergone a miraculous' change in his lifestyle. He said he has been reconciled with his family, settled down with a new girlfriend, got a job and stopped taking drugs.
Having started taking drugs as a 14-year-old he said Minaides had become hopelessly addicted and even on drug treatment orders continued to use. He said that he was only selling cocaine to fund his own habit but he has now moved away from his old haunts and old friends to sever the link with drugs, Mr Grumbar said.
If he were jailed he said Minaides associating with other users in prison could set back his rehabilitation and return him to addiction.
In January 2005 Minaides escaped a jail term after being caught with more than £1,000 worth of ecstasy tablets in his bedroom. Although he was charged by the police with possession with intent to supply the Crown Prosecution Service reduced the allegation to simple possession. As well as 109 ecstasy tablets, police also found 0.427 grams of amphetamines, 249 grams of cannabis resin, 19 diazepam tablets and some herbal cannabis with a total street value of between £1,400 and £1,500. He was sentenced to a drug treatment and testing order after telling the court how he was taking 15 ecstasy tablets a day along with other drugs.
Recorder Timothy Mousley ? :
Passing sentence the judge said that the matters were "so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified". However he said bearing in mind Minaides' progress and vulnerability should he be jailed he would pass a community order. He told him to complete 200 hours of community service and a one year probation order and if he failed on it he could be jailed. He said: "I would have in mind, bearing in mind your guilty plea and when it was entered, it would be four years' imprisonment."
So he only has to survive unbusted for a year, as he presumably did in 2005, then he can do it all over again.