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To think 5 and a half years is a fucking joke?

(14 Posts)
TurkeyBurgerThing Fri 30-Sep-11 14:01:35

This is just absolutely awful. She'll be out after 1/2 of that no doubt. Makes me so angry.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-15124395

LineRunner Fri 30-Sep-11 14:04:30

Is this the story of the mother who drowned her daughter?

TurkeyBurgerThing Fri 30-Sep-11 14:11:04

Yeah sorry, link didn't work

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-15124395

Gincognito Fri 30-Sep-11 14:15:28

I don't know. She obviously has very serious mh problems. sad

I would expect any future children to be removed at birth though, for everyone's sake.

Here sentencing was in line with the guidelines i.e. 8 years reduced because of a guilty plea.
www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/manslaughter_diminished_responsibility/

Her culpability was reduced due to Deminished Responsibility. DR requires an abnormality of mental functioning arising from recognised medical condition which impairs a persons ability to understand what they are doing or exercise self control or judge rationally.

It is probable that she was quite mentally ill at the time of the killing if she was able to show DR.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Sep-11 14:35:59

She clearly has very seriously MH problems that she needs help with. I'm not sure prison is the best place for someone who is that ill unless they get serious help.

It's very sad sad

aldiwhore Fri 30-Sep-11 14:40:58

Agree with Valiumredhead, I don't know all the details, but it sounds more like a horrific tragedy for both of them than an evil woman's whim.

meravigliosa Fri 30-Sep-11 14:42:38

I can understand why what looks on the face of it like a short(ish) sentence upsets some people, but I really don't like knee jerk reactions to what are usually very carefully considered sentencing decisions by professional judges and one here made in the context of an unusual and very distressing case.

The prosecution accepted a plea to culpable homicide (equivalent of manslaughter) rather than murder, on the basis of diminished responsibility. That can't happen unless the case has been looked at at the highest level of the prosecution service in Scotland. The plea to culpable homicide won't have been accepted without a great deal of thought going into it. The sentence is an extended sentence, which allows for a further four and half years of supervision and potential recall to prison. The judge stated that his starting point for the custodial sentence was 8 years. A one-third discount is standard for an early plea of guilty.

Incidentally in Scotland if you are sentenced to more than 4 years you are not guaranteed release halfway through your sentence. It is possible you may be released at that point if the Parole Board approve. Otherwise you will serve 2/3 of your sentence. Situation is different for life prisoners, who have to serve the custodial minimum part of their sentence before being considered by the Parole Board.

Ultimately if the prosecution think the sentence is unduly lenient they can appeal. Looking at the BBC report it seems like a very unusual case and one in which there were substantial MH problems short of insanity in the legal sense (which can lead to a not guilty by reason of insanity, but end up with an indefinite term in the State Hospital).

I am sure that if this woman were to have other children SS would be in there like a shot. Not vastly likely if she is 43 and likely to spend the next while in prison.

Andrewofgg Fri 30-Sep-11 14:51:04

An unspeakable tragedy for the child, the defendant, and the father. Let's not get angry in the presence of such pain.

JIRkids Fri 30-Sep-11 14:54:30

She probably has mental health problems and her main punishment will be knowing what she did to her child. She will live with that every day of her life and will likely never have custody of her other child. Punishment in my mind is not really the issue as I am sure she is punishing herself - getting her better so she can't harm others is more the issue here I would think. Sounds like she was thought of as a good mother before.

SpanishPaella Fri 30-Sep-11 15:02:11

An unspeakable tragedy for the child and the father - agreed.

evil woman

valiumredhead Fri 30-Sep-11 15:07:09

Evil or extremely ill with MH problems that caused her to commit such a terrible act? There is a difference.

GypsyMoth Fri 30-Sep-11 15:15:45

It days she probably had a personality disorder.... So she hasn't been assessed properly then? Or she has, and this is what they came up with?

Dies personality disorder just develop? My understanding is that it's there from early adulthood?

meravigliosa Fri 30-Sep-11 15:31:19

I love obviously I only know what I've read on the BBC site, but what would usually happen in a case of this sort is that the accused would have been assessed by (usually at least two) psychiatrists at a pretty early stage, partly to see whether she was sane and fit to plead at all. The defence will also have had her assessed by at least one defence expert. The conclusion that diminished responsibility applied will have been reached on the basis of expert psychiatric advice.

It looks as if the report is referring to something that the prosecutor said in court regarding the results of those assessments. It is not possible to tell from the BBC report what previous contact if any the accused had had with MH services, or whether a diagnosis of personality disorder had been made at any earlier time.

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