Nicolas Robinson: London Looter Given 6 Months for $6 Theft
London Looter Sentenced to Six Months' prison for Stealing One Case of Water
British police have arrested over 1,000 people in relation to the riots that swept England over the past few nights, and have charged nearly half of them with crimes. One case in particular, stands out for all the wrong reasons. Nicolas Robinson, a 23-year-old student, was sentenced to six months in prison for looting during the London riots. Robinson admitted to stealing a case of water worth £3.50 (roughly $6).
The message being sent here is that London must want more rioting, but we hope that the city's youth does not oblige.
Police across Britain already admitted to "getting it wrong" in terms of handling the riots, so perhaps the courts need to take this as a teaching moment. Throwing the book at some random student is not the way to rebuild trust in "the system". Guess what? Now Robinson's parents will hate the British justice system, too.
Aside from the obvious social fallout from oversentencing, a six-month prison stint makes no fiscal sense for a government already on the ropes.
Overall, police response has been somewhat perplexing: how, exactly, is a police power to order "suspected criminals" to remove masks useful? British police have far-reaching powers as it is: that's one of the reasons these riots broke out to begin with.
We get that David Cameron wants to look effective, but surely the whole point of the next few weeks is to lay a groundwork of preventing future riots?