A joyrider has walked free from court after killing a police dog and injuring two officers in a road smash while three times over the drink-drive limit. Sean Lawson, 20, shouted ‘get in’ as his 12-month prison sentence was suspended at Newcastle Crown Court.
Let's just review the offences committed in one 'incident':
- Rammed a car and then stole it when the owner got out
- Tried to evade arrest by driving away
- Lost control and mounted the pavement while being pursued
- Rammed a police car trying to prevent him driving away
- Speeding, driving on wrong side of the road, blind bend, no lights
- Lost control again
- 90mph with no lights on wrong side of dual carriageway
- Handbrake turn
- Hit police car, injuring two officers
- Hit police dog van, breaking back of police dog, which had to be put down
- All of this while THREE TIMES over the drink-drive limit.
If you, or I, or any other law-abiding person, had been caught after doing just one of these offences, what do you suppose the penalty would be? Certainly a fine and points for the minor stuff like the handbrake turn or driving on the pavement. Big fine, many points, and a possible ban for the speeding, evading arrest stuff. Definite ban for the drink-driving. Imprisonment for injuring two officers, killing a police dog, causing God-knows-how-much damage to the police vehicles (which you and I will have to pay for, one way or another). Definitely imprisonment for ramming an innocent motorist and stealing his car. And if you or I did all of this in one crazy episode of mindlessness?
They would throw the book at us. And then lock us away for a very long time indeed. And we wouldn't be able to drive for a long time either, which would affect our jobs and our ability to function in society.
But for Sean Lawson? He walks free.
A 12-month prison sentence - suspended for two years.
200 hours unpaid work - will he even turn up? Many don't bother.
A curfew - which of course he will diligently observe, as many have before him
A 3-year driving ban - will this make him start walking to the benefit office? I'm not sure it will.
He looks a nice lad.
As he heard his 'punishment', he was heard to shout "Get in", which I assume means that he had a feeling of victory over the system, rather than any kind of remorse. And no wonder - he's got away with it.
It wouldn't happen to us.