As a rule I don't write about the news. This is because the moment I think of the word news my brain is immediately crushed with images of a desultory group of corrupt politicians, drunk nano-celebrities, jobless bankers, bivouacked activists and benefit thieves prancing about to tinny mobile phone music in a terrifying nightmarish eternity. But today I'll break my rule.
As you all know I'm not easily riled, very rarely does anything bother me, unless you count the majority of things my fellow humans do each day, old men jumping the bar queue and claiming they were first, people that dither at ATMs, anyone that has a 24 ring tone, but sometimes things really rile me.
Sonia Crabb (33) and her boyfriend Tony Junge (31), conned farmer David Cooper (51) in despicable fashion. My first assumption is that in order to do this they strapped their moral compasses and consciences to one of North Korea's failed rockets. My second assumption is that they flushed their copy of "How not to ruin someone's God-given life" down the toilet.
Sonia took advantage of Cooper's vulnerability, leading him on romantically with intent to exploit, and soon afterwards Crabb and Junge moved into Cooper's farmhouse, forcing Cooper to live in squalid conditions in a 'disused tack room', whatever that is.
They extracted from him £116,000 pounds in cash, spent £170,000 of his assets, forced him to transfer his house and land into their name, and lived in disgusting luxury while pushing him into a degrading existence.
Cooper died from diabetes, but was so malnourished when he died that he had symptoms of scurvy.
Crabb and Junge have now been jailed. You would think, given the fact that they conned him, fleeced him, forced him to live in degrading conditions and brought about his untimely death, that they would be given strict sentences.
You would think, given the fact that they violated his 'right to life' (article 2 Human Rights Act), subjected him to 'inhuman treatment' (article 3) and essentially 'slavery' (article 4), took away his 'right to liberty' (article 5) and all sorts of 'freedoms', that they would, perhaps, get life sentences. Given the sheer quantity of money they extorted from him you would think that that alone would be enough for some serious jail time.
You would think that any self-respecting judge with even a sub-average IQ, and even on a bad day when there was not enough milk in the fridge for his Cheerios and he had accidentally washed his balding pate with Listerine instead of shampoo, would pass a sentence that put them in for some proper time in the cooler. Right? You would think.
So how much time will this miserable pair of dweebs serve?
Crabb and Junge were jailed for 27 and 24 months respectively. I'll do the maths. That's two years for conning, fleecing and exploiting someone, contributing significantly towards their death and living in unearned luxury while their victim languishes in squalor, eventually dying malnourished and alone.
Does this rile you? I'd probably be sentenced for a longer term if I was caught shoplifting tweezers from Boots.
Knowing our justice system they'll probably be released in under 3 minutes for good behaviour.
[sources The Times, Metro and Daily Mail]
A helping hand, ca. 1910s
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