Criminal element

PUBLISHED: 12:06 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

SIR – Listening to a conversation on a bus yesterday, I gathered that the speaker had just got out of prison. He was complaining that he had only just heard about a course he could have taken in prison to get one-third off his sentence. In your paper was

SIR - Listening to a conversation on a bus yesterday, I gathered that the speaker had just got out of prison. He was complaining that he had only just heard about a course he could have taken in prison to get one-third off his sentence.

In your paper was the case of a man who had previously got a four and a half years sentence for taking a pensioner to her bank to extract inflated charges for roofing work (Herts Advertiser, October 1). He was now being sentenced to 21 months for exactly the same trick.

The question is: what is the deterrent if criminals are let out of prison early on the slightest excuse? We know that prisons are crowded and that the money needed to build new ones has been squandered.

How would your readers deal with incorrigibles like this man? Perhaps a sentence more in keeping with the distress caused rather that the money stolen?

RICHARD DURRANT

Park Avenue, St Albans

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