COMMENT: Sentence sends the right message

WE are not shy in telling our judges they are too lenient with some criminals.

It is one of our duties to let the judiciary know if the community feels the punishment meted out does not fit the crime.

However, our judges are usually spot on when it comes to dealing with rogue traders picking on the elderly or vulnerable.

If you con the public and end up before an Oxford beak, there’s a better than even chance you’re going down. And that’s how it should be.

Sometimes it could be argued the monetary value of their crimes is less than other crooks and swindlers who go waltzing out of Oxford Crown Court with a slap on the wrist.

But our judges correctly reflect society’s view that if you think you can prey on the elderly and browbeat them into handing over large amounts of their lifesavings then you need to be detained inside HMP Bullingdon.

We are delighted Jason Butcher will spend the next few months in jail.

But we are more delighted with the message it sends out, not only to the conmen but also to other victims – if you have been cheated you will be listened to and you will get justice, while they will get their just desserts.

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