Published: 10 Feb 2011 15:00
Not to be confused with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) group, this would be the LET BIG TOMMY GO group.
I have watched with increasing bemusement the enormous waste of public money that has been poured into the open sewer that became the trial or the life and times of Tommy Sheridan.
I would accept unreservedly that Tommy, having been found guilty by a jury of his peers has committed perjury, has to be punished, but my understanding of custodial sentences is that they are to provide certain outcomes.
Namely, they are a way of protecting the public from further offences, but unless we ignore the human rights legislation currently in force, Tommy will continue to shout his innocence from Barlinnie or wherever else he is detained.
I think that Tommy does not pose a threat to public safety and the person most injured by all of this is Tommy himself.
The second consideration in custodial sentences is rehabilitation and I am afraid Tommy is incorrigible in that department and cannot in my opinion be reconstructed he is always going to be Tommy.
There is also the question of restitution and we will not get much in the way of that from Tommy in Barlinnie I think he will spend his time on appeals and continued protestations of his innocence in fact I would not be surprised if he becomes the first guest columnist in the tabloids with a Barlinnie address.
The final point is punishment and this I believe should be related to the other conditions
Punishment to my mind should be custodial when there is a risk to the general public and I do not think Tommy qualifies in that department there is also the question of the cost of incarceration.
If there must be punishment then let us look at another type, tag, curfew community service an exclusion order barring him from council meetings demos or other activities that he enjoys. In my opinion we have spent enough public money in pursuit of Tommy and we should now close the purse.
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