Judicial disparity

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I AM sure that Dr John Cameron is correct in his view that the severity of “great train robber” Ronnie Biggs’s sentence demeaned the judiciary (Letters, 21 December).

People see a disparity when they weigh up such severe sentences for men, the majority of whom were non-violent, against those handed down to violent offenders, who murder and maim old women and children, being sentenced to far less prison time.

Thus people lose respect for the justice system.

The ordinary man and woman are perceptive and see justice as biased, treating those whose crimes are against the little person far more leniently than those who sin against the powerful elites of class, government and big business.

That perception largely holds true – except when the perpetrators of crime come from the powerful elites, then all bets are off.

To my mind the biggest robbery in my lifetime was carried out, not by a gang of train robbers wearing masks, but by a gang of bankers wearing pin-stripped suits.

The former stole £2.6 million from a train and only affected one man and his family; the latter’s actions cost the nation trillions of pounds and affected millions of people throughout this country.

The former resulted in media outrage, police manhunts and investigations followed by Draconian jail sentences.

The latter resulted in much froth, but little substance and the perpetrators walking off with pension pots that exceeded the amount taken from the Glasgow-London train, and honours from the Queen to boot.

Ronnie Biggs’s biggest mistake was not joining the banking industry when he left school.

Tom Minogue

Victoria Terrace

Dunfermline, Fife