A night out for four young men in Thanet can be expensive these days but according to a story in our local paper, there’s relatively cheap and risk free fun to be had stealing and wrecking people’s cars.
The paper reports that scaffolder Thomas Hembling who stole a Vauxhall Nova from Westgate in September, was chased through Manston and Shottendane Road with no license, no insurance and three friends in the car, and must pay £200 compensation to the owner of the car he wrecked.
Police attempted to stop the car with a “Stinger”, puncturing the tyres but that didn’t stop him. Hembling was banned from driving for a year (but he reportedly has no license anyway) and was fined £460 with £43 costs. None of the four were given a custodial sentence.
So let me see if I understand this correctly? You can steal a car, almost wreck it and be chased by the police at high speed along our local roads, presenting a potentially lethal danger to anyone who might cross your path, all for rather less than the cost of a day out for four at the Brands Hatch "Top Gear" experience.
This sounds like a rather good deal to me given the level of adrenalin-fuelled excitement involved in the chase and the attempt to escape the police dog at the end.
I wonder if our criminal justice system has lost its marbles completely with examples such as this one. Where I ask is the deterrent, any deterrent and the proper compensation to the person whose property has been stolen and/or damaged?