Crime Pays: Thief Wins £13000 Because Victim Lost Faith In Justice System
MARK Gilbert has won £13,000 damages from his former boss Simon Cremer. He sued for “humiliation” for being made to wear a sign saying “THIEF – I stole £845 am on my way to the police station” about his neck and forcibly walked to a police station.
Would you have agreed to wear such a sign? Gilbert’s hands were bound. He says he was beaten. Mr Cremer denies using violence.
Gilbert’s crime was to have written out a company cheque to himself and taken it to a Cash Converters in Essex. Gilbert got a caution. Cremer was charged with false imprisonment, but the case collapsed in December 2008.
Then Cremer was invited to go to court. Gilbert wanted redress for alleged psychological distress and lost earnings. He said:
“I feel for the bloke, I respect the bloke but I want him to pay for what he’s done. I went in my local pub and felt a cold shoulder. I wanted to face people, to deal with it face on. I probably deserved it for what I did, fair enough, but I paid the money back.”
But the civil matter was never heard because Cremer settled out of court – he says he did this to avoid high legal bills. He paid £5,000 in compensation for lost earnings and £8,000 in court fees (plus £2000 for his own legal fees). Says he:
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting that he was even able to sue me after he had stolen from me to be honest. I don’t want to give him a penny after what he did, so it really sticks in my throat. He stole from me yet he is the one who is walking away with the money. It makes me so angry.”
But is this a failing of the system or a failing of Mr Cremer’s faith in it?
Witham Tory MP Priti Patel opines:
“Criminals should be punished for their crimes and I, like many members of the public, will be appalled by this decision and the culture of soft sentences that now prevails in our criminal justice system.”
So. She wants for victims to be able to tie the thief’s hands and, allegedly, humiliate them?