Corey Brown said he expected prison
Wednesday December 14,2011
By Anil Dawar
A JUDGE has spared a serial offender from being electronically tagged so he can enjoy his 21st birthday and go out with pals over Christmas.
Cocky Corey Brown won the let-off from the curfew punishment after saying he didn’t want to be cooped up at home with his grandmother or be in prison.
But prosecutors were stunned when Recorder David Hall gave in to the convicted criminal’s demands as he did not want to be a “tyrant” during the festive season.
Yesterday, unrepentant Brown – who could have been jailed for repeatedly breaching his probation order – stuck two fingers up at the law-abiding public by boasting about his good fortune.
Brown, who has had three stints in jail already, said: “I was expecting to get a tag for missing my probation dates but I’m happy I didn’t because I can go out with my mates now.
“Tagging me was a possibility but what they should have technically done is activate my suspended sentence and send me to jail.
Judges should be sending criminals a clear message
“Thanks to the judge, I can enjoy a few drinks for my birthday otherwise I’d be stuck in with my gran or in prison.” He added: “I don’t know why I didn’t turn up to my community service. I just didn’t think about it – I didn’t care. I’ve already told the judge jail doesn’t work for me. I’ve been to jail three times and I haven’t learned a thing. What’s the point of sending me to prison now?”
Last night, critics reacted with fury to Recorder Hall’s ruling at Warwick Crown Court and called on him to step down.
Tory MP Priti Patel said: “Judges should be sending criminals a clear message, that if you break the law you will face the consequences of your crime.
“To use a birthday and Christmas as an excuse not to punish a serial offender reinforces the public view that our judges are too soft and that we have a pathetically weak criminal justice system.”
Fellow Tory MP Philip Davies said: “This judge should be totally ashamed of himself. He should look at himself very carefully to see if he is fit to carry on.” Mr Davies added: “Soft, criminal-friendly judgments send out the wrong message.”
Campaigner Javed Khan, of Victim Support, said: “Tough community sentences can work in stopping re-offending, but there needs to be consequences if offenders repeatedly break them. If that means disrupting a criminal’s enjoyment of the festive season, then so be it.” Brown, of Bedworth, Warwicks, was originally sentenced to 36 weeks suspended for two years with 150 hours unpaid work, after police discovered the keys to a £30,000 Lexus at his house.
The luxury car had been stolen from a 70-year-old woman in a burglary and used in shop raids. Brown was hauled back to court in October and November after he failed to show up for his unpaid work and rehabilitation programme.
But on Monday, his solicitor Annabel Hamilton told the court he was “very reluctant to have a curfew because it is his 21st birthday next week and Christmas is coming up”. Recorder Hall said: “It would be a tyrant who tagged someone on their 21st birthday and at Christmas.
“I have seen a progress report, which is very positive and favourable, and a letter from his tutor.
“The order started well and then went of the rails for a while, but it is now even better than before.”