Getting caught and admitting for serious crimes usually lands people up in jail and also makes them pay hefty fines. But in a rare occurrence, a judge has agreed to let a convict who admitted for a number of serious crimes, to go on a planned holiday before having the sentence in Wales. The Judge who delivered this rare dialogue was Judge Jeremy Jenkins and the ‘lucky’ convict was Mr. Watson from Pontypool. This rare and bizarre step by a judge has raised many eyebrows.
51-year old Mr. Watson, from Pontypool, was arrested by the police for five offenses including possession of a stun gun, cannabis and cocaine in the Newport Town Centre in October 2018. On Monday, 19th of March, Mr. Watson admitted to having committed these crimes and pleaded guilty.
But he had planned and booked a holiday to the Canary Islands, not knowing that he will be caught in the legal trouble. So, his defense barrister Hashim Salman requested the court for some time to prepare a pre-sentence report, which was turned down.
He also has asked permission for his client to travel to Tenerife for a summer break before getting sentenced, quoting that his client is going through unusual circumstances and has a background worthy of exploration. The judge acknowledged this and allowed Mr. Watson to go on a summer break, but also warned him not to let him down and that he should return and face prison or punishment.
What does the law say?
According to the law, all the five crimes committed amount to strict penalties, with the possession of class A drugs and each of them carries a 7-year prison term and unlimited fine or both.
Being in the possession of a weapon that discharges noxious substances amounts to 10 years in prison.
What the judge did is called the “act of mercy” which is not very often heard or used in judicial contexts. This is employed when there are special circumstances demanding unusual decisions on the part of the judge. In such cases, judges are allowed to take a call on their decisions.
Judge Jenkins has made use of this provision to both the defendant and his barrister – to go on a holiday and also to prepare the pre-sentence papers.
How is the judgment received?
The bizarre turn of events, in this case, has raised many eyebrows in the judicial scenario. The appropriateness of letting a criminal to go on a holiday, that too by a court has been widely criticized.
The judgment somewhere sends a bizarre and confusing message to the victims of all criminals who are related to criminal sentencing in this country. But it is to be considered that a judge has to take in many points of views and circumstances before coming to any decision regarding the case.
The convict is expected to attend the court on 31st May 2019 instead of an earlier date. If he turns up, further court procedures will take place.
The bizarre case has caused a stir in the judicial scenario, questioning the rightness of this act. The case has created an interest in many curious brains and this curiosity is expected to end on May 31st when the convict will attend the court for sentence.