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Paul Stokes get 2 years for Damaging door... (?)


Thac0man

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I just read this on RTEs' website:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0522/stokesp.html

Paul Stokes gets two years for what amounts to criminal damage to the tune of E14,000.

Does that not seem excessive? Though the last year is suspended, I have seen rapists, drug dealers and muggers get about the same (or less) for causing much more public distress. Given that Stokes has been in the Central Mental hospitol between the incident and now, how can locking him up bee seen as anything other that punushing a mentally ill man? I see no mention in the article that his mental condition will be taken into account so he can spend the year in Hospital.
 

cyberianpan

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The media outlets are reprting it was for criminal damage & reckless endangerment.

He propelled several thousand kilos of metal & plastic at high speed into an occupied building ? ... Pretty much the same thing as a driveby shooting.

cYp
 

trekkypj

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FutureLabourLeader said:
I think the way he was practically stalking Pat Kenny influenced the decision
Would it be overly flippant for me to say that it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy? (Kenny I mean ;) )

Probably...

Sentance seems unfair considering the psychiatric issues involved. It's not like he hurt anyone - (do doors count as people under the law :roll: ), all he did was make Kenny uncomfortable. Some people would give the man a medal...
 

Marx

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I can't belive you could actually defend this guy. Even if you don't like Pat Kenny that does not give you the right to harm him. He could have killed people. The door isn't the issue its was a public place where innocnet people could have been hurt
 

trekkypj

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I defend the guy because he was obviously one farthing short of a shilling. He had been the subject of complaints before and they should have been acted upon. Had the man been dealt with properly by psychiatric professionals it would have been less likely to happen.

I admit I'm being flippant re Kenny. I don't agree with what the man did and yes people could have gotten hurt. My point is that nobody actually was. And you have to take into account the man had issues in order to do it in the first place - people like that need to be helped, not locked up. Man isn't a criminal, he's an ill person who needs expert treatment.
 

solair

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Well, he's definitely someone who needs to be out of circulation for a while. He should be getting psychiatric / psychological help though!

If he's just in for 2 years with no rehabilitation he'll just come out and do it again, or worse!
 

Kev408

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trekkypj said:
I defend the guy because he was obviously one farthing short of a shilling. He had been the subject of complaints before and they should have been acted upon. Had the man been dealt with properly by psychiatric professionals it would have been less likely to happen.

I admit I'm being flippant re Kenny. I don't agree with what the man did and yes people could have gotten hurt. My point is that nobody actually was. And you have to take into account the man had issues in order to do it in the first place - people like that need to be helped, not locked up. Man isn't a criminal, he's an ill person who needs expert treatment.
By your logic he should already have been apprehended by either the police or by psychiatric helpers in the first place. What would you be saying if he had been apprehended originally for a far less dangerous action?

Also, you said that it's not like he injured anyone. Should we take no action against people who attempted murder but their bullet missed? After all, it's not like they hurt anyone.
 

cyberianpan

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trekkypj said:
I defend the guy because he was obviously one farthing short of a shilling. He had been the subject of complaints before and they should have been acted upon. Had the man been dealt with properly by psychiatric professionals it would have been less likely to happen.
Meh loony people have some free will, he's not legally loony so this implies he knew right from wrong.

trekkypj said:
yes people could have gotten hurt. My point is that nobody actually wast.
Come again ?
So dangerous driving isn't a crime, only dangerous driving causing harm ?

Outcome based justice ?

So I farted yesterday and a dude died in a downpour in Bangladesh because of it: I should be jailed ?

Dude there's cheaper ways to get to Austrailia.



cYp
 

trekkypj

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cyberianpan said:
trekkypj said:
I defend the guy because he was obviously one farthing short of a shilling. He had been the subject of complaints before and they should have been acted upon. Had the man been dealt with properly by psychiatric professionals it would have been less likely to happen.
Meh loony people have some free will, he's not legally loony so this implies he knew right from wrong.
Thats beside the point. He still should have at least been put on some sort of treatment.

cyberianpan said:
trekkypj said:
yes people could have gotten hurt. My point is that nobody actually was.
Come again ?
So dangerous driving isn't a crime, only dangerous driving causing harm ?

Outcome based justice ?
Isn't that what is happening now? He drove dangerously so he gets jailed.

There are mitigating circumstances and I don't think the result reflects this.

Firstly, you have to show that he put people in reasonable fear of immediate harm. Fair enough he probably did. But mental illness can be a partial or full defence against the crime, depending on whether he was suffering from a recognised medical condition.

I never said he wasn't guilty, only that his mental state should be taken into account, as well as the fact that the threatened outcome did not in fact happen. Attempted is not as serious as actual, if only because of the outcome.

cyberianpan said:
So I farted yesterday and a dude died in a downpour in Bangladesh because of it: I should be jailed ?
I honestly don't know what to make of this.

Dude there's cheaper ways to get to Austrailia.



cYp
I respect your opinion but I disagree with you. Lets not make this a I'm right you're wrong thing - lets just agree to differ mate.
 

cyberianpan

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trekkypj said:
cyberianpan said:
trekkypj said:
I defend the guy because he was obviously one farthing short of a shilling. He had been the subject of complaints before and they should have been acted upon. Had the man been dealt with properly by psychiatric professionals it would have been less likely to happen.
Meh loony people have some free will, he's not legally loony so this implies he knew right from wrong.
Thats beside the point. He still should have at least been put on some sort of treatment.
And that's beside the point of his crime for which initially you wanted to give him a medal.

trekkypj said:
cyberianpan said:
trekkypj said:
yes people could have gotten hurt. My point is that nobody actually was.
Come again ?
So dangerous driving isn't a crime, only dangerous driving causing harm ?

Outcome based justice ?
Isn't that what is happening now? He drove dangerously so he gets jailed.
Mmmmmm- attempted crime is a crime irrespective of outcome

trekkypj said:
Firstly, you have to show that he put people in reasonable fear of immediate harm.
No you don't.

trekkypj said:
I never said he wasn't guilty, only that his mental state should be taken into account, as well as the fact that the threatened outcome did not in fact happen. Attempted is not as serious as actual, if only because of the outcome.
If he'd killed someone it would have been manslaughter. Reckless endangerment is a very serious crime.

trekkypj said:
cyberianpan said:
So I farted yesterday and a dude died in a downpour in Bangladesh because of it: I should be jailed ?
I honestly don't know what to make of this.
An example of purely outcome based justice, at some stage in my life a fart of mine possibly has caused a storm & killed someone - but I couldn't reasonably have intended this.

This guy committed a very serious crime, maybe he expected to kill someone, maybe he thought his car'd explode like in the movies at the very least he didn't give a rashers if he snuffed people & thus he got a 2 year sentence. Being mentally unwell does not give you a license to kill.

cYp
 

trekkypj

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Most offences ARE outcome based! You're just fudging what I'm saying in order to be proven right. A criminal action happens so you're guilty of an offence. You attempt to do something criminal is also an offence . I do know this you know...

I never said 'I' would give him a medal, merely said that some would. This is what is known in the trade as a joke. Some people like making jokes at other people's expense, Kenny is no exception. I dislike the man so I made a joke. If you REALLY need [sarc] tags to see this then you seriously misunderstand the spirit of what I said. Please, lighten up.

So basically you are saying that mentally disturbed people should be treated as if they were normal even if they are not diagnosed as insane?

And actually, being hit by a car would constitute assault causing harm as well as dangerous driving causing harm. Any law student will tell you that for assault to take place there must be an immediate and reasonable foreseeability of the infliction of harm. I suggest Mcauley and McCutcheon - Criminal Liability if you want to check this.

If the guy really wanted to kill someone he would have run people over on the way. He wanted to be arrested for criminal damage or something similar to publicise his eccentric views. He was looking for attention, not trying to kill people. The law of course does not recognise lack of intent for strict liability offences, so he was convicted.

But he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, or at the very least had his mental illness taken into account. 2 years is very harsh considering rapists and murderers can get similar sentances.
 

Kev408

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trekkypj said:
Most

If the guy really wanted to kill someone he would have run people over on the way. He wanted to be arrested for criminal damage or something similar to publicise his eccentric views. He was looking for attention, not trying to kill people. .
So he wanted to make a point at RTE studios and chose not to kill people on his way over? Does that not prove that his action was premeditiated? You're right about one thing though, he should have been sentenced to longer in prison, and rapists should not be comparable to him.

I see today that a bloke who was found guilty of 300 counts of rape had his sentence reduced from 9 years to 6 years (last 3 years of original 9 year sentence suspended). So he'll be out in about 4 and a half years. Lock up yer kids - Irish justice in action.
 

trekkypj

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Kev408 said:
trekkypj said:
Most

If the guy really wanted to kill someone he would have run people over on the way. He wanted to be arrested for criminal damage or something similar to publicise his eccentric views. He was looking for attention, not trying to kill people. .
So he wanted to make a point at RTE studios and chose not to kill people on his way over? Does that not prove that his action was premeditiated? You're right about one thing though, he should have been sentenced to longer in prison, and rapists should not be comparable to him.
Premeditated, yes. The acts of a normal, sane person, no. He probably shouldn't have been acquitted but its time in a psychiatric facility and assessment for treatment he needs, not to be locked up with criminals. The question is whether society thinks that he is a criminal or a nutter. Is it possible to be both? And is he one or the other, or both?

I find it hard to believe that mental illness wouldn't have some mitigating effect.

kev408 said:
I see today that a bloke who was found guilty of 300 counts of rape had his sentence reduced from 9 years to 6 years (last 3 years of original 9 year sentence suspended). So he'll be out in about 4 and a half years. Lock up yer kids - Irish justice in action.
Agreed. Sentancing needs overhauling badly on all counts. We're far too soft on serious crimes and far too harsh on some of the other less serious crimes, or where genuine mitigating circumstances arise. You can still be jailed for not paying a TV license, thats retarded. Better to confiscate property to the value if thats an option, or dock it from pay/social welfare.
 

cyberianpan

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trekkypj said:
Most offences ARE outcome based! You're just fudging what I'm saying in order to be proven right. A criminal action happens so you're guilty of an offence. You attempt to do something criminal is also an offence . I do know this you know...
The sentencing tarrifs are outcome based, but I know of no crime where the action has to suceed for a crime to have occurred ?
trekkypj said:
So basically you are saying that mentally disturbed people should be treated as if they were normal even if they are not diagnosed as insane?
Legal insanity is necessarily a strict definition, if he fails this then he's "normal" & subject to the law.

trekkypj said:
And actually, being hit by a car would constitute assault causing harm as well as dangerous driving causing harm.
That didn't happen though & as we don't know what his intent was we can't charge him with say attempted murder - so he was charged with the lesser offence of reckless endangerment (which I think can attract a life tarrif). And yes to propel 1000's of kilos of metal & plastic at people would be an action for which there'd be "an immediate and reasonable foreseeability of the infliction of harm".

trekkypj said:
If the guy really wanted to kill someone he would have run people over on the way.
He was looking for attention, not trying to kill people.
He wanted to be arrested for criminal damage or something similar to publicise his eccentric views.
Firstly the more serious crime was reckless endangerment , secondly it's not an issue that his intent was not to kill - but - that he was reckless as to whether or not such would occur. In fact he said "he had wanted to make a peaceful protest [IT]" - so his stated intent is clearly at variance with his actions.


trekkypj said:
But he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity
Ok so where from the facts of the case can you prove he was legally insane ? Note he did plead guilty:

Irish Times
Paul Stokes (52), of Mountpelier Parade, Monkstown, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage on December 2nd, 2006 and causing a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another.

trekkypj said:
, or at the very least had his mental illness taken into account. 2 years is very harsh considering rapists and murderers can get similar sentances.
So because someone is unwell they oughn't be punished ? He was not acting in diminished capacity/legally insane, that said he did get a year suspended which is tied to:

He also ordered Stokes to liaise with the Probation Service in relation to post-release psychiatric treatment.

cYp
 

Kev408

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trekkypj said:
Kev408 said:
trekkypj said:
Most

If the guy really wanted to kill someone he would have run people over on the way. He wanted to be arrested for criminal damage or something similar to publicise his eccentric views. He was looking for attention, not trying to kill people. .
So he wanted to make a point at RTE studios and chose not to kill people on his way over? Does that not prove that his action was premeditiated? You're right about one thing though, he should have been sentenced to longer in prison, and rapists should not be comparable to him.
Premeditated, yes. The acts of a normal, sane person, no. He probably shouldn't have been acquitted but its time in a psychiatric facility and assessment for treatment he needs, not to be locked up with criminals. The question is whether society thinks that he is a criminal or a nutter. Is it possible to be both? And is he one or the other, or both?

I find it hard to believe that mental illness wouldn't have some mitigating effect.

kev408 said:
I see today that a bloke who was found guilty of 300 counts of rape had his sentence reduced from 9 years to 6 years (last 3 years of original 9 year sentence suspended). So he'll be out in about 4 and a half years. Lock up yer kids - Irish justice in action.
Agreed. Sentancing needs overhauling badly on all counts. We're far too soft on serious crimes and far too harsh on some of the other less serious crimes, or where genuine mitigating circumstances arise. You can still be jailed for not paying a TV license, thats retarded. Better to confiscate property to the value if thats an option, or dock it from pay/social welfare.
Given that our courts are so lenient I presume this guy was given every opportunity to be proven mentally unwell?

Purely anecdotal here but I heard he was aggrieved that some invention he came up with was ignored? I heard the LLS refused to allow him on to show off his product. I could be wrong but did you hear anything about that?
 

Thac0man

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My main point is that someone who is obviously menatally ill, and recieving treatment, cannot be held responsible for their actions. So why the big judicial stick?

What seems to be happening is that those in our enlightened media talk about the poor crims and rehabilitation, until they are the ones on the sharp end. Then justice as retribution is perfectly acceptable apparently. Even against someone who has diminished responsibility. It is a Dickension attitude to say the least.

I would rather not believe that people in RTE have an undue influence over the Garda or Judges, but there are previous examples of the law being applied unequally where RTE luminaries are involved.

I have no doubt that Stokes was a danger to others and himself, but the criminalisation of the mentally ill is a new low. Interesting to see who in RTE or the wider media breaks ranks to condemn this action (if anyone at all does that is).
 

trekkypj

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Cyberianpan,

Look, I am not disputing that what he did was against the law and was a serious offence. It doesn't matter that it was RTE or Kenny either. That doesn't change what he did do in any way.

What I am saying is that I don't believe people can be held fully responsible if they are suffering from an psychiatric illness and that influences their actions to any reasonable degree.

I know intent isn't a defence, I already said this.

I also know that attempt crimes are not result based but are in fact strict liability offences. If I implied otherwise I apologise because that is not the case. I had exams today so I'm a little woolly-headed.

As for his guilty plea, he did so because he knew what he did was wrong. That does not mean that his mental state at the time of the incident should not be taken into account. You can be aware of right and wrong and still have your actions affected by diminished capacity. Perhaps he could not be proven to be insane and thats why he didn't plead it. Perhaps he suffered from a medical condition that the medical profession considers insanity but the courts do not?

The sentance was IMHO too harsh - he should have gotten 6 months in a psychiatric unit, not 12 months in jail and a referral to the Probation Service. Of course we don't have the facilities to do this :roll: On this we may disagree but at the end of the day its down to opinion on whether or not the sentance was fair. I don't think it was.
 
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the man has mental problems, its help he needs and not the slammer. i read in the paper today a 17 year old rapist got a suspended sentence - says it all really.
 

Steepletone

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I found out yesterday that poor man killed himself when he got out of jail :-(
 
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