Judge Peter Bowers has given the victims of burglars across the country a huge slap in the face with his comments, made during the trial of Richard Rochford.
Judge Bowers told him
It takes a huge amount of courage as far as I can see for someone to burgle somebody’s house. I wouldn’t have the nerve.
How out of touch is this idiot.
Just ask anyone who has returned home or awoken to find their home has been the target of a burglar. Ask them about their feelings. I am sure they will tell you about violation and desecration of their homes. I am pretty sure you will not find anyone to praise the courage of the burglar.
The judge’s job is to oversee and administer the law, to ensure that justice is done. What the victims of crime want is to see that justice is done.
Praising the criminals for their courage does not show justice at work.
Here is what the victims and their families think of Rochford and Judge Bowers
Rochford stole a wallet containing £500 of life savings when he raided the home of retired shipyard worker John Hopper, 73, and wife Vera, 71.
Daughter Sharon Hopper, 40, said: ‘I can’t believe what the judge said. What really took courage was my parents having to continue living in their house after he had invaded their privacy.
Rochford ransacked the home of Mark Clayton, 47, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Bosnia. Mr Clayton said the judge made a ‘grave misjudgment’. He added: ‘Picking dead bodies up after they’ve been blown up, to go into that takes courage. Walking into someone’s house on an opportunistic whim and basically devastating someone’s life by taking things that man has worked so hard for all his life, and taking it away without a thought, isn’t courage.’
In May, he criticised sentencing guidelines that let first-time burglars escape with a ‘slap across the wrist’.But weeks later, he allowed a man with almost 80 crimes on his record to walk free for a burglary committed four days after his release from prison, telling the court: ‘I must be getting soft in my old age.’