46-year-old John Cox of Kidderminster, depressed over the break-up of his marriage, got drunk in the course of a Monarch Airlines Flight travelling from Birmingham to Sharm El-Sheikh. Cox broke the rules by smoking a cigarette in the plane’s lavatory, then accidentally caused a fire by discarding his cigarette in the lavatory trashcan. He compounded his offense by being rude and belligerent when confronted by the aircrew.
Cox pled guilty in January to an offence of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and was later sentenced to four years and six months in jail.
Sounds pretty blood draconian, right? Well, it turned out that Solicitor General Robert Buckland Q.C. then appealed the sentence for being too light (!), and the British Appeals Court agreed. Lady Justice Sharp said: “The potential for causing disaster here was plain and obvious. The sentence passed was unduly lenient, this offence called for a deterrent sentence and condign punishment.” And the Appeals court’s three judge panel more than doubled Cox’s sentence to nine and a half years (!!).
In Austria, another modern judge recently reduced the sentence of a Muslim immigrant who raped a ten-year-old boy, explaining that his conduct was provoked by a “sexual emergency” from six years to four concluding the original sentence had been excessive.
Isn’t it wonderful to be living in this modern age of European Enlightenment?