I heard about this case from a passing joking reference on the radio today. 'Burgler begs Judge to send him to prison because his probation appointments were too early in the morning.' It's the sort of story that's a gift during a slow news day, or indeed the well-catalogued 'silly season'. All the main papers seem to have covered it, no doubt as a result of a stroke of luck by a 'stringer' at Coventry Crown Court.
It would appear that 'lazy' and 'shameless' Kierran Batchelor had given up on his Community Order imposed for two domestic burglaries and stopped reporting. He is said to have turned down the Judges offer of a second chance, preferring instead to go to prison 'as a way of catching up on his sleep.' A cut-and-dried case of a feckless youth sticking two fingers up to the system it would seem - but hang on a minute, this guy was working and his shift pattern was 10pm to 6am. Despite this he was given 10am probation appointments. This seems entirely unreasonable to me and in my opinion he should have been reporting late afternoon instead.
Obviously I don't know the full details, but on the limited information gleaned from the newspaper reports, it's the supervising officer who should be being pilloried, not the client. In my humble opinion a young man has needlessly gone to prison, not as a result of any new offences, but because of piss-poor practice. In all honesty a case like this takes my breath away. I can only contemplate as to the content of the Breach Report. What on earth was the Barrister doing to earn his or her money? Why didn't the Judge use some initiative and demand to speak to the Probation Court Duty Officer? Had I been the said CDO, there is no way I would have allowed this case to proceed without intervening. I thought this is what we got paid for, to be pro-active in court.
One cannot but feel we're all in a handcart to hell.