Such callous acts deserve a severe punishment

People refuse to be cowed by terrorism

CHERYL GIBBS: People will not be dictated to by these terrible acts

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Two stories in today’s News illustrate how, sadly, there are some pretty low people out there. The sort with absolutely no conscience or morals who are quite prepared to visit misery on others purely for their own financial gain or amusement.

Pensioner Peter Beer, who has cerebral palsy and walks with the aid of a stick, was returning to his home in Cosham after a night out when he was robbed in the street.

When a stranger approached and asked him to change some money, his first thought was to help.

But as he took out his wallet, the man snatched it and knocked him over.

Meanwhile over in Gosport, yobs smashed the windows on a vehicle used to transport 10-year-old Donna Brindle, who has learning difficulties and uses a wheelchair, and her four siblings.

The would-be thieves also tried to hotwire it and the family now face a wait of up to two weeks without vital transport while the vehicle is repaired.

The minibus, which was parked outside the family home, had only been bought less than four months ago after their VW Caravelle was destroyed in an arson attack.

In both of these cases, the police are appealing for help in tracking down those responsible.

We urge those who might have any information to come forward. Because those who carried out these crimes need to be caught and severely punished for the enormous upset they have caused.

Of course, even if they are caught we can’t guarantee they will get a sentence that properly reflects decent people’s abhorrence of such anti-social behaviour.

Experience suggests that, all too often, sentences are suspended or non-custodial and that defendants plead poverty to keep fines and compensation orders low.

We believe the coalition government should hold a review of sentencing policy in such cases, because the perpetrators must not be allowed to ‘get away with it’ by being treated leniently.

All right-thinking people must surely agree they should face the full force of the law for their callous actions.

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