If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime

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So 74-year-old British ex-pat Karl Andree has apparently swerved receiving 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia after being caught with home-made wine in his bath.

His family were playing the sympathy card to get him out of it; he was too old to take the punishment, too ill, then there was the asthma, he wouldn’t survive it blah, blah, blah.

I’m sure if this was a young British male we were talking about, this would play out in a completely different way.

But all these things never stopped him making the stuff in a country with strict anti-alcohol laws, did they?

He’s reportedly lived there for 25 years. It’s not like he’s gone out there on holiday with the lads for the first time and things have got a bit out of hand – what goes on in Saudi stays in Saudi and all that.

They even wheeled out his grandsons on the radio. I’m not really sure the Saudi royal family listens to Sam FM though.

I don’t reckon the lashes are as hard as you’d imagine anyway.

I’m not saying it wouldn’t hurt and you certainly wouldn’t go out of your way to sample it – unless you were that way inclined.

But honestly, it’s no cat-o-nine tails whipping, is it?

And another thing.

It’s funny how Mr Andree has lived tax-free over in Saudi all these years, yet as soon as things have gone south for him he and his family are screaming he’s British.

Yes, countries such as Saudi Arabia are barbaric and stuck in the Dark Ages. But did Mr Andree protest when others were getting the lashes?

No, he was happy to take the Saudis’ money and enjoy the lifestyle.

Complain about crime or complain about punishment? People need to make up their minds.

I’m sure if this was a young British male we were talking about, this would play out in a completely different way.

It would be drunken Brits bringing shame on our country with their behaviour.

However old he is, I reckon that Mr Andree should take it like a man. He did the crime, so should do the time as it were.

But now he won’t need to after the diplomatic efforts of foreign secretary Philip Hammond and prime minister David Cameron.

He’s a lucky man.