It’s been a bad week for domestic violence prosecutions in the UK. First Colin Read gets off with a £2000 fine for branding and slashing his wife. Now an anesthesiologist is fined a whopping £500 for hitting his wife 24 times after dragging her out of bed. The defense from the Sentencing Guideline Secretariat:
“[You need to look at] what you are trying to achieve when you sentence someone,” says Kevin McCormack, head of the Sentencing Guideline Secretariat. “It can be punishment but you’re also trying to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. If the court reached the view that, in a particular case, there was little risk of it happening again because the relationship had ended, and if there were other things … in the defendant’s favour, then that could persuade the court to use financial penalty instead of a community or custodial sentence.”
When setting fines, he says, “it is a balance between the seriousness of the offence and the financial resources of the individual … £500 is quite a high fine in terms of the average level. It depends on the individual’s income.”
Apparently the goal of looking at the individual’s income is to make sure they don’t even notice the fine.
Here’s contact information for the Sentencing Guideline Secretariat, just in case you think they may not be getting it right.