YEP Says, January 7: Rough justice for victims in the age of the slap on the wrist

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...and NHS crisis is too pressing for party point-scoring

IT’S sometimes the case that assault victims don’t get the justice they deserve due to a lack of witnesses.

So imagine how relieved Michael Rokita was when he learned a police officer had seen him being jumped from behind and punched to the ground where he was knocked out cold.

But if he thought that would ensure his attacker received proper punishment he was sadly mistaken.

Instead of being hauled before the courts, the man in question was given a slap on the wrist in the form of a ‘community resolution’ which can involve an apology or compensation to the victim and doesn’t result in a criminal record .

Michael, understandably, is baffled by the decision, but given recent history perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised.

Just a few weeks ago we told the story of ex-serviceman Bill Ramsay, who was left bloodied and bruised after being battered in his own flat.

Incredibly, his attacker, Adam Talbot, escaped with one of these community resolutions, paying Bill £150 compensation and writing him a letter of apology. You simply couldn’t make it up.

We all know courts are under pressure and the nation’s prisons are chock-a-block. But what sort of message does this send out? It’s no wonder people have lost faith in a justice system that too often fails to deliver anything of the sort.

NHS crisis is too pressing for party point-scoring

ACCIDENT and emergency departments are always under pressure. But the signs are that they’re now perilously close to breaking point.

Leeds’s A&E units at LGI and Jimmy’s missed their target for seeing patients within four hours by some distance between October and the end of the year.

And patient David Hoghton-Carter has told how he had to get a taxi to A&E when an ambulance failed to turn up, despite being in severe pain.

Labour are right to see their stewardship of the NHS as the Tories’ achilles heel. But this is an issue that’s far too important – and urgent – to be used as a political football between now and the general election in May.