By Zac Goldsmith.
Four years ago, Craig Sweeney, a convicted paedophile who was out of prison on early release, kidnapped a three-year old girl and subjected her to a horrific ordeal. He was given a life sentence – but with eligibility for parole after only five years.
Yesterday, Frances Inglis was sentenced to a life sentence with eligibility for parole after nine years. Her crime was to end the life of her much loved son, who suffered from irreversible brain damage, needed 24-hour care and was experiencing a ‘living hell’.
The boy’s brother said that the entire family backed her, and that she had acted out of love and compassion. Frances Inglis broke the law, but in human terms, she is clearly no criminal. No one doubts that her son was in a very bad state. No one doubts her love for him or her motives in taking the steps she took.
Taken together, these two cases suggest that our criminal justice system has become divorced from both public opinion and anything resembling morality.