COMMENT: Judge made right call

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WHAT a tragic story on our front page today, and what a sensible decision from the judge not to sentence frail pensioner Florence Thomson to any more time in prison.

So often the judiciary are criticised for the leniency of their sentencing, but in handing Mrs Thomson a two-year community order, Judge Michael Heath was spot on.

One can only imagine the strain and hopelessness the 78-year-old must have been experiencing when she repeatedly stabbed her husband of 40 years, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

The devoted wife had already suffered enough after seeing her actions harm the man she loved, being Tasered by police and spending five months on remand in prison.

She has also been banned from having any contact with her daughter, who discovered the stabbing, and can only under supervision visit the care home where the man she still loves now lives. She has not yet been allowed to do this.

Judge Heath summed up my feelings exactly when he said: “There are very exceptional cases where justice should be tempered with mercy. This is one of them.”

ALL of us gardeners are suffering a little bit under the hosepipe ban, now that the heavy rains of April and early May seem to have subsided, but a small story on page 8 of today’s Spalding Guardian made me raise an eyebrow.

Following the wettest April in 113 years Anglian Water is allowing turf growers and landscape gardeners to use hosepipes to water new lawns and plants at customers’ houses.

I can see the fairness in this as these people have a living to make. But letting their clients continue to use a hosepipe for 28 days afterwards? No. Use a watering can like the rest of us.

ANOTHER negative story about local teachers on page 9 of today’s paper. It’s a really unhappy coincidence that there have been three instances of teachers leaving schools – temporarily or permanently – over the last few weeks, but I am positive this is just an unfortunate, coincidental blip in an area with solid schools and good teachers.