According to figures released by the Ministry of Justice
'Rapists, paedophiles and kidnappers were among the serious criminals getting away with just a caution...1,405 offenders received a ticking off rather than facing the full force of the law in 2010 - including 22 rapists and 144 who had sex with girls under the legal age'.
Such leniency does not apply to British smokers.
Last Friday we heard that anti smoking ban campaigner Chris Carter, from Bangor Northern Ireland had lost his latest challenge to the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. He has been involved in a four year legal battle to quash his legal conviction for lighting up at the front of Bangor Town Hall in 2007.
Carter's latest application extended to well over 750 pages of submissions yet the High Court in Belfast ruled that 'no point of general public importance had been established'.
Chris is now confronted with the prospect of either paying a fine and costs totaling £1,250 or spending 47 days in prison. As a man of principle Chris is due to present himself for imprisonment shortly.
We will be publishing a fuller report on this case in the near future although we can tell you that we have uncovered the following facts. Firstly, the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 was made on 14th November, 2006 by the Privy Council. Counsellors present included Sir Brian Leveson and Elish Angiolini. Secondly, the judges who blocked Chris Carter's submissions from reaching the Supreme Court have also been found to be Privy Counsellors. If this raises your concerns please write and let me know [email protected].org
We ask that you consider making a donation to the Chris Carter fundraising appeal. Donations can be made via post or by 'Paypal'. Further details can be found by clicking this link >> Smokers Justice (UK) - Chris Carter Appeal.