Irish legal system: buy your way out of jail

Restaurateur, chef, hotelier, and husband of Irish TV chef Darina Allen, Tim Allen was convicted yesterday of having downloaded 997 pornographic images of children.

In a district court, he was sentenced to 9 months in jail.

His lawyer suggested that he donate €40,000 to a children’s charity in India. So the judge reduced his sentence to 240 hours’ community service.

Why wasn’t this crime considered serious enough to take it to the High Court? Would the judge have taken a similarly proportioned charitable donation from someone who wasn’t a FUCKING MILLIONAIRE?

What kind of message does this send out to other registered sex offenders?


The economics of morality - never a good road to go down.

What me, or the judge?

I think it would be a good idea in many cases because keeping people in prison costs us money and often serves no purpose. So I would propose the following:

Granting a monetary penalty in lieu of prison time is at the discretion of the judge:you are not entitled to it. The judge will not allow it in cases where the person is a known danger or is likely to commit more crimes or there is any good reason not to grant it. But there are cases of people who present no danger and are productive outside and there is no sense in keeping them in jail. I am thinking specially of non-violent crimes and victimless crimes.

The rate would be somewhere between 3 and 4 times your income with a minimum rate of $1000/week. If you earn $100K/year, then your rate would be like $7000 / week.

The judge.

And I’m sorry sailor, but I would argue that people who download child porn are not engaging in a victimless crime.

I guess my disgust isn’t necessarily at the principle of the eventual sentence, but that a sentence was set, and then diluted when money was waved at it.

I’m glad that the charity is getting a substantial donation. But not that the guy was able to alter his sentence.

I would have been happier if the judge had ordered just the donation, and some kind of treatment program (the guy clearly has some kind of predilection for the sexualization of children. It might be a good idea to get someone to talk to him about it).

I did not say it would apply in this case, did I? I was talking in general terms.

I’m very very angry at this.

Yep that’s what’s pissing me off about this. Ireland really needs to start looking at itself strongly. There really does seem to be one law for them and another for us.

Sorry Sailor, fair point. I also agree that large fines are a good alternative to jail for many cases - it just seems inappropriate in this example.

ditto twisty.

The reason the case was heard in a district court rather than a circuit court or the Central Criminal Court (as the High Court is known when exercising its jurisdiction in criminal matters) is that it carries a maximum sentence of only 12 months. Of course, this should be re-examined. Obviously, the state can appeal to the circuit court if it wishes.

I agree that the whole business is despicable but I suppose, ultimately, his life is ruined in any case.

I am now certainly questioning what I might find in the relish…

Not half as badly ruined as your average Joe Schmoe’s life would be ruined after spending time in jail. IMO.

I typed almost exactly those words and deleted them before hitting submit. So just to prove that I can be as sick as the best of them, the following comment earned me a slap from my wife last night:

“Do you think if we sent him a few pictures of Maeve (our 7 month old daughter) in her nappy, we’d get some free ice cream?”

Andy, I suppose you’re right but at least Joe Schmoe has some chance of slinking back into anonymity, sex offenders register notwithstanding. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no sympathy for the fucker (and won’t be going on a Ballymaloe cookery course any time soon) but us Irish will still be talking about this in 20 years time.

This shouldn’t be forgotten about. He should be remembered in 20 years.

I hope she slapped you hard ya sick fuck :smiley:

manwithaplan, that’s low. It’s not the lowest I’ve ever heard, but it’s damn close.

Made me giggle, though.

So the poor wouldn’t have this option? Even though it’s more likely that their families are counting on them for financial support more than rich families? I don’t like this idea at all.

Well, you can’t say “since you make nothing then you can commit crimes very cheaply”. There has to be a minimum. I do not think it is a good argument to say that if some people cannot do something then no one can do it.

If a man commits a crime and he is no danger to society and no risk of committing more crimes what is better: (a) jail him for a year at hisgh cost to society of (b) make him work three years on his own and turn all the product of his work over to the state? Option b seems to me to be as hard a punishment as option a and a much betetr deal for the state. Not to mention that people who spend time in jail are more likely to continue to commit more crimes.

the fact that poor people need the money does not make sense. A poor person in jail for a year looses one year’s salary. A rich person granted this alternative loses three or four years’ salary. And he keeps being productive and integrated.