Bring back the stocks!

By SallyB2 Last edited 127 months ago
Bring back the stocks!

Well, OK, maybe we’re getting a little medieval and melodramatic here (although we could have said "Off with his head!"). But Londonist’s blood is boiling today, and a Londonist with boiled blood is not a pretty sight.

We are most certainly not alone. The story of a mindless thug who mindlessly punched a 96 year old man in the face because he couldn’t get past him to exit a tram is appalling. And today we learn that the aforementioned mindless thug (Stephen Gordon, 44, of Croydon – he doesn’t have to be nameless as well as mindless), is to be let off the hook with a mindless three year supervision order. Harumph, and other such words.

The pensioner has since lost his sight in one eye and suffered a stroke: attacks on the elderly and frail can effectively destroy their lives and cheat them of their freedom/mobility/confidence. How could anyone do this?

This Londonista has conducted a (mini, informal) poll today, and of the twenty people she asked, not one has disagreed with her suggestion of bringing back the stocks. Crimes of such thoughtlessness deserve proper punishment, and whilst the stocks may not be especially civilised, punching the defenseless in the face on a whim is hardly civilised behaviour.

Right, rotten egg anyone? Come on, orderly queue please….

Piccie courtesy of tompagenet’s flickr stream.

Last Updated 23 October 2007


He is not just a "mindless thug", he is mentally handicapped.


I wonder if the results of your "mini poll" would have been swayed at all by pointing out the attacker was a paranoid schizophrenic?

"Judge Macrae said he had no doubt the “root cause’’ of the attack was Gordon’s illness"


I'm not suggesting this excuses what is clearly a vicious attack, but you just may want to think a little harder before you start rounding up your little lynch mob for a mentally ill man.


Perhaps mental illness should be something we cover more thoughtfully. Link below works (it didn't in Nickestamp's comment above):


OK, so the stocks are a little harsh for someone with a mental illness (his illness was a fact not reported in all of the news stories).
The fact remains that the guy is still a thug, and should still not have walked free from court - someone displaying such volatile temper and irrational behaviour should be detained until such time as they are no longer a danger to themselves or the community.