We remember tragic Steven
Letter of the Week: Kate Johnson (nee Bromley), Soothill, Batley
I write with regards to your story last week about Steven Mullins.
I think it would be an absolute disgrace if Richard Mortimer is even allowed to be released, never mind being able to return to Dewsbury.
I was only 11 when this terrible thing happened and still remember that tragic day when my mum told me what had happened.
Steven lived near me and we used to sometimes ride around the block on our bikes - he had a “Grifter” and I desperately wanted one for myself but my mum got me a “girls bike with a basket”. Steven used to let me have a go on his Grifter!
The Mullins family will have the support of Dewsbury people – especially from those who remember this tragic incident. This evil man will not be allowed back here. RIP Steven Mullins.
Our laws are not fit for purpose
From: Tim Conolly, Mirfield
I have to agree totally with the feelings of Mr Mullins, whose young son was murdered by Richard Mortimer.
No doubt Mortimer is thought to be less of a danger to children and the public now that he is 67 years old and a bit ‘past it’.
This however is just part of the joke – he will eventually be released onto the streets under a licence of constant supervision that it is impossible to apply.
I am also reminded of another sexual predator released under licence who, at the age of 71, obtained a prescription for Viagra from his doctor.
The doctor, under our rules of lunatic libertarianism, was not allowed to know that he was on the sex offenders’ register for life and on the strength of this medication the predator promptly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl.
No doubt everyone did everything according to the rules and if not there is always some organ of the state which, like the Care Quality Commission, will give every participant a “get out of jail free card” and a clean bill of health, but what of the child?
I am not much of a fan of the Yanks, but the founding fathers were good men and one of them – Thomas Jefferson – said: “Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense.”
Sadly, in legal matters we lost sight of common sense long ago.
Of course for what he did Mortimer should have been hung as should Ian Huntley, the Yorkshire Ripper and sundry other murderers imprisoned for very long if not whole of life terms.
Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, has been incarcerated since 1966 and has now emerged to claim his crimes were “trivial”.
Clearly his nearly 50 years in custody has achieved nothing, begging the question what possible purpose has been/can be served by endlessly maintaining him and other murderers in prison?
It is only to enrich the lawyers.
While our smug politicians talk of hard choices they refuse to even acknowledge the most obvious one – to rid ourselves of ridiculously expensive and dangerous dead weights.
A resolution I would propose is for the reinstatement of capital punishment in cases of “murder most foul”, but as I have little faith in the judiciary, I think that in the same way as guilt is defined by the jury, that the jury is then asked for a second decision as to the most suitable punishment.
This should be decided by a simple majority and need not be unanimous.
So if the jury finds the evidence compelling and conclusive, they may opt for the death penalty, without the right of appeal for the defendant and the penalty to be imposed within 28 days of the conclusion of the trial, thus avoiding the other lawyer’s gravy train of death row.
Not convinced it’s for the better
From: Betty Goodwin, Earlsheaton
Wednesday last week I had a trip to a foreign land. I visited Dewsbury Market. The former Railway (Cedric Tapps) Hotel and the Bickers building (which could both be Grade II Listed) resembled bazaars with goods overflowing onto the pavements.
Inside Lidl supermarket an Eastern European couple used their baby buggy as a shopping trolley and left the store without paying.
Having lived in Dewsbury for 74 years, despite vigorous and costly attempts by national and local governments to persuade me to the contrary, I remain unconvinced that the demographic changes in my town are for the better.
Bid was a real team effort
From: Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East)
It is with great surprise that I read the front page of last week’s other Dewsbury weekly.
I am proud of what our officers have achieved and the hard work they have put in to win the £2million HTI lottery bid.
This was a team effort and I thank our team for their magnificent effort.
I would, however, question the fact that our MP was the person to comment in the front page lead.
With respect! I would doubt if he knew even what the bid entailed.
We will continue to regenerate where we have control to do so and will build on the recent success.
What I would ask Mr Reevell to participate in, with all the powers of his position, is to get the Government to give our desperate retailers a Business Rate reduction to help them through these years of home-built “austerity”.
Maria moans, Alistair groans
From: Alistair Pollard, Soothill
When are the powers that run Wimbledon tennis going to get fair and real?
The Russian leader, Putin, should reprimand Maria Sharapova for casting a bad image over her country by exaggerated grunting and screams, even during easy return forehands.
The best players of old were as quiet as a mouse, so it’s obviously to put opponents off.
Also, football wants bringing to its senses, with talk of £50m transfers and wages of £200,000+ per week.
When the players’ union boss, Gordon Taylor, is on about £7,000 a week, it’s obvious that ‘they’re all in it together!’
Any fairness left in sport?