Some justice this

July 1, 2011

A 20-year-old man held a cigarette lighter against a child's face, made Heil Hitler salutes, and threatened the boy's friends with gas chambers. Yet, because of an agreement made by the Community Security Trust with Greater Manchester Police, the offender was obliged only to issue an apology - and in this case, not even to the victim, but to local CST officials. CST believes that Restorative Justice, as this scheme is known, "forces perpetrators to come to terms with the hurt that their actions have caused, and ensures that victims' feelings have been recognised by the criminal justice system." It is a strange form of justice, restorative or otherwise, when such behaviour is punished only by having to say sorry.

Last updated: 9:38am, July 1 2011