The next ‘top barrister’?
Twitter couldn’t help but poke fun at an article that appeared in The Guardian yesterday, which described 2 Bedford Row barrister Jim Sturman as “a full QC”.
What is a "full QC"? Is it one step above being a "top barrister", or merely a barrister who has eaten a big lunch? pic.twitter.com/NnyvEhDunT
— Douglas Lloyd (@DouglasLloydUK) May 19, 2017
Spotted by crime and regulatory barrister Douglas Lloyd, the blip prompted a whole host of social media reaction, some of our favourites being:
— MPS(n)P (@MPS_n_P) May 19, 2017
— A.K.A. Superfan (@aka_superfan) May 19, 2017
Full QC/half QC jokes aside, The Guardian piece in question raises some interesting points about our criminal law.
Author Simon Jenkins discussed the recent case of Lavina Woodward, a 24-year-old who stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife. A horrific act — yet Judge Ian Pringle QC seemed to go pretty easy on her.
Not only did he describe the defendant as an “extraordinarily able young lady” who is studying at Oxford and wants to be a heart surgeon, Pringle deferred her sentencing and told the court there was a prospect of a non-custodial sentence. Twitter wasn’t happy about it:
So, a drug addict aspiring heart surgeon at Oxford Uni killed her boyfriend & might be spared jail. What message does this send out? [Metro]
— Catherine (@_catgee) May 17, 2017
When I say white you say privilege https://t.co/kFA3EH3OCW
— Makayla (@MakaylaMashelle) May 17, 2017
Simply put: the only one that has jeopardised her potential as a promising heart surgeon is her. Pringle needs to stop his nonsense. Jail.
— Bae Grylls (@TheAuracl3) May 17, 2017
But journalist Jenkins didn’t quite agree with the Woodward/Pringle-directed hate. He described the judge’s summing up as “humane and impeccable”, before criticising the justice system for sending too many people to prison. He concluded:
Britain is addicted to jail — more so than any other developed country except America. We can only hope that a future judge pondering incarceration gets the Woodward message: any prison sentence is for life.
It’s perhaps also worth noting the article includes a short correction at the end. An earlier version of the piece said Woodward had been sentenced, when sentencing will actually take place in September. However, the “full QC” reference remains.
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