Die Guardian berichtet, dass der Lord Chief Justice (Lordoberrichter) mit Strafgefangenen einen Tag lang gemeinnützige Arbeit geleistet hat, die statt einer Gefängnisstrafe verhängt wird oder eine Strafe verkürzt. Er wollte beweisen, dass auch Strafen, die keine Freiheitsstrafen sind (non-custodial sentences) funktionieren. Die Presse war nicht informiert.
‘My cover had been arranged,’ he said. ‘I posed as a shipping solicitor convicted of driving with excess alcohol and sentenced to 150 hours’ unpaid work and 18 months’ disqualification.’
Er musste u.a. eine heruntergekommene Unterführung saubermachen.
The most senior judge in England and Wales – told to wear a yellow fluorescent jacket for safety reasons – was driven to the Lakes in Bletchley, a run-down council estate where vandalism and antisocial behaviour are rife. He and his three workmates were ordered to scrape the moss from two filthy seating areas and clean them up before repainting a burnt-out underpass daubed in graffiti and clearing surrounding weeds.
Though the 68-year-old Phillips swims in icy outdoor pools all winter and treks in the Himalayas, he found the work demanding.
Vielleicht sollte man sich einfach vorstellen, man wäre in der Himalaya?
Some passers-by who saw the men’s ‘Community Payback’ sandwich board shouted at the Lord Chief Justice that his efforts were useless. ‘They asked why we were bothering to clean the place up when it would be just the same tomorrow.’ Others were encouraging, including a gang of small boys who demanded to know what crimes the men had committed. ‘Until then there hadn’t been a lot of chitchat or eye contact, but the offenders readily admitted what they had done,’ Phillips said. ‘I thought it was a very good lesson for these boys.’
He was allowed a short lunch break in which he ate a cheese and tomato roll prepared by his wife and read The Sea, by John Banville. His three workmates shared a copy of the Sun.