BURGLARS are far less likely to be jailed at York Crown Court than at many other courts elsewhere in the country, new figures appear to show.
A “leniency league table”, based on information supplied by the Ministry of Justice, shows huge variations in how crown courts deal with convicted burglars.
Fewer than 58 per cent are given jail sentences at Newport Crown Court, but more than 90 per cent are imprisoned at Dorchester, with the table putting York Crown Court at ninth place in the bottom ten, with only 62.4 per cent of burglars going to jail.
The Tory MP who unearthed the figures through Parliamentary Questions, Philip Davies, has called on new Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to investigate, saying the geographical differences were “astonishing.”
Asked if judges or staff at York Crown Court wished to comment on the figures, a spokeswoman referred The Press to the Ministry of Justice.
A spokeswoman there said that breaking into someone’s home was a “despicable” crime, which was why burglars face sentences of up to 14 years.
“New guidelines also came into force this year which specifically require judges to consider the harm done to victims when deciding on sentences,” she said.
“Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the independent judges, who will consider the full facts of each case before them – including factors like premeditation, the value of goods stolen, any damage to the property and previous offences.”
Coun Carol Runciman , Liberal Democrat group leader at City of York Council and a JP of 35 years standing, said: “My only comment is that it is never as simple as it seems, or as is portrayed in the media.”
Green councillor Dave Taylor said there was a striking disparity between areas of the country but he would be interested to know what alternative sanctions were being presented by York Crown Courts and which was having a stronger effect on preventing re-offending.
“I’d also be interested to know whether the raw figures are sufficient to make these statistics meaningful.”