I write in response to the letter from Saskia Dunn (What do we expect, June 28). I am so sorry she feels that my letter condemned all young people.

As a mother and grandmother there is no way I consider all children cruel or out of control. What I feel is vital if we are ever to regain the confidence of the British public by dealing properly with wrong-doers, is the importance of punishing the crime, not the person, of whatever age or sex, in as severe a manner possible in these lenient times. Words cannot adequately express my disgust over this latest appalling act of violence by young people towards living creatures – the recent one of thugs battering a white cat to death was another deed of unforgiveable cruelty, but I realise these monsters only represent a tiny minority of young people.

We are lucky where I live to be surrounded by lovely families of children, from babies to university age, all friendly, hard-working, polite and thoroughly decent. What they have in common are loving mothers and usually, loving, live-in father-figures, most likely their natural parents.

Kids catapulted into society by uncaring, irresponsible mothers have an uphill task in trying to make something of themselves, but this does not excuse in any way inflicting suffering on harmless creatures. Not so long ago, youngsters who misbehaved were cuffed by a local policeman and handed over to their parents for further punishment. Nowadays, this would be frowned upon and kids literally get away with murder. I also believe that mothers should be punished along with their kids, and named and shamed.

Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York