Yesterday a judge in Bristol allowed a convicted paedophile to go free with a 3 year community order on the grounds that he had admitted his guilt,  would undertake therapy and was a “Man of Faith”,,2155269,00.html

I was speechless as I watched the news last night, now I’m furious! Once again a judge proves himself to be separate from society, not uinlike the community the man on trial came from.

The man was accused of systematic abuse, over a period of years, of children placed in his care by others in his community, including an 18 month old baby. He admitted his guilt because he was told one of his victims intended to go to the police.

So, the fact that he was an member of a religious group – the Jehovah’s Witnesses – allows him to avoid imprisonment for abusing the children of his community. I can see it now , the courts will be full of burglars, muggers and drunk-drivers waving Bibles in the air and claiming to be “men of faith” to get a reduced sentence and the only criminals in jail will be atheists.

Coincidentally, when the doorbell rang this morning I found a female Witness and a small boy on my doorstep asking me if I wished to read the Watchtower and discuss the Bible with them. Resisting the temptation to fly off the handle I suggested to her that today was probably not an appropriate day for her to knock on doors after last night’s news. She agreed with me that the abuse was terrible but was not prepared to be drawn on why the Jehovah’s Witnesses were standing in support of this man, when they expel ( disfellowship) those who commit what they perceive to be serious sin. I’ve since discovered that this is probably because they believe that there have to be two witnesses for an allegation to be proved.