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Age-old problem needs tackling

During the week beginning Jul 30, RTÉ’s Liveline highlighted the issue of attacks on the elderly and the fear in which our old people live of being robbed and assaulted in their homes by people looking for soft money for drug habits, etc.

This issue has been raised before, yet nothing has been done or will be done to protect the rights of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Are the judiciary deaf or blind?

Do they not read the newspapers or listen to the news?

The gardaí are stretched to the limit and do their best but the buck has to stop in our courtrooms.

It’s more than high time attacks on the elderly and the sentences that are handed out for them were reviewed by those people who are supposed to legislate for a safe society.

It’s time that the perpetrators of crime against the aged population of our country were treated with the severity that their cowardly crimes deserve.

Crimes against the elderly should be put on a par with murder. Ten years is the minimum sentence that should be handed down to anyone convicted of crimes against the elderly.

Following on that, six months should be added to the sentence for every year that the victim is over 70 years of age. Excuses that are trotted out in court for the perpetrators such as drug dependency, poverty, and troubled up-bringing should no longer be entertained. There is no excuse.

Open prisons are provided for people convicted of soft crimes and to help people rehabilitate. Conversely, there is a very real need for dedicated units for those who choose to attack our elderly. They are a breed apart and should be treated with the disdain that they deserve. Any human being that puts on a mask and enters the home of an older human being to rob and assault is sub-human. Punishment should fit the crime.

They should be marked for life just as they mark their victims emotionally, mentally, and physically.

For God’s sake, it’s time the judiciary opened its eyes and stopped the cruelty that is being inflicted on our most valued citizens.

In this so-called wonderfully modern world of 2012, please provide protection for the men and women who worked and grafted to bring us here.

Tom Fitzgerald

Askeaton

Co Limerick


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