Should child killers be given a second chance and the opportunity to be rehabilitated? -Jane Hamilton


The horrific murder of two-year-old Julius Czapla at the hands of his father was troubling.

All child murders are tragic, of course but the motive behind this one makes it seem particularly disturbing.

A much-loved little boy who was the center of his mother’s life, Julius was killed purely because his father was incandescent with rage and jealousy that his ex-wife was moving on from their split and carving out a new future for herself.

He wanted to cause her unimaginable pain and, by her own admission, he has succeeded in sucking the joy out of her life and her very reason for existing.

We can only imagine the grief and loss she is experiencing and I hope she is receiving the support she deserves to help her through the worst of times.

I can think of no more appalling crime than to take the life of an innocent child and the punishment for doing so should be swift and severe.

Lukasz Czapla was sentenced to 23 years in prison before he can apply for parole.

Emotions always run high when it is cases involving children and, from comments I heard and read, it would suggest this was nowhere near enough and nothing less than the death penalty would do.

Lukasz Czapla was sentenced to 23 years in prison before he can apply for parole
Lukasz Czapla was sentenced to 23 years in prison before he can apply for parole

Also this week came the news that the mother of tragic Peter Connolly, known as Baby P, is to be released from prison on parole again.

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She was out on license in 2013 but recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions.

Tracey Connolly was jailed in 2009 after admitting causing or allowing the death of 17-month-old Peter at their home in Tottenham in 2007.

The tot had suffered more than 50 injuries inflicted by Connolly’s boyfriend Steven Barker, their lodger Jason Owen and Connolly herself.

The parole board decision to free her in the coming weeks sent Justice Minister Dominic Raab into a tailspin of fury and indignation and he challenged the parole board to reconsider.

The case has caused a public outcry and has come hot on the heels of the release of double child killer and rapist Colin Pitchfork, who murdered two teenage girls, in 1983 and 1986, as well as London taxi driver and serial rapist John Worboys.

When we read about crimes such as these it’s difficult to move on from the feelings of disgust and revulsion at the acts human beings inflict on one another in particular on helpless children.

But should child killers be given a second chance?

The heart says no but the head can’t make up its mind and it’s very frustrating.

I want to believe in the rehabilitation of some offenders and I often wonder if even the most evil of criminals have some sort of humanity and empathy inside of them.

But the emotional side of me dismisses this notion as idealistic fantasy.

Do any of those mentioned today in this column feel a shred of remorse and guilt?

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If we’re to believe the parole board, then Tracey Connolly has been rehabilitated and met their legal test for freedom – which also includes showing remorse for her crimes.

Remorse is all well and good but it isn’t going to bring back the victim is it?

Despite all I have seen in my years of crime reporting there is still something inside that wants to understand the reasons behind certain types of offending.

But child killers and abusers? I don’t think that I can ever really accept any excuse for that.

‘Joke’ Depp jokes are not funny

Domestic abuse is no laughing matter so it incensed me this week when joke pictures made their way around the internet regarding Amber Heard and Johnny Depp.

Like everyone else I have no clue who or what to believe and, quite frankly, neither of them are doing themselves any favours.

But to see people making light of the domestic abuse allegations from both sides shows we still have a long way to go in feeling empathy for both male and female victims.

I couldn’t help but think any abuse victim seeing the hilarity and derision spewed online is enough to make them retreat further into themselves, as it would seem the subject is considered a source of hilarity.

Allowing these kinds of “jokes” and comments to go unchecked and unchallenged is, in my opinion, saying that we tolerate abusive behavior as long as it’s not happening to me.

I have a very dry sense of humor and very rarely feel offended by anything but jokes about domestic violence are never ever funny.

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Damned by Priri’s praise

So, Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has ruled himself out of the top job in the Met now Cressida Dick is away.

Apparently Priti Patel was impressed with Livingstone’s performance during COP26.

Police Scotland's Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has ruled himself out of the top job in the Met
Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone talks to the media as all officers across Scotland are to be instructed in the use of naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of opioids, such as heroin, methadone, opium, codeine, morphine and buprenorphine. Picture date: Thursday February 17, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SCOTLAND Naloxone. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

I’m still pondering whether this is a compliment for him or not.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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