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Our legal system is a joke


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Read this story this morning and was just gobsmacked. A mother basically pulled a dodgy to get centelink benefits and was sent to jail for 3 months!! No good behaviour bond, no suspended sentence, nope. She is going to jail!! Yes she did the wrong thing, but really how much different is it to the hundreds of thousands of tradies doing cash jobs, or millions of people stretching the truth on their tax returns. 

https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/melbourne-mum-jade-cheasley-stole-102k-from-centrelink/news-story/854c2923700e8252073375c6784d3bed

Then on the other hand you have this piece of shit druggie bash and choke a paramedic and get a suspended sentence.. 

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/7news.com.au/news/crime/vic-paramedic-breaks-down-in-court-c-563810.amp

I could find countless other examples of people being bashed to within an inch of their life with their attackers walking free. 

What a disgrace, which example is more of a danger to society. 

Moral of the story, if you are going to break the law have a good story of drug dependence and sob story to excuse all accountability. 

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Yes, the mind boggles at times (all too often).  Have family that have experienced it not working right, or maybe funky is a better way to describe it.

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19 minutes ago, Mr Tinman said:

I have no problem with her doing some time

May be a bit much but still

Just because others have got off doesn’t mean she should be excused 

It’s not like she was spending it on her starving children 

So every trady that does a cashy, every person who has over claimed on their tax return should also go to jail? Significant fine and bond but jail is a joke. 

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Do you really think that defrauding the commonwealth of more than $100k and spending it on an "entitled lifestyle" is trivial?

 

And yes , if a tradie or a fraudulent tax return is ripping off the ATO by $100k then they deserve to go inside as well.

 

Problem is, everyone thinks that ripping off the government is fair game and a victimless crime so unless a stiff deterrent is set, what's to stop everyone doing it?

 

Im not disagreeing with you that others need to go to jail as well, but that doesn't excuse what she did.

Oh and she only got 8 weeks, not 3 months

If she doesn't pay it back (Im sure its all probably gone), then Id happily go for stint for $12500 per week too

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28 minutes ago, Mr Tinman said:

Do you really think that defrauding the commonwealth of more than $100k and spending it on an "entitled lifestyle" is trivial?

 

And yes , if a tradie or a fraudulent tax return is ripping off the ATO by $100k then they deserve to go inside as well.

 

Problem is, everyone thinks that ripping off the government is fair game and a victimless crime so unless a stiff deterrent is set, what's to stop everyone doing it?

 

Im not disagreeing with you that others need to go to jail as well, but that doesn't excuse what she did.

Oh and she only got 8 weeks, not 3 months

If she doesn't pay it back (Im sure its all probably gone), then Id happily go for stint for $12500 per week too

Article says two and a half months if you want to be pedantic. 

There are plenty of lawyers here that will be able to chime in but I'm pretty sure punishment is supposed to be in line with community expectations. 

I think community expectations would be the person who severely bashes their son or daughter out of the blue would belong behind before a dodgy neighbour ripping off the government. 

Not to mention all the other cases of scumbags serving 'home detention'.... I could list a stack of examples.. 

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And for the THIRD time, Im not disagreeing with you that others need to spend a lot more time in jail cooling their jets, but that doesn't mean she should get off because others have been dealt with more harshly

You seem to be taking this really personally. You dont happen to know her do you?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr Tinman said:

And for the THIRD time, Im not disagreeing with you that others need to spend a lot more time in jail cooling their jets, but that doesn't mean she should get off because others have been dealt with more harshly

You seem to be taking this really personally. You dont happen to know her do you?

You are saying you are not disagreeing with me while disagreeing with me-edit on one of two points to keep Rob happy lol. 

I dont believe someone like her belongs in jail. She was greedy and broke the law but is hardly a risk to society. A large fine and a suspended sentence would be more apt. 

 

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19 minutes ago, more said:

You are saying you are not disagreeing with me while disagreeing with me lol. 

In pretty much every thread, you seem to have a serious comprehensive problem when reading other people's posts.

You listed 2 examples and your thoughts on each.  Tinman agreed with one of your thoughts and disagreed with the other.

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16 minutes ago, Rob said:

In pretty much every thread, you seem to have a serious comprehensive problem when reading other people's posts.

You listed 2 examples and your thoughts on each.  Tinman agreed with one of your thoughts and disagreed with the other.

 

Why don't you stop playing the man, stick to topic and value add to a serious topic instead of trying to drag this thread down...? 

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Fine with jail. Claiming being a single parent living with her kids in their car whilst partner earns $220K and own investment properties and took OS holidays! Taking away minimal available funds from those actually in that very scenario she claims to have been in.

Of course those other examples you provided need jail time.

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Jail for them all. Mr Tinman is spot on. If you steal 100k from your employer through fraud i would hope you would go to jail. Same for government.

And I think we all know if you beat someone to within an inch of their life jail for you too.

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Posted (edited)

I reckon there would be a lot of nervous tradies out there then, I have had over 10 jobs from various trades in the last 5 years and every single one of them offered less for cash... 

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3 minutes ago, dazaau said:

Jail for them all. Mr Tinman is spot on. If you steal 100k from your employer through fraud i would hope you would go to jail. Same for government.

And I think we all know if you beat someone to within an inch of their life jail for you too.

What about people whose tax returns get audited and found to be wrong? Jail also? 

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1 minute ago, more said:

What about people whose tax returns get audited and found to be wrong? Jail also? 

If for a significant amount of money, and intentional. Totally. 

Or do you think you should just pay it back, so there is no downside to stealing whatsover? 

I'd also settle for a massive fine if they have the money. But I mean massive.

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6 minutes ago, dazaau said:

Jail for them all. Mr Tinman is spot on. If you steal 100k from your employer through fraud i would hope you would go to jail. Same for government.

And I think we all know if you beat someone to within an inch of their life jail for you too.

Yep, I know someone doing 9 years (6 years non-parole) for stealing money through his business - it was about $800k so this woman actually got off lightly on a per dollar comparison

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Just now, dazaau said:

If for a significant amount of money, and intentional. Totally. 

Or do you think you should just pay it back, so there is no downside to stealing whatsover? 

I'd also settle for a massive fine if they have the money. But I mean massive.

No, there should be significant fines and suspended sentences. But if you aren't going to jail someone for a serious assault then how on earth do you jail someone for this. 

As for the amount I think it's a bit of a catch 22, which is worse.. Someone who sneakily defraud the commonwealth of $5k a year on their tax returns, or someone like this lady. Both have intent, perhaps one is a lie more cunning by flying under the radar. 

I guarantee that the amount of fraud committed by tradies woukd make this lady look like an amateur.. 

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5 minutes ago, -H- said:

Yep, I know someone doing 9 years (6 years non-parole) for stealing money through his business - it was about $800k so this woman actually got off lightly on a per dollar comparison

I could probably kill someone and do less time than that... Crazy.. 

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Look, let's pretend ethics and morals are out. For mathematical simplicity.

The rule that needs to be determined is, what's the probability of getting caught, and how much is the fine when you are. If there is a 10 percent chance of catching someone stealing 1k, then the maths would suggest the fine needs to be more than 10k, otherwise it's worth the risk to steal. 

I think it is also logical that the greater the amount, the larger the punishment, for the same reasons.

I agree that the legal system is a bit of a joke, but not because of this. Mostly because of light sentencing for serious crimes. 

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So they earn $200k a year, own 3 houses plus $700,000+ in savings and assets and still lied and defrauded the taxpayers of Australia of over $1000,000, no problems at all if she goes to jail for a couple of months. Should have been more. Do the crime... do the time.

 Her husband is lucky he’s not going to jail as well after the cops found 1,000’s of texts between them talking about how to keep the fraud going and avoid being caught.

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Wow... 

"the average aggregate sentence for attempted murder was 9.75 years (with an average minimum of 6.6 years), while the average aggregate sentence for manslaughter was seven years (with an average minimum of 4.5 years)." 

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Posted (edited)

Yes I am surprised at how severely white collar crime seems to be punished in comparison to viscous violent criminals and paedophiles.. 

"On 30 May 2019, a 56-year-old New South Wales man was sentenced to three years and three months jail a decade after he fraudulently obtained and attempted to obtain more than $200,000 from the ATO. He was also ordered to pay reparations of $154,188.

Between 2002 and 2004, Mr Peter Garven lodged three fraudulent income tax returns on behalf of Peter Garven Consulting and Garven Resources, netting himself $102,504 in refunds he was not entitled to. After submitting a string of false business activity statements, Mr Garven fraudulently obtained a further $51,684 in GST refunds."

 

Compared to... 

" A FORMER priest who snuck into a teenage boy’s bedroom to sexually assault him has been jailed — but will serve his 14-month minimum term on home detention."

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/former-catholic-priest-charles-alfred-barnett-given-14-month-minimum-home-detention-sentence-for-abusing-three-boys-ng-4fa2b056467a5656a52508d7cd3a6397.amp

 

And I said.  Our legal system is a joke

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Her sentence is fine, but the others lenient on face value.  A six figure deception offence is not trivial.  

You are placing too much emphasis on comparing the two, when I'd argue the violence offences are light on causing the imbalance, not the severity of hers.  

 

Edit - and you'll go nuts trying to get your head around sentencing at the best of times

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49 minutes ago, dazaau said:

Look, let's pretend ethics and morals are out. For mathematical simplicity.

The rule that needs to be determined is, what's the probability of getting caught, and how much is the fine when you are. If there is a 10 percent chance of catching someone stealing 1k, then the maths would suggest the fine needs to be more than 10k, otherwise it's worth the risk to steal. 

I think it is also logical that the greater the amount, the larger the punishment, for the same reasons.

I agree that the legal system is a bit of a joke, but not because of this. Mostly because of light sentencing for serious crimes. 

When you look at it like that, I reckon the risk of 8 weeks in jail for $100,000 tax free is pretty tempting for a lot of people!

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, -H- said:

When you look at it like that, I reckon the risk of 8 weeks in jail for $100,000 tax free is pretty tempting for a lot of people!

And that's what I've always said about drug dealing. What's the disincentive for someone who comes here from a poverty stricken hell hole  and has the potential to make hundreds of thousands of quick dollars, if they get caught they will either get a slap on the wrist or spend some time in our jails which would be like 5 star hotels compared to where they have come from. 

A great risk/reward 

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1 hour ago, -H- said:

When you look at it like that, I reckon the risk of 8 weeks in jail for $100,000 tax free is pretty tempting for a lot of people!

I’d do it.  
 

ive just done 6 months home detention for no money. 

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Surely you would assume they would also need to repay at least the amount stolen if they have the assets.

should be 10x to ensure there is no incentive. 

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How many pollies have gotten to "pay back" money after abusing the privilege afforded them by being a "servant of the people"?  How many regular Joes would be able to simply say sorry and I'll pay for that?

I wonder how many tradies would give up if they couldn't take that little bit of cash they get?  Honestly, who'd want to run their own business; it sux.

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Just now, goughy said:

How many pollies have gotten to "pay back" money after abusing the privilege afforded them by being a "servant of the people"?  How many regular Joes would be able to simply say sorry and I'll pay for that?

I wonder how many tradies would give up if they couldn't take that little bit of cash they get?  Honestly, who'd want to run their own business; it sux.

Exactly the point my mate raised when talking about it-politicians over claim and even keep their jobs. 

 

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"Stuart Robert, Liberal-National Party MP for Fadden, once again claimed exorbitant home internet costs for the July-September 2018 quarter, a total of $6,095.33.  That’s over $67 per day for his home internet charged to the taxpayer.

Despite paying back $37,975 in October for "excess usage charges", he continues to claim out-of-control expenses for his home internet and IPEA continues to approve them. 

And, if an error is exposed, the politician simply pays it back with no consequence for their attempts to defraud the Commonwealth, as in the case of Stuart Robert and his home internet bills."

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/out-of-control-expenses-claims-made-by-federal-politicians,12227

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The legal system has been a joke for over 40 years.

I know the details of an armed robbery attempt back in the 70's where the bloke being robbed fought back, nailed the guy and held the robber til the police arrived.  And got charged for aggravated assault by the police for his trouble.  Took a few days before intelligence and common sense took over and the charges were dropped.

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On 03/10/2020 at 7:47 PM, -- AJ -- said:

The legal system has been a joke for over 40 years.

I know the details of an armed robbery attempt back in the 70's where the bloke being robbed fought back, nailed the guy and held the robber til the police arrived.  And got charged for aggravated assault by the police for his trouble.  Took a few days before intelligence and common sense took over and the charges were dropped.

You know, in the United States it was legal for anyone to shoot anyone in the process of robbing a bank and they got $5,000 for their trouble from the banking association.  It certainly brought the incidence of bank robbing down! But it wasn't long until a group of Mexicans were lured to a bank under the pretense of work and were gunned down by their prospective employers who then claimed they were in the act of robbing the bank and put their hands out for thousands of dollars in reward.

Our legal system is just fine the way it is now, thank you very much.  Can you suggest one that is better?

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On 03/10/2020 at 7:47 PM, -- AJ -- said:

The legal system has been a joke for over 40 years.

I know the details of an armed robbery attempt back in the 70's where the bloke being robbed fought back, nailed the guy and held the robber til the police arrived.  And got charged for aggravated assault by the police for his trouble.  Took a few days before intelligence and common sense took over and the charges were dropped.

Had the same almost happen to me about 20yrs ago, even though the perpetrator who was throwing huge rocks at passing cars nearly hitting our 7yo daughter (this has killed drivers elsewhere) then pulled a knife and got away - cops said not to push it or I might end up on an assault charge for restraining & threatening him.  

A few months later, same the shitbox smashed a taxi driver over the head with an iron bar, and a few years later, slashed a blokes throat with a machete (he only survived because the paramedics worked miracles).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

Had the same almost happen to me about 20yrs ago, even though the perpetrator who was throwing huge rocks at passing cars nearly hitting our 7yo daughter (this has killed drivers elsewhere) then pulled a knife and got away - cops said not to push it or I might end up on an assault charge for restraining & threatening him.  

A few months later, same the shitbox smashed a taxi driver over the head with an iron bar, and a few years later, slashed a blokes throat with a machete (he only survived because the paramedics worked miracles).

Imagine how the coppers must feel, constantly arresting these 'people' only for lenient judges to continually give them slaps on the wrist. Most of the really bad people you read about have priors as long as your arm...and they are still out and about re offending and causing missery.

As per my post above the average manslaughter charge is only 4.5 years...so i could bash you to death, get a fancy lawyer to prove that I didn't intend to kill you and/or it was due to me being drunk/on drugs and walk free in 4.5 years...crazy...seems cash is of a higher importance than a human life.

 

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On 03/10/2020 at 7:47 PM, -- AJ -- said:

The legal system has been a joke for over 40 years.

I know the details of an armed robbery attempt back in the 70's where the bloke being robbed fought back, nailed the guy and held the robber til the police arrived.  And got charged for aggravated assault by the police for his trouble.  Took a few days before intelligence and common sense took over and the charges were dropped.

That's funny, it's the same legal system we've had for far more than 40 years :lol:

In any event you are conflating the actions of the police with the legal system (our courts and our laws).

6 hours ago, PeterW said:

You know, in the United States it was legal for anyone to shoot anyone in the process of robbing a bank and they got $5,000 for their trouble from the banking association.  It certainly brought the incidence of bank robbing down! But it wasn't long until a group of Mexicans were lured to a bank under the pretense of work and were gunned down by their prospective employers who then claimed they were in the act of robbing the bank and put their hands out for thousands of dollars in reward.

Our legal system is just fine the way it is now, thank you very much.  Can you suggest one that is better?

 

1 hour ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

Had the same almost happen to me about 20yrs ago, even though the perpetrator who was throwing huge rocks at passing cars nearly hitting our 7yo daughter (this has killed drivers elsewhere) then pulled a knife and got away - cops said not to push it or I might end up on an assault charge for restraining & threatening him.  

A few months later, same the shitbox smashed a taxi driver over the head with an iron bar, and a few years later, slashed a blokes throat with a machete (he only survived because the paramedics worked miracles).

The police have to protect their jobs :lol: but rightly vigilante action is to be discouraged. If police with all their training can make mistakes just imagine how much worse it will be if we encourage enthusiastic gun nuts to think they are some kind of legitimate citizen law enforcement body.

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3 hours ago, more said:

so i could bash you to death, get a fancy lawyer to prove that I didn't intend to kill you and/or it was due to me being drunk/on drugs and walk free in 4.5 years...crazy...seems cash is of a higher importance than a human life.

Probably less if you you used your car to kill me by knocking me off my bike. 😒

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21 hours ago, more said:

...

As per my post above the average manslaughter charge is only 4.5 years...so i could bash you to death, get a fancy lawyer to prove that I didn't intend to kill you and/or it was due to me being drunk/on drugs and walk free in 4.5 years...crazy...seems cash is of a higher importance than a human life.

 

I believe you are misquoting the average minimum sentence, the average aggregate for manslaughter is 7 years, see https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_media_releases/2012/bocsar_mr_bb76.aspx

Further, a fancy (defence) lawyer does not have to prove you innocent. It is the job of the crown to prove you guilty. In any case fancy lawyers cannot manufacture exculpatory evidence, it exists or it doesn't. Though of course the good ones will look for such evidence during discovery - a process where the prosecution makes available the brief of evidence they have to the defence.

These are 2 fairly fundamental misconceptions you are carrying forward in your propositions which essentially mean your whole argument collapses. Though I do take the point about apparent inconsistencies in sentencing. I recall observing a new magistrate that had come across from the commercial division to the criminal division at The Downing Centre and for her first matter she heard a case of assault, the defendant was a young islander probably around 21 and there had been a brawl between to groups of young men and one side appeared to come out on top and he'd been charged with common assault and he'd possibly knocked a tooth out of someone. She gave him a 12 month prison sentence and this was his first offence. Everyone in the court was dumbfounded. I'm sure it would have been overturned on appeal (at extra cost to both public and private purse) but here was a little old lady white lady that probably lives in Turramurra somewhere with no experience of the foolishness of youths and young men, let alone islanders and quite possibly felt intimidated, or it was just inexperience - who knows? In any case it was totally out of line with the norm, which would often be a fine of a few thousand and probably a suspended sentence for a first offence.

You have to remember though it's a system like our road system with a mixture of players with differing skill levels and experience and traffic police whose skills and experience also vary. Would you say because of inconsistencies like some traffic lights always favour right hand turners and yet others favour pedestrians, nonsensical speed limits, speed cameras, police book some for minor speed violations while others issue warnings, et cetera, that we should scrap the system? I have driven in Asia and been in a car in India where road rule obedience seems totally optional and it can be a complete nightmare, even then what they've got is probably better than nothing.

Another example of course is sport, referee's and umpire's decisions at times can seem plain wrong as well as inconsistent but would you eliminate the system? Take our own sport and the number of cries foul about inconsistent draft busting, would you get rid of draft busters?

Any system administered by humans will have inconsistency. Our job of course is to understand whether the variation is due to inconsistency or a variation in circumstances and I'm afraid with your fundamental errors you have not succeeded in either and I have to say madam speaker the case for the positive, has failed to establish that our legal system is a joke.

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3 minutes ago, more said:

I was referring to minimum terms which is all that really matters

Another fundamental error, oversimplification, the minimum is an option you need to earn it with good behaviour and averages are made up of wide ranges of numbers that are supposed to match the wide ranging circumstances - take manslaughter in an traffic accident as opposed to a violent criminal.

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3 minutes ago, Slowman said:

Another fundamental error, oversimplification, the minimum is an option you need to earn it with good behaviour and averages are made up of wide ranges of numbers that are supposed to match the wide ranging circumstances - take manslaughter in an traffic accident as opposed to a violent criminal.

Do the majority of people serve minimum terms?

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Sorry I get busy with work sometimes...

You have to read into the reported statistics very carefully. The majority are released on parole before their full sentence is served. The problem here with the statistics, is that there is no distinction between being released on parole straight after the non-parole (minimum) period is served and those that are released before full sentence expires but after the non-parole period. Month by month the figure for those that are released on parole is something like 80-85%.

This needs to be compared with the rate of recidivism which is around 23% for adults in NSW in 2004 (Agnew-Pauley and Holmes 2015) and where they reoffend within 1 year. This number is a broad number and includes drug offences which as you might guess attract a high rate of recidivism. So if you look at this rate we see 77% do not reoffend within 12 months and compare it with 80-85% release on parole. So the number released after serving full term 15-20% is similar to the recidivism rate, so the hardened offenders tend to be retained which is what we want. There is some logic behind rewarding good behaviour with parole (i) it encourages good behaviour (ii) shorter stays in gaol correlate with a better chance of rehabilitation.

Sounds simple only because I've made it simple so it can be digested. The statistics are limited and simple but the reality is more complex because people and their situations are varied and complex. There are some people that will never be rehabilitated but many can be, given the chance and some remedial work, simple things like literacy and training programmes. However, we get do gooders and politicians, looking for some cheap vote catching slogans about law and order reform, meddling in the system because of an election promise and changes get made that have not been properly considered and certainly not formulated by those that know the system or the situation, and made a scholarly evidence based study of causes and effects. They go for the seemingly simple bandaid fixes, like 3 strikes, zero tolerance, life means life. They are all slogans that sound good to the populist audience. Yet year after year this kind of thing has been shown repeatedly to be unhelpful. Even the zero tolerance programme for which Rudi Giuliani was credited for cleaning up NYC with was not simple zero tolerance, it was multifaceted and complemented by all kinds of other social and economic programmes, it was not in fact zero tolerance. Many say economic and jobs growth at the time had more to do with the decrease in crime rates.

Fortunately, the various law reform commissions have been having some policy wins and there has been some improvements over the years. One example, is the creation of a special court to hear drug offences. It took many years of recommendations and studies, from legal scholars, medical practitioners, social workers, law reform commissions, and many police, that knew that criminalising drug users was the wrong approach.

I would suggest that those that are released early, have been with these facts in mind, and the violent recidivists are the ones tending to serve their full sentence or more of it. Parole is not automatic as you seem to be suggesting, or without a review of each case. The parole board is under constant scrutiny and measurement for their effectiveness, hence why the raw data is collected.

As they say, and more so in your case; a little bit of knowledge is dangerous :lol:

You can't cherry pick a few bad examples, which will always exist. It's the bigger picture that counts. It's the same logic the anti-vaxers use. Don't consider the millions of lives saved by vaccination, just look at the small number of complications.

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24 minutes ago, dazaau said:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/kathy-jackson-spared-immediate-jail-term-over-brazen-selfish-fraud-20201126-p56i61.html

Someone please tell me she is at least fined $150k or something? What is the point of prosecuting someone if you remove any penalty if they plead guilty? 

Used the Get out of Jail Free card ...  🤬

Quote

But she found Jackson had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, and had considered suicide, given the impact of personal attacks and threats against her from supporters for Williamson and Thomson and intense media attention.

Boo Hoo for her.  Th arn't reasons for zero jail time.  I reckon plenty of the members of the HSU that she stole from suffer from any/all of those at times (Particularly this year)  but still soldier on every day.

Bet any soldiers who get dragged up on Criminal charges as a result of that report won't get off scott-free by claiming PTSD., depression or suicidal thoughts.

 

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