Snapped after 'fatty' remark and glassed old school colleague

BEING called ‘fatty-fat’ after suffering years of bullying about his weight as a boy led one 21-year-old to glass an acquaintance from his school.

BEING called ‘fatty-fat’ after suffering years of bullying about his weight as a boy led one 21-year-old to glass an acquaintance from his school.

Benjamin Vidamour, who initially denied the offence before changing his plea to guilty, ‘snapped’ after light-hearted banter turned sour.

He was sentenced to two-and-half years in prison for unlawful and malicious wounding and three months to run consecutively for an unrelated incident of criminal damage.

In a witness statement read out in court, Mr Le Prevost gave his version of events. ‘I was setting up the table when Ben said “We do give each other abuse in a lighthearted way” and I replied, “Shut up fatty-fat”,’ he said.

Defence advocate Liam Roffey said: ‘Lighthearted banter may have been how Mr Le Prevost felt about it, but it was not how my client felt about it.'

Advocate Roffey added Vidamour did not make a conscious decision to use the glass as a weapon, but Judge Finch questioned how the defendant would not have been aware it was in his hand.

Comments for: "Snapped after 'fatty' remark and glassed old school colleague"

@daniellesebire

I am not excusing his actions but would like to point out they appear to be motivated by emotions rather than criminal gain. This suggests if he had an outlet to deal with them constructively now the likelihood of re-offending would be likely reduced, thus there would be less costs to future society.

Thinking to the future if we had services that could help people before an issue arises or a culture that encouraged talking about bullying, how we feel about ourselves (especially for men) this could be a preventive measure in emotion fuelled future crime.

Spartacus

Dani

Agreed. Very well put.

I wonder whether The Hub is now being well utilised for this purpose by both boys and girls.

conrad

Do gooders have made society the way it is now, next they will have a fancy name for being fat and it will be ok to do what you want blamed on your illness, the way they use bi polar and borderline personality complex now,

This person glassed someone, think about it.

PLP

Conrad - I don't see Dani making excuses for his actions, actually the first thing she says is precisely that. What I see is someone identifying a need to help people deal with their emotions in healthier ways than getting pissed and glassing people, and that's a good thing. Particularly so for people who have had difficult upbringings and can find it very difficult handling their emotions.

Everyone's different but there's plenty of ways this can be done. Many men, for example, like competitive sport. Although I hope I wouldn't glass someone if I missed out for a few weeks I find a weekly game of 5-a-side football invaluable as a stress reliever - it's sociable, competitive and friendly. In fact any form of exercise is good for this, which is why I would be against any privatisation of Beau Sejour that took exercise activities out of the price range of lower-income families. Other outlets I have are walking / cycling to work - those 30 minutes or so between my house and the office act as a great dividing line between work and home life.

Part of any good justice strategy is crime prevention. That's all Dani is talking about. That doesn't mean being soft on crime, but it does mean tackling the root causes why people commit them in the first place. Put another way, which would you rather? Someone getting hard time for sticking a glass in your face, or someone who had got help handling their feelings and so didn't glass you at all. I know which one I'd prefer!

j

Conrad

Are you saying that its ok to go round calling people fat because its their own fault.

I'm not defending what he did and he deserves to be punished.

But just because someone is fat doesn't give you the right to insult them.

That's just manners.

People need to take responsibility for their actions but it cost nothing to be polite.

Dani

Spartacus

I've just looked on their website (Young People Guernsey) and that is exactly the kind of thing they do! Free counseling to 11-16 year olds on a drop in basis in La Plaiderie at the Hub. Young people can talk through all their worries on a confidential basis and can also receive advice on all aspects of life including health (mental, physical & sexual), educational learning, drugs, relationships and family matters. It appears the service is being well used as they are looking for more volunteers to train up to help on volunteer.gg .

Matti

What about all those killings of children in America, they were perpetrated by emotion, not criminal gain....are we going to excuse those murderers too???

PB FALLA

Theres only one BILLY BUNTER

Ed

Hardly mature.

Chutters

No, but it was funny!

Local Pete

PB....LEGEND

Always in with the BEST comments

Calco

I don't know where half of you work but it must be in a playschool.

If I glassed somebody every time we had a bit of banter at work, I'd have to carry a case of glasses around with me.

If your fat, youre fat, if ginger your ginger, if gummy your gummy, get over it.

As for football, you must play against the jam and jerusalem team. If you played real football, you would get abused, kicked elbowed.

As usual, most of you side with the criminal not with the victim.

PLP

You're not getting the point - NOBODY is excusing criminal behaviour, siding with criminals or saying he should be let off punishment. Clearly when a serious assault happens (as in this case) there needs to be tough sentencing, but surely it's better to give some help than having ticking time-bombs walking around?

What we're talking about is crime reduction / prevention. I don't know about you but I'd rather we had less crimes than fuller prisons.

If someone has had a traumatic experience it affects their entire mental health and can make dealing with emotions difficult. Thankfully most of us can, which is why you, me and the majority of us can take banter at work or a few kicks on the football pitch without glassing people. Nevertheless if vulnerable people are given safe outlets and help in dealing with their emotions, we'll all be better off.

Dave haslam

Bullied person lashes out...... think about it!

I'm sure the years of bullying seemed like a bad idea as the glass came towards his face.

This is in no way condoning what I think is one of the most cowardly things you can do (glassing someone), however constant bullying which goes uncheked at most of the island schools for fear of upsetting the bully and his/her family is the real culprit here.

Truth is, if Bully's were given a clip round the ear/ detention/ suspesnions then this probably wouldnt have happenend.

We apologise for the bully, ADHD, mistreated at home, but now the victim is in jail for a pretty nasty incident which will mark his card for the rest of his life. So life ruined all because we let the little oiks get away with it.

Dani

PLP

Thank you for explaining what I was trying to say. :)

For clarity purposes I still think criminals should receive fitting penalties for their crimes. This is so the victim gets justice and the criminal a punishment for their behavior.

However I do feel that if we can put in systems that prevent crimes both in the first place and in being repeated it makes sense to do so. This should mean their are less victims, lower crime costs and hopefully people happier all round.

Ed

Dani

Your comment on "fitting penalties" intrigued me. Are you advocating poetic justice; appropriate punishment no matter how severe ?

Would you regard it as morally correct for an individual-the victim of a crime , somebody related to them or an individual who views themself as a righteous crusader- to carry out a retributive measure against the perpetrator ( somebody who committed an irrevocably cruel deed) without official prosecution ?

PLP

Ed - if a punishment was too severe it would by definition no longer be appropriate. The other example you give of extra-judicial punishment sounds more like vigilantism than justice.

Interestingly enough though the judicial concept of victims (or their relatives) choosing the punishment for a criminal was proposed last year by the UK Home Secretary, who suggested a "menu" of various sentences could be given to victims. A similar concept is also found in Sharia law....but I don't think anyone wants us to go down that route....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/oct/09/victims-antisocial-behaviour-punishment

Spartacus

PLP

I don't like the idea of victims choosing the punishment.

By giving "power" to the victim you start getting into the realms of vengence which is perhaps an obstacle to understanding and forgiveness, the traditional and more positive form of empowerment and peace for the victims of any crime.

Leave justice to the courts where it will be dealt with objectively and appropriately.

Dani

Lol. By fitting penalties I meant what the court sees fit within our current legal system. Prison sentences, fines or community service for example.

I have thought about vigilantism - but I see it as a negative side effect of a legal system that does not work and that is not something I would advocate or ever want. I'd rather we endeavour towards a fair legal system as possible. It will never be perfect but we must continuously improve and evolve it as best we can. I think that would make for a better society today.

However your questions has got me reflecting. What is justice? How is it best achieved? Does it vary in different circumstances? If we were to start again would we take the same approach towards it? Should we have a different approach now? I would be intrigued to hear your thoughts on the matter or anyone elses who would like to contribute.

kev

Bring in conscription