The answer to both questions is an absolute 'no, certainly not'.

The authorities who let Doherty out on parole should be made to share with him the responsibility for Frazer Bradshaw's death. Any criminals who reoffend should be given harsh custodial sentences.

Giving a lenient sentence of four years is an insult to Mr Bradshaw's relations and the tax-paying public.

Overcrowded prisons are not an excuse for lenient sentences or for any culprit to walk free. Defendants do not make excuses not to offend; they have offended! Therefore no excuses should be made not to sentence criminals properly.

Overcrowded jails are not an excuse either. Overcrowding is part of the punishment and is the problem of the inmates, not the tax payer.

Longer and harsher sentences would serve as a deterrent, which can ease the prison population in the long run.


AT THE end of the article on the sentencing of Nathan Doherty, the questions 'Is the sentence proportionate?' and 'Is our justice system tough enough?' are asked (Party killer jailed, Gazette, June 30).