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This week in history: Dalston vicar recommends ‘a dozen strokes of the birch’ for cinema hooligan

PUBLISHED: 15:48 11 April 2018

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago

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A Dalston vicar asked parishioners to send him postcards stating what they thought about prison sentences.

The Gazette 60 years ago The Gazette 60 years ago

In his parish magazine, Rev Donald Pateman of St Mark’s Church in Sandringham Road wrote of: “The astonishing way in which people who commit crimes are treated with the utmost generosity and consideration.”

He said magistrates “accept almost any cock-and-bull story”. His methods for a youth who had been fined £15 for an assault on a cinema manager were somewhat different.

He said: “We would not send this young hooligan to prison as he would then have to be supported by the taxpayers. We would, as a first measure give him a dozen strokes of the birch. A good, stiff dose of sheer physical pain, followed by a week of discomfort, would do him far more good than this ‘chicken feed’ fine of £15.”

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