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

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

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 - Credit: Archant

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.”