Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The thug and the judge

Today saw thug Gary Beuthin bounced out of court and into jail for the next seven years.
He's a bad boy with umpteen previous convictions for driving offences, public violence, malicious damage to property and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
But today this bad boy met his match in the form of Judge Kathy Satchwell - South Africa's own Judge Judy, who would without a doubt make for an excellent subject on a reality TV show if we were less American here and allowed cameras into court. But alas, Judge Satchwells actions in court remain the domain of the print media.
After a fight with the guys at prison who wanted to bring him to court without his three giant bags of court documents, Beuthin finally made it into the dock at noon. He bristled in his leg irons, flexing his muscles and grimacing at me and the only other journalist in the courtroom.
Beuthin has admitted to trapping a former Hell's Angel and then beating the guy's legs with a bat til his calf muscle popped out through his skin. The guy, who is about the size of a small truck, was left unable to walk for four months.
And so Judge Satchwell arrived in court and worked her way through Beuthin's plea agreement. She was gently and kind with him, urging him not to stress when he appeared flustered as he flapped through pages and assuring him that he had plenty of time. She reached the bottom line and when it came time to utter her consideration she made Beuthin stand up as she yelled at him like a little kid.
"You are almost 45 years old. You are big enough and ugly enough to know better," she yelled at him, rebuking him for "this kind of thuggery".
He hung his head in shame and looked embarrassed.
She did not hold back.
It was brilliant!!

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