Netizens are up in arms over Wally Woffles’ $1000 fine. There are several reasons for this, and I will explore a darker reason later this week, I hope.
I was annoyed by his comment as reported in ST (remember this is the newspaper that is perceived by many as having an agenda when reporting the news) that he believes “many people similarly did not know that this is an offence”. I take this to mean that he still doesn’t realise the seriousness of what he did (in spirit helping to pervert the course of justice) and is not repentant. In fact, he comes across in the ST report, as saying,”This is not an offence that even merits me paying a ‘peanuts’ of a fine.” Why he was such a Wally to behave in such a perceived manner could be due to sheer arrogance or stupdidity or both. And anyway only a Wally would talk to the media: sit down and shut up is my advice when approached by a ST or SPH report.
In view of his unrepentant attitude to in spirit perverting the course of justice, this is a good reason for the Attorney-General to change his mind and appeal the sentence. The AG’s Chambers had earlier said that it was not going to appeal the sentence because a fine is “within the norm of usual sentences” under that charge.
This appeal is not throwing meat to the snarling beasts of the internet jungle, or handing over someone to the vigilantes from cowboy towns: but a proper and proportionate response to a unrepetent criminal (if ST is to be trusted) who in spirit perverted the course of justice.