16/10/2009 04:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Is 18 Months In Jail Long Enough For A Man Who Gave Cigarettes To A Three-Year-Old?

A man who laughed and joked as he gave a three-year-old girl cigarettes has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Graeme Conroy, 31, from Ashington, Northumberland, handed lit cigarettes to the toddler and encouraged her to smoke them.

The shocking behaviour was caught on camera as Conroy ordered a 14-year-old girl to film the incident on a mobile phone.

Fortunately a neighbour saw the video and told the police.

But I'm not sure 18 months is enough for such cruel and stupid child abuse.

From what witnesses say it appears this was probably not the first time the three-year-old had smoked.

A 16-year-old witness told police: "We thought it was funny at first and he said 'video it'. She had finished it and put it out in the ashtray. The girl asked for another one and he said 'you've had enough' and she started crying so he gave her another one.

"She was inhaling and everything. It looked like she had smoked before. She was inhaling it and she knew what to do. Graeme didn't tell her what to do. She just knew what to do."

There was also a suggestion the toddler might also have been given cannabis but tests carried out on the girl's hair by police were negative.

At Newcastle Crown Court prosecutor Tony Glover said: "The essence of the offence is that he encouraged this child to smoke. He admitted giving a child a cigarette.

"He said he knew it was wrong and knew he shouldn't have done it."

Mr Glover said the little girl had smoked two cigarettes before the teenage witness had arrived and was seen to have smoked another three.

Jane Foley, defending, said: "His behaviour was irresponsible and he clearly didn't give sufficient thought to what he was doing, believing it to be a bit of a joke. Clearly it's not funny. He has accepted his responsibility at the earliest opportunity."

Personally I think anyone who even smokes in front of a child should be locked up, let alone someone who makes a toddler chain-smoke.

What do you think? Is this a harsh enough punishment?

Source: AOL News