A word of thanks to Frederick Forsyth, novelist and columnist occasionally derided for being a bit too right wing. It is courtesy of him and his column in last Friday's Daily Express that I found out Lewis Gill's four year sentence (quite possibly out in two!) for the manslaughter of Asperger Andrew Young in Bournemouth last November will not, despite complaints to the Court of Appeal that the term did not reflect Gill's "gratuitous, unprovoked violence,"be increased by one single day.
What to say about such a decision that does not make me sound like a right wing demagogue bent on hanging, flogging, drawing and quartering?
Well, there's death due to brutish assault and battery; and there's torture due to callous ignorance.
Andrew Young was killed and I was tortured by much the same type of small, selfish creature.
It is not right wing. It is not left wing. It merely is.
In Andrew's case, he received one punch to the face which knocked him down and caused him to crack his skull on the concrete ground.
In my case, I was subjected to radio noise for eight-and-a-half months by a bunch of self-centred loudmouths. Aspergers cannot filter out extraneous sound, and after some weeks of it, the relentless beat of bad music became sheer torture.
And what did management have to say about that?
"They don't know any better."
I will never forget those weasel words. Not ever.
Both Gill and the so-called employees who tortured me were adults (Gill is only twenty-one but my dear colleagues were in their forties) and most definitely old enough to have known better.
Pardon me if I'm not impressed by the soft touch attitude of craven judges and cowardly managers. They are not fit to lick Andrew Young's boots.
James Christie is the author of Dear Miss Landau. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism, at the age of 37 in 2002. He lives in the Scottish Borders.