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‘I don’t want to live in a community that’s crawling with criminals’: Two judges defend themselves

Two judges claim they have been unfairly criticised by the Australian public amid mounting speculation that sentencing within the country is too lenient.

The criminal justice system is increasingly accused of being too soft on criminals, forcing Chief Judge Peter Kidd and Judge Elizabeth Gaynor to come out in defence of their work. 

Judge Gaynor, from Victorian County Court, fiercely defended their sentencing decisions and argued that judges are often misrepresented in the public eye, A Current Affair reported.

Judge Gaynor (pictured), from Victorian County Court, fiercely defended their sentencing decisions and argued that judges are often misrepresented in the public eye

Judge Gaynor (pictured), from Victorian County Court, fiercely defended their sentencing decisions and argued that judges are often misrepresented in the public eye

‘Judges live in the community too and I don’t want to live in a community that’s unsafe and that’s crawling with criminals,’ she said. 

‘I think the community thinks we’re out of touch, that we’re too soft, that we live in some sort of luxurious gated community.’ 

Judge Gaynor, who was previously a barrister, said no one comes into the world wanting to be a judge and you would be a ‘psycho’ if that was the case.

She said the courts are under attack from growing public scrutiny.

‘I’ll read a report of something we’ve done in the paper and you’d think, if I didn’t know what was going on, that the Judge was a complete idiot,’ Judge Gaynor said.

‘Because that’s the way we’re presented, as if we have no reason for doing what we do.’

Chief Judge Kidd spoke highly of the criminal justice system and argued that only a fraction of sentences get media attention.

'Judges live in the community too and I don't want to live in a community that's unsafe and that's crawling with criminals,' Judge Gaynor said

‘Judges live in the community too and I don’t want to live in a community that’s unsafe and that’s crawling with criminals,’ Judge Gaynor said

Chief Judge Kidd (pictured) spoke highly of the criminal justice system and argued that only a fraction of sentences get media attention

Chief Judge Kidd (pictured) spoke highly of the criminal justice system and argued that only a fraction of sentences get media attention

‘It doesn’t mean the entire system is broke, in fact I would say the system is tired and tested and should be celebrated, not denigrated,’ he told ACA. 

The family man said sentencing is about balancing public interest with the interest of the victim and the criminal.  

Alternative sentences to jail time are also a hot topic with Judge Gaynor suggesting rehabilitation and reform is better for the community as a whole.

It costs about $123,000 to keep one prisoner in jail for a year.

Judge Gaynor said criminals often leave the institutions broken, unskilled and with greater criminal connections due to the ‘potency’ of jails. 

sentencing is about balancing public interest with the interest of the victim and the criminal

Sentencing is about balancing public interest with the interest of the victim and the criminal

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk