Ludicrously light sentencing

The justice system in the UK and abroad

Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 09 Sep 2012, 12:18

Peter Hitchens comments on the first incident I mentioned above:

Peter Hitchens wrote:"Some older judges, true, may still secretly disapprove of thieves. But they lack the principle to resign from a job where their main task is to keep criminals out of prison."
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 09 Oct 2012, 14:27

On the topic of light sentencing, often sentences are not so light for those who defend themselves against burglars in their own homes, of course. Thus it is a pleasure to read Peter Mullen's latest common sense article on this subject, in which he has good reason to criticise the BBC (again!).
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 10 Dec 2012, 13:45

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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 12 Dec 2012, 20:10

This evening on the radio they were discussing the issue of whether or not to intervene when you see violent abuse happening in public. I am against intervening since the law is on the side of criminals in the UK (especially if you are a decent person and they are "under-privileged" or whatever) and the chances are you will end up injured, arrested or dead.

The presenter, Iain Dale, was quite depressed by the end of the hour because every single caller phoned with a story of them having witnessed somebody (usually a woman) being violently attacked, them intervening and as a result they themselves ending up with criminal records. In addition, on one occasion the woman who was being attacked turned around and told the helper to "f**k off" and not get involved.

For all of these reasons the public generally cannot involve themselves against thugs in the UK (unless of course they are prepared to face the consequences and likelihood of going to prison). Accordingly, each caller said they would never again intervene to help someone. That's the state we're in here in the UK. There's an air of menace on the streets, and people just have to keep their heads down and move on - or ideally not go out at all.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Caleb » 12 Dec 2012, 23:51

One day, when I was working in London, I was teaching in White City (which one friend pointed out in a rather dry manner "isn't very"). After school, I was walking to the Tube station and on the major street, on a very busy intersection, about a dozen or so fifteen year old kids were roughing up a couple of other kids. I went over to intervene and was promptly given my marching orders (I didn't think about the police, but I was worried about getting beaten up by a bunch of kids). Ironically, this all took place within view of the BBC headquarters and dozens of people in suits (many of whom probably worked at the BBC) walking past. London is a weird place.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 13 Dec 2012, 16:47

I know just the area you mean. I'm so glad I am nowhere near Shepherd's Bush / White City these days.

On the radio this evening they are discussing anti-social behaviour. There are bound to be some interesting stories. It's good that at least this station discusses these things (though I mute the adverts).
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 15 Dec 2012, 13:47

In news from London, driver Kenan Aydogdu had blacked out his car windows, gangster style, so that he could barely see his wing mirrors.

He opened his car door into the path of cyclist Sam Harding. Mr Harding was thrown under a bus and killed. Mr Aydogdu was let off scot-free.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby jrpaphos » 16 Mar 2013, 09:38

My wife is an avid watcher of true crime stories on YouTube and so I often find myself watching as well. I often read her magazines which contain true stores of one sort of crime or another, usually ending with a very light sentence in the UK in return for a life destroyed or ruined.

One thing that strikes me is the length of sentence that US courts impose compared to the UK.

There is something rather uncomfortable in hearing the ludicrously short sentences handed out for serious crime.

I think it goes beyond punishing, protecting the public and rehabilitation: I feel there is a morality issue here, do the UK authorities hold the value of peoples lives, property and safety so cheaply as to impose such short sentences?

All crime affects people but we can all recognise a personal crime, as it has a more serious effect on someone than a 'non-personal' crime such as shop lifting or bank fraud, compared to a crime against a person or their home such as mugging, burglary, rape or serious assault which will affect someone for the rest of their life.

A light sentence to a victim of a crime is an insult to their feeling of self worth, indicating that the country is only prepared to pay for the punishment, for a perceived short space of time.

What is the purpose of a Sentence? Punishment – Rehabilitation – Protecting the Public:

So much depends on the nature of the crime and its effect on the victim: Murder, no going back on this, who cares it the perpetrator is rehabilitated? You can’t bring back the dead: Why should a young murderer have another chance at life in middle age when the victim cannot? I am not for the death sentence as mistakes have been made but a more appropriate sentence to a ‘’Life Sentence’’ would be a sentence to ‘’Death in Jail’’, there until they die!

As for other sentences for less serious crimes than murder, I am sure that cost is the main factor but who asks the public whether they are prepared to pay for more jails and keeping criminals in jail for longer? I am sure that if asked, most law abiding citizens would be prepared to pay a bit more tax to keep criminals behind bars for longer.

If I or one of my loved ones were attacked in any way, I’m sorry but I would want revenge and the prison sentence should reflect this. I really don’t care how old the perpetrator was at the time, it is not usual or indeed forgivable that someone should kill except in self defence or to protect a loved one, so why in the case of the James Bulger killers for example, should they have a chance of life when Jamie cannot?

In the USA sentences reflect the severity of the crime whereas in the UK I feel ashamed to say the cost of keeping someone in prison is more important than providing justice to the victims.

For non violent crimes and in the case of first offenders I am all for trying to rehabilitate a person in order for them to lead a productive live but in many cases, especially where violence is involved, we should just lock them up and throw away the key.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 25 Mar 2013, 23:11

Welcome to the UK: a man has his ear bitten off in a hotel for having the temerity to ask some people to keep the noise down. This kind of incident probably happens quite often, but in this case it made headline news because the man is a well known actor.

The lesson to most Brits: everyday society is owned by the vulgar (of whom there are many) - you intervene at your peril.

We don't know what the offender's sentence will be yet, but it probably isn't even worth the police having arrested him and built a case etc.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Elliott » 08 Jun 2013, 19:33

An amusing video detailing the tribulations of a man trying to obtain the £15 fine from a thief who tried to steal his bicycle six years ago:
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Paul » 09 Jun 2013, 02:10

Gosh, that man could be me, except his complaint, valid as it is, pales a little.

He only had an attempted crime to contend with. His complaint is with regard to the principle of failed justice, lack of deterrent, public expense, etc. He didn't actually suffer any loss, other than the annoyance of time wasted. Imagine if he was (still) suffering a real physical loss. How much more would he be complaining? I'm not slighting his position or complaint whatsoever though. Maybe I should just go on You Tube!

I received one of those letters, in fact more than one, beginning around November 2011. They're in the office at work (why bother I've asked myself in one or two office clearouts since) so I can't quote the exact wording. I'll have to dig them out tomorrow. You may think I should know them by heart but, after 25+ years of crime, I've begun to blank out the sometimes Orwellian doublespeak that they contain. Maybe that's harsh and I'm just disappointed at a lack of outcome.

Twenty-five years as a victim of crime I mean, of course. More than 25 years in fact. So I've actually had numerous of these (type of) letters over the years. A dozen or more maybe. It's probably only the last decade or so (ie, the Blair era I suspect) that they came from hmcs (lower case - must admit I hadn't noticed or considered that). Prior to that, I'm not sure who they came from - their official title I mean.

I could have had even more! Many more - if I had reported more crimes. I admit I haven't reported some crimes against me, for a variety of reasons - in rough order:

1. Nothing concrete will be done about it. There will be no redress and yet much time taken up.

2. The Police will be disdainful and may even begin to pick at things (innocent things) that they would like to suggest I am doing. Responding to a vehicle crime incident for eg and then rather aggressively asking to see insurance documentation or blatantly and suspiciously checking the tax disc or tyres. Rudely questioning you and trying to make you feel guilty of something - anything. There has been a period of this in British policing, which I can remember as being the 1990s. From experiences in the last few years I sense this has calmed somewhat. Disdainful and aggressive Police - even towards a victim of crime that they have been called upon to attend. I've had some provoking experiences, slightly frightening even. Of course you can get bad policing in any era. I think I should do a thread on this. Trends in police behaviour no doubt vary between different areas, but there will surely be national trends, aka guidelines.

3. The crimes may have been just attempts and resulted 'only' in (criminal) damage, without any loss of goods sustained.

4. In almost every case, I know that it will be myself who will put good the damage and/or loss. See then also '1' above.

5. The whole episode can be depressing and have a serious affect on general morale. By reporting a crime this can be 'dragged out' and the hurt re-occurs in the mind. Bitter experience of 'nothing being (or likely to be) done' reinforces this feeling. I've definitely suffered serious depression due to crime. To some degree I have then 'blanked it out' as a self-preservation technique. Clear up the mess, repair the damage, replace the loss - move on and forget the whole thing. You never fully do of course and spend time fretting over a re-occurrence. The only positive is that you may beef up security - except that this generally costs you too. Eventually you may be, or at least feel, so secure as to sometimes believe yourself under siege and in a state of .......... war? I've come close to feeling like that at times over the years. I can definitely understand why some victims of serious crime (yes I'm thinking of rape) do not wish to pursue the matter through the justice system. Their feeling of hurt must far eclipse that of a burglary victim.

Back to the specific topic.

My work premises were broken into in the early hours of one Saturday morning in October 2011. I had gone to bed and was maybe just asleep when the telephone rang, bringing me to slightly confused conciousness. The clock read 1.30am. Cursing slightly I arose to go answer it. It could be an emergency after all. As I reached the 'phone and rubbing me eyes, I noticed the caller display was listed as a 'witheld' number.

(There's no guarantee these days, with regard to UK telephone landlines, that any call, at any hour of day or night, whether that number be witheld or displayed, is a call that you may wish to take or be advised to take. UK residents could no doubt confirm this. The telephone is now in fact somewhat a bane of existence, particularly a fixed landline. By far the vast majority of calls I receive - but don't accept - are 'spam' calls, from anywhere in the world, at any hour, from people who do not understand your language/accent - and vice-versa. Or they are from automated tele-sales organisations - machines I am told, that ring several numbers at once, with just one operator waitng to connect .......... somewhere in India! It's a supreme annoyance and an invasion of privacy - especially at 2 o clock in the morning. Rant over! I think I should write a thread about this too.)

Nonetheless, a 'witheld' number can be an indication that your call is from the Police. Especially at that time of night, you hope - in a depressing way. Just as I picked up the receiver, the ringing ended. I had missed the call and had no way of calling back - the return number is witheld.

Anticipating the next I wearily clicked on the kettle. Sure enough, within 2 or 3 minutes, the 'phone rang again and the call was indicated as from my Mother. I had a sinking feeling. Apart from the fact my Mother has been disturbed in bed, I now 'know' it's a call from the Police. They have Mum's number as well as mine, for the event of any crime against my premises.

I have to say it's good of the Police to hold this information, retain it and make use of it when they need to. Though it's only what one should expect and what one contributes towards. The Police are public servants after all, along with keepers of the peace and upholders of the law. Still, such efficiency could easily have gone by the wayside over the years and could yet do so. I'm always more impressed than maybe I should be when the Police actually do a decent job. This is because sadly and cynically, though not without some reason, they often fail to do so. So the Police have first tried to contact me, and then immediately contacted my Mother.

Sure enough, there has been an 'incident' at work. My Mum has a crime log number given to her in the call they made. I thanked her, rung off and telephoned the central switchboard (13 miles away) of Greater Manchester Police.

(You cannot ring your local Police Station anymore. There is no available number. Besides, many Police stations close at 5pm! Even the large sub-divisional headquarters, four miles down the road, closes at 11pm. Many local Police stations have closed their doors for good. Apart from pubs, and factories (and everything else) the loss of Police stations has been another defining factor of UK life in the last two decades. We're abandoned, here in the UK. The best you can do is telephone the County switchboard, speak to a civilian and hope for the best. Any mass rioting again, rioting that occurs more locally and in addition to the cities will be anarchy. There is no way there will be a Police attendance in this area if the cities and large towns erupt into violence - and everyone knows this.

Maybe this is something more keenly felt in the tiny UK. It never used to be like this. Residents in larger countries as the US, Aus and Canada might be amused at my bewilderment at having to telephone someone a mere dozen miles away?)

I quoted the crime log number and was informed that there had been a break-in at my premises, but that 3 people had been arrested and were now in custody. I was astonished. Am I exaggerating? Well, at the very least I was quite surprised indeed. The problem was the premises were unsecured and the Police had no available manpower to remain there until someone turned up. Sigh. But I was somewhat heartened. All was not lost after all, unlike other occasions.

Thankful I hadn't been drinking - I very rarely do. I washed myself awake, got dressed and drove to work. It's about a mile away. Arriving there at, by now approaching 2.30am, the area was eerily dark and deathly quiet. I parked in a side street nearby and approached cautiously on foot. Obviously, one cannot help but feel wary. Damn the fact that I no longer have a large German Shepherd for company. Something I should redress I keep saying.

I unlocked the premises and immediately noticed a strange kind of light coming seemingly from a workbench and then onto a side wall. In fact I didn't know what it was at first, I couldn't work it out. Good job I hadn't just watched a horror film! I though it might be something reflective, though there was little outside light able to penetrate within. I had a small Maglite just to prove there wasn't an axe-murderer immediately inside. A large dog is still better!

The main light switch is on the right hand wall just within the doorway. That's a heart-stopping moment, stepping inside and operating the switch. It floods the building with the light of 20 or so fluorescent tubes though. Nobody there! The strange light shining on the bench was one of those little LED lights that cyclists or explorers have. Engineers or scientists can have them too, on a head band. Burglars carry them as well! The thieves had left their little covert flashlight behind, when they were caught. I also later discovered a solitary glove that had been left behind under the bench near a breached hole, and carefully tweezered it (pliers actually) into a loose plastic bag.

They, the thieves, had knocked a hole in the side wall, in an area not visible from a public right of way. The construction is steel cladding over timber. They had prised away a section of cladding and then brazenly bashed a hole through the timber. A man in the next street had heard the noise while out walking his own dog and promptly rung the police. They actually had policemen in the area at the time! And they swiftly attended - and caught three young hoodlums in the act! Amazing!

There were various articles stacked up near the entry and getaway hole. Tools mainly, including a £2000 TIG welder. No use to them, it's powered by 415 volts across three live phases. It would have been sold for maybe fifty pounds - probably for heroin or cocaine.

It was freezing there at that time of the morning. It's a fair-sized workshop, 80 feet x 20 feet and full of steel. At that time of night, it's like a vast 'fridge! I have a decent woodburner in the office and got that lit and determined to sit out the night. I couldn't start repairs or make too much noise. Residential houses are close by. Of course I couldn't sit still and spent a lot of time pacing about - and tidying up quietly.

Around 5.30am, the Police returned, two of them. They were very good, very polite and one of them was entranced (I think) staring at the centre lathe. So he should be, it's a jewel of British engineering, ten years older than me! They took a statement, within which was the question of how much damage, cost-wise, had occurred. I shrugged. I will repair the damage myself. It will in fact only be a handful of fixtures, a bit of timber, no doubt additional redoubling of security in that area. There's my labour of course and the fact I've been forced from my bed at 1.30am to deal with all this stress. But mainly - though I didn't say so - nothing will come of it. Also, I don't wish to be dishonourable and excessively profiteer from the incident.

'Oh, let's say £100', I said. I wouldn't feel morally right saying £1000 for instance. One hundred pounds is a fair price, fair even for criminals. The cop shrugged also and wrote £100 in the statement. They asked if I was ok, and left me to it. I was impressed a little and somewhat cheered. I had however already resigned myself to my loss (damage) by this time and didn't think much would come of it. I mentioned the glove and the light to the Police. Oh, they were impressed too but told me to hang onto it and 'scene of crimes officers' would call later to collect it! SOCO involved - I was a little bemused. It's not a murder scene! But yes, I felt impressed.

They had informed me that there were two of the burglars actually inside the building when they had arrived, with one lookout lurking outside. He was immediately apprehended. Brilliant I thought, hoping he had been dragged through one of the hawthorn bushes nearby and maybe thrown roughly to the ground.

The cops had called through the hole that had been breached that one minute would elapse before the Police dog was sent into the building. 'That always flushes them out' said the cop. I nodded very eagerly. You see what I mean about big German Shepherd Dogs? We grinned at each other somewhat darkly. The Police had no dog with them, though I suppose they could have requested one - hopefully. Mere mention of the dog is usually enough I suppose.

Of course that wouldn't have been the procedure if I had arrived there before the Police, with a large dog of my own. I once had a best friend called Ben, an 8 stone, male German Shepherd, who had a long, rough coat and looked like a grizzly bear at times. Stood on hind legs he was almost as tall as me. His bark used to make window panes vibrate! He would have flushed them out - without any warnings given. Having said that - how does one then apprehend three burglars? And I know I would get punished and maybe the dog too! In America, you can shoot burglars. In England, you can't even set your dog on them!

Around 9 am I began the repairs, ending around midday. Just as I was clearing up and definitely deciding to go home to sleep, a policewoman arrived, complete with camera and evidence bags and forensic gloves. She took photos of the area and collected the glove and torch. Very good and she was polite and helpful. She cheerily told me the miscreants were probably being interviewed about ..... now. Oh - they were still in custody? Really? I was more impressed. I'm not exaggerating at all. I can easily remember incidences of 'released on bail pending further investigations', whereby nothing further happens. I went home, to shower and sleep.

Imagine my surprise when a few days later I received a letter just like our chap in the video, from the Victim Support section of hmcs (lower case). The three miscreants had actually pleaded guilty at Magistartes Court, on the Monday morning of that week, just two days or so after the crime. And in the letter they were named! I suppose they have to be legally. It's in the public interest - my interest. The names however meant nothing to me, and were of young men aged 21 or 22. Their conviction didn't result in prison of course. There was something about a curfew and some community service (100 hours each I think) but crucially, they were all ordered to pay me £34 each. I had to return a slip in a pre-paid envelope, giving my bank account code (hmm, I wondered slightly) and account name so that the court could pay this money to me ........ once they had collected it from the three thieves of course.

To this date I have received the grand sum of £17. This has probably just about covered the cost of timber, screws, bolts and nails and having all the lights on all night. The cost of fuel to and fro work and several boiled kettles will be extra! When a £17 deposit was made into the bank, about a month or so later, I was initially curious as to what it was. Then I remembered. At this point I was once again very impressed. The system seems to have turned some kind of corner. Seventeen pounds eh?

Clutching at straws and small mercies, we British. Cowed and beaten.

Personally, I think the time has come for a return to the stocks and the pillory for some instances of petty crime. Have them on display for a day or two, as a public spectacle, before sending them to prison, to operate on chain-gangs of forced labour for the public good. That's not excessive, compared to the damage they do. I've stopped short of saying they should be whipped also.

About a year ago, I got another letter from hmcs, in respect of one of the 'defendants' (miscreants I say). Like our man in the video, my nemesis (or one of them at least) was also now in prison. He had applied for the compensation order, to me, for at most £34 (presuming at this point he hasn't paid me anything to date) to be 'set aside' as he is now serving a prison sentence. Maybe that isn't the correct wording used - it was more.........Orwellian than that! I can't quite remember. It wasn't crystal clear what was meant, but neither was there an implication that I would forgo the compensation forever. I could however refuse this proposal but to do so I would have to complete the attached form and return it to the court by...... say the 17th of the month (can't quite remember). Any later than this would fail to be included in some 'hearing' on the prisoner's behalf. The problem with this was I only received the letter on the 16th of the month, by which I mean the postal services only delivered it to my home at their usual time of early afternoon and so long after I had gone to work. I thus only read this in the evening before the deadline. Obviously there was no way I could get the signed form back to the court by the morning. It's a central address anyway, not a specific court building. There was no way I was wasting my time trying and getting more depressed about it. The letter has been filed with its compatriots in a certain folder marked 'Legal' in a filing cabinet in the office. Another sour tale of woe.

It would seem like one of the miscreants has paid me half his due, namely £17 and then given up with that fool's errand, as he will see it. The other two haven't paid me anything. It's all now about 20 months since the crime, not as bad as six years I admit. Maybe they're all currently in prison?

This is the umpteenth burglary or attempted burglary over the last 25 years (my time there). About 5 have been 'successful' and have resulted in theft of goods, mainly tools. This is not counting vehicle theft and crime, which has also been significant over the years.

The above story is not the fault of the Police at all. In this case they performed perfectly well. The justice system thereon has let me down and the Police also.

I'll do a thread about crime and policing soon. I know quite a bit about it, over say 30 years now, including trends that have occurred (with hindsight) and trends I now perceive as occurring.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 03 Aug 2013, 09:44

In this thread I have made a point of naming and shaming judges who have commended criminals on their "bravery" and gone on to give them ludicrously lenient sentences. One thug had committed 700 offences before he was finally given a (short) prison term.

In this light it seems obvious we have many left-liberal guilty judges on our hands who will themselves need to be punished by society in time. They are arguably often indirectly responsible for many muggings, rapes and other crimes due to their leniency.

Well anyway, Elliott yesterday alerted me to an excellent article on the Liberty GB site (on which such articles are coming thick and fast) - it details some shocking cases of misjudgement by the liberal elite. Worth a read: Judges against the British people.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Paul » 03 Aug 2013, 20:40

Judge Mary Jane Mowat spares a 63 year old teacher who admits at Crown Court to possessing over 4500 indecent images of children. She gives him a suspended sentence.

She says:

“I don't criticise you for being a teacher who's attracted to children. Many teachers are but they keep their urges under control both when it comes to children and when it comes to images of children."


Many teachers? Attracted to children? I'm almost personally disturbed by that comment. But no, it's ludicrous.

She has a record, an ironic term, for this kind of thing, as she freely admits.

Somehow, it's more disturbing because she's female.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ldren.html
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Elliott » 03 Aug 2013, 22:33

Paul wrote:She says:

“I don't criticise you for being a teacher who's attracted to children. Many teachers are but they keep their urges under control both when it comes to children and when it comes to images of children."


Many teachers? Attracted to children? I'm almost personally disturbed by that comment. But no, it's ludicrous.

I've actually read that suggestion before, possibly on the Telegraph, that perhaps there are many teachers with sexual feelings for children and this actually motivates them to care for and help the kids. I honestly don't know. As I have said in other threads, I think paedophilia is something we simply have no idea how to react to as a society. Having said that, I find the idea of a teacher possessing indecent images of children disturbing indeed.
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Re: Ludicrously light sentencing

Postby Gavin » 20 Feb 2014, 21:20

In a case we mentioned earlier, a bunch of gypsies and other foreigners have been handed only mild sentences for multiple rapes, child pimping and even sexually abusing a disabled British youngster. These foreigners "lined up" to rape her. "Hassan Abdulla" was given the longest sentence, of only twenty years (so he'll probably be out in ten or less), while another of the perpetrators (a fourteen year old, so plenty old enough to know what he was doing) was allowed to simply walk free from court.

Weakling judge John Bevan handed down the sentences adding that their behaviour did "a disservice to [their] fellow Roma who want to work hard in this country, improve themselves and make a positive contribution." It's probably a reasonable bet that Judge Bevan doesn't live in an area with many Roma.

None of the foreigners resident here had bothered to learn English, so their translators cost you and me more than £40,000. We will now pay for the criminals to live at her majesty's pleasure too.
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