THE meting out of justice has been debated many times in HAS over the years, but has there ever been a more disturbing travesty than that highlighted by two reports in Tuesday’s edition of The Northern Echo?

Your front page told of the five-year sentence imposed at Newcastle Crown Court on an amateur boxer, Michael Ridley, who admitted the manslaughter of Sergeant Chris Chacksfield, after punching him during a drink and drug-fuelled street attack in the city, as well as the unlawful wounding of the soldier’s wife, Adele.

Turn one page and we find the story of “self-styled international playboy” Raymond Scott, who had been found guilty of handling a Shakespeare First Folio stolen from Durham University and of removing it from the country. His sentence?

Three years longer than the soldier killer.

It simply beggars belief that the life of this soldier could be valued so cheaply in comparison to a book.

John Oliver, Darlington.

THE front page of The Northern Echo on Tuesday showed to an extent the wrongs in our country. A thug attacks an Army sergeant and his wife while fuelled by drugs. The innocent sergeant dies and the yob gets five years in jail.

To the right of your headline on this story was a reference to a man getting eight years for crimes involving a stolen Shakespeare First Folio.

Which is the greater crime?

The criminal justice system and sentencing guidelines in this country are a sham.

Once again a life is worth less than something of value.

Appalling as far as I am concerned. I feel for the soldier’s bereaved partner.

Bob Radcliffe, Darlington.

THIS is a fairly simple letter, with a simple question. Which is more valuable, a life or a book?

We have had two examples of the way the so-called law works in our country – both, oddly enough, from the North-East.

Kill an innocent man – jail for five years; handle a stolen book and remove it from the UK – jail for eight years. So handling a stolen book is a more serious crime than taking an innocent man’s life.

This cannot be right, can it?

Paul Kane, School Aycliffe, Darlington.

A MAN handles a stolen book and takes it from the country and is sentenced to eight years in jail. Another man kills a serving soldier, for no obvious reason, and is jailed for five years.

It’s true: there is no justice in this world. God help us all.

Peter Rafferty, Eaglescliffe, Stockton.