KILLERS SENTENCE: THE Crown Prosecution Service is to review the case of 16-year-old killer car thief Ashley Lindo with the probability of an appeal being lodged (Echo, Aug 23).

The three-year custody sentence handed down to Lindo, for causing the death by dangerous driving of eight-year-old Daniel Curtin, again demonstrates the incompetence of the Government and judiciary in the UK when dealing with crime.

On reading the criminal history of Lindo, who was showing off at the wheel of a stolen car which struck Daniel in a Middlesbrough park, it was patently obvious he was a menace to society and umpteen chances were missed to address the danger.

In my eyes, this is clearly a case of criminal negligence by the relevant bodies. In the present climate of accountability surely a case for damages could be brought.

My heart goes out to the family of Daniel who, although already suffering through their loss, must feel further distressed on learning of Lindos sentence.

Money could never compensate the Curtin family for the loss of Daniel, but maybe if those responsible could be shown to be accountable, a welcome change in the present system could be achieved. Kev McStravick, Darlington.

WITH regard to Ashley Lindos sentence of three years. Would you kindly inform your readers that any person unhappy with this sentence can appeal direct to the Lord Chancellors office in London.

Come on, lets get Lindos sentence increased. K Grainger, Darlington.


SO animal cruelty is on the increase, particularly in the North-East. It is not the increase in numbers that is so shocking, but the increased savagery a horse blinded, a pony shot in the head, a Rottweiler shot three times with a crossbow, fireworks being fastened to a puppy and the person who tried to rescue it stabbed, a small dog thrown from a bridge on to a busy road. The list is endless.

The perpetrators are not just sick, but depraved barbarians, of which there are far too many in our society today.

If they are ever caught what kind of justice or punishment will they receive?

It is left to the owners to protect their pets and animals in their care. No animal should be left continually out of sight or hearing. All creatures make a distressing noise in threatening circumstances.

CCTV and alarms need not be expensive and are relatively easy to install.

Owners should not leave dogs tethered outside shops. Apart from the distress this causes most of them, in this day of dog-napping far too many are not there when the owner comes back. Margaret Zamir, Tudhoe Colliery, Spennymoor.


THE feature by Sharon Griffiths about Whitby donkey woman Geraldine Gibson and the threat posed by red tape and regulations to traditional seaside donkey rides (Echo, Aug 22) was indeed depressing.

I had no idea to what extent the great army of party poopers had pervaded our society. Children leading donkeys on the beach and forming a relationship with these animals, however brief, was part of my own childhood.

The words "Thou Shalt Not" seem to thunder out of a whole industry devoted to risk assessment and health and safety, for which we all have to pay a huge amount of money.Whatever happened to the notion of common sense?

The result is, of course, that children have now been deprived of childhood.

In my own profession of veterinary surgery, the amount of red tape is horrendous. The fun has gone out of the job. One reason for retirement. Peter Hill, School Aycliffe, Co Durham.


IT is a sad fact that too many people have money to throw away. The evidence lies in the fact that people buy the most unnecessary things.

Ridiculous ring tones are proof of how people are prepared to squander money on thoroughly stupid purchases. People now buy items which they did quite happily without for years. For example, driveways and cars now have to be power-sprayed where once a bucket of water and a brush sufficed.

In-car stereo systems shatter eardrums and young people drown out the existence of fellow human beings with iPods and lose their powers to communicate.

Mobile phones provide bored people with the chance to transmit utter drivel at an extortionate rate. My father-in-law, a citizen in a former communist country, once stood in amazement as I bought a musical instrument, a recorder, for my daughter. He said: "When people have too much money they buy sh**". How right he was. D Brearley, Middlesbrough.


IN response to N Tates letter about TV licences (HAS, Aug 10). Two important considerations for the switch from Post Office branches to PayPoint for TV Licensings over-the-counter services were value for money and ease of payment for licence fee payers.

The BBC expects to save more than 100m during the new six-year contract, savings which will be put directly into programmes and services.

There are already more PayPoint outlets than Post Office branches across the UK, with the total expected to rise to 17,000 by next year. They are open for an average of 100 hours per week.Readers wanting more information about PayPoint outlets can call TV Licensing on 0870 850 7846, or visit details about concessions or payment schemes are available from or TV Licensing on 0870 241 5590. Deborah Copeland, TV Licensing, Leeds.


I'M appalled to learn that 50,000 Polish immigrants who are working in the United Kingdom are able to claim benefits from our taxes for their children in Poland thanks to EU rules.

Not content with taking the jobs from hard-working Britons, these eastern European workers are also claiming from our benefit system to send cash home to their families.

This is outrageous. Our Government should stop these payments immediately, and let the Polish workers send cash to their loved ones from their own pay packets, instead of claiming extra money from the state which would be better suited to look after the needs of underprivileged British families, including the unemployed and our pensioners. Christopher Wardell, Darlington.

ACCORDING to Colin Yeo, of the Immigration Advisory Service, a defender of unrestricted immigration, such low-paid jobs as sandwich-making really are absolutely essential to the economy. So now we know why the green space around us has to disappear under housing, why we will face starvation if ever we can't import food, and why our country will no longer be our own. It is because we couldn't possibly make our own sandwiches. John Riseley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.