James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
21 April 2018, 20:52 | Updated: 21 April 2018, 20:59
A ten year old boy was taught a lesson in health and safety that he will never forget. Neither will the man who taught it to him.
The child was at the barbers and was playing with razor. These are particularly sharp, as you know, and are not toys.
To ensure that the lad remembered not to play with sharp objects the barber gave the youngster a “number one”.
This is a cut with the clippers set at their most extreme – it's how you used to get your hair cut when joining the army or the skinheads.
The boy was then tasked with sweeping up his own hair, which must have taken all of 30 seconds.
As this occurred in the present day and not in the 1970's, when disruptive boys were thrashed for their disobedience, the boy did not suffer in silence, he called the police.
Naturally, with police numbers so low and resources stretched such that they will not come to your home if it has been burgled, or if your car has been broken into, the police politely declined to intervene.
Just kidding, they appeared as though by magic and spirited the errant barber away to suffer the full weight of the law.
The youngster, who was said to be "proud" of his old hairstyle and was laughed at by his peers after it was cut, so his human rights had been compromised and there was no alternative for the judge than to admonish him, express the court's displeasure and impose a small fine.
Once again, I am kidding, the man was sentenced to eight months in jail.
The court heard that he was of good character, admitted his guilt straight away and had no previous convictions but was moved to lock him up anyway because of what the judge called this “ most disgusting piece of humiliation”.
It is odd how things change. It used to be that the police were there to protect the public from muggers and thieves and murderers.
Humiliation, meanwhile, was dished out in school as often as the dinner ladies made semolina pudding.
Now, the police do not attend break-ins and announce that policy for all to hear. Burglars are going on robbing sprees because the likelihood of being caught is almost non-existent.
Yet the police and the courts have time to send a barber to jail for cutting a boy's hair too short.
By the time they have fitted the con for his prison issue overalls, the kid's hair will have grown back.
To compare, in 2009, a 21 year old man from Formby, Merseyside, was sentenced for a "cowardly assault" on pizza delivery man, who suffered two broken bones.
The man had two previous convictions for assault, including punching one police officer between the legs and another in the eye,
He was not sent to jail at all but merely had his ten month sentence suspended.
In 2017, a disqualified scrambler bike rider narrowly missed hitting pedestrians while speeding through Liverpool city centre, shooting through red lights and driving into the path of oncoming traffic.
He had already been banned from the road for drug driving.
He was sentenced for dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
He got just six months. That is the same sentence you could receive for taking a selfie in a polling booth.
Justice seems so random.
The barber's name, by the way, is Abdulrahim Omar.
I wonder how this story would have ended if it had been Fred Smith.