EDITOR'S CHAIR: Murdering yob had been a scumbag for years
9:50am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
GAVIN Mills is a murdering scumbag.
Thankfully he is now off our streets and will be for many years.
The shame is it took the vicious, unprovoked murder of a 60-year-old man walking home from a night shift to get him put away for so long.
Jerzy Dubiniec was a master baker for decades in Poland. He had been in Newport, helping a family friend who had just taken over a bakery, for less than a month when Mills punched, kicked and stamped him to death in the street.
Mills did not become a scumbag when he murdered Mr Dubiniec last August. He had been a scumbag for years.
We have been reporting on his unpleasant activities for years.
Way back in 2003, when he was a teenager, he was well known to police as a troublemaker. Part of a gang that terrorised residents on the Broadmead and Moorland Park estates in Newport, Mills was eventually served with an Asbo early in 2004.
Since then he has been in jail for burglary and cautioned for assault.
When he was given his Asbo at the age of 17 this newspaper had to battle to name him after his solicitor objected to his identity being revealed - but we were not allowed to publish his photograph.
Having to fight to name and shame habitual wrong-doers like Gavin Mills, whatever their age, sums up the way in which the criminal justice system in this country still seems to put the rights of criminals before those of the victims of crime.
Politicians may tell you they are changing the way the courts deal with victims and witnesses but we see little evidence of it, despite the best efforts of volunteer groups like Victim and Witness Support.
Naming Gavin Mills and printing his photograph all those years ago is unlikely to have saved Jerzy DubiniecÕs life.
But surely law-abiding people have the right to know who the trouble-makers are in their communities and what they look like?
Too many people like Gavin Mills become almost permanent fixtures in local court rooms.
Few of them escalate the seriousness of their crimes to the extent that Mills did.
But frequent brushes with the law seem to have done nothing to stop his lawless behaviour. And that should be a worry for us all.
A FOOTNOTE to my piece a couple of weeks ago about the dangers of the Leveson Inquiry into Press standards recommending statutory regulation of the written media.
I note one learned journalism academic (a former editor of the Daily Mirror) is calling for 'light touch' statutory regulation of the Press.
Do not be fooled. There is no such thing.
Laws are laws and there are already plenty in place to deal with journalists who act in a criminal manner.
A COUPLE of poor results and Newport County manager Justin Edinburgh is getting a bit of stick from fans on internet messageboards.
This is the guy who took over with County dead certs for relegation. In just a year he has kept them up, got the club to Wembley for the first time in its 100-year history, and County now sit proudly at the top of the league.
If Edinburgh is getting criticism now then what chance has every other manager in the league got?