A SCOTTISH media lawyer is claiming that the legal aid system pays out too much to "evil little bastards" who commit crime.
Alistair Bonnington, solicitor to BBC Scotland, says a major overhaul of the system is needed and that scarce resources should be diverted from the criminal fund to the civil fund.
Writing in the The Defender, the magazine of the Legal Defence Union which represents individual solicitors' interests in Scotland, Bonnington laments diminishing legal aid eligibility. "Is it really just that those who steal, assault, rape, cheat and kill, should deprive the rest of society (who after all are their victims) of the wherewithal to resolve legal disputes thus exhausting the funds available for legal services?
"Why should the cream of our profession expend most of their considerable talents in defending evil little bastards of crimes they have almost always committed?"
Bonnington says lawyers cannot ignore "political reality" and need to target their calls for more cash.
"All the political parties have jumped on the 'cut his goolies off' bandwagon with gusto. To ask for more help for criminals in these circumstances is naive," he says.
"We all know perfectly well that civilisation would not collapse if Tam the Bam Stabber McPhee didn't get his 10th consecutive criminal certificate on the same alibi defence."