A San Francisco judge got a taste of judicial medicine as she released a guilty car thief from her court room, only to have the very same thief break into her car minutes after walking out of the building.
Phillip Bernard was attending his Community Court hearing with Judge Lillian Sing after missing his previous hearing where he was placed on probation for auto burglary.
For those unaware, Community Court is designed for criminals who are caught for minor infractions. Rather than send them to jail, the court tries to give them the help they need to improve their lives.
After the homeless Bernard missed his earlier hearing and broke his probation requirements, Judge Sing “wasn’t very happy with him.”
So when the man showed up for his hearing this time, the Judge expressed her disappointment with Bernard and was hoping to get through to him about her hopes to turn things around.
“I told him he had better get into a harm reduction program and get going with a job search,” Sing said.
Feeling sympathy for his circumstances, Bernard was then released from the court room where he exited the building and immediately found himself walking down the alley behind the court-house. Somehow finding a weighted sock, Bernard then smashed the back window of a parked car.
Luckily, two police officers witnessed the man in the act and promptly arrested him.
After running the license plates on the now damaged car, authorities then learned that the car belonged to none other than Judge Lillian Sing.
“He did it right under my nose,” Sing said.
Phillip Bernard is now back behind bars and officially facing auto burglary charges once again.
How do you feel and Community Court and it’s attempts to rehab minor criminals?