The sentence for Tineke Kraal – who worked tirelessly to try to harm North Shore Mountain Cyclists – is ludicrously light. A tap on the wrist for a woman who appears to have spent two hours a night for two years trying her best to injure and kill mountain bikers by sabotaging mountain trails on Vancouver’s North Shore!
Sixty-four-year-old Tineke Kraal of North Vancouver got a suspended sentence and three years’ probation for sabotaging mountain bike trails on Vancouver’s North Shore. She will also have to serve 150 hours of community service (not working on trails, of course). Many people in our society voluntarily spend this many hours on some kind of community service. Think of the wonderful women who help lost visitors all over BC Women’s Hospital. A sentence that many people choose voluntarily does not seem like much of a sentence at all. The only positive in it is that it may use up some of the abundant energy Kraal has been directing towards trying to hurt people.
Kraal was convicted because two concerned mountain bikers set up infrared cameras for two years to prove that Kraal spent two hours a night for two years placing branches, rocks and other obstacles across trails on Vancouver’s North Shore mountain trails. Mainly near the bottom of steep trails, where they could cause maximum damage to human beings.
Kraal pleaded guilty in September to one criminal charge of mischief rendering property dangerous, useless or inoperative.
Now that she has been sentenced, the subtext in the media coverage is that we should PITY this poor little senior lady whose life has been made just plain HORRIBLE by a social media site that said: “Just kill her.” I mean, Gee, this lady has to drive her husband to his cancer treatments. Poor little thing! WHY are we persecuting her?
Oh well … let’s see:
No. 1: a LOT of people ride those trails. Any one of them could have ended up in a wheelchair due to Kraal’s tireless nightly efforts. I have personally been involved with families who have young people completely disabled in wheelchairs. I am here to tell you, it is NOT a pretty sight to see a young man who will not only never ride a bike again, but also will never walk again, never be a father, probably never be a husband, never even be able to go to the washroom on his own. Actively spending two hours a night, every night, for two years, to TRY to put a young person in this situation speaks to a woman who should not be free in our society.
No 2: any one of these young people could have DIED on the boobie traps that Kraal labored to install. I have personally been part of a family where a 24-year-old man died in a tragic accident. He was my younger brother. The pain and devastation of that accident lingers on still, three DECADES after it happened. Kraal spent two hours a night, every night, for two years, actively trying to put a family in this dreadful situation. This to me speaks to of a woman who should not be free in our civilized society.
I do NOT think someone should kill her. Of course not. No more than I think SHE should try to kill complete strangers. But I do think that 150 hours of community sentence is a ludicrous sentence for such a heinous crime. A crime that aimed to mutilate or kill completely innocent people. Their crimes? Riding mountain bikes on trails that were designated as mountain bike trails! And let’s not forget that many of these trails are built and maintained by mountain bikers.
Seriously, I think our courts need to send a message that trying to mutilate or kill our innocent fellow citizens is NOT acceptable (even if they are “just cyclists”) and will be dealt with severely. 150 hours of community service is a tap on the wrist, NOT a sentence that fits the crime.
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