There are no criminals

When I saw Michael Scott walking away from the CCJ complex this week, having been convicted of the manslaughter of his aunt by driving over her with a teleporter, I was reminded of Georges Simenon’s view: there are no criminals, just ordinary people who commit crimes.

Scott was obsessed with land and farming, and he had all the appearance of a man you would find in any part of Ireland with a bit of land and a few animals.

Striving to improve, get more land, get more animals, all the time driven by the status afforded to men with land and animals in rural Ireland.

Simenon had his Maigret detective character in the hundreds of novels that he wrote. And he was interested in crime, criminology etc.

He asked a leading criminologist/researcher once if there was any common characteristic between the criminals he had studied as part of his research.

And the researcher said no, they were just ordinary people who committed crimes.

As I watched Scott on the Six One news on RTE walking away, having been given time by the Judge to put his affairs in order before he went to prison, I thought of Georges Simenon and Maigret.