The re-arrest yesterday of Michael Wheatley, a hardened criminal known as the "Skull Cracker", has failed to dampen the controversy over the apparent leniency of his terms of incarceration. Although he was serving 13 life sentences for a series of bank robberies, Wheatley was in an open jail in Kent from which he walked away last Saturday. Police suspect he used his time on the run to raid a building society in Sunbury-on-Thames. Whether he did or not, he faces another prison term for absconding - though we are entitled to be sceptical when it is handed down. After all, Wheatley committed the offences for which he is currently serving time after being paroled part of the way through a 27-year sentence for earlier robberies.