Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rape judge slammed for leniency

Jennifer (Truth About Rape Campaign) gives her views on the sentencing that was increased by the Appeal Court.

Please first read the article "Rape judge slammed for leniency" from the BBC website.

Read more...
The Appeal Court has rightly increased two male convicted rapists' sentences from a 24 month detention order and 18 month order to four years and three and a half years in prison respectively. The Appeal Court quite rightly criticised the original sentencing judge for treating a young woman's group rape by two teenage boys as just a 'childish prank gone wrong'. In reality, these two convicted boy-rapists deliberately planned the rape of this young woman since they knew the young woman believed she was safe because she was acquainted with them. These boys raped the young woman in the presence of three other young men (sic) who apparently did nothing themselves to prevent the boys raping this young woman.

How fortunate that this young woman was able to 'prove she was not able to defend herself' against a multiple attack and subsequently these two boys were convicted of rape.

Judge Bullimore when sentencing these boys to detention orders spoke about how these sentences would affect the boys and their families. However, the judge made no mention of the young woman's ordeal in being raped by two teen boys or how she has been affected by such a serious crime. Judge Bullimore instead believed the rape was not really rape but just the case of a 'childish prank gone wrong'. This effectively excuses and exonerates a very serious crime committed against this young woman by two teen boys.

However, these two teen boys were not little children, instead they were in their late teens. The judge spoke about the boys' supposed immaturity and naivity, plus the fact they both came from supportive and loving homes. Since when is immaturity and naivity an excuse for the crime of rape? These boys were responsible for the rape not their families! These two boys alone made the decision to rape this young woman and the fact they come from loving and supportive homes is totally irrelevant. The families did not rape this young woman, instead it was the two teen boys who committed this rape.

It is heartening to read that on this occasion the Appeal Court did not believe this multipe rape was just 'a childish prank' and rightly criticised Judge Bullimore for his blatant biased remarks. The Appeal Court judges rightly stated the rape of this young woman was a very serious offence and irrespective of the boys' ages merited a substantial period of detention.

Although the Appeal Judges stated they could not understand why Judge Bullimore said that in some circumstances he might have imposed a non-custodial sentence on the teen boy who held the young woman down or Judge Bullimore's remarks that he could understand why the boy who had forcibly restrained the young woman had pleaded not guilty to this offence.

Sadly, Judge Bullimore like so many individuals who work within the legal system, still have little or no understanding of the reality of male sexual violence against women. Despite efforts to 'educate and train' judges there appears to be an embedded resistance to the realities of males raping and/or sexually abusing women and girls.

Judge Bullimore by saying this was 'just a childish prank' continues to justify and excuse male sexual violence against women, since once again in his view, it was just a case of 'boys being boys' not one of calculated male sexual violence against women.

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