I was so enraged by this case yesterday that my mind shut down. It literally would not countenance covering the subject and retreated instead into comforting thoughts of the innocent few days we had spent at OlÃ©ron .
I refer, of course, to the stupendously misjudged prosecution of two children for the technical attempted rape of another child. I say technical attempted rape for good reason, for any âattemptedâ sexual activity with a child delights in the legal terms of rape and attempted rape when forced through the unforgiving funnel of the legal system, even when that activity is carried out by another child.
There can be few of us, if we are honest with ourselves, who did not undergo that rite of passage at a tender age â discovering how different our bodies were, and which bits were supposed to go where. Behind the bike sheds, in the back seat of the school bus, or, as in this case, the local park. It used to earn you a cuff round the ear and a lecture on the birds and the bees; latterly it became known as âinappropriate behaviourâ. Now, even with the ghastly triumvirate of Eagles, Baird and Harman removed from their pole position of dehumanising, defeminising and victimising all women, the CPS carry on their evil creed and label two children âchild sex offendersâ.
They had no choice, of course, for the legacy of the Human Rights Act is that where there is a victim, there must be a villain.
Did we have a victim? Oh, but yes! Here we have an eight year old girl who claims to have had âsexâ. Too young to give informed consent to sexual activity, she automatically legally became a ârape victimâ. The legal brain must then turn to finding a villain.
Do we have a villain? Oh, but yes, two of them. No matter that they are but children themselves, the legal process must grind its ugly way forward.
The legal armies marshal behind their champions.
The victim is given a Teddy Bear to clutch whilst she gives evidence, a bottle of lemonade by her side to signify that her childish needs are being cared for. Sat in an oversized chair to emphasise her childlike proportions. Does she habitually clutch a Teddy Bear? We are not told, but it would seem a strangely childish accoutrement for a child that is allowed to roam the parks alone with her scooter.
The villains have their props too, a Mother sat beside each of them â not a Father, the defence do not want any reminders of the beastly forceful nature of the male race. No, a Mother it must be, to emphasise that they are but children given to childish pranks themselves.
Now with the stage set, the barristers can begin their set pieces, the cross examination â whatâs this? The victim is not sure she was raped? No matter, we can fall back on the âattempted rapeâ charge. This is what we are handsomely paid to do.
NSPCC lawyer Barbara Esam said:
“Research has shown that many young witnesses don’t understand the questions they are asked under cross-examination so we believe a pre-recorded interview – with the help of an intermediary in appropriate cases – to be a much better option.
The prosecution said:
‘The questions were loaded. It would be easy, and it was, to make a child of eight feel intimidated and not sure what to do and to agree with the person in a position of authority asking the questions.
The judge remarked that she looked exhausted at the end, when she began to answer ‘yeah’ to most of the questions. He failed to point out that the wise eight year old says âyeahâ to any question posed by an adult, since a refusal often leads to a clip round the ear. Itâs called conditioning.
The CPS say that they âhave a dutyâ to prosecute in the public interest â where was the public interest in the lengthy questioning, statement gathering, medical evidence gathering, and court room âtraumaâ to which this young girl was subjected? Can there be any young person in her immediate neighbourhood, male or female, who is not now aware that if you take her scooter away from her she will drop her knickers? Is she now enabled to stand up for herself in life, to parry any suggestion that she should have sex with any young man who demands it â or is she now thoroughly conditioned as a victim, who must submit and then go through the humiliation of yet another court case? Where is her dignity and self respect? Her privacy?
As for the two âvillainsâ, they are now labelled as âsex offendersâ, worse, âchild sex offendersâ, a label that will affect them throughout their life, will direct their future employment, or more probably non-employment; at ten years old? Remember, a sex offence is one of those that remain on your record long after any other criminal record is expunged.
When they are unlikely to fully comprehend the meaning of sex, never mind the legal technicality of rape. In the bravado world of teenage boyhood, is that not more likely to become a badge of office rather than a mark of shame? Give a dog a bad name, and he is hardly likely to care over much whether the next girl has signed a witnessed informed consent form before he presses his priapic body against hers.
This was the most outrageous, inappropriate use of the legal system. The direct result of the current fashion for dovetailing every situation into one of victim and villain.
The statement by the CPS outside the courtroom was the most depressing of all:
âWe hope that the jury’s verdict today can provide the young girl and her family with some comfort after these difficult events.’
The âdifficult eventâ was that occasioned by the CPS decision to prosecute; where will they stop now? The age of criminal responsibility has only recently been dropped from 14 to 10. Will they now press for it to be made 7, or 5, or 3? Can we expect the next four year old to be thrown out of nursery school for calling his friend a ânigger loverâ when he prefers to play marbles with young Winston instead of himself, to be charged? Will the full majesty of the law make an utter ass of itself prosecuting him for a âhate crimeâ?
Dear God, did I really spend the sixties without the padded bra which would have enabled the world to tell front from back, so that we could drive young girls back into the medieval world of feudal victimhood?
Tell me it isnât so.