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Convicted rapist attends Labour Party fundraiser - but why not?

(18 Posts)
LittleLupin Sat 14-Jul-07 12:27:42

Story here.

In short, a convicted rapist attended a Labour Party fundraiser at Wembley. Gorden Brown is said to be "embarrassed" and has instructed that no donation from Owen Oyston should be accepted, and an investigation carried out into how he was allowed to buy a ticket.

Now, rape is a heinous crime and I personally find it ridiculous that 6 years was considered a suitable sentence. However, the fact remains that he has served his sentence as laid down by the courts. Ostensibly, he is rehabilitated. Should he not, then, be allowed to re-enter society, and why should he be barred from events such as this?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

policywonk Sat 14-Jul-07 12:29:40

Quite agree that he has served his (risible) sentence and as such is a free man with the same rights as everyone else. However, that doesn't mean that people have to invite him to their parties, or accept his money.

LittleLupin Sat 14-Jul-07 12:36:37

I just find it very interesting. There was near hysteria on Newsnight about it. I suppose the question is - once someone has "paid their debt to society", should they be treated as any other person?

suzycreamcheese Sat 14-Jul-07 12:36:46

he's in good company i reckon mixing with the war criminals of labour party

at least they never offered him a knighthood now that would have been embarrasing...

twinsetandpearls Sat 14-Jul-07 12:39:10

Coming from Oyston land it amzes me how he has just waltzed back into town as if nothing happened, I am forever seeing estste agents boards here locally with his name on, I wouldn't let him profit from the sale of my house.

He did get a lot of sympathy in our town though and people who did not think the girls were asking for it were considered to be very strange.

twinsetandpearls Sat 14-Jul-07 12:39:47

actually coming from Oyston land I am not surprised that he has been welomed back with open arms and cheque books

TranquilaManana Sat 14-Jul-07 12:40:43

buys you a lot, money.

twinsetandpearls Sat 14-Jul-07 12:41:06

but if ken barlow thinks he is OK I must be wrong!

policywonk Sat 14-Jul-07 12:42:55

Well, if our criminal justice system really did rehabilitate people, then we might all find it easier to live alongside people convicted of violent crimes once they have served their terms. But the problem is that our system doesn't rehabilitate - it contains people in pens, gives them very little in the way of counselling or other rehabilitative work (policywonk becomes vague at this point), and then releases them into the community. The re-offending rate for sexually violent crimes is unusually high.

So, on that basis - and given the widespread anger about the shamefully low conviction rate in rape cases - I think it's understandable that people don't want to welcome convicted rapists with open arms.

twinsetandpearls Sat 14-Jul-07 12:45:36

I can see how you could be driven to murder, theft even fraud and welcome people who have committed such crimes back into society when they have paid their dues. But how can a man be driven to forcing a young girl into giving him a blow job?

JammyPotter Sat 14-Jul-07 12:48:04

presumjably then the fundraiser will be reimbursng him his ticket price?

If he has served his sentence cant see the problem - although obviously i dont agree with rape. Surely would be more embarrassing to have a not yet convicted rapist there

LittleLupin Sat 14-Jul-07 12:48:28

PW, I absolutely agree with you. And I think that, were I running an event, I would not want a convicted rapist present. But what about an embezzler, for example? Also a convicted criminal... surely in purely legal terms they should be treated the same.

I suppose the key thing here is that he was invited. I'd be curious to know if he could be prevented from attending events that are open to those who buy tickets, for example.

TranquilaManana Sat 14-Jul-07 13:21:42

hear hear twinsetandpearls.

a dirty predatory scumbag if ever there was one. thinks his moneyt and power give him the right to violate anyone he likes.

paid his debt my arse.

LittleLupin Sat 14-Jul-07 13:26:41

It's interesting that everyone has emotive reactions. Probably because of the nature of the crime (and maybe because most of us are women?)

Maybe I should have just started a thread saying "Should a convicted criminal be allowed to reintegrate into society" (which is more the question I meant to pose).

TranquilaManana Sat 14-Jul-07 13:30:47

sometimes yes and sometimes no. (as decreed by me, of course)

policywonk made a v important point i think about the justice system and what it actually does or doesnt do. if i felt that a rapist was given a fair sentence, that hed spend more than a third of it inside, that hed have a really hard time in there and that something would be down to make him think 'hmmm, maybe thats not something i'll do again'...and if it wasnt anywhere near as difficult as it is to get him there in the first place... than id think, ok, fair do's.

i still wouldnt invite him to a party tho.

policywonk Sat 14-Jul-07 13:41:45

I think rehabilitation is a really important issue, and it's something that our criminal justice system doesn't seem to accomplish as often as it should. There was a series of pieces published in the Guardian a few years ago by a convicted murderer (he used the pseudonym Edwin James). He was in the final years of his sentence getting ready for release, and he continued to write the articles for about a year after his release. He seemed to be an enormously sensitive man, who was acutely aware of what he had done and how he bore responsibility for it. I would have had no hesitation in asking him to a party, or indeed asking him to babysit. So it has a lot to do with the individual.

Legally, a convicted rapist and a convicted embezzler are the same. But inviting someone to a party is a discretionary thing: people are entitled to make their own decisions about it.

edam Sat 14-Jul-07 13:48:07

I think the people with the strongest opinions on this thread so far are those who know something about Owen Oyston in particular. So it's not horror at the idea of sitting next to a criminal at a party, but that particular criminal.

I remember when he was sent down, my mother saying a lot of people thought it was a put up job, somehow. No idea what the background was, though.

TranquilaManana Sat 14-Jul-07 13:51:24

ive never heard of him before today...(not that i remeber anyway, but i appear to have early alzheimers anyway )

but no, its not a blanket thing against all 'criminals'. you can get sent down for not paying your council tax out of your measly pension... i dont consider them to be particularly repulsive.

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