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forgive me if this has been done, but I found this particularly upsetting on last nights news re the J.Witness elder

(57 Posts)
ELF1981 Fri 24-Aug-07 13:11:16

Sorry if you haven't heard this, I haven't seen it on mumsnet but I was outraged at this...

How does a Judge explain letting a man escape a prision sentence for child abuse just because "he pleaded guilty" and because of "his religious background"?

So, I could hurt a child, but its okay so long as I have religion and admit that I did it?

Please tell me this isn't common...

cylon Fri 24-Aug-07 13:11:47

hope to god not

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 13:11:58

I know I saw this and was [shock[ to say the least!

ELF1981 Fri 24-Aug-07 13:13:07

I know a couple of witnesses, and I remember one woman who was not allowed to speak to her daughter because she had committed fornication, and because she had not admitted her "sins" the family or other members of her church were not allowed to speak to her.

TheArmadillo Fri 24-Aug-07 13:13:15

was that the guy who had been abusign children for over 14 years, some of them as young as 18 months?

Will go and see if I can find it on BBC site.

THat he escaped a prison sentance is disgusting.

ELF1981 Fri 24-Aug-07 13:13:18

So how come child abuse is okay?!!

UnquietDad Fri 24-Aug-07 13:14:14

The judge said he was a "man of faith" and it's implied in the reports that he used this as a mitigating factor.

Absolutely outrageous if true.

The man is a monster - who gives a damn which brand of imaginary friend he purports to ascribe to?

ELF1981 Fri 24-Aug-07 13:14:51

Yes, armadillo, that's the guy. I couldn't find anything on the BBC but I'm at work at certain sites are restricted.

When they said on the news "a child as young as 18 months" that made me feel really ill (not that it is more horrific at that age, its all horrific), but that implies to me somebody very sick and being free and "treatement" is not going to easily help him.

muppetgirl Fri 24-Aug-07 13:19:05


Can't believe anyone would not go to prision after reading this.

TheArmadillo Fri 24-Aug-07 13:19:53

found it in the times

This wasn't a one off attack. This was over a long period of time, involving many children, the youngest of whom was 18 months old.

24 counts of assault and gross indencency.

His own sister has condemned the (non) sentance.

ELF1981 Fri 24-Aug-07 13:24:43


I know that people say prision does not help, but I cannot see how letting this man walk free, when there have been many children over a sustained amount of time, is just going to give up.

TheArmadillo Fri 24-Aug-07 13:29:27

I agree wiht you on this ELf.

About the witnesses - that is digusting.

I hope they left the JW and didn't allow their child to be treated like that.

Being religious does not make you a good person, though most try to make their members their idea of 'good', it shouldn't exclude you from punishment for committing horrendous acts.

Blu Fri 24-Aug-07 13:30:35

Quite bizarre to say that being 'a man of faith' was a mitigating factor...since he had used his membership of the faith as a cover and mechanism for the abuse.

The picture of him in the Guardian was very big (much bigger in proportion to the column inches than a pic on the 3rd page would normally be, I think) and very clear, so hopefully the publicity will help ensure that he has access to no more children...and sadly (as i don't think it is the right thing to do, and don't think it is good for the particpants) will also ensure that he is subject to no end of vigilante attacks.

Tutter Fri 24-Aug-07 13:30:57

i made a similar comment to dh when i saw the news

wtf does a person's faith or lack of it have to with his or her punishment for a crime ffs

i'm an atheist, so should i get a longer sentence for a crime i commit?

NadineBaggott Fri 24-Aug-07 13:34:58

I watched the series on BBC2 a year or so ago following the police department that tracks paedophiles, sorry can't remember what it is called.

One known man came to court for further misdemeanors and he also was let go because he pleaded guilty. The judge was mightily impressed with this hmm

Blu Fri 24-Aug-07 13:40:26

Tutter - that is a very salient question.

I wonder if there is a difference in attitude towards defendants who swear on the Bible, and those who swaer a secular oath?

muppetgirl Fri 24-Aug-07 14:00:52

I had a friend at school who's dad stole £650,000 ish from his employers. (15 yeasr ago - a lot now but huge then) He had a 6 bedroomed house a rental house and had set his wife up in business -day care nursery. The local vicar was a charatcer witness for him as he was a regular 'church goer.' It was stated that it would be detrimental to the family for him to go into prision as his wife was nearly blind -she could drive a car though....

As a consequence the employers took a private court case out against him to recover the money, he had to sell everything and ended up in a 3 bed council house with no job, no reputation and 4 children who had been used to skiing holidays etc...

My friend became distant with all her old friends who knew when we went to sixth form and eventually moved away asap.

Having a faith should not exclude you from prison and I realise he does have the conviction and the effect on his family was devastating but a man was imrisoned for 6 years (I think 6) for selling meat/game that wasn't fit for humans earlier this week and now this man wasn't imprisoned for a serious of sexual assalts on children.

What the heck is going on?

Reallytired Fri 24-Aug-07 14:07:05

I find it dispicable that the man got so lightly. What those poor children went through was horrendous. How in the hell can a judge justify not jailling someone who had raped a baby fgs. This man is a prime example of someone who should spend the next 20 years in prison.

What sickens me is that his life still goes on as normal. He still has his family and church.

SueBaroo Fri 24-Aug-07 15:14:08

Utterly disgraceful. And sadly, not the only JW who has ever been given a free pass. See here. I'm not ashamed to be a follower of Christ, but dear Lord, I am ashamed to be called Christian when this sort of thing happens.

Having a religion most certainly not predispose a person to good behaviour which is evident if this low life raped a baby, for crying out loud. And how the jiminy crickets does admitting you raped a baby mean you get less punishment??

Peachy Fri 24-Aug-07 15:18:45

They ahd an expert saying this isn't common, thankfully, and the Police are trying to appeal.

what REALLY blew me away? two things: the effect it has ahd on his siter who has denounced him and seems like a strong but destroyed person, and the fact that his wofe was standing by him- ffs! What's the woman on?

Any man who can fancy a baby needs to be locked away. It might not change them, but at elast while they're inside it protects the rest of the world.

sfxmum Fri 24-Aug-07 15:29:37

putting religion aside some judges ideas are quite appalling.

I remember years a go the case of 20 something having sex with an 8yr old. the judge order him to pay some money so she could have a little holiday to get over it, and that besides she wasn't that innocent, there are 8yr olds and 8yr oldsshockshock

guess it is the same sort of idea which allows men to get away from child abuse charges if they use an underage prostitute, on the grounds that they could not know their agehmm

yes guess he went for the older looking one and made a mistake

UCM Fri 24-Aug-07 15:36:15


Has Domini Connor left? I thought I would find a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge post by him about churchmen.

ScummyMummy Fri 24-Aug-07 15:44:46

The way different people can be treated under the criminal law astonishes me. It is a real eye opener. It is disgusting that this man is at liberty. I have come across some people treated extremely harshly to the point of unfairness by the criminal justice system recently. The fact that people like this man, who has committed multiple, appalling and profoundly damaging crimes can walk free, while others, who may really deserve and benefit from a 2nd chance rot in jail, is quite stunning. It enrages me, tbh.angry

Cammelia Fri 24-Aug-07 15:48:27

I'm beginning to wonder whether the judges are on an agenda to not send people to jail on almost any excuse as the prisons are so full hmm

LoveAngel Fri 24-Aug-07 15:49:20

Dreadful. I find myself increasingly dismayed by the 'judgement' of our judges.

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