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killed his wife, but got lighter sentence because his military record is exemplary

(15 Posts)
turbochildren Sat 18-May-13 09:01:15

Don't know if this belongs here, so if anyone can point to appropriate board please do. I just read it in the epsomguardian, and I remember well when I fiorst heard of it.
Will try to do link later, but the case is from Surrey where a city lawyer caught cheating stabbed his wife to death when she told him she would leaving. (december 2010) Wife was social worker and mother of 5.
He was originally sentenced to life imprisonment, minimum 20 years, at Guildford Crown COurt in July 2011. This May his sentence got reduced to 18 years, mitigating factor was his exemplary military service.
I'm spluttering with rage. How can his military record have anything to do with that he killed his wife and mother of their children?
His barrister is called Tracy Ayling. I read that as the barrister is a woman, which somehow makes this even worse.
Have just read several books on DA including Why Does He Do That, and it's just so heartbreaking that messages like this get sent out to society.
"as long as I'm otherwise well-behaved, I can do what I like to my partner"
I know he's still got a prison sentence, but why is this mitigating factor?

Lweji Sat 18-May-13 09:08:41

I don't know, but in a recent thread a woman who had grabbed someone elses's throat was let off the hook because she was drunk and she regretted it.
So, I'm sure there are plenty mitigating circumstances for partner killers.
Killers in general even.
I'm sure he just wanted to scare her and didn't really mean it.
And how dare her leave him.
She may have even insisted on it.

Oh well.

TiredyCustards Sat 18-May-13 09:12:01

Sickening. Might be worth posting in feminism + women's rights

scaevola Sat 18-May-13 09:13:23

We'd need the judge's full sentencing comments to know why in this case it was taken into consideration within normal sentencing guidelines. Previous good character (however evidenced) can be a factor as threat to wider society does come in to it - it's not unusual for killers to be let out on licence by a parole board that is satisfied they do not pose a risk.

For murder, the sentence is life. The tariff can be much less.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 18-May-13 09:23:43

Eighteen years is still a pretty stiff sentence whichever way you look at it. I don't think it says anything even close to 'I can do what I like to my partner'. I think it says that society abhors murder however it occurs.

AprilFoolishness Sat 18-May-13 09:27:37

I don't think a female barrister should have anything to do with it. She was doing her job - to ensure her client got a fair trial and the judge wss aware of all mitigating circumstances. If the prosecution barrister wasn't as good that's nothing to do with their sexes, and ll to do with our adversarial justice system.

MrsJoeGargery Sat 18-May-13 09:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wispa31 Sat 18-May-13 10:06:04

imo life should mean life. you kill someone, you take away their life then you should serve an equal sentance.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 18-May-13 10:12:54

"18 years vs a whole life eh Cog? Are men years worth more then woman years?"

That was a bloody stupid question and I'll thank you not to insult my intelligence hmm 18 years is not some trivial nothing sentence. Murder is a life sentence and the tariff varies from case to case.

forevergreek Sat 18-May-13 10:18:08

I agree it shouldn't be lowered. But the military thing probably means they could say he had been traumatised/ affected etc by what he had seen/ done in the military which affected his judgement.

It's still not ok to kill. But if you have been killing people for years and years and fighting, I can imagine you might snap easier, post traumatic stress etc

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 18-May-13 10:19:20

It's pretty shocking, isn't it?

I've just been reading about a case here in NZ. A man murdered his ex-girlfriend in 2008; stabbed her 216 times and mutilated her body in her bedroom while her mother tried to get into the room to help her whilst overhearing it all.

His defence was provocation. He went round to her house with a knife and stabbed her 216 times and mutilated her, and expected a jury to accept he had been provoked.

The defence team then tore the woman's (I nearly typed girl - she was only 22 and had was just graduating from university; missed her own graduation, what ŵith having been murdered) reputation to shreds as part of his provocation defence. His lawyer was also a woman.

He got 18 years - down from 19 (or 20?) since it was a first offence. Utterly unbelievable.

I've read the rationale, but I struggle to fathom it out.

scaevola Sat 18-May-13 10:40:42

Here'sthe Epsom Guardian on the case.

It seems the standard tariff would be 15 years. His tariff was increased to 20 years, but the appeal courts said the incease should have been to 18 years.

So, despite the reduction, it is still an increased tariff.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Sat 18-May-13 12:17:08

Oh please don't start making the sex and identity of his barrister an issue.

She is a woman just doing the job she has spent 5 years and many thousands of pounds training for. She has no choice in who she represents and has an absolute duty to do her very best for whatever client she has.

It's nothing to do with her at all and naming and 'shaming' her in such a way is entirely unreasonable and also detracts from the other points you make.

turbochildren Sat 18-May-13 13:01:27

sorry to disappear from thread. I didn't name and shame the barrister, the name is there in the article.
I know it's the persons job. Certain things are hard to accept, though I realise in such a profession you follow the law and make sure you represent your client to the best of his/her interest. Gender does sometimes play into it. For me, a good example is female politicians who develop policies that are detrimental to women's welfare. I don't understand why, even if I know solidarity simply because of gender is not necessary desirable. Maybe this is beside the point here, though.
I will admit personal circumstance is making me angrier about this, as yes, he still got 18 years. I don't know what that means in practise though.
20 is lifetime, so to "downgrade" it to 18 may have quite some consequence?
I'll take onboard that I did post a bit quickly. Came straight from reading loads of books on the subject (dv) and mindset was/is that the message that it's acceptable must be loud and clear. However, 18 yrs is still quite loud and clear, I guess.

Andro Sat 18-May-13 14:37:21

I will admit personal circumstance is making me angrier about this, as yes, he still got 18 years. I don't know what that means in practise though.
20 is lifetime, so to "downgrade" it to 18 may have quite some consequence?

The consequence is that he will be considered for parole after 18 years instead of 20 - he will spend the rest of his life on license after release and will remain subject to recall if he ever breaks the terms of his license. He will be no more assured of parole after 18 years than 20, he will still have to convince the parole board that he is no longer a danger to the public.

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