"I knew he'd strike again…."
The woman who accused Karen Buckley's murderer of sexual assault has been talking to the media. Alexander Pacteau was cleared of rape and sexual assault by a majority verdict even though he was a stranger, it was a "dark alley" attack when he set on her after they struck up a conversation while waiting for a taxi.
"From the moment I knew he was found not guilty in my case, I knew in my heart I would see his name again one day because he had hurt someone else.
"When he was found not guilty my heart broke and I just didn't know how to recover.
"I had a horrible feeling I wouldn't be the last person that he hurt. And every day since that day this thought has tortured me."
She felt so sure she wrote to the Justice Secretary, warning the authorities about him.
She wrote: "'Please help me stop him from doing this or worse to another woman or girl. I dread to think what he may be capable of doing to others in the future. I cannot sit back and do nothing'.
A Scottish Government Spokesman said: “Mr MacAskill’s office responded at the time, expressing sympathy to the woman involved, but also making clear that the independence of Scotland’s judiciary is a fundamental part of our legal system and Ministers cannot intervene in individual cases.
“Decisions on prosecution are not a matter for the Scottish Government but are solely for the Lord Advocate and the Crown Office.”
So, basically "tough shit" woman.
The police who suspect someone is dangerous e.g. potential terrorist, career drug dealer etc. can keep tabs on them, but clearly a rapist who can pull the wool over a jury's eyes doesn't qualify.
Leaves you wondering what women have to do to get a rape or sexual assault conviction. Be beaten within an inch of her life? Even then I suppose it would be dismissed as "rough sex" 'cos as we know, women lie all the time about rape don't they? (Sarcasm alert).
Sorry for the rant, but FFS, how can this happen?
Well the police might have been able to keep tabs on him I guess but it's true it is not a matter for the judiciary. In fact, resources permitting the police do keep tabs on some people. Usually serial offenders where a high risk is posed to the specific victims or the public at large. However they can't do this in every case based on the victims view.
This was a man with no previous convictions found not guilty in a court of law. I am not sure what could have been done differently?
She could have been believed. There could have been better guidance for the jury/judge. There could be limits on what the defence ask the victim of the crime. There could be more support for victims of sexual violence to prepare them for court.
And that's just off the top of my head.
It's also a prime example of how male violence against is so rarely a one off incident. I wouldn't be surprised if there was DV and general abuse of women in his history. I'd also be surprised if this was only the second time he'd crossed the path of the police.
That was supposed to say male violence against women
Scallops, he also has a conviction for counterfeiting money.
But justice has to offer an equal hearing to both parties. I think it's wrong she wasn't believed. I think it's wrong he was free to brutally attack another woman. I agree it's unlikely these are the only two incidents. However I don't agree that men accused of rape should be treated differently from any other accused when it comes to a trial. The jury have to choose which version of events they believe. They can't be compelled to believe the woman simply because it's rape that she is accusing him of.
I think an ex gf also gave evidence of violence in this conviction.
The thing I don't understand is how he was found not guilty the first time. He was caught pretty much red handed and his defence was that the victim had attacked him - despite being much smaller - he'd tripped over and his trousers had fallen down. And people believed that.
Theherringgirl - I completely agree with all of that but you can't fix that disparity by putting in place an overt position which favours victim over defendant. What we have to is educate people to appreciate the reality of sexual violence so that whatever the defence comes up with, women will be believed when they talk about what's happened to them.
One of the issues in that case may have been that the jury believed he assaulted her but that the majority of them were not certain beyond reasonable doubt that the assault amounted to attempted rape.
It's not simply about believing one or the other; the police and CPS obviously did believe her (as do i) - it's about the majority of the jury being near 100% certain.
I've only read one article about it so I don't know many details. I'm increasingly convinced I'd prefer a non jury system in the uk, though.
So, his defence was that she slapped him, he happened to fall on top of her (with his trousers down) and anyway he's gay…..never mind the witnesses that came to her aid either. Not to mention this was a classic stranger in dark alley scenario - the scenario where a conviction is the most likely. No wonder women don't report rape.
I cannot get my head round the fact that the this was a majority acquittal verdict.
I'd also like to know how many women are so sure that their attacker will attack again they write to the Justice Secretary.
Herring, I absolutely agree re character slurring. The prosecution are not allowed to cite previous convictions and those are proven facts - the defence certainly shouldn't be able to say "wouldn't you agree that you are a notorious liar and fantasist?" or whatever.
Women are at a disadvantage right from the start of a sexual violence case because they are routinely not believed. In addition what constitutes rape and sexual violence appears to be up for debate and is, in the main defined by what men think sexual violence is. Hence why it took until 1991 for rape to be illegal in marriage. On here you still see the attitudes that a husband is owed sex by his wife. Poor him he must have been frustrated.
We live in a misgoynistic society and that is always going to disadvantage women, but especially so when it comes to challenging one of the tools of maintaining that misogyny: rape and sexual violence. To get a level playing field men are going to have to give up massive chunks of their privilege. And yes that is going to be viewed as unfair because what what is considered currently 'fair' is skewed towards men.
I think I heard that he killed Karen Buckley because she made him angry. We really (as a society) need to tackle male anger entitlement.
They need to get some control over their emotions and stop using their emotions to excuse violence.
AT, I think he went out prepared to kill a woman that night; Karen was the one who met him so she was the one killed. I don't think it was "personal"
I think you're both probably right. He went out with bad intentions and maybe she made him angry as well.
Pacteau lied repeatedly before he finally pleaded guilty - first he said they had sex and she left, then that they had sex, argued and she accidentally died. I place no credence on anything he says about her.
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