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What can be done about judges like this?

(22 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Tue 28-Mar-17 16:46:14

What can be done about judges like this?

A judge has been accused of “shocking ignorance” after he ruled that a man who poured bleach down his wife's throat and beat her with a cricket bat would not be jailed on the grounds that she was not “vulnerable”.

What planet are they living on?

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cricketer-spared-jail-judge-not-vulnerable-victim-bat-bleach-wife-a7652771.html

Datun Tue 28-Mar-17 16:49:50

There is a thread already about this. But yes, outrageous.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2888640-actual-bodily-harm

Italiangreyhound Tue 28-Mar-17 17:47:15

Thanks Datun.

Italiangreyhound Tue 28-Mar-17 17:58:38

There is a petition on the link Datun just gave. Having signed I now can't seem to link to it so anyone who wishes to, please go to page one of the www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2888640-actual-bodily-harm to find the petition.

Please. thanks

PuffinsSitOnMuffins Tue 28-Mar-17 21:45:39

Here's the petition www.change.org/p/cpsuk-take-domestic-violence-seriously-in-courts

Italiangreyhound Wed 29-Mar-17 00:53:24

Fab, thanks Puffin.

FurryGiraffe Wed 29-Mar-17 06:21:25

Context:

The sentencing guidelines require judges to identify in this situation whether a victim is 'particularly vulnerable' (.e. More vulnerable than other victims of domestic violence) as an aggravating factor in sentencing. He was not saying she wasn't vulnerable, he was saying she didn't meet the category of being a particularly vulnerable victim according to the sentencing guidelines (a particularly vulnerable victim might for example, be elderly or pregnant).

https://thesecretbarrister.com/2017/03/27/was-the-cricketer-who-forced-his-wife-to-drink-bleach-spared-prison-because-his-wife-was-too-intelligent/

KindDogsTail Wed 29-Mar-17 11:52:05

Furry
He did not say he was not convinced she was vulnerable because she was not oregnant or elderly or a reason like that. He said she was vulnerable because she had been to university and had friends.

In spite of these she had been attacked with a bat and bleach so what he said seems self evidently untrue.

So something needs to change perhaps both judges' training and thinking, and the guidelines.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 29-Mar-17 12:30:55

Clearly there is something wrong where a man can force his wife to drink bleach and only receive a suspended sentence.

HOWEVER, as someone upthread mentioned, this is reported in an incomplete way - the sentencing guidelines require an assessment of whether the person is "vulnerable" AS DEFINED IN THOSE GUIDELINES. The judge was not saying she was not vulnerable generally. Of course a woman who is being abused by her husband is vulnerable, regardless of her friendship group and university degrees.

He decided she didn't meet the definition of vulnerability as set out in the guidelines he was required to apply.

The guidelines and the law needs to change of course - of ocurse it is repugnant that this man got only a suspended sentence.

But you can't blame the judge - his remit is to apply the law and the sentencing guidelines as they currently stand.

shinynewusername Wed 29-Mar-17 19:19:21

I agree that this is primarily about the crapness of the legal system, not the individual judge - and the reporting was somewhat unfair as it made it sound as if he had made up the rules about who is vulnerable himself.

The judge could however have imposed a custodial sentence. I disagree with Secret Barrister (in the link) that 'prison doesn't work' for cases like this. It's not just the effect on the individual that matters, it's the message sent to the victim/survivor and to every other abuser out there. If this guy had committed the same offences against a stranger, he would almost certainly be in jail (given that there were several assaults over a sustained period). He only got off because it was his wife angry

venusinscorpio Wed 29-Mar-17 23:26:07

If the criteria for "particularly vulnerable" are so clearly defined, why did he feel the need to mention her degree in connection with her "vulnerability"?

venusinscorpio Wed 29-Mar-17 23:27:55

The judge could however have imposed a custodial sentence. I disagree with Secret Barrister (in the link) that 'prison doesn't work' for cases like this. It's not just the effect on the individual that matters, it's the message sent to the victim/survivor and to every other abuser

YY. I find Secret Barrister a bit clueless about things which don't involve the strict letter of the law, tbh.

StewieGMum Wed 29-Mar-17 23:39:32

The instructions on how to report a judge are available here. It's easy to file a complaint but, in my experience, they aren't overly excited about actually investigating and there is lots of wriggle room for judges to get out of participating in the review.

Secret Barrister seems have very little knowledge and training about VAWG. His inevitable to response to perpetrators receiving stupid sentences is to insist that everyone but him/her is hysterical.

venusinscorpio Wed 29-Mar-17 23:48:25

Secret Barrister seems have very little knowledge and training about VAWG. His inevitable to response to perpetrators receiving stupid sentences is to insist that everyone but him/her is hysterical.

Totally agree.

Italiangreyhound Thu 30-Mar-17 00:23:05

FurryGiraffe not quite sure what your post means. If a man is beating me with a bat and forcing me to drink bleak, then I am vulnerable, to the possibly of fucking death. I am guessing because the woman in question was married to the attacker there is some sort of weird thing that goes on in the mind of judge that says his all OK. Or perhaps in this case if she had been an uneducated woman he may have had more pity on her. We don't need pity, we need justice.

Totally agree with KindDogstail and shiny.

Bump "But you can't blame the judge - his remit is to apply the law and the sentencing guidelines as they currently stand." I think if more judges were actually concerned about this they should be pushing for the law to change. I blame the law but I also blame the judge. His interpretation of what is vulnerable has been widely publicized and all those wife beaters reading this are maybe thinking they can get away with it too.

Miffer Thu 30-Mar-17 07:49:08

My friend recently went through a trial. I don't want to go into any details but it was male violence and traditionally a hard case to prove (he was found guilty). The judge, who was your typical posh white man, was absolutely brilliant. It's difficult because I really don't want to put anything even remotely identifiable but there were numerous specific examples of him being excellent both in the trial in the way she and the witnesses were treated and in the sentencing.

I don't really know what my point is other than I found it heartening.

sonyaya Thu 30-Mar-17 07:54:00

I think Secret Barrister is a woman. To be fair, I don't think they are trying to do anything other than explain the strict letter of the law. I think it's useful for a criminal law expert to explain in laypeople's terms what goes on in court.

venusinscorpio Thu 30-Mar-17 08:01:34

I'm not saying the detailed legal explanations aren't useful. But the law doesn't exist in a vacuum and I find SB to be quite dismissive of women's concerns and not to have a very good understanding of some of the issues, as pp said.

TimeforANewTwatName Thu 30-Mar-17 08:05:14

Are there different laws for married people?

If this man had done it to a random or another man, would he have got a prison sentence?

If I hit someone with a bat, and forced someone to drink bleach, would I be in prison?

I can't see any how a victim can be part reasonable for what happens, Which then enables a lesser sentence.

TimeforANewTwatName Thu 30-Mar-17 08:06:40

I just don't get it.

TimeforANewTwatName Thu 30-Mar-17 08:07:35

*Responsible

cadnowyllt Thu 30-Mar-17 15:45:17

Increase in seriousness for domestic Abuse

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