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We Can't Consent to This: all the "sex game gone wrong" defences

(135 Posts)
WomanDaresTo Mon 24-Dec-18 08:12:16

Hello - doing this under my semi-public NC.

On FWR we've been grimly collating the stories of women killed by men who claim they've died in a "sex game gone wrong". Given Natalie Connolly's killer's sentence has received rightful outrage, and given even the excellent Harriet Harman thinks this is an unusual defence, I thought it time to pull them together in one place:

It's not a fun read, of course. I know it's not also complete - will keep updating but do of course let me know of other cases, and mistakes.

But perhaps we can help get to a place where women are not deemed to have consented to bodily harm, or to death.

flowers and unmumsnetty Christmassy hugs to the families and friends of these women.

if anyone wants me I'll be having a humungous gin

vicviking Mon 24-Dec-18 08:23:26

Thanks for this OP. I am at a loss over this. These men are getting away with murder and the criminal justice system doesn't seem to care. There needs to be some sort of judicial review.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Mon 24-Dec-18 08:27:33

Fucking hell.

SonicVersusGynaephobia Mon 24-Dec-18 08:29:10

Thank you for doing this OP.

This verdict has been one of those moments that made me want to give up. Everyone I've spoken to thinks it was a terrible decision, but very few seem to really grasp what it means, that murdering a woman is not murder if you do it, or say you've done it, as part of a "sex game".

Anlaf Mon 24-Dec-18 08:35:18

I think I feel less disheartened the more sunlight this gets.

The Mandy McDonald case in 2000 was the first time I'd heard this - in reality she was incredibly seriously assaulted by her husband. The defence QC's comments in court will make your BLOOD BOIL.

This will get better.

RJnomore1 Mon 24-Dec-18 08:36:33

That's a chilling read.

So many in the last couple of years and so many of those by men they had just met.

OrchidInTheSun Mon 24-Dec-18 08:39:40

Wow. What a horrifying read. I think it would be worth sending it to Ms Harman. When she was interviewed on Woman's Hour, she said she thought that Natalie Connolly was the first case where this had been used as a defence. I know it isn't but I hadn't realised the scale of the problem and I think she should know.

Thank you for doing this. It can't have been easy thanks

NineNine Mon 24-Dec-18 08:39:43

What freaks me out about these cases is the possibility that men will learn that if they beat and abuse a woman, they are better off raping and killing her than if they left her alive and able to press charges.

Though I suppose that assumes that the living beaten woman would be given any more voice than the dead one...

IamThereforeIdontIdentify Mon 24-Dec-18 08:49:28

Thanks for doing this.

HamiltonCork Mon 24-Dec-18 08:59:44

Very powerful

Mariotta Mon 24-Dec-18 09:06:45

Thank you so much for doing this.

Ereshkigal Mon 24-Dec-18 09:08:38

That is brilliant OP. But awful reading. Thank you for doing it and I will share widely thanks

GCSocScientist Mon 24-Dec-18 09:26:32

Thanks OP. You’ve done some fantastic work there. It’s so powerful having them all listed in the one place. We can’t and won’t let the courts fake our consent any longer. flowers

Iused2BanOptimist Mon 24-Dec-18 09:39:09

This is so important OP.
I was struck, listening to Harriet Harman on woman's hour, that she said this was the first time she had heard of this defence.
She obviously doesn't come on Mumsnet or even spend much time on twitter. But whilst I had read of one or two cases, the headlines are usually so horrid I raise my eyebrows and move on without reading so perhaps that is what Harriet was doing.
You NEED to see the numbers to recognise the pattern and appreciate the full horror.

WomanDaresTo Mon 24-Dec-18 09:39:35

Thanks all.

And yes do please share widely. I think I've sorted all the spelling fuck ups now. Depressingly there are at least 5 more women to add.

Special Christmassy flowers to the family of Katie Locke, who was a 23 year old history and politics teacher and who died on Christmas Eve 2015.

WomanDaresTo Mon 24-Dec-18 09:55:23

Though I suppose that assumes that the living beaten woman would be given any more voice than the dead one...

This will have to wait til after xmas but suprisingly many men use this defence when the woman survives:

RubyViolet Mon 24-Dec-18 09:56:49

Thanks so much for doing this.

smilethoyourheartisbreaking Mon 24-Dec-18 10:18:29

Thank you

IHATEPeppaPig Mon 24-Dec-18 10:43:47

Good Lord, that was a chilling read.

Two things stuck out for me:

1. How many of the recent murders are young women. Violent porn has a lot to answer for in today's society as well as 50 shades of Grey that glorifies DV and violent sex.

2. I can't help feeling that men feel entitled to do this to women as punishment for sexual liberation - you wanted sexual freedom well
Here it is.

Vile vile vile. I worry for my children, we are going backwards!!!

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 24-Dec-18 10:55:47

Thank you for this.

It's awful to read but somehow I almost think we owe it to them to read it and put faces to the names that float around news reports and Twitter.

I hope that people involved in the legal system see all these women together like this and that something clicks with how rough sex is a get out clause for far too many cases.

flowers to all the friends and family of these poor poor victims. I'm so sorry for your losses. And I'm even more sorry for what are jokes of sentences and verdicts with some of these cases.

sackrifice Mon 24-Dec-18 11:03:42

Thank you - it is chilling and heartbreaking.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 24-Dec-18 11:17:19

This has been going on for far too long

1979, South Shields
Vivienne is strangled by John Dudgeon (aka John Taylor) "when he was a 21-year old DJ in his home town, he suffocated 19-year old Vivienne Scott, who had refused him sex. Taylor dumped her body near his home and later claimed her death was the result of a prank which had gone wrong during a sex game. The judge said Vivienne died after "horseplay". Taylor choked Vivienne so violently that he broke her back
*After release, he went on to rape and attempt to murder a woman in her home, and then later to murder two women in the Sheffield snooker Hall murders.*

*Manslaughter, 4 years*

Thank you for doing this. I will be sharing widely.

Could you post on Chat or AIBU?

@MNHQ could you consider a Mumsnet campaign on this?

WomanDaresTo Mon 24-Dec-18 11:42:30

Could you post on Chat or AIBU


dotdotdot3 Mon 24-Dec-18 11:50:38

Thanks for doing this - a campaign is long overdue.

I was involved as a witness in one of these types of cases, having heard the violence and found the body of my neighbour. The defence was 'sex game gone wrong' and the guy was found not guilty as - unbelievably - he claimed he'd been asleep.

My experience led me to think there are huge problems in bringing these cases to trial satisfactorily for a number of reasons:

1, The CPS in 'my' case would not accept the case as a straightforward violent assault and murder, and knocked back the police several times before allowing the case to go through as a 'sex game gone wrong'/manslaughter thing, even though no one involved - witnesses, the accused etc - described it as such, making a nonsense of the case.

2. I was told the CPS are reluctant to prosecute these cases because they are notoriously difficult to win. This is due to lack of jury understanding/sympathy, and - crucially - the difficulty of getting evidence other than hearsay etc. The only real witness is dead, of course.

The victim in my case had over 30 injuries and had been hanged by two ropes. There were so many inconsistencies and problems with the case it was unreal. I don't want to say too much as the defendant was found not guilty and I'm unsure about what can be said.

Another thing to note is that information about this case is slowly disappearing from the web (local paper reports have gone), so I guess any case where the verdict is 'not guilty' will be increasingly hard to find and thus collate as a statistic.

Here's one of the few remaining reports:

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 24-Dec-18 12:01:25

That is truly shocking dotdot. What a dreadful experience for you.

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