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Man acquitted of rape because he suffers from ‘sexsomnia’

(22 Posts)
stumbledin Sat 28-Nov-20 00:24:00

Darrell Swanson, 39, from Dunfermline, walked free from Livingston High Court earlier this week after a jury returned not proven verdicts on allegations of three historical rapes.

Mr Swanson had argued he suffered from a rare condition called “sexsomnia” which meant he was completely unaware he was having intercourse during the night.

www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/fife/1766572/charity-concerned-fife-mans-sexsomnia-rape-acquittal-could-set-dangerous-precedent/

OP’s posts: |
Redshoeblueshoe Sat 28-Nov-20 00:30:44

WTF ?

TheMotherShipAhoy Sat 28-Nov-20 00:44:23

FFS!

WeeBisom Sat 28-Nov-20 00:46:39

This appears to be a popular new defence because it allows the man to entirely skip over the question of mens rea (the mental state needed to commit rape). There’s been loads of these guys recently.

DrDavidBanner Sat 28-Nov-20 09:26:31

3 allegations got to court, so how many time has he actually got away with it! angry sad

RealityNotEssentialism Sat 28-Nov-20 09:31:51

If he has uncontrollable sexsomnia, he has a duty to sleep in a separate room from any female partner. And if he is not able to stop himself from raping women in his sleep, it sounds like maybe he needs to be institutionalised.

TweeBree Sat 28-Nov-20 09:39:14

Is this the new 'she wanted rough sex' defence?

thinkingaboutLangCleg Sat 28-Nov-20 10:03:30

And if a woman assaulted a man, I’m sure she’d be acquitted on the grounds that she was really asleep and didn’t know she was doing it...
confused

user17425642134531 Sat 28-Nov-20 10:09:44

The jury may have chosen that verdict because they liked his barrister or hate women or disliked the prosecutor or were bored or wanted to go home. The verdict doesn't mean they believed him or agreed with the defence argument. Juries don't have to share the reason or rationale for their verdict like a judge does.

Jury verdicts are meaningless bullshit whatever offensive defence was put forward.

IsFinnRogersDead Sat 28-Nov-20 10:11:08

He wasn't "having intercourse" though, was he. He was raping someone.

BettyDuKeiraBellisMyShero Sat 28-Nov-20 10:27:25

Great argument for keeping single sex wards, prisons, hostels and sleeping compartments on trains.

If men can rape without even knowing it (chinny reckon) then women clearly need single sex sleeping spaces.

DrDavidBanner Sat 28-Nov-20 10:33:36

user17425642134531

The jury may have chosen that verdict because they liked his barrister or hate women or disliked the prosecutor or were bored or wanted to go home. The verdict doesn't mean they believed him or agreed with the defence argument. Juries don't have to share the reason or rationale for their verdict like a judge does.

Jury verdicts are meaningless bullshit whatever offensive defence was put forward.

Did anyone watch that programme a few years ago now. It was a court case where the man was on trial for killing his wife.

The family were played by actors but the case and the jury and lawyers were real. They didn't show what actually happened until after the verdict but it did show how people make descisions based on their own personal expereince rather than the facts presented.
It was interesting and scary, I can't remember what it was called but I remember thinking how many violent criminals are walking free.

RealityNotEssentialism Sat 28-Nov-20 10:45:12

Yeah the faith we place in juries is insane. I wonder what planet some lawyers who defend it are on. Jury trials stem from ancient times back when we used to hang children and burn witches.

We know that people are inherently biased and will usually draw on stereotypes about how they think certain people behave. There was a jury programme on a while ago about an alleged rape by a footballer and the jury members were talking about how girls often accuse footballers ‘to get famous’.

Throwing 12 people together means that some personalities will dominate. Many will want to get out of there as soon as they can because doing jury service can mean losing pay. They will go with the majority for an easy life.

There is total lack of scrutiny of how the verdict is reached. No reasons are given. For all we know, they could have flipped a coin.

The level of media coverage before trials means that juries will not be unbiased. They are warned not to read stuff but of course they do. There have been instances of jury members contacting the defendant on social media during the trial. Plenty of opportunities for defendants to threaten or bribe jury members.

A lot of cases will need the decision-maker to have expertise in the psychology of how the victim behaves. For instance in rape, many of the general public still think that it’s not rape unless the victim fights back because they figure that’s what they would do in that situation. They simply don’t have the expertise to evaluate the facts.

I’d prefer decisions to be made by a panel of judges with expert training in whatever type of offence it was, together with a very detailed explanation given for why a particular verdict was reached. We’ve abolished jury trials for complex fraud cases because we realised the jury generally didn’t understand the issues they were deciding on. We should do the same for rape and sexual assault because there clearly seems to be a lack of understanding there too.

I think defence lawyers love juries though because they are quite likely to acquit even where there is a lot of evidence. So if you took them away, the conviction rate would probably go up.

Dontbeme Sat 28-Nov-20 11:09:40

How many of his victims were male? Or has this man never had a lads trip away, shared a room with a male sibling when younger, never been drinking with the lads and crashed at a mate's house? Is a symptom of his disorder, that he suffers terribly with I am sure, that only women are attacked by those sufferers of this illness. Can we get some funding going to examine why it's only women being attacked.

In the meantime has the court ordered him to sleep in isolation going forward so he never finds himself in front of a jury of his peers again, the manipulating git.

RealityNotEssentialism Sat 28-Nov-20 11:32:18

Yes and presumably he has never attacked his mother or close female relatives? Surely if he doesn’t know what he’s doing, that would be likely to happen.

It’s scary how many men seem to think it’s okay to have sex with women when they are asleep. I was seeing this guy once who said to me just as we were going to bed ‘I might have sex with you during the night’. I was straight out of there. He couldn’t see the problem. To be fair, I think it’s also been normalised by stuff like women waking men up with a blow job and stuff. I don’t think it’s ever okay to do anything sexual to a sleeping person.

NiceGerbil Sat 28-Nov-20 13:45:18

There has be been a few of these.

The doctor expert who said yeah that's so what happened said this

'Some see it as a bit of a joke and laugh it off. Some find it very embarrassing and some are sympathetic to the position.”'

Laugh it off?

Whatever was going on with the man, the women were assaulted. The POV of the victim is entirely lacking. I understand that intent is part of the law BUT from the victim point of view the assault has occurred.

Laugh it off? HAHAHA. what a bastard.

Also surely he had a duty to not be near women when he slept if he's prone to raping them.

This defence will be great for men who rape their kids at home. I wonder if the view will be a bit different when a man tries to use it against raping a little boy over time. Rather than a 15-18 yo girl who he's been drinking with.

SophocIestheFox Sat 28-Nov-20 14:47:04

Urgh. Can’t believe this could be given any credibility in the 21st century, agree that fella me lad needs to be kept away from all women in perpetuity if he can’t help raping them.

ChattyLion Sat 28-Nov-20 15:07:29

Christ this is absolutely disgusting. Rape is devastating. Where is the justice?

StuntNun Sat 28-Nov-20 16:03:47

I wonder how many other crimes you can get away with by being asleep. "It isn't my fault I crashed the car, I was asleep at the time." "Sorry my tax return is late but it's because I was asleep so you'll let me off, right?"

ClaireP20 Sat 28-Nov-20 16:09:36

Dontbeme

How many of his victims were male? Or has this man never had a lads trip away, shared a room with a male sibling when younger, never been drinking with the lads and crashed at a mate's house? Is a symptom of his disorder, that he suffers terribly with I am sure, that only women are attacked by those sufferers of this illness. Can we get some funding going to examine why it's only women being attacked.

In the meantime has the court ordered him to sleep in isolation going forward so he never finds himself in front of a jury of his peers again, the manipulating git.

Excellent point.

OneEpisode Sun 29-Nov-20 09:31:10

The accused is an adult, who has lost their job as a bus driver. The victims were under 18 at the time.

But all are historic offences. One victim said she was “15 or 16”. The elapsed time may be part of the reason the prosecution failed.

NiceGerbil Sun 29-Nov-20 22:48:54

He admitted it though?

I don't think there's any doubt that it happened. Just that he was asleep so it isn't a crime.

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