This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Monday, August 25, 2008

Comme CICA, comme ca...

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is in the news again, this time for a £9000 pay-out to a girl kidnapped and sexually assaulted at the age of three.

The case could not really have been much worse, with the child being kidnapped, assaulted at least three times, then driven at speeds of over 100mph away from police before being thrown out of the car and left lying at the side of the road. Craig Sweeney admitted the offences and received a "life" sentence of 12 years. The judge originally explained his sentencing:

"Judge Griffiths Williams said that if Sweeney had pleaded not guilty and had been convicted the minimum sentence would have been 18 years. Because of his guilty plea he had by law to reduce that tariff by one third to 12 years. The judge said Sweeney would normally have been considered for parole after half his sentence had expired. Because he had been in custody since the day after the offence he considered Sweeney would be eligible for parole after five years 108 days."

This reads as an apology by the judge for the constraints of sentencing guidelines which forced him to announce the tariff. Let's be clear, Sweeney will still have to be declared as no longer dangerous before his release. But then again he was considered not to be dangerous when he was originally released in 2004 for a sex attack on a six-year-old girl... so at least we can be reassured the system works.

There were some valid comments made in my previous post on this subject, that CICA is a statutory body and can only award compensation according to strict guidelines. Others commented that the money should come from the offender (if he has any). At least we can presume the three-year-old wasn't drunk at the time of her abduction, or else her pay-out would be even less! Would any level of compensation be appropriate, or enough?

How many times must we read about violent sex attackers being released from prison to offend again? At what point do we say that anyone who rapes a child should never, ever be released, or the most severe of restrictions placed on their liberty? Rapists of older children are generally treated less severely than younger. At what age should their victim be before any risk of a repeat attack - even the smallest - is unacceptable? Nine? Six? Two?

Are judges speaking out about this kind of thing? Or are they part of the problem?


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23 Comments:

Blogger Virtual Supply said...

Perhaps we should chemically castrate those that rape a child, male or female, say, under the age of 12.

One year in prison , mostly for ensuring the drugs, simple estrogens will chemically castrate men and render them without desire, not just unable, but incapable. Simple
Irreversible and render's the prisoner safe to be returned to society. ( Oh , he might feel more comfortable wearing a dress)... but that would be the least of their problems.

26 August, 2008 00:41

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poor child's mother was quoted on the ITV news as saying that the award of £9,000 was an insult.
I have to agree. It is an insult to the girl and what she suffered.

This is a symptom of a judicial [and government] system which has historically treated females as 2nd class citizens, and of little worth. The sexual abuse and rape of them [particularly the poor] has NEVER caused an outcry.

The arrogant upper class males "in authority" historically regarded this sort of abuse of young females as "the norm", and their God given right to do so. Any death which resulted from the rape of a child was regarded as "keeping the numbers down" and one less "peasant" who would breed and therefore multiply the numbers of the poor. A sort of ethnic "cleansing" enjoyed by the Lord of the Manor in times gone by.
That sort of attitude still existed in the 50's, and may well still exist today amongst the "ruling classes".

Judges come into that catagory and may well still be "infecting" the system with their vile attitudes to child sexual abuse - dismissive.
The said judge named in your link to a previous post, well.....

HE IS MOST CERTAINLY AND WITHOUT A SHADDOW OF DOUBT, A BIG PART OF THE "JUDICIAL" PROBLEM.

Poor Shannon, but also lucky Shannon. 14th March 2008 - RESCUED!

26 August, 2008 00:48

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the chemical castration actually was permanent, then YES, it should be done to stop them raping children. If it isn't permanent, then surgical castration of their testicles should be made law.

Being raped by a man is an unpleasant and frightening experience. Why draw a line at the age of 12 years old for a severe punishment. Teenagers are just as vulnerable and can be just as traumatised by an ordeal of rape. Child means up to age 16 years, which is the age of consent anyway for sex.

The ONLY way that a very clear message will be sent out to these disgusting perverts, that what they do to kids is vile and will not be tolerated, is enforce very severe punishment for the violation of children.

OFF WITH THEIR BOLLOX - simple as.

26 August, 2008 00:58

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you castrate them can they not buy testosterone later to replace what they don't have.
Their brain is unchanged.

26 August, 2008 05:54

 
Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Politics evolves as a prime feature of general mismanagement. The electrician, who always knows the plumber's trade better than his own, has excuses prepared in advance of the contract coming to a halt.

26 August, 2008 07:29

 
Anonymous Oi said...

New paths can be imposed on the brain - 9mm cross-section.

And yes - I'm one of those who advocate putting these pieces of excrement out of their misery.
They will never change their particular bent until their dying day. There is no treatment that will solve their problem short of death. The mumbling about rehabilitation, chemical castration and similar bulls**t is just that. Mumbo jumbo!

26 August, 2008 07:33

 
Anonymous valdemar said...

As a whinging liberal I'm against killing criminals, however vile. But life can and should mean life in the case of the worst violent offenders. And who can doubt that the crim in this case was one of the worst? Anyone who can do what he did once can surely do it again. What possibly 'treatment' could change a man like that? ANd I don't think much of chemical castration, because it's the mind that is monstrous, not the body.

26 August, 2008 09:54

 
Anonymous PC Michael Pinkstone said...

Valdemar @ 09.54 - agreed. As much as the thought of hurting these people sounds appealing in its own right, it cannot and should not be the path we take. We have to be better than that, no matter what they've done. I probably wouldn't say that if one of these scums got a hand on my young son, but emotions aside - the best punishment has to be a life sentence, and life that actually means life, not 12 pathetic years. Those who go on about chemical castration or other forms of bodily violation are reflecting abuses akin to the so-called 'justice' metered out in the Sharia Law courts in countries like Nigeria, Libya and Sudan. As I said, we have to be better than that. We simply need to lock these people up for life and not give them 'credit' for pleading guilty, when guilt has nothing to do with it.

26 August, 2008 11:30

 
Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Chemical and Physical castration are often ineffective, and more to the point are completely illegal in this country...

Damn Human Rights Act!

26 August, 2008 13:29

 
Blogger Unsworth said...

The Judge, in his wisdom, was not criticising the limitations imposed upon him.

But, in his wisdom, he made those limitations perfectly clear.

It is for others to draw conclusions, but they are obvious enough. Actually many of the judiciary now choose to make such explanations. Rightly so.

26 August, 2008 16:29

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one day we will find the set of genes that control this evil behavior then .
There always be extreme evil behavior and we have to have the ability to expunge said evil. dungbeetle

26 August, 2008 20:41

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone must have misled me. I was given to understand, that WITHOUT any testicles an erection could not be obtained - therefore making it impossible for a paedophile to RAPE a child. If they could then obtain testosterone and still offend - surgical reduction of the penis would also be the answer. Leaving them with a small stump to pee with - safer for any unfortunate child who fell into the wrong hands. There is always the concept of inserting a microchip within their body, so that they can be tracked at all times - like the dogs that they are.

If society is quite happy to accept such vile and deviant behaviour from perverts, it has no right to call itself "civilized".

The "better" person will NOT tolerate any sexual violation of children and would enforce the most severe of punishments, short of death, to ensure the safety of all children, and to stamp out paedophilia, as a long term plan.

27 August, 2008 00:08

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am of the opinion that the "life tariff" should be removed as it is meaningless, especially in light of recent ECHR rulings. However if you think we are lenient here look at some of the cases in the USA, where this chap could easily have gotten probation for his crime. However, thanks to a campaign initiated by a TV station, Jessica's Law is being introduced in many states where a conviction for a sex crime on a child carries a minimum 25 year sentence (and no parole). I believe the guilty plea rule is an abuse. It is quite confusing when a sentence is read out what someone actually gets and even if you work it out a governor can come along and release them early.
Incidentally the judge has no discretion and has to read out the reasons in open court explaining how the sentence was arrived at.

27 August, 2008 10:05

 
Anonymous Tom Reynolds said...

Anonymous 00:08

You don't need testicles to maintain an erection.

Rape does not always involve a penis.

You can't track people with microchips - you'd need something bigger than a car GPS system to do that.

Society does not accept such behaviour, that is why they are punished by the law.
---
I would agree with the previous poster about life sentences meaning exactly that.

However, I do believe that as a country we have one of the lowest recidivism rates with respect to child sex offences in the world.

Also be aware that being drunk and urinating down an alley could have you tagged as a sex-offender.

27 August, 2008 20:50

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Reynolds. Well one learns something new every day! Thanks for enlightening me. I was thinking back to lessons on human biology, a very long time ago. Giving it further thought, that obviously dealt with reproduction rather than sexual function.

Given that testicles are not essential to maintain an erection, then some sort of lawful surgical intervention to PREVENT erection of the penis and resulting sexual activity, should be enforced upon those who violate kids.

If they can use expensive satelite systems to spy and check up on the public to see if they have built extensions, or put up garages and not informed the council - to avoid an increase in council tax - them I'm quite sure they could find a way of tracking paedophiles to keep children safe. They are already doing this with PET DOGS and have suggested the use of a microchip tracking device for elderly dementia patients. So what makes you think that it couldn't be done to keep a watchful eye on perverts?

RE: "Society does not accept such behaviour, that is why they are punished by the law." Hmmmm

When one hears on the news of pathetic and seemingly lenient sentences of a few years in prison for the rape or other sexual abuse of a child, and they re-offend upon release from prison. Indirectly the system is saying that the violation of a child is just a normal aspect of "criminal" behaviour. People have had longer prison terms for fraud or stealing large amounts of money. Looking at it that way, light sentences for paedophiles is sending a message that sexual abuse isn't that serious. An "accepted" problem within society.

Perhaps my choice of words were not the best and more subjective than objective. Because it was clear to me as a child and an adult, that the serious sexual abuse done to myself, including rape, didn't result in the perverts going to prison. Their evil deeds were brushed under the carpet by government in 1957, because of who they were - the law!
The clear message the system sent out to their victims [I wasn't the only one] and to the offenders was that it was "acceptable" to violate children. Not much has changed since then, when it comes down to WHO the pervert is.

It appears to be "unacceptable" only when the offender is a member of the public, or a lower rank plod. I would have more faith in the judicial system if the high ranking "authority" figures who abuse children WERE prosecuted, named and shamed. One rule for the "masters" and another for the public. Blatant hypocrisy and an abuse of power.

As for someone getting tagged as a sex offender for being drunk and taking a leak in an alley - that is ludicrous. It's taking a pee and the law taking the p*ss.

28 August, 2008 05:21

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much should CICA give to those victims of false rape allegations?

Especially when the woman gets a 12 week suspended + £95 fine. Yes really.

http://tinyurl.com/653v2v

28 August, 2008 13:55

 
Anonymous Tom Reynolds said...

Agreed with respect to the sentencing of child sex offenders - I'm more than happy to lock them up and throw away the key, then children really *will* be safe against any for of abuse from that person.

However, seriously, there is no way to 'tag' someone to see where they go except beyond certain small areas. Satellite surveillance is of the quality of Google Earth, and isn't real time. Dog tagging doesn't track animals, only allows people to identify who they belong to after they have been caught, and the tagging of dementia patients will sound an alarm if they go past certain doors equipped with electronic door arches.

Locking people up for *very* long times is a good thing in my book as it removes offenders from the people that they end up hurting.

28 August, 2008 20:10

 
Blogger His Handmaid's son said...

Hello,

I am from the United States, from Maryland, specifically and have followed PC Bloggs' blog as a matter of curiosity for sometime now. I feel sympathy for England, admiration for police, and frustration for the state of affairs descending upon our respective nations in varying degrees. From time to time, the situation in England as she describes intrigues me in particular.

At this moment, for instance, I am intrigued by the CICA. In the US, things are a bit of a hodgepodge because each state conducts its affairs how its residents see fit. Consequently, I cannot speak about other states very well, but as far as I know, we have nothing like the CICA in my state. Various community groups, churches, victims' advocacy groups, etc., might very well provide support, but the government's role isn't seen as doing such things as providing compensation for victims of crimes.

The state government's role is very much considered to be in the apprehension, prosecution, and punishment of criminals. Each county's sheriff, and each incorporated city or village's police force conduct things according to their own policies, but the State's Attorney conducts all felony prosecutions in state courts. I was disturbed by the sentence handed down by the judge in PC Bloggs' article, and moreso because statutes apparently required it up him.

I was happy to find out that in my own state:

Statutory rape, which is lightly punished, involves sexual relations between an adult and a minor over age 13, in which no violent or emotional coercion is involved. Incidentally, a minor over the age of 13 can marry in my state with the consent of their custodial parent(s). The apparent "marriageability" of the youth and the voluntariness of the relations must be connected with the lightness of the sentence against the adult.

Second degree rape is any sexual relations: WITHOUT any physical violence or injury between an adult a child minor under the age of 14; involving a mentally handicapped or infirm person; such a crime carries between 5-20 years punishment, at least 5 years must actually be served after sentencing (rather than "time served" before/during trial, which is not generally counted) and cannot be set aside for any reason.

First degree rape is any sexual contact whatsover: between an adult and an infant (under age 7); any sexual intercourse involving violence, threat of violence, violent attack, threat of attack against a family member, strangulation, use of a weapon for intimidation, or simple overpowerment. This crime carries an penalty of not less than 25 years imprisonment, all of which must be served after sentencing, and up to and including a life sentence at hard labor without possibility of parole.

These penalties seem more just to me - even though the penalty attached to second degree rape can be as low as five years' time, our penitentiaries' inmates are notoriously brutal toward child molesters, etc. At least violent rapes, like the one that little girl was subjected to, carry penalties closer to what we impose upon murderers than upon shoplifters.

Lastly, because my state has and occassionally (about 1-3x yearly) imposes the death penalty, it is relevant to note that murder aggravated by rape carries that penalty, as does the murder of a pregnant woman, or an emergency worker (police, firefighter, etc).

As an anecdote, a few years ago a homeowner in my county investigated odd noises in his 12-year-old daughter's bedroom and found a naked 25 year old man in her closet. She had been involved with him sexually, which naturally incensed her father. He struck the man and called the police department, which sent officers to arrest the man. He was convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced by them to 8 years in prison. The judge, on the other hand, commented that it "takes two to tango," set aside the sentence, and let the convict free. Everyone in the county was outraged. A week later, the judge's house was burned to the ground while the local volunteer fire department had a hard time mobilizing. The police department had a hard time finding any suspects and closed the case unsolved.

Anyway, it's always interesting to compare notes.

28 August, 2008 20:39

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say again, what happened to this wee girl was an abomination and Sweeney should be executed, or castrated non-chemically. However no-one seems to question why the mother of this poor wee girl left her in the care of a sex offender. She either knew what he was and should not have left her with him, or did not know him and should have not left her with him.Every one else seems to be to blame for this despicable crime, but should the mother not take some responsibility?

29 August, 2008 23:46

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 23:46 29th August

That's a bit below the belt...and I don't mean about castrating the bas***d Sweeny. I'm talking about the snipe at the child's mother.
From what I can recall from press coverage at the time, Sweeny was visiting the home of the child and her family. Whilst the mother had her back turned dealing with other children, he abducted her. You CANNOT blame the mother if she was taken in and fooled by Sweeny. These perverts are devious experts at deception. The child's mother will have suffered enough grief and self recriminations because of what happened to her daughter, without random people trying to blame her because of a devious paedophile's evil actions.

Tom Reynolds says that microchip style tracking of paedophiles is not possible. I don't agree, as some offenders are already "tagged" by an external device.
If this government can come up with a plan to place a microchip tracking device on the number plate of EVERY vehicle, for a planned "pay as you drive per mile" method of taxation - they COULD adapt that for use on perverts by means of a non removable tracking device hidden within their bodies.

Unless of course, the political will is to be soft on paedophiles, so they can just carry on with their vile practices....and then of course all sorts of reasons why it "cannot" be done, will be heard.

If this government showed as much zeal for dealing with violent and sex crimes as they do for those who try to evade paying taxes, or fiddle a few quid in benefits - our children and the streets WOULD be a great deal safer.

But has this government and it's "top" leaders got any real interest in that? It doesn't look like it from where I'm standing.
I can see the "Emperor" naked, and everything is NOT fine.

30 August, 2008 00:59

 
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15 April, 2009 10:45

 

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