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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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Too Young to be Raped

The Daily Mail this week questioned whether it is in the public interest, or anyone's interest for two 10-year-old boys to stand trial for raping an 8-year-old girl. The judge in the case has asked for a psychological report to find out if the victim has been damaged by her cross-examination.

After questioning by the defence, the child in question agreed that she had lied in her original testimony. Yet the jury were apparently not satisfied that her new version was true, and found the boys guilty of attempted rape, but not guilty of rape itself. In one sense it was of little importance in the case whether the girl had resisted or agreed to the act, as she is legally considered too young to consent. But the Crown Prosecution Service may have thought twice about prosecuting for consensual acts, given the young age of the offenders. The boys in question could still have been placed under Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, if they were seriously considered a threat.

I think most of us agree that the rape of an eight-year-old is something that should generally be prosecuted. We probably all also agree that eight to ten-year-olds mucking about experimentally is not a police matter, and that consensual sex between them would be dealt with by parents, social workers and psychiatrists.

But what concerns me in the case is this:
  • A psychological report afterwards is all very well, but if the judge wasn't happy with the manner in which the girl was cross-examined, why didn't he stop it at the time?
  • If The Daily Mail and its readers can identify that this case may not have been appropriate to bring to court, why do they feel so differently in the James Bulger case, where clearly they believe children can indeed transmogrify into "pure evil" at the age of ten?
  • Conversely, why can the Mail and readership not identify that there are adult rape cases with similarly conflicting factors that mean they should not go to court, and this is not necessarily always a judgment on either party?
Either way, the boys in question are unlikely to go to prison, but will no doubt be given counselling and an order to sign the sex offenders register for the rest of their lives, with little effect on the safety of society. The girl in question will go back to school and re-live the experience when she's twenty-five, wondering what on earth it was all about.

So on this occasion I'm inclined to agree with the Mail. What exactly was the point of it all?


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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

14 Comments:

Blogger TonyF said...

"I think most of us agree that the rape of an eight-year-old is something that should generally be prosecuted. We probably all also agree that eight to ten-year-olds mucking about experimentally is not a police matter, and that consensual sex between them would be dealt with by parents, social workers and psychiatrists."

Yes I can accept this statement as someone who is not involved and has no knowledge of the case (Other than that 'reported' in the meeja). I suppose if no one is harmed, and the parents are happy, then it's best to leave well alone. Social workers and trick cyclists ought to be kept well away...

29 May, 2010 17:48

 
Blogger Neil80 said...

A really interesting point there about the double standards in the media. I think the answer lies in how our media operate, in this case it would seem that as the 'monster' or 'evil' tags' instinctively reached for in other criminal cases involving children were not on this occasion fit for purpose with the result that we are left with a more sensible appraisal of the relationship between children and the criminal justice system in the UK.

29 May, 2010 22:30

 
Anonymous Will said...

Hi

You say

"We probably all also agree that eight to ten-year-olds mucking about experimentally is not a police matter"

I agree.

You say

"So on this occasion I'm inclined to agree with The Mail. What exactly was the point of it all?"

I agree.

You ask

"If The Daily Mail and its readers can identify that this case may not have been appropriate to bring to court, why do they feel so differently in the James Bulger case, where clearly they believe children can indeed transmogrify into "pure evil" at the age of ten?"

I am not a Daily Mail reader. Eight to ten-year-olds mucking about happens. And has done in previous generations.

Jamie Bulger was not another kid down the park, from a year or two below in school. He was two years old. He was abducted. Then tortured. Then killed. The ten-year-olds who did this had been planning to find a child to abduct, and push it into the road to be run over. This behaviour does not happen much, and never has.

Will

29 May, 2010 23:18

 
Blogger blueknight said...

You are right but it seems that because the boys were not admitting the offence, some sort of Court case or tribunal was needed to discover what actually happened. Would Probation, Soc. Services etc be happy to deal with anyone on a 'suspected' basis?
Without knowing what the Defence Barrister asked or how he asked it, I would not put too much weight on the girl changing her story. We all know that Defence Barristers try to rubbish the prosecution witnesses.

30 May, 2010 00:26

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Actually blueknight, they would have pleaded guilty to sexual assault, just not rape (that's from their own lawyers). Though I agree in principle some form of trial/investigation is necessary before you take measures against someone who is denying guilt.

Will, I think the point here is about criminal responsibility. Rape and murder are both serious offences, and the allegation in this case was of a forced rape, not of mucking about. Therefore I think the parallel to the Bulger case is fair. There is no reason to suppose these ten-year-olds were any more or less aware of right/wrong/consequences than the Bulger killers. The age of the victim is hardly relevant to the capacity and maturity of the attacker.

30 May, 2010 10:39

 
Anonymous Pete said...

Critical Mass, Madame Author.

You fucking dummy.


Mathematics and mathematical modelling would be utterly wasted upon you, I know.


However, in the extremely unlikely circumstance that you might be able to count up to 20 without taking your shoes and socks off - look up the equations describing the spruce boreworm population as a model describing blogging hits.


..Moribund, WPC Bimbo. This is your blog.

That supermarket checkout awaits, eh?

XX

:))

30 May, 2010 19:12

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Pete, you seem to be under the impression that blogging is my job. It's a shame you're so obsessed with statistics. Perhaps a job in Senior Management in Blandshire Constabulary would suit?

31 May, 2010 10:13

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy comments to make, when its not your kid thats been assaulted.

31 May, 2010 13:11

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I grew up in a less hysterical age.

By the standards of 'rape' as technically defined these days if things were equal, I was raped by an older girl (12) when I was a 5 year old boy.

I can confirm that this had absolutely zero negative effect on my life other than I had to change routines to be looked after by someone else... I didn't even know that what she was doing was wrong and I'm not sure she did either. The most shocking thing for me was my mother's reaction.

If that girl were now on the sex offender's list I'd feel very uncomfortable about having accidentally shopped her to be branded for life and identified with others who are genuinely evil.

I don't know the specifics of this case (and I don't really care to find out) but it seems to me the people inflicting the real damage to these kids isn't the kids but rather the adults' and the state's hysteria.

01 June, 2010 01:41

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anon above, that the damage to the kids is being inflicted by adults and by the state's hysteria. A very long time ago, when I was a kid, I fell into the clutches of a paedophile who befriended my parents. What he and his friends forced me to do and to put up with, was serious criminal behaviour on their part.

They forced kids, with serious scare tactics, to engage in sexual activity with each other whilst they watched. The children were the victims of the adults, who knew what they were telling the kids to do was against the law.

The incidents of "same age" sex in my childhood were embarrassing and humiliating experiences, sometimes photographed by the deviant males, who really were, truly evil B******s.

There was one private intimate experience however, with a fellow "victim" and friend, as we had bonded with each other, and that did me no damage whatsoever... until the grown ups found out, not from myself, .....and went hysterical about it. In my opinion at the time, and now, the intimacy between us was personal, genuine love and affection between ourselves, and nobody's business but ours. Quite why I was made to feel as if I had done something wrong, is as much a mystery to me today, as it was at the time! Morally it was private mutual love and affection between two kids, and unbeknown to us at the time, it was against the law, because we were both under the age of "consent."

But even more confusing was the fact that the evil paedophile males, who had subjected myself and others to sexual abuse, rape, were NEVER PROSECUTED, because of who they were.

So I too wonder about the justification of taking children to court, for experimenting with sex. Tarring them for life as "sex offenders" seems to be an over reaction bordering on vindictive, by the child protection system and the judiciary. It's wrong to do that to children.

Where children have sexual experience, the question needs to be asked by adults...."Where did they learn to do that?" Has an adult groomed them to be compliant and engage in sexual activity, which the child then copies as a "game" with other children?
Or has the behaviour been learned from TV, DVD's or the Internet?

02 June, 2010 00:02

 
Blogger AJ said...

The sex offenders register should be for people who genuinly represent a risk. I do not think the actions of a child of 10 can really be taken to demonstrate that they represent a risk for the rest of their lives. Things would be much safer is the sex offenders register only contained those people who really need to be there so that they can be monitored properly. After a point, the more people who are on any list, the less useful it ends up being.

02 June, 2010 14:03

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,
If you despise this blog and its author as your repetitive bleats appear to indicate, why persist in reading it?

How about an on topic post on the issue of the prosecution of 10 year olds for rape of another child.
By the tone of your patronizing posts I can only imagine someone of your experience and calibre must have an opinion on that?

I am glad I wasn't the DC having to run that job, reports suggest there was additional evidence - whether that was another witness (other than a statement of first complaint) or medical evidence would be interesting to find out.
Tang0

02 June, 2010 14:41

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,

How utterly disrespectful you are. The serious subject matter is not enough to make you and your stupid jibes dry up? Or do kids getting hurt not matter in your little world. I'm sure Bloggs is big enough to take your jibes, and has probably had worse said to her face by real people instead of silly little boys let loose on the internet. I normally skip over what you write, but can't ignore it in the middle of a thread like this.

Jog on you silly little boy- you are making a total prat of yourself.

Minty
ps Sorry Bloggs, had to get it off my chest. As you were.............

06 June, 2010 23:54

 
Anonymous Steve_A said...

Didn't one of Jamie Bulgers killers get released from prison and then go on to rape someone?

One a bad 'un always a bad 'un (far more often than not).

Get them on the register. I know it's probably all down to their upbringing, but whoevers fault it is, it doesn't make them any less dangerous.

19 June, 2010 22:49

 

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