"Bob – I spent the best part of two weeks in Germany last year, and didn’t retire to my hotel room as soon as night fell. Didn’t find it at all “dumb” to be in cities like Berlin with a civilized night life where women aren’t presumed to have targets glued to their backs."
That doesn't relate to my point and makes no sense.
"Jesus, Bob… And how would you suggest this woman should have “regulated her behaviour” to align with the reality that being a 62 year-old woman in the middle of the afternoon didn’t protect her from being savagely assaulted in Nelson’s Victory Community Gardens on New Year’s Day? To paraphrase Helen Clark, dude you’re in a hole. Time to stop digging. Please."
No I wouldn't suggest that.
"Given the vast majority of assaults don’t happen in dark parks at all, but at home and work, I assume you’ll be finding her a cave and some padlocks so she can properly regulate her behaviour?"
Absolutely and good point. The biggest threat is from people who are known to victims. So while that is extremely difficult to regulate, what is known is that you can be safe by taking precautions like not wandering around drunk in the dark.
Excellent point; thanks.
"And if your son came home and said he’d been wandering around town late at night on a Friday or Saturday night and had happened to run into some guys who gave him a bashing….? Well, wandering around town where you know there are drunken yahoos is just a dumb thing to do, right? It’s unfortunate but that’s the reality of it. He should regulate his behaviour to align with reality."
Absolutely and it is a conversation with my son I have rehearsed. If you wander around near the Viaduct at night you shouldn't be surprised if you come out of it with a brain injury and a stutter after being gang stomped by a bunch of drunk morons.
I'm actually more worried about my son getting dealt to like that than my daughter being interfered with in a park.
"Oh, and ‘Bob’? If you really have the courage of your convictions and aren’t just trolling, how about using your real name?"
Yeah, yeah. Fair point.
"So lets all just lie back and accept the realities of life as they are.
Is that what you are saying?
All I see is lowlifes justifying their position. And that goes for Bob Jones as well."
Absolutely not. But that's like saying you should go walk into the DMZ between North and South Korea for world peace. Go ahead but if you get shot no one will be surprised.
"Oh, good lord. That’s extremely disingenuous."
No, it wasn't. It was completely sincere. I have strong feelings on this subject.
"Priestley offered “the foolishness of your two victims, venturing out alone at night in a park in a strange city, dressed as they were” as a potential basis for the acquittal."
No, you don't get it, which is too bad for an old school journalist like you. Priestly J is sentencing after a verdict with which he disagreed. He's trying to say the jury got it wrong. He's trying to justify talk back. Don't you get it? Priestly was a family lawyer. Counsel for the child. Get with it yo.
"I’m sorry, but the victims being “dressed as they were” is a basis for acquittal? Are we living in Saudi fucking Arabia?"
No, you're in 2013 NZ. That is almost always the basis of a sex acquittal. A huge problem.
"And is an indecent assault not really an indecent assault if two visitors to a city choose the “wrong” path home to put themselves in the way of it?"
An indecent assault is not an indecent assault if a jury acquits the accused of indecent assault.
"The idea that two young tourists contributed to a traumatic and demeaning assault by walking that way not only misses the fucking point, it’s offensive."
I absolutely agree; you can't contribute to the intentional actions of others, only their carelessness.
"Indeed. It’s not uncommon to have one’s car stolen from remote locations, but that doesn’t mean that stealing a car is magically not a crime just because the owner dared to park their car somewhere perfectly legal. Also, dairies get robbed all the time. Is someone who gets assaulted in their dairy to blame for provoking the robber by having cash in their till? Is the robber to get off scot free because the provocation is so obvious to any red-blooded male?"
Crimes are crimes. Agreed.
"Dude, the moment you criticise her behaviour in those circumstances – when she’s just experienced the most traumatic thing possible – you are telling her it’s her fault. I hope to every god you actually wouldn’t do that, because it’s repulsive. Have a proper think about lecturing a rape victim. "
Why am I the troll here?
"You are not Just Being Sensible until you ground your views in the reality that the most dangerous place for a woman to be is AT HOME. Accept that as reality, because it is, and then ask yourself, how does someone “align their behaviour” with actual reality, not the incredibly dangerous fairy-tale you’re perpetuating?"
But then I totally agree! But a park is not home, much less in the wee hours in a strange city. You're message is mixed and confusing. My point is this: protect yourself against the foreseeable. When it comes to Uncle Bully....well that's difficult and I don't have easy answers.
"I found the idea that the young women had somehow contributed to the indecent assault on themselves at the same time as they were suffering an aggravated robbery offensive, not to mention unlikely."
But they weren't indecently assaulted because the Accused was acquitted.
That's the finality of verdict.
I think Priestly J's comments come in his sentencing notes, don't they?
So what else is he supposed to say after a mixed verdict trial?
There has to be a difference between (a) accepting the reality that it's dumb to wander around in parks at night; (b) accepting that you should ideally be able to wander around in parks at night without fear and (c) that women aren't asking for it when they do, dumbly, wander around in parks at night.
If my daughter came home and said she'd been wandering around in a park at night I'd tell her it's a dumb thing to do and it's unfortunate that's the reality of it. If something happened to her, I wouldn't tell her she asked for it but I would suggest that she regulate her behaviour to align with reality.
Isn't that fair? Isn't that what Jones is trying to say through his hyperbole. Isn't that all Priestly was saying?
1. Did you watch the trial? Have you read the notes of evidence?
2. Priestly J sounds incredulous about the jury's view (hence they "entertained" a reasonable doubt).
3. You say: "but somehow decided that their evidence of being sexually assaulted (one of them was made to disrobe at knifepoint) did not reach the standard for a conviction." Wasn't he charged with indecent assault, not sexual assault? And if so, why do you use the word "rape" in your headline. He wasn't charged with rape.
4. "did not reach the standard for a conviction." The very HIGH standard.
5. "On the face of it, it’s a completely irrational verdict." That's a big claim unless your answers to my first two questions at point 1 above are yes.
Thanks for that review. The word from the judges is indeed huge shit. Don't forget too that they despise the Three Strikes Act and grimace each time they have to read its heavy handed warning.
let's not forget that one definition of the defence lawyers is "people paid to lie for you"
Let's also not forget that the nickname for the formal police attire worn in court is a "lie suit" to wear in the "truth box". Nyuck nyuck. Good one guys.
My biggest concern is the requirement to disclose the defence. This will just allow the police to re-interview or go after (create?) new evidence long after the arrest. It also seems unethical. Judges ask at status hearings what matters in dispute and I always say "all matters are in issue". Some judges get grumpy, others don't.
The right to a jury trial bothers me less because there isn't really an out and out obvious level at which it should be set. 3 months, a year, 5 years? There's no formula. And three months is super low.
I'm still against the change however because the real purpose of a jury in my mind is to put a buffer between the judge (appointed by the state) and the Crown bringing the prosecution.
Anyway, thanks for the precis of the changes.