Friday, August 31, 2007

Courts show their contempt for victims of domestic violence,,2155428,00.html

I felt totally sick and disgusted to read this article a week ago and it provides all the proof you need that we have a male dominated legal system which doesn't give a damn about the rights of women. The article is about two recent cases in which men were found guilty of horrific acts of domestic violence yet were let off with a miniscule fine.

The first sick bastard we hear about is Stuart Brown. For 7 years he made his wife Carol McEwan's life a misery before ultimately being convicted of dragging her out of bed and punching her 24 times. What words did the magistrate use to describe him? A "vile monster" perhaps? Wrong, he described him as being of "good character" before handing out a fine of £500. This woman-hating pig has so far been allowed to keep his £100,000 a year job as a hospital anaesthetist. His former partner on the other hand will have to live with the abuse he subjected her to for the rest of her life.

The second evil swine is Colin Read. As soon as he had married his partner Elizabeth Axe last year he reverted to being the savage misogynist he really is. In one horrendous attack he slashed her feet after she failed to make a sandwich for him. Eight days later he branded her on the back with an iron, causing severe burns, after complaining she hadn't ironed one of his shirts. Read, a wealthy management consultant on a £90,000 a year salary, was fined just £2,000 for these vicious acts of violence. He didn't even have to undergo a community sentence because according to the judge he would be "too busy" to carry it out.

Noone who has ever been a victim of domestic violence themselves can begin to imagine what these two women have been through and it must be a sickening blow to watch the person who subjected you to so much pain and misery being let off with not even a slap on the wrist. According to the Guardian just 4% of the men responsible for domestic violence ever go to prison. Yet for a crime of this nature anything other than prison is a complete insult to the victim and will do nothing to make men like these think twice in future.

The legal system in this country is rotten to the core and is clearly far more interested in upholding the interests of patriarchy and of capitalism than it is in getting justice for the victims of those who hold all the power and wealth. Maybe there will be no progress until we get rid of all the overpaid middle-class middle-aged men who make up the vast majority of judges and magistrates and who seem to have no capacity for seeing things from the perspective of anyone else, or at least from the perspective of anyone who doesn't have exactly the same social profile as themselves.

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