Jewellery

It seemed like a fancy party with fancy dresses from ancient times, or perhaps it was a normal party in ancient times.

My friends had all dressed up but I had not bothered, I wanted to be in my normal modern clothes without giving too much of a second thought to my hair or jewels. They seemed to have some kind of obsession with jewels.

Obsessions were so high I ended up dressing up as well, maybe just to fit in. then the hair, oh that hair.

One of the group started to feel bad, then got worse and she felt pretty, pretty bad. She kind of wanted to vomit but she wouldn’t , so her mouth was open forcibly, to show four pearls kind of attached to her tongue.

I felt sick and duly vomited. My vomit was made up of pearls. It seemed that, just like her, I had tried to stuff my stomach with pearls. I was shocked because I did not remember eating any pearls, but my mouth could not utter a word because it was busy vomiting.

Then I wondered, if I have been so obsessed with pearls, why did I not put any in my earrings, what’s more, I was sure I had not bothered to put any earrings, just like any day, well I didn’t even have any holes in my ears, I had always been against them, so I thought it would be ironic that I would have been so obsessed with jewels as to stuff my mouth with them when I would not even wear any.

Utterly contradictory as I thought my actions would be, in the one hand eating pearls and in the other not putting a single pearl in my ears, I lifted my hair, which was covering my ears, to check on them, and discovering them, to my horror, completely covered in jewellery. Stones of all colours, of all sizes but mostly horridly big, covering my ears completely.

Diluting Defendants’ Rights: Corroboration

The law until 1994

Until 1994, the criminal law of England and Wales required that there should always be ‘corroboration warning’ in sexual offence cases. A conviction where no warning had been given or was given improperly would most likely be overturned on appeal.

A jury could convict a defendant in such a case where there was no corroboration, as long as the appropriate warning had been given.

The Court of Appeal in DPP v Kilbourne (1973) AC 729 said that ‘corroboration’…

by itself means no more than evidence tending to confirm other evidence. [E]vidence which is (a) admissible and (b) relevant to the evidence requiring corroboration and, if believed, confirming it in the required particulars, is capable of being corroboration of that evidence and, when believed, is in fact such corroboration.

Lord Salmon, R v Henry and Manning (1969) 53 CrAppR 150 set out why, in his view, a corroboration warning was appropriate.

What the judge has to do is to use clear and simple language that will without any doubt convey to the jury that in cases of alleged sexual offences it is really dangerous to convict on the evidence of the woman or girl alone. This is dangerous because human experience has shown that in these courts girls and women do sometimes tell an entirely false story which is very easy to fabricate, but extremely difficult to refute. Such stories are fabricated for all sorts of reasons… and sometimes for no reason at all. The judge should… tell the jury that… they
have to look at the particular facts of the particular case and if, having given full weight to the warning, they come to the conclusion that in the particular case the woman or girl without any real doubt is speaking the truth, then… they are entitled to convict.

Lord Salmon’s focus on “girls and women” does seem perniciously old-fashioned, and indefensible in today’s terms [1].

However, this highly experienced senior judge also makes a good point. It is one which needs to be made today, even though it is almost blasphemous in today’s victim-obsessed culture.

An allegation of a sexual offence remains today “easy to fabricate” and “difficult to refute”, and it is a matter of fact [2] – whatever proponents of the easier sexual offence convictions may argue – that such fabrications do take place. Any evaluation of the law as it stood, and any comparison with the law as it is today, has to take that into account.

The level of ‘similar fact’ evidence [3] which could be used to corroborate an allegation was strictly controlled. The similarity between the alleged ‘similar fact’ evidence and the offence charged had to go beyond merely suggesting that the accused was the kind of person to commit the offence charged, and had to be so striking as to point strongly to the conclusion that the defendant was in fact guilty of the offence charged.

So, until 1994, a conviction in a sexual offence case was technically possible without corroborative evidence, as long as the appropriate warning had been given. But as a matter of practice proceedings were not generally taken unless there was corroborative evidence available. Otherwise, the view was taken that the case failed the “likelihood of a conviction” test.

The law from 1994

In 1991 the Law Commission recommended that the corroboration rules should be scrapped. As their report notes [4], the Criminal Bar Association argued that a corroboration warning in these cases was an “an essential safeguard for the defendant”. However, the Law Commission believed that “the present general obligations of a trial judge with regard to doubtful or unreliable evidence” would adequately preserve a defendant’s position. Thus, a rule mandating a warning was to be replaced with a generalized hope that judges would ‘play fair’ with defendants.

So the mandatory requirement for a corroboration warning in trials of sexual offences was scrapped by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Comment

The scrapping of this protective mechanism – a provision which made it less likely that an accused would be convicted on shaky complainant evidence – no doubt led to a small increase in rightful convictions. Unfortunately, it also made it much more likely that innocent accused were convicted of these serious offences.

Quite apart from the (unknown and unknowable) statistics there, that’s not the real point. It is the cumulative effect of a number of legal and practice changes, all weakening defendants’ rights, which put us in the place we are today.

Many of those cumulative elements will be discussed in later posts. Prime among them, though, are the police’s and CPS’s dogmatic assumption that complainants never lie and are never mistaken, and the CPS’s craven willingness to prosecute even weak sexual offense cases, leaving it to the jury to pick up responsibility for making the hard decision, if it can. Together, these politically motivated stances cost the taxpayer money and, even more importantly, damage lives unnecessarily.

In the end, it’s a question of balancing justice. No one wants sex offenders to evade conviction. But, even more, no one should want innocent men and women convicted of a sexual offence. If it were just a matter of some minor changes in the law, that would be one thing. But it’s not. Changes in corroboration rules. A dilution of when ‘bad character’ can be brought in. Weakening of ‘similar fact evidence’ provisions. A blurring between evidence of criminality and more general ‘bad behavior’. Changes to hearsay rules. Making Legal Aid harder to get. And, above all, the politics of prosecuting nearly everything.

There’s a pattern here. The change is all in one direction: to make convictions more likely and acquittals (even where there should be an acquittal) harder to obtain.

Part of the problem is that there is little likelihood of going back. Once a rule (even one needing finessing, such as the corroboration warning) is abrogated, it’s likely gone for good.

What we’re seeing over the last twenty or so years is a wholesale surrender to a form of political correctness which says that complainants in sexual offence cases rarely lie, and that defendants are usually guilty. And that’s not true, right, or just.

 


  1. As the 1991 Law Commission report on Corroboration of Evidence in Criminal Trials pointed out, “In recent years, it appears that a general form of direction is often used which does not distinguish between male and female complainants”.  ↩
  2. See the evidence accumulated in their newsletters by www.safari-uk.org.  ↩
  3. There will be a post on similar fact evidence coming soon.  ↩
  4. Paragraph 3.4 of the report.  ↩

[RoBoDoNieNnN 2014]

Años, devociones y saliva a borbotones empleados y esparcidos por doquier en maravillosxs inventorxs y creadorxs de enormes bichos y máquinas bio-mechatronicas hechas de chatarra y que se regocijan por el lodo, como [Lrry1] ; horas siguiendoles la pista remotamente a colectivos como Mutoid Waste Company; hasta descubrir DogHead.tv   y volverme literalmente loca, loca, loca!!

Pasando por JoannaPeacock , costurera, pirómana y loca loca loca perdía!!

Enredandome con la telaraña de MONDOSPIDER

Y volviendome artisticamente exxxtrema con ExtremeArts

Hasta ya explotar con Jim Whiting y Bimbo Town  —> A los cuales les dedicamos un Post en Mutanger.

images

…… i la lista no tiene fin……….

Y recuerdo preguntarme a mi mismx en aquel entonces si algún día lograría mi tan querido objetivo [[construccion y desarrollo de bichos y protesis biomechatronicas; cyborgs desgenitalizadxs, desgeneradxs, y transformistas, cuyas capacidades son extendibles y/o modificables. Deseando siempre ir más allá que estos colectivos, que me xiflan pero se quedan muuuy en la base de la historia, demasie(l) arraigados a su mentalidad hetero-papaito-militarizada-normativa; siempre me aborrecieron entorno a eso, bueh…]]  o si al menos lograría trabajar con ellxs alguna vez en la vida, con tal de xupar y xupar información, practica y experiencia, para moldear mi plan a gusto y disgusto de una misma; me importaba un carajo que resultaran ser unos imbeciles, xuparía igual.

Pues fijate tu como todo ESTALLA cuando nuestra gran querida monstruita berlinesa Yan, invita a Pechblenda a Köln, al festival Robodonien, que no me lo kreo que es justo allí donde queríamos ir a parar!

y si, Pechblenda se cristaliza radioactiva y bioluminiscente direccion norte europa con estas brutas cabeza cuadrada,

A VOLVERLAS TODAS LOCAS!

NENASSS QUE ME COGE ARRRRGO……-…..   -…..

Oh boro – Middlesbrough 0 Reading 1

Alright calm down.

We beat Middlesbrough. Everyone beats Middlesbrough.  If we can beat them with our 12-year-old kids then they ain’t much good.

That Alan Kruhl ain’t bad but he’ll have to stop wearing the Carlos Valderrama haircut if he wants to make it big. And if he has to be replaced by Hopeless Akpan then he hasn’t got there yet.

Chris Grunter’s remembered not to give goals away this week but as for my boy Coxy, he’s back where he belongs and now he’s got Gordon Obita pumping the balls up to him, it’s all going to plan, until we play Derby in the League Cup and get hammered. Can’t be doing with that nonsense. that’s why I missed Scunny. Not important enough for me.

International break now. A little rest before the new owner, whether it’s Mrs Satsuma or Mr Bundesliga, is confirmed and gets our boys fired up for the Prem. Majeski’s got it right for once.

They’ll have to learn better English though. And make sure they know the players’ names properly. Nothing worse than getting that all wrong.

URZZZZZZ