pseudo swede blemishes the internet with her impure thoughts and so on.

sunnuntaina, toukokuuta 22, 2005

For fuck's sake...

Can someone please explain the concept of post-traumatic stress to this judge??

Here is a case where a father is being tried for incest and sexual abuse of his son (14) and daughter (16). The prosecution has requested the court to allow the kids to give evidence by video link because they are so damn scared of the man. The defence has agreed. But the judge? Oh no, he wants to bring these kids out in front of their abuser, and to explain exactly why they don't want to be in the same room as him, let alone to explain to the court what he did to them under his glare.

Despite the court rules being specifically amended to allow for televised evidence in cases such as these, Judge Hart wasn't happy with the request, responding that,
"ideally a jury should have a witness right here in front (of) them, where they can see the person in real life, reasonably close up and can not only listen but can watch and see and observe, and so on. I think in that way a jury is best able to assess the credibility or reliability, or whatever you like, of a witness," he said.

He described the use of the remote witness facility as a "second-best practice".
I think if the court was going to the trouble of installing a closed circuit television link, they'd probably get one that enabled you to "watch and see and observe" the witness - don't you? But apparently that's not good enough.

Usually, the worst bit about a trial for survivors of sexual abuse / assault is the defence cross examination. But here, the judge took it upon himself to press the daughter as to why she didn't want to give evidence with her father watching. This is from the court transcript - the girl was giving evidence in open court with her father in the dock opposite her:

JUDGE: Why are you holding your hand up like that? (The girl is hiding her face.)

GIRL: Because I don't want to look over there.

JUDGE: Over where?

GIRL: Over there.


GIRL: Because I don't want to see.

JUDGE: Why not?

GIRL: Because I think I'm going to be sick.

JUDGE: Because what?

GIRL: Because I think I'm going to be sick.

JUDGE: You're going to be sick. Why? If you see your father?

GIRL: Please.

JUDGE: Is that what you're saying? (At this point the girl became distressed.)

JUDGE: Do you want to give evidence from another room?

GIRL: Yes, please.

JUDGE: Why is that?

GIRL: Because I can't do it in here.

JUDGE: Why not?

GIRL: Because I think I'm going to pass out. I can't do it with all the people in the room. I want to do it by myself.

JUDGE: Are you frightened by all these people that are here now? (The girl makes an indistinct reply.)

JUDGE: Sorry? You think you might pass out?

GIRL: I can't breathe, just, please sir.

JUDGE: You can't what?

GIRL: I can't breathe.

JUDGE: You can't breathe. Do you want to tell me why you don't want to give evidence here from where you are?

GIRL: Because it makes me very, very uncomfortable and nervous saying it in front of lots of people and I just . . .

JUDGE: Inevitably it's got to be said in front of some.

GIRL: I know, but I won't know it will be in front of all the people. They won't be staring at me and I won't see them.

Funnily enough, the day after this grilling, on the way to court, the girl tried to grab the steering wheel of the social worker's car and cause an accident, in an apparent suicide attempt.

The judge has now dismissed the jury and the matter will not be relisted again until psychiatric evidence has been produced showing that she is able to give evidence and that it won't "exacerbate her condition". I love it how, once again, the blame is squarely on the victim and "her condition" rather than on a harrowing trial process run by an inflexible judge with a very odd sense of compassion.


At 9:46 ap., Blogger weyhey said...

I feel sick after reading this. Wanker judge.

At 2:40 ip., Blogger Jeremy said...

Yes. Complete wanker. Must raise profile of this matter until general disgust results in the judge never doing it again.

At 5:03 ip., Anonymous miss p said...

Holy fucking shit. What a complete fucktool.

At 1:20 ap., Anonymous cileo said...

Left a similiar comment over at ausculture last night, so here goes.

Judge Leo Hart’s conduct is utterly repulsive. Infuriated? Make your opinions known. County Court Victoria - Feedback and Complaints

At 8:47 ip., Anonymous dee said...

Once again we see a judge who appears to be sympathetic to a pedophile. Shock, horror - I would like a dollar for every case I have followed where the pedophile gets off with a tap on the wrist - counselling (what a joke), a laughable sentence - and every trick in the book used to undermine the victims testimony.

After all, even a judge must know that victims of pedophiles are threatened and terrorised regularly by their abusers, but they play dumb every time - like the judge who gave a rapist less time to serve because the victim had been knocked unconscious and didnt remember part of her ordeal..

Is all this sympathy for rapists and pedohphiles co-incidence? I think not.
I once lived near the infamous "Wall" in Kings X - where the boys were picked up nightly by clients in expensive cars.

Any judges, lawyers, among them? Oh perish the thought.

At 11:45 ip., Blogger Brownie said...

I was enraged to read about this creep. sickening. a child terrified of her Primary Care Giver is in the worst place in the world.
thanks for the court link cileo . . .

At 10:54 ip., Anonymous Lucinda said...

I also read this transcript in the newspaper and was appalled. I find the judge's insensitivity hard to believe (even with my qualifications as a lawyer, I find it hard to understand the judge's behaviour).

At 3:33 ap., Anonymous Anonyymi said...

He was not at all sympathetic to the paodephile, rather he was directing the victim to to suffice the criteria for being a 'special witness'. At no stage was he defending the paodephile. It understood that the victim was under enormous stress but Judge Hart was trying to direct her appropriately to make sure she can give evidence in an appropriate environment. Shame on you all for berating him. If you had any sense you wouldnt make fleeting statements like you all have. Thats directed especially at you Dee. You idiot

At 8:25 ip., Anonymous Me said...

Anonumous ???? I to would want to be Anonumous when making ignorant comments. how can you for a second think this judge was doing his job he did not need to do what he did he is been "berating" because he deserves to be YOU IDIOT. This is the reason why these judges get away like this cause the boys club is always there to defend them.

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