Wednesday, 25 May 2011

"Thought provoking" rape stories

Kenneth Clarke, our Justice Secretary, has met the attempted rape victim who challenged him in a radio address last week over his plans to reduce sentences for men who plead guilty.

Apparently he found her story "thought provoking" and promises to "reflect carefully on our useful discussion."

He claims his proposal for reduced sentences protects women from having to go through the trauma of going through a lengthy jury trial but I wonder who believes that. I wonder if it really is about money; it costs to keep offenders in prison.

I wonder if he read the thought provoking article in Saturday's Daily Mirror:

"A TOTAL of 190 rapists have been let off with a caution in the past five years," says the paper. "And a further 12,842 rape claims were not taken further due to lack of evidence." (Page 9)

On the local news last week, a woman sacrificed her anonymity to say she was raped by a man who had just been released from prison for the same offence.

I don't see how reducing sentences for guilty pleas is going to solve anything when so many walk free by simply denying it.

I will say though, what I hope we do not read right now, is a woman making a false accusation against a man. Sadly, although unusual, it happens and all it does is muddy waters that result in thousands of legitimate cases not making it to court at all, never mind any convictions.

There is opportunity for progress now, for women and for male rape victims, but does the Tory party really want it?

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