Monday, March 27, 2006

More on the police rape case

The jury in the Louise Nicholas trial will probably retire tomorrow or the next day. The Crown has complete its summing up, all that is left is for the defence lawyers to spend a day or so calling Louise Nicholas a liar and a slut, and say that she didn't behave in the way someone who has been raped should behave.

I've been really disturbed by the coverage. Five Crown witnesses were supressed, but most media haven't mentioned this fact. But the thing that disturbed me the most was the descriptions of Clint Rickards, assistant police commissioner, and one of the accused rapists. The focus on his appearance, talking about how authorative he was, as if that says something about whether or not he is a rapist (well actually I think it possibly does, but not in his defence). The Dominion Post went even further:

You can't see the weighty pounamu pendant that hangs around his neck. Just the shoulders of his crisp white shirt and the tight knot of his blue-green tie rise out of the dock. There is the occasional glimpse of a silver watch peeking out from beneath a shirt cuff and the jagged tips of the tattoos that adorn his right arm.
I'm scared about the out-come, I will be so upset, so angry, if these men are let off because of their power. But I do hold out hope. The jury convicted in another historical rape trial, where I was convinced they were going to let the off. All it takes is one person that sees that the kind of man who wears his police uniform to court, to show his power and intimidate people, is the kind of man who would use the power and intimidation that comes from being a police officer to get what he wants.

Also posted on Alas


  1. I remember some of the coverage 2 years back when this case was first brought up. One paper (can't remember which) had a photo of him, arms crossed and basically looking intimidating. The language used in the article was similar to the bit you quoted. Mentioning things like his "strong stance" and tattoo's. Which basically condemned him before the case/evidence had even been brought out. I haven't been following this case closely, but thought I'd mention it :)

  2. I hope all goes well. When I lived in Austin a few years back we got a police officer convicted of sexaully assaulting a woman. Another woman who he had tried to assault got on the stand and testified at his sentencing. Sometimes the system does work (but not often enough) *fingers crossed* I hate seeing police abuse their power (and they do it so often)

  3. Anonymous8:51 am

    5 crown witnesses were suppressed! I did not know that - how many other people did not know that? Why was this info. not made clear by local papers in their news reporting.
    What type of trials do we run, that suppress evidence?

    Louise was made to look like a liar with an overactive imagination. Do people seriously think a woman would put herself through all this awful publicity for no reason.
    I believe you Louise.

  4. Anonymous1:55 pm

    well duh...the reason you didn't know about the suppressed information stella is that it was suppressed.

  5. Anonymous8:09 am

    Who were the 5 crown witnesses and what were their stories.