Monday, March 13, 2006

Representative Charges

Today the trial for Clinton Rickards, Bradley Shipton and Robert Schollum began. They are all police officers (Clint Rickards is now an Assistant Police Commissioner) at the time they raped Louise Nicholas.

Until now the charges they faced had been suppressed:

The three men face a total of 20 charges relating to a period between 1985 and 1986 when the complainant was 18-years-old.

They are accused of indecent assault, rape and unlawful sexual connection and the charges include two counts of indecent assault using a baton.
I expect I'll be blogging a lot about the trial (and its media coverage), over the next three weeks or so.

Right now the only thing I can think to do is to link to Flea's letter to her sons, and ask everyone to please read it, and work for a world where it's not necessary.

Also posted at Alas.


  1. Anonymous3:00 pm

    While I make no judgement on the case until it is heard (despite it looking damning to date for the defendants) it is important to remember our legal system supposes innocence until proven guilty.

    You claim they raped, it is only alleged at this point.

  2. That's true, according to our legal system they are innocent until proven guilty.

    That doesn't mean that individuals within our society can't make up their own minds about issues at a different stage of the legal process. No matter what the jury decide I believe these men are rapists, and will not be afraid to say so.

  3. Anonymous10:17 pm

    I can't believe you are saying that. You sound like a hard right wing paternalistic authoritarian who knows best for the rest of us, and would be happy with vigilante action. The courts are too weak and citizens are incompetent to judge. Come on now!

    I feel like a soft liberal in comparison.

    Don't you think it is dangerous to make assumptions of this sort about people? New Zealanders have been accused of all sorts of things and judged by others when innocent, look at Arthur Allan Thomas and Peter Ellis to name two.
    The prejudging in these cases certainly aided the convictions.

    While rape is a shocking crime our scorn should be saved for those who are convicted of it, as damning as the case may look to those of us not apprised of all the facts.

    As a victim I always refuse to judge others on the basis of rumour or allegations, given this may damage the lives of innocent people. The damage I and others have sustained cannot be compensated for, but retributive damage to reputation and liberty should be reserved for those who are convicted of allegations.

  4. I don't think the fact that I have decided that these people are guilty, on the evidence I have (which admittedly is slightly more than available in the media) prejudices their trial.

    All I'm saying is that I think it's OK for citizens to form their own opinion on cases, and that we don't automatically have to agree with the jury.

    I'm not saying the courts are too soft. I'm saying the courts are misogynist.

  5. Anonymous11:39 pm

    The courts are misogynist?

    Is that why in the vast majority of custody cases the mother is given the children? Ask the grieving fathers how misogynist the courts are.

    Or is this just the court reinforcing the misogynist view that the mother's place is in the home child rearing? If so feminists should be rallying hard for courts not to favour the mother.

    How do you justify your comments that the courts are mysogynist?

  6. If you are a feminist courts are going to be mysoginist, because they "make an error" in not seeing hte evidence and being as feminist as you are.
    the same is true in almost any sphere - for example a white power organization might call a court "anglo phobic" for not recognising that being white is evidence you are less likely to be a criminal. the same is true for coservatives (seeing courts as liberal or liberals seeing them as conservative) or any other group you care to mention.

  7. of course the problem arises when EVERYONE questions the court in this regard (worse of all when the judge and jurors also do it)- when that happens respect for the law falls apart and the judicial system ceases to provide any sort of resolution.