Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I would weave the bravery of women...

Maybe I lied, maybe I'm kind of out of words at this point (although I do want to know if John Dewar will get an extra ten years for being part of a group that carried out organised crime).

It's such a small victory - after all it's not the crime but the cover-up. But the jury believed Louise Nicholas. This is vindication and it reinforces that if John Dewar had investigated properly, then things might have happened differently.

The verdict isn't just about this case. Over the last 18 months I've heard the stories of many women who had been raped by the police. A friend rang me tonight and told me about a conversation she'd had with Janie, a woman she knew. Janie had been raped by a police officer at about the same time as Louise Nicholas. Janie said that this verdict felt like vindication for her.

More later...


  1. I practically started dancing and singing when I heard the verdict yesterday. It's small justice for Louise Nicholas, whose rapists got away with their disgusting crimes against her and other women, but at least it's something. Hopefully this is the signal for a change in New Zealand's shameful record of dealing with rape complaints.

  2. Anonymous9:50 pm

    I don't think the implications of the Dewar Trial have sunk in yet for most people. Coz its a bit scary.

    It means for one thing that two judges [the ones who gave evidence at Dewar's Trial] knew back in 1994/95ish that Dewar, Shipton, Rickards and Schollum were very dodgy, that they had conspired to pervert the course of justice and that they were either rapists or supporters of rapists. They did nothing. Rob Robinson the Commissioner of Police who came along later in the saga but who had been stationed in Rotorua also knew about it but aided Rickards in his climb towards the top.

    Various other police officers such as Rex Miller and thingummy Sutton knew about it and nothing was made public. At the same time another woman was bringing a civil action against the Police force in another part of the country believing that she was the only woman in NZ to be raped by a police officer, and yet another had been raped in 1989 in Mount Maunganui by Shipton, Schollum and other scumbags. Several more - over 300 of them came forward to the Commission of Inquiry. And NONE of them had known about the others. All these incidents happened in soundless vacuums and were kept very, very secret except that a lot of lawyers and judges knew what had been going on.

    And still Rickards climbed through the ranks, the other officers PERFED for huge amounts of money. And what was happening to the women?

    They were having a really rough time. Their relationships had broken up, their careers ruined, lives wrecked. There were deaths and suicides and despair. One of them had a daughter go missing and couldn't get anyone at the police station to look for her or even put an ad in the paper, they were so prejudiced against her. Her body was found by friends, not the police, because remember they hated that woman for making a rape complaint. That shut her up and it was meant to.

    The other women no doubt had equally or maybe worse things happen to them.

    They became refugees in their own country, and until Wednesday night 8th August they remained like that. Then a brave jury set them free and the whole dirty, disgusting,rapist protecting system began to crack wide open -and who knows maybe we will have a police force and judiciary one day that cares about New Zealanders more than sticking up for their buddies. That's when I'll sing and dance Sofiya. But its a start.

  3. Anonymous11:46 pm

    Well said observer

    As you say "its a start" and good to have a great day for Louise and her supporters.

    I still think the NZ Police have a long long way to go too. Much more will have to happen before some victims will come out of refuge yet!!

  4. Anonymous10:16 am

    So this time the jury found for the prosecution. I am so pleased for Louise and all women who have suffered rape and its aftermath, small victory though this is.

    In a society where dangerous acts, drunkenness and loutish behaviours are often tolerated in young men we should not be surprised if these carry on into their adult persona also.

    Sadly, there are no easy answers or quick solutions but a fair and just judicial system is certainly a prerequisite if women are to be protected.

  5. Anonymous4:51 pm

    Unfortunately, I haven't heard about this case and I was amazed at it. Police should be trusted, and people shouldn't be afraid of them... It's terrifying to know that a police officer you addressed for help can rape you instead.

  6. Anonymous10:37 am

    Have you seen now that young vulnerable victims are being locked up in cells?? Apparently the new law if someone cant face the interrogations on stand etc

    what next??

    sorry not in best mood this morning Maia

    another thing which is getting me riled up is everytime I look at the Sunday Star Times I see Rickards face - its all very well them saying today that ignoring trauma makes it go away BUT rubbing salt in like that angers me!! Dont they care about any young rape victims?? Guess not when they have a smiling selfconfessed gangbanger who likes teens on their frontpage pinups!!

    Never mind that stuff which got little attention in last weeks papers either eg syphilis and AIDs!! Gosh what else has a parent to worry about for children tomorrow - well it all gets too much some days rrrrrggghhh

    reckon its no wonder some survivors of police violence are still underground huh??

    any news yet on Louises book? Does anyone know if an international speaking tour will be funded for some of the victims yet?? Perhaps the next time kiwicops head over to try and impress the UK or Europe then something could be done?

  7. It's an awful case! However, we can't be afraid of all police officers. I can say that in every profession there are people whose behaviour reflects discredit upon all the representatives of this or that profession.