Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Pity the perverts.

POOR old sex offenders. They have such a hard time of it, don't they?

The stigma, the questions, all that nasty old blame. It's rotten really and it's not like they can help it.

Which is why a judge - with a keen sense for the mood of the public, 51 per cent of which in this country is female and almost 100 per cent of which isn't a judge - has told a pervert it would be "utterly cruel" to send him to jail.

Andrew Jackson, the pervert in question, attacks young women in parks. He approaches schoolgirls and talks to them about sex. He's flashed a girl of 13, and these are just a few examples of a larger pattern of behaviour. Police have spoken to him twice before about stalking young girls in playgrounds and woods, but Jackson has a low IQ and a form of autism so he's not really taken it on board.

Yesterday Jackson admitted a sexual assault on a 21-year-old woman on a park bench, who was saved only when a friend heard her cries for help and pulled him off her.

He's not a rapist, but he is also not what you might call safe to be out and about.

He is out and about though, because Judge Jeremy Richardson QC seems to think that sex offences happen because men, whatever their IQ, just can't help themselves.

The judge said Jackson was "eccentric". He added that because "you have never had a full sexual relationship, it must be very frustrating" and "you are very much to be pitied". He told him to sign the sex offenders' register and have two years of community supervision.

I'd love to think the judge took pity because of Jackson's mental condition, but I doubt it. His words imply a belief that the crime could be explained by the fact he was a virgin, that there was a pent-up impulse any man is naturally a slave to.

It is not far from talking about frustration and pity to mentioning other words like natural, healthy, and normal. It is not much of a leap at all to say that willies are beyond anyone's control and that they can be blamed for bad behaviour, rather than their operator.

The fact is that most men can help it and manage to get through life without assaulting anyone. Those that don't tend to say things like 'I couldn't stop myself', waving their bits like a Get Out Of Jail Free card which makes judges and juries feel sympathy for men who cross the line even when they know it is there.

The true reason for Jackson's crime is not that he is a male, but because his brain is wired differently. His condition makes him clumsy and obsessive, and that's why he follows women and girls around. A woman with a similar set of mental instructions may well do exactly the same but no judge would say it was because she owned a mimsy.

Most of us would agree with that the last place Jackson needs to be is a prison surrounded by hardnuts and psychopaths, drug addicts and thieves. But he does need to be somewhere he's not going to be molesting women and frightening kiddies.

There used to be hospitals and special units for people with Jackson's problems - some of them awful, others amazing - but he can't be sent there for proper treatment because we've shut most of them down.

Instead he's being cared for 'in the community', which means he lives at home with his parents. I'll bet you any money they're good people who try their best and are at the end of their tether, with their allowances cut and no help on hand when they really need it. They are expected to provide the care of a hospital unit, for free, and forever.

The local police already keep a careful eye on Jackson - as I'm sure the neighbours do - but the judge has now decreed he will spend the next two years being formally 'supervised'. This will involve a weekly or monthly meeting with a social worker or counsellor who is already too busy, and who have no chance of changing things permanently because you can't rewire a brain.

As a result, Jackson will be back in a playground at some point. If we're lucky the police will spot him before he does anything and move him on, but one day they'll be busy doing something else. When that happens it won't be the police's fault, or his parents', or even that of his winky.

It will be because someone who needed more care than he got didn't have it. It will be because of a ridiculous Victorian notion that men are naturally rampant, and sexual offences are a normal consequence of masculine frustration.

It will be because a silly judge said a stupid thing, and didn't have the guts or the wit to see that the crime laid out before him had a cause far bigger and wider than anything that could fit in somebody's trousers.

A judge has the power to shame society into doing better.

This one just lets you do what you like.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC: not bright.


Juzzzy said...

Like it.

Matthew said...

I've had a penis since the day I was born. I'm 42-years-old and have never molested anyone. I must be such a disappointment to my mother.

Anonymous said...

he looks like his brain isnt wired properly too..

Anonymous said...

Had you been the Judge what would have been your sentence?

Anonymous said...

No doubt somebody who has access to it will see fit to publish, or to connive at the publication of, his home adddress, ostensibly for the broader public benefit, and probably because they think they know better than a judge.

Anonymous said...


Andy said...

As always an excellent piece. What it demonstrates is that 'Care in the community' doesn't and never has worked and like or loathe them, Thatcher closing down Hospices that deal with these people didn't help. There is no longer any help for them, as Foxy says, benefit (not the answer, but it helps)has been cut, the average GP doesn't know how to handle them. What are you going to do? As for Judges, to qualify for being a Judge you have to be either 20 years behind current thinking, dead, or a combination of both!

Alex Greene said...

Mimsy, as in Borogove.

Foxy said...

The sentence itself could probably not be much different - but the narrative could. A judge is in a position to criticise and highlight problems and had I been in that decision the fact this man needs to be somewhere he will get proper help, his parents will have respite and the girls he becomes obsessed with will feel safe again. As it is, none of those things have happened.

Anonymous said...

I've been owner of my very own willy for 25 years. I was a virgin for the first 22 or so of those years. That means I managed to go the years from becoming a hormonal, lusting teenager without attacking, menacing or pressuring anyone. Not something I'm particularly proud of, as millions of us take the same for granted.
Rather different to Jackson, I'll grant you, but the fact that the majority of us aren't marauding sex offenders means this can't continue to be an excuse for (or, equally, lazy allegation levelled against) men.

john bywater said...

Great article ... but what options were open to the judge. Custodial not appropriate, so what is available. Currently nothing ...

john bywater said...

Agree ... options limited to none. But could have emphasised lack of alternatives

Nick Scott-Samuel said...

" can't rewire a brain".
Yes you can - how else do people learn new things, recover from strokes etc? Whether it might be possible in this particular instance is another question, of course.

Roddy said...

I think you're a bit harsh on the judge perhaps - he's trying, presumably, in the context of everything that he said to Jackson, to ensure he appreciates that he is very lucky to have avoided jail - he's explicit that he deserves to go to jail - that he will go to jail if he does it again - again, he's explicit on that - and offer some words of compassion so that Jackson might want to fall in line. Perhaps the judge felt that unremitting verbal harshness might be counter-productive. Anyway, I'd want to see a transcript of his whole judgement to get a better sense.

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