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

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Done.

WHORE. Slag. Sex addict.

Just words, right? They're written on a computer screen by someone you don't know, who's a long way away, and whether they are directed at you personally or just fired out at random you can ignore them if you want.

You can also cry yourself to sleep over it if you want, because sometimes words can really hit home and have a far greater impact than ever intended.

But they are, at the root, just words. When they are written by a troll from whom you are divided by keyboards, screens and servers they can have a powerful effect but they can also be avoided.

Then there are words you cannot escape, because they come from the mouth of a person you share your life with. The person who knows your flaws, your secrets, and the inside of your heart.

When a partner uses the same words as a faceless no-mark on the internet, they have a more devastating impact for the simple reason that you see the anger in their eyes, the spittle flying from their mouth, and know these things are coming from a person you love and trust more than anyone else.

Because you love them, you try to calm them down and stop doing whatever it was they got angry about. Because you trust them, you believe what they tell you - or at least that they have a good reason for thinking it. You might be a little frightened, but you change your behaviour, promise not to repeat it, and try to see this strangely virulent argument from their point of view. Things return to normal.

The next time it happens, you have learned how to take the sting out of the words so you change a little more. Perhaps it doesn't work quite as well, so you hunch your shoulders a bit and avoid eye contact with your partner in an effort to reduce the conflict. Things return to normal.

The next time it happens perhaps you've decided this is just getting silly and you're not putting up with it. You say so. Their response is the sort of stratospheric rage you've never witnessed; they put their face right up against yours and scream. Worried, terrified, and simply unable to know what else to do, you slap them in the face.

Your partner picks you up and shakes you like a rag doll, hurls you against a wall, and leaves you to cry in a crumpled heap. You think that things return to normal, but your idea of normal is whatever it takes to avoid a repeat of that. You get quieter, and you don't mention it to a soul because this is all out of character and you don't want anyone to think the worse of your loved one.

Perhaps it's never anything more than words. Perhaps it's never anything more than a bruise. Perhaps your partner never did that before or since.

Bruises heal in a few days and words can be forgotten, but the tone and the intent behind them lingers for years.

I have long forgotten whatever it was I argued about with the lover who who shook me and threw me into walls. I cannot remember what he said precisely, but I have a perfectly-clear memory of how terrified I was - not just for my safety but for what was happening to him, and to us.

I can clearly recall the times he kicked down locked doors, dragged me around by an ankle, and told me I had to apologise to him for it. I am no longer angry with him nor with myself for putting up with it, and I have long got past the point of fearing every subsequent man I meet might do the same to me, although that took me a while.

But it is still there and reminds me from time to time, like a scar that hurts when it's cold. It has been years now, and I don't imagine it will ever fully go away.

Part of the reason for that is because every time domestic abuse is in the news it is belittled, excused, and waved away in precisely the way internet trolls should be and are not.

Yesterday a man who called his lover a whore, a slag, a promiscuous woman "riddled with STDs", was found guilty and given 140 hours of community service. Had Justin Lee Collins' crime been just using those words - however deep their ability to wound a girlfriend - that would be a reasonable punishment.

But they were just part of his offence, because he wasn't found guilty of using nasty words. He was found guilty of two counts of putting another person in fear of violence, even though there was probably enough evidence to charge him with assault.

He slapped her. He hit her private parts. He spat on her. He threatened to kill her. He boxed her ears. He bruised her arms. He pulled her hair. He threw a sat-nav at her.

And that was probably not the worst of it, because the more serious long-term problems will probably come from the times he criticised her sexual history, complained she slept with a black man, questioned her morality, banned her from social media, wrote down a list of her lovers, threw away her DVDs, told her to sleep facing him, and bullied her for not moisturising his back.

Anna Larke told the court: "It destroyed my life, everything I had. I had no ­confidence. I didn’t want to go out. I don’t want someone else to go through what I did."

But they do, and they will, because despite Anna's courage in not only complaining and enduring a trial, and doing so while facing a millionaire celebrity's lawyers, and knowing they would tell the nation her sexual history and problems with alcohol, the court dismissed her.

Oh, the jury found in her favour and the judge delivered a sentence. But in every important respect they dismissed her as a person to whom it should not have happened. Judge John Plumstead described Anna as "a woman with many difficulties", and accepted Collins' defence that he had merely lost his self-control while trying to "deal with the difficulties".

It is not all right to hit someone because they're a recovering alcoholic. It's not all right to hit the most sensitive part of their body, to spit on them, pull their hair or threaten to kill them. Other people live with recovering alcoholics and manage not to do those things.

Collins' wife gave evidence saying he had never been violent to her and was kind and generous. She did not make much mention of the three affairs he had while their children were babies, which does not seem every kind to me, but each to their own.

The fact someone is not violent to one partner, and is violent to another, does not make it all right. Violence is not something a certain kind of woman entices out of a man, it is not something that can be blamed on 'chemistry', and however rarely it manifests it would not do so if it were not in that person to start with.

I sincerely hope the man who mistreated me is better to his current partner, but if he is I would not presume him to be cured. I would simply sit and wait, and wish her luck.

"This is not a run-of-the-mill case of domestic violence," Judge Plumstead told Collins. "This was genuinely out of character."

Which is funny, really, because that's what the victims of domestic violence tell themselves too. They tell themselves it when they are shouted at, when the screams begin, when the children cry and when the bruises appear and then fade.

They tell themselves it is out of character because they also know a side of their attacker which they fell in love with and occasionally still glimpse. They do not notice as the glimpses get rarer, and that's why they stay when they should go, and it's why two women are killed every week by their partners or former partners.

Judges know the power of words. They know that hearing "140 hours community service" is not as frightening as "six months' jail", and they also know that stealing a case of mineral water in a riot is not as serious as assaulting your partner over a period of seven months.

They also know, because the High Court ruled on this in July, that only words which contain a genuine and intended threat can be considered criminal. The judge in that case said people "are free to speak not what they ought to say, but what they feel".

So idiots who write unfunny jokes about murdered five-year-old April Jones, set up silly Facebook pages mocking the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, complain about British soldiers in Afghanistan or upset the grieving by writing about having sex with the dead are - and this is important - not criminals. They're idiots, they're offensive, but they cannot in law reasonably be thrown in jail.

But they were.

A man, famous or otherwise, who reduces his partner to a constant state of fear, who assaults her, bullies her and admits only the part of her story she was canny enough to catch on tape IS a criminal. Justin Lee Collins is a thug, a bully, and a liar. He CAN be reasonably jailed.

But he wasn't.

I don't think that was because he was famous, or because he could afford a good lawyer. I think it was because a change in the law recognising that words said by a partner are part of domestic abuse, and just as or more damaging than a punch or a smack, will not be in force until next March so it was impossible to prosecute this little toad as he should have been.

And it's also because we get incredibly angry about the words we see written down, forgetting that means we can tear them up, delete them or burn them, and not about the words we hear which wriggle into our heads and stay there until we are able to shake them out.

The most important words in your whole life are not the ones you see but what you hear - hello, goodbye, I do, I'm pregnant, it's bad news I'm afraid. You might forget precisely what was said, but they change your life one way or the other and you never forget where you were, and what you were doing when you heard them.

If only judges heard what everyone else does.

You're a dickhead, mate.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a little bit in love with you I think. x

Anonymous said...

Bloody brilliant piece of writing, summed up exactly how I feel having suffered domestic abuse & made me cry a little x

Only me said...

Superb article, albeit in terrible circumstances.
Spot on

Anonymous said...

me too

Anonymous said...

Brilliant piece. That's coming from a guy as well. I especially like the picture and sign-off at the end.

TheOtherSideofCool said...

I'm a lot in love with you. Good for you for saying it how it is. I had an abusive relationship too and these things stay with you. What she went through was horrific and not brought on by herself regardless of how 'perfectly' hes acted in the past. hes a prick, 'the system' is a prick and so is that enabling judge xx

Visit The Other Side Of Cool
Tweet me! @othersideofcool

Anonymous said...

Very well said.

The Kraken said...

That is fucking fantastic. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Just brilliant

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha - so am I!

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly put!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes one is grateful for how far along the line we have come in relation to how domestic violence is treated; and then something like this happens and you hear the comments of people who actually blame the victim. It makes me despair. I didn't know that JLC had cheated on his wife several times. And yet his wife says he is "kind". Daft.

Anonymous said...

Genuinely fantastic reading on such a negative topic. Thank you for saying this so clearly, and for highlighting all the areas of this case that seem to have been overlooked.

Genuinely, thank you.

Room with My Views said...

A very powerful piece of writing. Thank you.

Ray Fenwick said...

A somewhat beautiful piece of writing. I agree with every word.

Anonymous said...

You put into words exactly how I feel. very well written article. thank you. @diggle30

Anonymous said...

As someone who has suffered at the hands of work-place bullying and the intricacies of how it can operate to have an affect on your health in the longer-term, i just want to wish the author good mental health going forward

Anonymous said...

Truly brilliant article. Reading what he had done reminded me of the domestic abuse I suffered years ago. Unlike her, I stayed silence and it's only 15 years later that I can admit what happened.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that ... Brilliantly written.

graham said...

As ever a fantastic article that says what I am thinking but only so much better - I'm appalled that in the same week (and I think the same court or were both cases just from the same area?) a so called celebrity can be given 140 hours community service for physical and mental assault of his partner and yet only 24 hours earlier a girl with proven mental health issues gets two and a half years for being abusive on Twitter and Facebook to another celebrity (Rosie Marcel) with whom she had become infatuated.

Now I'm not trying to diminish the seriousness of what happened in the case of the girl stalking Rosie Marcel - but she obviously needed help not a prison sentence and had not actually done anything other than send words to the object of her infatuation.

On the other hand you have Justin Lee Collins who actually lived with his victim and subjected her to sustained physical and mental abuse over a significant period of time, and he gets community service. That's plain wrong in my book - especially when you consider that in the Rosie Marcel case her stalker pleaded guilty to her "crimes" and yet Justin Lee Collins pleaded not guilty and put his victim through the whole trauma of testifying in court.

Let's just hope that Justin Lee Collins career is now well and truly over and he can't even get a job on the shopping channels.

Ken Haylock said...

Spot on! Absolutely spot on!!

Anonymous said...

I have experienced mental domestic abuse like that described. Nothing physical but the verbal torture was unbearable. Thank you for writing about your own experience.
In the light of the Jimmy Savile case you'd think people would be more inclined to listen to women rather than make excuses for men.

rosebudlia said...

The last line ... perfection. The rest of your commentary, you nailed it!
Thank you for this, thank you so much.
Sue Rose.

Anonymous said...

I imagine there are many of JLC's circle who still don't blame him and think butter wouldn't melt. My first husband turned out to be straight out of Lolita after confessing to me he had a thing about 13 year old girls. This was in the 60's and I just fled. But, people who knew him would not believe it of him. Because people just don't listen and don't want to hear the truth. Echoes of Jimmy Savile too.

Anonymous said...

This piece is spot on - I suffered a form of domestic violence when I was a teenager - the person I was going out with gradually cutting off my friends and turning me against my parents. Constantly checking my phone, choosing clothes and wanting to know who my male friends are. Hand on heart, I did nothing to make him suspicious of me and deep down I felt sorry for him, so kept all of this to myself. I actually didn't need to say anything because my behavior change and my dwindling confidence was immediately apparent to my parents, so they stepped in and put a stop to it.
But I was lucky - I had others who were smart enough to recognize the signs and help me. Not everyone has that, so this is why I'm glad a change in the law is coming and that people like you are brave enough to share your experience so victims don't feel so alone.

Anonymous said...

Well said Foxy. Sadly Domestic Abuse I still treated as a lovers spat, the victim must be partly responsible. Not sure of the figures but the domestic abuser probably has a better chance of avoiding jail for assault on a partner than a person commiting a lesser assault on the street. Women like yourself who break free of abusive relationships are extremely brave and strong and deserve to see the law protecting women like you, not feeling sympathetic towards the abuser.

Anonymous said...

I've was bullied at work for years. a person can do so much damage with words. I felt it must've been me doing something wrong to make him say the things he said over and over again .
Telling someone whats happening, hopeing they'll believe you is such a difficult thing to do. I've finally told someone and hopefully something will be done about it, even though I've been advised not to pursue it by some senior members of staff. I was starting to waver, but reading this, im sure as hell going to make sure he pays if its the last thing i do while im still in the building.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Brilliant and very moving piece. As someone whose confidence was chipped away and self-belief reduced to shards during six years in an emotionally toxic workplace, I can relate in some small way. Thank you for writing this.

Anonymous said...

Foxy. Bingo. Sorry...

Your piece is spot on, I despair of the lightweight sentence handed out. One only has to wonder about the threats of a reduction in alimony doled out to the ex-wife should she not testify... You wouldn't put it beyond a hairy talentless turd like JLC

The Bunnyrunner said...

Well Done You!

Matt said...

This piece seems ignorant of the fact that a jail sentence isn't just a jail sentence. There exists discretion and intention in the application of a custodial sentence. To hold one criminal up and say "he did this and he got jail" and another up and say "he did worse and he didn't get jail" is essentially a reactionary, ill-informed and assumptive position that conveniently assumes all manner of misogynistic intent to arrive at a loaded position barely reflective of reality.

Prison is ineffective. Don't believe me? Look up how many repeat offenders spend their lives in and out of the system. Look up how woefully insufficient rehabilitation programs are. Look up the statistics on how crammed our jails are with people who keep coming back or those on remand without even having their day in court. It's a mismanaged mess.

So from a judge's perspective they have to decide what good it would do to contribute towards that. In the case of a teenager, one judge felt it might act as a suitable deterrent that may help alter the course of a kid whose actions are plainly unacceptable. "They're only words" won't be much comfort to April Jones's family, should they have stumbled across them.

From another judge's perspective, sending a grown man with no criminal record headlong into such a system, appeasing the baying mob, wouldn't serve as well as the public humiliation of unpaid menial work. Collins committed an awful, systematic abuse of his partner. He deserves to be punished, but in a way that will help him not to do it again. The judge decided the best way to try and achieve that is to humiliate him publicly. I agree with him, and find this article a little reactionary and not accounting for either the entirety of the case or a progressive way forward.

Ally Fogg said...

As everyone has said, this is a fantastic piece, truly righteous.

One slight clarification / correction. The Home Office changes to come in from March are administrative, not legal. They will impact upon policy documents, guidance to officials, statistical analysis etc, but as I understand it they won't in themselves change judicial decisions. There is no specific law on domestic violence - offenders are charged with assault, GBH or some other crime such as, in this case, harassment, and those laws remain unchanged. If Collins were in court next March, he would face the precise same charges and the result, sadly, would be the same.

I guess it falls to me to clear that up since I wrote the Indy blog you link to in that sentence!

Anonymous said...

i wonder if the sentence would of been so light had the victim retaliated and gave him what he deserved!
i'm guessing not!
the guy is a coward and a shithouse he and the dickhead of a judge should rot in hell and die a very slow painful death!

Anonymous said...

Wonder if anyone will leave lift the lid on women who bash or abuse men? Because it's not about strength, it's about control. When kids are involved, it's a nightmare. Save yourself. Or them. Because no court's or anyone else is going to sympathise.

Anonymous said...

Join the queue!

Anonymous said...

As a person who is dealing with the fallout of an abusive marriage I can totally relate to this article. I was never physically harmed, but the psychological scars are deep and it will be a long time before I can trust another man. Walking away was one of the most terrifying things I've ever done, but it was the first step on the road to getting my life back. Thanks for eloquently describing what so many women, and a growing number of men, have to deal with on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

I am a heterosexual man, and suffer exactly this abuse, verbal and physical, at the hands of my partner. Not entirely relevant, but I wanted to get it out there because it eats me up. Why do I stay? Because I am scared she will get custody of my son if I leave, and then do this to him.

FSF, your blog here is right on the money.

LL said...

I wondered how long it would be before someone said 'what about all the men who suffer abuse from their female partners?'. As if stating that a woman should not be abused means you are denying that men are abused. To point out one person's suffering is not to deny another's.

Just in case anyone thinks it needs saying, NO ONE should suffer physical and mental abuse, man/woman, gay/straight, black/white, old/young. End of. That we still dismiss domestic abuse as a tiff in the 21st century is unbelievable. That we blame the victims for bringing it upon themselves and exonerate perpetrators because their crimes are 'out of character' is a disgrace.

pinchypants said...

Bloody brilliant. Superbly written and argued, and very, very human. Thank you!

Mike Wilkins said...

Very important article, well said. Absolute travesties of justice highlighted here. No consistency, an utter disgrace.

Perivale said...

Incredibly well written article, very powerful indeed. The sentence given to JLC is basically pointless, it won't change the man and he'll continue to be a threat to anybody be dates in the future, which really worries me. I'm glad to read that you have somehow manages to move on from your own experiences.

Anonymous said...

Sw?

Anonymous said...

Well said! The judge is a pure dick head with clearly no understanding or care for survivors of domestic abuse.

Ed Allen said...

You deflated your own argument. Prison is ineffective, either as a deterrent or rehabilitation, so why try to justify the jailing of a mentally ill child who wrote some trash on twitter? It's state retribution for an upset celebrity, the police have already admitted they can't dedicate the same time to arresting trolls of non-celebrities and by arguing in favour of such bullshit you're the one who's being reactionary.

140 hours of community service is a pathetically weak sentence for his crimes. He needed forced attendance at anger management, a public humiliation, enough community service to put him out of paid work for years and a huge compensation package taken from him and given to his victim.

-------------

Back on topic: This is a brilliant piece. The judge should be forced to read it.

zetetic said...

I take your point but I'm not sure it achieves what you think it does. There may well be a variety of reasons which surround particular cases and particular judges which result in different sentences; taking into account those reasons, it might be that differences between sentences for different crimes aren't indicative of simple prejudices. There is also the issue, as you say, of appropriate sentencing qua rehabilitation - and given that it might be more appropriate not to give a jail sentence in this case.

The problem for your position on both counts is that we are made well aware of the surrounding reasons for jail sentences and that tends to indicate a systematic devaluation of abuse. Using jail sentences for either deterrence or rehabilitation are, as you yourself point out, laughable reasons for handing out jail sentences based on empirical evidence of repeat offence.

The question then is what motivates the desire to apply those criteria given the fact that jail is perhaps universally ineffective? Simply that in the case of looting 'it is essential that this be stamped out and regardless of appropriateness or success, jail is our most severe punishment and that is what we will give out'. Whether or not the judge is right or wrong about the effectiveness of jail, their decicison to use that - or not - tells us something about how they view the seriousness of the crime, ceteris paribus. So there is still the wider issues of what counts as a good reason to take negligible looting by 17 years olds as cause for harsh jail sentences whilst abusers get let off without - because regardless of the effectiveness of jail, it is clearly 'better' for the accused to get community service than a jail sentence both in terms of social status and their experience over the next x amount of time.

So just because a judge has a reason for applying a jail sentence in one instance and not in another, and that reason is not explicitly misogynist, it doesn't follow that the reason why that reason counts as a reason is not misogynist. Unfortunately, your reply seems to do the same: yes, yes, yes, it's a terrible thing but its not as bad as x (when it clearly is much worse). That you see it this way, in my view, does betray some level of misogyny. I'm sure you'd be horrified by that charge and I'm sure you think it's false. But if you go one step behind your argument and look at its motivations in terms of salience of issues and appropriate evaluations, it doesn't look too good. You still invoke the trope of 'he's a decent enough chap the rest of the time' and I think the article does a pretty good job of questioning that. And that's part of the point of the article, the misogyny is at a deeper level (often, but not always - sometimes judges just trot out misogynist reasons) than at the level of reasons given. But that does not mean misogyny isn't at the heart of the issue.

Anonymous said...

Superb article.

Phil said...

Definitely one of the best post of yours that I remember, and while prison wouldn't work to rehabilitate him, neither will 140 hours community service. Surely there must be some sorts of psychological studies into people like this. Or if there isn't, there should be, to inform judges and juries into these sorts of psychological problems that drive people like Collins to do things like this, so they can get treatment of some sort alongside the sentance, rather than saying it was a one-off.

Anonymous said...

This is very relevant, I think. Narcissitic people come in all flavours, I'm afraid. It seems their main aim in life is to isolate, manipulate, condition and control before crushing and ultimately destroying their prey. I have had to sit back in silence and watch one such woman work her evil on my brother. He suffered 12 miserable years, continuously walking on eggshells in his attempt to make her happy....and to keep her obnoxious behaviour secret from his beloved children. He recently escaped..life savings spent, career in tatters, esteem at an all time low and worse still... seriously questioning his own self worth. Some may think he was weak to suffer all the indignities.....I think it shows great strength and indeed, super human strength to summon up the enthusiasm to gather his life back together. As luck would have it, he has managed to salvage his sense of humour....it had been lost for so long . You see, men don't talk, they suffer in silence because to even admit to dealing with such behaviour from a woman seems unmanly. Yes....there are men who abuse...but there are women who abuse too. (no, he has not left his children at her mercy...but there begins his next battle!!!!)

Anonymous said...

Please seek help! Contact Refuge, the domestic abuse charity, and they will be able to find a local agency. I did exactly that and with the help of my support worker I finally summoned up the courage to leave an abusive relationship. I've had assistance with finding accommodation, sorting out money and the legal side of things - it would have been impossible for me to even think about leaving without all the help me and my children have received. Until I needed it, I wasn't aware of how much support is actually available at a local and national level. It's never going to be easy, but you owe it to yourself and your son to take the first, most difficult step. I wish you good luck for the future, and hope you can find out for yourself what fantastic work is being done behind the scenes so that you and your son can move forward and enjoy a peaceful, safe life together.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

I'm still ashamed of what I put up with from my ex-husband.
Sometimes I have nightmares about it.
If I smell his aftershave I throw up.
The police removed him from the house.
The police advised me it would be very difficult to prosecute but they wanted to. They just needed some more evidence. My word wasn't enough.
I ran away. He will never find me.


Anonymous said...

Two women a week are killed by a male current or ex-partner. How many men are killed by a female current or ex-partner? A growing number of children are being killed by their fathers - about one family every 8 weeks or so - and he's always a 'tragic dad' rather than a 'child murderer.' Male-on-female domestic violence is always a part of the 'tragic dad' affair which is never called what it is: family annihilation. If an average woman 'bashes' an average man the damage will be very much less than when a man hits a woman. Yes, it's about control and power, and no one should hit anyone else. But women with brains are heartily sodding sick and tired of men saying, 'Yeah, it was bad that he killed her, but some women are really horrible to men." If you've been affected by female to male DV you can find help here: http://www.mankind.org.uk/
You may want to respect that this piece is about the endless, endless violence of men towards women.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article; absolutely spot on. I am another survivor of domestic abuse and I still bear the mental and physical scars many years later. This poor woman has been so brave and I wish her all the luck in the world for her future. It takes an immense amount of courage to firstly get out of an abusive relationship and then to proceed with a court case (been there, done that). And to do all that when the abuser is a monied celebrity and under the glare of media scrutiny...well, I take my hat off to her. I completely agree that the justice system is a joke, but hopefully she can take some comfort from the fact that he has at least been convicted; the world (women in particular) have now seen what a vile man he is; and fingers crossed his career is over.

The sentence passed is scandalous not only because of its leniency, but also the fact that this was a high-profile case and presented a real opportunity to demonstrate to the public that the courts take a dim view of domestic abuse in all its forms, and that it is always worth reporting such abuse. Women (and men) who come forward must be applauded and justice must be seen to be done. At the moment many victims of domestic violence either do not proceed with prosecutions or fail to attend court, meaning the case is dismissed due to lack of evidence and the perpetrator gets away with it. This needs to change.

Once again, sincere thanks for writing this. Brilliantly written and such an important subject.

born2bebeautiful said...

Absolutely brilliant piece of writing.

born2bebeautiful said...

Absolutely brilliant piece of writing.

Refuge said...

Hi there, I’m commenting from the national domestic violence charity Refuge. We just wanted to say what a powerful post this is. It really encapsulates what so many of the women we support experience. Physical violence really is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact to domestic abuse, and that’s something that we try really hard to help people understand.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. Hope you don’t mind us posting our website, but if anyone does need support or information about domestic violence, visit www.refuge,org.uk

Anonymous said...

The story in The Sunday Times about him said he abused a cat too. The vile bully broke it's tooth, mangled it's paw and terrorised it to the extent it would defaecate upon sight of him. So clearly his bullying is not specific to one victim, he is a monster. He should not be walking the streets as he is clearly a threat to whomever he sees as vulnerable.
The RSPCA should prosecute him as well.
He is a bully, he abuses defenceless animals and he is a vile loathsome misogynist who clearly hates women.
He should be in prison, violent thug. Domestic abusers belong in jail.

Anonymous said...

Good article. Got here from Digital Spy

Anonymous said...

All power to this article. Also came over via Digital Spy. Spot on.

Me said...

I'm not quite clear what the actual judgment consisted of, could you clarify? You seem upset that the deplorable Mr Collins didn't receive a substantial prison sentence on the basis that, rather than just being a verbally abusive asshole, this was a clear case of domestic violence. So you say 'he slapped her. He hit her private parts. He spat on her. He threatened to kill her. He boxed her ears. He bruised her arms. He pulled her hair. He threw a sat-nav at her.'

The thing is, you also say 'He was found guilty of two counts of putting another person in fear of violence, even though there was probably enough evidence to charge him with assault.' So in that case am I right in thinking - as your words seem to imply - that the only charges against him were those of putting a person in fear of violence? Rather than the actual violence to which you earlier referred? In which case surely a judge can only give a sentence appropriate to the charge which the defendant is actually convicted of? If the evidence was possibly enough to convict Collins of a more serious offence, isn't this the fault of the CPS?

i.e. regardless of how likely you or I think it is that Collins was violent as described - or indeed even if the evidence appears to point to no other possible conclusion - if he wasn't actually charged and convicted of said violence, how can you possibly blame the judge for not giving him a sentence appropriate to a non-existent charge? Sorry if I've misunderstood, I'm unclear on the facts.

On a different note, whilst I appreciate it seems incongruous that this scumbag is getting some gentle community service whilst a minor rioter gets a hefty jail sentence, I'm not convinced this is grounds to assume misogny. To me it's not prima facie obvious that the more immoral act - i.e. treating your girlfriend like utter shit - automatically deserves the harsher sentence. For example, I've been cheated on before, and I've also seen my partner drop rubbish in the street: guess which one hurt more, and guess which one in punishable by law? I appreciate this particular issue is complicated by the violence, but as I say above, I'm very unclear as to the basis on which Collins was charged from your article.

Saying that, personally I think all manner of 'emotional' abuses probably deserve some kind of criminal punishment - violence is certainly not the only 'true' abuse. But at the same time, I guess we wouldn't want to start handing out fines to women caught kissing men who aren't their husband - indeed this kind of nonsense is probably the bread and butter of regressive, theocratic misogynist states. So whilst it's probably right to charge people for severe forms of emotional abuse, it seems very unclear to me where to draw the line, given we presumably don't want to make criminal offences out of 'minor' emotional abuses like treating out friends badly or cheating on our partners, yet at the same time we do want to apply criminal labels to the even more minor offences of littering and flytipping and all the rest of it. i.e. the question we have to ask isn't only 'so how immoral was the action? how much pain was caused?' given the obvious fact that cheaters are bigger assholes than litterers, yet we wouldn't expect the law to reflect this.

Sorry for the long-windedness, but would appreciate your thoughts :)

Post a Comment