Mr A

You probably know that the High Court today issued a hugely significant decision concerning child-abusers.

The facts are simple. Until last week, a man who had sex with a girl younger than fifteen was automatically guilty of statutory rape, whether or not he believed the girl to be older. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that such a law is unconstitutional because it denies the accused the defence of claiming that he believed the girl to be old enough to consent. Consequently, the section of the relevant Act was struck down, and is held never to have been valid. In effect, that particular provision never existed and therefore nobody could ever have committed an offence under it. Accordingly, everybody convicted under this section is now innocent of any crime in the eyes of the law, and furthermore is entitled to compensation for wrongful arrest and wrongful imprisonment. I will come back to this in a minute because the implications grow more appalling by the second.

Today, a person, known only as Mr A, was released from prison as a result of the Supreme Court judgment. Mr A had sex with a 12-year-old girl after getting her drunk. He did not claim that he thought the girl was older than 12. In fact, because she was a friend of his daughter, he knew she was only a child. He fed this child drink, and then raped her.

Now, it seems, raping a twelve-year-old girl is not currently a crime in our country. This man who drugged and raped a twelve-year-old child is innocent of any crime in the eyes of the law, and he has been released from custody. A child, I repeat. A confirmation-age child! Can you fucking believe it?

I didn’t fully understand the implications of the High Court judgment, and so I had a little look at the Irish statute book to see exactly what the wording was. Here is what it says:

Criminal Law Amendment Act 1935

1.(1) Any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the age of fifteen years shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable on conviction thereof to penal servitude for life or for any term not less than three years or to imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years.

This is the section of the Act that was struck down, and here’s the sinister bit. You’ll notice that there’s no minimum age specified, and consequently, it appears that there is now nothing to prevent anybody having sex with a child of any age whatsoever.

Maybe I’m wrong about this. Maybe I am. Perhaps Gonad will write in to correct this interpretation, and I hope he does because this is one of the rare occasions when I sincerely hope I am not right. But as I understand it at the moment – subject to correction – it seems that not only can every pervert in the land legally abuse children, until the Oireachtas enacts a new law, but every vermin who preyed on children in the past can now get off scot-free, and those who were caught can claim damages against the State. Against you and me, in other words. Furthermore, it seems this danger was identified by the Law Reform Commission fourteen years ago.

So what have we got? A government guilty of two things. They failed to act on the advice of the Law Reform Commission, with the result that we now have not only carte blanche for child abusers, but probably also substantial payouts to the same perverts. This would be bad enough on its own. It would be awful. But they also agreed to underwrite the religious orders to the tune of about a billion or so for their members’ child abuse. Now we’ll probably see the same religious perverts making monetary claims against the State because child abuse was legal all the time.

There’s Celtic Tiger fucking Ireland for ya. Now, Bono! What do you say to that?

By the way. I am in a position to reveal Mr A’s full name: it is Arsehole.

3 replies on “Mr A”

Right, the fact that you cannot plead that the girl lied about her age or looked older than what she was, was a daft and ridiculous state of affairs, I am the father of three daughters, but know how hard it is to try and tell the age of girls going into dishcoes and pubs, having worked in that line off and on for a few years now, but this particular case is indefensible, there was no ambiguity here. As stated, he knew she was only 12. Does anyone know who decided that these 7 gits, Messrs. A-G should not be charged with rape or assault or something with a bit more teeth in the first place rather than with the lazymans charge of Statutory Rape? Was it our Beloved DPP or was it PJ & PJ again? Whoever decided this in the first place needs slapping upside the head.

Question No. 2, is it going to be the case (As I think it will have to be) that the new revised statutory rape charge will not apply in retrospect and that these 7 will not be able to be charged with something that again was not illegal at the time of their sentencing? Now I know that each individual case has to be looked at on its merits but come on…..

HMMM, I wonder if Tony Soprano or someone can arrange a move for these gits into the local ordinary prison population before the rest of them get out…… OOOps PJ, that was supposed to be cell B1 not Cell 1B…..Oh, Too late boyo… Sorry perv….

Now, Dickler. Didn’t you hit the nail on the head.

Perhaps it was PJ & PJ who decided the initial charges, but it was ultimately the DPP’s call.

As for retrospection, I don’t think it’s a runner, and I think the appeal to the Supreme Court will fail. The fact is that the law has been found to be unconstitutional since 1937, which means it hasn’t actually existed at all as a law. So anybody charged under this non-existent section of the Act is automatically innocent, regardless of when the charges were laid. There is no offence defined in law, and therefore there can be no conviction.

Now, these guys were definitely guilty of something, and perhaps they can be charged with an alternate offence. I don’t know about that, but maybe our legal friends would contribute something to the debate. However, they have already served time and possibly they have served as much time as they could have been sentenced to on the remaining lesser charges.

I have always had a sneaking respect for Tony Soprano. I know he’s a monster. I know. I know. He’s a thug.

But he’s a complex character who has much in common with the rest of humanity, and this is what makes him so engaging. He has human feelings and he sometimes displays genuine, if unexpected, concern for other people. For instance, when his psychiatrist, Dr Jennifer Melfi, was raped, I can remember the terrifying moment at the end of the series when Tony goes for a professional visit, and suspects that something is wrong. Do you remember that?

The psychiatrist is almost at the point of telling him what has happened, and he’s almost at the point of realising what’s been done. Here are his two sides conjoined: the caring, concerned human being who wants to know what’s wrong with his friend, and the unthinking killer who will have this man skinned alive if he’s told what has taken place.

I have to confess one thing here. I wanted Dr Melfi to tell him. I wanted the rapist to experience biblical retribution. On that point, I found myself in agreement with Tony Soprano, and I haven’t changed my position much since then.

So, I suppose what I’m saying is that I agree completely with you.

So here we are, a week into this scandal and things are starting to become clearer for some people and more confused for others, with the government lining up with the latter. Some things need to be clarified and quickly. One :Ireland is not a haven for paedophobes, despite the fact that we no longer have statutory rape legislation . There is existing legislation to prevent them from sexually assaulting children. Two : There is nothing we can do to prevent felons, convicted of statutory rape from appealing their conviction. Three : We need to introduce new legislation to cover this crime but it needs to thought out and should not be rushed through tomorrow.
It is now clear that since the early nineties some legal eagles were warning other legal eagles that we had a piece of very suspect legislation on our statute books. But expediency or laziness decreed that this advice was ignored. And as long as the legislation remained unchanged, prosecuting under said legislation could possibly, some day, lead to the accused, having been found guilty, being set free and absolved of the crime once the legislation was finally proven to be defective. The blame for this lies squarely with the DPP.
There really was very little the government could do because even they did change the legislation people convicted under it, previous to the change, would still be entitled to appeal on the grounds that the legislation under which they were convicted was unsound. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to prevent the appeals of messrs A to G. From this point on, offenders can be prosecuted for sexual assault rather than statutory rape.
This surely gives us time to think before we bring in new legislation to cover statutory rape but the coalition ,in a state of panic, will tomorrow enact a law that will view two fifteen year olds having a first shag as on a par with Mr. A who knowingly raped a twelve year old. Seeing the electoral benefits of the SSIAs going up in smoke, it is a typical knee jerk reaction from a government that can see no further than the next election.
More to the point, perhaps they should consider legislation to force the DPP to publicly justify certain controversial decisions.

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