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.