In the last few days, there has been a farcical, yet very tragic, court case in London involving a thirteen-year-old girl’s sexual molestation by a forty-one-year old man. He pleads guilty to sexual activity with a minor and being in possession of child pornography and images of bestiality.
The abuser met the thirteen-year-old victim when she asked him to buy her cigarettes from a local store. He bombarded her with telephone calls and texts over the following two weeks until she finally agreed to visit the paedophile at his home.
In his conclusion of the case, the paedophile’s Barrister, Robert Colover, described the thirteen-year-old victim as “sexually experienced and predatory”.
On sentencing the abuser to what should have been a stiff custodial sentence, Judge Nigel Peters, reiterated the Barristers words, adding his own ignorant comment that the victim looked older than her age and was “egging on” the abuser.
The abuser received an extraordinary lenient eight-month suspended prison sentence, much to the outrage of the British people.
If you have experienced sexual abuse, the thought of someone describing us as “sexually experienced and predatory”, will immediately turn your stomach with rage. To face accusations of “egging on” our abusers sounds even more degrading than the sexual act itself.
Of course there is something wrong with any minor who actively seeks sexual activity with a grown up. Who knows why her young world has become so sexually orientated, but it is certainly not the behaviour of a healthy and balanced mind.
My own sexual abuse initially started at 5-years-old and continued until about 8-9 years old. The perpetrator was a neighbour. My experiences were definitely not as traumatic as some fellow-bloggers. On the surface, they were the “games we played”. However, the damage to my early development was deep and complicated. The impact would not be realised for many years to come.
We moved house to a new neighbourhood when I was 9 years old. It took only a few short days to detect (with my tarnished senses) that we were only a stone’s throw away from another grown up who liked to “play games with children”.
I imagine it was all about seeking attention from a grown up. There was not much of that going on at home and early experiences had already instilled a belief that most grown-ups only want sexual favours anyway – that is why they are nice to us.
I was the minor, he the grown up. Yes, some might say that I made myself available to him, but my abuser was dealing with a child who had the makings of an already sick mind and he took advantage.
Therefore, this recent case of apparently intelligent and influential men calling a minor “sexually experienced, predatory and egging on the abuser” has been pulling a few ghosts out the closet this week.
Thankfully, the Attorney General’s office has become involved and will decide whether to send the case to the Appeal Court under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. So the real predator might just get what he deserves after all.
The ignorant Barrister and Judge cannot participate in future sexual abuse cases until investigations are complete. New legislation should prevent them from doing so, anyway.