And so justice is served. Not.
Posted on December 8, 2009
Well it would seem that the wheels of justice don’t run as slowly as we’re sometimes led to believe. Because believe it or not, the man responsible for assaulting my daughter has already been tried, convicted and sentenced: indeed, he’s even served time for his random attack on her, an attack that only happened just a few weeks ago.
And by served time I don’t mean he’s now in the middle of his sentence. By served time I mean he’s actually served his time. That’s right, all of it.
All 7 days.
Now let’s compare and contrast my daughter’s testimony (testimony she didn’t get to give in court, because those who make the decisions about the need for witnesses etc decided that they had enough evidence without needing the actual victim to make an appearance) with what’s been reported in the local press.
Here’s the relevant bit from my earlier post about the assault:
“My daughter rang me and told me about the man who suddenly came from nowhere while she was busy working away in a public library: about the man who grabbed her by the throat, headbutted her, flung her on the floor, and chased after her once she’d managed to struggle free. She told me about how he’d chased her and tried to get behind the library counter where she’d run to for safety, and about how other library staff had had to restrain him. This man. This man she’s never met before. This man she doesn’t even know.”
And here’s what appeared today in the Eastern Daily Press:
“The court heard that on November 24 Smales was near the computers in the library at the Forum when “suddenly he lunged at Miss Elliot, grabbing her.”
Mr Brighouse said: “She initially thought it was someone coming to greet her, but as it got tighter it dawned on her that the person behind her was no friend. She has no idea why he did it. She doesn’t know him. She fell into the computer and hit her head against his.”
So, no mention of the chase across the library, or of his attempts to get behind the library counter where she’d run to for safety. And no mention of how bloody terrifying the whole episode must have been for her.
No. What we get instead is this pile of old shite in mitigation:
“James Burrows, mitigating, said: “It’s not the most vicious assault you would ever see; it’s not throwing punches, it’s simply grabbing hold of someone when it’s entirely inappropriate to do so.”
Well that’s okay then. Isn’t it?
Still, at least the press bothered to report it. I mean, at least a young female public sector worker being assaulted while going about her job was deemed newsworthy. ‘Cos that’s what’s important about this story isn’t it?
Actually, no, sadly it’s not. The most important aspect to this as far as my local meeja is concerned is the fact that the man involved had been caught naked from the waist down and pissed at Norwich train station a few days earlier, and the fact that he’s now been banned from drinking in public:
“A man who admitted being naked from the waist down at Norwich train station while being drunk and disorderly has been banned from drinking in any public place in the whole of the country.”
Because a man assaulting a woman, that’s not really news is it? After all, it happens all the sodding time. But a man getting banned from drinking? well fuck me, that’s got to be big news. Big headline grabbing news in fact.
Well how about this for a headline:
My daughter had to find out about all this from me ffs!
That’s right. No one bothered to tell her when the case was being heard. No one bothered to tell her when her assailant was appearing in court for sentencing. No one bothered to tell her that he’d even been sentenced.
I read about it today in the paper. And then I rang her and informed her of the outcome.
Still, maybe she’ll get a nice official letter about it. One day.
But let’s not hold our breath eh?