Saturday, 31 May 2014

Adam Hulin, Undue Leniency & No Justice.

Adam Hulin
"A TEENAGER plied a 12-year-old girl with vodka so he could sexually assault her on the back seat of his car, a court heard. Adam Hulin, of Hurst Lane, Headley, appeared for trial at Guildford Crown Court this week, accused of raping the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in December 2012. The 19-year-old admitted driving the alleged victim to several locations in Bookham and performing sex acts with her, but denied having sexual intercourse and said he believed her to be aged 16. Opening the case for the prosecution on Monday, Alan Gardner said: "In the middle of 2012, Hulin added the girl as a friend on social media site Facebook. "During conversations they had on Facebook, he asked what school year she was in and, after answering she was in Year 7, his response was 'cute'. It is the prosecution's case that Hulin was well aware of her age."
"A MAN has been sentenced to a community order for performing sexual acts with a 12-year-old girl.
Adam Hulin of Hurst Lane, Headley, avoided prison despite admitting charges of oral rape of a child under 13 and assault of a child under 13 by penetration. In addition to the 12-month community order handed down at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday (April 23), the 19-year-old was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and attend six sessions on his attitude towards sexual encounters. A custodial term is within the sentencing council's guidelines for the offences he committed."
"He was found neither guilty or not guilty of this charge, after the jury was discharged and the judge heard evidence alone in what is known as a Newton hearing. During this hearing the judge accepted Hulin’s defence that at the time of the encounter he believed the girl was 16. It was decided the rape charge would remain on file. Mitigating at the sentencing hearing, Richard McConaghy said Hulin had engaged in what he had believed was “what most people would ordinarily define as regular sexual activity”. He added: “This incident took place in December 2012 and the complainant in this matter turned 13 in February 2013. If this incident had taken place three months later then, because of the matter for which Mr Hulin is now being sentenced, he would have had a complete defence of law. “It is simply to do with the fact that she was a couple of months shy of her 13th birthday that Mr Hulin finds himself subject to the law at all.”
"Convicted oral child rapist Adam Hulin will not take part in any sex offenders’ treatment programme it has emerged - even though sentencing guidelines say this should happen when a judge decides not to impose a jail  term. Hulin, 19, of Hookwood Cottages, in Hurst Lane, Headley, was given 100 hours of community service, a £60 victim surcharge and the requirement to attend six community reintegration sessions after pleading guilty to oral rape and sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl in Bookham in December 2012. The talented runner was only put on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years after he was sentenced by the judge Recorder George Lawson-Rogers QC at Guildford Crown Court last month. Last week, the Solicitor General Oliver Heald QC MP decided that the sentence handed to Hulin would not be reviewed - despite calls from the victim’s family and others who believed it was unduly lenient."
You seriously couldn't make this up. 
Knew she was about 12 by the fact he asked her what year she was in (year 7 = first year at secondary school). Yet somehow the judge was seemingly duped into believing that he believed she was 16! How does that work? There is more than a little difference between a 12 year old child & a 16 year old teenager - surely no-one could ever fall for that? Maybe a 14 or 15 year old, but a 12 year old?  
And what of the comments made by Barrister Richard McConaghy?
"This incident took place in December 2012 and the complainant in this matter turned 13 in February 2013. If this incident had taken place three months later then, because of the matter for which Mr Hulin is now being sentenced, he would have had a complete defence of law. “It is simply to do with the fact that she was a couple of months shy of her 13th birthday that Mr Hulin finds himself subject to the law at all.”
Am I missing something blindingly obvious here, or am I being incredibly stupid in assuming that by Law, the age of consent in the UK is 16, not 13? Children of 12 / 13 cannot consent. New guidelines published this year, as explained here include the following excert:
"The guideline makes it clear that victims are not responsible for what has happened to them. This is particularly emphasised in relation to offences committed against children. In the previous guideline there were child sex offences labelled as involving ‘ostensible consent’ – that is, where a child over 13 has apparently agreed to sexual activity. The Council believes that this is the wrong way of looking at these offences as children do not consent to their own abuse. The new guideline therefore looks more at the offender’s actions and behaviour towards the victim" So again, what is this Barrister going on about?
Unfortunately, appeals to the AG as Unduly lenient (yes I did appeal this case) where the AG decides not to review, cannot be re-appealed. It seems then, that for this "talented athlete" (not that this has anything to do with these offences), for sexually assaulting and orally raping a 12 year old child after plying her with vodka, a sentence of 100 hours community service, a £60 victim surcharge and 6 community reintegration sessions (which are NOT designed for sexual offences) is an appropriate sentence! Believe it or not. British Justice at its best again.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Third Time Lucky for "GPS Monitoring" of Sex Offenders?

"Sex offenders could be forced to take lie detector tests when they are freed from jail to prove they pose no risk.
Probation officers have begun rigorous training to become lie detector examiners, under new plans by the Ministry of Justice.
Around 1,000 serious offenders released into the community will be put under stringent tests to ensure they are sticking to their licence conditions.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright claims the move will give Britain one of the world's toughest approaches to Freed sex offenders.
The compulsory lie detector tests are the latest idea to tighten up controls on sex offenders, which will also see their every movement tracked by satellite tags, when the technology is available, the Ministry of Justice said."
Hang on, haven't we been here before? 
"Convicted child abusers will be forced to wear tracking devices upon their release, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has promised.
Paedophiles will be equipped with GPS ankle tags so police can track their whereabouts after they have served their prison sentence.
The new scheme will be rolled out across Britain early next year, the Ministry of Justice confirmed today." (ie Spring 2013.... hmmm what happened then?)
These ideas are well behind the times of course, as this news item from 2003 shows - 
"The Home Office is considering using tracking technology to monitor sex offenders, BBC Newsnight has learnt. As public pressure mounts on the Government to find new ways of dealing with child abusers, a report for the programme revealed that ministers are considering the possibility of using technology to electronically track convicted child abusers every minute of the day.
Newsnight gained exclusive access to one of a number of satellite tracking systems being considered by the Home Office Electronic Monitoring Unit, which could follow paedophiles wherever they go.
The Sky Guardian system is the culmination of years of work by Shy Keenan, a victim of child sex abuse.
Speaking to the programme she said: "I spoke to one of the child molesters. I asked him straight, 'what kind of treatment would stop you?', and his response to me was, 'I like molesting children, it's great. I love doing it. The only thing that would actually stop me would be if you cellotaped a policeman and a probation officer to my arse'.
"And as blunt and straight as that was, it sat with me for ages."               
The Sky Guardian system Keenan created with Clive Crosby and the satellite tracking company Tracker involves a tag attached to the offender's ankle and a mobile phone that alarms if he fails to carry it with him.
He can be tracked 24 hours a day via a computer at a monitoring centre and certain areas like schools or playgrounds can be 'geo-fenced'.       
If the offender approaches these areas he can be contacted directly by a probation or police office on an automatic voice channel on the phone."
and this one from 2006
"According to Keenan, who has developed the satellite tracking system with firm Sky Guardian, the Home Office is enthusiastic about conducting trials for the scheme. Under the system - dubbed SG-Rom (Sky Guardian Remote Offender Management) - paedophiles would wear an almost indestructible bracelet and be given a mobile phone fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology so police can constantly track the offender and pinpoint their exact location in the UK.
On the phone there is a "panic button" which offenders can press, linking them to trained counsellors if they are feeling vulnerable or believe they are in danger of re-offending.
If there are concerns about an offender's whereabouts, they can also be contacted via the mobile phone.
The location of schools can be "geo-fenced", meaning that an alert would be sent to the police if an offender approached. Police would be called immediately if the mobile phone and tag were separated."
Personally, I prefer the GPS device in the last two articles -"Phoenix R.O.M. as it was known (Remote Offender Management). Not only the device itself, but the added extra's such as a "talk-down" option, the alerts & mobile devices.
Why was this not taken seriously & implemented by the Government at the time, between 2002 and 2006, it really should have been!!
Will it be third time lucky?
Will the MoJ include, as part of this, the options that Phoenix ROM had?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

AVP and Rape

"Currently as it stands the legal definition for rape is:
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 defines rape in its first section, which reads:
“(1) A person (A) commits an offence if— 
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, 
(b) B does not consent to the penetration.."
The current definition means that sex without consent does not always constitute rape. When a woman forces another person into sex she is not charged with rape which goes against rape crisis campaigns which state "no consent is rape"."
The above link is a newly created petition created by "Smash Devon" - please sign and share.
There seem to be many similar, but at the same time, different meanings to the term "rape", depending where you look up the meaning of the word. A couple of examples are below: states "the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse."
Oxford Dictionary refers to rape as "A crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will". 
So, AVP, where does this come in?
In UK Law, as defined by the SoA 2003 as stated above, is gender specific, ie "he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis" Under UK Law therefore, only a male can commit the offence of rape on either gender. If a female commits the offense of forcing another person into sex, it is either defined by law as Assault by penetration (even though, again, the SoA 2003 starts their definition with He), or Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent (again with the He). By having separate distinction between genders, and by having legislation named as this, it minimises the offense committed by a female from Rape to a more general type of "Sexual Assault".
CPS Guidelines have both offenses ("Rape" and "Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent", which as stated in this link is "a female equivalent of the offence of rape") as Indictable Only offenses, both which carry a maximum of Life Imprisonment, so why the difference in the naming of the offence?
Having the crime of rape described in this way, (ie can only be committed by a male), is prejudicial to any victim that has been raped by a female perpetrator. Having the crime that has been committed against them lumped together with any other type of "sexual assault" minimises the seriousness of the crime and this needs to change.
If both the type of offense is the same (indictable only), and the punishment for offenders supposedly being the same (maximum of life), where is the issue with having the one offense of rape which covers both genders of offender?
Having a quick search online, brought up this story from 2012 from the USA, which includes "a significant expansion of the FBI’s definition of rape, which will now cover several forms of sexual assault and include male rape.", which shows that this can be done.
Rape is rape, rape should legally mean one person (no matter what gender) forcing another person (no matter what gender) into sex. The end result is the same for victims - no difference - so the crime should be the same. Until it is, victims of female rapists will always have the crime committed against them trivialised and society will always view this as a lesser crime.
And, if you haven't yet, please sign the petition at the top.