If ever there were a case that demonstrates why rape should be legalised I think this is it. A schoolboy who raped his five-year-old brother and four-year-old sister is locked up. The extraordinary thing about the case is that while it does appear that the sex was non-consensual (though it may not have been particularly forced) the crime was against his own siblings and it seems was rather accidentally reported to the police by virtue of the mother foolishly calling social services for help. Far from helping they simply contacted the police. Most revealing is one of the comments the mother made in court in which she stated:
The youngsters missed having their brother around
The irony of the case, however, is seen in the judge’s closing comments:
‘This is I suppose a real classic example of what sadly happens when one person within a family commits offences on other family members. It just tears the family apart. It’s highly unlikely in truth that you will ever see your siblings again.
The irony being, of course, that the tearing the family apart was not a consequence of the boy’s actions but a consequence of the judge’s actions. The judge has sentenced the boy to 4 years, 9 months in prison and life on the sex offender register so he will not really have a life. The best he can do is to wait out his time in prison – perhaps in solitary confinement (so as to maximise cost to the tax payer) and then on release seek revenge on the judge. It’s often said “if you’ve done something wrong then the honest thing to do is to take your punishment and deal with it”, however, I’m not really averse to seeking revenge on criminal justice officials who dish out disproportionate sentences as this judge has clearly done. In my opinion the appropriate response would have been for social services, perhaps with the police, to have investigated the situation and seen if there would be an alternative to criminal sanctions that would have been acceptable to all involved. Only if not should the case have gone through the courts, but of course sex offender registration should have been totally off the cards – there should be no sex offender registry for any category of crime. It does not reduce recidivism and it does not act as a deterrent, it is merely vindictive nastiness for nastiness sake.