Sunday, 26 June 2011

Comparing Apples And Oranges...

Joan Smith gives tongue on the Levi Bellfield trial and the concern over questioning by the defence:
There is a problem here.
Well, Joan, at least you got something right, for once. Sadly, that's the only time.
First, no matter how ghastly Bellfield is, he is entitled to a defence.
A fact which, so far as I'm aware, no-one has denied. It's the conduct of that defence that has raised questions.

Questions which may well be unanswerable to everyone's satisfaction, but nevertheless, ones that we are entitled to ask.
Second, the "extremely personal" matters raised by his barrister, Jeffrey Samuels QC, were distasteful but relevant in a trial which turned on misogynistic attitudes to women. As well as looking at the movements of known sex offenders who lived near Milly's home, detectives would have been remiss if they had not scrutinised the behaviour of people close to her.
Indeed, they would. And people would rightly be scathing of them if they did not consider him a suspect, because it often is the case that the 'nearest and dearest' turn out to be the killer.
They became suspicious of Bob Dowler when the following facts emerged: he kept pornographic material at the bottom of a chest of drawers in his bedroom; Milly was hugely distressed when she came across a magazine containing "probably extreme pornographic material... a fetish nature... latex and bondage" a few months before her disappearance; Dowler lied to detectives about his movements on the day of his daughter's abduction, failing to tell them that he stopped at a motorway service station to view pornography; he kept further "extreme" material in a desk in the hallway and in a sitting room; he kept bondage gear in a box in the loft, including a rubber hood and a ball-shaped gag.

Even if Milly hadn't disappeared, it is hard to see why possession of such material by the father of two teenage daughters should ever be treated as an entirely private matter.
In the initial police investigation, maybe. In the subsequent defence, however, it's quite another matter. Particularly when Bellfield had no intention of taking the stand himself...

But Joan has a hobby horse, of course, of course...
Looking at extreme pornography and acquiring restraints for use during sex are worrying behaviours, and it isn't hard to imagine circumstances – a custody battle, for example – in which they might even be interpreted as potentially abusive.
'Worrying' for whom? And yes, during a custody battle, all things would be open. Such as whether the wife was a willing participant is such matters.

But of course, our Joanie glosses over that. That doesn't take her where she needs to go.
Indeed, what is so extraordinary about the outpouring of sympathy for Bob Dowler is that so many commentators have been willing to overlook what this might imply about his feelings towards women, while rightly denouncing Bellfield's misogyny in the strongest possible terms.
That's because the vast majority of people can draw a distinction that seems to escape you (and those of your ilk, such as Harriet Harman, Vera Baird, Julie Bindel...); there's a vast gulf between, shall we say, less-than-vanilla-tastes in sex, and serial rape and murder.
Bellfield's hatred of women and violence towards them was well-known among his partners, acquaintances and co-workers.
While Mr Dowler kept his own personal tastes hidden from his daughters and was distraught when they found them. Can't you even see the blatant contradiction here when you've written it down?

Or are you so blinded by your own ideology you plan on riding your hobby horse into a wall?

22 comments:

chris said...

Joan Smith used to be the partner of alleged expenses cheat Denis McShane. Nuff said.

Robert Edwards said...

I think Bellfield should be garotted in public - sell tickets! I'd buy one...

The Poster Formerly Known As SBC said...

While, as a parent, my heart goes out to the Dowler's their behaviour concerning the trial has been disgusting and shames us all.

The defence not only had every right to ask the questions and to take no regard of the Dowler's feelings but an absolute sacred duty to.

There was no, AFAIK, primary evidence to connect the accused to the crime and it could have easily been the case that Milly ran away or was murdered by her father.

Neither would be that unusual.

Justice demands the putting aside of possible embarrassment and hurt middle class feelings.

A man's liberty was at stake.

I wonder if, back then, that nice next door neighbour was embarrassed by the questions of Mr. Evan's lawyer...

..what was that neighbour's name again...?

Oh yes, it was that lovely gentle Mr.Christie.

(for those who don't know, Evans was hanged).

Zaphod said...

Bondage? If you check on sites like alt.com, you'll find more people who enjoy being tied, than those who want to do the tying. And it works both ways, male-female or female-male.

I undertook this distressing research to add to the sum of human knowledge. Squeamish readers are advised not to check my findings.

A more disturbing kink however, is showing an unhealthy interest in what other people do in the bedroom, in order to disapprove. Now that is creepy.

The King of Wrong said...

Can we get some JATO rockets on Joan's Hobby Horse?

Sue said...

Well...all I can say is, these women must have terribly boring sex lives.

Also, it´s usually the dominatrix with the whip and gag and the men that like the abuse :)

Anonymous said...

@The Loser Formerly Known As SBC

Weren't you on here not 5 minutes ago in this very boutique whining because the bill had taken a similarly robust line with your 14 year old son ?

The Former SBC said...

@ Anon 13:08

No I whinge because the Police didn't question the woman concerned robustly enough nor act promptly on the 'evidence' or answers she gave (ie told her to fuck off and charged her with making a false accusation or whatever the legals for it is).

Zaphod said...

@The Loser Known As Anonymous

Are you the "Anonymous" that writes all the stupid stuff on all the blogs?

If not, then make up a name.

SBC has a talent for disagreeing with everyone. It's a valuable contribution. Most of your comments, (apparently), are rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so everyone should be questioned robustly except your son.
Thanks for clearing that up.

Budvar said...

Just been over to gadgets blog and his opinion on the case.

All things considered, I'm with you on this Julia. If ever I'm up before the beak, I want the opportunity to prove any shall we say not so independent witnesses, are not as pure as the driven snow, upstanding pillars of the community, that butter does in fact melt in their mouths and that contrary to what the prosecution would have the court believe they're not about to be elevated to sainthood.

I think the cross examination of the Dowler family was despicable, and the Judge should have tempered it a tad, but I do see the point of the Judge not wanting grounds for appeal, but don't totally buy it.

The cross examination of witnesses as to ascertaining their character should be one of the cornerstones of an adversarial judicial system, and the banning of it because of cases like this does not make for a better justice system.

As for the (Can't find it now)"It's a man liberty at stake here" comment, he's already doing time for 2 previous murders!!

Paul said...

As has been said by everyone on that page, it's a horrible article and for more reasons than one. There's just so much wrong with it you don't know where to begin.

I'm sure the Informed Consent crowd are utterly outraged by the hatefulness in their article - i.e. as well as Mr. Dowler, they're also implictly under attack here too.

I do note the way the Righteous encourage everyone else to be open about their sex lives, ridicule the preferences of the ones that are stupid enough to be open about them but claim to be utterly above reproach.

Hateful people. Piss off and get a life of your own.

The Former SBC said...

"As for the (Can't find it now)"It's a man liberty at stake here" comment, he's already doing time for 2 previous murders!!"

So what? That may tittilate the Daily Mail contingent but should have no place in the court room and it didn't used to ,back, when we believed in 'justice' as opposed to 'fairness' and political correctness.

Justice....you know the whole 'Blind Bint With A Sword Weighing the FACTS thingy'..which is so unfashionable these days?

Budvar said...

Nobody's arguing his right to a free unbiased trial. My point being his liberty isn't at stake as you stated, as he's already doing life for 2 other murders.

I'm with you on previous shouldn't be brought up at trial, but don't have a problem with it being taken into account during sentencing.

sbc as was said...

" but don't have a problem with it being taken into account during sentencing."-Budvar

Absolutely. I couldn't agree more.

Sorry,my bad, I totally misunderstood what you were saying with the 'liberty' comment!

mister_choos said...

@Sue,

Yes there is a good chance that it was him that liked the spanking, etc. But that wouldn't fit the narrative.

Of course Milly was shocked when she found that stuff. Every teenager at some point find out that their parents have sex. They are all horrified and disgusted.

Zaphod said...

mister choos has hit the nail on the head.

Mjolinir said...

@ The Poster... //There was no, AFAIK, primary evidence to connect the accused to the crime and it could have easily been the case that Milly ran away or was murdered by her father.//

In fact he WAS 'prime suspect' for several years. Really nasty man- lots of allegations, but (AFAIK) no convictions for violence against women? But NOT then 'a serial killer'.

Even after he was convicted of the later murders - the CPS were not initially satisfied there was a case for this one.

'Post hoc, ergo propter hoc' (He did something similar years later - therefor he must have done this first) is a somewhat dodgy basis for any prosecution, let alone one of murder.

JuliaM said...

"Joan Smith used to be the partner of alleged expenses cheat Denis McShane. Nuff said."

I did not know that!

"There was no, AFAIK, primary evidence to connect the accused to the crime..."

Interestingly enough, the same could be said of the convicted killer of the Russell girls. Something they are now looking at Bellfield for...

"A more disturbing kink however, is showing an unhealthy interest in what other people do in the bedroom, in order to disapprove. Now that is creepy."

Agreed.

"I think the cross examination of the Dowler family was despicable, and the Judge should have tempered it a tad..."

Quite. What else do we pay him the big bucks for?

JuliaM said...

"I do note the way the Righteous encourage everyone else to be open about their sex lives, ridicule the preferences of the ones that are stupid enough to be open about them but claim to be utterly above reproach."

As you say, vile, hateful people.

"mister choos has hit the nail on the head."

Indeed he has.

"...a somewhat dodgy basis for any prosecution, let alone one of murder."

And yet, Michael Stone seems to have been convicted on little more than that basis.

Gallovidian said...

Joan seems to have a bit of a thing about men doesn't she?

As it happens Bellfield is a member of the Romani community but we'll wait a long time for the mainstream media to mention that!

We'll also wait a long time for the police and courts to apply the same standards to the Romani community that they do, for instance, to the Dowler family.

Because if they had then Bellfield would most likely have been doing a life term many years ago and some at least of his victims would still be alive.

Individuals like Bellfield start with lesser crimes, but these days these lesser crimes are rarely punished.

chris said...

"Joan Smith used to be the partner of alleged expenses cheat Denis McShane. Nuff said."

I did not know that!


Yes. At the height of the expenses scandal, she had the nerve to write this vomit-inducing defence of corrupt MPs (without, of course, mentioning her personal interest in the matter).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/25/mps-expenses-democracy

It did not meet with the general approval of Guardian readers.