A prominent retired high court judge, who specialised in family matters, has been criticised for giving evidence for the defence in the case of a man accused of raping a girl – though she knew he had a previous conviction for violence.Well, so what? She wasn’t, after all, giving evidence that he was a risen saint with a clean record, was she?
Potter’s father, Steven, who was in court when Butler-Sloss gave her character evidence, said he had been surprised at the time she had testified given how violent the attack was.
“It was strange to see this very powerful person supporting someone who had acted like this. The CCTV made it clear what had happened. Now she’s stood up in court again and tried to help him. I can’t understand it.”It’s easy to understand. Anyone’s entitled to a defence. Even idiots.
Asked by the Guardian why she had testified in the recent case when she must have known that Chard had a conviction for violence, Butler-Sloss said: “On the first occasion I gave evidence of character. I did not give evidence of character in the latest trial.” Rather she said she had given evidence of a factual nature and insisted she was not giving testimony about his “general character”.
There is no suggestion that Butler-Sloss has broken any rules.So why report on this non-story then?