Thursday 26 November 2009

Libby Brooks: Worse Than Jane Andrews?

After all, she killed a man.

But Libby is intent on using the 'Guardian' to trash his reputation as well, in the gleeful knowledge that he can't sue:
Over the next two years, through letters, visits, and the audio cassette tapes she would record for me in the long hours after bang-up, I tried to piece together a more nuanced portrait of this tabloid-constructed harpy and heard far more detail about Andrews's early life and her relationship with Cressman than had been revealed at trial. In essence, she told me that she had been sexually abused by a close family member as a child, and that her boyfriend was a dominating individual whose sexual demands – including anal sex, bondage and role-play – she found degrading but acquiesced to.
You mean, the murderess blamed her victim, secure in the knowledge that he wasn't around to contradict her?

Surely only an idiot would swallow that whole and...

Oh. Right.
It soon became clear to me that Andrews's experience of domestic abuse could not be neatly compartmentalised. Domestic violence is not only about black eyes and split lips, and victims are not always nice. Cressman's abuse manifested itself in far more subtle forms of control. Colleagues would remark upon how sweet it was that her boyfriend picked her up from work each evening. For Andrews, such solicitous behaviour had a more sinister meaning – it was to ensure that she was never alone with anyone else but him.
No equivocation there, Libby? No 'Hang on a minute, perhaps I should wonder if maybe this isn't the whole truth'?

Last month, BBC1's estimable Criminal Justice strand told the story of a fictional victim of domestic sexual abuse who finally snapped, which I felt sure must have been inspired by the Andrews case. Juliet was a comfortably middle-class housewife, with a beautiful daughter and an attentive husband who brought her home white roses at the end of another high-earning day. He also took camera phone snaps of her makeup drawer morning and evening to check what she had used, and buggered her nightly.
Why, yes. A piece of fiction told by a murderess matched a piece of fiction told by the BBC. It all makes sense!
As a society, we have advanced hugely in our attitudes to domestic violence over the past few decades. But it remains the case that only specific types of abuse and specific types of victim are believed by juries. Andrews had no physical scars to parade. But she had scars nevertheless.
So would Thomas Cressman. Had he lived...

Jane Andrews is a murderess. But I think there must be a special place in hell reserved for the likes of Libby Brooks too.


Pavlov's Cat said...

I recall during her trial this was the line the defence took as well and tried to trash his reputation and make her the 'victim'.

Luckily the jury was having none of it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing that when caught for a crime, the fallback position is the "I was sexually abused as a child" claim.

Nick39 said...

Women don't get punished for their crimes these days, and the chattering classes are always falling over themselves to find a mental illness to explain outright evil behaviour from these scumbag women.

I suppose the "leave him and flatshare until I get a new boyfriend" strategy never occured to her.

staybryte said...

Brooks has joined Bidisha and Bindel in Bonkersville.

JuliaM said...

"Luckily the jury was having none of it."

That's probably what galls Libby the most. How dare they!

"Isn't it amazing that when caught for a crime, the fallback position is the "I was sexually abused as a child" claim."

It's becoming more and more popular, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

//she found degrading but acquiesced to.//

WTFF! (What The Fucking Fuck!). So she agreed to these things, and then turns around and uses them against him! Has she no knowledge of the word "NO".

PeterJ said...

It's worth noting that of the hundreds of reader comments on this piece, literally a handful thought it anything but disgusting. The section editor took a particular hammering.

JuliaM said...

"It's worth noting that of the hundreds of reader comments on this piece, literally a handful thought it anything but disgusting."

It's those times that restore my faith in human nature.

SkintMum said...

Interesting how Libby misses out some information. Like how 4 ex-girlfriends of Cressman's described him as a kind gentle man. How at least two of Andrew's ex-boyfriends reported violent threatening behaviour from her and also stalking. She has also been suspected of theft of large amounts of money and jewels several times.

Interestingly on there comment page today the Guardian has an article about how child abuse is okay, as long as it is perpetrated by a woman against a boy because, apparently, boys are 'up for it'. And that is the exact phrase Barbara Ellen used in her article/

JuliaM said...

Oh, yeah, indeed. There's a post on Barbara coming up tomorrow...