Two boys aged 10 and 11 were found guilty today of attempting to rape a girl of eight.
They were among the youngest boys to be prosecuted for rape in Britain and are now thought to be the country's youngest convicted sex offenders.
I was expecting an acquittal, what with the complete collapse of the main prosecution witness...
They had denied assaulting the girl and their barristers claimed they were just being naughty or playing a game.
But the judge Mr Justice Saunders refused their pleas to throw the case out after the girl admitted she had not been truthful about some of her evidence.
The more I read/see about this trial the more unsatisfactory the whole process seems. Even bringing this case to court seems to have been a questionable decision. However all we see are the media-edited versions of what was said so I'm not sure we know (or will ever know) where the truth lies. Not sure there are any "winners" or "losers" here.
Very odd, usually the fact that the victim has been less than truthful about the facts pertaining to the case is enough to have it thrown out.
I was a bit surprised after last week's collapse. Grounds for appeal, I suspect.
Generally agree with John R. What does seem pretty clear, however, is that the boys have been convicted in circumstances (main prosecution witness admitting to lying) in which a trial involving adults would have collapsed. And that the difference is supposed to be justified by the exigencies of child protection. Creepily Kafkaesque.
Someone wanted to make a point.
It was a Jury of 12 ordinary members of the public that found them guilty.
I am not sure what defence may have been raised in the trial but the defence barrister would have made a point about the girl's 'honesty'.
Did the boy's have any history of (sexual) offending? Possibly, but we may never know.
"The more I read/see about this trial the more unsatisfactory the whole process seems."
Indeed. Questions are being asked already.
"Grounds for appeal, I suspect."
I wonder if there will be an appeal? Probably.
"What does seem pretty clear, however, is that the boys have been convicted in circumstances (main prosecution witness admitting to lying) in which a trial involving adults would have collapsed."
"Someone wanted to make a point."
That seems to be the case with a lot of high-profile cases lately. Not what the justice system is for, surely?
"Did the boy's have any history of (sexual) offending? Possibly, but we may never know."
Unless they do appeal.
The older boy would have pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct if that charge had been offered so clearly something criminal did happen.
It seems that the judge himself is not happy about how the proceedings went and wants the case to be analysed so that any future cases of a similar nature can be dealt with in as fair a way as possible. The boys have yet to be sentenced so we do not know the final outcome of the trial - it may well be that sense will prevail.
However weird and unjust this verdict seems on first sight to be, follow the power to the quote of the trial:
The judge ... said: 'There is little I can say which would make either parents or boys feel better but the welfare and best interests of the children have a high priority in any sentencing procedure.'
Get that? The welfare and best interests of the convicted have a high priority in sentencing.
Perhasp they are innocent - in which case if the judge feels so, he should be doing whatever it is to get a mistrial called or however the appeals process works, and I rather hope he does so in this strange and unjust-seeming case.
However, putting the welfare of convicted criminals on the ticket at all?
It's not where that attitude is leading us: it's where it's already got us that hurts.
another shot in the arm for those dedicated to taking any allegation of a sexual crime and using it for any purpose other than trying to catch and punish the guilty, support victims and protect the innocent.
'I said it because I was naughty and wanted some sweets' This comment was not given to her or imagined. She would not have thought she had done something naughty if she had been simply attacked. She was complicit in the distasteful sexual fumblings of children and she wanted some sweets.
'You have done nothing wrong, I know I am a judge' Oh yes she has, she may not understand or be legally responsible but with comments like this why is it a surprise that we are where we are? How many friends and family say that, 'you've done nothing wrong' while thinking (how fucking stupid could you have been?!?)
Anon, "The older boy would have pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct", but we don't know under what pressure from the police or his brief and does a ten year old know the difference between Drs&Nurses, sexual misconduct or rape, attempted or imaginary??
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