Saturday 22 October 2011

It’s Not ‘Vilification’…

…if you deserve it:
Catrina Baker, 18, hurled three-month-old terrier Poppy the length of a car with 'substantial' force, resulting in the injury that proved fatal.

The broken neck lead to the paralysis of the muscles required to breathe and Poppy died of asphyxiation, Hartlepool Magistrates' Court heard.

And why exactly did she do this?
Baker, who was nine-months pregnant at the time of the attack in June, picked up the puppy after it urinated on the settee.

Mr Ellwood told the court the animal was 'probably frightened during an argument' between Baker and her boyfriend at what was then their shared home.
*entertains murderous thoughts*
The court heard how the local authority has intervened since the incident and Baker now has restricted access to her four-month-old child.
Well, thank god for that! At last, a sensible decision…

I bet mitigation is amusing:
Neil Douglas, mitigating, said Baker was about 12 days overdue in her first pregnancy and was under stress after several arguments with her partner.

Oh, and she deserves leniency from the judge because….well, read for yourself:
'I would also touch on the effects the reports of this case have had on Miss Baker. She has been vilified locally.'
The OED defines ‘vilification’ as ‘to make vicious and defamatory statements about someone’. So, she’s not being vilified, so much as she’s reaping the disgust of society at her horrendous act.

Which could easily have been expressed much more forcefully, so really, she's got off easily:
District judge Martin Walker told Baker she will be subject to a supervision order for 18 months and must pay £200 costs.
She is banned from keeping animals for five years, although she is allowed to continue living with her mother, who has two dogs and cat, as long is she is not responsible for their care.
I’m not sure what difference that’s going to make, should she lose her temper again. Hope her mother has some very heavy dogs…


Angry Exile said...

No troubled childhood? No difficult upbringing? Was her defence on work experience or something?

Captain Haddock said...

I seem to recall that this particular defence was once known as "Pleading the Belly" ..

As previously stated, I'm not a pet lover .. but people who deliberately injure pets (or children) deserve all the villification they get ..

As in this case ..

Again, this is another type of offence, involving dogs, which appears to be becoming more prevalent ..

Captain Haddock said...

Apologies Julia, I hadn't seen your link ..

Here's a bit more on that story ..

James Higham said...

More and more and more of this short fuse stuff all over the world.

Captain Haddock said...

I wouldn't venture to speak for the rest of the world James ..

But in this country, the criminally inclined are only too well aware that they stand a better than average chance of getting away with such things, because the Judiciary have consistently shown no desire to impose meaningful punishments ..

Unless of course you happen to put the wrong stuff in the wrong bin .. fail to have a TV Licence .. fail to pay your Poll Tax .. or have the temerity to defend your property against a burglar ..

banned said...

"She is banned from keeping animals for five years". But keeping children is OK?

Lynne said...

The ban should have been for life.

JuliaM said...

"Was her defence on work experience or something?"

Oh, I dare say all that was rolled out, but maybe the papers are getting as tired of printing it as we are of reading it..?

"...people who deliberately injure pets (or children) deserve all the villification they get .."

Spot on!

"More and more and more of this short fuse stuff all over the world."

I think, as Capt Haddock points out, it's more prevalent in out far too lenient society.

"But keeping children is OK?"

Quite! Look at the stringent rules and hoops to jump through for adoption, yet anyone can just pop 'em out with no checks whatsoever...