Belfast Telegraph

Why sentencing of sex offenders is proof the law really is an ass

By Kevin Myers

Rape — as a subject — is almost beyond useful discussion. Whatever exchanges occur are formulaic and predictable and involve the usual authorised quangos and semi-quangos — all of them feminist and agenda-driven.

Why would anyone outside this authorised group enter a conversation when they know in advance they are going to be ignored?

Only feminists are allowed to have opinions on rape. Add the total silence from the entire rape-crisis industry on the derisory seven years' imprisonment given to the woman who raped her teenage son, then you get a sense of the disparity, hypocrisy and selectivity with which this issue is dealt.

But no decent person can contemplate the trial of Mark Doyle, a serial rapist, without powerful emotions of anger, revulsion and despair.

When he raped the most recent victim (that we know of), he had already raped two other women, with many other convictions to his name.

‘Rape’ barely describes what this man did, as he tied her up with flex, threatened her with a knife, savagely assaulted her, beat her and promised to drown and mutilate her baby.

Confronted by police, he initially claimed that the sex had been consensual. However, he pleaded guilty in court — no doubt because the physical evidence from the bloodied and battered victim was incontrovertible. And the guilty plea was recognised in the reduced sentence of 12 years' imprisonment, the trial judge Mr Justice Paul Carney ruling that the 15-year sentence that he (rightly) felt appropriate to the gratuitous violence of the crime would never survive appeal.

No doubt he is right on this also. But there is something terribly, terribly wrong that such a creature could be out of jail, as a sexually potent male, by the age of 42.

To be sure, he will be on the sex-offenders' register, but what does that mean? How does one access it? Do you know? I certainly don't.

So what is the purpose of a register for the safety of the public if that same public has no idea how to see it?

This man is a serious danger to women, so why are our laws so infirm as to even contemplate allowing him out again?

We can take three different routes here: the first is to make life sentence for aggravated rape far longer than the usual 15 years and to diminish the rewards for a guilty plea when the physical evidence against the rapist is incontrovertible.

The second is to neuter male sex-offenders totally. The third option is the status quo. Take your pick.

Yet there is no serious discussion on this subject — not least because of the gender animosity feminists routinely bring into it.

Thus, in a statement this week, the Rape Crisis Centre in Belfast celebrated its 28th anniversary by declaring “we are still here”, in spite of the fact that many men in positions of power “would prefer we would shut up”.

Oh who, please? Who are the men who are so indifferent |to rape and would prefer you to shut up?

There are no such men, other than the rapists themselves.

But another complicating factor here is the perplexing appetite of so many ‘powerful’ women for victimhood, with the effective creation of an apartheid legal culture that legalises female |self-pity.

A BBC producer, Benjamin Wilkins, was jailed in London last week for eight months, and put on the sex-offenders' register for 10 years, for secretly filming himself having consensual sex with five different BBC female employees.

There is no suggestion that he allowed anyone else to see these videos, only that he later watched them for his own gratification.

His life has been ruined by this case. Yet what would any court make of a woman who secretly filmed her successful conquests and then watched them as personal pornography?

Why, the case would never get to court — not least because it's hard to imagine that any man would feel that there was something ‘criminal’ about him being secretly filmed having voluntary sex.

Indeed, even the trial judge chose an unusual jurisprudential basis for sentencing the culprit: “I do not sentence you for your sexual appetite, or your morals; what I sentence you for is the trust that you calculatedly betrayed.”

Oh really? Well, I was unaware that such trust was enforceable in a criminal court.

But even more troubling than that was the sense of victimhood that was evinced by these women, all successful BBC presenters and producers, and by Mr Wilkins' girlfriend (and mother of his child), who — oh noble creature — having initially discovered the old videos, duly reported the father of her child to the police.

They can now both visit him in jail: how lovely.

Yes, of course, these two cases are in different jurisdictions, but ones that share a similar legal and gender-political culture.

So is it any wonder our criminal code for rapists is so utterly confused, when both Benjamin Wilkins, who actually harmed no one, and Mark Doyle, who is an evil savage, are both in prison for sexual offences and on their country’s sex-offenders' registers?

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