Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Do the courts have any idea?

This one was in the Metro this morning which isn't online but I've found the story on this site here. It's another case of a woman being raped (allegedly) while she was drunk. The case has been thrown out because the woman's memories are incomplete. The court seems to have forgotten that these days UK law says it's up to the accused to prove consent was given, rather than the other way around.

Also frighteningly the judge said to the jury that a conviction could not be procured unless they could prove "he [the alleged rapist] did not reasonably believe that she had consented". Hold on now - surely the question is whether consent was given, not whether or not the attacker THOUGHT consent was given... If he thought consent was given when it wasn't then he's guilty, that's how the law works. You can't get away with theft because you thought the goods you took were yours to take or being given away for free. You can't get away with speeding because your speedometer is broken and you thought you weren't speeding. You did it or you didn't.

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