Beyond the pale

October 13, 2008 at 11:49 am | Posted in Idiot Hall of Fame | 2 Comments

A jury can only determine someone’s guilt if the accused is defended as vigorously as they are prosecuted, and so as gruesome as the job is, people accused of child abuse, terrorism or rape all need smart lawyers to defend them. Even so, there is a pretty thick line between simply representing your client and trying to shave some time off their sentence by attacking the victim.

I was going to write that Colin McCarraher crossed that line, but I’m not sure he’s even aware it exists:

A barrister has caused outrage by suggesting a rape victim could not have been upset by her ordeal because there were photos of her on Facebook looking happy.


Colin McCarraher, defending, told Reading Crown Court last week: ‘What we have is a person who has post traumatic stress but is quite capable of going out and having a good time at a fancy dress party.’

Mr McCarraher told the court that although he did not know when the images had been taken, they did not tally entirely with someone struggling to rebuild their life.

Leaving aside his laughably pathetic attempt at amateur psychology (since when was Facebook a window into a woman’s soul?), what exactly is McCarraher implying here? That some rapes are better than others? That if a woman somehow rebuilds her life after the attack, the rapist should get rewarded with a lighter sentence? Was he aware, when making this defence, of how far removed he was from the rest of humanity?



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  1. why is there a huge banner ad for facebook halfway through the Mail article? i guess someone somewhere believes all publicity is good publicity

  2. I don’t even think it’s a banner ad – I think the Mail put it there just to remind their readers what this Facebook malarkey is all about by printing the company logo.

    They don’t trust their readers much, do they?

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