Can you imagine the ordeal of firstly being raped and then having to live that nightmare all over again in a Courtroom? Having to recall the horrors of that incident and then having to face cross-examination by the lawyers of the person that violated you and lawyers who are trying to make it look like you are lying or you consented to sex. It must feel like you are being raped all over again.
Rape is rape. And rape victims have the right to remain anonymous.
If a newspaper came out of court and the editor allowed a journalist to put into print the name of that rape victim, a) the journalist would be hauled before a court and probably sentenced to prison for contempt of court and b) the editor who allowed that to happen, would be given an even harsher sentence because being an editor of a national newspaper, means you have to know the law and you are responsible for what journalists do and what they write in the paper you are editor of.
Journos know the Contempt of Court laws and every other law with regards to reporting judgements handed down in sexual offence cases… They know the implications of what could and would happen to them if they breached those laws.
Yesterday nine people, including a teacher (and we will speak about that in a minute), stood in the dock and were found guilty of naming a rape victim on Twitter… These nine people were charged with publishing material likely to lead the public to identify the complainant in a rape case (an offence under the Sexual Offences (Amendments) Act 1992.Each of those nine defendants were ordered to pay £624 compensation to the victim.
Sorry but that is not a sentence… this poor girl was raped, she had her anonymity taken away from her and she will never ever be able to get that back… the whole of twitter who was reading that timeline and more know exactly who this poor girl is.
Those nine people broke the law and £624 compensation from each of them is violating that rape victim all over again.
Standing in the dock, was a teacher. A person, namely Holly Price aged 25 from Prestatyn, who teaches our children and is a teacher of biology. A person who through her lessons apart from teaching our kids science also teaches our children right from wrong.
The Judge, Andrew Shaw said, “Your actions have re-victimised this woman.” Their actions are worse than that, they have taken away this woman’s rights to anonymity, she will never be able to have that right back. For the rest of her days, people will know who the rape victim was in the Ched Evans case, in which he was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years.
Last night on Sky News paper talk Kevin Maguire said, he wouldn’t want this teacher teaching his children and he even went further to say he wouldn’t want this teacher teaching at his kids school. I think every sane, rational parent would think the same.
No matter how much people proclaim their Freedom of Speech, there are laws and if those laws are broken then the person who committed the act must be sentenced. People can’t just go around thinking they have the god given right to take the law into their own hands and apart from naming rape victims, call them a “money-grabbing slut”.
What you post online, whether it be by forum, blog or social media you are responsible for. The Telegraph says this about postings online:
These days, whether it’s on a social media website or in relation to an online article, we all expect to have our say and post our own content.
The legal position of an individual who posts content online (whether on Facebook, Twitter, on comment sections of online news pages) is clear.
He or she is responsible for that content. Today’s case is notable because the defendants were not aware that naming the lady was a criminal offence. This was irrelevant: ignorance was not a defence.
When we post material online, we act as publishers and our publications are subject to the same laws as those of professional publishers, such as newspapers.
We are likely to see a proliferation of these sorts of cases, with the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service taking action against individuals, teaching them the basics of publishing law.
The message we are hearing from the courts is that the public cannot treat Twitter and Facebook as they would a casual chat in the pub.
This type of sentence does make a mockery of our Justice system… some lad on the night of the riots decides to take a bottle of water from Lidl is sent down for 6 months, yet 9 people name a rape victim on a social media site, who had the right to remain anonymous and they walk free and told to pay £624 each to the victim.
And do you know what is the worst part in all of this, those out of that 9 who are on benefits will have some money docked from their benefits and it could take up to two years before the victim is paid that compensation and to add insult to injury the Judge didn’t sentence them, with a fine, imprisonment or community services, because he rejected sentencing options in favour of ordering the payment of compensation.
Sickening isn’t it? And how dare the judge speak about the re-victimisation of this woman because, in my opinion, by rejecting other sentencing options, he himself re-victimised this rape victim all over again.
- Anger at ‘paltry’ fines for naming rape victim on web (express.co.uk)
- Nine guilty of revealing identity of rape victim of footballer on social networking sites (independent.ie)
- Ignorance is no defence on Twitter and Facebook, warn legal experts (telegraph.co.uk)
- Nine plead guilty to revealing identity of Ched Evans rape victim online (independent.co.uk)