Celebrity Sex Offenders Get Longer Prison Sentences Than Your Local Priest, Policeman Or Dad
THIS is insane. And unfair. And mad. Sky News reports:
Celebrities who use their public image to commit a sexual offence could soon face longer prison terms.
If you’re a famous criminal pervert you get jailed for longer than if you are just Joe or Joanne Bloggs.
Although work on the new guidelines for judges started a number of years ago, the changes follow a series of high-profile sex offence cases, which have had an impact on attitudes towards sex crimes. Revelations about disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile saw high numbers of sex attack victims come forward, while cases involving grooming gangs in Rochdale and Oxford raised questions about social care and attitudes to victims.
Good. The police failed. The BBC failed. Many people looked the other way. Many thought it was ok. But these new rules mean your job affects your sentence. Apparently, being assaulted by a gardener is not as awful as being attacked by a BBC radio DJ.
We hear from Sentencing Council chairman Lord Justice Treacy:
“This guideline will make real changes to the way offenders are sentenced for these very serious, sensitive and complex offences. It will help judges and magistrates sentence in a way which protects our communities from this kind of offending and the suffering it causes.”
There are other new guidelines, which “bring in higher starting points for sentences for some offences, such as rape, which the new guideline now allows a starting point of 15 years for top-category sentences.
Chief Constable David Whatton, national policing lead for violence and public protection, adds:
“Across the justice system, changes have been made to ensure that the alleged offenders’ behaviour and the context and circumstances of the incident are scrutinised, rather than the credibility of the victim.”
So, no repeats of the Rochdale gangs story in which the police failed and failed again, nor of Charlene Downes, the Blackpool girl who went missing and was badly let down by police. Children will be listened to. Of course, much depends on whose doing the listening. You’d hope the word of the alleged victim does not go unquestioned and innocent adults are viewed with undue suspicion. Peter Wanless, the NSPCC chief executive, has been listening. He says: “It is important that sentencing reflects the severe damage caused by highly manipulative and devious sex offenders, who may use positions of trust or celebrity status to target children.”
Who gives them this celebrity status? Is is magick? Or do the adults and powerful make the star? And who is a celeb? Is the vicar or priest a local VIP? The teacher? The sports star? The parent?