Tuesday, 12 February 2013

When the law is an ass...donkey....and mule!

Integrity is the foundation of law but it’s getting a bad name. Thanks to the legal eagles that feather their nests, the law is most definitely an ass….an ass that’s worth milking!

The law exists to protect everyone and that includes the perpetrator. Since every man is innocent before proven guilty there’s a great many criminal elements who gloat before their victims. This they mostly do in the lead up to a trial. They believe they have a water tight case, they are convinced that they will be absolved, they are brazen and hire some of the best barristers as their defence counsel.

The defence is co-conspirator. They are there to tear the “enemy” aka the victim apart; they must pick holes in their testimony to unearth the truth. The truth, according to the defence counsel, is that you – the victim – are a liar. Their client, who may be charged with the most heinous of crimes, is innocent.

It’s a cat and mouse game and woe betide the weaker of you! As a victim, you are not permitted to be vulnerable, emotional or hyper-sensitive. This will be construed as guilt. The accused may come across as confident, cocky and a cad but this is portrayed as being wholly innocent of the sordid deeds.

Lamb to the slaughter
The case of Frances Andrade is a tragic one. A gifted musician who won a place to a prestigious music academy as a teenager and fell prey to the unbridled lust of the Director and his wife who groomed her for sex. She was abused in ways that would make any decent person’s stomach churn….but not so the cast iron innards of the defence counsel, Kate Blackwell. Ms Blackwell was no doubt handsomely rewarded for her razor sharp intellect and ruthless hounding of the victim.

In court, after Mrs Andrade gave her evidence, Ms Blackwell asked her a series of questions that would have insulted and demeaned anyone who had less than the hide of a buffalo.

“You are an attention seeker,” she cried to Mrs Andrade, despite the fact that the victim had not spoken about it for over 30 years.

“You are a fantasist,” she admonished, claiming that Mrs Andrade’s version of events was complete fabrication.

“Why didn’t you run away?” she brayed before administering a swift kick in the teeth to the victim in her summing up.  

I put it to you that Ms Blackwell is less eagle and more donkey-like. She’s either pig ignorant or mule stubborn to know that she was representing two losers. No doubt, her rather large fee was a huge enticement to seeing past the truth, according to her clients.

No self-respecting feminist would want to defend the a couple who groomed girls for sex unless they’d entered the profession with dollar signs in their eyes. I would suggest Ms Blackwell threw feminist ethics out of the window, when she was called to the bar – ker ching!

The ending of this case is not one of good triumphing over evil. Mrs Andrade sadly took her own life, the day after the afore-mentioned cross-examination and never lived to hear the verdict. Ms Blackwell secured lenient sentencing for her two clients and probably went home to celebrate.

Legally compassionate blonde feminist!
There was no such celebration for Mrs Andrade and her family. They are now preparing for a funeral. A bereaved family will never get over their loss. Ms Blackwell talked the hind leg of donkey and tore apart a fragile woman who had held herself together for the most part of her life.

Ms Blackwell reminds me of how easy it is for tyrants to rise to power when they find rich fodder in the form of litigators who will defend feckless abusers. After all, she was just doing her job!
Ms Blackwell has by and large lived a charmed life within a gated community in an affluent, leafy suburb complete with a convertible and Jacuzzi spa. She has most likely not encountered the darker forces that threaten the female psyche and it is quite probable that she has never suffered a near death experience.

Ms Blackwell will sleep easy in her bed since she was not on the receiving end of her own vitriol though she can take a leaf out of her fellow US litigator, Frank Razzano’s book.Frank was trapped in the Marriott Hotel on 11th September 2011, when the Twin Towers fell He miraculously survived whilst many of the hotel residents perished.

In a humbling statement, he says: “Litigation is a business where you spend most of the time at each other’s throats and, since that day, I try to be a little more kinder, gentle and compassionate.” Ms Blackwell and the judiciary that sanctioned this cruel interrogation of an abuse victim (who was left feeling suicidal)  would do well to heed his words.




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