Monday, January 12, 2015
Sick British judge sparks anger by claiming violent rapist did not pose risk of 'serious harm' to future victims
A judge has sparked fury after jailing a rapist who attacked three different women for just nine years, claiming the man did not pose a 'serious' risk to future victims.
Despite leaving the women 'terrified and shaken', Marc Partridge did not pose the risk of 'serious harm', Judge Andrew Woolman told Preston Crown Court.
The 28-year-old from Accrington had been found guilty of raping two women and harassing another, with the latter two offences taking place while Partridge was on bail for the first.
The court heard how Partridge, a scaffolder, taunted one woman: 'How does it feel to be locked inside a house with a rapist?' before raping her, muzzling her cries for help. At the time he was on bail after being arrested on suspicion of raping another victim.
Months later he harassed a third woman, pouring a cup of boiling tea over her body and slapping her over the face.
But despite such 'intimidating and bullying behaviour', the aspiring PE teacher was found not to pose a serious enough threat to warrant a longer jail term.
'In some senses your conduct shows that you may be a dangerous individual but although you are a risk of causing harm you are not at risk of causing serious harm and I trust that after a period in prison those risks will be reduced,' Judge Woolman told the court.
'You clearly have a real problem in dealing with relationships with women. It may be that you need psychiatric help. 'The victim personal statements from each of the girls show they were terrified as a result of what you did and are left shaken. It may be that the effect on them does not go.'
One of the man's victims lambasted the sentence as 'a joke'. 'It is a joke and I do not understand how the judge does not see him as a danger to the public,' the woman said.
'I think it’s a very light sentence compared to what this man has done. The judge has been extremely lenient. 'Partridge was smirking and laughing as he went down. I suppose I should be just happy because he is not walking the streets anymore.'
The court had heard how Partridge raped his first victim after threatening: 'If you want me to show you that I'm a man I will show you.'
He went on to bombard the woman with 1,500 text messages in one month. He was arrested but released on bail, allowing him to lock a second woman inside his home to rape her.
Neighbours told police the woman's muzzled cries were similar to those 'of an animal in pain' while she was being attacked.
'He held her down despite her telling him no, he told her to take the pain,' prosecuting counsel Sarah Johnson said.
'He covered her mouth to muffle her complaints. She submitted. After he acted as if nothing had happened.
'The woman grabbed the keys to the door in a bid to flee but was pursued and caught by Partridge which was witnessed by a neighbour who saw him pick the victim up and carry her back into his house as she screamed for help.'
Later he launched a campaign of harassment on a third victim, pouring scalding tea over her body, slapping her across the face and throwing her over a table.
The 28-year-old admitted two charges of rape and one of harassment. He was issued restraining orders banning him from contacting any of the women who brought charges against him.
A spokesman for Rape Crisis, said victims' confidence that the legal process will bring offenders to justice is crucial. 'The criminal justice process can be extremely difficult for survivors of this kind of crime,' Katie Russell, national spokesman for the charity said.
'If levels of reporting are ever going to significantly increase, survivors of sexual violence need to feel confident that engaging with the criminal justice process is going to be worthwhile.'
Children are NOT born nice: Researchers claim that environmental factors play a major part in altruism
Are children born nice? It is one of the most debated concepts in psychology, whether altriusm is a result of nature or nurture.
Now, a pair of Stanford psychologists has conducted a new series of experiments that show altruism has environmental triggers, and is not something we are simply born with.
Researchers enlisted 34 one- and two-year-olds and split them into two groups.
In the first group, the experimenter would roll a ball back and forth with the child and chat.
After a few minutes, the experimenter would 'accidentally' knock an object off the table, and observe whether the child would help pick it up, exactly as in the 2006 study.
The difference was in the second group.
Here, the experimenter and the child would each play with their own ball, known as 'parallel play,' while the experimenter engaged in the same kind of chitchat.
Again, after a few minutes, the experimenter would knock an object off the table.
The children who engaged in reciprocal play were three times more likely to help pick up the items as the children who had engaged in only parallel play.
In 2006, a study involving toddlers found that the 18-month-olds were willing to provide a helping hand to the experimenters without being prompted.
This expression of altruistic behaviour in such young children aligned with what many scientists believed to be an expression of innate altruism, and the findings have served as the basis for dozens of studies since.
However, Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, a psychology graduate student at Stanford, and Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, suspected there might be more to the story.
The researchers behind the 2006 study engaged in a few minutes of play with the children, in order to make them comfortable with new people in a new setting, they found.
But this interaction, however brief, might have primed the toddler subjects toward altruistic behaviour and affected the outcome of the experiment, they believe.
'Kids are always on the lookout for social cues, and this is a very prominent one,' said Barragan, the lead author on the research paper.
'Does the person's play indicate that they'll care for me? These actions communicate a mutuality, and the child responds in kind.'
When the scientists repeated the experiment under slightly different conditions with older children, the reciprocal-play group was two times more likely to lend a hand.
The results suggest that altruistic behaviour may be governed more by relationships, even brief ones, than instincts.
'I think the findings will stir up some controversy, but in a good way,' Dweck said.
'People often call something 'innate' because they don't understand the kinds of subtle experiences that can make something, like altruism, flourish. Rodolfo has discovered a really subtle experience that has a powerful influence.'
One of the arguments for innate altruism was that it was an evolutionarily beneficial adaptation – instinctively caring for others would result in reciprocal care, improving one's own chances of survival.
And there might still be evolutionary pressures toward altruism, Dweck said. 'I think, as humans, our claim to fame is our flexibility – our ability to adapt to new situations.'
The researchers said that more studies are needed to verify the findings, particularly in children younger than 18 months.
'Following the reciprocal play, children felt a sense of trust in the other person,' Barragan said.
'If children trust the people in their world, they may have an easier time learning the culture of that world – effectively making it easier for them to achieve new levels of personal and interpersonal success.'
Some homosexual couples’ children oppose same-sex marriage, tell of unpleasant upbringings
Most of the children of gays and lesbians who have filed court briefs in same-sex marriage cases say their parents’ inability to marry has deprived them of legal protections and hampered them from living their otherwise typical lives.
But four adult children of gay parents — acting as a “quartet of truth” — have submitted briefs to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opposing same-sex marriages, with several saying that growing up under the rainbow was neither normal nor pleasant. The court, which is considering whether to uphold the man-woman marriage laws in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, will hear arguments in New Orleans on Friday.
There are “two rights” that every child shares when they arrive in this world, Katy Faust wrote in her brief. “First, the right to live. Second, the right to have a relationship with his/her father and mother.”
Dawn Stefanowicz said her gay father was so preoccupied with sex that when she was in high school and brought home a male classmate, both her father and his lover propositioned him for sex.
B.N. Klein said her mother and lesbian partner disdained heterosexual families completely, and she didn’t have a clue about the daily interactions of a husband and wife until she went into foster care.
Robert Oscar Lopez said his two lesbian mothers were conscientious about his upbringing, but he became so emotionally confused that he turned to gay prostitution as a teen and gay and bisexual relationships as an adult.
In her brief to the 5th Circuit, Ms. Stefanowicz said her life was anything but normal. “You end up never having a real home,” she wrote.
“Our home environments have unique and unstable characteristics” due to the presence or absence of biological parents, legal parents or guardians and different sex partners of parents, wrote Ms. Stefanowicz, who spent the first 30 years of her life associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual subcultures and has communicated with dozens of adult children raised by gay parents.
“Your childhood is divided to please the adults,” she wrote, explaining that many adults — even former sex partners of a parent — feel they can talk about “where you live, who you visit, what schools you attend, which doctors you see, what medical procedures you have, what faith/religion you practice.”
Ms. Stefanowicz said she “absolutely” loved her father, who died of AIDS in 1991, but he was a troubled man who sexually abused both her and her twin brother and brought countless men into their home.
“I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk,” wrote Ms. Stefanowicz, adding that her father sometimes took her on his “cruising” visits to gay art galleries, nude beaches and public parks.
Like other daughters of gay men she has talked with, Ms. Stefanowicz said she felt she — and her femininity — were not valued or affirmed.
“Ultimately, I was seeking his love and acceptance. [But] I was not allowed to freely question him, bring up moral arguments or hurt his feelings, or I would face long-term repercussions,” Ms. Stefanowicz wrote.
“While I do not believe all gays would be de facto bad parents, I know that the gay community has never in my lifetime put children first as anything other than a piece of property, a past mistake or a political tool to be dressed up and taken out as part of a dog-and-pony show to impress the well-meaning,” wrote Ms. Klein, adding that her mother and her partner of 25 years were both deceased and can “never hurt me again.”
Ms. Klein said she was expected to pay “constant homage and attention” to her mothers’ gayness and believe that gays were “much more creative and artistic” because they weren’t sexually repressed.
The heterosexual culture of marriage and children was held in “utter contempt” by the gay adults in her world, Ms. Klein wrote. In fact, the isolation from the “inferior” heterosexual world was so complete, she wrote, that “I had no idea how two heterosexuals behaved toward their children as mother and father” until she was placed in foster care over a medical issue when she was a teenager.
Mr. Lopez said he and other children of gays feel “pain” — but it’s because there’s a “missing biological parent,” not because people lack legal marriage.
He said his childhood exposure to radical Catholic liberation theology and talk about “the beauty of homosexual relationships” led him into years of sexual experimentation, including taking money for sex with men.
A reunion with his long-estranged father led to his escape from the “toxic” gay family life, said Mr. Lopez, who is now married to his girlfriend and a father.
Ms. Faust differed from the other three in that she doesn’t have a single criticism of her beloved mother and her lesbian partner, but she is still urging the 5th Circuit to uphold the man-woman marriage laws.
Anti-Israel Australian media
They will twist anything to push their message of hate
On a recent trip to Australia I was booked by Ch7′s Weekend Sunrise to discuss Project Rozana, an Israeli-Palestinian initiative to train West Bank physicians (predominantly Palestinian Muslims)in Israel’s Hadassah hospital. As an ambassador for the Project, I was lock step with my ideals both as a physician and as an observing Muslim opposed to virulently anti-Semitic Islamism.
A veteran media commentator, my suspicions should have been raised when the producers didn’t indicate the nature of my interview, nor even confirm that I would be discussing Project Rozana. Minutes before live broadcast, the young segment producer Maddy still ‘didn’t know’ what the anchors would be asking.
The cameras began rolling and I described my experiences at The Technion, The RamBam Medical Center and at Hadassah Hospital, responding to the anchors’ evident curiosity. The close knit and fully integrated coexistence with which Israeli and Arab Palestinian scientists and physicians interact with their equally diverse Israeli and Arab Palestinian patients surprised my interviewers.
Later we discussed Islamism, a movement which as a Muslim I recognise masquerades as the great monotheism of Islam but is starkly totalitarian in ideology with a foundational tenet of subjugating democracy. More significantly, Islamism harbors cosmic enmity to all Jewish and by extension Israeli entities and institutions. It is because I am an observing Muslim that I can emphatically reject Islamism – neither anti-Semitism nor anti-Zionism have basis in Islam.
Ending the segment, the anchors were broadly smiling and engaged. This had been the last of 27 scheduled commitments for my eight-day visit. Satisfied I had been informative and shared a novel perspective, I moved to exit the studio.
An elegant woman stopped me in my tracks. Meeting her blue-gray eyes, I was surprised to find tears filling to the brim. Touching her heart, she said: ‘I am the senior producer of this segment. My name is Iman. I am very close to the Palestinian people of Gaza, but after hearing you speak, you have opened me to new ideas.’ She confirmed she was of Egyptian heritage and like me, also Muslim. Intrigued, I suggested coffee.
Tears promptly dissipating, Iman grabbed her wallet. Over lattes we compared notes, talked about the Project and spoke about Gaza. Iman mentioned that she had formed an independent documentary production company. Immediately, I invited her to collaborate with Project Rozana – by chance the Project is keen to do a documentary on Israeli medicine to reveal the kind of coexistence to which I had referred. We left on a high note. I felt my work in Australia had ended in the best possible way.
Hours later, I received the link of the broadcast (you can watch it here). The shock was physical as I witnessed my exploitation. At each description of the pluralism and egalitarianism I had witnessed in Israeli medicine, the screen split to show the rubble of decimated North Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war, or the launching of an Iron Dome interception missile.Then the screen split to the Security Wall, shown from the Palestinian, not Israeli side.
The war footage had clearly been assembled in advance of my live interview without prior knowledge of what I would say. In an unseen control room, to the producers’ signal, as I responded with words like ‘coexistence’, ‘integration’ or ‘pluralism’, a technician pulled the trigger and rolled the stock ‘Israel as a terrorist state’ footage; detonating my truthful and universal message.
I had been reduced to an instrument of rank media opportunism. Worse, it was possible the tearful Iman had been the architect of my on-air vivisection. Self-described as the senior producer and ‘very close to the Palestinians of Gaza’, Iman had withheld remarking on this footage during our 30 minute coffee.
In my ignorance, I had unwittingly collaborated in my own exploitation by the Australian broadcaster who chose to cast me not as an anti-Islamist Muslim physician volunteering in pursuit of coexistence but as a vapid tool serving the malignant media construct of a two-dimensional anti-Semitic caricature of Zionism. This was a deliberate and opportunistic objectification of my identity as a Muslim and a physician, of the Jewish state reduced to an anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist mannequin, and of my political position as an opponent of Islamism; a position which entails significant personal and professional risk. This is neither journalism nor broadcasting; it’s pure pro-Hamas propaganda .
The producers hadn’t bothered to insert Hamas foot-soldiers which include recruited Palestinian children and youth who wage war on Israelis, nor reveal the damage wrought by its hundreds of rockets on Israeli civilians (of whom 23% are non Jewish – mostly Sunni Muslim), nor did Australians see the industrially rendered labyrinth of Hamas tunnels so central to the recent conflict. Weekend Sunrise prostituted my goodwill in the service of personal or official anti-Israeli and pro-Hamas propaganda.
This is what Israel faces, that which no other nation embattled with the lethal threat of Islamism wrestles: the battle over narrative. While Pakistan wages a far more indiscriminate campaign against Islamists in tribal areas, while Afghanistan has been under siege by the Taliban for a decade and a half, while Britain, Canada and America target, prosecute and eliminate Islamists, while Egypt wages war on Islamists and criminalizes their ideology, while Saudi Arabia incarcerates Islamists, while France defends Mali from Islamists, while Kenya and Nigeria flail against Islamists, only Israelis are to be dehumanized, judged apart from humanity as they face Islamist threats on every border. Only Israel must be denigrated, reviled and excoriated in her efforts to secure citizens and territories from the ambitions of genocidal anti-Semitic Islamism.
I felt intensely angry. To be whored out as I strive as an ambassador for a philanthropic mission with universal reach, to be debased as an instrument despite my decades long authority as a physician and Muslim humanist is nothing but obscene.
An on-air apology wouldn’t come amiss.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.