Sunday, February 26, 2006

MIKE MCCARTNEY OFF THE SCAFFOLD

After a brief trial, Mike McCartney has been cleared of sexual assault. McCartney is more than pissed off that the charges were brought in the first place:

"It is a monstrosity that a wholly innocent man has been publicly named and linked to a charge of sexual assault, which to the ordinary person means rape.”

Well, no, Mike, it doesn't - it might be a horrible thing to be accused of nevertheless, but people generally are able to tell the difference between sexual assault and rape; if The Bill taught them nothing it taught them that.

The judge, Elgan Edwards, was also annoyed at the very idea of a trial:

"Two young girls have had the agony of waiting for 17 months to give evidence and the defendant, a man of exemplary character, has had the matter hanging over his head as well. It is quite inexcusable and makes a mockery of legal proceedings."

We're not quite sure why the fact McCartney had an unblemished record should automatically have meant he shouldn't have faced a trial if the CPS thought there was a case to answer - benefit of clergy, the "get your first offence free" that used to apply, was abolished quite a while ago. It does seem odd that it's taken so long for the case to come to trial to allow McCartney to clear his name, though - perhaps, your honour, if judges worked a little harder the backlog of cases could be moved through more speedily?


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