Sex Attack by a Teenager 7
SEXATTACK BY A TEENAGER PRESENTED BEFORE JUDGE GREGORY DICKINSON
SexAttack by a Teenager Presented Before Judge Gregory Dickinson
of the Case
Thecase involves a teenager who attacked two women in Nottingham. On topof that, he sexually assaulted them one morning while he was underthe influence. The case was brought before a crown court and ruled byJudge Gregory Dickinson QC. The two attacks took place in the sameneighborhood. One of the victims was twenty-two, while the other wassixty-two years old. In the account of the two attacks, the teenagerpleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment. Inthe first offense, he got three years ruling, while the secondattracted nine years in prison. In that case, the two were to runconcurrently. During the court session, the judge ruled that it wasclear that the young man had violated the Sexual Offenses Act of2003. Moreover, he stated that it was violent and degrading,especially on the second account of the attack. Essentially, what theprecedent relied upon was the CR v. the United Kingdom, 1996. Mostevidently, there are several reasons that make the case interesting.One of them is that the perpetrator of the crimes is a young person.In fact, he is younger than the two victims. The listener may expectthat the judge would have mercy on the suspect due to his age.However, that is not the case. Another aspect of the matter is thatit is common to have suspects who are that juvenile commit crime ofthis nature. Although the precedence relied on this case, which wason sexual assault, it did not consider a similar one that had everbeen ruled before. The most probable reason for this is that few ofsuch cases have come before the courts before. In the paper, therewill be a consideration of the rights of the suspect. In fact, due tohis age, the suspect must have the right to protection. Thefortification that the suspect may have will be explored to show thatthere are other rights of the suspect. The crown prosecution servicewill also be part of the discussion in the paper. The focus will bethe roles that it plays and its responsibilities and willspecifically look at the functions that the prosecution played inthis case.
Happeningsin the Court
Theremay be differences in theory and practice. In fact, what goes on inthe courts may differ with the legislation in place to provideguidelines. However, that is not always a negative thing since thepurpose of the law is to guide the legal practitioners. Despite that,they are still bound, and there are the limits they may not exceed.For example, in this case, the judge relied on sexual offenses act of2003 (Wasik 2015). The Act stipulates that the crime happens if theperson committing the wrong action did so intentionally. One of theissues that need clarity is the definition of intention. In the case,the person committing the crime was drunk, but the judge did not putthis into consideration. Indeed, that is one of the reasons it can beargued that practice is different from the Act. Arguably, althoughthe touching was sexual and none of the victims consented, it is alsopossible that the suspect was not aware of what he was doing.Moreover, the sentencing of the teenager was nine years. That was forthe two offenses that he committed on the same morning. Both of themwere grave and should have attracted maximum penalty. At the sametime, the judge ruled that they could take place concurrently.
TheSexual Assault Act defines different offenses. Section I of the Actstates that an assault happens when a person touches anotherintentionally without their consent. There is also the provision thatthe touching has to be sexual. Part of this section explains that itbecomes an offense if the party being touched has not consented. Itfurther states that the person carrying out the assault has fullknowledge that the other party does not consent to the act. SectionII further elaborates on the consenting of the attacked party(Blumstein 2011). In this case, it states that the consent does nothave to be express. The party may act in a way, which may encouragesuch behavior. On the other hand, the person accused of such an actmay take steps to ensure that there is consent. Some of the steps mayinclude talking to the other party to determine if they agree. Ifthere is any show of displeasure or resistance, then the actionshould get stopped.
Finally,the Act guides on how the sentencing should be done. In the case of asummary conviction, imprisonment for a period not exceeding sixmonths is what is given (Blumstein 2011). There is also the option ofa fine and the Act also gives the judge the discretion on whether togive both. In the case of a conviction on prosecution, the sentenceis imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years. However, thereis no option of a fine.
RelationshipBetween Law in Action and Books
Aclose relationship exists between the law and what is practiced inthe crown courts. In fact, the judge must act within the confines ofthe Act. Any failure to do that may lead to a judgment gettingoverturned by another higher court if the accused appeals. One of therelationships, in this case, is the definition of sexual assault. Inmany ways, there is proof to the fact that the accused knew thatthere was no consent (Liebling 2006). The first is that he pleadedguilty to the charge. The two victims were also in court to testify.According to the first victim, who was a twenty-two-year-old, theaccused came to her from behind. Moreover, the first step that hetook was to lock her head. The purpose of locking her head was toimmobilize her so that he could assault her without difficulty.Therefore, that was a clear indication that the accused was awarethat the touching on the victim was unwelcomed.
Additionally,it is clear that the touching was sexual. The accused put his hand onthe private parts of the woman, and since the lady did not havestrength to resist the attacks, she turned to screaming. Thehigh-pitched part is proving that she was being touched by theaccused forcefully. In the case of the first assault, the court wassatisfied that a crime was committed against the victim. It alsoseems that the second target was more vulnerable than the first sinceshe was more advanced in age, hence, weak. Besides, the accused foundthe lady in a secluded place. Evidently, he attacked her from behindand brought her down to her feet. The fact that he came from behindindicates that he had no intention of seeking consent. Plainly,the manner in which he grabbed her indicated that he did not requireany permission as he went ahead to assault her in what the courtfound as attempted rape.
Onthat note, the crimes committed by the accused meet the definition ofthe Act of what entails a sexual assault. The judge also acted inline with the law when sentencing the accused. The two actionsattracted a total of nine years, which is within the range of the Actwhere ten years are given as the maximum sentence. However, whilethere is nothing wrong with the sentencing as it is within the law,there are some circumstances that the judge ought to have considered.One of them is that the accused was a minor, and, therefore, may nothave been aware of the gravity of the crime he was committing. At thesame time, he was drunk when committing the crime and the courtshould have factored that while passing the judgment.
Rightsof the Suspect
Anaccused person is entitled to several rights, which start during thearresting period. In what is known as the letter of rights, theaccused should have the information about the privileges that he orshe has spelled out. In this case, the arresting officer has the dutyof informing the accused of his rights. Once he is arrested, he orshe has a right to legal advice. In most of the cases, it is a lawyeror someone who has knowledge on legal matters. Moreover, during thetrial, it is the right of the accused to have legal representation.In that account, in the case of the teenager who sexually assaultedtwo women, there was a lawyer who was representing him.
Furthermore,thereis the freedom to communication, interpretation, and translation.Interpretation is a case where the accused does not understand thelanguage that the court is using. In such a case, it is the right ofthe defendant to have someone interpret into the language, which heor she understands. Moreover, the accused may also fail tocomprehend the language used in court. For example, a suspect may bean English speaker and the court is using the same language, but itmay have jargon, which makes it hard for them to understand. Thecourt must then facilitate to have a translator who will ensure thatthe accused follows and understands the proceedings (Cheston2007).Most importantly,whilein custody, the defendant has the right to communicate with closemembers. Among those included in this category are family members andemployers. In the case that one is held in a foreign country, thereis the right to communicate with representatives from their nation oforigin.
Besides,thereare vulnerable suspects who also should enjoy their rights.Primarily, there are several factors that make a suspect to beconsidered vulnerable, such as age and health or mental condition. Infact, when a suspect is young and immature, they are taken asvulnerable (Elliott& Quinn 2015).The health or mental situation of a suspect should also be consideredto ensure that the right verdict is reached. For example, a personwith down syndrome is taken to be vulnerable. The same happens tosomeone who is drunk or under the influence of drugs. In the case ofthe teenager,hefalls under the category of vulnerable suspects due to his age. Theaccused is considered to be a minor, and, therefore, qualifies forthe rights of the susceptible. One of those human privileges he hasis to an attorney whereby it is mandatory to have a vulnerablesuspect get legal representation. In a case where he cannot affordone, then the state has the duty of appointing one for them.Unfortunately, it is not clear if the attorney for the defendant wasappointed by the state or himself. There is also the provision tohave the identity of the accused protected meaning that no one canreveal that unless they have the express authority of the court.Subsequently, that is the main why the identity of the accusedremains unknown.
Thecrown prosecution service works alongside the police in theadministration of justice. Although the panel does not do theinvestigative work, they guide the police on what they should collectas evidence (Burton2011).On top of that, they decide on the cases that may be prosecuted.While dispensing their duties, there are set rules that the servicefollows, which are commonly known as the code. One of the directionsis impartiality when dealing with a suspect, which demands that theprosecution should not get any influence whatsoever. Therefore,personal views about the suspect and the victims should not beentertained and objectivity ought to be the major guideline.
Thecrown prosecutors also have the duty of ensuring that the rightperson undergoes prosecution. In fulfilling this duty, they shouldwork in the interest of serving justice as opposed to securing aconviction. The purpose is achieved through as thorough and fairinvestigation. In the event, the crown court prosecutors have theduty of making changes and reviewing of cases whenever there is analteration relating to that circumstance (BritishSociety of Criminology 2006).The modification may apply to situations or the available evidence.Crown prosecutors have the duty of ensuring that application of thelaw is correct. Therefore, the presentation of all the availableevidence is part of their mandate. On the whole, they have a duty tomake disclosures to the accused, which facilitate their defense.
Additionally,while applying the code, the crown prosecutors determine which of thecases will be prosecuted. Some of the factors that they considerwhile deciding the cases include serious crimes, which can attractsignificant sentences (Hodgson2010).Some of the offenses, which fall into this category include thoseinvolving violence. Crimes against vulnerable people and recurrentones are also classified here. As a result, the case of the teenagerassaulting the two ladies attracts the attention of the crownprosecutors due to several reasons. One of them is that there wasviolence used against the two victims. At the same time, one of thevictims falls into the category of the vulnerable due to her age,and, therefore, the decision to have the case prosecuted was right.
Anotherrole of the crown prosecution includes offering counseling servicesto victims in some circumstances. In most cases, the victims ofsexual abuse get professional help from the service. An example ofthat is the one they are extending to the victims of the crime.According to one of the victims, having the accused jailed was notenough. In effect, she stated that her freedom had been taken away.It is clear that such a person needs professional help if she is toget back to her normal life (Doak2005).Besides, it is due to such a consideration that the crown serviceestablished a department where the victims can get help.
Analysisof the Argument
Accordingto the evidence presented in court, it is clear that the said crimeswere committed. The prosecution basis was confirmed in the admissionby the victim as having been guilty of committing the crime. Thecourt also applied the right Act in sentencing the defendant.Moreover, the sentence was within the boundaries of the Act. However,there are some aspects of the case that did not come up during theproceedings. It ought to have been noted that the age of the suspectwas a significant determinant of the ruling. In this respect, the ageof the accused qualifies him as vulnerable since he is sixteen yearsand may not be fully aware of the repercussions of his crime.Regrettably, during the submissions and arguments in the court, therewas no consideration of the age factor of the accused.
Thereis also the factor of the accused being drunk where the two victimsof the accused admitted in the crown court that he was, indeed, underthe influence. His attorney, while trying to mitigate the sentencedeclared that the accused did not have a recollection of thehappenings. Despite such a finding, it did not attract the attentionof the judge who went ahead to administer almost the maximum sentenceallowed by the Act. The case is also unique in some aspect in thatthe case law used to refer to this does not apply in context.Although both of them cover sexual assault, the precedent isdifferent. The case in question involves a minor, and, on the otherhand, that which is referred to as the precedent is different. Itinvolves an adult who may have had a deep understanding of hisactivities.
Palpably,the judge and the prosecutor paid too much attention to the SexualOffenses Act. In doing that, they overlooked other aspects of the lawand the rights of the accused as a vulnerable person. The most basicrights of the accused were met. However, there are those, which couldhave tilted the case. Notable among them includes the rights ofsusceptible people. In fact, even the attorney for the accused didnot raise the issue of vulnerability. Beyond that, one of the rulesthat guide the code of the crown prosecution service is a repeatedoffender. Nevertheless, the accused in the case has no record of apast crime and there was no mention of such in the court during theproceedings. If there was such a consideration, the sentence shouldhave been lesser. Unlike a repeated offender, a person committing acrime for the first time may do it unwillingly (Maguire,Morgan & Reiner 2012).Besides, the teenager was remorseful as it could be seen and heardfrom his dialogue.
Allin all, sexual assault crimes are among those considered as seriousbefore any court of law. In most cases, they attract the attention ofcrown courts. Besides that, they are on the rise in today’ssociety meaning that crown courts should handle them in a way meantto deter potential offenders. In any prosecution, the rights of theaccused are important in the administration of justice. Theprosecution and the judgment panel must be guided by the law. It isalso notable that although there is always a relationship betweentheory and practice, they also have their differences. Thediversities depend on both the judge and the prosecution. On thewhole, interests of the parties must be balanced.
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