Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Wasn't Man Jailed?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Wasn't Man Jailed?

Article excerpt

I can only add my voice to the chorus of outrage that followed the trial of wife beater William Pemberton, who escaped a prison sentence thanks to Recorder John Lodge's view that "Domestic violence is not going to be stopped by locking you up today".

To say his thinking is naive is an understatement, but the real damage is in the signal that such a ruling sends to so many terrified women who are victims of physical abuse at the hands of their partners.

I wonder what Pemberton's fate might have been had the case been heard by a female judge rather than a male? I'd bet the mortgage on a different outcome. As things stand, Debra Pemberton has lived through six years of hell at her violent partner's hands and puts it far more eloquently than I ever could when she says: "If anyone in the street had suffered at his hands like I did, he would have gone to prison." Too true, but not, it seems, if you're the wife.

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Jonny is ideal role model

He's only 24, really good looking, shyly charming and now a household name. Jonny Wilkinson has kicked England into the World Cup Final, every point courtesy of his golden boot. The excitement his talent generates is reflected in the growing interest of youngsters who are increasingly expressing an interest in playing rugby union rather than football, and I, for one, welcome this shift of youthful interest. I don't know who first said it, but if rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen then soccer is a gentleman's game played by hooligans. After all if you contrast the off-field behaviour of Woodward's squad with that of Sven's I know which kind of professional sportsman I'd prefer my daughter to go out with.

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Animal tragic

WE'RE all too familiar with loutish behaviour but why would anyone want to beat up a penned sheep and then poison the others they couldn't be bothered to kick? It's a sad fact of life that the lout culture has now taken to destroying life, albeit not human, whether in an aviary or in a pen. …

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