Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Risk of Making Scapegoats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Risk of Making Scapegoats

Article excerpt

Byline: By Denise Robertson

As I write, a landmark case is going through the courts. It is the first such case to reach the courts because familial homicide is a new charge resulting from the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act.

This act came about because of a grave miscarriage of justice. Two parents were suspected of having killed their child, but because neither would speak it could not be determined who had struck the fatal blow.

They both walked free, but the public and the legal profession were incensed.

I was horrified at the outcome of the case because I could see that there was now a loophole through which guilty people could escape justice.

The new bill says that if you are part of a group, a family or club, or indeed the staff of a care home, and you know that someone is abusing another person you are equally guilty unless you tell.

If you are there when a murder occurs, you are as guilty as the person who wielded the gun or the knife. …

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