There was a great deal of unwarranted hysteria on Twitter yesterday over this case:
The abuser, a church-going professional in his 50s, has requested the return from police of his computer and phone which are understood to contain family photographs taken during the eight years that he was in a relationship with the victims’ mother.The children are said to be highly distressed at the prospect of the images being returned to their stepfather, who is currently serving a nine-year jail term after being convicted last year.
There’s no need to worry, though:
Police said yesterday that the devices do not contain any indecent images and they have no grounds not to hand them back.
So this is a fuss about nothing.
No, wait. It’s not. It’s yet another case of an aggrieved victim demanding that the law bend or break to suit her:
But the family says that their return would be a breach of their right not to be subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment” under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act.
The children have been traumatised by the attacks and will not sleep alone in their beds, said civil rights group Liberty, which has taken on the case. The older girl has a history of self-harming. “I feel like I don’t want to live any more,” she said in a witness impact statement to the court.
This family are, one presumes, not members of some small Amazonian tribe who believe photography is stealing their souls? So what is their objection?
The man has been found guilty and imprisoned for his crime, what more can the State do, within the law?
Police said the equipment was seized but not used at court as it contained no indecent images or other evidence of criminality. “In such cases, the law is very clear that the police have no option but to return the equipment to its owner in its original condition,” it said.
A police spokesman said “We sympathise with the personal reasons for the request being made and recognise we are in a difficult position that may seem contrary to public opinion. However, as the police, we must operate impartially within the law as it stands.”
So…you’ve agreed to give it back? As you are legally obligated to do?
The force has not yet returned the items pending further legal advice and attempts to reach a compromise.
What ‘compromise’? The equipment and the data on it belongs to this man without question, and should be returned. No matter the ‘upset’ it might cause.
Or are all our laws now to be based on who has the most hurt feelings?