An interesting case reported in the Daily Mail:
Even leaving aside the obvious point that a 22-year-old man who committed the same crime against a 14-year-old girl would have received a much longer prison sentence, there are some interesting aspects to this case. One is the relentless narrative of women not being responsible for their actions, as espoused by her defence counsel:
Ben Pegman, mitigating, said: ‘She has been in a relationship for six months and would take issue with the proposition she puts it before the court to avoid custody.
‘The sentencing guidelines greatly alarm her. She is of previous good character. I suspect the court will never see this lady again. My plea is to ask you to suspend any custodial sentence.
‘She now realises he didn’t have sufficient maturity, more than that, that it was unlawful. She simply hadn’t thought it through. It hadn’t gone through her head at the time.
‘Clearly, there is an acceptance from the defendant that her behaviour was wrong. As to how much insight she has got into that, I think, it is a moot point.’
Can you imagine a defence counsel saying of a man in this position, seeking to suspend a custodial sentence, ‘It hadn’t gone through his head at the time’? The defence counsel is clearly saying the woman was amoral, and should be treated leniently as a result.
The second interesting aspect is that the girl apparently became pregnant (by a new boyfriend) in the expectation of avoiding a custodial sentence, lending credence to the thesis that women play the ‘child card’ to avoid being punished in the same manner as men. To his credit, by jailing her, the judge didn’t respond as she expected he would:
Judge Bourne-Arton told her: ‘You knew perfectly well that which you were doing was wrong. I am quite sure it was you who carried out the initiative. There are worrying signs you have failed to completely appreciate what impact what you did has had on him… there are deeply worrying factors in your case.’