Slash and Burn, BUT with provocation.

Sadly, analysis not needed.  This is just another good example of…

Actually, what is this an example of?  The way in which a patriarchal system understands its own?  Is it just a matter of such cliches?

In among reports about stretch marks on iconic bodies, The Daily Mail reports:

“Executive who branded wife with iron freed with a £2,000 fine

A management consultant branded his wife with a hot steam iron because she had failed to press his shirt.

Cambridge graduate Colin Read, 25, also slashed her with a knife because she had forgotten to make his sandwiches.

The judge’s reason for a light sentence?  It’s a bit complicated, but presumably this is the bottom line:

But the judge said it was the circumstances of the marriage that had provoked Read and that now those circumstances had gone, sending him to prison would “help no one”.

His wife, of course, “had been so frightened of him that she had to be compelled to give evidence in a three-day trial which ended in her husband being convicted of three counts of causing actual bodily harm. “

9 thoughts on “Slash and Burn, BUT with provocation.

  1. Stunning reasoning in that justification. Presumably the same argument could be made in murder cases. A hated B, and that’s why he committed murder. But now that B is dead, the circumstances that caused the murder are gone, and imprisoning A would help nobody.

  2. I’m pretty sympathetic to that sort of utilitarian reasoning, actually. Incarceration should only be used as a preventative measure (i.e. against ongoing threats) — there are surely more productive forms of retribution possible (huge fines donated to charity, long hours of community service, etc.). Of course, this judge seems to have forgotten that some kind of deterrence is still necessary!

    (It would be interesting to learn whether he is willing to generalize this principle in such a way, or if he thinks that domestic violence is somehow unique.)

  3. Fucked. Up.

    And what about when this ass meets ANOTHER woman and forms ANOTHER relationship and then, all of a sudden, feels “provoked” into extreme violence again?

    Should we just fine those who beat up gays, saying that it’s only because the guy was THERE, and hope that the assailant doesn’t run into any other (actual or percieved) homosexuals in the future? Um, no.

    Or, I suppose, some might say yes.

  4. Richard, the thing is that it *is* about prevention. It’s not like there were some extraordinary circumstances that caused this man to be violent, circumstances that will never arise again. The circumstances were that his partner failed to do exactly what he wanted her to do. That seems pretty *certain* to happen again, so prevention is needed (as well as deterrence). Your suggestion only makes sense where we can say that someone really was in an extraordinary situation and won’t be violent again– e.g. in cases of self-defense. It makes no sense for most violent offences, and esp. for domestic abuse, as domestic abusers tend to abuse again and again. By the way, I suspect the judge was going easy not just on domestic violence, but also on white wealthy domestic violence– as Cara’s noted on her blog, and JJ pointed out in correspondence with me, he thought the guy’s job was too important for him to have to take time out for community service or jail.

  5. A “management consultant” job “too important”? Gimme a break. I was about to relate my experience of these types, but why bother: the original article has telling details on the shirt, “a shirt printed with palm trees that he needed for a corporate beach party function”. Beach parties as an excuse? The mind reels.

    I think you got it right, that judge seems to view justice as a population control tool, you know, sweeping the “others” out of sight into jail.

    And, Richard, the victim’s statement sums up exactly how this is about deterrence, not just punishment: “I didn’t really want to go to court. Now with the sentence the way it was, it doesn’t really seem there was much point.”

  6. This is absolutely disgusting. I don’t care if the guy is the CEO in charge of making sliced bread. I want him to be OUT of society so that another woman doesn’t get abused. He killed her spirit by doing that to her and he deserves to be off the street, a la jail.

    When men start taking male violence against women seriously we won’t have this kind of bullshit response from TADA! a male judge.

    My solution: 25 years for him, she gets most of his income/assets and lives on it and gets all the help she needs to live a good life free of abuse. Also, the rest of his money, if there’s any left over after she gets a huge chunk of it, goes to grassroots orgs who help women who have been abused by men. Done.

    If you want to deter people you have to take away things that matter to them. To a white collar upper class businessman, it means MONEY.

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