Last week, Mail Online reported on the case of Lucie Slater – a 21 year-old woman who glassed her defenceless boyfriend in the face.
Ms Slater, a bar promoter from Gateshead – who was a contestant on ITV talent show The X Factor before being disqualified for her actions – launched the vicious attack on her boyfriend William Aitken after seeing a Facebook message she simply ‘disliked’.
The assault, which took place in the victim’s Northumberland home, last summer, was so violent that it pierced an artery, scarring him for life – potentially destroying his burgeoning modelling career.
It also caused severe blood loss and permanent nerve damage to his face.
Devastated Mr Aitken has described the incident as ‘tragic’ and ‘life-changing from that moment on.’
At the hospital where he received treatment, Slater claimed Aitken sustained his injuries from falling down the stairs, before changing her story and claiming it was an accident involving flying shards of glass.
Perhaps, given the opportunity, she also might’ve claimed he walked into a door.
After all, for all its subterfuge about television programmes, social networking sites and alcohol, this is nothing less than spousal abuse. A classic case of domestic violence made infinitely worse by the delusion that because it’s a female avenging a (perceived) broken heart caused by a man it’s OK.
Dangerously, this misnomer seems to be backed by both society and the law.
Last week, just like his girlfriend had done months earlier, the British legal system delivered Aitken a cruel, underserving blow – this time, by letting his attacker escape jail.
Despite pleading guilty to unlawful wounding, thus qualifying for a five-year custodial sentence, Slater walked away with nothing more than a suspended sentence, a two-year supervision order and 120 hours of community service.
In a disturbing example of modern justice, Slater will now enjoy all the trappings of Christmas without a shred of real, tangible punishment in sight.
No wonder, along with the case of Paul Stratford – who walked free from court after punching a headmistress for reprimanding his unruly son – it sparked the Mail’s What Does It Take To Get Jailed? report, last week.
Quite frankly, both rulings are a joke.
But, despite being equal understatements of justice, they differ on one crucial element – bias. While Stratford was likely given leniency for having a dependent child, in my opinion, Slater got off (from a much bloodier crime) simply because she’s a woman.
And it’s increasingly common.
Last month, Bianca Hendry from Middlesborough escaped jail – despite having a previous conviction for battery – after biting the tip off another club-goer’s finger in a dance floor confrontation over ‘stares’.
Similarly, on Friday, Victoria Willis from Darlington walked free from court after stabbing her boyfriend with a kitchen knife at their home.
Her punishment? She was given a community order.
Earlier this year, Sheona Keith glassed a male clubber for simply smiling at her – but was spared jail by a judge. Instead, she was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 compensation by Judge Philip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.
Had these been cases of men attacking women, then – quite rightly – they would’ve been given much stiffer penalties. But, in the same week where car insurance brokers are no longer able to discriminate against male drivers, the courts should be applying their policies equally, too.
Thankfully, I’m not alone in my theory of equal equality – some people in power agree, too.
Last October, during a House of Commons debate on the topic of sentencing female offenders, Phillip Davies MP delivered an outstanding critique of the pro-female discrimination endemic throughout UK courts.
A transcript of the debate, which can be found online, is 14 pages long and (as far as I’m aware) the only example of its kind in British politics. As we approach 2013, we truly need more people like him – male and female – to speak up and defend fair justice if society is ever going to be equal for both men and women, boys and girls, victims and the vulnerable.
Part of this involves both victims and attackers realising that women are just as guilty as men.
Last week, newspapers reported on the case of Julie Griffiths – a 43-year-old from Newcastle-Under-Lyme who breached her ASBO 47 times in three months by verbally abusing her husband. The tirades were so loud and mentally torturous that they kept their neighbours awake at night.
Inappropriately, headlines described her as a ‘nagging wife’, when – in reality – she is an abusive one.
Like Lucie Slater, I doubt very much she even recognises this herself (after all, no females commit domestic violence – right?), but only stiffer legal sentences will change the world’s view on violent women. And their view of themselves.
Given that Slater’s victim still claims to ‘love’ his attacker (evidence that men suffer the misleadingly-titled ‘battered wife’ syndrome too), this needs to happen fast.
Certain newspapers and courts may treat female-on-male violence as a joke, but this is one issue which definitely has no room for a punchline.
This article was originally published in Mail Online, and is reposted here with permission from Mr. Lloyd.