Heinous criminals on the prowl

In parallel with covering the carnage in Las Vegas, our papers have devoted quite a few column inches to another blood-curdling crime.

I must tell you about it, but first make sure there are no children within sight of your computer screen. For the crime committed by Brian Lord, former GCHQ Deputy Director, is so vile that children reading about it may be traumatised for life.

Are you ready? Here it comes then. Mr Lord, 56, brutally assaulted a woman at a dinner party. He… wait a second, let me pull myself together and make sure my hands aren’t shaking…

Now… he put a hand on a woman’s knee! And kept it there for two to three minutes – the poor victim was so distressed she couldn’t remember the exact duration.

Having recovered from the unspeakable shock, the victim went to the police. The frisky spook was arrested, charged with sexual assault and found himself in the dock.

The prosecution demanded a guilty verdict and a custodial sentence, and its case sounded irrefutable:

“During some party games, the defendant placed his hand on the lady’s knee… It was there for a significant time and caused her embarrassment and awkwardness. She felt she was not in a position to deal with the situation by speaking to this defendant, expressing her concern, or leaving the table.”

One wonders why. In my experience, women have little problem dealing with such assaults one way or another.

For I have an embarrassing admission to make: during the course of my lamentably long life, my criminal hand used to find itself on a few knees here and there (typically one at a time). Some knees didn’t mind such brazen flirtation, some did.

Those that did communicated their recalcitrance in various ways, some of them too obscene to mention here, for fear that in spite of my warning there still may be children in your room. Others would simply swipe my hand off. Others would ignore it. Others would use their husbands as an excuse for their unfriendliness.

None ever found it hard to speak. None ever felt severely traumatised. None ever had to leave the table. And, most important, none ever described my action as sexual assault or threatened to call the cops and slam me in the pokey.

Mr Lord must have had good lawyers who prepped him properly. According to the prosecutor, “He was emphatic that his actions, however unwise, were not sexual in nature.” Out of interest, what were they then? Spiritual? Religious?

One gets the impression that, by accepting that statement, the prosecutor proved that somewhere deep down he, like any remotely sane person, was aware of how utterly ludicrous the case was.

He wasn’t alone. Apparently three other judges who had dealt with the case had doubted it was in the public interest to proceed owing to its “minor nature”.

Minor? This case wasn’t ‘minor’. It was insane, testifying to the pandemic of madness going by the name of modernity.

As a result… the case was thrown out? Mr Lord was acquitted? Neither. He pleaded to a lesser offence of common assault, was conditionally discharged for a year and sentenced to a fine.

The court took into account that Mr Lord had “never been in trouble before” and was a “family man”. But the judge still felt called upon to issue a stern rebuke: “Your behaviour crossed the line to criminal behaviour, as a result of which you have lost your good name and your good character, which I know you will have held dear.”

‘Criminal’, Your Honour? Are you out of your bleeding mind? And if a man may lose his ‘good name and character’ over a bit of clumsy flirtation, we’re all, well, most of us, thoroughly criminalised reprobates.

I shan’t repeat the arguments I put forth in an article of a few days ago: http://www.alexanderboot.com/rape-is-in-full-bloom/. But there I was talking of the state maniacally trying to alienate the sexes by broadening the notion of rape to an insane degree.

This salvo fired in the same war goes quite a bit further. The state communicates to the populace that behaviour that in the past rated nothing worse than a slap may now put a man in prison.

The state thus insists that it can reach the most remote nooks of human behaviour and put its foot down. It’s in the state’s interests – and within its power – to alienate the sexes, lest they may unite against the state.

Hence flirtation is no longer an acceptable mode of intersex relations. In France, even wolf-whistling at a woman has been criminalised, not to mention asking for her phone number. And Britain is following the same course.

One effect of this madness is that the very notion of crime is trivialised. In this case, Mr Lord was spared a custodial sentence largely because it was his first offence. In an adjacent courtroom, a burglar or a mugger might have been let off at the same time and for the same reason.

An iron bar has been placed next to our moral, and therefore legal, compass, which has gone haywire as a result. The arrow that used to point at a crime now points at a forgivable indiscretion – and increasingly vice versa.

Thus misled, we’re heading straight for a moral, and therefore legal, precipice. It’s a long way down and no way up.

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