Saturday, March 11, 2006

Justice Geoffrey Chettle, Sex Crime Enabler

Victorian Judge Geoffrey Chettle talks tough:

"(He) said female sex offenders could no longer expect to receive lenient sentences.

"The days of soft sentences are over," Judge Chettle said. "I should treat her the same way I should treat a male in the same situation."
He was talking about Cheryl Whittle, a serial criminal mother of 10 who raped a 14-year-old boy then, when she gave birth to his baby, demanded child support payments.

But when it came to the crunch, Justice Chettle proved there's one law for men and a different law for women:

Judge Geoffrey Chettle sentenced Whittle to 15 months' jail, wholly suspended for three years.
then felt moved to claim he was not biased:

Justice Chettle said that had genders in the case been reversed he would have imposed the same punishment. "Lest anyone be of the view that you have been treated in a more lenient fashion because you are female and because I suffer some unconscious sexual bias, I can say that I would impose an identical sentence if the genders of your victim and you were reversed and a similar delay of 14 years occurred." He said he was satisfied the "foolish lapse" was an isolated incident and out of character.
Bullshit. In summing up, Justice Chettle stated of Whittle's crime against her victim: "You stole his innocence." That theft was in perfect character with Cheryl Whittle's criminal history of multiple prior convictions for theft, burglary and attempted burglary including serving jail time for robbing a milk bar.

But according to Justice Chettle, she deserves a break because:

Whittle had been "a battler" for most of her life. Four of her 10 children from five fathers currently live with her, and one of her children died from a drug overdose. Her current partner, and father of three of the children, is in jail and due to be released later this year.
Meanwhile, her victim was so sickened by the assault he feigned sleeping so he didn't have to see what was happening to him and went outside afterwards and vomited. Later, he had to leave school because of taunting by schoolfriends who knew of Whittle's pregnancy before he did and was harassed for child-care payments at the age of 15. Now 27, he did not report the abuse until December 2004 because:

"I felt disgusted and betrayed at the time of the sexual assault and shocked, stressed and horrified by the prospect of becoming a father," he told police.
Remarkably, the victim now has custody of his son and one can only presume that part of what has driven him to do so is a desire to protect his child from the depravity and criminal life Whittle's surviving offspring are doomed to enter.

Yet there is a final insult in Justice Chettle's soft go for female sex offenders:

Whittle's lawyer, Jamie Singh, previously told the court his client planned to fight to win back custody of the child.
It's a sick world.

-- Nick

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