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Old 12th February 2020, 02:48 PM   #1
The Common Potato
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Rape, consent and a lesbian

A local man was sentenced recently for 10 years for raping a woman on the beach at Cleethorpes. One part of the prosecution's case was that a lesbian would not have given consent to sex with any man.

I firmly believe that motive is irrelevant when it comes to any prosecution and I feel uneasy when a narrative is created to explain the facts. I also do wonder at the jury's ability to discern fact from this narrative. Looking to motive is fine, in my view, when trying to narrow down a list of possible suspects but ought not play any part in deciding guilt. People do strange things for a multitude of reasons.

Is Mohammed Uddin guilty? I don't know. He doesn't actually have to explain his innocence.

https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/n...esbian-3786374
https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/n...ked-up-3814331
https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/n...ch-sex-3816166
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Old 12th February 2020, 05:34 PM   #2
Metullus
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
A local man was sentenced recently for 10 years for raping a woman on the beach at Cleethorpes. One part of the prosecution's case was that a lesbian would not have given consent to sex with any man.

I firmly believe that motive is irrelevant when it comes to any prosecution and I feel uneasy when a narrative is created to explain the facts. I also do wonder at the jury's ability to discern fact from this narrative. Looking to motive is fine, in my view, when trying to narrow down a list of possible suspects but ought not play any part in deciding guilt. People do strange things for a multitude of reasons.

Is Mohammed Uddin guilty? I don't know. He doesn't actually have to explain his innocence.

https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/n...esbian-3786374
https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/n...ked-up-3814331
https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/n...ch-sex-3816166
The mere fact that he was found guilty after a trial is not, in my view, sufficient grounds to declare him innocent of the charges. In fact, absent a cogent argument for his innocence, I think that his conviction by a jury is not an unreasonable basis to presume his guilt.
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Old 13th February 2020, 07:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
A local man was sentenced recently for 10 years for raping a woman on the beach at Cleethorpes. One part of the prosecution's case was that a lesbian would not have given consent to sex with any man.

I firmly believe that motive is irrelevant when it comes to any prosecution and I feel uneasy when a narrative is created to explain the facts. I also do wonder at the jury's ability to discern fact from this narrative. Looking to motive is fine, in my view, when trying to narrow down a list of possible suspects but ought not play any part in deciding guilt. People do strange things for a multitude of reasons.
Aren't there defense lawyers to inform juries of narratives that are consistent with the facts but inconsistent with guilt? All those multitude of reasons?

I'm trying to visualize how a jury trial works when both sides are not allowed to look into motive or propose a narrative that is consistent with the facts of the case. Sounds like it would be almost impossible for a jury to follow if the case has any complexity whatsoever.
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Old 13th February 2020, 08:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Aren't there defense lawyers to inform juries of narratives that are consistent with the facts but inconsistent with guilt? All those multitude of reasons?
It seems from the linked articles that the defence tried to do so by claiming that the defendant had only spent the previous few minutes deciding whether to rape the victim, rather than having spent the previous hour looking for someone to rape. If that's the best the defence could say for him then I'm inclined to doubt that a miscarriage of justice has occurred here.

I'd also recommend the third article linked in the OP, which discusses in considerable detail why the victim's sexuality was reported and why it was relevant to the case.

Dave
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Old 13th February 2020, 09:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It seems from the linked articles that the defence tried to do so by claiming that the defendant had only spent the previous few minutes deciding whether to rape the victim, rather than having spent the previous hour looking for someone to rape. If that's the best the defence could say for him then I'm inclined to doubt that a miscarriage of justice has occurred here.

I'd also recommend the third article linked in the OP, which discusses in considerable detail why the victim's sexuality was reported and why it was relevant to the case.

Dave
No doubt. Some cases are a brick wall as to defense. This looks like one of them.

The OP sounds like standard "It wasn't a fair trial because the accused had no chance of winning" stuff that forgets these things aren't sporting events.
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Old 13th February 2020, 10:42 AM   #6
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If being a lesbian is by itself evidence for rape, in that the victim is allegedly a lesbian and as a lesbian they would would not have consent to sex with a man; then being a christian ought to be considered proof as to innocence of murder in that a christian would not kill as it goes against the 10 commandments.

In the former case the evidence"is not 100% flawless because it's known that people who self-identify as "lesbian" are not necessarily 100% homosexual all the time.
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Old 13th February 2020, 10:48 AM   #7
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FFS.

It's not a system of formal logic. It's about plausibility, reasonable doubt, and consilience of evidence. If the plaintiff can show evidence of a lesbian lifestyle, that strengthens her claim of rape and weakens the defendant's claim of consensual sex.

I see no problem with the plaintiff asking the jury to consider this in their deliberations. I also see no problem with the jury actually considering it. If the overall strength of the claim itself, with all the evidence factored in, convinces the jury beyond reasonable doubt, I have no problem with that, either.
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Old 14th February 2020, 04:38 AM   #8
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Uddin probably / almost certainly was guilty. To repeat myself, I am simply uncomfortable with the idea of creating a narrative. The lesbian aspect of the prosecution's come's across to me as if it is an impossibility for a lesbian woman to give her consent to heterosexual activity.

That's all.
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Old 14th February 2020, 05:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
Uddin probably / almost certainly was guilty. To repeat myself, I am simply uncomfortable with the idea of creating a narrative. The lesbian aspect of the prosecution's come's across to me as if it is an impossibility for a lesbian woman to give her consent to heterosexual activity.

That's all.
This was obviously used as an important feature of the case, but it doesn't appear to be the only evidence. There were witnesses who reported hearing a commotion/screaming, the state the woman was found in, the fact that she remembered calling for help, and apparently some type of suspicious behaviour of the defendant observed beforehand.
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Old 15th February 2020, 07:14 PM   #10
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Dudes obviously guilty, but the chick's a lesbian so wouldn't sleep with dude argument is beyond stupid
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Old 16th February 2020, 01:36 AM   #11
The Common Potato
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
This was obviously used as an important feature of the case, but it doesn't appear to be the only evidence. There were witnesses who reported hearing a commotion/screaming, the state the woman was found in, the fact that she remembered calling for help, and apparently some type of suspicious behaviour of the defendant observed beforehand.
I wish - not specifically for this case, but in general - it was far easier to get hold of court transcripts in the UK.
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Old 16th February 2020, 03:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
I wish - not specifically for this case, but in general - it was far easier to get hold of court transcripts in the UK.
Although I'm in the UK I've never needed to request a transcript so I'm not sure in what ways it is difficult compared to other countries (I have obtained transcripts for a US case without much difficulty). From a quick look, it appears you can request a transcript for any UK court case that was recorded, but you have to pay for transcription unless special circumstances apply. If it was held in private (which I assume may apply to sexual assault cases) it is more difficult and requires authorisation from a judge and a confidential transcription service.

What difficulties have you encountered?
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Old 16th February 2020, 08:53 AM   #13
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eleven to one

The verdict was not unanimous (I think it was 11 to 1). I wonder what were the concerns of the juror who did not agree with the others (as was his/her right).
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Old 16th February 2020, 05:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Although I'm in the UK I've never needed to request a transcript so I'm not sure in what ways it is difficult compared to other countries (I have obtained transcripts for a US case without much difficulty). From a quick look, it appears you can request a transcript for any UK court case that was recorded, but you have to pay for transcription unless special circumstances apply. If it was held in private (which I assume may apply to sexual assault cases) it is more difficult and requires authorisation from a judge and a confidential transcription service.

What difficulties have you encountered?
This sounds similar in New Zealand, where reasons are requested for why you want the transcripts and they are not automatically available.
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Old 17th February 2020, 05:28 AM   #15
Elaedith
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
This sounds similar in New Zealand, where reasons are requested for why you want the transcripts and they are not automatically available.
From what I can see (as I said I just had a quick look) you don't need to provide a reason in the UK (you may for cases in a closed court or if you want to apply for free transcription) but they have to be prepared on request are not automatically available. I'm not sure how expensive transcription is.

I wanted to look at transcripts for a US criminal case and was surprised at how easy it was to simply pay a nominal amount and download the documents through PACER. Perhaps that should be standard elsewhere.
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Old 17th February 2020, 09:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Dudes obviously guilty, but the chick's a lesbian so wouldn't sleep with dude argument is beyond stupid
Is it?

Say a man really hates a particular food, salmon will do. And say a person accused of stealing from them had a story that says the man paid the person the money in exchange for eating some salmon. "I didn't steal that $100 dollars, they paid me the $100 for the salmon that they ate right there in front of me." I think it would be probative that everyone who knows the man knows that he will not eat salmon, or really any fish at all, and has gone to great lengths in the past to avoid eating salmon.

Sure, tastes and desires change over time, but it is relevant that the story relied upon by the accused is at direct odds with the victim's life up to this point.
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Old 19th February 2020, 05:14 AM   #17
The Common Potato
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Although I'm in the UK I've never needed to request a transcript so I'm not sure in what ways it is difficult compared to other countries (I have obtained transcripts for a US case without much difficulty). From a quick look, it appears you can request a transcript for any UK court case that was recorded, but you have to pay for transcription unless special circumstances apply. If it was held in private (which I assume may apply to sexual assault cases) it is more difficult and requires authorisation from a judge and a confidential transcription service.

What difficulties have you encountered?
I re-read Heather Brooke's The Silent State recently and am therefore going through a bit of a Let the Data be Free phase.

The process of accessing court information, according Brooke:
So to recap: that’s four different people in four parts of the high court just to get one document that most likely existed in electronic form. And that’s just the beginning of the obstacles. The court lists of who is up for trial are notably difficult to obtain, sentencing records are secret, and a cartel of private companies controls the transcription market, meaning only the richest can afford a record of their case.
(Source In more detail. This is not too dissimilar to her book.)

Last edited by The Common Potato; 19th February 2020 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 19th February 2020, 06:59 AM   #18
Elaedith
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
I re-read Heather Brooke's The Silent State recently and am therefore going through a bit of a Let the Data be Free phase.

The process of accessing court information, according Brooke:
So to recap: thatís four different people in four parts of the high court just to get one document that most likely existed in electronic form. And thatís just the beginning of the obstacles. The court lists of who is up for trial are notably difficult to obtain, sentencing records are secret, and a cartel of private companies controls the transcription market, meaning only the richest can afford a record of their case.
(Source In more detail. This is not too dissimilar to her book.)
It sounds as though we need reform, and a move to low-cost online availability of transcripts.
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