Diehards

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Ramifications

Twelve years ago my friend Jane opened her front door to find her boss standing there. His name is Adam Carruthers and he was a police inspector. Jane still has nightmares about what happened after she let him into her home. She still suffers from physical pain, especially in her back, still has to make regular trips to the hospital for treatment. And she has to have a full time carer. But she is tough of spirit and she pressed charges, and eventually he was convicted and sentenced to a term in prison. Now he is free again, and Jane for her own protection has had to move from her home, and have her new one fitted with an elaborate alarm system. Just before the case went to court her skull was stoved in with a rock from behind as she was out tending her sheep, and as he had phoned and threatened her, she feels rather vulnerable.

On Thursday, the man who did this to her will be in court once more. This time, though, it is at his own behest for he wants his pension reinstated. Because he was convicted of two counts of rape whilst on duty, the council has seen fit to withdraw from his pension what they could of the contributions they had paid into it. This means he only gets 35% of what he would have got if he hadn't gone about abusing his position in such a violent way, which is about six thousand pounds a year. He is claiming family hardship.

It's not that I don't feel sorry for his children, I do. I even feel sorry for his wife, even though she is a grown up and chooses to stay with him. Perhaps she really does believe he didn't commit the crimes for which he was convicted. Perhaps she is so bullied that she feels unable to leave. But whatever it is that keeps her where she is I can't help feeling her husband should not get the money he claims. I can't help feeling that to pay him a pension after what he did whilst he was supposed to be working for public safety would be just so wrong. As Jane says on her blog it would make rape look like a pensionable occupation.

So, on Thursday morning I will take the extremely unusual step of getting up early so I can be outside the court to quietly protest along with a group of other people who feel the same. Ever the feeder I will take coffee and buns to keep everyone going. And, I have a large piece of card on which I would like to write in big bold letters something that will send a message to those who could, if they so wished, do something about this type of thing. But what?

25 comments:

savannah said...

you said it:

NO PENSIONS FOR RAPISTS


i'll keep your friend in my prayers. safety and peace xoxo

Conan Drumm said...

Too angry to think of anything, be careful.

HoodChick said...

Penis for pension!

Castrate the bastard. And tell your friend to get whatever protection is legal in her area.

debra said...

I would be there if I could,Eryl.
COURAGE. or ENOUGH.

Eryl Shields said...

Savannah ~ thanks hon :)X

Conan ~ me too. I will be, thanks.

Hoodie ~ I think she has it all.

Debra ~ I know you would. I like ENOUGH.

scarlet-blue said...

I would also be with you if I could.
Sx

Kim Ayres said...

I think Savannah's suggestion is perfect - if it gets picked up by any photographers or press, it says exactly what's a stake.

Jane Dearie said...

Eryl, thanks so much for your post on this campaign. I've been hectic the last few days. Today I was filmed for a piece for Border TV News and tomorrow I'll be on Good Morning Scotland (94.7FM here)at around 8.15, then to be filmed by BBC for Reporting Scotland who will, like ITV Border, film the protest. I won't be identifiable on the TV for safety reasons and for protection of family, but those of you who can't be there might be able to keep up with this abuse of public money.
Try this one: Carruthers, serial rapist and sex offender with 38 victims identified by the police, has so far had £111,375 in legal aid, plus £2,100 for 'slopping out' in jail. Now he's got around another £100,000 to fight for a pension for a job where he created heinous crimes of his own instead of his paid duty of stopping crime and protecting the public. Local council tax payers and income tax payers are funding his action. The local rape crisis centre counselled 199 people last year on a budget that was less than Carruthers has had in legal aid, before this pension fight. Is this right? Well said - ENOUGH.
Jane xxx

PI said...

That is such a horrible, horrible story. Jane sounds a very brave girl and I salute her and you for being a good friend. Savannah's suggestion is just right. What on earth do the police think of it? I just hope they didn't attempt to cover it up.

Eryl Shields said...

Scarlet ~ I know it. X

Kim ~ I agree, I have now made three posters: ENOUGH; PENSIONS FOR RAPISTS? AND VICTIM SUPPORT NOT RAPIST SUPPORT. And the TV cameras will be there, so hopefully someone somewhere will get the message.

Jane ~ You are most welcome, as I'm sure you know. Or, at least I hope you do! Now I better get to bed.

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ missed you there! The police are furious and being very helpful, though I believe they weren't twelve years ago.

She is very brave isn't she? She's also a fine artist and poet, how could I not be a good friend to someone like that?

PI said...

Eryl do be careful.

The Dotterel said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Eryl. I've just been over to Jane's blog for the first time and read her post on the subject. Unbelievable!

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ thanks for your concern, there was quite a crowd of us, including Stevie (my husband) and Carruthers himself wasn't there. The press was in full force though which was good.

Dot ~ you're most welcome. It really is unbelievable isn't it?

PI said...

Good. Maybe we'll even hear about it down here.

Kim Ayres said...

I saw you on BBC Scotland News last night at 10.30ish. Well, I saw a bit of your hair, then briefly a cheekbone and an eye.

The World According To Me said...

What a messed up world we live in.
You sound a true friend.
Words can't explain how sorry and sad I am that your friend has had to go through this.

PS I can't believe his wife is still with him?

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ Maybe you will, I'd certainly have thought it the kind of story the tabloids would pick up.

Kim ~ I'm glad I remembered to wash my face and brush my hair before I left the house then!

Worldy ~ It really is quite startling isn't it, though I have known women who stayed with violent abusive husbands for years because their self esteem, and thus power to control any part of their lives, had been completely eroded. I wonder if this is what has happened to her?

Mary Witzl said...

I can't improve on Savannah's suggestion.

Please tell Jane that I'll try to tell as many girls and women back in Scotland as I can about this. Good for her for being so courageous -- give her a hug for me.

Frank B said...

You don't pension a person who did not earn that pension. Children are a separate issue. That does not mean that the perpetrator of a crime should decide for them.

Eryl Shields said...

Mary ~ thanks, and, I will...

Frank ~ that's it exactly. Thank you for disentangling my many thoughts and feelings on this. Also, thank you for stopping by and bothering to comment.

Jane Dearie said...

Thanks so much to all of your readers who have taken time to comment on the issues involved in the Carruthers case. The support and kind words make me think I am doing the right thing by sticking my head above the parapet. So many victims never get justice. They didn't get a choice - Carruthers had a choice and he knew the outcome if caught. Now he doesn't like it, but he of all people knew the implications before he attacked so many women. Let's hope that common sense prevails and any victim feels it doesn't remain a lopsided justice system favouring the perpetrators who made their heinous choices at great expense to many people - the ripple effect of crime.
Best to you all, Jane x

Carole said...

I've read this post several times and each time get so aggravated. I don't even understand why the rapist is out of prison. I think he needs a good dose of lead poisoning of the 44 caliber variety. Pensions shouldn't even be a consideration.

The legal system everywhere seems to be completely out of whack.

Kanani said...

I'm so upset over this, words escape me. I've followed Jane's blog, and have a lot of admiration for her doggedness.

As for his wife, she can go get a career. She can leave him and find work ---millions of women have done this. But I think she knows, but is probably so bullied that she's been conditioned to be his natural victim.

I like ENOUGH. I think it pretty much says it all.

Eryl Shields said...

Jane ~ let us, indeed, hope common sense prevails. It's time we cultivated a culture in which adults take responsibility for their actions.

Carole ~ I know exactly what you mean.

Kanani ~ I really hope his wife is just blinded by love and stupidity, and isn't bullied at all. Though I suspect she is. Hopefully she'll find the strength to get out soon, as you say: millions of women have managed it.