The law _ still an ass

Should have been at court in Ayr yesterday to see a convicted child rapist get his come-uppance for harassing one of his victims within days of getting out of jail after serving a lengthy sentence. Monday evening, the victim contacted me at 6pm to let me know, having just been told by the fiscal, that the case was off. Given that the incident happened way back in September, and that there have been previous delays, you have to wonder what the problem is. Crown wanted to move it back six days to 15 February, but of course one of the key witnesses can’t be there, so there will be further delays, causing his victims more unnecessary stress.

In Stirling Sheriff Court today with Debbie Watson, who had been engaged to complete twat Alex Roy, not knowing he already had two wives and at least one other fiancee.┬áRoy appeared way back in November to be sentenced for bigamy having admitted it in October. The sentencing was adjourned in November to allow for time for reports. Today, a key medical report (which clearly is expected to be helpful to him) wasn’t in place. He got a further adjournment until 14 April. If a report is commissioned by his defence, should there not be a burden on them to have it in place, and a penalty for the villain in the sense that the judge or sheriff should proceed without the helpful report?

The common factor in all these cases is that the victims are at the bottom of the pile. No thought is given to how they feel about the unfinished business, the added stress of prolonged procedures, the lack of closure. Both Debbie and her mother were upset by the delays today. They had a wasted journey, as did I. But none of that matters. The courts operate for the benefit of the lawyers who work in them. The rights of the accused are paramount. The victims, both direct and indirect, of the criminal conduct are chewed up and spat out.

Debbie and Roy’s other fiancee have reported to the police the fact that while Roy is on bail awaiting sentence he has threatened, abused and harassed them. Should the sheriff who is going to sentence him not be made aware of the conduct?

Final point on expert reports: with about two or three very praiseworthy exceptions, the value of expert reports these days is virtually zero. Most experts will come up with whatever the person paying them wants them to. It’s time the courts stopped the gravy train that allows each side to commission its own expert. The courts should appoint one expert and their evidence should fit all. Any expert judged by his or her peers to have lacked independence by favouring one side or argument unreasonably should never be allowed to do the highly lucrative work again. The current system is a waste of public money, and like most other elements of our system, has nothing to do with justice.