Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wait What?

Here is a BBC article about the ongoing trial of two people accused of sexually abusing a baby by a couple. Very serious stuff. At the end of the article there is an explanation of the background and how police found incriminating evidence on the computers of the two people involved.

And then there's this:
A computer file containing stories about incest was also found.
Is that illegal now? Is it evidence of paedophilia? Anyone know?


  1. Nope, possession of this material is not illegal. However, it is circumstantial evidence in a case like this.

  2. Where's the logic behind that claim?

  3. Well, yes there are a certain amount of assumptions made here. One assumes that the incest stories featured minors being abused. If the stories had no such features then one is left wondering why defence council didn't get the stories excluded from evidence on grounds of being immaterial. The BBC report indicates that the stories were accepted as evidence, which implies that they DID feature minors being abused. That being the case, there is nothing illogical about material relating to child abuse being adduced in a case involving...umm...child abuse.

  4. None of the news reports I have seen give any indication that the stories featured child abuse. You'd think that they would mention that if they did.

    I don't think your assumption that they must have done because otherwise they would have been rejected holds. For one thing there is no indication that they were not rejected. The report simply mentions the fact that they were found and the prosecution could easily have slipped that in to their opening statements.

    Isn't it entirely possible that the prosecution is working on the assumption (and think the jury will agree with it) that if someone has an interest in incest then they're sexually deviant and exactly the kind of person who would be a paedophile. Kind of like the attitude many had that gay men were more likely to be paedophiles.

    So my question is that simply stating that a file was found with stories of incest seems entirely irrelevant to a case about child abuse. If the stories featured child abuse then the report should say that stories featuring child abuse were found. That they were about incest is most definitely irrelevant. Yet the report and the prosecution have tried to make it relevant.