Saturday, January 20, 2007

At Last Some Good News. Sort of.

An obsessed stalker who terrorised a leading psychiatrist, accusing him of rape and sending his fiancée death threats, was convicted of a prolonged and ruthless campaign of harassment. Reference.

Yesterday, she was jailed for nine years. Reference. For once, the judicial system has had the guts to jail a female offender. However the case raises a few disturbing issues.

Dr Jan Falkowski first came across Maria Marchese because he was treating her partner for psychiatric problems. There is no doubt a whole story there in itself. It seems very probable that this man was the victim of years of domestic violence.

Marchese became obsessed with Dr Falkowski, and researched his private life in detail. She began 'a prolonged and ruthless campaign of harassment'. For 11 months, she had bombarded the psychiatrist and Deborah Pemberton, who was then his fiancée, with menacing text messages, e-mails and telephone calls. She repeatedly threatened to murder Ms Pemberton, forcing the couple to cancel their wedding over fears for her life.

Having destroyed their relationship, Marchese then tried to ruin the consultant’s reputation and career, telling police that he had raped her in his office at St Clement’s Hospital in Bow, East London. She obtained a sample of his DNA to give credence to her accusations after rummaging through his dustbins for a condom.

Dr Falkowski was under suspicion for rape for almost 18 months before the case against him was dropped.
The judge said "if it had not been for his own DNA expert he would probably have served a seven-year sentence."

When the case was dropped she began stalking the Crown Prosecution Service lawyer responsible. Marchese bombarded targeted (sic) Kay Scudder with calls in a bid to get the case reinstated, even turning up at her office.

A probation officer who interviewed Marchese said she had an "exceptionally devious personality."

She threatened the doctor’s two children and contacted their relatives, friends and colleagues with messages and warnings.

She tried to turn her victims against each other, telling Miss Pemberton that her lodger had given away her secrets and telling Dr Falkowski that the Pembertons were selling information about him.

She drove Ms Pemberton to the brink of suicide, and succeeded in destroying the couple's relationship.

Marchese was convicted of harassment, making threats to kill and perverting the course of justice at a trial ending in September last year, but continues to protest her innocence and plans to appeal.

The judge also attacked the CPS and the police for not pressing charges against Marchesse when she was first arrested for harassment in 2003.

He said he was "baffled by the lack of action after she was held in Poole, Dorset, on the planned date of Dr Falkowski and Miss Pemberton's wedding, which had to be cancelled because of the abuse.

Another unbelievable example of inaction by the CPS. It really doesn't like to press charges against women, does it? When the CPS lawyer, Kay Scudder, realised that Marchese's allegations were malicious, and dropped the case against Dr Falkowski, why did she not press charges against her at the time? She did nothing, and allowed Marchese to carry on terrorising her victims. It seems likely that if Marchese had not begun to stalk and harass Scudder, she might never have been charged at all.

A particularly disturbing aspect of this case is the issue of DNA theft. Marchese took a used condom from Dr Falkowski's bin, and smeared the contents onto her underwear to authenticate her false allegations of rape.

I wonder what Wimmin Against Rape have got to say about that. They probably want to congratulate her.

If Dr Falkowski had not had the knowledge and financial resources that his profession conferred upon him, he would almost certainly have gone to prison. If he had been a working class man, he wouldn't have stood a chance.

The Crown Prosecution Service is in need of serious scrutiny. In case after case, these people demonstrate their fanatical anti-male bias. They just will not charge women, even when the evidence against them is clear.

We need to start putting some serious political pressure on to them.

Click here to write to the Attorney General's Office.

Click here to write to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Click here to write to your Member of Parliament.

Maria Marchese is now behind bars. Shannon Taylor is still walking the streets.


Mark said...

Readers can be segmented by how much of an article they read: some read the whole thing; some read just the first few lines; some just look at the headline and some don't even notice that. For that reason, I do find it troubling when the media have some denigrating headline and then place a photo of a guy next to it when the guy is not the perpetrator. Why? Those who only glance at the headline will tend to assume the guy is the one guilty of the crime and thus it is by this method that false stereotypes get created/reinforced. One would need to look at a number of cases to see if there is a pattern, but the Evening Standard article you reference is a classic example.

Anonymous said...

WHY DON`T YOU GO TO HELL??????????????

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous didnt you know we are already in hell you silly little person!