Sunday, February 04, 2007

Feminist Smear Campaign Against Blackwell

Following an appearance by Warren Blackwell on Radio 4, Women Against Rape wrote to Radio 4 to complain that his case had been given too much coverage, and that the media had taken his case too seriously. I have posted first their letter, and then below, Warren Blackwell's reply.

Letters sent to Radio 4 "Today" program from Women Against Rape
and a woman in our network

Ceri Thomas, Editor
Today Programme
BBC Radio 4
Room G630, Stage 6
Television Centre
Wood Lane
London W12 7RJ

January 2007

Dear Ceri Thomas

We were glad to have been in the programme with Warren Blackwell on 13 January. Giving the subject further thought, there is an important point that is being overlooked in the media coverage of his case and the debate on the law on anonymity. It has been assumed that Ms A who accused Warren Blackwell made previous false allegations of sexual violence. As far as we can gather (not having been allowed to see the evidence at Mr Blackwell’s appeal), his conviction was declared unsafe on the basis that the CPS did not disclose this information at the original trial.

Who had decided her previous allegations were false? They never were tested in court. We don’t know what the evidence was in each of those cases or even whether they were properly investigated. But we have interviewed Ms A and are aware that she has accused several men in the past of violence. This does not prove that, in John Humphrys’ words, she "has a history of . . . lying". Of the thousands of victims of rape who have contacted us, many have suffered violence previously, in some cases several times. This is backed up in Home Office research which confirms our experience that these women often face additional prejudice and suspicion when they report. [1] Does this mean that if you report rape more than once in your life you must be a liar?

There is no evidence that false allegations of rape are widespread. Home Office research verifies that only 3% of reported rapes are false, a similar number to those in other crimes. Only one in 20 men accused of rape are found guilty. Of those, many get completely inappropriate sentences. A few, very few, women lie, but thousands of women (an estimated 85%) don’t report sexual violence they have suffered. Why is there no media outcry about this?

With a conviction rate for reported rape of 5.3% at their hands, neither the police nor the CPS can be relied on for a balanced judgement. Again and again we have seen women’s cases dismissed as untrue on the basis of careless and prejudiced investigations, refusal to gather evidence including to interview witnesses, or misinterpreting evidence which is gathered. At this moment, when rapists are given just a caution by the police, can we have more balance about who is assumed to be lying about rape?

Furthermore, Judge Gerald Butler said on your programme that you can’t rely on judges to determine whether the jury found a woman lied and made a false allegation or that there was simply not enough evidence to convict beyond reasonable doubt. He said ‘Trial judges sometimes get it wrong.’ Too true, and it is refreshing to hear even this understatement from the judge’s mouth.

We understand that once a person has been cleared of any crime by the court of appeal, he must be treated as innocent, and the media should generally reflect this and not perpetuate suspicion. We also understand that men and women, including broadcasters, will naturally be sympathetic to anyone they think has been falsely accused of rape. However, this sympathy does not mean the woman should be assumed to be guilty. Warren Blackwell seems to be encouraged to make a public campaign to vilify the woman who accused him. By affording him the status and power of authoring his own item, supporting his point of view on the Today programme, and making his "speaking out" a news item, the BBC has contributed to a miscarriage of justice.

Whatever else may have happened, "Ms A" was found unconscious and bleeding. If the man accused must be treated as innocent until proven guilty, then surely the same should apply to the woman who accused him.

Please take this point into account in any future programmes and please ask that others in the BBC also take it into consideration.

Yours sincerely

Ruth Hall & Lisa Longstaff
Cc Gaetan Portal



Dear Ruth,
I read your letter to the BBC. You are commenting on a case you know absolutely nothing about. It was apparent very early on when you first began to comment on my case you had made contact with Shannon , and it is equally apparent you have been totally sucked in by her lies.

Fact – her previous allegations have been fully and properly investigated by independent police forces. I have seen all of the evidence, bar the medical material, and so have my legal team, the prosecution and the judges in the appeal court. I am not about to copy those extensive papers to you here or any other format. The fact is you could see as much evidence as you like but you will never change your opinion.

You accept that ‘some’ women do make false allegations but for you this is acceptable given the ‘wider picture.’ I find it absolutely incredible you are actually prepared to accept it is fine for the ‘odd innocent man’ to go to prison for a crime he did not commit. NO innocent person should ever lose their liberty, male or female – no matter what the alleged crime.

You wrote “We understand that once a person has been cleared of any crime by the court of appeal, he must be treated as innocent, and the media should generally reflect this and not perpetuate suspicion. We also understand that men and women, including broadcasters, will naturally be sympathetic to anyone they think has been falsely accused of rape. However, this sympathy does not mean the woman should be assumed to be guilty. Warren Blackwell seems to be encouraged to make a public campaign to vilify the woman who accused him. By affording him the status and power of authoring his own item, supporting his point of view on the Today programme, and making his "speaking out" a news item, the BBC has contributed to a miscarriage of justice.”

I will ask you please, how has this contributed to a miscarriage of justice? What exactly do you mean by that, what ‘miscarriage?’ What is clear is you are totally jealous about the media interest in my case. Don’t blame me, blame Shannon Taylor for making a false allegation against me. How you expect me not to feel any animosity towards her is beyond me – how dare you suggest I should not make any sort of derogatory remark about the woman that saw me imprisoned for a crime that did not even happen, a woman that ruined my family’s life!

You also wrote “Whatever else may have happened, "Ms A" was found unconscious and bleeding. If the man accused must be treated as innocent until proven guilty, then surely the same should apply to the woman who accused him.” Firstly, she was found bleeding and in and out of consciousness and it has now been accepted she caused the injuries to herself. I’m sorry, but wake up Ruth – there are women that self harm, a lot of the time quite seriously.

What you are suggesting here also, is because Shannon Taylor has not been prosecuted for perverting the course of justice then the ‘crime’ has not been disproved. What a load of rubbish, but I welcome your support in trying to see Shannon Taylor prosecuted. Perhaps you would like to challenge the CPS in that respect as they are the ones who have cited her mental background as a barrier in any prosecution against her. You see, it is not that they don’t want to, they have considered it – but clearly feel any defence lawyer would simply say she is not fit to stand trial because of her mental state.

Again I reiterate, you are talking about a case you know nothing about and only have Shannon ’s word. I would thank you kindly to refrain in future from again insinuating I am a rapist that ‘got off.’ I look forward to the next opportunity I have to speak out in the media so I can tell all about your disgust at the Crown failing to prosecute Shannon Taylor for perverting the course of justice.

Regards,

Warren Blackwell

PS – you are so quick to attack me but equally as quick to accept my money. Check your accounts – I’m sure the media would be interested in that too don’t you?

Heretic adds:
This statement amazed me:
"By affording him the status and power of authoring his own item, supporting his point of view on the Today programme, and making his "speaking out" a news item, the BBC has contributed to a miscarriage of justice."

Firstly we see the feminist obsession with 'status and power', which after all, is the only things that feminists are really interested in. The authors do not want Warren Blackwell to be accorded any 'status', not to have the power to speak for himself. They are obviously offended by the use of the term "speaking out"; if there is any "speaking out" against injustice to be done, they insist on maintaining a monopoly on it for themselves. They seem to be ignoring the fundamental point of this case; Warren Blackwell was innocent, and was imprisoned for a crime that never happened as the result of lies by a mad woman.

The authors explicitly criticise the BBC for supporting Warren Blackwell, and then try to dictate the BBC's editorial policy! The audacity of it is stunning. No doubt the authors would have expected similar editorial autonomy for a woman, but not for a man. Instead, they expect the item to be 'managed' out of the way by a politically-corrected BBC apparatchik. Not to do so constitutes a 'miscarriage of justice'! Unbelievable. This is a flagrant attempt by Women Against Rape to exert political control over BBC editorial policy. These people simply have no concept of, nor interest in, justice. This is how the Lace Curtain operates. Make no mistake. These people fight dirty.

I suggest that everyone should write to the BBC at the above address and reply to Women Against Rape's travesty of a letter.

5 comments:

Warren Blackwell said...

Fact is this group 'Women Against Rape' need victims of false allegations like me to speak out, so they are also given an audience when they are contacted for an opinion.

I have done nothing to these people yet they choose to attack me at every opportunity of late. Well I think it's time now for me to give a little back. I haven't so much as lifted a finger about my case to be honest. All I've done is respond to requests from the media - well now I am going to take an active part and raise the roof.

Their very title says it all - "Women" Against Rape. So men are 'for' rape then? Absurd. They raise 'statistics' without showing any evidence - we're supposed to just take their word for it. Well I suppose that goes with their way of thinking, that no women lie.

Well Ruth Hall seems to be forgetting one little thing – she said in the interview we did on Radio 4 that “they have had some allegations brought to them which they didn’t think were quite right.” So what is it then – women do lie but Women Against Rape support a prosecution against the accused anyway, or do they turn them away? And who the Hell are they to decide huh – just like the CPS?

How can Ruth Hall attack anyone else for not believing a woman’s rape claim if she can say herself that they have had some allegations they did not think were right? I’m not wonderfully educated, but isn’t that a little hypocritical??

Warren Blackwell said...

Oh my God! I cannot believe what I have just read on WAR’s website

http://www.womenagainstrape.net/Victories/Victories.htm
On the right hand side of the page, almost halfway down - “Woman wins £10,000 after a year's delay before reporting”

“Ms X finally informed the police in June 1993. The CPS refused to prosecute because of the delay in reporting. Her solicitor advised her that the delay meant there is no point in applying for criminal injuries compensation. But encouraged by WAR she applied in 1995 and was awarded £10,000.”

The CPS didn’t prosecute yet the Criminal Injuries Board still paid out for the reported allegation! Proof from the horses mouth I guess – you do not need a conviction to gain financially from reporting sexual assault.. and they wonder why Shannon Taylor has made so many accusations?

Men's Movement MySpace said...

So Warren spends three years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and yet this woman makes him out to be the person at fault here.

Unbelievable!

Warren Blackwell seems to be encouraged to make a public campaign to vilify the woman who accused him. By affording him the status and power of authoring his own item, supporting his point of view on the Today programme, and making his "speaking out" a news item, the BBC has contributed to a miscarriage of justice.

So, apparently it's wrong to be angry about spending three years in prison for a crime you didn't commit, and having your life ruined?

There is only miscarriage of justice here - the one that saw Warren go to prison.

person3142 said...

"Home Office research verifies that only 3% of reported rapes are false, a similar number to those in other crimes"

The Home Office in fact shows 9% of reported rape are determined false

A gap
or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases


This figure does not include other possible false rape accusations that might form a proportion of not guilty verdicts, cases dropped by complainant and of course the tragic cases such as Mr. Blackwells.

person3142 said...

"Home Office research verifies that only 3% of reported rapes are false, a similar number to those in other crimes"

The Home Office in fact shows 9% of reported rape are determined false

A gap
or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases


This figure does not include other possible false rape accusations that might form a proportion of not guilty verdicts, cases dropped by complainant and of course the tragic cases such as Mr. Blackwells.