Sunday, December 28, 2008

Masturbation was not a Crime. It is now.

This is some belated news. I've been meaning to write about this for a while, and I've already missed the bus in terms of topicality, but it seems to be such an important case that it is worth drawing to the attention of anyone who may have missed it.

"A man caught trying to have sex with his bicycle has been sentenced to three years on probation.

Mr Stewart was caught in the act with his bicycle by cleaners in his bedroom at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr.

Gail Davidson, prosecuting, told Ayr Sheriff Court: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.

"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white t-shirt, naked from the waist down.

"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."

Both cleaners, who were "extremely shocked", told the hostel manager who called police. "
Reference

It seems that this case has already caused entirely justifiable controversy.

"More than a million people have read the story on the BBC news website and it has been hotly debated on forums elsewhere.

One contributor asked: "Would they have done the same to a woman with a sex toy?"
Reference

The sheriff presiding over the case has to take responsibility for this decision. This man was alone in his room when he was engaged in a sexual act. That is called masturbation. Masturbation is now a crime in Scotland - if you are a man, and someone walks in. This is a gross breach of this man's human rights. The two female cleaners and the manager should have been given a clip round the ear and told to grow up.

The sheriff judging the case should be sacked.

People who live in hostels tend to be vulnerable, socially-marginalised individuals to begin with. If you choose to work with these people, you need to understand that their behaviour will not always pass muster in a middle-class drawing room. You are there to care, not to persecute. But the implications go far beyond that.

The fact is that you can now be placed on the sex offenders' register for masturbating in the privacy of your own room. But only if you are a man.

This is a frightening level of authoritarianism. It is not the place of the courts to legislate on morality or taste. Only on crime. The question that the sheriff failed to ask himself is: Who was harmed by this? The answer is: no-one. This man has been criminalised for simply being a man in his own home.

This case sets a legal precedent. Do not masturbate in Scotland from now on. Unless you have changed the locks.

12 comments:

Coffee Catholic said...

Ok, I'll admit that sex with a bicycle is creative... but why did he get arrested? He was doing it in his own room, not out on the street! I'm lost...

tiredofitall said...

He was doing it in his own room, not out on the street! I'm lost...
****

I believe the important word in that sentence is "he".

Had this been some sweet young woman getting it on with a plastic bedmate, the only way we'd have heard anything about this would be if she'd sued the cleaning staff for throwing her off mid-stroke...

BrusselsLout said...

Some women on public talkboards proudly state they regularly wank. I guess they're only declaring their independence.

Deadbeat Dad said...

I remember reading about this at the time, and my reaction was much the same as yours, Heretic. I've done a fair bit of voluntary work with vulnerable people down the years, on and off, and experienced far worse. This is chickenshit.

Off-topic: are you still in contact with Warren Blackwell? Out of curiosity, I approached the IPPC a couple of months ago to enquire about the outcome of his complaint against Northamptonshire Police, raised in July 2007. I received a reply on 13th October, stating:

"The investigation that you are referring to is still an active investigation and therefore we are unable to release any details at present. Once the investigation has closed we may be able to release some details or a report, but this will depend on the case."

What the cocking fuck??? Fifteen months? And still no resolution? Christ almighty, ZaNuLabour can pass new DV legislation quicker than that...

I was wondering whether you might be able to provide any further news. And are you in a position to keep us updated on this (i.e. can you get Warren to tip you the wink when it is finally resolved)?

Finally, thanks for all your work on the blog over the past year, Heretic. I don't always agree with your perspective on the issues you raise, but it is always worth reading and I am looking forward to more (much more, if you have the energy) of the same in 2009.

A Happy New Year to you and all your readers.

BrusselsLout said...

I can identify three groups of criminals here.

1. The cleaners and hostel manager. Their reporting of Robert Strewart's "crime" has nothing to do with justice. They reported it to the police out of pure malice. What's the difference between their malice and that of a soccer thug throwing a brick through a shop window? Apart from the physical movement of arms, nothing. Both are done with intent to do damage.

2. The magistrate. He sentenced a citizen who was minding his own business to 3 years of probation and the life-destroying stigma of Sex Offender.

3. NuLab, with their destructive criminal justice policies and "Tough on Anything" platitudes designed purely to raise public anger and win votes.

This is what the UK tax payer's money is going on. Will Cameron have the political guts to reverse all this? We'll see.

Happy New Year Gentlemen.

Deadbeat Dad said...

"Will Cameron have the political guts to reverse all this?"

Not a hope. Wavey Davey has the spine of a jellyfish, Brusselslout.

There may be a viable alternative, however, in the form of the Libertarian Party. It's beginning to gain momentum,

Deadbeat Dad said...

"Some women on public talkboards proudly state they regularly wank."

What, like Tracie , you mean?

Poor girl, though: her 'sessions' only last about 12 minutes. That makes her a rank amateur in my book.

On the other hand, she does claim between 3 and 13 orgasms per session... Respect!

Anonymous said...

Male Sexuality is criminalized or "Dirty" in FemAmerica. Unless it is Female approved, procreation. This is why Men are in the Men's movement's greatest problem is the Manginas and Male Colluders of the Feminists. This includes Clergy that demand Male Accountability and none for Females.

Heretic said...

"This includes Clergy that demand Male Accountability and none for Females."

Yes. I will take feminists more seriously when they start demanding equal accountability.

beafraidveryafraid said...

Am I right in dredging from the depths of my memory the fact that some woman on Big Brother a few years ago pleasured herself with a wine bottle on camera? Should I inform the police?

BrusselsLout said...

DeadbeatDad

-- no, it wasn't Tracie! It was one or two others on the Guardian's Cif talkboard (and its earlier predecessor Guardian Talk) who, as feminists, want to compete with anything they regard as masculine.

As for the Libertarian Party, well, I'm a libertarian through and through. However, I do find certain of its manifesto policies unappealling.

1. Life meaning life. I believe that everyone sentenced should be given hope, that anyone is capable of reform, and that everyone should be given a chance. More research is certainly necessary to find the conditions under which release from prison would be fruitful. But we see none of this. All we see is more and more stirring up of fear and hatred by those responsible so that they can offer simple solutions -- like longer sentences, building more prisons and strengthening police powers. This is nothing more than a cynical (but effective) vote winner.

Indeed, once an offender's sentence has been completed, I believe that his or her victims should be encouraged to forgive him or her.

Moreover, the press should STAY OUT of the judicial process.

2. End to early release for violent offence. I think too much is made on the issue of violence. (This again is feminization.) I believe that certain categories of violence should not even be prosecuted. For example, two men fighting. There will be obvious exceptions -- for example if one is a thief or a bully. Domestic violence should never be prosecuted unless serious harm is done, and above all, it should be recognised that women initiate DV as often as men do (some studies say they do even more). I believe that government and police should stay of people's homes.

3. The UK leaving the EU. The UK is a part of Europe and should never leave the EU. Indeed, if the UK joined the Schengen agreement, nothing could be more libertarian. This would allow its citizens freedom of movement without jobsworthy border-controlling officials jumping into their faces, clothes and suitcases. I live in Luxembourg (I'm British) and just today returned from a few days away in Munich and Vienna. 3 countries, 2 borders, 0 customs. Wonderful.

Indeed, I find the Europian countries I visit more libertarian than the UK. And, above all (as a good friend on mine once put it) you don't on the continent feel apologetic for being a man!

Heretic said...

Unfortunately I am no longer in touch with Warren Blackwell.