Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Riposte to R.I.P Response

I find myself in the slightly odd position of not quite agreeing with people who agreed with my post. Terry Hamblin has now taken down his post, but I visited before he did, and found more to agree with in his posts than I did those who had responded. I also think it entirely inappropriate to blog as if an 8 year old boy is reading about his mother, if he is, that would be unfortunate and would be distressing for him, but it is not the role of society to stand beside the pain of one individual.

I appreciated the response, but have to own that I wrote what I felt, which was not based on any medical or legal information. The reality is that we don’t actually know if Sally was guilty of anything or not, rather we do know that an incorrect statistical assumption has brought to light the difficulties of jury trials hearing expert witnesses. It appears that this evidence played little part in either the original conviction or the first appeal; in the second appeal, it came under criticism on legal rather than medical grounds.

I do think that Sally shouldn't have been imprisoned, but I don’t think prison is the right place for a lot of people, particularly not for a mother who might need therapeutic support, and Sally would have needed that in either circumstance. I would also agree with the European Court’s ruling that the boys who killed James Bulger had an unfair trial, which prevented them from accessing the therapeutic support they needed, fed them through the adversarial system inappropriately, as well as a trial process which delayed the psychological process of coming to terms with what they had done. I would take the same approach with any number of perpetrators who can also be read as victims.

It was also wrong to scapegoat Meadows; the world of child protection is not one where proof can withstand rigorous scientific testing, but most children are murdered by their parents. This case reminds me of Cleveland where the paediatrician and social worker involved were scapegoated for their excessive zeal, and there were some flaws in the casework, but I suspect there were also some children who were returned to homes where they had been abused.

Meadow has experienced a personal humiliation, but I think the case against him was wrong because some children will still be murdered by their parents, and it would be wrong to leave unchallenged any misanthropic assumptions of the child protection system.


Blogger CoralPoetry said...

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5:15 PM  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

You have posted a comment in my blog about this matter. I have responded to it in my blog's comments and I repeat this response below for your information.

To Helen Sparkles:

Where to begin with your comment. Anyway, I'll try to analyse what you have to say, point by point. It's a boring job, but someone's gotta do it. Normally I'd put a 'smiley' after that, but I don't feel like it in this case.

Professor Hamblin deleted his post because some of the comments did not show the restraint you say you did,

In my view he deleted his post, and reposted an unacknowledged amended version at an amended URL, along with churlish comments, because he had been 'called' on his unwarranted remarks. That is my view. Your final point above seems to imply that some (perhaps you?) think I did not show restraint in my comments. Is that what you think? If so, please say so clearly; I find it most insidious that you slip in the implication you seem to be making.

and could not be called at all polite.

Possibly, but in my view these other comments were 'fair comment' in the light of Prof Hamblin's outrageous original post. It is unprofessional for Prof Hamblin to have 'doctored' his original post and then seem to deny what he had written earlier.

Don't you think that the truth is that we don't really know what happened?

No. You could say that about ANY event where one was not personally present to witness what happened. In criminal cases a suitable result is usually arrived at on the weight of honestly given evidence, sometimes relying on 'expert' witnesses to provide context. The so-called 'expert' evidence in this case was either flawed statistically or simply with-held for reasons that have never been made clear.

The statistical assumption was flawed, but it barely affected the running of the case or the 2nd appeal.

Not true! It was crucial, along with the revelation of the evidence which had been with-held before, and formed a crucial part in the judge's summing up of the 2nd appeal which succeeded in liberating Mrs Clark from the cell she should never have been put in.

None of that detracts from the fact that I think Sally's story is a tragedy

I am able to agree with you there, although we seem to have arrived at this conclusion by a different route.

I agree that she never recovered,

Probably - none of us can ever see into another person's soul, but it seems likely this is so.

and that she should never have been imprisoned.

If she had been justly convicted I should have had no problem whatsoever with her having been imprisoned if that is the punishment for the crime committed. The fact that it is a mother who has killed her child would be irrelevant in such a case. The only reason she should not have been imprisoned is that she should never have been convicted in the first place and if the two 'experts' had not failed in their duties she would not have been. That this the tragedy of this whole series of events which have culminated in this poor woman's untimely demise.

With best regards

6:18 PM  
Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

Obviously we disagree Bill, on so many points, so I won't be addressing that but only that I didn't mean to imply you weren't either restrained or polite. I just didn't know, because I didn't register whose comments were whose, and now the post is gone. The comment was entirely literal rather than insidious, which is not my bag.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

Coral, whose site is sending you here?

6:39 PM  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:44 PM  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:47 PM  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:32 AM  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:52 AM  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

This is a little disconcerting; I don't have multiple personalities, or any paypal business here, and I have no idea what coralpoetry is on about. My response on her website, about her reference to poetry workshops, was reasonable I though. I did also point out that I found it unpleasant though.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack of Incurables makes off on his Harley that sparkles and roars, sparkles and roars

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am now in possession of the full name, address and exact location of the writer of the blog at www.mutated-unmuated.blogspot.com. One of the posts at the supposed Terry Hamblin site reveals the true background of the writer, which doesn’t match up with the identity of the genuine Professor Terry Hamblin. If there are any further transgressions or humiliations against any real persons, or in the event of serious manipulations of the truth, I will reveal this (so far undisclosed) name to the interested parties who have already expressed a desire for these specific details.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

www.coralpoetry.blogspot.com seems to have deleted her posts here, which seems reasonable, because they weren't very nice. Something I did point out on her blog, but she wasn't publishing my comments at all, maybe my bewilderment led her to revisit though. I am guessing she is anonymous; I can't be bothered to check, and am a bit confused as to who would be at all interested in the revelations that may be made!

10:57 AM  

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