A New Low in NZ Court Sexism
And now, a new low for our criminal justice system when Lucille Scollay yesterday was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment with no minimal parole period, meaning she can and probably will be out of prison in 2 years for stabbing to death her husband.
The partial defence of provocation was removed several years ago after demands by feminists that we ‘stop rewarding the loss of self control’ through that partial defence. Yet here, because it is a woman who commits the killling, we see the Court applying a de facto partial defence of provocation simply because she claimed to have lost self-control when she decided to walk into the house after a night out drinking with an extramarital affair, go to the kitchen, find a large knife, walk into her husband’s bedroom as he lay sleeping on his side, turn him over on to his back, get on the bed, straddle him and plunge the knife deep into his heart killing him. This killing would without any doubt whatsoever have been ruled as murder if any man had done it. But pro-female sympathy caused the jury to distort their perceptions sufficiently to reduce the crime to manslaughter.
In yesterday’s appalling display of sentencing chivalry the judge referred to this vicious killer in highly sympathetic terms. Her crime was “borne out of despair”, she was “conflicted” between her unhappiness and her love of her husband, she was in this “predicament” that “led to this crisis”, it was a “time of personal crisis”, the killing was done in “a moment of madness”, and the poor dear now “had to live with what she had done, and the impact it had on her family”. Yeah right, a load of self-justification that no judge would ever dare to utter about a male who killed or harmed a woman.
How many murders by men were not committed in ‘a moment of madness’? The law, officially, does not allow ‘mad moments’ to mitigate culpability. Reduced responsibility due to madness can only be judged when psychiatric assessments concur in diagnosing a serious mental illness causing thought disorder at the time of the crime sufficient to prevent the offender from understanding the nature and consequences of actions. No such psychiatric assessments arose for Lucille Scollay. We were not told about the results of pre-sentence psychiatric assessment requested by the defence lawyer so we can assume that did not support any notion that mental illness caused incapacity. Never mind, let’s just resort to recognizing ‘a moment of madness’ as having been sufficient to reduce her legal culpability.
The victim-blaming here was also remarkable. Usually, a male victim of female violence is blamed for the woman’s behaviour when she alleges he had subjected her to violence previously. In this case the worthless male had caused her dissatisfaction with life because he suffered from depression. What a bastard, he deserved everything he got! Imagine however how the story would have been portrayed if a man did the same thing to his depressed wife!
And to top it all off, after sentencing the defence lawyer Mr Glover was quoted as saying “the defence will now contemplate their position over the length of the sentence” Far too harsh apparently! No such comment from the prosecution of course; only men are targeted for appeal by the Crown against inadequate sentences.