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Bottom Feeding

Filed under: Gender Politics,General — Pedro1 @ 9:26 am Mon 7th August 2017

Most paid it little attention. Last Wednesday, when the news broke, the nation was preoccupied with discussing what most considered a far greater outrage: that a reporter had the audacity to ask new Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern saw motherhood anywhere on her horizon. The Ardern story on collected over forty reader comments.

No doubt quite a few read the other article, but not a single reader was interested enough to post a comment, so writing that the news “broke” really is an overstatement. Most likely, readers clicked on the headline after catching the word “rape” and saw that a veteran Napier teacher was convicted of historic rape of an underaged girl. The jury comprised six women and six men, and it took less than an hour to return the verdict. It seemed simple enough. That’s the system we have, and it usually works. Just another pervert caught. Throw away the key. What’s the issue?

Yet this trial tells us something disturbing about what has happened to long-established principles of justice in New Zealand. This case centred on alleged events from 43 years ago and had no evidence, but the jury convicted. In one sense the matter was as straightforward as a coin-toss: the accuser was adamant that the rape happened, and the defendant insisted that it did not. Prosecutor Steve Manning told jurors that there could be no middle ground. He said, “There’s black or white” and the jury had to decide who was lying. He said the fact that the charges were historical made them “no less important to the woman who alleges today that they happened.”

If they happened. I long ago gave up assuming that I knew enough about any trial just by reading about it. A jury almost always knows much more about a case than any casual observer can. Yet in a very important sense the reader knows as much as the jury in this Napier case. It is only a sexual accusation that can come to court with no evidence whatsoever. There were of course no witnesses, and this complainant could provide no details such as dates and times. That means, by definition, that the verdict hinged purely on whether the jurors believed the woman’s account. It therefore comes down to a general question which a detached reader is as entitled to answer as the jury: is a convincing account in itself enough to convict – not just in this case but ever? These jurors clearly thought so. Yet they are wrong. Even if this man is guilty, they are wrong.

He may well be guilty. It’s silly to ask what the odds are, because no one can say. And if he is guilty, it would have been convenient for him to deny everything and count on the absence of evidence to clear him, or prevent the case from coming to court in the first place. Such uncertainty, especially after 43 years, can work in favour of actual rapists.

However, some accusations are false, for a variety of reasons. The complainant may be mentally vulnerable, she may be after some kind of revenge or seek some advantage. Those in the first category are very susceptible to suggestions by counsellors who are convinced that sexual abuse is the source of all their client’s woes. The lawyer I engaged in my own case (which fortunately didn’t come to trial) said that such “true believers” are more convincing in court than those just chasing compensation.

All complaints should of course be investigated with an open mind, but in fairness to the accused it is reasonable to question aspects of the complainant’s story which appear dubious. The alternative is simply to believe, which in effect means the accusation becomes the evidence.

Yet any factors which may once have been used to provide reasonable defence have been repudiated in sexual cases. We may once have cast doubt on a sexual complaint which an accuser takes decades to make, but anyone who suggests that now is said to believe in “rape myths”.

The strongest opprobrium is reserved for anyone who dares to deny that false sexual complaints are rare. Slate columnist Ruth Graham recently referred to such people as “bottom feeders”. Yet false accusations are more common than is usually assumed, and much more frequent than the two percent figure put about by anti-rape campaigners. No one can pretend to know the figures, but a local lawyer with vast experience in such cases told me that most men in jail for historic sexual offences are “probably innocent”.

The prosecutor in the Napier case told the jurors that, in the absence of evidence, they would have to decide which account had “a ring of truth about it.” Is a testimony a performance? We all – men and women – need to ask ourselves whether we consider justice is served when we convict someone because we detect a ring of truth in an accuser’s account.

There was a time when a judge would warn a jury at the outset of a trial not to convict on uncorroborated evidence. Following changes to the Evidence Act introduced specifically to make it easier to obtain convictions in sexual accusations, this no longer applies, and everything depends on whether the complainant can win over a jury.

Our justice system is based on the notion of reasonable doubt. It may be a blunt instrument, but in the face of uncertainty it’s the best we can manage. Convicting on a ring of truth cannot be reconciled with the principle of reasonable doubt.

The convicted teacher has been remanded on bail for sentencing in October, when he will be named and his fate will be revealed. Part of his punishment has come through already: the Teachers Council revoked his authority to teach on the day of his conviction.

There doesn’t need to be a gender war on this issue. False sexual accusations, like sexual crimes themselves, can cast a wide net of misery; not only the victims but also their families can suffer terribly. This is the reason our reaction to a verdict like this one, based on emotion rather than evidence, should cause all of us – men and women – to give such a case more attention than it received last Wednesday.


  1. Feminism demands these trials be under Civil Law.

    What you have said is that the burden of proof in criminal cases is based on reasonable doubt. This is not correct.

    It is based on beyond reasonable doubt.

    The opposite to reasonable doubt is reasonable certainty.

    This is the test in Civil Law, called the balance of probability.

    In the European system, which is the descendant of Roman Civil Law, the burden of proof for criminal charges is beyond reasonable doubt.

    Your lawyer said, “they are probably innocent”

    I claim he did this.

    I say I did not.

    This is a Civil case, same as in the Family Court, but visible to the public.

    In their failure, America will return to Rome, and England to Egypt.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 10:15 am

  2. Bottom feeding?

    Wouldn’t that be unlawful sexual connection, rather than rape.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 10:21 am

  3. It is only a sexual accusation that can come to court with no evidence whatsoever. There were of course no witnesses, and this complainant could provide no details such as dates and times

    the accuser was adamant that the rape happened, and the defendant insisted that it did not. Prosecutor Steve Manning told jurors that there could be no middle ground. He said, “There’s black or white” and the jury had to decide who was lying.

    The complainant said “the offending ended when the man’s wife caught him indecently assaulting her.

    On the other hand the defendants wife told the jury that none of the woman’s claims were true and, like her husband, it was “a bolt from the blue” when she first heard them in 2014.

    “I can remember significant events in my life and that would be one I’d remember,” she said of the allegation that she had discovered her husband interfering with the woman.

    Perhaps they should now go after the convicts wife for perjury and really put the boot in.
    After all she also had to be lying through her teeth, Yes?

    Perhaps persecution of the male species has reached yet another new low.

    Comment by Paul Catton — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 10:31 am

  4. @Mr Caton

    There was no evidence

    This also is incorrect.

    In a criminal case, the onus is on the prosecution to prove the case – front up with the evidence.

    In this case there was evidence that supposedly lowered the proposition.

    How much weight was placed on the evidence of the wife. Obviously very little.

    This is a civil case.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 10:57 am

  5. Could this be something new?

    A man faces civil process under the Domestic Violence Act, then criminal process for a breach of the order. Could we be seeing a man tried simultaneously in both jurisdictions for this rape?

    Comment by Evan Myers — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 1:19 pm

  6. I’d see that more like a civil jurisdiction and the criminal penalty … then we should offer to pay a fine to the State in lieu of another penalty?

    After all, it’s the State that manages the special status of women.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 2:07 pm

  7. The case was noticed by a very few as you suggest.
    A link to it can be found on a previous post.
    The title is more an indication of reality.
    What does the new Labour leader think.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 4:11 pm

  8. I nearly blinked and I might have missed this one as well.
    It went from top of the list to nowhere pretty much instantly.
    For such a public case why not tells us why the case failed.
    Clearly the Pora case taught us that confessions alone are unreliable.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 4:27 pm

  9. And let’s not forget, we had this discussion here.

    Do you now understand what I was saying?

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 5:06 pm

  10. And let’s not forget, we didn’t have this discussion here.

    Do you now understand what I was saying?

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 5:06 pm

  11. prosecution of the fantasy

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 5:48 pm

  12. Pedro1: Quite right, cases based on nothing but how convincing one or the other party sounded can never amount to proof beyond reasonable doubt. Cases based on alleged events decades ago can hardly ever amount to fair justice because an accused won’t be able to find witnesses to defend himself such as by corroborating his alibi, even in the unlikely case that he would remember what he was doing on the night in question. Aside from that, memory is an adjusting rather than fixed phenomenon and is more unreliable over time and with influences on it.

    This particular case is astounding for its injustice. The complainant could not give dates or places, rendering the accused even less able to defend himself. What cases against female accused would ever be allowed to proceed in the absence of details such as place and time? The complainant named one witness to what may have been the crime but that witness contradicted her, yet the jury was so enamoured by her ‘ring of truth’ they convicted regardless.

    One thing I disagree with though Pedro1 is your statement

    There doesn’t need to be a gender war on this one

    The law changes allowing convictions on this basis resulted from the feminist war against men. They were invented and they are now tolerated simply because it’s only men who have their lives ruined. The feminists’ war against men is in full swing but few men yet realize the importance of fighting. They will though, and the longer they leave it the more extreme the fighting will be.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 5:48 pm

  13. #2 Evan
    I think your probably correct.
    Whatever the charge is its all about statistics or its description.
    The issue is how the crown considers males in their decisions.
    Cost benifit analysis when considering the needs of women compared to men is as accurate as guilt by deciding who lies the best.
    Keeping with your version of bottom feeding things seem far less safe than just the concerns about prosecution.
    Once apon a time it was decided that females were a risk of an STD that contributed to cervical cancer.
    So to combat this STD called HPV that both males and females contract it was decided only females would be vaccinated. Obviously males can’t get cervical cancer so who gives a toss about the boys, right.
    Very wrong as it turns out.
    Hey feminism is all about equality. Except with funding. Or illness and death.
    HPV is turning out to be a big killer of men.
    It turns out for unvaccinated males oral sex is a killer. Bottom feeding included.
    And they have known about it for quite a while because for men HPV is deadly in many ways.
    Who would have thought giving women pleasure could be so dangerous.

    From one of the links.
    “In addition to protecting women against cervical cancer, the vaccine works to protect against 90 per cent of all HPV-related cancers in men, including head, neck and genital tract cancers.”

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 11:15 pm

  14. #13
    To put the effect of HPV in scale.
    And how abhorrent the decision to vaccinate females and not males was, there’s this.

    “Men are also five times more likely to develop cancer after infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), than women.”

    Other than showing how the Ministry of Health are just a bunch of man hating murdering bastards this is a good read. Guess ultimately feminism cannot ignor that biology will always act in contempt of equality.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 7th August 2017 @ 11:36 pm

  15. #13 good morning Darren

    I hear what you are saying, but you have been sidetracked by the issue of gender politics.

    You say above,

    Hey, Feminism is about equality.

    That could not be true if we have a

    STATE of inequality

    Comment by Evan Myers — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 8:35 am

  16. Someone may wish to start a new thread on this story in the nz herald today….

    Uplifts under court order terrorising children………

    A couple of points to note…..

    1. For once a truth was told …..the family court is failing to put the best interests of the children FIRST! My complaints to government are exactlyt his……they allowed a chi,d to be harmed and did nothing to protect the child……..

    2. Who are the most disadvantaged in NOT seeing their kids when narcissistic selfish mothers stop the kids from having time with their father. That’s right I would bet it’s fathers who are often deprived of time, so now it appears those wanting to sustain this alienation have now sought to demonise the last option available to force some time….the warrant application process and the use of the police to enforce parenting orders………so by now suggesting enforcing court orders is a form of terrorism on chikdren…..again we will se fathers completely removed from having time with their kids, since there will be no legal avenue to have them delivered to you……

    3. And as above ….gas lighting by way of false accusations are designed to destroy those telling the truth…….its a form of character assassination …….and it’s designed to make you feel,sick. Powerless and helpless…….and to hell alienate you from your child……

    4. Family court deliberately alienate the dather from the child ….using the lawyers for child …..two I caught doing this to me ….one who lied to the courts, withheld evidence and perverted justice……and who the police will not prosecute.

    5. Saw the same at auckland hospital recently witmh my mum….as the SON…..and two fathers, sons…..all three of us alienated from the vulnerable widow so the parasites could prey on her…………social worker caught manipulating and managing events who was then immediately placed on annual leave……

    6. My sister the IRD employee with the help of her citizens advice bureau Husband who pushed power of attorney paperwork on my mum, has now claimed occupancy and or ownership of mums home while mum is still in hospital and before any declarations of mental incapacitation have been made…….and I have now been trespassed from my own mothers home…..

    7. So let’s see what happens next …..crimes have been committed…..will the police now prosecute.. since elder abuse is a family violence crime in nz…….will IRD hold their staff member to account for breaching their own code of ethics and integrity…..same for citizens advice….will they sack their volunteer and prosecute him?…..will aged concern actually assist in a prosecution since they are supposed to be there to protect the elderly from these crimes…… far all they do is suggest you go back to the family court……hahahaha…this will be a very good test of integrity.

    Comment by Hornet — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 10:02 am

  17. Does it need a new post @Hornet or is that very relevant to this post.

    Notice what Paul Caton said #3

    Perhaps persecution of the male species has reached another new low.

    If there is a common theme between the story in the post and the one you refer to, is it truth?

    In one case we are asked to accept that she might be telling the truth?

    In the other case, pretend that the truth doesn’t exist?

    As you point out regarding alienation, love without truth is a lie, perhaps worse – is it hate?

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 11:02 am

  18. We have industry….corporations selling CARE but giving none…….CARE is the very generative principle…..CARE is the very genesis of everything…..for without CARE we have no thought….no wisdom and no action.

    CARE comes from the HEART…….God threw TRUTH to the EARTH / …the mirror of HEART……..CARE .

    We can not have FREEDOM without TRUTH.

    We can not have DIVERSITY without UNITY……that UNITY comes from the LAW……and as we see today some are no longer accountable to the law……that is the corruption we see today……..

    In the case of AK hospital, I had to hold them to account on their code of ethics….which is to CARE and PROTECT their patients ….and in the first four days of my mothers stay, they did not provide the very basics of life…, water, and a safe environment…….focusing on mental health matters and assisting those who sought to exploit my others illness….for their own personal gain……..

    Exactly as many of us have seen in the family courts……lawyers CARE not about fixing the conflict…….they pour petrol on the fire for their own financial gain.

    if you CARE about something enough…..spend your time and pay attention….you will effect change…..

    Read the Melion dialogue……the battle between the people of Melos and the Athenians……..what values will you defend, and at what cost?

    Comment by Hornet — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 11:21 am

  19. God threw truth to the earth

    How should I interpret that?

    We’ve all been gas lighted and aren’t talking to each other?

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 12:16 pm

  20. Hi to everyone

    Just came from my defended PO hearing ( me defendant) which was adjourned because I am not allowed to cross examine the Applicant ( woman of course)but she is allowed to cross examine me .Huh. I shall be given a Court appointed lawyer to cross examine her.At least i prepared my line of questioning

    The case: No psychical sexual abuse just emotional without any and I mean any proofs or specifis at all.

    To make the things worse for me , yesterday I volunteered to see a constable in Mairangy Police station as I found out from latest Applicant;s Affidavit that he wants ne arrested for beraching the temporary PO . I went there all by myself . Breaches; My girlfrind send an e mail to teh App ( without my knwoledge and she says that ) expling to her ina very nice human way that we did not go by purpose to NEW BREw on 9th of June to see App friedns . App aplied for PO the very firts day her freinds toprotld her they saw me and my girlfeind dancing and smiling.

    Asking for your opinion : Should I accept the court appointed lawyer ( i believe I still have to pay to him) or should I hire my own lawyer despite not having the most positive experience with the previous one.My lawyer that i discharged him cgargde me $ 30 extra for just reading mye mails and another $ 30 for replying to them. the emails in charge I wrote to him were send prior to our first meeting when I was asking for his credentials

    I am toast already I can feel that
    Cheers george

    Comment by george — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 12:19 pm

  21. Hi George,

    I’m guessing this is part of your problem but I didn’t research this any further, so I can’t be sure.

    That being the case, the court may have interpreted the legislation to mean that only a suitably qualified person, may cross examine the applicant.

    If one could not afford a suitably qualified person, if you did have to pay a court appointed option, then I would be asking who is a suitably qualified person.

    Some possibilities:

    A Justice of the Peace (who are not paid for their services)
    B Church Elders (they may require one morning per week, minimum fee)

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 8th August 2017 @ 1:49 pm

  22. Pedro, You and I have something in common, we were both the first two to arrive at a conference in wellington this year,in a place we thought was a rare oppertunity to discuss false accusations and our difficulties from them, you prepared a speech, and it was delivered. You were accused of an historic sexual assalt in 2014, I had been accused of a violent retaliation on a woman that same year.
    You had written and published a book thats now avasilable in libraries, “annonanimity be dammned”you said and bravely detailed your story, you had the advantage of previous education and detailed diaries which helped you ensure detailed accuracy as you wrote so well.
    I emplore you to plug your book here on menz so others that have been falsely accused can be encouraged to write about thier experiences also.

    The only issue I have with this post from you is this:
    Above, you have written that it is only a sexual accusation that can come to court without evidence- whatsoever.

    I was accused of retaliating to a womans violence, “He wouldnt answer me so I hit him in the head” was how her statment to police began. she also admitted that she had unattached a wall mirror and hit me with it, but none of that mattered, she alledged that she had been retaliated apon by me throwing her to a tiled floor, then repeatedly bashing her with kicks and punches repeatedly, she told police I briefly stopped to laugh at her before continuing the assault.
    There was no bruise found from this apparent attack, for a block layer to lay into someone like that, Id suggest the result would have been quite diffferent, there would have been a bruise, a split lip? a black eye? something that could have corroborated her story to validate it.
    But even as impossible as her story was, I was locked up in a cell for days, my leased appartment became hers and my possesions therin became her right.
    I was bewildered by the police responce, it was a very hard time for me, once police believe something about you, others folow suit, battered womans trust wrote a letter to the courts that without a protection order, her life was in danger, evidence was not a requirement or even a consideration.
    A testimony, allegation, accusation, was all thats required to believe I was guilty.
    I lived with the threat of imprisonment for 9 months until I had a hearing which unsurprisingly she failed to turn up to.
    I was not given the oppertunity of a hearing,in spite of the thousands I spent on a defended hearing the case remains to this day, unproven and police have told me the only reason they can reopen the file is if they wish to charge me again.

    Attacking me, seemingly was a justified responce to my refusal to argue with a woman when she insisted it, according to ministerial responces from police when complaints processes failed summarily.
    So I suggest its not just sexual crimes that can be brought without evidence.
    Forgive me if im just – picking, but lets talk about violence vs sexual assault accusations.
    You were accused of an historic sexual assault (20 years imrisonment).
    I was accused of of a violent horrific, semi-prolonged attack, (two years imprisonment)
    Does it seem strange that an accusation that involves genitals phisically unharmed- is 10 times more damaging in the eyes justice than a brutal physical violent assault?

    Since I was accused i’ve come to question much of these issues of morallity, reckoning and rsponce by police, courts, and society as well.

    Comment by voices back from the bush — Wed 9th August 2017 @ 12:03 am

  23. What if we were to trim this back to ‘Evidence whatsoever’?

    If we look for something a little more concrete, something that stacks up for us – does it hold water you might ask?

    If we look at our familiar surroundings, and our expectations, when we see Criminal Law exercise its process, we look for the picture this establishes. Without this picture we are left with a void, confusion, questions.

    We are used to seeing evidence accompanied by proof, leading to an outcome.

    What if we threw all the evidence on the table and said let’s give each piece some weight, to tip the scales to accept the assumption, or reject the assumption?

    This would be a logical process if we were counting bricks and measuring levels to check for accuracy and quality – so that everyone ‘might be’ happy with the outcome.

    Notice the line, “a ring of truth”

    What is the picture this paints for you?

    What is the picture it destroys for you?

    Then we might ask, what or WHO gives the evidence weight?

    The process or a person?

    In between the collapse of the Roman Civil Administration, and the establishment of our former Criminal Law process, was a period called the Dark Ages, noticeable among other terrors, for its use of religious persecutions, to establish fear amongst the population.

    But without dwelling on that picture too much … is anyone remembering the little, set to, we had a while back over proof and logic … ?

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 9th August 2017 @ 4:56 am

  24. “motherhood anywhere on her horizon”? Big question we should ask in times of falling birth rates and messed up children from broken families. Motherhood and families are under attack but it doesn’t seem anyone listens unless a woman points that out. I welcome women who come to see the light and . Here is an interview that pops the bubble of so much feminist BS against being a mother and having a family (of course the people who funded feminism would want their dupes). It has a quote that goes something like ‘feminists were able to convince women that looking after people you love on your own schedule is slavery and inferior to working for someone else who will fire you in a heartbeat, cares nothing for you, while you pay someone else to care for your family and children and that is drudgery is somehow freedom. She correctly hits on the rape fantasy culture too.

    Comment by Doug — Wed 9th August 2017 @ 2:00 pm

  25. So, you followed the conversation.

    Poor bastard never had a chance. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Did the prosecutor represent the the complainant, or did he appear for the claimant?

    How long is the jury going to be out on that one?

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 9th August 2017 @ 4:49 pm

  26. Did the prosecutor represent the complaintant, or did he appear for the claimant?
    Prosecutors are lawyers aren’t they? they have ethics- dont they?

    Comment by voices back from the bush — Wed 9th August 2017 @ 11:14 pm

  27. First order or second order?
    This court or that?
    Now you see me, now you don’t.

    So, when the question was asked – a ring of truth – did anyone think to look at the “person” who asked of it?

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 10th August 2017 @ 3:39 am

  28. Pedro your post covers all the injustice of the present sexual abuse court process.This conviction has very little to do with justice and everything to do with drama. In the case in which I have a peripheral Involvement the same prosecutor said exactly the same things. He is skillfull and eloquent and this skill has resulted in many convictions some of them very faulty. You appear to have strong views on this subject. Can I contact you to run my case past you for maybe some advice.

    Comment by Roderigo — Tue 15th August 2017 @ 12:09 pm

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