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Dave 5th April 2006 09:25 PM

Louise Nicholas Case
 
For those who don't know: Louise Nicholas accused some cops of historical rape but lost the court case. Unless all the court reporters forgot to tell us something, there wasn't really a case at all except her word that it happened.

The verdict has created outrage amongst feminists, some of whom hit the streets of Wellington handing out pamphlets which included suppressed evidence they felt should have been presented.

Here's my armchair observations:

In this country we have a principle of "innocent until proven guilty". There is no definition of "proof" which says someone's word is sufficient to prove anything. You simply can't convict someone based on someone else's word.

I've seen some blogs asking "Why would she make it up?". Having worked in the field of psychology I find it hard to believe people could be so naive. I'll just say this.... people make up stuff like this every day. I myself was falsely accused of rape while working as a nurse. It happens.

The information contained in the pamphlets is illegal to make public but it's not hard to find. I've seen the pamphlet and I have to say it does colour one's opinion of the whole case - it is very damaging to the defendants (it regards their previous record). But here's the rub - the information is not actually relevant to this case. At first glance it does seem very relevant but if you think about it from a logical point of view it isn't. The process of arriving at a logical conclusion is very specific, and from a logical standpoint this information is entirely irrelevant to the Louise Nicholas case.

If this evidence had been allowed, it would undoubtedly have influenced the jury's deliberation. Whether or not the case would have had a different outcome I don't know, but people are only human (and most have no idea about logic) so I would be very concerned about the impact it would have had. I think it was the right decision to suppress this information.

But just when you thought it was simple....
- The police spent two years pursuing this case, suggesting that they thought it had some merit. It's hard to imagine them putting that much effort into a case based only on someone's word.
- The jury spent 27 hours deliberating, which seems strange given the non-existence of any reported evidence.

But in the end it all comes down to "innocent until proven guilty". No proof, no conviction. End of story.

Dave 10th April 2006 02:02 PM

Since I posted the entry above, an unprecedented email campaign has been launched to spread the information contained in the pamphlet. According to one poll, 30% of New Zealanders believe they know what the information is and this will continue to rise quickly. I think it's fair to say that anyone who cares to know what the information is will be able to find it.

This raises several questions:

(1) If more than half of all New Zealanders are prepared to get involved in this campaign of civil disobedience (which is what it amounts to) then maybe they are saying they don't agree with the current law. For better or worse we live in a democracy, and if most people feel that a particular law is an ass then perhaps the Government should take note.

(2) I'm not sure why the information in this case is still suppressed. I stand by my assertion that it was the right thing to do during the trial, but I don't see why it's necessary any more.

(3) By continuing to suppress this information, the courts are handing control of the information to people who are not accountable. For example, I've already seen copies of the original pamphlet which have been altered or embellished. How are people to know which facts are real? What's to stop people making up new information and spreading it via email?

I think it's time to lift the suppression order and give control of the information flow back to accountable news media. They may be far from perfect but at least they are accountable and the public can have some measure of confidence in the information they provide.

BigD 15th May 2006 05:00 PM

Twaddle
 
"But here's the rub - the information is not actually relevant to this case. At first glance it does seem very relevant but if you think about it from a logical point of view it isn't"

I have nevert heard so much twaddle in my life. Do you understand 'patterns of behaviour' ? Do you know what logic is ?

Here is a pattern:

2,4,6,8 ... guess the next number

Whether they are guilty or innocent is another question but dont say it is not 'logical' to look at previous patterns of behaviour.

Dave 16th May 2006 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigD
Do you understand 'patterns of behaviour' ?

Yes. As a registered psychiatric nurse I spent a lot of time dealing in patterns of behaviour.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigD
Do you know what logic is ?

Yes. I studied logic at university. Unfortunately I never finished my logic papers but I have kept a keen interest in logic and critical thinking.

There are some logical conclusions which can be made based on patterns of behaviour, but I'm afraid there is no logical process which would allow a jury to use the first of these cases as reliable, relevant evidence in the second.

One of the pitfalls of our judicial system (or more accurately, the way we tend to judge people) is that we are swayed by facts which are not directly relevant, especially in cases which are highly emotive. Court cases need to be won and lost on evidence, not patterns. We could learn so much from CSI ;).

BTW, I would like to clarify something: I do not know whether these people are innocent or guilty, but we have a system known as "innocent until proven guilty". Until you can prove that someone is guilty you can't convict them.

bogmailer 1st March 2007 02:15 PM

rape fantasy
 
I am appalled the justice system tolerates and supports so many of these flaky "crimes against women" trials, just to appear PC to the media. Most of these so called put-upon-women enjoy no standing in the community and so are quite willing to use the establishment to cynically tarnish other peoples reputation. I think most people in the street, still in command of a working brain, will see their actions as either revenge or benefit motivated and fortunately jury's still reflect the public view. My feeling is, legal action should be taken against these litigants for their vexatious actions.

Quixote 2nd March 2007 09:12 AM

Justice Dumb as well as Blind!
 
Well, we ALL know who to BELIEVE now! In most criminal cases before a Judge, the defendant's PRIOR offending IS detailed and does EFFECT the Judges verdict. It also undoubtedly affects the Police case?
Jury's SHOULD know. "Justice lied is justice denied?"
The fault is a FLAWED judicial system. Watch the Politicians make a change?

Genni 9th August 2007 07:28 PM

sick of attention seeking woman.
 
On Daves side here. Big waste of tax paying money time that a he says she says scenario can justify investigation and time. Louise Nichols is an embarassment to women in a world where we are capable of making our own decisions, drinking, playing, and having fun. Poor little us - at the mercy of mean men - we should be able to drink and then not have to be accountable??. The real feminists can't be bothered with her likes.

Fadil 18th September 2007 02:56 PM

Action NOW
 
This topic ( the abuse of good men (Fathers) under the current draconian laws).
I am mainly interested in Action rather then blogging and talking...although I believe it's good to to talk, but action is more effective policy in bringing this issue to light...
Due to the importance of this issue and the pain that this issue is causing for good people we should take certain steps to get organized , create some sort of lobby , reach out to all Kiwis regardless of their gender, Protest with large numbers of protesters. this issue would at some point or another would have an impact of NZ families, thats why we should be strong, united, and our main goal would be the wellfare of the children, I am sure that we can think of some way to minimize the level of pain and hardship to parties concerned.
Dave, I need to get intouch , I would like to meet with you guys, to talk discuss and see if could come up with some sort of plan or any thing to get things moving ...and moving fast....Please Help.
I have no abuse , or familly violence, I gave her everything anf left for oversease to get break....came backto NZ..found protection order ...and I can not c my kids...I've contacted a lawyer ..she said it would take months befor I can have access to my kids...tell me what to do....

eyes wide open 5th October 2007 08:53 PM

Louise Nicholas is an ispiration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Genni (Post 790)
On Daves side here. Big waste of tax paying money time that a he says she says scenario can justify investigation and time. Louise Nichols is an embarassment to women in a world where we are capable of making our own decisions, drinking, playing, and having fun. Poor little us - at the mercy of mean men - we should be able to drink and then not have to be accountable??. The real feminists can't be bothered with her likes.


Louise Nicholas continues to be an inspiration for genuine rape victims. Her courage inspires me. I have been raped by someone in a powerful position and am not brave enough to go to court and be mistreated like Louise Nicholas was. If you had really studied her life and not some biased media reports you would no without a shadow of a doubt she is a genuine victim. Thnks Louise.

Daisy 20th October 2007 08:34 PM

In total agreement...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eyes wide open (Post 804)
Louise Nicholas continues to be an inspiration for genuine rape victims. Her courage inspires me. I have been raped by someone in a powerful position and am not brave enough to go to court and be mistreated like Louise Nicholas was. If you had really studied her life and not some biased media reports you would no without a shadow of a doubt she is a genuine victim. Thnks Louise.

Well said. There are many many abuse victims out there that are extremely grateful for Louise's courageousness. She sets an example of morality and decency, considering the abuse, manipulation and control that she has endured by so-called police officers. If you choose to show your ignorance and immaturity by supporting Shipton, Schollum, Rickards, Clayton, Dewar etc and slandering Louise, then you are no better than her abusers.

sita 29th October 2007 03:43 PM

you #### make me sick
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bogmailer (Post 768)
I am appalled the justice system tolerates and supports so many of these flaky "crimes against women" trials, just to appear PC to the media. Most of these so called put-upon-women enjoy no standing in the community and so are quite willing to use the establishment to cynically tarnish other peoples reputation. I think most people in the street, still in command of a working brain, will see their actions as either revenge or benefit motivated and fortunately jury's still reflect the public view. My feeling is, legal action should be taken against these litigants for their vexatious actions.

Because men such as the above are idiots, and do not understand what it is to be the weaker, sexually vunerable sex, who can be the victim of sexual violation at any time that a male choses, they will never understand how women feel. Women do NOT report rape for fame: that is the most incredulous, infuriating statement I have ever heard. This post is so ridiculous it barely deserves a comment, but I am sick of this chauvenistic #### that men have to say. Many women are the victims of sexual abuse and rape, and I commend those who are BRAVE enough to stand up for themselves, and put themselves out there, where they are often shunned and labled as liars, as what happened to Louise Nicholas. I was have been the victim of rape twice, once at fourteen and once at seventeen, both times the perpetrators were friends I knew and trusted. I never went to the police, purely because I was afraid of being in the same position of making people have to choose to believe them or me. We all know how that usually turns out. Rape is the hardest crime to prove, and the most damaging to its victims. What happened to me remains with me EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is with me when I have intercourse with my partner, when there is violence against women on tv, and it is with me when #### like some of those on this blog decide to comment on something that they have no #### clue about, and never will. Perhaps you should get yourselves arrested so that you can have a stay in prison, and then you might know what it is like to live with the sort of fear and vunerability that many women live with everyday.

Casey 28th November 2007 01:14 PM

ALso disgusted
 
I entirely agree with what you have said. Many women are sick to death of that kind of ignorant bull**** that women merely try to ruin the reputations of others....how ridiculous!!! Why the hell would they go thru all that for that reason...that is just stupid!!. If Louise's case had no merit the case would not have even been tried...it took the Police two yrs of investigating to come up with what they thought would be enough evidence to pursue this case but unfortunately it was not enough to convict those scum bags. It does not mean they were innocent of the charges only that the Jury was not able to come to agree it was beyond doubt given what evidence they had. It took the Jury 27 hours to come to that conclusion so why the hell would it take that long for them to decide if it was as open and shut as some men spout off. The Police do not go ahead and charge someone without believing they have the evidence to take it further, I mean why the hell would they. Her original complaints in 1993 was slept under the carpet by Dewar who has now been convicted of perverting the course of justice, for treating Louise so badly and for not following up her complaint....HELLOOO you silly men out there....dahhhh there must have been sufficient evidence to convict him on those charges!!!! He was just as guilty as those other jerks only they got off...shame.

BOGMAILER : how the hell would you know what the public view is.. have you asked everyone's opinion on this....NO.!! That jury was only a very small minority and did not in any way reflect 'public view'. It was those thugs that used the so called establishment and their positions to abuse Loiuse from a very early age I might add (she was 13 when the abuse started!!!!!) !!!! Last I heard having sex with a minor was against the law...the only injustice done was that the Jury was unable to find them guilty. God some men just amaze me.

Barbara Hughes 18th April 2008 01:03 PM

The Cobb and Co
 
I lived and worked in Rotorua through the years Louise Nicholas was tormented by those we thought were here to protect us, I worked at the Cobb and Co Resturant and witnessed police having a good night out before retiring over to their own station to continue their good times with whomever they had managed to collect on the way, I witnessed uniformed officers leaving underage persons in the bar then returning when they were off duty in their civies only to buy drinks for these persons before retiring over the road to the station. The police officers were crude to say the least,I will scratch your back if you scatch mine seemed to be the motto they worked from.

Unregistered 2nd May 2008 09:24 AM

I believe Louise.
 
The fact that these police men were in UNIFORM is surely enough of an unethical starting point?? Even if the sex had of been consensual it would have been a violation of power- those police men were older- in uniform and quite frankly, it must have been a terrifying experience. If people are objecting to the activists who distributed pamphlets (which are very relevant to the case for Dave's information) then why did they not object to Louise Nicholas been absolutely torn to shreds on the witness stand over irrelevant personal information?? She has been called and liar and far worse...

Did you know that the police actually contacted Louise Nicholas over the recent case? She had been to the police before but they covered up the allegations. Anyone who knows anything about rape and the criminal justice system knows that police only suggest cases go to court when they believe that there is enough evidence to prosecute. Enough said.


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