Thursday, 27 October 2011

Rape and anonymity


Benjamin Boateng, the son of Britain’s first black Cabinet Minister, is someone I’ve never met but I do recall receiving several rather rude messages from him after I responded to a mutual friend’s Facebook post about John Prescott earlier this year. Two days ago, I now learn, he was found guilty of “skillfully” raping a 22 year old.

 Smiling for a mugshot: Benjamin Boateng

Boateng has previous form having been cautioned for harassment in 2010. In 2006 he also found himself accused of rape in Cape Town by a journalist named Tamara Arden but due to his father being the British High Commissioner to South Africa, he was able to claim diplomatic immunity and the charges were dropped. Arden continues to state that the attack was genuine.

Both Boateng cases involved girls who drank copious amounts of booze with him in shady nightclubs before he made his move. In both instances this former actor claimed that what occurred had been consensual and that he had done nothing wrong. This week a majority verdict of 10-2 certainly thought otherwise.

The case brings to mind five other individuals I have known or encountered who have been accused of rape. Though each is unique, each also brought me to think of the rights and wrongs of the “victim” being able to remain anonymous whilst the defendant is publicly named and shamed prior to trial.

The first, who shall remain nameless at his own request, was a sculptor who was commissioned by a divorced woman. During his time working with the lady, she made clear advances which he rejected. Within days he found himself arrested for a rape he had not committed and subsequently he was tried, found guilty and wrongly imprisoned. In due course he appealed and the charges were thrown out but not until it was proven that the woman was an utter fantasist who had made similar false allegations before. Nonetheless, forever more this individual will have to live with his ordeal and those who say: “there’s no smoke without fire.”

 Fantasist jailbird: Nadine Milroy-Sloan

The second is the case of my friends Neil and Christine Hamilton, who were also subjected to being charged with the rape of a woman and one even more bizarrely that they had never met. In 2001, Nadine Milroy-Sloan, a trainee lecturer, decided to concoct a story that the former MP and his wife had, along with two others, raped her and tried to recruit her as a prostitute. With the help of Max Clifford, she sold her story which, though proved utterly false, caused the Hamiltons many a sleepless night and much humiliation. During the investigation, this gold-digging fantasist was able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity whilst the Hamiltons were forced to endure a barrage of media attention. Subsequently Milroy-Sloan was rightly jailed for three years and exposed for what she is.

 Innocent victims: Neil and Christine Hamilton

The third involves the Blackpool football club owner Owen Oyston. Oyston was jailed for six years for the rape of a girl who originally claimed the crime took place in autumn 1991. During the case she changed the date to the middle of 1992 and then September 1992. How this witness was credible always escaped me and though both appeals failed, Oyston continues to protest his innocence to this day.

 Still protesting his innocence: Owen Oyston

The fourth concerns the son of the multi-millionaire property developer Desmond Bloom, Baron, who was jailed for the rape of a 15 year old in 2003. Bloom, who was cleared of another allegation from a 14 year old, was incarcerated for one year even though he denied knowing how old she was and had ceased the relationship on having found out. Though Bloom was even described by his own barrister as someone the jury plainly would not like should not have necessarily resulted in a conviction especially after the girl had sent him taunting emails that stated: "If Jewish people are like you Hitler should be made a saint" just prior to the trial. Subsequently, Bloom's sentence was reduced as a judge described it as "excessive."

Baron Bloom

Each of the cases I describe centre around situations where anonymous individuals were able to make accusations against prominent personalities. In several of the cases the accusations were indeed true and the perpetrators got what they deserved but where they have been fake, the results for the falsely accused have been devastatingly awful.

Keith Soothill, professor of social research at Lancaster University, is amongst a small minority who have studied women who invent rape allegations. In a 2004 piece from The Guardian he states: "Women tend to make false allegations to get themselves out of trouble rather than to get men into trouble. They lie when they feel constrained, when they're in a tight spot." This is all very well but where individuals have been falsely imprisoned and their reputations destroyed, it certainly doesn’t excuse the behaviour of the fake victims.

Even David Cameron has backed the case of bringing forward “limited anonymity” for defendants in rape cases. Frankly, it is high time that this was put into practice as the presumption of guilty until proven innocent has plainly and appallingly become the norm in such cases.


Read about the account by Tamara Arden of the 2006 allegations against Boateng at: http://www.senseonline.co.za/index.php/Archives/Rape-and-Raped-again-A-Personal-Story-of-Injustice.html

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

As much i think you meant no malice in this article,the introduction was very unnecessary. That's my opinion..

Anonymous said...

Where is Nadine Milroy-Sloan now? I googled her and look what I found!!!! This is from 2011. What a disgusting piece of trash!!!!!!!!

http://www.nakedinthanet.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=9247

Matthew Steeples said...

It was quite relevant actually. I would never have written the piece if I had not been in correspondence with Mr Boateng in the past. The messages he sent me were actually very arrogant. You are, however, entitled to your opinion.

Nadine Milroy Sloan's friend said...

How dare you publish this story. Nadine was telling the truth and she will one day be proven for the victim that she is. You are one sick bastard.

Jenny Farley said...

What about the rights of rape victims? Get off your high horse and realize that women are the ones who suffer.

Anonymous said...

whatever message was sent between the two of you was a private matter and should have stayed that way,there was no need to introduce the article like that.Are you saying because you had a problem with him before so he should be locked up for life for something he didn't do?

Matthew Steeples said...

It was publicly written on Facebook so I do not consider it a private matter. It was, I'd suggest, indicative of this person's character. No, that doesn't make them a rapist or worthy of being locked up but a majority verdict of 10-2 thought otherwise.

Eddie M said...

Owen Oyston has worked wonders for Blackpool. He was defo set up. It is terrible that he was never cleared.

Anonymous said...

Your day will come Mr.Steeples,maybe not for being accused as a rapist but for something else.
The fact that there was a majority means he is guilty what a cleaver chap you are Mr Steeples,there loads of innocent people jailed everyday in this world because of bad jury but i guess that doesn't mean anything to you.

Dianne said...

Baron Bloom is far from innocent.

Benjamin Boateng is as guilty as hell.

His father should be locked up too. What a disgusting family.

Anonymous said...

Nadine Milroy Sloan is innocent.

Anonymous said...

I promise you she'll be cleared one dayy. Its goning to happen.

Anonymous said...

Dianne,disgusting family? what has your family achieved in their life...i don't think you wrote with a clear mind you racist pig.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Mr Benjamin Boateng, i just hope the girl was white. Whether it was consensual or not, interacial sex should be encouraged and promoted even more. Nothing like a nice big black cock sliding inside a wet hot white pussy!!!! All women r very dangerous so fuck them all but only once!

Anonymous said...

girls...if you can't avoid it....enjoy it!! A fuck is just a fuck!

Dark Avenger said...

This post reminds me of an anecdote about the idea of false rape allegations that is recounted by Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge in their book, Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies(Lexington Books, 2003) p60.

It used to be accepted without question that a woman should not be presumed to have lied about rape, that rape is such a serious allegation and so personal that if a woman makes such an allegation she should be presumed to be telling the truth. One can realise that the effect of this is to reverse policy in criminal law. It is normal that someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If the feminists who made this claim had their way, a man accused of rape is presumed guilty unless proven innocent.

Anybody who has ever looked at the women's movement from the 1970s and onward in any detail will be aware of what is known as identity politics. This is that oppressors (deemed to be men) are obligated to the oppressed (deemed to be woman) and accept their claims, Hence, one can see why men have to accept the claims of woman when they claim they have been raped. Any man who would not accept a woman's rape allegation claim is deemed to be sexist. 

This all went swimmingly well for the women's movement until it was sent into a tail spin by the very same identity politics that allowed the claim. You see, once someone accepts the idea of identity politics, then it should not just be accepted for woman (oppressed) and man (oppressor) but for black people (oppressed) and white people (oppressor). In the women's movement, black women denounced the claim that a woman would never lie about rape as "white feminism" and hence racist. The reason was as follows: the black women had put their black identity in front of their female identity and recalled cases of black men being lynched for false allegations of rape against white women. In order to be consistent with the identity politics ideology that they espoused, the white woman had to accept the claims of the black woman and with that the claims in the women's movement that a women would never lie about rape went up in smoke.  

Anonymous said...

BAron Bloom is a dirty fucker who shags 12 year old girls like they are worthy of bein 30. He is one sick fuck and he needs fuckin lockin up.

Anonymous said...

Boateng deserves having the key to his cell thrown away. What he did is a disgrace. His family should be ashamed and disown him. His father was, I thought, a man of stature.

Anon said...

 I think she looks pretty hot myself!

http://nakedinthanet.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/nadine-2011.html

Tez Squires said...

Nadine... I believed you then and I still do. Dont ever give up.

anonymous said...

Agreed. Boateng is a disgusting piece of trash as anyone who met him or saw him in court will know.