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Man (Child?) to face rape charges!

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14 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

If anything it just makes it even odder.  Which I wouldn't have thought possible:

I pointed out earlier that these cases where someone was prosecuted for a rape committed that young were very rare and invariably the prosecution was carried out soon after the offence.  So this was already a very strange case and one that raised all sorts of problems - what penalties could you impose, given that they should have been the ones relevant to the age the defendant would have been at the time?

Now it turns out that the alleged offences were committed abroad in two different jurisdictions,  which adds a whole other layer of complexity, even assuming the laws exist in the Island to prosecute people for such offences committed off Island.  How the AG Office ever imagined that it would be possible to get a conviction, even without the issues of the ages of criminal responsibility[1] is a mystery to me.

 

[1]  The age was raised in Malta from 12 to 14 in 2014, so, depending on when the offence took place that might technically not apply, though it would be seen as 'not right' to do such a retrospective prosecution normally. 

Thanks. Well and truly clutching at straws then. However, the guy does seem to be inside already for other offences so I wonder if they were just pushing it to see if they could get anything else to stick? Looks very tenuous though I agree. 

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There's also an immediately post-court piece on 3FM, from Jason Roberts repeating the statement made in Court, that confuses the issues even more.  It says that Collis was 13 at the time of the alleged attack in Malta (presumably in Summer 2010) and that the age of criminal responsibility was 10 then[1] as he would have to be prosecuted under Maltese Law in the Manx Courts.

The decision to prosecute just gets weirder and weirder.  It's like they decided to take all the possible factors that make it difficult to get a successful prosecution and decided to combine them into one case.  Maybe there's some sort of international competition for the most stupid prosecution decision.  They should run away with it.

(It's also worth pointing to how, yet again, the Courts are releasing and the media reporting enough information about a sexual offences case that people are able to make guesses about the identity of the alleged victim - which is what I presume Dilligaf's comment was about).

[1]  As above I'm fairly certain it wasn't.  In the Maltese system younger children can be brought before the Courts but not prosecuted, though presumably Court orders can be made for protection etc, which would be irrelevant here with an adult defendant.

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It’s clearly an historic abuse case. They pose all sorts of evidential difficulties.

So, someone Manx, perhaps prompted by what the accused had recently ended up in custody for, makes an allegation to the police. They have to investigate. As the CC has said - and I paraphrase - victims have to be accepted at face value..

Seems they gathered enough evidence to conclude, along with the AG’s prosecutions department, there was a prima facie case and that prosecution was in the public interest.

Only problem was that the actual events occurred in a different jurisdiction, where they couldn’t be prosecuted, because the age of criminal responsibility is higher there, so the accused couldn’t have been prosecuted there.

Its actually a legal minefield. Not straight forward. You’d expect to look at age of consent issues. Maybe not, initially, doli incapax.

Its the sort of thing a defence advocate would research, after charge and after grant of legal aid. 

Age of criminal responsibility is subject to a UN reccomendation of 12. Its 10 in IoM and England, it used to be 8. It was 8 in Scotland, until very recently, it’s now 12. European generally is 14.

No idea why we are so blood thirsty.

I also note that Jason Roberts wrongly reports the age of criminal responsibility in Malta was 10 in 2008/9/10. It wasn’t. It was 12 and was increased to 14 in 2015. It’s a procedural, not a substantive rule. So any one tried now is subject to the age exemption as at date of trial. So 14 in both Spain and Malta for this case.

 

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2 minutes ago, John Wright said:

 

No idea why we are so blood thirsty.

 

Fees

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3 minutes ago, TheTeapot said:

Fees

What? It’s Tynwald that sets the age of responsibility. Nothing to do with fees

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, John Wright said:

 

Age of criminal responsibility is subject to a UN reccomendation of 12. Its 10 in IoM and England, it used to be 8. It was 8 in Scotland, until very recently, it’s now 12. European generally is 14.

 

Interesting that the age of majority is generally dropping, (age of consent, age to vote etc) but age of criminal responsibility is rising. 

Edited by gettafa

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13 minutes ago, John Wright said:

What? It’s Tynwald that sets the age of responsibility. Nothing to do with fees

Sorry misread. It was a cynical comment on the seeming desire to prosecute cases with very little chance of succeeding.

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17 minutes ago, TheTeapot said:

Sorry misread. It was a cynical comment on the seeming desire to prosecute cases with very little chance of succeeding.

And the prosecutors are salaried, so there’s no financial imperative to prosecute.

Youve got to remember that the decision to charge and prosecute is taken before the defence is able to put up its case.

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27 minutes ago, gettafa said:

Interesting that the age of majority is generally dropping, (age of consent, age to vote etc) but age of criminal responsibility is rising. 

Perhaps they’ll meet in the middle? I can’t see any justification for different ages to have sex, drive, vote, to be criminally responsible, to kill for your country, marry without consent or form contracts.

However, age of consent hasn’t shifted, except for gay men, for a very long time, 100+ years (1880’s) and the last few times it shifted it was upwards from 10 to 12 to 13to 16 (17 in Ireland).

Age of majority has stuck at 18 since 1970’s.

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps they will meet. To my mind, and if my memory serves me right, a 14 year old kid (for example) knows the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Should that 14-year-old participate in making the laws as to what is right and what is wrong? Should that 14-year-old be eligible to sit in our parliament and legislate for the rest of us? (start a family, fight and kill for their country etc)

Or should the ages be further apart? Should they both drop together?

Worth a bit of thought.

Edited by gettafa

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7 hours ago, John Wright said:

So, someone Manx, perhaps prompted by what the accused had recently ended up in custody for,.......

JW. are you hinting that this person may be in prison for further sex offenses and if so, was the prosecution simply to draw the attention of the public and, possibly other victims, to him? Perhaps with the view to bring out other accusations or at least, publisise his seemingly serial behaviour? Even without a realistic chance of a successful outcome?

Is this wrong? Is it the right course for serious offenses?

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5 minutes ago, Kopek said:

JW. are you hinting that this person may be in prison for further sex offenses and if so, was the prosecution simply to draw the attention of the public and, possibly other victims, to him? Perhaps with the view to bring out other accusations or at least, publisise his seemingly serial behaviour? Even without a realistic chance of a successful outcome?

Is this wrong? Is it the right course for serious offenses?

Strong words there K.

If you are correct, then I would say this guy needs serious psychiatric help or chemical castration. I don't think people choose this way of life, if indeed you are correct.

 I see on facebook the pitchforks are out about these charges, but he was only 10-13 years old. I just don't get this somehow. 

Am I just wet behind the ears, or am missing something here ?

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21 minutes ago, Kopek said:

JW. are you hinting that this person may be in prison for further sex offenses and if so, was the prosecution simply to draw the attention of the public and, possibly other victims, to him? Perhaps with the view to bring out other accusations or at least, publisise his seemingly serial behaviour? Even without a realistic chance of a successful outcome?

Is this wrong? Is it the right course for serious offenses?

I believe he was jailed for thumping his girlfriend. We have plenty of space in our state of the art prison so why not fill it up?

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Just reading between the lines and surmising.

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18 minutes ago, Kopek said:

JW. are you hinting that this person may be in prison for further sex offenses and if so, was the prosecution simply to draw the attention of the public and, possibly other victims, to him? Perhaps with the view to bring out other accusations or at least, publisise his seemingly serial behaviour? Even without a realistic chance of a successful outcome?

Is this wrong? Is it the right course for serious offenses?

Well googling his name produces a number of previous convictions and charges, including for burglary and assault (and swearing at a policeman out of a window).  But no explicit sex offences.  Of course he might be on remand for such charges, but in this case this ridiculous prosecution would give any competent defence advocate the excuse to claim that his client's reputation had been so tarnished by the publicity - with much pointing to the Facebook pitchforks - that a fair trial would be impossible.

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