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Home > Culture and Society

Maternal rape: may bode ill for the future

23 January 2004

In these times of 'gross out' comedies, bellowed mobile phone conversations and Davina McCall, the art of understatement should be cherished more than ever.

But sometimes understatement seems a teensy weensy bit inappropriate - for example, when discussing someone who's raped their mother.

This week a boy of 15 from Swansea admitted raping his mother, in the first case of its kind in legal history. The judge presiding over the case, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, could have been forgiven for spending the entire case staring at his note pad, shaking his head and muttering 'Fucking hell. Just... fucking hell', but instead he asked the following question:

"Was it an episode with a background confined to the domestic circumstances or does this bode ill for the future?"

Hmm. We'd have thought that both raping your mum and being raped by your son 'bode ill for the future'. It's safe to say that neither party are likely to be enjoying a normal family Christmas in the foreseeable future.

The judge also commented:

"[The mother] no doubt finds this as stressful and bizarre as everyone else."

We like the use of the words 'no doubt'. Of course she fucking does. And she 'no doubt' finds it a great deal more stressful than people who haven't been raped by their sons. OK, this is just one comment in a whole case, but is it really appropriate to describe rape as 'stressful and bizarre'?

Still, as the modern world trundles toward greater depths of inanity and noisiness, it's good to know that some things never change - like the ability of our finger-on-the-pulse judges to mimic the socially detached old duffers of yesteryear.

Rape? Jolly unfortunate business, old bean!

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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