This is the face of a man accused of a truly horrific crime. Last week an 11 year old girl was brutally raped. Her rape was so violent she ended up in hospital needing surgery to repair the damage done to her. Make no mistake, if this guy did actually rape that girl, he should be locked up for a long, long time. Rape is a terrible crime and anyone who commits it must face a long time behind bars.
So, what's the sting in the tail of this case? In their attempt to catch the suspect, police released his picture to get assistance from the public. He was spotted and a couple of members of the public restrained him until police arrived to arrest him. Right? Well actually, no. He was indeed spotted but when he denied being the rapist a mob proceeded to beat him senseless, including one coward using a board to bash him. In fact, the beating continued until the police arrived to stop it. The suspect was left in a critical condition in hospital. But that's ok as mob justice is fine when it comes to someone who raped a little girl right? Well, again, things are not so black and white here either. Not only is he only a suspect, the police are yet to even charge him with the crime.
I have no problem with a citizen's arrest being enacted as long as it's done in a civilised manner but, as is completely clear from the footage above, what happened here fits no-one's definition of 'civilised'. Let's face facts; whilst some of these thugs were legitimately angry about what happened to the girl, I've no doubt that a number of the mob were just exploiting an opportunity to beat the crap out of someone. In my opinion, they overstepped the mark and should be charged with assault.
In reading various comments and blog posts, I'm constantly astounded at the simple-minded people who support vigilantes. A vigilante is neither noble nor brave. The reality is that a vigilante is nothing more than a coward and a criminal and must be treated as such. What was done to the suspect in this case is no different to the mob beatings I saw on the news following the Rodney King decision in the early 90's. It was simply mob violence where a gang of people decided to bash an individual person who was unable to defend himself. The people who make comments supporting these scum try and make an argument that we have to support one side or the other. That's pure rubbish. If the suspect did rape that girl, he is a disgusting, opportunistic human being and I want to see the book thrown at him. The mob that bashed him are also disgusting, opportunistic human beings and I want to see the book thrown at them.
I again come back to the cornerstone of the western justice system: a person is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. By supporting people who go around making their own decision about who is guilty and what the appropriate punishment should be, we're supporting the undermining of our entire way of life. I don't know if this bloke is guilty of the rape but, more importantly, none of the thugs that bashed him knew either. I just hope that the family and friends of the suspect don't decide to dish out some vigilante justice of their own and attack the cowards responsible for the bashing... although I'm sure there would be plenty of misguided people who'd support them if they did.
NEWS STORY 1
NEWS STORY 2