Recent intrigues about possible alleged sexual offences concerning one of the accused killers and of the child Master James Bulger has re-awakened a perculiar irrational and intense mob ‘bleating’ at the end of day for – revenge. If not revenge what is it and how far does this revenge wish to go? No one can wish to imagine the terror and despair Master Bulger experience or the intense rage of his killers acted on but these events whilst an enduring wound for his parents took place in the 1990s. Adult murderers and rapists spend less time within detention for equally heinous acts and sometimes regrettably go on to repeat violent crimes. Indeed, we must constantly review our criminal justice system but not in order to institutionally sanction mob hate or media frenzy; whatever the cause
For once this government as acted appropriately. At last, this government having achieved so little dignity, justice or provision for too long, for people affected by violent crime has resisted the pressure from Mrs Fergus (mother of the late Master Bulger) and media to have what amounts to a pre-judicial trial in effect. It is more like a revenge vendetta. It would be helpful if the media also conveyed the views of Master Bulger’s father who presumably has also suffered. Whatever the pressure potentially gained it would tarnish the judicial process and only feed more rage, and the memory of Master Bulger. Justice must be allowed to follow its correct process and outcome no matter how distasteful or painful the experience for those genuinely affected.
Many years ago, when the killers of Master Bulger were placed in secure accommodation I recall attending a conference in the north of England as a co-conference speaker with the then, Minister of Prisons, the Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe. To the amazement of the angry audience of mainly parents of murdered children they made an assumption about her views on the killers (then) recent sentence. Miss Widdecombe stated clearly, correctly and eloquently that mob rule should never, and can never replace the letter and meaning of the law. Today, her words stand true for us to ‘pause’ and remember. Justice must be allowed to follow its correct process and outcome no matter how distasteful or painful the experience.
Justice must be free from ‘mob’ and media pressure and seen to be allowed to follow its correct process and outcome no matter how distasteful or painful the experience, without hysteria.