Monday, 26 January 2015

One law for them, and another for the rest of us: Mother beaten up in front of sick child

Reuters / Paul Hackett
"A police officer accused of repeatedly kicking and hitting a mother looking after a sick child in hospital has been cleared of actual bodily harm (ABH)."

"The woman was left with over 40 injuries after Warren Luke, a Metropolitan police officer, kicked and hit her after hospital staff told him she was refusing to leave."

"Luke was cleared on Thursday of any crime at Wood Green Crown Court."

"The mother, who remains unnamed for legal reasons, was looking after her daughter when the incident occurred in 2013. Hospital staff asked the woman to leave, the court heard. When she refused, four police officers were called."

"A video played to the jury showed the mother explaining the incident."

"‘You’ve got to leave, you’ve "got to leave,’ she reported Luke as saying.

"I kept playing with my daughter and then I saw him moving towards me. He was kicking me and kicking me. He had one hand on my head. When I fell on the bed he grabbed my hair and banged my head. I was screaming. I couldn’t defend myself. My ex-husband ran in and shouted, ‘why are you kicking my wife?’"

"Luke, however, protested that the mother’s behaviour had been "escalating" and he believed the child was in danger."

Obviously we do not know the context in which this extreme behaviour took place. There are a couple of clues: one is that the woman cannot be named for legal reasons; (child protection procedures in place, perhaps?) and the other is that the police officer claimed that he believed the child was in danger and it was escalating, although the only report we have of what the mother actually did was that she did not leave when asked to do so by hospital staff. Again, that does tend to suggest there were child protection issues on the go, and the police officer was able to draw on them in order to excuse his behaviour.

It would be a waste of time to speculate further.

The point is this: The `Cinderella Law` makes it clear that children must be protected from witnessing violence. If you are a parent these days, that is a crime. For instance, any mother who allows her child to witness her own abuse by the father, say, (physical or verbal) is guilty of failing to protect her child from emotional harm. Children have been removed from their mothers for that very reason.

Yet here is an agent of the state, acting on his beliefs, instigating violence, where these same rules do not apply.

Whatever the background, a sick child in hospital witnessing her mother being beaten by a police officer, has suffered an unbelievable trauma. 

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