"Mrs Justice Thirlwall: the one woman Philpott couldn't defeat"
April 8, 2013 6:28 AM Subscribe
posted by MartinWisse (36 comments total)
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"Before examining the night in question – the petrol, the plot, the screaming 999 calls, the dead children – Thirlwall said: “It is necessary to look at the history of your relationship with women.” I’ve rarely heard a judge say such a thing, although in the judicial system there aren’t that many female judges, so there’s more chance this take on events is overlooked. Across Europe, the average gender balance among judges is 52 per cent men and 48 per cent women. At 23 per cent, England and Wales is fourth from the bottom, followed only by Azerbaijan, Scotland and Armenia. The higher up the court system, the more male-dominated the bench becomes. Only 15.5 per cent of High Court judges are women. The odds were against Philpott meeting a female judge this week – one woman he had no chance of controlling, striking, or impregnating – but I’m quietly joyous he did." In The Independent
, Grace Dent looks at the abusive background of Mick Philpott
, who got his six children killed in a house fire he started to take revenge on his ex.The Guardian
has mrs Justice Thirlwall's sentencing remarks in full
, as well as more background information
on the case.
George Osborne was quick to make political hay out of Philpott's conviction, arguing that it was his dependence on welfare that led him to this deed
, something that obviously annoyed
and incensed a lot of people
, including Labour's Ed Balls, who called this a "cynical" move
As Grace Dent argues and Polly Neate in The Guardain echoes
, it's not so much welfare as domestic abuse that is the key to this case. Mick Philpott had a long history and a previous conviction for abuse and the fact that he had six children fits in with this history:
The number of children he had with his partners has been described in the media as a means to access increasing levels of child benefit, but in our experience a perpetrator of domestic violence may try and keep his abused partner pregnant as a further means of control.