Tags: magistrates court

14 Aug 2007, Comments Off on Slap for Groper

Slap for Groper

Author: Helen

This delightful headline from the Herald Sun just plopped into my email inbox from Tony T; Thanks Tony! He didn’t offer any explanation except that it might come in handy. Not generally being a Hun reader, I tried to imagine what this headline would be about:

Pancake makeup for extremely ugly fish?
A gropee has slapped a groper themselves?
Someone has given a groper an exceedingly light slap on the wrist for groping behaviour?

Oh wouldn’t you know.

A TEENAGER who groped a breastfeeding mum at a shopping centre has been sentenced to community service.
Mohamed Chkhaidem pleaded guilty at Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court to indecently assaulting the woman as she nursed her week-old baby.
The court heard he was traumatised over his girlfriend’s abortion when he fondled the woman in a parents’ room at Broadmeadows shopping centre on April 30.

OK, that’s the first part that caused me to moan quietly and bang my head on the desk. It was all his girlfriend’s fault for having an abortion, of course.

Defence lawyer Zarah Garde-Wilson said Chkhaidem had been ridiculed in custody because of media attention to the case.

Well, hardly surprising. But then, Garde-Wilson, prominent defender, fruitcake and enabler of Melbourne standover men, would consider that pretty harsh. Her boy, after all, ended up in the slammer for proper crimes, like murder and mayhem.

I’m not being gratuitously insulting: it’s a real problem that a personality like this is encouraging victim-blaming and self-pity among the abusers in our town.

Garde-Wilson hammers home the fact that it’s all the sluttish girlfriend’s fault:

“He was suffering a dramatic episode as a result of his partner’s abortion several months earlier, which led to his conduct,” Ms Garde-Wilson said.

Because, you see, the guy would have made a top parent.

Sgt Ellis said Chkhaidem told police he had frequented parents’ rooms for more than six months.
Chkhaidem said it made him feel better to watch women breastfeed.
Sgt Ellis said Chkhaidem drew back a privacy curtain and started a conversation with the mum.
He told her his wife had given birth, and touched her on the left breast and nipple before fleeing.
“She was fearful, and felt she contributed to the incident,” Sgt Ellis said.
He said security footage showed Chkhaidem loitering in the corridor before the attack on the mum.

I’m not complaining about the community service order he got. I think that’s completely right and proper for a first offender. But what about a bit of consciousness-raising about his behaviour from the court, instead of blaming everyone except him? By the end of the article you get the feeling he thinks he’s the one who’s had a rough deal.

Don’t you love the way “the mum” felt she’d “contributed” to her own assault? Because of course, there was so much she could have done sitting there with the baby on the breast. I’m sure there’s some kind of new-age Akido she could have learned to blow the guy back out the door through sheer mindpower. Or… what exactly was she supposed to do? Can’t we even breastfeed in a “parents’ room” without being harassed?

You know what I blame.