Not only has barrister David Osborne have stone age views on rape he has previously called for the abolition of juries because they contain women and riff raff

9 Feb 2015 at 13:20

I have been reading with the sick fascination that some people have from rubber necking a car crash the utterings of ‘Top Barrister’ David Osborne. His views on rape are simply just that; views. They are not the law. A woman (or a man ) not only has to consent but be in a fit state to be able to do so. The law is very, very clear that consent is about choice. And you have to be in a fit state to be able to choose. So threats of violence, the use of drugs, the use of fraud or being unconscious negatives consent. But it is a matter of fact for the jury and nobody else. A defendant has the defence of arguing that he reasonably believed that the complainant was consenting. Again, it is solely a matter for the jury. It is old law and good law. It is common sense. What really amazes me is that for me to prosecute a serious sexual offence I have to have had the training and experience to do so. So does the judge, but not the defence counsel. This really ought to be rectified.

The difficulties for juries arise in the so called grey areas. Where a complainant claims that they were too drunk to consent and the defendant says that this is a lie. Unless there is supporting evidence, who do you believe? I recently prosecuted a man for a particularly unpleasant rape in a public place. It was witnessed by a passer by and the back count of alcohol in her blood supported the eye witness that she was like a sack of potatoes; completely out of it. The defendant was rightly disbelieved. But it is rarely so straight forward.

Where the public (and sadly David Osborne) gets muddled is when a man and a woman have both been drinking a lot and they both end up having sex. Then the woman cries rape. To suggest that a man has a perfect defence because of the drink is dangerous nonsense. It is for the jury alone to decide on the evidence. The simple question is ‘was she able to choose, did he reasonably believe that she consented’. As a matter of common sense men should be very careful about having sex with somebody who has had a lot to drink. In the cold light of day it is one hell of a risk.

But back to Mr.Osborne. I am not the most politically correct of men, but even I was shocked at the language used. A blog about such a highly emotive and sensitive subject such as rape should not be headed ‘gagging for it……storm in D cup’. Particularly if the piece is written by a barrister. And his comments as reported by the press about women showing their bums and having their tits out whilst legless are views straight out of the Stone Age . But have a look at his preceding blog. Here the great man wants to abolish jury trial as they have riff raff, gormless teenagers and women serving on them. All amazingly cranky Dog and Duck sentiments. So he has form. Perhaps they should give him an OSBO.

I think it’s time that dear old Mr.Osborne hangs up his wig and retires to Dunrobing or become a UKIP parliamentary candidate. He’d fit in rather well. Oh, and there are two David Osbornes at the Bar. The other is rather good news and has not had a happy weekend.