DR MAX PEMBERTON: I see rape victims who suffer for life. Rapists should also


Suppose you were raped or sexually assaulted. Despite the possibility of not being believed; the prospect of having to expose your sex life for someone else to take care of; the trauma of having to relive the events over and over again, the pain, the distress, you go to the police.

Now imagine the police taking you seriously enough – by no means a given – to find the culprit and the case goes to court (only 1.3% of reported rapes make it so far, by the way).

The odds are very high against you. But now imagine that your attacker is convicted. And at this point, far down a grim and awful road, you’d expect justice to be done, wouldn’t you? One would expect the culprit to pay for what he did.

Yet something very strange seems to have taken hold of our justice system, as time and time again men receive seemingly lenient sentences for the most heinous of crimes. What are the courts of this country playing at?

Members of the Rochdale grooming gang lost an appeal against the eviction. However, upon his release from prison, one of them was free to move in the same area

I was horrified to read of the unforgivable behavior of men who raped or attacked girls and women, but were treated by the courts with what appears to be extraordinary leniency.

While two members of the Rochdale grooming gang recently lost their appeal against eviction, the fact is that one of them – Adil Khan – impregnated a 13-year-old girl and violently trafficked a 15-year-old girl. year. He was sentenced to eight years in 2012 and released on license four years later. Sorry what? Four years in prison for having sex with a child?

To make matters worse, upon his release from prison he was free to roam the area where he abused children, and the girl he became pregnant with ended up facing him at Asda. She had to flee the store.

Another member of the Rochdale gang also lost his appeal against the eviction. Qari Abdul Rauf, a father of five, trafficked a 15-year-old girl, driving her to remote areas to abuse her in his taxi, and transporting her to a flat in Rochdale, where he and others had sex with her.

He was imprisoned for six years and released in November 2014 after serving two years and six months. A few years in prison? These men should spend the rest of their lives rotting in prison. And I suspect a lot of the audience feels the same way I do.

Dr Max Pemberton (pictured) explains how the odds are stacked against rape victims.  He says that if politicians came to his clinic and listened to the victims, they would realize that more needs to be done to help these women.

Dr Max Pemberton (pictured) explains how the odds are stacked against rape victims. He says that if politicians came to his clinic and listened to the victims, they would realize that more needs to be done to help these women.

In an unrelated case last month, another man, Rufat Kasamaj, was jailed for ten-and-a-half years for dragging a 15-year-old girl down an alley in Westfield Shopping Center in Stratford, east London, and raping her in a flowerbed, despite her crying and pleading, “Please don’t hurt me”.

She has since had sleepless nights and suicidal thoughts, but her lawyer, Beata Kopel, told court that Kasamaj’s offense was serious but “not extreme”, which seemed to sum up the apparent view of so many. people in the justice system.

Ten years? We all know that means he’ll be out in five years. It is pathetic. You can, and you do, get longer for fraud.

Further proof that this country is simply not taking these cases seriously is last week’s news that rape cases now take an average of 446 days from indictment to verdict, made worse by the lawyers’ strike.

Just imagine it’s been over a year since the scum who raped you was charged before you knew he was safe behind bars. If that’s what happens, of course, less than one percent of reported rape cases result in a conviction.

For more than a year of your life you are waiting, turning things over in your mind. Time and time again, I see women in my clinic who have been victims of this kind of assault. The impact extends far into their lives. It affects their mental health, career, education, family and personal life.

It’s not something that fades from memory in a few years. There’s no way they’ll see their sentence cut in half. In some cases, it devastates them for decades. It’s heartbreaking.

If politicians came to my clinic and listened to these women talk about what happened to them, I’m sure they would realize that the law and the courts betray women. They would soon be as angry as I am and look at the law books and realize that this all needs to be rethought.

Just last week I saw a young woman who had repeatedly attempted suicide after being violently raped and then, unbelievably, saw her rapist twice while shopping after her release. He had served six years, but she had been sentenced to a lifetime of mental torture.

We need to revise sentencing guidelines to reflect the psychological damage caused by these monsters. And we need to do it urgently.

The punishment must fit the crime. In my opinion, we need to at least double the penalties for rape and impose far more lifetime tariffs. Let’s just get these sick men off the street.

When Lisa Squire, the justice campaigner whose daughter Libby Squire was raped and murdered by Pawel Relowicz in 2019, discussed lifetime tariffs with then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, she said he had replied that there was not enough space in our prisons. That’s not an answer.

Policy makers decided to be soft on these inhuman crimes. But the torment of the victims does not stop, and neither should the perpetrators. I don’t care if there aren’t enough prisons; build more, for God’s sake.

Gino, don’t favor one child!

Gino D'Acampo admitted his nine-year-old daughter Mia is his favorite child despite also having two sons

Gino D’Acampo admitted his nine-year-old daughter Mia is his favorite child despite also having two sons

What was Gino D’Acampo thinking when he admitted that his nine-year-old daughter, Mia, was his favorite child? The TV chef also has two sons.

Admitting to having a favorite is – rightly – taboo for parents. But while he could have broken a cardinal rule by saying it out loud, I’m sure a lot of people would sympathize privately.

I think it’s quite common for parents to have, if not exactly a favorite child, then at least one that they tend to understand better or get along with better than others. Children all have different attributes and it’s understandable that a parent would get along more easily with one than the other, as they would with any other person.

Even if you’re related, that doesn’t mean you automatically find it equally easy to be the parent of all your children. The trick is to never let this show, as the damage it can do is massive. While you may struggle to connect with a child, it’s a parent’s job to prove that you love them all equally.

The NHS could learn a lot from Stephen Watson, Greater Manchester’s no-frills and unawakened new chief constable. He overthrew the failing force in just 18 months. The health service should follow its lead and go back to basics by prioritizing improving the actual care patients receive.

  • Psilocybin is making headlines again after another study showed it could benefit people with treatment-resistant depression, with nearly a third of people in the trial showing rapid remission. The drug, which is also the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has generated a lot of interest in recent years. I welcome offers to find new ways to treat depression, especially since there have been few new antidepressants. Any new weapon is good news as far as I’m concerned. I fear, however, that it is hailed by some as a panacea. With something as complex as depression, no medication will ever be the answer.



I received it as a gift and finished it last week. This is an extraordinary book by Bafta-winning screenwriter Abi Morgan. Her world turns upside down after her partner collapses and no longer recognizes her when he regains consciousness. And just when she accepts that, she develops breast cancer. It is strangely uplifting and invigorating. It’s presented as a love story and that’s exactly what it is.

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