Sunday, November 16, 2008

Suffer the little children

If the media coverage this week could be seen as in any way representative of how children get treated in Britain, it could only be concluded that this is a dreadful country.

At least four separate and unrelated cases stand out within the last week:

1) A mother is on trial for faking the kidnap of and drugging her own daughter which lead to one of the biggest ever police investigations in the country.

2) Two very young boys were killed by their mentally disturbed mother in Manchester.

3) The investigation into abuse at a Jersey children's home continues, albeit with some positive news suggest no murders occured in the "home".

4) Receiving most media coverage and political attention is the dreadful killing of "baby P" a 17 month old baby tortured and killed at the hands of his mother, her "boyfriend" and a lodger at their home in Haringey, North London. Tabloid coverage seems to consist of a competion to describe ever more depraved aspects of the people involved.

It is difficult to understand if these cases are symptomatic of some wider malaise in society (one common thread is that all the children involved did not have their natural father featuring actively in their lives) or if they are just uniquely awful cases that happen to reported around the same time.

The failure of the authorities to prevent the baby's death has rightly received much attention but one cannot overlook the responsibility of those directly involved in the baby's death. Due to the destruction of evidence and the difficulties of proving who in the house ultimately killed the baby, all three have been found guildty of "causing the death" of the baby rather than murder. It is a legal technicality but in reality means a much lighter sentence.

It seems like they have got away with murder. However they must surely face justice for what they have done to an innocent. As the words of Jesus speaking about children are written in the Bible:

"Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone were tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean." Matthew 18:6

There is no denying the evil of those who seek to harm children. Our laws and our society would do well to recognise that further than it does at the moment. I do not believe these cases are representative of the country in general but for each case that such horrors do occur in, the country is shamed nonetheless.


Rositta said...

Luis, three are times when the death sentence is most appropriate...ciao

Luis said...

I have to say I am inclined to agree.

cw-patriot said...

Such sad stories. I had not heard any of this.

It puts me in mind of a story that my three sisters and I heard when we were on a 'weekend getaway' a few years ago.

It seems that a 'father' (in the loosest sense of the word) in the neighborhood in which we were vacationing had been arrested for raping his ten-month-old daughter.

Not only is such a crime inconceivable, but the depth of depravity is something that the average person has trouble comprehending.

I recall all four of us weaping upon hearing that news report, and it definitely had a profound affect on the rest of our weekend.

I completely agree with the previous poster that capital punishment is quite appropriate in such cases of evil perpetrated against the innocent.

Thank you, as always, for your excellent commentary on a very difficult and delicate subject.

~ joanie