UK: Mom accused of horribly scalding her son

Mom accused of horribly scalding her son — Quote: The boy said in evidence: “I was crying on the sofa because of what she’d said about my dad. She was in the kitchen and she flipped the kettle on three or four times. She then called me into the kitchen and said ‘Sorry kid, but I’ve got to do this.’ She then tipped the contents of the kettle over me.

BBC News, 25 September 2006

Scalding case jury is discharged

The jury in the trial of a woman accused of pouring boiling water over her son has been discharged after new information came to light.

Judge Philip Richards told the jury at Cardiff Crown Court the information could have a huge bearing on the case.

He said it was a matter of deep regret but that he had to discharge the jury….

(Full Story)

Going by the information contained in the article, it is not possible to predict where the case of the mom accused of scalding her son and disfiguring him for life will go.

The only thing we do know for sure is that the mother kept changing her story and even gave reasons for doing so, while the boy stuck by his and bears seriously disfiguring life-time scars. Going by other cases like this one, the mom will go free.

Although we may feel that Judge Philip Richards is excessively chivalrous or that he has feminist leanings, the BBC article did not provide the slightest bit of information that would permit anyone to reach that conclusion. The article doesn’t even tell whether the case was open to the public.

Discharging a jury is not necessarily a bad thing for justice. Juries have been notoriously forgiving when it came to women who hurt or murdered their children.

For instance, following five thousand coroner’s inquests into child deaths held annually in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, only thirty-nine convictions for child murder resulted, and none of those women were executed. Similarly, in Canada, when a mandatory death penalty applied to the murder of children, “courts regularly returned ‘not guilty’ verdicts in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” (Patricia Pearson, When She Was Bad, p. 80 (1997), ISBN 0-394-22430-2; quoted in Infanticide or “Post-natal Abortion”; see review of the book)

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