By M.C. Dutton
Most good, honest people do not come into contact with the disaffected and the bad in our society. Having said that, we all hear about them in the newspapers and unbeknown to us, pass them in the street or on the trains. Sadly those who are fortunate enough not to suffer from the vagaries of crime or criminal intent are becoming fewer these days.
I have chosen to make those involved in criminality my work and also my voluntary work.
Everyone has heard of Manson and Neilson and the evil that is out there in the form of serial killers. They are the people you feel glad live somewhere else and never touch your lives. You are shocked by what they have done and are glad they are sentenced and put in prison for many years. You know all about these people, while feeling sanitised and safe in reading the newspapers and watching the television.
Dark as these people are, I would suggest we have rapists, murderers and burglars and torturers in our midst. Ok, some haven’t reached their full potential yet, but they are learning and justifying their modus operandi.
I believe that anyone is capable of anything as long as they can justify it!
Whilst working as a voluntary counsellor, in the intimacy of confidentiality and one on one, I have found that people with secrets open up and explain what they have done and why.
I have spoken to a paedophile for many weeks. He came to see me because he was depressed and lonely. He had recently come out of prison where he served a sentence for having sex with a young girl (6 years old). He was not allowed to see the young girl again and he was distraught. What I learned profoundly and explicitly was about love. He loved the young girl and had sex with her as a demonstration of his love. I am talking about someone who professed deep and true love and his distress caused by the young person being taken away from him and he would never be allowed to see her again. My personal belief is that a paedophile could never change. I equate it to a heterosexual person being told that if you are a woman making love to a man is disgusting and wrong. I couldn’t change from being a heterosexual, because that is what I am. By the same token, a paedophile firmly believes in the sexual love of children and knows with absolute certainty that children love them too and are sexual beings however young they are. A paedophile sees no wrong in what they do, it is Society that is wrong and Society’s fault for not understanding.
I have spoken with a mother whose daughter, after 5 years still couldn’t sleep alone and must sleep always with her mother. The daughter had been raped by a paedophile at the age of 6 years. The internal injuries were extensive and the mental injuries incalculable. The mother would never forgive herself.
He was a neighbour and had always been wonderful and helpful. When her husband left her with two children to bring up, this man had offered help and she was grateful. He did her gardening and was wonderful with the children. She had no idea of his intentions. It transpired he had groomed her for some time but it was when he had offered to look after the little girl whilst the mother took her son to the hospital for tests that he raped her. Two lives had been ruined.
As a member of a Referral Panel which is a sentence given in a Magistrates Court for a first offender under the age of 18 years, I have spoken with many young men who are on the first rung of criminality. I always hope working with them and with the youth offending teams they would not step up further on the ladder of criminality. Some didn’t but some learned nothing from their experience and moved to the top of the ladder and jail in a short time.
Many came from broken homes with no father in their lives as a role model. Young men who were used to being treated negatively and had never heard a word of encouragement or praise from an adult.
I always thought it was my role, as a member of the public on the Referral Panel to ensure they knew what they had done was wrong and I represented the community when I explained why it was not acceptable behaviour. In speaking to the young person I would find out about what they were doing and their hopes in life. I would always find something that was optimistic and good to praise them about. Sometimes it was that they had gone back to school and were working hard or that they had come to their interview looking smart or on time. I am still amazed that small praise made them sit upright and smile. How can someone who has reached the age of 15 years and upwards be beaten down by negativity?
I have experienced so much in speaking with people in the criminal system and hearing what they have done and in some cases why they didn’t think it was wrong, that I could go on with stories and examples for a long time. We haven’t touched on the career Burglar, and I would need many pages on gangs in London and the suburbs and the influences on them of American gangs and rap singers. I would love to talk about Domestic Violence in its extreme forms which happen all too regularly in local homes.
In our home towns human nature comes in many forms. The person who holds open the door to let you pass and will keep an eye on his neighbours and help if needed, to the seemingly normal, if not a little reticent person who closes a front door and reigns terror in the house, not always a man; there are women who are terrorising their partners and causing injuries that need hospital treatment.
No one is necessarily what they seem and everyone of them firmly believes that they have a cause and reason for what they do. They all firmly believe that it is not their fault.
M.C. Dutton just published her second novel, Silent Night. Her first book, The Devil’s Tears, was written in the belief that there is life after death and currently she is finishing up her third book based on a funny, flawed, and fearless Sikh detective. Dutton has worked with the Crown Prosecution Service in England for 8 years in various roles working closely with dedicated law enforcement officers and prosecutors. She is heavily involved in youth mentoring and works with teens on probation and participates in several charitable groups throughout England. Dutton resides in Essex, England.
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HAPPY PESACH 2010