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The National Autistic Society has reacted in anger at the news that three men who attacked and tortured a young man with Asperger syndrome have been denied a custodial sentence.

The victim, who is 17 years old, was subjected to a three day ordeal during which he was brutally and maliciously tortured. However, his assailants – Jack Bolton, Andrew Griffin and Nathan Marshall – were handed a meagre 80 hours of community service for their crimes. The victim’s family described the ruling as a “joke”.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, was “sickened” by the news, and labelled the judgement insulting:

We are sickened and appalled, not only by the heinous acts of violence committed against a vulnerable young man with autism, but by the abhorrent leniency shown to the perpetrators. Their sentence is profoundly insulting to people with autism and their families and in no way reflects the lasting damage disability hate crime inflicts on victims’ lives.

We have kindly been offered a meeting with the Attorney General to discuss the matter further.

Read in Full:  http://www.autism.org.uk/en-gb/news-and-events/news-from-the-nas/torturers-of-young-man-with-asperger-syndrome-walk-free.aspx

 

A whirlwind of hatred against the disabled

Just how far are we, as a society, prepared to let violent crime against the disabled spiral upwards?

Ian Birrell

The Guardian,  Saturday 16 October 2010

The details are sickening. For three days a gang of 18-year-olds tortured a younger autistic boy. They kicked him, stamped on his head, scraped his skin with sandpaper, pelted him with dog shit, forced him to drink alcohol until he passed out and stuck tape to his genitals.

The thugs laughed as they filmed themselves abusing their terrified victim, who can be heard whimpering for mercy. The ordeal only ended when his aunt saw a trainer print on his face. And why did they carry out these vile assaults? Simply because they were bored, they told a court this week.

Apparently Jonathan Geake, the so-called judge in the case, sympathised with their predicament. The three assailants were given just 80 hours’ unpaid community work and a three-month curfew. No signing of the sex offenders register, despite the sexual overtones to the attack. No jail sentence. No justice.

Mencap is now leading a campaign to persuade the attorney general to review this shocking case. But tragically it is not an isolated event. It is just the latest horror story in an epidemic of hate crimes against people with disabilities.

The statistics should shame us all. Nine out of 10 people with learning difficulties have suffered bullying or harassment – indeed, even as the thugs from Eccles were being convicted this week, cases emerged of a disabled woman being bottled as she arrived at her home in Essex and a Yorkshire woman tipped from her wheelchair and mugged. And there is at least one trial going on over the killing of a disabled person, with another looming.

Three years ago there was outrage after the death of Fiona Pilkington, who killed herself and her disabled daughter after years of abuse. Politicians, police and council chiefs all said never again – then said it again after the death of David Askew earlier this year after similar harassment. Yet a recent report found evidence of 68 violent deaths of disabled people and more than 500 potential disability hate crimes over the past three years.

There is no official data on hate crimes against the disabled, since the government does not think it is worth publishing. One helpline has fielded a near-doubling in the number of calls from disabled victims this year, but there have been just 576 prosecutions over the last two years, compared with 11,264 for racial and religious crimes over the last year alone.

Read in Full:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/16/crime-against-the-disabled



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