Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Draft letter to complain to Attorney General about Stuart Kerner ***UPDATE***

UPDATE: 

The Attorney General's Office has announced they will review Stuart Kerner's sentence as unduly lenient. The decision will be published on February 11. We also chose to make a formal complaint against the judge for their inappropriate victim blaming comments that demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of child sexual exploitation and grooming. You can file a complaint about the judge's comments here.

Here is a draft letter to the attorney general by a member of our team:

I am writing this complaint about the unduly lenient sentence given to Stuart Kerner by Judge Joanna Greenberg. Kerner received an 18 month suspended sentence for the sexual abuse of a 16 year old student. Judge Greenberg's sentencing statement blamed a vulnerable child for her own sexual abuse and all but said that Kerner should not be held responsible for his actions because the victim "groomed" him and because Kerner's wife suffered a miscarriage. Firstly, a 16 year old girl cannot "groom" an adult in a position of power. Secondly, the sexual abuse lasted 18 months - it was not a one-off incident. Thirdly, Kerner's wife's miscarriage is not responsible for Kerner's behaviour. Greenberg's statements mitigating Kerner's behaviour demonstrate a complete disregard for child protection and perpetrator accountability. An 18 month suspended sentence for a teacher who continually sexually exploited his student is grossly inappropriate and I ask that you review the case to ensure that this is not an unduly lenient sentence.

This is a draft letter from a supporter that can be used to complain to the Attorney General about the unduly lenient sentence handed out to Stuart Kerner.

I write with reference to this report in the Guardian in which the Crown Court Judge in question appears quite extraordinarily to have described a 15 year old girl with a crush on her 44 year old religious studies teacher as having “stalked” and “groomed” him into “taking advantage” of her.  

The Judge gave him a suspended 18 month sentence with this depiction of him as a victim rather than a perpetrator who had abused the duty of care and the trust relationship that is inherent in a pupil teacher scenario. 

The Judge seemed to be of the view that the fact that he took advantage of this young (virgin) girl on the week his wife had a miscarriage rendered him even more of a victim rather than even more reprehensible and of poor character.

This is a total inversion of every possible standard of child protection and of accountability for violence against women.

I would be happy for you to share this concern with whomsoever is appropriate since this is not merely a question of an unduly lenient sentence but of a thoroughly unfit attitude for anyone involved in addressing any matter of justice let alone the most vulnerable that are young women entitled to a duty of care.

 http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/14/former-london-teacher-convicted-over-affair-with-teenager

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3 thoughts on “Draft letter to complain to Attorney General about Stuart Kerner ***UPDATE***

  • Suzi says:

    Thank you for doing this. I’ve just read this article and I just couldn’t believe what I’ve just read! The judge is an absolute disgrace and he comments are beyond belief. This completely sends out the wrong message: to perpetrators that they can do whatever they like with very few consequences and to victims that they won’t be believed, will have their reputation trashed in court and be blamed for their abuse. I am appalled!

  • Dean says:

    Suzi, were you in court for the 3 week trial? I’m assuming you were as you seem to be so sure that this girl is so vulnerable.