… Is a rapist. He committed a crime. He was tried by his peers and he was found guilty by jury. I have no sympathy for him and am not condoning his actions.
He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his crime. He has served half of that sentence which means that he is now due to be released – as is the way in most UK prisons. I am a legal advisor commenting on what I am seeing on the TV at the moment.
Even before he has been released there are calls from the media and the public to ensure that he does not return to his former employment. Reasons stated that he is a rapist he shouldn’t be able to go back. He has shown no remorse for actions and therefore he has not been punished enough and that his sentence should have been longer.
Are these not pointers that the sentencing judge had at their disposal in the first place? The sentence was laid down in accordance to the law and was deemed an appropriate sentence for the crime. Why then therefore should he not be allowed to return to work? He will not be tagged, but he will be on the sex offenders register for life.
His lack of remorse is due to the fact that he does not think he raped anyone. A glance at website would suggest that he instructed counsel to lodge a second appeal to try and overturn the conviction – we’ll see. His lack of remorse would have been taken into account though and for that reason once his time his spent he should be adjudged as been punished and ‘rehabilitated’. If he does anything well that’s a different story – his record won’t be so favourable for him, he is tarnished, let him get on with it and let the justice system do what it has to do.
My main angst against the matter is what if he wasn’t a footballer, would anybody care? I would hazard a guess at no. His trade is kicking a ball around, it is very lucrative, but that is what he trained himself to do, what would he do otherwise? The dressing room is forever going to be different around him due to his profile, from non-league to premier league he is known for the wrong reasons. Any coach that takes him on will be bestowing tremendous trust in him and he will have to work hard to show that he is a reformed man, regardless of what he thinks of his own innocence, to win over the fans.
As Welsh football supporter I watched Wales beat Cyprus the other day without him. He is just another person in the criminal justice system.