Friday 4 October 2013

England: They will not go unpunished

We will punish
Repeatedly, as my heart bled with anguish and horror at the news of little children that died at the hands of their parents, I was never fully satisfied with the justice that punished the horrors, but it was justice all the same.
Today, it was the turn of Amanda Hutton to go to jail, for the death of 4-year old Hamzah Khan, who she cruelly starved to death and then left mummified in his cot for nearly two years.
For her cruelty charged as manslaughter, child cruelty and preventing the lawful burial of a child, she will go to jail for 15 years and that can never be long enough for the harrowing, reprehensible and disgraceful circumstances that greeting the dying days of Hamzah that could have been for years.
Placing the responsibility right
There is no way to fully understand why a mother could be so evil beyond words having altogether had six children, the oldest of which is 24 years old who received a suspended sentence of 2 years for preventing the burial of his brother.
I am glad that the findings did not give her a bye on the possibility of diminished responsibility, but held her responsible fully for the heinous crimes against her son.
Rights even in death
As with Victoria ClimbiƩ, Peter Connelly (Baby P), Daniel Pelka and the 6 Philpott children who perished in a fire set by their own parents, we as a society will not stand for the abuse of children by their parents and guardians, and though we might have failed to prevent their abuse, we will not fail in punishing the perpetrators.
Each face and name is testament that these children, even if not precious and beautiful in the eyes of the people we expect to unconditionally love them, they have a right to have a voice for justice in the hope that less of this becomes the regular news of our times.
Lawful burials
We must have lessons to learn of these events for early intervention where abuse is suspected and for more intrusive official enquiry where a child appears to be in danger.
I never knew there was a crime of preventing the lawful burial of the dead – an unusual crime, in fact, I take that back; the heir to the Tetrapak fortune, Hans Kristian Rausing, was charged with that crime in 2012 for not burying his wife who had been dead for months.
May the souls of those dear children rest in peace; I do hope no other child is suffering today like these have suffered before.

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