Charles Saatchi and Stuart Hall

It’s been a bad week for women and justice.

First of all yesterday Stuart Hall got sentenced to 15 months for offences against young girls, some as young as 9.   Thirteen women in fact.  Women that he initally said were part of a “vendetta against people in the public eye”.   Two months ago he admitted to his crimes.   He didn’t hold his hands up and admit to them immediately, he claimed the women were lying.

And so he got the maximum allowed “when the crimes were committed”.

Absurd.   He is being tried now.  It isn’t 1986.   Sentencing guidelines have changed and he should be sentenced according to today’s.

What signal is this sending to other women?  To other girls that have lived with that ordeal for all of their adult lives?  To other girls and women that are suffering at the moment?

We also saw horrific images of Charles Saatchi with his hands around Nigella Lawson’s throat.   I initially thought “well maybe he was demonstrating something”, after all it is only a snapshot in time.   We don’t see what led up to that.   However the pictures of her leaving the restaurant in tears seem to indicate this was no demonstration.

The police investigated and what does he get?  A caution.   To have been given a caution he needs to have admitted to the offence.   Now it would seem that is the end of the matter.

Is it?  Is that the end to it?

Again, what does that say to women everywhere?  And to abusive husbands?  Or indeed, abusive wives.  I am sorry, I have been to Scott’s and it is not the sort of place you throttle your wife and that she leaves from in tears.   Unless that somehow feels acceptable to you.    There has been no comment from either of their spokespeople.    I am not saying for one moment that Nigella should take to Twitter but silence from the two of them is sending wholly the wrong signal to everybody.  Least of all her children.

It normalises this behaviour.

Behaviour that is wrong.

Behaviour that should be challenged

Behaviour that should be punished.

It’s a sad day for victims everywhere and my heart goes out to any woman, or man, suffering such abuses.   And the sooner we stop calling it “Domestic Abuse” and just “Abuse” the better.

 

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  • I saw a quote from Saatchi saying it was a ‘playful tiff’. Boy, being married to him must be laugh a minute….

    Halls sentence is a joke.

    Great post.

    • A playful tiff in which one party is seen weeping in public.

      Yeah, really fecking hilarious isnt it?

  • Great post. I understand (though I don’t like) the sentencing constraints, but the judge’s comments angered me. As with Saatchi’s caution, there is an overwhelming sense that victims are somehow used to being a victim, but te shock to the offender of being called out and named as abuser is mitigation for their crimes. No way.

  • Oh ok so does that mean if a man murdered someone in 1960 and is tried now and found guilty they can get the death penalty?

    Thought not.

    It’s ridiculous, sentencing laws reflect the attitude of the courts and community NOW, and no way should they be using old sentencing laws, that is plainly wrong.

    I’m fed up of all these cases, and I tell you what, it doesn’t in any way inspire me to take my abuser to court, its a joke. These women are so brave.

    • And YOU are brave Kylie. But you know I think that about you.

      And your point about the dealth penalty is a brilliant one.

  • The maximum sentence Hall could have got is apparently five years, according to the Times this morning. To get so little is an insult to the victims.

    But as for Nigella – I think she is right to keep quiet and out of the limelight. It’s a personal matter for her and the press and slavering public don’t need to know any more than we already do. I hope she is having a bit of peace with kind friends. I also think that if any man puts his hands round a woman’s throat “to emphasise a point” he should be relieved of his nads by way of a blunt knife.

    • You are right. I just think there should even be a statement from a spokesperson, preferably his that says “He has accepted the caution and he has apologised to his wife for causing distress”. I know it’s a private matter but it was in public and I just think that maybe he should admit to it somehow, publicly.

      So hard, but yes, I hope she is with friends that love her

  • I was horrified when I saw the photos. If that’s what he calls “a playful tiff” I dread to think what he is like when he is really angry! I truly hope this has been the catalyst for her to leave him and walk away. It’s appalling how crimes against women are treated so slightly, yet tax crimes get you banged up for years??

    • I hope she does too. But she has been treated appalling her whole life. She deserves better, that’s for sure

  • Well let’s face it, Stuart Hall has got away with what he did. He’s spent most of his adult life knowing what he did yet fooled his audience into believing he’s a great TV personality.

    As for the Saatchi case, a caution is pointless. But what got me about the whole incident and the face it was in public is that no one intervened. The photos taken were the evidence of course, but people saw what was happening and did nothing.

    CJ x

    • Spot on. Why did nobody say “er, are you okay?” Let’s hope they did and it just wasn’t photographed. BUt I suspect nobody did. And that is terribly sad.

  • The look on her face made it obvious it wasn’t anything other than an attack – and one I’m sure she has sadly suffered before. The worst bit for me, is that no one came to her rescue. The photographer just snapped away and the other diners saw what was going on and said nothing. It appears the police received a complaint on the day, from some else who saw it but did nothing about it until the pictures were made public. So it’s only a crime once the tabloids tell you it is.
    And on the whole hall thing, does it mean that if we solve a murder from the early 60’s we have to hang them? because after all that was the maximum penalty when the crime was committed!
    Total Bollocks – on both cases!

    • And if the tabloids hadn’t photographed it… who knows what else might have happened. Or may have done before.

  • Great post – all very good points and well expressed anger and disbelief. And great comments from Mary too – the both situations are ridiculous and have been handled terribly. I do so hope that we don’t get to see the “happy couple” out and about in the next few weeks, that would be so sad both personally for Nigella and in the message it sends out to all women suffering in silence.

    • They were out again this weekend apparently. The pictures were taken the weekend before. So sad.

  • My first thought on Nigella was how the hell can anybody stand by and watch? And then for the photographer to carry on snapping away after she left the restaurant in tears, what a mindless idiot.
    The worse thing about the Stuart Hall sentence is that it doesn’t offer any credibility to the justice system at all.These girls/ women have to live with the fact they were abused, live a life that shouldn’t of had and he has essentially gotten away with it.What kind of signal does that send out to both abusers and those how are or have been abused? Grrr!

  • Child abuse is far more wide-reaching than many of us realise. There are people from every walk of life – including Police, Solicitors, MPs etc involved. So quite often the dice is loaded when the case goes to court.

    It leaves the victims living their life under a shadow and with constant self worth issues. The Courts don’t seem to take any of that into account. And personally I don’t care if he is ‘too old to be much of a problem now’ which is one argument I’ve seen.

    It’s hardly the friggin point is it. He’s got away with it for years. And he’ll soon be out.
    GRRRRRR.

  • Whilst I still remain in a bemused fug of how on earth this sentencing is “a great result for policing” (I think that’s what the Officer said on the radio) I was slightly more forgiving when he recognised the strength of those who had been abused to come forward.

    As for Saatchi – the talk that Nigella should lose her broadcasting work because of it has so many wrong elements that I can’t quite put it into words.

  • So THATS the excuse they gave for the 15 mth ridiculous sentence for Hall! Crazeeee. Like your other commenters point out, does that mean the death penalty can be reinstated?? I felt so mad about this sentencing, glad you wrote about it. The signal it sends is appalling.

    What I couldn’t believe is that the judge reduced his sentence ‘because he pled guilty’!!! You what? Only on duress after the evidence showed he couldnt’ poss be innocent. Thankfully, so many bodies and charities have complained some official commission is looking into it. Lets hope the sentence gets reviewed. Steam pouring out of ears.

    And as for Saatchi – who is he kidding?

  • First of all I’m so glad you have spoken out.
    Stuart Hall has hurt and damaged children. Fifteen months is an insult.
    My impression is that Saatchi feels no personal responsibility for his behaviour. The look of grief and sadness on Nigella’s face spelt it out. She might not be strong enough at the moment to break her silence.