Love the sinner not the sin!

There have been two high profile sex offenders in the news this weekend

  • Graham Capill, a man of the cloth, father of 10, and with one conviction
  • Mr X, has never sought fame and glory, has a series of convictions

The difference?
Mr C’s friends are visible and outspoken, reporting is almost apologetic, it’s not really a crime, it doesn’t really matter. Mr C pleaded guilty when his brave victim spoke out. How many other little girls and their parents have opted for silence?
Mr X has no friends or enemies speaking out, just an outraged community that he has been allowed to move into their midst. Well not allowed, just no one cared enough to prevent it.

So why do I think Graham Capill gets special treatment? Here’s an example…

Graham Capill is a decent man and a sad wretch. You can scarcely commit a worse crime than paedophilia in this day and loaded age; our fear and loathing of any kind of child sex abuse inspires a special kind of repugnance.

The article talks about the “loaded age” as if we should be ashamed of our attitudes. There is no mention that the man had preached about the sin of paedophilia, had talked of the bible as being full of filth, of the impact on the child and her family. About the impact not just of his offending but of the media circus because the offender had a high profile. Anything about Capill’s chance of reoffending? No, nothing along those lines.

What about the chap who has tried to move to Blackball? Perhaps because we know less about him the focus is on what we do know. He is deemed a high risk of reoffending, he isn’t wanted in the town. People will drive him out. No talk of him being a “decent man and sad wretch”, no mention that the man has any other characteristics at all! And why? could it be that he has no friends in high places, no charisma, no power?

I know of another man with a penchant for teenage boys who was released and resettled without a word in the media. Plenty at the time of his conviction but nothing after. Was his profile high enough then to be interesting but he’s not ‘bad enough’ to be interesting now. Lets hope his lack of newsworthiness stays that way as his grandsons grow older!

Personally I side with the people of Blackball, these people have to live somewhere but “not in my backyard” so it comes down to housing them where the people don’t fight so hard. You can do your time but with some crimes rehabilitation doesn’t seem to be effective, the risk doesn’t seem to dissipate. I don’t envy those who have to balance the rights of the good with the necessities of the bad.

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Sarah King Written by:

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2 Comments

  1. May 22, 2005

    It seems that I wasn’t alone in my outrage. And more is being made of the levels of “supervision” these people are under. As if, how do you move from one city to a small town without anyone noticing?

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