Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pregnant and jailed? So what?

I am going to take up shouting at the radio professionally. Either that or I'm going to have to stop listening to Newstalk.
Over healing bacon and eggs I was astounded to hear texters to the Brenda Power show expressing sympathy for Una Black, the eight month pregnant woman who stabbed her neighbour to death in a row over a puppy he was minding. And why the sympathy? Because she's pregnant and her sentence is for nine years, which means the child will be taken off her at eighteen months.
'A child should be with it's mother' one texter said. Aye, it probably should, and it probably would had Una Black not taken a knife from her home, gone to her John Malone's home (twice) and stabbed the poor man. The fact that she is now pregnant doesn't change anything about the manner of his death. Justice Paul Carney is correct when he said her background shouldn't matter, I wish more judges were so direct. Her background, her drinking, her use of anti depressants, her being pregnant, none of it should matter except what she did that night, and what she did was arm herself with a knife and stab a man to death. End of.

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77 Comments:

Blogger Twenty Major said...

The baby will be taken off her at eighteen months? Does that mean it lives in prison for that time?

If so it should be taken away from her straight away.

10:14 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Yep. Her grandmother should take it, having the child in prison is ridiculous.

10:17 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Her mother rather.

10:17 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Heard a bit of that alright, and then got annoyed and put on some Tool. Aw yeah.

They should probably distance the child from the mother at an early age as she doesn't sound like she'd be a good influence...

10:30 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I think it's worse letting the child bond with her for 18 months and then taking her away. The best interest of the child is not in this case to be born and raised in prison then forced away from the only life she or he knows.

10:41 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

What a way for the kid to start his/her life - in jail.
At least it can only get better after, eh?
Hopefully, that is.
I agree with your outrage over the sympathy vote... what bullocks.

10:42 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Hopefully indeed.

11:06 a.m.  
Anonymous The Bad Ambassador said...

Never mind that FMC:

She killed the guy in December 2006 which is what? 20 months ago? She is 8 months pregnant!

She knew her day in court was looming large in her future and, with it, the not unsubstantial risk that she may be found guilty and sent to prison.

AND SHE GOT PREGNANT?

I am aware that no method of contraception is guarantees a 100% success rate - but it is certainly plausible that she may have fallen pregnant as part of a cunning strategy to avoid the slammer.

11:14 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

She may well have done, certainly I'd imagine if you knew you had a lengthy prison term coming up you'd do your level best NOT to fall pregnant.

11:21 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Bah, I know a guy who was the driver in a fatal accident that killed 2 young men, his judgement was due (after about a year) and in between the start of the court case and the judgement, he took out a mortgage and got his girlfriend pregnant. . .

11:27 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

?? Honestly, there's nowt as queer as folk.

11:29 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

You do wonder sometimes if some people are born without brains...

11:32 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Didn't he have to disclose his predicament to the relative lender? Wo is going to take over the mortgage if he's in the clink? His pregnant girlfriend?

11:37 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

Oh, probably the child - those kids are young and strong, and if you teach them at an early age....

11:43 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Didn't he have to disclose his predicament to the relative lender? Wo is going to take over the mortgage if he's in the clink? His pregnant girlfriend?

No idea about either.

I suspect either he didn't think about it (he's not the sharpest) or he deliberately thought "ah sure the judge will leave me off now".

11:52 a.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

This is thoroughly depressing.

12:07 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Her going to jail?

12:14 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

She had done a runner to the UK and came back voluntarily, possibly at a time of her choosing. So, pleading guilty, either she figured she had to face the music and get it over with, since she was pregnant. Or, she cynically timed things to get a softer deal in court.

12:30 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

either she figured she had to face the music and get it over with, since she was pregnant. Or, she cynically timed things to get a softer deal in court.

I'd guess the latter to be honest.

12:35 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't understand how anyone would willingly get pregnant if they knew they'd be forced to hand the child over at some point in the near future.

12:39 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

FMC, probably because she assumed she'd get some pansy-ass judge who coo at her cos she was pregnant.

12:54 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm pretty much against all the song and dance about 'circumstances' people play out in court. 'Yer honor I'm from a broken home, I was using drugs at the time, my cat had just died, I was drunk, I was abused, I was agnostic.'
Whatever, most of the tired old excuses trotted out are just that, excuses. I'm also against people of position offering character references for the accused too. So what if he or she was from good stock' I know Twenty did a piece on this recently and he was dead right. Courts should deal with the facts of the case, not the what ifs and maybes and family trees.

1:01 p.m.  
Blogger Liam said...

Being a liberal in the States where there is NO liberal talk radio... yelling at talk radio is an actual hobby.

As for your woman there... yeah you know getting to keep the kid for 18 months is extremely generous. How long does the family of the guy she stabbed get to keep him? Oh wait that's right... HE'S DEAD.

So... take heart. And shout all you want.

1:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the whole thing is utterly horrendous and rejoicing in other people’s misery is equally horrendous. Nothing good will come out of this for anybody. Yes prison is no place for a child but taking a child from its mother as soon as it is born is heartless. The most common result for a new baby born in prison is that they are passed around foster families until either their parent gets out or they are old enough to look after themselves, giving the child the opportunity to bond with it’s mother is the lesser of two evils. Also at least the child is going to be in a monitored secure environment, look at all the stoners, drug dealers, junkies and prostitutes, a law onto themselves and dragging their children up.

Yes the women committed a terrible crime but some things to consider here. Off course the circumstances of her life should be taking into consideration that is the whole reason the judiciary operates under Common Law. The fact that she had a terrible life, that she was suffering from depression and that she had no previous convictions is a huge factor. Jesus we only had an argument a while ago about the fathers, who murder their own children, they are dismissed as being “not well” and glorified. But because a women suffers from depression and murdered somebody we should throw the book at here. Plus it is a well know fact that when a women murders a man she is given a more severe sentence. That misogynist bastard Carney did nothing other than make an example of her.

Secondly what is the benefit of her getting a 9-year sentence? She will go in serve her time, spend the first 18 mths with her child and the latter part of her sentence learning how to be an even better criminal. Irish prisons offer no rehabilitation. Would it not have been better to give her maybe a 4 year sentence where she has her child for the first 18 mths, then let him be placed with a family member so he can visit his mother and ensure that women is given proper treatment, counciling and new skills to cope with life. Would that not be better that our current 9 year plan to create a monster whilst an innocent child suffers.


nonny

1:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Green Ink said...

"Mr Justice Paul Carney said voluntary consumption of alcohol and drugs was no defence to criminal responsibility."
Finally a judge says something that makes sense. I'm sick of reading about people being out of their heads on drink and drugs and not being in control of their actions. It's bullshit.
And I'd say Black thought getting pregnant would alleviate whatever sentence she got. I don't know that the granny should take the child. She obviously made a balls of raising her own daughter.

1:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Nonny, no one is rejoicing, and the child can be raised by her grandmother. What would you suggest as a punishment for stabbing a man to death?
"Also at least the child is going to be in a monitored secure environment, look at all the stoners, drug dealers, junkies and prostitutes, a law onto themselves and dragging their children up."
Hyperbole. A sweeping generalisation and nothing whatsoever to do with the actual case at hand.

Liam, cheers, I'm glad to know it's not just me yelling at the blasted thing.

Green ink, she seemed all right on the radio, bit blinkered but all right. ut there again, who can say. EIther way if she offers to raise the child she should do so from the word go. Awful thing to do to a one and a half year old to take it away from the only parent and environment it has ever known.

1:44 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Jesus we only had an argument a while ago about the fathers, who murder their own children, they are dismissed as being “not well” and glorified.

Actually it was the other way around. if a man does it, he's tarred as a monster, if a woman does it, it's a tragedy.

Plus it is a well know fact that when a women murders a man she is given a more severe sentence. That misogynist bastard Carney did nothing other than make an example of her.

What? First I've heard of that.

1:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"Plus it is a well know fact that when a women murders a man she is given a more severe sentence. That misogynist bastard Carney did nothing other than make an example of her."
Can you back that up? Because I've never head of this fact before now.

1:46 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

just to back up what I was saying ;

(dunno how biased these are but here you go)

canadian statistics on children murdered here

Somewhat closer to home , here

1:54 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh the blogosphere was very quick to play small violins for that father too, even going as far to invent an unrecorded and unverified mental illness to explain away his slaughter of his family.
I don't want to get into finger gender pointing. I just want Nonny to back up her assertion.

2:00 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

Re depressing, the whole thing is depressing.

I haven't read the story, I don't have an opinion on what led her to murder.

But to get pregnant, have a baby in JAIL, then it gets taken away? Ugh.

Here's a firecracker: I think it's deeply selfish not to abort that baby.

2:05 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

ok for the second point :

Women commit about 10 percent of all murders in the U.S., yet receive only about 2 percent of the death sentences and account for about 1 percent of death-row inmates, since their sentences are more often commuted or reversed.

I can't find anything else easily and i really should get some work done!

2:14 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Jaysus, that IS a firecracker.
She could put it up for adoption I suppose, plenty of good people in this country crying out for children and can't get them. Or let her mother raise it.

2:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh work, I've exactly two days left of my break and then next week it's back at it. Until then I intend to lollygag some more.

2:16 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Jo, at 8 months (say 35 weeks) pregnant aborting the baby is a non-runner, comparable to manslaughter.

2:36 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

There's no outcome from this that will let the child have a 'normal' existence, but if she is allowed a reduced sentence it will set a precedent for women to get knocked-up when facing jail time.

2:36 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Nonny, you really do talk some shite. Let me ask you, how do you feel about her if I tell you she regularly smoked cannabis?

2:45 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Morgor, you shouldn't believe anything you read at a MRA website. It's completely false to say that women kill more children than men.

On a side note, FMC, this calls to mind the request from Susan Atkins of the Manson family who is asking to be released from prison because she has brain cancer and has six months to live. That freak doesn't have a chance in hell.

2:55 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's exactly it Medbh, in a nutshell, so what if she has cancer or not? I watched a documentary recently on the Manson Family and the death of Sharon Tate and honestly it made me slightly ill to learn how she was butchered.

3:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off course that is relevant, there are far worse places for a child that in a monitored prison, the arms of a drug deal left to his/her own devices are among them (amongst the other “professions” I mentioned)

Miss Cat this is the man why only gave Wayne O'Donoghue's a four-year sentence and then proceeded to belittle the victim’s mother over her victim impact statements. The man who despite handling 70% of rape cases is renowned for being unduly lenient in sentencing. (http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2003/04/13/story135990641.asp). This is the dirty bastard that gave that man a three year suspended sentence for breaking into a young women’s home and raping her before letting him walk free to get on a train with her. And you are wonder if men are treated with more leniency?

And Twenty shut the fuck up all you can do when challenged about your statements is resort to slagging. It's gas you gave out about Carney yourself.

Nonny

3:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I've given out about Carney on this site myself, but in THIS case I think he's bang on.
You made a claim, "Plus it is a well know fact that when a women murders a man she is given a more severe sentence."

I would like you to back it up.

3:06 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

And Twenty shut the fuck up all you can do when challenged about your statements is resort to slagging. It's gas you gave out about Carney yourself.

I didn't mention the judge for one second, you did.

I'm merely wondering is your opinion of this woman (a killer, by the way) changed at all by the fact she smokes cannabis. I know how you feel about drug users.

3:08 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

No child should spend the first year of its life in jail. If this woman got pregnant deliberately to soften her sentence, she sickens me and she is not fit to mother a child anywhere. I can't know she did, of course, but Jesus, she stabbed a man over a puppy? the woman's not stable, why does anyone think a rush of pregnancy hormones will make her any more stable?

Prison is no place for a child.

In addition, if hse has a baby in prison, how long before she becomes a "celebrity" in there, and young recidivist criminals start accessorizing their future sentences with babies.

3:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny that I thought you listed him as a "dickhead of the year"

Nonny

3:12 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just gave you a perfect example

3:12 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Morgor, you shouldn't believe anything you read at a MRA website. It's completely false to say that women kill more children than men.

Why should I not believe an MRA website?

Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

I'm not even sure what MRA is but I would assume men's rights association or something? (which isn't what i looked up)

3:12 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://twentymajor.net/2007/12/18/dickheads-of-the-year-2007/


Em yes that was it

Nonny

3:13 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

What the fuck are you on about, Nonny? How is me mentioning Carney in a post from last year relevant to what I just said?

3:14 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's not an example at all. If you can't back that earlier claim up Nonny just say so, it's fine, there's no shame in being wrong. I'm regularly wrong. Regularly corrected. That's the way it works sometimes.

Sam, it's an awful start to life isn't it? Poor little mite.

Right I'm off to the gym, later.

3:18 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny, try and stick to whatever argument you were making rather than side tracking into one-upmanship, it just makes you seem unwilling to concede a point.

3:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twenty you know he hands out ridiculous sentences, you are just a lick arse.


Miss Cat, that is an example a man murders a boy he gets 4 yrs and this women gets 9 yrs. You want the trusty statistics. I will be back.

Nonny

3:31 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Nonny, Wayne O'Donoghue's case was manslaughter not murder.

3:35 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Nonny, I asked you how you felt about the woman being a canabis smoker. I didn't mention Carney at all, you did.

Or do you need to me to make it any clearer?

Note how I'm choosing to ignore your 'personal abuse'.

3:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

The mantra "you do the crime,you serve the time" should apply equally to men and women, pregnancy or not. Courts are often lenient with pregnant women so she may have thought this was a way out for her. As for having the baby in prison, with a murderess mother and role model like her the child will probably just be having an earlier start at prison life. What chance has a child born to someone like that of having a normal moral compass? Children can, and do, rise above a poor background, but a criminal one? I'm not sure about that.

3:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

Nonny, As they say here in the capital, are you completely off your box? This murder was premeditated, it wasn't spur of the moment. She went there with the intention of killing. You can't really think she should be let out after 4 years to look after a child.....surely not? Why not give the child a break and let it have the chance of adoption rather than spending the first 18months of its life in prison? Depression in this case is not a good enough excuse to hide behind regardless of previous convictions or none.

4:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sterilisation , that's the solution. Stop them from breeding and reproducing their kind. And yes, I do believe she is sub human.

4:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nonny, you obviously haven't done much research on prisons. There is easily as much drug abuse behind bars as there is on the street. So, yeah, let the kid hang out for 18 months with murderers, thieves and drug addicts. GREAT start!

Orfy

5:01 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article597184.ece

6:16 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That might work for a short sentence Docky, but this woman is going away from up to 9 years.

6:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have looked into this a great deal. I could only find articles like this http://www.cfj.ie/content/view/262 which suggest more women are being sent to the pen. There are also lots of articles like those listed below to suggest it does happen. However I could not find any literature specific to Ireland. I asked two people this evening one agreed but said it depended on the crime and was not sure about murder and the other guy said that yes historically this has been true but is not sure of specific statistics. I have always assumed this to be the case. They may well be some readily available statistics but none that I have found today. It will take some time to assess the accuracy of my assertion. I will however endeavour to find out. Not to prove a point mind, I don’t mind being wrong but I just really want to know. Curiosity kills me.


Nonny

10:05 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Fair enough.

10:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nonny, there is alot of statistics on this for the UK which may/or may not help your argument, the fawcett society have done alot of research, but in essence if we took the UK stats:
Women are more likely than men to be cautioned instead of being charged.
Women are more likely than men to admit their offences and to be arrested for less serious offences.
Women are more likely than men to be discharged or given a community sentence for serious offences.
Women are less likely to be fined or sentenced to custody. In the case of mothers, sentencers sometimes feel that fines and custody penalise their children rather than just the offender.
Women sentenced to custody receive shorter sentences on average than men, but this partly reflects the differences in types of offences.

However, the legal position is changing , with the insistence of equality across genders sentencing has become harsher on women in recent years with populations in prison increasing as much as 175 percent.

9:52 a.m.  
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