find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
A fine line between pleasure and pain

A fine line between pleasure and pain

A Perth barrister failed to convince a judge that a man who was repeatedly tasered by two police officers could have been crying out in ecstasy...

Karen Vernon from Francis Burt Chambers represented senior constables Aaron Grant Strahan and Troy Gregory Tomlin, who were found guilty on Tuesday (21 January) of unlawfully assaulting a man named Kevin Spratt in the East Perth watchhouse in 2008.

The policemen tasered Spratt nine times in just over a minute after he refused to be strip-searched, which Vernon argued was a justifiable amount of force given Spratt’s alleged violent behaviour, reported ABC News.

Claiming self-defence is not unusual in police brutality cases.

But this case took a bizarre turn when Vernon was questioned by Perth Magistrate Richard Bromfield about Spratt’s screams of anguish, which were captured on a CCTV camera. Vernon argued that people respond differently to pain, and that the screams could have been out of joy or laughter.

Bold move to accuse the victim of being a masochist...

Vernon’s punt didn’t pay off, however, with Bromfield rejecting her defence.

Even so, Folklaw is concerned that Vernon tried to argue the point in the first place. Using her reasoning, couldn’t anyone who causes harm argue that they thought the victim was enjoying it?

To Folklaw’s dismay, this defence actually succeeded in a Swedish court recently. A rape suspect was freed this month (11 January) after he convinced a court that a woman’s screams of protest were part of a kinky game – even though she had said she did not want sex, reported the New York Daily News.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

A fine line between pleasure and pain
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Nov 16 2017
From lawyer in law firm to senior governance professional
Promoted by Governance Institute of Australia As a law graduate, Kate Griffiths never imagined...
marriage equality
Nov 16 2017
Legislation the next hurdle for marriage equality
Lawyers have underscored the importance of ensuring same-sex marriage legislation does not limit ant...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...