Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A man's world

I don't often blog about crime stories, but this one really disgusts me. TV star Craig Busch was today convicted of assault over an incident in which he came home to find his partner in bed with another couple:

In the ensuing struggle, which saw Busch attempt to pull his partner from the bed, the victim suffered a number of injuries that have resulted in ongoing medical treatment and which have left her unable to work.

The injuries included swelling and bruising to her torso and fractures to the lumbar and rib fractures.

A second charge of assault was laid after Busch, the following morning, attempted to manhandle the victim into her car and drive her off the property.

His penalty? Nothing. Despite Busch being a repeat offender - he had been convicted of assaulting another woman in 1991 - and despite him causing serious injury and robbing the victim of her livelihood, the judge thought the assault was a "human and inevitable" reaction to the circumstances - in other words, that "the bitch deserved it" (though an eminent judge would never be so crass as to state his misogyny so honestly). He thus imposed no penalty, saying that the convictions were punishment enough.

It really is a man's world...


I agree that he should be serving time for the assault.

Having said that, what makes you think the judge was motivated by misogyny, rather than contempt for adulterers in general?

Posted by Anonymous : 5/23/2007 01:38:00 PM

He's been convicted of maltreating animals as well hasn't he?

Posted by Rich : 5/23/2007 02:05:00 PM

What gets me is the line 'However, Judge Michael Lance agreed with Mr Haig that Busch's assaults were a "human and inevitable" reaction to seeing his partner in bed with other people.'

Judge Michael Lance seems to have a very low opinion of humans, and I find it kind of sad that he feels that Mr Busch is feral enough that he can't be expected to control himself. Does raise the question of course about if somebody that genuinely seems to have so little self control as to lash out violently when stressed should be allowed on the street.

Well, that's the nicest viewpoint I can put on this, I'm inclined to think there may be a chunk of misogyny in the nasty 'a woman belongs to a man' viewpoint so much of society seems to have.

What really annoys me is that I'm guessing this probably won't hurt Mr Busch's public profile much either, though I'll confess, I've never heard of him in my life, I assume he's famous somewhere.

The other sad thing is that if it wasn't the 'Lion Man' involved in this, this probably wouldn't have been considered worthy of making the press at all. Note that the story is 'famous person arrested' not 'guy gets let off for no good reason'.

Yeah, I'm annoyed.


Posted by Tamahori : 5/23/2007 02:16:00 PM

Misogyny is a bit of a stretch.

If a wife comes home and finds hubby bonking in the bedroom, pretty sure the resultant bruising and loss of functionality will be classified as "inevitable and human".

Posted by unaha-closp : 5/23/2007 02:42:00 PM

Unaha: This wasn't "bruising and loss of functionality". This was a serious assault resulting in multiple broken bones and an inability to work for at least four months. While I'm not one of the "hang 'em high" brigade, even I think that people who do that sort of thing should receive some punishment - and they certainly shouldn't have a judge effectively excuse their crime.

Nice of you to try and minimise it, though.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/23/2007 03:04:00 PM

Or is it because he's on t.v. he doesn't get jail time?

Like other people on t.v. like H Clark, DP Pope, T Field, P Hodgson, D Samuels.

Did I miss any?

Posted by Anonymous : 5/23/2007 03:18:00 PM


While we're in agreement on the fact that the judge was wrong, I'm still failing to see any evidence of misogyny in his actions.


You left Stallone off your list ... but yes, it does very much seem like a case of 'one law for them, & another for us.'

Posted by Anonymous : 5/23/2007 03:37:00 PM

If you've been following the case - meaning you'd have to have known who was involved, despite the suppression order - you'd have seen allegations of even worse.

The police chose not to offer evidence on charges relating to the other actions (plea bargain?). I bet they're regretting that a bit now.

Posted by Russell Brown : 5/23/2007 05:46:00 PM

Russell - I think the allegations were in the article - the reason no evidence was given for the other charges was the woman didn't feel she could testify, for her own health.

(I've been following this and I still don't know who the lion man is).

I've got no comment on this case except for swear words, although I'll try later tongiht.

Posted by Maia : 5/23/2007 06:50:00 PM

Can I be first to request that the judge be arraigned for sedition, on the basis that his actions bring the crown into disrepute?

I love arcane laws used to produce stupid outcomes, and this is a good example of that which should lead to an even better one. Can judges still be hanged for sedition?

Posted by Moz : 5/23/2007 06:56:00 PM

Moz: No. We abolished the death penalty in 1989.

(And I prefer the seditious question approach: "if a judge brings the administration of justice into disrepute by being a misogynistic arsehole, is it seditious?" Fortunately, the law is being repealed, so we won't have to find out).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/23/2007 07:12:00 PM

Misogyny? Considering the number of sportsmen who get in drunken brawls, only to have judges piously intone that public exposure is humiliation enough, blah blah blah... And I'd argue there is credible evidence that spousal abuse and family violence perpetrated by women is significant under-reported, and the media and judiciary seem much more willing to contort themselves to extenuate such abuse if charges are brought.

I'm inclined to agree with Duncan Bayne. Misogyny, no, but not much equality before the law either.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 5/24/2007 08:34:00 AM

Unsettling, but playing with Big Cats in NZ was always a bit odd.

ANZAC day attracks a protest of women against rape and violence towards women during war.
Fair call and a valid point.
I would like they remeberence of family killed not be protested as a political action.
Can a different day, like St Barbaras' Day (a complex figure and now decannonised so maybe secular?)be a call to rally for the women involed?


Posted by Michael : 5/24/2007 10:29:00 AM

"human and inevitable"

The judge's claim that the assault was "inevitable" is bollocks. Finding my girlfriend in bed with someone else didn't cause me to break anyone's bones. (It did cause me to flunk the exam I had an hour later, and to dump her, but that's different.)

As for "human": controlling your urge to do violence is part of being human - part of why people aren't just animals. Being angry might be a reason for assault, but it isn't an excuse.

I sometimes wonder what century our judges are from.

Posted by Mr Wiggles : 5/24/2007 10:45:00 AM

I understood he had to pay $8,000 to his former partner and that the other couple (in bed) contributed to her injuries by trying to pull her back. Then there was the news ite where a woman who had her leg amputated accidentally by her surgeon, got $6,000 compo from ACC. Good comparison on our values don't you think?

Posted by Anonymous : 5/24/2007 03:58:00 PM

A very poor attitude and reasoning from the judge ........... a bit like when they work out their expense claims sometimes.

The piss poor thing about judge lance's "human and inevitable" comments in response to this serious bone breaking assult is that it sends a very bad messsage to those who might stoop to violence.

In reality this is a 'violence lite' version of the recent murder/manslaughter case where a male stoved his partners head in because she was having an affair and sending sexual texts to her lover.

In that case the killer was convicted of manslaughter despite the murderous level of extreme life ending violence.

I believe the french have recinded their 'crime of passion' laws and defence .......... here in New Zealand we seem to be using a version of them to excuse violence on partners, and its mainly men who commit the serious assults.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/24/2007 06:58:00 PM