David Osborne: 'It can be very traumatic... but then I only have a limited amount of sympathy'

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David Osborne: 'It can be very traumatic... but then I only have a limited amount of sympathy'

David Osborne, the barrister, author and public speaker who sparked fury with a blog post that said men should be cleared of rape if the victim claimed to be too drunk to consent to sex, joined Headline London to discuss his comments. 

Mr Osborne, 71, wrote in a post entitled “She Was Gagging For It” that "Consent is consent, blind drunk or otherwise, and regret after the event cannot make it rape.”

He then went on to write: "If the complainant (I do not refer to her as the victim) was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, when she was “raped”, this provides the accused with a complete defence. End of story and a victory for fairness, moderation and common sense!”

His blog purports to be “witty, incisive comment on the law today.” 

His comments provoked outrage and widespread condemnation.

Mr Osbourne, who was last involved in a rape trial three years ago, now concentrates on civil law. 

He was joined in the discussion by journalist Abigail Wilkinson. 

The two locked horns in the debate. Mr Osborne said: "I accept that it can be very traumatic for the girl, whatever is the truth of the matter."

He then addded "But then I only have a limited amount of sympathy for that because the law as it stands at the moment, if you're convicted of rape, even a first time offender is looking at four or five years imprisonment and that's a long time to take out of a young life so I don't have any apologies for keeping the system as it is."

Ms Wilkinson replied: "I feel like you don't understand the effect of rape on a victim - it can make them scared to go out for life."

She also told Mr Osborne she thought he was arguing against "imaginary problem" that "doesn't reflect reality". 

Ms Wilkinson said: "The law is not being changed - no-one is trying to change the law.

"What the law says is, you can be so drunk you're just not capable of consenting." 

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