Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 4 April 2005

Life Sentence In Gay Torture Killing

(Note: Please see "NB/" at end)

Damien Brutus has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal torture and murder of Peter Greenfield, 44, at his flat in Croydon (south London). Mr Greenfield was a gay man and the manner of his murder, and the brutality of the torture which led directly to it, leaves no doubt at all, none, that this was a most despicable homophobic hate crime. Naturally the perpetrator has pleaded mental illness. Whether there is any validity to this claim or not, or whether Brutus is simply an evil brute, I am not competent to judge. Nevertheless I hope that in his case 'life' does mean life and that he will never be considered for parole - but in this country one can, unfortunately never be sure.

When I last wrote about this murder last December, I remarked, as I had before too, that I had seen or heard no mention of it in the mainstream media, but only in the gay media and a very local newspaper in south London (on the web, of course). This remains the case to this day. It is extremely curious that this brutal slaying has not been mentioned once, not once, in the mainstream media. Today I have noticed articles about several other murders in the UK News section of the BBC website; it is not as if they ingore all murders. If it has been mentioned anywhere, and I have missed it, I shall be glad to know of it so I can set the record straight. I think the seeming studied indifference to this crime in the mainstream media is more indicative than any words can be of the distance we still have to travel in this country before gays are recognised as being a worthwhile segment of society, rather than simply people whom it is necessary to tolerate. At least justice has been served in this case - the nature of the crime was so blatant that it would have been difficult not to see it for what it is.

 (NB/ Added on Monday 25th November 2013) This article is now closed to further comments. Anyone who objects to what is written here can always email me (see the 'Feedback' section in the right column), provided their objections are accompanied by verifiable factual information, not mere assertions (in which case they will be ignored).

4 comments:

  1. You can find more info at http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article105363.ece

    I trust that the Sun Newspaper is sufficiently "mainistream"!!!!!11

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  2. Hello 'Nandi'

    I stand corrected. However:

    - better late than never both for your comment here, 4 years and 4 months after I last wrote on this issue, also on the Sun's tardy reporting of this case, which originated in April of the previous year with his life sentence conviction occurring in December of that year, 'only' 4 months before the Sun chose to write about it. As a matter of interest, did it include this story in its print edition and if so on what page?

    I stand by my original remarks; the mainstream media simply wasn't interested in this story (anyone can have a 'reporter' scan court reports, rather than going out and getting stories) and chose to highlight the alleged mental illness of the perpetrator with only one mention of the fact that the victim was gay.

    I'm unimpressed with the way the Sun ended its brief report, too:
    "The Old Bailey heard Brutus had earlier been 'in tears' at nearby Mayday Hospital when turned away. "
    - basically suggesting that the murderer's actions were 'pay-back' for his poor treatment at the hands of the NHS. What, exactly, has this got to do with the fact that he then went on to slay someone who just happened to be gay and against whom he later used a false allegation that his victim was a 'paedophile'?

    Basically I'm unimpressed with you Nandi as well, as if your anonymous Google profile is supposed to mean something. Are you in fact the 'reporter' who wrote the story? Amusingly I note that a Google search for 'Damien Brutus' this morning brought up my article at the top, with the Sun article second and a Times article fifth. It seems Google really does know which links are of prime relevance. Mine, in this instance.

    Finally, the Times article includes the story in its 'News in Brief' section, does not mention that the victim was gay, does mention that the killer was a 'drug addict' and that the victim had wrongly been accused by him of being a 'paedophile'; the whole subtext of this report is that the killer was a victim of his drug addiction and that if the victim had in fact been a 'paedophile' that this would somehow have been some mitigation for his crime. Pretty deplorable stuff from a so-called 'quality' newspaper, but it's owned by Murdoch so what can you expect.

    Goodbye Nandi.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have read your comments and beilive you couldn't be more wrong!! I was in Belmarsh with Damian Brutus before his trial started and on my release sat through his trial at the old bailey. Damian is a very educated but troubled man and in no way homophobic as you are trying to suggest. I don't think it is right for me to comment on his case. But this was definitely not a homophobic hate crime.
    His trial and sentencing was covered in the sun newspaper in print at the time.

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  4. I have published the first of your two comments only, as the second seems to repeat it more or less verbatim; I don't agree with what you write, but as this is a more or less free country you have a right to your opinion, just as I do.

    I wrote what I wrote based on information to hand at the time; the only contemporary media report was (I recall) in a local Croydon newspaper and none of the national press covered it until some time later so far as I could see at the time (and now after extensive searching). Until there are concrete reasons to change what I wrote it will remain as is - naturally I will be happy to correct any errors of fact that are brought to my notice.

    ReplyDelete