Victim blaming Judge says Karen Buckley made herself ‘vulnerable’
He linked to Karen’s murder in another case
A controversial judge has sparked outrage after he said Karen Buckley was murdered because she “put herself in a vulnerable position” by drinking.
District Judge Nigel Cadbury made the comments the day after the 24 year old’s body was discovered on a farm near Glasgow last week.
He was speaking as he sentenced Leanne Roberts, 21, for assaulting a woman outside a bar.
Judge Cadbury, 58, said he found it “very, very worrying” young women drank so much they couldn’t remember who they were with.
He even went on to compare the situation to the murder of Miss Buckley even though there is no suggestion she was drunk on the night she was killed.
Speaking at Worcester Magistrates Court last Friday, Judge Cadbury said: “I find it incredible young people can get so drunk they don’t even know who they’re with.
“One only has to think about the horrible situation in Glasgow to see how serious this could have been.
“It’s very, very worrying how young girls put themselves in such very, very vulnerable positions.”
Women’s campaigners yesterday slammed Judge Cadbury, accusing him of making the “perpetrators of crimes invisible”.
Sarah Green, Acting Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “District Judge Nigel Cadbury seems to be perpetuating the idea young women drinking alcohol put themselves at risk of attack.
“Even if it is not meant, this implies sexual violence is in some way inevitable and it is women’s responsibility to avoid it.
“It makes the perpetrators of these crimes all but invisible.
“We have to get beyond this focus on women’s behaviour regarding rape and shift it to the men who choose to commit these crimes.
“Because violence against women is not inevitable.
“We must start asking – who commits rape and why, what motivates them, who do they target, why are they often confident they will get away with it, and what can we do to deter it.”
The court heard married mum-of-one Roberts, of Ombersley, punched a woman outside Lloyds Bar in Worcester in an unprovoked attack on March 22.
She was sentenced to a six month community order with a six week curfew and ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim and a £60 surcharge.
Judge Cadbury told her: “There is a drinking problem because she (Roberts) can’t remember what she did.
“That is a problem. I am sure you are now aware of how vulnerable you made yourself.”
The court heard Roberts was “clearly very affected by alcohol” when she came across the victim had been out celebrating her parent’s wedding anniversary with family.
Prosecutor Owen Beale said: “She was swaying and bouncing off doors.
“The victim was just saying goodbye when Mrs Roberts appeared next to her and punched with a clenched fist.
“Roberts said she had been out with friends had had two cans of cider before she went out, when she had shots of sambuca and cocktails.
“The next thing she remembered was being at the charge desk at the police station.
“She didn’t remember anything after about 10.30pm and couldn’t understand why she would have done it.”
The court heard the victim, who suffered a bruise to her cheek and felt unable to go to her work at a wedding venue until it had healed, had never met Roberts before.
Barry Newton, defending, said Roberts, who was cautioned in February 2014 for hitting a barman, said: “It’s self-evident from mixing drinks she got herself extremely drunk.
“She was very sorry for her actions.”
The case was heard less than a week after Miss Buckley disappeared in the early hours of April 12 sparking a huge police search.
Her body was discovered at High Craigton Farm on the outskirts of Glasgow on April 16.
Miss Buckley’s friends have told police she had a few drinks but was not drunk.
Alexander Pacteau, 21, has appeared in court charged with her murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Services have been held in Miss Buckley’s home town of Cork in Ireland and a vigil in Glasgow’s George Square last week attracted 300 people.
It is not the first time the judge, who lives in a sprawling £600,000 farm cottage in Abbots Morton, has made controversial comments in court.
In April 2013 he refused to sentence a thief who stole heating oil form a village hall because he feared he would “overreact”.
He told the court his wife sat on a village hall committee and he felt “very strongly about this sort of behaviour”.