Re-Introduction of Judicial Corporal Punishment in England

by Davidf (Click for Author's Home Page)<>

Nobody really believed Judicial Corporal Punishment would be re-introduced in the UK. Courts had been deprived of the the power to order the birch, in the 1940s, and it's use in prisons had been forbidden in the 1960s. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, having internal self government had retained the right to use the birch, but had been forced to abandon it's use in the 1970s under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, corporal punishment had been abolished in Schools, State Schools in the 1980s, and Private Schools in the 1990s. Survey after survey indicated that a large majority of the population would like to see Corporal Punishment re-introduced, but no government had supported such a measure - that is until the election of 2005.

When the Prime Minister first announced an election, it was generally expected Labour would be returned with a reduced, but still substantial majority. It was true that many people felt that after eight years of Labour rule, there was considerable dissatisfaction about the poor state of many Public Services, but the Conservatives did not appear to offer any real hope of any improvement. Labour had majority of over 150, in the House of Commons, and this was a mountain which seemed impossible to scale. That was until the Conservatives introduced their proposals for law and order. Briefly these involved Withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, re-introducing corporal punishment in schools, and re-introducing the birch for offenders up the the age of 21. Withdrawing from the European Convention was popular because many people thought it had gone far beyond what was intended when it was signed in 1945. It's aim had been to prevent the return of a Nazi style dictatorship in Europe, but over the years it had ruled on a number of items that many people felt sould be outside of it's jurisdiction.

The thinking behind the re-introduction of the birch was mainly concerned with teenage, particularly football hooliganism. This had become a hot issue in 2005. England had been banned from taking part in the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany because of persistent trouble with fans. This had caused massive disappointment. During the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea, England had reached the final, narrowly losing on penalties to Brazil. Hopes were high that England would win the 2006 final in Germany, but, thanks to the behaviour of their fans, these hopes had now been dashed. Perhaps becuse of this, The Conservative Party won the 2005 General Election with a majority of 47.

The Government had little difficult in withdrawing from the European Convention, or re-inroducing corporal punishment in schools. Re-introducing the Birch was more difficult. Critics claimed the proposals had not been properly thought through. It was said that the Act would never work for the following reasons.

1. Any young person sentenced to be birched would appeal, and no judge would agree to an offender being birched if a considerable length of time had elapsed.

2. The British Medical Association had made it clear that they would not agree to any of their members being present to witness the birching.

3. The punishment applied only to boys.

4. The punishment was mainly designed to reduce hooliganism amongst football fans. Even if it succeeded in this aim, and England were allowed to compete again in the World Cup finals, the act could not be used against fans who caused trouble abroad.

5. Birched youths would become heros, and would be able to make large sums of money by selling their stories to the TV or Newspapers. The case involving Michael Fay, the American caned in Singapore in 1994 was a case in point.

When the legislation was debated in Parliament, it became clear that, in fact the Government had thought things through very thoroughly. On the first point, the offender would, after being charged, be given an option. Either appear before a Magistrate and have his case dealt with in court, or elect to receive the birch. For Youth's under 18 this option would have to be exercised by a parent or guardian, Youth's 18 or over could make the choice themselves. If the birch was chosen, no record of the offence would be kept. If the choice was to go to court, a statutory minimum sentence of 6 months in a detention centre would be given. On the second objection, it was agreed it did discriminate against boys, but it was pointed out that by far the majority of hooliganism involved boys. However, if in the future it was considered necessary, the act would be amended to apply to girls as well. The matter of a Doctor attending was easily dealt with. Any body could volunteer to witness a birching, all that would be required was to attend a training Course approved by the Home Office. The Home Secterary acknowledged that crimes committed abroad was a problem, but agreement had ben reached with a number of European Countries that any English fan arrested abroad could be tried in England. Finally it was accepted that a birched boy may try to be a hero, and at first might succeed. However, as time went on, and birchings became more common place, any interest by the media would quickly wane.

In the event, the act was passed with little difficulty. A number of Opposition MPs actually defied their party orders and voted for the act.

Lee Roberts was waiting in a Police Cell to be called for his punishment. The 19 year old youth had been arrested the previous day for football hooliganism. Like a number if his mates, he had drunk too much, and got into a fight. When the Police had arrived, he had resisted arrest, and punched a Policeman in the face. Fortunately the Officer had not been badly hurt, but Lee had been arrested, taken to the Police Station and charged. He had spent an uncomfortable night in the cells, and was now facing up to the consequences of his action.

In accordance with the new act, Lee had been given an option. Either appear in court the following day, or opt to receive the birch. It had been decided that if the latter option was chosen, Lee would receive nine strokes. He was in no doubt what a birching would entail. The birch itself was like a multiple cane, consisting of three rods about 3 feet long tied together. The strokes would be applied to his bare buttocks. 9 strokes of the birch was like receiving 27 strokes of the cane. Athough Lee did not relish this prospect, he knew he had little choice. Six months in a detention centre was too awful to contemplate. He would spend the day doing hard labour, mainly outside in all weathers. Many of the inmates were tough guys, bullying and rape were commonplace. Not only that, Lee knew when he was released things would be bad. He had left school at 16 with low grades in his GCSEs, but had managed to get a job as a junior clerk with an insurance firm. He had done well, and become an expert with computers. The firm was so pleased with his work, they had agreed to sponsor him for a course in computer studies at a local university. Lee knew that all this would end if he had a criminal record. In addition, he faced being banned for life from watching a professional football game. In view of this, he had agreed to receive the birch, and signed the consent form.

"Lee Roberts, we are ready for you," said the Policeman. Lee's wrists were held behind his back, and a pair of handcuffs were attached.

"Is that necessary?" asked Lee. "I don't intend to cause any trouble."

"Maybe so," replied the Policeman, "but I am not prepared to take the risk. Now come this way."

Lee was led down a corridor, and into another cell. One entering the cell, the first thing he saw was a low table, about four feet off the ground. Five Police Officers were present, one was holding the birch. However, what caused Lee the greatest concern was the presence of a girl, he judged to be about 21 years old. Under normal circumstances Lee would have been delighted to have met her, she was certainly a very attractive looking person, but these were not normal circumstances.

"What is she doing here?" he asked.

"She is the qualified medical person, and she is here to witness your punishment," replied a Police Officer.

"But she's a girl!" replied Lee in horror.

"Yes she is, but the Act does not specify that the Medical Officer has to be male. She happens to be the one available on the rota. Don't worry, she is a qualified nurse, and she has done this task befor. Yours is not the first male bare buttocks she has seen!"

Lee was taken the table, and he felt the belt and zip on his jeans being undone. His jeans were then pulled down to his ankles. He then felt his shirt being lifted up, and his designer Calvin Klein briefs were pulled down. Lee was prould of his Calvin Klein pants, he thought they made him look _s_e_x_y. He didn't have time to think about this now, however, as he was bent forward over the table, his body was strapped down, one strap at the base of his spine, and one at the top. His wrists were released, and his arms were pulled over his head, and his wrists placed into two restraining cuffs, attached to the table. Everything was now in place. Lee felt very degraded, realising his bare backside was now exposed to several strangers, one of them a woman.

"Are you ready?" said a Police Officer.

"Yes," replied Lee.

"Right then. Officer in your own time."

"After a few seconds, Lee heard a swish of air, then a loud crack as the birch struck his naked buttocks. After a short while, he felt a searing pain. It was much worse than he was expecting. "YEEEEOW!" shouted Lee, as tears started to well up in his eyes.

"One!" shouted a voice. Another swish, then another crack.

"YEEEOW!" cried Lee again as a second stroke his buttocks just below the first.

"Two!" shouted a voice.

Strokes three, four, five and six were delivered in the same way, but strokes seven, eight and nine landed where previous strokes had struck.

After the nineth, the strapps were released, and Lee stood up. He was turned around, and made to face his audience. He knew his private parts were on full view to everybody, but he no longer cared. All he was aware of was the pain he was suffering.

Lee was helped to a couch, where he was placed face down. Everybody left the rom, except the Nurse. She produced a gauze and started dabbing antiseptic in the cuts on Lee's bottom.

"Why did you volunteer for this?" asked Lee.

"In the first place it was for the money. Now I rather enjoy it."

"You mean you enjoy watching boys being birched?"

"Yes I do, and I particularly like seeing the birch marks on their buttocks. Do you have a girlfriend, Lee?"

"Yes I do," replied Lee.

"Will you let her see your marks?"

"I don't know, I havn't thought about it."

"I suggest you do. I think you might be in for a pleasant surprise!"

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