Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When bear-hugs go bad

See, this is exactly what happens when I leave writing the blog to the last minute: I get scooped.

In response to a Herald article about the assault of a 19-year-old Navy cadet by a 44-year-old petty officer, I would have pointed out the interesting contrast between headline and the content of the story:

The 19-year-old complainant, who has name suppression, was surprised to see Waa - her instructor at naval reserve unit HMS Olphert - when he turned up at her Wellington flat on November 2 last year. She let him in and he asked for a coffee so they went into the kitchen. He then asked to see her bedroom.

She instead showed him the lounge. But after he asked again she "relented" and they went into her room.

Prosecutor Flight Lieutenant Randall Walker said Waa lay on her bed and discussed how to tie knots. She practised on her dressing gown cord and tied a knot around her wrist. Waa then pulled on the dressing gown cord, which tightened as she tried to step away. Waa then gave her a bear hug that "lifted her off the ground".

"As he left he went to kiss her but she resisted his advance. She was visibly upset by these events," Flight Lieutenant Walker said.

The headline, of course, was "Navy man falls from grace over bear hug". Oh, come on, it was just a bear hug! It's not like an man in a position of authority sought to use it to sexually assault a young woman. Just a bear hug!

Yes, I would have done all this if only Julie at The Hand Mirror hadn't done it first. So I just have this to contribute: