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  1. ITV Report

Female judge accused of 'victim-blaming' over drunk women rape warning

The judge made the comments as she sentenced a rapist in Manchester.

A female judge who warned women they are at greater risk of being raped if they get drunk has been accused of victim-blaming by a police commissioner.

Lindsey Kushner said women are entitled "to drink themselves into the ground but their "disinhibited behaviour" could put them in danger from men who gravitate towards vulnerable women.

Speaking as she jailed a rapist in Manchester, in her final case before retiring, the judge said: "There is absolutely no excuse and a woman can do with her body what she wants and a man will have to adjust his behaviour accordingly."

But she added that drunk girls and women are "less likely to fight a man with evil intentions off".

Judge Kusher jailed Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes for six years for rape. Credit: GMP
  • Judge: Drunk women "less likely to be believed"

Judge Kushner also said they were also less likely to report an attack because they may not be able to remember what happened.

"If push comes to shove, a girl who has been drunk is less likely to be believed than one who is sober at the time," she added.

"It shouldn't be like that but it does happen and we see it time and time again."

"I beg girls and women to have this in mind," she stressed.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird said the judge's comments were "victim-blaming" and would stop victims coming forward.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "When somebody is raped they feel guilt and shame and they find it very hard to report it.

"If a judge has just said to them 'Well, if you drank you are more likely to get raped, we are not likely to believe you and you have been disinhibited so you've rather brought it on yourself' then that guilt is just going to get worse."

Dame Vera Baird said the judge should have given safety advice to women instead. Credit: PA

The former solicitor-general said the judge should have given advice to help women stay safe instead of implying "it's your fault for having attracted him in the first place".

"She does say 'Yes, you can drink yourself daft and you can use your body how you want but if you do you are more likely to get raped'. Now, I'm sorry, but that is putting responsibility on it," the ex-Labour MP added.