Wednesday, 7 May 2008

You just can't trust Sun headlines...

Well, actually, maybe that's not quite fair in this instance. This earlier post noted the story of Nick Cameron and Danielle Heaney, the latter of whom had said - as paraphrased in the words of a Sun headline - that 'I won't make love to bruv' after she and her half-brother, who had grown up separately from her, had been prosecuted for incest.

The story has now been picked up by ABC News in the United States, who filmed an interview with the couple in Scotland which can be watched on their website. (See also reports in the Scotsman and the Times). The reports suggest that they are living together, although it is unclear whether their relationship is sexual - the interview notes only that it would be unlawful for them to have a sexual relationship.

Interestingly, the ABC News report indicates that Heaney underwent a sterilisation operation after the birth of her first child (to a man from whom she is now divorced). Given that the two most common rationales for criminalising incest - first, that the children of incestuous unions are more likely to suffer from some kind of hereditary abnormality and second, that such relationships are frequently continuations of childhood abuse - would seem to have absolutely no application here, it does raise the question of whether criminalising (and prosecuting) relationships of this nature serves any purpose.

2 comments:

FS said...

The couple also appeared on a Channel Four documentary - "Sleeping with my Sister" (see: http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/C/cutting_edge/sleeping_family/index.html)- earlier in the year. Here, it was suggested the couple were not to continue having sexual intercourse and said they were finding "other ways" to enjoy each other's company...

Anonymous said...

This is not a comment on the above post.

I merely write to draw the following wee snippet to your attention:

http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/636566

It is a variant of 'when a tree falls in the woods and there is no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound?' Whatever the answer, Sheriff Harris' treatment of the police officer witness was IMHO admirable.


Aiberdonian