Glad to know that the Cottesloe artist Derek Roach has received a lot of support after being fined a grand for his ill-considered attempt at disciplining a local kid who was annoying the crap out of him. As well as the fine -- an inordinate punishment IMO -- the meeja have run with this hard, and the poor bastard had his mug plastered across the front page of the local Oz yesterday.
Hacks looking for a juicy angle have beat up this idea that his case was spookily reminiscent of the novel and subsequent TV drama The Slap. But that's way too long a bow, I reckon. It's debatable whether what Roach did even constituted slapping the kid in the first place. And in the show, as I recall, the sprog in question got a fair whack across the bonce. (Actually, I think even that was pretty mild. I would have grabbed the cricket bat the tike was wielding and clubbed him repeatedly. One: 'cause he deserved it. Two: 'cause he was demon hippy spawn. And three: 'cause he was part of another lavishly produced, but ultimately overrated ABC production that I had to bloodywell pay for!)
But back to the real world (er, if that's what you call it): While it seems that Roach had perhaps overreacted a little, the kid's mother's determination to press charges is what stands out for me. (One story I read said the plods were reluctant to charge Roach, but she was adamant that this be done.) Can understand someone being really angry, and giving him a spray, but to maintain the rage so long and hard seems OTT in my humble opinion. (As far as I can tell, she didn't witness the so-called "slap" so how did she know how severe it was?)
And speaking of maintained rage: I read somewhere that she's a law student. Now, I may be way off target here, but I'm gettin' a picture of a certain kind of law student, if you know what I mean ... Look, maybe she's actually a power dressing, hard-faced bitch who dreams of representing Big Tobacco. But I reckon it's much more likely that she's a lefty, social justice type determined to set the world to rights; the kind of brimming bolshie who grew up idolizing prosecutor Ronald Wilson (nicknamed "The Avenging Angel") and now dreams of being the next Jennifer Robinson.
Whatever she's like, it's pretty much impossible to know for sure. That's 'cause although she's been a major player in this little soapie, she's been pretty much invisible. No vision of her leaving the courts; no interviews (at least as far as I know). And those things always seems to happen in stoushes of this kind. After a decision is handed down both the accused and accuser get to have their say to the meeja vocally and in print. (And they're often equally keen to do so, which is understandable, of course.)
So the fact that she hasn't done this seems quite significant. It implies one of two things: Either she deeply regrets her decision. Or she's a vengeful coward who's been happy to unleash the plods of hell on an old bloke and savoured the spectacle from a distance.
Either way, for her, this is a rolled gold PR disaster. She should engage in some damage control quick smart, I reckon. If the first case above applies she should publicly say as much and apologize to Roach. And if she still believes he got what was comin' to him she should publicly say that too! If she were to do this she would at least earn some respect from the public.
Now, I may be completely wrong on this. Could be many other factors I have no knowledge of, or have simply not considered in my rush to judgement. If so, I'm more than happy to be disabused of my delusions. (Actually, I'd really like to be.) So feel free to disabuse away in comments below.
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