Dear Editor,
Notwithstanding the proven fact that Lennard Allen, a former community policing chairman, was a known imbiber of alcohol, and that such a habit may have influenced his brutal behaviour towards his former partners – all dead – there was full evidence that he possessed a natural disposition for savage treatment of his female partners, which he had no compunction in dispensing with all the bestial ferocity at his disposal, as he slowly destroyed both their physical and mental lives, eventually to a lifeless pulp.
In the case of his reported first partner, she was never any good after he broke her hips; she physically lingered until death. It is the classic accrual cost of domestic violence, in terms of a mother’s loss to family, extending to if she had been gainfully earning.
In the second instance, which eventually resulted in Allen being charged for murder – he is known to have on occasions, beaten his partner with such extreme cruelty, often forcing her to flee naked on to the streets. This is a man who was unconscionable and who treated women, not as partners, but as appendages to do his every bidding; failing which the consequences were predictable, as displayed in the physical assault of his second partner whom he battered with a bicycle bar, because her cooking did not please his palate, for nine barbaric hours, as witnessed by a neighbour. I will deal with the issue of the neighbor subsequently.

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One must agree with the learned trial judge’s conclusion of Allen’s profile – that he is a serial abuser, is absolutely accurate, given the facts before the court.
It was therefore reasonable, just, and within the law, for the Madame prosecutrix to have called for a punishment that suited the gravity of the crime. From a totally layman’s understanding, this was interpreted to mean that given the monstrous brutality Allen exacted on his poor, defenceless victim, and notwithstanding that he entered a manslaughter plea for a sentence that can range up to life. Her position is one which I support, especially that of the convicted accused past record, that can be taken into account when found guilty at the time of sentencing.

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Further, on a layman’s comprehension as to the 19 years given, it would seem that it bore only relevance to the specific case in respect of which such sentence was given. However, its judicial punishment for that kind of savagery ought to have been equal in weight, serving as a condign warning and deterrent for those of similar pre-disposition. One is of the view that in contrast to its other twin – evil half of domestic violence, sexual abuse, physical abusers brought before the court, and have not been feeling the full wrath of the court. But, one supposes that punishment in such instances may have to consider the circumstances of the case?

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Finally, one must come to the community aspect of this very cruel and callous act, in which a witness testified that for nine hours he had witnessed the brutal beating to death of the victim. My immediate reaction to this unbelievable act of disinterest, which is really the traditional – “I mining meh own business’’ attitude, was one of total disbelief.
This witness should have been roundly reprimanded by the court for the kind of cold-heartedness and advised on an entirely new approach to a social issue that must no longer be seen as a ‘private or domestic matter’; but instead one that must concern every citizen, and every community, because of its pervasiveness; its unchecked regularity, and its death toll. This is apart from the maimed injuries like those of Lennard’s first victim, which reportedly took her to the Great Beyond.

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Even if not totally defeating the scourge of this social brutal behavior, the involvement of every citizen in any manner, whether as mediator, or notifying the authorities of a female being at risk because of intimate partner violence, is an absolute. The community, through the selfish and inexplicable behavior of that neighbor cum witness, failed the victim.

Regards,
Carla Mendonca

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