But she smiled at me. But she didn’t object when I sat next to her. But she flirted back. But she let me kiss her. But she laughed at my joke. But she didn’t say no when I refilled her glass. But she drank the wine. But she let me in when I rang her doorbell.
MIKE “Handy” Hancock MP has a curious attitude to the treatment of women, judging by his lawyers’ efforts to defend him. If a woman lets a man into her home, she consents to his advances, the lawyers are arguing as they try to derail an investigation into the Portsmouth MP’s alleged harassment of a mentally ill constituent.
“In order for Hancock to have access to [her] home she would have had to have let him in,” said his solicitors, Saulet Ashworth. “In other words, she clearly consented to any actions about which she now makes complaint. Indeed, she openly admits that she consented to our client cuddling her. So, even on her version of events, this is a trivial complaint.”
Extraordinary, isn’t it? Letting a friend in the front door equals consent to any sexual actions he might take. In what universe?!
The affair may be rather more than “trivial”. Handy is desperate to stop Portsmouth city council investigating allegations from a constituent, “Annie” (not her real name), which have forced him to resign the Lib Dem whip while he fights the case. She approached Hancock in 2009 over problems with noisy neighbours and respite care for her son. She told the MP she had mental health problems (brought about by childhood sexual abuse). She alleged that Hancock bought her presents – including a teddy bear he called “Mike”.
Annie’s solicitors, the human rights firm Birnberg Peirce, say that Hancock sent her text messages, which she has kept, including: “Please give me a chance you never know my Princess xxx,” and “You are special and sexy to me”.
In a letter to the council, they allege: “It is not a trivial complaint that Hancock attempted to force his tongue into her mouth, that he tried to part her legs with his foot or that he exposed his penis and invited her to masturbate him. Nor is it a trivial complaint that Mr Hancock used his position and status as both an MP and councillor to target, groom and exploit for his own purposes a vulnerable woman.”
How familiar is that – a bigshot man using his position and status to grab sex from a woman.
But she let me in. But she didn’t hit me with a tire iron. But she didn’t stab me with a kitchen knife. But she didn’t set her Rottweiler on me. That totally equals consent, to whatever.