Grievous Bodily Harm

Grievous Bodily Harm – a short story

A rapist is disabled by women who were left to to defend themselves.

There was a large crowd of women outside the court, blocking the road as they held up their banners, many of which simply proclaimed, “Send him back to jail.” Earlier in the day a queue had formed as many women tried to get into the court’s public gallery which had quickly been filled. An hour later and the side door had been opened again and a group of women were hurried back out into the street.

“What’s going on?” A television reporter was on the spot. “Have you been ejected?”

“You could say that. We’re all part of this lot.” The speaker, a woman of about forty gestured to the placard-waving crowd around them. “Denise is a particular friend of mine.” Her interrogator frowned. “Denise was his second victim, the first one, of course, he tried to kill her.”

“Is that why there are so many of you here?”

“Quite a lot of us, friends and friends of friends. That man came close to killing our friend and it could have been any one of us.” The woman raised her arms in desperation and brought them down angrily. “The law is failing to protect women. That’s why those girls had to take action.” There was a jerk of her head, back towards the court building,

The reporter tried to move away but the press of the crowd was keeping them together and anyway; she could have more to say. He pressed ahead. “So, this charge of grievous bodily harm – what’s that all about?”

“That animal Cooper raped, at least once and for all we know he may have found other victims – and then they release him on licence. What the hell’s the good of that? None of us is safe.”

“But what about the actual bodily harm – that’s the charge, isn’t it?”

“Oh the girls did it all right, but now, now they are pleading mitigating circumstances, er, something about an extended self-defence principle. The right to protect themselves and other women from a known threat.”

“So what did they do to this Cooper guy? Doesn’t sound too good to me.”

“I don’t think he’ll be raping anyone else now.” The woman’s head nodded. “Serve him right.”

“How can they stop him? What could they do to him?”

“Oh the court knows what they did to him – all came out this morning. Burdizzos.”


“Yes, that’s what they used; Burdizzos – used for castrating animals – no blood, no incisions, all very hygienic.”

“How did they do that?”

“Simple. One of the girls chatted him up in a bar, he followed her out and boom, four more girls and a chloroform pad, into the back of a car to a quiet spot. Job done.”

“Sounds like grievous bodily harm to me.”

“But if the law won’t protect us what else can we do? We are entitled to protect ourselves from a known danger and he was certainly all of that, and they let him out.”

At this point a surge of the crowd forces the two speakers apart and the reporter turns to the camera operator who had managed to stay close by.

“Well viewers, there we have it. If women are convinced that the law fails to protect them from the likes of Brian Cooper, should they take action to deal with men who have attacked them?”