From the July/August issue of my Amnesty magazine, this story about about a waiter who prevented a rape. (Asterisks in original.)
One of my regular customers arrived, he could be quite demanding and always liked me to serve him. It looked as though he had already been drinking and he had a young woman with him. He introduced her as his girlfriend - though her reaction didn't seem to support that. He took me to one side and whispered "I want to **** her, I want to **** her. If you get me a nice table so I can **** her then I'll look after you." My initial reaction was it seemed almost comical - these words were so ludicrous.
Throughout the evening he repeatedly told me to keep bringing drinks, even if she didn't want them and repeatedly said in the same terms what he wanted to do. (I made all the other staff aware of all this.) At one point he said: "I want something strong, something special, I want to knock her out". During the meal his behaviour turned from absurdly comic to something that made me feel uncomfortable - I felt a disgusting sense of being complicit in some way with his plan.
At the end of the meal, the girl went to the toilet. While she was away from the table, I saw him furtively take a pill from a pharmaceutical pack in his pocket and reach over to draw the wine glass on the lady's side toward him. He dropped in the pill, swilled it about and slid it back.
The waiter stopped the woman on her way back from the toilet and told her what had happened, then called the police, who arrived quickly enough to take away the evidence of the drugged drink. The case went to court, and the defence claimed that the man had been intending to take the pill himself. The jury didn't believe this and found him guilty.
That's all worrying enough in itself, but here's where it gets even worse:
The judge sentenced the man to two years in prison: with time spent on remand this meant he would be out in three months. The judge said that although he was giving him a custodial sentence, the man had acted out of character and 'did not represent a real threat to women.'
What, except the ones he tries to rape?