Torturers of Autistic Man Walk Free

14 Oct

Taken verbatim from the NAS website. this is a very distressing story that needs to be widely publicized.

The National Autistic Society has reacted in anger at the news that three men who attacked and tortured a young man with Asperger syndrome have been denied a custodial sentence, and we need your help in calling for the Attorney General to review the ruling.

The victim, who is 17 years old, was subjected to a three day ordeal during which he was brutally and maliciously tortured. However, his assailants – Jack Bolton, Andrew Griffin and Nathan Marshall – were handed a meagre 80 hours of community service for their crimes. The victim’s family described the ruling as a “joke”.

To support our campaign to review the ruling and demand a tougher sentence for the perpetrators of the crime, please follow this link. We have set up an email action directly to the Attorney General’s office, demanding a review – it should only take you a couple of minutes to do.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, was “sickened” by the news, and labelled the judgement insulting:

We are sickened and appalled, not only by the heinous acts of violence committed against a vulnerable young man with autism, but by the abhorrent leniency shown to the perpetrators. Their sentence is profoundly insulting to people with autism and their families and in no way reflects the lasting damage disability hate crime inflicts on victims’ lives.

The National Autistic Society will be looking to work closely with Hazel Blears, who is the victim’s constituency MP, to seek Government action on this specific case. We will also be calling for firmer Government action to address wider issues around disability hate crimes. In representations to Dominic Grieve QC MP, the Attorney General, we will be calling for him to review the ruling.

Read our official media response to this story
Read the full story on the Daily Mail website (We would like to give advance warning that the content of this story is very distressing.)

10 Responses to “Torturers of Autistic Man Walk Free”

  1. Sullivan October 14, 2010 at 20:14 #

    80 hours of community service.

    The autistic in question was held captive and tortured for about 72 hours.

    How is there any balance in that at all? Is picking up trash (or whatever they end up doing) comparable to torture? Obviously I do not believe the perpetrators of this crime should be themselves tortured, but some measure of “punishment fits the crime” should be applied.

    With apologies for using specific legal terms possibly incorrectly–assault, battery, false imprisonment, all as part of a hate crime? Add conspiracy to the mix.

    I too am sickened. Sickened that these crimes happened. Sickened that justice was not served.

  2. Kev October 14, 2010 at 20:17 #

    Some judgements simply beggar belief. This is one. They should’ve done time. You can bet if they’d done all that to a child of the Judge in question they would be.


  3. Mike Stanton October 14, 2010 at 20:54 #

    There are around 500 comments on the story on the Mail website. the most common sentiment is for the judge to be sacked.

  4. Julian Frost October 15, 2010 at 06:13 #

    I totally agree that these three monsters should have been jailed. I was gobsmacked to read that they weren’t.

  5. Audrey October 15, 2010 at 13:57 #

    I submitted the following letter via the NAS link:

    As both an autism researcher and an individual on the autism spectrum, I find this ruling frankly baffling. Does the judge think that the behavior of these Bolton, Griffin, and Marshall amounts to mere schoolboy taunting?

    I ask the judge to imagine his response if it were revealed that these same acts had been perpetrated on a child by his parents, teachers, or clergy.

    I truly do not understand what reasoning allows the judge to perceive this crime as minor. Some have speculated that it is because the victim has an autism spectrum disorder. That perhaps, the victim, because his brain has wired in such a way that he was likely to confuse taunting attention with bids for friendship, somehow deserved to be physically tortured.

    I ask the judge to imagine that a developmentally typical teen were force-fed liquor, or perhaps that a young man with an intellectual disability (and the naivete which often accompanies such a condition, akin to the impaired social thinking in autism spectrum disorders) was beaten and smeared with feces.

    The bizarrely minimal punishment meted out to these three men sends a message to individuals with disabilities that their rights will not be protected. It sends a message to young men aching to prove their toughness that inflicting pain and fear on the weak and vulnerable is both and acceptable and effective method. And it sends a message to the community at large that the protection of law is selective, applied to some and denied to others.

  6. lurker October 15, 2010 at 21:29 #

    Real tough guys huh, with their three on one assaults.

  7. Kassiane October 15, 2010 at 21:56 #

    And people wonder why people go vigilante. Or, for that matter, why autistic adults are so pissed off all the time. Bet if 3 autistics held an NT and tortured him, they’d be remanded to an institution for the rest of their lives.

    Really, I never needed a good view of humanity anyway!

  8. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 19, 2010 at 06:51 #

    basically… what Audrey said.


  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Torturers of Autistic Man Walk Free « Left Brain/Right Brain -- - October 14, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mike stanton and Kabie , Alltop Autism. Alltop Autism said: Torturers of Autistic Man Walk Free […]

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