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Did Pitcairners know it was wrong to rape children? That was the question exercising some of New Zealandu2019s finest legal brains during this weeku2019s court challenge in Auckland by six islanders convicted of sex offences last year.
An Australian resident has been committed to stand trial on charges of raping a young girl on Pitcairn Island in the 1990s.
# What links HMS Bounty and Cumbria? Note the two audio downloads available on the left sidebar, "The Mutineer from Cockermouth", and "The real Captain Bligh BBC Radio 4". Link from Friends Of Pitcairn.
# The 28th April 2005 was the 216th anniversary of the 'Mutiny on the Bounty', when the HMAV Bounty was seized by Fletcher Christian and crew.
Britain's authority to try and execute Harry Christian for murder in 1898 could have been challenged, but he didn't even get a lawyer, the Pitcairn Supreme Court has been told.
A hundred years on things were still legally hazy. Young men growing up in isolation on Pitcairn island had no direct knowledge that British law could reach them.
There were no copies of English statutes, no British police, no criminal prosecutions and, before child rape allegations blew up, a lawyer had not set foot on the island since 1958.
"I suggest that we need to face up to the reality that the Pitcairn community is probably so socially dysfunctional that we should cease to plan to support and sustain it," Ms Short wrote in the letter to Britain's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, which was tendered yesterday in the Pitcairn Supreme Court sitting in Auckland.
An appeal by six Pitcairn men against their convictions on serious sex abuse charges in a case that drew international attention ended in New Zealand today, with judges expected to deliver a verdict in mid-May.
Constable Gail Cox of Kent Police, who was sent to the British overseas territory twice in the late 1990s to train locals in community policing, admitted the episode involving Dennis Christian was "an unorthodox approach to policing" and "totally unethical".
# Not Pitcairn related, but related to me. My parents are selling their farm in Greytown, New Zealand. If you're interested in living the country lifestyle on a small farm in New Zealand, details here.
# Scarlett Point Radio are celebrating the Isle of Man's 175th Maritime anniversary year. They have a special focus on 'Mutiny on the Bounty' and 'Peter Heywood' (the latter being one of the muntineers). See their web page on this event for details.
The only man to be acquitted in last year's trial of Pitcairn islanders on sex abuse charges today gave evidence as a witness for the convicted men's appeal.
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