Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Australian Woman Gets 7 Years in Prison for Dousing Man in Gasoline for Sexual Assault

Kerry McNiven, an Australian woman, who killed a friend, Gary Stewart, by dousing him in gasoline in 2009, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. According to court testimony in Victoria on Tuesday (November 8), McNiven poured gasoline all over Stewart after friends told her that he had fondled her breasts while she was passed out at a party.

Although McNiven pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Stewart's death, the court could not determine who provided the ignition that set Stewart on fire that resulted in his death. McNiven will be eligible for parole in two years.

COMMENT: Obviously, someone was either smoking or intentionally provided a flame that burned Stewart to death. Although that may never be known, sexual assault is still a crime.

Yet, McNiven's action does not warrant taking the law into her own hands and putting into motion events that resulted in Stewart's death.

It would have been far more prudent for McNiven and her friends that witnessed Stewart's behavior to have simply called the police. If she had, she would be free and Stewart would have been alive, albeit in serious legal trouble.

Of course, why would McNiven become so intoxicated that she passed out, thus becoming vulnerable to Stewart as well as others?

Understandably, McNiven's conduct in response to Stewart's behavior is strongly discouraged as a means of getting even in similar situations.

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