Very recently a young actor called Bruno Langley who is well known in the UK for his role as Todd Grimshaw in Coronation Street, was convicted in court of sexual assault. Bruno did not go to jail for his crimes, instead he received a twelve month Community Service Order, a £250 fine which will be paid to each of the two young women whose breasts and crotch he grabbed while off his face on alcohol, a twelve week “rehabilitation course”, a twelve week police curfew, a twelve week tag and he will be on the sex offenders` register for the next five years. He will almost certainly never work as an actor again; his promising career is ended. I commented at the time that I felt quite sorry for him. Several of my friends agreed with me and some did not, it`s the way of the world but I`d like to clarify, why I made that comment.
None of Bruno Langley`s behaviour is acceptable, he was clearly extremely drunk when these events unfurled and he has since admitted that he has a serious alcohol problem for which he is now receiving treatment. Bruno also explained to the court that he has some mental health issues as a result of unresolved conflict in his earlier life so I imagine he self- medicated with drink. This obviously doesn`t mitigate what he did but it in some way explains what happened and why the lines for him, became blurred. It isn`t the sentencing per se that makes me feel sorry for him, the unacceptability of his behaviour is not in dispute. It`s the severity of the sentencing he received that troubles me, for an offence that I consider trivial in comparison to many other levels of sexual assault from which the greatest percentage of perpetrators walk away acquitted unless they are black, in which case they are far more likely to be sentenced to a prison term.
It seems to me that in the current climate of #metoo, Bruno Langley has been pilloried for his crimes, while men like Trump, Weinstein, Branston and countless hundreds of others are never going to wind up in court because of what they allegedly did. They are far too wealthy to have to undergo the experience of such humiliation, they can quietly settle the matter out of court should the likelihood ever rear its embarrassing head and from the safety of their palatial homes, they can most likely continue to behave in the way that the press reports they do. It`s all wrong, it`s a disgrace and it`s bloody unfair. So that is why I feel sorry for Bruno Langley. It seems to me he has been scapegoated and because of the current climate the decision of the judge was a legal expedient.
Perhaps it is Mr.Langley`s karma, perhaps he will go on in his life and achieve something magnificent to attain for his crimes, I do hope so and I hope he will be given a second chance. His remorse in court was said by the judge to be absolutely genuine. As for the two young woman who took him all the way to court when in my opinion the issue could have been resolved far more helpfully for all parties out of court, I imagine in hindsight they wish they had never pursued the matter into the public domain and it is my opinion that they haven`t done women any favours. I bet I am right.