Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A bit cut up

Spurned lovers consumed with anger and jealousy often retaliate in amazingly extreme ways. It's not enough to vent their feelings, they sometimes resort to physical destruction on a grand scale.

Fifty nine year old Philip Gamble was so enraged at his wife of 38 years leaving him for another man that he broke into her flat and cut up all her clothes and furnishings, causing around £5,000 worth of damage.

He cut out the crotches of her bikinis, sliced the back of all her tops, slashed her trousers and cut the zips out of her boots. He sliced curtains and poured bleach on them, damaged a mattress and duvet, and turned off the fridge-freezer.

Then just for good measure he replaced all the slashed clothes neatly in wardrobes and cupboards as if nothing had happened. It was only when Jean Gamble took some clothes out of a wardrobe that she noticed the damage.

In court on Monday he was given a three months' suspended sentence for what the judge described as "silliness".

I think if I were Jean Gamble I would have seen it as a lot more than silliness. Deeply distressing and misogynistic violence, more like. It must have simply confirmed her decision to leave him.

So what would I do, I wonder, if Jenny walked out on me after 33 years to shack up with Mr Much-More-Appealing? Would I just wallow in private agony or do something more dramatic? Would I respect her decision and wish her well or go on a wild rampage and destroy her most precious possessions?

I like to think I would take the news in a civilised way - lick my wounds, drown my sorrows in chocolates and wine and start looking for someone else. But who knows how unhinged I might get over the wreck of such a long relationship? Who knows what crazy emotions might take over? I'm not sure I could guarantee decency and understanding.

Hell hath no fury like a lover scorned.

38 comments:

Wisewebwoman said...

Men's violence can leak out into femicide, etc.

Viewing women (and their children) as possessions is a huge part of the problem.

And VAW (Violence Against Women) is so underreported it makes me weep.

The sentence he got was laughable.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

www: Indeed, I'm sure this sort of thing goes on very frequently but seldom gets into the media. The sentence was pathetic considering the level of physical damage, fear and distress he caused her.

Bijoux said...

Women have been known to go just as crazy as well. As scary as it obviously is, I do find it understandable. Devoting decades of your life to one person, only to be tossed aside like yesterday's garbage would cause most people to feel a ton of rage. If it happened to me, I would need a lot of counseling.

Nick said...

Bijoux: Yes, I dare say I would as well. It's one thing to imagine the situation, quite another to be in the thick of it and in emotional turmoil.

But I can also understand someone realising after a very long time with someone that the relationship is dead and they have to admit it and call a halt.

Cynthia Springer said...

That judge was so #@!%$#& --siding with the male, being a male himself. I enjoyed reading about it though.
At times I've thought, Why don't I divorce this guy? :D Not gonna happen. We've been married 58 years.

Cynthia Springer said...

I'm bikehikebabe on computer, with a picture that is 8 years old. You never have to age on the computer.

Nick said...

Cynthia: Dismissing the whole episode as a bit of "silliness" was unbelievably crass and insensitive. He obviously has no idea what it's like to be attacked like that.

I know, sometimes when Jenny and I are having a serious row, I fantasise about us separating. But as you say, after all this time it just ain't gonna happen.

And hey, why not have a photo that never ages? I don't think you're the only one either.

Ms Scarlet said...

I am too pissed to read your possibly quite brilliant and erudite post, apologies for this, but I would simply like to say, have a very merry christmasssses :-)
Love as ever,
Sxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nick said...

Scarlet: That's what comes of my putting up a post on Christmas Eve....

And a very merry Christmas to you too.

Ms Scarlet said...

Nick! Keep me here before I go and write something really rude on FB. I have the devil in me and I am feeling mischievous... thank goodness for automated spellcheck... actually all might be well as I think I might crash.... too many babychams on top of all that vodka....
Sxxxx

Nick said...

Ms Scarlet, you must go to bed this minute and sleep it off, or I will have to give you a serious spanking. Though that might be just what you fancy....

Ms Scarlet said...

Stop it!!! I am at a funny age!!
off to Bedlington then :-)
Sx

Z said...

There was that woman a few years ago who slashed her husband's suits and left the contents of his expensive wine cellar on doorsteps all over the village. I suspect that a woman having her clothes and possessions similarly violated would feel it as a more physical assault, though.

I hope you and Jenny have a lovely Christmas.

the fly in the web said...

Silliness! More like a premeditated act aimed at making her feel vulnerable.
Let's horsewhip the judge.

CheerfulMonk said...

Not much chance of Andy leaving me for another woman, but at our ages I don't trust him not to die on me. I'll be devastated.

Nick said...

Z: I'm sure you're right, as women always feel much more at physical risk in the first place.

A Happy Christmas to you too.

Fly: A horsewhipping sounds good. Or more appropriately, slice up all HIS favourite clothes and see how calmly and maturely he takes that.

Nick said...

Jean: Good point. I'm 67 and my father died at 70 so who knows, I might be on the way out. Jenny would be knocked for six if I died and vice versa, we're so close to each other in so many ways.

kylie said...

i think the judge insultingly minimised the crime but i think you are mistaken in calling the crime misogynistic. misogyny is anti-women, this wasnt anti women, it was anti one individual woman and could as easily have happened to a man

Nick said...

Kylie: I was thinking about that. It just struck me that since he focused especially on all her (female) clothes, there was a strong element of misogyny there. Like he particularly resented her attractive/ sexy clothes as opposed to any other of her possessions.

susie said...

Remember Lorena Bobbitt? Among other things, he supposedly cheated on her.
She skipped the clothing...

Nick said...

Susie: Ah yes, I remember it well. Poor John Bobbitt must have bitterly regretted his actions. His penis was surgically reattached, but it's not clear whether it still does the job....

Jenny Woolf said...

I don't think it's possible to know how one would respond to a very difficult situation.

Happy Christmas to you and Jenny, Nick!

kylie said...

her clothes had to be female, she was a woman! for many of us clothing is our most personal possession so it is the obvious target if you want to go about vengeful destruction

Nick said...

Jenny: Very true. All sorts of unforeseen emotions and impulses can come to the fore.

A Happy Christmas to you too!

Kylie: You miss my point. I think the fact that he focused his destruction on something specifically female - her clothing - implied his misogyny.

Surely what the person focuses on, and what it symbolises, is significant? With Lorena Bobbitt it was her husband's penis. Sometimes it's the other person's car, or house, or even their reputation.

Rummuser said...

In India, the woman simply lodges a police complaint against the man for rape and then the fun and games start. If it is the man who has been scorned, throwing acid on the woman's face is a common technique.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Can-failed-affair-lead-to-rape-charges-Supreme-Court-asks/articleshow/37348807.cms

http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/Jilted-Lover-Three-Others-Held-for-Acid-Attack-on-Woman-Doc-in-Delhi/874381

Nick said...

Ramana: Acid attacks are especially despicable, usually disfiguring the woman for life. But assaults on women (including rape) still don't seem to be taken very seriously in India. Quite often, I gather, the woman's behaviour is blamed.

Rose Blackthorn said...

Sending you best wishes for 2015!

xx

Nick said...

Thanks, Rose. And a very happy new year to you too!

Liz Hinds said...

That is a dreadful sentence! Shocking.

I think I would prefer to lick my wounds in silence.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Seems ike anyone, male or female, should get a harsher sentence for destroying someone else's property, not to mention breaking and entering. And the judge should have signed an order of protection so that he would be immediately jailed if he has any contact with her or her home after that. Crazy that the judge was so dismissive.

I did have a partner (not my husband) cheat and then break up with me. I did nothing vengeful. That's beneath me. And I tend to be insanely forgiving anyway.

Keith said...

Having read your first paragraph I don't think I should comment except to say, that my hatred of my ex knows no bounds. Although I have never resorted to physical destruction I often wish I had. I cannot forget or forgive.

I am a robot.

John Gray said...

If I don't get the chance
Happy new year to you
Jxxxx

Ms Scarlet said...

Happy New Year!!!
I'll try not to do what I did on Christmas Eve! Apologies.
Sx

Sol said...

Happy New Year

Nick said...

Liz: I think I would lick my wounds in silence too. I couldn't really see myself succumbing to physical destruction.

Agent: Not only all that, but there should be a stiff sentence for causing someone emotional distress. And yes, an order of protection (or whatever the English equivalent is) should surely have been imposed.

Nick said...

Keith: I'm sorry you're unable to forget or forgive, but I guess feelings can run very strong when you think someone has treated you badly.

Thanks, John. And a Happy New Year to you too.

A Happy New Year to you, Scarlet. And no worries about Christmas Eve! We all get carried away sometimes....

A Happy New Year, Sol. I hope your plans for the house come to fruition without too many glitches.

Jay said...

I couldn't guarantee decency and understanding either, but you're right, that is an extreme reaction and it's worrying that a judge would describe it as 'silliness'. It's violent, and in my mind, seems to be a substitute for the violence he'd like to inflict upon her. It's aggressive, and the distinction between that and actual violence might not be quite so wide as he and the judge would like to think.

Me, I think I would slide into the slough of despond if OH ever left me.

Nick said...

Jay: You're probably right that it was a substitute for violence against her personally. To dismiss it as "silliness" is breathtaking insensitivity.