DETECTIVE Chief Inspector Kate Meynell stood outside a courtroom this week and said the circumstances of the case which had just reached its conclusion were ‘shocking and difficult to comprehend’.
She was talking about the teenager Daniel Bartlam found guilty of murdering his mother in Nottingham. It is difficult to comprehend what moves a schoolboy to commit such a crime; it is difficult to comprehend how it could have been prevented; it is difficult to comprehend the true influence of television and violent films when confronted with a case of this nature.
But if we are all genuine about wanting to understand what’s gone wrong, the best first step is probably not writing it all off as the work of a ‘DEVIL CHILD’. I’m no academic, criminologist or pyschologist but surely once you create a movie world evil, an unfathomable, detached monster through newspaper headlines, then the first opportunites in really comprehending a teenager’s grotesque killing are already at risk of being lost.