Felix Beck

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A judge told this student he was “arrogant” and “sexually entitled”

Felix Beck (Photo: PA)

Felix Beck has been sentenced to three years in prison for the sexual assault of a fellow student

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By Emily Baker on

Historically, lawyers and judges haven’t always said the right things when it comes to rape and sexual assault. Last November, an Irish lawyer told a court that wearing a lace thong was tantamount to consent and, in the same month, Baroness Kennedy warned that some judges still believe a woman who uses dating apps is “someone who would have sex with anyone”. These worrying stories are all too common, so it’s refreshing to hear a case in which a judge expresses absolute disdain for a man accused of sexual assault.

“You have only yourself to blame for the situation in which you now find yourself, which arises out of the lifestyle you were leading and your sense of sexual entitlement and arrogance,” judge Lord Uist told 22-year-old Edinburgh student Felix Beck, who has been found guilty of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old in her first year at the same university.

“The way you treated your victim both during and after your violent attack was callous and disgraceful,” continued Uist. “I must have regard to your background but also to the consequences for your victim and the public interest in the protection of women and punishment of sexual crime. The crime was a grave one but not mitigated by any behaviour on your part and merits a custodial sentence.” Beck has been sentenced to a three-year jail sentence and will be on the sex-offenders register for the rest of his life.

As reported by Metro, Beck used Tinder to meet the victim and forced a sex act upon her when he was invited to her bedroom. The court heard that as she was “inexperienced”, she asked Beck to “take control” as he was seen as a second-year student who “knew the ropes” – he proceeded to grab the woman by the throat, digging his fingers into her neck while attacking her. She told him that she didn’t like it, to which there was no reply. Hours after the attack, Beck texted his victim to tell her he “wouldn’t have become aggressive if she hadn’t given him a shit blow job”.

Lord Uist’s decision to not ignore but to highlight Beck’s privilege is an encouraging thing to hear not only for victims of rape, but for all women

Across the university, Beck had a reputation for debauchery and had previously been referred to as the “Maddest Fresher”. Other Facebook posts claim he is at the top of a so-called “shag leaderboard” and make reference to his privileged – and therefore powerful – position, with one post of Beck drinking from two bottles of Moet champagne, captioned, “Daddy’s credit card certainly is loyal”. One of the most unsettling factors in this story is that Beck was acquitted of rape just weeks before he raped this 18-year-old young woman.

The assault for which Beck was found guilty has a lot of elements a less competent judge would have used to excuse his behaviour – online dating, the fact he was told to “take control” and the fact that Beck was a privileged student with an apparently bright future ahead of him (reports claim that a graduate job was already lined up for the student when he graduated this year). This is something we’ve seen time and time again, most notably in the example of convicted rapist Brock Turner, who was constantly referred to as a “Stanford swimmer”, and with the apparently “brilliant” Oxford politics student whose arrest for a series of sex attacks “shocked the community”.

Lord Uist’s decision to not ignore but to highlight Beck’s privilege is an encouraging thing to hear not only for victims of sexual crimes, but for all women. However, for every judge who dispels rape myths, there is another who not only believes them, but enforces them. Justice and women’s safety are far too important to leave up to this lottery.

@emilyrbakes

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Felix Beck (Photo: PA)
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Sexual assault
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