The Trial of Governor Picton, A Case of Torture in Trinidad
"Governor Thomas Picton was a British military officer and the governor of Trinidad, which was at that time a colony of the United Kingdom. Picton was tried in London before the Court of King’s Bench on February 24, 1806. At the heart of the trial was Louisa Calderón (1787-1825), a 13 year old girl of mixed racial ancestry who was subjected in 1801 to a kind of torture known as “picketing” — now colloquially called “Picton-ing.” This trial, and the act of torture it highlighted, led to a public sensation throughout the whole of the British Empire, becoming one of the major instances of reform on the use of torture against those living in British colonies...."
He was found guilty but got off on a technicality
I think we should remember how incredibly violent this period was by modern standards. Flogging was sentenced in the hundreds. Branding and maiming were considered perfectly acceptable. The concept of leniency for children was quite alien, they being routinely tried and punished as adults. It is easy, and perhaps justified, to be negative or single out targets for opprobrium. An alternative view can be more positive, seeing the very fact that a trial such as this existed as part of a long road of enlightenment and reform.
Politics of Colonial Sensation: The Trial of Thomas Picton and the Cause of Louisa Calderon
The American Historical Review, Volume 112, Issue 3, June 2007, Pages 712–741,
Thomas Picton, the hero and villain