A woman is dragged from her home and, while a crowd screams at her, she is held down, her hair shaved off and paint poured over her head.

Then she is tied to a lamp post and has a sign hung over her which reads 'Soldier Doll'.

This is Northern Ireland in 1971, and no-one steps forward to help her.

The victim's crime was to go out with a soldier.

As law and order broke down in republican communities, the IRA filled the vacuum with their own 'alternative authority'.

Ruth McDonald goes in search of the woman, and discovers that this form of rough justice which, far from disappearing with the ceasefires, is on the increase.

Broadcast Dates

  • 20091129 (Radio 4)