As the Jimmy Savile affair rumbles on, the question of whether so called “historic” offences should be subject to some form of Statute of Limitation has again been raised, not just because police, the CPS, courts and politicians seem to be applying today’s modern thinking to life as it was 40 years ago but also because the authorities are successfully bringing prosecutions that were not pursued at the time based on little or no evidence.
This week saw another “historic” case end with the jailing for 11 years of a 78 year old man for sex offences alleged to have taken place some 63 years ago from 1949-1973; the longest delay ever in bringing charges before a British court.
TheOpinionSite.org should point out that the recent sudden surge of accusers from the past is no accident either. The police and the CPS are openly inviting anyone who “thinks they may have been abused, no matter how long ago” to come forward and make a complaint, regardless of whether or not there is any evidence.
In other words, police are using the high profile Savile case in order to “trawl” for cases that they know full well will end in easy convictions.
Any man therefore who has ever had a fight with an ex-girlfriend or partner, who in his childhood happened to go “behind the byke sheds” or who perhaps was a scout master or something similar years ago now needs to worry about the fact that police and the CPS are encouraging anyone who fancies their chances to make an accusation of abuse.
A classic example presented itself this week in the above case of Reginald Davies, a 78 year old man who has lived in Australia for most of his life after leaving Wales as a teenager.
As the female judge handed down an 11 year sentence based on nothing more than the word and memory of the alleged victims, defending counsel made the point that the length of the jail term meant it was effectively a life sentence.
The Defence also raised the absurdity of relying only on the word of the alleged victims, suggesting that the lengthy delay in the women coming forward – and the lack of almost any evidence beyond their own accounts – made their testimony unreliable:
“I ask you: 60 years of silence?” barrister Mark Kimsey had asked the jury. “Sixty years without a single word in that whole time?”
One of the affected women that had apparently been raped couldn’t even remember when the alleged offence took place.
The jury however were either simply too scared or to biased to apply such logic. Juries are always the least honest element of any trial, as any barrister will tell you if he is telling the truth.
In fact, both the jury and the judge chose to ignore the obvious logic in the defence counsel’s words.
In describing the alleged victims as “women of total integrity: they were compelling witnesses telling the distressing truth“, the female Judge, Susan Tapping was obviously intent on impressing the women’s support groups who attended the court whilst gaining a little stardom for herself and dreaming about the long defunct British Empire:
Addressing Davies, she said:
“You are the one who must now face your day of reckoning. Maybe you thought you were safe from justice halfway around the world, but you were not.”
The judge did not care that Davies has a wife of some 50 years who will now have to return to Australia alone and may never see her husband again.
Meanwhile, it transpired that the old ladies (the alleged victims), who had tracked Davies to Australia and “confronted him”, were delighted with the outcome, as of course were the police and CPS who as usual went on about the “bravery” of the victims in coming forward.
On that particular point, TheOpinionSite.org can only say that there is very little “bravery” in anything if you know that the cards will always be stacked in your favour and that whatever the lack of evidence, you cannot lose.
As has been made clear before, Britain is almost unique in Europe and the Western world in not having a Statute of Limitations on the prosecutions of criminal offences.
This absence of a critical limitation on spurious “historic” accusations applies not only to sexual offences but to ALL criminal offences in that the concept of a Statute of Limitations simply does not exist in British Law.
If such a limitation did exist, genuine victims would be encouraged to come forward sooner and within the period set; perhaps within 10 years or so of the alleged offence or within 10 years of a person’s 18th birthday.
There can be no excuse for anyone who has a genuine grievance waiting 30, 40 or 50 years to come forward, no matter how “difficult” it may be for them to do so.
One has to say that if an idividual suffers a serious physical or psychological trauma, it is not unreasonable to expect them to tell someone about it, especially if they have 10 years to do so.
So why then does Britain not follow the example of Europe and even America in having such a Statute:
The simple answer is that all modern UK governments are terrified of the political fallout that would come their way if they even hinted at such a change in the Law.
The children’s charities, anti-rape groups and tabloids would – as they always do – rally against any change that would be bound to affect the income and even the existence of such organisations.
The police and CPS would certainly be against such a change because historic sexual offences, especially those alleged to have affected children, offer an almost 100% guaranteed conviction rate as there is now not a jury in the country that would dare not to convict a “paedophile”, “sexual predator” or whatever the buzz-word of the day happens to be.
As this article is being written, the news has just come through that Garry Glitter has again been arrested by police investigating the Savile affair. Yet only a few days ago it was made clear that there is little or no concrete evidence against him.
This illustrates the fact that lack of evidence doesn’t matter anymore, just so long as the police and CPS can somehow get more than one person to say more or less the same thing; not so difficult when you know how to ask the right questions and with most witnesses, the police usually write the statements using their own special language and then ask the witness to approve and sign it.
Every adult, whoever they may be, has things in their past that they would rather stayed there. There are no exceptions; it applies to everyone.
If last week’s reported figures from the charities are anything to go by, the Savile affair has resulted in thousands of disaffected individuals not connected with Savile making contact about alleged sexual abuse, often from many years ago.
TheOpinionSite.org now predicts that this modern day witch hunt will continue. While families are ruined and society tears itself apart with the weapons that the zealots have so confidently handed to anyone who has a grudge against anyone else, those who could put things right will do nothing.
On the subject of evidence, Cmr Peter Spindler who heads the Savile investigation said that “ We have to believe them because they are all saying the same thing independently.”
In his self-indulgence, Mr Spindler seems to have completely missed the rather obvious fact that thanks to the coverage, quotes and anecdotes published in every major newspaper for the last 3 weeks, anyone who wants to be “believed” only has to copy what has already been said and published.
Then, like the old ladies above who clearly had an intent to bring down Reginald Davies, guilty or not, all these new “victims” will doubtless also be described by judges up and down the country as “women [or men I suppose] of total integrity: they were compelling witnesses telling the distressing truth.”
Frankly, TheOpinionSite.org does not believe that “truth” – distressing or otherwise – has much to do with these cases any longer; it has been replaced instead by a blood lust for vengeance, vindictiveness, money and power.
Power for the police, the CPS and our weak, pathetic, feeble-minded politicians who would rather see hundreds of possibly innocent men go to jail rather than do what they should do and put a stop to this historical – and hysterical – abuse of power by those in authority against those who cannot defend themselves.
And we talk about those who cannot defend themselves, for once we do not mean allegedly abused children.
Now, those “who cannot defend themselves” are the accused; those who are judged guilty before any “evidence” has ever been produced; those who are guilty not because of what did or did not happen but because of what is “believed” to have happened; those who are guilty until proven innocent and whom our justice system is supposed to protect.
We are talking about those who – despite the lack of any real evidence – will never be declared innocent by any jury in Britain because juries are now too afraid to do so.
After all, if the police, the CPS and a multitude of protection organisations are to be believed, Britain is a nation of perverts; a nation of child molesters and rapists; a nation of people engaged in “unnatural” practises and a nation where there is a paedophile in every family, every school, every church – and now it would seem, in every television studio as well.
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