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Should Britain have a Statute of Limitations on sex crimes?

justice

Time for a Staute of Limitations?

Britain is unique in Europe in that it has no Statute of Limitations for serious sexual crimes. This means that someone can be arrested, charged and convicted for a crime that they committed half a century ago, even though many witnesses may be dead, memories are faded and the only evidence is the word of the alleged victim.

The limitation periods for other countries for this type of offence vary and they are often on a ‘sliding scale’ to take account of the age of the alleged victim or have exclusion or inclusion clauses built in.

The average limitation period across the EU is about 12 years from the date of the alleged offence with a maximum of 20 years if the alleged victim was under age at the time or if violence was supposedly involved.

The point is though that Britain has no limitation period at all and this is seen by many to be totally unjust.It is also true that one very rarely hears about ‘historic’ violent crimes.

Furthermore, the injustice of this situation is compounded by the fact that in such ‘historic’ cases of alleged rape or abuse, unless there is DNA, photographic or indisputable forensic evidence, there is very often nothing, other than the word of the alleged victim, on which to base a judgement of innocence or guilt.

Given that where alleged child victims are concerned, juries convict in 95% of all cases, there is little hope of  mounting any kind of effective defence when the period of time since any alleged offence being committed is so long. This is precisely why so many countries have a Statute of Limitations.

Yet this subject is never discussed in Parliament and any attempt to bring some rational thought ti the debate is closed down instantly. Any hint of reform in this are brings howls of pain and anguish from the NSPCC, Childline and all the other financially interested parties.

Yes, TheOpinionSite.org has made this point before but equally, nothing is ever done about the injustice of the situation or about the fact that many innocent men have been locked up for years.

Even David Cameron and his predecessors have admitted that up to 10% of those in jail for what would be very serious offences could very well be innocent.

The excuse for this? They are quick to tell us that, “No system is perfect.”

Only this last week, local councils have been complaining that so called ‘victims’ of abuse from many years ago have started various legal actions for what supposedly happened to them in their past, often 20, 30 or even 40 years ago when they were in care.

Because there is no Statute of Limitations the police investigate as if the alleged offence was committed yesterday, the whole ‘child protection’ machine rolls into action and the defendant – if one dare use the term – can do nothing because the only evidence is ‘heresay’ and uncorroborated but, thanks to a ruling by naive Law Lords years ago, can not only be admitted into court but often provides the backbone of the prosecution case.

The accused then has to prove that he is innocent (rather than the prosecution having to prove that he is guilty) as indeed does any defendant nowadays charged with child abuse. The difference is that there very often is no evidence on either side – yet juries still almost always convict in historic cases as they are fearful of doing otherwise.

The sentence is often small as the sentence has to reflect the law in force at the time but the payout to the ‘victim’ is often in the tens of thousands of pounds. Meanwhile, the damage done to often innocent people and their families is catastrophic.

A proud policeman then stands on the steps of the court and tries to justify the huge expense and use of sarce resources resulting from the investigation by claiming that “No matter how long ago these offences took place, we have brought the offender to justice.”

There is of course no mention whatsoever of the often very substantial compensation paid to the ‘victim’ who then needs to take a luxury holiday to ‘recover’ from the stress of the ordeal.

TheOpinionSite.org along with many others think it is a little odd that the number of ‘historic’ sex cases brought before UK courts has doubled over the last 3 years – 3 years of financial recession and hardship for many.

Some years ago, the German government abolished payouts for sex abuse cases except where there was corroborated evidence. The result was a drop of over 80% in the number of complaints from would be ‘victims’.

The use of highly emotive and incredibly destructive accusations by money-grabbing individuals who find themselves a bit short is not only an affront to the rest of us but also undermines the cause of genuine victims of abuse. That alone is a reason for Parliament to discuss this politically uncomfortable issue yet successive governments refuse to do so and if you raise the matter with your MP, he or she is very likely to end the conversation there and then.

Accusations of child abuse have in recent years been transformed into the perfect ‘blunt weapon’ for those who have a grievance against someone. Everybody knows it, nobody denies it, yet no one wants to do anything about it, not even MPs who have been on the recieving end.

Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Hancock was recently investigated by the police for indecent assault as well as being accused of being a ‘paedophile’ in the recent election. Has he make a stand for those similarly falsely accused? Has he supported any review of IPP sentences? Has he raised the question of ‘historic’ accusations?

No, he has not.

All he has done instead is to ignore calls for a rethink on what is an inhuman policy for those who are falsely accused and he continues, as does every other MP, to support every motion brought before the House relating to sex offenders and child abuse, no matter how unjust or unreasonable such measures may be and seemingly without any regard to the destruction that historic accusations can bring to the falsely accused, their families and very often their children as well.

Without a Statute of Limitations, everyone – without exception – is fair game if someone has a grievance against them. The further back in time the allegation goes, the easier it is to get a conviction and the more chance there is of a nice, fat, juicy payout.

TheOpinionSite.org would suggest that without a Statute of Limitation we are all potential targets for this type of action. If someone has genuinely been abused, despite what the ‘experts’ tell us, it is unlikely that they would really wait 40 years to tell anyone,  and to be frank, if they do wait that long, their motives for so belatedly bringing the accusation should be examined in the finest detail.

So, watch out because any of us could be next.

True, you may be completely innocent but that will not save you from a legal system that allows such easy convictions for alleged offences that are so old,  based on often non-existent evidence and are impossible to prove one way or the other, yet which have a big fat cheque waiting for the lucky winner.


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65 Responses to Should Britain have a Statute of Limitations on sex crimes?

  1. Ivan Sanders
    July 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    There are many sound arguments for such, not least that many years after the alleged offence a defendant is in no position to properly defend himself. Such alleged crimes are usually tried with no third party evidence which in itself presents problems. Effluxion of time aggravates matters and makes the claimant’s case easier to ‘prove.’ I suspect that many claimants are simply looking for relatively easy money as the ‘compensation culture’ spirals out of control. Also, there is no way of establishing whether or not police have led a complainant with her / his statement. Most ludicrous of all is where parties are allowed to complain after the evidence of others has been publicly made known during a trial resulting in a prosecution. I respectfully suggest that there needs to be a strictly enforced six year put up or shut up limition. I cast no views on any particular person or trial and simply write in general terms. Ivan Sanders, Retired Solicitor / Non-practising

  2. FRANCIS
    June 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Children than commt crimes sex in particular should NEVER be prosecuted when they turn adult, being a child is very different to an adult.

    Its scary to think a mans life could end for something he or she simply didn’t know the scale of what abuse was.

  3. Joseph
    June 11, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Politics (and above) and in turn the media have manipulated this inhuman state of affairs. Not in all Human History has such hysteria existed and entirely contradicts human instinct/ nature. Read ‘Eugenics’, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics

  4. Clive
    May 10, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Yes, Britain should have a Statute of Limitations on sex crimes. For all the reasons you gave Raymond Peytors.

  5. Anne
    February 13, 2014 at 3:29 am

    The author of this article is wrong on several accounts! Historical abuse cases rarely lead to convictions at all, infact most do not even see a court room. And to say that “nobody would wait 40 years to speak up about their abuse” shows a lack of understanding and is frankly misinformed. It shows that author has not done any research on the matter at all. Survivors of abuse do not speak up because they often feel shame, guilt and embarrassment about what happened to them and the thought of having to tell a whole bunch of strangers, (in detail that they have probably avoided thinking about for most of their life) about what happened, fills them with absolute dread. The strength needed to face these fears often comes latter in life, when survivors realise that they have nothing to be ashamed of. So no, there should be no limitations on sex crimes. Survivors should be allowed a whole life time to build the strength they need to face their abusers and abusers should never sleep easy, they should always worry that their actions could at any time have consequences. The current law should not be banished because of a few evil people who lie and accuse innocent people of doing heinous things.

    • Alan
      February 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      I am going to make a statement tomorrow to the police regarding being abused by a man in a position of trust which happened approx 40 years ago…..I am doing so because of the painful memories and feelings of guilt and shame and would like to point out to the despicable Raymond Peytors that the media have used recent historical cases ie. Jimmy Saville to raise awareness? sell papers? get veiwers? whatever the reason, the result is…….I can’t go a week now when I am not confronted with people discussing the cases or new cases, or being in a room with people when a new report is on the news….and each time all the feelings of guilt and shame, and all the wasted life i’ve led trying to cope with everything i’ve ever said and done has been tainted and affected by my abuse…..So for the record a crime was committed, I was not able to talk about it before now…but I am determined to see Justice done…..if you had your way i would have no redress….the tone of your article suggest you are a sympathiser of peodophiles! It is up to the courts to decide if a victim is telling the truth….if you heard me or anyone else who had been abused telling their story…you would be in no doubt that a crime was commited…..You offend me by saying ‘so called victims’ and suggesting that being on hard times is a reason for coming forward, the problem has been brought to the surface over the last few years and that has opened old wounds …it sickeens me that you feel after a certain time has past ie if you can get away with a crime long enough you dont have to face the punishment….. I hope you do not one day hear your son or daughter say I was abused as a child…..but if you did you would not be proud of the tone of your article.

      • Maxine
        June 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        This article is clearly difficult to read for some people, but nonetheless, the points raised are fair and valid. Just because you do not agree, does not make it less fair or valid. In order to make the judicial system as fair as possible, there is clearly a need to monitor cases, in this instance, unsavoury, regularly. There are many people out there who have a valid grievance, and there appears to be many more, who don’t. Deal with your problem as you see fit, but don’t take offence when someone speaks out for the other face of the victim – the ‘alleged’ defendant.

      • jo
        July 7, 2014 at 7:59 am

        hi Alan..i too think that the article is disgusting along with the sick adult who stole not just your childhood but also left you unable to enjoy living a happy adult life..believe me when i say i understand,i was seriously sexually abused/used by a family friend a ‘man’ in his 30′s when i was 11-14.This has had a negative effect on the whole of my adult life,all past relationships never lasting.I wanted to say that i think your very brave..i know how difficult it feels to live with this.Reading your post has given me courage and for a few years i have wanted to see my perpetrator brought to justice-i know i am not lying.I believe that the truth does mostly always come out.i have nightmares that my perpetrator who left my home town yrs ago has done this again.i prey i am wrong..Good luck Alan with everything you do..

  6. david demitros
    January 25, 2014 at 1:48 am

    well no statue of limitation for rape cause it affects life however there should be on the time of reporting it u should not be able to report it years after the rape but if the victim does report it within 10 years and goes on the run or isn’t found he should still be convicted years later

  7. Zoe O'Beast
    January 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I’m quite sure that I was verbally abused by Jimmy Saville’s grandfather in 1941 and I want the sick bastard in prison where he belongs.

    • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
      January 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Editors note:- Brilliant comment Zoe. The very valid point you make is of course one that terrifies politicians and child protection groups.

  8. Chris
    September 27, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Christian – - -

    Sounds like you have something to hide.

    Some “Bygones” NEED to be dealt with

  9. Jess
    September 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    From the girlfriend of a male child sexual abuse survivor who has never spoken out about his ordeal of being raped and sodomized by his cowardly attacker, I believe whole wholeheartedly that there should NOT be a limitations to the horrendous act of sexual abuse. This man, this bad man, is still walking around today enjoying his life whilst he stole the innocence of not just one but multiple children. He stole the amazing people they could have been. He was never brought to justice for his acts so how many young children do you think he has continued to abuse?

  10. Johnchapman
    June 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Certainly sexual abuse should be punished no matter how long ago it happened.
    At this time some well known men are being accused of sexual assault,ie inappropriate touching .
    Is this really how taxpayers money is spent.

  11. Christian
    May 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Having read the comments with considerable interest, it would appear that there is one outstanding point that has not been mentioned: What if the offending party has long since changed their ways (e.g. become a dedicated Christian and possibly even moved into some sort of ministry, either as a missionary, monk, or – dare I say nun? I am thinking particularly of the scenario portrayed in Les Miserables, where a criminal who has become a benevolent and deeply compassionate person is hounded by an overzealous policeman. In such instances surely, more damage is done than good. Perhaps we need reminding that the purpose of a punitive sentence is designed to achieve more than satisfy a blood lust for revenge. It is also supposed to be corrective and to dissuade the criminal from repeating the offence. Of course, imprisonment is mainly designed to protect the public. But, if the offender has already achieved a stable and productive lifestyle and presents no further danger to society, then where is the benefit of dragging that person into court – where,at the very least,family, friends, job and social life will be utterly destroyed and society will then have the additional expense of picking up the pieces after the publicity and ‘punishment’ have ‘nuked’ the entire world of that person for the sake of what may have been a moment of mental or emotional disturbance, long since conquered or treated. People can change and that should surely be taken into account. If our laws are supposed to be based on Christianity – which must include ‘forgiveness’ – then I feel this argument provides a strong case for a Statute of Limitations. I have written to several church hierarchy about this – but amazingly my letters have been totally ignored! Although one did tell me to pray to Jesus! I end this plea with a very genuine ‘Let byegones be bygones For Christ’s Sake!’

    • athiest
      July 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      I was abused by a very devout christian. If someone believes in religion in this day and age I would question their motives for wanting to be part of a society that gives access to innocent and equally misled young children. The church ignored your letters because they are the cause of a lot of the suffering, both with child abuse and humanity in general. Wake up and see the world for what it is, not for what plagiarizing scribes wrote 1500 years ago

  12. Su
    February 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

    If the financial compensation was to be removed then only the cases wanting ‘the truth’ might end up in court.
    When it is one person’s word against another it must be difficult to sort out when both people are alive; if one person has died then this should not go to court – how can they defend themself?

  13. Andrew
    February 1, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I was abused as an adult, by two homosexual men whom I thought posed no threat. I was a very naive 21, and it was 32 years ago. I didn’t report it, thinking that it would be two people’s word against mine, and because at that time I would have been much less able to go through the inevitable stress of having to appear in court and describe what happened in explicit detail. I felt embarrassment, shame and guilt. I was sure I would come out of it feeling just as guilty as my abusers. I felt that my family and friends would certainly be horrified, and I wouldn’t know how to face them.

    A couple of years ago, I discovered that one of these two men had recently accused the other (and also a third man) of abusing him, at about the same time that I was abused. This third man ended up in prison(, possibly unjustly). But the worst of it was that his accuser is now advertising himself as an abuse counselor. I really wish I had been aware of the case in advance, because mine should have been heard too, and perhaps real justice might have prevailed.

    I am certainly very short of money myself. However, I’m not interested in compensation. I’ve bottled up some very bad memories during all these years, and I’m sure it’s spoiled my enjoyment of what I consider to be ‘normal’ relations. I need to externalize my thoughts and feelings, for my own peace of mind. Therefore, I’ve been preparing a document which describes everything I remember, to take with me when I go to report this matter, which will be very soon.

    There are more and greater reasons to do this than mere greed alone.

    • Clive
      May 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

      Many people are more promiscuous in their early life than later, and I suspect you are one of them. Many people also regret doing things they’ve done in the past. If you didn’t like the sex you could have walked out. But you didn’t, and you haven’t described it as “assault”, but abuse, so there was no “struggle”. I suspect you consented at the time (which doesn’t require you to actually say the words “I consent”) and so will the police if you report it.

      “Regret”, does not make the other person (or ‘people’ since you seem to have engaged in an orgy) evil. And “regret” does not give you the right to allege a criminal offense you know to be false.

      • John
        May 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        which is just common sense over bad Laws and false accusations which the system defends
        i mean c´mon the criminal injustice system agenda these days don`t want truth (survivors & victims groups)
        only playing politics with people lives,

  14. Joe Blogg
    January 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Well, I have been falsely accused of raped. The sex was completely consensual and occurred in 2001 (or there about) I found out a few months ago via a family member that this person claims that the consensual sex was actually rape. I have no idea why she has made this claim but it is completely false. She claim that she woke up and found me having sex with her then threw me out of the house (that doesn’t even sound right!). So now I have to live with the possibility that this woman (who is now 47) could decide to take legal action after-all this time even though she consented and was very much involved in the sexual act. It is absolutely unbelievable!!!

  15. Barney
    January 13, 2013 at 1:21 am

    My mother physically abused me as a 5 year old child, it went from sessions of near drowning on a daily basis, being thrown from one side of the house to the other, to her eventually scalding both my hands in boiling hot water. The skin on my hands stuck to the ambulance mans tunic it was that bad. I spent 6 months in hospital and 13 years in kids homes up and down the country. Even though the social services knew I was at risk, my mother was never prosecuted.
    Eventually the social services, put a no family contact on the family as they thought I was still at risk. The rest of the family sided with my mothers version of events in that I was uncontrollable.
    I’m 51 today and by and large have moved on with my life, but I still have horiffic nightmares going back to when I was 5. My mother is now 75, I don’t want compensation and would not seek it from her, I don’t particularly want her jailed. But I do want her to stand in the dock and face up to what she actually did and the rest of the family get to hear the real version of events…

    • Chris Pollard
      April 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      My ex wife seriously assaulted my five year old daughter when she was 5 years old crushing her face nearly ripping off her ears and leaving deep bite marks on her stomach. I used a camcorder to record her confession to the assault. She blamed her menstrual period, that my daughter had been pretending to cry and that she ‘didn’t listen to her voice’ She also admitted kicking a hole in the lounge door and chasing me around the house with a kitchen knife. I gave the recording to North Wales police who refused to action the case because a) it was an ‘ethnic thing’ my ex wife being Asian. b) that the recording was not of sufficient quality to be used in evidence. As things stand my ex wife would satisfy a Criminal Records Bureau check and be free to work in an unsupervised capacity with vulnerable children and adults.North Wales police once more show themselves to be ‘unfit for purpose’

  16. brian church
    December 21, 2012 at 9:22 am

    My late Mother was deafened by war work and this was accepted by War Pensions (on appeal) but she presented her claim “too late” as she falsely believed that the provisions of the Official Secrets Act applied to all who had served in WW2 Having worked on the Enigma Code Breaking she never even discussed this with my late Father or he with her about his war work.
    Why then if such limitations apply in these circumstances do sensible limits not apply to all other cases of Civil or Criminal injustice. Would I be labelled a cynic if I expressed my opinion that it is a money related exercise by lawyers – let alone the real victims – prompted to seek “compo” from tax paying citizens

  17. Danny
    November 11, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I was abused as a young child and so many others, at a boarding school. the man was a head master and is still alive today, he was cleared of these claims, but again he was involved in another abuse with young girls, and again he was cleared of these claims, this was in the 60s and 70s, this as disturbed me very deeply, if i had to go ,to court it would not be for the money as i would give it back to help other victims to pay for there case, one of the boys i am in contact with is more stronger than me and said he is a surviver and not a victim, but wants to meet this man face to face

    • bobjob
      November 11, 2012 at 1:07 am

      I sympathise as I was in a similar situation but why put yourself through this again? I really believe that the past is the past and that the past is where such experiences belong. Show your strength by not giving in to revenge and instead, move forward with your life.

  18. Jane Martin
    November 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    i am a victim of abuse myself but must agree that there should be a statute of limitations. Looking at and reading about all of the ‘historic’ cases that have recently come to light, it seems to me that there may be some genuine victims in there somewhere, but they are being smothered by all of the ‘get rich quick’ schemers who have also jumped on the bandwagon and knocked the whole thing totally totally off balance. There needs to be some sort of proof that the victim must provide other than just ‘their word’. Also the idea that some has suggested that any ‘payout’ for the victim should be just used for therapy or treatment is an excellent one. It would certainly sort the true victims from the ‘money grabbers’.

  19. Tracy
    October 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    We have a lot more knowledge now about child sex abusers. We know they often abuse many children not just one. I have wondered many times if my abuser went on to abuse other children and I have a bad conscience that I never came forward. Should I now go to the police after 38 years? If I did it would be for any other victims not myself as I have long come to terms with what happened to me.

  20. David
    July 7, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I was raped by my head teacher in 1950 and never spoke about it for over 60 years. Why should I be denied justice and not receive substantial payments for all the hurt and suffering alone for all those years. His actions ruined my life. Of course my abuser is long dead but he was known as a child rapist by the people in authority who never did a thing about him and other in his paedophile ring.

    • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
      July 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

      There are several points here:

      1. The reason that other countries have a Statute of Limitations on sexual offences is precisely to deal with the situation you describe.

      Such a limitation encourages people to report the crime, usually within 10 years of the offence. This means that evidence is still as reliable as possible – which it is not after 50 years. This in turn makes it more likely that the alleged offender will be convicted and therefore bring some closure to the victim which is not available to them if they do not report the offence.

      2. If the offence is reported within the time limit and the alleged offender is convicted, psychological help is made available to the victim, thus saving them from years of suffering.

      3. Reporting the offence within the time limit makes it more likely that the offender will be apprehended and unable to hurt others in the same way.

      4. You are wrong about the purpose of payments made by the State. Monetary compensation is not a “pay out” for the alleged victims. Where compensation is paid by the State, the money is intended to pay for therapy/psychological help. It is not intended to go into the victim’s pocket.

      5. Whatever the personal reason may be for not reporting an offence such as rape, by not reporting it, the victim does not help themselves, they endanger others and effectively make it almost impossible to obtain a reliable conviction.

      A Statute of Limitations addresses all these issues by forcing alleged victims to report the crime or else run the risk of not obtaining justice for themselves whilst also endangering others. Frankly, complaining about it half a century later helps no one. – Editor

      • David
        July 8, 2012 at 2:28 am

        If you have not lived through the period I am writing about it is sometimes hard for ‘younger’ people to understand it was a very different world in 1940′s to about 1970.
        In the 1940′s and 1950′s little boys were just that little boys!
        In 1950 when I was first abused I was a little boy of 10 and sexual assault by anyone was never in my brain. I really didn’t know what was happening to me, except I knew it was wrong. But who to complain to? My parents were devout Catholics and would never believe ill of a priest. But I told my father but he did not believe me but instead punished me severely for lying about the incident and the priest. I was sent back to the school and the abuse continued.After two years I tried suicide but amazingly survived my attempt. Still no one connected the school with my trauma. It took two more years to a point I had grown bigger and stronger and lashed out during a particularly violent rape attack and fought back and escaped my abuser. I was in such a mess when I arrived home my father finally realised something was desperately wrong with his only son. He managed to get a meeting with my abuser and his bishop. All that happened was I left the school that day and nothing happened to the principal. His abuse of boys under his care carried on for a dozen more years. He was finally dumped in a small parish and died two years later without a single charge ever brought against him. There were other priests in his paedophile ring, one even became a bishop. and many other teachers were complicit in sending boys as young as 10 years old up to see the principal for ‘punishment’.
        We, the victims, lived our lives and carried on rarely achieving to be anything special in the way of employment.
        I am not seeking money from the government, but the employers of my abuser, the Church! Perhaps they might even give us all an apology as well handwritten by the Pope!
        I came from a time that things like this were never discussed as they are today.
        The culture at the school, very famous by the way,meant that though countless boys were abused on a regular basis, it was never discussed by the boys themselves either at the time or for decades later.
        Other boys committed suicide over the past many years, the actual number unknown of course. There are a couple of other attempted suicide survivors other then me.
        I found out by accident that I was one of many victims by chance only last year. Someone saw my abusers name and said ‘wasn’t he your headmaster?’. I had said for years that XX was an abuser, without admitting I had been a victim. It was a crime that had the title “One of those crimes no one ever talks about” too horrible to relate. That’s how the Church has bluffed its way through for all these years. Victims who did complain were bamboozled into denial and sometimes wound up thinking that THEY were to blame for the priests actions! Some were told to say a lot of prayers to get forgiveness for the awful sins THEY had committed on the priests!
        Other than my father no one else ever knew what happened to me till last year, even now only a very selected few know the truth. I know today one is expected to rush to the nearest TV station and bare your soul for a few pounds and titalate the masses.
        I have no idea how I have carried this burden for 60 years but it affected my life in a hundred ways. My wife of over 40 years knew that something deep inside had been troubling her husband all these years. When I finally told her last year she was astounded, She had thought of a hundred reasons why her husband was totally different to everyone else. She said me being abused by a priest was something she had never even thought of.
        Thankfully in one way, because we are so many, there are too many victims to ignore in this case.
        I agree that one person coming forward after decades explaining they were abused by someone, now dead, it makes everything very difficult for others to believe.
        But when countless victims come forward and tell their story without any fore knowledge of anyone elses evidence then it makes for a powerful case.
        Especially as the abused boys are scattered all over the world and actually don’t know or have never met each other.

        • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
          July 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

          Editor’s Note: I am sure that there will be others with views about this – both supportive and otherwise, so I suggest that you take it to the forum and start a new topic in the section “Child Protection Issues”. You may be surprised at the response you get. Thank you for your comment to TheOpinionSite.org. – Editor

        • John
          July 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

          What you describe went on in every boarding school across the country and probably still does. I am 70 now and have always regarded what happened as a part of life. I have never considered myself a victim because, like you, I always had the option of going to the police. Over the last 20 years I have had many people try to convince me that I am in fact a victim. Most of these people either want compensation (money), are lawyers or are generally dissatisfied with their lot in life and are totally incapable of facing up to the fact that life is not easy and therefore want to blame someone else. In any event, sounds to me that you and your crusading colleagues only want two things: money and revenge, neither of which have anything to do with justice. If it was all such a “burden”, you’ve had at least 40 years of adult life to come to terms with it. If you haven’t managed to do that at this stage, you never will, whether you get your money or not. Leave the past in the past and enjoy what time you have left – that is your only way to get the revenge you seem to so desparately seek.

          • Clive
            May 10, 2014 at 12:27 am

            So well put John.

    • Dr Kat
      October 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      The whole premise of this article shockingly lacks empathy for victims and portrays perpetrators as victims. Anyone who knows anything about trauma would know that trauma and its memories and experiences lose all sense of time and space- victims can often recall in a second the events because time and space fall away- 20 years 40 years is meaningless in respect to the life long damage caused to victims of sex crimes in particular child sex times . ( See Dr R D Stolorow- Trauma and Human Existence) There are always instances of wrongful incarceration for many crimes but to deny a victim of such despicable crimes based on the myth that somehow ‘time ‘ distorts memories or in some way minimizes the events is manipulative ignorant and wreaks of agendas- The law should remain as is – Everyone who has been perpetrated by a perpetrator of a sex crime hopefully WILL find the courage to speak out , NOT minimize their experience so that society will stop burying these events that not only shatter the lives of the victims but also their families who suffer also for years.

      • Andy Dixon
        May 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

        “The law should remain as is [sic] – Everyone who has been perpetrated [sic] by a perpetrator of a sex crime…”
        You must have been tired when you wrote this.

    • Dr Katrina Wood
      October 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      In addition shame- minimization- fear of families rejecting victims again from shame and disbelief are all aspects of why it takes years from victims to come forward- The Catholic Church is being bombarded because it takes a number of years to be on the planet experience ego strength etc to come forward. The more society permits these truths to be expressed the shorter the time frames will become hopefully to speak out BUT back in the 50s these crimes were NEVER spoken about- families were told to keep whatever evils existed within the four walls of their homes- thankfully psychology has developed and we realize now that speaking about suffering has curative results. There is always risk but to minimize the anguish and fear that goes with betraying a family and admitting someone in the midst has been an offender takes years – to relegate the anguish and terror of taking these steps that say you ‘ Must do this within twelve years’ is utter reductionism and ignorance of the impact of trauma on the psyche.
      Read more of Dr R D Stolorow- Dr George Atwood Dr. Donna Orange- Dr Peter Levine- Dr Pia Melody- to name a few. Get your facts straight please-

      • Jenny
        October 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        I don’t know what you are a Dr of exactly but you sound like a psychologist or therapist. Either way, you certainly sound like someone who makes their living by taking people that have dealt with the trauma of past events in their own way and then teaching those same people that they are “victims”, even if they did not feel as such before someone like you got their hands on them.

        I was in love when I was younger with a much older man, never felt it was abuse and never forgave the psychologist – someone with the same views that you have expressed – who 25 years later then came and completely screwed up my life, my emotions and my future marriage.

        Until then, I had dealt with the past perfectly well but no, your colleagues decided that whether I wanted to or not, I would accept that I was a victim, by force if necessary in order that I would testify against him – which I did not by the way.

        That psychologist abused me far more than the man with whom I was in love all those years previously.

        Frankly, people like you should be taken out of circulation and certainly not allowed to force your so called professional opinion on to others or force your beliefs into their lives.

        You should certainly not purport to make your living from instilling shane and suffering on those who have already dealt with past events in their own way, particularly at the behest of the police or social services who just want a cheap and easy historic conviction.

        • Dr Katrina Wood
          October 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

          Many people out there absolutely were victims and have a right to their voice if they want to express their experience and to seek resolution in any way they so chose within the law to find some peace of mind so they can move forward in their lives. I don’t decide who does what in their lives nor do my colleagues, people make choices they seek help . If they don’t need or want it they don’t seek it.
          Not everyone wants to confront their perpetrators, they don’t have to , this post simply supports the rights of anyone who over time seeks to make the choice to speak out and find ways to heal that work for them. A statute of limitations would take that choice away as it has in many European countries and that’s wrong, especially when the powerful effects of trauma can take years to surface.
          Being criticized for supporting those that do wish to find resolution makes no sense.
          Not everyones story is the same of course. But Why should the affected the traumatized ones lose their right to their own timetable if THEY want to and its THEIR choice ? Every case is different – every persons story is different- This post is simply about the right to preserve and protect the rights of anyone where trauma takes years to surface and they are protected by law and don’t miss the opportunity. That’s all .

          • Aremus
            October 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

            I have seen so many people jumo on the “historic offences” bandwagon. Easy to prove, no evidence needed, compensation paid, often innocent men in jail.

            I’m sick to death of hearing about victims, survivors or whatever desciption happens to be fashionable at the time when the real problem is people like you who make money from other people’s misfortune.

            I there were a statute of limitations, your bank balance – and that of the charities that playing the same game – would take a massive hit. If you really expect people to take you seriously, put a method in place whereby compensation is paid for “therapy only” and goes direct to the practitioner instead of the alleged “victim”

            When Germany ended the payment of compensation for abuse cases, claims of historic abuse al but disappeared.

            Do yourself and the rest of us a favour and stop meddling in other people’s lives solely so that you can boost your own ego and your own bank balance.

        • John
          May 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

          very well put jenny and just shows up their AGENDA that the prosecution and police will pay to get `the right EXPERTS` and persuade the `victim` to reinterpret their experience as a crime,
          and therefore secure a`successful historic conviction`
          too easy for them these days, elite feminists ensured the laws were messed with, expanded the meaning of rape, heresay evidence and past convictions (even non sexual allowed)dates changed etc etc.
          thre are 1000s of innocent men locked up false allegations

    • Robert
      November 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      If the abuser is longer dead and the ‘people in authority’ are long retired, then who pays? The payers, the current tax payers are not involved in the abuse.

  21. (name supplied)
    March 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I have only just reported being raped as a child for over 2.5 years. The abuse started 30 years ago and has effected my life totally. I have only just started to come to terms with this and found the courage to even speak about it let alone do a video statement. various reasons such as my own mother not taking action made me think that no one would believe me. Its only now that i realise that its not a question that i should worry about. I think a statute of limitation would be damaging. For the record i gain no financial benefit from waiting infact i cant claim any money whatsoever.

    • m
      March 12, 2014 at 12:29 am

      I found out last year my daughter was abused from the age of 7 to the age of 12 she was raped and abused my my friends son she is a child minder looking after my daughter her son and his friend abused from the age of 7 he was 10 years old now he is 17 .
      my daughter has been vidio by the police now they say there dropping the case she now has to live with this abuse and rape for the rest of her life while they get on with there lifes and the childminder still looks after other peoples kids with her pedo son is there to abuse other little ch8ldren wheres justice in that

  22. Robert Whiston
    March 7, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I would like to publish the above article on my blog which deals with various types of rapes and countries. Have you any objections ot conditions ?
    If there is any analysis I have done which you might find useful please let me know.

    • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
      March 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Editors note: You are more than welcome to publish this and any of our other articles on your site free of charge, provided that you preserve a link to the original article. You may wish to use the search facility to locate related material. Relevant conditions can be found by clicking HERE and looking under under the heading ‘General’- Editor

  23. Michelle
    February 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Please do remember when publishing articles like this the effects it may have on vulnerable victims, not everyone is brave enough to come forward at the time.
    Sometimes the memories won’t bother you for years and years then all of a sudden something will trigger that memory off, this can be devastating on a victims life when you feel your back re-living everything that happened to you as a child.
    Although you people think so called victims (as stated) do this for money, this isn’t always the case. Maybe you should look into this deeper and see that maybe this is the only way a victim is able to move on and carry on with their life after this person destroyed all those years ago.
    So I disagree that there should be a limit on time.

    • Harry
      February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      You may feel that but remember that very many men have been sent to jail on the basis of some stoyry concoted years after the event with no real evidence being presented. We need a statute oflimitations, not just for sex crimes but for other offences as well. It makes me sick when someone who claims abuse is immediately regarded as a victim when nothing has been proved. If you are not going to have a statute of limitations, the accuser must produce REAL evidence, not simply rely on theur word being accepted. This is the only country where this happens and false accusations have destoyed very many families as a result. If someone is really a victim, they should have to prove it – always.

      • Michelle
        February 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        I believe if a person has been abused then they have every right to be regarded to as a victim.
        The accused would not be sent to prison if there was not substatial evidence, it would be thrown out.
        It disappoints me that there are people out there who would actually protect predators, if that’s not twisted then im not sure what is.

        • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
          February 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

          Editors note: I am sure nobody would disagree with the idea of an abused individual being regarded as a victim. The problem is that it is simply untrue that “if there was not substatial evidence, it would be thrown out.” That is simply not the case and has not been the case ever since the need for corroboration of evidence was removed and eroded by successive governments. More and more cases are coming to grief when the alleged victim, realizing that the game is up, breaks down in court and admits the whole thing was a fabrication, something that then damages the credibility of all genuine victims. The fact is that under the law as it stands, particularly if the alleged victim is/was a child, the defendant has to prove his innocence rather than the prosecution have to prove his guilt. It is a fact, like it or not and as was pointedly put in Parliament, that when the German authorities removed compensation for sexual abuse, the number of ‘victims’ coming forward dropped by almost 70%. Sexual abuse has now regrettably become a political tool and a licence to reverse the burden of proof. Having to prove one’s innocence when there is no evidence other than the word of two opposing people is impossible. It creates a situation that flies in the face of natural justice in the eyes of most people and results in many innocent men going to jail as well as those who are guilty.- Editor

          • Michelle
            February 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

            I completely understand what you are saying, but 12 years would not have been long enough for me to have brought a case against my parents….. It took me 22 years.
            The case is now pending, so are you suggesting I should drop it and allow them to walk free?

          • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
            February 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

            Thank you for your response. I am merely pointing out the imbalance of the current Law. I have no more moral authority than anyone else and would not be so direspectful as to suggest what you as an individual should do, not least because every case is different. My point is solely that other countries have their limitation statutes in order to avoid the tragedy of innocent people spending their lives in jail; the price they are prepared to pay for that is that inevitably some guilty people go free and maybe the British are not prepared to pay that price and would rather see the innocent incarcerated as well as the guilty. – Editor

          • Louise
            June 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm

            The need for corroboration has NOT been removed. The court needs at least 2 pieces of independent evidence for any case to go to trial. Serious sex crimes are judged by a jury, and the cases go on for a considerable length of time, while evidence is pored over in great detail and tested very robustly in court.

            You state that very many families have been destroyed and that many men are in prison as a result of miscarraiges of justice. What evidence do YOU have of this? These families may well have been destroyed but in the majority of cases it has been by the defendents actions, not the victims.

            The defendent absolutely does NOT have to prove their innocence, that’s simply not true. Prosecutors have to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that an accused person is guilty. Witnesses, including victims, are questioned for hours, their evidence tested over and over again. But then, you’ve made up the information about corroborative evidence as well, so you don’t seem to care that much about facts.

            What you’re saying is that people guilty of these horrendous crimes need only wait for 12 years to pass before they can start laughing up their sleeves and celebrating the fact that they got away with ruining the lives of their victims.

            Perhaps you should do a LOT more research into this subject before writing about it, and it may be an idea to speak to/volunteer with victims of this kind of crime to understand the dynamics which are created by abusers actions, which paralyse victims and render them terrified to come forward immediately.

            What you’re asking for is a system which fails victims even more than it does just now, and that’s totally unacceptable.

          • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
            June 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

            I am sorry to say that you are placing your faith in a jury system which, in these types of cases, place emotions and bias ahead of the Law. In effect, you describe – accurately – what SHOULD happen and not what actually takes place. It also follows that you believe that the countries that do in fact have a Statute of Limitations are all wrong in doing so.

            You are also wrong as “Similar Fact” evidence has been allowed for over 15 years ever since the House of Lords removed the need for corroboration.

            Maybe you have been a victim of such an offence in which case your view is understandable, if limited in its application. – Editor

          • Jenny
            June 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm

            Louise, you are wrong. My husband was convicted and then had his sentence quashed on appeal when the so called victim was found to have been lying.

            We didn’t even get an apology from the police or the CPS.

          • John
            May 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

            sounds about right too me

      • Vanessa
        July 11, 2014 at 12:45 am

        If people are wrongfully convicted due to lack of evidence that is also th victim’s fault not the legal system? The victim was judge and jury? This is a blame the victim festival.

  24. Jean Butler
    January 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

    My husband was convicted of historical sexual abuse and sentenced to 9 years 9 months in prison. There was no evidence other than the word of his accusers. The offences were supposed to have happened 34 years ago. The accusers lied in Court ( I know this because I have read the transcripts) but jury convicted anyway.He had no defence other than to say “I didn’t do this”
    He is 65 and has worked hard all of his life as I have. But he is not entitled to his State Pension and neither am I.
    If he is to Appeal it will take years and thousands of pounds and even if he succeeds, he will unlikely be compensated. He is likely to commit suicide as a result

    • Raymond Peytors - theopinionsite.org
      January 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

      This is a clear example of ‘guilty until proven innocent’. There are few people who can give an innacurate or hinest account of anything that was alleged to have happened 34 years ago. The only reason that the UK still allows historic cases is because of the political pressure and moral blackmail of the child protection charities. There are few historic cases of adult sexual assault. This is because children (even those who wait until they are adults to bring the case and get the compensation) never have to explain themselves! All we ever hear about from the police and CPS are comments relating to ‘these brave people who come forward after so many years’. They don’t mention that these ‘brave’ people usually only come forward when they run out of money. Jean, were there groounds for appeal at all? The reason I ask is that usually such historic cases do not result in such a heavy sentence, given that the sentence cannot be more than the maximum sentence at the time of the offence. If you would prefer to answer via email rather than publicly, please do so. – Editor

      • (name supplied)
        March 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        I resent your comment …these ‘brave’ people usually only come forward when they run out of money. I have just done my video statement after 30 years. My additional evidence is my own sister who was also abused. We stand to gain absolutely nothing in terms of cash or holidays and we don’t want it. How dare you challenge the bravery of someone like my sister whilst applying your view of injustice? What qualifies you to tar us all with the same brush?

      • Andy Dixon
        May 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        While it is certainly true that in convictions for historic abuse the sentence cannot be greater than the maximum sentence that applied at the time of the offences, it seems that judges are now willing to get round this difficulty, as in the Max Clfford case, by resorting to consecutive, rather than the more usual concurrent, sentences.

  25. Ramon1940
    March 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Dear Mr Paytors,
    There are thousands of innocents incarcerated in our prisons today, soley on the words of the accuser and with no corroborative evidence.
    I have first hand knowledge of this as have all of us on the FA’s site that I belong to. Fighting for justice for our loved ones is an uphill struggle, mainly owing to the inability/unwillingness of the police forces to cross check the accusers complaints.
    The previous Government brought in legislation that made is impossible for the accused to bring any kind of evidence in defence of these complaints which can be spread by the accuser over any number of years, without specific dates being produced, or any medical evidence whatsoever.
    In these cases the accused is presumed Guilty, unless he/she can catagorically prove innocence.
    And the accuser walks away with a big fat cheque at the taxpayers expence.

  26. March 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Dear Mr Paytor,
    Your article corroborates everything those in the victim falsely accused community have been saying for a long time.

    It is an open secret within the police, the CPS and the judiciary but no one has the moral fortitude, honesty or probity to do anything about false allegations of a sexual nature as it is not in the political or judicial interest to do so.

    Why?

    1. Lack of political will to stand up to the feminist lobby, NSPCC and others with a financial interest in the ‘abuse’ industry.

    2. It serves political purpose in maintaining the propaganda of hysteria inculcated into the public and carries the popularist vote; “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”.

    3. The destruction of rights and protections in law:
    (Sec 6(1) Magistrates Act 1980, Article 6(2) Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 38 Magna Carta 1275 but to name a few, for those accused of an alleged offence of a sexual nature.
    This is the only offence whereby a prosecution can go forward to trial on the uncorroberated, unsubstantiated word alone of the ‘complainant’.

    It was confirmed to me by a solicitor that the accused in this instance has, I quote: “No rights, no rights”.

    4. Home office circulars to the police, the CPS and counsel have instructed defence counsel to put up ‘least challenge and minimal resistance to the Crown in cases of a sexual nature’. The CPS has a policy of ‘positive charging’ in effect to follow the words of Jack Straw, that every case that can be charged (no matter how weak or tenuous, my words)to achieve 100% convictions.
    According to Mr Straw, “A person cannot be not guilty”. Yes, you read that correctly!

    I am curious to know, since when did ‘policy’and ‘directive’supercede common and statute law?
    Also many CPS offices have a policy of ‘total non-disclosure to the defence’.
    This is in direct violation of the Attorney General’s Guidelines, the Guinness Advice and the laws regarding the Crown’s continuing duty of disclosure.

    5. Police investigitive doctrine in cases of a sexual nature is not to investigate all reasonable lines of enquiry or to follow lines of enquiry or gather evidence pointing to the innocence of the accused, rather, to ‘build a case’ against the accused to fit the ‘evidence’, ie; the simple word alone, of the complainant without investigating the veracity of the complainant or the credibility of the allegation.

    And so it goes on, but so called investigitive journalists will not publish innocent victim falsely accused’s first hand experience of the abuse of power, procedure and process of the police who breach PACE 1984 with impunity.

    I have tried to no avail to find a journalist who has the round spherical objects to take on this abomination of an injustice that is being played out in courts every day.

    What is going on and being allowed to continue is a damning indictment against those charged by the electorate to represent us.

    It is a damning indictment against the justice system, but worst of all it is a damning indictment against us as a society, who by our inaction condone the injustice of false allegation and the decimation of tens of thousands of lives year on year.

    There is so much more I can say on this subject and by first hand experience of supporting and fighting for an innocent victim falsely accused can substantiate with cogent evidence all I say.
    I would be interested in your thoughts.
    Best Regards,
    Verity Justice

    • Max
      December 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      I have entered this unreal world of false accusations and automatic convictions. When I was first arrested, I felt happy that good old British Justice would soon put things right. When the two arresting officers gave me a lift home and later produced a statement alleging that I had made a comment that amounted to a virtual confession, I became very afraid. Legal Aid has been reduced to a point where Solicitors are not paid enough to do a job for you. Many of them complain, but the fact is my solicitor would talk of nothing other than “Plead Guilty and receive the credit against your jail sentence”. (When you are well into your seventies, this has little appeal and it is an obnoxious blackmail anyway.) My solicitor gave me the statistics – In Crown Court cases, 90% of defendants plead guilty. Of the remaining 10%, half are convicted except in cases of sexual crimes, where the conviction rate is higher.
      I have a copy of “CPS CONSULTATION ON THE HANDLING OF RAPE CASES ”. In the text it says “Corroboration or supporting evidence is not essential but is always looked for, particularly any medical or scientific evidence” The CPS have looked at the evidence i.e. The totally uncorroborated allegations and the video transcript of the police interview, and they have decided that there is a good prospect of getting a conviction.
      The current ”system” is a conveyor belt to prison. It has taken me seven months of research and study to get my solicitor to talk about a defence. I have been a thorn in his side. His firm must be counting the cost. I asked an expert in this field how much he would charge to represent me. His basic fee is £42k including VAT. Legal Aid is drastically reduced and the average person cannot afford to pay for professional help. I may yet be convicted, but, I will at least see the “evidence” tested in court. Nevertheless, I remain certain that I should not even be there.

      • Clive
        May 10, 2014 at 12:35 am

        Get a DPA Barrister. Not a solicitor plus regular barrister. Direct public access barristers are like any american or belgian attorney, they can talk to you and the judge. And they’re a lot cheaper than the old (living on borrowed time) system.

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