Stuart Hall now faces a thirty month sentence as his original fifteen month jail term was appealed against by some of his victim who felt it was too lenient considering the number of crimes, the time span his attacks were over (over twenty years as far as these crimes are concerned) and the fact that some of his victims were as young as nine years old.
I’m pleased that out of all the Jimmy Savile scandal something has been done and a positive has been found amongst the tragedies that he and others perpetrated. Hall is especially vile in that he has shown no regret for his actions and has even brandished those who were brave enough to come out and speak out against him “liars”. The lack of explanation or humility from Hall is what the victims are most upset about as it would only take him a minute to show some remorse for the lewd acts and the disgraceful behaviour that he has been found guilty of – I hate to use the American phrase “closure” but it seems appropriate at this time. Those who were attacked and molested by this sick individual should at least receive an apology for what they went through.
The other side of the coin on this issue is the lack of movement on the others who have been publicly named and shamed in the press. The current list of arrestees involved include:
Gary Glitter: arrested 28 October 2012, questioned and bailed until December. Glitter’s crimes and guilt are not in question at all and we are more than aware of his continued predatory ways since his release from UK prison.
Freddie Starr: arrested on 1 November 2012,released on bail the following day then re-arrested on 24 April 2013. Still no further charges or arrests made
DJ Dave Lee Travis: arrested on 15 November 2012 he was later released on bail. The police said allegations against him were unrelated to Savile, and Travis said his arrest had been on matters not linked to children. He was re-arrested on 13 March 2013 on suspicion of further sexual offences. Since March nothing has happened on this
Max Clifford: arrested 6 December, released on bail. On 26 April 2013, Clifford was charged with 11 indecent assaults against girls and young women between 1965 and 1985.
Jim Davidson: arrested 2 January 2013.released on bail. No further action as yet
Rolf Harris: arrested on 28 March 2013, had already been questioned in November 2012. No further action as of yet
Jimmy Tarbuck: arrested April 2013 & bailed. No further charges as of yet.
I am not for a moment saying that there is not truth behind the rumours – but if there isn’t are these men condemned to be known as paedophiles or sexual predators even though no trial or charge has been proven? I do wonder what the motives for releasing these names are in the media as our justice system in the UK is innocent until proven guilty but these men’s reputations are forever tarnished just by association. There needs to be a better way of dealing with this kind of case and the identities involved.
What is interesting is that William De’ath and Ted Benson’s cases – both producers at the BBC – were dropped due to withdrawal of accusation or lack of evidence yet how much publicity did they receive for the arrest and accusations as opposed to being ruled out of investigations? In law these men are innocent regardless of speculation and we must remember that they will see out their lives with the cloud hanging over them just because their cases were publicly leaked by someone to the press.
I fully support the charging, trials and prosecutions of anyone who is found to have behaved in such a way towards children or adults, but there needs to be a line where anonymity for the accused is ensured until charges are officially brought and police or anyone else involved found to be leaking this information is held accountable for their actions too. Some of these named men like Rolf Harris are now in their eighties and with all due respect will not be with us forever. If there are charges to be faced then it needs to be done officially and not through trial by media otherwise this once idolised veteran entertainer – along with other figures like Tarbuck – will be forever associated with Operation Yewtree regardless of them being guilty or not.
More than anything this story makes me sad and annoyed that no-one really comes out of this unscathed. Those who were abused are finally finding the confidence to come forward, but in doing so are having to relive something that had a profound effect on their lives. The NSPCC are at the centre of the campaign and the report into these types of public allegations and as always they do great work. The bigger issues that need to be dealt with now is to ensure that these types of crimes are historical and not current and one way the NSPCC are trying to do that is through a campaign titled “The Underwear Rule” (see more at http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/our-campaigns/current-campaigns/underwear-rule/the-underwear-rule_wda97129.html) which aims to inform young children in a child friendly way how to stay safe.
Every time a child is attacked, abused or raped is once too often and in the aftermath of what has been a tough year for many since the truth about Savile came out many adults have had to relive their own personal nightmares. Government, police and charities need to ensure that the support is there for those who are brave enough to speak up about it during and after the processes.