Lynch Mob Justice

Richard Littlejohn has written an extraordinary, excoriating article on the behaviour of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in the Neil Fox case and the historic abuse cases of recent years.  It is a tour-de-force, and reading it from beginning to end is well recommend, as it summarises many of the issues relating to false memory, false accusations, and the procedural difficulties almost everyone faces when accused of crimes that may, or may nor have happened, long ago. He writes:


English law is founded upon fact, not emotion. It is also supposed to be administered without any regard for political expediency or public relations posturing.

All of those essential tenets have been cast aside enthusiastically by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as they have been swept along on the tide of hysteria surrounding their failure to snare Jimmy Savile when he was still alive.

The police and the CPS increasingly bow to the prevailing political wind, not just when it comes to post-Savile allegations of ‘historic’ sex abuse by ageing celebrities, but also in regard to other matters as disparate as female genital mutilation (FGM) and pursuing journalists over alleged phone-hacking and paying for information.

…. In their zeal to pursue a politically motivated agenda, the police and the CPS have turned the presumption of innocence on its head.

They have been trawling for ‘victims’, mounting outrageous fishing expeditions, abusing powers of arrest and search, and have left countless innocent and wrongly-accused individuals dangling in legal limbo for years on end.

Neil Fox would never have been arrested and charged had it not been for the post-Savile witch-hunt, which ruined the lives of blameless TV and radio personalities such as Jimmy Tarbuck, Paul Gambaccini, William Roache and Jim Davidson, and subjected them to the kind of treatment normally reserved for terrorism suspects and career criminals.

The ‘historic’ sex crimes hysteria has escalated out of all proportion, particularly the ‘paedos in high places’ inquiry, which has seen everyone from former Prime Minister Edward Heath to the ex-head of MI5 put in the frame.

Who can forget the senior policeman standing outside the home of the late Ted Heath and appealing for his ‘victims’ to come forward? Or the heavy-handed raid on Cliff Richard’s home, accompanied by a BBC helicopter?

The police waited until months after former Home Secretary Leon Brittan died to tell his widow that he had no case to answer. That, in itself, should have been a resignation matter. The ‘paedos in high places squad’ are even conducting a full-scale murder inquiry despite the lack of any concrete evidence that anyone has actually been murdered.

But the current Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe clings to office, hoping that these continuing high-profile investigations will be sufficient to win him a three-year contract extension in the New Year, in the name of ‘continuity’. If he had a shred of decency, he’d resign. And so would the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders. The conduct of both police investigations and criminal prosecutions over recent years has been an affront to British justice.

…. Disc jockey Dr Fox is young enough to rebuild his life. War hero Lord Bramall, former head of the Army, is not. He will be 92 on Friday, yet still finds himself under investigation on the word of the discredited ‘Nick’ — even though sources maintain there isn’t a shred of credible evidence against him.

Let’s hope Hogan-Howe summons up the spine to exonerate Lord Bramall and apologise to him, while he is still with us.

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