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another false allegation 7 years to be found not guilty

Discussion in 'Education news' started by afterdark, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    How many teachers have to have their lives ruined by false allegation before anonymity for the accused is extended until conviction?



    In 2014, Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) issued guidance which said, when a crime is recorded, "the presumption that a victim should always be believed should be institutionalised".

    The University of Oxford's Dr Ros Burnett says there is a real danger the "pendulum" of proof in historical cases has shifted too far.

    Mr Warr says he received threatening emails. A Facebook post said if he killed himself it would be the "best Christmas present ever".

    "When they went to see former pupils... it was made quite clear I was going to be prosecuted and they were looking for people strong enough to say I'd done similar things to them.

    "They had no intention of getting to the bottom of what happened. It certainly turns the whole edict of 'innocent until proven guilty' on its head."
    His barrister told the jury he had never taught a single PE lesson. A complainant and a witness both changed key details of their stories. More than 20 ex-pupils, parents and teachers gave evidence in his defence.

    It took the jury only 40 minutes to find him not guilty on all seven charges.

    "I'll never get those years back," he says. "But it's not just the fact my life could have been ruined.

    End of quotes.

    7 years lost.

    Why prosecute?

    Whatever happened to the notion of being innocent until proven guilty?

    I think there is an arugment for anonymity until conviction, rather than prosecution.
    nomad, stonerose and agathamorse like this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    nomad, stonerose and agathamorse like this.
  3. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Whilst it is right that anyone making allegations should be believed, it should also be the case that the accused is not named until at least prosecution. If the allegations turn out to be false there is then the question of whether those making allegations should be named. At that point, we enter a legal and moral minefield.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    I don't think it's correct that complainants should be "believed" but that they are taken seriously. There's an important difference.
    If they are believed then we have a "guilty until proven innocent" situation, Society can't function like that.
  5. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    We are now in the terrifiying situation where anyone who has worked with people can become victims of a witch hunt. We should all be deeply concerned.

    This incident is far from isoloated. Nearly half of allegations
    We turned our police force into idiots. For reasons of political correctness, police can no longer use common sense. No matter how outlandish the claim the vicitm must be believed.
    If you think youv'e been assaulted, just as if you think you're a victim of hate crime, you are, end of.
    This puts all human contact on a scale of "abuse".
    The police also "trawl" for victims, sending out letters to look for nmore cases. Some come forawrd, looking for compenstation, attention or because they have been led to believe that any physical contact is per se sexual.
    Rape has been under-reported by victims in the past due to them be affraid that they would not be taken seriously and the likes of Jimmy Saville and Cyril Smith were not give the attention they deserved due to their power, but rounding up old men and spending 2million investigating Carl Beeches fantasies is going too far in the other direction.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Good point, and it’s what I meant. Apologies for any confusion.
    Jamvic likes this.
  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter


    Any allegation should be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly which includes collecting evidence that both supports and undermines the allegation. It is only after evidence gathering should a view be taken on the veracity of the allegation.
  8. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Sometimes I don't agree with the thinking of politicians and the police.

    There has been lots of talk of changing the law to make rape/sex convictions easier as so few rape allegations actually lead to conviction. This seems to me to be the thin end of a very worrying wedge.

    What I would like to see is a proper investigation into why the rate is low, is it because the police now have to "believe" all allegations are true which leads to charging people they would not otherwise do or is there actually something wrong with the law.

    I also find troubling the new law that states that a woman giving consent when drunk is not valid consent when it is highly likely that the man would also be drunk. Here's a thought, would the man be able to claim rape if he regretted it the next day?
    alex_teccy likes this.
  9. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    See my second post on here. I had conveyed my meaning poorly in my first one.
  10. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    This is a good opinion piece...

    This paragraph resonates with us teachers

    "The victims of this weakness are not unjustly accused individuals alone, but entire institutions – schools, churches, council homes – which are supposed to care for children. Who, ultimately will want to work in these vital areas if the authorities indiscriminately tarnish the people who do so?

    Behind these trends lies a twisting of the real problem that victims of sexual abuse have often found it hard to win a hearing. This is the modern doctrine that “the victim must be believed”. It is the opposite of justice, because it overturns the presumption of innocence. From that, only evil can flow."

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