Tuesday, 15 January 2013

He probably was guilty, but...

I don't know if it is inscribed in the Magna Carta, specified in an Act of Parliament or simply accepted as part of the unwritten common law of England, but the understanding is that any person is innocent until proven guilty.  And that's the nub: proven guilty by either a bench of magistrates or a jury consisting of twelve persons selected at random.  That is what is leaving a nasty taste in my mouth in connection with Jimmy Savile, OK, that as well as the other.

For the benefit of readers of this blog who come from a different planet, sorry, country, I should explain the background to my comments.  Jimmy Savile - Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE - died in October 2011.  He had started out as a DJ and became a television presenter on Top of the Pops as well as Jim'll Fix It, a show in which the dreams of children were fulfilled.  Always dressed outrageously... exotically... and driving a pink Rolls Royce with a trademark cigar, Jimmy was considered a true English eccentric.  He served as a volunteer porter at a hospital in Leeds, a visitor at Broadmoor secure psychiatric hospital and at Stoke Mandeville hospital for paraplegics.  He raised millions on sponsored runs etc, hence the OBE and then the knighthood.  However, after his death allegations were made that Jimmy Savile had, over many years, sexually abused young girls and hospital patients, especially at Broadmoor.

It was not long before the number of people making such allegations had moved into three figures and the media had accepted that Savile was guilty.  A number of investigations have been launched and, at the end of last week, the official report of the Metropolitan Police Service and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was published.  I have not read the whole report, but I can say that paragraph 4 of the introduction states that the investigation "collated all the allegations against Savile, irrespective of where the offences took place".

That is an official report and in one sentence at the beginning of the report it moves from "allegations" to "offences".  And Jimmy Savile has never been found guilty of any of these allegations.

I'm not saying that all or, indeed, any of the people making the allegations are hoaxers, jumping on a bandwagon in the hope that something might accrue to their benefit.  Nor am I suggesting that Jimmy Savile was whiter than the driven snow: indeed, I suspect he was guilty as hell.  But neither he nor anybody else can give his side of the story; he cannot be proved guilty in accordance with the law of the country.  That's what leaves the nasty taste in my mouth; the fact that anybody can, after their death, be considered guilty as a result of unproved allegations.


Got the phone fixed but only by ringing the customer service centre from the shop.  And nobody tried to sell me a new phone!


We occasionally have an invasion of French market traders who set up a French market for a day, selling such delicacies as bread, olives, cheese etc.  And other things, like these table cloths.


Uncle Skip, said...

I am happy to be wrong about the cell phone.

I don't know enough about the media frenzy over Jimmy Savile to express any opinion.

Buck Pennington said...

What Skip said.