Interesting

The number of child pornography web pages identified by an industry watchdog more than doubled last year as online paedophilia became increasingly commercialised, a new report has disclosed.

So they’re getting better at working out what is such child pornography, are they? Fascinating…..

54 comments on “Interesting

  1. As with many crime statistics, you don’t know whether there’s more crime or just better reporting / better uncovering of crime.

  2. Or, more likely, they’ve just reclassified a whole genre of online content – Japanese comics, for example – as child pornography. We’ve seen this before with the trafficked women and the sexual assault stats.

  3. Or pssible the Rotherham scandal has woken them up to the dangers faced by underage teenagers and that has been brought into the reckoning as well.

  4. If a report were to claim an increase in sites selling footwear or holidays or cases of wine, would we still have commenters here claiming that it can’t possibly be true? Why is it so incredibly unlikely that the online trade in a product for which there is demand might increase?

    Andrew,

    > As with many crime statistics, you don’t know whether there’s more crime or just better reporting / better uncovering of crime.

    I thought that piece was quite honest on that front, and made it clear that this isn’t a crime statistic. And then the bloody subs put a misleading headline on it.

  5. We are in the middle of a witch hunt. No doubt they are all getting off their ar$es now and pursuing leads they would not have bothered with in the past. No doubt partly it is a matter of definition. Just try to define child porn. They may have let a photo of your toddler in the bath tub go last year. I doubt they will this year.

    It found 37 websites selling child pornography for bitcoins between January and April last year.

    So basically we are still talking about a very minor kink by some very sick people.

  6. The spokesperson for the IWF on Today said that it was down to their algorithms getting better at finding dodgy stuff.

  7. Well, I dunno. They seem to be counting URLs of individual files found on file sharing services in the total, so it may just reflect evolving methods of distribution. Does on site with 100 pages count as 100 URLs? It’s not clear.

    It is worth remembering that Sasha Wass’s team were prepared to declare Rolf’s porn viewing as child pornography (with an expert witness) until his defence team did the research to prove it wasn’t, so we have to ask how the IWF are confirming the under-ageness of the material, or whether they are. For all we know (and no, I don’t know, this is mere speculation) some canny entrepreneurs might be selling overage as underage, if nobody can be sure of the difference just by looking.

    This is the problem really, nobody but a few appointed State bodies can look at this stuff, so nobody can check whether they’re doing their job correctly, e.g. an investigative journalist. We just get the statistics. Government and law enforcement without public oversight have a tendency to go off the rails. Whether they are on or off the rails, we have no idea. That’s troubling.

    And, Vietnamese nail bars.

  8. nobody but a few appointed State bodies can look at this stuff

    Not actually true. Defence and court appointed experts can look at the stuff and there is s46 of the Sexual Offences Act which was a change which now allows corporate investigators to work on such material, without prior police permission. But not in Scotland.

  9. The public can’t look at what is supposed to be kiddie porn –to judge for ourselves. We can’t look at the ordinary porn that the coppers claim they found either. So we will never know if Rolf actually had 80000 pornographic images or that was just a lie peddled to try and con people that an old man of 84 was a dirty sod who spent all day wanking over his vast collection.*

    *(of which plod claim 30 or 0.00 something % were kiddie porn–not much of a kiddie fiddler even IF true, a big if–but never dared to try their luck probably because the US s2257 cert would have kicked their crap into the long grass witch hunt or not. So they just used the claim as an extra smear.)

  10. IanB–The canny entrepreneurs are in the abuse industry.

    Did Mathew Hopkins ever issue a pamphlet declaring” Its OK now folks. We’ve dealt with most of these witches. Satan is on the run. All our fucking troubles are over.”

    No– because , apart from the anachcronisms, that would have been the end of the lucrative and very enjoyable career of Mr Hopkins. No more cash, no more ego-satisfaction in being the man of power who can destroy peoples lives with a word or two.” Witches, witches everywhere–get them before they get you” is the kind of pamphlet Hopkins was much more likely to be found passing around..

    Of course the witch-hunters are going to declaim that kiddie porn is on the rise. How can Abuse remain a growing and thriving sector of the economy if it isn’t?

    My local paper informs my that reported rapes are on the rise. Of course they are when rape is defined in such a way that every female flake or supposedly slighted spite-spitter can now run to the coppers complaining that some male once looked sideways at her in a manner she didn’t much care for.

    “But the coppers don’t act without evidence, British Courts, British Justice etc, etc”. The coppers know well which side their bread is buttered on. They know very well that nobody ever got promoted or made friends with the boss class by going against the tide.

  11. Yes it was, Ironman. We’ve strayed a very long way from “beyond reasonable doubt”- I know you are proud of that, but some of us are not.

  12. Iron:Well lets hope that you get a dose of the same injustice. You’d be so busy blubbering they would have to call you Rustman.
    Never mind–you could forgive them like the compassionate Jesus Jumper you claim to be–and so obviously are.

  13. Yep, that jury sure didn’t know what it was doing.

    Tell me IanB or Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS, is it that he just don’t do it and start a relationship with an underage girl or is it that he did it but it was fine and it’s all so unjust?

  14. Here we go again.

    Harris was accused specifically- other than various gropings of a commonplace sort in the Dark Ages of the 1970s- of (a) having a relationship with an underage girl (b) putting his hands in the underwear of a 7 year old at a public appearance at a community centre.

    No evidence was provided for either. When the sexual relationship began in (a) was simply two competing claims. (b) had no evidence at all; that he had ever met the girl, that the performance took place, nothing.

    Such claims for a non-emotive crime would have been thrown out of court. They do not meet the basic standard of corpus delicti, let alone beyond reasonable doubt.

    “Ironman touched my bottom 30 years ago” is not evidence.

    Additionally, there is the fact that a man whose sexual tastes- while gropey- were clearly otherwise normal in the sense of who he found attractive (women in their peak years) should set alarm bells ringing about the idea that he’d be publicly molesting a 7 year old, with people all around, none of whom apparently noticed, at a public appearance of which there is no record or memory at all.

    If you really are happy with the justice system operating on this basis, you need to rethink, Ironman.

  15. If a report were to claim an increase in sites selling footwear or holidays or cases of wine, would we still have commenters here claiming that it can’t possibly be true?

    Only if it was followed by voices screaming “something must be done”, “let’s restrict people’s freedoms”, “give me money and power” or all three.

  16. IanB

    So “no evidence” was what was put before a jury…who found him guilty. Interesting.

    Oh, and when you say “wen in their.peak years” you do indeed an having sexual contact with girls under 16 years old don’t you. Interesting again.

    Does Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS share your views here I wonder?

  17. Sigh. By “peak years” I meant, in the normal range of female attractiveness. Which yes, in many cases is attained before 16, but extends up into the 20s and 30s, etc. Biology. This is vital in understanding what constitutes “paedophilia” and thus whether a seven year old fits a pattern or not.

    But then you’re not interested in reality are you, Ironman, because that conflicts with your ideology, so God knows why I’m wasting time arguing with you again.

    No evidence was put before the jury. The fact that a guilty verdict could be returned is indicative of something wrong with the system- specifically, conviction on the basis of volume of hearsay- which is the whole problem we should be discussing. Have you even bothered to read the facts of the case before commenting?

    Look, you repetitive fool, any time somebody suggests a wrongful conviction- as with famous cases like the Birmingham Six, or Stefan Kizsco- it is implicit that one is saying that the jury got it wrong. You need to get past “the jury convicted” if you want to discuss such cases.

  18. Oh, and when you say “wen in their.peak years” you do indeed an having

    And at least try.to write.in coherent English, for fucks.sake.

  19. But we’re not talking over 16 here are we; we’re talking under 16. And it wasn’t hearsay was it; the victim testified didn’t she. And the jury believed her not hin!

    But you, who believes it is OK anyway, you say it is a miscarriage of justice.

    You see why some might call you a dirty and delusional old man?

  20. And it wasn’t hearsay was it; the victim testified didn’t she. And the jury believed her not hin!

    That is all there was; an accusation. You are quite correct that I have misused the term “hearsay”. It is however the case that no actual evidence beyond the initial accusation was presented. Because there was none. Would you happy to be convicted on that basis?

    “Ironman touched my bottom 30 years ago”. That’s it. The lot. You think that’s beyond reasonable doubt?

    As to the 16 thing I don’t even know what point you are making, but I suspect that in your blind fury you are as bad at reading as typing.

    What do you think I believe is okay? Molesting children? No, I don’t believe that is okay. I don’t know where you get the idea that I do, other than from your vivid imagination.

  21. Molesting children? Hmm

    Well the jury had the freedom to believe him… and they all didn’t.

    Now to me that says….guilty! To the ageing man who thinks he should be allowed to sexual relations with girls under 16 if he wants… it’s an injustice.

    Keep digging. Dig for Australia you dirty old man.

  22. Now to me that says….guilty!

    And this is why it’s not worth arguing with you Ironman, you’re just not prepared to engage with the matters under discussion. It’s pathetic.

    To the ageing man who thinks he should be allowed to sexual relations with girls under 16 if he wants… it’s an injustice. Keep digging. Dig for Australia you dirty old man.

    No, it’s an injustice that people are being convicted by a distorted legal system, which is the matter under discussion.

    The sad thing is that you are so up yourself that you can’t imagine anyone having an opinion that isn’t personally biased, which is why you have to descend immediately into ad hominems like this.

    I really do have this hope that one day you’ll make a reasoned argument, but I’m pretty certain that you’re just not capable of it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, on whatever issue, you just don’t seem capable of the simplest acts of discussion. Once again, I give up.

  23. IanB:He does not dispute fact or logic. His “logic” is “Doh–Jury convict: It.Jury. Must.be.right”.

    Legal Theatre of the Blub is the tactic that shifted Yewtree from its previous utter failure to suckcess(sic). Previously the CPS second eleven had tried cases that trailed tendrils of fact. Those old fashioned patriarchal things that can be checked. Which is what sunk them–for example the claim that Roache had raped some woman in 1968 on the set of the Rover’s Return –after she had been warned what a bad egg he was by no less than “Mike Baldwin”. When it was pointed out by the defence that actor Johnny Briggs had no connection whatsoever with the show until 1974, she at once claimed that it was Peter Adamson she actually meant (ironic as he was an early victim of paedohysteria also exonerated). Strangely no one believed her.

    After that the CPS tactics changed and their best female consters were brought in. No more checkable facts–just accusations and emotional drama–soap itself so to speak. Sheer melodrama.

    The scene at the CPS prob resembled the below: From 2.40 onwards

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrRmYjTorkg

  24. Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS says “female consters”. To which IanB replies “indeed”.

    Oh and apparently I’m the one who make a reasoned argument.

    Interesting. Fucking mental, but interesting.

  25. “Oh and apparently I’m the one who make a reasoned argument.”

    Not there you’re not Pal.

  26. The problem with rape and sexual abuse cases is that they are almost always a matter of one person’s word against another. That is unfortunate, and it is why convictions in such cases are notoriously hard to achieve. Now, I think that the difficulty of getting a conviction reflects the realities of the world and so those who scream for special measures to get more rape convictions need to be opposed. But the same problem works the other way: sometimes juries will convict. You can’t use every conviction as proof the system has failed, especially when most cases end in acquittal. Juries decide some witnesses are more credible than others. Fair enough. And witness testimony is evidence, even if it’s not put in a plastic bag and sent to a lab. Non-forensic evidence is still evidence. In fact, it’s forensic evidence that you really need to beware of, because it gives juries a false impression of infallibility: it was forensic evidence that got the Birmingham Six and Barry George banged up, and it was “science” that Roy Meadows peddled. A total lack of forensic evidence discourages juries from leaping to assumptions.

    I have concerns about Yewtree. The DLT conviction is ridiculous, and (contrary to the claims of an establishment-backed unstoppable witchhunt) judges have criticised the prosecution for even bothering to bring certain other cases. In Rolf’s case, it was appalling that they decided to simply announce, having convicted him of one crime, that he was also guilty of another which they weren’t going to try him for. But as to the case itself, I don’t know. His behaviour on the stand was odd. He gave the impression that the game was up.

    I also have a problem with the way each Yewtree case is considered individually. When they’re all the result of the same investigations using the same techniques by the same team, the Le Vell case should have led to criticism not only of the Le Vell case but also of the others.

    But we are seeing acquittals. Juries are finding Yewtree suspects not guilty. Which rather suggests they’re not a blind screaming mob.

  27. My concern with Rolf and Stuart Hall is that there are no witnesses save the alleged victim. Even tho’ it was alleged that Rolf touched up the 7 year old in front of an entire queue of people there are no other witnesses at all. Someone sounding convincing is not proof and should not be treated by juries as a substitute for evidence. The business of politics is full of convincing liars (altho’ that is breaking down due to the Net and just too many porkies being told) If there were several credible witness against Rolf or Hall then that is a different story. There are none. Nor is there any forensic. In the 7 year old’s alleged case not only can Rolf not be placed at the scene of the crime, the scene of the crime can’t even be placed at the scene. As for his behaviour –he is 84 and was probably shocked terrified and bewildered. Should anyone be convicted on how they seem? Real evidence–then real conviction. No convictions should ever take place on the basis of nebulous impressions and unsupported accusations alone.

  28. Squander-

    Further to Ecks, the issue of time is crucial in sex abuse cases, so that the closer you are to the crime, the more chance you have of something beyond “he said, she said”; evidence of assault, the victim’s general state, witnesses (if not to the rape, to the presence of the perpetrator and general situation), semen, DNA, etc. This is one of the reasons for a statute of limitations; because over years and decades any chance of knowing what happened fades away. The possibility of a safe conviction becomes negligible- so we end up with this situation where poeple are judging demeanour and who they were most impressed with. There is no possibility of “beyond reasonable doubt”. Hell, there is “reasonable doubt” that Rolf ever even visited the said Community Centre- absolutely no other witnesses could be found even to the gig, let alone the assault.

    But secondly, we have this strategy of “salting” a string of likely but less serious offences (groping women and teenagers, for instance) with one that will cause revulsion- in Harris’s case, the seven year old. This has been the case with Harris, Hall and Clifford. In each case, one very underage allegation is brought forward to push the jury into thinking “paedo”. With Hall, he supposedly excused himself from dinner to assault his hosts’ nine year old daughter(!), with Harris, he supposedly put his hands in the knickers of a seven year old while signing autographs(!) and Clifford supposedly assaulted a 12 year old in a pool; astonishingly this allegation was not even tried but merely presented from the witness box. No evidence of any of this, not even parents who remembered upset daughters. Nothing. Nada.

    None of this seems compatible with our traditions of justice and worse- and this is why I keep going on about it- these “salting” allegations are out of pattern, which is why definitions of paedophilia are important, and the “anyone under the legal age” definition is a very bad one.

    Human beings gain our secondary sexual characteristics, and thus become attractive to normal members of the opposite sex (or same if they’re gay) some time after puberty. It varies from person to person. A bloke groping a teenage girl’s boobs is undesirable, and an assault, but it isn’t paedophile in character, regardless of their being above or below the age of consent. If you tell me that somebody with a track record of groping normally attractive women- with tits and arse, to be basic about it- suddenly went out of his way to target a seven year old, I don’t see that as confirmatory, it’s a very great inconsistency that needs explaining.

    But in a courtroom- despite as you point out many juries, and indeed judges, being remarkably sensible in the current climate- salting the allegations with “paedo” pushes things into a whole new realm, and that’s why Wass and Co have been using this technique, it seems to me.

    The “blind screaming mob” are concentrated in the CPS, parts of the police who have been indoctrinated into the paedohysteria and “victims justice” mindset, in NGOs and pressure groups. It’s not everywhere. But it’s powerful and by any reasonable measure this is a witch hunt.

    If my simple claim that “Squander Two touched me X years ago” with no supporting evidence whatsoever is the basis of a conviction, how would you even begin to defend yourself?

  29. Ironman – “Well the jury had the freedom to believe him… and they all didn’t. Now to me that says….guilty!”

    A jury had the freedom not to believe the Scotsboro Boys as well. They didn’t. Does that say guilty to you too?

    “To the ageing man who thinks he should be allowed to sexual relations with girls under 16 if he wants… it’s an injustice.”

    No. To anyone concerned about justice, it is an injustice. Harris was convicted without any evidence at all except the word of an embittered woman. That is a problem. As you would see if you cared about justice.

  30. Squander Two – “In fact, it’s forensic evidence that you really need to beware of, because it gives juries a false impression of infallibility: it was forensic evidence that got the Birmingham Six and Barry George banged up, and it was “science” that Roy Meadows peddled.”

    And it was forensic evidence that got some young men convicted for Stephen Lawrence’s murder. It is a problem. But juries are fairly random. There is no particular reason to think they work at all well.

    “His behaviour on the stand was odd. He gave the impression that the game was up.”

    At his age, after a life time of being boring and middle of the road, how do you think he was going to react to being put in prison and put on trial? It must have been a seismic shock to the system. I would expect odd behaviour.

    “But we are seeing acquittals.”

    If he lives long enough I expect Harris will get an apology.

  31. Like I said though, I simply don’t believe the ‘reasoned’ arguments of people who have a vested interest. IanB believes Rolf should have been allowed to.do what he did. He therefore hates that 12 English men and women looked straight at the dirty horror and convicted him.

    But IanB ends up with the 9/11 defence – it didn’t happen, you’re lying; but if it did it was all fine.

    We’ll it’s not fine and the desire of IanB and Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS to shag underage girls is horrific.

  32. Like I said though, I simply don’t believe the ‘reasoned’ arguments of people who have a vested interest.

    Well maybe your problem is right there, Ironman. Reason is reason. If Adolf Hitler says 2+2=4, its just as true as if Stephen Hawking says it. Not that he can. But you get the point, right?

    The other problem being that the “vested interest” exists only in your mind, but nothing I say will shake that delusion. Faith is like that.

  33. We’ll it’s not fine and the desire of IanB and Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS to shag underage girls is horrific.

    clickbait!

  34. “the 9/11 defence – it didn’t happen, you’re lying; but if it did it was all fine.”

    What the fuck are you talking about? What has 9/11 got to do with anything? Who the hell is or ever has said 9/11 never happened? Is it the Moon landings you mean? That might be more like it . Cos the fucking Moon appears to be where you are broadcasting from.

  35. Ironman – “Like I said though, I simply don’t believe the ‘reasoned’ arguments of people who have a vested interest.”

    No of course not. You are protected by your impervious armour of self-righteousness. Which excuses you from any consequences of what you do.

    “We’ll it’s not fine and the desire of IanB and Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS to shag underage girls is horrific.”

    Well I don’t speak for IanB or any of my other personalities, but I am on record on this. I think people who shag underage girls ought to be in jail. Or better yet at the end of a length of hempen rope. But I would like to be fairly sure they are guilty first. Harris does not look guilty to me.

  36. Similar fact.
    The reason for the police and CP’s behaviour goes back about 15 years. Vaguely similar claims were allowed to be mutually supportive previously there had to be close parallels – goes back to “Brides in the bath”. Ever since, plod simply collects allegations that are often completely unrelated and are undefendable. It effectively legalises “no smoke without fire”. Quantity is deemed “proof” however weak the individual claims. The result is often down to luck

  37. Paul – “Ever since, plod simply collects allegations that are often completely unrelated and are undefendable. It effectively legalises “no smoke without fire”. Quantity is deemed “proof” however weak the individual claims.”

    Although for Rolf Harris there weren’t that many allegations. This is, presumably, the result of that taxi driver who raped a lot of girls. Against whom there were a lot of accusations but the police never linked them up.

    But the Harris case should have been tossed. Like the Stephen Lawrence killers. The police and prosecutors are allowing the media to panic them into unsafe convictions.

  38. I don’t think the police and prosecutors are being panicked by the media. They believe in what they are doing. The victim/survivor belief system has, along with the rest of PC, strongly infected the institutions of the State. The process of trawling for allegations was, like the rest of it, adopted from its American origins. The media are part of it, rather than the driver.

    One particular problem is the adoption of the “trauma model” (which again first achieved popularity among American therapists and was bundled into the model). Once a person is deemed to have experienced a “trauma”, all sense of scale and proportion is lost, so that minor incidents- such as a brief groping of an adult woman- are considered little distinct from a child rape. All induce “trauma”, all are part of the same “pattern”. Because all are of the same kind in this model.

  39. IanB

    And yet I note how very quick you always are to deny that you personally have an attraction to underage girls. You show all the signs of knowing full well what a dangerous dirty secret yoy must keep.

    And of course you have conspiracy theorist it’s like Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS for support.

  40. What did for Rolf was his daughter’s friend. “I’d known her since she was a little girl and suddenly started a sexual relationship with her the moment she turned eighteen” is a shit defence.

    Ian,

    > the issue of time is crucial in sex abuse cases, so that the closer you are to the crime, the more chance you have of something beyond “he said, she said”; evidence of assault, the victim’s general state, witnesses (if not to the rape, to the presence of the perpetrator and general situation), semen, DNA, etc. This is one of the reasons for a statute of limitations; because over years and decades any chance of knowing what happened fades away.

    Yes, but that’s useless in child abuse cases, where the standard MO is for an authority figure to abuse a child who has been taught to do what grown-ups tell them and to threaten them with dire consequences should they tell anyone. Children hardly ever come forward to testify. We know this. If you want to base your statute of limitations on things like semen, it would need to be, what, a fortnight? A month, if the kid’s parents don’t wash the sheets so often? May as well just hand out licences for child abuse.

    Testimony is evidence. It may not be as good evidence as you’d like, but it is evidence. It has been used for centuries in all sorts of cases. Fraud, for instance, often depends not only on what money changed hands — which is verifiable but not inherently illegal — but on what the victim was told they were paying for. Juries have to decide whether the victim’s claim or the fraudster’s is more convincing. Convictions based on juries’ assessment of testimony are not a new thing brought in for child abuse cases; they are a long-standing part of our legal system.

  41. Ironman, you can’t even get that right. I rarely attempt to dissuade you from your beliefs because people l ike you have your minds made up and nothing will change them. Your basic problem is that you’re trapped in the witch-hunter mindset in which anyone who does not share your view must be a witch themself. Nothing will change your mind on that, will it?

    Squander Two,

    I refer you to Neil Sedaka’s Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen. It may be a shit defence, but that doesn’t make it untrue. Every attractive woman was once a child.

    As to the question of testimony, we are back with the issue of proof. If somebody testifies to a fraud, there should be evidence at least that a fraud actually took place- if there is no other evidence at all– no record of money changing hands, nobody else can even find the fraud itself, the mere testimony should not be enough to convict on its own.

    A statute of limitations should start ticking at 18. Sure, there won’t be physical evidence, but you’ve still got reasonable evidence of something, if only the memories of others involved in the person’s childhood. It’s always going to be hard to prove. Nobody here is suggesting that people should evade trial and conviction; it is the sheer weakness of these, cases, many decades removed, that is the problem.

  42. > It may be a shit defence, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

    No argument from me. But getting convicted because you have a shit defence is not the same as being convicted by a witch hunt. Especially when other defendants are not being convicted.

  43. Squander, those of us calling it a witch hunt are I think drawing a more general analysis from the general behaviour of the authorities, history of the phenomenon etc. Also, the issue of the long running affair- I honestly do not know what to think about when it started. The issue for me, as I’ve stated in these comments, is the (in my opinion) deeply suspect seven-year-old groping claim.

  44. SQ2:”Testimony is evidence. It may not be as good evidence as you’d like, but it is evidence. It has been used for centuries in all sorts of cases”

    “Convictions based on juries’ assessment of testimony are not a new thing brought in for child abuse cases; they are a long-standing part of our legal system.”

    Agreed–but that should be the testimony of witnesses in support or in opposition to the claims of the accused vs the claims of the alleged victim. Not entirely unsupported claims by the alleged victim. The idea (at least) of a trial is to find the truth. Not to be a popularity contest between the two. “What really happened –who knows? But we believe her because she does such a good line in emotional distress but not him cos he looks like a bewildered dirty old man”. Anyone who is fine with the idea of such a trial really should be the main star of their own.

    “Yes, but that’s useless in child abuse cases, where the standard MO is for an authority figure to abuse a child who has been taught to do what grown-ups tell them and to threaten them with dire consequences should they tell anyone. Children hardly ever come forward to testify. We know this. If you want to base your statute of limitations on things like semen, it would need to be, what, a fortnight? A month, if the kid’s parents don’t wash the sheets so often? May as well just hand out licences for child abuse.”

    Yes –the most likely “real” paedo happening is within the family. Unless you want a telescreen in every house that is a tough circumstance to find out or prove. However in none of todays witch-hunts are those the circumstances. All of the supposed young victims had parents/ guardians etc to whom they said nothing to at the time or who supposedly didn’t want to know in cases where the alleged victims claim that they did speak. Because Saville/Rolf etc are such “authority figures”? They were minor league slebs. We are supposed to believe that parents value said slebs more than their own kids? With all the Saville allegations included that would make literally hundreds of adults who we are supposed to believe didn’t give a shit about their own kids or kids in their care. Because the femmis want moderns to believe that the past was a time before people realised what monsters men are and a time in which we monsters could do whatever we liked to the women and children.

    In any trial , if all there is– is the unsupported testimony of the victim vs the unsupported testimony of the accused –then the accused walks. Anyone can accuse–the idea is to prove what happened beyond reasonable doubt.

  45. So much for subtlety:”Although for Rolf Harris there weren’t that many allegations.”

    Enough. But you actually don’t know. What the Police do is collect allegations – this can go into the hundreds – and filter out the ones that are provably incorrect or simply just insane. The “Good ones” are left. Sometimes these are 100+, and on occasion 100 allegations all unravel.

    “Similar Fact” law moves it from trying to establish if the alleged abuser did it or not, to trying to generate enough claims to get “a result” – this comes from care homes and similar, they do things like advertising in prison. Yewtree is nothing new to anyone who has experience in residential care.

    This is the reason for encouraging the BBC helicopter over Cliff Richard. It’s not just PR at work, it’s trying to generate allegations against Cliff Richard by publicising it. The usual collection of nutters and con artists will believe anything.

    Some of it may indeed be true – I don’t know, though the claims against Harris are very weak at kindest. But the idea is no longer to find out whether it is true or not.

  46. “Yes, but that’s useless in child abuse cases, where the standard MO is for an authority figure to abuse a child who has been taught to do what grown-ups tell them and to threaten them with dire consequences should they tell anyone. Children hardly ever come forward to testify.”

    This is actually a myth. Children testify all the time and have done. Ask anyone who works with difficult ones ; it’s a minefield.

    This is the stock excuse for “why did you wait 30 years to make a complaint with the promise of compensation in the background”, the idea of psychological control that somehow exists not up to 18 but 20 years after that.

    The money is the problem. You might think you have to prove your case or go to court ; this is not unheard of but rare (as you can tell by the way the compo solicitor want them handled) ; it is more like a tariff almost, allege A,B and C and you get D,E, and F. The reason is the shift from ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to ‘balance of probability’. It is (almost) unheard of for any sort of case to be taken against things proven false, and the goal posts are just moved conveniently (e.g. Johnny Briggs)

    If (say) Harris has a conviction, however weak it is, then any claim alleging the same sort of thing credibly is difficult to challenge. And there are plenty of solicitors willing to help the claim look credible.

    The solution is actually not difficult ; rigidly enforce a statute of limitations say 3-5 years after being out of the ‘orbit’ of an alleged abuser. 40 or 50 years is just ridiculous and almost impossible to defend. Those who were actually abused and genuinely want justice (rather than money, which is involved in several Harris allegations) can get it ; just not a large cash handout.

  47. People – all of us – get more comfortable in their skins as they get older. I find it not at all surprising that someone would want to testify at at the age of 40 about a sexual event they would have clammed up at the thought of when they were younger.

    I have no direct view on any particular witness evidence of past events, and nor should anyone else who wasn’t present in court to hear the witness’s testimony.

    I do think juries should be given expert advice about the reliability of any particular sort of evidence – the accuracy of identity parades for example can readily be tested using simulated events.

  48. It is not that people gets more comfortable in their skins ; it is usually in response to advertising by compo solicitors and police (they used to do this in prisons, literally). Often vast numbers of allegations miraculously appear almost overnight and *none* of them thought it worth mentioning before. Some claim they did but were “ignored” (conveniently), though there is no record of such anywhere.

    The problem is you do not know if the “evidence” is created by the Police or not through leading questions. This is very common and sometimes leads to basically impossible claims where people make allegations against people they’ve never actually met (which are never investigated for obvious reasons). This also occurs through direct collusion through things like survivors groups.

    There may well be genuine allegations in there, but they are (I would estimate from seeing them) about 5% maximum ; the rest are hangers on (mostly) after money through compensation claims.

    The Police do not care because of similar fact ; the aim of the “Investigation” is to create as many allegations as possible through publicity. This is why Yewtree et al behaves as it does, arresting people in full public view priming the papers first. Virtually no effort is spent on actually investigating the claims at all, save trying to redact checkable evidence.

    You don’t need to be present in court, you can read witness statements.

    So you get the famous case of Anver Sheikh, who was prosecuted on the word of two witnesses. Later investigations revealed one of them wasn’t actually at the place of the claimed abuse at the same time as Sheikh, and the other one was for a very short while.

    One would conclude reasonably from this that the first one, if nothing else, is lying. However, the Police’s response was to prosecute again after having ‘amended’ the evidence to fit this new information. He was found guilty, again, and eventually cleared, again, when it was found that yet more information was suppressed.

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