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Difficult one really

Crispin Odey, one of Britain’s most high profile hedge fund bosses, has been charged with indecently assaulting a woman more than two decades ago.
The Brexit donor, who founded and runs Odey Asset Management and has an estimated wealth of £825m, was charged over an attack alleged to have taken place in Chelsea in 1998.
The attack is alleged to have happened at Swan Walk in west London, where Odey owns a home and several of his businesses are registered, the Evening Standard reported.
Mr Odey said: “The allegation is denied and I will strongly contest this matter.”
The case was due to come before Westminster magistrates’ court next week but has been postponed until 28 Sept due to a backlog of hearings created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Odey, 61, has been charged under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 with a single offence alleged to have occurred in July 1998, the Crown Prosecution Service said. He is charged with “indecently assaulting a woman over the age of 16”, the Standard reported.

Actually, not so difficult as all that. Sexual assault is a he said, she said offence. Because the act itself, sex (one assumes that is what it concerns) is entirely legal. It’s about consent. And 22 years ago? Probably no witnesses other than the two participants? The likelihood of a fair trial – you know evidence ‘n’ all that – is what?

One of the things the Americans have got right in their legal system is that insistence of taking statutory limitations seriously.

24 thoughts on “Difficult one really”

  1. Memories are complex things. The further back you go the more they become memories of memories. As the years pass you think about an event in the past, mull it over and discuss it. Over time all of this retrospection joins with the real events and you can’t tell what you remember from what you think you can remember and so you believe a series of events that may be quite different from how someone else who was there believes them.

  2. KevinS has spotted it.
    If it really was a case of sexual assault, why no complaint for two decades? Hedge Fund managers have *never* been popular (except among those clients who benefited) so the complaint would have been welcomed in 1998.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Memories really are unreliable, even for the most memorable of events:

    Where were you on 9/11?

    Almost any American old enough to remember 2001 has an answer to that question. Classrooms, office parks, living rooms, dorm rooms — wherever you happened to be when you turned on the television or saw the smoke or got a frantic phone call — became imbued with extra meaning. Americans from New York to Fairbanks promised each other they’d never forget where they were when they heard the news.

    But research suggests we do forget: not the dead or the importance of the moment, but the details surrounding the day. The emotional, seemingly vivid memory of where you were when 9/11 happened is what’s known as a flashbulb memory. Once thought to be seared into the brain permanently, flashbulb memories have turned out to be fallible, just like memories for more ordinary events. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

    The difference is, flashbulb memories don’t feel that way, said William Hirst, a psychologist at the New School in New York City who has studied Americans’ memories of 9/11.

    And sometimes we can genuinely belive that something happened to us without being a pathological liar.

    “Sorry Dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft.'”

    NBC news anchor Brian Williams told a war story on national television. It wasn’t true. But does that make him a liar? Part two of Revisionist History’s memory series asks why we insist that lapses of memory must also be lapses of character.

    OK, that 2nd one’s a Malcolm Gladwell podcast, but that doesn’t make it any less worth a listen.

  4. Even without a statute of limitations, “failure to act in a reasonable time” should apply. Unless a serious good reason can be given for the delay, it should be taken as self evident that it wasn’t that important to the accuser.

  5. Take current news, where it’s reported that there’s a low conviction rate for rapes.


    Rape allegations.

  6. There used to be a claim that “everyone knows where he was when he first heard of the Kennedy assassination”.

    So we tried it in the Common Room once: fewer than half could remember. I thought I might have been at the barber’s but we worked out that the timing wouldn’t fit.

  7. 9/11 is the one Big Event that I do know exactly what I was doing because it was so odd. I was installing the toilet in my flat with the TV on in the background, and a bit later was at the plumbers’ suppliers listening to it on the radio. I remember the general consensus amongst staff and customers was “we’ve had the IRA for decades, now the Yanks will know how it feels”.

  8. The German bloke strongly suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann nearly got away with it, because Portugal’s statute of limitations is 15 years.

    The American system seems a little better, because they have different limits for different crimes: unlimited for murder, 12 years for sexual offences, 5 for other major crimes, and so on.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Somehow I suspect, and am willing to bet, this is just part of the on going backlash against Brexit.

    Of course if he had been browner he could have sexually assaulted all the girls he liked and the Guardian would have covered up for him.

    But if he had been a Remainer I doubt they would have been after him either. Just as the media keeps trying to link Trump to Epstein and ignore Clinton’s multiple trips to pedo island

  10. Smfs… Or the way the media focus on Trump’s interest in Biden’corruption to the extent that they totally ignore Biden’s overt corruption

  11. “There used to be a claim that “everyone knows where he was when he first heard of the Kennedy assassination”.

    I was only two. Don’t remember much. My dad put me down on a grassy knoll. Then there was a loud bang, he picked me up and started running. Confusing day.

  12. “we’ve had the IRA for decades, now the Yanks will know how it feels”.

    The difference was that the UK didn’t fund 9/11.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    I was on a plane to Malta when 9/11 happened. Nothing was mentioned when we landed for at check in. The first time I heard about it was when the concierge, who’d been chatting and jacking with us, mentioned it when we go in the lift. We didn’t believe him but obviously the first thing I did was out on CNN to get the news.

    That evening when having dinner I said to my colleague that I though it was the end of the end of the IRA, there was no way the USA could tolerate fund raising for terrorists after what they were going through.

    Going back to Malcolm Gladwell, in another podcast on memory he talks about how he was in NY for 9/11 and watched it with a friend from a flat below him. When he discussed it with that friend for the program they couldn’t agree on who contacted who, which flat they watched from, when they went outside and a load of other details.

  14. @ dearieme
    I can remember: I was in “my” study. You couldn’t have been at the barber’s because it was in the evening in the UK. I was worried that a nuclear war might break out.

  15. @KevinS August 1, 2020 at 8:22 am

    +1 on Bexit donor and therefore guilty – Remoaner editor George Osborne

    Fair trial? Like Rolf Harris had? Or two years plus punishment by process and media

    BBC has a new take on balanced reporting:

    “Biden spoke today on new policies of x y z. Received lots of positive feedback and support. Over to Prat Boy in LA “Biden received loud cheers and standing ovation, blah blah. Some key moments clips. Here’s some interviews with supporters”
    Obama & Clinton again endorsed Biden

    In Ohio Trump held a rally”

    BBC: We’ve reported both

  16. ‘Mericans know where they were when Kennedy was shot. Prolly not as important to you limeys.

    I don’t remember where I was when Lennon was shot. John. Lennon.

  17. “Prolly not as important to you limeys.” Limeys of the generation who remembered his pro-Nazi gangster father may even have thought ‘they had it coming’.

    People who witnessed the career of his brother Ted may have thought ‘the bastards shot the wrong ones’.

  18. “People who witnessed the career of his brother Ted may have thought ‘the bastards shot the wrong ones’.”


    But the best theory I have heard of JFK’s assassination says there was a very specific reason why they got Johnboy. The Mafia was incensed that Kennedy didn’t crush Castro in Cuba and restore Mafia operations in Havana. It cost them big money. Who was responsible? Santo Trafficante Jr.

  19. The Pedant-General

    I’m afraid I have had a similar thought as above.

    My immediate reaction was “why now?”

  20. @ Gamecock
    Theory was that Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald because “The Mob” backed Kennedy and so told him to kill Oswald for shooting one of “their own”. It was common knowledge that the Democrat-backing unions (and the Teamsters) were controlled by Mobsters. Why should Cosa Nostra (not the Mafia) shoot Kennedy for bungling Bay of Pigs in order to get Johnson?

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