Thursday, 5 January 2012

Le Vell case once again questions the anonymity in sex allegations

The cloud hanging over Coronation Street's Michael Le Vell when he found himself accused of sexually abusing a schoolgirl only for all charges to be dropped once again highlights the issue of anonymity of those charged with sexual offences.

Back in October,the media splashed across its front pages the fact that Michael who has played Kevin Webster in the long running soap for 28 years had been interviewed by Greater Manchester police for eight hours after a formal complaint by a teenager.

Earlier this week he was cleared of any offence after the CPS announced that he didn't have a case to answer.

The Coronation street team to be fair,stood by him after he assured them of his innocence but nonetheless his reputation was and has been damaged.

Writing in the Mirror this morning,Brian Reade makes the point that the case once again highlights the fact that men accused of serious sex offences should have the same rights as their accuser and only be named if they are found guilty.

He adds
None of us has a clue how it feels to be falsely accused of raping a child, fearing everyone who looks at you believes there’s no smoke without fire. Only the wrongly ­accused know what it’s like to see your family shamed, to have the only thing that is truly yours, your good name, stolen, and to be powerless to say anything in your ­defence. Why should the phrase “quizzed over child abuse” sit permanently in his press cuttings? And all ­because someone may possibly have invented something which left his reputation looking like child-molester Sidney Cooke’s. This law attacks our most ­fundamental human right – the presumption you are innocent until proven otherwise – and is nothing short of inhumane.

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