A piece by Nicholas Hellen, Social Affairs Editor, in yesterday’s Sunday Times:
The radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and Harvey Proctor, a former Tory MP, who were both falsely accused of historical sex offences, are launching a pressure group to campaign for law reform.
Other founders of the group include Daniel Janner QC, whose father Lord Janner of Braunstone, a former Labour MP, was accused of sexual abuse of nine boys and men but died in 2015 before any prosecution. All the civil claims collapsed before they reached a hearing.
Daniel Janner, announcing the launch of Falsely Accused Individuals for Reform (Fair), said it would be pressing for anonymity for those accused of sexual offences until they were charged. [J4MB: This is a missed opportunity. Given the frequency of false sexual offence allegations, there should be anonymity for the accused until and unless convicted, not charged.]
“That is to prevent the macabre situation which has arisen time after time where a prominent individual, in the words of Sir Cliff Richard, becomes ‘live bait’,” he said, criticising the police technique of publicising allegations in an attempt to encourage more potential witnesses and victims to come forward.
He said the group would be lobbying against the decision by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse to have a dedicated strand into Lord Janner’s case next year.
His son said: “Why is it that my father has been picked out as the sole individual . . . with a strand in his name. He died an innocent man in the eyes of the law.”
The group will also “try to point out the stench of injustice” concerning investigations of individuals associated with Westminster, such as the late prime minister Sir Edward Heath.
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