it is worth reflecting on the wider issues posed by these historic cases. The problem is two-fold: one, the social climate in which defendants are tried is especially hostile to sex crime; and two, the courts have dismantled certain procedural safeguards that previously were in place to protect an accused, so the dice is now loaded against the accused in a way that it would not have been at the time of the offence. Thus, the requirement for independent corroboration in sex cases has been removed.
The most radical shift in criminal procedure is the abolition of what used to be called the ‘similar fact’ evidence rule. In a case called DPP v Boardman in 1975, the House of Lords acknowledged that offences could ordinarily only be tried together if the offender’s modus operandi showed a ‘strikingly similar’ method, such as a rapist who always wore a Batman costume. This enabled the defence to keep out evidence that might be prejudicial, such as cases where witnesses have colluded to give false evidence, or cases where one witness has simply been influenced by contact with another witness.
Unfortunately, in 1991 and 1995, the Lords took a different approach, and relaxed this rule. That has led to the current practice of ‘bundling’ of multiple sex allegations in the same trial. It’s called ‘corroboration by volume’, or ‘no smoke without fire’. And it is hugely effective, which is why it has become the prosecution’s favourite tactic.
This development coincided with the practice of police ‘trawling’ for complainants, which unfolded as a result of the ‘paedophile ring’ theory of abuse that police and social workers were following when investigating children’s care homes in the 1990s. The consequences for our justice system have been very serious. Time after time, juries are faced with extremely grave accusations of an historic nature, where there is no supporting independent evidence (such as medical evidence), but which turn simply on one person’s word against another’s.
As the historian Richard Webster pointed out in his Memorandum of Evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, which examined this problem in 2002: ‘When defendants are compelled to face large numbers of allegations of sexual abuse made by different complainants in a single trial, the presumption of innocence is almost inevitably destroyed.’
The emotional impact on a jury of a whole sequence of tearful complainants speaking of sexual violation cannot be underestimated. The obscenity and, sometimes, violence involved makes their stories extremely powerful, even where the vague nature of historic allegations (usually without any specific dates) make them well-nigh impossible to rebut convincingly, unless by chance some contemporaneous document is unearthed, which gives the accused a convincing alibi.
To make matters more complicated, it is now received wisdom among the victim/ survivor movement and the therapy industry that rape and other forms of sexual assault invariably scar victims for life, causing them years of torment. This reflects decades of feminist campaigning.
As one expert pointed out in the landmark malicious falsehood case of Reed & Lillie in 2002:
‘when a collective belief [that children have been abused] takes root in a group, it is a very powerful force. It holds people in a group, who mutually reinforce each other, and it is quite difficult for professionals, unless they are very experienced, to stand back from the weight of that belief system.
A troubling feature of the present approach to historic abuse allegations is the deployment of the logical fallacy: ‘if so many people from different parts of the country are saying this, it must be true.’ Exactly the same naïve literalism was evinced about allegations of Satanic ritual abuse in the early 1990s, which turned out to be fantasy.
"The risk, the danger, the logical fallacy is indeed quite manifest to those who are in the habit of thinking about such matters. It is so easy to derive from a series of unsatisfactory accusations, if there are enough of them, an accusation which at least appears satisfactory. It is so easy to collect from a mass of ingredients, not one of which is sufficient, a totality which will appear to contain what is missing. That of course is only another way of saying that when a person is dealing with a considerable mass of facts, in particular if those facts are of such a nature as to invite reprobation, nothing is easier than confusion of mind; and, therefore, if such charges are to be brought in a mass, it becomes essential that the method upon which guilt is to be ascertained should be stated with punctilious exactness".
it is not uncommon for ‘survivors’ making allegations to have had prior contact, for example via social media sites: another source of witness contamination.
Are some people just too stupid to serve on a jury?
If, as the Guardian, says the numbers of learning disabled people are increasing by 5% every year, in which year will Britain be 100% learning disabled?
Q: What causes inferior and degenerate offspring and learning and other disabilities?
A: Careless copulation by sluts leading to widespread illegitimacy and racial and national degeneracy.
Humpback whales cleverer than promiscuous human females living in a welfare state
Western IQs drop by 14 points in last century, study says
Are people getting stupider and stupider and more and more degenerate the sluttier women become?
Most British mothers SSMs, most British children bastards.
|100 lashes instead of £100 would stop Slut Single Mums producing yet more variously-fathered feral criminal rioting bastards dragging the British average down in the OECD league tables.|
The Bhagavad Gita:
"Out of the corruption of women proceeds the corruption of races; out of the corruption of races, the loss of memory; out of the loss of memory, the loss of understanding, and out of this all evil."