Saturday, 2 November 2013

I now pronounce you ...guilty of all charges, no trial needed!

As reported in The Guardian and by various other News Agencies, veteran D.J Paul Gambaccini is the latest in a number of names to be connected with Police Investigations launched in the wake of Saville-gate. As of early this week, the Metropolitian Police and the BBC  were refusing to name the 64 year old Presenter but last night his identity was revealed.

My issue with all this is that the Press may now very likely vilify and misrepresent the D.J long before anything has actually been proven. If he is guilty as charged then of course the full weight of the Law and the Justce system should be levied against him. But what if, for example, he is innocent of all charges?

I am not making excuses for anything that happened back then but you have to accept and remember that these were different times and people such as Mr.Gambaccini DID have girls throwing themselves all at them? Did they always ask if they were over the age of consent? Probably not. This does not make it right and, in fact, these 'celebrities' being charged now were very foolish and are now paying the consequences. But how many of them actually set out to do a Saville and actively sought out and targeted young people for under-age sexual practices remains to be seen...

Here in the U.K,  we have recently just had a very high profile Court Case whereby a popular Soap Star was charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse on a young girl. He denied his guilt throughout, despite being largely shamed and vilified in the mainstream Press and it looking for a long time like he did it, only to be finally proved innocent of all charges. Yes, that's right ~ she made it all up. All of it!

In today's modern society where celebrity exposure rules and where every aspect of peoples' lives are put up in front of the camera for all to see (and not just with famous people ~ the increase in popularity of reality shows such as My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Gogglebox for example have lead to the lives of ordinary people such as you and I now being splayed all over our television sets), I strongly believe we have to be careful not to conduct Trial By Popular Opinion or Trial By Television/ Newspaper.

We have a saying in Britain ~ innocent until proven guilty. 

I just worry that with so many Social Media outlets and Public Broadcasting facilities out there today that this little phrase can be so easily forgotten! I will repeat it again for those who may have missed it: INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!

Like I say, I am not defending anyone who has been investigated, charged or arrested in connection with any of these investigations. I am, however, waiting until I have all the facts at my disposal before I make up my mind.

I think the Jimmy Saville case has had a devastating effect on our National, and even Global, consciousness and even I was a bit WTF when that news first broke. It is a proven fact now that Saville was a devious manipulator and a predator of young and often vulnerable people. But please, let us not go too far the other way and forget the necessity of a fair trial. 

Before we publicly accuse anyone else of definitely being a pedophile or a sexual abuser, please think about whether all the facts have yet been made clear. 

Because there is another popular phrase that is relevant right now: mud sticks. What is reported in the Press and what we choose to share on sites like Facebook or Twitter or other Social Networking sites may well end up affecting somebody else's life for their detriment. 

And IF they are innocent, what kind of monster does that make us? 

Paul Gambaccini arrested on suspicion of sexual offences in Operation Yewtree

The veteran presenter was arrested on Tuesday and has been bailed until a date in early January
Paul Gambaccini
Paul Gambaccini has been arrested and bailed as part of Operation Yewtree. Photograph: David Levene
Paul Gambaccini, the veteran BBC TV and radio presenter, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual offences under Operation Yewtree.

Gambaccini, whose broadcasting career spans 40 years at the BBC, was held on Tuesday as part of the inquiry into alleged sexual offences by Jimmy Savile and others.
Scotland Yard has refused to name the 64-year-old, but Gambaccini's identity was confirmed by sources on Friday.

The DJ, who is one of Britain's best known broadcasters and foremost authorities on music, becomes the 15th arrest under Operation Yewtree since it began a year ago.
He was arrested under the "others" strand of the investigation, meaning the allegations are not directly linked to Savile. He was held at an address in south London before being taken into police custody.

Shortly after 6pm on Tuesday Scotland Yard announced that the 64-year-old had been bailed to a date in early January "pending further enquiries".

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We don't give a running commentary on investigations and we don't confirm names [of arrestees before charge]."

Gambaccini and his agent declined to comment.

Operation Yewtree detectives arrested a second man, 74, in south London on suspicion of sexual offences on Tuesday, but his identity has not been confirmed.
New York-born Gambaccini, who has adopted the nickname "Professor of Pop" because of his breadth of knowledge of the genre, began his four-decade BBC career at Radio 1 in October 1973. He is the only person to have been a regular presenter on Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4, and he was also a founding presenter on Classic FM and had stints on breakfast television shows TV-am and GMTV.

His ruby anniversary was celebrated with a four-part BBC Radio 4 series, The Gambaccini Years, broadcast in August, featuring interviews with music luminaries including Elton John and Tim Rice.

Four individuals have been charged under Operation Yewtree, including the Australian entertainer Rolf Harris, celebrity publicist Max Clifford, DJ Dave Lee Travis and David Smith, a former BBC driver. Smith was found dead at his home in Lewisham, south-east London, on Monday on the eve of his trial over allegedly abusing a 12-year-old boy in 1984.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Thursday that it had received a full file of evidence from police in relation to Freddie Starr, the comedian arrested last November on suspicion of sexual offences. Starr was arrested for a second time in April after police received further allegations of sexual offences.

The CPS is also considering whether to bring charges against Gary Glitter after receiving a full file of evidence against him earlier this month.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail before a charging decision has been reached. We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that all cases passed to us for a charging decision will be considered very carefully and thoroughly, and decisions will be made as soon as is practicable."

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