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British justice the envy of the world? Tell that to Nigel Evans

14 April 2014

14 April 2014

I am utterly delighted that Nigel Evans has been acquitted of serious allegations of sexual assault. He is a good, kind, gentle and decent man and a very old friend. I hope that he will be able to reconstruct his political career.

Hope? Well yes. He might have been acquitted but the stigma is still there. The country has been salivating at tales of hands down trousers, drunken groping and late night romps. And there is a vociferous group of militants who believe that whatever the decision of a jury, any man accused of rape must be guilty. So in the eyes of some, Nigel’s acquittal is meaningless.

If nothing else this case highlights the need for anonymity of defendants in cases of sexual assault and rape. Ah, some will say, this will prevent other victims coming forward. Not so. Make it a rule that all defendants in sex-related cases are automatically granted anonymity but with the prosecution having the right to apply to a judge to waive this anonymity in exceptional circumstances.

The next question is whether there should be a review as to how the CPS brings rape cases to court. I prosecute these sorts of cases and there have been flotillas of these reviews. In lay terms the guidelines are that complainants have a right to be heard and this has to be weighed against the strength of the evidence – and each case is unique. Yet we are all victims of history; the horrors of Savile still resonate. We must never return to the days when those who want to complain are ignored or not taken seriously. This is of particular concern if the allegations are ancient. How does the CPS decide, unless it is gross and obvious, that the complainant is genuine or a vindictive gold digger? If there is supporting evidence, fine. But in most cases involving sex there is no independent evidence. Who do you believe? By and large it must be for a jury to decide. That is not to say that, where there are serious concerns, there should not be case by case reviews. As a rule of thumb, it is wise never to sound off about a trial unless you have read the court papers as opposed to the newspapers. But I did speak to Nigel after the prosecution case had closed and I commented that I would be amazed if a jury convicted after what had unfolded in court.

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The question for any review is how much of this was known to officers and reviewing lawyers beforehand or did it all emerge through skilful cross examination? Dominic Grieve, one of the finest Attorney Generals in living memory, is wise to refer the Evans case back to the DPP for a full report. And there will be others. But a word of warning to the press and politicians alike: emotive words like ‘witch hunts’ help nobody. Each decision to prosecute must be made by people of cool heads and sound judgement based on the evidence. And, if they get it seriously wrong, there must be consequences.

The celebrity sex acquittals raise some very big issues. The CPS budget has been radically cut by our hopeless Minister of Justice, Chris Grayling. The CPS is working on a shoestring. Serious cases are being binned because they are too expensive to prosecute – and I mean rapes and frauds. The chances of the CPS instructing a silk nowadays, with the exception of high profile or the most serious cases, are negligible.

Then flip the coin. Despite the criminal legal aid bill plummeting over the last seven years, Grayling intends to cut it even more, driving out the talented, specialised independent Bar and replacing it with cheaper options, such as G4s, Serco and Cooperative law. The first two are under investigation for allegedly defrauding the taxpayer. And the Coop? Just say it with Flowers, like their undertaking service.

What happened to the Conservative tradition of choice? Soon High Street solicitors will be a thing of the past. The MoJ plan is to cut the number to about 600. In their place, blood sucking corporations will be filling our courts with young and inexperienced lawyers. Worse, there will be a financial incentive to persuade their clients to plead guilty.

Nigel Evans had no choice to pay for a top silk for his trial; he wouldn’t have got a certificate for one under legal aid. And yet the prosecution had forked out for its own silk. Well, at least Evans will get his costs back because he won just like in a civil case, some may say. No chance. The rules have been changed. Evans gets a bill for about £130k.

So Evans, after an acquittal, after having his reputation trashed, after having his parliamentary career put in limbo, faces the prospect of bankruptcy. And what does that mean? He would have to resign his seat. So much for British Justice. The envy of the world? Not unless you live in Russia or Zimbabwe. And if Grayling has his way it will be far, far worse. The sooner he sets sail on the Maria Celeste the better.

Jerry Hayes is a criminal barrister. He was Conservative MP for Harlow between 1983-1997.


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Show comments
  • WorthSayingAgain

    ‘I am utterly delighted that Nigel Evans has been acquitted of serious allegations of sexual assault’

    I bet you are, Jerry, you sad old pederast.

  • JaitcH

    Excessive drinking lowers or removes the inhibitions that might ordinarily be supressed. It could be said the true, inner, person is revealed.

    This means that whilst Nigel Evans activities weren’t sufficient to trigger a criminal sanction, it doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

    As an employer, or a supervisor, of these complainants, Evans certainly misbehaved – something that not even MPs are permitted to do. He has demonstrated he is unfit for public office.

    He should resign, forthwith.

  • Rillian

    I would have thought the fair thing to do would be to put the accusers in prison for as long as his sentence would have been and make their names public.

  • Hippograd

    This case has been wonderful for the Tories. As a longstanding member of the Promiscuous Homosexual Alcoholics of Faith (PHAF) community, I myself had despaired of persuading fellow members (longstanding and otherwise) of this richly vibrant demographic that the Tories were the true party for them. And all the while Nigel Evans was laying the foundations for an irrefutable case in favour of the same. Thank you, Nigel! You’re a PHAF to admire. Don’t listen to the haters when they say there’s something wrong in getting too p*ss*d to climb the stairs. If you can still perform the truly Christian act of sodomy on the ground floor, where’s the harm?

  • Fergus Pickering

    He should certainly get his ill paid. As for stigma, well that’s true but he does push the boat out a bit. Must be the Welshness.

  • Mike Barnes

    Evans is part of the political class that makes the rules.

    The political class were perfectly happy to bankrupt other innocent people in an effort to save money, but as soon as one of their own loses his life savings defending himself, it’s an outrage and the rules need to change.

    They never stop surprising me with how low they can go. We’re all in it together Nigel. Thanks for your £100k contribution to fixing the deficit.

  • saffrin

    With so many queer fcukers in Parliament, no wonder they thought gay marriage would be acceptable.
    Where is the mandate for this I ask?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Most people seemk to agree with it.Not you it appears but you think they should all be imprisoned, don’t you?

      • saffrin

        ‘Most people’?

        Most people, and by that I mean just about everybody in the country, by the tune of 99.999% recurring into infinity far and beyond “weren’t asked” and those that objected through sites like this were branded bigots, homophobes and just about any other internet insult as if it were they that were on the wrong side of things.

        So, I will say again, ‘Where is the mandate for it’?
        For it sure as he*l didn’t come from the masses.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Nobody cares much. Except you. And you are proud to be homophobe, I gather.

  • Tom Tom

    It is a funny country where people arrested but not charged have no ability to reclaim their legal costs. It opens Citizens up to harassment by vindictive officialdom.

    In the case of Nigel Evans he was charged, tried, acquitted and has been cheated by the Government of £130,000. It is a very precarious country to live in where litigation – civil or criminal – can leave you seriously out-of-pocket even if declared innocent of the accusation.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “It opens Citizens up to harassment by vindictive officialdom.”

      And vindictive harassment by anyone else since the consequences of making a malicious complaint seem to be negligible or not pursued at all. Depriving a person of liberty is the most serious sanction the state can impose now that the death penalty has been abolished. But every day there are cases of the most frivolous deprivations of liberty by officialdom with little or no recourse to their (real) victims. There should be many more civil cases of assault, unlawful imprisonment and damage to property levied against the Crown. And since our political masters are now so keen on the concept of ‘mental harm’ as well the mental harm of enduring months of uncertainty and vilification by the press as the police and prosecutors trawl for evidence having already deprived the alleged offenders of their liberty.

      The pendulum has swung against the citizen (the EU again?) and it is high time it was re-balanced. What about it Grieve and Grayling?

      • Andy

        Which is my point above. In the Roache case one of the allegations was frankly a tissue of lies. Quite elementary points were shown to be wrong. I was amazed that these errors were not picked up by the CPS. In the witness box the person conceded that she could not be sure the events she was complaining about had ever taken place. And the CPS thought it was in the ‘Public Interest’ to bring this crap before a Court and a Jury ?? As you say the ‘malicious complaint’ has had no consequences whatsoever. Why not ? Why should this liar be able to hide behind anonymity ?

        I totally agree with you that the pendulum has swung too far against the citizen, particularly if that citizen happens to be a man.

  • Holby18

    The witnesses would still have said the same things in the court regardless of who was representing Mr Evans. Juries are not idiots and can determine the strength of witnesses testimony. Mr Evans knew the consequences of obtaining his own QC – too late after the event to start moaning about costs. He should count himself lucky that he has the means to pay.

    Mr Evans had been warned about his behaviour and carried on regardless. He knew that when in drink he was reckless and from the court one heard from more than one person the antics he got up to. He got his come uppance by continuing and imo his behaviour was an abuse of power given the ages and positions of those who testified against him. those who want to “get on”wre in an invidious position and Mr evans knew this. Quite shocking.

    You are a lawyer and like all lawyers you resent the cutbacks in legal aid. I have lived on the continent and can assure you that legal aid is not given out so freely and for so many areas of law including taking cases to the European Court.

    What a giggle – criticising the Justice Secretary for bringing in modest changes to the huge legal aid fund paid for by people like me. He is doing a sterling job and thank goodness he is not a lawyer and can be dispassionate about costs.

    I would rather that your argument centred on the “test” undertaken by prosecuting authorities for historic sexual advances and whether this should be higher given the passage of time, word against word etc etc. I am not convinced in this case that any test applies as the evidence was so weak and too many witnesses withdrew in part their allegations in Court.

    I am afraid that Mr Evans’ character is besmirched despite the Court decision. He may be a very nice and kind man but I am left with the feeling that he drinks to excess, behaves inappropriately with younger people many of whom wished to pursue certain careers and if they had complained to the police their career hopes would have been dashed. He lacks judgement and for that reason I regret that he is unfit to be an MP.

  • Tom M

    A few salient points arise I think from this article.
    On anonymity I cannot see the sense in making public a person’s name charged with rape just “because there might be more out there”. That is fishing, cannot be fair and smacks of throwing-enough-and-some-will-stick. The defendant’s name would be made public If he is convicted and then any person having a historical complaint can come forward.
    Quite clearly the police and the CPS have been made aware their incompetence in the Savile affair and intend not to be put in that position ever again. Only they have ended up putting themselves in another position, equally unsupportable. In this they act true to the character of public services. For a comparison think Social Services and children at risk.
    British justice the envy of the world? Put that with “The NHS is the envy of the world” and “Our police are wonderful”.

  • Andy

    With respect Jerry Hayes ignores the most glaring fact: these young men, just like many women, were able to scream ‘rape’ behind a curtain of anonymity, safe and secure in the knowledge that their identities would never be known. They can trash someones good name and reputation with impunity. How is this Justice ? Where is the Justice for Nigel Evans ?

    I read all the reports of this case, and that of Bill Roache and Dave Lee Travis, and quite frankly I was amazed that no one at the CPS had the wit to ask themselves if they were being served a tissue of lies. They were. Not withstanding the CPS decision to continue its war against Travis, I believe the CPS has behaved disgracefully, not serving the interests of Justice, but their own reputation. They couldn’t be bothered to do anything about Savile, nor Cyril Smith, so lets persecute a few other ‘celebs’ just so the public will think we are interested. Saunders should resign or be sacked.

  • http://www.cygnus3.com Mark Roope

    Jerry,
    I will not say anything on the criminal trial of Mr Evans because I do not know enough.
    Having said that if the comments attributed to him at the end of the trial are correct then he quiet rightly deserves to take up another career.
    I refer to to the comments that the CPS should have a cut off date for historic allegations of sexual abuse.
    Having previously been a detective investigating these allegations I know that most complaints of child abuse are made many years later, often when the complainant is an adult and there is good reason for this.
    It does not mean the offence did not happened, it does not mean that there is someone still walking around who has abused a child and it does not mean these offences should not be and dealt with appropriately.
    This man represents his constituency and the people in it. In these comment he is turning his back on them and the public.
    If he were to pursue this course of action then he is stopping those who have been abused finding justice in the courts and allowing those responsible to walk away smiling to continue with their careers and abuse.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Those kind of sweeping generalisations are just the sort that have caused the current wave of hysteria. There is no stature of limitations and each complaint should be treated on its own merits and with strict impartiality as to investigation and outcome.

      • http://www.cygnus3.com Mark Roope

        Totally agree and that is why his comments are so, so wrong..

        He called on MPs to look at the system in the US, where a “statute of limitation” restricts the ability of prosecutors to pursue cases that are “decades” old.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Well it is his opinion and as an MP he is entitled to articulate it. There are plenty of barmy ideas put forward by MPs and some of them even become law. But a public servant like Starmer has no place articulating his opinion and should be seen to be strictly impartial.

          Questions over the UK’s lack of a statute of limitations in criminal cases have been raised before.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          The prosecutors may not be able to pursue criminal cases, but the civil courts are available to purse civil action.

          • http://www.cygnus3.com Mark Roope

            Viceroy.. how is someone who has allegedly been abused and has no real finances supposed to prepare a case against someone who can afford to £130,000 to a barrister!

            • the viceroy’s gin

              If your point is that law can be bought, and some of us can’t afford to buy, I agree with you. I’m just pointing out that the courts are still available to resolve these cases.

              Now, in the case of Evans, as he’s so lecherous, it wouldn’t take much to get together a group of his previous admirers, to pool their money and shake this guy down somehow. That’s not a criminal conviction, but it makes the point, if there’s one to be made.

    • MirthaTidville

      The real problem though is that the CID of today doesnt challenge any of this evidence, like we did of old.You need to go back a bit and challenge evidence which is stale, for whatever reason. If you did, like you should, then the obvious would become apparant long before it got to a jury…..just saying

  • MirthaTidville

    Leaving aside Nigel Evans, per se, you can`t entirely blame Chris Grayling, like this author has tried to do. The blame lies at the door of Keir Starmer, who has radicalised the CPS to a degree that Abu Hamza could only envy..His biggest overpaid acolyte is resident in the North West, think Le Vell/ Roach/Evans and a pattern begins to emerge. The Victims are now put on a pedestal and their versions, no matter how old or wacky, are accepted as fact. The first time they meet reality is when a jury kicks it, rightly, into touch. Previously this evidence used to be called stale (it still is) and needs to be tested and proved, seriously, by the Police, as it used to be, before wasting public money.

    The Starmerites have been conditioned to forget about money when pursuing these claims. There is presently an ongoing case where somone`s grandma is saying she was touched up in the back of a roller in the late 60`s…I ask you, not so long ago this wouldnt have got past the cop on the front desk..

    As long as clowns of the ilk of Starmer and there are many of them, are able to influence public life then society will never heal..They are the cancer within

    • saffrin

      £130k will get just about anybody off the hook for anything.
      How guilty would Evans have been had he been stuck with a legal aid lawyer that just couldn’t give a f**k?

      • MirthaTidville

        Perhaps you might be better off wondering why Evans was actually `on the hook` to start with

      • Fergus Pickering

        No it won’t. You’re exaggerating again. Rich men do go to jail. Just not as often as they should.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “The Victims are now put on a pedestal and their versions, no matter how old or wacky, are accepted as fact.”

      The sentence above could also have read:-

      “The complainants are now put on a pedestal as ‘victims’ and their versions, no matter how old or wacky, are accepted as fact.”

      Referring to complainants as ‘victims’ presupposes a crime has been committed but Starmer declared himself committed to asserting the rights of ‘victims’ in prosecution decisions about certain categories of complaints. It was surprising that both Grayling and Grieve stood by and let him proceed with that agenda whilst he was holding an important public office where absolute impartiality should have been unfailingly demonstrated. Neither of them rebuked him or publicly re-asserted the importance of impartiality in enforcement of the rule of law, even though Starmer was making plenty of inappropriate public statements and courting agenda-driven pressure groups. It was obvious that he was a New Labour place man affiliated to a less than impartial political ideology (which has been confirmed by subsequent events). They let him continue New Labour’s bulldozing and politicising of the justice system and his private cultural revolution without expressing a single reservation let alone any disapproval of what he was up to or reining him in. Whether that was through fear of putting their heads above the parapet or stupidity is impossible to say since as far as I know neither of them has ever expressed an opinion on the subject.

      • MirthaTidville

        You are very correct Colonel…Your second sentence is exactly how it should have read and I thank you

  • Tony_E

    The first problem than needs sorting out is the politicisation of the CPS. There was clearly no evidence that a serious assault had taken place in the Nigel Evans case yet a prosecution was still pursued. I can only take the opinion that as he was a conservative member of parliament and that a conservative government is currently cutting the CPS and police budgets, that the case was politically motivated.

    Add to this the case of Andrew Mitchell, and it is clear that there are people inside the criminal justice system who are quite prepared to use it for their own political ends.

  • Colin

    All well and good, Mr. Hayes. However, in reality, two of the relatively speaking, very few people on this earth, who are / were in any position to do anything to improve, reform or modify the idiosyncrasies of “British Justice” are you and Mr. Evans (along with a few hundred other parliamentarians).

    So, as a matter of interest, because I just don’t know, I’d like to know what you and Mr. Evans did, whilst in office, to mitigate or deprecate the situation, that Mr. Evans now finds himself in, as it related to others. Or, did the little people not matter ?

    It’s not as if this is something new.

  • jmjm208

    There’s no smoke without fire – Evans may have convinced a jury he was “innocent” but one day he will have to give account to the One who sees everything.

    • Kitty MLB

      And he is homosexual so therefore should be sent to hades and burn for all eternity.
      If this was a woman being accused and then found Not Guilty, you would
      be saying those who accused her should be named and shamed.

      • jmjm208

        I have no hatred for sodomites, in fact I feel very sorry for them; they are under the control of the devil and need the saving grace of God to deliver them from their affliction.

        • gerontius

          Of course one can be an hetrosexual sodomite. I wonder what happens to us – I mean them.
          Ah! maybe I should get my coat.

    • Colin

      “but one day he will have to give account to the One who sees everything.”

      The boss of GCHQ and / or Google ?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Don’t be sillly. There is lots of smoke without fire. There’s chap who asserts Tont Blair is a paedophile. Anyone can make stuff up. Journalists do it all the time.For money. Or sometimes just for mischief.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Of course there is smoke without fire. Anyone can just invent something. Journalists often do.

      • jmjm208

        Evans had it coming to him – if he didn’t live such a perverted life-style then none of this would have happened

        • Fergus Pickering

          What has that got to do with what I just said. Do you mean it is OK to cheat and lie when you think you are justified.

  • gerronwithit

    Although Nigel Evans did get off, he was certainly a pretty unsavoury lecher in his public and private life by all accounts during hs trial. He is free from guilt of the sexual charges laid against him but his fitness for public office must be as seriously questionable as was Maria Miller’s.

    • Fergus Pickering

      By all accounts? No. Not by all accounts at all.

  • Colonel Mustard

    It’s reassuring to see you use the word “complainant” rather than following the current trend of referring to “victims”.

    “Each decision to prosecute must be made by people of cool heads and sound judgement based on the evidence. And, if they get it seriously wrong, there must be consequences.”

    Agreed but how is that to be reconciled with demands by agenda-driven pressure groups for an increased rate of prosecutions and convictions for certain trigger word offences, apparently endorsed by the former DPP who actually addressed these groups in his official capacity and undertook to promote their partisan agenda within the CPS? If every case depends on its own facts and circumstances then driving for targets or increasing resources (and perhaps lowering the evidential bar) in the pursuit of specific “high profile” cases seems inconsistent. The rule of law is supposed to be enforced without fear or favour and surely that criteria should exclude prosecutions pandering to vociferous pressure groups as well as ignoring any status of the alleged offender?

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    So, according to Mr Hayes, when barristers were getting paid public money, justice worked fine. Now the public purse is closed to them, justice is a disaster. I get it. Mr Hayes is a barrister. While he has been a barrister, through his entire career, members of the public have had their lives ruined while being found not guilty in a trial. Is this suddenly a problem? Does money spent on a lawyer buy more justice, or a better chance of getting away with it?

    • Tom Tom

      Judges are happier with Untruth than Truth…….lawyers wallow in their own sludge

    • Fergus Pickering

      Money spent on a lawyergets more justice, Rhoda. Always has. Always will. All justice systems favour the rich. For obvious reasos. When was if different? Where is it different now?

  • Peter L

    You hope Nigel Evans will be able to “reconstruct his political career” Mr Hayes?

    This is a man warned by his bosses about his conduct around junior staff. In most well-run work places in Britain he would already have been dismissed.

    Let’s accept the verdict of the jury. Let’s also accept that he is unfit for public
    office.

    • Kitty MLB

      A lot of men foolishly drink too much and behave in a unsavoury manner,
      but should their lives be destroyed, unsavoury and criminal actions
      are completely different issues.
      I wonder if some people would think differently if this was a mixed gender issue. I would say most Labour ministers were unfit for public office,
      he was not on trial for human failings but a very serious crime.

      • Peter L

        Indeed, unsavoury and criminal actions are completely
        different issues – that’s why I differentiated the verdict from the conduct criticised by the Whips.

        In any workplace I’ve ever been in, perving the junior staff
        would get an employee fired – gay or straight. I don’t understand why that wouldn’t apply to elected officials like Nigel Evans.

        Yes, people do sometimes make mistakes, drunk or sober – they should accept the consequences. Or are you saying sexual harassment is OK for politicians, but not for everyone
        else?

        • Fergus Pickering

          Sexual harassment? That’s life, isn’t it? Who has not been sexually harassed. I’m a bit past it. Alas!

          • gerontius

            “Sexual harassment? That’s life, isn’t it?”
            Not really. Agressive drunks only ever manage to pull other drunks.

            • Fergus Pickering

              In which case nobody’s hurt.

              • Christopher Mooney

                So if I get drunk I deserve to be touched up by an old man?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  It is educational. You are only suffering what women suffer as a matter of course. Slap his wrist you fool.

        • Kitty MLB

          Oh I never said it was ok for politicians to act in this way, stop twisting my words. I might
          say that this false accusation of rape( which
          is a crime) happened because he was in the
          public domain.

      • gerontius

        Don’t worry Kitty, I have observed at first hand that the more I drink, the more charming and savoury I become.

        • Kitty MLB

          So you become less curmudgeonly when cavorting with
          Dionysus do you? Effervescent like champagne, or
          a barrel- aged earthy, savoury Claret uncorked after spending decades in locked away in tenebrous cellar.

          • gerontius

            You make me sound quite an attractive proposition Kitty

            • Kitty MLB

              Yes, there is alacrity in my countenance today so I was being generous ( quite unlike most feline creatures) You could have been likened to a cider within the hands of a drunk or a sherry
              in the hands of a little old lady.
              But no, some sophistication was required for you.
              but as with all things in moderation- Oh I am lying I hate that word!

    • sarah_13

      I believe rape complainants should not be anonymous either. A well intentioned but misguided idea gives credence to the idea that there is some shame in being the victim of rape, there is not. The shame belongs to the convicted rapist. We encourage the idea of stigmatisation and shame by giving anonymity to complainants. There is of course also the fact that if you are prepared to go through the traumatic and difficult process to have a defendant convicted of a crime and his reputation tarnished you should also be prepared to be known yourself.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Come on, luv. The human race would no longer exist if men had not coerced women into providing sexual favours. Fast forward to the present, far too many women want all the benefits of a gentleman friend in their life, while closing their eyes to that unspoked quid pro quo obligation. Out here in Japan where English gentleman is flavour of the month (this and every month), you can afford to treat um mean to keep um keen. I appreciate you will hate me and this comment, but this is a parallel universe, summed up by the expression, “White women, who needs um?”
        Jack, Japan Alps

        • Christopher Mooney

          Jack – you sound like a guy who probably went to Japan as no English women is stupid enough to go to bed with you.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Brit chicks might appeal to a gay bloke who fancies a bit of rough. And I say this with all due respect.

        • Christopher Mooney

          You’re not the first loser to head out to the Orient, to find himself a visa chasing dollybird

        • Fergus Pickering

          Yes, I hate this comment. I don’t suppose the women you rape much care for it either. Are you VERY ugly?

  • cjcjc

    If I had been exposed as a lecherous drunk I might keep my head down for a bit.
    But MP’s are not like normal people.

    • James Strong

      You can do what you like with your head.
      Mr. Evans was found Not Guilty of the crimes he was charged with.
      Not Guilty.

      • Kernow Castellan

        There is a vast gulf between decent behaviour and illegal behaviour. Being a lecherous drunk, making passes at your subordinates, is perfectly legal, just not very civilised.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …it’s apparently quite welcome by the Cameroons, however.

    • Kitty MLB

      Do you have no comprehension of the words Not Guilty-
      in simple terms it means he is a innocent victim of bandwagon jumping
      cretins who took it upon themselves to try and destroy someone’ s life.
      Clearly they have achieved their aim, because there will always be someone
      like you throwing stones regardless.

      • Rhoda Klapp8

        He was not found not guilty of being a lecherous drunk. The trial revealed a certain amount of unsavoury behaviour on his part. Which may not be a crime, but is certainly indicative of lack of judgment.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Disapproval of personal behaviour and criminal behaviour seem to be increasingly confused and conflated.

          • Kitty MLB

            Wholeheartedly agree Colonel. People are judged in a court
            of law regarding crimes not what others perceive as someone’s
            human failings- everyone has those.

            • telemachus

              As previously posted
              We have to be cognisant of the abuse of the vulnerable by the powerful

              • Colonel Mustard

                Which should include the abuse of the vulnerable individual by the powerful state.

                The rule of law should be impartial, not partitioned as to the “most deserving” to be determined by the ideologies of you and your comrade Starmer.

              • gerontius

                If you were so cognisant Telemachus, you wouldn’t be here shilling for a party that has consistently abused the vulnerable would you?

      • Christopher Mooney

        He’s innocent of rape. Not innocent of touching up drunk young men

    • Fergus Pickering

      A lecherous drunk? You mean someone who is occasionally drunk and occasionally lecherous. I have to admit to being one of those. Are you teetotal and a priest? No. cancel the priest.Are you teetotal and terminally boring.. .

      • Kitty MLB

        Leaving out priests. Its a bit too late for some cheap brownie points
        from the almighty now. Priests are known for their worship of Dionysus. Each time they visit a old lady its ‘ more sherry vicar’
        they also have to test the communion wine. There are all these meetings with the Bishop that require alcohol, those bilious lunches
        and help with writing long tedious sermons..

        • Fergus Pickering

          What will we do with the drunken vicar?

          • Kitty MLB

            A chum of mine a lofty chap named Revd.Canon, Dr R Ward.
            Principle of St Stephens, Oxford. Could tell you some tales
            about the previous Arch- Bishop of Canterbury ( who he worked with) being somewhat inebriated at one midnight mass, not his fault, that evening people just gave a large
            amount of alcohol. A brilliant intellectual who should have remained teaching- and the odd shave I think.

            • Fergus Pickering

              My opinion exactly, Kitty.

          • gerontius

            What we did with the drunken sailor

          • Kitty MLB

            And how the drunken vicar made the drunken sailor blush..
            but just not saying.. Don’t want the wrath of God and the Navy
            descending.

      • gerontius

        A lucherous drenk Fergus?
        I am often drunk but never lecherous (in my own estimation at least), as that would be so uncool.

        • Kitty MLB

          ‘So uncool’ Curiosity is the most permanent and certain characteristic of a vigorous intellect. So tell we why use
          such befuddling words… Its fine to be often drunk.
          Great writers and poets such as Homer and Wordsworth improved vastly with a little help from a grape.
          As long as you remember your name, where you live and
          what your last action was…

          • gerontius

            I only meant that the lecherous bit was uncool!

            • Kitty MLB

              gerontius, I beseech thee, never use the word ‘ uncool’
              again. cudgel thy brain and find another one word please.
              Its that one ghastly and lazy word I take umbrage with.
              I can help you if your vocabulary is so very basic 😉

              • gerontius

                My use was a tad ironic Kitty. I was addressing Fergus as one old timer to another. It’s how we used to speak, Fergie and I, as we rolled our joints and showed off our new kaftans.

                • Kitty MLB

                  You &” Fergie” two antediluvians in your own jargon, that us
                  “youngsters” would not understand, reminiscing about
                  the good old days. Beer, Song and joints ( not cannabis I presume) although you would not remember.
                  And I am sure the new Bavarian or Peruvian looked quite
                  splendid- assuming they didn’t smell of beer.

                • gerontius

                  They were Afghan and they stank – of goat I think (I hope)
                  Hey Kitty have you not seen “Withnail and I” – it’s word perfect.
                  By the way Kits, I was trying to wind up Fergus not you. He was probably an Officer and Gentleman and would have deeply disapproved of me.
                  They weren’t called “wirelesses”, following the introduction of the transistor – I listened on a “trannie”
                  Wouldn’t you love to hear me storm across the Spectator declaiming “Which of you bugger’s has bummed my trannie?

                • Kitty MLB

                  Well, Peruvian Kaftans would have stank of llama’s instead
                  of goat, a putrefactive miasma ( especially the Male ) And you both would have needed to learn the Peruvian nose
                  flute, far more difficult then the bagpipes ( ask Ally or Jambo)
                  You storming across the Spectator declaiming ” which of you bugger’s has bummed my trannie” would be highly amusing
                  until you bump into someone named ‘ transfanandproud’
                  and his/ her friends. Have absolutely no idea how you
                  talk your self out of that jar of pickles- but I’d find it very funny.

                • gerontius

                  transfanandproud does sound a rather scary beast.
                  I trust Kitty that you would be on hand to lend me some support in the event that I ran into tfp, as I come armed with but a gin martini in one hand and a hot waterbottle in the other..

                • Kitty MLB

                  Ah, you need the hot waterbottle due to the icy blizzard that
                  tfp leaves in her/his wake, whilst perambulating across the
                  Spectator with the ferocity of a snow leopard .
                  You can trust I will assist if required, I shall as always
                  be upon my Nordic war horse, wearing a toga with hunter wellington boots. And save a
                  gin martini for me- don’t drink all of it. besides being
                  totally blotto will be no good for you in the slightest, will
                  need all your wits about you when confronted with tfp.

                • gerontius

                  “I shall as always be upon my Nordic war horse, wearing a toga with hunter wellington boots. And save a gin martini for me”

                  You sound like my kind of girl

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh, I forgot to put the word Kaftan after the words Bavarian
                  or Peruvian.. I wager you also call the radio a wireless-
                  but that’s cool man :)

  • Mark McIntyre

    BRILLIANT !…
    You have to wait for some politico to witness the ‘sharp end’ of British ‘Justice’ – in order (one hopes) of lasting change.
    British ‘justice’ = RIP OFF BRITAIN.

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