NOW will the courts stop hounding old celebs?

Ever since the so called "Saville" investigations we have been witness to the public accusations of sexual misconduct by celebrities I have grown up with, many of which have now been found not guilty.

So, with not only their reputations but also their lives in tatters, we can say "there goes an innocent man". Who next, I wonder, will have their lives totally ruined by bogus unprovable accusations of events which allegedly happened in an era where attitudes to sex were somewhat different?

I never liked Saville. I found him somewhat creepy & rarely watched him on TV. He may or may not have committed the assaults he is accused of but is there any value in prosecuting a man who cannot defend himself & even if found guilty (easy if there is no defence) cannot be punished? For the alleged victims any "closure" would be somewhat hollow - Saville will never have to explain his crimes or live with the disgust of the public. I think that even the thought of monetary compensation, a worrying motivation, cannot happen as his money will have been left to others who are innocent of any crime & cannot be expected to pay for the sins of a dead relative - what a bizarre thought!

We must remember that 40 years ago attitudes to sex were very different. We were brought up in a world where the "Carry on" films depicted a very different attitude - Sid James lusting after young girls who would just smile & call him "Cheeky", where almost every sentence contained sexual innuendo. That was entertainment! It was in that environment that many of these allegations of inappropiate behaviour took place, allegedly, before the backlash which saw, later, laws concerning sexual harrassment.

Don't get me wrong, unwanted attention from another person is not fun, especially if that is made clear, but standards HAVE changed. What was allowed then is not allowed now but it cannot be fair or proper to prosecute people for something which today is an offence but when that act was committed it was not.The state cannot apply laws retrospectively but it seems to be doing just that.

Many of the accusations made against these celebs are along the lines of groping, which as a youth was almost a rite of passage "down the youth club". Anyone in the pop world had their groupies - these girls were not litle angels & we have all heard the stories of bands handing round these girls. But no prosecutions there. Times & acceptable behaviour have changed, rightly, but can we now stop wasting tax payers money on these bogus show trials which are destoying the lives of innocents?

I think there is a big difference between for instance, a bank robber who has been on the run for a lifetime, or an elderly Nazi who has hitherto escaped justice compared to 'any man' be that a celebrity or ordinary Joe on the street, who one day is informed there has been a complaint made about an incident that (allegedly) took place 50 years ago!

What Mark mentioned regarding the differences in acceptable behaviour's in the 60's and 70's (most girls, certainly the ones I knew, would have been hugely upset not to have had her bottom pinched or someone grabbing 'a feel' as it was called then) mattered then that you were popular with boys and that was how they showed you and the rest of the world.

For years I went out with a guy in a band, girls threw themselves at the band members, many as young as 13 would be happy to sleep with one of the guys for the kudos. Interesting that apparently not one girl has come forward and claimed rape or sexual assault by any of the big groups from the 60s and 70s....because they certainly all slept with young girls, some very willing young girls, others not so willing but under the influence of drink or drugs.

I cant help feeling that any guy in the street could have a knock on the door to find out some random woman is claiming he raped/assaulted her when they were both 16 some 30 years before......what hope has the guy got to prove otherwise? I wholeheartedly believe there should be a time limit on this type of crime. One of the women in the William Roache trial couldnt answer many of the questions when she was on the stand, she kept saying she couldnt remember....that being the case, I feel it was inappropriate after 40 plus years to bring an action.


Counsellors and social workers are absolutely 100% NOT meant to project their own emotions and prejudice onto their clients. The trouble is of course they have the same foibles as those in every other walk of life, and some, not all, far from supporting their clients, let their professionalism slip when facing a stressful situation.

The good ones can be life savers.

As Carolyn says, there are good and bad counsellors. I have been in half a dozen war/civil war/terrorism situations with work, Lebanon and Kurdish Iraq really hit me because of what was happening to the children I came in direct contact with. The counselling then helped a lot. Working with child abuse in several forms has similarly hit me but after trafficking of children for enforced prostitution in Italy I was really in bad shape. The counsellor tried telling me that I should feel guilt! I was the researcher looking at the issue on the street with the project's workers and my view was quite the opposite, that I needed strength not guilt to write a training manual for the project's own researchers needs. In the end I felt like slapping her face (in reality I would never do it, but felt as though) because she said everything I said was wrong. Another after a different child abuse job told me too change my profession before it was too late! I was already 62 years old... In my view he was nuts and I wanted help not ridiculous advice! However, generally they have been good. A mixed bag one might say.

The same for social workers, some are simply so enthusiastic they mess up everything because they imagine power they do not have very often. Trouble is, both are very necessary, get rid of them then we are in deep water.

I think that many of today's problems stem from councillers who are quick to take offence on behalf of others whose opinion they do not represent. The brush is broad taking in such things as supposed racism through to health & safety - all fine in moderation but now going too far.

That is awful, and not the first time I have heard that side of the situation. I do feel I have to say that I have also known people who have gone for counselling to deal with various situations, particularly to grief counselling, who have come away with very good outcomes.

That does not make your situation any better and having gone through something similar myself I really do sympathise.

Thank you for your kind sentiments and understanding.

I have yet to find anyone who can say something good about a social worker os someone who offers counselling!

My daughter, aged 15, was bullied at school and was given counselling by a social worker unbeknown to her mother and I. Two years of counselling later our daughter is totally convinced that we, her parents, are totally to blame. She has left home and she no longer has anything to do with us. Won't communicate or acknowledge we exist.

Personally I want to string up the social worker.

Please do not send anyone claiming to be abused or harassed to a social worker, you'll lose them for good else and they too will end up worthless individuals whose only interest is perpetuating their own self worth.

Karen, I agree with the silence thing & the media influence.

I have a friend whose brother killed himself the morning he was to appear in court accused by his step daughter of molesting her. His body was found when someone went to his house to let him know that she had admitted she had made it all up. On the up side she didn't wait 40 years to bring it up!

If you read the whole thread you will find that I have said that now with acquittals those cases are closed, they should be consigned to history. The juries did what they were asked to do and thus there is nothing more to do. I refer to any further complaints that the CPS sees fit to take to court. You gave the impression you would be against that. The several decades of silence is a result of the times changing. Complaints were made but the police did not act on them in some cases, we are also living in times when the accusers are no longer stigmatised for what happened to them. The problem with being an accuser then and now is that years ago the police usually took a 'they were asking for it attitude' toward young women, which today they would not dare for fear of reprisals. Lawyers are also far more used to sexual abuse and harassment cases, that also makes a big difference. I know it is 9 or 10 pages, but read the whole thread before you make accusations about what somebody has said or not or means too please.

I think we have moved a long way from the article which prompted my original reply.

The fact is these celebrities were found innocent. So are you questioning the decision of the Juries or is the point of the original writer, that these people will always be labelled with this offence, innocent or not, justified here, because it seems to me, your comments are very much on the side of the accusers.

I am sure there are those making genuine complaints but I also think it must be possible to identify them before the court system is evoked. I have no problem with the idea of prosecuting genuine offenders but it is the silence of 30/40 years which bothers me the most. Within my own family (and here unfortunately I must remain confidential and give no details) media influenced an older member until they were convinced about a non existent and easily disproved accusation.

I feel that this is the point Brian where our opinions must agree to differ!

Karen, you have little faith in justice then. Far less, it strikes me, for those who have been wronged and are only being taken seriously now.

To separate those who are making spurious from those who are making genuine complaints more or less needs telepathic communication, which is mythical so not going to happen. Should those who have been wronged be denied the chance to seek justice and should those who have done wrong be allowed to get away with it?

I'm not sure this is quite the same situation. I presume there was compelling evidence against this former SS member and I suspect he has been 'wanted' since the end of WW2.

If there are records from the women who are making their accusations which date back to the events they claim( even if they were not taken seriously then) then of course they should be taken seriously and I'm sure in certain cases will be, but I return to my thoughts about the Salem witch hunts. History has shown that people's thoughts can easily be changed and the mind can often convince the vulnerable or less confident that certain incidents actually happened.

As I wrote previously, I believe in the rights of the individual to be respected and treated only as they themselves want to be but in the same sense, I do not believe it is right to allow hysteria to influence a prosecution.

He was only arrested on 14 January David, so has months to go before a trial. On the Nürnberg trials there were doubts cast over the legality of them at the time which were overruled by the Allied Kommandatura - the military government of Germany. Whilst I was a child in Cologne it was well known that there were still husbands of some of the women nearby on the run, fearing the UK and French military controlling the city would arrest and try them despite them having been conscripts and under orders. There was some kind of 'amnesty' when I was about six and they all came home. They were nonetheless afraid of my father because he was an occupation soldier living among them.

Unless there is some nature of amnesty for the kind of people we started this thread discussing, then legal process demands they be detained and tried irrespective of when crimes were committed conditional to them having broken laws at that time, retrospection is permissible for people to testify but not to bring formal complaints that can be tried. That was precisely the case where we began, despite the confusion caused by large numbers of witnesses. The trials will go on irrespective of such debates as this, because that is how the law stands and rightly so. 'What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander' as they say.

But surely Brian, using that argument (retrospectively applied laws) the Nuremberg trials should never have happened?

Re "not yet tried" - I'm only going on what I've seen in the press. He was definitely there and it would appear that the reason he didn't face trial in the 1950s was because East Germany refused to extradite him. So this is a case of allégations having been made against him over 60 years ago but not followed up perhaps?

I can remember people saying at the time that it was mean & unfair to arrest Pinochet in London & that he was a poor old man who shouldn't be subjected to the gruesomeness of a trial. Rubbish. An old viper is still a viper and I don't think age, whether youth or old age, was a mitigating circumstance for those who were tortured and murdered by the administration at whose head he was.

Retrospectively applied laws and not yet tried and still you say that! Precisely the point of people going to trial, ideally without retrospection.

Not exact at all Brian - in his case there seems little doubt if any that he was involved.

So clearly the two of you would agree with a large number of people who said they thought there was no point in the 88 year old former SS member being charged with 25 charges of murder and hundreds of counts of accessory to murder in Cologne in January this year in connection with the massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane here in France in 1944. He is among six suspects still facing possible prosecution for war crimes in that village. People are asking why now, 70 years on? There were, incidentally, no laws in place for the WW2 war crimes, especially the exterminations, until after 1945.

No exact comparison I agree, but denying the past out of expediency is to shove it all under the carpet as if it never happened. It did and those who did whatever should be punished if the legal process can prove guilt. If not then no harm is actually done, bar a few people's pride hurt.