opinion.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A DIRTY OLD MAN?……

In the UK there has been a recent police investigation called operation Yewtree, into celebrity behaviour,  following the revelations that the late Sir  Jimmy Saville OBE, a well known children’s TV presenter and charity worker, had been a sysetmatic and prolific sex abuser  of children, throughout his career for 40 years.

The latest to fall in this scandal is a man, now 83,   who  was a very successful  “hail fellow well met” TV presenter and sports commentator for over 40 years.

Upon his arrest  in December 2012, the much loved and jovial man protested his innocence and called the allegations “pernicious and cruel”.    But I knew the allegations to be true, because 47 years ago, I had to,  literally,  fight off,  with a slap across the face,  this mans rather aggressive, unprovoked advances  and groping, when he gave me a lift home after reporting on a sports event I was competing in.

Last week the man pleaded guilty to 13 counts of sexual assault and is awaiting sentence.

What shocked me at the time in 1966 was, not particularly the assault it’self,   but  that I was a 16  year old girl and to me he was a middle aged  (36!), married,  well known TV celebrity.

Not wishing to trivialise or condone this mans behaviour,  what shocks me now is why anybody would wait 40 years to report a sexual assault.

When the man was charged there were three alleged victims, since than another ten have come forward.  As a “victim ” myself I find it unbelievable why anyone should drag up a long forgotten incident from 1966/7 and put themselves in a position where the whole unpleasant incident and their  good name would be dragged through the courts and they could be called a lier by unscrupulous lawyers.  After all it is difficult to prove such things when they happen, let alone  after all this time.

At the time in 1966,  although shaken, I dismissed the incident.   It never occurred to me to report it to the police, it never occurred to me that he might be a serial pest.

 Maybe , like many other victims,  I somehow thought I had provoked him.   ( Although at the time I did not consider a sweaty girl with greasy hair and spots in a baggy rounders outfit very alluring!)  Maybe I should not have got into his car,  maybe I had given him the wrong messages.  Why did he pick on me?

This is how “victims” often think.  and this mindset is often exploited by defence lawyers.

I now know that men are NOT  regulated by uncontrollable sexual urges and are unable to help themselves if aroused.  I now know that men ARE perfectly responsible for their own behaviour and should be capable of controlling themselves….  and non consensual sexual contact or sex is always assault or rape.  No grey areas.

To be honest, I suspect like many women ,  this was not the only time in my youth that I had to fight off unwelcome advances from men, whose names I cannot remember   This incident did not traumatise me in fact until he was arrested it was a well buried memory.

If the victims have come forward for monetary gain, I find that just as distasteful as the original crime.  After all he hardly presents a threat to young girls now. They are not saving anybody from harm.

So what does the judge do with an 83 year old sex predator   This man has already lost all his credibility, his reputation and respect.  He can never show his face in public again.  Gone will be the celebrity friends and rounds of golf ,  gone will be the after dinner speeches and privileged service in hotels and restaurants.  His whole lifestyle will be devastated. Goodness knows what his 74 year old wife and 50 something children have had to endure.

 In my opinion, prison seems a pointless option.  The victims have already had their revenge.    At the age of 83, what purpose will it serve to lock this man up, with other prisoners who traditionally do not like people convicted of sex crimes and who will make his life hell.  His life as he knew it is already destroyed.    Thus will not serve as a deterrent to this man he is too old for any rehabilitation.

A difficult decision for the judge.

Update…. Stuart Hall was sentenced to 15 months in prison on June 17th 2013.   There were protests against the leniency of the sentence and legal appeals to have it lengthened.    Again I have mixed feelings about this for an 83 year old man.

 However my feelings towards the victims have changed  after reading this account by another victim who was nine at the time and realise my attitude was coloured by my own denial and attempt to forget.  This victim has much the same reaction as me and I admire her courage for eventually coming forward.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10136619/My-ordeal-at-Stuart-Halls-hands-by-youngest-victim-then-aged-just-nine.html

Love Denise

A year ago, surprise, surprise, I was in Paris.

https://denisefrombolton.com/2012/05/01/491/

and at a Hindu wedding in Stockport

https://denisefrombolton.com/2012/05/06/506/

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A DIRTY OLD MAN?……

  1. If I had been one of his victims then and I had a young girl in my life that I loved very much now, I may be inspired to have my name dragged through the mud just to teach her that this kind of behaviour is not OK should she find herself in a similar situation.
    I think that’s the lesson. By bringing this up today, they are teaching all young girls tgat they did NOTHING wrong, and that this behaviour is criminal, hopefully empowering them to stop predators today, and maybe saving other young girls.

    Like

    • Mmm, I see your point Sylvia. Maybe the victims should be seen as courageous. Maybe I am trivialising the whole thing with my victim mindset. I don’t know. Although I am not sure that the lesson shown is just that sexual victims do nothing wrong and predators cannot get away with it.

      Had he maintained his innocence, the case may have gone the other way and the victims could be branded as vindictive, vengeful and money seeking (as they are now seeking compensation.) Frankly my peace of mind today is more important than revenge or compensation

      I still feel it is a pity the victims waited 40 years to bring this up. the saddest thing to me, it would seem, they have never been able to move on from these incidents. I think my message would be to say something at the time, seek help and move on.

      Maybe that is my lesson. That you CAN move on from these incidents and revenge is not always sweet. Become a survivor rather than a victim. Don’t let these people ruin your life.

      Love Denise

      Like

  2. Hi Denise,
    Maybe it’s not revenge as much as justice. Maybe these young girls did not have the courage or the strength at their young age to say anything, or maybe they said something to a parent and were told not to make waves against a popular man, or maybe they were not believed (all are possibilities when victims are children and the predators are men in power ~ just look at all the cases involving Catholic priests).
    Maybe once just one victim finally found the courage to make an accusation against a beloved children’s entertainer, other victims gained their courage and came forward. I actually think all these women are to be commended and that it is never too late for these sick depraved individuals who prey on the most innocent in our world to be brought to justice.
    There was a recent case of a well known US college football coach who was accused and found guilty of abusing kids in his care decades ago. Not only was he finally brought to justice, but those who knew and said nothing were also revealed. Crimes like this only happen when the victims are too scared to say something because they are scared of not being believed. Showing that no one can get away with a sick crime like this is very important to helping any future victims come forward.
    I also think that finally being able to face your accusers is the best way to move on ~ it’s not about revenge, it’s about putting horrible memories behind you and getting on with your life. It’s about justice and it’s about never letting a guilty person get away with such a heinous crime.
    Sorry for the long diatribe, but abuse against children is a hot button topic for me. I think often these criminals either get away with it because kids are too scared to speak up or they get relatively light sentences relative to the crimes they’ve committed, crimes which often ruin the victim’s lives. It’s never too late to speak up and I think it’s the best way to put a horrible memory behind you.
    Respectfully,
    Jo

    Like

  3. Hi Jo…no need to apologise. it’s not a diatribe. I am genuinely interested in other peoples opinions even when they are different from mine.

    I agree that these predators should not be allowed to get away with their crimes and I think the police are getting better at taking allegations seriously and investigating these things. This message is now becoming loud and clear In the wake of the Jimmy Saville revelations. There is now a celebrity witch-hunt going on and there must be a lot of famous people quaking in their shoes.

    I now know that even if there is no physical evidence, if there are several reports of the same modus operandi (as in this case) this is enough to take a case forward……and in some way , for me , reading that this man used the same MO to isolate his victims validated my claim that this was an assault and assuaged my guilt.

    Over the weekend I have also been discussing this case with family and the general consensus seems to be that these women are noble rather than vengeful or greedy.

    . So maybe it is me that is the wimp in not wanting to rake up the past and maybe I was wrong never to do anything about it, although in justification, at 16 I did not think of myself as a child and it never occurred to me that this would be anything other than an isolated incident….. victims usually think they are the only ones……and in some strange “victim mentality” way I had a feeling that somehow it was my own fault.

    The unfortunate side of warning your children against this kind of behaviour is that if it does happen, they are in danger of thinking they did something you warned them against, if you do not warn them they still feel guilty because they did not know!

    However,the sad reality in this country is, that the court case can often be more traumatic than the crime. Ten years ago I was a witness in a mugging case and was appalled at the way I was treated, it was worse than the actual mugging it’self and recently a witness in a high profile school sexual abuse case, committed suicide during the trial, after the defence lawyer called her a lier and a fantasist during cross examination.

    On balance, unfortunately there are people who sometimes do bring false allegations and people need to be protected from that. So I do not know the way round this.

    I only know for myself, after my experience in court ten years ago, I would never put myself through that again without some guarantee that I would not be emotionally traumatised. (especially after 47 years when I had dealt with it and moved on. )

    I think the sad thing in all this is, that the victims in all this time say they have never been able to deal with the trauma and it has ruined their lives. There is absolutely no need for that, there is help available. I did seek counselling, not just for this incident and gained a lot from that and indeed worked for a while for victim support but was sadly disillusioned by
    the courts system.

    Have a good weekend. Jo. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Love Denise

    Like

  4. I was always a fan of Stuart Hall and I didn’t believe the allegations when he was arrested (I somehow can believe the allegations against most of the others) and look how all that turned out.

    I too find it odd about the Coronation Street rape allegations. Mostly that there’s evidence to charge him with.

    And I do hope the one accuser against Rolf Harris turns out to be some nut. There, again, with him I just don’t believe it.

    Like

    • Hi friv, thanks for dropping by. Actually I have not heard what the sentence was.
      I too hope that Rolf Harris is innocent. He seems such a nice man. But the then so did the others. .

      I always enjoy your ironic view of the world. Fits in with my sense of humour. May be a northern thing.
      I post your blog here to encourage others to read them.
      Love Denise

      Like

      • I don’t think Stuart Hall’s been sentenced yet, but he’s admitted it all in court. As he’s 80-something we may never see him again. I heard the tale of one of his anonymous victims, who started his downfall with a letter, on the radio and it was horrific. So he deserves what he gets.

        Like

Comments are closed.