ARGUS COMMENT: Questions for the CPS over MP's trial

First published in News

NOW that former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans has been cleared of a string of sex abuse charges, it is perhaps time to start asking some tough questions of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The inconsistencies in the evidence against the former Conservative MP became more glaringly apparent the longer the case went on.

And the jury unanimously acquitted him on all charges.

Surely it is now time to take a closer look at how and why this case actually got to court in the first place.

This is the third 'celebrity' case, after those of Michael Le Vell and William Roache, where there has been a massive amount of publicity before and during the trial. Yet in all cases a jury, after hearing all the evidence, has found them not guilty on all charges.

There must be a concern that following the Jimmy Savile revelations here is such pressure on the police and CPS to not allow those in the public eye to escape justice that cases are being brought without the usual checks and balance being made first.

The CPS decides to bring a case to court if there is a realistic prospect of conviction.

Yet all the three cases mentioned, they seemed to have been brought before court on only the flimsiest of evidence. Surely the tests whether or not prosecute have to be as rigorous as ever, even if those facing the allegations are in the public eye.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:01pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

*Please remember, that although the jury have not found Mr Evans guilty of rape, but he has admitted himself to making inappropriate drunken advances on his co-workers. Now that is a particularly vague term that could encompass anything from pestering someone for a date to actual, physical sexual harassment. One of the accusers alleged that Mr Evans sexually assaulted him by suddenly placing his hand down his trousers. Trouble is, this is one person's word against another.

To those who claim they are convinced that sexual harassment claims are a waste of time as there is no evidence, to put this in perspective: how would you feel if your daughter or son was working as an intern or junior secretary and much more powerful, older bosses or managers took it as an automatic right to casually grope them and put their hand up their skirts or trousers etc?

Would you still dismiss that as 'a bit of harmless fun' or simply normal, healthy office banter/horseplay then? Would you? Do you think it's the secretary's/filing clerks/office junior's lot in life to be harassed and bullied often by older, much more powerful people who really should know better?

There still is that kind of upstairs/downstairs mentality in this country that those of a certain class should just put up with being exploitation and maltreatment simply because that's the way things have always been.
*Please remember, that although the jury have not found Mr Evans guilty of rape, but he has admitted himself to making inappropriate drunken advances on his co-workers. Now that is a particularly vague term that could encompass anything from pestering someone for a date to actual, physical sexual harassment. One of the accusers alleged that Mr Evans sexually assaulted him by suddenly placing his hand down his trousers. Trouble is, this is one person's word against another. To those who claim they are convinced that sexual harassment claims are a waste of time as there is no evidence, to put this in perspective: how would you feel if your daughter or son was working as an intern or junior secretary and much more powerful, older bosses or managers took it as an automatic right to casually grope them and put their hand up their skirts or trousers etc? Would you still dismiss that as 'a bit of harmless fun' or simply normal, healthy office banter/horseplay then? Would you? Do you think it's the secretary's/filing clerks/office junior's lot in life to be harassed and bullied often by older, much more powerful people who really should know better? There still is that kind of upstairs/downstairs mentality in this country that those of a certain class should just put up with being exploitation and maltreatment simply because that's the way things have always been. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -2

2:22pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
*Please remember, that although the jury have not found Mr Evans guilty of rape, but he has admitted himself to making inappropriate drunken advances on his co-workers. Now that is a particularly vague term that could encompass anything from pestering someone for a date to actual, physical sexual harassment. One of the accusers alleged that Mr Evans sexually assaulted him by suddenly placing his hand down his trousers. Trouble is, this is one person's word against another.

To those who claim they are convinced that sexual harassment claims are a waste of time as there is no evidence, to put this in perspective: how would you feel if your daughter or son was working as an intern or junior secretary and much more powerful, older bosses or managers took it as an automatic right to casually grope them and put their hand up their skirts or trousers etc?

Would you still dismiss that as 'a bit of harmless fun' or simply normal, healthy office banter/horseplay then? Would you? Do you think it's the secretary's/filing clerks/office junior's lot in life to be harassed and bullied often by older, much more powerful people who really should know better?

There still is that kind of upstairs/downstairs mentality in this country that those of a certain class should just put up with being exploitation and maltreatment simply because that's the way things have always been.
I think that is entirely missing the point. This case, like Bill Roach's, came down to credibility (or lack of) of witnesses/fantasy victims who choose to jump on a claim bandwagon. The CPS are a joke. In the case of Roach, don't you think it was the police's role to find out if he actually owned a Rolls Royce at anything near the time of the alleged assault? And for the CPS to check that they did?
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: *Please remember, that although the jury have not found Mr Evans guilty of rape, but he has admitted himself to making inappropriate drunken advances on his co-workers. Now that is a particularly vague term that could encompass anything from pestering someone for a date to actual, physical sexual harassment. One of the accusers alleged that Mr Evans sexually assaulted him by suddenly placing his hand down his trousers. Trouble is, this is one person's word against another. To those who claim they are convinced that sexual harassment claims are a waste of time as there is no evidence, to put this in perspective: how would you feel if your daughter or son was working as an intern or junior secretary and much more powerful, older bosses or managers took it as an automatic right to casually grope them and put their hand up their skirts or trousers etc? Would you still dismiss that as 'a bit of harmless fun' or simply normal, healthy office banter/horseplay then? Would you? Do you think it's the secretary's/filing clerks/office junior's lot in life to be harassed and bullied often by older, much more powerful people who really should know better? There still is that kind of upstairs/downstairs mentality in this country that those of a certain class should just put up with being exploitation and maltreatment simply because that's the way things have always been.[/p][/quote]I think that is entirely missing the point. This case, like Bill Roach's, came down to credibility (or lack of) of witnesses/fantasy victims who choose to jump on a claim bandwagon. The CPS are a joke. In the case of Roach, don't you think it was the police's role to find out if he actually owned a Rolls Royce at anything near the time of the alleged assault? And for the CPS to check that they did? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 4

3:01pm Fri 11 Apr 14

GogExile says...

One of the biggest improprieties of cases of sexual misconduct is the baffling way that anonymity is granted to complainants and not defendants. The defendants are subjected to intense trial by media and the torch and pitchfork section of society will always apply the 'no smoke without fire' theory. Surely, after so many acquittals, the case for anonymity until conviction is overwhelming?
One of the biggest improprieties of cases of sexual misconduct is the baffling way that anonymity is granted to complainants and not defendants. The defendants are subjected to intense trial by media and the torch and pitchfork section of society will always apply the 'no smoke without fire' theory. Surely, after so many acquittals, the case for anonymity until conviction is overwhelming? GogExile
  • Score: 8

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree