Stuart Hall, 83 year old former BBC Broadcaster, has admitted the historical indecent assaults he was accused of last year. The BBC has the story here and generally check Google News for other reactions.
The Independent newspaper in England has provided some of the most authoritative coverage of the long-standing North Wales Care Home child abuse scandal dating back from the 1970s onwards.
The paper has followed up with extra reporting after 76 of the 140 recorded cases were revealed to be brand new, following earlier general coverage. That story is here and see the previous coverage in the links in the central column starting with the police announcement in video here.
Two people that posted images online which were claimed to be Robert Thompson and John Venables, the 1993 murderers of two year old James Bulger, as adults, received suspended sentences in the other big story from last week.
Our views on revenge of any kind following child abuse are well known and it’s a bigger concern that the people in the pictures are completely innocent. Of the two killers, Venables has been returned to prison since July 2010 so it’s even less likely that the pictures are correct. This is the unfortunate side of Facebook and Twitter gossip, which has been assumed to be fact with no checks or balances whatsoever.
The BBC has the story here.
As far as we’re concerned this is not the biggest news story of last week, which broke on Friday 27th April. Clifford’s naming follows that of Jim Davidson, Freddie Starr and Rolf Harris. The allegations are reported with the usual prurience disguised as public interest and the assumption of being in an alternative judiciary and there is no small hint of Schadenfreude and revenge from the UK print media against someone used to working with them to bring them celebrity stories for his own gain. The allegations date between 1966 and 1985.
From Monday 29th April there is an update due on further allegations of historical child sexual abuse at North Welsh residential care homes from the 1970s onwards. Over 100 further disclosures were received by police following last year’s initial enquiry regarding the Bryn Estyn and other notorious care homes in Wales.
The BBC has the story here with video clips and further updates will be added to their story crawl in the centre or the bottom of the page.
A mother who abused her adopted daughter by forcing her to become pregnant in order to bear a fourth child, was jailed for a derisory five years for her crime.
The Guardian’s Sunday newspaper the Observer has the story here.
Catching up on the biggest stories of last week, BBC News reported on a vigilante group posing as children when online in order to build up evidence against, and then confront, suspected paedophiles.
Debate was generally split on the issue. The public were mostly in favour of the move in that local town, the police were concerned about the quality of any evidence gathered by a public group. There have been plenty of individual cases where one parent of one child has carried out this practice, but an organised group marks a new direction in England.
The story is here.
The other story from this weekend was another British judge giving “one more chance” to someone who downloaded CSA images a second time after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. That story is here.
It’s been another big general week for the mainstream news schedules, dominated as they are by the Boston terrorist bombing and the shootout in which one of the bombers were killed in America, plus the Fertilizer plant explosion in Texas. Midweek, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest in the UK and that filled the news and newspapers here due to the scale of the funeral one step below full state honours.
Once the Thatcher ceremony finished, it emerged that one of the celebrities previously not named by the mainstream media was identified today as Rolf Harris, musician, entertainer and artist from cartoons to paintings. Ireland-based blogger Guido Fawkes already named Harris in January due to none of the same legal issues affecting electronic media in Ireland or in general. Ufohunterorg.uk was the blog that got the electronic scoop, that posting is here.
There’s an interesting debate going on in the comments sections but as an ex-journalist it’s understandable to me that no-one would want to publish the next totally false accusation story which might blow up in the writer’s face, as happened with the BBC and Lord McAlpine. That would be a separate consideration to any legal action taken by Harris or anyone else questioned as part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree parallel enquiries alongside that of Jimmy Savile.
The Daily Mail’s collected coverage from the weekend is here. The BBC has generally profiled Harris although it reads in the style of an obituary, and their general story is in the usual roundup column.