Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UK - Sex offence suspects should remain anonymous, say MSN readers

Garfield - Well Duh!
Original Article

That is a no-brainer, but it should be for everyone who has been accused of a crime. I'm sure everybody knows, just because an accusation is made and someone is arrested, doesn't mean they are guilty, and their name shouldn't be drug through the mud on shows like Nancy Disgrace, etc.


By Stephen Jones

People charged with sex offences should remain anonymous until a court finds them guilty, according to a poll of MSN readers.

The finding comes after the Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell was cleared of 12 child sex offences following a high-profile trial.

After the verdict, many people expressed the view that those charged with such offences should be given anonymity to prevent their reputations being unfairly tarnished by false charges.

In the survey of more than 10,000 people, 70% said they felt those prosecuted of sex crimes should remain unnamed.

Anonymity: the case for and against
Some wrongly accused of such crimes say their lives have been ruined as a consequence of accusations against them.

In 2003, TV presenter Matthew Kelly was questioned and subsequently cleared during an investigation into child sex abuse, while the politician Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine were also cleared after well-publicized claims of sexual assault were made against them in 2001.

However, one of the major arguments against anonymity is that it may prevent other victims of real offenders from having the confidence to come forward.

Furthermore, the charity Women Against Rape argues that withholding the names of suspects would mark rape out as being different from other crimes, adding that it is a myth that false accusations of rape happen regularly.

Plans to grant anonymity to rape suspects were mooted in 2010 when the coalition took power, but were apparently dropped after criticism from Labour and female members of the Conservative party.

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