Monday, 21 March 2016

Did Danczuk Get It Wrong Then?

No Sex Abuse Claims Against Cyril Smith at Knowl View!
Les May
TUCKED away in a report about the Goddard Inquiry in last Saturday's Rochdale Observer are a few lines which tell us that in the late 1990s when Cyril Smith was still alive, and could have been prosecuted, police investigated his involvement with Knowl View and that no allegations of sexual abuse were made against him during the investigation.  

This suggests that the claims about Smith's activities at Knowl View special school which figure prominently in Simon Danczuk's book 'Smile for the Camera' have no basis in fact.

Quite what new facts about Smith's activities in the early 1960s at Cambridge House hostel for young men remain to be uncovered I cannot imagine.  These were thoroughly exposed in May 1979 by Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) and Simon Danczuk uncovered nothing new.  

The claim in the same article by lawyer Richard Scorer that there was a failure to investigate and prosecute allegations against Smith needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, at least in the case of Cambridge House.  Scorer goes on to say, 'Our clients, as victims of Smith, want to know why that happened and who was responsible for it.'

With respect to Cambridge House this is poppycock and reads like a lawyer justifying his fees.

As I pointed out in my article below:  a statement from the CPS dated 27 November 2012 gives a very full account of why Smith was not prosecuted in 1970 and subsequently.  An explanation of the importance in 1970 of 'corroboration' is given by the website 'Law and Lawyers' in November 2012.  So what's the mystery?

We may deplore the fact that Smith was not prosecuted in 1970 but we need to recognise that the law is not a perfect instrument.  It evolves with time.  If it didn't we would still be calling men 'queers' and prosecuting them for their sexual preferences.

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