Disturbing news story

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 9 17:23:18 EST 2003


--- minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
> Otter Perry wrote:
> >Ven wrote:
> >> I came across a short news item in the Guardian
> >> to say that William Mayne had been charged with
> >> the rape of a girl under thirteen. I'm aghast.
> >> 
> >> Here is a link to a fuller version The Scotsman:
> >> 
> >>
> http://www.news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2149594
> >
> >Oh, dear.  This is _really_ upsetting.  I'm a big
> >fan of Mr. Mayne's.
> 
> I think I'll wait until he goes back to court in the
> new year and we find out a little more about why,
> suddenly, after thirty years, eight people have
> decided (presumably in their late forties) that they
> have a cause against him that cries out for either
> justice or vengeance, before I assume that 
> accusation equates with guilt.  Until then I shall
> regard him as innocent until proven guilty.
> 

I agree, assumption of innocence until guilt is proven
is an important principle, and Mayne should be
afforded every assumption of innocence. However there
was a remarkably similar (at first sight) case here
involving an ex-teacher and now (or rather at the time
of the court case) politician, who was proven guilty
in court after some 30 years. For people in my
profession it is quite frightening to think that in 30
years time someone may make some accusation that would
be then almost impossible to disprove.

Jon

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