R v BEECH: INTO A HEART OF DARKNESS

The case of R v Beech represents a watershed in British criminal justice. It is an extraordinary case which ran at Court 1, Newcastle Crown Court before Mr Justice Goss from 7 May until 26 July 2019 this year. It is only right to record some initial impressions of this momentous case. On Friday 26 July…

The tyranny of ‘believe the victim’

This article was first published in spiked on 22 November 2016. I am reproducing it here after yesterday’s sentencing of Carl Beech to 18 years’ imprisonment, following his false allegations of abuse by imaginary VIP paedophile rings.  In recent years, UK institutions have been beset by lurid claims about VIP paedophile rings. This mythology of powerful perverts…

The Wall of Fraud

Later this year, I hope to write a in-depth consideration of a travelling exhibition, which was an audacious hoax. It traded on public gullibility and credulity. I will be looking at the main players in this little farce, their financial backers, their duped fund-raisers and promoters, their “visual consultants” who “created the brand”, and their…

JEMMA BEALE AND THE DEPLOYMENT OF RAPE “MYTHS”

Last March, the Court of Criminal Appeal rejected rape hoaxer Jemma Beale’s appeal against her conviction for three counts of perjury and four counts of perverting the course of justice, and her ten-year prison sentence, imposed in 2017. The Crown’s case was that Beale was a repeat false accuser. She had been alarmingly successful: time…

Don’t be a man on Twitter – part 2

In this post I look at some of the evidence given, and arguments made, during the course of the lengthy trial in R v Gregory Elliott. Ms Guthrie, the lead complainant, had also complained to Twitter. But the company rejected her complaint, pointing out that she had engaged in active conversation with Elliott. Nor was…

When anti-Semites infiltrate

This is a revised version of a previous post. British society is presently engulfed in a ferocious debate about the infiltration of the Labour party by anti-Semites, and about the alleged indifference of the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP, to anti-Semitism. There is no doubt that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter…

Can you change your mind? – part 2

In the second part of this post, I take my readers back to the case of R v SB [2019] EWCA Crim 565, to consider some wider policy issues. You will recall that this appeal involved a retraction by a minor complainant called M, against her grandfather SB, who had been convicted of indecently assaulting…