Now that a calm jury presented with cold facts in a cool Courtroom has, for the time being, silenced the Mob, as so often happens in these cases, things that could not be printed during the trial suddenly can be. Perhaps the most telling observation to emerge so far is how Bill Roache got into this nightmare circus.
Roache gave an interview on New Zealand TV in which he observed:
“There’s a fringe of people who have these groupies, these girls, they’re sexually active and [the stars] don’t ask for a birth certificate, they don’t know what age they may be..They’re certainly not grooming them and exploiting them, but they can be caught in this trap. These people are instantly stigmatised, some will be innocent, some will not.”
It represents a balanced account of what many of us know to be the truth: talent, fame and power are aphrodisiacs. Some people innocently fail to resist it, a few celebrities grasp that they can exploit it to realise their Mr Hyde fantasies, and most – after the odd dalliance – brush it off.
However, what now emerges is that it was this very interview in March 2013 that prompted a woman to contact police saying she had been assaulted by Roache in the 1960s which, in turn, led to other women coming forward with similar claims.
As I’ve posted ad nauseam before, anyone who bothers to seek out police officers involved in cases like these knows that this is what happens: there’s one either genuine or fantasist complaint, and once it’s in the media, a stream of what one officer I met called “the bounty hunters” start turning up. The police know this happens. What’s different in the current climate is they seem at times to be willfully ignoring that long-held experience.
If you think this fanciful, let me make some general observations. One case in the works at the moment involves a copper ringing up two former colleagues of the accused and asking if they wanted to make a complaint about him. That is not police work: that, my friends, is a political police force engaged in the sort of fit-up of which the NKVD’s Beria would’ve been proud.
Another case involves accusations by several people who claim to have come forward without collusion. In fact, I have established to my own satisfaction that they do know each other. Further, the details they have given police are palpably – obviously – wrong, and can be so proved by simple checking of dates, times and testimony. But the case is, I understand, still going ahead.
The likelihood that the police – or more accurately, the CPS – are up to no good and under political influence in many of these cases is given support to some extent by the speed with which, by 6 pm last night, the CPS was putting out statements desperately denying a witch-hunt. But without tabloid melodrama here, let’s just try and understand some of the things bubbling under.
First, Bill Roache took the Sun to Court over a malicious article about him in 1999. The Sun is a Newscorp paper. If you trace at least three of the alleged ‘predators’ lives over the last thirty years, they have all been falsely accused by Newscorp – either in print, or via a threatening phone call. All told the tabloids to go f**k themselves. Now remember the very close links between the police and Newscorp over the last two years, and think on it. It may be pure coincidence, or it may not.
Second, I’d like to refer back to an earlier Slog of May last year, in which I wrote this:
The Slog has learned that convicted rapist and Blackpool FC Chairman Owen Oyston whose involvement I revealed yesterday – formed a company in 2004. Prominent among the directors of this company are two familiar names giving their profession as ‘actor’: Stuart Hall and Bill Roache. Roache played the Coronation Street character Ken Barlow, and was arrested recently on a forty-year old charge of rape. Mr Hall needs no introduction. The telling connection between these three characters is technical rape of a teenager – that is, under-age sex.
For legal reasons, I cannot go into further detail. But I have come to believe that Mr Oyston is (like Bill Roache) nothing more harmful than a serial shagger. Oyston was fitted up, although I’m not allowed to even allege the reasons. All I can tell you is that the jigsaw I put forward in that piece, while mistaken, prompted responses suggesting the motives for the fit-up were both commercial and political…and involved damning evidence of police corruption.
I also retain massive doubts about either the veracity or legality of the ‘evidence’ against Stuart Hall. I know this loses friends and attracts email vitriol, but the repetitive use in his and other cases of “girls as young as nine” is pernicious Plod spin, and again bears all the hallmarks of what I’m sure will be established in the end about this entire saga: most of the defendants in these cases are rather sad old gropers and groupie-shaggers; what they are not is paedophiles. What they are is pawns in a much bigger and nastier game.
“Stuart Hall was known for f**king women non-stop in his caravan on location,” an older celeb told me in October 2013, “but I never once heard him referred to as a perv. Eddie Waring just couldn’t believe the man’s energy…but he didn’t think he was a perv either”.
I aim in this article to establish one thing only: that a history of active (some would say excessive) sexual libido has become a standard means by which to, shall we say, oil the wheels here and there: to take people out of the game, or besmirch the reputation of an institution. Not having much imagination, Plod doesn’t vary the format much, which at times is so sloppy as to be laughable. But in more instances than the Mob realises, the cases fall apart.
I refer Sloggers to a former cause célèbre in these columns: Dominic Strauss-Kahn.