It has been well documented that there have been hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against the late Jimmy Saville and these have resulted in the police investigation “Operation Yewtree”. Following this, we have seen the arrests of a number of “household names”, such as Rolf Harris, Jim Davidson, Dave Lee Travis, Freddie Starr and Max Clifford. These arrests have all formed part of “Operation Yewtree”.
Separately, Michael Le Vell (real name Michael Turner) who, prior to his arrest had played Kevin Webster in Coronation Street for 30 years, appeared at the Manchester Crown Court for a Preliminary Hearing in March. He returned to the court today; pleading ‘not guilty’ to 19 child sex offences alleged to have spanned almost a decade from 2001-2010.
The last couple of weeks has seen allegations of sexual offences made against yet more figures in the public eye, again unrelated to “Operation Yewtree”.
Nigel Evans MP has been interviewed in relation to one allegation of rape and one of sexual assault, and Jimmy Tarbuck was bailed pending further enquiries into an allegation of child sex abuse dating back to the 1970s. Bill Roache, best known as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, has been charged with two counts of rape of a 15 year old girl dating back to 1967.
It has also come to light recently that Stuart Hall, the veteran BBC broadcaster, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault involving 13 victims, the youngest of whom was 9 years old. Mr Hall did plead guilty at an earlier date but it could not be reported until this week due to reporting restrictions. He now awaits sentence.
Whilst not commenting directly on any of these cases, there are of course instances in which allegations of rape are completely unfounded. In the current climate of this sort of case coming to the fore, and especially after the Jimmy Saville scandal in which allegations were seemingly ‘swept under the rug’, it is difficult to imagine that any allegation of sexual assault would fail to be fully investigated. The danger here is that those who are falsely accused could face their name and reputation being dragged through the mud, and potentially tarnished forever.
If you are facing allegations of sexual offences, whether historic or current in nature, it is vital that you seek expert advice from an experienced serious crime solicitor as soon as possible. Farleys’ criminal defence solicitors have many years of experience in defending people accused of serious crimes, such as sexual offences. For more information or to speak to a criminal solicitor 24 hours a day, call 01254 606050.