Posted by: anglopole | June 12, 2009

Innocent until proven guilty

I have neglected my blog for the past few weeks, which is a good sign, actually. I have had more and more work and that these days is a blessing, isn’t it?

Anyway, a few days ago I heard a worrying story on the news. A woman from Devon was charged with sexual assault. Yes, it is shocking to hear about a woman facing such charges, but what makes it even worse is that she was a nursery nurse who seemed to indulge in paedophiliac practices. I must say I haven’t heard of female paedophiles before. As shocking as the whole story is, something else drew my attention to it. The moment the news appeared in all the media, the face of the woman was being shown everywhere and nearly all the time! Shortly afterwards, the media announced that the family of the accused have disowned her. Also, if you browse the news you will come across videos showing parents of the children attending the nursery where the teacher used to work, attacking the van which transported her to court. It was a proper witch hunt! Don’t get me wrong, please. I have two little kids and cannot even begin to imagine how I would react if I learnt they might have been subject of abuse in their nursery…. However, there’s one factor that immediately struck me as I heard about the allegations towards this Devon resident. In the UK, like in most western countries everyone has a right to a fair trial and is assumed innocent until proven guilty. I would say that the presumption of innocence is one of the best aspects of the so called civilisation. In this case, even if the woman is found innocent of direct sexual assault, her reputation and life, for that matter, are already tarnished beyond repair. Everyone in the UK has had a chance to have a good look at her and would recognize her anywhere, and her trial has not even started.

Correct me if I am wrong, but, in my opinion however shocking the particular allegations are, the personal details of the person in question should be kept sercet until the person has been found guilty in a fair trial…… I can’t help but feel that the concept of justice is becoming just one more, archaic term that has no practical use in reality.


  1. This is indeed a delicate matter, always.
    Just two weeks ago, here in Peru the press disclosed that an owner of a private school had being molesting and abusing the students of his school for more than 40 years! Yes, for the past 40 years…
    One of his victims, now a grown up guy, recorded him with a hidden camera and started what seemed a casual chat where this man admitted the abuse. After that, the video was aired on TV. The man left the country in a hurry. And after this disclosure one just wonders: how come this could have been kept a secret for so long?
    I agree with you about the presumption of innocence. But I just can’t stop thinking what’s in the head of a person that abuses children?
    Saludos desde Lima, Anglopole.


    • Hi there Gabriela! 🙂 I too have a problem understanding why people would find any pleasure in abusing children…. I know it’s an illness, just like any other mental disorder. Also, like I mentioned in my post, I cannot guarantee I would approach a paedophile with good manners – I can totally empathise with the parents in Devon and understand the rage they are feeling now! This is one of the reasons why the identity of a suspect (the nursery teacher in this case) should not be disclosed in such situations. We can be sure that this woman, if convicted of the alleged crimes, will not have an easy life in prison….


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