Max Clifford

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Max Clifford loses appeal against eight-year jail term

Published November 7, 2014 by JS2

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DISGRACED PR guru Max Clifford has lost a challenge against his eight-year jail sentence for sex offences.

The sentence was upheld by three Court of Appeal judges in London today.

Clifford, 71, was jailed in May after being convicted of a string of indecent assaults, carried out between 1977 and 1984, using his celebrity connections to lure women.

The former celebrity agent, who branded his accusers “fantasists”, denied the charges, but was convicted at London’s Southwark Crown Court.

Announcing the appeal court’s decision, Lord Justice Treacy, who heard the case with Mr Justice Turner and Judge Michael Pert, said the sentence was “justified”.

At a recent appeal hearing, Clifford’s barrister Richard Horwell QC told the three judges that Clifford’s last offence was committed 29 years ago, “since when he has led an industrious life, and devoted a considerable part of his time to charitable works for which he has raised substantial funds”.

The trial judge had “accepted that he is no longer a danger to women and that he will not commit further offences”.

Mr Horwell said that for a number of reasons the sentence imposed was “too long”, adding: “Although the sentencing process must reflect modern attitudes, and I fully accept that that is our law, the sentencing process must not abandon common sense and fairness.”

Rosina Cottage QC, for the Crown, said the total sentence imposed was one the trial judge was “entitled to reach”.

When sentencing Clifford, Judge Anthony Leonard told him his personality and position in the public eye were the reasons his crimes were not revealed earlier.

He said: “The reason why they were not brought to light sooner was because of your own dominant character and your position in the world of entertainment which meant that your victims thought that you were untouchable, something that I think you too believed.”

He added: “These offences may have taken place a long time ago, when inappropriate and trivial sexual behaviour was more likely to be tolerated, but your offending was not trivial, but of a very serious nature.”

Clifford is currently serving his sentence at Littlehey Category C men’s prison in Cambridgeshire.

Announcing the court’s decision today, Lord Justice Treacy said: “It seems to us that, after consideration of the individual offences and the application of modern sentencing attitudes reflected in the guidelines, but tempered by the need to have regard to the statutory maximum available at the time, an overall sentence of eight years was justified and correct.”

It was a “just and proportionate” sentence “taking account of considerations of harm and culpability together with aggravating factors and such mitigation as was available to the appellant”.

Lord Justice Treacy said Clifford was sentenced to a total of eight years on eight counts of indecent assault relating to four victims who were “young and vulnerable” at the time of the offences.

He said: “Each was affected in respect of confidence and relationships and was harmed by what had been done to her.”

In considering the seriousness of any offence the court “must consider the offender’s culpability and any harm which the offence caused”.

The judge said: “Sexual offending will by its very nature cause harm at the time the offence is committed, but it is well recognised that for many victims significant harm persists for a considerable period afterwards.

“This is a case where it is clear that the effect of what was done to the victims was not something from which they recovered quickly.

“The appellant’s actions towards these victims had long term consequences for their lives. This is clearly a highly material circumstance for this court to consider.”

The judge said Clifford’s offending involved “an abuse of a powerful position coupled with deceit”.

There had been a “gross abuse of power and influence”.

Four girls or young women were involved, one under the age of 16.

Lord Justice Treacy said the offending took place over a period of several years and there was a significant age difference between Clifford and his victims – at the time he would have been in his mid-30s to early 40s.

He had never been convicted of any other criminal offence “and the trial did not reveal any other evidence of sexual offending after the period with which the counts were concerned”.

The judge said: “Thus, there was a period of nearly 30 years without further offending before these matters came to court and the appellant was convicted.”

He added: “Over that period there was evidence before the judge of a positive nature showing involvement in a variety of charitable works which the appellant had not publicised. The judge also had a number of positive character references.”

Lord Justice Treacy went on: “It is clear, however, that over the period of offending, these young women were targeted by the appellant who actively misled them and exploited their desire to succeed in their careers for his own purposes.

“The appellant was a dominant personality and in a powerful position within the world of entertainment and media.

“This enabled him to do what he did and to convince the victims that there was no point in complaining because no one would listen to them.

“He was thus able to lead a double life, progressing in his career, whilst his victims, affected by what he had done to them, felt powerless to complain.”

The judge said Clifford had “lost potential credit by contesting the trial and in addition lost potential mitigation as he showed no remorse at any stage for what he had done”.

Jimmy Saville: Operation Yewtree cops probe 12 suspects in positions of power

Published October 5, 2014 by JS2

Coverups of Childhood Sexual Abuse

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You cannot put a price on innocence that has been stolen

You cannot put a price on the lives that have been broken

You cannot put a price on a lifetime of shame

But you can make sure it never happens again

BY @JUST_STANDING2

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MARK WILLIAMS-THOMAS

Operation Yewtree cops are investigating historic child sex abuse allegations against a further TWELVE public figures.

Unlike previous suspects who were celebrities, the latest accused are senior police officers, politicians, local authority chiefs and senior civil servants.

It is claimed that they either sexually abused child victims, or have been directly involved in covering up offences spread over three decades.

The crimes are said to have been committed in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Names of the suspects have been passed to the police by investigative reporter and criminologist Mark Williams Thomas, whose TV documentary finally exposed Jimmy Savile as a predatory paedophile.

Williams Thomas, a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University, revealed details of the latest investigations on the second anniversary of his ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile.

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford, children’s entertainer Rolf Harris and radio and TV presenter Stuart Hall have all been jailed as a result of the police probes that followed the programme. Many others have been arrested.

In an earlier interview with the Sunday Mercury Williams Thomas said that two more British icons were being investigated by Yewtree officers. Since then both Cliff Richard and DJ Dr Fox have been linked to inquiries.

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ROLF HARRIS

Investigations into both are still ongoing. But Williams Thomas warned that the probe into historic allegations against the 12 new public figures could prove even more difficult, given their positions of power and influence.

They could also be dangerous. As a result of his investigations into Savile, the journalist received a letter bomb and a death threat which were dealt with by police.

“I know of another twelve public figures and that is a minimum,” Williams Thomas, who grew up in Solihull, told the Sunday Mercury as he attended the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

“It just takes one person brave enough to come forward. Then, as the investigations start to unfold, more victims tell their stories.

“The names I have supplied are senior police officers, politicians, local authority officials and senior civil servants – people with a lot to lose.

“After Savile I got letter bombs and death threats. That’s nothing compared to what you will get with politicians and the like.

“There will be dirty games played, a campaign to undermine those investigations. The only way to do it is through a proper inquiry, to have properly skilled investigators to dig out more evidence.

“There are hundreds of victims. Savile had close to 1,000. Offenders don’t offend in isolation, and they continually offend.

“The offences date back to the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Some go back to the 1950s. The accused are old people now. If we leave it too long they will die or be dying, or have gone senile.”

Since the Savile programme several reviews have been established, including the Westminster child abuse inquiry, which was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in July.

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STUART HALL

The inquiry was ordered to investigate claims that politicians may have sexually abused children in the 1970s and 1980s in a conspiracy by members of the establishment who then used their power to cover up the crimes.

But the inquiry has hit a number of obstacles and Williams Thomas says he is concerned that it will fail to achieve its goals.

Its first chairwoman, retired judge Lady Butler-Sloss, stepped down just days after her appointment following criticism due to her brother, Lord Michael Havers, being the Attorney General at the time of the alleged paedophile scandal.

Former Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, was named as the new head of the independent inquiry last month.

But Williams Thomas said there are concerns that she has not had enough time to begin the inquiry.

“The future challenge for the inquiry is to get an appropriate panel who have the skills to investigate,” said the investigator.

“I have not yet seen that reflected in the appointments so far. There are no people in the field of child abuse. You need people with a record of investigating and holding people to account.

“There are former social workers and police officers who are readily suited to perform these roles but who have not been approached.”

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MAX CLIFFORD

HOW DID JIMMY SAVILE GET AWAY WITH IT FOR SO LONG?

The aftermath of the Jimmy Savile revelations is still unfolding.

The big question remains: how did a revered and decorated BBC DJ and presenter, fundraiser, friend of the Royal Family and papal knight go unchallenged for so long?

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised on behalf of the Government and NHS to Savile’s victims following the publication of the Department of Health investigations in June.

He said that Savile repeatedly exploited the “trust of a nation” for his own “vile purposes” as it emerged that the DJ had boasted of performing sex acts on bodies in at least two hospital mortuaries.

A litany of rape and sexual abuse carried out by Savile in NHS institutions over at least five decades until 2009 was disclosed in 28 official reports.

The reviews detailed how Savile abused dozens of people ranging from staff and patients and toddlers to pensioners, as he visited hospitals as a celebrity fundraiser and volunteer.

It also emerged that members of staff at a number of NHS hospitals had been told of incidents of Savile’s abuse but failed to pass on complaints to senior managers, who could have taken action to protect his victims.

Ongoing reviews include those by the BBC, Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor.

In addition there are investigations into how officers dealt with allegations against Savile within the forces of West Yorkshire, Sussex and Surrey.

Williams Thomas said: “It is a shame that we can never wipe Savile out of history.

“But in years to come we may look back on Savile and say ‘He was a dangerous predatory paedophile, but he enabled change to occur’.

“If it was not for the five women who came forward with their allegations against him, who put their confidence in me to make the programme, it would never have gone to the police.

“They took a huge risk. I took a risk – if it had gone wrong I may never have worked again – but I had confidence in myself and my producer to develop a programme that was easily understood, simple and not sensational.

“The stone over the hole has been pushed to the side. We’ve got to keep pushing it off. It is a quarter to halfway off. There is still a long way to go.

“No matter how long ago, these offences must be reported. They need to be brought out into the open. There may be someone else who has reported the same offender.

“But one failed investigation has the potential to ruin it for every other investigation. That’s why great care needs to be taken, checks made and support given.”

DAILY MIRROR

Celebrity arrests could soar after horrified police discover Jimmy Savile’s secret lair at record shop

Published July 28, 2013 by JS2

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Names and sexual details of hundreds of girls were scrawled across huge wall in a scene from a horror film

Stunned officers chipped away plaster at a ­record shop wall and unveiled a hidden list of names thought to belong to young victims of Jimmy Savile.

The vile register, which contained the names, ages and a disgusting ratings system seemingly used to mark their sexual performance, was scrawled on a secret wall buried behind layers of wallpaper and plaster.

A source revealed: “The wall looked like something straight out of a horror movie. There were lists and lists of names of the victims – it’s a shocking discovery.”

The list of girls and young women is thought to identify ­hundreds of potential new victims abused at the hands of the BBC DJ and it raised fears Savile was at the centre of a celebrity paedophile ring.

Police believe the major breakthrough could lead to further arrests – including other well-known celebrities.

The wall also appeared to contain the names of girls the sick group hoped to target in the future.

Officers who raided the shop in ­Greater Manchester after a tip-off will now try to trace the alleged victims.

A source said the raid had provided the clearest evidence yet to show Savile was part of a larger group of monsters.

The source said: “Savile appeared to be using the room above the record store as some kind of secret HQ to plan his vile acts.

“There appears to be some suggestion that he was not acting alone either.

“There were others who appear to be involved, several others, some of whom are household names.”

As the specialist officers ripped away the layers from the wall, the names of up to 200 new ­people they believe he and accomplices attacked or planned to
attack during the 1980s and 1990s were ­gradually revealed.

At least one other well-known BBC figure and several celebrities are now being linked to the probe. Suspects face being quizzed in the coming weeks.

The source added: “Police think there might be hundreds of new female victims that needed to be spoken to as a result of the record shop raid.

Earlier this year it was suggested there were around 450 victims of Savile’s depraved actions.

“This looks like an under-estimation. If the evidence on the wall is anything to go by, we could be talking in the region of 650 victims in all. It’s shocking.”

Criminologist Professor David Wilson from Birmingham City University said the register was a way for the predators to boast about their conquests.

He said: “In the age before the internet made it possible for paedophiles to ­communicate with each other and write about who they could abuse and the form that abuse may take, they found other methods.

Paedophiles are constantly evolving ways of communicating.

“By putting it on a wall they are making it public, but by hiding it, it is private. The public nature is because they are proud of it. It is a boasting system.

It is a form of saying ‘this is what I’ve done. I’ve done more than you.’

It’s about them displaying their own sexual success in being able to abuse these children.

“They also recognise this could lead to arrest, so they had to be careful about their sexual preferences.

“At the time this was said to have taken place paedophiles used contact magazines and groups of associates to get in touch with each other.

We are beginning to see how widespread Savile’s abuse was.

“The significance of it having been found in a record shop is that at the time this was where all the young people went to buy their records and hang out.

Now they download songs on the internet.”

Police carried out the raid a few weeks ago. The findings potentially raise the depravity of disgraced Savile – who died at 84 in October 2011 – to new levels.

A joint police and NSPCC report published in January declared that with at least 450 victims, he was one of Britain’s most ­prolific sex offenders.

Commander Peter Spindler said Savile “groomed the nation” as he raised millions for charity while using his status as a platform for abuse.

Leeds-born Savile had links with ­Greater Manchester stretching back to the 1950s when he managed a ballroom in the city.

His first known attack took place in ­Manchester in 1955. Investigators who revealed the scale of his abuse said he used his appeal to target the vulnerable.

In 1964, Savile’s name was mentioned to police investigating allegations that men were exploiting girls from Duncroft ­Approved School in Surrey.

Police arrested two men in London and a ledger showed Savile was a regular ­visitor there. Following his death, 28 police forces recorded 214 crimes ­committed by the presenter, including 34 rape claims. The latest allegation against him was from 2009 when he was aged 82.

The report said he targeted children as young as eight and sexually attacked at least 23 of his victims on BBC premises.

In 1972 during a break in filming, Savile groped a 12-year-old boy and felt the breasts of the youngster’s two friends.

Investigators also found he carried out abuse in at least 14 hospitals between 1955 and 2009, including Great Ormond Street and one hospice.

Savile was stripped of his knighthood when dozens of women came forward to say he attacked them during his 54-year campaign of abuse.

Officers launched Operation Yewtree to probe the claims and there are now three strands to the investigation. One concerns Savile’s crimes ­exclusively, while another relates to allegations against Savile and others.

The third concentrates on ­accusations unconnected to Savile but which emerged following publicity.

A host of soap stars, DJs and TV ­presenters have been arrested during nationwide probes into historical sex offences in cases not connected to Savile.

BBC presenter Stuart Hall had his prison sentence for a series of assaults on girls doubled to 30 months on Friday.

Three Appeal Court judges ruled his original 15-month term was “inadequate”. The former It’s A Knockout host, 83, ­admitted sexually assaulting 13 girls aged nine to 17 over nearly 20 years.

Coronation Street star Bill Roache is one of the best-known actors to be held over allegations in the aftermath of the Savile scandal. He was charged in May with raping a ­teenage girl in 1967.

Roache has been bailed until his next court appearance on September 2 when he will enter formal pleas.

The actor, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap since its launch, also faces charges of five indecent assaults­ ­involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16. He denies all the claims.

His fellow Corrie star Michael Le Vell, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, has been taken off air after being charged with 19 offences against a child, including rape, indecent assault and sexual activity.

Police have been inundated with calls following coverage of Savile’s depraved legacy.

It is claimed more of those ­allegedly abused are now finding the courage to come forward because the police are taking a new approach – giving potential victims hope their cases will be treated seriously.

Dozen of other arrests so far include Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr.

Comic Jimmy Tarbuck was ­arrested at his home in South West London in May in ­connection with a historic child sex abuse claim.

And PR guru Max ­Clifford has been charged with 11 indecent assaults allegedly committed ­between 1966 and 1985.

The 70-year-old has vowed to clear his name. All those who have been ­arrested have vehemently ­denied any wrongdoing.

by Ben Glaze

Age of consent should be lowered to 13 to stop persecution of old men and sex assault victims SHOULDN’T get anonymity, says leading barrister

Published May 8, 2013 by JS2

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  • Barbara Hewson is a barrister at Hardwicke chambers in London
  • She described Operation Yewtree arrests as a ‘grotesque spectacle’
  • Claimed disgraced Stuart Hall’s crimes were ‘low level misdemeanors’
  • NSPCC said her ‘outdated and simply ill-informed’ views ‘beggars belief’

 

The age of consent for sex should be lowered to 13-years-old in a bid to end the ‘persecution of old men’ in the wake of the Savile sex abuse scandal, a top female barrister has argued.

Lawyer Barbara Hewson described the arrests of celebrities such as Rolf Harris, Dave Lee Travis, Jim Davidson and PR guru Max Clifford under Operation Yewtree as a ‘grotesque spectacle’ adding it had ‘nothing to do with justice or the public interest’.

Ms Hewson, a barrister at Hardwicke chambers in London, described the crimes committed by disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall as ‘low level misdemeanours’ which would not normally be prosecuted.

In an article for online magazine Spiked, Ms Hewson, who specialises in reproductive rights, also calls for the end of anonymity for complainants.

Children’s charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said to hear such ‘outdated and simply ill-informed’ views from a highly-experienced barrister ‘beggars belief’.

Her comments come as Scotland Yard runs Operation Yewtree, an investigation split into three inquiries into allegations involving deceased presenter Jimmy Savile, involving Savile and others and those involving just others.

A number of high-profile figures have been arrested under Yewtree such as entertainer Rolf Harris, former pop star Gary Glitter, DJ Dave Lee Travis, comedian Jim Davidson and PR guru Max Clifford. All deny any wrongdoing.

Ms Hewson argues that ‘the post-Savile witch-hunting of ageing celebs echoes the Soviet Union’ and says that it is not difficult to see why some elderly defendants ‘conclude that resistance is useless’.

She adds: ‘But the low-level misdemeanours with which Stuart Hall was charged are nothing like serious crime.’

Ms Hewson continues: ‘Ordinarily, Hall’s misdemeanours would not be prosecuted, and certainly not decades after the event.

‘What we have here is the manipulation of the British criminal-justice system to produce scapegoats on demand. It is a grotesque spectacle.’

 
Rolf Harris is among the celebrities to be arrested under Operation Yewtree in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex inquiry
PR guru Max Clifford is among the celebrities to be arrested under Operation Yewtree in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex inquiry
 
 
Comedian Jim Davidson is among the celebrities to be arrested under Operation Yewtree in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex inquiry
DJ Dave Lee Travis is among the celebrities to be arrested under Operation Yewtree
 

‘A grotesque spectacle’: Lawyer Barbara Hewson criticised the arrests of celebrities including  Rolf Harris, Max Clifford Dave Lee Travis and Jim Davidson, in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex inquiry

She continues: ‘It’s time to end this prurient charade, which has nothing to do with justice or the public interest.’

The barrister adds: ‘Instead, we should focus on arming today’s youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid drifting into compromising situations, and prosecute modern crime.

‘As for law reform, now regrettably necessary, my recommendations are remove complainant anonymity, introduce a strict statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil actions and reduce the age of consent to 13.’

Ms Hewson argues that ‘touching a 17-year-old’s breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one’s hand up a 16-year-old’s skirt’ are not comparable to cases such as the Ealing Vicarage rape or Fordingbridge gang rape and murders from 1986.

She adds: “Anyone suggesting otherwise has lost touch with reality.’

And Ms Hewson labels charities like the NSPCC and the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) as “moral crusaders’ who have infiltrated Yewtree.

Peter Watt, director of the NSPCC helpline, said: “These outdated and simply ill-informed views would be shocking to hear from anyone but to hear them from a highly experienced barrister simply beggars belief.

‘Stuart Hall has pleaded guilty to abusing children as young as nine years old, we think most people would agree that crimes of this nature are incredibly serious. Thankfully the law, and most people, are very clear on this matter.

‘To minimise and trivialise the impact of these offences for victims in this way is all but denying that they have in fact suffered abuse at all. Any suggestion of lowering the age of consent could put more young people at risk from those who prey on vulnerable young people.

‘And we must strongly defend the right for victims to remain anonymous and to ask for justice no matter when they choose to come forward.

‘Many who are abused are bullied, blackmailed and shamed into staying silent, often well into adulthood. We must always be prepared to act no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

‘The actions of those who speak out also protect others from abuse and give confidence to other victims to come forward.’

Ms Hewson is regularly ranked as a Leading Junior by The Legal 500 in the fields of public and administrative law, human rights and civil liberties, and professional discipline and regulatory law, according to her chambers’ website.

She has won cases in the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court and High Court of the Republic of Ireland.

 

THe Daily Mail