Why British Conservatives arrested for rape were not identified

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, chairman of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, urged Conservatives arrested on May 17 for a rape motion dating back more than a decade to leave parliament during a police investigation.

However, many who are not familiar with English law are wondering why the individual in question is not identified by police or the media, even though he is only said to be a man in his fifties.

It’s not due to an ominous conspiracy, but rather to many factors.

Under English law, someone may be arrested and detained for some time before being charged with a crime, or taken for interrogation without being formally arrested.

Until around 2011, it was customary to name people who were arrested or brought in for interrogation, especially in the tabloid press.

Named, embarrassed … and then acquitted

In November 2007, Sun’s newspaper welcomed a photographer to the scene after being betrayed by police when renowned football manager Harry Redknapp was arrested at his home in Dorsett on charges of corruption. Five years later, Redknapp, then manager of Tottenham Hotspur, was acquitted of tax evasion on Southwark’s Crown Court.

Epoch Times Photo
Singer Cliff Richard arrived in the High Court on July 18, 2018, in central London, England, for a privacy proceeding against the BBC. (TobyMelville / Reuters)

Then, in 2014, police attacked the home of former pop star Sir Cliff Richard during an investigation into historic sexual abuse, but did not arrest him.

At that time, the BBC was free from criticism of its role in concealing allegations of continuous child sexual abuse by former BBC moderator Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011.

However, Sir Cliff was not charged with any charges, and in 2018 the High Court ruled that the BBC’s coverage of his arrest was a “serious intrusion” of privacy, and the company later legalized him. I was ordered to pay £ 2 million ($ 2.5 million) for the cost.

In 2017 Police academyOverseeing British and Welsh police, has issued guidance recommending to the media that suspects are not identified by arrest forces, except in “exceptional situations.”

“The suspect should not be identified”

The guidance states: “Suspects should be identified to the media (by disclosing their name or other identifying information) prior to prosecution, unless justified by explicit circumstances such as life-threatening, crime prevention or detection. Not, or a matter of public interest and trust. “

2012 Leveson Report on Media Standardspdf) The recommended suspect will not be nominated by the media unless indicted.

Sir Lebeson
Judge Lebeson poses on November 29, 2012 in a summary report on press standards in London, England. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

The identity of the Conservatives at the heart of allegations of rape is widely known, and there are many tweets on Twitter that indirectly mention him.

It is an important belief in British justice that a person is “not guilty until proved guilty” in court and the burden of proof lies with the prosecution.

Media coverage is limited by Contempt of CourtThis is designed to prevent prejudice in the trial.

Unlike the United States, which has a constitutional right to free speech, journalists and, in fact, social media citizens must not disclose information that could harm the trials of those charged with crime. ..

Under the Contempt of Court, criminal proceedings become “active” as soon as a person is arrested or prosecuted, and remain in that state until a verdict is given in court or the prosecution withdraws the prosecution.

The Conservative Party has instructed lawmakers on bail to leave parliament while allegations of sexual assault, abuse of trust status, and illegal acts in public office are being investigated.

Bad-tasting jokes by Fabricant

Earlier this week, another Conservative member, Michael Fabricant, joked on Twitter to prove that Tory wasn’t at the center of the allegations in a May 18 Prime Minister’s question. It was criticized for having a “strong turnout.” Fabricant later apologized.

On May 19, police minister Kit Malthaus said he needed to be “sensitive” to the anonymity of the suspect under investigation, adding that he would put a “heavy burden on the individual” who might not be prosecuted. rice field.

Actor after being acquitted of rape after a trial in 1995 Craig Charles He called for changes to the law so that those accused of rape remain anonymous until convicted.

In 2010, the new Conservative Liberal Democratic Party Coalition initially said it would change the law to protect the identities of those accused of rape, but later. Dropped an idea..

Anonymity of those reported rapes

Under the Sex Offenses (Amendment) Act of 1992, women who claim to have been raped, or in fact men, have the right to remain anonymous for life. Occasionally, this was abandoned by women who wanted to emphasize the effects of rape.

The first person to waive the right to anonymity Jill SourdoughIn 1986, he was detained and raped at the Ealing minister’s house in western London.

9 people in 2012 Plead guilty Named the woman on Twitter, accusing her of raping soccer player Ched Evans. The law allows rape claimants lifelong anonymity.

Evans was imprisoned for rape, but his conviction was abandoned in an appeal and acquitted in a 2016 retrial.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in crime, police and law, covering stories from a wide range of countries.