The following story appeared today in a certain daily newspaper we prefer not to mention ...
“A primary school teacher accused of filming himself abusing pupils in his class has been charged with a further 18 child sex offences. The 50-year-old teacher has now been charged with a total of 22 crimes relating to the abuse of five pupils. They include 13 counts of sexual assault against a child, four of voyeurism and possessing indecent images of children.
The teacher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in court for the second time in two months to face the new accusations this week. He was initially charged in December with two counts of sexually assaulting a child and two of abusing a position of trust at the small primary school in North Somerset, where he has worked for 15 years. He has yet to enter a plea to any of the charges.
Meanwhile, North Somerset Council's educational psychology department has written to two charities asking them to support the devastated family of the girl who sparked the investigation. Educational psychologist Norman Donovan said: 'Her mother has been off work since the day after the disclosure to support her daughter and because of her own understandable emotions. She is facing financial hardship, which is unnecessarily adding to her stress. I appreciate this is an unusual request because of the need for such strict confidentiality. But it would make an enormous difference to this family if a grant of say £500 could be made to cover some outstanding bills.'
The girl's desperate mum is set to lose at least one month's income after taking time off work since her daughter claimed the teacher had abused her. He was arrested after the seven-year-old told her mum he had been touching her in class.
Some 30 officers have been assigned to the case, which has been declared a major incident by police who searched his home and classroom and seized his computer. They confiscated 20 memory sticks. Kelly Marshall, prosecuting, has previously revealed one of the memory sticks contained video footage of a man, believed to be the teacher, touching a youngster in class. Experts believe the clip was filmed from underneath a school desk, with other pupils present.”
Make no mistake, if proven this represents a criminal act or acts. If convicted, the man is evidently not suitable to work in a school. Sadly, he will almost certainly never work in a school again even if he's completely innocent, because they don't bother with little things like convictions and proof before they put people on List 99.
But at the risk of seeming callous or irresponsible, dare I ask ... am I the only one to whom this all seems a bit of an over-reaction?
OK, if he's guilty then he's a paedophile ... but why does it take 30 police officers to deal with him? In what sense is this a "major incident"? Do paedophiles have big guns, or explosives strapped round their waists? Are they half-man, half-robot and dedicated to the eradication of mankind? Do they ooze pus and shamble blindly down the street mouthing obscenities? Come on, tell me – why does it take 30 officers to supervise his custody, search his house, trawl through his computer and so on? Good grief, I know a couple of retired rugby players who could sit on him, Mrs.GOS can go through a house with a fine tooth-comb in about 20 minutes, and it would take me about half an hour to ferret out the dirty pictures on his laptop. That's just four pensioners to do the work of 30 coppers. Maybe it's time to re-write that old song about “You can't trust a Special like an old-time copper ...”
The answer is, of course, that backs are being guarded. It's more than the Chief Constable's job is worth to seem to be taking child abuse lightly, so just in case anyone wants to criticise the Somerset Constabulary, let's treat this like an international terrorist outrage or the start of World War 3.
And the thing about the mother? Her seven year old child was ... what? Raped? Apparently not, according to the article. Beaten? No, nothing like that. She was “touched” under the table.
Wow. Poor little girl, seriously. It shouldn't have happened. But does it really cause the mother to need to abandon her work and stay at home? Or is there perhaps another reason, like the common propensity so often seen in our modern society to seize any opportunity to wallow in victimhood?
But no, come on, GOS. Don't be such a spiteful old bastard. Have a little sympathy, for goodness' sake. The poor little mite had a slightly bad experience, and her poor mum is devastated in consequence, so let's all club together and give her a lot of money. That'll make it better.
There is another possibility, of course. Maybe the mother, like the Chief Constable, is worried that if she and her daughter seem to return to normal too quickly, people will point the finger at her and say she's not taken her daughter's experience seriously enough. Remember the sh*t that fell on the heads of the McCanns because they reacted with calm composure to their daughter's disappearance?
There will now follow a small deluge of hate and vituperation into my mailbox, of course, because there is only one orthodoxy where child abuse is concerned, and that is that anyone who commits it is a work of the devil and deserves to be castrated with a lolly-stick and his head stamped on (which is, oddly enough, his likely fate in prison), anyone who suffers it is beyond question scarred and traumatised for life and will forever be a victim, along with all the members of his family, yea, until the third and fourth generation and anyone who used to live in the same road as them, and that anyone who dares question this orthodoxy deserves to be hounded out of society for the good of the little children.
Hatred is so much easier, isn't it, than rational thought? Let's leave all that arty-farty philosophising to posh gits at Oxford and Cambridge ... this is the real world, mate, so come on, we're going to find a paediatrician and give 'im a good kicking ...
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