Ms Raccoon has been off scurrying down another rabbit hole. It proved to be a rich seam of material. We may be some time digging into this one folks…
It started when the morning newspapers brought word of yet another leak from the porous world of Operation Sapphire, the Metropolitan police’s specialist sex crime unit. Alleged victims may be assured of anonymity – but by Jingo, let any celebrity name be so much as mentioned in those dark corridors, and long before charges are laid, someone will ensure that Mark Williams-Thomas can add to his bylines and spread the name round the slavering hordes on Twitter. They really should have called themselves Operation Linkbait.
Thus it was that our favourite Imitation Max Clifford, the Chewing-Gum Shoe, was able to bring news that Mohamed Al Fayed may be reinterviewed, if an internal CPS review takes place, into allegations that were dismissed a year ago, when aged 84, he was accused of having forced himself upon this 20 year old woman in his London flat. She did go to the police the following day, but despite this, no provable evidence was found of anything he could be charged with.
It is not the first time he has been ‘fingered’ by the Met police for alleged sexual offences. It was alleged that he might have sexually assaulted a teenage girl by kissing her when he met her in the company of her Mother in 2008.
At the time, Al Fayed was annoyed that news he had been interviewed by police was leaked to the Daily Star.
“Despite assurances today’s interview would be kept confidential, Mr Al Fayed is concerned that it was reported within one hour of its conclusion,” the Daily Star quoted his spokeswoman as saying.
This time the information was leaked to the marginally more upmarket Daily Mirror. Within hours. Perhaps they pay better. I do idly wonder at times whether the Metropolitan Police are not more interested in linkbait stories appearing in the main stream media than they are in ending the scourge of sexual offences that are carried out within the home by people not worth suing for compensation.
Still, another witness has come forward, a 36-year-old ‘businesswoman’, and now the alleged offence that Al Fayed was never charged with, is to be looked at again to see if the ’36-year-old’ has anything to add to the original story that might result in re-interviewing him – and in the meantime, the media get to mention Fulham Football Club, Harrods, Princess Diana, and the Ritz Hotel. Bingo!
I am not here to defend Mr Al Fayed. I know nothing about him. I do, however, question whether when the circumstances are so unclear as to include ‘after the interview had finished, she stayed on’, and became so ‘incapacitated’ that ‘she was attacked between 11pm and 1am’ that Al Fayed should be publicly denounced and left to walk the media ‘perp walk’ before any charges are brought.
There is no reason why a woman should accept being raped as the price of having got drunk and let her interest in taking up a professional position become so ‘muddied’ by still being in a man’s apartment at 1am, drunk and incapacitated – but when the clear demarcation between appearing to be a willing party to an off-side interview and being professional is so indistinct, then at least wait until the CPS have confirmed that activities were illegal before earning your living flogging the sordid story to the media.
Before the ink was dry halfway through the article, they were forced to acknowledge that:
“The Metropolitan Police today confirmed no new evidence had been offered by the complainant and they fully expect their review to be completed early next week.”
So no new evidence, into an allegation that didn’t originally have sufficient evidence with which to charge a man, and in fact he was only duly questioned in line with police guidelines. Never mind. A 1,000 word article with MWTs name appended to it, stuffed full of linkbait and a barely disguised ‘this is a man with pots of money, do come forward with your mountain of allegations’……
Of course Al Fayed doesn’t presently have the use of his previous public relations man – Max Clifford. They were so close that Max was defended by Al Fayed’s lawyer BCL Burton Copeland partner Ian Burton as recommended by Mohammed Al Fayed.
Clifford, in turn, was the originator of the false sexual allegations made against Neil and Christine Hamilton, people Al Fayed was in conflict with at the time.
Along with her husband, Christine Hamilton was arrested in May 2001 by police investigating an alleged rape that was found to be entirely false. Hamilton said, “The whole thing is just nonsense on stilts.” Their accuser, Nadine Milroy-Sloan, was later imprisoned for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Ten years later she made false accusations against her boyfriend, and was jailed yet again. The police made a full apology.
Judge Simon Smith declared, “It’s becoming all too easy for people to sell false allegations against well-known people, or about well-known people, to the press, and courts have got to deal firmly with it.”
That was in 2003 – 10 years later it has become a full time occupation for some.
I sometimes get the impression that some ‘child protection experts’ are only interested in the subject when there are famous names to be exposed via the media, and subsequently sued for compensation by expanding personal injury firms.
The media are becoming willing accomplices in a sordid business under the emotive guise of ‘child protection’.
Does anybody have a breakdown of the figures for prosecution of sexual offences by the Metropolitan Police for ‘complete non-entities’ versus ‘household names’?
In the course of this article, I have stumbled over some fascinating material which will become the subject of future posts – but there are 100,000+ words of it, so be patient! It will keep me out of trouble for a while yet.