Monday, November 12, 2012
Cleared: Man who died on way to child porn court hearing
"A MAN who collapsed and died on his way to court to face child pornography charges has had his named cleared.
Today the widow of NS, who has battled to prove her late husband was innocent, expressed her relief as a judge said he did not believe the prosecution would have been successful.
As reported in The Herald, Mr S collapsed in a car park on Royal Parade as he made his way to a hearing at Plymouth Crown Court in September to face the charges, which he vehemently denied.
It has not been revealed what caused Mr S to collapse but his family said the sex accusations had placed him under a lot of pressure and he was suffering from stress at the time.
Following the tragedy the case was closed.
But his family launched a legal bid to clear the 57-year-old's name and to win back legal costs.
Now Judge Barry Cotter, after reviewing the papers, said that he believed the prosecution would "not have been successful"
Monday, November 12, 2012
"THERE can be few more damaging accusations to make against a man than to suggest he looks at child pornography.
The very suggestion is enough to destroy a reputation. It is a slur so heinous and so difficult to deny that it could wreck a life with a single whisper - whether true or not..
That may have been the case with NS. Imagine that morning in September as he walked toward Plymouth Crown Court - he was an innocent man due to be accused of being the most monstrous type of pervert. It is hard to imagine a more stressful situation. We shall never know whether it caused his death but it seems a remarkable coincidence if it did not.
For some families that may have been the tragic conclusion but Mr S’s relatives were determined that they would fight on to clear his name. Today we report how a judge has now said the overwhelming likelihood is that Mr S would not have been convicted if the case had made its way in front of a jury.
This was welcomed by Mr S’s widow, Caroline. Her resolute battle for justice must be commended. But the judge’s words were, at best, small comfort for a family of an innocent man which has lost so much.
This tragic story comes at a time when hysteria about child sex offenders has reached an unprecedented frenzy. The shocking revelations about Jimmy Savile and the entirely false accusations made against Lord McAlpine have led the Prime Minister, among others, to warn of a ‘witch hunt’. All decent people want to see sex offenders - particularly those whose offending involves children - brought to justice. But justice involves the calm appraisal of evidence and the opportunity to defend innocence.
The statement from the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to Mr S reminds us that under British law we are innocent until proven guilty. But simply the act of making an accusation of the sort made against Mr S is enough to lead many to assume guilt with the cynical view that there is no smoke without fire.
The police and prosecutors have an incredibly difficult job to do but we hope this case has given them reason to think even more carefully before levelling such an accusation and ask if the evidence really justifies the inevitable damage that will be caused. In Mr S’s tragic case a judge has indicated that may not have been so."
Bid to clear name of Plymouth man who died on way to court
Crown court to hear indecent images case
Man accused of child porn offences died on day of his trial
Child porn trial
Suspected pervert who collapsed and died outside court would have been found NOT GUILTY