RECENT CASES (JULY 2003)
(WE TREAT ALL THE CASES THAT COME TO US WITH
ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY AS TO NAME AND LOCATION)
Ray Gosling writes
The current situation that comes to us - is a lad now an ex-lad saying he was sexually messed with when under age, i.e. that Mr X did "things" with him when he was 15, Y number of years ago. The ex-lad who'll be in his late teens or his twenties - may not go to the police - but merely be threatening to o to the police -saying to the victim - "if you don't pay me some money…." - implying that he will go tell the police "you messed with me when I was 15." The ex-lad may be on drugs. The ex-lad almost certainly will be aware that the Criminal injuries Compensation Authority pay handsomely for sex allegations, and offer both confidentiality - no publicity for the accuser - and probably "help" in any police troubles the lad/ex-lad may be facing. It's common knowledge, particularly among the under-classes that "big money" is on offer - and lads/ex-lads will "know" other ex-lads who will have said (or bragged) that they got £10,000 or so - for saying that so and so buggered or did X with them when they were underage. And, importantly - it is said money for the accuser may be paid out even if the application does not result in a court conviction.
Whether these sums are true - or the assumptions streetwise ex-lads are making have substance, we at Gay Monitor have no idea - it's all shrouded in such secrecy.
We need some leak from the CICA or police or NSPCC to tell us the truth.
The figures of sums paid out by the CICA are not known by category let alone by name.
We have a blackmailers' charter here.
And all parties involved will know that the lads/ex-lads allegations are highly likely to be believed - enough for a prosecution to proceed sufficiently for the victim's name to be in the papers, shame, suspension from job etcetera.
And for the lad/ex-lad revenge, spite - the pleasure of doing down an ex-friend.
For there are today very powerful forces dedicated to pursuing "child abuse" - special police departments, child protection units, powerful charities - NSPCC - who have jobs at stake, virtually an industry relying on investigations to pursue and needing "results" to prove their "jobsworth."
Because we have close contacts in relatively small towns we often know all the people involved as well as it is possible for a friend to know a friend.
In one district on our patch - recently four men approached Allan - all separately worried at accusations made by one ex-lad - to them personally - the banging on the door at unwelcome hours: the unwelcome repeated threatening and abusive phone calls. All four men we know as being decent chaps, hard working, humorous, outgoing: not in the Tony Blair intellectual department perhaps, but highly unlikely to do any crime or break ANY law - but they like and encourage the "company" of young men - and let younger men if you want "abuse" them. And as in normal working class environments some men will be of a rough - likely to take drugs and poor unemployed nature. Now all these four men as far as one can know a friend have no interest in paedophilia at all - and would regard that with absolute repugnance. All have no previous convictions. All have jobs - but not in sensitive positions, thankfully.
All are also - and here comes vulnerability - not very up front, come-out gays. We would find it difficult to believe any of them attempted to interfere with anyone who wasn't very up for it: and certainly never attempt to interfere with ANYTHING ILLEGAL certainly not knowingly under-age sex - even if a child offered, and some children do. However these four are generous "normal" working chaps. But maybe stupidly but humanly they may have known a lad in the sense of letting them into their house - when the lad was 15 or possibly 16 but now pretending it was 15. This is very dangerous to do.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND NOBODY DOES THIS - SADLY OUR WORLD FOR ALL OF US HAS BECOME SO.
A few (maybe three) years back: Ray Gosling writes - I was talking one evening with a Leeds gay group about a run of sex cases we were monitoring then - a bad glut of them where false or exaggerated allegations were turning to where charges were being laid and pressed to trial and prosecuted and juries believed the allegations - and the victims were sentences to 4/6/8 years prison - all on first offences and all on evidence we'd regard as very dicky.
One of the saddest features was the belief by the victims that because their accusers were bad eggs, that'd count in their favour. Not so. It is important to remember today's judges - and juries - pay increased importance to allegations from the so-called vulnerable - so if the little lad/ex-lad accusing is a 30 year old junkie in a mess and says/implies that his mess was your fault because you messed with me when I was underage - in this way….he was lying…but a jury will be on his side and a judge in sentencing against your good record and sentencing will go up given the accuser's bad record/potential vulnerability.
Indeed we had a case where we befriended a man where the nub of the case was that 20 years ago the lad - he was a lad then of maybe 16 or 17 and he fell in love with this guy - who'd then be 30 years old. Quite deeply in love. For the man the flirtation was of a moment and then in friendship he helped the lad - and then the lad saw the man's affections had shifted to another. And the lad was heartbroken - so bad it cankered his life. This is a Dear Deirdre story - and the lad who grew up very gay (and druggie) started more and more to blame his troubles on the jilting of his first great love.
Then time passes like 20 years or so and the lad - well an ex-lad now - is in turmoil of drugs and poverty and living with a fairly, scheming 'evil' piece of humanity for an affair - and they conjure this idea for naming the "villain of his life" as having had sex with him when he was underage and manufacture a tale of lies - but the ex-lad is believed by all the agencies his story passes through - and the innocent man/the victim put to trial and sentenced - on flimsy evidence he is sentenced to 6 years prison. Quite dreadful.
So Ray continues - I was talking through these things - in a lecture/a talk from me to this gay men's group in Leeds. I've spoken there before. And at the end we had general questions and general discussion - during which a 50 year old solicitor's clerk well acquainted with current trends in court - spoke emphatically - he said - "If I crossed a park, and saw a lad drowning now - now I'd not go to help - for fear of what could be made in ways of allegation." I feel sick, writes Ray, that I live in a country where such inhumanity has come to pass - and the "normal" affection many gays have had for young men now has to be curbed.
However dire warnings ain't gonna stop people being human. Hundreds and thousands of lads are befriended by gay men with no sex happening at all: post-pubescent lads 15 - 16 - 17 year olds. Many a 15 year old pretending to be older, and aware they can take advantage of the inclinations to be soft on lads that exists in gays.
It's only a few who push for reasons of revenge or desperation fuelled by drugs to blackmail and false witness.
Trouble is chances now are that false witness will be believed.
Allan Horsfall writes:
A seventeen year old heroin-addicted rent boy has been creating a great deal of tension and apprehension among the gay community in and around Bolton and his activities have led to a sharp difference of opinion between the police and some members of the police's gay liaison panel.
The lad's method of operation is to demand money not only from his former clients, but also from other people who he either knows to be gay, or assumes to be gay, even on the far from reliable basis of having seen them in the company of a former client.
A refusal of money results first in promised or actual damage to property or cars and then, if that does not produce results, in a threat that he will go to the police and allege that his victim had had gay sex with him when he was under sixteen.
Four people, for the most part not known to each other, have complained to us about the conduct of this lad. For various reasons, none of them have complained to the police. This may be because we have felt obliged to warn those of them who have only suffered damage to property that a complaint to the police by them is likely to result in counter-allegations from the lad of a serious and damaging nature and that there can be no guarantee that the police will not act on his allegations rather than theirs or that juries will not convict on uncorroborated evidence.
When the lad's activities were reported to a recent police liaison panel, the police representative complained that they were not likely to make progress in dealing with hate crime if we were going to tell people not to complain to the police. We pointed out that we had done no such thing, but had felt obliged to point out the likely and the possible consequences of involving the police so far, and only so far, as this particular offender is concerned.
In defence of their own position, the police representative maintained that all complaints had to be investigated. It was pointed out to her that, in the early 1960's the Director of Public Prosecutions had given an undertaking that, where blackmail of gay men was alleged, counter-allegations would be acted upon only in the most exceptional circumstances.
Unless a similar undertaking can be given today, it seems to us that blackmail will be absolutely out of control. We feel that the actions of this particular offender represent only the tip of a vast iceberg of criminality involving blackmail, extortion and intimidation at a time when gay men are more vulnerable than at any other time, due to the hysteria currently surrounding paedophilia, to false allegations alleging sexual relations across the age of consent barrier.
Allan & Ray write (originally as a letter to the Bolton Evening News):-
9 September 2002
We can substantiate Andrew Mulholland's belief that the perpetrators of hate crime often blackmail their victims by saying they will accuse them of being a paedophile (Bolton Avening News, September 7, p6).
During the past year we have been contacted by four Bolton men, mostly strangers to each other, who have had demands for money from an identifiable young man with the specific threat that a failure to give would result in a complaint to the police that the victim had indulged in gay sex with him when he was under the age of consent.
We felt obliged to advise one of these men, who had been driven to the border of despair by these demands, that a complaint to the police by him would also result in any counter-complaint by the blackmailer being investigated and possibly acted upon in preference to his original allegation.
Before anybody writes in to say that those who have done no wrong have nothing to fear, we would say three things. First, in such cases irreparable damage can be caused to any individual in the course of establishing his innocence. Second, we know from observation that the concept of "proof beyond reasonable doubt" has largely been abandoned where there are allegations of sex across the age barrier. Third, adult extortionists who make these allegations, even in their 30s and 40s, are still allowed to do so from behind the shield of anonymity which is (rightly) granted to children.
It used to be held that, apart from murder, blackmail was the most serious crime in the book. In the early 1960s the then Director of Public Prosecutions gave an undertaking that where gay men claimed they were being blackmailed, any counter-allegation would only be acted upon in the most exceptional circumstances.
Unless the present Director is prepared to instruct the Crown Prosecution Service that this policy should be revived, then this second most serious crime is going to run entirely out of control and an incalculable number of men are going to be driven over the edge - some to suicide and some to rough justice.
(Allan Horsfall) (Ray Gosling)
Bolton Evening News