John Docker: Are these high profile trials the result of a celebrity witch hunt?

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So, another high-profile prosecution bites the dust. I’m sure this will come as a relief to Corrie actors – it was beginning to look as if the CPS was working its way through the entire male cast!

I get the distinct impression the suits behind Operation Yewtree were enjoying their new-found status midst the welter of notoriety stirred up among well-known personalities by the Savile affair. Was this indeed a ‘celebrity witch hunt’ as suggested by so many commentators? I personally rather think so and someone in high office needs to nip it in the bud before ‘guilty until proved innocent’ becomes the norm.

Having met Jimmy Savile I am inclined to believe the worst. But for the rest of this messy predatory paedophilic saga, there must surely be lessons to be learned, both for the protection of high-profile people who are ‘fair game’ for the compensation seekers and those who are genuine victims. So we have two damaging possibilities. On one hand reputations and careers can be ruined – even when the accused is found to be innocent. On the other hand genuine victims may well be frightened off by the prospect of notoriety. But here’s an interesting thought. As the accused have been found not guilty, surely this means ‘victims’ were not telling the truth and are in contempt of court. Should they not be prosecuted? And I have to wonder – were I to walk into a police station and claim I had been groped by Ena Sharples 50 years ago, would I be taken seriously? Perish the thought!

While on the subject of TV personalities, I think we may have new breed of entertainer – the sign language presenter. My better half and I were watching the midday news last week and found the signer to be far more interesting than the programme. His gestures were really amusing and explicit and we are both convinced we haven’t seen such expressive, understandable movements before. Can anyone out there tell me, is this a new form of sign language or simply one man’s interpretation? Either way - more of the same please.

I was shocked to see Homeserve have been fined a record sum of £30 million for missselling its ‘domestic disaster’ insurance policies. I took one out more years ago than I care to remember and have always regarded Homeserve as ‘one of the good guys’. Over the years they’ve fixed our leaks, and unblocked our drains with no delays, no fuss, no hassle, no argument and no excess charges. I wish I could say the same about my other insurance policies! Speaking of insurance, I wonder how many unfortunate flood victims will have their claims paid without any quibble? And whatever must those who live in the Thames Valley think when they learn dredging was abandoned because of the presence of an endangered species called the Depressed River Mussel? Must be great to know your home’s valued less than a slug in a shell!