The whole area of punishment, proof and political correctness relating to alleged sexual misconduct in the United Kingdom appears to be so damaged as to punish the wrong people, yet allow the worst offenders to get off with the most minimal punishments for the most wicked crimes on far too many occasions.

Some of the latest nonsense has surrounded Sir Ted Heath, the Prime Minister of the UK during the early 1970's. Heath was accused in 2015 of being a paedophile and was investigated as part of "Operation Conifer" an investigation into VIP's allegedly involved in all sorts of abuses and an investigation now widely discredited.

One of the most outrageous elements of it involved the launch, where officers asked for "victims" of Heath to come forward and stated that they would be believed. This turned British Justice on its head with the principal of innocent until proven guilty thrown out of the window and an investigation of a man who died in 2005 who thus could neither be charged nor defend himself.

The case was ignited by a fantasist with form for this type of malice called "Nick" and on the day following the plea for witnesses 118 people emerged claiming abuse. Most of these were identified immediately as charlatans with the rest of the claims found to be unsubstantiated over time. The initial claim against a brothel owner was disqualified by the Independent Police Complaints Committee for having no evidence to back it up and the whole mess cost an estimated £1.4 million.

Innocents damaged

Other claims have damaged high profile people in the recent past. Paul Gambaccini the BBC radio presenter lost his position for a while after false claims were made against him and Sir Cliff Richard is presently suing the BBC after the police informed them of a raid on his house which the Corporation then screened live.

It proved to be without foundation, but only after years of suspicion and heartache. Less well-known men have been placed under the spotlight as well, at least three in the last few weeks, before the claims against them by women, who still remain anonymous, have proven to be without foundation or malicious.

On the other hand, there have been numerous examples across the country of hideous recent abuse.

In Newcastle one hundred and eight possible victims, nearly all underage girls the youngest thirteen were abused. Girls that were vulnerable, often in council care were rRaped multiple times, used as prostitutes, provided with dangerous drugs and alcohol for the profit and pleasure of Muslim men. Seventeen of these hateful thugs were convicted plus one 17-year-old idiot white girl in 2017. In 2010 it was Rotherham and Derby, 2012 Rochdale, 2013 Oxford, 2014 Bristol, 2015 Aylesbury, and Peterborough 2016 Bradford. Thousands of girls, dozens of perpetrators, terrible abuse. Sentences? Well, let's get to that.

Just look at what happened and then punish appropriately

For me, the guidelines of investigating sexual abuse should focus upon how serious the alleged crime was when did it happen and when was it reported.

The most serious crimes should be those involving penetrative sex and violence, perpetrated against the most vulnerable and exacerbated by multiple perpetrators being involved. They should be crimes that have taken place over the previous year and reported within that time scale. That wickedness when proven should lead to extremely harsh punishments with the perpetrator perhaps choosing between chemical castration and twenty years in prison, or a short sharp shock of three weeks in prison but sharing the cell with three angry tigers!

However crimes that are sometimes decades old are almost impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt. No DNA evidence, no immediate statements, no valid corroboration, too many other possible motives, coordinated statements etc.

Looking at cases like Heath's especially are futile and expensive. Even if guilty as Heath almost certainly was not, the two most important criteria of punishing the offender and protecting future victims cannot be achieved. Reporting such crimes within a reasonable timescale can be difficult. Genuine victims need solid support. However the desire to obtain convictions should not lead to innocent men being hampered by unfair practices. Women who maliciously accuse should also face severe punishment and have their right to anonymity removed.

I fear this subject is treated too lightly by too many. Some of the abuse noted above is the worst short of murder that can be perpetrated. Villains should not be found guilty of these issues many times.

Two strikes and life would be an appropriate sentence. However because of the hatefulness of the crimes innocent people accused have their lives ruined, Anonymity until guilt is proven should be afforded. The punishments for the deliberately malicious, false accusations should be equally unflinching.

Perhaps then everyone would take this problem more seriously.