The question of whether those accused of sexual offences should have anonymity until convicted is a vexed one (see a piece by Mark George QC for the blog here and something by me here), with many good arguments on both sides.
On 9th September 2014 this issue was addressed by, slightly surprisingly, Pam Ayres in the following tweet :
I don't understand why the pillock who invited Archie Reed into her BED, then hollered "rape!" is not named and humiliated as he has been.
— Pam Ayres (@PamAyres) September 9, 2014
The reaction to this was entirely predictable, and she was eviscerated on twitter by a multitude of people (although she did have some support to be fair) who made all the points that could be made, good and bad, against her argument.
What’s the background?
The backdrop to this is the case of Archie Reed. Mr Reed was accused of rape and subsequently acquitted (we think on 5th September). The Judge did not mince his words – he “criticised the CPS for its shambolic evidence during the trial“, amongst other things. .
It is clear that there were multiple failings in the way that the case was investigated (although that may well be a dog bites man story nowadays), although it should be noted that the case did go past half time (on one of the charges at least) and it was the jury who acquitted Mr Reed.
There isn’t one. And there probably won’t every be – this is a difficult issue, and I imagine it will rumble on. It may be that Ms Ayres will think twice before commenting on legal matters in future, (although she has as much as a right as anyone, even if she could have chosen her words slightly more carefully), but she seems to have continued with the debate in fairness to her.