Yewtree a 'witch hunt'

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Yewtree a 'witch hunt'
« on: August 11, 2013, 05:57:58 PM »
 :( Yewtree a 'witch hunt'

Founder of Today newspaper says underage girls who 'just go out and have a good time' are to blame for abuse they suffer

?The Observer, Saturday 10 August 2013 22.38 BST   

Eddie Shah    
Eddy Shah was found not guilty of raping a girl at upmarket London hotels when she was between 12 and 15. Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA

Former newspaper boss Eddy Shah, who was cleared last month of raping a schoolgirl in the 1990s, has said underage girls who engage in consensual sex must take blame for the abuse they suffer.

Shah,69, described charges of rape relating to girls under 16 who "threw themselves" at celebrities as "a technical thing". He also claimed that Scotland Yard's investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and other television stars is developing into a "witch hunt".

Interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, Shah, who was found not guilty of raping a girl at upmarket London hotels when she was between 12 and 15, said: "Rape was a technical thing - below a certain age. But these girls were going out with pop groups and becoming groupies and throwing themselves at them. Young girls and young men have always wanted a bit of excitement. They want to appear adult and do adult things."

Asked if this meant the underage victims were at fault, he said: "If we're talking about girls who just go out and have a good time, then they are to blame.

"If we talk about people who go out and actually get 'raped' raped, then I feel no - and everything should be done against that."

Shah, who founded the Today newspaper in 1986, was asked if he thought the Operation Yewtree investigation into Savile and others is in danger of becoming a witch hunt. "I think it's developing into that - it's easy policing and it's easy prosecutions. It's based on emotion most of it," he said.

"In a civilised society there's got to be more checks and balances before these sort of accusations are used.

"It's great headlines in papers. And it's emotional stuff and the emotion always falls on the side of the person who is supposed to have been raped."

Shah said he had been helping a "very well-known person" charged by Operation Yewtree investigators deal with the "horrible, horrible feeling" of "emptiness about everything" that he had experienced when he was accused of rape.

He also revealed that he had suicidal thoughts during his trial. "Every night I worked out different ways of committing suicide to help me go to sleep, actually," he said. "I was very low, the only time I was lower than that in my life was when we were told (Shah's wife) Jennifer had three months to live all those years ago. You cannot describe the depths you go to."

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