Le-Vell is a well known actor on TV having a major part in Coronation Street.
As with a lot of famous celebrities lately he was charged with sexually abusing a very young child many years ago. Some other such cases have been dealt with and people found guilty, some not guilty and others are awaiting trial. There seemed to be a convincing amount of evidence against Le-Vell but he was found not guilty. He thanked the jury as he left the Court.
I have given up thinking about jury decisions having ‘lost’ cases over the years when I know the subjects were guilty. I knew this from perfect inadmissible intelligence which I cannot discuss, thieves, con men/women, rapists murders (where I have known several victims), and many others.
I initially wondered about the chances of proving this particular case because firstly it was old and secondly there was no forensic evidence, juries must be sure and how can anyone ‘be sure’ without forensic in such cases? The child was six at the time of the alleged offence. Obviously whoever decided to prosecute took a gamble which failed in his eyes. Apart from issues with this alleged victim the jury decision may well deter other victims from coming forward. It’s bad enough already with about 50% of such crimes going unreported. Perhaps they should only prosecute cases which will result in a guilty verdict and not have this rule that only cases with a 51% chance of conviction should go before the Court (there are other considerations), at least move up that statistic to 75% then some victims will not be dragged through the process only to be left distraught when they lose and people think they have lied.
What about the suspect? In this case Le Vell was the subject of much abuse and newspaper stories over the last two years. Surely people in this position should also remain anonymous just as the victims are. Even after being found not guilty, fingers will still be pointed and he may be written out of the Coronation Street script with no hope of acting work afterwards.
What about giving juries the option of the decisions to reach, guilty, not guilty and not proved. When reaching the latter verdict they will be giving the message that they think this person is guilty but cannot be sure. Sure is a word the defence barristers play on all the time, I have heard a juror say afterwards ‘How could I be sure if I wasn’t there at the time?’ As with a lot of prosecutors I feel dissatisfied with the system.
Can I finish on a lighter note with three