UK & World News
Cyril Smith: Late MP 'Abused Young Boys'
Police have acknowledged for the first time that the late politician Sir Cyril Smith sexually and physically abused young boys in the 1960s.
Smith, who was elected MP for Rochdale in 1972, was dogged by rumours of abuse throughout his career but charges were never brought.
But both Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have now said if Smith had been accused today he would be charged and prosecuted.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: "We are now in a position to say that on three separate occasions, files were passed to first the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and then the CPS containing details of abuse committed by Smith, but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.
"Having now reviewed those decisions, we believe that if the same evidence was presented to the CPS today there would have been a very realistic prospect that Smith would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults, and that the case would have been brought to trial.
"Clearly that is a bold statement to make but it is absolutely important for those victims who were abused by Smith that we publicly acknowledge the suffering they endured."
An investigation was carried out by Lancashire Police in the late 1960s into Smith's actions at the Cambridge House Hostel, a privately-run care home in Rochdale.
The investigating officer presented details of allegations made by eight youths to the DPP and concluded Smith had indecently assaulted young boys, but the DPP recommended no prosecution be pursued.
All the boys were either living at Cambridge House or were dependent on Smith for either employment, financial support or guardianship.
The allegations were set out in 80 pages of evidence that was supplied to the then DPP Sir Norman Skelhorn with a covering note dated 11 March 1970.
The only documentation of the decision making is a one page letter to the Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary.
It is dated 19 March, 1970, and reads: "I have considered your file and I observe that eight young men, whose ages range from nineteen to twenty-four years, allege that between 1961 and 1966 Smith subjected them to various forms of indecency and I also observe that Smith denies their allegations.
"Any charges of indecent assault founded on these allegations, as well as being somewhat stale, would be, in my view, completely without corroboration. Further, the characters of some of these young men would be likely to render their evidence suspect."
Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "The decision made in 1970 would not be made by the CPS today.
"Any victims considering coming forward should not be dissuaded by the decisions of the past."
Smith, who died in 2010, served as the Liberal and later Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992.
A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: "All accusations against Cyril Smith should have been investigated thoroughly with the authorities taking whatever action they thought necessary.
"Any new allegations being made should also be investigated by the police."
what do you think?
This man revolts me and let's hear condemnation from all those who have praised his name in the past. Disgusting man
Where are all the twitters and TV personalities, with their accusations and smears now ? Oh, wait..............he was a labour man, silly me.
Read the story, he was a Liberal, but I expect the other two parties were no better.
t bulgin lib/ lab/con people are not interested what party he was from. this is about people at the top who think they can do what they like .
ok liberal then. He wasn't a Thatcher minister is my point.
tb I would think the people you mention are a little warey considering the recent settlements. Dear me t you must go spec savers everything beginning with L does not say Labour. :)
Yes, he was Liberal, t. bulgin, Liberals who went on to become the LibDems and are currently in bed with the Tories. (Just wanted to mischievously re-establish the link t. bulgin was going to great pains to sever from his beloved Tory Party seeing as he was SO KEEN to use this as a pathetic platform to put Labour in the frame on this story.) What an own goal. However, I 've read somewhere that the likes of Harold Wilson/Jim Callaghan are alleged to have had a hand in making sure no further action was taken because Labour were looking to form a coalition with the Libs in the 70s - which, in fact, they did do by the late 70s. Our political elite are corrupt.
This has nothing to do with politics.its about a man of power abusing kids.
Shaun i think people are talking politics because if these people are protected by the establishment then that clearly implicates that out politicians and senior civil servants are inolved in ensuring that reports are supressed and prosecutions just don't happen. As for party against party, as Chris rightly points out, these cover ups know no political boundaries
He was labour when he commited the offences. Not an own goal Chris. Score ! right in the top corner.
Exactly shaun. Pity the anti Thatcher lot on twitter didn't take time to think about it before condeming Lord McAlpine.
Are politicians and the wealthy elite exempt from prosecution? The law didn't have any trouble prosecuting a local butcher up here a few years ago. Joe Bloggs steps out of line and they are down on him like a ton of bricks, something smells very bad in the British justice system.
What you can smell John is the stench of corruption that completely engulfs the justice system including the judiciary
Its a bit cold out tonite. . But not where Cyril is. He's currently burning in Hell with Saville. Enjoy
Another despicable creature, and all those who knew hang your heads in shame
here we go yet again more claims of abuse by somebody who is dead !
What is wrong with this Country? all we hear lately is,Male is raping 4 years old,11 year old girl,abusing Boys,grooming teenagers for sex,jimmy's story,glitters story,and so on!!!! what is wrong with this society ( Male) ? it makes me sick to see ,so many young life's get ruined by adults,why don't they target their own age!
Myra Hindley ring any bells?
Can someone please explain why five people have given thumbs down to joell cooke's post. It is a valid observation based on current news items even though as Lorgar indicates it does not take account of reported abuse by females.
blue side. I've seen me get multiple thumbs downs for agreeing with someone who gets loads of thumbs ups. It happens all the time and i'm not talking about a complicated post, just a very simple eg, "absolutely agree" or something of that ilk. I get fed up about it sometimes as it does seem a bit ignorant, but no point dwelling on it. If folk take a spite against you theres bu**er all you can do.
Think you answered your own question blue side
@blue side,thanks,this is very kind of you!!!!
So here we have it in the past 3 weeks we've 2 household names both accused of paedeophilia and as far as the police and CPS are concerned both conveniently dead. Both these agencies knew of their activities when they were alive but did nothing, but its all right folks they assure us if it had happened today they would be prosecuted.what a load of bovine excretia. I wonder how many people today are walking about guilty of the same crimes but are protected by the police because of their high profile.But once again folks dont worry because when they,re dead and buried the police will swing into action.
A lot of people are walking around protected by friends, that's the problem. Favour's will be pulled and other people reminded of what they have done also!! It's staggering but this goes to the top in all walks of life.
Russell. It is hard not to arrive at the same conclusions as you. The establishment looks after its own
Actually feel sick
Is it me or has the world gone mad?
Gone beyond mad blue side.
The worlds gone mad.blue side
Its not you.
And the thumbs down on what was being said here may prove us right.
I don't understand the thumbs down either, but who does?
Again Sky news are lacking in proper information, were the ages of these young men 19 to 24 when the abuse took place or just when they reported it, if the former not exactly young boys as headline states.
For information to those who gave thumbs down, I was not condoning anything this slimy creep did, I just found the report unclear. My thoughts were at 19 or 24 I would have fought to the death or preferably his to keep his sweaty paws off me,however indebted I was.
bjnk I, like you, am mystified you get thumbs down for what is an obvious question - sometimes one wonders if people can read.
I dont quite understand your post bjnk. Cant blame Sky... what about the CPS??
This item states "youths and young boys". I don't think that would include 19 to 24 yr olds. Also, did you see the size of him. What a nightmare for anyone who he got his hands on.
I read it like that too, but think they meant the boys were 19 and 24 when the report was made in 1970, the 'abuse' took place between '61-'66 .. Also, isn't (wasn't) the age of consent for homosexuality 21 back then which makes a difference?
I wonder if the police pursue this dead abuser with the same gusto and vigour as they have Saville? Probably not because firstly he was part of the establishment and secondly he hasn't Savilles money
I agree with you Dave. Sad the CPS have ONCE again failed in their duties. I think they sit like wee tin-Gods in their offices and pick the cases out of a hat, If the case is too difficult, they just throw them back again. There has to be a shake up.
should have been investigatd at the time not sweept under the carpet !!! how many more names will crop upm
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This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Mark. Why must politics always raise its ugly head. It is Irrelevant in this case
Its got to be remembered just how differently the treatment victims has changed.back then a kid would have to testify in a court in front of the abuser nowadays its done by video link.and theirs better councilling nowadays.also kids from with deprived backgrounds werent believed .atitudes have changed a lot since the 60s.shame this man is dead as i feel they have escaped justice.
Attitudes are changing Shaun and thank God for that. But thetes still a long way to go till we accept how widesread this is and understand more about how abusers work. There needs to be no hiding place for these abusers, But some of the recent comments made on here about victims show that we have a long way to go yet. So many people have been so harsh about the time it takes some people to come forward about their abuse. But many of them did at the time and still nothing was done By the way Shaun, i haven't caught up with the other threads yet - i hope you and your partner are safe and well.
Yes louise, thats why i think an investigation into these old crimes can only be a good thing.on the news item i saw it said that the police had the evidence to prosecute but that the cases werent followed up because it was believed the witnesses would stand up to the courts scrutiny in court.so imagine a young child being interigated by a defence lawyer in a court enviroment in front of his or hers abuser.itll have been terrifying.this is why these cases were dropped.allowing the abuser to go free.
Couldnt stand up in court i meant.
You're right and thank god that doesn't happen to the same extent any more. When reforms were introduced, many people spoke up against them and actually wanted child victims to be cross examined in open court. I cannot imagine anything more terrifying and less likely to achieve justice than the terrorising of damaged children in this way. Makes you wonder what was behind that opposition-people in the system with a lot to hide, maybe?
I somehow doubt that the lid will ever be put on this "can of worms". It would be no surprise to me if more high profile names crop up.
Unbelievable lack of compassion and support for all these kids. It amazes me daily to learn yet another pervert has been protected. At least we can despise and disrespect this guy in death. Reputation is everything and this would matter to him.
Ex-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone claimed on LBC radio that MI5 filmed politicians abusing children in a childrens home for the purpose of applying political pressure. The media turns the spotlight on the dead beasts and ignores the living ones.
So many cover ups even orange wont let me say it like it is' people with money and titles rule the rest of us have to pay......DISGUSTING