YEP Says, October 8: Have we learned nothing from the Rotherham scandal?

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...and a unique farewell to keep Lee laughing

THE British legal system is, quite rightly, based on the belief that those suspected of criminal activity are innocent until proven guilty.

It is why the accused is often granted bail while investigations are carried out to determine whether or not they should stand trial.

There must be serious concerns, however, when these go on for so long that someone who could have committed a serious crime is able to remain at liberty for a substantial period of time.

In Rotherham, the failure by police to take speedy and effective action against those involved in the systematic abuse of young girls was a major factor in the appalling scale of the scandal.

So the fact that West Yorkshire Police have revealed that dozens of suspects in two major child sex abuse investigations have been allowed to stay on bail for more than six months is a cause for deep concern.

Such cases are by no means easy to investigate. But if the lessons of Rotherham are to be learned it is vitally important that they are concluded as swiftly as possible. Staff shortages, or other financial constraints, must not stand in the way.

Every police force has to send out the strongest possible message that child sex grooming will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Anything less would be a betrayal of those youngsters who are its potential victims.

A unique farewell to keep Lee laughing

LEE Brown loved to have a laugh. And his family were determined that when it came to saying goodbye to him, they would keep him laughing.

Planning to dress up as grannies for a night out on the day he died, the popular pub landlord’s friends kept their end of the bargain with Lee dressed accordingly.

The sight of pallbearers in wrinkly tights and curlers alongside the likes of Superman, Little Red Riding Hood and Braveheart isn’t what you might expect at a funeral. But his family and friends say Lee would have loved it. And at the end of the day it’s all about remembering that special person you have lost – however you choose to do it.

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