Dear Lucy Pearce – Argus Editor
Please re-register this email as a formal complaint concerning your journalism regarding the Bishop Bell case.
1. “2016 In Front Pages” (Argus, Dec 27) – Front Page Feb 3: “He told me it was our little secret because God loved me”
“The victim of former head of the Church in Sussex George Bell was a five-year-old girl who was sexually abused for four years, we revealed”
2. “Stories of 2016” (Argus, Jan 3) – Front Page Feb 3: “He told me it was our little secret because God loved me”
“The victim of Bishop George Bell’s shocking revelations rocked the Church: “Many questioned why George Bell…was named and shamed as a predatory paedophile after his death. After all, there had not been a criminal trial. But the Argus was able to arrange an exclusive interview with his victim. Surely after reading her account, nobody could question the validity of what she had been through?”
It is not a matter of questioning “the validity of what she (‘Carol’) had been through”. It is a matter of questioning the validity of the presumption of guilt against Bishop Bell.
Lord Carlile will be investigating, among other things, whether there is a mismatch between what is claimed to be sufficient evidence, and what is sufficient evidence. If there is a serious mismatch, there is no moral or legal justification for the Church’s actions against the Bishop.
In this particular case, it seems your paper has a problem in reporting these facts with accuracy, balance and sensitivity.
I would appreciate a written answer to this formal complaint within 28 days – as per your Editors Code.
Richard W. Symonds MCIPD
The Bell Society
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NN
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)