CPS: Smith should have been charged
The Crown Prosecution Service has admitted Sir Cyril Smith should have been prosecuted after allegations of child abuse were made in 1970.
The move follows fresh allegations against the former MP published by PoliticsHome.com
earlier this month, when former residents of a boys' hostel went public for the first time with their treatment.
Barry Fitton, one of the victims of Smith, told PoliticsHome.com tonight that he welcomed the Police and CPS statement but wanted to see whether action would result.
"He's got to be stripped of his knighthood and his MBE. And I want an apology from all those who said I was lying," Mr Fitton said.
Asked if justice was finally being done, Mr Fitton replied: "It's started to happen, but let's just see. I want to see if it all comes out or is just left to simmer again. It's better but I'm still worried that it's not going to all come out."
A statement from the CPS today said accusations from eight men had been passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1970, who decided not to proceed with a prosecution due to concerns over the reliability of their evidence.
The CPS insisted it had improved its procedures since this time, and such a decision "would not be made today".
“It is important to note that this way of thinking bears little resemblance to how such cases are assessed today or in recent years. Prosecutors and police now recognise that such crimes normally occur in private and that victims are often targeted because the offender doubts they will be believed.”
Mr Fitton, who was 15 at the time, told PoliticsHome two weeks ago that the former Rochdale MP punished him by bending him over his knee and hitting his backside with his bare hand. Afterwards, Smith told him to lie on a bed and stroked his buttocks.
On another occasion, Smith subjected the teenager to a ‘medical’ that involved him feeling his thighs and testicles.
Another former resident, Eddie Shorrock, who was 17 at the time, described how Smith, who founded the hostel and had keys to its premises, also gave him a ‘medical’ whenever he took time off work. He was made to strip and display his genitals.