After recently ranting about the intrusive nature of the press – in both the lives of celebrities and members of the public – the irony of Peaches Geldof naming the two mothers allegedly involved in the heartbreaking and horrifying Ian Watkins abuse case wasn’t exactly lost on us. She eventually removed the post but only after authorities stepped in and threatened prosecution. This then sparked outrage with many coming to Peaches’ defence. I was not one of those people.
In case you don’t know about the on-going court case, Lost Prophet frontman Ian Watkins has pleaded guilty to various abuse cases, most of which include acts with minors. A couple of the most disturbing stories include two mothers, believed to be fans, willingly offering up their babies (one was just 11 months old) to the singer.
During the trial the women are referred to as Woman A and Woman B, and while it’s universally accepted that what these women did was utterly disgusting … beyond humane, by going rogue and naming names Peaches clearly has no idea of the ramifications of her actions.
These women were unnamed for a good reason. Not only could their IDs potentially lead to the identification of the their poor innocent children (even if they have been adopted and changed names, they can still be tracked down) but it could also affect the trial. In some cases identification has even resulted in cases being thrown out of court.
Also, think about it, how on earth did the model-cum-journalist-cum-mum-cum-rockstar-wife know the names she was revealing were actually correct? Miss Marple she ain’t – although detective is probably the only thing missing from her ‘creative’ CV – so I can hope she actually got it right, lest the social media vigilante mobs will have some new targets to track down and wrongfully persecute.
While many took to Twitter and Facebook praising the star for her actions, thankfully the South Wales police did not. In fact they even confirmed they were investigating whether to prosecute Bob Geldof’s opinionated daughter, with the attorney general’s office reiterating that “victims of sexual offences have automatic lifetime anonymity and the publication of names or information which can lead to their being identified is a criminal offence”. Hear, hear says I.
While Peaches has written a ‘column’ in publications such as The Telegraph and Elle Girl, it seems she clearly hasn’t undergone any legal training (ah the perils of getting a job that you’re clearly not up to off the back of your family name). Had she done so, the knowledge obtained could’ve helped her avoid this whole sorry affair – including the seemingly half-hearted apology that followed.
“The question of wether [sic] or not to give anonymity to criminals in cases like this will go on forever,” she tweeted, the day after the revelation, attempting to meekly justify her actions. “However these women and Watkins will be gettings three meals a day, a double bed, cable TV etc – all funded by the tax payer alongside not being named apparently. It makes me sad. I deleted my tweets however and apologise for any offence caused.”
The churlish tone only insinuates that she is not apologetic, which only makes me assume she just doesn’t realise the potential severity of her actions. So, let me put it this way, and this goes out to all those who disagreed with the fact that her actions could lead to the identification of the children. Even if the children couldn’t be tracked down – which I seriously doubt these days, especially when you have the right resources and money – chances are they might have known the names of their parents. Imagine that, discovering your mother was not only involved in a sexual abuse case but that you were the victim.
Peaches’ ill-informed Tweets could actually have a dangerous domino affect. Yes, I understand what she was doing – those women don’t deserve to see life outside of bars ever again – but by naming them Peaches has turned the women into the victims and sadly may have damaged the protection and identification of real sufferers in the process. These kids weren’t celebrities. They didn’t choose a path that would put them in the spotlight, so don’t put them in it.