Adopting her most serious tone, the BBC reporter standing outside Old Bailey intones that the courts had heard of many terrible acts but few were quite as disturbing as what has been revealed over the past few days.
What had been revealed, according to the latest evidence, is a children’s game involving a mild piece of naughtiness. An eight year-old girl and two ten year-old boys had played the traditional “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” game. In order not to get into trouble and lose her sweets, the girld told her mother that it had all been the boys’ fault.
And so, bizarrely, a case was set in motion which ended up in the high court and lead news story across the world.
If the little girl’s evidence is the truth, this is a story which reveals the true madness of the paranoiac, sex-obsessed times in which we live. It seems quite bizarre that it occurred to no one – parent, police officer or lawyer – that to turn an act of childish naughtiness into a full-blown rape trial at the High Court was absurd and harmful.
The media, who became so excited about the whole thing, has now sheepishly downgraded the story.
The trial continues and is therefore sub-judice but , if the case concludes in the way that now seems likely, the judge should take the time to give all the adults in this case a severe talking to – and then send them to the naughty step.