Former detective has written to abuse victims about TV show decision
FORMER Detective Constable Maggie Oliver has entered the Celebrity Big Brother TV house as an unlikely reality contestant and housemate.
Maggie, who resigned from Greater Manchester Police claiming that the force had failed the victims of the Rochdale sex grooming scandal, says she has written a letter to the girls she encouraged to speak out to explain about her decision to appear on the Channel Five reality show.
Speaking with presenter Emma Willis ahead of entering the famous house, she said: “The last thing I want is for the girls to feel let down by me.
“I’ve written each of them a letter. So girls, you’ll be getting a letter from me tomorrow morning.”
Maggie from south Manchester, had been central to the investigation into the Rochdale grooming case and she persuaded vulnerable and reluctant girls to give evidence against the paedophiles who had sexually abused them for years.
But one of the victims she convinced to speak ended up being portrayed as a member of the grooming gang in the subsequent trial.
Mother-of-four Maggie, who was played by Lesley Sharp in the BBC One drama Three Girls, later became a vocal critic of how police had handled the case.
She resigned in disgust at the treatment of one of the girls, who was originally portrayed as a ‘madam’.
Although she was central to the plot and was interviewed, the girl was not in the dock and never appeared as a witness.
Before the case started, the Crown Prosecution Service decided she had been a victim before becoming a perpetrator and ruled it was not in the public interest to prosecute her.
Author Katie Piper tweeted: “Oh wow Maggie Oliver is going in, I hope she talks openly - this is going to be good.”
CBB watcher Chris Latimer wrote: “This woman Maggie Oliver is a f ****** LEGEND if you’ve never heard of her she’s the one who helped bring public awareness of the Rochdale grooming scandal #CelebrityBigBrother.”
TV blogger Elliot Gonzalez said: “Maggie Oliver, whilst not a celebrity, is a very special woman. What she did for those girls was incredible and she is to be applauded.”
And Gemma Carter commented: “Wow! Maggie Oliver simply has to win Celebrity Big Brother she is such an amazing woman who fought against so much to get justice. What a woman!”
●●Maggie Oliver with host Emma Willis as she entered the Celebrity Big Brother House