Call to strip ‘sex beast’ Smith of free­dom hon­our

Rochdale Observer - - SON LEFT AFRAID TO LEAVE HOUSE BY ATTACK AT SCHOOL - Da­mon.wilkin­son@men-news.co.uk @Da­monWilkin­son6

SEX beast Cyril Smith could be posthu­mously stripped of the Free­dom of Rochdale - 26 years af­ter he was granted the hon­our.

Next week coun­cil­lors will con­sider re­scind­ing the hon­our, awarded to the town’s pae­dophile for­mer MP in 1992.

It fol­lows a com­plaint from one of Smith’s vic­tims.

De­tails of Smith’s three decades of sex abuse were laid bare dur­ing last year’s In­de­pen­dent In­quiry into Child Sex­ual Abuse.

Sev­eral vic­tims told how the 29 stone politi­cian had abused them at Cam­bridge Boys Hos­tel in the 1960s un­der the pre­text of bizarre ‘med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tions’.

Oth­ers told the hear­ing how he had raped and abused them at the no­to­ri­ous Knowl View spe­cial school 1980s.

A damn­ing re­port pub­lished at the end of the hear­ings con­cluded Smith had ‘con­sid­er­able con­trol’ over some of his vic­tims and tried to use his power to keep them quiet.

It also found his ‘strong, per­haps un­duly de­tailed, in­ter­est in chil­dren in care’ was al­lowed to go un­chal­lenged by the coun­cil.

The al­le­ga­tions were first made pub­lic by the Rochdale Al­ter­na­tive Pa­per in 1979.

De­spite that, Smith was awarded a Knight­hood by Mar­garet Thatcher in 1988 and four years later given the Free­dom of Rochdale the high­est hon­our the bor­ough can con­fer.

But now a re­port set to go be­fore Rochdale coun­cil next Wednesday rec­om­mends the Free­dom of Rochdale is re­scinded.

It states: “On Au­gust 19, 1992, the Coun­cil’s in the then Pol­icy & Re­sources Com­mit­tee re­solved to con­fer the Free­dom of the Bor­ough on the then Sir Cyril Smith.

“Sub­se­quently, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal press re­ports, the award was con­ferred at a Town Hall cer­e­mony on Mon­day, Novem­ber 23, 1992.

“In the in­ter­ven­ing years and be­fore, there was con­sid­er­able lo­cal dis­quiet about the way in which Cyril Smith be­haved to­wards chil­dren and young peo­ple at Cam­bridge House and else­where.

“We now know that had this hap­pened to­day, he would have been pros­e­cuted and most likely convicted of se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences.

“To put mat­ters beyond any doubt, there is still a com­pelling case - if the Coun­cil is so minded- to... con­clude with cer­tainty that the award of Free­man of the Bor­ough on Cyril Smith is hence­forth re­moved.”

●●For­mer Rochdale MP Cyril Smith

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