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To believe that Carl Sergeant is a victim of trial by media

(18 Posts)
derxa Thu 09-Nov-17 10:29:48

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-41904161
This man may have committed suicide as a result of being accused of sexual misdemeanours and being sacked from his job. He was not informed about the exact nature of the accusations. He may be guilty and he may not but this is a very disturbing case and is not being discussed on Mumsnet. I find this a bit odd.

Wtfdoipick Thu 09-Nov-17 10:34:16

I personally don't think it's appropriate at this point in time to speculate about someone who has died. All we could talk about is rumours and gossip.

PortiaCastis Thu 09-Nov-17 10:39:10

I think we need to wait for verified facts to emerge about the case as I don't know who accused him of what

derxa Thu 09-Nov-17 10:42:55

I find it very odd that he was sacked straight away and not suspended. Other politicians are under investigation and suspended. There is no criminal case either.

ChiefClerkDrumknott Thu 09-Nov-17 10:45:16

He shouldn't have been sacked from his job without an investigation, although it was entirely appropriate that he was suspended from Labour during an investigation. I would think this would happen in any job, although I'm happy to be corrected.

This seems to have been handled poorly by Labour however I wouldn't say it's a trial by media. Where have you seen anything that says he definitely guilty in the media? I am inclined to believe women when they make allegations of this sort because the chances they're lying are far outweighed by the chances that they're not, but I would want a thorough investigation regardless.

His death should not detract from the allegations, however. They should still be looked at as far as is possible

derxa Thu 09-Nov-17 10:48:48

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/08/carl-sargeant-welsh-labour-allegations-correspondence-family

ChiefClerkDrumknott Thu 09-Nov-17 11:08:57

That pretty much backs up what I wrote. There's no implication in that article that he is definitely guilty as far as I can see.

SatelliteCity Thu 09-Nov-17 12:25:07

derxa - He was not sacked as an AM. He was suspended from the Labour party pending investigation (which as noted is not an unusual step if allegations are serious and credible). He was then sacked as a minister. Ministers serve at the pleasure of the First (or Prime) Minister and reshuffles occur for many reasons. Retaining a minister currently suspended from your party is surely a difficult situation. The current Assembly Government has a Lib Dem minister and an independent Minister (a Plaid defector) so there is precedent but neither of them were actively removed from Labour pending investigation.

I also think that it is important Labour's handling of the situation is investigated and it's possible his sacking was both contributory to his death and unnecessary.

However your post suggests he was sacked from his main job without investigation in contravention of normal employment law and this is not the case.

He was sacked as a minister but not as an Assembly Member. Comparably, Theresa May could have sacked either Patel or Fallon as Ministers without waiting on an investigating had they not chosen to resign.

NauticalDisaster Thu 09-Nov-17 13:48:20

I think Welsh Labour handle this entirely appropriately. I feel bad for his family. I have no idea if he was guilty of the accusations or not but investigating them and being suspended were the correct course of action. An employer cannot decide not to investigate serious allegations of abuse.

Committing suicide points to deeper problems going on. Plenty of people have been investigated, some are guilty, some are not, most don't kill themselves. Since he did I think he must have been unstable prior to the accusations and investigation/suspension.

Maybe the learning from this sad situation is that those suspended/investigated should have to go to counselling to help deal with it.

NotJustThreeSmallWords Thu 09-Nov-17 13:50:54

Perhaps the reality is not that he committed suicide because of his sacking, perhaps it is more that the reason is behind why he was sacked.

derxa Thu 09-Nov-17 14:01:34

However your post suggests he was sacked from his main job without investigation in contravention of normal employment law and this is not the case I think my main gripe is that he didn't know exactly what he was being accused of. In the cases of e.g. Fallon and O'Mara, accusers have come forward with exact dates, offences etc.
I agree that we shouldn't speculate about the facts but CS actually didn't have the facts so he couldn't deny or confirm.
We can all forget about it but his family never will

MissFlashpants Thu 09-Nov-17 14:20:04

I have found the way this has reported fairly strange: the accepted narrative seems to be that he committed suicide due to the pressure of unspecified allegations.

No consideration given at all to the possibility that he was about to be confronted with wrongs he’d done in the past.

That said, I don’t really want to get into this a lot because I’m mindful of his bereaved family.

caperberries Thu 09-Nov-17 14:29:55

Agree that it's impossible to discuss this without being in possession of the relevant facts.

I can't imagine what his family and friends must be going through - what an absolutely traumatic series of events for his wife, in particular.

SatelliteCity Thu 09-Nov-17 15:53:42

I think my main gripe is that he didn't know exactly what he was being accused of.

That is a different issue to being fired. However, I agree that everyone has the right to defend themselves and to know the details of accusations against them. In this situation I don't feel we know enough to say why (or if) that didn't happen. I do think if there were genuine reasons to conceal some of the details then commenting on television was unwise of Carwyn Jones. But I am also very aware that we are missing a lot of information.

Ultimately I feel that the Labour party acted broadly correctly in view of his suspension and sacking as a minister. I do not know if mistakes were made beyond that and as a man has died it is correct to investigate whether any wrongdoing occured.

I will say one of the last shameful incidents involving sexual abuse and suicide which occurred in Wales was the suicide of John Owen. Concerns that he had been driven to kill himself by a witch hunt were raised then too. Ultimately it turned out he was a prolific abuser of children.

I do NOT think the situations are directly comparable. I do not think suicide is an indication of guilt.

I simply want to illustrate that we lack information. We cannot come to any conclusions. There has been no trial by the media (if anything coverage today has given strong voices to those critical of Welsh Government's actions), and while some questions of propriety exist, in the main the official actions taken seem reasonable.

SatelliteCity Thu 09-Nov-17 15:57:15

*ended in the suicide of John Owen.

Apologies, as read that implies it was the suicide that was shameful, not the abuse, which is obviously not what I meant to convey!

HerOtherHalf Thu 09-Nov-17 15:59:28

It's inappropriate to speculate on the reasons behind this tragic incident. It's equally inappropriate, dare I say much more so, to use it as a stick to beat the media with and try and shame them into silence around alleged sexual misconduct and abuse by people in public office.

ForalltheSaints Thu 09-Nov-17 17:24:13

A tragic loss of life. I hope that whatever investigation is carried out looks at how both alleged victims and perpetrators are supported in any future investigations.

Noimbrianfromhull Thu 09-Nov-17 17:39:15

Having been involved in a similar situation - this person in a position of power was suspended following allegations and given initial limited info about the allegations i.e allegations have been made which need to be investigated. I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd killed himself at the time. Then it would have been publicised - it wasn't at the time because he didn't kill himself.

The full extent of allegations were put to him over the time that it took to fully investigate as more were uncovered.

He's in prison now and has another trial planned for next year. Since his recent trial has been in the media, more victims have come forward.

Had he killed himself at the time of the initial suspension, it would have been in the media and people would probably have said ' innocent till proven guilty, poor bloke driven to it by just allegations and rumours '.

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