Gavin Drake

Journalist

Why the Cliff Richard privacy judgment is not a threat to the freedom of the press

The head of news at the BBC, Fran Unsworth, has said that the judgment “creates a significant shift against press freedom.” No. It doesn’t.

Recent events have a lot to teach us about attitudes towards violence against women

A disturbing attitude towards gender-based violence links the Presidents Club furore and complaints about Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s handling of the accusation against Bishop George Bell. Both cases reveal one of the most pervasive rape-myths that frustrates justice for too many victims.

Violence against women is a sin

Yesterday, during an interview with Ed Stourton on BBC Radio Four’s Sunday programme, I mentioned a video produced by church leaders in Fiji (listen here, from 12’22”). The ecumenical campaign saw Anglican, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Salvation Army, Methodist, evangelical and other church leaders deliver a…

It is time to end the secrecy and infallibility of the Parole Board

The Parole Board has come in for a lot of attention in the past few days, after its decision to release serial predatory rapist John Worboys was announced on Thursday afternoon. But despite this attention, its work is shrouded in secrecy. Unlike any other aspect…

How many times can a man get away with killing his wife and girlfriends?

In 1981 Theodore Johnson killed his wife, Yvonne by hitting her over the head with a vase before pushing her off the balcony of their flat in Wolverhampton. He claimed manslaughter by provocation, saying that his wife wouldn’t let him go to church because he…

Just how dangerous is “Black Cab Rapist” John Worboys?

The Parole Board have decided that John Worboys can be released from his indeterminate sentence. He was convicted at Croydon Crown Court on 13 March 2009 of one count of rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges, committed between July 2007…

If Theresa May really wants to tackle abuse in Westminster, Michael Gove will be sacked today

I don’t like calling for people to be sacked. It isn’t nice when people lose their jobs; and in any normal walk of life due process and fair practice should be followed. But cabinet ministers are not in normal jobs. Their “job” is that of…

Rape and sexual violence support: Time to stick my oar in

When Jill Saward died in January, I lost my wife; my sons lost their mother; her siblings lost a sister; her nephews and nieces lost an aunt. That loss is real. And it is palpable. But another group of people lost something too: some members…

Game over for Julian Assange’s sexual offence charges? Perhaps not!

UPDATE (9 September 2015): the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice have been in contact with me to say that the provisions of Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 only apply to crimes committed against people aged under 18. This means…

A journalist with a police caution for domestic violence describes Ched Evans opponents as “morons”

Writing in the week’s Spectator (cover date 10 January 2015, but online now), the columnist Rod Liddle describes opponents of Ched Evans as “morons”. He starts his column with an attack on pseudonymous campaigner Jean Hatchet, saying that her name is “almost certainly too good to…

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© Gavin Drake 2017