Innocent until…

pronounced guilty by the media?

I watched a two part documentary last night,called the “The lost honour of Christopher Jefferies”. The title alludes to the “The lost honour of Katherina Blum”, a 1975 German film about an innocent woman driven to her death by the press.

Mr Jefferies ,you might remember is the academic from Bristol, who was wrongly arrested on the suspicion of murdering the landscape architect Joanna Yeats, who lived in the same block of flats as Jefferies , and later  someone else was convicted of her murder.

I remember being appalled at the time,when every newspaper was baying for his blood, simply because he was different. A highly educated, erudite man,whose only fault was that he lived alone and lived  life on his terms.

He never watched television, he only used it as a monitor to watch art films, his house was full of books and he suffered no fools. His pedantry and his hawk like gaze when the policewoman is writing his statement,full of spelling mistakes and his mumblings’ there are two “I”in that’, made me laugh out loud.

His interrogation by the Bristol detective would have been funny,had it not been so tragic. The piles of newspapers (Times and Telegraph included,along with the tabloids with screaming headlines.), all baying for his blood,simply because he was different.

His use of the word “bluff” ,when being interviewed by the constable,and the puzzlement on the face of the interrogator ! Delicious.

What was really sad is he was reviled , victimised and made a monster by the press,simply because he was clever, educated and different

A sad reflection on our society and especially the press.


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