Vodex (vodex) wrote in murdoch_watch,
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Not the Sun



Vigilante violence: Death by gossip

His assailants believed Paul Cooper was a paedophile, so they beat him to death. But he was innocent.

This is very sad indeed and the reason for inclusion should hopefully be obvious.

Mr Cooper's death appears to reflect the nationwide climate of suspicion and fear being fuelled by growing public concern over crime and punishment.

Rising hostility toward minority groups, clamour for tough sentences against offenders and a sinister desire for retribution are being driven by an increasingly prevalent right-wing agenda.

When the murder of Sarah Payne led the News of the World, four years ago, to publish the names and photographs of 50 people it claimed had committed child sex offences - tapping into anxiety about paedophiles in our midst - protesters circulated a list of 20 alleged sex offenders on the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth and proceeded to target them.

In that climate of suspicion, a female registrar was hounded from her home in south Wales because neighbours confused "paediatrician" with "paedophile". A former sea captain from Grimsby, Humberside, who had been cleared of paedophile offences, was murdered after his details were published in the local newspaper.

Mr Cooper's life appears to have been carefree before the vigilantes began targeting him.
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