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Thursday, February 16, 2006 

News of the World paediatrician attack: Debunked?

There's a fascinating article over on the BBC News website, which claims that the widely reported and since alluded to attack on a paediatrician in the aftermath of the News of the World naming and publishing of photos of known paedophiles was in fact just a random act of vandalism and did not involve violence.

According to the BBC, the word "paedo" was spray painted on the front door of a paediatrician, Yvette Cloete, in Newport, Gwent. The article finishes with a flourish, saying that there is scaremongering on both sides of the debate. This may be true, but it doesn't mention the reality of what happened last year to one man who was wrongly labelled a paedophile, with the tragic story being covered on the front page of the Independent. Despite no evidence, a man was beaten to death, and when asked by the Independent's reporter about the death, no one had any sympathy for him and many said that he had been a paedophile, even though he had never been convicted of any crime.

Still, there's a moral for all of us here. We shouldn't always believe the very worst of people, especially when it's often shown that tabloid readers are a lot more intelligent and free-thinking than they're given credit for.

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