Nigel Evans: Paul Gambaccini ordeal reinforces need to protect identities before charge

Paul Gambaccini will not face any charges over alleged sex offences. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Nigel Evans MP resigned as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons after being accused of sexual assault. He was acquitted of all the charges against him in April 2014.

By Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley

I have spent several occasions in Paul's company over the past 12 months and I have seen first-hand the effect the accusations and ensuing public interest has had on him.

The torture, torment and stress to himself, family and friends is almost indescribable.

Jim Davidson, Jimmy Tarbuck, Freddie Starr and now Paul Gambaccini have all endured a nightmare semi existence of uncertainty and financial damage.

In Paul's case he had to wait over a year of bail, re-bail, and further re-bails.

He was due to be before police on the October 13th but he received the information that he is to have no further action taken against him.

Nigel Evans outside Preston Crown Court after his acquittal. Credit: PA Wire

Anyone who thinks the procedure of accusations, bail and re-bail is a walk in the park should understand the enormous toll it has on the individuals and those close to them.

The case for anonymity until charge has been given an enormous boost by the decision today.

Paul will never get those months back, and he will be a changed person by his awful experiences, but if any good is to come out of the unnecessary public persecution of a number of people recently caught up in the hunt for Savile-style sex fiends, then the tipping point has now been reached.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling should wait no longer and protect the identity of those under investigation but not charged.

Each pays an enormous price in so many ways - it is needless and it should stop now.

Read: Paul Gambaccini will not face sex offence charges