I have stated time and time again, and I make this point abundantly clear in my soon-to-be-published book 'Presumed Guilty' (Biteback, Jan 10th 2017), there are few things worse to cope with when growing up than being abused by a trusted adult. Some of the stories I heard about when writing my book were difficult to listen to. All of us, as a society, must do all within our gift to keep our children safe from the hands of predatory abusers.
Mr Woodward may well have been abused by Barry Bennell, as he claims, but all I am calling for is caution and proper investigative work when dealing with historical complaints. The fact is Bennell, a football coach who has three times been imprisoned for historical abuse against boys, has admitted his guilt on certain past charges and has been punished. This does not necessarily mean he is guilty of every future complaint that comes his way.
I am sorry to state that as long as we attach vast quantities of cash to these historical allegations (all claimants encouraged enthusiastically by the P.I. lawyers of course) and as long as there are malicious, greedy opportunists, like the person who started criminal proceedings against me in 2012, then we will never know who is telling the truth. What we must do is investigate all these new allegations intelligently and as thoroughly as possible, which was palpably missing from the various historical 'operations' of recent years.