Willesden & Brent Chronicle, 24th November 1988 (ocr)

History made as court shields sex victim from his alleged attackers
A 22-YEAR-old man has made history as the first adult victim of sex abuse in Britain to be allowed to give evidence on video, hidden from his alleged attackers.
The man, who cannot be named, is one of 27 witnesses giving evidence in the Brent-based child sex ring case. He was hidden from the defendants by large screens.
But the Old Bailey judge's decision to grant a man this privilege set off a storm of protest from the pressure group Women Against Rape
They have been clamouring for this sort of  protection for female sex victims for years.
A spokeswomen for the organisation said: 'This is another example of the court's bias against women. It is ironic in view of all the work we have done area that a man is the first person to be allowed to give evidence in this way.
"Many women have said that giving evidence in court is like a second rape. Every-thing possible should be done to make their ordeal easier.
-Every rape victim should in  future be allowed to give evidence behind screens."
The judge, Henry Pownall, told the jury the screens and video had been used to "make the witness feel more relaxed."
Earlier this month, after watching Harlesden rapist Mark St Hill jailed for 15 years, two of his victims spoke about the trauma of giving evidence in court.
One said: "The worst part of the whole thing was giving evidence. The whole process should he changed. It would he so much better if women could give evidence on video." The young man in the current case was giving evidence against six men accused of controlling a huge child sex ring in Brent.
Ernest Whittington,64 of George Lansbury House, Harlesden; half brothers Patrick and Sean Norris, both 18, of Holly Close, Willesden; banister Colin Peters, 45, of Chepstow Road, Paddington; Alan Delaney, 48 of Hounslow; and Victor Burnett all face serious charges of conspiracy to commit buggery, conspiiracy to commit indecent assault. taking indecent photographs, gross indecency, indecent assault, buggery. and perverting the course of justice
The witness said he was recruited while playing in a Kilburn youth football team managed by Delaney. He also claimed that, while in custody, Delaney had asked him to change his evidence and contact another youth to persuade him to do the same.
The trial contiues.