CPS examines archives in relation to Sir Cyril Smith allegations


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The Independent Online

The Crown Prosecution Service is examining its archives dating back more than four decades for files which reportedly show how the Director of Public Prosecutions concluded there was no public interest in pursuing child abuse allegations against Sir Cyril Smith.

The move came as a blue plaque honouring the late Liberal Democrat MP on the wall of Rochdale Town Hall was removed as more people came forward claiming they were abused by the former MP.

Council officials said the decision to take down the tribute to the Liberal and later Liberal Democrat who represented the town for 26 years at Westminster was to prevent vandalism.

A similar plaque honouring the late Sir Jimmy Savile had to be removed at his home in Scarborough last month after it was defaced with the word paedophile as claims against the former DJ mounted.

A spokesman for Rochdale Council insisted the decision was not meant to prejudge the allegations being made against the Parliamentarian, whose 28 stone made him one of the most recognisable political figures of his generation.

Sir Cyril, who died in 2010 aged 82, has been accused of abusing vulnerable children at the Cambridge House hostel in Rochdale in the 1960s where he is alleged to have meted out discipline and slapping youngsters’ naked bottoms.

The town’s present MP Simon Danczuk told the House of Commons this week that a full investigation must take place into historic abuse allegations against Sir Cyril.

Mr Danczuk identified two alleged victims who have come forward and been named publicly: Barry Fitton, who was 15, and Eddie Shorrock, who was 17 when they were allegedly abused by Sir Cyril.

He also said he was approached by another victim who does not want to be named because he said he was ashamed of what happened to him, and his wife was not aware of the situation.

Today Mr Danczuk confirmed a further six people had contacted his office to claim they too were abuse victims of Sir Cyril. Lancashire Police said no complaints had been received but urged anyone who believed they were a victim of sexual abuse by Sir Cyril to come forward.

A spokesman said an investigation took place in the late 1960s but no records were now held. It is not known whether a file was passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Sir Cyril’s brother Norman Smith rejected the claims as “a load of nonsense” insisting the MP had been investigated by police who found no evidence of abuse.