Friday, 4 January 2019

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Lots of people were 'taken in' by this Channel 4 news item in which a tearful rough sleeper, a former soldier, explained how badly he felt about his life on the streets  and how the 'Government' had let him down.

I remember thinking to myself at the time - what kind of help and support does this chap need to get off the street, does he have drug or alcohol issues, has he lost the roof over his head through anti-social behaviour or even domestic abuse?

Turns out the chap was a convicted sex offender who tried to rape an 87-year-old woman.   

Now this doesn't mean that he doesn't deserve help to try and get his life back on track, but it does mean that news channels and politicians should resist the temptation to exploit situations like this for their own selfish ends.

Read the full story via the link below to The Metro.

Crying rough sleeper championed by Jeremy Corbyn unmasked as sex offender

By Adam Smith - The Metro 

A homeless veteran whose heartbreaking story of life on the streets moved Jeremy Corbyn to champion his cause has been unmasked as a convicted sex offender who tried to rape an 87-year-old woman. 

Channel 4 News filmed ‘former British soldier Steven’ in tears as he spoke about how he ended up as a rough sleeper. 

Thousands shared the video on Twitter, including the Labour leader, who used it to attack the Conservatives, saying: ‘Time and again this Government fails those who have given so much to our country.’ 

Stephen Rowe’s video describing life on the street went viral  (Picture: Channel 4) A Go-Fund-Me page was created but later taken down when it emerged Steven had given a different spelling of his name to hide the fact he had been jailed for eight years in 2006 for attempted rape and put on the sex offenders’ register for life. 

During his sentencing the man, real name Stephen Rowe, was told by Judge Michael Heath:

‘You are 5ft 11in and weighed between 16 and 17st.

‘Your victim was an 87-year-old widow, frail and vulnerable, who lived alone.’ 

A Labour Party spokesman told ‘Following Channel 4’s decision to delete its video after new information came to light about the person interviewed, the tweet which shared the video has also been deleted.