Friday, April 11, 2008

H from Steps takes on the criminal justice system

Despite his showing on Celebrity Big Brother - where he came across as having rather more dimensions than you might have thought - it's a bit of a surprise to discover H 'H from Steps' from Steps leading calls to unseat a JP.

Ian Watkins - presumably he wasn't known as "I" when he was in Steps because it might have confused the others, who sometimes call themselves I - was making a documentary about growing up gay and alone in a Welsh village. It's called... oh, you know what it's going to be called, don't you? During the course of filming, he voxpopped what he took to be a twinkling old man, who shared his broad views on homosexuality:

We haven’t got much time for them. Well, I think probably it’s a suspicion of the mainstream that they perhaps will interfere with young people and so on and that’s historically been the case.

“That is the danger. Paedophiles, not necessarily but they do, don’t they, that’s the reality.”

The twinkly old homophobe turned out to be magistrate Byron Butler - the Western Mail describes him as "married", in case you couldn't guess - and H isn't pleased:
“I was dumb-founded by his comments and I was even more shocked when I found out he is a magistrate sitting in judgement on people.

“There is no way I believe he can be fair and impartial with people when he makes comments about gay people being paedophiles. It is just so outrageous. There is absolutely no evidence to back up what he says and it is very offensive. The world has changed and Wales has changed so much.”

The Office of Judicial Complaints is now looking into Butler's position, during which Butler has stepped down. Whoever would have thought a programme named after a comedy catchphrase, presented by a song-and-dance man, would actually improve the quality of a nation's justice?

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