Wednesday, March 22, 2006

'I saw it was Abby. The rest is a blur'

Such sad stories happen. But the modern twist here is the account of the passing motorist who saw the unaccompanied little girl on her way to her sad end. He thought he should turn back, but drove on because he was afraid of being accused of abducting her if he stopped. He suppressed a kind impulse for fear of being suspected as a sex offender.

I don't blame the man who drove on. I feel sorry for him. He must feel awful about what happened. He missed his chance to do good by saving an innocent life. His fears were reasonable, however. There is a case to be made that the tabloid press has contributed at least as much to the death of Abigail Rae as "Wearside Jack" contributed to the deaths of the Yorkshire Ripper's last three victims.

The law of unintended consequences is little understood in a country where civil society and individual responsibility have all but been destroyed.

Telegraph | News | 'I saw it was Abby. The rest is a blur'

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