The past on trial
Special Reports

The past on trial

Savile scandal. North Wales abuse. Hillsborough files. As institutional failures of the past dominate the present, Channel 4 News asks whether this is a watershed moment for Britain. #pastontrial


article 17 October 2013 UK
A child shields its face with its hands (Getty)
'Fundamental shift' underpins new child abuse guidelines

The director of public prosecutions says new guidelines for child sex abuse cases represent the "most fundamental attitude shift" in the criminal justice system in a generation.

video 08 October 2013 UK

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BBC's Hall: we need to own up to mistakes 'quickly' - video

The BBC has to "own up to mistakes quickly", following scandals over Jimmy Savile and pay-offs, Director-General Tony Hall says - but adds he does not want staff "looking over their shoulders."

article 12 September 2013 UK
Cyril Smith child abuse Special Branch MI5 Rochdale Elm guest house
How MP Cyril Smith got away with child abuse

During his lifetime Cyril Smith was one of the UK's best-known politicians. But a new investigation shows that security services held on to a file with evidence of the Liberal MP's child abuse.

article 10 May 2013 UK
A West Yorkshire Police report says Jimmy Savile was not 'protected from arrest' (picture: Getty)
West Yorkshire Police: Jimmy Savile was 'not protected'

A West Yorkshire Police report says DJ Jimmy Savile "was not protected from arrest" because of his relationship with the force - but a lawyer representing victims says this "doesn't add up".

article 07 May 2013 UK
Operation Yewtree: the celebrities arrested, charged, and cleared (pictures; Reuters)
by Operation Yewtree: the arrests so far

Operation Yewtree is the police investigation into alleged sexual abuse by the late Jimmy Savile and others.

article 07 May 2013 UK
Jimmy Tarbuck has been arrested over an allegation he abused a boy in the 1970s (picture: Getty)
Jimmy Tarbuck arrested over child abuse allegation

Jimmy Tarbuck is arrested in connection with an allegation that he abused a young boy in the late 1970s, sources said on Tuesday.

article 06 May 2013 UK
The BBC says Stuart Hall's conduct at the corporation will be subject to a separate investigation (picture: Getty)
Stuart Hall: BBC announces 'freestanding' investigation

The BBC announces a "freestanding investigation" into the conduct of veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall, who has admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls.

article 29 April 2013 UK
Operation Pallial reports 140 allegations of abuse, which has focused on care homes in North Wales such as Bryn Estyn (picture: Getty)
North Wales child abuse: 140 alleged victims

Police find "significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse of children" at north Wales care homes, including 140 allegations of offences against seven to 19 year olds.

article 19 April 2013 UK
Rolf Harris is named as the veteran entertainer who was arrested by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse following the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Rolf Harris named in Savile abuse inquiry

Rolf Harris is named as the veteran entertainer who was arrested by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse following the Jimmy Savile scandal.