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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ron Smith cleared of all charges

Veteran British comic artist Ron Smith has recently endured the most appalling allegations laid against him but has now been cleared of all charges.

Smith, a former RAF serviceman now in his Eighties, was accused by a 39 year old woman of five counts of rape, two counts of buggery, and two of indecent assault, alleged to have taken place in the 1980s when the woman was aged 13 to 16. Ron Smith maintained his innocence throughout the five day trial at Guildford Crown Court, who found him not guilty of all charges yesterday.

The case first came to light amongst the comic community a few days ago, when the website of top selling lowbrow redtop The Sun newspaper carried the headline Girl of 13 'abused by artist'. The lurid fantasies of Smith's accuser were given prominence in the article which, typical of the newspaper's scaremongering stance, practically damned the artist before the verdict had been reached.

Disgracefully, as yet The Sun has not run the follow up story of the verdict clearing Ron Smith. However, the website Get Surrey carried the story yesterday in a much more level-headed way, revealing the not guilty verdict. Unfortunately The Sun is read by many more people than Get Surrey, so it's important for blogs such as this to spread the word on the fact that the vile allegations were all false.

There was something fishy about the story from the outset, apart from the woman waiting 26 years to report her tale. The Sun appeared to be the only newspaper that covered the accusations. Perhaps there was an agenda to the paper's story? When one considers that Ron Smith was the principal artist on the Judge Dredd strip in the Daily Star during the period in question (the early 1980s), and the Star being one of The Sun's biggest rivals, it's easy to see the way The Sun might have followed up this story had the allegations been true.

Although the allegations were proven to be unfounded there will sadly always be some morons who will think there's "no smoke without fire". This will have been a terrible ordeal for anyone to suffer, particularly an old man, and particularly someone who has made his living in children's comics. The truth of the matter is that Ron Smith has had a distinguished career in comics, ranging from his work for D.C.Thomson to 2000AD and that proud career is still unblemished. I hope that Ron and his family can put this matter behind them now and that The Sun finds itself some shred of decency to report the not guilty verdict with the same relish it gave in reporting the accusations.


sue-c said...

I am Ron Smith's daughter and would just like to say briefly just what a terrible time my father has endured. It has helped him a lot to know that such a lot of support has come from those who have been such terrific fans of his art work over the years.
Thank you all very much.

Susan Carr (nee Smith)

Lew Stringer said...

Many thanks for writing Sue. I'm sure you'll find it's not just the fans but all of us working in the comics business too who appreciate what a nightmare this has been for you all. I've never met your Dad but please give him my best wishes, and that goes for all of you of course.

MrProtext said...

I don't know Ron Smith but I do know The Sun, and their despicable coverage of these allegations is typically wide of the verifiable facts.

Zokko said...

I wouldn't wrap fish and chips in 'The Sun', much less read it.

staticgirl said...

Apparently it is common for abuse victims to wait a long time until they feel ready to launch their accusations but I'd never rely on a story by the Sun. Especially if it were only the Sun. Not after Hillsborough.

They invent UFO waves when they're bored after all.

What a horrible ordeal.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

What happens to the woman now though? Will she get prison - she should. Allegations like this can destroy a persons life

Truculent Sheep said...

I've been a big fan of Ron Smith's worl since the early 80s, so it was a bit of shock to read about this story today. I'm glad he's been exonerated, but it's bitterly sad to think what he's gone through. Best wishes to him!

jo said...

To the smith family I am so glad for you that this episode is behind you I hope that mr smith is doing well I am such a fan of his ,growing up in England I can only say that mr smith's art was apart of my formative years.. I work in the music business in united states and have to say that your work has such a influence on me till this day once again excellent result and good luck

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