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Some underage girls must take the blame for abuse, tycoon claims
1:11pm Sunday 11th August 2013 in News
A TYCOON who suggested underage girls could be to blame for sexual abuse has been criticised by support groups.
Eddy Shah, the former owner of the Essex Golf and Country Club in Earls Colne, was cleared of rape at the Old Bailey last month.
The 69-year-old had been accused of raping a young girl in upmarket London hotels during the early 1990s while she was aged between 12 and 15.
In a radio interview, he spoke about girls who he accused of throwing themselves at celebrities.
Mr Shah said: "Rape was a technical thing - it's below a certain age.
"These girls were going out with the pop groups and becoming groupies and all the rest of it and throwing themselves at them, and you cannot put that down to the fact they have been abused."
During the interview on BBC Radio Five Live yesterday, Mr Shah was asked if some underage victims could be at fault themselves for the abuse they suffered.
He said: "If we're talking about girls who go out and just have a good time, then they are to blame.
"If we talk about people who happen to be out and get actually raped, raped, then I feel no."
Mr Shah established Britain's first colour newspaper, Today, in the 1980s, before selling up and investing in country clubs.
He owned the clubs, including in Earls Colne, before later moving to Wiltshire, where he currently lives.
Mr Shah's views were criticised by the National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), which said there is "no excuse for child abuse".
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