Since The Sun splashed Alfie Patten, the 13yo father with a 15yo girlfriend all over their front page on Friday 13 Feb, the story has never quite seemed right.
The extracts of the phone interview with Alfie played on the news made clear his voice hadn't broken and he simply didn't sound like a 13yo - he didn't, for example, know what financially meant. He clearly doesn't look 13, and in every story written so far, The Sun have added 'who looks no older than eight'. Why not 'doesn't look his age' or 'doesn't look like a teenager'? Why always 'no older than eight'?
Do they know something we don't?
Various follow-on stories have suggested that the 15yo mother may have slept with 6 boys, while another claimed The Sun reneged on a £25,000 payment to give the family £10,000. The PCC have said they will look into that, as payments to children are not allowed.
There is something horrendous about parading this poor kid around the front pages of the tabloids - and both his parents and The Sun are responsible for that.
But but but...this may be terrible snobbery but does anyone else have a sneaking feeling that this is all money-making scheme by the family? Although it's a lot less serious, is anyone else thinking: 'Shannon Matthews'?
If these suspicions are correct I can't wait to see all the apologies from all those gullible columnists (Phillips, Moore, the usual awful ones) who have highlighted the case to have a go at the morals of our kids and the state of sex education.