“At first I thought it was part of the show, but then the expression of fear on Ted’s face and his screams of pain made me realise it was all too real,” says Henry Crox, describing the extraordinary events which unfolded in a Uttoxeter ex-serviceman’s club during a recent appearance by veteran crooner Ted Johns. “Ted was right in the middle of belting out one of his biggest hits – ‘It’s Not Peculiar’ – when this sinister looking geezer in a long black coat, black wide-brimmed fedora and black leather gloves, just climbed up on the stage. He walked over to Ted, cool as a cucumber, ripped open his shirt – which was open nearly to his navel, anyway – and proceeded to grab Ted’s chest! I mean, he had two big handfuls around each nipple and just squeezed them! It was as if he thought Ted was a bird and he was groping her knockers!” With seventy two year old Johns – who has recently faced claims that, during the 1970s, he had groped the breasts of a number of young women – in tears, the mysterious groper finally relinquished his grip and vanished as quickly as he had appeared. “He had his collar turned up and what with the hat and all, nobody got a good look at his face,” recalls Crox. “Not that the police seemed to be interested when they finally turned up, claiming that it was all mass hysteria and that we and Ted had imagined the whole thing! He had bloody livid red marks on his man boobs, for God’s sake! Were they imaginary?”

The alleged attack on Ted Johns isn’t the only reported assault on a veteran celebrity accused of historic sexual offences by a mysterious man in black, leading to speculation that they are being targeted by some kind of ‘Uber Groper’. “All the alleged attacks seem to have taken place in front of witnesses, yet the police have failed to investigate any of them,” explains Rick Wedge, Showbusiness Correspondent of popular tabloid The Shite. “It’s as if they are colluding with this black-clad fiend!” The latest attack might have been the most audacious yet, with former Radio One DJ Derek Lou Tripp being savagely molested during his ‘golden oldies’ afternoon show on Radio Chepstow. “Not only was that witnessed by studio staff,” says Wedge, “but it was also heard by at least twenty three listeners across Monmouthshire.”

The attacker – once again described as wearing a long black coat, fedora and black gloves – was apparently able to walk into the radio station’s studios unchallenged and, just as Tripp was about to announce the latest travel update, hurled him across the sound desk, pulled his pants down and violently squeezed his hairy buttocks with both hands. “The producer reckoned that he then kneaded Derek’s bum cheeks ogether with a grip so hard that it left livid red finger marks on his arse,” Wedge claims. “Before he finished he administered a good hard testicle tugging, which left Tripp yelping with pain. Then, just as he was about to leave the studio, he turned back and slapped Derek across the buttocks so hard the crack was picked up by the studio microphones!” Like Johns, Tripp had been accused of historic sex offences, in his case the alleged groping of several young female newsreaders’ behinds in the seventies and eighties, but hadn’t been charged by police due a lack of hard evidence.

The popular press has been full of fevered speculation as to the groper’s identity and motivation, with one theory being that he is, quite literally, an uber groper. “There’s been a lot of talk that there’s some kind of secret pervert’s league table, where they all compete to try and be the biggest deviant by committing the most outrageous lewd acts,” says Wedge. “A lot of people think that this guy is trying to establish himself as top dog by molesting the most notorious sex offenders still at large – by groping the gropers themselves he is effectively topping their twisted achievements.” However, the groper’s focus upon celebrities whose alleged sex crimes have not been proven in court, despite the evidence of multiple victims, has led some to believe that he could be some kind of vigilante, taking the law, literally, into his own hands. “In which case, the question is – is he the relative of the victim of some celebrity sex offender, or a victim himself?” muses Wedge. “Has he been denied justice himself and is now handing out his own kind of justice? Is he even a ‘he’? That said, with a grip that powerful and hands that big – judging by the marks he left on Derek’s buttocks – it seems unlikely that the groper would be female.”

But is the groper just a vigilante, or could he have some official sanction for his actions? “It was the only way we could see of getting any kind of justice in these cases,” a Ministry of Justice whistle blower has told The Sleaze. “We just can’t get most of these celebrity sex cases into court – witnesses and police are bought off, the press is used to undermine the credibility of victims – and those we do get into court often collapse because of the length of time which has elapsed since the offences and the lack of physical evidence. It was decided that extraordinary measures were needed!” According to the whistle blower, a secret unit within the Ministry came up with a plan to punish celebrity sex offenders in kind. “Obviously, we only target those we know are going to otherwise slip through the net – we don’t have anyone groped speculatively,” he explained. “The groper – whose true identity is a closely guarded secret – is like one of the Furies from Greek myth: sent out to punish the guilty, striking without warning. The idea is that once a few of these bastards have been publicly groped, it will deter other potential sex offenders, celebrity or otherwise!”

Although the whistle blower conceded that there might also be financial considerations involved in the deployment of the groper, he maintains that the main aim is justice. “I won’t lie – we can save millions in trial costs by sending him out to abuse celebrity nonces, but the fact is that he’ll also make those bastards think twice about offending. Don’t forget that for every Stuart Hall we bang up, or Bill Roache and DLT who we at least get to trial, there are probably hundreds of Jimmy Saviles out there, groping and bum-raping without consequence,” he told us. “Look, I’m pretty sure that if he had been bum raped until his third eye bled, Sir Jimmy would have thought twice about sex offending again!” The Ministry of Justice has subsequently denied any responsibility for the groper, stating that he was simply and urban myth.