The 18 page report from Operation Pallial has today been released.
1. On 2nd November 2012, the BBC current affairs programme Newsnight broadcast an
interview with Mr Steven Messham, which included allegations made by him that he
was abused as a child whilst in the North Wales care system and that the Waterhouse
Inquiry (see paragraphs 4-8 below) had failed to uncover the full extent of abuse in the
1970s and 1980s.
Receipt of new complaints
2. Following the broadcast of this interview and the ensuing intense public interest, the
North Wales Police, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
(NSPCC), the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, National Health Service (NHS)
Wales, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and other public
and voluntary services began to receive multiple complaints of historic child abuse
relating to the North Wales care system.
Home Secretary’s Speech
3. The Home Secretary summarised these past events in a statement to the House of
Commons on 6th November 20121:
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Monthly Archives: April 2013
…there was a gentleman. In his childhood he’d been sexually abused. His neighbour, who later went on to become extremely wealthy, successful and even ‘famous’ to some degree, facilitated this abused. In fact, it could be said that she owed her success to being an enabler and procuring children for the influential people that actually abused the children, including the gentleman, her neighbour, who’s story I’m telling.
Later in life this gentleman, seeing the success of this woman and remembering the child sexual abuse that he had suffered and which she had enabled, decided to expose her for what she was.
Not knowing who to turn to he decided to approach a famous spin doctor/ media mover who regularly appeared on TV and appeared to be trustworthy, a real ‘man of the people’ (MOP) type.
He told his story to this MOP, pouring out his heart and recounting details which he’d have rather forgotten. The MOP listened with the kind of intensity only a man with an eye for an opportunity and a quick profit is instinctively gifted with.
Finally, once this gentleman had told his story the MOP asked, “How much do you want? And by the way, I get 10%”. The gentleman paused, “I’m not after money.” he replied, “I just want justice”. “Fool!” thought the MOP, “Everyone has their price”.
You see, like many MOPs everywhere he thought that everyone thought as he did, always looking at the bottom line, always asking himself what was in it for him. Anyone who didn’t think that way didn’t understand the real world, must be gullible, and a legitimate ‘mark’.
“Leave it with me” said the MOP, “I’ll sort this out for you.”
The MOP watched the gentleman walk out the door and as soon as he was out of sight, he was out of mind. He picked up the phone and talked to his PA. “Get me the number of XXXXXXX. I need to speak with her.”
After several diary checks a meeting was arranged. He liked to meet face to face, he liked people to see the practiced sincerity written all over his face.
“A gentleman has recently come to me and told me the most extraordinary story” he told the famous lady. “I must tell you, he sounds very credible.”
The famous lady was no fool, “How much do you want ?” she asked
“Well,” said the MOP, “These are very serious allegations…”
“Don’t screw around with me!” said the famous lady, “How much do you want ?”
A figure agreed they parted company, this was just business, unpleasant but they both knew the game and how it was played.
Within a week the gentleman received a high court injunction preventing him from telling his story to anyone else. Dressed in his best suit he attended the secret court, no journalists were in the press gallery, no members of the public in the jury box. The gentleman stood alone and he was told in no uncertain terms by the judge that if he repeated the allegations he would face prison.
Filled with incomprehensible outrage and a naive belief that law is the same thing as justice, the gentleman told the judge that he would not remain silent.
And so the judge had no alternative but to send him to jail. You can all see the judge had no alternative, right ?
On his admittance to prison he was given a discoloured prison outfit. He didn’t find out until much later that this was one way the prison staff identified inmates as ‘nonces’ to the other prisoners.
The famous lady was still worried that the gentleman hadn’t learnt to keep his mouth shut and she had connections. Another inmate who was member of a London mob was given instructions to make sure that he never spoke about what had happened to him as a child ever again.
However, this mob heavy made the mistake of listening to the gentleman. Like most people would he was appalled by the story he heard and instead of silencing him he ended up protecting the gentleman while he was in prison.
Obviously, this is all just fiction. It’s a work in progress. I don’t have the same writing skills as an acclaimed novelist.
Friday night song.
I’ve got my eye on you ‘Party Man’, I KNOW you’re watching.
I’ll write more about this tomorrow.
Max Clifford, the celebrity publicist who made his name and fortune helping some of Britain’s most famous people shape their reputations, has been charged with 11 indecent assaults of girls and young women, including one of a girl aged 14.
The charges related to offences allegedly committed between 1966 and 1985 and were laid in the course of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation which was set up in the wake of revelation of the sexual offences carried out by Jimmy Savile.
On Friday evening, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it had authorised police to charge Clifford, who was arrested at his home in Surrey in December on suspicion of sexual offences. He has consistently denied the allegations against him. On Friday night he said the charges were “completely false” and vowed to clear his name in a court of law.
I don’t know yet what to make of this. Are they rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic or is this a step in the right direction ?
Those convicted of sexual crimes are extremely likely to have offended in the past and re-offend in the future. There needs to be a central national coordinating police unit. Is this it ?
We also need a national police investigation into paedophilia. Police Operations like Op Fernbridge, Op Fairbank, and Op Pallial will never uncover the true scale of the historic and current problem of child sexual abuse. Abusers move freely around the country, so why are police operations restricted by geographical boundaries ?
The Metropolitan Police teams that specialise in rape and sex assault cases are to undergo a major reorganisation after a series of failed investigations, the BBC has learned.
The changes will see investigators of rape, sexual assault and child abuse brought together in a single department, comprising 1,400 staff.
At least 100 extra officers will be recruited, it is understood.
The Met is also considering changing the name of the Sapphire rape teams.
BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says although the Sapphire teams include many experienced and highly skilled detectives, the name has become associated with a series of failed investigations.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has conducted nine inquiries into the force’s handling of sexual assaults.