Monthly Archives: August 2013

Detention centre paedophile ring inquiry:

Claims a ring of violent paedophile prison officers routinely raped HUNDREDS of teenage boys in a borstal are finally being investigated – after an alleged police cover-up.
Senior officers have launched a major inquiry into the horrific sex abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, County Durham, after complaints were ignored by police or dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

medomsley

John McCabe was abused, aged 17, for six months by prison officer Neville Husband.
“He told me if I didn’t do what he wanted he’d kill me and nobody would care.

Police fear hundreds of young men were assaulted while serving sentences at Medomsley in the 70s and 80s.
Husband was jailed for 12 years at Newcastle crown court for mass rape of boys in his care.
Storeman Lesley Johnson was jailed for six years. Both men are now dead.

John contacted Durham Police in 2009 – after his attacker was released from jail – to say he was also a victim.
But after a police investigation the Crown Prosecution Service took no further action against Husband, saying it was not in the public interest.
John said: “I was devastated.”
But after he contacted his MP police have now opened up the probe.

Police are now hunting what they believe was a large group of sexual predators who preyed on the vulnerable young men at the prison for nearly 15 years.

Mirror.co.uk

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Teacher Alan Nardoni jailed over ‘dreadful’ child abuse images

Nardoni

An Aberdeenshire teacher has been jailed for three and a half years after admitting possessing and distributing thousands of images of children being abused.

Alan Nardoni, 36, downloaded images to a computer he used for school work.

He worked at Portlethen Academy and coached the under 14 boys football team.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson told Nardoni that some of the material was probably the worst she had ever encountered.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that Strathclyde Police had been alerted to Alan Nardoni’s activities in 2006 but took no action.

The 36-year-old continued to collect images on the computer he used to store his school work. They included the abuse of a baby which Sheriff Margaret Neilson said was “truly dreadful.”

BBC News 13/08/13

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‘Jimmy Savile abuse investigation is not a witch-hunt, says Met chief Hogan-Howe’

Hogan-Howe

It follows comments by former newspaper tycoon Eddy Shah, recently cleared of raping a schoolgirl in the 1990s, who also told BBC Radio 5 Live at the weekend that the inquiry was mostly “based on emotion”.However, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe defended the probe, Operation Yewtree, saying sex crime claims could not be ignored.

He said: “I don’t think it’s a witch hunt at all, we’re just going where the evidence takes us and victims are making allegations. The alternative is to ignore them, and if you look at Yewtree the broad allegation is that they have been ignored for 20, 30 years and if we were to ignore them now that would just compound the issue.

“These things are hard to investigate. Obviously it’s a serious issue for the suspect who’s under investigation after that time, but we don’t take these things on lightly, and we do try to keep it confidential.

Evening Standard 13/08/13

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CPS received Jim Davidson and Dave Lee Travis files

 
Jim Davidson

They have also given early investigative advice to police in relation to Rolf Harris, Freddie Starr and Gary Glitter.

ITV News

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Man, 80, held as part of Operation Yewtree

NSY

The man is the 14th person to be arrested as part of Operation Yewtree

An 80-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual offences as part of the Operation Yewtree investigation into alleged historical abuse.

He was arrested at an address in south London and taken into custody, the Met Police said.

Operation Yewtree was set up in the wake of allegations against BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile.

The latest arrest falls under the strand of the investigation termed “Savile and others”.

The as yet unnamed man is the 14th person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree, set up following the death of Savile in 2011, when hundreds of sex abuse allegations came to light.

BBC News 12/08/13

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Kincora: A Distraction

Kincora is a distraction.

Don’t get me wrong, the abuse perpetrated at Kincora Boy’s Home was abhorrent.But a word to the wise, the Kincora narrative is a distraction.

Now, ask yourself, what could possibly be the horrendous truth if Kincora is the establishment narrative ?

How bad could it be …?

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Neil Wilson’s sentence increased over a ‘technicality’

Paedopile whose victim was described as predatory has sentence increased.

Judge who granted suspended sentence lengthens overall term by four months on technicality over indecent images charges

Domonic Grieve

The attorney general, Dominic Grieve (above), is to examine the sentencing of paedophile Neil Wilson.

A convicted paedophile who escaped jail after his 13-year-old victim was described by a prosecutor as predatory has had his sentence increased because of a technicality.

Neil Wilson was given an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting he had engaged in sexual activity with the girl – as well as separate counts of making indecent images – at Snaresbrook crown court in east London last week.

News that the prosecutor Robert Colover had described the victim as predatory and sexually experienced caused outrage and led to his suspension from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Judge Nigel Peters QC is also being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints for remarking that his sentence took into account the girl’s appearance and behaviour.

On Monday, Peters altered Wilson’s sentence at a brief hearing at Snaresbrook crown court, after admitting it needed correction.

Making no reference to the controversy surrounding the case during the 10-minute hearing, the judge kept Wilson’s sentence for sexual activity with a child the same – at eight months suspended for two years – but changed his total sentence to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

The Guardian 12/08/13

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Judge Mental: The Pathetic Judge Nigel Peters

General View Of The Old Bailey

Adding insult to injury, Judge Nigel Peters has reviewed his own sentencing of the convicted paedophile Neil Wilson.

He has increased the sentence from an 8 month suspended sentence to a 12 month suspended sentence, this for a man who raped a 13 year old girl.

In doing so, he has increased the amount of time this arsehole will not spend in prison by four months. A real victory for justice then…

The sentence is still to be reviewed by the Attorney General.

A man whose conviction over serious sexual offences prompted outrage has had his sentence slightly increased.

Neil Wilson, 41, was handed an eight month suspended sentence last week in a case which saw his 13-year-old victim described in court as “predatory”.

Appearing via video link at Snaresbrook crown court in east London, Wilson was handed a 12 month suspended sentence – an increase of four months.

The judge amended the sentence due to a sentencing technicality rather than the reaction to the language used in court last week.

Wilson’s original sentence for sexual activity with a child remained unchanged, further counts over indecent photographs prompted the increased punishment.

Last Monday prosecution barrister Robert Colover had described the 13-year-old in court, he said: “The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced.”

Passing his original sentence, Judge Nigel Peters then said he had taken into account that the girl looked and behaved “a little bit older” than she was.

Sky News

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Op Yewtree: Rolf Harris, ‘Massive Blow’

Of all the allegations against ‘celebrities’ the one levelled against Rolf Harris has been the most difficult for me to come to terms with personally. That said, I was one of the few outlets to publish after he had been questioned by the Operation Yewtree police late last year because regardless of the high esteem I held him in, I was simply reporting the truth and the truth isn’t always what we’d wish it to be.

Victims will always have my support.

rolf-cropped-17368

Shell-shocked Rolf Harris has vowed to his loved ones that he will fight the new sex allegations made against him.

A source said the TV star was devastated after he was rearrested last week in the UK.

And it emerged last night that three women in Australia came forward to police with information.

The 83-year-old entertainer had first been arrested in March after a woman from Britain claimed he abused her when she was a teenager.

Police in Australia yesterday confirmed their involvement in the new claims.

But a spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police said: “As the AFP is assisting the Met police, who are the lead in this investigation, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further.”

A source close to the star said the fresh claims had been “a massive blow to Rolf”, and added: “He fully denied the original allegation but the fact that more people have come forward has come as a complete shock.

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Kincora, a small footnote to history.

Those who have followed events at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, until it was closed down in a “police” raid in 1982, will know there has always been some dispute over the nature of the raid that took place. Carol Kazir (and her legal team) always insisted that this raid was carried out under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1976. The police and government have always insisted it was under vice law legislation. All I can say is, Carol gave me the “notice to detained persons” issued under the Act, to stop her talking to a lawyer. This I gave to the coroner at Carol Kazir’s inquest in the summer of 1990.

Why has this always been so important and what did it matter which law was used to conduct the raid? Well, without benefit of counsel, Special Branch were the first to question her. They were not interested in the senior politicians or others in high places who had stayed at the guest house. They questioned her for hours, about Sir Antony Blunt, disgaced former spy and Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures; Richard Langley, a royal aide at Buckingham Palace; Commander Tresstrail, Head of the Royal Protection Squad and Paul Henry, a senior officer in Special Branch.

In an unprecedented move, Blunt had been awarded immunity from prosecution for his spy activities. What is less known, is that this immunity applied to ALL of Blunts unlawful activities, particularly in respect of his activities in Northern Ireland and his part in the abuse of boys from Kincora and other homes.

It was this connection that NAYPIC decided to look into in 1990. We believed it showed a direct connection to events in Barnes with Kincora. I spoke with Carol (and her lawyer) about this. They confirmed that Blunt had been questioned as a “witness” and was on the list of witnesses given to the defence of those who had made witness statements. His statement was never used in court, besides he had conveniently died of a heart attack before the Kazir’s trial. This was not the only event happening around this time. Very reliable sources had told us in 1990 that the Cabinet had been briefed around this time about Kincora. The recent release of cabinet documents has confirmed this DID happen. The same sources also said that the Prime Minister and senior members of the Cabinet had also been briefed on events at Elm Guest House around the 24th August 1982, about 2 weeks after the article about a “report” on Elm had been handed to Scotland Yard, carried by the Times.

We spoke to many people in the “know” about Kincora and other homes in Northern Ireland. Amongst these was the well-respected journalist, Paul Foot. He always dismissed Elm Guest House as a distraction from the real cover-up that was Kincora. In his book, he dismissed as rumour that a cabinet member had been involved at Elm. I had great respect for Paul and admired his work and his integrity as a journalist. But we at NAYPIC disagreed with him. There were victims of serious abuse, from care in both Richmond and Northern Ireland – you cannot dismiss one group as more important than the other. All deserve justice.

Blunt had made it very clear to the security services that if he was going to go down for offences in Barnes, then he was going to take everyone else involved, particularly in Kincora, down with him. Luckily for the government, Blunt died of a heart attack before the trial. So all could be covered up again.

I am acutely aware that, although these events may be seen now as history, there are still victims of Kincora and other homes still alive. They deserve answers and some justice. I saw in the presss that a new inquiry was to be carried out. The victims deserve better than yet another cover-up. There should be a full public inquiry. If any of those who carried out this horrific abuse, or those that covered it up, are still alive, then they should be held to account for their actions and brought to justice.

Now wouldn’t THAT be the best footnote of all to history?
Chris Fay

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Lord Tonypandy: Former Speaker Of The House Of Commons

ViscountTonypandy

 

After Lord Tonypandy’s death, a former Welsh Labour MP, Leo Abse, created a controversy by revealing that Thomas had been homosexual and had been the victim of blackmail for this reason. Abse, the MP who introduced the private member’s bill which decriminalised homosexuality in Britain, discussed this incident in his book Tony Blair: The Man Behind the Smile.He said that Thomas had paid money to blackmailers to keep information related to his sexual life secret. Abse said that he had once lent Thomas £800 to pay off blackmailers.

Wikipedia

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A modern dilemma.

“Our neighbour was convicted of sex crimes against children… so how do we tell puzzled youngsters they are no longer free to roam?”

Meg Henderson found out that a neighbour was a paedophile

Children

… a very near neighbour had appeared in court, where he admitted making and distributing indecent images and videos of children.
He had also engaged in sexual activity with underage girls and sent indecent communications to other children over the internet.
At the age of 26, this man that we waved to and greeted cheerily as we passed, has been placed on the Sex Offender’s Register and awaits sentencing after the usual reports…

Everyone knows paedophiles exist across society but for some reason you don’t expect to meet one on your own doorstep…

But when I look out of my window I can see directly into this man’s home. He is that close, and with a sickening suddenness I realised it is not enough just to know…

For instance, what do we tell very young children like Ruth and James?

We will want them to stay away from his house, that is obvious. But how do we explain this to them when they have always had the freedom to roam about what was once a safe area? Ruth, at only five, would have no understanding of the issues involved and for the life of me I can think of no simple way of telling her.

If we simply warn her to keep away from that house because a bad man lives there, we will plant not just fear, but possibly terror in her young mind that James would soon pick up on too.

This is how childhood innocence is destroyed…

Daily Mail 10/08/13

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Tom Jones.

It wasn’t unusual to find Tom Jones in Cape Town, South Africa in the 1970s.

Untitled

And below a cropped and pixelated image taken from today’s Sunday People, look familiar ?

Capture

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“Paedo probe” into superstar singer: “Celeb seduced me with champagne and took my virginity when I was 14”

Paedo Probe

A high-flying businesswoman has told the Sunday People how her life was ruined ­after a British singing ­superstar had sex with her when she was just 14.
The woman’s shocking claims have been reported to Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree, the task force that uncovered the horrific sexual abuse by BBC star Jimmy Savile.
The team has now asked police in South Africa, where the alleged assault took place while the star was on tour, to investigate.

Mirror 10/08/13

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Langton House: police to re-open investigation

Dorset police are to carry out an investigation into criminal allegations at Langton House.  This relates to allegations of historic abuse.  Langton House was owned and run by AMI Healthcare until its closure in 1991.  This follows allegations of serious sexual and physical abuse, misuse of drugs by unqualified staff and improper use of secure facilities made by the National Association of Young People in Care.

Two inquiries were held by the Department of Health in 1991 and the Mental Health Commission in 1992. Three previous police inquiries in 1990, 1991 and 1995 resulted in no arrests and no action being taken against AMI Healthcare who had become BMI Healthcare in 1993.

I am unable to comment any further at this time, as I do not want to undermine this Inquiry.  I would like to appeal to any survivors who have not contacted us to please get in touch or contact Dorset police. For those that survived, and those that did not, this may be the last chance to finally achieve some justice.Please contact me on christopher1946@btinternet.com

Chris Fay

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Friday Night Songs

Click Button

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Man described by FBI as ‘the largest facilitator of online child sex abuse on the planet’ is arrested.

The US is to request the extradition of an Irishman described by the FBI as the largest facilitator of online child sex abuse on the planet, Dublin High Court has been told.

Internet01

Eric Eoin Marques, 28, was arrested in Dublin last week, following a year-long investigation involving the FBI and Irish police. He was then refused bail the following day, amid fears he was a flight risk and would interfere with evidence. The claim that he is the largest facilitator of online child sex abuse on the planet was made by an FBI special agent during the court hearing last week. The child abuse images were described as being extremely violent and graphic.

BBC News 8 /8/13

Following a one-year joint investigation by the FBI and Irish police, Marques, 28, is reportedly facing four criminal charges in the U.S. related to his hosting service’s complete lack of control over the content his clients uploaded.
According to the Ireland’s Independent the content uploaded to servers controlled by Marques included graphic images of prepubescent children being raped and tortured.
According to the BBC, the lawyer for Ireland’s attorney general asked the judge to keep Marques in custody to give the U.S. Justice Department time to file the formal extradition request.
A formal extradition request from the U.S. would have to be signed off on by Ireland’s own justice minister, Alan Shatter.
The judge agreed to keep him in custody for another week, but according to the BBC’s report he warned the attorney general’s office that time was “running out.”

CBS News 8/8/13

Meanwhile, the malware attack on Eric Eoin Marques’ servers that coincided with his arrest last week may have taken down a tool vital to journalists, dissidents and whistleblowers. According to The Telegraph: So-called ‘darknet’ services like Tor have a bad name, because they are used to spread pornography and images of child abuse, as well as to sell drugs via sites such as the Silk Road. However, they are also used for many legitimate purposes. For example, some journalists and whistle-blowers use them to communicate with each other, and military and law enforcement officers use them to gather intelligence “If at that juncture a formal request for extradition is not received and not certified by the minister, Mr Marques will be released.”

Baltimore Sun 8/8/13

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Injustice, part 2.

This second extract is taken from Baby X (2010) written by Harry Keeble, a policeman on one of London’s child protection teams.

Baby x

Based on my own experiences of working with criminals, sex offenders have a compulsive nature and are very likely to reoffend.  The sentence they receive needs to reflect this.  I am not saying that lengthy prison sentences alone are the answer but abusers must be pilloried by the courts.  Not to do so gives the impression that sexual assault is not really a crime; that it’s practically acceptable.

It’s tragic that so many in authority fall for paedophiles fake contrition.  I’ve interviewed many and so understand only too well just how plausible they can be.  But paedophiles who sincerely don’t want to reoffend wouldn’t try and retain or find positions which put them in constant contact with children.  As one journalist put it: ‘Recovering alcoholics don’t look for work in breweries.’

In my experience it’s very much a case of ‘once a paedophile, always a paedophile’.  Paedophiles will always be dangerous, and the best one can hope for – given that they’re almost never locked up for life – is that they’ll apply behaviour modification techniques they learn in prison in real life.

‘I’m not very optimistic about therapy,’ Patrick said when this topic came up.  None of us were, and with good reason.  If anything, therapy brought paedophiles together.  One case involved four paedophiles who met on a counselling course in prison.  They founded a charity for Romanian orphans and used this as a way to abuse them.  They told detectives their charity work was to ‘repay their debt to children.’

And they’d talked themselves into believing it.  That’s what makes paedophiles so incurable – their mind-boggling level of self-delusion.  They believe children want them, ‘provoke’ them, and that adult-child sex is natural, harmless – even beneficial.  It’s this conviction, mixed with their extreme deviousness and crystal-clear awareness of what normal people think about paedophiles, that helps them to escape detection for so long.

They’re very careful.  Sudden snatches of children are very rare indeed: paedophiles often spend months targeting a future victim and gaining their trust before committing the abuse.  True remorse and insight is extremely rare.  Remorse, if present at all, is a tiny part; you can’t work on the principle that a paedophile is feeling guilty and might confess.  Any shame they feel doesn’t last very long before their survival instincts take over, especially if they think there’s a chance of getting away with it.

It doesn’t help that we still seem determined to help them escape justice, thanks to some ludicrous loopholes.  In 2003, Simon Moore, who was from Hackney, contacted two thirteen-year-old girls via the Internet after logging on to a children’s homework chat room used by his daughter.

The father of four travelled to Scotland to seduce his first victim after exchanging explicit emails with her.  He told her he would kill her mother if she told anyone during the five months he spent abusing her.  It was only when his horrified wife found his emails that she alerted the girl’s mother and Moore was arrested.

Moore, a labourer, thirty-seven, appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court but successfully demanded bail under the European Convention on Human Rights.  Only weeks later he abducted and had sex with another thirteen-year-old he met through the same chat room.  She was naked in his bed when police arrived to arrest him.  It was later discovered he had been in contact with more than 200 girls.

Moore was sentenced to six years at Southwark Crown Court for the first abuse and three years for the second.  The latter girl’s furious father said: ‘Scottish justice failed my little girl.  What they are saying is that the rights of filth like Moore matter more than the rights of my little girl.  He had sex with a thirteen-year-old girl, repeatedly.  My daughter is a nervous wreck.

The three years (which will probably end up being eighteen months) seems to be extremely lenient – especially as this is someone who has clearly demonstrated they are an extremely persistent offender.

Moore’s deviousness suggested he was also familiar with the law.  Until 2004, the maximum sentence for unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under thirteen was life, but the maximum sentence for a girl aged thirteen or over was two years.  Thankfully, this was increased, albeit belatedly, to fourteen years as part of the Sexual Offences Bill 2004, the first radical overhaul of our outdated sex laws for fifty years.

So we have paedophiles in trusted positions in society escaping with light sentences time and time again.  The cases described here are not that exceptional.  Behind every one of them lies a terrible history of abuse and a lifetime of damage for the victims.

Cases don’t come much worse than those of Dr Timothy Healy, fifty-six, who was jailed for twelve years in 2002 for a ten-year period of abuse.  The GP drugged some of his victims (two of whom were aged eleven) before filming himself abusing them.  Although eleven of his victims were in court to see him sentenced, some have never been identified.

Although teachers are vital in the fight against child abuse, very occasionally they’re found to be the perpetrators.  In 2001, Judge David Selwood called Paul Tramontini, a maths teacher of thirty-four who ran off with a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl, ‘Every parent’s nightmare’.  He also said: ‘You were in a position of trust and also in a position of power and this offence represents a gross breach of that trust.’  He jailed Tramontini for eighteen months after hearing that the girl’s mother could never forgive him.

It was quite right that Tramontini was jailed.  As a teacher, he had betrayed his profession, using it as a means to deduce an underage teenage girl.  Although he had broken the law and the girl was only fifteen, he was not a paedophile.  The law says that anyone under eighteen is a child.  A paedophile is someone who has a sexual interest in a child.  So does that mean that a nineteen-year-old who sleeps with his seventeen-year-old girlfriend is a paedophile?  No, of course not.  The term ‘child’ is a legal one.  A paedophile would not find a mature-looking fifteen-year-old girl attractive.  They much prefer pre-pubescent kids.  There is a difference between underage sexual activity and paedophilia.  That is why the law has specific offences regarding under-thirteens.

Judge Selwood, on the other hand, was attracted to children under thirteen.  In 2004, the day before he was due to preside over the trial of a man accused of indecent assault, Selwood, sixty-nine, was arrested for downloading child pornography.  A married father of four, who retired from the army a major general (just two ranks from field marshal), he had a lengthy entry in Who’s Who?  After leaving the army he became a circuit judge in 1992 before becoming a resident Crown Court judge in 1996.

Operation Ore detectives were very surprised when his name appeared on a credit card used to buy and download child pornography.   The images were considered to be level one, of naked and semi-clad children, the least serious of the five categories.

When confronted, Selwood claimed he was curious to see how difficult it was for someone with few computer skills, such as himself, to find such images.  In a statement to police he said he never had any sexual interest in young children but admitted it would be difficult to describe his actions as ‘research’.

At his trial, he admitted to twelve counts of making indecent images of boys aged eight to fourteen and one count of possessing seventy-five indecent pictures on his computer.

Now, reflect on Judge Selwood’s own words when, in 2002, he oversaw the trial of Paul Hobbs, who was found guilty of being in possession of hundreds of indecent images of young girls.  ‘Those who search for and download images of this kind,’ Selwood told the court, ‘create a market which encourages the abuse of young girls.’  He sentenced Hobbs to seven years, a decent sentence.

Selwood was given  a twelve-month Community Order.  He was excused from working in the community as part of the Order, because of his age and health.  He also didn’t have to attend a programme for sex offenders because, the judge said, the advice and guidance he needed could come from a probation officer.  He was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

A year’s community rehabilitation order in cases like these simply does not represent an effective deterrent.  Remember, behind these indecent images are real children who will have suffered intense trauma.  Remember also that Selwood admitted twelve counts of ‘making indecent images of boys’.  Experts condemned Selwood’s sentence as ‘little more than a slap on the wrist’ and demanded a major overhaul of the punishments for Internet paedophiles.

There can be no sympathy, no matter how glowing the guilty person’s record might be.  We have to send out a strong warning to everyone, in all walks of life and in all professions, that they cannot escape the law by using the Internet to access abusive images of children.

In Judge Selwood’s case, children’s charities demanded a review of any cases involving offences against children that he’d heard.  Before Selwood’s disgrace, two men he dealt with for offences involving children had their sentences increased on appeal.  Selwood also cleared a world authority on child abuse of having criminal intent when he downloaded child pornography.  He described the accused as ‘naive’ for not seeking legal advice of consulting colleagues before accessing the computer images.  Nevertheless, when the Crown Prosecution Service reviewed Selwood’s history, they found ‘no obvious pattern of inappropriate sentencing’.

Just twenty-four hours after Judge David Selwood escaped a prison sentence, Eton College master Ian McAusland, fifty-eight, also avoided jail even though he admitted possessing over 2,000 images of children, 200 of them described as indecent.  IT staff at the school, whose past pupils include Princes William and Harry, discovered the images when McAuslan handed the computer in for a routine upgrade.  McAuslan pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing indecent images of children and fourteen of making indecent images of children.  He was sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years.

And so it continues – the children suffering, those responsible escaping time and again with light sentences, they and others utterly undeterred.

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A Tale of Two Catholics – one living, one dead

(Judge Nigel Peters recent remark reminded me of these from last year);

The Living Rev. Benedict Groeschel
30 August 2012

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a prominent author and speaker who is especially popular with conservative Catholics and bishops, has sparked outrage by saying that priests who sexually abuse children “on their first offense” should not go to jail.

He added that in “a lot of cases,” the child is “the seducer.”

The New York-based Franciscan also expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Rev. Benedict Groeschel

Rev. Benedict Groeschel (right)

In the interview, Groeschel, a trained psychologist, said he has worked with many priests who have abused children and said they are not “psychopaths.”

Groeschel went on to call Sandusky “this poor guy” and wondered why the victims – the boys were often raped by Sandusky – did not report the crimes.

Groeschel’s comments became so radioactive so quickly that the National Catholic Register, a conservative media outlet, removed the story from its website within hours of posting it.

www.religionnews.com

The Dead Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini
3 September 2012

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini

Hours after Milan’s former Archbishop, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, died on Friday at the age of 85, the leading daily paper Corriere della Sera printed his final interview, in which he attacks the Church – and by implication its current leadership – for being “200 years out of date”.

“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” the Cardinal said. “The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the Pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation.”

Church insiders believe he wished for the interview to be published following his death.

Its a shame that the Cardinal didn’t feel able to speak out whilst he was alive.
Maybe this last paragraph about the power of the Vatican gives some clue as to his decision;

‘The suspicion – ever present in Italy – that the Vatican has tendrils everywhere, even in the mainstream press, was heightened by the failure of the article to appear on the Corriere della Sera website. Following inquiries by The Independent, Corriere’s editor, Ferruccio de Bortoli, said there had been no pressure to keep the article off the website. It was then published online yesterday evening. Other leading newspapers failed to give the cardinals’ comments much coverage.

www.independent.co.uk

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Injustice

This extract is taken from Baby X (2010) written by Harry Keeble, a policeman on one of London’s child protection teams.

Baby x
Injustice, Part One.

I was sitting in Bodrum’s with Patrick, discussing his latest case.  He waited until the waitress had plonked down our refills before continuing.  ‘This guy’s been getting away with it for such a long time, there’s no way he would have limited himself to just one child,’ he said.

Patrick had just been through a horrendous memorandum interview with a young victim of child abuse  He’d claimed that a close relation had systematically assaulted him for years.

Sarah joined us.  She’d just picked up a historical case.  ‘I reckon it’s the same with mine,’ she said.  ‘A Scout leader involved with the local amateur dramatics society.  He won the trust of a child and his parents before he started abusing the poor kid.  He’s been a Scout leader for decades, so I reckon there must be others.  Why is it that so many paedophiles manage to find work with children?  It it really so easy?

It is.  Paedophiles carefully search out any opportunity they can.  Unfortunately, there seem to be far too many prospects open to them and a shocking number of paedophiles manage to worm their way into jobs that require constant contact with children.

We see the stories all too often – Scout leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, etc., facing trials for child abuse. Invariably, a long and disturbing history of abuse emerges during their trials, a history peppered with ‘second chances’ and ‘missed opportunities’ where their bosses have fallen for a paedophile’s appeals for mercy; that it was a momentary lapse and will never happen again.

Take Stephen King, for example, a former youth worker and self-styled expert in child pornography who advised police and criminal prosecutors on how to protect children.  He also gave advice on sentencing paedophiles to the independent Sentence Advisory Panel.  His work was credited in the final recommendations made in the panel’s report, which was used by the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Probation Service.  He attended meetings where police and other bodies discussed tactics for tackling paedophiles.

He’d also been quoted in and contributed to several newspapers, including The Guardian, as an expert on child abuse.  For example, after the conviction of Howard Hughes for the rape and murder of seven-year-old Sophie Hook, King had argued that demands for a sex offenders’ register were over the top.  A 20 July 1996 letter from King about calls for a sex offenders’ register states: ‘A far more sensible approach would be to include on such a register the names of those who have reoffended…as the proportion of recidivists seems to be nowhere near the practically hysterical levels claimed by some apparent experts.’

Nothing could have been further from the truth: burglars can reform, paedophiles cannot.  Make no mistake, when they are released back into society, they are likely to reoffend.

King proved himself to be the living embodiment of this rule.  He was jailed for six months in 1989 for gross indecency with a child.  Fifteen years later, in 2004, King, now fifty-four, pleaded guilty to twenty-one counts including sex with a girl under thirteen years (she was ten years old), ten counts of indecent assault, six charges of indecency with a child and four counts of taking indecent photographs of a child.  The youngest of his victims was nine years old.

He kept a diary for nearly a decade in which he catalogued the abuse of his young victims.  He bragged how he ‘got away with it’ when police officers decided not to press charges after an earlier inquiry.

He lured children to his flat by posing as a tutor.  He set up a photographic studio in his bedroom with blacked-out windows.  He tied the girls up and took hundreds of photos and filmed dozens of videos of them engaged in sexual acts alone, with each other and him.  King even filed himself ‘grooming’ them, prior to the physical abuse.  One of his victims had since attempted suicide by slashing her wrists with broken glass, while another had developed learning difficulties.

Judge Fabyan Evans sentenced King to seven years for ‘systematic sexual abuse’.  Speaking outside the court, Detective Inspector Neil Thompson from the Met’s Paedophile Unit said he believed there were many more victims and urged them to come forward.

Many people felt the sentence was far too light.  Speaking to journalists outside the court, a victim’s father said: ‘I left the court screaming, “Stop, this is not a deterrent.”  We’re still very angry about what happened.  His sentence is disgusting.  He’ll be out in a few years.  The worst thing is, you can’t protect your child.  Everything you have striven for had all gone.  Her innocence has been stolen.

King is by no means the exception.

Bernie Bain, a notorious paedophile who was head of one of Islington’s care homes in the seventies, targeted boys of seven or eight and was described by police as ‘extremely violent’ and ‘sadistic’.  He was never brought to trial in Britain.  Detectives did not discover the full extent of Bain’s activities until 1995, by which time he had abused children for three decades.  Police eventually found seven people willing to testify against him in court.  He was living in Morocco at the time, having served a prison sentence for abuse.  He was deported to Holland, but an attempt to extradite him to Britain failed.  Despite an international warrant for his arrest he disappeared again.  He escaped justice by committing suicide in Thailand in May 2000.

The Evening Standard and the BBC’s Today programme had both launched investigations into Bernie Bain and the Islington Care Home scandal, the most recent of which came in 2003, when Margaret Hodge was appointed Minister for Children.  Hodge was Head of Islington Council at the time concerns about Bain had first been raised.  The Evening Standard called for Hodge to resign following their publication of a ‘killer memo’, which showed she was warned by senior social workers about the sexual abuse in Islington, but failed to act on their advice.

Margaret Hodge

Margaret Hodge

One of the victims, Demetrious Panton, had written a six-page letter to Hodge, detailing the details of his abuse at a residential unit in Elwood Street, Islington.  Bernie Bain had sexually assaulted him, he wrote, ‘three or four times a week for over a year.’

Hodge dismissed Panton’s claims and labelled him an ‘extremely disturbed person’, a comment she was forced to apologize for publicly after Panton consulted lawyers and after he received a glowing public testimony from a senior police officer.

Hodge has since argued that she ‘regretted what happened in Islington children’s care homes’ adding that she had ‘learned the lessons’ and that her experience put her ‘in a better position to be Minister for Children’.

I’m sure that’s of little comfort to those who suffered under Bain.  Council administrator Yvonne Williams was in Islington’s care from the age of eight to eighteen.  She was sexually abused every day from the age of ten for six years.

Liam Lucas, twenty-six, was raped as a nine-year-old boy by an Islington care worker.  He told the Evening Standard that he still suffered from nightmares and flashbacks.

Anne Belcher, twenty-eight, was raped by a man who visited her bedroom almost every day for two years.

Michael Fitch spent ten years in an Islington care home that turned him from a happy boy of nine into a tortured adult.  He had made more than a dozen suicide attempts.

His brother Douglas was abused by the same man for four years, from the age of thirteen.  ‘If Michael had been believed,’ he told the Evening Standard, ‘if Hodge had listened, I could have been saved from abuse.’

Yet nobody stepped in – despite being asked to investigate.

And so it continues.

Catholic leader Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O’Connor agreed to pay compensation to victims of Father Michael Hill, given a five-year prison sentence in 2002 for a series of ‘disgraceful and disgusting’ sex attacks on three young boys aged between ten and fourteen.  Hill would ingratiate himself with families, befriending young boys with treats and outings before assaulting them.  A further eight similar charges were left on file and not proceeded with, due to their historical nature.

He had previously been jailed in 1997, also for five years, for ten offences against eight boys.  Before this he had worked as a priest in Sussex where he committed two more assaults.  Following complaints, he left the parish in 1983 and received treatment at a church centre while temporarily suspended.

Hill went on to become the chaplain of Gatwick airport.  Two of his subsequent victims included a child who missed his flight and a thirteen-year-old boy who was in a wheelchair.  He systematically abused children while he was supposed to be a trusted spiritual guide, yet he had been forgiven and treated with leniency time and time again.  And even with this record, the judge only saw fit to hand out the same sentence of five years that he had received in 1997.

Anthony Barron, fifty-four, was the image of respectability – a bank manager, Scout treasurer and member of the parent-teacher association.  He was also a predatory paedophile who carried out sex attacks on girls as young as three, using them as ‘toys’ and storing films of his acts in an extensive video library.

He was arrested after a five-year-old child told her mother what had happened.  Aft his trial in 2007, Barron was found guilty of the rape and attempted rape of a twelve-year-old girl and admitting eighty-seven offences against another ten girls between 1995 and 2006.  They included assaults on two sisters on the same day, one after the other.  He even abused another child while her mother was in the house.

Andrew Bright QC, defending, told the court that his client was ‘capable of reform’ and hoped to be allowed back into the community one day to ‘do what he sees as his duty to go some way to putting things right’.  Let’s hope he is never given the chance.  In 2007, he was given a minimum term of nine years before he can apply for parole.  He will also spend the rest of his life on the sex offenders’ register.

Judge Julian Hall told jurors in the case – who had to watch some of the video footage – that he would excuse them from jury service for the next ten years because of the trauma they’d suffered.  ‘Once is enough for a lifetime,’ he said.

Interestingly, the same judge had previously been accused of being too lenient on paedophiles.  He once described as girl of ten, raped twice by a window cleaner, as ‘provocative’ because she wore frilly underwear.  And in an earlier case, the same judge told another paedophile to buy his child victim a bicycle to cheer her up.

In 2007, another interesting sentence came from Judge Jim Spencer, who fined Kevin Harrison £500 and ordered him to pay £190 costs after Harrison, fifty-one, admitted paying for the sexual favours of a girl aged sixteen who needed the money to fund her drug habit.  This offence, which outlaws sex with prostitutes under the age of eighteen, carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ jail.  The judge reportedly warned Harrison to ‘keep himself to himself’.  He also said: ‘Why should a girl of sixteen who wants to sleep with him not be able to – it is not a crime, is it?’  He was referring to the fact that the age of consent for sex is sixteen.

Harrison already had no less than eighteen sexually motivated offences on his record.  He had been jailed for two years in 1977 for enticing two girls into his car and abusing them.  He was then jailed for seven years in 1980 for a number of sex offences against children, and was given community punishments for further sexual offences against young girls in 1991 and 1992.

His 2007 crime carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.  By freeing him, Judge Spencer had sent out a message that the sexual exploitation of children is not a serious offence.

Also in 2007, Judge John Rogers suspended Derek William’s six-month sentence for downloading child pornography, saying that he had to consider a Home Office request to jail only the most ‘dangerous and persistent’ offenders.  Williams had downloaded 200 images, some of which were given the serious ‘level four’ grading.

The judge clearly didn’t grasp that consumers of child pornography are very dangerous and persistent offenders – after all, they supply the demand for this most evil and depraved of markets.  Instead, Judge Rogers’s judgement indicated the exact opposite: that downloading child pornography is not linked to the production of child abuse films and pictures, but is in fact a minor offence.  Judge Rogers had only served to help other views of child pornography excuse their behaviour.

Luckily, Williams was required to register with the police as a sex offender within seventy-two hours and missed the deadline by eighteen hours.  He blamed the unrelenting press who had surrounded his house after the judge’s comments.  This time Judge Rogers activated the suspended sentence of six months and give him an additional two months for failing to register.

Even more seriously, a serial paedophile escaped with a one-year jail sentence in 2004 for the attempted abduction of an eleven-year-old girl while posing as a child protection officer.  Gary Brown, thirty-two, was convicted after he targeted the child as she waited at a school in St John’s Wood in North London.  Detective Constable Mark Gladman was stunned at the result.  He said: ‘We can’t believe it.  He has a record of offences against children going back to 1993’.

Even serving police officers who have been found guilty of offences against children have been treated leniently.  Richard Curry, a police sergeant praised for bravery and his work in anti-paedophile operations, was jailed for just six months in 2003 after downloading child pornography.  Curry, thirty-nine, admitted six charges of possessing 1,300 pictures of children as young as seven in pornographic poses.

The following year, the first serving Metropolitan Police officer was convicted for incest (he cannot be named for legal reasons).  The father of two, forty-eight years old, sent a video of himself sexually abusing his underage daughter to an Internet paedophile.  He was arrested after detectives discovered the film of him with the fifteen-year-old girl on another paedophile’s computer.  Officers found over 300 photographs of young children – and thirty-two videos – some involving babies.  He also confessed to having abused his daughter for about a year and having had sex with her up to six times.  He was jailed for six years.

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