Monthly Archives: September 2013

CPS Prosecutor Robert Colover Steps Down.

You may remember this story from here

This is the barrister who described a 13 year old girl as  “sexually experienced” and “predatory”.

Well, he’s gone!

One rotten apple thrown out of the barrel. How many more to go ?


A CPS prosecutor who described the 13-year-old victim of a paedophile “predatory” in court will no longer undertake prosecutions involving serious sexual offences or child sexual abuse.

Robert Colover has agreed to resign from the CPS Rape Panel of advocates, admitting his description of the girl as “predatory” and “sexually experienced” was inappropriate, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.

Mr Colover’s comments during the sentencing of paedophile Neil Wilson, who was handed a suspended sentence, sparked outrage and today the CPS said that after a review of the case, director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC had found the language used to describe the teenager was “grossly inappropriate”.

A spokesman said: “Counsel in the case agreed that he should not have used the expression that he did and deeply regretted his choice of words.

“It was agreed that he would resign from the CPS Rape Panel of advocates and will no longer undertake prosecutions involving serious sexual offences or child sexual abuse.”

Daily Record


Filed under Abuse, News

Eric Pickles: Doctor ? Lawyer ?

Eric Pickles has still not apologised to Teresa Cooper for outrageously suggesting that she “Adjust your medication”

In lieu of an apology he has issued through a spokesperson this feeble explanation, “He was giving her a frank piece of advice in private. It wasn’t meant in any way to offend or insult her.” Even setting aside that this “Private advice” was given at a public wildlife event in Ongar, Essex, what makes Eric Pickles think he should offer medical advice ? He’s not a health care professional afterall.

This isn’t the first time that Eric Pickles has masqueraded as a ‘professional’. As you can read below, for a long time he led people to believe that he was a qualified lawyer…

Eric Pickles 1

The Face of Boo!

Shortly after being quizzed by Schopen, Pickles filled in his register entry for the second time in 9 years. He now gave his occupation as “Self employed lawyer” working in “Industrial and Employment law”. He added “no work in Bradford” as if to emphasise there could be no clash of interests between his private and political life.

Indeed, Pickles had insisted to Schopen that he had always publicly stated he was an employment lawyer working mainly in the North West. Records bear this claim out.

When he first stood as a councillor in 1979, Pickles had described himself on his election manifesto as “A Lawyer” only weeks before he filled in the council register claiming to be an employee of the Tory party.

Other public statements over the 9 years he had served as a councillor showed him describing himself as “a lawyer”.

Many journalists had noted that Pickles was a “solicitor”. This is not surprising since the rather vague sounding term “lawyer” is in fact quite specific. A “lawyer” is “someone qualified to practice law” and means either a solicitor or a barrister. Since Pickles had never claimed to be a barrister, journalists naturally took it that Pickles’ reference to being a “lawyer” meant he was a qualified solicitor. It was well known that Pickles had studied to be a solicitor in the early 1970’s.

There was just one small problem with all this – Eric Pickles had failed to qualify as a solicitor. And anyone who describes themselves as such without the necessary qualifications commits a criminal offence!The Solicitors Act 1974, Section 21 reads;

      • “Unqualified Person Not To Pretend To Be A Solicitor.
      • “Any unqualified person who wilfully pretends to be, or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is qualified or recognised by law as qualified to act as a solicitor shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine….


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Did David Cameron Lie To Leveson ?


Perhaps this PMQ exchange between Chris Bryant and the Prime Minister might shed some light on that ?

David Cameron gave misleading evidence to the Leveson inquiry over his friendship with the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, according to a new book by a journalist with close links to No 10.

In one of the most authoritative accounts of Downing Street’s links with News International, Matthew d’Ancona also writes that the prime minister was awestruck by the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

D’Ancona, who has known the prime minister for 20 years, says the prime minister was wrong to tell the Leveson inquiry that he saw Brooks more frequently after her marriage to his Eton contemporary Charlie Brooks. “I was definitely seeing her more often because of my sort of friendship with Charlie and as a neighbour,” Cameron told Leveson of his fellow members of the “Chipping Norton set”.

The former Spectator editor dismisses this account in a new book on the coalition, In It Together. D’Ancona writes: “But this was misleading. Cameron knew Charlie Brooks only slightly before his marriage to Rebekah. It was Rebekah who brought him closer to Charlie, not the other way round.”

The Guardian


Filed under Leveson, News, Politics

Tory Vice-Chairman Alan Lewis Arrested Over Historical Rape Allegation


Here pictured talking to the Prime Minister


A Conservative vice-chairman has been arrested on suspicion of rape, relating to an alleged offence more than 40 years ago.

Alan Lewis, 75, was arrested by Greater Manchester Police after a woman claimed she was attacked in the late 1960s.

Mr Lewis was appointed vice-chairman for business relations by David Cameron in 2010. He has been released on bail.

A party spokesman said: “This is an ongoing police matter so we are not able to make any comments.”

Mr Lewis is a successful entrepreneur who owns the Crombie clothing chain, and is one of nine Conservative Party vice-chairmen.

In 1990, he was made a CBE for his services as chairman of the Confederation of British Industry’s initiative to prepare British businesses to the single market.

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, Politics

Apologise Eric Pickles!

The exchange between child abuse campaigner Teresa Cooper and Minister of the Crown Eric Pickles is a sad indictment of the indifference with which many politicians  deal with victims of child sexual abuse.

That someone who sits in the heart of government could disparage a survivor of child abuse with the playground taunt of “adjust your medication” is astonishing.

In my view, Eric Pickles should issue an immediate unreserved and public apology to Teresa Cooper.

If he does not do this then I suspect he will soon be an ‘ex minister’.

Below is the transcript of the conversation and below that the audio recording of the conversation.


Teresa Cooper: you need my signature for…

Eric Pickles: you’ve consistently…  you change your na [unfinished word]… you’ve changed your views…  You give me different stories.

TC: Different stories?

EP: and before I act I need your signature

TC: different stories.. its been proved publicly

EP: [aside]sorry about this

VOICE: no .. its okay

TC: we’ve got all this stuff its been proved publicly and its you – you tell different stores – nothing has changed on the Kendall House abuse? – only you have ignored it.  You have ignored.  You have ignored it.

EP: just, just, adjust your medication

TC: no you…. I am not on medication right, but you need to be, you ignore child abuse and people should know about it.


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

A Politician In A Pickle Over Child Abuse

Campaigner Teresa Cooper confronts her MP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government , Eric Pickles, and he advises a survivor of historic child abuse  to “Adjust your medication!

“Arrogant, Ignorant, Selfish and Rude”

Listen carefully to this exchange and decide for yourself.  Is this man part of the caring Coalition?


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

With Friends Like This…



by | September 27, 2013 · 7:27 pm

It’s Different For Girls

The Friday Night Song


Filed under FNS, Personal

Confirmation Of Independent Story.

It’s taken me two months to get confirmation of this story from The Independent on Sunday [21st July] but I’m now in a position to confirm that it is true. Confirmation that a file had been passed to the CPS regarding a “former senior cabinet minister” did not come from anyone connected to The Independent on Sunday.

I’d like to specifically draw your attention to the first paragraph which I’ve quoted below.

I hope that it should give some indication of the tenacity of the Op Fernbridge team in pursuing certain individuals.


A former senior cabinet minister is now the subject of a rape allegation currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. Police investigating possible child abuse at the Elm Guest House in West London have submitted a file on the former minister, and the CPS is expected to come to a decision over the matter during the summer. The claims are not believed to relate to the abuse of minors at the guesthouse, and the alleged victim was over the age of consent.

The Independent


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

The ‘Fake’ Elm Guest House List.

This is absolutely, certainly, definitely, the last time that we’re going to do a post on this… I hope!

Alun Roberts  very *kindly* included me in this twitter exchange with someone claiming to be Margaret Jervis.


Margaret is a former journalist with Social Work Today but now she is a fact checker. I did try to explain privately to Margaret but without much luck.

So this post is to clear up any possible confusion about the ‘list’ or should I say the ‘lists’ because the Mary Moss docs have a number of lists.

On Aug 24th Chris Fay wrote ‘Elm Guest House. Mary Moss Files – Clarification’ in which he wrote:

There are only 3 of the documents that I wanted to put some context and clarification to…

…Document 6. It was drawn to my attention that some people though it was a list of abusers. I only want to clarify absolutely that this is a list of VICTIMS that should never have been made public. They are victims!!

Document 103. This is a list of police officers who carried out the raid. It again was drawn to my attention that some people thought these names were involved in abuse at Grafton or EGH. They were NOT. See my previous post.

Documents 104/6. This is a list of names I scribbled down from the registers, whilst the person I was with was talking to Carol. This was the very first time we had acess to them. They were just names and include by the way, victims!  As you can see from later docs we did go on to identify many of the abusers and also the aliases that were used, not just for the Guest House but also the use of the “facilities”.

Margaret Jervis has chosen to describe this as a “confession” forced on Chris Fay by the Metropolitan Police. Let’s be clear, the Met did not ‘force’ Chris to write anything, nor did they even request that Chris clarify anything. It is difficult to understand how Margaret, “30 years in the field”, would make such a mistake and the twisting of facts and the emotive language she uses might lead some to question her agenda.

Anyway, I think Chris has already clearly explained those documents but when most people think of ‘the list’ they have a different document in mind and although Chris has clearly indicated which documents he was talking about, I’m worried that Margaret Jervis’s comments on twitter might lead to further confusion.

So, I would like to clarify about Document 63, you all know the one, the one with the ‘big’ names…

That list was written by Chris Fay while interviewing Carole Kasir in the NAYPIC office a few months before she died.

I’m assuming that when Margaret Jervis refers to a ‘fake’ list she is referring to this one. Regardless, it is likely that anyone who read the twitter exchange would assume it was that one.

‘Fake’ is rather a pejorative word. It suggests that it is not genuine, that it purports to be something that it is not, that it is deliberately designed to mislead.

To begin with, this list was written over 20 years ago and was never meant to be in the public domain . It is a contemporaneous record of an interview that Chris Fay had with Carole Kasir. So, plainly it was never written to deceive people 23 years later.

Is it accurate ?

No. One of the first discussions I had with Chris Fay back in January concerned that list and he immediately told me that it was inaccurate. He explained to me that even as he was interviewing Carole Kasir he felt that he was being misled and that he felt that Carole was telling him what she thought he wanted to hear.

The list is what it is. It does not purport to be anything it is not, it is a contemporaneous record of an interview and it was not written to be put in the public domain, it is a private note. By no definition of the word could it possibly be described as a ‘fake’.

So, why does this wordsmith of 30 years use that pejorative term ?

There is more, the documents that Mary Moss put online is only a small fraction of those seized by the police. There is another list. This list followed a NAYPIC investigation and some people on the first list, the public one, were eliminated. One name eliminated after talking to the children involved and others was that of a person who has been famous for decades, for fear of associating that person further in this I can not say his name.

BBC Newsnight have a copy of that list. Is it accurate? I don’t know because I’ve never seen it but it is certainly more accurate than the public list.

Margaret, I think it is only fair to give you the right to reply if you wish.


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Sheridan Report 1982 (Post Kincora Assessment of Northern Ireland Departments Care Home Supervision)

cathy fox blog on child abuse

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland) has released a copy of the Sheridan Report [2] in response to a Freedom of Information Request [1].

This appears to be a post Kincora Hughes Report Assessment of Northern Ireland Departments Care Home Supervision.

My preliminary assessment is that in the aftermath of Kincora, it appears that the DHSS from Britain assessed the Northern Ireland equivalents handling of the supervision of childrens homes and hostels and this is the report.

I try and release reports as quickly as possible so that others who the reports mean more to, may read and study them so this may not be entirely correct. Any corrections or additions gladly received.
There is much information held in Northern Ireland and if anyone would like to help apply for some of this information, please contact me.

Please note that victims of abuse may be…

View original post 81 more words


Filed under Uncategorized

Stuart Hall Faces Questions Over New Rape Allegations.


Former broadcaster Stuart Hall and ‘Icon of the Youth of Today’, who was jailed earlier this year for sex offences, is being questioned over new rape allegations.

Detectives are preparing to question jailed broadcaster Stuart Hall over dozens of new rape allegations.

A woman has told police that Hall raped her regularly over several years when she was a young teenager.

The alleged victim is thought to be a relative of friends of the disgraced presenter.

Hall, 83, could be re-arrested in prison and, if charged and convicted, he may never be freed.

Hall was jailed this year for 15 months after admitting 14 charges of indecent assault on girls aged between nine and 17 between 1967 and 1985.

At the time, a single rape charge was not pursued and was left on the file.

His sentence was later doubled when the Attorney-General appealed after some of Hall’s victims complained he had been dealt with too leniently.

Prosecutors will have to decide if more expensive and time-consuming court action is in the public interest.

Sky News


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Paedophile MP Cyril Smith: Possible Questions for Jenny Tonge and Tim Razzall

Westminster Confidential

Sir David Williams, former lb dem leader of Richmond Council - pic courtesy: Sir David Williams, former lb dem leader of Richmond Council – pic courtesy:
The Met Police’s official acknowledgement to Channel Four’s Dispatches programme that Cyril Smith visited the notorious Elm House guest house in Barnes in south-west London – which is alleged to be used by paedophiles raises serious questions for the Liberal Democrats.
So far attention has been centred on former Liberal leaders, David Steel. Nick Clegg and Sir Menzies Campbell,the latter who was shown (possibly unfairly) to be heaping praise on Cyril Smith at his funeral.
But the real Liberal Democrats who should be quizzed are Baroness Tonge, Lord Razzall and Sir David Williams on the scandalous affair that allowed Cyril Smith to sexually assault young boys.
They were the Liberal members of Richmond Council in the aftermath of highly publicised police raid on Elm Guest House and responsible – along with the previous Tory administration –…

View original post 386 more words


Filed under Uncategorized

15 Years For Matthew James Troakes

Is it just me or does it seem that sentences are starting to get longer for child abusers in the last week or so ?

Perhaps the Judges are aware that there is a ‘Judge Mental’ article with their name on it if they go easy !

Matthew James Troakes

Matthew James Troakes

A father of four has been jailed for 15 years for carrying out a sickening campaign of sexual abuse on a young girl which a judge said “defies belief”.

Matthew James Troakes, 33, denied 10 counts of the continued sexual abuse of a young girl, but a jury of five men and seven women took just 31 minutes to deliver unanimous guilty verdicts on each count.

They included sexual assault of a child under 13, rape of a child under 13, rape and attempted rape.

The jury at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court was told that the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was repeatedly sexually abused by Troakes over several years.

After Troakes, of College Street, Aberdare, was jailed for 15 years by Judge Thomas Crowther QC, the teenager’s parents said: “We just wanted justice and we have had it. We think it should be more but it is never going to be enough.”

The victim’s  mum spoke of the horror she felt in October last year when her daughter revealed what Troakes had done, but said that now he had been found guilty and jailed, her daughter could get the help she needs.

Wales Online


Filed under Abuse, News

Spot The Cabinet Minister.

Which one is the Cabinet Minister ?


OK, I know that readers of The Needle are well informed and I’m sure you all spotted it was Danny Alexander [first person second row], the current Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

However, if you took that image to a primary school and asked a group of eleven year olds the same question, does anyone believe that any one of them would have singled him out ?

This is not a frivilous question, I’ve seen much written by many commentators bemoaning the fact that it appears that only television celebrities are being identified in historic child abuse investigations and not powerful politicians.

The conclusion that many then leap to is that this is indicative of an establishment cover-up but not one person has pointed out that there could not have been one young girl or boy in the country who could have failed to recognise Jimmy Savile during the 1970s and 1980s or forgotten that they had met him, so ubiquitous was he on children’s television, and how unrecognisable and instantly forgettable politicians are to children.

Here in lies a big problem for the police now engaged in investigations into historic child abuse which implicate politicians. It may have been difficult for anyone to forget having met Cyril Smith, given his physical appearance, but for most children the majority of politicians are grey men indistinguishable from anyone else. Throw in extremely difficult and stressful circumstances, perhaps even drugs and/or alcohol, and the passage of time, and one can start to see how problematic it can be.

That does not mean that there has not been a cover-up. I’m as confident as I can be that there has been one but in the case of the Elm Guest House, for example, I believe that the cover-up to have taken place in the 1980s. It is my earnest belief that Operation Fernbridge has no intention of covering anything up. I expect that they are as frustrated as anyone, more so even, at the apparent paucity of substantiating evidence, the lost files, and destroyed documents.

Given the high profile of those alleged to have been involved and the inevitable public backlash if there were to be even a whiff of a cover-up, I believe that those who are part of the Operation Fernbridge investigation will be at pains to demonstrate that they have run down every lead and turned over every stone.

But they must also be aware by now that regardless of however meticulous they are and however conscientious they are they will never be able to satisfy everyone.

As Exaro News clearly stated in a trilogy of tweets yesterday, which I reproduced, contrary to any rumour that has been circulating there is no indication that Operation Fernbridge is to be closed down but eventually at some point in the future perhaps in a year or so’s time that investigation will come to a close. When that happens Fernbridge will publish  a report. It is unthinkable that that report would not be made public with the understandable redaction of witnesses’ personal details. At that time, we will all be able to judge if there has been a cover-up and when and who is responsible for it. I’m confident it will be clear to most that Operation Fernbridge will not be responsible.

But if that does not prove to be the case then be assured I’ll point it out.


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry

The Guardian begins by suggesting that the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry is off the public radar, it’s not off of mine.

We need to see a similar UK wide inquiry !



Amid blanket coverage of high-profile child sex abuse investigations in the wake of revelations involving Jimmy Savile and other celebrities, one child abuse inquiry has remained below the public’s radar. But the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry is slowly emerging from relative obscurity.

The inquiry is separate from a recent major police investigation in the country that has led to the arrest of more than 30 people for sexual exploitation of children and young people who have gone missing from the care system over the past 18 months.

Formally established by law in January this year, the historical inquiry is tasked with examining if there were “systemic failings” by state and church in children’s homes between 1922 and 1995 – a period spanning more than 70 years. Earlier this month, the inquiry held its third public hearing in Belfast, where its chairman, the former high court judge Sir Anthony Hart, named, for the first time, some of the institutions under investigation, including former children’s homes run by the Catholic church.

Hart also confirmed that the final deadline for victims wishing to apply to give evidence would be the end of November, and he made fresh calls for people now living outside Northern Ireland who had been abused as children in the country to come forward. Earlier this month, 363 people had already made formal applications to speak to the inquiry; some were in their 80s. Hart said that more than 100 were living in mainland Britain, the US and Australia.

The Guardian


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

Victims To Sue Cyril Smith Cover-Up Architects.

I think this is an extremely interesting and welcome development.

It is good to know that if the CPS refuse to pursue a criminal case against historic abuse and those that knew and by remaining silent were part of a child abuse cover-up, that there are solicitors out there willing to represent victims and pursue this through the civil courts.

The recent public acceptance by Operation Fernbridge that Cyril Smith did abuse children at Elm Guest House can only help any victims of Cyril Smith.

Good luck !

Protected by the Establishment ?

Protected by the Establishment ?

Those who stood by while Cyril Smith MP carried out years of physical and sexual abuse face legal action, solicitors have confirmed.

Legal firm Pannone has been contacted by seven alleged victims of the politician and are now investigating how and why the abuse was allowed to take place.

The civil case is being run separately from an ongoing police investigation into allegations of abuse.

Alan Collins, one of the country’s best known solicitors in the field of child abuse law, who also acted in the Jimmy Savile case, said: “We are acting on behalf of the Cyril Smith victims and we are now looking at those who might be responsible for knowing what Cyril Smith was up to and those who would have allowed him to have abused these children.

“It is a civil case brought on behalf of the victims and is still at quite an early stage.”

Earlier this month, a report was released revealing details from the original police file, which raised concerns that senior figures within the establishment leaned on prosecutors to ensure Smith was not brought to justice.

Manchester Evening News


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Primary School Head Teacher Standing Trial

Andrew Howard

Andrew Howard


A primary school head teacher fondled a teenage boy and offered him hundreds of pounds if their ‘relationship changed’, a court heard today.

Andrew Howard, 46, is alleged to have showered him with presents and outings and asked the schoolboy to say he loved him, Winchester Crown heard.

The offences were said to have taken place at Howard’s home in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and in a car after Howard was said to have confided in the boy, then under 16, that he was gay, the jury heard.

Howard, who was in charge of Velmead Junior School in Fleet, Hampshire, but is now suspended, took the youngster to football, cricket and tennis games and even bought Olympic tickets.

Daily Mail


Filed under Abuse, News

Exaro On False Fernbridge Rumours.

I just wanted to draw people’s attention to these tweets from Exaro News.


Exaro Tweets

I just wanted to say that I think I might know the origin of this rumour and I also know the original source, which misinterpreted, led to this rumour and I can say categorically that the source material bears little resemblance to this rumour and even more so as it gets passed from person to person like Chinese whispers.

It is a great shame if, as Exaro state, some victims are coming across this.

It’s not as though this isn’t an emotional roller coaster already for those that find themselves caught up in this without false pessimism.

I am not suggesting the rumour is malicious but it is false and I hope that people will set it aside.

I’m confident that news will soon come from Operation Fernbridge which will lift spirits.



Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

Ex Pope: ‘Priests Not More Likely To Abuse Children.’

“Nor is it reassuring to know that, according to the research of sociologists, the percentage of priests are guilty of these crimes is not higher than that found in other similar professions.”

I’m guessing this is research by socialogist especially commissioned by The Vatican.

What is a similar profession ? Anglican Priest ? Scout leader ? Rabbi ?

“No”, they say,” priests are not more likely to offend. They’re just more likely get caught out and that despite the oaths of silence that we force their victims to swear!”

Incense or Smoke ?

*Cough! Cough!*

In the issues discussed so far it is a serious dialogue, for which I – as I have said repeatedly – I am grateful. The situation is different in the chapter on the priest and Catholic morality, and by still another in the chapters on Jesus As for what you say moral abuse of minors by priests, I can – as you know – just take note with deep concern . I have never tried to hide these things. That the power of evil penetrate to such an extent in the inner world of faith is for us a suffering which, on the one hand, we have to endure, while, on the other, we must at the same time, do everything possible to ensure that such cases do not repeated. Nor is it reassuring to know that, according to the research of sociologists, the percentage of priests are guilty of these crimes is not higher than that found in other similar professions. In any case, you should not submit this deviation ostentatiously as if it were a specific filth of Catholicism.

La Repubblica


Filed under Abuse, News, Torva