Better late than never!
Better late than never!
Or at least I think it’s the 19th arrest.
A man has been arrested over abuse allegations at a Suffolk boarding school and interviewed as part of a separate inquiry in north Wales.
The 62-year-old man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault at Kesgrave Hall, near Ipswich.
The allegations date from between the 1970s and 1990s at the former school.
He has also been questioned by officers probing claims of historical abuse in the north Wales care system.
The investigation in Wales, Operation Pallial, is being led by the National Crime Agency.
This is very peculiar.
“The probe also focuses on whether officers from Hampshire police were instructed to “mislead” parents of alleged victims into thinking Operation Flamborough was an investigation into the sexual abuse of children.”
THE Daily Echo can today reveal the full explosive details of an investigation into Hampshire’s top police officer.
The chief constable of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Andy Marsh, is facing a police probe from a separate force into claims he ordered a whitewash over the failure of police investigations into shocking sex abuse allegations at a Hampshire special school.
He is also accused of breaching confidentiality and contempt of court in connection with the same inquiry.
The complaints centre on Hampshire police’s investigation into allegations that a girl was raped and other pupils were sexually abused at the former Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey, which closed last year.
Richard Scorer is Head of the Abuse unit at Slater & Gordon lawyers and author of ‘Betrayed: The English Catholic Church And The Child Abuse Crisis’
Media coverage of clerical sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church has tended to focus on Ireland and the USA. In England, Catholic leaders have fostered the impression that the English church has been relatively scandal-free, and that such problems as did exist were eliminated by the Nolan reforms, a raft of changes to child protection introduced in 2001.
In my book Betrayed: The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis, just published (Amazon link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Betrayed-English-Catholic-Church-Crisis/dp/1849546827), I interrogate that claim. By examining the detail of cases over a 50 year period, I show that the patterns of denial and cover-up that have characterised the Catholic abuse scandal in other parts of the world have been pervasive in England too. Time and again, allegations about priests were simply dismissed or the priest was moved elsewhere where he would be free to abuse again. The protection of the institution was paramount, not the protection of children.
As a result of various scandals, in 1994 the Catholic church of England and Wales issued guidelines for dealing with clerical sex abuse. But these guidelines had no legal force within the church, and were ineffective. In my book I give examples of how the guidelines were simply ignored by Bishops, resulting in paedophile priests being allowed to carry on abusing children.
Continuing scandals throughout the 1990s, particularly the case of Father Michael Hill, forced the English church to introduce the Nolan reforms, a further and much more comprehensive raft of changes to child protection in 2001. Since 2001, the Catholic Church has maintained that it has ‘gold standard safeguarding’ in England and Wales. In my book I challenge that complacent view.
The Catholic Church in England is now better than it was at reporting new allegations to the statutory authorities, although many victims some would say the level of media attention leaves it with little option. A mandatory reporting law – requiring that any allegation of abuse is automatically passed to the police or social services- would ensure that there is no backsliding. But there have also been flaws in the Nolan process. Nolan did not cover the whole Catholic church, so we have seen continuing scandals in Catholic institutions in the past ten years: at one Catholic (Benedictine) school attached to a monastery in West London, a monk was found by a civil court in 2006 to have sexually abused a child, but the monk continued to have access to children and subsequently went on to abuse another boy, offences for which he was later convicted.
Secondly, the church continues to resist support and fair compensation for victims, exploiting every possible legal loophole. For many years, the English church tried to argue that because it does not ’employ’ priests, it bears no legal responsibility for clerical sex abuse. That legal sophistry was roundly rejected by the courts in 2012, but the church continues to fight cases aggressively.
Thirdly, the church has failed to laicise (defrock) convicted priests speedily and transparently as recommended by Nolan. To give just one example, 2 priests convicted and jailed in 2005 of sexual abuse of children at Ampleforth, the leading Catholic public school, were still appearing in the official list of priests of England and Wales in 2008, some 3 years after their convictions and seven years after the Nolan reforms were supposed to have taken effect.
Moreover, the Nolan changes are still not embodied in the law of the church. In a review of the Nolan reforms in 2007, Baroness Cumberlege urged that the Nolan package be given ‘recognitio’ by the Vatican, i.e. recognised as part of the canon law of the church. Seven years on, this has not happened, so the Nolan treforms remain merely ‘recommendations’, not obligatory legal norms, and can be disregarded if a Bishop so chooses – precisely the problem with the previous set of guidelines in 1994.
It is unclear why ‘recognitio’ has not yet been secured. When I raised this point recently, Danny Sullivan of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission confirmed that he is currently in discussions with Rome about the ‘possibility’ of recognitio. But we are seven years on from the Cumberlege report which urged this. It’s unclear why.
The abuse scandals in the English church over the past few decades have left thousands of traumatised victims and many broken parishes. I hope the church is changing, but the jury is still out.
Police investigating the disappearance of a schoolboy 26-years ago have arrested three men on suspicion of murder.
Lee Boxell was aged 15, when he went missing from Sutton in south London in 1988.
The teenager disappeared after telling a friend he was off to watch a Crystal Palace football match at Selhurst Park.
His disappearance sparked a national search, but no trace of the teenager was ever found.
But in a fresh breakthrough, officers from the Metropolitan Police, announced that they had arrested three men aged 78, 42 and 41 on suspicion of murder, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and indecency with children.
A 42-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and indecency with children.
In 2012 it emerged that Lee had been a regular at an unofficial youth club, known as The Shed in Cheam, where it was feared paedophiles were operating.
The 73 year old man was arrested in North London.
A 73-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual offences as part of a police operation prompted by the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
Scotland Yard said the man was arrested in north London.
Operation Yewtree is the criminal investigation into sexual abuse claims against Savile and others.
TV presenter and DJ Savile died in 2011. A police report later described him as a “predatory sex offender” who abused more than 200 people.
Islington Council dismissed calls for Joe Caluori, who is married to Mrs Hodge’s daughter, to step aside from his post while its investigation is ongoing. The council insisted there was no conflict of interest and that the council’s director of social services would report directly to the Department for Education rather than to Mr Caluori.
But victims, lawyers and whistle-blowers are demanding an independent inquiry.
Demetrious Panton, who was repeatedly abused by Bernie Bain, the former head of an Islington children’s home in the late Seventies, said: “An independent police investigation into Islington is crucial. I know so much. Yet, throughout all the 13 inquiries into Islington, I was never once asked to give evidence.”
Mr Panton, who is a lawyer, added: “We still don’t know the full extent of Islington’s corruption. There are a lot of individuals who I know, abuse survivors, who have not yet contacted Islington or the police about what they know. There is a real lack of trust.”
Inside the nondescript bungalow, police officers were met with the stale and acrid smell of urine. In the bedroom, packets and empty cartons covered the beds. Rubbish was strewn across the floor and was piled so high that it reached the window sills.
The previous 10 years had not been good for Timothy Ford, the man who lived alone in the small house in a tidy street in the Northamptonshire town of Kettering. It had started with a second jail sentence for possessing indecent images of children. After his release, he was hit by a bus, left paralysed from the waist down, and confined to a wheelchair. He was clearly struggling to look after himself.
Ford spent most of his time on his computer. That was what the police were looking for when they came knocking with a search warrant, after receiving a tip that he had been online talking to people who may have shared his obsession for children. What they found on the computer in June 2011 led to a dogged hunt which spanned continents, and delved into the darkest recesses of the internet.
It takes a long time to unravel the secrets of a computer, even one where little obvious attempt has been made to hide what was on it. The examination of Ford’s revealed 600 images of children, both stills and videos. Some included adults conducting and orchestrating sexual acts.
North Yorkshire Police’s handling of abuse claims made against the late DJ Jimmy Savile is to be investigated by the police watchdog.
The force said it had formally referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Inquiries will centre on its response to a report on alleged abuse by Savile it received more than 10 years ago.
It will also look at allegations made recently about Savile’s friend Peter Jaconelli, who died in 1999.
The former BBC DJ and presenter Savile died in October 2011, aged 84, before the sex abuse allegations came to light.
If you were a resident at Wisteria Lodge Children’s Home, in Earlsdon Avenue South, Coventry during the late 1980s or have any information that may help West Midlands Police with their inquiries, call detectives on 101.
Alternatively if you want to give evidence anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Police have arrested two men in an investigation into allegations of sex abuse at a Coventry children’s home.
An inquiry was launched after former residents of Wisteria Lodge, in Earlsdon , made accusations against the two former staff members.
It is understood the arrests relate to a period in the late 1980s.
The pair, both aged 68, were arrested in January over claims a child was abused at the home. They have been interviewed and released on bail until May.
A police spokesman said: “Officers from the public protection unit in Coventry are investigating the report and the men have been questioned on suspicion of child cruelty and sexual assault.
”They are currently on police bail, pending further inquiries.”
Police are keen to speak to anyone else who attended the children’s home, in Earlsdon Avenue South, during the same period.