Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Code For Crown Prosecutors

 

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The Code

The Decision Whether to Prosecute

3.1 In more serious or complex cases, prosecutors decide whether a person should be charged with a criminal offence and, if so, what that offence should be. They make their decisions in accordance with this Code and the DPP’s Guidance on Charging. The police apply the same principles in deciding whether to start criminal proceedings against a person in those cases for
which they are responsible.

3.2 The police and other investigators are responsible for conducting enquiries into any alleged crime and for deciding how to deploy their resources. This includes decisions to start or continue an investigation and on the scope of the investigation. Prosecutors often advise the police and other investigators about possible lines of inquiry and evidential requirements, and assist with pre-charge procedures. In large scale investigations the prosecutor may be asked to advise on the overall investigation strategy, including decisions to refine or narrow the scope of the criminal conduct and the number of suspects under investigation. This is to assist the police and other investigators to complete the investigation within a reasonable period of time and to build the most effective prosecution case. However, prosecutors cannot direct the police or other investigators.

3.3 Prosecutors should identify and, where possible, seek to rectify evidential weaknesses, but, subject to the Threshold Test (see section 5), they should swiftly stop cases which do not meet the evidential stage of the Full Code Test (see section 4) and which cannot be strengthened by further investigation, or where the public interest clearly does not require a prosecution (see section 4). Although prosecutors primarily consider the evidence and information supplied by the police and other investigators, the
suspect or those acting on his or her behalf may also submit evidence or information to the prosecutor via the police or other investigators, prior to charge, to help inform the prosecutor’s decision.

3.4 Prosecutors must only start or continue a prosecution when the case has passed both stages of the Full Code Test (see section 4). The exception is when the Threshold Test (see section 5) may be applied where it is proposed to apply to the court to keep the suspect in custody after charge, and the evidence required to apply the Full Code Test is not yet available.

3.5 Prosecutors should not start or continue a prosecution which would be regarded by the courts as oppressive or unfair and an abuse of the court’s process.

3.6 Prosecutors review every case they receive from the police or other investigators. Review is a continuing process and prosecutors must take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. Wherever possible, they should talk to the investigator when thinking about changing the charges or stopping the case. Prosecutors and investigators work closely together, but the final responsibility for the decision whether or not a case should go ahead rests with the CPS.

3.7 Parliament has decided that a limited number of offences should only be taken to court with the agreement of the DPP. These are called consent cases. In such cases the DPP, or prosecutors acting on his or her behalf, apply the Code in deciding whether to give consent to a prosecution. There are also certain offences that should only be taken to court with the consent of the Attorney General. Prosecutors must follow current guidance when referring any such cases to the Attorney General. Additionally, the Attorney General will be kept informed of certain cases as part of his or her superintendence of the CPS and accountability to Parliament for its actions.

The Full Code Test

4.1 The Full Code Test has two stages: (i) the evidential stage; followed by (ii) the public interest stage.

4.2 In most cases, prosecutors should only decide whether to prosecute after the investigation has been completed and after all the available evidence has been reviewed. However there will be cases where it is clear, prior to the collection and consideration of all the likely evidence, that the public interest does not require a prosecution. In these instances, prosecutors may decide that the case should not proceed further.

4.3 Prosecutors should only take such a decision when they are satisfied that the broad extent of the criminality has been determined and that they are able to make a fully informed assessment of the public interest. If prosecutors do not have sufficient information to take such a decision, the investigation should proceed and a decision taken later in accordance with the Full Code Test set out in this section.

The Evidential Stage

4.4 Prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against each suspect on each charge. They must consider what the defence case may be, and how it is likely to affect the prospects of conviction. A case which does not pass the evidential stage must not proceed, no matter how serious or sensitive it may be.

4.5 The finding that there is a realistic prospect of conviction is based on the prosecutor’s objective assessment of the evidence, including the impact of any defence and any other information that the suspect has put forward or on which he or she might rely. It means that an objective, impartial and reasonable jury or bench of magistrates or judge hearing a case alone, properly directed and acting in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged. This is a different test from the one that the criminal courts themselves must apply. A court may only convict if it is sure that the defendant is guilty.

4.6 When deciding whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, prosecutors should ask themselves the following:

Can the evidence be used in court?

Is the evidence reliable?

Is the evidence credible?

For more information including details of ‘The Public Interest Stage’ and ‘The Threshold Test’, visit cps.gov.uk

 

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Who Can You Believe ?

Many thanks to Eye spotter GH.  Originally from Private Eye #1366.

John Pierce, who headed Rochdale Council from 1986-96 was recently quoted in the Manchester Evening News…

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The council chief executive who closed Knowl View has rejected claims there was a cover-up at the school.

John Pierce , who headed up Rochdale council from 1986 to 1996, said he was never given any evidence to suggest pupils at the Bamford special school were being sexually abused.

It comes as Rochdale council and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) begin looking into whether widespread sexual abuse at the school had been hushed-up.

GMP say they have identified 11 potential suspects while former MP Cyril Smith and ex-councillor Harry Wild have been named as abusers by current MP Simon Danczuk.

But Mr Pierce, who went on to become chairman of the borough’s now defunct health body NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale until 2011, said he was unaware of the claims while in charge of the town hall.

He added: “To the best of my knowledge there was no cover-up…

…Mr Pierce, of Norden, said three reports, written in 1988, 1991 and a council-ordered probe in 1992 detailing the scale of abuse taking place at the boy’s school didn’t find their way to his desk.

Manchester Evening News

OK, I think we got it. John Pierce didn’t know nuffin’ guv. Right ?

However, Private Eye have unearthed a letter by Rochdale’s acting director of social services written in 1991 which was copied to John Pierce which specifically refers to the 1991 report.

The 1991 Shepherd Report warns that children as young as eight may have been abused there [Knowl View], that many pupils were working as rent boys and that some were being abused by paedophiles on the school premises.

Incidentally, at the time of the 1991 Shepherd Report Cyril Smith was still the Rochdale MP.

The Eye also reference an interview with John Pierce in The Independent from 1995, in which after being presented with damning extracts from the Shepherd Report John Pierce defended the council. He told The Independent;

“All the issues involved were discussed and investigated by a number of agencies and the necessary action taken.”

As Private Eye correctly point out; “If he had not seen the reports into abuse at the school, how could Pierce know that the “necessary action” was taken ?”

Good question.

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Teacher Kept Job For 16 Years After Pupils Found Child Sex Tapes

Keith Perry received a suspended sentence this year because it was argued that his addiction to child pornography was a recent lapse. Is 16 years recent ? The school, St Paul’s, appear to have turned a blind eye but then what do you expect from a public school with 18 former teachers accused of sexual crimes against young boys ?

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A paedophile teacher kept his job at a top public school for 16 years after pupils found his collection of indecent videos.

Keith Perry taught for 38 years at St Paul’s School, in London, where a police inquiry began last month into sex crimes allegedly committed against boys by 18 teachers since the 1960s.

Perry was convicted this year after police raided his home last summer and found almost 600 films and photographs showing the abuse of children. In online chat rooms, the “inspirational” former head of history spoke of being sexually obsessed with boys as young as eight.

Perry, 71, who retired in 2003, escaped a jail sentence after it was claimed in court that his addiction to the “utterly repellent” images was a recent lapse by a man of “exemplary character”.

It can be revealed today, however, that Perry’s viewing tastes were discovered in 1986, when boys in a St Paul’s boarding house found a collection of videos hidden behind a row of books in his study, where he often entertained pupils. It was always kept unlocked.

A former pupil told The Times that in Perry’s absence he and a small group of boarders watched an excerpt from one of the films. He said it showed a weeping boy, aged about 13, sitting naked on a chair. The child was instructed to perform a sex act.

Inquiries by The Times confirm the boy’s recollection of having been so disturbed by the video that he reported it to a teacher, who told the school’s senior management of the alleged discovery of “homosexual pornographic videos” in the assistant housemaster’s study.

The teacher said the pupil did not give him a detailed description of the video’s content and the school remained unaware of the allegation that some footage included the abuse of children. No investigation was conducted and no formal disciplinary action was taken against Perry.

It is understood that discussions led to Perry being “quietly advised” to move out of the boarding house, which housed 60 pupils aged from 13 to 18. He taught at St Paul’s for a further 16 years.

The Times

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The Hard Truth Concerning Rape And Sexual Assault.

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by | May 19, 2014 · 7:58 pm

Op Pallial: Richard Dafydd Vevar Charged With Two Offences Of Indecent Assault

Anyone have a photo ?

A 62-year-old man from Wrexham North Wales, has been charged with two offences of indecent assault following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.

Richard Daffyd Vevar has been charged with two offences of indecent assault against a boy aged between 13 and 16. The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1986 and 1989.

He has been bailed to appear at Dolgellau Magistrates on June 2 2014. 

Operation Pallial is an investigation being conducted by the National Crime Agency (NCA) into recent allegations of historical abuse in the care system in North Wales.

National Crime Agency

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Why Did Police Fail To Pursue Rape Allegation Against Former Cabinet Minister?

Over the weekend Exaro News published a number of stories concerning an allegation that a former cabinet minister raped a 19 year old women in 1967. Part of one of the stories is quoted below with a link.

The stories suggest that the police investigating this allegation ‘bowed to political sensitivities’ by failing to pursue this allegation thoroughly and it is this suggestion that I want to look at.

Let me begin by saying that I do not doubt the account given by the victim, who Exaro call ‘Jane’. Like many I’ve been aware of this particular allegation for over a year, though I was ignorant, until now, of the precise details. A case file was passed to the CPS last summer and it was decided not to pursue charges against the individual who from this point onward I will refer to as Mr X.

Why was this when the account seemed detailed and compelling ?

It needs to first be noted that this particular allegation against Mr X is very different to other allegations that have been made against him. This allegation involves the rape of an adult female in 1967, other allegations, of varying degrees of plausibility, involve the sexual abuse of young boys in the late 1970s/early 1980s. This does not mean that Mr X could not have committed both types of crime but, as I’ll try and explain, it would have helped make the chances of a conviction remote.

At the end of the day, if the CPS had agreed to pursue charges against Mr X, it would have been Jane’s word against Mr X. After 47 years there would have been no forensic evidence and there were no witnesses to the rape. Even if Mr X could be placed at the ‘crime scene’ the prosecution would still have to have proven that Jane did not consent and all of this ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ for a jury to find Mr X guilty of rape.

This does not mean that Mr X did not rape Jane. It just means that the chances of a successful conviction would have been extremely remote.

In every recent prosecution of historic sexual abuse, whether successful or unsuccessful, there have been multiple witnesses making allegations. This is because, in the absence of forensic evidence or eye-witnesses, the prosecution hope to demonstrate through corroborative testimony of independent witnesses a Modus Operandi, of the accused.

The case of Max Clifford is a case in point. The prosecution were able to satisfactorily demonstrate to the Jury that Max Clifford had a certain way of operating because multiple independent witnesses corroborated each other’s testimony. However, if there had only been one witness making an allegation against Max Clifford, even if it had been one that has subsequently resulted in a guilty verdict, it would have been extremely unlikely to succeed.

I’m unaware of any other allegations against Mr X regarding the rape of an adult female. Other allegations involve the sexual abuse of young boys. Even if I were to believe every allegation of sexual abuse of young boys by Mr X, and I do not, and even if the police had decided to charge Mr X with the rape of Jane as well as the sexual abuse of boys, Jane could not have expected other victims to have corroborated her testimony. It would still have been her word against his.

And so, to answer the question in the title of this piece; Why did police fail to pursue rape allegations against a former cabinet minister ?

The answer is fairly simple and one doesn’t need a conspiracy or a supine police force afraid of prosecuting powerful individuals to get there. The answer is that the police do not have enough evidence.

Because it is well to remember that however compelling or detailed an allegation is the police and CPS need evidence.

My own view is that if the police ever had enough evidence to charge Mr X, or indeed any powerful person, they would not hesitate to do so.

Police stand accused of bowing to political sensitivities to avoid questioning a former Conservative cabinet minister about a claim that he raped a teenage woman.

The alleged victim says that in 1967 the ex-minister, before he became an MP, tricked her into his flat, locked her in, then raped her.  She was a 19-year-old student at the time.

In extensive interviews with Exaro the woman, and her long-term partner accuse police of looking for excuses to shelve the investigation into her allegations against the ex-minster.

She told Exaro “I am concerned people may be protecting him.”If you compare the handling of this case with some of the ‘celebrity’ investigations, there appears to be an inconsistency.  Celebrities were quickly interviewed by police, and yet the allegations are similar.”

Exaro News

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Paedophile James Poole And His Dr Who Themed Shop ‘Dawn Of Time’.

Credit needs to go to Teresa Cooper for highlighting this situation. I’m told that this is not the only young girl that Mr Poole has had a close relationship with.

James Poole’s Dawn of Time store is popular with teenage sci-fi fans from across the country.

More than 500 people have signed a petition demanding the shop in Lowestoft, Suffolk, be closed because of divorced dad-of-two Poole’s past.

Cops have also spoken to staff at the store, which includes a cafe.

Former RAF airman Poole got 18 months at Teesside Crown Court in October 2002 after 6,000 pornographic images and two CD-roms of indecent images of girls were found at his RAF Leeming digs in North Yorks.

His sentence was reduced to three months on appeal.

A source said: “Some people in Lowestoft have known about this for quite a while. He is not a very nice person.

“He is a sci-fi fanatic. That’s why he opened the shop although some think it is extremely creepy.”

On Tuesday, Dawn of Time’s official Facebook message was updated with a statement inviting people into the store to discuss the allegations.

Poole would not comment when confronted by The Sun on Sunday, who worked with child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas.

Mr Williams-Thomas, a former Surrey Police detective, said: “I don’t believe a child sex offender should be allowed to open up a cafe frequented by teens. That’s why I have teamed up with The Sun on Sunday to expose this.”

The Sun

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