Will this be the silliest headline ?
Monthly Archives: June 2014
Jenny Hopkins, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS in London, said:
“Rolf Harris used his status and position as a world famous children’s entertainer to sexually assault young girls over a period spanning 18 years.
“The victims in this case have suffered in silence for many years and have only recently found the courage to come forward. I would like to pay tribute to the bravery they displayed in coming to court and giving evidence. That bravery and determination has seen Rolf Harris brought to justice and held to account.
“Each victim, unknown to the others, described a similar pattern of behaviour; that of a man acting without fear of the consequences.
“The prosecution of sexual offences is often difficult and complex, perhaps even more so when the allegations are from some years ago. We will continue to consider cases and wherever there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will work with police and victims to build strong cases which can be put before a court.
“I hope today’s verdict provides other victims with the courage and confidence to come forward no matter who is alleged to have carried out the abuse and when.”
Following the 26th June 2014 Commons Statement on Jimmy Savile by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, these two extracts are from Andy Burnham’s (Shadow Health Secretary) reply;
‘Reading the reports, it is not at all clear to me that a proper process has yet been put in place to hold people who failed in their public duties to account.
Can he assure us that, if evidence is revealed in any of these reports that any person still working in the NHS or Department of Health knowingly facilitated these crimes will now face the full weight of the law and that those who were negligent in respect of their duties will be held to account?’
It’s not clear why he’s drawn the line at ‘still working for the NHS or Department of Health’. Surely anyone involved who was negligent in their public duties should be held to account, irrespective of where they work today?
‘The Broadmoor Report raises serious questions about the conduct of the civil servants and ministers in the Department of Health in how Savile came to be appointed to lead the task force.
A meeting between Edwina Currie and Jimmy Savile in September 1988 records what he would like to do at the hospital if the Minister would “press the button” and records that she promised to give him her full support.
In evidence to the inquiry, Mrs Currie describes the main objective of Savile’s appointment as follows: “The principal question was can Government break this hold that the Prison Officers Association has on the hospital.”
She went on to say: “This task force was dreamed up and seemed like a very good idea and step forward Jimmy Savile who knew the place backwards and was more than happy to volunteer his time to do this. And we were happy to do it.”
It paints a picture of chaos in the department and a complete absence of due process for appointments of this kind.
These are extraordinary revelations…’
They are indeed.
On the surface, it would certainly seem that the appointment of Savile was more about political problem solving, rather than any particular regard for the patients at Broadmoor.
Interesting also that this article from the Sunday Express emerges today, alleging that Special Branch funded PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) between 1977 and 1980 to an amount equivalent to £400,000 in today’s money.
A retired official, who worked for Clifford Hindley in the Home Office Voluntary Services Unit, claimed;
‘[Hindley] said PIE was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles.’
“Hindley didn’t give me an explicit explanation of what Special Branch would do with information it gleaned from funding PIE, but I formed the belief that it was part of an undercover operation or activity. I was aware a lot of people in the civil service or political arena had an interest in obtaining information like that which could be used as a sort of blackmail.”
Perhaps the motive really was to identify people who were paedophiles with the intent to bring them to justice, and that maybe this contributed to the demise of PIE in 1985. However, its hard to be certain that this is the whole truth, when other reports suggest that Special Branch and MI5 were intent on burying evidence against MP Cyril Smith.
The Channel 4 Dispatches program, ‘How Cyril Smith got away with it’, broadcast on 12 Sept 2013, contains this;
‘Speaking for the first time, former CID officer Jack Tasker tells the programme that Special Branch officers arrived at his office, told him to halt his investigations and demanded that the file be handed over to them,.“They made it quite clear that anything that was kept by us would bring repercussions if we didn’t hand it over; that as far as we are concerned, the inquiry is finished … you will take no more inquiries into Cyril Smith.”
The file ended up being locked away in a safe at Special Branch offices in Lancashire. Former Special Branch Officer Tony Robinson tells Channel 4 Dispatches that he was surprised that a criminal file on Smith was being held by his department in the 1970s. He later received a call from MI5 asking for the file to be sent to them in London. At the time, Smith’s political star was rising as the Labour and Liberal parties were negotiating a political pact to keep the government in power.
Another former officer, Paul Foulston, tells Channel 4 Dispatches that he was warned off interviewing a victim of Smith and told to halt his investigation by two senior Special Branch officers. “It was quite apparent to us that they were in effect protecting Cyril Smith and not investigating him,” he says’.
Channel 4 Dispatches – Press Info
Maybe its now time that the task of looking in all the grubby corners and cupboards of our establishment is undertaken by a competent and fully empowered authority, with the mandate to publicly expose wrongdoings.
Until then, there will be doubts.
Extracts from Janice Turner’s Opinion article in The Times today;
A freelance despot, Savile befriended both high and low in the NHS. In return, they helped him commit his crimes
In the whole 253-page report into Jimmy Savile’s activities at Leeds General Infirmary there is just one instance where he troubles hospital bosses. Doctors complain that, although only a volunteer porter, he is plonking his vast Rolls-Royce in the consultants’ car park, filling two bays.
Savile skulking the wards in the dead of night; his access to nurses’ quarters and mortuary alike; the near-universal disgust felt for him by female staff — and, of course, his copious crimes — were not under their purview.
For a study in absolute power — how to win and exercise it; how to create useful allies and deflect would-be enemies; how to indulge undetected your taste for violence, humiliation and sexual depravity; how to steal trophies from the dead and the innocence from children and yet be garlanded with honours — forget Machiavelli. Read the Leeds and Broadmoor hospital Savile reports. Not every despot needs a nation; some go freelance.
The first principle of Savile’s modus operandi was: sort out the top and the bottom, then the middle will neither care nor dare. So at Leeds he first befriends night porters, dropping in for late-night chats, buying TVs for their seedy hospital bolt holes where they drank, played cards and entertained women. All against the rules, but Savile wouldn’t tell if they kept his secrets, too.
Besides keeping sweet the lowliest men, Savile ingratiated himself with the most powerful. At Leeds he befriended the chief governor; in Broadmoor he actually chose him, after Edwina Currie bizarrely trusted his judgment in heading up a task force to change hospital culture. He promised the minister he’d win officers’ compliance by threatening to expose their overtime fiddling to The Sun. He never did; conscious, no doubt, of what they had on him.
In Broadmoor, he didn’t need the slapdash security guards to lend him keys, to slip him in without question as he had in Leeds. The governor gave him, along with an office and a house near the grounds, a whole set of his own. This not only afforded him a back route to the women’s wards, but guaranteed nurses never challenged what he was allowed to see. Some were uncomfortable as Savile watched the female patients bathe, commenting on their “nice Bristols”. But they knew he had the power to have them sacked.
“No one knew” is the Savile refrain. But they saw, they heard, they knew.
This is a summary of the findings of 28 hospitals’ investigations:
Imagine their surprise, shock, horror and amazement when it first transpired that he was a predatory paedophile. Now it is confirmed that the serial sex abuser and necrophile had attacked both males and females aged between 5 years old and 75 years old on NHS premises.
This Knight managed to avoid detection from vetting, making our security services look pretty stupid, since it seems he was best mates with Lord Mountbatten, Prince Philip and both Prince Charles and Lady Diana. That’s not to mention his closeness to politicians such as Prime Minister Thatcher and Cyril Smith.
Or even the fact that a clown DJ, with no medical qualifications, was appointed head of the Broadmoor Hospital Task force in 1988, where he had keys and unrestricted access. He was even referred to as a Doctor in the Parliamentary notes at the time.
Were they all asleep on the job?
Today’s report from the investigation covering 28 NHS trusts make for very grim reading.
A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “deeply shocked”, adding it was “important lessons are learned”.
I’m certain he might have also added that ‘no stone would be left unturned’ if he’d remembered this other worthless phrase.
None of this will be news to regular readers of the Needle, but hopefully the greater masses might begin to stir from their slumber to see the scale of the cesspit that surrounds us all.
Not for one minute do I believe that this is ancient history which was only perpetrated by people who are now dead, and that it can’t happen today.
It’s time for our politicians to take a good look at themselves.
More important though is that its time for us to take a good look at our politicians.
• Anyone needing support should contact the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) on 0808 801 0331
Dear Sir Tony,
You will no doubt be aware of the growing clamour, now joined by a cross-party group of over 40 MPs, for an Independent Hillsborough type Inquiry in to decades of organised abuse by networks that have infiltrated both the care system and the boarding school institutions of this country.
These networks include politicians, both national and local, from all political parties as well as residential social workers,police officers, teachers, judges, civil servants to name but a few.
You will no doubt be aware of the PMQ yesterday, 11th June, by Duncan Hames, until recently PPS to the Deputy Prime Minister, in whichasked for the Prime Minister’s support for such an Inquiry but Mr. Cameron felt that the Home Office had the situation under control and no further measure was required.
I am the retired Child Protection Team Manager who approached MP, Tom Watson, in October 2012, as a result of which Mr. Watson also asked a PMQ, on 24th October 2012 which subsequently led to the setting up of Operation Fernbridge by the Metropolitan Police.
You may recall that the PMQ involved the allegation that an elite paedophile ring had a link with .
As you will know Operation Fernbridge is ongoing and I receive regular feedback on the progress of that investigation.
I would like to ask for your support as my local MP for an Independent Inquiry and would like an appointment with you please to discuss my reasons in much more detail.
On a website called Spotlightonabuse:The Past on Trial you will see my Open Letter to David Cameron, with copies to Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband and also their responses.
You will also see details of a meeting a close colleague, and acknowledged expert on child protection, and I had with Norman Baker, Minister of Justice at the Home Office on 15th May 2014.
I can forward you copies of all these documents at any point.
There are grounds to look closely at the behaviour of over 40 Members of the Commons and Lords, some living and some now dead, in connection with the actual abuse of very vulnerable children or with its cover up. This number is likely to grow during the course of a proper investigation.
I think the case against Cyril Smith and Peter Morrison is strong evidence of how easy it was for paedophiles to remain hidden within the corridors of power. Their cases are unfortunately the tip of the iceberg.
You are the ideal MP for me to approach not only because you are my constituent MP but because I understand that you are, according to your Wikipedia entry, “one of the last of those made a Minister by Margaret Thatcher still to be in the House of Commons”
The allegations I took to Tom Watson which resulted in the current Police investigations involve Mrs.Thatcher’s period as Prime Minister.
Many questions remain unanswered about a number of her key appointments and as her personal assistant in the 1974 General Election and, upon her becoming Leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, you joined her Private Office and so I must assume were very close to her and by definition some of the people I believe should be subject to an Independent Inquiry.
Your perspective could be extremely helpful.
The persistence of Mrs. Thatcher in pressing ahead with the Knighthood of Jimmy Savile despite opposition from her closest advisers, his alleged attendance at multiple private Chequers parties, his being granted the keys to Broadmoor in 1988, together with her appointment of Peter Morrison, a well known paedophile according to a number of fellow MPs, as her PPS raise many serious questions that need answering and only an Independent Inquiry on a Hillsborough based model will satisfy the electorate.
There are allegations against MPs of all parties under several different Governments and this is not a party political isue.
I can go in to much more detail in a face to face meeting but at this stage would ask for your support in joining the 40 plus MPs who have already pledged their support for an Independent Inquiry
Following the recent EU ruling, it emerges that the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill currently going through parliament, contains some disturbing legislation, as identified in the Times by Frances Gibb.
Publishers fear that a government measure to prevent jurors from seeking online material related to trials could pose a threat to press freedom.
According to The Times’s legal editor, Frances Gibb, the problem has emerged in a little noticed clause in the criminal justice and courts bill now going through its parliamentary stages.
The bill creates a new criminal offence for jurors, punishable with up to two years’ jail, should they conduct research prohibited by a judge.
But the measure also gives the attorney-general the power to require publishers to take down material from their website archives. Publishers would be issued with a notice ordering them to remove material that is deemed by a judge to prejudice criminal proceedings
If they fail to do so they would face prosecution for contempt of court.
Gibb, pointing out that the measure has caused alarm for both print and broadcast outlets, reports that eight media organisations have warned of the potential “chilling effect” on the operation and accessibility of news archives.
She quotes Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, as saying that the new power is objectionable in both principle and practice.
He said: “The bill could have a highly restrictive effect upon the freedom to publish far beyond that intended and ultimately be capable of creating black holes in the historic record.”
Gibb raises practical problems too. Although the attorney-general may not wish to issue blanket notices, it is a likely result of lawyers making a variety demands about specific passages in articles.
Similarly, how would such a law work in relation to websites located outside the UK jurisdiction?
The current attorney-general, Dominic Grieve, believes the measures provide a defence for publishers who face contempt prosecutions. But Satchwell thinks the new criminal sanctions for jurors are deterrent enough.
He is quoted as saying: “We are not convinced that this is a growing problem — nor that it can’t be dealt with through the new criminal offences, powers to search and seize electronic devices and strong juror directions and juror education.”
The bill, having gone through the commons, is due to go to the lords soon. Media lawyers and executives are likely to press peers to strike out the offending clauses.
Links to the relevant Parliament pages:
Criminal Justice Bill
Criminal Justice Bill Impact Assessment Documents
Criminal Justice Bill Overarching Impact Assessment PDF Document
D-Day Tribute to all who were sacrificed on 6th June 1944.
Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said: “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to Paul Gadd, also known as Gary Glitter. He was arrested on 28 October 2012 over allegations of sexual offences and the police have been providing material to the CPS since July 2013, with the most recent material submitted in March 2014.
“Having completed our review, we have concluded, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Gadd to be charged with eight offences under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. These relate to two female complainants aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged offending between 1977 and 1980.
“Mr Gadd will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 19 June 2014.
“We have also decided that no further action should be taken in relation to five allegations made by two further complainants as we determined there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.
“May I remind all concerned that Mr Gadd has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
The charges relating to the first complainant, who was aged 12 or 13 at the time of the alleged offending, are:
- Two counts of indecent assault between 31 January and 31 May 1977
- One count of administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse between 31 January and 31 May 1977
- One count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13 between 31 January and 31 May 1977
- Two counts of indecent assault between 31 May and 31 December 1977
The charges relating to the second complainant, who was aged 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged offending, are:
- Two counts of indecent assault between 1 October 1979 and 31 December 1980
Six men will appear at Mold Magistrates Court next week to face a total of 27 charges of serious sexual assault, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Five men have been charged with a total of 26 offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery and have been bailed to appear at Mold on June 12.
A sixth man, from the Wrexham area, has been summonsed to appear at the same court hearing, charged with one offence of indecent assault against one of the same two boys.
The offences are alleged to have taken place against two boys aged under 16, between 1981 and 1986.
All the offences are believed to have been committed at addresses in the Wrexham area.
These charges arise from the National Crime Agency’s Operation Pallial, an investigation into recent allegations of historical abuse in the care system in North Wales.
The five men charged and bailed are:
Mark Granger, (aka Gary Cooke), aged 63, from Leicester. He is charged with three counts of indecent assault and two counts of buggery.
Marc Roy Norry, aged 54, from Connah’s Quay, North Wales. He is charged with four counts of indecent assault, one count of buggery and one count of attempted buggery.
David Lightfoot, aged 71, from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault, one count of buggery and one count of attempted buggery.
Edward Huxley, aged 69, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault.
Keith Stokes, aged 61, from Farndon, Chester, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault, three counts of gross indecency, one count of buggery and one count of attempted buggery.
A 62-year-old man from Wrexham has been summonsed to appear at the same court to face one count of indecent assault. This man will be named following his court appearance.
A total of nine people have so far been charged with offences by Operation Pallial.
Edwina Currie nee Cohen, and now Jones, is well known for her comment that Peter Morrison, who became Margaret Thatchers Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS), was a noted pederast. A pederast is amanwhohassexualrelations,especiallyanalintercourse,withaboy .
However the passage in her diaries  contains more information. It states that Morrison admitted as much to Norman Tebbit. So what else does Norman Tebbit know? Have police interviewed him? Edwina states that the appointment of Morrison attracted a lot of gossip so many people could know.
The diaries go on “She [Margaret Thatcher] either knows and is taking a chance, or doesn’t; either way is a really dumb move. Did Thatcher know? Its too late to ask her – but her aides and colleagues at the time could be asked. Should she have known? What vetting occurs of PPS…
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For the first time in British legal history, two men charged with serious terrorism offences will be kept anonymous and the press and public will be excluded from their trial, the Court of Appeal heard.
MPs and civil rights campaigners said it was an “outrageous assault” on the principles of open justice and set a “very dangerous precedent”.
Prosecutors have successfully applied for the case to be heard in private on grounds of national security but media organisations are trying to overturn the decision.
Journalists have up until now even been banned from reporting the fact that a trial was to be heard in secret.
The move has fuelled concerns over the growth of secret justice in British courts, which has already spread to civil cases and celebrity privacy challenges.
But a major criminal case being heard entirely behind closed doors risks ripping up the very tradition of open justice in the UK, which dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215.
Former children’s minister Tim Loughton and Conservative backbencher Zac Goldsmith are calling for a national inquiry into historical cases of child sex abuse.
Goldsmith has co-ordinated a high-powered, cross-party group of MPs to sign a joint letter to Theresa May, home secretary, urging her to set up an independent panel to investigate repeated failures by police and other authorities in a wide variety of cases.
The seven MPs in the group also want the inquiry to investigate why crucial files, surveillance videos and other material has gone missing in relation to allegations against prominent people.
The MPs also include Tom Watson and Simon Danczuk, from Labour; Tessa Munt and John Hemming, Liberal Democrat; and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas.
The seven want an investigation similar to the independent inquiry into Hillsborough, the football disaster of 1989. That inquiry was seen to have uncovered the truth about an episode that was mired in controversy and reflected especially badly on police.
Several inquiries have been set up in the wake of the exposure in 2012 of Jimmy Savile, the late BBC star, as a paedophile, but there has long been concern that these are too disparate.