Monthly Archives: July 2015

How to contact the CSA Inquiry

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has today published guidance on how to share your experience.

They wish to hear from:

Anyone who was sexually abused as a child in an institutional setting like a care home, a school, a hospital or a religious, voluntary or state organisation, or who first came into contact with their abuser in an institutional setting.

Anyone who was sexually abused as a child and reported their sexual abuse to a person in authority like a police officer, a social worker or a teacher where the report was either ignored or not properly acted on.

They state:

We are obliged to pass on all allegations of child abuse to the police. However, we will not provide your name or contact details to the police without your consent, except where it is necessary to protect a child at risk of continuing abuse.

The first step is to complete and submit a form online which asks for basic information.  You do not have to answer every question.  The form can be found here:

Submit information online

You do not have to provide the Inquiry with any contact details unless you choose to do so.

If you do choose to share your contact details, you will be invited to either:

  • Meet and speak with an Inquiry member in private.  You don’t have to go alone and a trained professional will be available to provide support if you wish.  Your meeting will be recorded (audio) and a written summary will be produced which you can check and edit.  The information will be held securely.

or

  • If you do not wish to meet an Inquiry member, you may submit a detailed written account of your experiences.

The evidence you give, in writing or in person, will contribute to the final reports that the Inquiry will publish.  Your name will not be published unless you have given your permission.

IICSA Truth Project.  Sharing your experience: what to expect

IICSA: How we work

IICSA homepage

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Ben Fellows Found Not Guilty

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Ben Fellows has been found ‘Not Guilty’ of Perverting the Course of Justice

What a mess ! 

I don’t think this will be the end of this saga and it has now opened a very nasty can of worms. The allegations against Ken Clarke are entirely false but some foolish people will now mistakenly believe that this verdict validates these erroneous and ludicrous allegations. This verdict can only be based on the jury’s opinion that Ben Fellows did not deliberately and knowingly make false allegations against Ken Clarke and it can not possibly be seen as giving any credence to the allegations themselves.

Since Ben Fellows was charged I’ve made no comment regarding his character or this case. He like everyone is entitled to a fair trial and it is important not to publish anything that might prejudice that but now that the jury have delivered their verdict I’m free to say what I want and that is that Ben Fellows is a fantasist as anyone who has bothered to research his catalogue self-promotion activities online over many years will have seen.

Even if I were to believe that the allegation that Mr Fellows had been groped by someone, not Ken Clarke but someone (which incidentally I do not believe) I find it disturbing that a 19 year old actor who was playing a part of a younger boy to try and entrap gay men into such a pass should be taken up by those campaigning on behalf of survivors of child sexual abuse.

I’ll state this now; victims of CSA are not 19 year old actors playing a part and they do not get paid a wage to provoke a sexual assault. This was just another bandwagon that Mr Fellows has jumped on in an effort to promote himself.

I wrote at the top that I do not think that his will be the end of affair, I’ll explain, I expect that lawyers acting on behalf of Ken Clarke will be looking very closely at what people in the Alternative Media  and Social Media now publish and I’d expect that if anyone suggests that Ken Clarke is guilty of these false allegations then those lawyers will be instructed to begin civil proceedings. I had heard that Ken Clarke had been reluctant to do this prior to Ben Fellows being charged as it would have just given more oxygen to the stories floating around online but the circumstances have changed and I can’t see that Ken Clarke would have any other choice if he wanted to clear his name after this debacle.

Those that think that this verdict is in any way a victory for genuine victims of child sexual abuse are mistaken. False allegations like this, especially involving VIPs, are always found out in the end and do nothing but undermine the cases of those that were genuinely sexually abused as children by establishment figures. Furthermore, during the  6 weeks or so that the Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit, who have limited resources, were actively investigating Ben Fellows’ false allegations they may not have been able to adequately respond and protect children that were in danger at that time.

I’d also like to point out that because of Mr Fellows’ behaviour since his contact with the police including him secretly recording discussions and publishing them online, I can not see any other outcome than that the treatment of future CSA victims coming forward will as a consequence become far less informal and less generous.

In no way can that be described as a victory for child sexual abuse victims

A man who claimed he was sexually assaulted by former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke has been cleared of perverting the course of justice.

Ben Fellows, 40, of Solihull, in the West Midlands, had said the Conservative MP abused him in 1994.

In the trial at the Old Bailey Mr Clarke – the MP for Rushcliffe – described the claims as “preposterous”.

The jury took eight hours to find Mr Fellows, of Redstone Farm Road, Olton, not guilty of the charge.

BBC News

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In Light of the MI5 Revelation, David Cameron Must Apologise to Abuse Victims

Will Black is a writer and journalist with a background in anthropology and mental health care.

His latest book, Psychopathic Cultures and Toxic Empires, examines the corrupting influence powerful psychopaths have on societies. Examples of psychopathic and toxic cultures addressed include those within paedophile rings, politics, finance, gangs, security services, religious organisations and the media. As well as identifying distinctive characteristics of psychopathic cultures, Black highlights inherent weaknesses of organisations built on deceit and corruption.

Will also writes for the Huffington Post

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During a period last year when Gaza was being bombed relentlessly by Israel and children were routinely being killed, maimed and left homeless, I had an incredibly moving message from a contact in Gaza. They expressed concern for children in the UK who, they heard, had been abused by powerful people.
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Tragically, it would seem that, in addition to roast beef, cricket, colonialism and binge drinking, Britain is known now as a place of child abuse. Whether groomed on the streets of Oxford, Rotherham or Peterborough, or taken from children’s homes and abused by rings in London, we know that there has been organised and large scale abuse of children for decades, often at the hands of powerful people.
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Given that there has been an increase of allegations of ‘historical abuse’ in the internet age, when victims have a stronger voice, it seems likely that abuse rings have operated for much longer than since the early days of Savile and friends. Survivors from the more distant past seem less likely to have disclosed abuse, and were perhaps more likely to be disregarded and intimidated if they did. We also know from victim testimonies that some were fearful that reporting abuse would bring shame on their families.
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There is ample evidence that the intelligence services and their police arm, Special Branch, were previously involved with settings and cases where powerful people were accused of abusing children. When a story was given to the media about Cyril Smith abusing young boys, a newspaper editor had Special Branch turn up and prevent the story from coming out. MI5 links to Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland have been alleged for decades, yet the current UK child abuse inquiry won’t cover it. The allegation, which Ken Livingstone voiced decades ago in Parliament, is that MI5 officers took politicians to the home and then filmed them abusing children, in order to gain leverage over them.
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An MI5 officer appears on a list of regular visitors to Elm Guest House in Richmond upon Thames, London, where it is alleged ‘VIPs’ abused children trafficked from care homes. We do not know at this stage what information was passed to the police by the MI5 man, but we do know that when the property was finally busted there were no charges relating to child abuse but only to running a disorderly house. Investigations into abuse at the guest house continue.
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It would seem sick to most people that spies employed to help keep the country safe would knowingly allow rings of powerful sex abusers to attack children. Although I find the following reprehensible, it could be that security services have justified covering up ‘VIP’ abuse rings in the name of political stability or national security. If it was thought that the public knowing about, for example, groups of MPs abusing children, could bring down a government and lead to loss of trust in the system, then security services could find justification to cover up abuse.
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However, recent revelations that MI5 urged a cover-up to halt an investigation into a member of Margaret Thatcher’s government abusing children throw this into question. A 1986 letter, found in a search of Whitehall documents following claims that abuse allegations involving MPs were covered up, emphasises a threat of political embarrassment rather than to national security. The letter was written by the then head of MI5 Anthony Duff.
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When the initial Wanless Review of Whitehall documents pertaining to child abuse took place, David Cameron shocked campaigners and survivors by characterising those concerned with high-level cover-ups as ‘conspiracy theorists’. This seemed to me to be an outrageous thing to have said at the time and, the more we learn about the scale of abuse and impact on victims, the more outrageous it seems.
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Members of Mr Cameron’s own party have acknowledged abuse taking place and cover-ups, including former whip Tim Fortescue who, in 1995, said: “Anyone with any sense, who was in trouble, would come to the whips and tell them the truth and say ‘now listen, I’m in a jam, can you help?’ It might be debt, it might be a scandal involving small boys, or any kind of scandal in which a member seemed likely to be mixed up in. They’d come and ask if we could help and if we could, we did. And we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points… it does sound a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.”
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Those covering up abuse by powerful people in the 60s, 70s or 80s may have been confident that allegations could just disappear. Choosing already marginalised kids in care homes to abuse meant victims could be disregarded. ‘Who’s going to believe this kid from a home over a politician / celebrity or bishop?’ might have been a reassuring thought for abusers. That assumption has proved misguided – the public has believed them and so have courts.
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Rather than remain marginalised and discredited figures, survivors of abuse have found a stronger voice, aided by the internet and supported by many diligent campaigners. It is time that David Cameron publicly recognises the bravery that victims of abuse have shown in coming forwards and attempting to find justice for themselves and others. He could begin this by apologising for calling those seeking justice ‘conspiracy theorists’.

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The Curious Case of the Mandarin’s Memory

By Tim Tate.

When the Duff letter emerged on Thursday last week, I e-mailed Lord Armstrong to ask five fairly straightforward questions.   They were:-

  1. Whether you recall receiving this letter ?
  2. What you did with the information ?
  3. Whether you passed on the allegations concerning this MP in question to the Prime Minister and/or the Chief Whip ?
  4. Whether you made any attempt to speak with MP yourself about the allegations ?
  5. Whether, in more recent times, you informed the Home Office and/or its recent internal enquiries about the existence of this letter ?

 

He did not reply immediately, but was apparently willing to give some kind of statement to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. He told the Telegraph:

 

My official business was the protection of national security. I have to stress that there was nothing like evidence in this case. There was just a shadow of a rumour. It’s impossible to take investigative action on shadows of rumours. . . If there is some reason to think a crime has been committed, then people like the cabinet secretary are not to start poking their noses into it. It’s for the police to do that.

 

And he told the Mail:

 

I thought MI5’s actions were correct at the time. I think they were right to report the rumour, they were right to make what inquiries they could and they were right to come to the conclusion they did. I think if there was evidence it would have been properly examined at the time. I don’t think this is a matter of important people being protected. You can’t pursue inquiries unless you have evidence on which you can base the enquiry. A shadow of a rumour is not enough.

 

This afternoon, Lord Armstrong finally sent a response (from his House of Lords email account) to my five questions. It appeared that in the three days since he had spoken to the Telegraph and Mail, his memory had suffered a catastrophic failure. He wrote:-

 

 I am afraid that I do not remember receiving Sir Antony Duff’s letter, or what I did when I received it.   It is now a long time ago, and there were a lot of other things going on at the time.

Yours sincerely,

Armstrong of Ilminster

 

Sir Robert famously brought into public usage the concept of being (as he put it during the 1986 Spycatcher trial) “economical with the truth”.    But the question of what actions the second most powerful civil servant in the country took about allegations that one of the most senior Tory politicians was a paedophile is too important to be left to this sort of evasive nonsense.

Lord Armstrong thus joins the lengthening list of the great and good who must be summonsed to testify at Lord Justice Goddard’s Public Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.    A little robust cross-examination might do wonders to help the noble Lord recover his powers of recollection.

Tim Tate Blog 26/07/15

Lord Armstrong talking to Tom Bateman (Radio 4), 31st January 2015 about Sir Peter Hayman:
The Needle

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Aylesbury Child Sex Ring

Six men involved in a child sex ring in Buckinghamshire have been found guilty of abusing two schoolgirls on a “massive scale”.
The Old Bailey heard the abuse in Aylesbury went on for years and involved rape and child prostitution.
Eleven defendants faced trial, accused of 47 sexual offences between 2006 and 2012.
Four were cleared of any wrongdoing, while the jury could not reach a verdict on one of the men.
The six who have been convicted will be sentenced in September.

BBC 24.7.15

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The Aylesbury child sex ring was not discovered as most would expect – with a victim complaining to the police, a parent voicing concerns or online surveillance. It began with the main victim – known throughout the case as child A – trying to prevent her own children being taken into care.

Between the ages of 12 and 16, she had sex with about 60 men, nearly all of them Asian. Sometimes, this sex was “consensual”, sometimes it was rape.

The efforts of Buckinghamshire social services to have Child A’s two young sons taken into care were halted when she spoke out about sexual abuse she had suffered. The case – heard in the Family Court – had centred on her own fitness to be a mother. The police investigation into Child A’s claims started soon after.

Social services were well aware of the victim – she had been on its children-at-risk register from the age of seven. And over the years the records held by various public organisations about her life swelled. But paperwork did not prevent the ongoing abuse of Child A, or a second girl – Child B – who was also abused by some of the men and who, again, was known to social services.

It is understood Child A may have raised issues of sexual abuse previously with social services but nothing was done.

David Johnston, managing director for children’s services at Buckinghamshire County Council, declined to comment on any “previous contact (Child A had) with social care”.

More…

BBC 24.7.15

 

 

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The Friday Night Song

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