Tag Archives: Operation Midland

The double-standards behind the way we investigate allegations of sex abuse

David Eatock is the latest footballer to come forward with allegations about his coach [Image: David Eatock].

David Eatock is the latest footballer to come forward with allegations about his coach [Image: David Eatock].

The media feeding-frenzy over allegations of sex abuse against footballers by their coaches just shows the hypocrisy of investigators, according to Mrs Mike.

She says what happened doesn’t matter anything like as much as who is making the complaint – and This Writer can see her point.

High-profile people like professional footballers benefit from the trust of the media – and, presumably, investigators.

But if the allegation is made by an ordinary member of the public – against a public figure – then the story is different.

The recent collapse of the Operation Midland inquiry due to questions over the credibility of its key witness has led to claims that victims should no longer be automatically believed.

That may seem like common sense to you – anybody’s allegations should be tested, right?

But it also means that it will be easier for those with something to hide to attack the credibility of people who are naturally likely to be highly nervous of authority figures and under extreme stress, simply from coming forward.

And of course, if you are making a historic child sex abuse claim against another member of the public, your chances of being believed have always been low – especially if the allegation is against somebody who has a good relationship with the police.

Mrs Mike has personal experience of that, which means that This Writer has first-hand experience of it as well.

For that matter, how many allegations of sexual abuse and/or rape carried out against adult women actually end in a successful prosecution? I’ll tell you: one-fifteenth – and that’s one-fifteenth of the three-seventeenths of rapes that are actually reported (according to figures that are – I’m sorry to say – several years old).

Don’t mistake me – any investigation that puts a paedophile in jail is welcome.

It’s just a shame our society refuses to apply the same standards to everybody.

A former Newcastle United footballer has become the latest to say he was abused by coach George Ormond.

David Eatock told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show he had been groomed by Ormond, later to be jailed for six years, between the ages of 18 and 21.

Mr Eatock, now 40, was not part of the court case that saw Ormond convicted in 2002 for assaulting seven boys, but has now filed a complaint to the police.

He said he had left the club “a shell” of his former self.

It comes as the NSPCC said its hotline – set up to offer support to victims of child sex abuse within football – had received 860 calls in its first week.

Within the first three days of it launching, the organisation made more than 60 referrals to a range of agencies across the UK.

Source: Football child sex abuse: Ex-Newcastle player David Eatock latest to speak out – BBC News

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Botched VIP paedophile inquiry: peers demand release of unredacted report

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, an independent crossbench peer, took part in the emergency debate [Image: Rex].

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, an independent crossbench peer who had been removed as chair of the independent inquiry into historical child sex abuse, took part in the emergency debate [Image: Rex].

How interesting that the Guardian should run with comments by Baroness Butler-Sloss, who was de-throned as chair of the inquiry into historical child sexual abuse because of past associations with people she might have had to investigate.

I mention this merely because the Graun doesn’t.

Like the Lords, This Writer has an automatic suspicion of redacted reports. Who decided what should be hidden, and on what criteria? How tight an interpretation of those rules did they use? What do they have to hide?

And it is no surprise that the police were working on a presumption that the people who had been accused were guilty. It seems the legal presumption of innocence is put aside whenever child sex offences are investigated. I have experience of this myself, in a case here in Mid Wales.

There was no material evidence to prove that the defendant had committed any offence, but the prosecutor simply demanded that – if he wasn’t guilty – he demonstrate who else could be. I thought that was the job of the police.

So, despite there being no evidence against him, this man was imprisoned for six years on the basis that he could not prove he wasn’t guilty, which is not a valid way for the UK legal system to work.

In this light, it seems that sight of the full report is vital. These inquiries are all about the secrets that people try to hide – let’s see what the police are hiding too.

A judge-led inquiry which has severely criticised the police investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring should be released in full, peers have said.

A summary of the report by Richard Henriques into Operation Midland, which was redacted by senior Metropolitan police officers, was released on Tuesday. It found the inquiry was launched on the basis of a single witness and made 43 separate errors.

Officers from the Met misled a senior judge to obtain search warrants and seemed to set aside the presumption of innocence to traduce the reputations of former MPs and war heroes, the report found. But only a fraction of the original 493-page report by Henriques was released to the public – and that was redacted after being examined by officers and their legal representatives.

In an emergency debate in the House of Lords, the retired judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, an independent crossbench peer, said: “It is so patently unsatisfactory that the full report is not produced for the public to read. Could I ask the minister whether in fact the Home Office should be urging the commissioner of police to make this report public?”

Following the release of the key findings, the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said he “fully recognised” D-day veteran and former army chief, Edwin Bramall, former Tory MP Harvey Proctor and the late former home secretary Leon Brittan were all “innocent of the offences of which they were accused”.

Source: Operation Midland: peers demand release of unredacted report | UK news | The Guardian

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‘Errors’ in Met’s VIP paedophile probe Operation Midland – BBC News

bbc-breaking-news

I’m fascinated to see what will happen to police officers responsible for fouling up this investigation.

My guess is: Nothing.

Meanwhile the victims will continue to suffer the effects of what happened to them, for the rest of their lives.

Numerous errors were made in Scotland Yard’s investigation into paedophile allegations against VIPs, an independent review has found.

The decision to abandon Operation Midland should have been taken “much earlier”, Sir Richard Henriques said.

He found “grave” errors in the handling of historical sex crime probes against high profile figures.

Five officers have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a result.

Source: ‘Errors’ in Met’s VIP paedophile probe Operation Midland – BBC News

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Are the paedophilia probes getting too close to the Tories?

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Blocked for 11 months: The Mail on Sunday describes how the Conservative-run Cabinet Office tried to hide information about paedophilia in the corridors of power.

According to Labour’s Simon Danczuk, the government is refusing to publish at least four files on historic child abuse because it is worried about what information may be revealed ahead of May’s general election.

Oh really? This suggests that the facts must be more damaging than any speculation. We all know that leading Conservative MPs, including at least one cabinet minister from the Thatcher era, have been implicated in the ongoing paedophile investigation.

Yesterday we learned that then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been told about child abuse allegations relating to the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, but still gave him a knighthood in 1988.

And the Daily Mirror, together with investigative news site Exaro, has revealed that police have raided the London and North Yorkshire homes of the late Leon Brittan as part of Operation Midland – set up to ­investigate historic claims of child abuse by a group of powerful men.

The Mail on Sunday report states that the Cabinet Office – run by Conservative Francis Maude – repeatedly blocked attempts to see documents about Cyril Smith, and only relented under threat of High Court action.

It said David Cameron and Nick Clegg have both been accused of colluding in the cover-up.

Mr Danczuk told the paper: “Nick Clegg and David Cameron have colluded in covering this up. It involves their people and we should not have to learn about this piecemeal because of journalists pestering for information.

“Both men need to come clean and make a personal commitment to revealing everything that is now held by Government departments.

“The Prime Minister promised there would be no stone unturned into the inquiry of historic sex abuse in Westminster. But the Cabinet Office seems to be doing the opposite.

“Clegg, who sits in this department, has already written to me refusing to carry out an investigation into who knew what about Cyril Smith in his party and it’s disappointing to see the Cabinet Office continuing this unhelpful approach.”

This is not the only information being withheld by the government prior to the general election. It is known that Jeremy Hunt is holding back a highly critical report on NHS management – apparently for political reasons.

Iain Duncan Smith is withholding information on the full cost of his disastrous Universal Credit vanity project until after the election.

And of course the government is refusing to reveal how many sick and disabled people its vicious ‘welfare reforms’ have killed off – as reported in this blog last month, and many times in the past.

Didn’t David Cameron say his would be the most open government ever, ushering in a new era of transparency? Yes he did.

What a shame this most evasive of all governments is working so hard to hide the information people need, if they are to make the right choice at the general election.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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