Saturday, 2 May 2015

A Right AVP Devon Mash-up

From the country that is the UK (Uncaring Kingdom) comes the above story of 2 girls, who have to be locked into their bedroom each night, due to the fact they live with a paedophile for s stepfather.
Aided and abetted by "Selfish Mum" and TPTB - Devon MASH.
Proof (as if any is needed), that nothing will ever change in the UK when it comes to safeguarding and protecting children.
I will leave you to read the articles, if you haven't already, and contemplate the facts of the story.
Devon MASH have a website, which includes several amazingly bold statements which counteract this decision totally - one of the best being "The MASH is staffed with professionals from a range of agencies including police, probation, fire, ambulance, health, education and social care. These professionals share information to ensure early identification of potential significant harm, and trigger interventions to prevent further harm" Unbelievable isn't it.
Several obvious questions have to be asked at the very least. Locking a child in a room is abuse in itself. What happens if case of a fire? What happens if the monitor stops working? What happens if the girls are ill? (vomit out of the window?), what happens when the mother takes a shower or baths(lock-up time again?), what affect will this have on the long term wellbeing and mental health of the girls? Children need the safety and freedom that should come with childhood - not grow up in an extended prison environment - let out for the day then face lock-up each night.
Ultimately of course, the blame is placed squarely with "Selfish Mum" - who in the world would take the side of a new paedophile husband over their own flesh & blood? This goes against all normal human instincts, and if the choice has been made by "Selfish Mum", the children should not have to be in a situation where their childhood and safety is taken away from them in this way.
Of course, as well as "Selfish Mum" taking the blame, Devon MASH have a huge amount to answer to. With such an arrangement of "experts" (hmmmm), detailed above, how did they come to such a catastrophically awful decision? "Ensure early identification of potential significant harm and trigger interventions to prevent further harm" - don't make me laugh - how does living with a paedophile stepfather and being imprisoned each night constitute this??
In 1991, the UK ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of a child. Included in the charter are the below articles:
  • Article 3
    1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
    2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
    3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.
  • Article 9
    1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
    2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known
  • Article 19
    1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
    2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
  • Article 27
    1. States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
    2. The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development.
  • Article 34
    States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent:
    (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity
Never mind the Human Rights of "Selfish Mum" and "Paedo Stepfather" - who exactly is looking out for the Human Rights of these 2 girls? Who is representing and advocating for them on their behalf with this situation? Certainly not Devon MASH, who seem more interested in the rights of Selfish Mum & Paedo Stepfather. Certainly not their "Selfish Mum".
This really needs to be resolved quickly - no child should have to grow up being locked away at night to be protected from a paedophile stepfather who still poses a risk to young girls. Whilst decisions like this are being made, it just proves the point that everyone knows - lessons are NOT being learnt, and nothing will EVER change in this country.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Northern Ireland and Sarah's Law (Not)

Sarah Payne
So says the title of this article, which was published in the Belfast telegraph last week. Rather a misleading assumption imho, has anyone ever stated that Sarah's Law was a one-stop remedy for paedophilia?
This is a very anti-Sarah's Law article from start to finish, and is filled with the usual misconceptions and unproven myths about the scheme, and also seems to be confusing Sarah's Law with online vigilantism. I am not sure how much about the workings of Sarah's law the author knows - not a lot by reading through it.
"Our Justice Minister, David Ford, is against introducing the legislation here. He fears it could lead to vigilante-type attacks". I would like to know why and how exactly Mr Ford thinks this? In the first place, any disclosures that are made (if necessary), are made in strictest confidence, only to the person/people directly responsible for the child or children concerned, and with the condition that they do not pass any information onto third parties. Secondly, sites on social networking that "name and shame" paedophiles and sex offenders, are far more likely to lead to vigilante-type attacks, where names, (potentially) addresses and all details are available for all and sundry to see, and more often than not are seemingly there just for the purpose of people venting their hatred towards this crime.
"Sarah's Law allows information to be given not just on those convicted of a sexual offence, but those against whom unproven allegations have been made" Really? Is this really the case? Sarah's Law is there as a "right to know", for parents to be able to better protect their child against someone who their child is in contact with who could pose a risk to the child's safety. From the guidelines "If police checks show that the individual has a record for child sexual offences, or other offences that might put the child at risk, the police will consider sharing this information with the person(s) best placed to protect the child," Note the "Has a record" bit. Obviously people who have had unproven allegations made against them will not fall into this category. Why has the author assumed this? Where has the author gotten this from?
"Another danger is that the sex offender register lists a 16-year-old, who had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend and who poses no threat to children" And? If a disclosure request is made, would the police disclose such information? Would this person pose a risk towards children? Again, from the guidelines "If the checks show that the individual you are asking about has a record for child sexual offences or other information that indicates they pose a risk of serious harm to the child, the police may disclose this to the person who is most able to protect the child. It should be noted that details about a person’s previous convictions are treated as confidential and that the police will disclose information only if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so in the interests of protecting a child from harm" As per my previous point, note the highlighted part. "Only if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate". Using the example given by the author, this would be none of the three and I am sure a disclosure would not be made in this case.
"Under Sarah's Law I foresee a flood of requests for information about the sad, lonely bachelor who lives in the most run-down house in the neighbourhood." Quite possibly. However, with the aim of the scheme being "to give parents, carer, guardians and other interested parties a more formal mechanism for requesting information about an individual who has contact with their child or a child close to them if they are concerned that the individual is a child sexual offender", anyone who made such requests would be sent away with no information. Sarah's Law does not allow for such requests to be made (made maybe, but action taken, nope). Maybe the author should read These five scenarios, particularly the fourth one, to understand a bit better. And a "flood"? Jersey has had Sarah's Law for two years now, and rather than a flood, requests have been a trickle. Two requests in two years so far (as far as I know). There may not have been a "flood" of requests, but this Law is there for those who need it. If it helps  safeguard one child, that is a positive result.
"I don't know the answers but I do know it's time we held our noses and dealt comprehensively with this issue. Because hysteria, ranting, or opting for gimmicks, does nothing to enhance child safety." Agree 100% with the first point. I wonder what Sara Payne would think, hearing the scheme she fought for being called a "gimmick"? I wonder what the people who have requested and received disclosures, being better able to protect their children from know child sex offenders would think - would they think this "a gimmick"?
I could go on, but you get the gist. Every unproven excuse there is. You'd think, with the success of Sarah's Law in the UK, these myths would have been put to bed a long time ago. Not so it seems.
Northern Ireland have been campaigning for Sarah's Law (along with Isle of Man) for a lot longer than we did here in Jersey. Quite why the NI Government (and IOM as well) are so reluctant (or scared?) to implement this scheme is a mystery to me. Sarah's Law is not the be-all and end-all in protecting children, but is one way that parents can protect their children . I hope that David Ford will one day realise this, and get this introduced in NI. Thankfully not all people are as negative as Suzanne Breen is (author of this article), the vast majority are, like me, fully supportive of this scheme.
For more information, please read these comprehensive guidelines on Sarah's Law

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ann Coffey MP Rids Legislation of AVP - Will the Media Follow Suit?

MP Ann Coffey
Excellent news.
Will the media now follow suit & stop their never-ending AVP?
If I get any replies, will keep this post updated (sent to all the major media outlets).
"Good evening all,
You are probably aware, that last week Ann Coffey MP was successful last week, in her campaign to remove the term "Child Prostitute" from all legislation in the UK (see link in subject -
Also, as tweeted, she has also stated that the term "Child Pornography" is also to be banished from any legislation.
I realise, that I have on numerous occasions, e-mailed all the UK national newspapers to both complain when they have used such terms and also to request that they stop using them, however it has always been somewhat difficult to put my case across when they are used in legislation (although The Sun, following the regular columns by Dr Sara Payne & Shy Keenan stopped using "Child Porn" a couple of years ago, and The Guardian amended their style guide a few years ago following an earlier e-mail from myself, and no longer use the term "Child Porn").
Now that MP Ann Coffey has been successful, and these prejudicial terms are finally being removed from legislation, I have one last plea.
Please could you, like the Sun & Guardian, pledge to stop using these  two terms, namely "Child Porn / Child Pornography", and "Child Prostitute" in any reporting, going forward. These are two awful phrases, which both force the onus onto the Child (i.e. "child prostitute", which indicates the child prostituting themselves as opposed to a "prostituted child", which places the onus squarely on the offender), and describe disgusting crimes in paedophile-friendly speak (only someone sexually attracted to children would refer to images of child abuse / child exploitation as any sort of "pornography", the rest of the populace would see them as images of child abuse - visual evidence of sexual exploitation or crimes against a child).
 As I have said, I have asked this of you numerous time previously with very little positive responses, however with this soon to be change in legislation, this is the perfect time for the major UK media outlets to follow Ann Coffey's lead and show that they have at least some understanding of the power of language, and for them to amend their style guides to remove both these terms once and for all. I know there are lots more awful terms used when describing child abuse, but these are the main two.
If you disagree, please could you let me know why you disagree - if you agree, it would be a huge step forward for you and it would be great to get acknowledgement of this from yourselves.
Many thanks"
I have no doubt, that I will receive very few (if any) replies. The national media have a habit of not responding (I will re-email this next week), unlike local media throughout the UK who are more than willing to discuss (good or bad).
But we keep on trying. One day it will "click".

Saturday, 14 February 2015

The ULS (Unduly Lenient Sentences) Scheme - an Update

In previous posts I have explained how the ULS scheme works in the UK, and how any member of the public can appeal against sentences that appear "unduly lenient", providing the conditions are met (sentence was passed down in a Crown Court, and within 28 days of sentencing). In my previous posts I have indicated the e-mail addresses for England and Scotland, as I understood at the time.

However it appears that Scotland does not have the same sort of scheme as England.

In January, there was a story of a paedophile, in Scotland, who molested a nine year old girl in her bed with her six year old brother in a bed next to her. His "punishment" (if that is what it can be called) was 200 hours Community Service over a period of nine months.

The old cliché "couldn't make it up" comes to mind.

So, this was a case that I appealed against, in the usual way. I have to admit, I have not appealed against many Scottish cases, most of the ones I have done are for English cases.

Yesterday I found out, by return e-mail, that for sentences passed down in Scotland the public cannot make a "ULS" appeal (the first time that I have been told of this - normally the e-mails I receive back are acknowledgements and I don't hear anything else).

It seems that the only people that can appeal, are the offenders (if they consider the sentence to be too severe), and  the COPFS (Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service) if they consider sentences to be too lenient.

"Thank you for your email dated 10 January 2015 regarding a sentence that was imposed on an offender for child abuse.  Your email has been passed to the Criminal Law and Licensing Division and I have been asked to reply.
I wish to reassure you that the Scottish Government deplores sexual and physical abuse.  These deplorable crimes, which can have a devastating effect on victims and their families, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated and our communities must be protected from sex offenders.  We are working with all relevant agencies to ensure that children, young people and adults are given the best possible protection from harm. 
I have noted your comments regarding the sentence that was imposed.  I must advise you that the Scottish Ministers cannot offer a view on sentences imposed in individual cases.  The independence of the judiciary is an essential pre-requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial in any modern civilised country.  That is why section 1 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008 provides that Scottish Ministers must not seek to influence judicial decisions.  Therefore, you will understand why the Scottish Government will not offer a specific view on any individual sentencing decision made by our courts. 
It is the case that judges are best placed to decide on an appropriate sentence for each offender before them as they hear all the facts and circumstances of a case before they then make their sentencing decisions within the overall legal framework provided by Parliament.   If the judge considers an offence, based on all the facts of the particular case, merits a tough and lengthy custodial sentence, then this Government fully supports that. 
In relation to your request that an appeal be lodged against the sentence, it may be helpful if I explain more about appeals process within the justice system in Scotland.  Anyone who is convicted of a crime in Scotland can appeal against the sentence if they consider it is too severe.  Equally, the independent Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) can appeal against a sentence if they feel it is unduly lenient.  Crown Counsel will give careful consideration as to whether a sentence was unduly lenient or if the sentence imposed is within the range available to the judge in the exercise of their normal judicial discretion.  The decision to appeal against a sentence is a decision for the independent COPFS to make and, as with judicial decisions, the Scottish Government cannot intervene in such decisions.  Where COPFS appeal against a sentence as being unduly lenient, it is for the court to decide whether the appeal is successful.".

So, if there are any "couldn't make this shit up" decisions in Scotland, not much us the plebs can do. Shame, there have been many successful appeals in England, why don't the Scottish Government have a similar scheme.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Ray Teret, Double Standards & FOI's - an Update

Dear Mr Bougeard

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Request

I refer to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request which we received on 22 December 2014.

The FOI Act gives you the right to know whether we hold the information you want and to have it communicated to you, subject to any exemptions which may apply. It is a public disclosure regime, not a private regime. This means that any information disclosed under the FOI Act by definition becomes available to the wider public. 

In your request you referred to the sentencing remarks relating to Ray Teret’s conviction, who was recently sentenced to 25 years for child abuse charges.  You asked the following questions below and I have supplied our answer in bold font next to each question:
Please could you let me know: 
1)   Was the charge of "intercourse with a girl between 13 and 16" considered to begin with? (Yes or No) Yes
2)   Due to the length of time between the crime and disclosure, was the charge amended to "indecent assault" to guarantee a conviction? (Yes or No) No
3)   If question 1) was "No", why was it No? N/A
4) Ray Teret was cleared of various other sexual offences in relation to six other complainants - a)  did any of these relate to the crime "intercourse with girl between 13 and 15", No 
and b) was he cleared because of the 12 month timescale (Yes or No to 'a' and 'b' ) No

I trust this information assists.
Needless to say, one further FOI has been submitted in relation to questions and answers one and two.
More to follow when I receive an update.
In the meantime, please keep signing & sharing my petition

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Double Standards, Ray Teret, Indecent Assault and Bending the Rules

On December 11 2014, Ray Teret was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for his catalogue of crimes against girls. A sentence well justified.
The sentencing remarks by Mr Justice Baker are interesting reading, when comparing them against the petition I started last year.
Reading through them, it is apparent that double standards have been applied in this case, when compared to other cases which have involved the same crime.
According to Justice Baker here , five out of the eleven victims, aged between thirteen and fifteen "consented" to their abuse (yes I know, AoC is sixteen and to imply consent does not make sense).
The paragraphs that interest me in Justice Baker's comments are below, and I have highlighted the "consensual" crimes:
"The jury convicted you of having sexually abused 11 different girls during this period
of time, 6 of whom you raped and
5 of whom were, as I have said, so awed by your
celebrity status that they consented to having sexual intercourse with you
. Some of
those you raped were forcibly penetrated by you, causing them acute pain and distress,
whilst you ejaculated inside them. However it is clear that all of these girls were used
by you for your own sexual gratification, which in some cases was enhanced by you
encouraging them to masturbate you both manually and orally.
In my judgement it is
no mere coincidence that each of these girls was between 13 – 15 years of age when
you abused them in this manner
, as I am sure that, despite your protestations to the
contrary, you have a sexual interest in girls of that age
"At the time of the commission of the offences of indecent assault the maximum
sentence for such offences was 2 years’ custody.
This court remains bound by that
. Thus on counts 1, 14, 25 31 and 35 there will be sentences of 18 months’
imprisonment, and on counts 6, 8, 18, 22, 23 and 24 there will be sentences of 12
months’ imprisonment. However on each of the convictions for rape, namely counts
5, 7, 9, 10, 16, 19, and 27 there will be sentences of 25 years’ imprisonment. All of
those sentences will run concurrently with each other making a total custodial sentence
of 25 years
I say "Interesting" deliberately, because as we know, as detailed in my petition here, and previous posts, the crime of "Intercourse with a girl aged between 13 and 16" (note "intercourse", not "rape -, thus implying ostensible consent), carried with it a disclosure timescale of 12 months. Both the MoJ and CPS have over the last few months, stuck to their guns and stated repeatedly to me that in the UK, crimes cannot be "retroactively" amended and therefore any victim of this crime, who has disclosed after the 12 months have passed (ie anyone since 2005, as this timescale was removed in 2004) it is a matter of "tough luck".
Furthermore, the crime cannot be changed to "indecent assault", as detailed here ("A prosecution for an offence committed under section 6 (or an attempt to commit that offence) must be commenced within 12 months of the alleged offence. The House of Lords has ruled that a charge of indecent assault cannot be used to bypass the time limit. See R v J [2004] UKHL 42").
So, the question is, how have potentially hundreds of victims been so catastrophically failed by the "injustice system", but the Law can seemingly be bent for a high profile case such as this?
Was Justice Baker unaware of the time limit?
Did Justice Baker deliberately change the crime to "Indecent Assault" from the start, thus eliminating the 12 months?
Or, more likely (in my opinion), did the rules get "bent" as this, being Saville related, there had to be a desirable outcome, whatever the path of getting it?
Whatever the reason is, this is a totally unacceptable flouting of the Law to fit the crime, and this makes it ten times worse for all the victims of the same crime, who have been so badly let down.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Timescales and Sexual Offences, an Update

The petition that I started here has now been going for about a month and a half, and now has nearly 400 signatures.
Hopefully all who have read my blog have signed it - if not WHY? - sign it now, it only takes a minute!
I have managed to find out the history of this disclosure timescale, and include this below.
A week or so ago, I had a reply from Mr Chown, head of Criminal Procedure at the Ministry of Justice, outlining where this 12 month limit originated. I will reproduce part of his e-mail below and elaborate a bit on this after:
"The time limit was of long standing, dating back to 1885; as Lord Bingham of Cornhill explained in the House of Lords case of R v J, it was originally shorter:
“Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 provided that no prosecution for an offence under subsection (1) (sexual intercourse with a girl aged between 13 and 16) should be commenced more than three months after the commission of the offence. Section 27 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1904 increased the time limit to six months. Section 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1922 increased the period to nine months. Section 1 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1928 made a further increase to 12 months. That provision was consolidated in the 1956 Act.”
The time limit was finally abolished when the 1956 Act was replaced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, but only prospectively, with effect from the date when that Act was brought into force in 2004.  In so legislating, Parliament followed the usual principle of non-retroactivity; Lord Steyn’s speech in R v J simply observed without further comment that “The change in the law is, of course, not of retrospective effect”.  Although retrospective removal of the time limit would not amount to substantive retroactivity in the sense of criminalising conduct that was not previously unlawful, it is clear that the bar to retroactive legislation also applies to fundamental procedural pre-conditions for the bringing of charges against an individual"
So, this goes back over 100 years to 1885!!
The original Law from 1885 itself an be read here and here (section 5) , and the bit that applies to this is "Provided also, that no prosecution shall de commenced for an offence under sub section one of this section more than 3 months after the commission of this offence".
I won't make this post too long, however, I will include a link that does explain further the reasons behind the original 3 month limit, and the reasons for raising it to 12 months. This link can be read here (it is rather long though) and includes the following 2 items:
"it was thought then that a girl who fell pregnant, and thus was unquestionably the victim of an offence, was so likely to name the wrong man that the accused needed the exceptional protection of a very short time limit, one which elapsed before her pregnancy had become obvious or even known" (this for the reasons of having the 3 month original timescale),
"it cannot long have been the supposed need to identify a perpetrator before a pregnancy became apparent, because the time limit was soon raised, first to six months by the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1904, then to nine months by the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1922, and finally to 12 months by the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1928. It was precisely because a pregnancy or childbirth might reveal the offence that the limit was raised. The reasons given for having any limit at all - loss of witnesses and the difficulties of proof - might equally apply to many other offences. But complainants in sexual offences were then still regarded with much more suspicion than other complainants, and so abolition may have been thought too radical to contemplate. However, it is hard to discern any coherent rationale after 1922, because the 1922 Act also provided that consent would no longer be a defence to an indecent assault upon a child or young person under the age of 16. Thus most forms of sexual activity with a girl under 16 became a criminal offence whether or not she consented, but no time limit was prescribed." for the raising of this limit.
What can be done to remove the 12 months for victims of this crime now disclosing abuse?
I will cover this soon in another posting.
Until then, please sign if you haven't yet done so, and please keep sharing and encouraging others to do so - the link is HERE this needs to be removed for the sake of "Sarah", "Sylvie" and "Jane", and all other victims of this crime who have been, and will be denied justice.