Sunday, 18 November 2012


Dear Mr Cameron,

I wrote to you before you became Prime Minister, and I did tell you then that the British people would be good to you if you were a good PM, but that if you betrayed them they would find you out.

Child abuse is one of the worst betrayals of all, as is abuse of the elderly.

It's not your fault that there has been decades of abuse of the most vulnerable, but what has happened is that the exposure of it has happened on your watch.

That is actually a good thing. Surely you want these horrible abuses to stop as well?

You have made the British people angry, not because of the abuses, but because you have tried to look the other way, like Pontious Pilate did when Jesus was persecuted. Thats what people are angry about!

The British people are not stupid, even though years of deliberate dumbing down of our education system and arts, literature and the broadcasting has sought to make us so.

Mr Cameron, you are at a crossroads. You have so much power, yet you dont seem to realise it! Power to do good, power to unite and heal the British people.

You just have to be honest. Admit you were duped in 2002.

Thats all you have to do.

I am praying for you, to choose the right way.


a survivor said...

Would you be able to do a FOI request into the Economic and Social Research Council's funding of so many 'false memory' research reports

I wonder how much they spent on the 14 grants of 'false memory' research - which is of course not a term scientifically or medically recognised

many of the 'researchers' could be members of the British false memory society - which would indicate bias - I wonder if they are equally funding 'true memory' research

This is a publically funded organisation mosty funded by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills

Zoompad said...

Thank you, I will have a good look at that.

Zoompad said...


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BFMS - Newsletter

List of Contents - Vol 10, No 1 - October 2002


News Features

Special Focus

Landmark Decision
Messages from Shieldfield
The Road to Shieldfield

Focus on Practice

Members Forum

News Forum

Books and Reviews

Legal Forum

Twelve year fight
Enhanced Criminal Checks
CCRC working party
Blocked conference yields success


Dear Reader,

We know that many families long for the opportunity to have their cases comprehensively dissected instead of the all too quick presumption of guilt which follows an accusation of sexual abuse. Such a depth of investigation is extremely rare. But over a period of six months - from January to July this year - at a libel trial in the Royal Courts of Justice, the Shieldfield injustice was finally unravelled. For nine years two trained nursery nurses were vilified, their young lives ruined, for crimes which did not happen. Without this landmark ruling their lives would have remained in danger, so venomous had the hatred against them become. Ordinary people will undoubtedly wonder how such a Kafkaesque scenario could have arisen. The answer is that it can happen, all too frequently, when certain influences combine together. If this sounds too obscure, all is revealed if you make time to read more than 400 pages in the Shieldfield judgment or turn to our Special Focus for the salient points. The judgment ought to be compulsory reading for everyone involved with child protection issues to ensure that there will never be another scandal like Shieldfield.

Zoompad said...

The extent to which outside agencies became involved in Shieldfield was highlighted by the consultant paediatrician much criticised during the libel trial, Dr Camille San Lazaro, who in her letter to the editor of the journal, Child Abuse Review, Vol 3, 1994, expounded the need for a specialised approach to day care multiple abuse incidents. She described the parents' immediate demand for services from up to 30 organisations in the Newcastle area, including general practitioners, casualty departments, school doctors, health visitors, Childline, Incest Line, Rape Crisis, the NSPCC, Barnardos, community psychiatric nurses and the clergy. Were all these people and agencies swept along with the hysteria? Did anyone stop to question what was happening? Where we can, we will make contact with the agencies to seek their responses to these questions.

BFMS make no apologies for making this issue of the newsletter into a special focus on the Shieldfield Libel Trial. Indeed, the outcome of the trial is a telling exposure of how a vast number of people came to believe that horrendous sexual abuse crimes took place where none occurred. The recent judgment goes a long way to exposing the most serious flaws in child protection practice and investigation affecting both adults' and children's cases, which are major contributory factors to the very real, growing problem of false claims of childhood sexual abuse. This edition carries articles which take a comprehensive look behind the scenes to reveal strong links between the Shieldfield and Cleveland crises. We uncover the part played by the child welfare agencies which until now has escaped scrutiny. It is not and never has been our intention to decry the need for the full force of the law to be applied where sexual abuse crimes occur. However, we will not refrain from carrying the message that to be falsely accused of childhood sexual abuse is not a rare exception as many involved in child protection would like to believe; the Shieldfield judgment shows them why.

Madeline Greenhalgh


No appeal for "malicious" Review Team
The Shieldfield Review Team have backed down from their intention to appeal the judgment of malicious libel in respect of Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie. The announcement came after Newcastle City Council said it could not justify spending any more public money in challenging the judgment which awarded each of the former nursery nurses £200,000 in damages.

Zoompad said...

Council chief executive Ian Stratford stated: "The city council fully accepts Mr Justice Eady's judgment that Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie are innocent of all the allegations against them. The council regrets the suffering these events have caused them."

There was no sign of any remorse from the four team members, who complained that they had been advised they would have had good grounds for appeal, had the council decided to back them.

The Labour run Council, which faces a legal bill for costs of up to £4 million, has come under local political fire for spending £56,000 on a public relations firm to advise on the libel verdict. The council denied opposition claims that the move had been a "damage limitation exercise" and "waste of money" claiming the consultation was for guidance on what information the council could give the press without repeating the libel.

In the fallout from the historic verdict, the practice of consultant paediatrician Dr Camille de San Lazaro, described as "unbalanced, obsessive and lacking in judgment" in the 400 page verdict, is under review by Newcastle Health authority.
In a separate development, it is reported that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is reviewing cases where she has been involved and would be "extremely reluctant" to accept her opinions in the future. Dr Lazaro is a frequent diagnostic witness and prosecution expert in sexual abuse cases in the north-east.

There has been no word as to whether members of the Review Team, Dr Richard Barker, Jacqui Saradjian, Judith Jones and Roy Wardell, all of whom claim expertise in recognising child abuse and received £360,000 for writing the report, will face an inquiry into their employment.

Zoompad said...

Dr Richard Barker, the team head, is a professor of social work at Northumbria University. Mrs Saradjian is a clinical psychologist in Leeds. Ms Jones is a child abuse consultant, expert witness and holds a position at North London University. Mr Wardell is a former social services director.

See Special Focus below.


"False memory" experts in Parliament
"Recovered memory" was given the thumbs down when experts gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) on police trawl investigations in children's homes.

At the final hearing of the inquiry on 11th July four experts, including Brandon report co-author, Dr Janet Boakes, were quizzed on the reliability of "recovered memory" and its relevance in the trial investigations.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Boakes told of cases she had examined where witnesses had no memory of abuse when first approached by the police but had subsequently made allegations, also one narrative had grown over months from physical to sexual abuse and on to rape.

She went on to warn that the police risked exciting self-induced belief in non-existent offences when they wrote to ex-residents of care homes inviting allegations. She said that there was no reliable evidence to support a causal link between past abuse and criminal behaviour despite many attempts to establish one.

Dr Boakes stressed that the popular belief that memories of abuse could be completely repressed or blocked out for years was without scientific foundation .

Also giving evidence at the hearing were psychologist Professor Gisli Gudjonsson, Detective Inspector Andrew Parker, who has researched witness statement reliability in sexual offences, and criminologist and BFMS advisory board member, Dr Bill Thompson.

All four experts agreed with HASC Chair Chris Mullin, MP that "recovered memory" was unreliable.

Witnesses to the inquiry have included journalists, defence and compensation solicitors, "survivor" pressure groups, the police and former teachers and careworkers acquitted at trial or where convictions were overturned on appeal.

Press leaks of the draft report of the inquiry suggest that recommendations will include anonymity for defendants in sexual offences unless or until convicted and a revised code of practice for the police in carrying out organised abuse investigations.

The inquiry is expected to report in November when the oral evidence will be published in Hansard. MP Claire Curtis Thomas who set up the parliamentary All Party Group (APG) on abuse investigations and also gave evidence to the inquiry said "The APG has monitored the proceedings and will be in a position to challenge the Report - robustly if necessary."


Zoompad said...

Investigations under UCAFAA conference scrutiny
A retired deputy chief constable responsible for police training is to speak at the second annual conference of the United Campaign Against False Allegations of Abuse (UCAFAA).

Dr Tom Williamson is a psychologist who developed police interviewing techniques as a senior officer in the Metropolitan Police and later as the Deputy Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire. Since his retirement he has been made a senior research fellow at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies in the University of Portsmouth and lectures internationally.

Dr Williamson will address the critical issue of witness interviewing and the search for truth at the conference, the overall theme of which will be the investigation of sexual abuse allegations.

The conference, to be held in London on Saturday 9th November, brings together falsely accused people, their relatives and supporters and concerned professionals under the banner of the justice network UCAFAA.

Speakers will include social care consultant and former senior social services manager Charles Pragnell; leading investigative journalist Bob Woffinden; GP, writer and broadcaster Dr Michael Fitzpatrick and the Earl Howe, deputy chair of the parliamentary all party group on abuse investigations.

Bob Woffinden has researched miscarriages of justice for many years and has recently focussed particularly on abuse allegations. Drawing on his experience, he gave evidence to the Home Office Select Committee inquiry into abuse allegations. Bob Woffinden and Richard Webster's investigation of the claims against the Newcastle nursery workers laid the foundations of the historic libel trial and he will discuss the case at the conference.

In a keynote speech, Earl Howe will speak on the first year of the All Party Group that has seen the explosion of parliamentary and media interest in the police trawl investigations and a questioning, by members of the senior judiciary, of the safety of retrospective abuse convictions.

Organiser George Williamson said: "The conference takes the awareness of false allegations to a new level. So much has happened in the year since our last conference that there couldn't be a better time to subject abuse investigations to critical scrutiny on a general level. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion from the floor and the conference promises to be a landmark event."

For more information contact BFMS on 01225 868682 or George Williamson on 01132 550559. Tickets are available from AAFAA, PO Box 84, Leeds, LS5 3XZ. Fee £10 payable by cheque or PO to UCAFAA.

Carol A. Valentine said...

The contents of this letter are endorsed by Carol A. Valentine