I was asked, as an experienced Child Abuse Lawyer, to give an interview to LBC Radio this morning about the recent press conference given by Harvey Proctor, who has now been interviewed twice by the Metropolitan Police about serious allegations being investigated by Operation Midland concerning his connection with the Dolphin Square child abuse paedophile ring, and various serious allegations. My view is that we should not be judging guilt or innocence at this stage, nor should Mr Proctor be attempting to manipulate the press and public into believing that he is innocent in advance of any criminal charges. The venue for the trial of guilt or innocence is the criminal court, not the media. If it is wrong for the allegations to be made public, so is it wrong for him to hold a press conference in an attempt to clear his name. I also do not think that this is anything approaching a witch hunt.
Lord Janner has appeared in court for the first time over historical child sex abuse charges. The BBC reported that 87 year old Janner, who has dementia, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for less than a minute.
Lord Janner faces 22 charges spanning the 1960s to the 1980s and was told his case would be sent to crown court.
The appearance, during which Lord Janner confirmed his name, was brief, with the charges read out after he left and the full hearing taking less than 12 minutes.
To read my full blog on the subject follow this link
“Metropolitan police detectives have spoken to a man who came forward more than two years ago and claims he was a victim of Heath when he was a teenager. Police have launched a public appeal for victims to come forward after allegations emerged of child sexual abuse by the late former prime minister, Sir Edward Heath. The appeal was made as the police watchdog announced that it was investigating claims that officers dropped a prosecution against a man in the 1990s after he threatened to name Heath as a child abuser. The Guardian has also learned that detectives have spoken to a man, now middle-aged, who says he was abused as a child by Heath on several occasions.”
“Compensation has been reduced for more than 400 sex abuse victims in Britain who later committed criminal offences, the BBC has learnt.” was the headline:-
Sanchia Berg of the BBC made a Freedom of Information Request to the CICA who could not produce all the results she wanted, because she spoke to me before the story was published. She asked if ACAL(Association of Child Abuse Lawyers) had any statistics as to how many abuse cases are turned down because the applicant has committed criminal offences. Because in the past, we have had experience of a biased approach, we usually opt for the alternative civil system, and thus only have anecdotal opinions.
“Children may be at risk of harm from sexual predators as very few police forces are making full use of Sarah’s Law” says the NSPCC in report released today.
Since it became possible in 2011 for adult custodians, who believe a child in their care is at risk, to find out if a named individual poses a risk from the police, only 1 in 6 requests have been granted, which means most applications are unsuccessful.