INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE Accountability and Reparations Hearing 26th November 2018 to 14th December 2018 Summary of Evidence by David Greenwood 26th November 2018
Opening address by Professor Alexis Jay.
It is said that child sex abuse cases are an exception from other cases as children are extremely vulnerable and abuse is a crime. The four case studies are as follows:- North Wales We will hear from four Complainants, North Wales Police, Bilhar Uppal (Claimant Solicitor), Alistair Gillespie (Defendant Solicitor), Edward Faulkes (Barrister for Defendants) and Rob Luck (MMI). Forde Park (Devon) Closed 1985. Police investigated via Operation Lentisk. Civil claims were completed in 2001. We will hear from four Complainants, Devon and Cornwall Police, Emily Willoughby (Council) and Penny Ailes (Claimant Solicitor). St Leonard’s (Hornchurch, Essex) Operation Harnoon in 1995 resulted in no convictions. Operation Mapperton in 1998-2000 resulted in two convictions and then another in 2017. Civil claims ran between 2001 and 2005. All were settled by agreement. This could be suggested as a good resolution. We will hear from Complainant, Paul Connelly, from A87 and F42, a solicitor for the Council, a police officer and Malcolm Johnson and Tracey Storey (Claimant Solicitor) and from Sarah Erwin Jones (Defendant Solicitor). St Vincent’s and St Aidan’s This was a home I Cheshire run by Nugent Care and insured by RSA. Operation Emily resulted in perpetrators being convicted. Operations Van Gough and Operation Care resulted in two convictions. In 1997 a group was initiated which took 10 years to complete. Limitation was highly contentious, going through the courts numerous times. We will hear from two Complainants, Cheshire and Merseyside Police, Peter Garsden and Paul Durkin (Claimant Solicitors), Steven Belllingham (RSA Executive) and Caroline McKenzie (also RSA Executive). Stanhope Castle Abuse took place during the 1960’s and 70’s. Cleveland Police investigated but there were no criminal proceedings. There were several claims. Some settled. Some were not pursued. Many have not achieved justice. Will hear from Peter Robson, from Cleveland Police, from Middlesbrough Council and from a Claimant Solicitor, Alistair Smith. In addition we will also hear on the rights on various parties from Fay Maxstead (from Survivors Network), Nigel O’Mara (Survivor and Counsellor), Gregor McGil (CPS), Association of British Insurers, The Ministry of Justice and CICA representatives. We will be asking whether the past and present system provides effective accountability and reparations.
Alan Barker (Barrister from G8 – North Wales)
Complains of an overly vigorous and legalistic approach taken by Defendants.
David Greenwood (as per my opening published on the www.childabuselaw.co.uk website).
Aswini Weeratne (for Simpson Millar and B19 of St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s). B19 had two trials on limitation and two appeals. He suffered sexual and physical abuse of St Vincent’s in 1972. He started his civil case in 1997 and it lasted for 11 years. He is still without compensation. He has been through the mill but not achieved justice. He wants an abolition of the limitation law. He feels litigation is adversarial and rarely leaves claimants with a feeling of justice.
Alan Collins (Claimant Solicitor)
He makes a point that Scotland has already abolished the limitation time bar. He speaks about a redress scheme but questions who will pay for it. He criticises the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and considers a Motor Insurers Bureau – style no fault compensation scheme. He questions whether the Government should be able to rewrite the rules of any redress scheme. He also mentions that psychiatric assessments are intrusive and unnecessary in many cases and that the value of awards in the past have not been sufficient.
Mr. Simblett (for Uppal Taylor on behalf of Bryn Alyn Complainants)
He complains that the vigorous defence of claims has led to a lack of accountability and inability for claimants to achieve justice in many cases. He makes the point that there are powerful financial interests from Councils and Insurance Companies to actively fight these claims. He describes the system as inadequate and arbitrary. He criticises the CICA scheme for being difficult for non-represented claimants to pursue.
David Enright (for 27 Core Participants from Forde Park and Stanhope Castle)
He makes the point that the Home Office and various organisations have not apologised for the abuse suffered by boys at Forde Park and Stanhope Castle where Brian Heeney and Derek Hooper were convicted (Forde Park). He wants apologies from all of these institutions and reparations.
Adam Weizman QC (Fir Middlesbrough Council – Stanhope)
He explains that Middlesbrough Council act as a figurehead for Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcarr and Middlesbrough Councils who were insured between 1972 and 1981 by MMI which is now default and its liabilities have been taken over by Zurich. Pre-1973 there was no insurance. He explains that a number of claims were made in 2001. Some were settled in 2010. He passes on the apology and regret from Middlesbrough Council of any abuse.
Chris Web-Jenkins (for MMI)
He explains that MMI has duties to its original policy holders and to future policy holders not to spend its money in a way that harms the interest of future policy holders who would be required to contribute if this shortfall in funds (currently £750,000,000 is depleted too quickly).
Mr. Plemming (Zurich Insurance)
He explains that he supports the inquiry’s objectives. He wants cases handled fairly and professionally. He does make the point however that it is difficult to balance the interest of claimants and policy holders and they tend to follow the law. Zurich put their cases through a “complex work team”.
Mr. Hough (RSA/Keoghs)
He makes a point that 90% of cases are resolved without proceedings. Case studies took a long time because the law was in a state of flux. There is some cooperation between Claimant and Defendant Solicitors. He wants to maintain the current Civil Justice System because it has advantages. Insurers sometimes wish to test the evidence. He went on argue for the retention of the limitation defence, he is not opposed to redress schemes so long as they are limited to specific times and specific defendants. He opposes mandatory insurance because insurance could become expensive for policy holders. He essentially wants the status quo to remain in place (which is not surprising as he has to some extent being able to hold back the tide in recent years – writer’s comment).
Mr. Payne (on behalf of Durham Constabulary)
Makes an apology to Stanhope Castle Survivors. He makes a point that there is a balance between reparations and justice as to avoid claimants being accused of pursuing prosecutions just for the money.
27th November 2018
A21 at Bryn Alyn 1973-1975 Abused by John Allen.
Complained to Social Services in 1993. He wanted his file of papers but didn’t get them from the Council so contacted Uppal Taylor Solicitors. He had no confidence in the police he wanted to achieve justice. His case was taken to a hearing. He was unhappy at how he was cross-examined by Edward Faulkes. He felt that it was traumatic and that he was not believed. He eventually settled his case for £27,000. He has not received an apology. A23 at Bryn Alyn 1983 (for six months) He was sexually abused by John Allen six times in his office. He heard about a helpline and came forward in 1995. He gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry. He tried to get financial compensation through a solicitor. There was a trial in 2001. He was cross-examined by Edwards Faulkes QC. He felt that Faulkes was trying to confuse him and asked about irrelevant information. He was awarded £7,000. He was prevented from getting anything due to the issue between RSA and John Allen. He eventually got an apology letter and £6,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
A29 at Bryn Alyn in 1973
He thought it was a nightmare. He was sexually and physically abused. He has had relationship problems and alcoholism. He spoke to the police. He took civil proceedings through Uppal Taylor Solicitors and eventually after going through his case and an appeal ended up with £21,000.
A1 He was sexually and physically abused by John Allen and two others in North Wales Children’s Homes.
He has been suicidal and turned to alcohol and drugs over the years. He has not found support helpful. He has made suicide attempts. He did a CICA claim through the Lantern Project and was awarded £22,000. He has tried again to get civil compensation through Alan Collins and that case is still ongoing.
28th November 2018
Neil Anderson of North Wales Police
He apologised to all participants in the North Wales Inquiries. They have introduced Independent Sexual Violence Advocates to signpost those coming forward now and suggests Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims. He explained the evolution of the Inquiry and how much the police knew over the years about John Allen, Gordon Anglesey, Stephen Norris, how the police cooperated with the Waterhouse Inquiry and Operation Pallial from 2012. Pallial received 374 complaints. They all won for six suspects, 23 arrests and 10 convictions. When asked about the policy of the police in relation to signposting individuals towards the Criminal Injuries Compensation, Mr. Anderson was unable to give a clear policy.
Philip Marshall of the National Crime Agency (Operation Pallial from November 2012)
He confirms that the NCA will not complete CICA forms but that complainants are referred to the CICA Scheme. Direct Criminal Court Compensation Orders are rarely used. The National Crime Agency simply signpost individuals.
Bilhar Uppal (Claimant Solicitor in the North Wales cases)
Bilhar explains the Limitation Act, case of A-v-Hoare, having to prove the abuse, having to go through disclosure issues, costs, causation and psychological reports. He feels that the civil litigation process is better than CICA but feels that nothing much has changed over the years. Defendants’ still force Claimants to issue proceedings in many cases. Still feels that civil litigation is an unpleasant experience for the Claimants but that they have no other option. Legal Aid is being more and more restricted and is an obstacle in many cases. He says that the Civil Courts are not fit purpose in Child Abuse cases. A Redress Scheme would leave Claimants less bruised and trust would be maintained.
29th November 2018
29th November 2018
Alistair Gillespie (Defendant Solicitor of Keoghs – formerly Hill Dickinson) a grey suit, man in 50’s, beard, red tie.
Mr. G worked on North Wales Claims for Hill Dickinson from 1997. RSA, the insurer gave Hill Dickinson ‘delegated authority’ to handle claims in any way they wanted to. He says that RSA could challenge advice if they wanted to. He spends a great deal of time justifying the use of limitation (time limits) in civil proceedings, stating that it enables the court to decide whether there can be a fair trial. He reiterates the figure that 90% of cases don’t go to litigation. He states that limitation is always raised as all these cases are out of time. He cannot give figures on how many cases drop out before they are ‘resolved’. He states that in only 5% of cases the fact of the abuse itself is challenged. He makes the point that they ask the perpetrators whether or not it happened and if it is physically denied then they will deny that the abuse happened. He states that there is no substitute for the Claimant giving evidence. Any distress caused to Claimants is part and parcel of the system of which we find ourselves. He states that if Barristers use tricks, then the Claimant does have the opportunity to put those right in re-examination by their own Barrister. He went on to explain how he helped RSA evade responsibility for John Allen’s abuse (because there was an exception clause for deliberate abuse in the Insurance Policy). He is challenged on the unwillingness of his firm to accept the Waterhouse Inquiry evidence. He explains that the Waterhouse Inquiry was not sufficiently detailed in its report for him to be able to accept the evidence coming out of it. He would like to see the introduction of a pre-action protocol with exchange of information early on. Keoghs and RSA are seen as the harder end of the insurance market with other firms such as Ecclesiastical and Zurich being less tough on claimants. He states that it is Keoghs and RSA’s legal entitlement to take whatever decision they see fit but he states that it is not in the interest of any insurer to run points that have little or no merit and just increases costs. On limitation we have to demonstrate that there is prejudice so we have to try to find witnesses and work out whether they are dead or not. Mr. G was asked whether he had done an assessment of costs effective or softer or tougher approach. He was not aware of any data to enable him to answer the question. When questioned by Ivor Frank (Panel Member) Mr. G said that a Redress Scheme would prevent in-depth analysis of a case and that another problem is who pays for it. He has no objections to giving apologies but rarely does so but doesn’t stand in the way of an institution giving an apology.
Edwards Faulkes QC (Defendants’ Barrister) – a man in his 60’s wearing a dark suit and tie, curly brown hair.
He worked on the Bryn Alyn cases and advised RSA and Hill Dickinson (now Keoghs). His cross-examinations of the witnesses in the North Wales cases was examined. It was put to him that the undercurrent of his questioning was to accuse Claimants of lying. It was put to him that it was not appropriate to put the questions in the way that he did to the witness and he agreed that it would not have been nice to have been asked those questions but that generally the courts must not shut out the possibility of Defendants challenging cases. The Defendant is right to ask these questions, felt that it was appropriate. He is not in favor of ground rules at the outset of trial for questions to be asked. He was then asked about his questioning of A21/L6 and abused by John Allen, why he asked such searching questions. He explained that he was trying to establish the social workers state of awareness for the purposes of negligence as it was in a negligence case at that time and defended the claim which he asked searching questions of the witness. He accepted that asking him about contradicting evidence in documents may come across of accusing him of lying, this went to the potential value of his case. He feels that overall Limitation ought to be left to Parliament to decide after a low commissioned report. In discussion with Drusilla Sharpe she felt that a redress scheme would be difficult to be introduced.
Evidence of A78 – read by Lois Williams (Barrister)
SMJ was at Pentre Season and abused by John Allen and also F28. His motive for coming forward was to show that it happened and that he wanted to make a claim to establish truth and justice. He didn’t get any compensation. CICA were denied because of his convictions. He is trying to pursue a case the place in Council, Rochdale Council. He eventually got counselling and EMDR has given evidence to Operation Pallial.
Robert Balfour (Read) Abused by John Allen.
There was a culture of silencing survivors at Bryn Alyn. He is critical of the police, he feels that victims are ‘gas lighted’ by being told that they are money grabbing. He represented himself through Criminal Injuries Compensation and achieved £62,000 award. He feels that the free legal advice service would have made it easier. He did not pursue Civil Compensation as he received Criminal Injuries Compensation. Through the criminal trial he did not get good support. He now runs a service to help survivors. He feels that survivors are ‘othered’. He went to the Truth Project’ but then Wets Yorkshire Police turned up at his home. He thinks the third sector is best to help survivors and it created a holistic approach needed for support. He remains critical of the way he was treated by the police.
David Nichols (Zurich Executive)
His department handled 400-450 claims a year. It was 600 claims this year. They have 40% of the UK market. 30-40% of the claims received are successful. Zurich doesn’t run limitation as a defence in all cases. He is aware that Ecclesiastical don’t run limitation as a defence at all. He does not stand in the way of Policy Holders making apologies and paying for treatment as long as they do not accept liability without Zurich’s say so. He acknowledges that limitation can be used as leverage in settlement negotiations. He acknowledges that Zurich played a part in the holding back the Gilling’s Report. He justified this by saying that there was deformation considerations but there is a suspicion that Zurich tried to stop its publication as it would have led to findings of liability. He acknowledged a conflict of interest between obligations of the Local Authority and the Insurers, the insurers having a financial imperative but the Local Authority tries to do its best for people who it has let down. He acknowledges that in situations where a policy holder wishes to support Claimants and give them full compensation he will not stand in the way and that Zurich may come to some arrangement with the Policy Holder.
30th November 2018 AR-A13 (F24 – Anonymous witness)
A13 was at Forde Park and raped by Derek Hooper in the 1970’s. He spoke to the police in 1999. He delayed because of embarrassment and feeling degraded. One of the members of staff of Forde Park, Mr. Rawson was a Whistle Blower and was a lovely bloke. Mr. Rawson tried to do something about his reports of abuse but was prevented from doing anything. The tone of this witness was of desperation. In 1999 his brothers’ friend saw something in the news and he spoke to two female officers. He gave evidence at the trial of Derek Hooper who was convicted. The support he gave was insufficient. He feels that he should be able to get support when he needs it. He is taking tablets now. He pursued a CICA case with Wollercombe Watts Solicitors. He wanted an apology from the Council and the Home Office but hasn’t had one. He wanted to know why it happened. He complains that he didn’t get any education. He ended up with £60,000 CICA Compensation and he bought Brandy with it. He complains that being given the liquid cosh at Forde Park (Phenobarbitone and Beclamide). He has lost trust in all those in authority and the police. He feels that survivors should have been wrapped in cotton wool not just given derisory settlement offers and expected to find their own support. For the last 20 years he sweats at night and wakes up with wet sheets and has nightmares. He complains that his case was handled improperly in that he was not treated as an individual but meetings were mass meetings with approximately 80 people and Penny Ayles the Solicitor and a Barrister there. That happened four times. He couldn’t have funded it himself so he found himself having to settle his case. He feels that the system stinks, the time limit is wrong and that there should not be a time limit for sexual abuse cases. He took part in another case against AR-F26 the Choir Master but he was acquitted. He wrote to the Judge afterwards to say how disappointed he was and how he couldn’t believe that F26 had got away with it. He felt that he was not properly informed about the civil process and felt that he was worse off than when he started because of the harm that it had caused him. He has never had an apology and the pain continues. He has spoken to another Forde Park Core Participant on the day before he died and promised him that he would continue the fight. He would like to see higher compensation and the removal of limitation and a better system.
At age 12 A13 was moved to Forde Park and was raped by Derek Hooper. He reported at Forde Park but nothing was done. When he left Forde Park he couldn’t tell anyone about the abuse. He decided to visit Hooper and fought with him and injured Hooper. It made him feel better in the short term but not long term. In 1999 he gave a statement to the police after he got a questionnaire in the post. He didn’t like talking about it but found it a necessary evil. He has still not received any counselling, he has had more support from the Forde Park Survivors Group. Tried to get civil compensation and was told that it was a ‘take it or leave it’ offer of £23,000, he had no other option but to accept it. He found a psychotherapist at the rate of £50 per half hour, but the psychotherapist actually asked him if he wanted to masturbate with him. A13 didn’t take the psychotherapist up on this offer. He is now on a waiting list. He feels abandoned as he has had no support. He has anxiety and takes prescription drugs. He doesn’t want a chemical enhancement. He wants peace of mind. He felt there was nothing professional about the civil process, he felt that the two QC’s involved worked together to keep payments to a minimum. He felt that there was no hint of negotiation. The Claimant’s QC was Ms. Gumbel.
A27 (Forde Park Survivor)
A27 was abused between 1974 and 1978 by Mr Ely. He was a Master at Forde Park and in the scout group. He complained to the police in 1976. 13 boys spoke to the police back then. When he left in 1978 after he lost his job he fell into crime and went to a Young Offenders Institution where there was some bullying but no abuse. He got in touch with the police in 1999 through Operation Lentisk and gave a statement. He spoke to a Solicitor at WBW and attended mass meetings, saw Dr Friedman but didn’t feel involved. He case settled for £3,000. He wanted an acknowledgment of Forde Parks’ failure and an apology but didn’t get one. He had two sessions of counseling via his GP which had been positive but overall didn’t understand the process and felt uninvolved, he has had depression, suicidal thoughts and alcohol dependency which he attributes to the abuse.
AR-A6 (Forde Park Survivor who is recently deceased – statement read)
Sexual abuse from older boys and Mr. Hooper at Forde Park. He was at Forde Park for 5 years. he reported to the police back then but they did not follow it up. He was not happy with the civil compensation system which he felt was rushed. When he got it he spent it on drink and drugs. He felt completely insulted by the Civil Justice System. There was no support, just money. He wasn’t treated as an individual. He felt herded with others. He gave a statement for only an hour and felt like a spectator in his own case. He was offered £15,000 and told to take it or leave it. He felt abandoned and led up the garden path by the solicitors.
Read Sexual abuse from Hooper at Forde Part. Staff knew what was going on. Only found out about the case in 2017 and didn’t know that CICA or Civil Proceedings existed. He is getting counselling from his GP.
No sexual abuse at Forde Park but abused at four other institutions. Victim of Hooper at another institution but not involved in the criminal trial. No CICA application. He did pursue a Civil Compensation and got £12,000. He felt that solicitors failed to listen to him and felt like it was a smack in the face and felt railroaded into accepting the settlement and didn’t get enough support.
Read Sexual abuse by Hooper and Ely. Compensation can’t make it go away. He was not aware of CICA’s existence. He has tried to get support but the therapist failed to turn up. AR-A11 (F20) Read F18 and F19 sexually abused him. Also abused by Ely and Hooper. Not in the ‘A’ trial but in the ‘B’ trial which didn’t go ahead as Hooper was convicted in ‘A’ trial. No CICA as had previous convictions. Offered £55,000 but pressured to accept and told would not get anything at all if he didn’t accept. Felt that the claims were settled in a generic manner and he was not treated as an individual. He got some counseling through his GP but that made him feel more anxious.
AR-A15 (F51) Read
groomed and raped him at Forde Park. No CICA. Involved with the police but no counseling offered. AR-A31 (F16) Hooper raped him, took photographs and abused by Ely. F21 touched his genitals. Not called to give evidence at the Hooper or Ely trial. In the civil process he did not feel treated like an individual. There were large group meetings and he was told that he had to settle or he would be bankrupted. He felt that as though the Council knew about the abuse for years. He never met his Barrister one to one and felt that the Solicitor and Barrister did what they did to make it easy for themselves. He was offered £4,000 and was told that Legal Aid would be withdrawn if he rejected it and would have to pay for it privately. He asked for support and has had CBT and is feeling better now.
Sexual abuse from F32, F40 and F26 also raped by Hooper. Gave evidence at the Hooper Criminal trial. He was accused of making it up by the Defence Barristers. Hooper was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison. F26 was found not guilty. A41 came off the rails. Received £50,000 through the civil process but was told to accept otherwise he would lose everything. He did not feel that he was kept up to date. He did not pursue a CICA as there was no double recovery. He felt that he didn’t get a good explanation from Solicitors and felt abandoned at the end of the criminal and civil processes.
Raped by other children and raped by a member of staff F34. He felt that the solicitors’ main purpose was to make money and not to help us. He felt as though it was just the lawyers talking among themselves and that he should have been treated as an individual. He was offered £10,000 when his case was valued at £100,000. He complained that there was mass meetings and no one to one meetings.
Paul Sinclair (Formerly Lewis) Sexually abused by Ely and Hooper.
He was in the group ‘B’ for the criminal cases. Ely was convicted and he attended court to see Ely sentenced he felt that he didn’t get justice through the civil system and dint get an apology. CICA was refused as he had a criminal record. He was not treated as an individual in the civil case.
3rd December 2018
Deborah Marsden – Devon and Cornwall Police
An up to date experience of survivors would mean that they would have a victims needs assessment completed by a police officer and be seen by the Victim Care Unit and a Sexual Offences Liaison Officer (SOLO). They would be directed to ISVAs (advisor) and to a SARC (Sexual Advice Centre). Sexual Offence Liaison Officers tend to refer survivors to the CICA likewise ISVAs although the timing of advice is not set. Devon and Cornwall Police do not routinely suggest Civil Compensation. Deborah Marsden worked on the Forde Park investigation Operation Lentisk from 1998. 1,287 statements were taken from 240 former pupils. Hooper and Ely were convicted. Social Services were involved. There was an NSPCC Helpline. Responded to the CICA on 69 applications by 2002.
Emily Williams (Devon Council) – Read
Devon Council were insured with MMI with a zero excess. MMI took up all of the responsibilities. Veitch Penney were the Defendants Solicitors for the Forde Park case and then it switched to Brown Jacobson. Claimants’ Solicitors were Woolcombe Beer Watts. 46 cases were settled, five were repudiated and 23 discontinued. 26 are ‘unknown’.
Rod Luck MMI (Claims and Re-Insurance Manager).
He works for MMI and Zurich. He receives 2-250 claims per year. They generally insure Local Authority’s, Social Service Department/Education. There has been an increase in the number of claims recently. Limitation is always raised as these cases are always out of time. He very much takes the view of looking dispassionately at cases and assessing prospects and value. Their Panel Solicitors include Browne Jacobson, Weightmans, DAC Beechcroft, Crutes and DWF Solicitors. He will ask his solicitors appointed to investigate liability, limitation, causation and value. On Forde Park 46% of cases were paid damages. He is non-committal on a redress scheme. He would like to see litigation simplified to make it easier for Claimants and support the provision of treatment. He would like a pre-action protocol to ensure that Letters of Claim are more detailed. He thinks apologies are an issue for Local Authorities.
Christa Papolou (Home Office Representative)
The Home Office were responsible for Forde Park between 1973. They initially defended litigation but lost applications for limitation to be tried as a preliminary issue and lost an appeal of the decision and eventually settled their cases. Table of Abuse Was read out regarding the North Wales Litigation with Claimants expressing feelings of being degraded, not receiving Criminal Injuries Compensation or receiving low amounts and feeling unhappy with Civil Litigation and the CICA. Each complaint of being unhappy with the process, with being called a liar in criminal proceedings and civil proceedings being challenged and various hurdles put up by Defendants in litigation.
4th December 2018
Paul Connolly (St Leonard’s Survivor)
Physical abuse and sexual abuse from Alan Prescott and Hayden Daniel. He gave a statement to the police on Operation Mapperton. He joined a class action and was represented by Tracey Storey of Irwin Mitchell. He was psychologically assessed by Dr Friedman who provoked him. he complained that he did not get justice through the civil system and no apology. He felt that he was just a number and that he had no choice but to settle the civil case.
Daniel O’Malley (Metropolitan Police – Operation Mapperton Senior Investigating Officer)
This was an investigation into the St Leonard’s home operated by London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It was found that a fair trial was not possible as some documents were missing in the Hayden case. Counselling was not offered by the police and the police wanted to avoid advising individuals to seek compensation. Eventually referrals were made to the Tavistock Clinic. He has written to the CICA for some Claimants who made claims.
Craig Turner (Metropolitan Police – Child Sex Abuse Investigator)
When interviewing Claimants he would refer them to local contacts for support and directed them to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on a case by case basis. He had no specific policy on abuse regarding civil claims.
Steven Tinkler (Risk manager at London Borough of Tower Hamlets) –
statement read The Borough was insured with MMI. The Council do not want to stand in the way of Claimants but allowed MMI to make the decision and a compensation scheme was eventually set up with Browne Jacobson Solicitors and Claimants.
Richard Baldwin (Director of Children Services – London Borough of Tower Hamlets)
He felt that there was a conflict between given an apology and the legal position> the London Borough tried to refer individuals to the Tavistock Clinic for help.
Steven Baldwin (London Borough of Tower Hamlets)
Social Workers assisted Claimants with Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims. He felt that it was good practice for them to assist. He was generally in favor of redress schemes. Councils have to balance provision of services with compensating those they have harmed. They have to manage resources. He apologised for losing records.
5th December 2018
Malcolm Johnson and Tracey Storey.
Each Claimants’ Solicitors agree that the civil process is not a good process although the Council in that case came to a relative swift decision to settle the cases and a method of meeting, discussing and reporting back to Claimants was set up and Claimants were dealt with individually. Malcom feels that the most important thing it to resolve cases with as little adversarial position taking and cost as possible. With Claimants having access to good advice.
Sarah Erwin Jones (woman in her 50’s, red dress, glasses, brown shoulder length hair)
She dealt with the St Leonard’s litigation on which Malcolm Johnson and Tracey Storey had commented. The general way in which she deals with cases is that she writes a report to Local Authorities and Insurers after doing investigations if there are relevant convictions they advise settlement should take place. She agrees that limitation can be used strategically to pull down the value of cases but that her clients want to be fair. She mainly acts for Local Authorities. She acknowledges that there are different styles and approaches from Defendant Lawyers but that differences are not marked as those from Claimants. Horse trading? Was common in the 1990’s to early 2000 but we know much more about how courts will value cases. Insofar as improvements and concerns she would like to see pre-action protocol to exchange information earlier. She makes the point that costs in the St Leonard’s case were much higher for the Claimants than the Defendants.
A15 (Read by Lois Williams)
St Leonard’s Survivor Raped by Haden Davies. Doesn’t recall a CICA claim. Received £60,000 settlement but was not pleased with the Solicitor. He wanted his day in court instead. He felt that it was a farce and there was no admission of liability. He did try all sorts of therapies and that doctors just tried to prescribe their way out of dealing with people.
AR-A87 Abused at St Aidan’s.
The first people that he spoke to were Cheshire Police. Abused by McAvoy. McAvoy was not convicted of offences against him but was convicted for offences against others. The Police told him to pursue a civil case. He ended up speaking to Abney Garsden’s Solicitors via his own solicitor, James Murray. He wanted his day in court and needed to be believed. Limitation was introduced as an issue. The High Court Judge, Mr. Justice Holland accepted his evidence, it was a small win but he lost on limitation. There were a number of appeals. He wanted Nugent Care to accept liability or even apologise but they didn’t. He feels that if he had his time again then he wouldn’t have pursued a case. He felt it took 12 or 13 years of his life away. He didn’t want to disrespect his legal team but he felt that the only people who benefited were the lawyers. He thinks that the law of limitation should be changed.
A36 (F42) Was at St Aidan’s aged 7 to 8.
Sexually abused by Colin Dick. Also abused by Keith Sutton of St Thomas’ Moor School, Southport. Sutton and Dick pleaded guilty receiving 14 and 4 years respectively in prison. He was told by Merseyside Police to seek Legal Advice and consulted Sue Jarvis at Picktons and then joined a Group Action run by Paul Durkin at Abney Garden and McDonalds. He wanted the truth to come out and for the Defendants to admit that he was not a liar. He was called a liar throughout the criminal cases. He was told in 2006 that he could not pursue his case and tried again in 2013 but Hill Dickinson wrote a long letter. He feels that he would not have turned his life around without the help of the police and a social worker.
AR-A194 (F41) Sexually abused at St Aidan’s by Colin Dick.
He did not make a CICA claim as he was not aware of it. He did not make a civil claim and did not access support.
Darren Martland (Acting Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary) a man in his 50’s wearing a full tunic uniform.
He thinks in the 1990’s and 2000’s were not done systematically by the police. Support was not provided back then and now more help is available and survivors are routinely signposted. Operation Emily looked into St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s. There were 60 suspects and 4 convictions. Some of the suspects were dead. There is one investigation still ongoing. He does not recall how the in 1990’s how the CICA would be accessed or advised by the police. There is now a public protection unit and Detective Constables are trained at “PIP Two Level” and they refer to the CICA at first contact, although this is only by ticking a box on the rear of a statement form. They refer to CICA generally only after the end of the criminal investigation. This could cause a problem with the two year time limit for the CICA.
Serena Kennedy (Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside) wearing a full tunic uniform
Was head of Public Protection Director in 2015. She has looked back at records and finds that there were 45 Complainants for St Vincent’s, 20 suspects and 2 convictions (Stanton and Langshore). St Aidan’s the convictions were against Terrance Hoskin and Colin Dick. The victims were handed a helpline card back then although she cannot trace one of these. At the time survivors were referred to the Liverpool City Council for support. She does not know when survivors were referred to the CICA, if indeed they were, and refers to the tick box at the back of the statement form (MG11). Nowadays ISVA’s are allocated according to need via the MASH Hub/RASA Service. Officers send individuals to the SARC and do not raise the issue of civil compensation. ISVAs may do so. It was a policy decision not to raise the issue of compensation until after the trials in Operation Care in the 1990’s
Normandie Wragg (Chief Executive Officer of Nugent Care) – Read
Nugent Care was insured for all cases after 1960 with RSA and solicitors being Hill Dickinson/Keoghs. Nugent Care had no financial interest in the claims and had no input. She has sympathy and compassion for children abused.
Peter Gardsen and Paul Durkin (two men in their 50’s each wearing a suit and tie)
Explains that until 2008 cases had to run in negligence to avoid the six year fixed backstop for assaults which was set by the Stubbing-v-Webb Case (overturned by AV Hoare in 2008). He set up a North West Child abuse Group which included Dyson Hall and Greystone Heath (Liverpool City Council Defendant), Danesford (National Children’s Home Defendant) and St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s (Nugent Care/RSA/Kill Dickinson and Keoghs as Defendants). Cases were run with Legal Aid. It turned out that the case took 14 years to complete. The cases involving Danesford, Greystone Heath and Dyson Hall settled after two or three years. St Vincent’s and St Aidan’s cases took 14 years they were defended vigorously by RSA and Hill Dickinson. Peter explained that Claimants don’t generally want money. They want to be believed. He took the example of B19 who was called a liar and F42 was also called a liar. Paul Durkin explained that the client’s needs support at the outset when they come forward. He feels that it is important to establish trust with Claimants to get to know them and to get the best out of them to help them with the case. Most actually don’t want to go to court. Peter adds that litigation sometimes becomes their life’s meaning and getting recognition is what survivors want. He explained that it is important to ensure that Claimants are in control of their case. He and Paul will signpost to support groups. Getting support on the NHS is difficult and only when compensation is received can be it paid for. It is not their experience that interim payments are made to pay for this. The only difference between Danesford, Greystone Heath, Dyson Hall and St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s on the issue of how long the cases took was the attitude of the Defendant. Danesford’s Insurer was the Methodists Organisation and wanted to do the right thing. Liverpool City Council decided that it wanted to do the right thing also. Peter complains that the solicitors for RSA took the technical strikeout point, of attempting to strikeout the risk in 1997 this was because it did not have the full names if the Claimants. They were extremely adversarial throughout, pursuing appeals where possible. Peter complains that litigation is a blunt tool. It should be abolished. Other jurisdictions have abolished it (Scotland, New South Wales in Australia and Canada). Ecclesiastical Insurance do not take the point. However RSA and Hill Dickinson (Keoghs) take limitation in every single case. He also makes the point that it is worrying that limitation decisions are going against Claimant’s in the appeal courts at the moment. Paul explains that he is not convinced that the judicial is capable of dealing with these cases. Judges are likely to come across only one of these cases in their careers and the decision is discretionary so can go either way. Defendants concentrate of lack of documentation and minor inconsistencies and deploy medical experts who point out where memories are not entirely clear. He explains that the judicial approach is clumsy and crude and leads to injustice. There is a run of adverse cases which means that we are advising fewer clients that we can continue. In 1989 Nugent Care applied to have limitation pursued as a preliminary issue. Claimants were called liars. Paul makes the point that it is unattractive to have a full trial on all issues and to call Claimants liars and more attractive to a Judge to looks at the technical issues around limitation which makes the Judges work easier. Peter thinks limitation is artificial and wrong. After a number of appeals some cases discontinued and some settled but Paul says they should have settled much earlier. An attritional tactic of taking every single point was designed to wear the group down and Paul’s job was to keep everyone motivated. It was a difficult time. No quarter was given by the Defendants. It was long and hard and not fair on many Claimants. The alternative would be to seek modest financial damages, settling earlier with fewer legal costs. Paul was perplexed that the Defendants were fighting the litigation as it didn’t make any economic sense. There were two third wins for the Claimant Group. Some Claimants dropped out on the way, there was litigation fatigue die to the attritional nature of the litigation. For Paul it is a question of getting to the evidence of the abuse rather than looking at technical legal arguments on limitation. Paul and Peter are believers in schemes as they are less attritional and the law in limitation can be manipulated and twisted. They also make the point that physical abuse cases are not allowed in as a result of the St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s Court of Appeal decisions and Paul makes the point that without a scheme or new legislation we are reliant on the insurance industry to do the right thing and it is getting harder and harder for the Claimants. Peter makes the point that the system means that the system means that we are losing buy in from survivors who do not wish to pursue cases. Peter also makes the point that Defendant Lawyers are only seeing the very strongest cases. His firm only accepts 1/3 of the cases that come to him and only a very small proportion end up being successful. A no fault compensation scheme would mean a better outcome for survivors. If limitation were abolished there would be many more cases likely to succeed. Both Paul and Peter agree that the Residential Institution’s Redress Board Scheme was fair and compassionate. The Jersey Scheme also worked, the Lambeth Scheme is speedy, allows legal costs and an apology. A scheme would need to be open-ended without a time limit. The issue is who funds it. There should be no bar on pursuing the civil system if necessary. Mediation failed in the Nugent Care case as the Defendants had no appetite to mediate. After questioning from Iva Frank, Paul explained that the ingredients of a redress scheme would be an acknowledgement of the abuse, an apology, financial redress and counselling. 6th December 2018 – nothing dictated for 6.12.18
7th December 2018
Steve Bellingham (man in 50’s, grey suit and tie – UK Technical Manager for RSA)
He sets the strategy. He has three individuals working on CSA cases in his team and hands out all the work to Keoghs Solicitors (formerly Hill Dickinson). He accepts that given that there were convictions, a proportion of the Claimants were abused but it was RSA’s decision to defend. RSA defend vigorously. When questioned about an ethical dimension to decision making his response was that he works on a basis of what the law will allow and ethical considerations are not considered. He did say however that if the Policy Holder wants to pay out, he will listen to them and may have to pay out themselves or do some kind of deal to reflect if they feel the case could go if defended vigorously. He thinks that using limitation in appropriate circumstances is right. He feels that to leave it to the Judges is the right thing to do. He agrees that an arithmetic calculation for each case is done and that decisions are based on commerciality. He is content to use global offers. He agrees that in the St Vincent’s and St Aidan’s cases the number of appeals may have resulted in a higher cost for RSA early settlement. He stands by the line that he will authorise solicitors to put up defences’ where they are material and have prospects of success. He does not have a written policy but do have internal tactical policies. Since 2009 18% of cases coming to them litigate and only 6 trials have taken place, defences were held in five of the six cases. Claimants are paid damages in 49% of the cases coming to them. He is not sure why 51% were discontinued. On redress schemes he agrees they are okay but it is about money at the end of the day. He was supported if it was commercially beneficial. On the issue of apologies, he states that he is not involved with apologies.
Carolyn McKenzie – Complex Claims Director for RSA (woman in 30’s, dark jacket, curly shoulder length brown hair)
RSA receive 130 CSA claims per year. She is considering putting together a policy document on how to respond to CSA claims. Legal defences are taken. They rely on the expertise of claim handlers (Solicitors at Keoghs) to weigh up prospects and fight cases where appropriate. She supports limitation remaining in place as if it didn’t there would be financial consequences for RSA.
A34 (F31) – Stanhope Castle Survivor
Physically and sexually abused at Stanhope Castle. He told the social worker about the brutality, he got beaten in front of everyone as a result. He went to see a Solicitor, Alistair Smith and saw him two or three years. He still gets flashbacks and had a nightmare last night. He wanted to bring the abusers to justice. He thought it was Cleveland Council but now understands that Middlesbrough Council are dealing with it. He got no education from Stanhope Castle and only got Maths and English in GCSE’s when he got an NVQ in Health and Social Care because he needed them. His case was unsuccessful in his civil claim. CICA was mentioned. CPS decided not to prosecute. He was beaten on his backside, legs and back with a cane. His hands were held with a rope as this was happening. He has scars. He was also beaten with a bar of soap wrapped in a towel. He was sexually abused in a sick bay. He had 10 weeks counselling; an hour a week, given to him by the police. He wants an apology, compensation and support. He wants the legal process to be easier and less stressful.
A25 (F32) – Stanhope Castle Survivor
Sexually abused by F17 from the age of 12 to 14 whilst at Stanhope and out on walks. Physically beaten by F17 as well. Reported this to Matron. He found out about Stanhope Castle via Facebook and shocked to read the stories. He got in touch with Watson Woodhouse Solicitors and the Police. F17 is now dead and the police could not pursue it. He has had some counselling. He told the solicitors that he wasn’t interested in money but the Solicitors still attempted to make a civil claim for him without his consent. He is very unhappy with Watson Woodhouse Solicitors. He wasn’t asked whether he wanted to pursue a CICA claim. 10th December 2018
Peter Robson (Stanhope Castle Survivor) – wearing a blue t-shirt. Man in his late 50’s.
Mr Robson waived his anonymity. He was caught shoplifting at age 11 and sent to Stanhope Castle. He was raped repeatedly by another child and caned on his bare backside by a schoolmaster. He left Stanhope on the 16th October 1967. He told someone at Stanhope Castle but no action was taken. He felt as though he could not tell his mother and realised later that his brother had been abused also. He had not told anyone else until 2015 when he spoke to his niece about what had happened to him. He tried to blank it from his mind. Mr Robson feels that he is lucky – his brother turned to drink – but Mr Robson had not. He was able to find counselling after being persistent with a local group in Middlesbrough. He only got it when he mentioned that he was part of IICSA and they had a relationship with IICSA so he got 12 sessions of counselling. He eventually went to Stockton Police Station and spoke to DC Dawn Clarke. Mr Robson feels that DC Dawn Clarke was very good with him. The police could not find the abuser but he acknowledges that the police did the best that they could to try and find him. This has all had a serious effect on him. He tends to lash out at the people who are closest to him because to use his words ‘I hate myself’. In relation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Application he was advised by DC Dawn Clarke to make the application. His application was first rejected in May 2017 on the basis that the police could not locate the perpetrator and that there was insufficient evidence. He became upset at hearing the news and felt like committing suicide there and then as he felt he was not being believed. He asked for a review of the decision and the case was successful and David Greenwood took over the case and submitted further evidence from another survivor of Stanhope Castle who had been subjected to similar abuse. He was offered £22,000 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Mr Robson apologises to David Enright, to Alexandra Mirraty of the IICSA staff and his childhood friend Peter Smith for all the hassle he has caused. In relation to the civil claim he felt that one problem is getting a solicitor to believe you. He felt that Legal Aid was also problematic as it was difficult to get, if he could he would have preferred to have done it without litigation. He is also put off by the Limitation Statute Laws. Mr Robson has faith in IICSA, Alexis Jay and the Panel. He hopes that a Redress Scheme, where litigation is not necessary can be established. He reminds us that he thinks about the abuse every day and he has tried to kill himself once. Colin Watson (Stanhope Castle Survivor) – Anonymity Waived – Read Mr Watson was abused at Stanhope Castle. He feels that the police should investigate more thoroughly and that the CICA and Civil systems are not good enough because they only provide money and do not bring people to account. In relation to a civil claim, he feels that his former solicitor, Watson Woodhouse put in a Civil and CICA Claim against his wishes. He was told to try for £10,000 but he did not authorise this and he has since found out that was done without his authority. He wants to know why this was done without his consent. He is bedbound and finds it difficult to access counselling support. He has tried MIND in Middlesbrough and Stockton without success.
AR – A96/F20 (Stanhope Castle Survivor) – Read
A civil case, he is not aware of the process and preferred not to bother. He has applied for Criminal Injuries Compensation but this has not yet been determined. He did have some counselling in his late 30’s but wants to avoid psychiatrists now. Assistance Chief Constable David Orford (Durham Constabulary) – man in his 50’s wearing full tunic police uniform. The up to date position with Durham Constabulary is that they have a Public Protection Unit. They work with Darlington and Durham Councils and have a network of SARCs (Sexual Assault Referral Centres) these are the first port of call with recent abuse but they also deal with non-recent abuse allegations. His officers signpost survivors to local and national agencies and he encourages officers to keep in touch with victims of abuse. He recognises that there is a conflict between pursuing Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim and police investigation and that sometimes officers hold back information about the CICA until an investigation is concluded. The force has a single point of contact to deal with all CICA enquiries. In relation to Criminal Compensation Orders direct from Judges, there is a feeling among his officers that abusers won’t pay as they are in prison. In relation to civil cases, many of his officers do signpost to solicitors but that is discretionary according to the officer. He does intend to bring in complainants to speak to officers at their training courses. He acknowledges that a 1999 report into Stanhope Castle was below standard and failed to follow proper procedures. The 2013 investigation code name ‘Operation Midday’ was run by Chief Superintendent Paul Goundry with 28 victims, 59 crimes and 31 sexual offences identified in 2016 and the number is still growing. Watson Woodhouse Solicitors helped in providing witnesses and evidence. In 16 cases the abuser was deceased. In 11 cases there were evidential problems (lack of corroboration etc.), in one case a suspect was unfit for trial and in one physical case the case was not accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service. The strategy document was set up by Paul Goudry with IICSA reference OHY006320_004. All complainants got a detailed letter from DC Dawn Clarke which advised to either pursue the CICA application themselves or to go through and ISVA.
James Bromiley (Middlesbrough Council Executive) – man in his 40’s. Tall, grey suit and blue tie.
He gives his deepest sympathies and gives his apologies to survivors. He is the Strategic Director for Finance, Governance, Pensions and Legal and Democratic. When a claim is received he instructs lawyers who pursue the case according to legal principles. The Home Office ran Stanhope Castle until 1973 and then Cleveland took it over. In 1994 Cleveland Council became Hartlepool, Stockton, Cleveland and Middlesbrough Council. Middlesbrough now represent the four Councils. Middlesbrough Council rely on Solicitors to obtain their own social services records from other various Councils. Durham Council may hold records for Stanhope Castle. When questioning his acceptance of legal advice and told that a Council can chose not to accept legal advice his response was “we have to justify settling any claim as it is public money”. He goes on to say “I don’t think it is appropriate not to raise a defence where it is possible to do so”. When told that Tower Hamlet decided that it was a moral decision on their part to meet claims and not to take the advice of lawyer his response is “I seek advice on how the law applies now”. He did point out that 33 Stanhope cases which started in 2001 settled in 2010 for small payments. These had been physical cases. Questions of Professor Jay Q Do you accept that children were abused in these Councils? A We have to look at individual cases. Q What is the Council’s general reserve? A £50,000,000. Q Has compensation to survivors of this nature even been debated in the Council’s Chamber? A Not to my knowledge. Q Do you draw it to the Councillors attention? A I have had some discussion with elective members. Questions of Drusilla Sharpling Q Does the Council have any corporate memory of these matters? A That is a bit unfair. The previous insurance manager would have been in a better position to respond. Questions from Iva Frank Q How long ago was the previous insurance manager in post? A A substantial number of years. I believe he transferred from Cleveland Council in 1994 and ceased work in 2017. Q What is his name? A Robert Chamberling.
Rod Luck (Claims and Insurance Manager MMI) – man in his 50’s, shaved head. Dark suit and glasses.
MMI are on cover for Stanhope from the late 1960’s and insured Cleveland between 1973 and 1981. A number of claims came forward in 2002 officer via physical assaults it appeared between 2002 and 2010 they were not being pursued. We now know that claimant’s solicitors were waiting for the case law to change (A-v-Hoare). He is aware of a 1979 report from the DHSS of 1974 to 1977 abuse allegations. He believes that the report is sufficient to decide that abuse was taking place at the school at that time. A former teacher was found at that point who gave cause for concern and we took a statement from him. Some proceedings were issued and we then decided to settle the claims. We had a strong limitation defence but the settlements were modest. Costs were agreed on a group basis. Recent Stanhope cases after 2013 – when asked why these cases have not settled Mr Luck’s response was that the cases are a further 10 years on. There was no indication of previous sexual abuse in the old documentation. We do take limitation as a defence if it is appropriate. A number of abusers had died and in our view these cases were not very strong. The Solicitor for the Claimants did not address the point in detail. There was no explanation of a case on limitation which we could have expected. We thought that the Claimants Solicitor had lost confidence about winning. Overall where we consider limitation as a legitimate defence we take it. There is nothing illegitimate about a limitation defence. Mr Luck had nothing to say about a Redress Scheme. There were no questions for the Panel.
Penelope Ayles (formerly of Wollercombe Beer Watts Solicitors) – was unwell and will attend in person on the 15th January 2019.
11th December 2018
A25 (Stanhope Survivor)
He was referred to Watson Woodhouse Solicitors by other survivors of Stanhope Castle and met Alistair Smith at a short meeting. He needed Counselling and was not interested in compensation. He just wanted an acknowledgment. He never met the solicitors again. He had no phone calls. He was unaware of an offer being made until the 15th November 2018.
12th December 2018
Alistair Smith (Solicitor – Watson Woodhouse) – man in his 50’s. Grey suit, short hair.
Mr Smith gave evidence to explain that gathering evidence of Stanhope Castle was difficult as there was a lack of records and the records that survived there were no references to abuse. he tended to meet the victims face to face. His view was that Legal Aid was reducing and so signed Conditional Fee Agreements. He would have to pay for medical reports and court fees etc. overall he found that Claimants were difficult to communicate with and he was often the first person they had spoken to about their abuse. He would send a client care letter. There was a group of Claimants who had come together headed by Colin Watson, this was mid to late-2014. Claimants started to disclose physical and then sexual abuse and he wrote letters of claim. He had a conference with Barrister, Mr Levinson, attended by the ATE Insurer who decided that further investigation was required. He needed to work out what MMI (the insurer of Stanhope) response was going to be. They would need statements and corroboration and this would be an 18 month process. It would be a very difficult case as some perpetrators were dead or not traced. In his view the difference between physical and sexual cases on limitation is unfair. The law tends to favour sexual cases over physical cases as the stigma on sexual cases is greater but this is difficult to explain to a survivor of hard physical abuse. The police investigation had proved unsuccessful and ATE insurance was not available. These were likely to be low-level compensation claims as a result of all these factors. In relation to Mr Watson, Mr Smith had all his signed authorities to proceed. A letter of claim was displayed on the screen along with the insurance documentation and responses from the insurers dealing with limitation and the death of perpetrators etc. Mr Smith suggested an offer of £10,000. He did not receive a response. Mr Smith cannot recall pursuing a CICA application for Mr Smith, and cannot recall making a £10,000 offer. There was criticism that the claims were not pushed hard enough. Mr Smith felt that the defence on limitation was being pushed very hard. He tried to explain the difficulties that they would have in paying for medical evidence and court issue fees. Some clients understood that they were unable to pursue them but some did not. All the cases were discontinued. No offers from Criminal Injuries Compensation due to lack of evidence. Mr Smith was surprised by the Peter Robson success. Mr Smith criticised the adversarial system as it is designed to trip up witnesses. Going through the process is too long. He feels that many applicants will die whilst waiting for their cases to be concluded.
Nigel O’Mara (Counsellor)
Mr O’Mara was a child prostitute up until the age of 22. He set up the Survivors UK Helpline. He reported his own abuse to the police at ages 12 and 15. He was dismissed by the police and no one was prosecuted. He feels that support is needed, more should be available. The police should be empathetic and should be given more training. There are very few agencies set up for male survivors of abuse. His service at Survivors UK has evolved. All of his advisors are credited but still relies on donations or grants. He now spends a lot of his time campaigning. He has worked with an East Midlands Survivor Service and produced a training video. He makes appropriate referrals. He feels that there is a postcode lottery on getting good help and support for survivors. He feels that accountability and reparation should be access to justice, in improvements in the quality of life of survivors and not just financial redress. Survivors need help, support and an apology. A redress scheme is more appropriate and an educational trust.
Lee Eggleston (Rape Crisis Operations Manager) and Faye Maxsted (Manager of The Survivors Trust, an alliance of survivor support organisations)
Their organisations support teams, train ISVA’s and campaign for improvements to the support network. They are focused on empowering survivors to recover by giving them information, more understanding and knowledge and signposting them to good services. They felt that there were sufficient services for male survivors but signposting is important. They have been subjected a large increase in demand and a longer waiting list. They complain that there was limited government funding. There is some PCC, some Local Authority and some Charity funding but these are short term. Seeking funds is a distraction from the support organisation. There are 680 paid staff and 900 volunteers. Volunteers still cost money. The solution is sustainable funding, possibly pooling resources from the NHS and other organisation. They make the point that the Home Office have stopped funding ISVA’s but they need a collaborative approach. Faye Maxsted would like to see support centrally to develop services and expand services with close collaboration between commissioning bodies. 12th December 2018 Representative of RSA/Nugent Care Passes on his apology mentioned by Howe & Co. The apology included an offer of support and a meeting with survivors.
Emma Barnett (Assistance Chief Constable Staffordshire Police and NSPCC Lead for Victim and Witnesses)
She finds that there are inconsistencies due to local approaches of police forces. There is a Victim’s Code of Practice published in October 2015. Police forces are advised to signpost to Rape Crisis, SARC’s ISVA’s although there is local variation. On the issue of civil compensation there is variations to when victims are informed and whether they are informed by police officers. In relation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority it is a matter of goof professional practice to signpost individuals to the CICA. It has to be recognised that any compensation claim can be mentioned in cross-examination at criminal trials and there is pressure on investigating officers not to mention CICA or compensation.
Gregor McGill (CPS Representative) – Read
There are various documents and there is guidance given by the CPS victim code such as a meeting with a victim after a decision not to prosecute. There are special measures in Criminal Courts, Compensation Orders can be applied for direct to the Judge in a criminal case. There is no guidance given for advice on CICA or Civil Cases by CPS Lawyer.
Philippa Handyside (Association of British Insurers General Council)
The Association of British Insurers is a Trade Association. Not all insurers are members. Membership is voluntary. This is UK only. It is not a regulator but does develop good practice. ABI guidance is not compulsory. She referenced the Waterhouse Inquiries of 1999 and low commissioned report of 2004 that insurers should take an “arm’s length approach”. From an insurers point of view there should be a proper investigation of the facts. The ABI have given advice on apologies which should not refer to compensation and should not admit liability. The ABI is supportive of a pre-action protocol on child abuse cases. When questioned on the limitation defence she believes that the court process is the one which strikes the bounds of Claimant and Defendant interests. If the Defence is not used it could lead to more claims. She is interested in discussing a redress scheme but is unsure of policy requirements regarding insurance coverage. Iva Frank of the Panel points out the Claimants are faced with a David and Goliath task and is concerned that insurers can lobby Ministers and Government without needing to register their lobbying activities.
Melissa Case (The Ministry of Justice – Director for Civil Justice)
She discussed Compensation Orders direct from the Judge and intends to set out more guidance but only a very small percentage of disposals lead to an order (0.02%). Enforcement is not always successful also. She is not sure of the extent of the Judge’s knowledge of these Orders. She acknowledges that there is a low awareness of the victim’s code and that the Victims Commissioner has limited power. There is varying quality of support between localities. She acknowledges that they should be joined up and substantial funding for support services. She acknowledges that the Judge’s discretion to disapply the limitation is used widely but also used by Defendants to force settlement and that they should be looked at again.
Melissa Case and Linda Brown (Chief Executives of Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority)
The CICA statement was made at CIC00667. The CICA is a website based organisation now. It encourages applicants to apply as soon as possible. She acknowledges the difficulty if there is a criminal prosecution ongoing as the two year rule could be missed. It is acknowledge that the website needs simplification. It is acknowledged that help from a solicitor in challenging a decision can make challenges more effective. The point is made that an award has never been reduced due to budget but could be delayed. It is not anticipated that there is a political appetite to change the budget of the CICA and inflation costs are unlikely to change awards. The same rule for all is likely to change but has not yet happened. A change in the legislation will allow previous applicants to reapply but this depends on parliamentary time. The issue of convictions is a difficult one to resolve as it is heavily codified. The two applications in the Bryn Alwn litigation CIC00666_003 and IMQ001172_019 were brought to the attention of the CICA there was no comment. In questioning Professor Jay mentioned convictions in grooming cases e.g. Rotherham where Criminal Injuries Compensation has been denied.
13th December 2018
This was a day set aside for the hearing of evidence of Vincent Nichols in the Arch Diocese of Birmingham Investigation.
14th December 2018
Closing Statements as follows;
Set outs of the Redress Scheme (Published on the www.childabuselaw.co.uk website in the news section)
Supports a Redress Scheme and points out criticisms with the Justice System.
Alan Collins (Solicitor)
It is down to chance that Claimants get good advice or compensation. He criticises the Criminal Injuries Compensation and Criminal Justice Orders. We need to see equal access and equal treatment regardless of which institution or offender is responsible. Apologies, counselling and payment needs to be forthcoming. It needs to be survivor focused. He advocates compulsory insurance for child sexual abuse allegations and that limitation should be abolished.
Mr Simblet (Counsel for North Wales Survivors)
He explains the inequality of chances within the Civil Justice System depending on who the insurer or Defendant happens to be. He points out that insurers have an interest in reducing the numbers and value of claims and that insurers are in favour of the status quo. Insurers are only interested in money. He advocates a Redress Scheme.
Miss Allen (Representing Rob Balfour)
Mr Balfour gave evidence at John Allen’s trial and did a CICA claim himself. He runs a support group. He wants to see fully funded support groups with registration of all the counsellors and a Minister at Cabinet level to supervise responses to this inquiry. He wants the system of records preservation tightening.
Chris Jacobs (Barrister) for F48-F58
Mr Jacobs is still seeking apologies from some institutions. He complains that there is not a level playing field for Claimants vs Defendants. He wants limitation removed. The system is used a s deterrent and to reduce the value of volume of claims to be met by insurers. He feels the awards are too low and wants all awards to be revisited.
Adam Weitzman (Middlesbrough Borough Council – Barrister)
He makes the point that Middlesbrough Council have to be careful with public money and have to use the legal system as its guide but that the Council will review the position of the clients cases as Stanhope.
Chris Webb-Jenkins (Solicitor for MMI)
MMI wants to treat Claimants fairly and not to exploit Claimants. MMI is unable to take decisions based on morality or ethics has it has financial obligations. He paints an optimistic picture of civil litigation and how it resolves cases. He raises limitation in most cases as they are at least 25 years old.
Mr Plemming (barrister for Zurich)
Where it can Zurich pursues a limitation defence. It is up to an individual institution to decide whether it wants to apologise. Zurich uses the law to guide its approach.
Mr Hoff (Barrister for RSA)
He defends RSA’s approach as using the law to defeat cases. He wants the Limitation Act to continue and is critical of any redress Scheme.
Mr Sheldon (The Ministry of Justice and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority)
He agrees that limitation needs to be looked at again and recognises the importance of apologies. The review of the CICA system is underway. He advocates tinkering around the edges with the present system.