August Comments

ANON Aug 31st, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

Inquiry into historic child abuse to focus on homes allegations…

A long-running public inquiry will examine allegations of historic child abuse at juvenile justice institutions when it resumes this week.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) probe, one of the UK's largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.

Its seventh module, expected to last until November, will focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School and Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School in Newtownards.

In June, the HIA, spent a week examining the failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth to continue abusing children over four decades.

Retired Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady was among those who gave evidence and said he hoped light would be shed on a "dark chapter" in the church's history.

The inquiry was set up in January 2013 by the Northern Ireland Executive to investigate child abuse which occurred in residential institutions over a 73-year period from 1922 to 1995.

A total of 16 child care facilities are under investigation and around 300 witnesses are expected to give evidence.

Investigative work is scheduled to finish next summer with a report submitted to the MLAs at Stormont the following year.

The HIA is sitting at Banbridge Courthouse, County Down.

On the panel alongside Sir Anthony Hart, a retired High Court judge, is Geraldine Doherty, a former head of the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work in Scotland and David Lane, formerly director of social services in Wakefield, West Yorkshire

ANON Aug 28th, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Vatican's former ambassador, charged with sexual abuse, has died…

The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who had been charged with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, has died as he awaited trial.

Jozef Wesolowski, 67, was found dead in the Vatican room where he has been held on house arrest, according to a statement from the Vatican.

Initial checks "indicated that the death was from natural causes", a press statement said.

It said the Vatican prosecutor ordered an immediate post-mortem and that Pope Francis was informed.

Wesolowski had been due to go on trial in a Vatican tribunal on July 11 for allegedly causing grave psychological harm to victims and possessing child pornography.

But on the morning of the hearing, he was admitted to intensive care because of an unidentified "sudden illness". No new trial date was made public and the presiding judge had adjourned the trial indefinitely.

Wesolowski was previously defrocked under the Vatican's canon law procedures but was facing possible jail time if convicted in its civil tribunal.

The trial had been seen as a high-profile way for Pope Francis to deliver on pledges to punish high-ranking churchmen involved in sex abuse of minors, either by molesting children or by systematically covering up for priests who did.

Recent changes to the Vatican legal code under Francis' leadership allowed prosecutors to broaden their case against Wesolowski.

Charges included possession of what prosecutors described as enormous quantities of child pornography on his two computers, including after Wesolowski was recalled to the Vatican in 2013 following the emergence of rumors that he sexually abused shoeshine boys near the waterfront in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Wesolowski was the first such high-ranking Vatican prelate to be criminally charged at the Holy See for sexually abusing minors.

The case was particularly delicate because Wesolowski was a direct representative of the pope and had been ordained as a priest and bishop by his fellow Pole, the late pope John Paul II.

Polish Corresspondent Aug 28th, 2015 @ 08:50 AM

Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop and Vatican envoy to the Dominican Republic, has died before he could be tried for child sex offences.

His trial in the Vatican was adjourned in July after he was taken ill.

He was accused of paying for sex with children in the Dominican Republic.

Wesolowski, 66, would have been the first high-ranking church official to be tried on paedophile charges. His case was seen a test of the Vatican's pledge to stamp out child abuse.

Last year, the Pope compared the actions of those who commit such crimes to a "satanic mass".

Wesolowski was charged with abusing children in the Dominican Republican between 2008-13.

He was also charged with possession of child pornography, dating from his return to Rome in 2013.

The charges have been seen as part of a crackdown by Pope Francis on clerics and employees of the Church who exploit minors.

Latin American Aug 22nd, 2015 @ 04:55 PM

The Chilean government has decided to deport an Irish priest who was convicted last year of sexually abusing a young girl, according to the Chilean interior ministry.

John O'Reilly was sentenced to four years' probation in November for repeatedly molesting the girl from the time she was five.

The abuse took place from 2010 to 2012 at an exclusive school where O'Reilly was the spiritual advisor at the time.

The interior ministry said it was revoking O'Reilly's permanent residency and that he would have to leave the country after completing his sentence in 2018.

The decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

O'Reilly, 69, was once an influential figure in Chile as the local head of the Catholic Church's ultra-conservative Legion of Christ order.

He arrived in Chile in 1984 and was granted citizenship in 2008 - but had it revoked in March by Congress.

The Legion of Christ has been beset by accusations of sexual abuse.

The order's founder, Mexican-born Marcial Maciel, stepped down in 2005 amid allegations of pedophilia and fathering several children. He died in 2008 under the protection of the Vatican

ANON Aug 21st, 2015 @ 04:47 PM

Three jailed over Rochdale child sexual exploitation…

A man who abducted and sexually exploited a 13-year-old girl from a Greater Manchester care home has been jailed for seven years.

Bilal Ahmed, of Tentercroft, Oldham, abused the vulnerable teenager when she was away from the care home.

University graduate Ahmed, 27, sexually abused the girl on two occasions during a week last September.

Two other men were also jailed at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court for abduction and facilitating abuse.

The victim told Greater Manchester Police about a "disgusting" experience she had endured with Ahmed.

The jury convicted him of two counts of child abduction and two of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

His friend Hassan Ali, 21, of no fixed address, was jailed for 12 months at an earlier hearing after he was convicted of abducting a 13-year-old boy.

Dilon Rasul, 24, of Worsley Street, Oldham, provided accommodation to Ahmed.

He was jailed for two years after he was found guilty of facilitating sexual activity with a child.

A fourth man, Jubair Rahman, 23, of Waterman View, Rochdale, admitted child abduction at an earlier hearing and will be sentenced on Monday, police said.

The children, girls aged 13 and 15, and a 13-year-old boy, had been living at care homes in After sentencing, Det Con Ben Harris said: "All four men befriended the children, who were extremely vulnerable and given drink and drugs.

"The offenders gained their trust before taking advantage of them to satisfy their own needs."

Neil Usher, prosecuting, told a previous court hearing that the children in the care of Rochdale Social Services the 13-year-olds and a 15-year-old girl went missing from separate care homes in September and October 2014.

The girls would meet each other and seek the company of older men, the court heard, staying out overnight occasionally and being given alcohol and cannabis.

On 21 September, the three teenagers caught a tram to Oldham where they arranged to meet Ali.

They were taken to a house party where the 13-year-old girl was sexually abused by Ahmed. She was abused again within a week.

ANON Aug 21st, 2015 @ 10:39 AM

Number of children in care hits a 20-year high…

The number of looked-after children in Northern Ireland has reached a 20-year high, with some in the care system for more than a decade, according to the Human Rights Commission.

In March last year, 249 children had been looked after for more than 10 years, and 547 children had been looked after for between five and 10 years.

Youngsters are also being moved too quickly between foster places because of financial pressures and there are delays in adoption, the body added.

Of the looked-after children who moved in the year 2012/13, more than a fifth had between one to three placement switches.

The body pointed out that despite recognising adoption legislation was out of date in 2006, authorities have not reformed it.

Interviewed young people also expressed a lack of decision-making in their care, coupled with a lack of consistency in residential care settings.

Chief Commissioner Les Allamby said: "Our aim is for improvements to be made without delay as it is essential our laws protect children's human rights at every step in the care system."

ANON Aug 21st, 2015 @ 09:40 AM

Inquiry call over alleged historical sex abuse at school in Wales Junior School said nobody connected with the school at that time remains....

People who claim they were sexually abused by a Newport head teacher in the 1970s are calling for an inquiry to investigate if reports were made to the authorities at the time.

Seven people have contacted solicitors alleging they were assaulted by Jon Styler at Malpas Church in Wales Primary School.

Mr Styler, who killed himself in 2007, reportedly denied the allegations.

Gwent Police said it was not currently investigating Mr Styler.

Jeff Parry from Newport, who was a pupil at the school in the 1970s, claims he was abused during private reading lessons in Mr Styler's office, when he was 10-years-old.

He said he felt no-one would have believed him at the time, but now wants an investigation to find out what the authorities might have known.

"I would like there to be an inquiry now into what happened because I don't want it to happen to any other child," he said.

Another alleged victim, who did not want to be named, claims he was abused at school, at a holiday caravan and after trips to the theatre.

Other media reports suggest Jon Styler had been arrested and released on bail over historical allegations.

The same reports also claimed he strongly denied the allegations in a letter written before his death.

A signed statement from a senior teacher who worked at the school at the time, seen by BBC Wales, alleges he told a number of organisations about his concerns "young vulnerable children were at considerable risk".

They include the Church in Wales, a teaching union and the then Gwent County Council.

The teacher claims Mr Styler was spoken to but no pupils were questioned.

Mr Styler also worked at Brynglas Primary School, Newport, from 1968, before later moving to Malpas Church in Wales Primary School.

No allegations have been made against him at any other institution.

Newport council said it took the allegations seriously but it could not comment further as the matter was subject to a legal claim.

Malpas Church in Wales Junior School said any allegations "should be fully investigated" but said "nobody connected with the school at that time remains".

The Church in Wales said it had "no record on file of claims against Mr Styler", while Gwent Police said there was currently no investigation into Mr Styler

ANON Aug 20th, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

Child sex suspect is arrested at Manchester Airport…

A man wanted in connection with child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has been arrested at Manchester Airport.

South Yorkshire Police said Basharat Hussain (3 was detained at the airport by their officers in connection with "a string of non-recent sexual exploitation offences" in the town.

Hussain, of no fixed address, was arrested after a warrant for his arrest was granted by Sheffield Magistrates Court, the force said.

A spokesman said he has been charged with gross indecency towards a child, inciting a child to commit gross indecency, procuring a female to have sex with a man, indecent assault, rape, false imprisonment and procuring a female to become a prostitute.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1996 and 2001.

The arrest was made as part of Operation Clover, a South Yorkshire Police investigation.

Hussain was bailed after he was arrested earlier this year and was thought to have fled to Pakistan.

ANON Aug 20th, 2015 @ 10:02 AM

Maggie Kirkpatrick: Australian actor found guilty of child abuse…

Australian actor Maggie Kirkpatrick has been found guilty by a court in Melbourne of sexually abusing a girl under 14 in 1984.

Kirkpatrick, aged 74 and one of the stars of 1980s Australian TV drama Prisoner Cell Block H, had denied charges of gross indecency.

But the court ruled she had abused the girl at her home in Prahan, Victoria.

Kirkpatrick was ordered to return to court on Friday, when she will be sentenced to community service.

In a statement read to the court, the unnamed victim said she had organised a meeting with Kirkpatrick through a TV producer while she was a patient in a psychiatric hospital.

She said said she had not reported the abuse until recently because she feared people would call her "crazy".

Kirkpatrick played a warden called Joan, nicknamed The Freak, in Prisoner, a popular series set in a women's prison.

She later appeared in a host of other Australian TV shows and in 1991 played Marilyn's aunt Jean Chambers in Home and Away.

Her most recent role was in a stage production of the musical Wicked.

ANON Aug 18th, 2015 @ 10:39 AM

A mother who branded her 16-month-old baby's cheek with a "smiley" mark…

Judge Philip Head said the woman's actions were "wicked" as he sentenced the 25-year-old to four years in prison.

The mother denied three counts of child cruelty, which included pressing the hot end of a cigarette lighter into her baby's cheek to brand her in May 2012.

She appeared emotionless in the dock at Leicester Crown Court as the judge sentenced her.

Judge Head said: "You gravely abused your child."

Speaking about the burn, the judge said: "There's only one word for that: branding.
You branded your own daughter's face in an area that will be visible for the rest of her life.

"You branded your child in a deliberate and premeditated act. It was wicked."

The incidents all took place at a flat in North West Leicestershire.

Mitigating, Justin McClintock said his client, who cannot be named, was "naive and immature".

He added that she had lost custody of her children.

ANON Aug 18th, 2015 @ 10:06 AM

Lest We Forget.

Bishop wants Little Nellie exhumed…

The Bishop of Cork and Ross has called for the exhumation of the remains of Little Nellie the “unofficial patron saint” of Cork from a cemetery on lands controlled by receivers to allow people to pray at her grave.

John Buckley also suggested that in the interim, approaches be made to the bank which appointed the receivers to manage the now derelict Good Shepherd Convent on Sunday’s Well with a view to facilitating public access to her grave.

“As devotion grows to Little Nellie, we should ensure that maybe her remains are exhumed again, and placed in a more public place, where people could come and pray to her.”

He makes his comments in a new three-part radio documentary, produced and presented by John Greene, as part of his Where the Road Takes Me series on C103.

Ellen Organ was born in Waterford in 1903 and moved to Cork in 1905 when her father, a member of the Royal Artillery, was transferred to Spike Island.

When her mother died, Nellie and her sister were placed into the care of the Good Shepherd Sisters at their industrial school in Sunday’s Well.

Despite her young age and debilitating health conditions, including TB, Nellie astounded people with her strong faith, knowledge of Catholic doctrine, and holiness.

The then bishop of Cork, Bishop O’Callaghan, was so impressed with her use of reason and devotion to the Eucharist that he granted her special permission to receive Holy Communion aged just four-and-a half.

She died in the convent in 1908 and was buried in St Joseph’s Cemetery but when her body was exhumed for reburial in the convent grounds a year later, it was found to be intact.

As word of her remarkable life spread, people began praying to her and claimed her intercession led to the granting of favours and cures.

Her life story influenced Pope Pius X in his decision to lower the age for receiving Communion from 12 to seven.

Over the years, her grave became a place of pilgrimage.

The convent chapel was dedicated to her memory and her room was preserved for almost a century until the derelict convent was razed by fire in July 2003.

Planning permission was granted in 2006 for the complete redevelopment of the convent and former Magdalene laundry as a massive student complex, but the work never started.

ANON Aug 18th, 2015 @ 09:08 AM

Roman Catholic Church in Scotland to publish abuse report…

The findings of a special commission set up to look into abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland are due to be published.

The church asked Dr Andrew McLellan to lead a review of how it handles allegations of abuse.

It took evidence from victims in a bid to improve support services and protect vulnerable children and adults.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will respond to the recommendations during a Mass in Glasgow.

Dr McLellan, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland, was tasked with coming up with proposals aimed at making the Catholic Church in Scotland "a safe place for all".

In March of last year, he named 11 commissioners, including a senior police officer, a journalist and an MP, who would work alongside him.

Dr McLellan stressed the commission would not "investigate or adjudicate" on current or historical allegations.

Allegations of abuse have been made by former pupils at Fort Augustus Abbey.

His review was announced following a series of scandals.

The Church faced allegations of abuse at the former Catholic boarding school at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands.

The former leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, stepped down in February 2013 after admitting sexual misconduct.

Dr McLellan's review is part of a three-sectioned response by the church to allegations of sexual abuse.

The church said it would make public annual audits of all allegations received by the church and has, so far, published two.

It also said it would instigate a retrospective investigation of historic allegations, dating back to 1947 with work continuing on that.

The church said any allegations uncovered as part of this, which had not been acted upon, would be passed to police for them to investigate

ANON Aug 14th, 2015 @ 10:37 AM

Lord Janner not at court to face child sex abuse charges…

Lord Janner has failed to appear at court to face child sex abuse charges, despite the High Court ruling he must attend a hearing.

His lawyer told the court he would try to "facilitate" an appearance by the peer today, adding he wanted him to appear via a live link from his home.

The 87-year-old, who has dementia, had been due at Westminster Magistrates' Court in relation to 22 charges spanning the 1960s to the 1980s.

His family say he is innocent.

Lord Janner's lawyer, Paul Ozin, said a live link from the peer's home would be the option that was "least likely" to cause the peer to suffer.

He had argued Lord Janner had "virtually no language left at all" and was likely to have a "catastrophic reaction" if he attended court.

But his lawyers said they were not planning to appeal the ruling.

The judges said the public interest outweighed any personal distress he might experience, and any distress would be "of short duration".

His appearance had been expected to last less than a minute and he was to be allowed to be accompanied by a member of his family and a nurse.

Lord Janner's family have strongly denied claims he used his power as an MP to abuse young boys over three decades.

Earlier this year, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders decided not to bring charges against Lord Janner because of his ill health but this decision was overturned after an appeal by the alleged victims.

If a crown court judge decides the former Labour MP for Leicester is fit to plead, a full trial may take place.

If not, there will be a trial of the facts, where a jury will decide only if he committed the physical acts of abuse, with no finding of guilt and no conviction.

Greville Janner was made Lord Janner of Braunstone in 1997. He remains a life peer, but has been on leave of absence since 2014.

He was suspended from the Labour Party in April.

ANON Aug 13th, 2015 @ 10:41 AM

Copy and Paste.. Lest We Forget.... http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Forgotten-fire-that-devastated-Cavan-orphanage-in-1943.html

ANON Aug 12th, 2015 @ 11:45 AM

Bushey LL Camps director faces child porn charges…

A director of a children's camp in Hertfordshire has been charged with possessing indecent of images of children.

Ben Lewis, 25, of Lullington Garth, Borehamwood, is facing three charges relating to the offence.

Mr Lewis is a director of LL Camps, a US-style children's camp in Bushey, which was was closed by Ofsted last Thursday.

He will appear at Hatfield Remand Court later, Hertfordshire Police said.
LL Camps opened in 2010 and promoted itself as the Britain's only US-style summer camp.

The privately-run firm was based at St Margaret's School Sports Centre on Merry Hill Road in Bushey.

A school spokeswoman previously said the only link to LL Camps was hiring out a part of its sports centre site during holidays.

The organisation said it was about "meeting new friends, expanding interests and learning new skills".

The LL Camps website, which has now been taken offline, said: "We provide opportunities for children aged 4-14 to experience day camp, American style."

Facilities included a motorsports track, archery ranges, tennis courts, arts and crafts studios, a climbing wall and quad bikes.

Police said specialist officers and staff from the force and county council will handle parents' specific concerns and information relevant to the inquiry.

People can ask to speak to children's services at the county council on 0300 123 4043.

ANON Aug 12th, 2015 @ 11:43 AM

Rotherham "horrific" child sex abuse brothers jailed…

Two brothers who subjected three children to "horrific and depraved" sex abuse in Rotherham have been jailed.

Eduard Peticky, 48, and his younger brother, Ludovit, abused two boys and a girl as young as three years old in the Eastwood area between 2010 and 2012.

They were found guilty of 10 charges between them, including sexual assault, after a trial on 25 July last year.

Sentencing them at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Peter Kelson said it was "a hugely horrifying incident".

Eduard Peticky, of Josephine Road, Rotherham, was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve a minimum term of 10 years for four offences including sexual exploitation and trafficking.

His 45-year-old brother, Ludovit Peticky, of Legrams Lane, Bradford, was jailed for 12 years for six offences.

Both had denied all the charges.

Speaking of Eduard's offending, the judge said: "This is a hugely horrifying incident and as depraved as could possibly be. It is horrific. He poses a substantial risk to society."

A police investigation began in September 2013 after the victims disclosed what had happened to them.

Det Con Ian Hampshire, of South Yorkshire Police, said he hoped they could "now try to move on with their lives and put this dreadful ordeal behind them".

"These young children suffered horrific abuse at the hands of these brothers over a prolonged period of time.

"The harm that they caused will stay with them forever.

"I am pleased the young victims found the courage to tell someone what had happened to them so that we could take swift action against the men and bring them to justice."

ANON Aug 12th, 2015 @ 11:39 AM

Convicted child abuser Alan Kerr jailed for attacks on boys…

A convicted child abuser has been jailed for eight years over sexual offences against four young boys.

Alan Kerr, 58, from Glasgow, admitted abusing two boys but denied more serious charges, meaning his other victims were forced to give evidence.

At the High Court in Glasgow, he was convicted of offences against the four boys at various addresses in Glasgow and Stirling between 1980 and 2006.

Kerr previously served five years and 10 months for abusing a boy and a girl.

The court heard that Kerr's latest known abuse came to light after one of his victims began experiencing flashbacks.

When he contacted police an investigation was launched and the other victims came forward.

ANON Aug 11th, 2015 @ 11:20 AM

1/2...Internet giants to help remove abuse images…

Internet giants such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter are being given access to a database which will enable them to help uncover and remove millions of online images of child abuse.

The British-based anti-abuse organisation Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is sharing lists of images of abuse with web companies so that they can protect their customers and help victims.

In order to help the system be effective as possible, the British government is giving IWF access to its own Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).

According to the BBC, CAID even includes images found on computers seized by police that may not have been uploaded online.

The IWF database will be made available to internet companies that provide services such as uploading, storing, or searching of images; filtering or hosting services; and social media and chat services, as well as those working in connectivity and data centres.

All the pictures will be given a ‘hash’ or digital footprint which will make it harder to share.

The hashing system is already used by the In Hope international network of internet hotlines, which monitor illegal activity online.

Paul Durrant of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland (ISPAI), whose hotline.ie website is an InHope member, said the hashing system technically analyses the image and creates an unique code.

ANON Aug 11th, 2015 @ 11:19 AM

2/2....“That code is not reversible and can be distributed to various people,” he said.
“While you cannot create the image from the code, if another image comes along which matches the code, you can be fairly sure it is probably the same image and it is probably an illegal one.”

Mr Durrant said it was a major step forward for companies offering widespread hosting to get the list and apply it, thereby filtering out people who are attempting to upload known images to those sites.

Unfortunately, those behind the illegal images can still use the ‘darknet’ a computer network with restricted access that is used chiefly for illegal peer-to-peer file sharing to share images in a manner which is much harder to trace than if they were published or shared on the likes of Google.

Mr Durrant said efforts are being made to tackle that phenomenon.

“The most important tool for tackling abuse on the internet is that, if people come across what they suspect is illegal content or is leading to illegal content, report it to hotline.ie. It is totally confidential,” he said.

“If we get darknet reports, we will investigate that.

We try to find the images in question.

Even though we may not be able to locate where the images are from, as we can on the normal net, we can still get those images and feed them into the hashing system.

“The images can be added to the Interpol database.

Also often, because people think they are safe on the darknet, those images themselves can contain information which has some clue in it which can help law enforcement to possibly find out who these people are.”

ANON Aug 11th, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

Fireman John McGinn raped young girl he rescued from blaze…

A firefighter has been found guilty of raping a nine-year-old girl hours after he rescued her from a blaze.

John McGinn, 56, saved the girl, whom he knew, from a fire at her house in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, in 1994.

The now-retired firefighter later raped her and threatened to kill her mother if she told anyone.

The girl, now aged 30, later contacted police. An investigation of McGinn's past led to him being convicted of six charges against the girl and others.

McGinn was back at the High Court in Glasgow for sentencing having been convicted of the charges in June.

'Downright lie'

The case, however, was adjourned until later this month.

Earlier, the court heard that McGinn denied raping the young girl after he was arrested by police.

He told detectives: "It's a downright lie it did not happen. No chance.

For her to come out with that is ridiculous. I would rather put a bullet in my own head than be a paedophile."

He added: "Hanging is too good for a paedophile."

McGinn, from Bellshill, claimed the victim had previously tried to blackmail him as she knew he had a lucrative fire brigade pension.

He claimed the rape allegation was payback for not giving her money.

The jury heard, however, that McGinn had assaulted another young girl and given her sweets and juice to keep her quiet.

The court also heard from a woman, aged 50, who had lived with McGinn in the Bellshill area, in the 1980s.

She said she had suffered years of sexual and physical violence from him and described McGinn as "monster".

The woman told the court that she was repeatedly raped by McGinn and had eventually snapped and chased him with a knife after he tied her to a bed and sexually assaulted her.

ANON Aug 11th, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

1/2...Pakistan child sex abuse: Seven arrested in Punjab…

Seven people have been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of involvement in child sexual abuse and extortion.

The chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, ordered a judicial inquiry into reports that hundreds of children had been abused over a period of several years.

Local media say a gang made videos showing the abuse of children, whose parents were then subject to blackmail.

The scandal centres on a village near the city of Kasur.

Reports say about 280 children, mostly under 14-years-old, were abused and filmed, in the village of Husain Khan Wala.

Correspondents say many victims are afraid to report abuse, in a society which allows abusers to brag about their exploits but stigmatises their victims.
Police say more arrests are expected.

ANON Aug 11th, 2015 @ 11:07 AM

2/2...Analysis by the BBC's Ilyas Khan in Islamabad

Child sex abuse is widespread in parts of Pakistan, especially in the countryside.
According to one estimate, over 3,500 cases of child molestation were reported in 2014, of which 67% were reported from rural areas.

Meanwhile, many have noticed that most of the clips being investigated date back to 2009-11, shortly after camera phones first became widely available, with few recent cases being reported.

This has led some to suspect that the clips were reported to the police amid a local dispute.

One boy told BBC Urdu the abuse began when he was 11, five years ago:

"They sexually abused me in front of secret cameras, they came back a week later and showed me the video, and said if I did not do what they wanted, they would show it to my friends and school colleagues."

A woman told the BBC her son had been molested and blackmailed for five years, and she had only recently learned about the abuse:

"They used to badly treat him wherever they could get hold of him.

They would snatch his mobile and money.

"They [the perpetrators] are now threatening us."

District police officer Rai Babar Saeed told BBC Urdu: "We have around 30 video clips of one incident showing six victims and seven people involved.

We have arrested these seven. We are still trying to recover more videos."

He added that there was "no political motive" behind the investigations, which he said were being conducted "on merit".

Last week, more than 20 people were injured as families of the alleged victims clashed with police in Kasur, accusing the authorities of ignoring their complaints.

Saba Sadiq, the head of Punjab's child protection bureau, described the case as "the largest child abuse scandal in Pakistan's history", the AFP news agency reports.

The provincial chief in Punjab is the brother of Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

ANON Aug 9th, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

1/3...'Adoption hid family breast cancer history from me'…

She was born in Bessborough Mother and Baby home in Cork in 1969, to a single mother, who named her Faith.

Simple facts, but it took Kathy Finn (46) almost two decades of painstaking searching to finally learn the most basic truths about her birth.

Her courage and determination to find answers eventually led Kathy to her birth mother, extended family and the bitter truth of a strong family history of breast cancer.

However, if the Government's proposed adoption legislation had been in place when Kathy began her search she would have never found this vital information which, potentially, has life-changing implications.

Kathy was adopted by a Dublin couple when she was just three months old.

She always knew about her adoption.

"My adoptive parents were very open and honest with me, there was never any issue, it was a happy childhood and I always asked questions," said Kathy, from Lucan, Co Dublin.

"If my mother knew the answer, she would tell me but she knew nothing, just the basic circumstances that surrounded my adoption to them."

During her teenage years, Kathy's longing for knowledge about her birth mother and father intensified and when she turned 18 she decided to find out more.

"My adoptive mother always said to me: 'When you are ready I'll be right behind you and we'll go together and find out.

' I thought I could just walk into the agency and I would be told who my birth mother was," she said.

But when Kathy went to Cunamh the agency that handled her adoption asking them to find her mother, she says she found them unhelpful.

"They told me that my mother signed papers and that she got on with her life," said Kathy.

However, she was informed that her mother had named her Faith.

ANON Aug 9th, 2015 @ 11:58 AM

2/3...Over the next few years, Kathy got married, had children of her own and continued to follow up with Cunamh throughout the 1990s but made no progress.

Then, with the dawn of computers, Kathy linked up with online adoption groups and people in similar situations and was encouraged to search for her own birth certificate in the General Register Office (GRO) in Dublin.

In 2000, Kathy spent an entire day in the GRO, trawling through the records from 1969.

"I was shaking because I thought I was doing something terribly wrong, but when I finally turned the page and saw my name it was a wonderful feeling I found some information at last," she said.

However, Kathy soon realised that the limited details wouldn't bring her much closer to finding her birth mother.

"People think that by getting their birth certificate they will get lots of information but adoption birth certs are different, it's not like my kids' birth certs with names and addresses, these birth certs give nothing," she said.

"It gave my date of birth, my first name, my mother's full name and where I was born - that's it. The information is so basic that it could belong to anybody in the country," she said.

Kathy appealed to the Adoption Board for help in 2002 and was left on a waiting list for almost four years.

"When they finally got back to me in 2006, I was told my mother had died in 1993 while I was looking for her," she said.

"If they had done some searching in 1987 when I originally went into them I could have known her, I could have gotten a couple of years or even an hour to sit with her.

I wasn't asking for a mother, I already had a mother, I just wanted to know where I came from," she said.

ANON Aug 9th, 2015 @ 11:55 AM

3/3...Kathy didn't give up on her quest for information about her identity.

She subsequently met her biological father, half-brother, and several of her aunts.

"Through them I learnt that there is a history of breast cancer in my family.

This is the type of really important medical information that many adopted people don't get.

I have three daughters and they have a right to that information," she said.

Last month, it was revealed that tens of thousands of adopted people in Ireland will have access to their birth certificates for the first time under proposed legislation.

Under the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2015, birth records will be given to an adopted person, including those illegally adopted. However, access will only be permitted with a parent's consent.

Without consent, records will only be released if an adopted person signs a statutory declaration not to contact their birth parent and to respect their privacy.

The new law will only permit access to other identifying information in adoption files ncluding family medical history with a parent's consent.

Claire McGettrick, CoFounder of the Adoption Rights Alliance said any conditionality of equality for adopted people is "just offensive".

"It's not a statutory right to a relationship that we are after, it's a statutory right to information.

If a natural mother doesn't want to have contact with an adopted person the vast majority would respect that," she told the Sunday Independent.

"We were hoping for unconditional access to our birth certificates and files just like any other citizen," she said, adding that the majority of their 1,300 members feel "let down" by the proposal.

For Kathy, the proposed law continues to treat adopted people like second-class citizens.

"I feel Minister [James] Reilly is saying that our birth families need protecting from us, like we're some sort of criminals," she said.

"I wouldn't have known anything about the history of breast cancer in my family. My daughters have as much of a right to that information as I do," she said.

ANON Aug 7th, 2015 @ 06:58 PM

Evil' paedophile Brian Tyrell given 24-year sentence…

A paedophile who suggested "joining forces" with other abusers in online chat rooms has been given a 24-year sentence.

Brian Tyrrell, 50, of Pontycymer, Bridgend, also raped and sexually assaulted victims and downloaded indecent images of children.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he told one victim they would be beaten if anyone found out what he did.

Tyrrell admitted rape, sexual abuse and possessing indecent images of children.

He was given a 18-year custodial sentence and was told he will spend a further six years on licence.

Recorder Paul Lewis QC said Tyrrell's treatment of his young victims was "planned, calculated, wicked and evil".

ANON Aug 7th, 2015 @ 06:43 PM

Indecent child images arrest: Bushey summer camp closed…

A children's summer camp has been closed by Ofsted after a man was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

LL Camps has operated at Merry Hill in Bushey, Hertfordshire, for the past four years, describing itself as the UK's only American-style summer camp.

A man aged 25, of Borehamwood, had been bailed until September, said police.

They said they would contact families directly should they discover that any children had been affected.

A spokesman for Ofsted said: "We can confirm we have suspended the registrations of these early years settings while investigations are carried out.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further while investigations are ongoing."

In a joint statement, Hertfordshire Police and Hertfordshire County Council said they were working with Ofsted and the "safety and welfare of children is the top priority".

::Anyone with specific concerns about a child is asked to call Hertfordshire County Council on 0300 123 4043::.

A statement from the LL Camps team was posted its Facebook page on Thursday. It said the camp had closed with "immediate effect" and it "cannot disclose any further information".

The privately-run LL Camps is based at St Margaret's School in Bushey.
St Margaret's School said it was not affiliated with LL Camps in any way.

A school spokeswoman said LL Camps was "entirely non-related to our school" and St Margaret's had "no links to LL Camps except to hire out a part of the Sports Centre site during the holiday periods".

The LL Camps website, which has been taken offline, stated it had achieved "outstanding early years provider" awards from Ofsted in 2013 and 2014.

It said the camp was about "meeting new friends, expanding interests and learning new skills". It added it was committed to its core values of creating a "caring, nurturing and positive" environment.

ANON Aug 7th, 2015 @ 11:56 AM

1/2...Mother and baby homes: Infant died every fortnight for two decades at home…

The 2014 inter-departmental report on mother-and-baby homes listed just 25 infant deaths in Bessborough mother-and-baby home, in Cork, despite two departments having figures that showed 500 deaths.