January Comments 2016

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 01:47 PM

1/2...Child, eight, held overnight in cell…

More than 22,000 children, including an eight-year-old, were held overnight in cells in 2014-15, police figures show.

The 22,792 under-18s included one who was held for 15 days,

22,792 Children were held overnight in police custody in 2014 - 2015, forces said

• 8 is the age of the youngest child held

• 380 hours is the longest period a child was held

Criminal justice experts said authorities were breaching their statutory duties by detaining under 18s overnight in adult cells.

But police said there was a "lack of alternative accommodation", while local authorities said they faced difficulties in finding emergency care.

The figures, which the BBC obtained through Freedom of Information requests to England's 39 forces, showed that while the number of children detained overnight had fallen, from 41,789 in 2011-12, experts believed it was still too high.

Gloucestershire Police said the youngest child held in a cell was eight years old..

ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 01:42 PM

2/2...The law states that, once charged, anyone under 18 should be bailed to their home or transferred to local authority accommodation unless it is impracticable, or the child needs secure accommodation and it is not available.

"In my eight years of representing children, I have never once known a child to be transferred to overnight accommodation," said Jennifer Twite, a barrister with Just

For Kids, a charity that campaigns on behalf of children in the justice system.

"The number of children held overnight is shocking and unacceptable.

"Local authorities are under a legal duty to provide overnight accommodation for these children, many of whom are acutely vulnerable and in great distress."

Most forces were unable to provide information about how many under-18s were successfully transferred to council accommodation but in one force Merseyside just three out of 73 children were transferred in June and July 2015.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which independently assesses police forces said custody staff at some forces including Bedfordshire had "never known secure accommodation to be made available for children.and had stopped requesting this facility".

HMIC said: "No police force is doing enough to work with local authorities to get secure accommodation."

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "The police know cells are not a nursery or a school.

"They are not an appropriate place for children to be.

"Police stations are noisy and full of adults - some of whom are drunk and dangerous.

"The cells are often subterranean and really unpleasant places."


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 01:36 PM

The Evil That Men Do...

Man accused of raping girl, 12, at knifepoint…

A man will appear in court accused of raping a 12-year-old girl at knifepoint and claiming to be a police officer.

Apedelrazak Badram, 32, has been charged with three sexual offences and two counts of impersonating a police officer, Scotland Yard said.

The girl was raped near Sandhurst Road in Edmonton, north London, on Wednesday.

Detectives said it was linked to a second attempted assault on another 12-year-old girl the same day.

The girl attacked in nearby Shirley Grove managed to escape.

Mr Badram, of Enfield, north London, is also charged with false imprisonment, two counts of breaching a sexual offences prevention order, possession of class B drugs and theft.

He will appear in custody at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Saturday


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:10 PM

Please Copy and Paste...Florida diocese calls Irish priest who reported pedophile colleague a liar


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 10:49 AM

Jail for youth worker who abused teen…

A youth club worker at an evangelical church who indecently assaulted a teenage girl 'every day' has been jailed for two years.

Richard Blackburn (57), a Land Rover mechanic from Carnone, Raphoe, Co Donegal, pleaded guilty to three specimen charges relating to a series of sexual assaults on the girl between 2000 and 2002.

Most of the attacks took place in the back of a converted Mercedes van which he used to take children to and from a youth club in Raphoe run by the Congregational Church.

The victim, who is now aged 29, wrote to the court from abroad, where she now lives, to ask the court to allow her attacker to be named in the media.

In her powerful victim impact statement, read to the court by investigating officer Det Sgt Ciaran Brolly, she told how she was now afraid to return home to Ireland for fear of meeting Blackburn.

Her life, she said, had been destroyed and simple things for most people like going to the shop were now nerve-racking experiences.

"It is like my teenage years didn't exist at all.

What happened to me was life-altering, dark and very scary. Richard Blackburn was a trusted family friend.

"He knew me from birth and therefore he knew my age.

I was abused daily. For years, he convinced me it was all my fault but I now know it wasn't my fault.

"When I go home to Ireland I am afraid to meet him in the street.

I wanted to spend time there when my granny was unwell and she died recently.

I didn't get to spend that special time with her."

The victim, now a school teacher, said she doesn't sleep at night and constantly feels nervous.

Judge John O'Hagan said Blackburn had breached the trust of an impressionable young girl in her formative years.

Blackburn, said the judge, had put his victim through an "absolutely traumatic" experience which had left deep scars on her life.

He sentenced Blackburn to three two-year prison sentences to run concurrently, with the last year suspended.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:57 PM

1/2...Woman challenges Magdalene redress refusal…

A woman who claims she was forced to work unpaid in a Magdalene laundry for 10 years has challenged the minister for justice’s decision excluding her from the State’s redress scheme for victims of those institutions.

The woman claims she was used as forced and unpaid labour from the age of eight to 18 at two laundries, in Waterford and Dublin, during the 1970s and early 1980s.

She had applied to be included in the redress scheme established in 2013 to compensate survivors of the Magdalene laundries but her application was turned down on the grounds that, at the relevant time, she was a resident of industrial schools and not the laundries themselves.

Michael Lynn, counsel for the woman, said the minister had, in her refusal, told the woman she should have sought compensation under the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

However, his client, because she lives abroad, did not hear about that scheme in time, and her application for inclusion in it was refused as being out of time.

In her proceedings against the minister for justice, the woman wants an order quashing the minister’s refusal to admit her to the laundries’ redress scheme.

In a sworn statement, the woman said she had worked at St Mary’s Laundry, Cork Rd, Waterford, and St Mary’s Refuge Magdalen Laundry, Grace Park Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin.

She said she was just two when she was taken from her family and does not know why she was taken away.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:55 PM

2/2...She was placed at St Dominic’s Industrial School for girls in Waterford, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and, from the age of eight, was forced to work at the nearby St Mary’s Laundry in Waterford, she said.

She worked there after school on Saturdays or on days when she refused to go to school, but was given a Saturday off to make her First Holy Communion.

She said that she was transferred to Dublin as a teenager and placed at An Grianán Institution in Drumcondra.

She claims she also was compelled to work at St Mary’s Refuge Magdalene Laundry, which was in the same building as An Grianán, after school and on Saturdays. She also claims she was subject to sexual and physical abuse in An Grianán.

Mr Lynn argued the refusal to admit his client to the redress scheme “flies in the face of reason and common sense”.

He claimed the minister erred in law by adopting an interpretation of the scheme at variance with the plain and ordinary meaning of the words within it and the refusal violated his client’s right to justice, breached fair procedures, and was irrational and unreasonable.

What happened to his client when she was in the institutions was “horrendous”.

The minister failed to take into account children placed at St Dominick’s Industrial School and An Grianán worked in the laundries, or a report by the HSE which stated An Grianán and St Mary’s in Drumcondra were not separate institutions but “one and the same”, he said.

Permission to bring the proceedings was granted, on an ex-parte basis by Ms Justice Deidre Murphy.

The case comes back before the court in March.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:53 PM

1/2...Child abuse survivors take their former Catholic diocese to court…

Survivors of child abuse within the Catholic Church are taking their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up going back decades.

The claims dating back to the 1950s and featuring pupils at a church school in the north west of England mirror those in the recent Spotlight film, tipped for Oscars success for its real-life depiction of similar allegations in the Catholic Church in Boston, US, in the 1980s.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the British victims, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, said they hope the positivity met with Spotlight's release will help give other victims the strength to come forward and make allegations.

Thomas Beale, representing victims with London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said there were "significant" similarities between Spotlight and the allegations of abuse at St Bede's Catholic school in Manchester decades ago.

He said: "I hope society is moving in the right direction and the film can only help that.

"In our clients' case, knowing there are other people suffering in the same way gave them strength to come forward. I hope the film only adds to that. The church is not dealing with this in the way it says it will.

"In one case, my client complained against a member of staff, and he was simply moved elsewhere, we are seeing the same happening in Boston in Spotlight."

The film, starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo, tells the true story of how the Boston Globe's journalists uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic.

The allegations at St Bede's, with a reputation for being the finest Catholic grammar school in the north west at the time, relate to Monsignor Thomas Duggan, Father Charles Mulholland and Father Vincent Hamilton three senior figures at the school who carried out the alleged abuse.

They died before being brought to justice, but the survivors are now taking out a civil case against the Diocese of Salford for what they say is a failure to protect them from abuse.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:50 PM

2/2...Allegations range from inappropriate touching to rape.

Rick Merrin, one of the survivors, whose police witness statement has been seen by the Press Association, said: "My time at St Bede's was consistently marred by these sexual interactions protracted grooming, sexual abuse and rape with a number of priests and the often gratuitous violence of the disciplinary system."

He said it was "difficult to believe" other priests at the diocese were unaware of what was happening to some of the boys.

But he said he was speaking to police and lawyers because he hoped that he "can play even a small role in minimising future clerical abuse and cover-ups".

Lawyer Mr Beale said: "I think it's important to remember that these boys came from very devout, working class families in Manchester.

"They had scholarships to attend this hugely prestigious school. They were deprived of the opportunity to flourish and meet their full potential because of the horrific abuse they suffered.

"These individuals left school with little or no qualifications, their relationships broke down and a number have suffered from alcohol problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety as a result of the abuse they suffered.

"It wasn't just the sins of the individual, it was the failure of the church to address these complaints properly."

The case is expected to reach the High Court in the summer.

St Bede's is now a co-educational Catholic day school.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:47 PM

1/2...Irish American Cardinal Raymond Burke blames women for church’s problems…

The crisis in Catholicism apparently has one source: women. According to Cardinal Raymond Burke, since the 1960’s women have “feminized” the church and discouraged “manly” men from participating in clerical life.

Burke, 66, the firebrand conservative who was recently demoted by Pope Francis to the ceremonial post as patron of the Order of Malta, pointed to the introduction of altar girls as an example.

Serving mass is a “manly” job argues the Irish American Cardinal, and so the participation of women and girls in the daily life of the church has had a chilling effect that has led to a drop in morale and priestly vocations.

"Young boys don't want to do things with girls. It's just natural," Burke, a Wisconsin native with Tipperary roots, told a group called The New Emangelization (a conservative organization that exists to put the “man” back in evangelization).

"It requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar boy in service at the side of priest, and most priests have their first deep experiences of the liturgy as altar boys.”

"If we are not training young men as altar boys, giving them an experience of serving God in the liturgy, we should not be surprised that vocations have fallen dramatically," he said.

So it’s not the international abuse crisis that has most led men to reconsider joining the church, it’s girl cooties. And feminism, of course.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:45 PM

2/2“...The radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized,” said the Cardinal, a member of one of the oldest and most enduring men’s groups on earth.

“Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved."

Not only do boys not want to share altar time with the girls, they resent how much better girls do their jobs apparently.

"The girls were also very good at altar service. So many boys drifted away over time.

I want to emphasize that the practice of having exclusively boys as altar servers has nothing to do with inequality of women in the Church."

There you go again girls, breaking into places where you don’t belong and doing a better job at it. Have you no shame?

Actually, what you ladies did wasn’t just invasive it was terrible, as Burke underlines.

“There was a period of time when men who were 'feminized' and confused about their own sexual identity had entered the priesthood; sadly some of these disordered men sexually abused minors; a terrible tragedy for which the Church mourns."

There you have it, it was the feminists with their “feminizing” that was the real engine of the molestation crisis. I’m sure that you’re reading this and having an Aha! moment. Who could disagree?

Burke, it should be emphasized, is not calling for complementary roles to be performed by both sexes in the life of the church, comporting to their sex.

He’s simply calling for a removal of all female influence, because it leads men astray and tarnishes or ruins things.

No wonder Pope Francis thought he’d be better off sent to pasture rather than pastoring.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:50 PM

1/3…'I've been frozen out by the Church for warning police about paedophile'…

An Irish priest who called police in Florida after a colleague showed child porn images to a 14-year-old boy says he has been "frozen out" by the Catholic Church over his stance.

Fr John A Gallagher (4Cool is living in a friend's home after locks at his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the Diocese of Palm Beach.

He claims he was told by a church official to put a paedophile priest on a plane rather than cooperate with police. A local police chief, so concerned at the Irish cleric's treatment, wrote to church leaders to complain about how the whistle-blower is being treated.

Fr Gallagher broke his year-long silence over the affair to tell the Irish Independent that the priest from India at the centre of the abuse scandal is a danger to children.
He has written to bishops and cardinals about the case - as well as Vatican officials and has, so far, been unable to get a satisfactory response.

The astonishing case began in January last year when Fr Jose Palimattom - who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach for just four weeks approached a 14-year-old boy after Mass.

He showed the teenager up to 40 images of naked boys. Police believe he was in the first stages of grooming his victim.

Later that night, Palimattom sent the boy a message on Facebook which read: "Good night. Sweet dreams."

However the teenager told a friend, who reported it to the church choirmaster, who immediately told Fr Gallagher.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:47 PM

2/3...The priest, from Strabane, Co Tyrone, says he was told that night by a church official in Florida: "We need to make him go away, put him on a plane."

In documents filed to the Vatican by a specialist canon lawyer on behalf of
Fr Gallagher, the priest claimed he was instructed "do not keep written notes" by the same church official.

The legal document was sent to Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

Fr Gallagher disregarded the instruction to put Palimattom on a plane to Bangalore and instead interviewed him.

A retired police officer, who took notes at the meeting, told the Irish Independent that the Indian priest not only admitted showing nude pictures of boys to the local teenager, but also admitted he had sexually assaulted young boys in India before arriving in the US.

It was a confession he would repeat to detectives of the West Palm Beach Police, and Palimattom was later convicted on a felony charge of showing obscene material to a child.

Fr Gallagher said he immediately called the Sheriff's Department of the West Palm Beach Police, following rules set down by the Church after hundreds of child sex abuse scandals. He says he began to feel "the wrath" of the Church.

"It was made clear to me that what I had done (co-operating with the police) wasn't what I should have done," he told the Irish Independent.

"It was a very distressing time for me and the parish.

We had a special Mass and I told the congregation what had happened. I told them it was now in the hands of the rightful authorities, the police."


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:45 PM

3/3..In late April, he says, he was called to a meeting by the Bishop of Palm Beach, Gerald Barbarito, where he thought he was going to be promoted.

Instead he was told to continue in his role for another year. However, the following day the decision was reversed.

"He told me I was being demoted," said Fr Gallagher.

"No reason was given. He said if I didn't wish to be demoted and moved to another parish, I should leave the priesthood."

Less than four weeks later, Fr Gallagher was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack. Six days later he asked Sr Ann Monahan to retrieve files on the Palimattom scandal from his office at the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Church.

She managed to do this, but when she returned later, she was stopped by church officials and the keys to the building were taken off her.

"I was told to leave. When I protested, I was told 'You're fired'," Sr Monahan (84) told the Irish Independent.

Fr Gallagher got out of hospital to find his parochial house locks had been changed. "I was in shock," he said, "I was now homeless."

A letter seen by the Irish Independent from the bishop to his priest suggested he needed "treatment" for his mental health and an all-expenses paid trip was offered to a clinic in Pennsylvania. Fr Gallagher refused to go and has been on paid leave since.

Detective Debi Phillips, in a memo to the Chief Deputy of Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, wrote: "Reverend Gallagher and his staff provided timely evidence that was needed to arrest and ultimately convict Jose Palimattom for the felony charge of

Showing Obscene Material to a Child."

Despite numerous emails and phone calls to the Palm Beach Diocese by the Irish Independent, there has been no response from the Church to the allegations.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:41 PM

Ex-Dragons' Den star Doug Richard to go on trial on child sex charges…

A former Dragons’ Den star is due to go on trial accused of paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Doug Richard, 57, allegedly spanked the girl’s bottom and engaged in other sexual activity after she travelled to London to meet him.

The former adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron is charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and a charge of paying a child for sexual services.

All the charges relate to one girl who was aged 13 at the time of the alleged offences on January 2 last year.

The US-born businessman, of Islington, north London, has denied wrongdoing and is on unconditional bail.

His five-day trial will be heard at the Old Bailey before judge Mark Lucraft QC.

The millionaire, who appeared in the first two series of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, reportedly travelled with the Prime Minister on an official government trip to Africa and advised on policy.

He founded a business loans initiative called School For Startups, alongside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:39 PM

1/2...Just six of 350 cases of alleged school abuse settled under State scheme…

Louise O’Keeffe accuses State of trying to minimise its legal responsibilities

Just six of out more than 350 cases of alleged sexual abuse in schools have been settled by the State under a State compensation scheme. The scheme was set up last year after Louise O’Keeffe won her case in January 2014 in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), following a 20-year legal battle.

The court ruled that the State was liable for abuse carried out by Ms O’Keeffe’s teacher at a national school in west Cork in the 1970s, when she was eight years old.

The State’s compensation scheme applies to abuse that took place before 1991, when child-protection measures were introduced, subject to the statute of limitation.

Ms O’Keeffe has strongly criticised the scope of the compensation scheme, accusing the State of trying to minimise its legal responsibility.

She said the small number of cases processed so far was a sign of the State’s narrow interpretation of the law.

This includes a condition that survivors of abuse can qualify only where it is shown that the school authorities failed to take action in response to a complaint of abuse.

“There is no legal basis for suggesting that it is necessary to establish a prior sexual abuse, before one can succeed.

This is simply not the law,” she said. “This has been done opportunistically to minimise the liability of the State to these unfortunate victims. I find that deplorable and disheartening.”

She also expressed concern at legal proceedings initiated by the department last week to strike out a decision permitting it to be sued, along with the Christian Brothers, by three alleged sexual abuse victims.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 12:36 PM

2/2....A spokeswoman for Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan declined to comment on the latest legal case on the basis that the matters were before the courts.

She added that the Department of Education would this week lodge an updated action plan with the European Court of Human Rights on the Louise O’Keeffe ruling.

This, she said, would affirm the Government’s commitment to implementing the court’s judgment, as well as strengthening child-protection policy.

While the State must be satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there was a prior complaint in all cases, it had adopted a flexible approach in determining this, according to the department’s statement.

“Claimants are not required to come up with a specific type of proof and the State does not insist on a strict evidential standard in assessing the material put forward by an applicant,” it added.

In total, ex-gratia payments are being offered to 210 individuals who came within the terms of the court’s ruling but who discontinued their cases.

Many did so after the department threatened to pursue them for legal costs after a failed High Court action by Ms O’Keeffe but before her successful ECHR case.

Each individual can apply for a maximum ex-gratia payment of €84,000, although it is not known how many cases satisfy the terms of the court’s ruling.

In addition, there are a further 140 new claims in relation to historic abuse which are being handled by the State Claims Agency.

The agency has been authorised to make settlement offers in these cases similar to the terms of the damages awarded in Ms O’Keeffe’s case.

Ms O’Sullivan has previously apologised to all children who were sexually abused as schoolchildren and for the “collective failure” to protect them.

While there was no legal obligation to address the situation of some survivors, she said an ex-gratia scheme was a fair and balanced solution.

Ms O’Keeffe, however, said attempts by the State to portray itself as acting in a sympathetic way were not accurate.


ANON

ANON Jan 1rd, 2016 @ 09:50 PM

Catholic priest investigated for child abuse to retire after review by church…

A Catholic priest who was investigated for what were called "safeguarding issues" is to retire following a church review.

Concerns about Fr Paul Symonds date back to the 1970s, when he worked in England.

The priest, who comes from England, was working as a curate in Ballymena when concerns about him were brought to the attention of the authorities.

In 2009, he was arrested in London by officers from the Metropolitan Police Force's child abuse investigation team.

Both Fr Symonds and the Catholic Church authorities cooperated fully with the police during their investigation.

The priest stood down from his ministry while the police investigation was ongoing.

However, the authorities decided that he would not be charged with any offences.
In 2011, after the police had completed their work, the Catholic Church began its own inquiry into Fr Symonds, a former Jesuit priest.

After five years, the investigation has finally reached the decision that Fr Symonds will live as a retired priest without any public ministry.

The decision came in a statement from the Diocese of Down and Connor, which was released last night.

Before his 2009 arrest, Fr Symonds had been awarded an OBE for his "tireless community work" across the Ballymena area and beyond.


ANON

ANON Jan 1st, 2016 @ 02:42 PM

Children Made To Have 'Sexual Acts' With Animals…

A judge finds that four youngsters aged eight to 14 were taken to a hotel where they were recorded as abuse took place.

The children are under the care of Coventry City Council.

Children were made to engage in "sexual activities" with each other and animals at a hotel, a judge in a family court has said.

Judge Hilary Watson said she was looking into cases involving four children aged between eight and 14.

The activities were watched by other people and involved more than one type of animal, the judge said.

The allegations involved a man that the children knew, she added.

They came to light after social workers asked the judge to investigate the claims made by a number of youngsters.

The children are the responsibility of Coventry City Council.

Judge Watson said police were involved but she did not reveal whether anyone has been charged with any offence.

Her written ruling did not identify anyone involved.

Children have told investigators they travelled to Birmingham by bus and said that the abuse took place at a hotel in the city.

They also said that what happened to them was recorded on video.

The judge's findings were made after analysing evidence at a family court hearing in Coventry.

Judge Watson wrote that some of the "suggestions" might seem "fantastical", but concluded they were probably a "grim reality".

She said: "In my judgement, the children are telling the truth when they describe being taken to a hotel where they had wine and tablets and were made to perform sexual acts watched by other people.

"It is suggested that the accounts are not to be believed because the children report sexual activity with (a) dog and other animals. A rabbit was described as being frightened and running off.

"Such suggestions might seem fantastical but become a grim reality when seen in the context of my findings that the children have been made to perform sexual activities with each other for the sexual gratification of (the man), for the video camera, and for other people."

The judge added: "It is highly probable that the children were made to perform sexual acts on animals."


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 03:04 PM

Millisle Borstal becomes latest Northern Ireland institution to fall under spotlight of historical child abuse inquiry…

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) will look into allegations of wrongdoing at the former Millisle Borstal on the Ards Pensinula when it convenes again this week.

HM Borstal Millisle, situated in Woburn House, Ballywalter Road, opened in July 1956 and closed in December 1980. The Prison Service College now operates on the site.

Former residents of the facility are expected to give evidence during two weeks of public sessions at Banbridge Courthouse.

Proceedings will begin with a short opening from retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart, who is chairing the long-running probe, before barrister Joseph Aiken, counsel to the inquiry, gives an overview of the issues relating to Millisle.

The HIA is considering harrowing claims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at 22 institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period - from 1922 when the state was founded to 1995.

It is also looking into alleged actions at homes run by the state and church, and last November an extra six institutions were added to its remit.

The inquiry was established by Northern Ireland's power-sharing ministerial Executive and is expected to make recommendations on how to compensate victims.
In total, some 300 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the public sessions.

Investigative work is due to be completed by midsummer and the inquiry will submit its report to ministers next January.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 02:59 PM

Three chances missed to charge Janner over sex abuse claims…

Failures by police and prosecutors in the UK meant three chances were missed to charge a senior Labour peer over sex abuse claims, a report has found.

Alleged victims of Lord Janner were left "devastated" after a criminal case was dropped on Friday, decades after they first accused him of abuse.

The independent report found that opportunities in 1991, 2002 and 2007 to bring charges were not acted upon.

He had been accused of 22 counts of sex offences against boys between the 1960s and 1980s.

Lord Janner’s family has always strenuously denied the allegations.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said the findings confirmed her "view that failings in the past by prosecutors and police meant that proceedings were not brought".

"It is important that we understand the steps which led to these decisions not to prosecute, and ensure that no such mistakes can be made again," she added.

Lord Janner died aged 87 in December, days after he was found unfit to stand trial after being charged with a string of sexual offences against nine alleged victims, who were mostly aged under 16 at the time.

Ms Saunders was at the centre of a controversy last year after originally deciding Lord Janner, who had dementia, should not be charged because of his ill health.

That decision was overturned by an independent review last year.

A special hearing known as a trial of the facts had been scheduled for this year, but last week the criminal case was formally dropped following Lord Janner's death.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 01:06 PM

1/4...Child sex abuse services 'overwhelmed', charities claim…

Victims of child sex abuse are being turned away from support services that are being overwhelmed by a large rise in cases.

Charity Twelves Company, based in Devon, said it had turned away 112 people seeking support in 2015.

A BBC investigation revealed that in Devon and Cornwall police have seen a 55% rise in reports of sexual abuse in the past four years.

Police urged victims to come forward and said they would be protected.

Between January and November 2015, 1,326 reports of sexual abuse were made to the force, compared with 853 in 2011.

The figures show more than 380 historic allegations in which the offence was committed before 1 May 2004 - of rape involving a child have been reported to the force since 2011.

Jon Brown, head of development and impact at the NSPCC, said: "Unfortunately there is a significant gap between the number of people who need help and therapy as a result of the abuse, and the availability of services."

He said the rise in reports was a result of historic cases of child sex abuse in the news, which had encouraged more people to come forward.


ANON

ANON Jan 1th, 2016 @ 01:04 PM

2/4...Reports of sexual offences against children

• 853 - 2011

• 888 - 2012

• 979 - 2013

• 1,221 - 2014

• 1,326 - 2015

Mr Brown said the prime minister had highlighted child sexual abuse as a priority along with However, Mr Brown said there needed to be a "more joined up approach [between authorities] to provide the provision of help for victims" including "greater treatment and help" and working with schools and families to prevent abuse.

He sa