March Comments 2016

ANON Mar 31st, 2016 @ 12:04 PM

1/2...Dr Morris Fraser: Paedophile psychiatrist worked with children after abuse conviction, study finds…

Morris Fraser was the senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital's child guidance.

A new study has found that a doctor in Belfast was able to continue working with children after he had been convicted for child abuse in the 1970s.

Dr Morris Fraser was the senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital's child guidance clinic in Belfast.

He also wrote the book Children in Conflict, about how the Troubles in Northern Ireland affected children.

The study into Fraser's activities was produced by academic Dr Niall Meehan.

It highlights a catalogue of failures by the authorities that enabled Fraser to remain on the medical register despite being convicted twice in 1972 in London and in 1974 in New York for child abuse.

As a result, Fraser continued to have access to vulnerable children and to sexually abuse them for a period of about 20 years.

Dr Meehan said he General Medical Council, London's Metropolitan Police and the Royal Ulster Constabulary did not tell the Royal Victoria Hospital that Fraser had been convicted of child abuse.

He added that Fraser's victims required justice, and the onus is now on the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales to investigate the authorities' dealt with Fraser.

ANON Mar 31st, 2016 @ 12:02 PM

2/2..."The Goddard inquiry, which is looking into child abuse in Britain, must look at the interaction between abuse in Northern Ireland and abuse in Britain," he said.

"The police should have told the hospital when they detected Fraser's abuse in 1971," he said.

"It must be surely assumed that Fraser was allowed to continue his work in return for providing some form of services to the authorities.

"These are very serious concerns the point is the authorities must answer for this."
It is understood a Freedom of Information request regarding Fraser was turned down in 2015 for reasons of national security.

Dr Meehan said that fuelled the suspicion that "he was working for the authorities in some way".

"People talk about these matters being in the past but the victims of this abuse are alive - these are matters of the present," he added.

"Children were abused while the authorities knew that they were being abused."

Richard Kerr, who now lives in Texas, was one of Fraser's victims.

He was about 12 years old when he was first taken to the psychiatrist's clinic at the
Royal Victoria Hospital along with his sister.

On his second visit, he was alone.

"He asked me to stand up and take my shorts down," Mr Kerr said.

"For some reason, within a minute, he had some sort of Polaroid camera. He started taking shots.

"He said not to worry - he's a doctor. But I felt embarrassed."

Two years later, Richard was sent to Kincora boys' home, the centre of an abuse scandal between the late 1950s and early 1980s.

Richard, who was abused at the home, felt increasingly isolated and vulnerable.

He said those in positions of power exploited vulnerable children.

"The only people I knew were my abusers and the only thing I had to do was to try and please them, because I had no one else to turn to," he said.

"They used me to go out to other locations and be with different men.

"Back then, no one believed me. I didn't think anyone would believe me.

"They use your troubled past against you."

ANON Mar 30th, 2016 @ 12:20 PM

Number of homeless children double to over 1,600 in past year…

Figures for Dublin show increasing number of families in emergency accomodation

The number of homeless children in Dublin has doubled in the last year according to latest figures released on Tuesday.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive reports 1,616 children in emergency accommodation in the capital during a week’s sample between February 22nd and 28th.

That figure compares to 803 for a comparable period in 2015.
In the same sample, 790 families were recorded as homeless compared to 371 last year.

“The figures released today show what Depaul is seeing every day in our Dublin services increasing numbers of families and children becoming homeless due to the housing crisis,” the charity’s chief executive Kerry Anthony said.

Of last month’s numbers, 581 families including 1,201 children were living in hotel accommodation while 209 families including 415 children were in other types of homeless accommodation.

“This situation has reached emergency status and we call upon the new government to act on this issue immediately,” Depaul said in a statement.

“A dynamic and robust national housing plan that delivers on its housing commitments, addresses increasing demand and unaffordability in the private rental sector, and prioritises the prevention of homelessness by increasing rent supplement limits and tenure security is long overdue.”

In August of last year Depaul said it and other homeless agencies were calling for immediate action on the crisis situation.

At that time there were 607 families including 1,275 children homeless in Dublin. Six months later, the number of families has risen by 30 per cent and the number of homeless children by 27 per cent.

ANON Mar 29th, 2016 @ 12:54 PM

1/3...Fintan O’Toole: We should not replace one form of forgetting with another…
Commemorating Rising should not be at the cost of amnesia about the failure of its ideals
The former Christian Brothers industrial school at Letterfrack, Co Galway, where Peter Tyrrell was taken in 1924.

Is it bad manners, in this week of commemoration, to think about a kid born in Ireland in 1916, a real child of the nation? I can’t help thinking of one particular nobody.

He was so much a nobody that when he set himself on fire on Hampstead Heath in London the year after the vainglorious 50th anniversary commemorations of the Rising, there was nobody to claim his body.

He was eventually identified only by a scrap of a postcard addressed to one of the few people in Ireland who ever listened to his story, the dissident senator Owen Sheehy Skeffington.

Peter Tyrrell was one of the 1 per cent, which is to say the one child out of every hundred, who ended up in an Irish industrial school. He was born in 1916 on a small farm near Ahascragh, Co Galway.

There were 10 children and they lived in abject poverty in a windowless shack. In January 1924, the infant Irish State took an interest in the family’s plight.

ANON Mar 29th, 2016 @ 12:51 PM

2/3...The new Garda Síochána came and took away six of the children. Peter and his three older brothers were sent to the notorious industrial school in Letterfrack.

Though the school was run by the Christian Brothers, it is important to remember that Peter was a child of the State. It was the State that used its new independence to send him to hell.

In the letters he sent to Sheehy Skeffington in the 1950s, later edited by Diarmuid Whelan and published as Founded on Fear, Tyrrell recalled his arrival at Letterfrack: “All at once a Christian Brother comes running out, he is chasing the young children with a very long stick and beating them on the backs of the legs.

We can now hear the screams of the little boys, some of them are only six years old.”
What struck Tyrrell was how aged the kids looked: “Most of the children are terribly pale, and their faces are drawn and haggard.

The children of Letterfrack are like old men, most of their eyes are sunk in their heads and are red from crying. Their cheekbones are sticking out.”

In those vivid letters, Tyrrell tried to convey to the authorities of church and State what he had seen and experienced: the constant, routinely savage beatings and floggings for offences such as waking up too early (“It is a crime to be awake before we are called” the screams of children being assaulted; the Brothers’ habit of grooming some boys as “pets”; the Brother who takes “boys to his room at night to commit improper offences”; the bitter cold in winter; the “disgusting” food.

Tyrrell joined the British army during the second World War and was captured by the Germans.

He writes: “Life here in Stalag 11B Fallingsbostel during the last months of the war is hard and unpleasant. Yet it is heaven on Earth compared to my life” at Letterfrack.

ANON Mar 29th, 2016 @ 12:48 PM

3/3...It is comforting to think that none of this would have happened if the idealists who staged the Rising had gone on to run the State. But the awkward truth is that those who ran the State were veterans of the Rising.

In July 1955, when Sheehy Skeffington (whose own father was murdered by a British army officer during Easter Week) raised the question of the vicious beating of children in schools, the minister of education, Richard Mulcahy, dismissed such concerns as a “disgusting proceeding by people who are not of this country or its traditions people reared in an alien and completely unIrish atmosphere”. Mulcahy, of course, had fought (very effectively) in 1916.

Peter Tyrrell was no more typical of the children of 1916 than were those who grew up with love and security and opportunity. But he was no more untypical either.

For a very significant part of the population, Irish freedom meant the freedom to emigrate, usually to England. For others, of whom Tyrrell was one, it meant the freedom to be locked up in an industrial school, a Magdalene laundry, a mother-and-baby home or a mental hospital.

Free Ireland sustained a vast infrastructure of enslavement for those of its unwanted people who could not or would not do the decent thing and leave.

And to remember Peter Tyrrell is not to forget the noble aspects of those who staged the Rising: Patrick Pearse’s innovative passion for child-centred education or James

Connolly’s war on the poverty that lay behind Tyrrell’s nightmare.

It is just to say that we should not replace one form of forgetting with another. We are, rightly, shrugging off amnesia about the Rising and accepting it is a fact of our history.

But we should not do so at the cost of amnesia about the terrible failure of its ideals.

“Free” Ireland was a terrible place for many of the citizens who most needed a real revolution.

And an Ireland that has almost doubled consistent child poverty has no right to forget how horribly mocked were the promises of the first Dáil that the physical and spiritual welfare of children would be the first duty of the Republic

ANON Mar 22nd, 2016 @ 03:50 PM

Mother charged with putting two-year-old daughter in the oven…

Officials say a 35-year-old Texas woman has been charged after her daughter, aged 2, suffered burns and witnesses said she told them she had put the child in the oven.

The Somervell County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to a home because a child had burns.

The sheriff’s office says witnesses told deputies upon arrival that Tasha Shontell Hatcher said that she had put her child in the oven.

The girl was then airlifted to a Dallas burn centre, where she was treated for second- and third-degree burns.

Hatcher was charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury and arraigned.

A spokeswoman from Child Protective Services said the child will be placed in foster care when she is dismissed from the hospital.

Neighbours were shocked by the news and said Hatcher seemed like a loving parent, KDFW reports.

“I really would’ve never, ever... expected this out of her never,” said a family friend. “I wasn’t even sure when I heard it that it was true. It’s... unimaginable.”

ANON Mar 22nd, 2016 @ 03:48 PM

'Horrible' rapist Kenneth Paton jailed for six years…

A 46-year-old man who raped a schoolgirl and sexually abused a young boy more than 30 years ago has been jailed for six years.

Kenneth Paton, from Troon, South Ayrshire, was convicted of carrying out the offences between 1984 and 1988.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Bill Dunlop QC also placed Paton on the sex offenders' register.

The judge said: "These were truly horrible offences. You inflicted abuse on your two victims.

"These offences happened a long time ago and there is no suggestion you present an ongoing risk and you were young yourself at the time."

ANON Mar 18th, 2016 @ 05:36 PM

1/2...Child Sex Abuse 'Sterotypes' Mean Victims Missed…
Boys and girls targeted by older women may be falling under the radar because they do not fit the more typical model of abuse.

Boys and girls abused by older women could be being missed, the report said
Stereotypes about those at risk of child sexual exploitation may be causing victims to slip through the net, a new report has warned.

Children who do not fit into the more typical "at risk" categories, could be being overlooked, the report conducted by children's charity Barnado's found.

The study, titled "It's not on the radar", urges parents, teachers and young people to look beyond the high-profile cases in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford, in which most of the perpetrators were male and the victims were white girls.

It emphasises that the victims of child abuse are "not solely white British" and that there are "multiple models of exploitation".

"If frontline professionals focus on the CSE (child sexual exploitation) model prevalent in the media, such as groups of offenders, or the more 'traditional' boyfriend/girlfriend model, those who are being exploited using different models may not be recognised," it says.

ANON Mar 18th, 2016 @ 05:34 PM

2/2...Boys and girls targeted by older women and lesbian girls who are being exploited are among the so-called "hidden groups" identified in the study.
It documents one case in which a teenage girl was found in the house of an older woman who was exploiting her.

The report said: "No questions were asked as to why the girl was at the house. Had this been a house belonging to an older male, it is likely that the response would have been different."

Other scenarios identified in the report which could result in victims being missed were a failure to recognise a child's learning difficulties and a focus on one ethnic community to the detriment of others.

It stressed that victims come from all ethnic and faith backgrounds.

"Cultural and religious views and practices, particularly those that prize a female's virginity or a male's heterosexuality, may prevent victims from speaking out due to a fear of retribution or rejection from families," it said.

It also emphasised the importance of challenging "the perception that some children are 'safer' than others due to their conservative or protective family environment".
Barnardo's chief executive, Javed Khan said: "This horrific form of child abuse can affect any child or young person. Assumptions must not be made when trying to identify sexual exploitation as each victim has their own vulnerabilities.

"Recognising the diversity of victims will help ensure they are identified and get the right support."

ANON Mar 18th, 2016 @ 05:30 PM

Cardiff magician Mark Davis jailed 14 years for abuse…

A former Cardiff magician has been jailed for 14 years for historical sex abuse on schoolboys.

Mark Richard Davis, 55, gained the trust of lone mothers to get close to boys and "dazzled" them with tricks before abusing them, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

The crimes came to light after three men told police they had been abused by him in the 1980s and 1990s in Cardiff.

Davis, from Corby, Northamptonshire, was found guilty of 13 sex offences.

Janet McDonald, prosecuting, said during his week-long trial Davis, also known as Mark Major, was a "skilled groomer" and "sexual predator" who targeted boys from fatherless homes.

He had worked both as a children's entertainer and was involved in youth theatre.
Ms McDonald said he "wormed his way" into the boys' lives.

He promised them trips to London to visit the set of the EastEnders TV programme and gave them autographed pictures of celebrities, the court was told.

'Tremendous courage'

Davis was found guilty of three counts of rape, nine indecent assaults and one charge of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Judge Jonathan Furness told Davis: "You enticed them with the lure of the theatre and the magic of your role as an entertainer.

"You befriended them and their families. They were vulnerable due to their circumstances. You were a father figure.

"They have experienced long lasting effects through their lives and have suffered for many years because of the memories of your abuse."

After the hearing, Det Insp Dan Michel, from South Wales Police, said Davis, also known as Mark Major, abused his links to youth organisations across the UK and his position of trust as a children's entertainer.

"The victims have shown tremendous courage to come forward and tell us about the abuse they suffered," he said.

"We know reporting these crimes of this nature can be difficult, but we would urge anyone who has been a victim to report it to us, you will be supported."

ANON Mar 18th, 2016 @ 05:25 PM

1/2...Child sex abuse victims have to go to ED…

Child sex abuse victims are attending Galway University Hospital’s emergency department (ED) for examination because the State’s only 24-hour forensic treatment service for under-14s has closed.

However, the hospital does not have a doctor trained in pediatric forensic evaluation.

The knock-on effect could be that child abusers will escape charges due to insufficient evidence.

Since the closure of Galway’s Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Service (CASATS) on February 28, several children have required the specialist examination service. CASATS closed as the HSE would not agree to find additional funding of approximately €100,000 per annum, as requested by doctors, to enable a best-practice model of care

As there is nowhere in the West and Mid-West where a child who has been sexually abused can receive a forensic medical service, the only option is to attend an ED.

Joanne Nelson said any such child attending Galway’s ED will be in a busy environment and will have no-one trained to assess them. This scenario has already occurred, since the specialised clinic, for which Dr Nelson acted as clinical lead, has closed in recent weeks, she said.

Doctors at University Hospital Galway are not trained to take samples or to provide an informed professional opinion on the presence or absence of relevant physical signs in child sex abuse cases.

“Whilst children’s safeguarding needs can be met by the gardaí and Tusla, their forensic needs cannot almost no forensic evidence can currently be collected following child rape,” said a hospital spokesperson.

ANON Mar 18th, 2016 @ 05:23 PM

2/2...Dr Nelson said children subjected to sexual abuse had health needs, as well as everything else. This involves evaluation of the risk of, and screening for, sexually transmitted infection.

In an acute assault, consideration needs to be given to preventing HIV or hepatitis B, by emergency treatment or vaccination. Emergency contraception needs to be explored, she said.

“Normally, all of this would be done smoothly, as part of a comprehensive assessment in our service, also addressing psychological needs, forensics, and safeguarding,” said Dr Nelson. “In the absence of our service, each component now has to be addressed separately.

Unfortunately, not all components are currently being addressed, which is devastating for all concerned.”

Prior to closure, CASATS was operated by four doctors, rotated on an on-call, 24-hour service. Children often came from other parts of the country to access the service out of hours.

The doctors had been asking the HSE to fund “integral components of a safe, quality-assured, and sustainable service” for some time.

“Given that €212,000 per annum will sustain, and maintain, the only 24-hour acute, and historic, forensic medical service for children under 14 years suspected of sexual abuse, anywhere in Ireland, this would seem a worthwhile investment,” said Dr Nelson.

Responding to the closure, a HSE spokesperson said discussions with the four clinicians that provide the CASATS service “have not been successful.”

“We have been informed, by the clinicians, that they are not prepared to sign the proposed contracts,” said the spokesperson.

“Therefore, we have no alternative but to advise agencies that would refer to the service that we can no longer accept referrals.”

ANON Mar 17th, 2016 @ 10:29 PM

Police Officer Charged With Child Sex Offences…

Scotland Yard says a detective constable from the force's child abuse command will appear in court charged with 14 offences.

The police officer has been suspended from duty

A police officer with Scotland Yard's sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command has been charged with child sex offences.

Detective Constable Chris Maitland will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday charged with 14 offences.

The 40-year-old has been charged with two counts of sexual touching of a girl aged under 13, and five counts of taking an indecent image of a child.

The officer, who has been suspended from duty, also faces seven counts of making an indecent image of a child.

Maitland was arrested in November on suspicion of possession and distribution of indecent images of children.

He was taken into custody and subsequently bailed pending further inquiries.

Police arrested Maitland again on Tuesday on suspicion of sexual touching, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

ANON Mar 16th, 2016 @ 11:41 AM

1/2...Man who raped sister with screwdriver jailed for 11 years…

Woman says fact her brother has shown no remorse will stay with her ‘till the day I die’

A Dublin man who raped his younger sister with a screwdriver has been jailed for 11 years.

In a victim impact statement, the woman described how her life at age 10 had been “filled with a black hole of uncertainty, fear and terror” when the man started sexually abusing her.

The man (33), who can’t be named to protect the victim’s identity, was convicted by a jury earlier this year. He had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 48 counts including rape, oral rape, rape with a screwdriver, rape with a vibrator and sexual assault at two Dublin locations between 2000 and 2005.

He has no previous convictions.

The woman, reading from her statement, said she thought she had the perfect life before the abuse. She said her family had changed forever and her parents were “shadows” of themselves since the court proceedings.

She said her father had told her: “I thought I had to protect you from the monsters in the street, not the monster in my home”.

ANON Mar 16th, 2016 @ 11:39 AM

2/2..Depression...

She described suffering from anxiety, depression and ill health and that at school she had found it easier to “hide” in groups than hold individual friendships.

“I don’t know why he put me through this, I didn’t deserve to be abused”, the woman said.

She said the fact her brother had showed no remorse for his offending would stay with her “till the day I die”.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy jailed the man for 11 years having previously adjourned the case last week to consider the evidence.

Garda Sinead Tyrrell said the abuse began with touching, oral sex and “use of a screwdriver” shortly after the victim had received a “love bite” from her brother when she was aged 10.

Garda Tyrrell told John O’Kelly SC, prosecuting, that the abuse then progressed to rape.

The garda agreed with Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, that his client had worked hard all his life from when he was a teenager and that he had never been in trouble before with the law.

Mr Hartnett said the man had started studying while in custody and that he had faced family difficulties since the trial.

ANON Mar 16th, 2016 @ 11:37 AM

Girl ( sexually assaulted in broad daylight while sitting with her younger brother in bakery…

Detectives investigating a sex attack on an eight-year-old girl in a Greggs bakery shop have released CCTV images of potential witnesses they want to trace.

The attack happened shortly after 3.30pm on Friday February 12 when the girl was waiting with her younger brother in the seating area of Greggs in The Headrow in Leeds while their mother paid at the counter.

A 34-year-old man, from Bradford, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and is currently on police bail.

West Yorkshire Police said they "urgently" need to speak to the people shown in the CCTV images.

They are described as a man in a dark coat with dark hair, who appeared to be with a woman with short, grey hair and glasses, and a woman with blonde hair who was wearing a large white scarf.

Detective Inspector Dave Cowley said: "We are continuing to investigate the full circumstances of this incident and urgently need to speak to the people who are shown on these CCTV images as being in Greggs at the time the incident occurred.

"We believe these people may have information that could assist the investigation and we would like to speak to them as potential witnesses at the earliest opportunity."

ANON Mar 14th, 2016 @ 11:26 AM

Parents given more check powers against sex offenders…

A new scheme enabling people to check on someone they suspect might pose a risk to children has come into force in Northern Ireland.

People can now check with police on whether someone has a criminal record for sexual or violent offences.
Information will then be passed on to the child's parent or guardian.

The system is already used in England and Wales. NI Justice Minister David Ford said it should make reporting easier.

"It has always been the case that people could, and should, bring concerns to the police about the safety of a child," Mr Ford said.

"These new provisions make it easier, allowing any member of the public to come to a police station and apply for information about a person who they believe is a risk to children.

"Information about criminal convictions will only be provided to the person with primary care responsibility for the specific child and only if it is necessary to protect that child.

"It is, however, important to note that if there is an immediate risk of harm to a child, this will be addressed through current child protection procedures."

PSNI Det Chf Super George Clarke said police were committed to keeping children safe.

"This scheme provides for someone to come to a police station, make an application and, in the application, they specify the child that they are concerned about and the person they believe may pose a risk to that child," he said.

"That application is then considered by the police and, where there is relevant conviction information, the police will make a disclosure to the parent or other caregiver of the child."

ANON Mar 12th, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

Six charged with child sex offences in Sheffield…

Five men and a woman have been charged with 53 child sexual offences relating to the alleged sexual exploitation of a number of girls in Sheffield.

The charges include numerous counts of rape and conspiracy to rape and relate to eight victims, South Yorkshire Police said.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 2005 and 2012.

The six, aged between 22 and 38 and from South Yorkshire, are due before magistrates in Sheffield on 21 March.

ANON Mar 12th, 2016 @ 11:51 AM

Peterborough 'worst sex abuse' babysitter couple jailed…

A husband and wife have been jailed for sexually assaulting a 13-month-old toddler in what a judge described as the "worst abuse of a baby" he had ever seen.

The assaults took place over a two-year period when Michael Chase, 52, and wife Lara, 46, of Bathurst, Peterborough, were babysitting the girl.

Chase admitted the charges last year. His wife was found guilty this week.

Chase was given 14 years and his wife 13 years by Judge Sean Enright.

Peterborough Crown Court heard the couple sexually assaulted and took images of the girl while babysitting her between October 2012 and December 2014.

She was 13 months old when the abuse began.

They were "every parent's worst nightmare", Det Con Lloyd Metselaar, from Cambridgeshire Police, said.

"The appalling acts committed together by both Michael and Lara on such a young child who had been entrusted into their care, demonstrate the most serious breach of trust."

Michael Chase pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13; four of taking indecent photographs of a child; three of possessing indecent photographs of a child; possessing a prohibited image of a child; possessing an extreme pornographic image and making 4,524 indecent photographs of children.

Lara Chase pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13 and one count of distributing indecent photographs of a child, but was found guilty following a trial on 7 March.

During the trial she claimed she was unaware of her husband's paedophilia but a jury convicted her after hearing Chase had "assisted" her husband in the abuse.

ANON Mar 10th, 2016 @ 12:38 PM

1/2…Operation Pallial: alleged sex abuse victim left 'in limbo'…

A man who claims he was sexually abused in a children's home two decades ago has said he no longer wants to pursue his allegation because of the length of time it is taking to come to court.

Despite making his complaint in November 2012, he said he has been left "in limbo" with limited progress.

He was first interviewed by the National Crime Agency's Operation Pallial team in February 2013.

A Pallial spokesman said it will discuss the concerns he has raised.

His complaint related to his time at the home two decades ago, during which he claims he was groomed into a sexual relationship by a female carer when he was 16.

After contacting the police, he was interviewed by the Pallial team- which was set up to investigate allegations of historic child abuse in north Wales.

Evidence was collected and in August 2015, a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"I need closure"

He is still waiting to learn if the case will go to court.

He said: "I think perhaps it's taken this long to understand the implications of someone's behaviour on someone so vulnerable."

He added: "It really feels as if I'm in limbo at the moment in terms of work and relationships and things. I just need that closure."

While he no longer wants to be part of any ongoing investigation or trial, he will not be withdrawing his complaint.

An Operation Pallial spokesman said they were "aware of the concerns expressed by this victim and will discuss them with partners."

ANON Mar 10th, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

2/2...Operation Pallial...

The National Crime Agency is investigating allegations of historical abuse at children's homes in north Wales

It has found evidence of 140 alleged cases of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992

Mrs Justice Macur has been appointed to review the 2000 Waterhouse inquiry into north Wales abuse dating back to the 1970s

Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales Ed Beltrami pointed to the complexity of some Pallial cases and the volume of related information.

"We recognise that victims are central to everything we do and clearly it is a concern to us if a victim feels that the system is not delivering justice for them in a timely fashion," he said.

The complainant no longer lives in north Wales and said he has not been able to get the counselling he was promised.

Support for Operation Pallial victims is co-ordinated through Conwy Council.

The authority's director of social care, Jenny Williams conceded that outside north Wales there have been some difficulties.

"We have been able to access support but what is beyond our control are things like travelling distance, waiting times," she said.

ANON Mar 10th, 2016 @ 12:09 PM

1,500 child sex abuse cases reported every year in Northern Ireland with a victim targeted every six hours

The number of child sex offences reported to police here topped 1,500 last year.

On average, paedophiles abuse a child every six hours, with a hike in the number of victims aged 11 and under.

In total, 1,516 incidents, including crimes such as rape and sexual assault, were reported last year.

More than a quarter were committed against children aged 11 and under, with girls three times more likely to be targeted.

The NSPCC warned the true scale could be greater as many were afraid to speak up.

Neil Anderson, the NSPCC's head of service, added: "This is deeply worrying and shows what a rampant problem this is.

The statistic that four children are being abused every day here is an appalling one, and shows swift action must be taken.

"Sexual abuse can shatter a child's mental health.

The cruelty can leave them anxious, depressed, and even suicidal. That is why it is crucial that every child who has endured abuse gets timely, thorough help so that they can learn how to handle disturbing emotions and behaviours.

"Our It's Time campaign demands that the Government makes the mental health of abused children a priority."

The charity said there had been a 53% increase in recorded offences over the past three years.

It added this could be down to an increased willingness to come forward following high-profile cases, coupled with better recording methods and greater awareness.

The It's Time campaign is calling on the Assembly to increase funding for support services for children who have suffered abuse, and ring-fence money for these survivors.

A woman from Craigavon who suffered at the hands of a paedophile before an intervention by the NSPCC welcomed the initiative.

"After I saw my abuse for what it was and reported my abuser, it felt like my whole world was falling apart," she said.

"I was filled with anxiety and I was in such a dark place that I couldn't see any way out of it.
"The treatment I got at the NSPCC gave me the opportunity to offload and the skills I needed to deal with the situation.

"Even now when I feel like I can't cope, I remember the things that I learned there. I used to think that my experience of abuse was all that I was, but now it's just a part of my history."

ANON Mar 9th, 2016 @ 10:35 AM

Child Sex Abuse Cases Increase By A Third….

The NSPCC says an average of five new offences were reported to police every hour in 2015 with online grooming a "huge problem".

The number of child sex offences reported in England and Wales increased by a third last year, with an average of 113 abuse cases emerging every day.

In total, 41,457 sexual offences against under 18s were recorded by 45 police forces in 2014/15 - considerably more than the 31,238 documented a year earlier.

Where the gender of abused children was recorded, there was a ratio of four female victims to every male.

Not all forces were able to provide a breakdown of victims' ages to the NSPCC but at least 10,757 were aged 10 and under, including 2,409 who were younger than four years old.

When abuse committed in Scotland and Northern Ireland are included, the total number of cases rises to 45,456 - the equivalent of more than five offences every hour.

"Abuse Victims Not Getting Help"

The NSPCC explained several factors could be behind the dramatic increase in cases, such as changes in how police forces record crime, the "major problems" posed by online grooming, and victims feeling more confident to speak out following high-profile abuse cases.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the children's charity, said: "Sexual abuse can shatter a child's mental health. It can leave them anxious, depressed and even suicidal."

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for child protection, said he is beginning to work with academics to determine whether the figures mean more children are falling victim to sexual abuse.

He added: "The internet has opened up new opportunities for abusers to groom children, view indecent images and watch and direct live sexual abuse of children, and we need to understand the impact of this."

Although the police are improving its response to allegations of sexual abuse, Mr Bailey warned: "By the time the report comes to us, the damage is done, so colleagues working in social care, education and health need to work together to stop abuse before it happens.

"Police work will continue but we ask everyone to help us by being alert to signs of abuse and sharing any concerns - however small they may seem."

ANON Mar 9th, 2016 @ 10:26 AM

Belgian paedophile planned 'underground city' of victims said lawyer…

Belgian paedophile Marc Dutroux planned to "kidnap many children" and create an "underground city" in an abandoned mine to imprison them, according to his former lawyer.

Dutroux was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping, molesting and imprisoning six girls and murdering four of them, in a case that sparked demonstrations across Belgium and an overhaul of the nation's criminal justice system.

Julien Pierre, who was Dutroux's lawyer from his arrest in 1996 until 2003, the year before he was sentenced, gave Belgian weekly magazine Soir Mag details of conversations with the convicted murderer.

Dutroux, now 59, reportedly told his lawyer: "Do you realise that no one has ever asked why I chose that house, that region?

"My idea was to carry out mass kidnappings of children and then to create, in a mine shaft, a sort of underground city where good, harmony and security would prevail."

He was arrested in August 1996.

Two days later two missing teenage girls, Laetitia Delhez and Sabine Dardenne, were found alive in a hidden cellar in one of his houses in Marcinelle, close to Charleroi in Belgium's south west.

In the following weeks, the bodies of eight-year-old friends Julie and Melissa who had been kidnapped in Liege in June 1995 were found in a basement at one of Dutroux's houses, having died of starvation.

Following the grim discovery, Belgian authorities subsequently found the bodies of An Marchal, 17, and Efeje Lambrecks, 19, buried in a garden at another of Dutroux's properties.

During his trial, Dardenne explained that her tormentor had adopted an alternative name and insisted that he was protecting her from mysterious "wicked" people, all the while subjecting her to sustained sexual abuse.

He also claimed to Sabine Dardenne that he had kidnapped Laetitia Delhez to "bring her a companion".

During the kidnapping of Delhez that Dutroux's van was spotted by people in her hometown, which led to his arrest.

Dutroux admitted his crimes and was duly found guilty of the kidnap and sexual abuse of six girls, and the killing of four of them. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

ANON Mar 8th, 2016 @ 03:43 PM

Birmingham ex-scout leader jailed for Leicestershire child abuse…

A former scout leader has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing boys in the 1980s.

Mike Medhurst, from Birmingham, pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to 10 counts of indecent assault and one charge of gross indecency.

He attacked four scouts, aged between eight and 11, on camping trips in Hinckley and Castle Donington, both in Leicestershire, between 1981 and 1987.

Police believe there may be more victims who have yet to come forward.

Medhurst, 65, from Coney Green Drive, was jailed in 1991 for child sex offences but went on to become the leader of a scout group in Birmingham.

Some of the attacks took place on a campsite at Donington Park, during a trip to the 1984 British Grand Prix and a visit to Mallory Park race track, police said.

Medhurst insisted he share tents and on occasions sleeping bags with boys on camping trips, said officers.

Police say he also lured boys to his home, where he plied them with alcohol and forced them to watch pornography and play games with cards with explicit images on them.

He was jailed for five years and four months on Monday.

Det Con Jamie Carr of Leicestershire Police said: "I have no doubt there are more victims who are still bottling up what happened to them.

"I would ask them to get in touch. Medhurst should face justice for each and every one of the children he abused so shockingly."

ANON Mar 8th, 2016 @ 03:33 PM

Ex-Missionary Jailed For Kenya Orphanage Abuse…

Matthew Durham targeted vulnerable children while volunteering at the orphanage in Nairobi in 2014.

Durham, 21, has not expressed remorse.

A former missionary from Oklahoma has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya.
Matthew Lane Durham, 21, wearing an orange prison-issued jumpsuit, read a statement before sentencing on Monday asking the court for mercy, but did not express remorse for his offences.

Prosecutors alleged Durham targeted orphans while volunteering at the Upendo Children's Home in Nairobi between April and June 2014.

He had served as a volunteer since 2012 at the orphanage, which cares for neglected children.

Durham faced up to 30 years on each of four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.

US District Judge David L Russell also ordered him to pay restitution of $15,863.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Durham's actions have had a chilling effect on the lives of dozens of foreign volunteers in Kenya, leaving them "under the cloud of suspicion, distrust and apprehension when they volunteer their time, talent and resources for the betterment of children in East Africa and beyond".

It added: "There is a real perception among Upendo's local Kenyan community that more paedophiles lurk among the volunteers, especially the young male volunteers."

A jury convicted Durham in June on seven counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, but Judge Russell acquitted him on three of the charges in January.

Defence lawyer Stephen Jones said Durham plans to appeal against his convictions.
Eunice Menja, founder of the orphanage, fought back tears as she read a statement in court.

She said: "Matthew Durham defiled the children. Matthew has no remorse. After he got caught, he still denied."

Prosecutors examined evidence which included handwritten, signed confessions that Durham gave orphanage officials after he was accused of inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Jones claimed the statements were coerced when Durham was isolated, had his passport taken and claimed the allegations were created by orphanage officials to obtain $17,000 from the US government for security cameras.

ANON Mar 7th, 2016 @ 11:37 AM

Homeless family with terminally ill child 'had to sleep in car for three weeks'…

A homeless family with a terminally ill child had to sleep in their car for three weeks before they got emergency accommodation in a hotel, according to children's charity Barnardos.

The charity said the housing crisis was now widespread in Ireland, with thousands of children living in overcrowded, unsuitable and sometimes unsafe homes.

It said it was seeing cases of three generations of a family - sometimes consisting of eight or more people - all living together in a two-bedroom home.

Launching a new report, 'The Hidden Housing Crisis', Barnardos said its workers had witnessed first-hand the problems caused by a lack of good quality accommodation.

It cited the case of a Cork family consisting of two parents, their three children, one of whom was terminally ill, who were forced to sleep in their car for three weeks as they waited for emergency accommodation.

The charity said many families believed that as soon as they became homeless, they would be given emergency accommodation, but this was often not so.

In another example, a Barnardos worker visited a family and saw a rat crawling across the kitchen counter of their home.

"The family have nowhere else to go and are too scared of a rent increase or eviction to complain to their landlord," reported Melinda Hughes, a project worker in Limerick.

June Tinsley, head of advocacy at Barnardos, explained that problems did not just exist for those in emergency accommodation.

"In addition to the 1,600 children living in that environment, we must add many thousands more who are living in overcrowded, unsuitable and sometimes unsafe homes, unable to move or demand better because they have no other options.

"While there have been some positive developments in housing policy in the past year, the reality is their impact is yet to be felt. The first job of any new government must be to take immediate action," she said.

Among the charity's recommendations are to link rents to the Consumer Price Index, to raise rent supplement rates and to provide modular homes immediately.

ANON Mar 5th, 2016 @ 11:27 AM

Child abuse inquiry to focus on Good Shepherd Sisters institutions…

A long-running child abuse public inquiry will focus on alleged wrongdoing at institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters when it reconvenes next week.

Former residents of facilities in Belfast, Londonderry and Newry are expected to give evidence during the next two weeks of public hearings at Banbridge Courthouse in Co Down.

Proceedings will begin on Monday with a short opening from inquiry chairman Sir Athony Hart, a retired High Court judge.

Barrister and counsel to the inquiry Joseph Aiken will then provide an overview of matters relating to the institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was set up by the Northern Ireland Executive in 2013 to examine harrowing allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at state and church run residential institutions between 1922 and 1995.

By the time it concludes public evidence sessions this summer, more than 450 witnesses will have provided oral testimony.

Sir Anthony is expected to submit his findings to MLAs at Stormont by early next year.
The other members of the inquiry are Geraldine Doherty, a former head of the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work in Scotland, and David Lane, who was director of social services in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England

ANON Mar 5th, 2016 @ 11:09 AM

1/2...Flowers for Magdalenes event to honour victims…

Public encouraged to visit graves of women who died in Magdalene laundries on Sunday

Members of the public are invited to visit graves of Magdalene women around Ireland on Sunday.

March 6th will mark the the fifth annual Flowers for Magdalenes event in all cities and towns where there were Magdalene laundries.

The Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) has called on people to visit Magdalene graves on the day and to place flower to honour the women who lived and died behind convent walls.


It is estimated that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in cemeteries across Ireland, many of them in unmarked graves. Flowers for Magdalenes is a family event and children are welcome.

The event will be marked in Dublin at Glasnevin Cemetery, beginning at 11.30am; at 11.30am in St Joseph’s graveyard, Tory Top Road in Cork; at 3pm in Bohermore cemetery in Galway; at 3pm in Mount St Lawrence cemetery in Limerick; at 2pm in St Stephen’s cemetery in New Ross; and at 2pm in Ballygunner cemetery in Waterford.

ANON Mar 5th, 2016 @ 11:07 AM

2/2...State apology
On February 19th, 2013, Taoiseach Enda Kenny issued a formal state apology to women who had been in the laundries, describing the institutions as “the nation’s shame”.

He said: “I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, the Government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene laundry.”

It followed publication of an inter-departmental report on the laundries chaired by then Senator Martin McAleese, which found that more than 11,000 women had been in the 10 laundries operated in Ireland by four religious congregations since the foundation of the state in 1922.

In 1993, it was discovered that the remains of an additional 22 women were discovered when 133 bodies were being removed from a Magdalene laundry graveyard at High Park, Drumcondra, to allow its development for housing.

All but one of the 155 bodies were then cremated at Glasnevin Cemetery.
Death certificates existed for only 75 of the initial 133 bodies, even though it is a criminal offence in this State to fail to register a death which occurs on one’s premises.

The 155 bodies were removed from the graveyard because the land was being sold by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity to a property developer. They had been buried over the previous 100 years

ANON Mar 1st, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

Priest who hired men to issue death threats loses sentence appeal…

A priest jailed for hiring men who said they were from the Continuity IRA to issue death threats and intimidate his nephew into dropping a legal action he was planning against him, has lost an appeal against sentence.

Francis Kelleher, aged 60, who had been residing in Cork City, had pleaded guilty to four counts of coercion in relation to compelling his nephew to abstain from doing an act he had a lawful right to do on dates between June 2012 and January 2013.

He was sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to four years imprisonment by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin on April 30, 2015.

Dismissing Kelleher’s appeal against the severity of his sentence yesterday,

Mr Justice Alan Mahon said an attempt to stop an individual from pursuing legal proceedings was a very serious matter.

In this case, the threats were “particularly nasty” and caused great fear for Kelleher’s nephew and his family.

The fact that Kelleher utilised the name of the Continuity IRA for the purpose of instilling in his victim the maximum amount of fear made the offence “particularly reprehensible”.

Thomas Creed, defending, said his client was effectively “a broken man”. He had lost his work of administering to the sick in hospital, had lost his livelihood and lost his dwelling it had been provided by the diocese.

Mr Creed submitted the Circuit Court judge should have suspended a portion of his client’s sentence.

While four years may have been on the upper end of the scale, Mr Justice Mahon said the sentence was within the judge’s discretion having regard to the number of offences and their nature.

The judge said no error in principle had been found and dismissed the appeal.

ANON Mar 1st, 2016 @ 11:52 AM

Depressed Irish priest snorts cocaine surrounded by Nazi memorabilia…

An Irish priest has been caught on video snorting cocaine in a room full of Nazi memorabilia at a party in his home on church grounds.

Father Stephen Crossan (37) was on leave from his duties in the Catholic Church due to depression at the time of the party.

His actions were videoed by revelers at the party who claimed there was also Nazi memorabilia in his home at St Patrick's Church in Banbridge, County Down.

While Crossan admitted that he had taken cocaine, he said he did “not have an issue with drugs.” In the video, released by The Sun on Sunday newspaper, Crossan can be seen snorting the cocaine with a British £10 note.

He also said that the memorabilia was in his home because he collects “historical stuff.”

He told the paper, “I’m no Nazi. I collect historical stuff. There’s stuff there from every country.”

The paper reports that the video was recorded at the end of two days of partying with friends that Crossan had invited into his parish home.

Revelers returned to the house at 11am and stayed for seven hours after which Crossan asked them to leave.

The people at the party told the Sun there were Nazi flags, hats and an eagle with a swastika on a plinth on the mantelpiece.

They said, “Stephen said he was a social worker but told us the truth when we realised he lived on church grounds. He’d been drinking beers and Jack Daniels as well as taking coke.

"The house was lovely but we were stunned to see the Nazi stuff. It was all over the house.

At one point Stephen put on a cap and did the Nazi salute.

“It’s shocking. He’s supposed to be an upstanding member of society. He shouldn’t be taking drugs.”

Father Crossan was on sick leave, for depression, when the footage was taken.

Crossan has since left the Church, but a spokesman for his bishop said the priest would be supported through his issues.

The former priest studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth and completed a degree in Theology in 2007.

During his years at Maynooth he was involved in various pastoral activities including prison and hospital chaplaincy, according to a parish website. He was appointed to Seapatrick parish as Curate in 2012 and before that served as Curate in St Peter’s parish, Lurgan and the parish of Tullylish.