Friday, 20 January 2017

It's raining Police Investigations Hydrant, Midland and Yewtree

I should have been able to publish this post yesterday. The reason I didn't was because I got lost in the midst of all these bloody Police 'investigations' on the go since 2012.

I needed to understand exactly what information Henriques was basing his recommendations on. This was his remit

 Sir Bernard (Hogan-Howe) wanted to know what lessons can be learned. In other words, Operation Midland had pushed the envelope just that little bit too far. There had to be an explanation as to why some 'prominent' men were being accused of the unthinkable. Not ALL 'prominent' men mind you, just the really important ones. You see, from the get-go (October 2012) some people accusing the likes of Sir Jimmy Savile, were also pointing the finger at bigger, living, fish 


No, I'm not going into the various strands of various strands of every 'investigation' strand known to God and the Met Police since 2012 (and long before). I'm keeping it simple. For the moment all I need to understand is Operation Hydrant if for no other reason than it is being overseen by Chief Constable Simon Bailey. 

Not sure I recall any Police statements to the effect that any Yewtree 'victim' was being less than honest. Not in 2012/13 anyway.

Read that again. In Operation Fairbank ... the vast majority of 400 complaints were without merit. 

Still trying to keep this simple guys and gals - it's bloody hard work

In other words, people lie or exaggerate or whatever you want to call it depending on which umbrella you happen to be sheltering under ! 

So now we know who Simon Bailey is, we can move on to Henriques various criticisms of him and his team.

 Folks, these are the people who've been running all these expensive and time consuming operations since 2012. Bravo to Henriques for giving some of those accused a voice.

Henriques recommendation 

Background information such as ?

Fill your own blanks in on that one folks. One for me would be the case of a woman who, prior to accusing Savile, accused dozens of other people of similar offences including her own father, a 'prominent' person himself. In case you haven't guess her identity, this is her 

Karin Ward - without whom, there would have been no Yewtree, no Midland, no Hydrant .... blah blah blah

Henriques even goes so far as to suggest the utilisation of a 'checklist' where non-recent cases are concerned 

Taken by surprise in Court - in other words, being expected to answer basis questions such as : How old were you when you met the accused ? Where exactly did the alleged incident take place ? 

The bad old days when - genuine victims were treated very badly and let down by the Justice system. How ironic that victims themselves couldn't care less about the terminology used to describe them. Better a fairly treated 'complainant', than an ignored or manipulated 'victim'. 

How the hell have we been putting up with this since October 2012 ?

Henriques is a bit more subtle than me when it comes to individual's motives or excuses, when it comes to False accusations.

'Investigation' not 'assessment' mind. Not like what they did with Savile. No checklist there - go straight passed GO and collect your compensation while we bag our 'crime' stats.

No Lords or MP's in that court round up. 

Enough for now - keeping it simple. I need a break. Read the Henriques report yourself. It's not that long - I can't do all the work ! 

Oh, I forgot to mention and link this fine blog post the other day. Hats off again to my learned friends who try and keep the rest of us on an even keel


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

'Liars and fantasists' Yes - they DO exist says Henriques

But, let's put those two words in context shall we ? I'm liking this Henriques chap, more by the minute. 

Sir Richard Henriques posed with the remit to investigate 'non-recent sexual offence investigations' arrived at some pretty controversial conclusions. One of these being that, contrary to what some Police chiefs might think, not all complainants are victims. Indeed, some even tell lies. Heck, some even do it to get money ! 

Henriques makes it quite clear from the get-go 


Now, that's something I didn't know. In Crown Courts they don't use the word victim. Must re-read (I won't) the High Court Savile case.

Henriques, gives as good as he gets from those who disagree with such absurdities as the notion of a fair trial 

 That's Chief Constable of Norfolk, Simon Bailey by the way. It gets better - allowing myself a wry smile thinking of the nonsense that is Giving Victims a voice 

The application of the word victim as opposed to complainant, may have it's uses. If you're trying to 'raise money' that is

 Remember it was a charity that co-authored Giving victims a voice playing a significant role in Operation Yewtree and the notion that all complainants ARE victims

The same charity that wanted 'victims' of an ex prime minister to come forward !

Henriques is very much concerned with prominent folk. He knows they are a special case when it comes to complaints. Here's where I fit the title of my post into his context

 As for Bailey and the rarity of the same 

Part two to follow - Prominent people 

 Thanks to Jonathan King for bringing my attention, via twitter back to Sir Richard's excellent report. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Dead men's toenails

While Sir Jimmy Savile was still donating huge sums of money to our NHS, behind the scenes, all was not well. And the general public were about to find out just how, not well, at least one hospital Trust was. 

Inquiry followed inquiry and , who knows, maybe we'd still know nothing about these horrors had it not been for Julie Bailey 

Julie Bailey and her family stayed with Bella for the next eight weeks and what they saw during those eight weeks left them determined to do something about the appalling care that they witnessed, “What we saw horrified us”, said Julie Bailey in 2007 on her first interview after leaving the hospital.
Following her mother’s death, Julie first contacted the hospital to alert them to her concerns about the vulnerable patients that remained in the hospital and their lack of care. Whilst in the hospital the family had written a letter to the CEO Martin Yeates, telling him the hospital was a dangerous place but had received no response.

 But this only made Cure the NHS more determined to get the public inquiry. For two years Cure the NHS  followed health Ministers and MP’s all over the country, standing in wind, snow and rain determined that the NHS needed examining. The only way they felt that could be done was with a full Public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005.
They finally got their inquiry in 2011, when a Conservative Government was elected and appointed Robert Francis to chair this 2nd inquiry. The report was published in 2013 and Robert Francis concluded that “the NHS failure had extended to every level of the NHS, from the trust board to the regulators, the health authority and the Department of Health”.

The 'report' was published in, well it must have been around February 2013, because that's when so many press accounts were published. Note, this is just FIVE MONTHS after we got the Savile 'scandal' inflicted on us ! 

1200 deaths have been attributed to 'failings' at the Trust. 1200 ? 

I naturally wondered if civil claims had been - quite rightly, lodged on behalf of the victims. I find no sign of Slater and Gordon (before their time perhaps, or was it just way too complex for them, not a fast enough turn around - who knows ?). But, one of our favourite ambulance chasers was in there. 

How much did these poor folk get ? Remember, we're talking about the death of a loved one 

Following protracted meetings with Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust the Human Rights team at Leigh Day & Co ensured compensation totalling over £1.2m was paid out to those whose family members experienced ill-treatment at Stafford Hospital and most importantly, each of those affected received a personal apology from the new chief executive of the Trust.

What's £1.2m divided by 113 ? 

The 'long-awaited report' cost £9,000,000 

The latest public inquiry, announced by then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in June 2010, was set up to examine the commissioning, supervisory and regulatory organisations in relation to their monitoring role at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The £13 million review of what went wrong will suggest hospitals that cover up mistakes by doctors and poor treatment of patients should face fines and possible closure. 

'Fines and possible closure' ?  How the hell would that help anyone ? The people wanted individual responsibility, not measures that would harm more people. Closing hospitals ? Give me strength !

 Is this geezer still in charge of the Trust ? Please tell me he isn't

By June 2013 the powers that be were getting sick of the ever increasing financial burden being placed upon the NHS budgets, once the compensation gates opened. 

 ONE FIFTH of the TOTAL NHS budget ? What ?

 What's £5.5m divided by 197 ?

'starved to death .. dying people left to scream in pain' ? You know, I KNOW that the former is true, I've seen evidence of it with my own eyes. 

Margaret Hodge calling a spade, a spade - told it like it is/was, hopefully, always won't be 

She said: “The trend is really concerning. Some of this is about ambulance-chasing lawyers, but more than that I think this reflects problems with the quality of healthcare, and that is a major concern.”
More than £1bn was spent on settlements last year, but around one quarter of costs are spent on legal fees, mainly to claimants’ lawyers under a “no-win, no fee” system which means legal firms can charge up to £900 an hour for their services if claims are successful. 

By November, even the  Daily Mail was getting sick of the ambulance chasers pocketing the lion's share of the booty. 

 Hold your breath for the next bit folks - some hack actually wrote this a year after Savile began 

The startling compensation figures have raised fresh concerns over the tactics employed by lawyers who tout for NHS negligence cases.
Using the controversial ‘no-win, no fee’ system, they entice the vulnerable with slick sales pitches on TV adverts.
If they win, they demand costs of up to £900 an hour, which they justify as their reward for taking a risk. 

Back in March 2013, the PM - David Cameron response to the Mid-Staffs revelations was ... wait for it - to set up a 'panel' 

Last month, as the Francis report into the failings that led to the Mid Staffs scandal was published, the Prime Minister announced he had asked Prof Berwick to head up a panel “to make zero harm a reality in our NHS”.

His former gig was advisor to President Obama. 

Prof Berwick is one of the foremost authorities on patient safety. For almost 20 years he headed the Institute for Health Improvements in the US, advising organisations domestically and throughout the world. He led the US president’s “Obamacare” reforms but in 2011 was forced to resign, in part for citing the NHS as “an example” for the US. 

I'm seeing big money signs here. Big money for him that is ! Couldn't they find a British expert to handle this ? Wonder how he's doing ?

But, let's get away from cash for a few minutes. Indeed, let's get away with it completely as far as our almost wonderful health service is shall we ? Let's get back to them 1200 folk who may have died because a set of someone's don't really give a shit about your health or mine. The NHS is a mega big issue at the moment. People are angry as well they might be. My hat goes off to Allison Pearson for this corker of an article. 

 She's right isn't she ?


Save it, from THEM !!


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Why are victims still being let down

This week a very special campaigner for the rights of victims, died, at the age of just 51. Google Ealing Vicarage Rape, and you'll find lots of information about Jill Saward. If you read just ONE article about this strong, articulate and brave women, let it be this one published in 2006.

 What happened to Jill Saward in 1986 must be top of the list of most people's worst nightmare. 

 It is 20 years since three men in balaclavas broke into her family home. They were high on drugs and drink and armed with knives. Jill Saward and her boyfriend, David Kerr, were watching television. Her father, Canon Michael Saward, answered the door to find a kitchen knife being held at his stomach. The men demanded money and "jewels". Finding none, they went on an orgy of violence.

 But, it wasn't just the horrors bestowed on Jill and her dad and boyfriend that shocked and angered folk, as if those facts weren't enough. It was the sentences handed out, and some of the words uttered by the Judge. Hard to even contemplate now.

 The gang leader, Robert Horscroft, who did not take part in the rape, was jailed for 14 years for burglary and assault. Martin McCall, the most vicious attacker, got five years for rape and five years for aggravated burglary; Christopher Byrne, three years for rape and five years for burglary and assault. The judge was censured for putting a greater value on property than on the person.

Jill's 'calm and resilience' are no doubt what kept her going all these years. Imagine her suffering as you read on. Tell me if it affects you as it does me ?

What affected her most deeply, physically and mentally, she says, was the anal rape by McCall and the threat that he would use his knife to damage her inside and prevent her from having children.
"In no way is buggery similar to rape," she says. "The inhumanity of it puts it in a class of its own. You have no self-esteem, no self-worth and your life doesn't look as if it can get better. The psychological damage is totally different from rape. It should be recognised in law as a separate crime." 

And then there's the so-called helpers 

One psychotherapist treated her shame as verging on the absurd. Another told her that pregnancy "could be the one good thing to come out of the rape". She disagreed with both, dispensed with counselling altogether and still has a dim view of what she calls "shrinky people".
"They didn't understand the stiff-upper-lip British family and thought we were weird and dysfunctional. They said my problem was we couldn't talk to each other, but that was the way we worked. My real problem was I'd been raped by two violent men."

And then there's the 'buzzwords' - Oh yes, the jargon - if you've been there you'll know. As so often, the help one is offered bears little relation to the help that is needed, there and then, not in three, four, fives months time, via several different agencies

 "The buzz word is 'signposting'. As a victim, the last thing you need is signposts to 50 different places. You need one place where everybody is on tap and you can have all your needs met without having to go through things over and over again. Sexual assault referral centres [the Government's attempt at a comprehensive one-stop resource] are limited in what they can do."

But she wasn't just moaning, she had some damned good ideas about what needed to be changed. Common sense really isn't it ?

Saward wants to see specialist juries "who understand the complexities of rape" and more options for judges to differentiate between degrees of rape. "Some activists will say any rape is violent, but there is a difference where weapons are involved and you fear for your life 

Fast forward to 2013 and Jill has her opinions on anonymity for those accused of rape and sexual offences. Did YOU know that in 1986 Jill was not allowed to know WHO her attackers were ? I didn't, no wonder some are so vociferous about the issue.

The law back then was crazy wasn't it ? The weight was indeed stacked against the complainant. Not that she wasn't aware that innocent folk could be victims too.

Jill said these words long before Cliff Richard's life was turned upside down. Her's was a campaign on behave of the complainants, the majority of whom, she believed were telling the truth, and I salute her for that. But, what I want to know is, how many of Jill's suggestions have been given the consideration and respect, they deserved. Not because we know what happened to her, or because we feel sympathy for her. But because much of what she said was sensible. 

Here she is just four years after the attack

Here's her blog - sad that it attracted so few comments. I hope it was well read at least 

Apparently, the men who raped Jill Saward are all dead. As is the man who took no part in the attack but received the biggest sentence. Nice to know that Jill met and forgave Robert Horscroft in 1998

The other gang member was beaten inside

This is just my tribute to a woman who may, or may not, have transcended a tag stuck on her by those vicious, evil, selfish men. What else is there to say ? 

Saward knows that her vocal concerns and her willingness to put herself in the firing line can make her seem obsessive. But, 20 years on, she feels there's still much to be obsessive about. "I don't for ever want to be Jill Saward, the Ealing Vicarage Rape Victim. Something different would be nice. But it's not going to happen now." (from Telegraph above)