Intoduction to FAMILIEFORJUSTICE
The Goverment Abduction Squad
END OF THE WITCH HUNT
M.S.B.P.- MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME by PROXY
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
HOW SOME ARE TREATED AFTER BEING ABDUCTED BY THE STATE
Social Services in the Vale
GUIDANCE ON COMBATTING FALSE ACCUSATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE – U.K.
Contact After Adoption-IMPORTANT
How Family Law Should Be- Advice Service
HOW TO GET YOUR CHILDREN BACK
When the Adoption and safe families Act was passed in 1997
HUNDREDS OF SOCIAL WORKERS SHOULD GO TO PRISON FOR LIFE
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MAIL ON SUNDAY
|MAIL ON SUNDAY|
March 14, 2004
HEADLINE: I FELT SICK AS THE LESBIANS BOASTED HOW THEY FORCE-FED THEIR
FOSTER GIRLS WASHING-UP LIQUID...I KNEW THEN THAT I HAD TO EXPOSE THEM
BY: ANDREW CHAPMAN
WHEN Deborah Crawford s new neighbours moved in two years ago she was
impressed by the politeness of their two little girls, Penny and Alice.
The fact that the two women were lesbians and the first female same-sex
couple to be allowed by the local council to foster children didn t bother
her at all.
The women seemed nice and the girls were lovely, she said.. Only later did
it strike me that the children were almost too well behaved. And Deborah s
misgivings were proved right when she gradually uncovered the regime of
terror to which the two young sisters were being subjected behind the closed
doors of their council house in Little Hulton, near Bolton, Greater
Manchester. When they misbehaved, they were beaten, made to stand outside in
the rain and
forced to swallow washing-up liquid. At the same time, however, social
workers monitoring the children s progress were filing glowing reports on
Lesley Broughton, 31, and Lynne Sheridan, 30, as model parents.
Deborah, a 39-year-old divorced mother, was forced to mount a covert
campaign to rescue the children by befriending their tormentors while
compiling a dossier of their cruelty.
She became a friend and confidante, acted the good neighbour, sympathised
with the women s rages at the children and even did the catering for their
lesbian wedding blessing.
But all the time she was taking meticulous notes of the couple s
maltreatment of Penny, nine, and Alice, 11 (not their real names).
Finally after attempting without success to bring in council child
protection officers she presented her dossier to the police. As a result,
the children were fostered with another family and the women were
Last week Broughton, herself a social worker, and Sheridan pleaded guilty to
charges of cruelty against the children they had fostered since May 2000.
The women were ordered to carry out 390 hours of community service between
them and were banned from working with children.
Now Deborah has told The Mail on Sunday of the bizarre operation she
under-took to protect the sisters from a couple who, for whatever reason,
appeared to be immune from criticism in the eyes of the authorities.
Deborah said she had felt compelled to bide her time before reporting the
abuse until she had collated enough evidence. She was also worried that the
children were so traumatised that they would not tell the truth to
investigators until she had reassured them that they would not suffer
further cruel abuse.
Speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday from the home she shares with her
12-year-old son Christopher, she said: When the women told me the girls were
being taken away, I cried. They thought I was sympathising but they were
tears of joy that the children were finally safe.
I had realised early on that I had to both befriend the couple and gain the
confidence of the girls. I knew that if I did anything about it too soon,
the girls would never tell what was happening out of fear for what would
happen to them.
Lynne would say to me, I can t do anything with them after they d done
something or other and I would say nothing, but at the same time I was
speaking to the girls to try to find out how long this torment had been
going on. Alice said: Every day since we were first put with them. I was
I even went to the extent of doing the catering at their wedding blessing
last August after the children had been taken away. Even close to the court
case they never knew it was me who blew the whistle on them. I kept the
secret because I wanted those girls to be safe.
The case highlights yet another cruel failure by authorities who are
supposed to monitor the welfare of our most vulnerable children. It is also
testimony to the extraordinary determination of an ordinary mother in the
face of authorities who were willing this social experiment to work. An
insider at the council insisted that the lesbian couple had been given the
foster children as a pilot programme for same-sex foster carers. The council
explicitly denies this.
It was in March 2002, just after the lesbians had moved to Little Hulton,
that Deborah was first alerted by a violent incident one Saturday morning.
She recalls: Penny was outside on her skateboard when suddenly Lynne came
out, picked her up by her shoulders, and slammed her down on the board so
hard her legs buckled under her and she fell to the floor sobbing. I couldn
t believe it.
I didn t intervene but later I asked Penny what had happened. She said it
was because she was outside on the skateboard without permission. That s
when I decided that I needed to keep an eye on the girls.
Then things got worse. I could hear banging, muffled shouting and crying,
sometimes long after midnight, through the walls from next door. On
Saturdays the kids would be on our doorstep knocking at the door at eight in
the morning. They d say they d had their breakfast and had been turned out
for the day.
They started to look like they were in sheer terror at the thought of doing
I was worried. I saw Penny with a bruised, bloodied face. Sometimes Lynne
would say, They ve been little cows, little bastards. If she shouted at them
to come in off the street and they didn t run in straight away, they d be
I spoke to the girls on their own and coached them that if they needed me to
ring anyone, I would. But I had to wait for them to be ready.
Deborah had even sat in her neighbours kitchen,, her face impassive, as
Lynne described how they would squirt washing-up liquid into the girls
mouths until they were sick.. Whenever there was a row, Lynne would call her
friend Deborah,, who would make a play of being on the foster carer s side.
I would go round and say, Oh, what have they been up to now? I used to get
the children to play tricks on their carers by getting them to say, Debbie
has told us off. How can we be so selfish and naughty when you are trying to
do your best for us?
But it was an incident early last year that she now believes was the turning
point in winning the children s trust. Deborah had been called to the house
after Lynne told her the girls had been so bad she felt like killing them .
Deborah says: I went into the girls room alone. The children were rigid with
fear. It was all about a Chinese takeaway meal the girls hadn t liked and
had hidden under their bed.
I told them, I m going to shout at you a bit but I don t mean it. I love you
really. Alice had tears rolling down her face in terror. I shouted at them,
banged wardrobe doors, made a good act of it. But then I hugged them and
told them that when they wanted me to phone for help they should tell me and
I would do it. I said that when someone came for them they would probably be
at school and that they should go with these people to safety.
That moment finally came last May, when Deborah went to comfort the two
girls after yet another bizarre and violent punishment. She found them
sitting, frozen with fear, outside their house, their noses pressed against
the brick wall.
A sobbing and trembling Alice fumbled in her jumper and produced a tiny
piece of paper. On it was the name and phone number of her social worker,
scrawled in tiny letters. She told Deborah: It s my secret pocket. I ve put
that name there so they wouldn t find it. Please ring it. I have been
waiting to do this all my life.
Yet when Deborah rang the number there was no reply and no answering
machine. She later rang the NSPCC and pleaded with them to come and take the
children away. But she was told: Sorry. That s not how it works.
Deborah recalls: I tried to tell them that unless the girls were taken
straight away and interviewed away from their home, it would all end in a
mess. They said they could not do that.
I wanted to know why not. Why couldn t kids be taken into care immediately
for their own safety? The frustration was agonising. I wanted to scream down
Then a friend gave me the name of a woman on the police child protection
team and I went to see her with my notes on every incident I had witnessed.
I told the officer and she listened intently. A sergeant came in and I
showed her the notes of every incident I had witnessed. I told them I would
only tell them who the girls were if they guaranteed they would do it
properly and take them away and not leave them alone with their carers.
The police told her they would need time to investigate. The three weeks
that passed before any action was taken felt like the longest in Deborah s
life as she kept up her pretence with her child-abusing neighbours.
Then there was a sudden flurry of activity. Deborah recalls: It was a
Monday, the kids were at school and four or five people who looked like
social workers arrived.
They went in next door and didn t leave for a few hours. I went in to see
what was happening. The women were crying and said they d been given 20
minutes to get the things together for the girls and that they were being
When I cried they thought I was sympathising, but they were tears of joy. I
finally knew that those children were safe.
Bolton Social Services has insisted that its officials vetted the couple and
regularly visited their home. A spokesman said: Social Services were
satisfied that the defendants were providing love and care for these two
But Deborah s MP, Labour veteran Terry Lewis, said he would be pressing for
a top-level inquiry.
He said: This was an appalling catalogue of abuse sustained over a long
period of time, the worst I have ever heard of in my constituency.
To think that one of the children s carers was a social worker beggars
The question of same-sex foster couples is not the issue here, it is the
question of how this couple were selected and criteria applied and how this
could have gone unnoticed.
The action of Deborah Crawford, who drew these poor girls sufficiently into
her confidence so they could eventually tell what was happening to them, is
to be commended, along with that of the police who investigated this
effectively. But I am surprised a custodial sentence was not passed on the
So is Deborah Crawford, who says: These women should have been put in prison
for what they have done. There must be a full investigation. This must never
be allowed to happen again.
ANOTHER PERSON INVOLVED WITH CHILD PROTECTION IS THE ABUSER
Paedophilia expert abused girls
King kept a diary of the sexual abuseAn expert who advised on how to protect children from paedophiles has been jailed for seven years for the "systematic abuse" of three young girls.
Stephen King, 54, who also recommended sentences for child abusers, had sex with a 10-year-old, a court heard.
King, of Herne Hill, south London, pleaded guilty to 21 counts, including sex with a girl under 13, and 10 cases of indecent assault.
He was also convicted in 1989 for gross indecency, serving six months in jail.
He had taken 500 photographs, and kept a diary of each sexual encounter.
He kept a video showing acts of indecency with the girls, which took place between October 1996 and the end of 1999.
The three girls were aged between nine and 13 years old.
Stephen King, in my view, is a devious predatory paedophile who's preyed on vulnerable children... for over three decades
Detective Inspector Neil Thompson Peter Zinner, prosecuting, said all three victims had been deeply traumatised by the experience, with one attempting suicide by taking an overdose and slashing her wrists with broken glass.
Passing sentence, Judge Fabyan Evans said: "It was depraved, corrupt and persistent behaviour on vulnerable young girls."
The Metropolitan Police made a nationwide appeal for any other possible victims of King to come forward.
Speaking outside court, Detective Inspector Neil Thompson said: "Stephen King, in my view, is a devious predatory paedophile who's preyed on vulnerable children in this country for over three decades."
Behind that veneer of respectability there was a dark secret
Prosecutor Peter Zinner Mr Zinner told Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court that King portrayed himself as an expert in child protection and had conveyed his "expertise" to the Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police and other agencies.
He was even credited in the final recommendations in the Court of Appeal on offering advice on sentences for paedophiles.
"Behind that veneer of respectability there was a dark secret," said Mr Zinner.
Mr Zinner described the video as unique because "it is the first time that the police have an actual record of a paedophile grooming and conditioning a child and then committing acts of sexual abuse".
Investigations into King began in July last year when officers arrived at his home on suspicion of benefit fraud.
While at the property, one officer saw pornographic material by the defendant's computer.
Police then discovered King had been convicted in 1989 - under a different name - of gross indecency as well as making indecent material and was sentenced to six months in jail.
King was also investigated in 1999 on suspicion of indecent assault against the three girls involved in this case, but not enough evidence was found to prosecute.
William Nash, defending, said King was fully remorseful and hoped to be able to apologise to the girls one day.
Roughed Up ( South Wales Echo 18/03/04)
|Mentally-Ill patient dragged over bus seats by care worker.|
A mentally-ill patient was pulled up over the backs of seats in a social services bus - to make him sit in the right place, a court has heard.
A care worker, giving evidence against a colleague, alleged 28-year-old Philip Bargewell, who was just 4ft tall, had not only been the victim of ''rough handling''.
He had also been deliberately upset to such a an extent that he would punch himself or bang his head against the bus window.
Giving evidence yesterday, Anthony Davies said the man who knew how to 'trigger' Mr Bargewell was his one-to-one carer John Bolderson.
''He liked to control him and be the boss,'' he said. ''John would say to me don't let him do that - he's controlling you'.
''He did things not to let Philip have his own way,'' Mr Davies told a jury.
Bolderson, 41, of Ty Gwyn, Cardiff Road, Hawthorn, is accused of ill-treating Mr Bargewell - who died a year ago today in circumstances not connected to this case - and a second man, who is himself to give evidence at Cardiff Crown Court.
The allegations date between 2000 and 2002, while he worked for Rhondda Cynon Taf council. Bolderson pleads not guilty to four charges.
Prosecuting, Hywel Hughes said witnesses would describe Mr Bargewell also having squash flicked in his face and being deliberately tripped up then grabbed by the scruff of the neck.
''In the words of of one woman, 'treated like an object, not a person,' ;;he said.
It is claimed the second alleged victim was held in a head -lock by Bolderson while knuckles were rubbed into his head.
Mr Hughes said; ''When confronted he said 'I'm only fooling. It will roughen him up'. Is it tomfoolery, or, as we say, the ill-treatment of vulnerable patients.
CARERS GUILTY OF CHILD ABUSE
|Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK |
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Carers guilty of child abuse
Both defendants were placed on the sex offenders' registerTwo former carers at a Barnardo's home in Northern Ireland have been found guilty of abusing and sexually assaulting children.
Sarah Jayne Margaret Hewitt, 68, formerly of Drain's Bay, Larne and Robert George Anderson, 46, from Ballycarry, but now living in England, denied the charges.
Most of the abuse took place at the Macedon home in Newtownabbey, on the outskirts of Belfast, more than 25 years ago.
Hewitt was found guilty of 53 out of 70 charges, including indecent assault, gross indecency and assault committed against eight children between December 1977 and June 1981.
Anderson was found guilty of 17 out of 28 charges, including indecent assault, two charges of rape and gross indecency committed against five children between January 1979 and June 1981.
The 10-member jury came to a majority verdict at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday.
We hope this victory sets an example to other victims that they do have the courage and support to come forward and safeguard other children from falling at the hands of such evil individuals
It followed two days' of deliberations.
However, the jury unanimously cleared Hewitt of 17 charges and Anderson of 11 charges.
He was cleared of nine counts of rape and one of serious sexual assault.
It took the foreman of the jury almost 20 minutes to announce all the verdicts.
Seven of the eight victims were present in court to hear their abusers being convicted, with some shedding tears of relief and joy while others simply whispered "yes".
The pair will be sentenced later.
'Justice has been served'
Trial judge Mr Justice Weir told them while he was releasing them on new bail conditions, they should not "take that fact that you will not be sentenced to a term of imprisonment".
They must surrender their passports by lunchtime on Thursday.
In a statement released to the media, the victims said the "mentally and physically exhausting" trial had brought many "hurtful and painful memories" to the fore but added they were glad to "see justice has been served".
"We hope this victory sets an example to other victims that they do have the courage and support to come forward and safeguard other children from falling at the hands of such evil individuals."
The director of Barnardo's in Northern Ireland, Lynda Wilson, said the charity was deeply saddened by the events at Macedon.
"Our hearts go out to all of the children who were involved and who as adults have had to endure these court proceedings.
"We know that it takes a great deal of bravery for people to come forward who have suffered this type of abuse," she said.
"Our aim today is to learn as much as we can from the experience of the past and to take all steps necessary to reduce opportunities for child abuse to occur."
Both defendants were placed on the sex offenders' register.
Detective Sergeant Geoff Boyce said it was the most difficult case he had been involved with.
"It's four years to the day that Margaret Hewitt was arrested. I hope it gives the victims some sense of closure and that they can now move on with their lives," he said.
"It has taken some 27 years for this day to arrive. It's been a long and difficult journey for each of them."
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