The Home Affairs Committee Report into The Conduct of Investigations into Past Cases of Abuse in Children’s Homes (HC 836, Session 2001-02).
The decision to conduct this inquiry was taken in response to a large number of well-argued representations received by the Committee. The Committee looked at the methods by which convictions have been achieved and whether there are adequate safeguards. The Committee concluded that “a new genre of miscarriages of justice” has arisen from what it calls “the over-enthusiastic pursuit” of abuse allegations in children’s homes, many relating to incidents said to have occurred going back twenty or thirty years. They also stated that a large number of people who are not charged may have had their lives ruined or seriously damaged by unfounded allegations.
The Secret of Bryn Estyn – the making of a modern witch hunt by Richard Webster £25 (inc p&p), 725 pages hardback Orwell Press ISBN 0951592246
Paperback version £11.95 – due out January 2009 ISBN: 978 09515922 67.
The Secret of Bryn Estyn, tells the story of the gravest series of miscarriages of justice in recent British history ”how innocent lives have been destroyed, the public deceived and millions of pounds wasted in a hunt for a dark conspiracy which existed only in the imagination of the investigators. Richard Webster has spent nine years uncovering what really happened in North Wales. This is a a true story of false accusations, judicial blindness, bad journalism and innocent lives destroyed. The result is one of the most remarkable works of investigation ever written.
Reviews: | Times Educational Supplement | Community Care | FACTion -Tani Hunter | Christian Wolmar | Mark SmithAlso published in Paperback (Revised edition with a new 12-page postscript) 732 pages B format paperback (198 x 129mm) ISBN: 978 09515922 67 £11.95 in the UK
The Great Children’s Home Panic by Richard Webster £4.95. 70 pages, softback. Orwell Press, 1998.
During the last 10 years an entirely new kind of police investigation has evolved. Conducted on a massive scale at huge public expense, its main aim has been to gather retrospective allegations of sexual abuse against care workers. Thousands of such allegations have now been collected and slowly but surely our prisons are filling up with care workers who have been convicted as a result.
The Great Children’s Home Panic was the first book to raise serious questions about a kind of police operation which has used up hundreds of millions of pounds of public money and resulted in allegations being trawled by the police against thousands of former care workers and teachers, the majority of whom are completely innocent.
Insight into Anguish by Melanie Metcalfe. £9. 288 pages softback DayOne Publications ISBN 1 90308740 6
This is a true story about the nightmare experience of a very ordinary family with very special qualities, written with powerful honesty and gripping potency. Law makers should read this book to realise how unreasonable the whole issue of the anonymity and impunity of those who level maliciously false accusations, and how unjust the ‘presumption of guilt’ syndrome can be. Law enforcers should read it to be warned of the damage caused by heavy-handed, insensitive and even ignorant methods of police investigation, that could irreparably wound a family. Society should read it to appreciate the unfairness of a legal aid system that could leave an innocent family homeless and bankrupt. And all who work at any level in the voluntary sector, among children and youth, should read it to be alerted to the dangers of innocent, but naive or unwise conduct being manipulated in a court of law by vicious and evil minds; this story should put all youth workers on their guard.
That’ll Teach You by Michael James. Published by Recognition. 336 pages.
This book is a warning to all teachers. A thumping drum and a glaring red light. Mark Stephens is your favourite teacher.What Susan Bennett is about to invent is going to throw your favourite teacher into a destructive spiral, that like a drowning man in a dragging eddy can only hope is made placid by the truth. WPC Baxter isn’t concerned with the truth. She wants to convict a pervert, the school wants the leper out and Susan Bennett is riding high on her vicious lie.
Read how your favourite teacher deals with fortune and disaster.
Kathy’s Real Story:
About the Author. Journalist Hermann Kelly is a regular contributor to The Irish Mail on Sunday and The Irish Examiner (two national newspapers). He has done a wealth of research, interviewing Kathy O’Beirne, her family, co-author, publisher and many others.
The truth is what you want it to be. Bryan Young is an unconventional and challenging teacher in a junior school, popular with the pupils, but at odds with the head teacher, his deputy, and the school priest. Bryan’s world is shattered when he is falsely accused of sexual misconduct by three female pupils, and a parent.
He is suspended from school and subject to a police and internal investigation. His previous behaviour is now misinterpreted and moulded to fit the accusations against him, including those made by a colleague he trusted. But Bryan’s behaviour has also contributed to the accusations – and he is faced with the choice of revealing the truth of what happened, but at the cost of destroying his professional credibility, and his relationship with his partner and their child.
The Making of a Modern European Witch Hunt, R. Webster, 110pp, £7:95 Orwell Press
False Accusations – Guilty Until Proven Innocence, Nic Greene 145 pp. 2011
“In a country where it is presumed ‘children don’t lie,’ it took three years to fight the archaic, biased French system and clear my name by law.” Nik Greene has tried to put his horror behind him, “But I still, to this day, have nightmares of the time I spent in a jail more akin to Victorian England.” he says
The Anglophone world is gripped by a moral panic centred on child abuse in general and fear of the paedophile in particular. Evidence suggests an alarming rise in the number of false allegations of sexual abuse being made against teachers, and demonstrates that the fallout from being falsely accused is far-reaching and sometimes tragic. Many people in this position cannot sustain family relationships, have breakdowns, and are often unable to return to the classroom when their ordeal is over.
Researching Sex and Lies in the Classroom draws on in-depth qualitative research exploring the experiences, perceptions and consequences for those who have been falsely accused of sexual misconduct with pupils, and for the family members, friends and colleagues affected by or involved in the accusation process. The book also highlights the dilemmas and difficulties the authors themselves have faced researching this field, such as: a) ethical and methodological concerns over whether or not the teachers had indeed been falsely accused, or were guilty and taking advantage of this project to construct an alternative, innocent identity, b) the difficulty of obtaining institutional ethical clearance to undertake and publish research which challenges master narratives concerning children and their protection and c) the reluctance of funders to support research in controversial and sensitive areas.
Researching Sex and Lies in the Classroom reveals findings which are both informative and shocking. It interrogates the appropriateness of current investigative and judicial procedures and practices, and it raises general questions about the surveillance and control of research and academic voice. It will be of great benefit to academics and researchers interested in this field, as well as postgraduate students, teachers and other professionals working with the fear of allegations of abuse.
The authors are Pat Sikes, Professor of Qualitative Inquiry in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield and Heather Piper a Professional Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Miscarriage of Memory: Edited by William Burgoyne and Norman Brand. Paperback. Published by BFMS 2010
ISBN 978-0-9555184-1-6 /published BFMS/2010/pages 194/paperback £8.99
A factual account of some of the injustices and accompanying family tragedies that have arisen when prosecution evidence is based on ‘memories’ allegedly recovered by complainants while undergoing psychotherapy or coming under other authoritative influences described in this book.
Most of the examples have been drawn from case studies reported to the BFMS.
The book includes accounts of four people who have retracted their ‘recovered memory based allegations, and includes contributions by various professionals including lawyers, an expert witness, and psychologists.