Prosecutors have launched a fresh investigation into multiple claims of abuse against children at a Dundee school.
A number of complaints have been made to police in recent years about alleged attacks on children — many of whom cannot communicate verbally — at Kingspark School.
In 2014, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) upheld a complaint that police had failed to properly investigate allegations of an assault on a child by staff.
Following that, a national probe was launched into the allegations, involving officers based in Dundee.
When that investigation was concluded this year, a report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.
However, after criticism that the report lacked detail and balance, area procurator fiscal Catriona Dalrymple became involved and demanded that further evidence — including statements from parents — be taken into consideration.
The evidence will now be looked at and decisions made about whether any criminal action should be taken against individuals.
A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “We are looking into the circumstances of these allegations and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
Beth Morrison, of Monifieth, is one of those campaigning for a series of alleged assaults against children at Kingspark to be probed further.
She told the Tele that parents had faced a long wait for answers about the allegations and felt let down by the way the investigation had been handled.
Beth — who set up a charity aimed at improving communication between carers, teachers and young people with learning disabilities after the Kingspark allegations emerged — said: “This has been going on since 2014 and the families have been left hanging all this time.
“These families have been waiting for answers for a long time.
“There is medical evidence and photographic evidence about what happened.
“Parents have been told in the past that injuries were caused as a result of children attacking other children — but that’s not the case.”
From: Robert Green Sent: 07 November 2017 18:27 To:************** Subject: Attacks by the Mainstream Media
Once again, I would like to thank so many people for offering their support over recent attacks on me by sections of the mainstream media.
It is odd that for almost nine years, the press and broadcasters have largely ignored the Hollie Greig case, despite many blatantly controversial issues, not the least of which was the proven breaches of the law over the case by the Scottish government, as ruled by the Information Commissioner on 26th May 2011.
Accurate and widespread published reporting of the facts at the time may even have brought down the government then led by Alex Salmond, but only one brave editor, Steven Raeburn of The Firm, was prepared to stand up to the bullying of Mr Salmond and his powerful accomplices.
Then suddenly, a few weeks ago, following knowledge that I had relayed an expert witness dossier to Operation Conifer in its investigation of Sir Edward Heath and others, I found my name and that of Hollie thrust into the limelight, although always being attacked. Clearly, the establishment that has so ruthlessly attempted to destroy the said investigation seems to have discovered that Hollie`s case is worth mentioning after all.
Moreover, it may not be entirely coincidental that the three publications that have attacked me, The Sunday Times, the Daily Mail and Private Eye, are precisely the same ones that have had their journalists named.along with Heath, on the dossier.
Are they really so concerned about Sir Edward`s reputation, or are they more worried about protecting their own skins ?
With growing evidence of the widespread existence of sexual transgressions at the highest level of the establishment, it is possible that we may be somewhat nearer to the full revelation of the UK`s grimmest secret – the elite`s concealed sexual abuse of children.
Over the past ten years or so, Britain has been fairly preoccupied with paedophiles; finding out who they are, naming and shaming them, even – in a highly embarrassing set-back for the credibility of vigilantes everywhere – beating up paediatricians because it sounds a bit like paedophile. But, in previous years, it seems like paedophiles were everywhere – running the country, inventing dance music, touring the world in successful rock bands – and no one gave two hoots. In fact, shagging 13-year-old girls was mythologised as something glamorous in itself.
However, times change (the “wandering hand” is now known as a grope) – something you probably noticed after this year’s media witch hunt. A hunt that hit its peak when Phillip Schofield assumed the role of a mum-friendly Guevara – an everyman freedom fighter who handed the Prime Minister a list of names the internet said were paedophiles on live TV, gave the camera a glimpse and ended up getting sued by a Tory peer. Adding weight to the old adage that daytime television presenters probably shouldn’t accuse people of being child molesters.
Although Schofield’s mistake and subsequent suing was high-profile enough, and the subject rich enough that his name was effectively cleared, not everyone branded a paedophile in public has had such a clear-cut opportunity to escape the allegations. Likewise, in such a difficult act to prove, not every victim receives justice.
A perfect example is Scotland’s Hollie Greig, a girl with Down’s Syndrome alleged to have been abused by a Masonic cabal at the very highest levels of Scottish society. As is usually the case with coverage of anything Masonic, you probably won’t have seen the case anywhere other than on the pages of badly formatted Blogspot accounts. Attempts to bring it to the mainstream have always failed, which – of course – strengthen campaigners’ feelings that Masons are involved in covering up the abuse.
In a desperate attempt to provide some kind of justice, Robert Green, a leading campaigner, was jailed for distributing leaflets containing the names of nearly two dozen Aberdeenshire residents Hollie accused of abusing her. Since then, Green has become a martyred Bobby Sands to Schofield’s cack-handed Guevara, drawing the support of the ‘Truth Movement‘, people who believe there weren’t any planes involved in 9/11 and that there are a bunch of shady, hooded men running the world from a cave in Cumbria.
I recently visited the home of Belinda McKenzie – a place the New Statesman called the ‘Highgate Hub’, in reference to its importance to the UK’s Truth Movement. The house is home to a rotating cast of various campaigners, who either stay in one of the five bedrooms or in the bunker buried beneath the garden. Such luminaries as David Shayler and Annie Machon have stayed there in the past, and I was lucky enough to bump into ‘Spacecowboy1954‘, who showed me a lot of photos of “orbs” he had taken the night before. He also showed me this video of a light. I was unclear of what exactly the light was, but, thankfully, the cowboy quickly explained with the certainty of a man 100 percent secure in his thoughts that it could only be one of two things: an alien entity or a spiritual presence.
Belinda has supported the Hollie Greig campaign for years and is readying for a new push (videoed by Spacecowboy1954) in light of the public’s renewed appetite for paedophiles. The case, like the campaign itself, is massively long and complicated. The campaign slogan is “Google Hollie Greig”, and if you do just that, you’ll uncover over half a million pages of claims and counter-claims that broadly fit into two main camps: those who are campaigning on behalf of Hollie, attempting to prosecute her abusers; and those who believe that Hollie is a liar and the entire story is fabricated.
Hollie’s alleged abuse was first brought to light after her parents – Anne Greig and Denis Mackie – had a row. Hollie told her mother that she was scared her father would kill the family’s dogs, and when her mother asked why, Hollie explained that Denis had molested her for the past 14 years, ensuring her silence by threatening her’s and the dogs’ safety. Although it was determined she had lost her virginity, Hollie had no physical evidence of mass abuse, which lead to Denis trying to have Anne sectioned and taking Hollie back into his care. An independent investigation found Anne sane and she fled to England with Hollie to start a new life.
In 1997 – three years prior to this – Anne’s brother Roy had died in an apparent suicide attempt in his burning car. Official records show he died of smoke inhalation, with cracked ribs and head injuries due to resuscitation efforts. Now in England, Hollie told her mother that Roy had caught Denis abusing her and he had told her uncle that he would kill him if he ever exposed the abuse, causing Anne to query if the suicide was in fact a murder and ask for official documents, but her requests were declined.
Hollie began naming more of her abusers, which ultimately totalled 22 people. These names included a Sheriff (Scottish equivalent of a High Court Judge), a forensic policeman, a lawyer and Hollie’s own social worker. Sensing that a powerful Scottish elite had been abusing her daughter, Anne made several attempts to encourage Aberdeen police to investigate. On each occasion, police found no evidence of such a paedophile ring, which only riled her fears of a cover-up.
In the meantime, Hollie’s brother and Denis both moved to Portugal to escape the allegations. When Madeleine McCann went missing, Anne feared Denis and her son could have been involved and advised police they should contact Denis. UK police didn’t act on the advice, nor did they inform Portuguese police, again adding beans to the cover-up pot.
Lacking any concrete evidence of abuse beyond Hollie’s words and considering the police refuse to recognise them as truth, it’s reasonable to question the veracity of the claims. However, the campaign are adamant that, as a sufferer of Down’s Syndrome, Hollie always speaks the truth. That seemed almost laughable to me if it wasn’t so condescending, something confirmed by a spokesman for the Down’s Syndrome Association: “It would be unwise and incorrect to make broad statements like that, and I would disagree with the idea that people with Down’s Syndrome can’t lie.”
Hollie also received a sum of around £4,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which is seen – at best – as an admission of guilt from the government and – at worst – hush money. The problem there is that £4,000 really isn’t much when it comes to buying someone’s silence in a child abuse case, but the CICA works on very different rules of guilt to the law courts. Kind of how the FA work very differently to the courts, as John Terry found out when the law found him not guilty, but the FA gave him a match ban anyway.
It was in 2009 that Robert Green started supporting Hollie’s cause, and in 2010 he ran for a seat as an independent MP in Aberdeen in an attempt to publicise Hollie’s case. It was then that he distributed the leaflets exposing Hollie’s alleged abusers and was arrested under a breach of the peace. At his trial in early 2012, he began each day asking the prosecution if they were Freemasons, suggesting that they were also part of the cover-up. He was found guilty, sentenced to a year in jail and ultimately released three months later.
Two of the accused from the list – Sylvia Major and Wyn Dragon-Smith – have taken it upon themselves to defend their reputations, showing up at Green’s court case (where they were cast as evil incarnate by the Hollie Greig campaign, obviously) and releasing a video protesting their innocence.
The BBC looked into the case in 2009, with investigative journalist Mark Daly getting in touch with the family and uncovering Roy Greig’s official death certificate. Hollie’s campaign insist they helped journalists with their investigation into the late stages of production, before it was suddenly pulled, seemingly under duress from management. However, Mark Daly tells me they didn’t even shoot a single frame of film and that the investigation didn’t get past the first couple of weeks of research. He also spoke on the record with the Sunday Herald this summer, insisting “The truth is that the claims of the paedophile ring were based on a tissue of false assertions.”
Meeting a brick wall every time the campaign has tried to prosecute the abusers through the police, the courts, and the media has only made them more convinced they’ve uncovered some dark conspiracy. The police refuse to prosecute? They must be complicit in the abuse. The media refuse to report it? Oh, they must be complicit in the abuse, too.
The truth here will probably never emerge, which is deeply unsatisfying for everyone involved and will only continue to make the case one giant cluster of headfucks. But so long as stories surface about light entertainers molesting hundreds of girls while spending Christmas with the Prime Minister and receiving honours from royalty, the embers of the conspiracy theory bonfire will carry on burning, ready to be poked into life any time something new transpires.
Tourists would pay to visit the Aberlour orphanage, it has been revealed
Former children’s officer Katharine Mackenzie revealed that busloads of tourists would pay to visit the Aberlour orphanage when she gave evidence to the historic abuse inquiry last week.She said: “One boy said to me, they locked us in the gym and they walked along the corridor, where there was a window into the gym, and looked at us, and they treated us like animals at the zoo, so we all pretended to be monkeys.”Abuse survivors say the tours are an example of how children were treated as “commodities” and used for financial gain, entertainment, sexual gratification or medical experimentation.Mrs Mackenzie was invited to give evidence to the inquiry after writing a letter to chairwoman Lady Smith about her experiences in the 1950s and 1960s.
Every time a tour came all the naughty boys were locked in the gym in case they upset people. Katharine Mackenzie – Former children’s officer
Yesterday, speaking at her home in Edinburgh, the 93-year-old said: “Many of the Highland tour buses stopped at the orphanage. They were curious about how orphanages were run, I suppose. It was pretty awful, this huge orphanage with hundreds of children in the middle of a tiny Highland village. Every time a tour came all the naughty boys were locked in the gym in case they upset people. I think the boys reacted very sensibly by pretending to be monkeys. Of course it was wrong but I didn’t run the orphanage, although I helped to have it closed down in the end.”
Former children’s officer Katharine Mackenzie gave evidence to the historic abuse inquiry
At the end of each visit, the day-trippers were expected to make a donation into a collection box held by one of the orphans before they got back on the bus. Mrs Mackenzie added: “As far as I knew, the children were all looked after except there were too many of them and they didn’t get enough individual attention in a big place like that.”The Speyside orphanage was founded in 1875 as a home for “mitherless bairns” and grew to become the second largest in Scotland, housing as many as 500 children in the postwar years.It closed in 1967 after concerns were raised by Mrs Mackenzie and others and the charity became Aberlour Child Care Trust, which is still one of the country’s biggest childcare providers.The trust has compiled an internal report highlighting 12 complaints of abuse, seven involving excessive force used in punishments and five involving sexual abuse or indecency.
Earlier this year, chief executive SallyAnn(corr) Kelly apologised at the inquiry but insisted it was not a case of “systemic failure” but rather “a failure in the behaviour of human beings”.Helen Holland from the In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) group described the bus tours as “utterly repugnant” and added: “It is totally wrong in every sense of the word to use any child as a commodity. That’s what people haven’t really grasped yet, how children in care were used as commodities, whether that was for financial gain, for entertainment or for sexual gratification.”Ms Holland, who was physically and sexually abused as a child in Nazareth House orphanage in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, said she was “absolutely sure” the Aberlour boys would’ve been punished for disrupting the tours.She said: “We never had tours come around but we would have to entertain the nuns and visiting dignitaries by putting on plays and shows. If it wasn’t up to scratch you would be beaten afterwards for not doing things properly. I remember one Christmas I started singing the wrong version of While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks and I just froze because I knew I was going to get battered for it. I was beaten with a stick later that night because I had shown them up. It was the same with the Scottish country dancing, where you terrified in case you stood on one of the swords and were punished for it.” Alan Draper, the Incas parliamentary liaison officer, added: “These children were being treated as exhibits for the benefit of the organisation. It’s appalling but it wasn’t uncommon practice back in those days and the authorities simply turned a blind eye or didn’t care.” http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/875570/historic-abuse-inquiry-highland-aberlour-orphanage-tourshttp://archive.is/dIkQE
To an observer, the bare facts of David Divine’s life — abandoned as a baby, raised in an orphanage, rising to the top of his profession, surviving a near-fatal car crash that left him unable to walk, read and write, years spent in rehabilitation, and finally embarking on a new chapter — seem too much to contain in one life.
Gradually he pieced together the story of his childhood. After his birth in Scotland in 1953, he learned that he had been abandoned at three months and left to be raised in an orphanage. Racism was rife at the time and his parents were ill-equipped to care for him. His mother was a poor, white single mother and his father was a black man in the United States Air Force stationed in Scotland.
Divine spent his childhood in Scotland’s Aberlour Orphanage and later with a foster family in a small Scottish mining town. Despite the challenging circumstances of his early childhood, he went on to university and completed his social sciences degree at Edinburgh University. From there he embarked on a successful career in social work. That work eventually lead him to become Dalhousie’s James Robinson Johnston chair in black Canadian studies in 2004. EXTRACTS, READ IN FULL http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1449444-the-divine-gift-%E2%80%93-a-life-recoveredhttp://archive.is/G2ZpQ
Children as young as 10 are seeking help in coming to terms with sexual abuse in Dundee, as a local charity warns it is struggling to cope with demand.
Women’s Rape And Sexual Abuse Centre (WRASAC) Dundee and Angus has a new service, Dundee and Angus Young Survivors (DAYS).
The service offers support to all young survivors aged 11-18 who have experienced rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation or sexual bullying.
While the meetings are confidential, if a young person is thought to be at harm then action is taken with social work, child protection or Police Scotland.
Helen Hampton, senior young people’s support worker with DAYS, said: “The service is for people between 11 and 18 but there have been 10-year-olds who have come to us for help. We would never turn them away.
“Because I only work 35 hours a week and cover this huge area, it’s difficult.”
WRASAC fundraiser Ali Henderson
Helen — whose role has been funded by Comic Relief until 2019 — added: “The more we do, the more people become aware of the service and are coming forward to speak to us.
“There are no other services specifically for young survivors of sexual assault in the area.”
The service supports the victims of a range of sexual crimes, including those abused by family, exploited into prostitution and sexually bullied by peers.
Sinéad Daly, 42, manager of WRASAC, said people often aren’t aware they are victims of abuse.
She said: “Young people will suffer sexual abuse at the hands of people in a guardianship role but there are peer-on-peer concerns as well.
Manager of Dundee’s Woman’s Rape And Sexual Abuse Centre, Sinead Daly
“One of the problems is that often these young people don’t see themselves as being abused, assaulted or subjected to sexual exploitation or violence because it is the norm for them.
“For these people, the feelings of guilt, responsibility or self-blame can also stop them from coming forward. Establishing that what they have experienced is not their fault is really important.”
One 10-year-old survivor of sexual violence who was helped by WRASAC wrote a poignant poem describing their journey to rehabilitation.
The poem includes the lines: “I cannot forgive, I cannot forget, but I hope one day soon I can put this to rest.”
Sinéad said the number of young people seeking help had increased for every age group in the 10 months to October 31 this year, compared with the same period last year.
In total, 83 youngsters between 10-18 have had some form of support since January – up from 66 in 2016. This year, six users were under 13, there were 24 aged 13-15 and 53 were 16-19.
While DAYS offers help to people of all gender identities, Sinéad said service users were “overwhelmingly” female.
Laura Wylie, 24, a violence protection worker with Rape Crisis Scotland, with which WRASAC works closely, said new technology poses new challenges in reducing sexual crimes.
She said: “With ‘sexting’ you have young people pressured into sending intimate images to people which are then shown to others.
“There is often a culture where young people think this is OK but it’s not OK – it’s a form of sexual violence and against the law.
“I think there can be this idea that you are either raped or you aren’t, and that covers sexual violence, but that is not the case.”
Lady Smith, who is leading the inquiry examining the abuse of children in care, expressed concern that officers investigating Dailey failed to make contact with the Good Shepherd Sisters, which previously ran the school where he was employed from 1974.
The inquiry heard from Police Scotland’s lawyer that a detective constable with 20 years’ experience had been given the task of tracing records relating to Dailey but had failed to make contact with the congregation.
Lady Smith said the police had gone down “blind alleys” attempting to trace the records when it was possible to find contact details for the congregation on the internet in a matter of seconds.
She added: “One would have thought there would be a recognition on the part of the police that the responsible organisation [the Good Shepherd Sisters] would want to know [about the inquiry].”
Earlier this year, Lady Smith expressed her surprise that the congregation continued to deny historical abuse even after Dailey’s conviction. It followed evidence given to the inquiry by Sister Rosemary Kean, leader of the congregation in Britain, who said she had no knowledge of abuse.
Yesterday, the nuns’ lawyer, David Anderson, said Sister Kean had spoken from a position of “complete ignorance”, having been unaware of Dailey’s case. He said the sisters were “appalled and dismayed” at the abuse and “strongly refuted” any suggestion they had attempted to conceal it.
The national inquiry, which has cost nearly £10 million to date, is looking into the historical abuse of children in care and is due to report in 2019.
Yesterday it also heard from Professor Angus Skinner, Scotland’s most senior social worker in the early 1990s, who said he had “greatly underestimated” the abuse of children in care.
Prof Skinner, who carried out a review of residential care for the Scottish Office in 1992, said: “I readily admit that I greatly underestimated its existence at that time. At the coal face, there were some people doing fantastic jobs with a great deal of care and attention … but they were more the exception than the rule.”
CHILD sex abuse in Scotland’s care homes has been “drastically” underestimated, a leading social worker told an inquiry, as police were criticised for failures in investigating allegations.
Appearing at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh, Angus Skinner, former chief social work adviser to the Scottish Executive and Scotland’s former chief social work inspector, said too little was done about abuse because “we just didn’t believe there could be so much.”
He said he had been aware of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children in care, but in the context of dismal standards of accommodation and practise.
“The furniture was dreadful, windows were smashed and left for months. In that context I was also aware of abuse but I vastly underestimated how much there was. I absolutely hold my hands up to that,” Mr Skinner said.
“I don’t think I was alone in underestimating the extent of abuse and in particular the evil and the extent of the duplicitous cover up,” he added.
While he had attempted to do what he could, his view had been that rates of child abuse could not be addressed without addressing the overall standard of care, he told the inquiry.
He said a lack of training and a workforce which was demoralised and undervalued contributed to the problem. It was common to visit children’s homes and find workers in the staff room rather than interacting with young residents, he claimed.
Without a motivated workforce, children lacked confidence that complaints of abuse would be addressed.
He said his concerns grew from the date of his appointment in 1991. “By 1992 or 1993 I thought there was a very serious problem and we needed to take some kind of different action.”
Although changes were eventually made, Mr Skinner said, they were limited. “I did try to address the quality of care and the issue of abuse. I didn’t do as much as I should have and I need to live with that,” he said.
His evidence to the inquiry came after its chair Lady Smith had taken further statements from the Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, following the conviction of 70 year old Brian Dailey in July this year.
A few days after the conviction, Sister Rosemary Keen told the inquiry that the sisters had no knowledge of any abuse which had taken place at any of its institutions.
At the time, Lady Smith expressed astonishment, as some of the most serious abuse for which Dailey was convicted took place at Ladymary School in Colinton while it was run by the order.
However David Anderson, lawyer for the Good Shepherd Sisters yesterday insisted Sister Keen had not misled the inquiry.
For Police Scotland, Laura-Ann van der Westhuizen confirmed that while attempts had been made to contact the order, an experienced detective constable working with Edinburgh’s Public Protection Unit had been unable to do so.
Even had he done so, the allegations would not have been discussed, Ms van der Westhuizen added, claiming the officer was only seeking school records. As the allegations were 40 years old, there was no evidence of current risk, she said.
“I understand that,” Lady Smith said. “I wasn’t thinking about risk, I was thinking about gathering evidence for the prosecution.”
And the judge poured scorn on Police claims that the order could not be located because Ladymary School had closed. “Googling the name of this order, you can find contact details within about 60 seconds. The address and Sister Keen’s name are there. It is at your fingertips with the service of Google,” she said.
Lady Smith said she was “concerned” at the attitude of Police Scotland.
“I want to air a concern I have that there would have been no interest on the part of the police in at least letting the order know they were looking at what happened at the school for which the order was responsible for a number of years – quite separately from having an interest in locating any relevant witnesses,” she said.
A third witness to the inquiry said she had been concerned about the quality of accommodation run by a number of charities while working as a children’s officer in the 1950s, including one run by the Catholic order the Sisters of Nazareth in Midlothian, the Aberlour orphanage in the Highland village of the same name, and Quarriers Village in Bridge of Weir.
Working firstly in Roxburgh and then Angus, she had withdrawn local children from a number of homes, she said.
In one case a doctor had refused to discharge a girl back to Nazareth House as she was suffering from malnutrition, she said, describing the home as “awful”.
She said the Aberlour home had been on the “tourist trail” with visitors on tour buses stopping to view children as if they were zoo animals. Children deemed “naughty” were locked up in the gym for the duration of visits, she claimed. “On one occasion they pretended to be monkeys in front of the tourists.”
The charity operated a collection box for such visits, she also claimed, adding: “They made some money from it.”
She also said parents had been obliged to sign consent forms to commit children to stay with charities until they were 16 although these were not legally binding. “The idea was that if you took a child from a Glasgow slum and looked after it, you didn’t want it to return to a Glasgow slum”, she said. “It was said at the time that Glasgow would fill a van with children and take them up to the Highlands, where they would knock on doors and ask ‘how many can you take?'”.
CHILDREN’S charity Barnardo’s systematically destroyed records at its residential care homes where child sex abuse occurred over three decades – but claimed to victims that files had been lost in a flood.
The organisation’s solicitor made the shock admission to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Victims of abuse say they have been left “distressed” by the revelation that the charity had a policy of disposing of files when they shut care homes where abuse happened in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Groups representing survivors have accused Barnardo’s of “covering their tracks” after the charity’s solicitor admitted to inquiry chair – the Supreme Court judge Lady Smith – that they were aware of child abuse but did not recognise the need to retain records which could have been used as evidence in criminal or civil cases.
Barnardo’s has denied there was an attempt to cover up abuse and insisted the charity was “acting in accordance with guidelines at the time”.
The inquiry is investigating the abuse of children in care at more than 60 residential institutions and will report to the Scottish Government in 2019.
The first public hearings began on Wednesday when organisations which ran homes where abuse took place were given the chance to make opening statements. Many groups used the opportunity to apologise to victims but Barnardo’s stopped short of saying sorry, only admitting they were “aware” of abuse which “was not investigated at the time”.
The charity’s solicitor, Graham Watson, said Barnardo’s had been asked by the inquiry to provide information on seven former institutions, the last of which closed in 1994. But he said they only retained “around 10 per cent” of “staff records or administrative or governance records”.
Stunned survivors have learned that “it was Barnardo’s practice during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to destroy those records as closures of homes came about” and “the need to retain records was not recognised at that time”.
Janine Rennie, chief executive of survivors’ charity Wellbeing Scotland, who is assisting people who were abused while in the care of Barnardo’s, said: “They were particularly distressed by the revelation that records had been systematically destroyed. They were led to believe they had been lost in a flood. Barnardo’s was adamant that this was the case.
“Then, on the first day of hearings, we are told that this is different. As a modern charity Barnardo’s should have known how upsetting this would be to survivors. It’s difficult to be critical of Barnardo’s because it is now a modern organisation doing good work but they should not be trying to protect themselves.”
Rennie said that as abuse was happening at the time, any fair minded person could draw the conclusion that Barnardo’s could be perceived to be “covering their tracks”.
She added that it was time for the charity to “to take responsibility and apologise.”
David Whelan of FBGA (Former Boys and Girls Abused of Quarriers Homes), a core participant in the inquiry, warned that the policy of destroying staff records could mean abusers are still working in the care system now. He said: “I’m shocked that Barnardo’s systematically destroyed staff records. I fear that staff who abused children and were asked to leave an institution were then free to move around the care system. Many will have gone on to perpetrate crimes in other places. Some could actually still be in the care system.”
Whelan said he felt that most people would see the destruction of records as “negligent at the very least”.
He added: “They have effectively corrupted the care system by not keeping records on these people.”
Another core participant in the inquiry, Helen Holland, deputy chair of Incas (In Care Abuse Survivors), also said that most fair minded people could interpret events as an apparent attempted cover-up
She said: “I find it unbelievable [that records were destroyed]. I think the destruction of records is going to be a really interesting factor in the inquiry. It’s certainly going to be interesting for the survivors to find out what records were destroyed and who gave the authority to destroy the records. There are so many questions there.”
She added that “an ordinary person might think they were trying to cover their tracks”.
“The biggest burden I carry as a representative of survivors is whether or not they’re going to get the justice they deserve. Any court system is based on evidence and people have admitted this week that evidence has been destroyed.”
Speaking to the inquiry on Wednesday, John Scott QC, senior counsel acting on behalf of INCAS, said the complications of investigating abuse are “almost as extensive as the unknown number of victims”. He added: “In part this is because of the loss, or deliberate destruction, of records or, in some cases, the failure to keep proper records in the first place.”
Abuse survivor Dave Sharp, of SAFE (Seek and Find Everyone abused in childhood) said the records could have been used as evidence to help victims get justice. He explained: “If records are destroyed we have got to rely on the state to believe us because we don’t have the evidence to say where and why, which makes it very difficult…The organisations [which disposed of records] have to realise we won’t go away, evidence or not, because our lives were destroyed. And every single person in this country has a moral responsibility and a duty to find these people who did it.”
Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, Martin Crewe, said: “While it must be frustrating for victims and survivors to hear that a number of Barnardo’s records are no longer available, the charity was acting in accordance to guidelines at the time and is in no way an attempt to ‘cover tracks’. Barnardo’s has a history spanning 150 years and there will always be things we would wish we had done differently or not at all. But we’ve learnt always to face up to our past, to be honest and work closely with survivors groups.”
(FSF) is an Independent Peoples Enquiry into all forms of Child Sexual Abuse in Scotland. Having witnessed the failures of existing authorities to protect the children of this nation, and having seen the loss of confidence in the official inquiry, we have concluded that ordinary Scots must stand up to this challenge. The resignations from the official inquiry, and the governmental interference cited as reasons for those resignations, were the last straw. We, the people, will investigate what has happened and what is happening. Our governments, and those institutions charged with delivering justice, have failed. We will no longer endure that failure. We have decided to act.
This investigation will not be limited only to abuse within an institutional context but will look at every form of abuse that has occurred and is occurring. Thus we are determined to address abuse within institutions, Satanist Ritual Abuse, trafficking and abuse for commercial gain in the sex industry, abuse by informal networks, multi-generational abusive families and any other form of sexual abuse reported by victims and survivors. In acting we seek the truth. We investigate to discover the truth. The truth, it has been well said, will set you free.
How We Operate
We are an all-volunteer group. We give our time freely because it is right that we do so. Where funds are required, these are raised from public donation and private voluntary contributions. We accept no money from government agencies in order that our complete independence from any party tainted with child abuse, its cover up, or its toleration may be unquestioned.
Our organisation is dedicated to bringing truth and justice to the victims of Child Sexual Abuse and Satanist Ritual Abuse in Scotland, with the firm belief that this will do more than any other single action to heal our nation and protect future generations of children from suffering similar horrors. And we wish to be explicit about our understanding of what victims and survivors seek. In our experience, they want:
The truth to come out – this releases them from a world in which they have suffered but where they, and maybe a few family and friends, are the only ones who know. Hence they suffer in secret.
They want justice to have the wrongs against them made right.
At present the state overwhelmingly tries to avoid exposure and justice and buy them off with compensation – they want truth and justice before the money they deserve.
We have a step by step programme for the investigation. It is as follows:
Informing the nation
Testing the evidence
Leaving a memorial
Each step has a fixed time-line and defined outcomes and items to be delivered. This programme is to deliver for the victims and survivors, it is not to make them promises only to disappoint once again. So many of our countrymen and countrywomen have a lifetime of betrayal by those who should protect and help them. We are determined that we shall not add to that.
A series of 36 road show events will be conducted across Scotland. These will be located: One in each of the 32 local authority areas One extra in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. The roadshows will be split into two batches of 18; one in 2018 and the second in 2019. They will run at fortnightly intervals from April to October each year. The Road Shows will comprise the following:
Leafleting the public
Meeting with victims and survivors from the area
Meeting with groups and organisations dealing with victims and survivors in the area
A formal presentation to the public involving:
An expert guest speaker. Topics will include Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Satanist Ritual Abuse (SRA) and Child Trafficking.
A report on the history of CSA and SRA in that area, as known from published sources
A presentation from the FSF detailing the help we require.
Music from volunteer artists who support our cause. The presence of music may seem surprising to some; let us explain the reason this is an integral part of our events. Any work or initiative to investigate child abuse is often a very difficult emotionally draining and dark subject. The proposal is to introduce music especially where survivors are directly involved to help lift emotions and bring in some happiness, light and companionship to those seeking justice and those working to help. There are few things that can lift the heart and bring people together more effectively than music.
The aims of the roadshows are to
Make contact with victims and survivors.
Develop a map of abuse in Scotland.
Establish links with all organisations and groups who will support our work.
Raise funds for the FSF programme.
Make contact with people who have the skills we need to advance the investigation.
We will commence gathering testimony from victims and survivors in June 2018 and continue until June 2020. The information will be recorded on video and will be transcribed into a written record. This will be reviewed and developed so that it can be presented in the form of a signed affidavit.
All information will be securely stored and its use and release will be controlled by the victims and survivors decision as to the status of their evidence. Three categories of evidence are defined as follows:
Testimony may be given on the basis of complete confidentiality, with no names released and data used only in anonymised form to inform the nation as to the scope of the abuse.
Additionally the information may be placed before grand-juries, courts and other tribunals, used in investigations and forming part of the broader drive for justice, but without any general or public release.
Finally, when so determined by the victim/survivor, the information may be made available publicly to communicate the reality of the abuse to the people of Scotland.
Informing the Nation
Based on the affidavits, we will develop an anonymised report for publication. This will be published in March 2021. The report will communicate to the people of Scotland what we have discovered about Child Sexual Abuse and Satanist Ritual Abuse in Scotland. It will reveal the scope, extent and type we have discovered, and name institutions where abuse occurred. It may name individual abusers where evidence is great and the victims are deceased. It will not detail areas where prosecution is possible
Where affidavits provide corroborating evidence, such as when two unconnected people independently name an abuser, or where other corroborating evidence seems likely to be obtained, we shall conduct formal investigations to assemble evidence for potential prosecution. The evidence gathering will be by trained and paid professionals in the private sector. It will not use state resources. The timing of investigation work will depend to some extent on the nature of the testimony gathered, however we expect to start this work in June 2019. Investigation work will be complete by June 2021
When the affidavits of victims and survivors and the corroborating evidence is deemed robust, it shall be tested by presenting it before a Grand Jury made up of ordinary Scots. Accused persons will be invited to respond to the evidence and offer a defence.
Grand Juries are long established common law courts where the jury decides whether to bring criminal charges (an indictment) against a potential defendant. The common Law is the traditional law of Scotland, England and the former British Empire and colonies. It embodies the ancient laws of our people and developed slowly over the centuries. It is the basis of our system of law and predates statute and parliamentary acts. Grand Juries will be conducted up until October 2021
Where the Grand Jury considers that there is a case to answer, the matter will be passed to Police Scotland and the COPFS who shall be given an opportunity to prosecute the case. As the grand jury has already concluded it should proceed, they will not be given scope to not proceed. Should they fail to bring any cases to trial, then the Fresh Start Foundation would seek to initiate a private criminal prosecution. The decision on prosecution will be made by the Grand Jury, no other party may overrule this.
Creating a Memorial
By public subscription, we intend to create a memorial to those who have suffered. In part this will be an on-line archive of testimonies and accounts; in part it will be the public report; in part the evidence considered by Grand Juries; in part the records of the prosecutions and convictions. We aim to find a permanent home for this archive, so that it will not be forgotten, or repeated.
Our Guiding Principles
“The truth shall set you free”
“Let justice be done though the heavens fall”
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
The following is Mr Wilfred Wong’s research which made up part of his speech
LIST OF SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTED SRA CASES IN BRITAIN
(Note: this is not an exhaustive list)
1. On 9th November 1982, Malcolm and Susan Smith and Albert and Carole Hickman, were convicted in Telford, Shropshire for a series of sexual and physical assaults against children during the course of satanic rituals.Malcolm Smith carved an inverted cross on one child’s abdomen and branded her genitals with a red-hot altar knife.
2. On 23rd July 1987 Brian Williams was convicted at London’s Central Criminal Court for the sexual abuse of 15 girls and boys. He assaulted his victims on an altar dedicated to Satanand forced them to abuse each other.The rituals were performed with a Satanist pentagram drawn on the floor in blood.
3. On 8 August 1990 Reginald Harris was convicted at Worcester Crown Court after admitting to two specimen charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 15 year old girl and her younger sister. Harris told his victims he was a satanist high priest. The children were terrified into submission by Harris’s satanist rituals. He had drawn up a satanist “coven contract of marriage” to the older girl.
4. On 3rd July 1992 a 57 year old satanist was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing his niece. He had raped his victim two or three times per week between the ages of 10 and 12. The Court also heard details of a “black magic room” where the abuser kept an altar and ritual equipment. When the child was 12 she became pregnant and was required by her uncle to give birth in that room. The victim was terrified by her uncle’s satanist rituals. He threatened to rape her younger sister and kill her pets if she ever spoke of the abuse. On one occasion he snapped the neck of one of her pets in front of her and drowned another.
Judge Dennis Clark told the man: “Your fascination with the occult or devil-worship played a part in impelling you towards this evil behaviour.”
5. On March 11, 2011, Colin Batley, the leader of a Satanist coven, was convicted at Swansea Crown Court of more than 20 sexual offences against children including 11 rapes.
He and other satanists had ritually abused children in Kidwelly, Wales, where their coven was based. The children, some as young as 11, were subjected to “organised and systematic” abuse by Batley, his wife and two women coven members.
Jacqueline Marling, 42, was jailed for 12 years for aiding and abetting rape, causing prostitution, indecency with a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Batley’s wife Elaine, 47, was jailed for eight years on three charges of indecency with a child and sexual activity with a child. Shelly Millar, 35, was jailed for five years for indecency with a child and inciting a child to engage in sex. A fifth defendant, Vincent Barden, 70, admitted assaulting an under-age girl.
6. Two members of a Witches’ coven in St. Ives, Cornwall, were convicted at Truro Crown Court in December 2012 for their “ritualistic, sickening” sex abuse of young girls. Jailing Jack Kemp for 14 years and Peter Petrauske for 18, Judge Graham Cottle told them: “The offences range from the extremely serious to the truly horrifying.”
The judge said that the scars left on the victims were so obvious “that it would seem extremely unlikely that either of them have any real prospect of recovery.” Petrauske was convicted of rape, aiding and abetting an attempted rape, and indecent assault. Kemp was convicted of 10 sexual offences.
7. On February 9, 1989, Winchester Crown Court sentenced a sixty-year-old engineer to twelve years’ imprisonment on two charges of incest with one of his five daughters. The man, who was described in court as a practising Satanist had fathered several children by his own daughter. To one of them, to whom he was both father and grandfather, he later committed acts of gross indecency and indecent assault. He made his daughter pregnant no less than five times. She had two miscarriages, a still-birth and a normal child. Another was profoundly mentally and physically handicapped. He claimed to have been “instructed by the spirits” to have sex with his daughter. When police arrested the man at his home in Fareham near Portsmouth they found a small room in the bungalow that he described as his “magic room”. There were occult symbols on the floor and on the walls, and occult and witchcraft books. They also found a black priest’s robe and an altar. On it were phials of oil used in sex rituals. He pleaded not guilty to charges of incest with his four other daughters.
8. On 25 July 1988, Hazel Paul, a 28 year old mother of three, was jailed for 5 years at the Old Bailey. Paul was convicted of falsely imprisoning a 15-year-old girl and inflicting on her grievous bodily harm during satanic rituals. She also hypnotised the girl and encouraged a male friend to sexually abuse her.
The jury heard a 15-year-old boy describe how Paul had ordered him to cut and carve the girl during rituals which also involved placing lighted candles on or around the victim’s vagina. Two other defendants were convicted with Paul of the assaults. The jury heard, and accepted by convicting, the explicit details of Paul’s satanic rituals.
9. In 1987, Andrew Newell was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing his best friend in what was regarded by the police as a Satanist ritual. Newell stabbed Philip Booth five times around the heart. A murder charge was later reduced to manslaughter. Books on the occult and occult symbols were found in his room, with the words Lucifer, Leviathan, Satan and Belial. Timothy Barnes QC, told the court that Newell’s record box had been used as a makeshift black magic altar. It was covered with bloody fingerprints and a smear of Philip Booth’s blood.
“When police opened the box they found a lot of material associated with the supernatural,” he said, “including candles that had been lit and a white-handled knife.”
10. Peter MacKenzie was sentenced at St. Albans Crown Court in August 1989 to 15 years in prison for 4 rapes and 17 other sexual assaults against 13 juvenile girls. His victims were as young as 6. An accomplice, John Baxter-Taylor, pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. The court heard how MacKenzie told his victims he was ‘Asmodeus’, an historic satanic name principally associated with 19th century French Satanism, and made them recite prayers dedicated to him. MacKenzie had sexual intercourse with girls aged 6 and 7 by promising them magic powers. MacKenzie said they could become witches in his magic circle. He terrified his victims by warning them that unless they took part in the rituals and kept silent about the abuse they would die. All the children had to undergo counselling and psychiatric help, which was expected to last for several years.
The following stats I put together & they were a small part of the press packs
Press Event on Thursday 26th October 2017 for the Scottish Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Satanist Ritual Abuse (SRA) Awareness Roadshow Starting in Spring 2018 10Am To 3pm.
Fresh Start Foundation Ltd, a not for profit company, is delighted to announce that we, together with partners, will be rolling out a programme of child sexual abuse & Satanist ritual abuse awareness road shows throughout Scotland from Spring 2018, with the message that we will not leave any Victims & Survivors behind.
The lack of engagement with the Scottish Government’s CSA Inquiry, speaks volumes that Victims & Survivors are suffering in silence in large numbers. We are inviting you to engage with us so that together we can reach out to Victims & Survivors, to empower them by giving them a voice, so that they do not have to suffer in silence any more.
Accordingly, Fresh Start Foundation would like to cordially invite you to our Press Event on Thursday 26th October 2017, at the SYHA Edinburgh Central to announce the dates for these road shows and outline why it is so important that we all work together for Victims & Survivors.
A long-standing time bar which prevented victims of childhood abuse seeking civil legal action has been lifted.
Survivors of abuse which happened after 1964 previously only had a three-year window to pursue damages.
New laws coming into force have now changed that.
Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing said the time bar was “against the interests of justice for those who’d survived abuse”.
The three-year limit has been removed by the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill. The bill was unanimously approved, by a margin of 115 to zero, when MSPs voted in the Scottish Parliament in June.
It allows the time bar to be lifted so long as the victim was a child under the age of 18 when they suffered sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
The pursuer must also be the person who has been abused – so relatives of victims who have since died will not be able to seek damages.
The individual responsible for carrying out the abuse can be sued directly, but damages can also be sought against employers for their current or former employees.
The new law applies to anyone who suffered abuse on or after 26 September 1964, but not to victims who were abused before that date.
The Scottish government has estimated a potential 2,200 victims will be affected by the change in the law.
An independentScottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical child abuse is currently under way, led by judge Lady Smith.
More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated.
‘Courage of survivors’
Annabelle Ewing added: “Child abuse is the most horrific betrayal of our young people and, even where such crimes were committed decades ago, we will do all we can to help survivors get the justice they deserve.
“Police Scotland and the Crown continue to work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice through our criminal courts.
“And, while it may not be the right way forward for all, survivors may now be considering the option of accessing justice through the civil courts.
“This legal milestone would not have happened but for the courage of many adult survivors whose persistence and dedication have shone a light on the dark realities of child abuse.”
Joanne McMeeking, from the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (Celcis) at the University of Strathclyde, welcomed the introduction of the Act.
She said: “The abolishment of the time bar is the result of many years of successful campaigning by survivors.
“It is a welcome addition to the package of effective reparation as outlined in the Action Plan on Justice for victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41485863
I don’t necessarily agree with all, some or any of the following, I blogged purely for research purposes.
‘He spoke to guns like they were his children’ Expert analyses Dunblane Massacre killer Thomas Hamilton who slaughtered 16 kids and their teacher
CBS show ‘Murderers and their Mothers’ studies the behaviours of crazed killer, which eventually led him to carry out the murderous rampage.
October 1st 2017
Dunblane Masscare gunman Thomas Hamilton developed a “perverse” obsession with guns and “used to talk to them as if they were his children”, a new documentary has claimed.
In the CBS Show ‘Murderers and their Mothers’, psychoanalyst Peter Aylward analyses the crazed killer and studies his behaviours and characteristics in depth in the build up to the murderous rampage.
The documentary series also claims Hamilton grew up believing his mother was his sister, which had a dramatic impact on his mental health as his family were desperate to avoid “shame”.
A total of 16 children and once teacher died at the hands of the evil monster on 13 March 1996, in a horror which remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history.
In the documentary it is suggested that Hamilton struggled with betrayal and rejection and so he turned to guns, amassing a huge collection of firearms and becoming a member of a rifle club.
Peter Aylward, a psychoanalyst appears on CBS Show Murderers and their Mothers which analyses the case. He said: “His relationship with guns took quite a perverse turn. He used to talk to his guns as if they were children.
“It’s as if the guns replaced the children that he had tried to gather around him.
“In this way he had complete and utter control of his guns and ammunition in a way that he never could with children.”
Peter added: “The gym was where he had focused all of his life in in terms of his boys’ clubs where he had been ostensibly denied the ability to parent in the way he wanted.
“It is the scene of his life’s work.
“By killing the children he is attacking the parents. It’s an enacted murderousness against those that disowned him. It began with his father, then his mother and became displaced into his community.”
Hamilton had four guns with him which he fired at random, killing 16 of the children. Twelve other pupils were injured in the atrocity – with just one from the class of 29 escaping uninjured.
Gwenne, a mother of two, was the 17th person to be shot and is believed to have been trying to shield the children as Hamilton kept firing.
Experts in the series point to Hamilton’s twisted family relationship and growing resentment of the community around him – and eventually a well thought out plan to murder.
Dr Keri Nixon, a forensic psychologist, said: “You would have grown up feeling very betrayed. ‘Who am I, What is my identity? How could you be my sister and not love me? Didn’t you want me?’
“No wonder this is a man who would have some deep seated psychological issues. He wanted people to look up to him and to be in control. It met so many psychological needs for him to be that figure that was in charge of the scouts.
“I think there’s always this brewing anger that is not being released, but it’s there.”
In the 1990s his love for guns came to the fore. In 1995 he renewed firearms licence and in September of that year bought a 9mm Browning pistol and a few months later a Smith and Wessom.
He is then thought to have started to plan the massacre.
Hamilton’s mother apparently knew about his gun club and boys clubs, but never suspected her son could turn to murder. On the eve of the massacre he visited his mother as normal, had dinner and a bath and gave no indication of the atrocity he would carry out in the next few hours.
Dr Nixon added: “He would go out, as he saw it, in a blaze of glory. Everyone would remember him, no one would ignore him again. He would have status, albeit a status none of us would want.”
Experts believe he had carefully planned the murder – even cutting the wires so that calling the emergency services would be delayed.
Elizabeth Yardley, associate professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, said: “There’s no remorse whatsoever. He feels entirely justified. He feels these people have stigmatised him and victimised him and labelled him and he feels no one should treat him like that, because of those seeds sown in his childhood and adolescence have grown into this toxic tree
“He had been planning, ruminating and fantasising about doing something like this for a long time.”
A programme about the Dunblane Massacre will be shown on the latest programme in the Murderers and their Mothers series on CBS Reality on Sunday at 9pm.
RECORDS from a children’s residential home in Edinburgh where children were sexually abused were destroyed by the city council despite strict regulations which stipulate that files must be retained for 100 years.
St Katharine’s was supposed to be a refuge for traumatised young girls but council carer Gordon Collins took advantage of his position of trust to groom, molest and rape teenagers between 1995 and 2006.
Another member of staff who worked there was jailed in 2008 for possessing 239 pictures and 70 video clips of children being abused. Around 30 of the images owned by Kevin Glancy showed the most extreme level of abuse, level five.
One former resident who was at St Katharine’s secure unit for a year in the late 1990s – when Glancy worked there – has revealed that on her first night “aggressive” male members of staff tried to strip-search her and she heard screams for help from other residents in nearby rooms. Last month she submitted a Freedom of Information request to obtain copies of records relating to her time in care but was told the files were “destroyed” due to an “administrative error”. The woman who is now in her 30s fears a “cover up” and called on the City of Edinburgh Council to reveal how many records were shredded. Her call for transparency has been backed by organisations that support survivors of child abuse.
St Katharine’s is one of eight local authority establishments under investigation by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. The inquiry is also looking into eight institutions run by religious orders, six boarding schools and four charities including Barnardo’s and Quarriers.
In response to the former St Katharine’s resident’s Freedom of Information (FOI) request an Information Rights Officer said: “I am afraid that upon searching for your information it became apparent that historic information relating to your time at St Katharine’s Unit has been destroyed”.
The Information Rights Officer noted in the letter that it is “normal practice to keep information relating to children in care for a period of 100 years” and blamed an “administrative error” for the failure to retain files. The council worker “profusely apologised” and pledged that the local authority’s Records Management team would carry out a review.
The woman who submitted the FoI has asked not to be identified, but she told the Sunday Herald: “I was shocked. My worry is it’s a cover up and I want to know how widespread it is. I really want to know exactly when my files were destroyed and who worked in the office at the time.”
She is not ready to speak about what happened to her while at St Katharine’s but said on her first night “two aggressive male staff members who towered over my 15-year-old frame told me they needed to perform a strip-search”. She resisted and was locked in a room overnight where she heard “banging and horrific screams for help coming from the room next door.”
St Katharine’s became notorious after it came to light that former employee Gordon Collins abused children between 1995 and 2006. He carried out the attacks at two council-run residential units – St Katharine’s Secure Unit and Northfield Young Persons Unit. Four girls were assaulted, aged between 13 and 15. One girl was told she was beautiful, and given cigarettes and sweets. Another was molested over the course of a year.
One of the victims was raped after Collins went into her room at night. The teenager – who had been placed in the home after a series of violent attacks by her stepfather – was repeatedly raped by Collins over the course of a year.
Collins was jailed for six years in June last year, then the sentence was increased to 10 years by Lord Brodie following an unsuccessful appeal in November. Brodie said Collins “committed an appalling series of offences involving the predatory sexual abuse of four vulnerable teenaged girls” when he was “in a position of trust” and noted that Collins has “shown no remorse and continues to deny responsibility for the offences”.
Another former St Katharine’s employee, Kevin Glancy, was jailed for 15 months and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years in 2008 for possessing child pornography. Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie said at the time: “It’s quite clear that the children involved here had been the subject of serious abuse. You are part of the audience that perpetrates that such abuse is sustained.”
The Sunday Herald contacted the Information Rights Manager at the City of Edinburgh Council, Douglas Stephen, who confirmed that the local authority had launched an investigation into why files were destroyed. He also warned that the destruction of records may be more widespread. Stephen said: “Unfortunately we don’t know if it’s an isolated incident. There is a team investigating. It’s particularly unfortunate that this has happened and we are offering support. I don’t think it’s a systematic error, it appears to be an administrative error. Something has gone wrong and we need to find out what has happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Alan Draper of the organisation In Care Abuse Survivors (INCAS) said the destruction of children’s records is “potentially criminal”. He said: “To claim that it was an administrative error is an unacceptable excuse. I suspect it is probably widespread. It seems rather convenient to destroy records from a time period when abuse was taking place. The abuse inquiry must hold people to account for these organisational failures. The destruction of records also raises questions about whether it was deliberate and whether policeshould be investigating.”
David Whelan of FBGA (Former Boys and Girls Abused of Quarriers Homes) said destruction of records will be a “major issue” for the abuse inquiry. Whelan was abused in care and spent two years battling for his records before Glasgow Social Care Services admitted there were none. He said: “There are huge concerns about organisations getting rid of records which could be used in the inquiry as evidence. In some cases these records could have helped with the investigations. This new evidence that records were destroyed by this local authority raises further concerns about how widespread the problem is. The fact that it’s relatively recent makes it all the more serious. You would not expect records to disappear after the 1980s. The destruction of records also raises questions about why they were destroyed, particularly in relation to this case.”
Dave Sharp, who is a spokesman for SAFE (Seek And Find Everyone abused in childhood), which is working to encourage abuse survivors to contact the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said: “There are many people including myself who have spent years trying to get hold of records of our time in institutions in Scotland. The effect this has on your life is devastating. There are many examples of adults who have come forward years after being abused looking for their records to try and get some kind of understanding of what happened to them.
“If you search online for facts and figures about historical child abuse in any country and in any language you will be bombarded with information about the wheres and whys – but when you start asking questions in Scotland you are met with this great big brick wall of silence. Everyone has to wake up and see what has gone on. There are far more organisations, including local authorities, that were involved in the destroying of records than people really think. This is yet another reason why there has to be a national public awareness campaign about the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.”
Janine Rennie, Chief Executive of Wellbeing Scotland, a charity which supports survivors of abuse, said: “Records are evidence which can help survivors in achieving justice, either criminal or civil. The destruction of records is not an administrative failing, it is destruction of evidence, intentionally or in error. It is happening too often and to ensure justice and redress for survivors for the harm caused, those responsible for destroying records must be held to account.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “The statutory requirement on local authorities is to retain records for 100 years relating to a child who is looked after…the Scottish Government would expect all local authorities to comply with this statutory duty.”
A spokeswoman for City of Edinburgh Council apologised for the “administrative error” and said they are “investigating the circumstances which led to the error”, as well as providing support to the woman affected.
A spokesman for COSLA, the association of local authorities, said: “We are fully committed to working with both survivors and agencies to ensure the removal of barriers to justice for survivors of historical child abuse. We fundamentally support the coming Limitation Act and recognise that a key aspect of implementing this legislation is access to files and records. We know this requires transparency and sensitivity and councils will do everything in their power to make records available.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said it has “invested in a wide-ranging public information campaign” and is encouraging survivors to call 0800 0929300 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Councils in Scotland systematically destroyed care home records
A report into abuse in Scottish children’s homes found that senior council staff in Scotland ordered the destruction of records.
The dossier – Historical Abuse Systemic Review Residential Schools and Children’s Homes in Scotland 1950 to 1995 – by Tom Shaw, former chief inspector of education in Northern Ireland, said: “Some people in key positions, such as senior managers, seemed to lack understanding about the significance of records, what records existed and where. Some senior people in local authorities, voluntary and religious organisations were guarded and even unwilling to help. The review also learned that senior people had ordered records to be destroyed.”
The Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 was the main law in place to ensure preservation of public records during the period of the review.
The report, published in 2007, said: “The absence of adequate public records legislation means that local authorities aren’t consistent in how they deal with archives or manage records. Many have archives, but archivists complain of lack of funding and of little value being placed on their work. There is no guidance on how to identify and keep records and when it’s acceptable to destroy records.”
The review’s survey of local authority archivists revealed a litany of problems with retaining records. All records after 1996 are on recycled paper, which is “unlikely to survive in the long term”, the report said. One archive holds no records specific to children’s residential establishments, and attempts to find the information from council departments failed. Another archivist said they were instructed to destroy records in 2004.
The report also noted that: “Senior people working in social work departments had ordered records associated with children’s residential services to be destroyed. These included children’s files and management records.”
“I sat on my bed, terrified, not sure what was happening to the girl next door, wondering if I would be next.”
The words below are extracts from writing by the former St Katharine’s resident who submitted the FOI but discovered her records had been destroyed. She has asked not to be named.
“Yesterday, I sat in therapy, discussing this feeling I have that I am invisible, insignificant, that I could disappear and nobody would notice. That I am inferior to everybody else, that there’s something different about me that makes me less than human.
“These beliefs don’t come from nowhere. A lot of them can be traced back to the time I spent in a secure unit when I was a teenager. I had been placed there after spending several years being moved around different hospitals struggling with an eating disorder and several suicide attempts.
“I had been told I was going to a secure unit for my own safety, but I wasn’t told what this really meant, or what it would be like when I got there. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened on my arrival.
“I was taken to an ‘interview room’ that was more like a cupboard where I sat across from two aggressive male staff members who towered over my 15-year-old frame. They told me they needed to perform a strip-search before I could enter the unit. I refused, and insisted on a female member of staff being present. Nobody had requested this before and I was locked in this suffocating room for hours before a female staff member was found in a nearby children’s home. ‘Welcome to secure,’ I was told.
“I was then taken to my room and told that because of the trouble I’d caused, there would be a delay before someone could come search my belongings and they would come back later. I was locked in my room, sitting on my mattress, waiting. Nobody came back that night. I listened as everyone got ready for bed, shouting threats at each other and the ‘new bitch’ who’d delayed their cigarette break. I listened to banging and horrific screams for help coming from the room next door. I sat on my bed, terrified, not sure what was happening to the girl next door, wondering if I would be next.
“I have never been as scared in my life as I was that night. Nor have I ever felt so vulnerable, so powerless, so alone. It hit me like a thousand bricks that I was trapped, and although people knew where I was, I had no way of getting out or calling for help. I felt like a ghost. I had vanished from my own life.
“My memories of the months that followed are patchy. My fear levels shot through the roof that night and did not come down.
Part of processing this experience involved putting in a request recently to see my files from that time in my life. I wanted to know what was documented, what gaps in my own memories could be filled in.
“I received a letter yesterday from my local authority telling me that due to an admin error, all my records have been destroyed. Deleted. As if they didn’t matter. As if they were irrelevant. As if they were too much bother to deal with so why not just get rid of them. As if they were young people who were just ‘too difficult to cope with’.
“Files and records can be destroyed but experiences have a lasting impact. If I don’t share my story I might not realise that it’s like your story. Or his story. Or part of her story. If I don’t share my story, it stays my secret and my shame. And I stay invisible. Instead of coming into the light, and hoping that others will join me.”
“CELCIS is pleased to support survivors of abuse in care with this important work and we hope that survivors of abuse can take part in the consultation. This is an opportunity for survivors to contribute their ideas about how a potential redress scheme might work best for them. Completing this consultation questionnaire gives survivors a way to have their ideas about alternative forms of financial redress seen and heard. All of the information gathered in the consultation will be used to present options to the Scottish Government for consideration when it decides whether to establish a financial compensation/redress scheme.”
“This consultation gives everyone who has experienced abuse in the Scottish care system the chance to share their views. This allows all of us the opportunity to have our voices and opinions heard as we continue to work forward towards redress and reparation.”
“I would encourage all survivors to take this opportunity to have their voice heard in this consultation. All responses will be considered by CELCIS to prepare an independent report setting out options for what a redress scheme could look like. I am hugely grateful to the survivor representatives who have developed this and can assure all those taking part that the Government will carefully consider the findings.”
The consultation questionnaire can be accessed online at the CELCIS website.
When can I take part? consultation runs from 4 Sept 2017to 17 Nov 2017.
How do I take part? Send us your completed questionnaire as a paper copy or by completing the questionnaire online.
By post We are happy to send you a paper copy – you can request this by email at email@example.com by telephone on 0808 800 0031(on Monday and Thursday 9.30am – 4.00pm or Tuesday 9.30am – 7.00pm). We will include a FREEPOST envelope for you to return your paper copy.
4th Sept 2017 Consultation on financial redress for abuse survivors
Adult survivors of abuse whilst in care are being encouraged to share their views on a possible financial redress scheme, by taking part in a consultation launching today.
Representatives of survivors have designed the consultation in partnership with CELCIS .
CELCIS will work with partners to consider responses gathered. These responses, alongside further research, will be used to develop options for a potential financial redress scheme that will then be presented to the Scottish Government. The consultation will close on Friday 17 November.
To take part
The consultation questionnaire will be circulated widely to survivor and victim groups, and can also be accessed online at theCELCIS website.
For further details please call: 0808 800 0031 (on Monday and Thursday, 9.30am – 4pm, or Tuesdays, 9.30am – 7pm). Alternatively email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The consultation will close on Friday 17 November.
CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is committed to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of Scotland’s children living in and on the edges of care. At CELCIS we have over a decade of experience working alongside survivors, service care providers, service providers and Scottish Government.
Financial compensation should be viewed in context of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Framework for Justice and Remedies for Historic Abuse of Children in Care, as well as the broader package of redress and reparations in Scotland reflected through the progress of the Action Plan Action Plan on Justice for victims of historic abuse of children in care
Scottish Ministers agreed to implement the recommendations of the Framework and requested that the SHRC and CELCIS lead on a dialogue with survivors of in-care abuse and former providers of care. From this dialogue, an Action Plan on Justice for Victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care was developed and set out themes and commitments towards meeting two expected outcomes: acknowledgement and accountability.
The Interaction Action plan review group, a national stakeholder group includes representation from victims/survivors, victim/survivor support organisations, care providers, the SHRC, Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland and CELCIS. This group helped deliver the interaction dialogue and continues to monitor the progress of the Action Plan on Justice for victims of historic abuse of children in care. This consultation for survivors has been developed in collaboration between CELCIS and that national stakeholder group.
Police Scotland are reviewing old cases involving a notorious orphanage, raising the possibility of prosecutions nearly 30 years after it closed, STV News has learned.
Allegations that children were physically and sexually abused at Smyllum Park, Lanark, first emerged in the 1990s, but it’s thought no-one has ever been convicted of committing an offence against any of the thousands of children who lived within its walls.
Former residents from the orphanage played a central role in persuading the Scottish Government to set up the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
In November, at public hearings, the inquiry will investigate child care establishments run by organisations within the Roman Catholic Church, with Smyllum first on the list.
Representatives of the order which ran the home have already appeared at the inquiry.
In June the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul conceded that it was “a possibility” that abuse had taken place but they wouldn’t accept that it had actually happened, citing a lack of contemporary evidence in their archives.
The leader of the Daughters of Charity in Britain, Sister Ellen Flynn, said: “We are extremely saddened that those accusations have been made. We are shocked at the thought… and are very apologetic.
“But in our records we can find no evidence or anything that substantiates the allegations. We can’t confirm that there was abuse of any kind because we have no way of knowing that.”
As she left the inquiry, STV News asked Sister Flynn if she thought the allegations were untrue. She wouldn’t answer.
Detectives have already investigated allegations over the death of a child at Smyllum.
In 2015, a former resident told police that he witnessed six-year-old Sammy Carr being assaulted by a nun at the orphanage in 1964. The young boy died a short time later.
Sammy’s death certificate recorded the cause as a brain haemorrhage, but medical records from his post-mortem were reviewed by two pathologists from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
They concluded that Sammy died from cerebral abscesses caused by a fungal infection.
The doctors said neglect could have been a factor, but there was no evidence of “significant trauma, within the limits of the information now available”.
The police said there was no evidence of criminality. The nun named by the former resident had died in 2014.
Many of the allegations involving Smyllum have been made against people who are no longer alive.
This week, another former resident claimed he had been sexually abused by a male trustee at Smyllum in the 1950s.
Billy Lang said he informed police about the abuse in the 1980s. They investigated and told him the man involved was dead.
Now Smyllum is being looked at again.
The head of public protection at Police Scotland Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal told STV News: “Police Scotland has been asked by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to review a number of legacy force investigations into reports of abuse at care institutions in Scotland.
“We cannot comment further as these are now live and ongoing investigations.”
One of the institutions is the old orphanage. STV News understands that the police are investigating a woman’s allegations that she was sexually abused by a priest at Smyllum.
Media reports on Smyllum often result in people coming forward to say that they too suffered at the hands of nuns and members of staff.
Other former residents have said they enjoyed and benefited from their time at the orphanage but they’ve proved reluctant to speak out in public.
Scotland’s national force is now carrying out numerous investigations into allegations of historic abuse, in children’s homes, within the world of Scottish football and in the general community. They won’t say how many inquiries are under way, or how many victims or alleged perpetrators are involved.
Detective Chief Superintendent Boal had this message for the public: “If you or anyone you know has been a victim of abuse or wishes to report abuse you should feel confident in reporting to Police Scotland.
“We will listen and we will take action regardless of when or where the abuse occurred.”
The police stress that they are not looking into burial of hundreds of children from Smyllum in unmarked graves at St Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark.
Based on information provided by the Daughters of Charity, campaigners had long believed that at least 150 children were there, but an investigation by the Sunday Post and BBC Radio Four has suggested that the real figure could be as high as 400.
Most of the children died of natural causes between Victorian times and the 1930s.
The police and Crown Office have said there’s no evidence of a crime being committed over the burial of the children.
A former resident of a Scottish orphanage run by Catholic nuns has described the sexual, physical and mental abuse she suffered at the home. Theresa Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she was sexually abused from the age of eight at the Smyllum Park Orphanage, Lanark, in the 1970s.
The care home, run by the Daughters of Charity Order, closed in 1981. A spokesperson said the order was “shocked and saddened” by the allegations. Ms Tolmie-McGrane, who is now a psychologist working in Norway, arrived at the South Lanarkshire orphanage in 1968 when she was six years old. She told BBC Stories: “Every child was beaten, punished, locked in a dark room, made to eat their own vomit and I would say that most of us had our mouths rinsed out with carbolic soap.”
Ms Tolmie-McGrane said she was first sexually abused at the home by a priest when she was eight. “I had a little part-time job cleaning the pews in the church and this particular priest would arrive early and he would ask me to go into a particular room with him and he would ask me to sit on his lap and fondle him. “He tried to fondle me and I just pulled away.”
Theresa Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she was systematically abused at the home for almost 10 years She also recalled how in one “horrible incident” one of the nuns had walked in on the priest abusing her. “Instead of being angry at him, she got really angry at me. She yanked me by the left arm so hard and flung me across the room and called me a whore and told me to get out of there. “I didn’t know my arm was broken at the time. It was only the day after that we realised.” She added: “I think in some ways it was worse than just sexual abuse because I was punished with the broken arm for doing something a priest had forced me to do.” Ms Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she had suffered years of “systematic abuse” at Smyllum Park, including being hit on the head with a wooden crucifix. She said the psychological abuse started after she started at secondary school when one of the nuns had tried to “break” her down. “She almost made it such that I didn’t get to university. She did everything she could to sabotage,” Ms Tolmie-McGrane said. “I’ve never met someone who tried to destroy another person in such a systematic way. Thank God she didn’t succeed.” Ms Tolmie-McGrane left the home when she was 17 and went on to study at the University of Glasgow.
A spokesperson for the Daughters of Charity Order said in a statement: “We are shocked and saddened by these accounts describing acts that are alleged to have happened at Smyllum Park nearly 50 years ago. “We would urge anyone who believes they have been victim of a crime to contact the police, who will then work with our safeguarding team. “We are also core participants in the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, and will continue to work with the inquiry, and any other inquiries or investigations, for as long as required. “We would like to offer sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered any form of abuse while at our facilities.”
Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark after it closed in the 1980s
Ms Tolmie-McGrane’s account follows a recent BBC and Sunday Post investigation which found that the bodies of at least 400 children who died there may be buried in a mass grave at the home. But prosecutors said on Tuesday there was no evidence of crimes being committed at the orphanage with regards to the mass grave. The children were buried in the cemetery plot between 1864 and 1981.
The orphanage was home to more than 11,000 children over the 117 years before it closed. Former residents of the orphanage uncovered the burial plot at nearby St Mary’s cemetery in 2003. Research into death records of children who lived there showed that most died of natural causes, from common diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and pleurisy. File on 4: The Secrets of Smyllum Park is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 24 September 2017 at 17:00 BST.
Hundreds of Scottish orphanage children allegedly buried in mass grave
High infant mortality rate and allegations of abuse raise suspicions of Smyllum Park in Lanark, once run by Catholic nuns
The Scottish child abuse inquiry is to investigate claims that the bodies of at least 400 children from a home once run by Catholic nuns are buried in an unmarked mass grave.
The high infant mortality rate has raised concerns about conditions at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.
Mass grave of babies and children found at Tuam care home in Ireland
The institution, which looked after children from broken homes, opened in 1864 and closed in 1981. More than 11,000 children stayed at the orphanage over that period.
Records reveal that most of the deaths were due to natural causes, mainly from diseases such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy. About a third of the victims were under the age of five, and the majority of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930.
Former residents of the orphanage uncovered a burial plot containing the remains of a number of children at nearby St Mary’s cemetery in 2003.
Frank Docherty and Jim Kane, who both died earlier this year, alleged that many of those who passed through Smyllum Park were subjected to physical abuse, including beatings, punches and public humiliations. Both men also believed that the number of deaths was far higher than the 120 previously acknowledged by the Catholic order.
An inquiry by BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 and the Sunday Post newspaper examined death certificates in archives and found 402 children from Smyllum Park. Only two were found to have been buried elsewhere. The remainder are thought to have been laid to rest in St Mary’s cemetery, a mile away from the former home.
Smyllum Park orphanage opened in 1864 and closed in 1981.
The recorded death rate, according to the reports, is calculated to have been, in some periods, around three times the average for children in Scotland.
The suggestion that children were put into an unmarked mass grave echoes the public outcry over the recent discovery of the remains of 800 babies and children at a former Catholic care home in Tuam, in the west of Ireland.
Like Tuam, the row over what happened at Smyllum Park focuses not only on the way in which children were buried but the supposedly strict, punitive regime said to have been operated by nuns.
One of the deaths recorded at the Scottish orphanage is that of Francis McColl, who died in 1961, aged 13. His death certificate indicates he died from a brain haemorrhage. His brother Eddie had heard that he was struck on the head by a golf club. He has told researchers that he was never able to find any trace of where his brother was buried.
Two representatives of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul gave evidence to the Scottish child abuse inquiry earlier this summer. They said they could find no records of abuse. The nuns declined to comment on how many people were buried in the mass grave.
In a statement given to the BBC last week, the order said they were “cooperating fully” with the child abuse inquiry and believed that was the “best and most appropriate forum for such investigations”.
They said: “As Daughters of Charity our values are totally against any form of abuse and thus, we offer our most sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered any form of abuse whilst in our care.”
The order has been granted the status of core participant in the inquiry, which is expected to hear evidence about its homes at a hearing in November.
The Scottish inquiry – which is only investigating the provision of residential care – is more narrowly focused than the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales.
A spokesman for the Scottish inquiry confirmed that the allegations surrounding the mass grave at Smyllum Park would be one of the subjects it examined.
A spokesperson for the Catholic church in Scotland said the Daughters of Charity operated as a separate organisation. “The death of children in care is always tragic,” the spokesperson said. “Any suggestion that the deaths of some children were caused by anything other than natural causes should be investigated to the fullest extent possible.
“The Catholic church has never had any responsibility for or ability to place children in care: that has always been and remains a matter for the statutory authorities who placed children in care and were subsequently responsible for their welfare.”
The spokesman said local priests had participated in services held at the graveyard in memory of children from Smyllum Park orphanage buried there.
White Flowers Alba, a victims group that has helped the investigation into Smyllum Park orphanage, said: “The true scale of the horrors of Smyllum long hidden by the Roman Catholic church are only being now revealed.
“This is a horror we have worked for over number years to have exposed, spending many hours in harrowing interviews, providing support & care for those still suffering today from what they witnessed & experienced. White Flowers Alba is facilitating support for those affected by this tragedy.”