Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries, Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’, Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action, Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry
February 24, 2015 Comments Off on Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries, Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’, Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action, Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry
– Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries
– Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’
– Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action
– Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry
Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries
By Tim Whewell 23 February 2015
A BBC investigation has found evidence that some local authorities in England and Wales may have allowed fear of losing insurance cover to alter their approach to child abuse inquiries.
File on 4 has also been told of cases where insurers attempted to suppress information about abuse allegations.
An ex social services chief called the behaviour of one company “disgusting”.
The Association of British Insurers said the investigation “raised a number of serious matters”.
When Colin Lambert, then leader of Rochdale Council, proposed an investigation last year into a possible cover-up of child abuse in the town, he was shocked by a response from council officers.
Former pupils at the Knowl View special school for boys have alleged they were victims of sexual assaults by Rochdale’s former MP, the late Cyril Smith and others, in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s.
Mr Lambert says he was told an inquiry could lead to problems with the council’s insurers.
“I can recall a conversation with officers that this could lead to the insurers withdrawing cover,” he says. “Holding an actual open inquiry would expose exactly who did know what – and therefore the council probably would have been liable. And that then opens up the insurers to claims.”….
The File on 4 investigation has found other cases across Britain, over many years, in which councils have expressed concern over the danger of losing insurance cover – and some in which insurers have attempted to suppress information about abuse allegations.
Tim Hulbert, former director of social services in Bedfordshire, says insurers “instructed” him on what to do when he was helping set up an inquiry into alleged child abuse at a children’s home in the early 1990s.
He said: “I had a phone call from the insurers who were anxious to influence the terms of reference of the inquiry, so they didn’t actually produce circumstances which would increase the likelihood of claims….
n North Wales in 1996, Clwyd County Council refused to publish the report of an inquiry it had set up into abuse in its children’s homes following legal advice that it would risk losing its insurance cover.
The government-appointed Waterhouse Tribunal on North Wales abuse later said the insurers had “acted throughout with the honourable intention” of preventing the council acting in such a way that they would be forced to repudiate liability for claims.
But when the Clwyd report by John Jillings was eventually published on a BBC Freedom of Information request in 2013, it revealed that the insurers had objected to the panel’s proposal for notices in the press appealing for information about abuse….
Insurance and Child Abuse File on 4
With a growing number of compensation claims arising from cases of historic sexual abuse and more recent high profile cases of sexual grooming, Tim Whewell investigates the key role which insurance companies play. In representing the local authorities where scandals occurred, insurers naturally seek to limit liability but are they doing so at a cost to victims? Lawyers say they have to battle to get access to files and other information – causing further distress and delaying help for those damaged by abuse. Some say the fight is getting harder as insurance companies have toughened their approach in recent years. And, with a national inquiry into historic cases of child sex abuse, how much influence did insurance companies have on the way some past investigations were carried out? File on 4 talks to senior local authority insiders who say they were told to alter their approach to abuse investigations to protect the insurers’ interests. But was that at the expense of children at risk?
Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’ 23 February 2015
Concerns over the handling of child abuse cases by an Essex Police team are “not surprising”, the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.
Eight extra cases have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on top of 30 already being looked into.
The investigations relate to a team covering north Essex.
Essex PCC Nick Alston said the increase was “distressing”. The force has been asked to comment but has yet to do so.
“As the review into the quality of child abuse investigations instigated by Essex Police progresses, regrettably I do not find it surprising that it has identified further cases of concern and fresh referrals to the IPCC,” he said….
Some cases are said to involve a “lack of honesty or integrity” by officers, and are based on allegations of historical abuse dating to the 1960s and 1970s….
Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action
The Victorian Government is set to abolish a major legal hurdle for child abuse victims who want to sue their attackers.
Legislation will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament to remove the time limit imposed on child abuse victims who want to launch civil claims.
Currently under the law there is a 12-year time limit to take action over alleged abuse.
Changes will mean people who suffered abuse as a child decades ago will be able to seek civil damages.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula said victims should not be penalised for not acting immediately….
Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry
By Ashleigh Raper
A former student of a Sydney private school says students were sexually abused so often, he was not sure it was wrong when he was assaulted by a teacher in the playground.
Former Knox Grammar student Scott Ashton told the royal commission into child sexual abuse of the shock, shame and confusion he suffered after being abused at the school in the 1980s.
He said it was clear the school harboured “a large paedophile cohort” and the abuse led to him becoming a sex worker as teenager.
Students were abused at the exclusive boys school, on Sydney’s north shore, over a 33-year period from the 1970s until 2003….
Mr Ashton said, in 1986, an acquaintance invited him to a sex party where he was paid for sex work, and which was attended by about 10 Knox Grammar teachers and some students.
He said a few of the teachers in attendance were later convicted of child sex offences.
Five former teachers were convicted, but the commission has been told the problem was worse than first thought.
Allegations that three other Knox staff members abused students were heard on Monday.
The commission also heard there was evidence the school knew about abuse but never told police, and the alleged perpetrators have not faced criminal proceedings….
Knox Grammar School’s lawyer, Geoffrey Watson SC, asked to speak before any of the witnesses on Monday.
He said that the school conceded what happened was disturbing and damaging.
“There is no excuse,” Geoffrey Watson SC said.
“The school owed a primary responsibility to those students, and to those parents, to keep them safe from this sort of thing.
“The school humbly and sincerely apologises for its failure.”….
Yazidi sex slaves, Deaf school clergy abuse, Chinese doomsday cult, Female genital mutilation, Knowl View – Cyril Smith, Manchester child sex grooming gangs
October 15, 2014 Comments Off on Yazidi sex slaves, Deaf school clergy abuse, Chinese doomsday cult, Female genital mutilation, Knowl View – Cyril Smith, Manchester child sex grooming gangs
– Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves ‘for theological reasons’, says Isil
– Deaf school group to honor Delavan man who helped expose priest abuse
– Wife axed in suspected ritual killing
– Chinese court sentences cult members to death
– Ancient ritual of female child abuse must end, activists say
– Child abuse inquiry to examine claims John Major’s government failed to act
– Greater Manchester police ‘failed to pursue child abuse gang claims’
Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves ‘for theological reasons’, says Isil
Article in Islamic State’s English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits selling Yazidi women into sex slavery but justifies it according to the theological rulings of early Islam
By Richard Spencer 13 Oct 2014
Islamic State jihadists have given detailed theological reasons justifying why they have taken thousands of women from the Iraqi Yazidi minority and sold them into sex slavery.
A new article in the Islamic State English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits the practice but justifies it according to the theological rulings of early Islam.
“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated,” the article says.
It says there is a difference between women from Muslim sects the jihadists regard as heretical, who can be considered as “apostates”, and the so-called mushrikin – polytheists and pagans.
“Their women could be enslaved, unlike female apostates.”
The women were seized when the group swept across parts of northern Iraq in early August….
Deaf school group to honor Delavan man who helped expose priest abuse
By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 13, 2014
Arthur Budzinski, a deaf man who helped expose one of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s most notorious child sexual abusers, the late Father Lawrence Murphy, will be honored Saturday by the Wisconsin School for the Deaf Alumni Association….
Budzinski was among dozens of boys molested by Murphy as children at the archdiocese’s St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis between 1950 and 1974. One church psychologist estimated Murphy may have molested as many as 200 deaf children before he died in 1998.
Budzinski was among a group of alumni who had been pushing the church since the 1970s to remove Murphy and confront its failure to protect children. Their work has been documented by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and New York Times and was featured in the 2012 Alex Gibney documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.”
He is among the 575 men and women who have filed sex abuse claims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy alleging they were molested by priests and others connected to the church as children….
Wife axed in suspected ritual killing
12/10/2014 by Staff Reporter
A 35-YEAR-OLD Binga man last Tuesday allegedly chopped off his wife’s head with an axe and hid it in a cardboard box under his bed.
The gruesome murder happened in Siabua village in Binga. Villagers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said they suspect Wonder Munsaka committed the crime for ritual purposes….
Chinese court sentences cult members to death
5 cult members killed woman in Zhaoyuan McDonald’s
By Tim Hume CNN Oct 13, 2014
(CNN) – Two members of a banned Chinese doomsday cult were sentenced to death Saturday for the brutal murder of a woman in a McDonald’s restaurant in May, Chinese state media reported.
Zhang Fan and Zhang Lidong were among five members of the Church of Almighty God, or “Quannengshen,” tried on murder charges in August over the killing in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province, the state-run Xinhua agency reported.
Three fellow cult members, Lyu Yingchun, Zhang Hang and Zhang Qiaolian, were sentenced to life, 10 and seven years in prison respectively for their roles in the attack. The four Zhangs were related, according to the report.
A court statement said the victim, a 37-year-old woman named Wu Shuoyan, was attacked after refusing to give her phone number to the group, who were allegedly attempting to recruit new members.
Zhang Fan and Lyu called her an “evil spirit,”….
inked to kidnappings, violence and extortion, the Church of Almighty God has been on a list of 14 banned religious groups issued by China’s Ministry of Public Security since 1995.
Founded in the 1990s in Henan Province, the group believes that Jesus has been reincarnated as Yang Xiangbin, the wife of the group’s founder, Zhao Weishan. The couple fled to the United States in 2000, Xinhua reported.
The group, also known as Eastern Lightning (“Dongfang Shandian”), preaches that the righteous are engaged in an apocalyptic struggle against China’s Communist Party — which it refers to as the “great red dragon.”
Belonging to a tradition of heterodox, quasi-Christian Chinese religious movements, the cult was estimated as having between several hundred thousand and one million members, according to Emily Dunn, an Asian studies academic at the University of Melbourne who wrote her doctoral thesis on the group….
In a statement provided to CNN in June, Hong Kong-based members of the group responsible for its English-language website said it was “very natural” for the Chinese Communist Party to blame the group for the McDonald’s death because the party slandered and then suppressed those that disagreed with it….
Ancient ritual of female child abuse must end, activists say
By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation 10/13/2014
Africa can end female genital mutilation (FGM) in 20 years, activists said on Friday as they launched a continent-wide campaign, calling the ancient ritual a form of child abuse aimed at controlling women’s sexuality.
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – FGM, a practice involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, can cause hemorrhage, shock, complications in childbirth, fistula and death….
“Unless the violence stops, we will not rest.”
Some 30 million African girls are at risk of FGM over the next decade. This includes tens of thousands of girls from diaspora communities in Europe and North America who are often taken abroad to be cut….
In Kenya, 27 percent of women undergo FGM, although it reaches 98 percent in some communities, such as the Somali.
Child abuse inquiry to examine claims John Major’s government failed to act
Information about abuse at children’s home frequented by Cyril Smith was allegedly received but not acted upon
Rajeev Syal The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014
The independent inquiry into the apparent failure of politicians and public bodies to investigate historical sex abuse will examine allegations that John Major’s government failed to act when it was informed of widespread abuse at a children’s home frequented by the late paedophile MP Cyril Smith.
The inquiry has been told that in 1995, detailed claims of rape and sexual grooming of pupils at Knowl View school were sent to the office of Gillian Shephard, the then education secretary.
But instead of intervening, senior civil servants referred the dossier back to the council, the Guardian has learned. Shephard, who is now a baroness, confirmed that her office received the file but insists she knew nothing about it.
Paperwork from the Department for Education about the dossier has been passed on to the Home Office institutional abuse enquiry, headed by Fiona Woolf. She is examining allegations that figures in Westminster and Whitehall were implicated in the failure to protect children.
The same paperwork has also been referred to Greater Manchester police, the force that has launched a criminal investigation into an alleged coverup of child abuse at a Knowl View and the decision not to prosecute Smith.
Dozens of former pupils from Knowl View have come forward to say they were abused at the school. Smith, who died in 2010, is alleged to have assaulted several children at the school….
Greater Manchester police ‘failed to pursue child abuse gang claims’
Detectives say they identified offenders and victims more than a decade ago but no action was taken, says ITV investigation
Jamie Orme The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014
Child sex grooming gangs have avoided prosecution due to a failure by one of the country’s biggest police forces to pursue claims against them, it has been alleged, threatening to reignite the debate over institutional neglect of young victims of sexual abuse.
Greater Manchester police (GMP), the third largest force in England and Wales, has been accused by serving and former detectives of attempting to cover up failings to tackle gangs of Asian men who were abusing young girls, according to an ITV News investigation.
A former detective constable with the force has come forward to reveal she named and identified offenders and victims more than a decade ago in an internal report but no action was taken.
Responding to the claims, GMP chief constable Sir Peter Fahy told ITV that officers had developed a “mindset” that victims in sexual abuse cases were “unreliable” but, while this had since changed, it was still present within the courts….
The claims against GMP come just months after a damning report found at least 1,400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, with “blatant” collective failings by the council and South Yorkshire police blamed for the abuse….
Another GMP detective, who has remained anonymous, looked at the issue six years later and revealed there was reluctance by senior officers to investigate sexual abuse claims despite her warnings the problem was spiralling out of control….
September 17, 2014 Comments Off on Knowl View: ’40 victims’ in Rochdale school abuse probe, MP Cyril Smith
Knowl View: ’40 victims’ in Rochdale school abuse probe
15 September 2014
Police investigating historical child abuse in Rochdale say more than 40 men have said they were victims of the former MP Cyril Smith or other men.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 24 men have alleged they were sexually and physically abused at Knowl View school in Rochdale between 1960 and 1987.
Twenty of those have said they were abused by Smith, who died in 2010.
At least one victim has told detectives he was raped by the man who was Liberal MP for Rochdale from 1972 to 1992.
Police said they had interviewed 21 men aged between 35 and 80 under caution for a variety of offences but there were still a number of other suspects to be traced and interviewed.
A separate investigation is focusing on Smith, who is alleged to have preyed on youngsters both at Knowl View, where five complainants have come forward, and another school in Rochdale for “difficult children”, Cambridge House, from where 10 complainants have spoken to police.
Another five have said they were abused by Smith at various other locations, all in the Greater Manchester area….
Double child abuse agony for Rochdale family
By Jane Deith 16 September 2014
Two children from one family were sexually abused in separate paedophile scandals in Rochdale the BBC has found.
A boy was sexually assaulted at Knowl View School and a decade later his sister was groomed for sex by a gang of Asian men in the town.
Their mother only learned from the BBC that her son, who died recently, had been a victim.
She said she did not think it was a coincidence that both abuse scandals happened in the same town.
BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme discovered the link while investigating Knowl View, a school for boys with special educational needs.
The former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith sexually assaulted young boys at the residential school.
The programme was shown a list of children who were at Knowl View during the 1990s….
Failure to end abuse
In the early 1990s, three official reports were written about sexual abuse at the school but they were not made public.
Greater Manchester Police is investigating whether there was a criminal cover-up.
Current MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk is now questioning whether the failure to end the abuse at Knowl View led to a climate in which the subsequent child sex ring in Rochdale was allowed to emerge.
“I’ve often wondered whether there’s a connection between the two and whether the culture was influenced by the fact that Smith’s abuse had been ignored by people in the town and whether that impacted on the Rochdale grooming scandal.
“Knowl View links the historic to the recent is the point I’m making… it’s a continuum of abuse by individuals, but also by groups because Knowl View is about groups of abusers coming together just like the grooming gangs that have been involved with the girls.”….
Sir Cyril Smith abuse ‘cover-up’ claims probed by police, Downloading child abuse ‘manuals’ to be made illegal
April 28, 2014 Comments Off on Sir Cyril Smith abuse ‘cover-up’ claims probed by police, Downloading child abuse ‘manuals’ to be made illegal
Sir Cyril Smith abuse ‘cover-up’ claims probed by police
27 April 2014
Police are examining whether there is evidence of a criminal cover-up over claims of sexual abuse at a Rochdale school linked to the late Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith.
Officers are already investigating claims of abuse at Knowl View school but are reviewing whether any evidence points to a cover-up by the council.
Rochdale Council is also set to widen its own inquiry into the allegations.
Sir Cyril’s family has said he always denied such accusations.
The development comes after police launched an investigation into allegations Sir Cyril, who died in 2010 aged 82, sexually abused boys at Knowl View residential school, in Rochdale.
The school closed in 1992.
Officers are also looking into claims he abused boys at the privately run Cambridge House children’s care home, which closed in 1965….
Allegations about Sir Cyril’s conduct were first published in 1979 and also been made in a new book by the current Labour MP for Rochdale, Mr Danczuk.
He claimed Sir Cyril used his position of power to sexually abuse young boys and then escape prosecution.
Mr Danczuk previously said he asked police to re-examine the case after “a number of victims came to see me and raised concerns”.
An independent review into the way Knowl View was run is due to report to Rochdale Council next month…. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27183369
Downloading child abuse ‘manuals’ to be made illegal
27 April 2014
Downloading manuals containing guidance about how to groom children for sexual abuse is to become a criminal offence, the government has said.
It is unclear how many documents meant to assist paedophiles exist online or how often they are downloaded.
But the National Crime Agency has found examples during its investigations, which have included advice on grooming victims and evading capture….
Prime Minister David Cameron told the Sunday Times: “It’s completely unacceptable that there is a loophole in the law which allows paedophiles to write and distribute these disgusting documents.
“I want to ensure we do everything we can to protect children – and that’s why I am making them illegal.”
The move came as it emerged that a paedophile teacher drugged and abused up to 60 boys as young as 10 at a private school in London.
US national William Vahey, 64, who taught history and geography at Southbank International School between 2009 and 2013, committed suicide last month as FBI agents closed in…. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-27177040
Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP, Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects, New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse
April 17, 2014 Comments Off on Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP, Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects, New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse
– Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP
– Children as young as EIGHT were abused at school linked to paedophile MP Cyril Smith
– Cyril Smith sex abuse scandal: Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects
– New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse
Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP
Apr 16, 2014 By James Lyons
Labour’s Simon Danzcuk – who exposed Smith – claimed the Liberal grandee was part of an “informal” network of perverts who stalked the corridors of power
Child abuser Cyril Smith was protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring, the MP who exposed him claimed. Labour’s Simon Danzcuk said the Liberal grandee was part of an “informal” network of perverts who stalked the corridors of power. He said: “Had he been prosecuted, then the house of cards would have fallen, in terms of that paedophile network, and it could have brought the government down.
“Once he became a member of Parliament in 1972, I think he joined an, obviously informal, network of paedophiles that existed in and around Westminster.” The claims came as fresh doubt was cast in Nick Clegg’s instance that no Liberal Democrats knew about Smith’s activities. Police have said Smith attended Elm Guest House in South West London, where underage rent boys and youngsters from a children’s home were reportedly brought to have sex with adult men.
Other high profile figures are said to have been visitors including senior MPs, a high-ranking policeman and an MI5 officer….
Children as young as EIGHT were abused at school linked to paedophile MP Cyril Smith
Apr 14, 2014 By Paul Byrne, Luke Traynor
Martin Digan, ex-head of care at the residential school at the centre of the revelations, said it became ‘a sweet shop for abusers’
Children as young as eight were abused at a school linked to paedophile Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith, the Mirror can reveal today. Whistleblower Martin Digan, ex-head of care at the residential school at the centre of the revelations, told the Mirror it was a “sweet shop” for abusers. Secret files have been found that detail appalling depravity at the Knowl View unit for disturbed youngsters in Rochdale, where Smith was a governor. Police have identified 11 other suspects.
Mr Digan said: “It is about time his sordid past was fully exposed, together with the shocking events that happened at Knowl View. I’m glad it is out but I’m sickened it has taken so long.” The shocking details have come to light as the Liberal Democrats are threatened with legal action by Smith’s victims. They will seek damages if it can be proved senior party officials knew of his crimes – but failed to stop him….
Cyril Smith sex abuse scandal: Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects
Apr 12, 2014 By Neal Keeling
Police investigating the sexual abuse of children by former MP Cyril Smith have been told of ‘at least’ 11 other suspects, the Manchester Evening News has revealed.
Seven alleged victims have given officers the names of men they say were behind the abuse linked to Knowl View School in Rochdale where Smith was chairman of the governors in its final year. Next month a report is due to be published by barrister, Andrew Warnock QC, who was instructed by Rochdale council in January to ‘independently review all council decision-making’ related to the former special school in Bamford from the late 80s to mid 90s.
At least a dozen boys are said to have been victims of sexual abuse during that time and police are now sifting through 33 boxes of previously undiscovered archive material relating to the school. Some of the suspects named by the victims may have died, but all had links to Knowl View. Det Insp Caroline Ward said: “Following the publicity surrounding Sir Cyril Smith last year, seven people came forward to report physical and sexual abuse which occurred at Knowl View from the 1970s onwards….
Knowl View was shut in 1994 after a dossier detailing abuse was handed to police. Whistleblower, and former head of care at the school, Martin Digan, said he feared Smith was among those abusing boys and he verbally reported his suspicions to police and the council. Smith was investigated twice in the 70s and 90s but never prosecuted and it wasn’t until 2012 that police admitted he had abused children….
New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse
By MOLLIE DURKIN 04/16/2014
Pennsylvania has clarified its definition of who is required to report suspected child abuse.
Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday signed into law four pieces of legislation that, in short, expand the definition of mandatory reporters, streamline the reporting process, increase penalties for mandatory reporters who fail to do so and provide protections from employment discrimination for filing a report in good faith. The legislation happened to be signed in April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The new law: Effective Dec. 31, the new definition of a mandatory reporter includes anyone who comes in contact, or interacts, with a child or is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of a child.