Justice for Families report December 2007, John Hemming

John Hemming, MP
Justice for Families report December 2007

I would like to start by wishing everyone a happy new year and hope that we see further movement on reform in family proceedings this year.

2007
2007 has seen a number of organisational steps forward. We now have about 40 volunteer advisors who are helping people facing the state’s attempts to steal their children. In Chad the government resist the stealing of children, but in the UK there remain targets for such activities. The authorities claim the targets have been removed, but Best Value!! 163 remains. It now includes Special Guardianships, which is where the change exists.

It is not unknown where to satisfy the targets granny or grandpa is being allowed a special guardianship on the older children, but is not good enough to look after the baby which is to be put up for adoption. This is just not a rational position to take.

A key priority will be to try to get some legislative changes through the Children and Families Bill that has been introduced by Lord Adonis into the House of Lords.

In the mean time we are trying to identify patterns of behaviour by the system and highlight them. Substantially more truth about the realities behind the Childrens Services Agenda became publicly available in 2007. Hopefully the government will accept that there are problems that need resolving in 2008.

MSbP in the North East
I now have details of 4 cases of false allegations of MSbP in the North East. Although two of the victim families have either emigrated or are in the process of emigration we should be able to demonstrate the nature of the problem more effectively.

Fractures
Victoria Ward’s case which was reported in the Sunday Times demonstrates the difficulties in this area. We are working on preparing a dossier here to show that many families are victims of false allegations here.

SBS
Keran Henderson’s case will ensure that the questions about SBS will remain within the public agenda. The fact that glutaric aciduria allows spontaneous SBS to occur should make it clear to the judiciary that this is a theory that is too unreliable to warrant being used in court.

The Section 31 Threshold
One further objective for 2008 is to demonstrate how low the S31 a) threshold really can be. This has been historically hidden, but can be brought into the public domain in a number of legitimate ways including parliamentary petitions.

International
It is clear that internationally secrecy within the system has allowed it to get corrupted. The more secrecy the more corruption. The UK has a spectacular problem as a result of the adoption targets, but similar lower level problems exist elsewhere. One Canadian organisation Dufferin VOCA has maintained a list of such websites internationally and is a good source of international information.

Organisational
Emily Wilson-Gavin’s email address has changed to emily.wilson-gavin@john.hemming.name . We will be formalising JFF as a company limited by guarantee. Any advisors who wish to be founding members should email Emily. To become a founding member someone will have to have a track record of assisting others.

Ali’s media report for December


Paediatrician David Southall was yesterday struck off the medical register after twice accusing parents of murdering their children. He was called before the GMC again over a further series of allegations, which were found to be proved last month. Five mothers whom he wrongly accused of deliberately hurting, and in one case killing, their children, gave evidence to the hearing. Their accounts gave a chilling insight into the consequences of so-called “sleep study” tests that he conducted on 4,500 of his young patients during the eighties and nineties.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=499740&in_page_id=1770

Controversial paediatrician Dr David Southall has been struck off the medical register after being found guilty of serious misconduct. About time. Yet he is not in jail for all the experiments and lives he destroyed. Also, why are they not discrediting the idiots that believed him without looking into the evidence? Sheep have a better thinking process.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article2999992.ece

More on Dr Southhall
Lawyers acting for the Attorney General are currently examining the 4,449 special case files at the centre of the GMC hearing.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7108879.stm

When hospital staff pulled the curtains around her son’s bed and asked: “Poor little baby. What have you been doing?”, Victoria Ward knew something was suddenly very wrong. After being suspected of child abuse, the Ward family are out to change the family justice system.
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article3021139.ece

Lawrence, 20, is one of the five cases at the heart of the allegations against Dr David Southall. His parents had to go to the high court to clear their name of the false child abuse charges from Dr Southhall. Their lives have never been the same.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7108910.stm

Southall believes that he has been treated unjustly
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article3019148.ece

North families who had children removed because of evidence from discredited paediatrician David Southall could have them returned, we can reveal.
http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/sundaysun/news/tm_headline=hope-for-families-who-lost-children&method=full&objectid=20223711&siteid=50081-name_page.html

Dr Southall’s supporters gives us an idea of the many medical professionals out there who don’t think it is monstrous child abuse to destroy families and perform dangerous life threatening experiments on children and babies.
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article3029385.ece

Dr Patricia Hamilton, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPH), defends Southhall. Pathetically going on about protecting children from their parents when the evidence is there and public about the lives he has ruined and experiments he inflicted on children.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-7126189,00.html

Prof Southall received several expressions of support after the hearing.
Dr Evan Harris, MP, said the ruling was “a serious miscarriage of justice”. I would worry about anyone’s intentions or mentality who supports this monster.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/05/nsouthall104.xml

What Professor Southall didn’t want you to see.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b17_1184619566  

If the above link does not load try this one.
What Professor Southall does not want you to see.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sD4UWGt91w  

Fran Lyon has left the country to bring up her child away from the officials she says have made her life a misery. The decision to take the child into care made by a Northumberland County Council child protection panel was based on an assessment from a doctor Ms Lyon says she has never met. Now 33 weeks pregnant, she said her decision to leave the UK had been made simply because of the way her case had been handled by the council.
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2007/11/26/i-had-to-go-to-sweden-or-they-d-take-my-baby-61634-20160303/

Fresh evidence casting doubt on the conviction of a woman for the murder of a boy she was babysitting, has been uncovered by BBC Newsnight. The investigation into Kyle’s death was led by Det Supt Tony Hutchinson of Cleveland police, an officer with 50 murder inquiries under his belt. The police did not take written statements from either of the two surgeons who saw Kyle in 2004. Suzanne Holdsworth has been disciplined by the prison authorities for talking to the BBC and her ability to talk to her family restricted.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7129962.stm

Expert witnesses are on trial – again. This time their role has been put under the spotlight by two jurors who broke cover to speak out and question the conviction of a childminder for killing an 11-month-old baby in her care.
Keran Henderson, a mother of two and respected Scout leader, was convicted last month of shaking Maeve Sheppard so violently that she was left blind and and irreparably brain-damaged. The baby died days later.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/columnists/article3078027.ece

Lawyers are privately worried that the view is gaining ground that the mother of two should not have been prosecuted after two jurors questioned her conviction for violently shaking Maeve Sheppard to death.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article3085228.ece

The role of expert witnesses in baby death trials was called dramatically into question last night after two jurors spoke out to challenge the conviction of a childminder for killing a baby in her care. Senior judges and law officers faced calls yesterday for a fresh review of the role of expert witnesses in baby-death cases.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article3071113.ece

Jailed in 2000 for the manslaughter of baby Patrick, Ms Harris – now Mrs Allen – was prevented from attending his funeral, and was then to lose a second child.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7139385.stm

Wrongly accused of sexually abusing their children – two girls and a boy all under 10 at the time – the couple were finally vindicated and reunited with their little ones. By then their children had spent two agonising and utterly unnecessary years in care. And now, more than a year after their children were returned to them and they were absolutely vindicated in the High Court, a damning report is to be released listing 32 recommendations that might ensure such an appalling blunder by a social services department never happens again.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2007/12/15/pain-of-social-work-sex-slur-family-89520-20253085/

Two restraint techniques used on children in custody have been suspended by ministers after medical concern. The so-called nose distraction, involving a painful upward chop against the septum, and the “double basket”, whereby the arms are crossed and held behind the back, are banned while their safety is checked. It comes two weeks after a visit to England by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to discuss the use of restraint with ministers.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/dec/20/youthjustice

Thousands of assaults are being carried out each year on children in custody by the people employed to look after them. Hundreds suffer cuts and bruises and some require hospital treatment for dislocated or broken bones.
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article3293987.ece

TAKING a child away from its parents is one of the worst things the state can do to a family.
http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/sundaysun/tm_headline=time-to-end-kids-8217-suffering&method=full&objectid=20223677&siteid=50081-name_page.html  

Two MPs have put down an early day motion in the House of Commons to bring attention to what they believe is a miscarriage of justice. It notes that a man named Charles Roy Taylor, a 71-year-old with a heart condition, has been sent to prison for 20 months for being in contact with his stepgrandson.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/camilla_cavendish/article3042581.ece

Brandon Webster was christened in front of his long-suffering parents Mark and Nicky and scores of family members, neighbours and friends in tiny St Martin’s Church at Cromer, Norfolk.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=500628&in_page_id=1770

A HORRIFIED family have slammed social services after three girls were sexually abused. The authorities said that Mark William Morris was safe to be around children, yet this week he was jailed for seven years for a catalogue of sexual offences. A family member said: “We feel like we were the ones on trial.” Two girls, as well as their mother’s unborn baby, were immediately placed on the Child Protection Register.
http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/south-wales-news/merthyr/2007/12/06/family-s-fury-with-social-services-over-child-abuser-91466-20212042/

A Dutch couple has sparked outrage by giving up a seven-year-old South Korean girl they adopted as a baby – after claiming she didn’t “fit in” with their life-style.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=501281&in_page_id=1811

A diplomat accused of “dumping” his adopted daughter flew home yesterday after triggering a row about the ethics of Europeans adopting Asian children.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3048747.ece

Baby smother mum or wrongly accused and set up to prove MSBP parents are everywhere and children must be taken?
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2007/12/04/baby-smother-mum-gets-five-years-89520-20199342/

How do social workers decide when a child should be removed from its mother? And are some social workers putting babies into care too quickly? Jane’s joined by John Hemming MP, chair of Justice for Families, and John Coughlan, from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2007_48_mon.shtml

Alice, who first came to the attention of social workers as a toddler, is the subject of a public inquiry next month into the system’s failings when dealing with young people with mental illness.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/dec/19/mentalhealth.socialcare

SS failing to help a family, who obviously need help, again. And why is it a single mother from Camden, who has five younger children was possibly facing jail (nov/Dec 2007) because her son refused to go school and be bullied there, yet there are so many children not attending and nothing is happening? No help, no teaching the children they must take responsibility for their actions, no teaching parents better ways than hitting.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2007/12/15/truancy-slap-dad-convicted-89520-20253379/

Another neglected child left by SS while they keep snatching the healthy happy adoptable children from loving parents.
A man who says that social workers left him to suffer the most cruel abuse at the hands of his brutal parents won £25,000 damages yesterday in a case that broke new legal ground.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3048480.ece

Still promoting “contact point as helping children” yet until the corruption in the family courts and SS is corrected this system will be in the hands of people who have their best interest in making adoption targets.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,2225776,00.html

The plan is to lead to school-based speech and language therapists, social workers and children’s health care as well as help with housing and benefits. It could also lead to police officers being permanently stationed in schools to provide positive role models and prevent antisocial behaviour…………just scary. Children will be like robots in fear of being snatched and work will go downhill, parents will be blamed and they will still be snatched.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article3031406.ece

Fears over the security of millions of child benefit records have been heightened with the revelation that more than 8,500 HM Revenue and Customs staff have access to the entire database.
The civil servants, most of them junior, can log in to check on full details about 25 million individuals, including bank information.
HMRC, which admitted last month that two computer discs containing 25 million records had been lost, said it was looking to reduce the number of staff with access to the database.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=FXCFNOJD0KTZRQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/12/23/ndata123.xml

The planned database containing the details of all 11 million children in England should be suspended because it is insecure and will put children’s safety at risk, an alliance of independent school heads and privacy campaigners warns today.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/dec/06/children.schools

In November 2006, a ruling by the lords of appeal reinterpreted section 38 (6) of the Children Act 1989, and removed the legal obligation for local councils and primary care trusts to pay for “psycho-social” treatment along the lines of the Cassel. Jones and Kramer argue that the change has removed any incentive for already cash-strapped local authorities to pay for anything beyond an initial assessment – meaning that even if a family is deemed to need therapeutic intervention, treatment is increasingly unlikely.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/dec/05/guardiansocietysupplement.children

Wirral Council has paid £10,350 compensation to two foster carers for failing to support them after an emergency placement.
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2007/12/11/106737/wirral-council-pays-out-10000-to-foster-carers.html

A Social worker has been disciplined over her handling of a case involving the baby of junkie parents.Neath Port Talbot Council employee Tracey Lee Wood had denied charges of misconduct put to her at a Care Council for Wales conduct hearing. Sounds like they used her as a scapegoat to cover the corruption of neglecting children while stealing healthy happy children for adoption targets.
http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=161818&command=displayContent&sourceNode=161644&contentPK=19149972&folderPk=88499&pNodeId=161375

The Care Council for Wales has cautioned a Neath Port Talbot Council social worker for failing to follow child protection policy and guidelines. Following a conduct hearing last week, Tracey Lee Wood was found guilty of two out of three charges brought against her, and the admonishment will stay on her public record for two years.
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2007/12/03/106664/care-council-for-wales-cautions-neath-port-talbot-social-worker.html

Council officials report the increase in young people becoming involved with local authority services was similar to rises across Scotland. Of the 502 Highland cases, 227 are in supervision at home and 275 away from home. The majority – 113 are with foster parents – followed by 65 with kinship carers.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/7133369.stm

In the new strategy, Getting it Right for Every Child in Kinship and Foster Care, the Scottish government reiterates its support for local authorities to pay foster carers national minimum allowances of between £119 and £198 a week but says it has “no immediate plans” to use existing legislative powers to enforce this.
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2007/12/07/106726/scots-fostering-plan-leaves-out-allowances-and-placements.html

It is estimated that more than 2,000 children in Scotland are cared for by relatives because the youngsters cannot be looked after by their own parents.
The relatives will be eligible for a weekly allowance of up to £198. Cannot be looked after or have been separated from?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7126660.stm

More than 150 children are being referred each day to the Scottish Children’s Reporter, which hears child protection and youth justice cases, according to the body’s annual report.
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2007/12/04/106666/scottish-childrens-reporter-rise-in-referrals-sparks-concerns.html

A former Labour council leader has been barred from holding public office for two years after thousands of pornographic images were found on his three office laptop computers.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2980414.ece

A South Wales social worker has been removed from the social care register after being convicted of child pornography charges.
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2007/11/08/106402/social-worker-banned-after-child-pornography-conviction.html

This story is not to do with children’s issues but shows how easy it is for companies to get a warrant to enter a private home with out evidence of why.
A Private Member’s Bill currently being discussed in the House of Lords reveals that there are 266 powers on the statute book that allow people to enter private homes. The powers have grown up piecemeal from EU directives and regulations. They allow the use of force and some carry draconian penalties for obstruction, including heavy fines and up to two years in jail.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=502541&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&ct=5&expand=true#StartComments

Thanks are due to Ali for producing this report.
Ends

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