Nottingham Police

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Cover-up allegations of former children’s home resident

Published September 25, 2014 by JS2

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MICKEY SUMMERS

Former Forest Town man Mickey Summers says that he suffered serial sexual abuse at the hands of people he trusted – people who should have been beyond reproach.

These people were not parents or family members.

The 60-year-old told Chad that he was abused whilst he was living in care homes in Nottinghamshire.

He ran away, repeatedly. He climbed trees to avoid abuse. He says he witnessed other children, some with severe learning needs, being raped. And nobody listened.

But Mickey (pictured) feels that he has been betrayed once again by those in authority – by council officials and by the police.

Following years of emotional turmoil, failed relationships, mental health issues and drug abuse, Mickey finally got a grip on his life in 2003.

He reported his abuse to Nottinghamshire Police and asked them to investigate his allegations.

He went to Nottingham City Council, who had been responsible for his time in care – largely at care homes in the city.

He went to Nottinghamshire County Council – who had taken over responsibility for child social care in 1974.

The authorities told him that his records had been destroyed, while police failed to carry out an effective investigation.

Mickey ended up in care following what he describes as ‘chaos’ in his family home in the mid-1960s, which led him into truancy and petty crime.

In later life his experiences led to attachment issues, failed relationships, relapses into drug abuse, times in custody and debilitating mental health issues.

But he’d had enough of being a victim, and he decided to fight back.

He returned to the UK from his home in New York to launch his own fight for justice – demanding a formal public apology from both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Earlier this month, Mickey and his supporters stormed a council meeting, following a protest in Nottingham’s Market Square.

He told Chad that his childhood records, which he thinks can provide vital evidence of his abuse, have been deliberately destroyed by either the city or county councils – who have both held the documents.

And he has involved the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) who have ruled that his initial complaint should be reinvestigated.

He said: “I have run away from everything in my life – I have never wanted children, because I wouldn’t want a child of mine to have to go through what I’ve been through.

“There needs to be a full public enquiry because there are a lot of people out there who need closure and this is a much bigger problem than either the police or the councils are acknowledging.

“The floodgates need to open now and I would urge everyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and demand justice.”

But the authorities say a formal apology cannot be issued until Mickey and other alleged victims’ cases have been proven.

A joint statement issued by both authorities said: “We have already explained to Mr Summers that we have been unable to locate any of his files. The information we have is that his child care file was destroyed in 1978. We have met with Mr Summers and apologised to him that this is the case.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “At the request of the IPCC, the force’s professional standards directorate (PSD) is re-investigating a complaint that was made in April 2014. The complaint relates to the way an allegation first made in 2003 and repeated in 2013 was handled under Operation Daybreak.

“This PSD investigation will, by necessity, review the 2003 allegation as well as a subsequent complaint made in 2004 about that investigation.

  • by Andy Done-Johnson
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Beechwood Abuse Survivor Melanie Shaw Goes On Hunger Strike

Published September 22, 2014 by JS2

Melanie Shaw profile-1

Key witness and survivor of an alleged paedophile ring at former Nottinghamshire children’s home, Beechwood, Melanie Shaw, has made a dramatic decision to start a hunger strike at the Peterborough prison where she is being held on remand for arson – a shed fire she firmly denies any involvement in, and for which no substantive evidence has been presented in court.

The decision to stop eating came hours after prison staff refused to provide painkillers to relieve “horrific” pain in her leg, the result of an open ulcer infected with the deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterium, MRSA, and vascular disease. “They didn’t dress it for the first 11 days in jail, and since then it has been ad hoc,” she said in an emotional phone call yesterday. “I feel awful. I spent the whole night in agony. I haven’t been able to walk. They wouldn’t even give me paracetamol, let alone the stronger painkillers I really need – like fentanyl.”

Fearful of the consequences of asking for help again, pain and despair drove Melanie over the edge. “I’ve slashed my right arm thirteen times with razor blades. They’re deep cuts. I’m being treated like an imbecile in prison, when I have a high Mensa IQ.”

Being denied access to her two children and knowing the emotional harm her incarceration is causing them, has added to Melanie’s distress.

 

Breach of Human Rights:

“I’m going on hunger strike. I’m not having breakfast, dinner or tea. I’ve notified staff. They have to mark off when you go for meals. They’re treating me like a criminal in a North Korean prison, and I’m not even convicted of anything. This is meant to be Great Britain!”

“I should be getting the same treatment in prison as anyone else. Everyone is entitled to healthcare. My human rights are being breached.”

“I was previously classified disabled and awarded £2,000 for a mobility scooter. If I didn’t receive adequate pain relief from conventional painkillers, doctors would administer morphine. I’m immune to normal pain relief due to methadone which I used to take to overcome my drug addiction.”

She readily admits to making “a few mistakes” in her twenties but her credibility has never been brought into question, a fact her doctors will confirm. “There was a huge child prostitution ring in Nottingham City Centre in the 90s. They [the prostitutes] were in the children’s homes, and drug dealers were supplying drugs to the staff.”

 Melanie Shaw full length-1

For years, Melanie has relied on valium in carefully regulated doses to cope with the effects of trauma and insomnia resulting from the systematic physical, psychological andsexual abuse – including rape – she suffered as a child at home and while in ‘care’. But over the last two months in HMP Peterborough that medicine has frequently been withheld.

Her GP of twenty years, a man she has nothing but praise for, is under investigation by the General Medical Council, she claims “under false charges for an improper relationship.”

“My testimony forced Operation Daybreak”

 

It has been upsetting to see the mainstream media’s eagerness to interview BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Samantha Morton, about her experiences of childhood abuse at Beechwood, while enduring long periods of solitary confinement and the punitive denial of food and medicines in a cell the size of a bathroom with no air circulating through the barred window.

“It’s only come out because of me,” she adds dejectedly. “They don’t realise the real truth of why Operation Daybreak was started. I was working with a film company and they were going to film bricks being removed from the [Beechwood] building… None of these stories would be coming out if it wasn’t for me. It’s not about money.”

The maximum sentence for arson is life imprisonment. Since publicly firing her legal team for incompetence last week, Melanie has made it clear she will represent herself in court as a litigant in person.

News of her hunger strike and the revelation of self-harming will no doubt alarm family and friends who have watched Melanie’s health deteriorate at the Sodexo-run prison, which boasts on its website, “a reputation for delivering excellent, ethical, innovative and rehabilitative services…”

The first UK prison to house both men and women on the same site, HMP Peterborough is still trying to shed its old image as the most dangerous jail in Britain, after 115 attacks on staff by inmates were reported during 2007.

The prison may be about to face a fresh image problem, since according to Melanie Shaw, there are many more inmates who have had their antidepressants and other medicines stopped and want to go public about it.

By: Anna Bragga

Protestor steps up call for abuse public inquiry

Published September 19, 2014 by JS2

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Mickey Summers

MICKEY Summers (pictured right) has taken his fight back to Nottingham City Council demanding a full public inquiry into child abuse in Nottinghamshire care homes.

He has called on the council’s leader, Councillor Jon Collins (pictured below), to resign over a refusal to make a public apology to him for the abuse he allegedly suffered when in care in the area.

Mr Summers met the councillor at Loxley House yesterday to discuss his ongoing case, but still felt his voice wasn’t being heard.

“I will go to every council event Jon Collins is attending and protest,” he told The Post.

“I want to expose the untold paedophilia in Nottinghamshire and bring those affected justice.”

Leader of the Conservatives at the city council, Councillor Georgina Culley, attended the meeting with Mr Summers.

“I’m supporting Mickey as he is someone who has been very badly hurt in care,” she said.

Nottinghamshire Police is currently carrying out its own investigation – named Operation Daybreak – which has seen 80 people come forward with allegations of child abuse at five homes in the county between the late 1960s and 2000.

City council leader Jon Collins said: “The council is fully supporting the police investigation into the allegations made by Mr Summers and others. The council will continue to work with him and listen to his concerns.

“In 1974, responsibility for children’s homes in the city passed to Nottinghamshire County Council. All records were under the management of the county council between 1974 and 1998 and it has been explained to Mr Summers that his records were destroyed during this period. The county council has apologised to Mr Summers for this.

“I think it needs to be made clear that none of the people currently working with Mr Summers responding to his concerns were working in Nottingham in children’s services – or in my case even living in the city – at the time he was in care in the 1960s and 1970s. Therefore there is absolutely no reason why I or anyone else involved have anything to hide.”

by Nottinghampost

INSTITUTIONAL CHILD ABUSE BEECHWOOD CHILDREN’S HOME

Published September 14, 2014 by JS2

Institutional child abuse. How horrible a concept is that eh? You’re taken from an abusive situation as a child to a place that is supposed to be safe, a place where people, part of the state machinery, are supposed to look after you. Except they do exactly the opposite…

The news has been full of stories of such abuse recently, largely because many of the abusers are/were famous and, in some cases dead.

So it’s with some trepidation that I’m now going to look at an emerging story of institutional abuse in our manor. Everything I have got hold of is in the public domain. It’s all second hand obviously and finding what you might call ‘facts’ is a bit like nailing jelly to the wall. But here goes.

First thing is to set out a basic historical context. Until 1998 children’s homes, along with all other children’s social services in the city were the responsibility of Nottinghamshire County Council. In 1998, the City Council was given unitary status and took over all services within the city boundaries which had previously been the County’s remit. This included all social services, education, trading standards, all sorts. I think it’s probably fair to say that, as far as I can tell, the majority of the abuse allegations concerned incidents happening prior to the 1998 handover.

The first allegations appeared in 2011 concerning the former Beechwood Children’s Home on Woodborough Road, which closed in 2006. Claims of abuse at other homes locally surfaced in 2013 and hit the nationals. Note the bravery of the individual who gave up his right to anonymity for that story, this led another brave individual to do the same. The latter individual wrote a much longer personal account which you can read here. I think it’s fair to say he has been unimpressed with officialdom’s attempts to ‘help’ him. The police have called their investigation ‘Operation Daybreak’.

Not entirely surprisingly, it appears that some records have been ‘lost’. Knowing local authorities as I do I should say that may not be entirely due to evil intent (as opposed to some dumbass chucking them in a skip) but it hardly lightens the atmosphere or encourages a feeling of mutual trust.

More recently it has emerged that a total of £250k compensation has been paid to some of those alleging abuse. Again, most cases were from the time of the County’s administration but there are more to be considered. The information apparently originated from a journo’s FoI request but unfortunately, the City’s Freedom of Information ‘Disclosure Log’ gives us the question asked but is one of the many entries that neglects to include the response files (general point NCC, please sort this issue out, it happens a lot).

Anyway, that’s the mainstream stuff. This blog doesn’t deal with County Council issues, that’s for others to worry about with my limited mental energy. According to the media links above, it seems that the City is leading on all legal claims against both councils so that keeps that aspect within our remit. The police? Fuck knows who really makes the decisions there.

Anyway, a bit of simple Google search has thrown up huge amounts of stuff, only a tiny proportion of which I can link to here. But here’s one thing that seriously caught my eye, I think it’s a bit sinister.

Back in 2003, Community Care magazine ran an article about the death of a resident at, you’ve guessed it, Beechwood Children’s Home. It concerns a 15 year old girl who was found hanged. The article states as fact that she was a victim of bullying at the home. That’s a grim story in anybody’s language but, sadly, not completely unheard of in the looked-after children sphere. Was it ‘just’ bullying?

It gets significantly dodgier looking when you read the allegation that the National Care Standards Commission (now defunct/replaced) had previously advised the City Council to close the home on the basis that the home had become “steadily more unstable and difficult to manage”. The Social Services Director at the time said “I don’t recall this recommendation ever being made.”

Hmm. “I don’t recall…” There are lots of things I don’t ‘recall’ but that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

I’m presuming that the lawyers representing the survivors have all this because I would’ve thought it would significantly undermine any claim by the City that they had no idea there were any problems at the home. That’s not the same as saying they knew about all the abuse but you know, a kid hanged herself, you’d hope they’d have looked into it.

The final bit for now is the rather disturbing claims concerning a woman called Melanie Shaw.

Most of the allegations appear to come from the blog UKColumn. There are countless other entries on the web but most seem to be a copy and paste from the original.

What is claimed is that Ms Shaw is a witness and a victim of abuse at Beechwood. However UKColumn reported that Ms Shaw has recently been arrested and was being held on remand in Peterborough Prison. This is backed up by a Nottm Post court report. I’m not sure of the political stance of UKColumn but the detail demands that we take the reports seriously, at least until they are credibly disproved. There is talk about a ‘secret hearing’ at the Crown Court and that Ms Shaw is accused of arson. There is a later report of a further hearing where her remand at Peterborough was extended. I can’t verify anything in it but it doesn’t make pretty reading, especially about her treatment in prison. What also seems a bit odd is that local media don’t seem to be willing to touch Ms Shaw’s story with a bargepole.

Whatever the actual detail of the allegations that got Ms Shaw in front of the Crown Court, you have to wonder why an abuse survivor is on remand in a Cat B prison when she just happens to be making allegations against the people who used to look after her. Longtime readers of this blog would not be surprised at a suggestion that Notts Police might be willing to help the City Council out in a time of need. Frankly, I doubt that anybody sensible in the UK would be surprised at the suggestion that the police would be there for the establishment if the shit hit the fan.

Hopefully much more of this will come out. Hopefully, at least some of the police are actually doing their job. We’ll see.

Abuse Witness Melanie Shaw Remanded: No Evidence Presented

Published September 14, 2014 by JS2

Following an extraordinary Crown Court hearing in which Nottingham Police and the CPS failed to present evidence, child abuse victim and key Beechwood abuse witness Melanie Shaw has been remanded in HMP Peterborough until October.

Nottingham_Crown_and_County_Courts

Members of the public present at the hearing in Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 25th July 2014, described a muddled hearing in which the prosecution simply failed to present evidence, despite the Judge prompting them with references to a finger or palm print. In what was described as a fumbling statement to the Judge, the prosecution excused the lack of evidence and promised it would be available ‘shortly.’ Despite the absence of evidence against her, her status as a vulnerable abuse victim and her importance as a key witness to widespread child abuse, the Judge was happy to place Melanie on remand, at a prison in which she has already suffered bullying, strip searches, denial of her NHS medication and disorientation through repeated relocation between cells.

Melanie appeared hampered by her own defence team, who failed to communicate with her and failed to challenge the lack of evidence. At no point was Melanie asked to speak in her own defence and as a result she commented directly to the Judge on several occasions. Her remarks included that she had been denied her prescription of Valium, she had been denied a doctor and that she was being persecuted because she had exposed a paedophile ring. Melanie also made reference to Operation Daybreak, the Nottingham police investigation into child abuse at Beechwood and other children’s homes in the Nottingham area. Many consider it significant that Melanie had previously stated, just prior to her arrest, that Nottingham police had failed to properly investigate both the widespread child abuse, and the deaths of numerous children within the ‘care’ of Nottingham City and County Council at Beechwood and other homes.

Members of the public present also stated their deep concern that after the formal hearing appeared closed, the prosecution approached the bench to hand the Judge a substantial collection of A4 papers described as ‘some additional evidence.’

Melanie’s case has been beset by mistakes and irregularities. Nottingham police initially refused to say she had been arrested, and only admitted she was held in custody after numerous calls from the public who were concerned at her disappearance. Notts police later seemed confused over the date of the arson offence, publicly quoting both 1 February and 4 April 2014. The police also published her charges as ‘arson with intent to endanger life’ when the correct charge is understood to be ‘arson reckless.’ Melanie denies all charges against her.

There is no doubt that Melanie Shaw has suffered horrific rapes, sexual abuse, sadistic physical assaults and psychological bullying whilst at Beechwood Children’s Home. Her bravery in coming forward as an abuse victim to alert authorities to widespread abuse and child deaths is remarkable. It also appears a remarkable coincidence that following her outspoken remarks that Nottinghamshire police were failing in their investigations under Operation Daybreak, that they had colluded with the Crown Prosecution Service in presenting falsified evidence and that they had failed to conduct proper forensic examination of the Beechwood site, Melanie was abruptly accused of arson and remanded in a prison with a brutal record, without evidence against her.

Nottinghamshire City Council and County Council deny any liability for abuses against Melanie and some 100 other child victims at Beechwood alone. They prefer to buy off victims with public money – some £250,000 to date, although it is understood that the Judge presiding over compensation awards for victims has now withdrawn until the police investigation is complete. Neither Council will answer simple questions concerning the implementation of a Serious Case Review following the Beechwood abuses, nor will they name those now holding responsibility for such reviews. Nor will they say what action they have taken to protect child abuse victims, particularly those made even more vulnerable by whistleblowing. Their silence is deafening.

Meanwhile Melanie Shaw sits in a hostile prison environment at HMP Peterborough, fearful for her personal safety and the Nottingham Councils have rushed to sell off Beechwood to a private buyer with whom they are working ‘in Association.’ Perhaps not surprisingly, the public watching the Melanie Shaw case unfold, smell the stench of yet another public sector cover-up of organised paedophile rings. Remembering the suffering of the children, it is up to us, the concerned public, to ensure that this disgraceful abuse of power by Nottingham police, Nottingham Local Authorities and Nottingham Courts is not allowed to continue.

Melanie Shaw can be contacted by letter at:

Melanie Shaw A4126DE, HMP Peterborough, Saville Road, Westwood, Peterborough PE3 7PD. Please do not send money unless you provide your full name and address. Melanie does need stamps and will greatly appreciate any sent to her.

by UK Column

Melanie Shaw, Beechwood Child Abuse Witness, Held in Peterborough Prison

Published September 14, 2014 by JS2

beechwood-childrens-home

The Beechwood Children’s Home abuse witness is being held in Peterborough prison after unknown police action on Thursday, 10th July, and a secret court hearing on Friday, 11th July 2014. For the personal safety of the individual and in the wider public interest we are naming the witness as Melanie Shaw.

On Friday, 11th July, the UK Column reported that a “key whistleblowing witness and victim of child abuse at Nottingham Beechwood Children’s Home is effectively missing after sending a text to the UKColumn starting ‘pls ring urgent, something has happened n I don’t trust the police and I may be locked up tomorrow.’ Sent at 21:22 on Wednesday, 9th July 2014 the UK Column has been trying to locate the witness ever since.”

Despite telephone calls by UK Column and members of the public to Nottinghamshire police over the weekend, we were unable to establish the precise whereabouts of Melanie. We remained concerned for her safety in light of civilian police staff claims that she was safe, without any supporting facts as to what had happened, or where she was being held. Late on Friday afternoon Melanie Shaw’s solicitor was also unaware of the police action or his clients location.

At 1127 on Monday, 14th July we received a call from a friend of Melanie who informed us that she was being held in Peterborough prison after being picked up by Nottinghamshire police on Friday and held in cells overnight. After a Court hearing the following day, for which it is still not known if Melanie had proper legal representation or the benefit of public and press attendance, she was remanded to Peterborough prison. This category B prison run by Sodexo had a reputation in 2011 for drugs, bullying and violence. As the country’s only male and female prison, it has a maximum capacity of 840 and boasts a Mother and Baby Unit for 12 mums.

Melanie’s incarceration appears to be based on allegations that she set fire to a neighbours shed – a charge which Melanie denies. Melanie has reported to the UK Column that individuals linked to her bail conditions had been harassing her in recent weeks.

This latest punitive action on a child abuse victim by Nottingham Police and the Courts, follows the removal of her child by Social Services and disruptive action by the Local Council in respect of her home. Melanie claims she had been warned she could have her child taken when she first blew the whistle on Beechwood in 2011.

Melanie originally approached the UK Column because she wanted to expose the truth of the vicious rapes, sexual and physical abuse, and psychological intimidation that she and some 100 other young children suffered at Nottingham Beechwood childrens home.  Clearly frightened of the police after irregularities in their investigations, Melanie strongly suspected that the police, Local Authorities and Members of Parliament, were already attempting to cover-up the Beechwood abuse.

Following Elm House child abuse London, BBC’s Jimmy Savile, and particularly in light of the ongoing exposure of the cover-up of paedophile rings within Westminster and the wider establishment, the UK Column believes that many of Melanie’s concerns are fully justified. Our opinion is reinforced by the fact that five other women known to the UK Column, who, having reported paedophile activity, have been harassed by the police and Local Authorities and later sectioned in psychiatric units. In two other UK Column cases where Social Services have been attempting to steal children, parents have also been falsely accused of arson attempts.

three-stooges

Three Nottingham MPs, Vernon Coaker, Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie have so far failed to respond to UK Column enquires as to their action to help Beechwood victims and protect other children from abuse. Their silence says much.

by UK COLUMN