PAEDOHILE RING

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Beechwood Abuse Survivor Melanie Shaw Goes On Hunger Strike

Published September 22, 2014 by misty534

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

MELANIE SHAW PRISONER OF THE STATE

Published September 14, 2014 by misty534

Is this another cover-up of a paedophile ring unfolding?

 

beechwood-childrens-home

While child rapists avoid prosecution simply by apologising to their young victims, abuse witness at Beechwood Children’s Home, Nottingham, Melanie Shaw, is locked up on remand in Peterborough prison accused of arson with no evidence of a crime having been committed.

 

She says she’s being persecuted because she exposed a paedophile ring. To a public accustomed to abuse scandals and cover-ups, Melanie’s story is bound to set alarm bells ringing.

 

It was Friday 11th July when news first emerged of Melanie Shaw’s disappearance during a lunchtime broadcast on internet TV channel, UK Column, after the team received a mysterious text message from Melanie urging them to call her urgently: ‘…I don’t trust the police and I may be locked up tomorrow’ it said.

 

Shortly before her arrest, Melanie had criticised Operation Daybreak, the police investigation into Beechwood and other children’s homes; where rampant abuse and deaths are alleged to have occurred. A victim of rapes, physical assaults and psychological abuse suffered within the care system, Melanie suddenly found herself accused of setting fire to a neighbour’s shed; a charge she denies and was remanded in HMP Peterborough.

 

Bullied by staff, strip-searched several times, her Valium and other prescription medicines withheld for the first three weeks – this harsh prison environment is where Melanie remains incarcerated today as she awaits news of the trial. It’s a stress and distraction she could do without.

 

Normally, for someone of good character, there would have to be strong reasons for being held in custody. Such treatment is likely to reinforce her distrust of authority, says Jon Bird of NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood). “She already says she doesn’t trust the police. We need to make sure such people feel confident that their testimony will be taken seriously if the perpetrators of abuse against children are to be caught and stopped.”

 

“Unfortunately, we know that defence teams will use any means available to discredit a witness, that is what they are paid to do. We continually see such practices allowed by judges and many other sectors of society, who find it easier to blame victims rather than seek out the really dangerous criminals.”

 

The GP who guided Melanie towards recovery over twenty years – a man she has nothing but praise for – is now under investigation by the General Medical Council. He too has become a target, she says, and can’t be named for legal reasons.

 

Nottinghamshire City Council and County Council deny liability for abuses against Melanie and some 100 other victims of Beechwood Children’s Home, but have already paid out compensation to 26 former residents to the tune of £250,000. Some of the allegations made against staff go back as far as the late 60s through to the early 00s.

 

Chris Ratcliffe, a Director with Uppal Taylor Solicitors and the solicitor acting for 75 former residents, said in an earlier press release: “the sheer scale of the allegations made is shocking. We are not just talking about a discrete period of time with a few rogue members of staff. What we are looking at here is a period of around 40 years, during which numerous vulnerable children were abused by a number of staff members.”

 

“These former residents suffered great pain and fear, during their residence at Beechwood, and the impact that such terrible abuse has had upon their lives is immeasurable. The former residents deserve recognition for the atrocities that they suffered and compensation, which will go some way to rebuilding the life that they could have had, had they been looked after properly.”

 

Writing from prison, Melanie paints a disturbing image of deeply traumatised inmates. “There are so many ex-care kids of government rape and torture in here, self-harming, people with terrible burns where the boiling water urn suddenly turns up, broken hands from hitting walls.”

 

Melanie, who bravely stepped forward in 2011 as a witness, hopes her testimony will help deliver justice for all ex-care victims. “It’s not right the perpetrators, the Council and Police investigate themselves,” she says. “We want a full public enquiry into kids care home abuse nationally and the truth for the victims and public.”

 

Meanwhile, a change in attitude towards victims is needed, says Jon Bird. “Anger is a very common and understandable emotional response. Unfortunately for children in care or in difficult home situations there is very little emotional support and the young people are labelled as simply being ‘bad children’. So we should not be surprised if abused and unsupported young people exhibit challenging behaviour. They need support to recover, not more punishment in an environment which is far from nurturing.”

 

By: Anna Bragga