Transparency, debate and Satanists: A Plea to the Family Courts

I think it is important to challenge people who ‘are wrong on the internet’. Not because I am naive enough to think I will have much of an impact on individuals who are driven by something other than reason and logic. I will continue to crusade in defence of the general principle that evil will triumph if we just sit back and do nothing.

Further, I think challenge is important as many of those who obsessively campaign in aggressive and intimidatory ways on social media appear to rely on official indifference to their activities and the ease with which they can threaten others with apparent impunity.

There is a view often expressed that one should not give ‘the oxygen of publicity’ to such people and that attempting to tackle them is counter-productive. I understand and often agree with that view. But there is a significant subset of these campaigners who should be challenged as they have serious reach and influence. And they will not stop.

The Hampstead Hoaxers have the dubious accolade of being among the nastiest and most persistent of the obsessive conspiracy theorists which are abundant on the internet. If you don’t know what I mean by ‘Hampstead Hoaxers’ – I think you should. I commend the entirety of the Hoaxtead Research web site to your attention, and Anna Raccoon has provided a useful summary here.

In short, in 2014 allegations were made against individuals in Hampstead that they participated in organised satanic ritual abuse involving about 20 children. These children were routinely buggered at school and made to eat babies, who were turned into burgers at the  local MacDonalds. These allegations were obviously insane and found to be so at a fact finding hearing in the High Court. Mrs Justice Pauffley issued injunctions against named individuals to prevent them further publishing their false allegations – in particular to refrain from continuing to publish on line videos of two of the children. As is obvious, such activities were very harmful to the children, given the high probability that a good proportion of the millions who have so far seen the videos were deriving sexual pleasure from them.

Those injunctions were never enforced – apparently on the basis that to cause any further fuss would just encourage the conspirators to keep on going. That may have seemed a reasonable decision at the time. But with hindsight, it was a grave error. The conspirators kept on going.

An attempt was made to bring to book two of the most virulent and prolific campaigners in July by charging them with witness intimidation. That failed as although intimidation was the inevitable by product of their campaigning, this wasn’t sufficient to establish the necessary criminal element of intention. But happily, the Judge made indefinite restraining orders against both, to prevent any further publication of allegations which at the outset of the trial all lawyers accepted were false. Details about the hearing and the astonishing behaviour of their lawyer Aseem Taj can be found at Hoaxtead Research.

News of this seemed to reanimate the Hoaxers on line who popped up on my Twitter timeline to make all kinds of astonishing allegations, including the apparently popular assertion that I (or anyone who challenges them) is actually one of the Satanists masquerading under a false identity.

I can laugh this off. Although it really isn’t funny. And it represents just a tiny fragment of what the residents of Hampstead have had to face for over two years now.  In the face of an apparently indifferent and/or toothless Family Court that cannot or will not see its own injunctions enforced. I appreciate there are enormous difficulties in dealing with those who operate outside the jurisdiction – but many don’t. Many are right here, right now.

This is a personal tragedy for the individuals in Hampstead whose lives have been blighted and whose children’s safety has been compromised. But it is also a more general tragedy – for the robustness of our legal system, and the respect we are encouraged to have for it,

An issue of particular interest to me are the potentially damaging ramifications for the debate over transparency in the family courts. The Transparency Project – of which I am a member – has been commenting with increasing concern about the apparent stalling of the President of the Family Division’s ‘transparency agenda’, first announced in 2014. Apart from an increase in ad hoc publication of judgments from some individual judges, we seem no further forward in 2016. My worry is that this is due to the concentrated resistance to any increased transparency in family proceedings from certain groups of lawyers and social workers.

They fear that children will be the ones to suffer if there is any move to more openness in the way family court hearings are conducted and/or reported. Of course I understand that – it is a real and serious concern. But other jurisdictions are more open in what they will allow to be discussed and publicly available about family cases and we need to think more carefully about how they make it work and what we could be doing.

But it should not be allowed to stifle the debate to the extent that I am afraid it has. Because look what is rushing in to fill the gap we leave by our unwillingness to bring our practice and procedure out into the disinfecting sunlight. Look, and be worried.

We simply cannot go on ignoring these people and pretending this doesn’t matter.

22 thoughts on “Transparency, debate and Satanists: A Plea to the Family Courts

  1. Angelo Granda

    The allegations are extreme. Is the Family Court completely out of its depth? Should criminal allegations of this type be referred to the Police and the CPS ? After a full investigation,the Police would be able to bring suitable charges against anyone who made malicious allegations.
    Such claims are reminiscent of the ritual group child sex-abuse and witchcraft cases concocted by Social Services departments against innocent families in the 20th century. Once the imaginations of disturbed children were stirred up by the SW’s and child-psychologists who encouraged them, the allegations were equally outlandish ( although not as bad).Yet many parents were denied the right to a Police investigation and their cases were taken to the civil court. Unbelievable! Parents could not believe it when the Family Court foolishly took the cases seriously. Scores of children were removed from their families as archives tell us. Lives were ruined for ever . The false allegations mushroomed and the Public were asked to believe that the ritual abuse was happening all over. In the end, the LA’s went too far and the Court’ s came to their senses.

    I am not absolutely certain but i don’t think criminal action was taken against any SW’s or anyone else for malpractice . I hope the Family Court learnt its lesson. In this Hampstead case, action should be taken against anyone found to be making false or malicious allegations. Also ,unlike in the 1980’s, those against false allegations were made, should be absolved in open court and have their names cleared. The allegation against you,Sarah was ridiculous ,of course. I hope you can take action of some sort in a criminal court.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore

      The police investigated the allegations. It was very clear, very quickly that they were nonsense. Therefore no criminal trial followed – but the children had to be protected from their mother and her boyfriend, so care proceedings in the family court were necessary.

      I suspect the person making these risible allegations against me is hiding somewhere out of the jurisdiction – but I am sure he can appreciate that I am unpleasant enough to hold a grudge and if he decides to come back to the UK, there may be some issues I would like to bring to his attention.

      Reply
  2. Angelo Granda

    Can’t twitter and the other online media have someone to moderate tweets and trolling ? If not it should change the set-up.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore

      I completely agree. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc have more than enough money to provide proper and effective monitoring of this kind of evil, criminal behaviour. The fact that they refuse to take effective action and that our Government does nothing to compel them (or even to insist they pay their bloody taxes) is utterly disgraceful.

      Reply
      1. Angelo Granda

        The problem, i am supposing,with Twitter and the others is that they are international concerns and it may be said that a lot of good comes from their existence by the exposure of issues worldwide including much injustice. Of course, users are warned ,i presume,and it is their own choice whether they accept the site conditions,legal wavers etc. They can hardly complain. There are many harmless nutters making use of them apart from wicked ones.
        Perhaps the responsibility lies not with the sites themselves but with the authorities to monitor the criminal use of media just as they monitor and control free speech at Hyde Park corner and Public Squares nationwide. Historically,market squares and other Public places were hotbeds of political discussion,debate,demonstration and campaigning against the authorities and oppressive laws. All that changed in the latter half of the last century . By-laws were brought in all over the country ( obviously directed by a common agenda) to put a stop to the use of town centres as venues for these meetings which usually took place on a Sunday . This happened in the seventies and eighties ( the Iron Lady era).They weren’t actually banned but it became necessary to apply for permission to hold meetings ,marches etc. Applications which challenge the authorities are refused,of course. CND rallies ,Free Radio Association, protest meetings and other dissent was driven away from Public areas . I am not sure but i think licenses have to be paid for too.

        Can we take any constructive lessons from this Hoaxted scandal? Especially as regards transparency?

        Some points:-

        1.The cases concerning ritual abuse and witchcraft brought against parents which i have written about above were held in secret. Each case was considered seperately and despite the outlandish allegations , no Police investigations were conducted and the Public were ignorant of the many miscarriages of justice.
        2. The individual Courts,themselves would not be aware either that the same allegations were widespread thus unable to consider the general picture ,that the allegations were highly unlikely to be true.
        3.It was only when the mass removal of children in particular areas ( like Cleveland,Strathclyde ) came to pass that it was impossible to keep the issue secret. The Public were outraged and the press got involved. Otherwise it might never have stopped.
        4. The innocent children involved benefitted by the publication of names and other detail;s.It was in their interests to reveal everything as other members of the Public were able to put evidence forward. The psychological evidence (previously accepted by courts ) was discredited.Only in those cases which received no publicity were the injustices pushed through and the children traumatised for life.
        5. The Websters would not have got an appeal had the Public not got to know about their issues until the Mum went to Ireland and attracted press attention.Experts pushed forward to discredit the previous ‘expert’ evidence.
        6. In this Hoaxted scandal, you say that the standard of proof required to support witness intimidation allegations were not met. Might the standards of proof have been satisfied had the case been taken to Crown Court and examined by a jury in Public?
        7.Should the perpetrators of all this have been charged with presenting false evidence RECKLESSLY ( not necessarily maliciously) with the intention of misleading the Court?.
        8. This scandal makes it absolutely clear that the evidence of children lacks reliability when they are coached ,intimidated ,led along and so on. This applies too, obviously,when the authorities question children. Should cases brought as a result of such statements by children be subjected to the criminal standard of justice? Especially in serious cases?

        In a weird way, the Hoaxted affair could help transparency if we learn lessons from it. Justice must be seen to be done.We all agree with that .
        The only thing which holds us back is the feeling that children might be harmed by complete transparency. Will it? Or would they gain from it long-term?

        Reply
        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          I am trying to take something good from this and hope it WILL provide the impetus for a more adult debate about opening up the family courts. Because refusing to have that debate, in my view, leaves the field wide open for this kind of nonsense.

          And yes, I agree there have been some horrific scandals, such as Cleveland and the Orkneys where lunatic social workers chased their own Satantic rabbits down various holes. Maybe if Twitter had been around then, some publicity could have helped the parents.

          But what these hoaxers are doing is publishing videos of children who are describing acts of sexual abuse. the ONLY purpose publishing these kind of videos serves is to provide gratification for paedophiles. I do think it is incumbent on Twitter/You Tube etc to do something when the welfare of children is being so grossly compromised.

          The charges of witness intimidation were heard at Blackfriars Crown Court, in front of a jury as it was considered a serious offence and carried potentially lengthy prison sentence. However, the Judge – as a matter of law – had to direct the jury to acquit as it was not possible for the Crown to prove the relevant element of ‘intention’ which is required for most criminal offences. Basically, the Judge accepted the argument that the Hoaxers were ‘irrational and odd’ and believed they were legitimate campaigners. So they couldn’t be guilty of witness intimidation BUT he did slap a very nice Restraining Order on them.

          Reply
  3. Angelo Granda

    If the chief Lawyer of the Family Court says there should be transparency and justice should be seen to be done etc. then what is stopping us? If openness is necessary to ensure a fair trial and justice then so be it; it must be right to name the parties . This runs the RISK of harming children but the LA should think of that before bringing cases.
    Public Law cases have to be public . If the Children’s Commissioner says children don’t want their names publishing, that is unfortunate. It cannot be allowed to affect justice. Remove that one objection and voila.

    Reply
  4. Angelo Granda

    Sarah, You have referred to a ‘toothless’ Family Court. Do you agree that the Police and the criminal Courts have also proved themselves unable to deal effectively with this problem.
    I imagine most normal readers of this resource are somewhat flabbergasted and bemused by all these goings-on.
    I wonder if the Courts in this country know what they are dealing with and i think we should take a clue from the fact that many of the so-called allegations emanate from beyond the jurisdiction. There is an international flavour to it all and the ‘conspirators’ operate largely through worldwide networks i.e.twitter,facebook,you-tube etc.
    Looking at history books and past examples of such vile and outlandish allegations of ritual abuse ,it is apparent that these people form part of a pogrom which can be defined as an organised persecution of a particular ethnic group. The same type of allegations,myths and fantasies are spread around deliberately as a way of stirring-up long-term race hatred and it never goes away. These pogromists have spread equally fantastic stories to foment hatred and fear of Jews in east Europe and Asia historically . In other words ,it is nothing new . I don’t know Hampstead at all but i am guessing there might be a concentration there of a particular ethnic group or race.

    As far as Courts are concerned,how do we prove that ritualistic practices ,sex abuse and so on do not exist in reality? Is it possible to disprove mad theories completely? Well,it is difficult . I suggest readers should look up the Pogrom trials in Russia (circa 1905).

    I think the emphasis has to be on charging pogromists with conspiracy to stir-up hatred . Unless they are able to prove a specific case of murder ,produce a body and prove it was committed by a particular person, the allegations have no credibility whatsoever and the pogromists should be found guilty and punished. They can’t produce any of the suspect burgers, can they?

    If necessary, they should be extradited back to Britain for trial. The criminal system can arrange for that but the Family Courts should not be involved in it.
    All comments welcome. You probably know all this already,Sarah ,but i hope this explains things a bit more to lay-readers.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sarah, You have referred to a ‘toothless’ Family Court. Do you agree that the Police and the criminal Courts have also proved themselves unable to deal effectively with this problem. Yes I do. And I hope I appreciate the huge problems caused when people cross jurisdictional lines. But we appear to be just flailing about in the face of a world that has changed for ever due to our increased connectivity via the internet. Those mega corporations who control it – the Google, the face books etc – appear to think themselves above national laws and they will not make proper efforts to assist tracking down criminals who abuse their services. I think the time has come to cut the the head off this snake, not make continued ineffectual swipes at its tail. Google etc must take seriously breach of domestic laws that they permit to be published world wide. They must agree to assist the police and family courts when asked.

      I imagine most normal readers of this resource are somewhat flabbergasted and bemused by all these goings-on.
      I wonder if the Courts in this country know what they are dealing with and i think we should take a clue from the fact that many of the so-called allegations emanate from beyond the jurisdiction. There is an international flavour to it all and the ‘conspirators’ operate largely through worldwide networks i.e.twitter,facebook,you-tube etc.
      I would imagine anyone with a shred of normal brain functioning is utterly bemused. I agree, as I have just stated, that the ‘international flavour’ makes it more difficult to combat but we should at least try.

      Looking at history books and past examples of such vile and outlandish allegations of ritual abuse ,it is apparent that these people form part of a pogrom which can be defined as an organised persecution of a particular ethnic group. The same type of allegations,myths and fantasies are spread around deliberately as a way of stirring-up long-term race hatred and it never goes away. These pogromists have spread equally fantastic stories to foment hatred and fear of Jews in east Europe and Asia historically . In other words ,it is nothing new . I don’t know Hampstead at all but i am guessing there might be a concentration there of a particular ethnic group or race. You are of course right – this is nothing new. It is also interesting to note that many of the key players in promotion of the Hampstead Hoax are also quite strident supporters of Far Right regimes and express both hatred and fear of Jews.

      As far as Courts are concerned,how do we prove that ritualistic practices ,sex abuse and so on do not exist in reality? Is it possible to disprove mad theories completely? Well,it is difficult . I suggest readers should look up the Pogrom trials in Russia (circa 1905). All I can say is that a number of police forces have diligently investigated allegations of satanic ritual abuse in light of the Orkney scandal for e.g. and that no proof has ever, ever been found. No black capes in cemeteries. No physical evidence anywhere. In light of all the babies that it is claimed are killed and eaten, you would think that a few spots of blood could be discovered. But no. Those who claim they have ‘evidence’ of organised satatnic ritual abuse instead have examples of a few sad individuals who killed or hurt people and who had a dodgy book or two on their shelves.

      I think the emphasis has to be on charging pogromists with conspiracy to stir-up hatred . Unless they are able to prove a specific case of murder ,produce a body and prove it was committed by a particular person, the allegations have no credibility whatsoever and the pogromists should be found guilty and punished. They can’t produce any of the suspect burgers, can they? Indeed they cannot. They identify with some confidence the locations where all this blood was spilled and baby-burgers made. They have not been able to provide one shred of physical evidence. And they never will, because it didn’t happen. But the lack of proof for many, just cements their belief that there has been a ‘cover up’. So you really can’t win with this lot.

      If necessary, they should be extradited back to Britain for trial. The criminal system can arrange for that but the Family Courts should not be involved in it. I agree. If we don’t enforce our laws, what are we? Freedom of speech has its limits and one clear limit is when a court has said ‘please stop putting this crap on the internet, you are hurting children’.

      Reply
  5. Angelo Granda

    You may be wrong to say the ONLY purpose the videos serve is to provide gratification to paedophiles. Some may look at them but that may not be the main purpose for which they are produced.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Fair enough. Let me put it another way. Unless you are a police officer investigating a crime, or a professional involved in either a court hearing or child protection issues, if you chose to watch lengthy videos where children describe in detail what adults allegedly did to their bodies then I am going to assume that there is a very good chance that the watcher is watching to gain sexual titilation.

      Reply
  6. Angelo Granda

    Historically, going back only so far as 1872-1906, even then it is noted that the pogromists ( those who spread the fear and hatred) relied for their continued success on the PASSIVITY OF THE COURTS AND AUTHORITIES.
    Not on their inability to act but on their passivity. Unless effective action is taken to put a stop to these false propagandists promptly ( not years later) we will only get more of it and ,of course, further wild cover-up allegations especially when trials are heard in secret.

    Reply
  7. Angelo Granda

    Sarah,i refer you back to my first comment at the head of this thread.
    Do readers understand the parallels between this Hoaxted case and many cases brought against citizens in the family court by LA’s.Allegations of a criminal nature are often made.Often there is not one shred of physical evidence because it didn’t happen.Indeed quite often the Police don’t actuially charge citizens formally with anything. The lack of real proof means little to a family court.Citizens really can’t win.
    What would have happened if, rather than going Public online with the crazy allegations,the hoaxers had made a ‘malicious’ anonymous referral in secret to the CS? It can happen to anyone even an innocent, respectable lawyer like your goodself.
    The likelihood is that the Hampstead parents would have lost their children. Facts or no facts ,without any transparency, the CS can delve into every detail of the citizen’s past,every drop of official or semi-official historic documentation and every piece of hidden computer data. They can disclose it along with notes,hearsay evidence etc. etc. to Court. They can omit to present any evidence hostile to its own litigation.They can submit the extremely damning referral without revealing that there is no physical evidence and will merely say that a Police investigation is pending. The court will consider ‘risks’ of future significant harm based on what is no more than a scandalmongering witch-hunt.The Court often makes decisions before outcomes of Police inquiries are known and both interim and final orders are issued.
    The family can be liquidated permanently by a civil court summarily in private without any right of appeal!
    Is that Justice? How can it be? The chief high court judges have proclaimed that justice must be seen to be done. Without transparency ,according to them,there cannot be justice. They have directed that we should have transparency yet apparently the project has become stuck. I have suggested before that professionals discussing the project are full of hot-air. I have suggested they should return to fundamentals. I have suggested that quintessentially we cannot have transparency and open court hearings WITHOUT all names being published. The long-term risk of harm to children by non-disclosure exceeds the short-term risk by exposure.
    All comments welcome on that.

    Now can i add that whatever processes ( including directions as to transparency) are ordered by High Court Judges or by Children’s Act Statute, when they are not followed ,apparently respondents still don’t have an automatic right to appeal. The lawyers point to the lower court judge’s discretion. The LA can also present false evidence with little or no comeback. Yet still no right to appeal.
    Even if a new law is passed about transparency,what will happen if it is by-passed? The lower Family Court lawyers will still say procedures don’t have to be followed scrupulously and therefore there are no grounds for appeal. Or they may say there are grounds for appeal but no access to Court because of the legal-fuinding issue.
    Again all comments welcome.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore

      Do readers understand the parallels between this Hoaxted case and many cases brought against citizens in the family court by LA’s.Allegations of a criminal nature are often made.Often there is not one shred of physical evidence because it didn’t happen.Indeed quite often the Police don’t actuially charge citizens formally with anything. The lack of real proof means little to a family court.Citizens really can’t win.

      You are going to keep saying this, and I am going to keep disagreeing. It just isn’t true that ‘often’ there is not one shred of physical evidence. Cases stand and fall on the evidence. Courts have made it clear time and time again that they require evidence, not speculation.

      What would have happened if, rather than going Public online with the crazy allegations,the hoaxers had made a ‘malicious’ anonymous referral in secret to the CS? It can happen to anyone even an innocent, respectable lawyer like your goodself.
      The likelihood is that the Hampstead parents would have lost their children.

      I just don’t accept this. Because there was no evidence whatsoever to support the truth of the allegations made. the children retracted their initial allegations, making it clear they had been tortured into making false allegations. There were no secret rooms. No baby burgers. For people in Hampstead to ‘lose their children’ those allegations would have to have been proved. I accept awful things happened in Cleveland etc. That lead to the Cleveland Inquiry and subsequent improvements in practice. No system is perfect, I accept, but no parent is going to ‘lose their child’ on the basis of wild and unproven allegations. There has to be some kind of proof of the court just can’t accept it.
      There is just NO WAY I or any other lawyer representing a parent would allow findings to be made on ‘not a shred of evidence’. We would argue against it in court, we would appeal any such finding made.

      Reply
  8. Angelo Granda

    In theory you are right ,Sarah ,but when legal guidelines and procedures , rules as to impartiality of evidence etc. are ignored, when the Bof P is not loaded fairly as a result ,when the Judges are over idealistic and allow LA’s to get away with it then i fear the system is abused regularly. The evidence is not realistic or well-informed when cases aren’t conducted correctly. False and misleading evidence should not be allowed to decide a case. The LA should check it out before presenting it under oath because the Court doesn’t ,it accepts their word. In my opinion,lawyers should accept that when procedures and safeguards are breached , the system is open to abuse and the evidence is probably mainly invention.
    I suppose this is where time limits play a big part. A respondent can prove four out of ten statements wrong when they are all wrong.Because he or she has no time to prove the other six wrong, the Judge accepts the six and finds the case proved. The respondents ( because of inexperience) wrongly think that just proving one or two wrong will sound alarm bells. Not so in a family court.
    I have to add that in a family court,when cp professionals lead children into making wild ,untrue allegations from children, the parent’s lawyers don’t even see them to ask them to retract the statements and they are rarely called to court. In one case i know of a child just turned three was claimed by the LA to have gone into great detail about abuse. A child of three who could barely talk!
    The Famil;y Court fell for it. The Police just laughed at the LA.
    Anyway i just wanted to draw readers attention to similarities.

    Reply
    1. Angelo Granda

      Sarah, As a lawyer can you please advise me.
      If there is factual physical evidence and if a case has to be decided on a factual matrix ( i.e. facts) why would a Court have to make ‘findings of fact’ on the balance of probabilities?
      I am sure there is a simple answer to this but lay readers especially parents may be confused.

      Reply
      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        Because people can legitimately and reasonably disagree about what the facts actually are.
        For example – I have a physical record, a written note by a police officer of previous criminal convictions. My client says ‘ that’s not me. that is someone using my name. I can prove its not me because I wasn’t in the area at the time it is said I was arrested’.
        so the ‘fact’ as understood by the police turns out NOT to be the ‘fact’ they thought it was.
        Or we have an X-ray of a child’s injuries. One doctor says – this X-ray clearly shows bleeding in the brain that is most likely caused by abusive trauma. Another doctor says – no this X-ray shows trauma from birth/pre-existing condition. The court then has to decide which ‘fact’ is true.
        A woman denies that her partner is violent and says he didn’t come to her house on a particular night when neighbours heard screaming. The LA provides other evidence – CCTV film, statements from neighbours etc that goes to show the woman is not telling the truth.

        And etc, etc, etc. What I suspect may be confusing you is that people’s assertions count as ‘evidence’ just as much as a physical document does. BUT physical documents tend to be far more reliable than people’s recollections after the fact, so courts prefer to rely on physical documentary evidence wherever possible.

        Reply
        1. Angelo Granda

          Sarah,I see what you mean.Medical evidence is not all either as was found in the Webster case and others.Broken bones have various causes , unexplained fractures are not always non-accidental etc. Plus i have often wondered whether brain injuries to babies allegedly due to a parent shaking a baby might possibly be caused by over-enthusiastic rocking. Babies brains are very delicate and i imagine an unexperienced father or a drunken,drugged up one could have caused the injury accidentally without knowing until the baby becomes ill a couple of days later. Then he will obviously be justified to claim innocence of any offence.Not that the injury can be minimised,of course.
          Regarding the man who had not committed the offences the Police claimed he had, it was a good job you believed him and made further enquiries on his behalf. I think many lawyers tend to take the Police and LA evidence as gospel and let such matters pass.

          Reply
  9. Angelo Granda

    Of course,Sarah, i don’t think you will be surprised when i say that in many,many cases, if the SW’s followed guidelines, actually speak to and listen to parents in the first place rather than going ahead and presenting false evidence without checking out the truth of it, a lot of problems would disappear. The bad evidence they put in is recklessness when they ignore proper procedures.
    Same with Guardians,they don’t listen either and apart from one token home visit, they will then ignore and refuse to talk to parents or check out evidence with them. Like the one who accosted you in the street, you say she did a bad piece of work. You should have been less lenient with her and cross-examined her more robustly. The parents might say ” bad piece of work…. MY ARSE… she was biased and reckless”. Overly robust,maybe but true. She probably kept in close touch with the SW throughout, in fact I know she will have.

    Reply
    1. helensparkles

      I know you will probably say this doesn’t happen Angelo, but information is shared with parents. Under the data protection act SW can often only share information with the person it concerns, but it is up to that person who they then talk to – so they can tell their partner.I understand why people lie to SW but it is why just checking that information with a family doesn’t keep children safe – to use Sarah’s example, I might have a police report, mum or dad denies it, but there is also other evidence. If a case is in court it is up to a judge to make a decision about the evidence, the SW role in that context is to risk assess. There isn’t much reckless about it.

      Reply
      1. Angelo Granda

        I don’t disagree with you,Helen.You are right ,information is shared with parents and discussed with parents and their agreements and disagreements are noted down and circulated amongst the other participating professionals but only when correct procedures and guidelines are followed.
        When they aren’t the opposite happens. Don’t forget,i’ve seen both sides.Please accept i have a point.

        Reply
  10. helensparkles

    I think i was just making a different point in response to your much repeated statements about why professionals don’t just check with families.

    Reply

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