It just occurs to me: I hope Alison isn't related to Ernest.
Director of Public Prosecutions
Crown Prosecution Service
2 Rose Court, London,
London SE1 9HS
Cc John Penrose MP
Dear Alison Saunders
I am writing to request that the Crown Prosecution Service seek further medical tests on an unnamed Peer who is suspected of abusing children. Let us call him Suspect J. This Labour peer and past MP was questioned by police in December 2013 over 20 child sex abuse allegations, but was deemed to be suffering from dementia and therefore unable to answer questions.
You will recall the case of the fraudster Ernest Saunders, one of the Guinness Four, who was released from prison because of dementia, but who subsequently made a recovery from said “dementia”. In view of this precedent, I am sure that you will agree that it would be wise to have a second (or third) opinion on the diagnosis of Suspect J, with full psychometric testing and MRI in order to be absolutely certain that he is truly suffering from dementia, and not just taking refuge in the Saunders Defence. This action is necessary at very least to build up public trust in our governmental system, which has taken a few knocks recently.
In terms of the evidential criterion for prosecution, 20 witnesses would seem to provide enough evidence for a prosecution. There may be an issue with the ability of survivors of abuse to stand up to adversarial questioning by the defence barrister, but you are aware of the need to rebalance the court process so that it is fairer to vulnerable witnesses. You are aware of the tragic case of the violinist who killed herself after giving evidence about her abuse in court. Abused people cope by repressing the memories, and it is greatly upsetting for them to have to resurrect these memories in detail, especially in court under hostile cross-examination. We are of course aware that the process has to be balanced so as not to be unfair to the defendant, but this is a matter for the Government and legal profession to look at in a reasonable way.
It is beyond any reasonable doubt that it is in the public interest to bring this case to court. There has clearly been an enormous amount of sexual abuse of children in care homes of various kinds in the past. We cannot be certain that it is not continuing today.
Sexual abuse has serious adverse effects on abusees, in terms of psychological problems of all degrees. There is a high incidence of suicide among survivors of abuse. For many, social function is impaired, and about 10% get a criminal record. A 1997 study by HMP Inspectorate of Prisons concluded that 30-70% of female prisoners had experienced childhood sexual abuse.
The State intervened in the lives of these children, assuming loco parentis. In the case of the many children who were abused, the State has signally failed to discharge its duties correctly and has betrayed the trust put in it. Therefore the State has a clear duty to rectify its failures by causing all abusers, without exception, to face the consequences of their actions.
There is a substantial body of evidence that points to a tendency to cover up on the part of the authorities. I have collected 40 instances of responses which could be seen as such. The cover-up response adds insult to the injury which has been inflicted on children. Such cover-ups are inimical to the functioning of a healthy democracy. Indeed, they can be seen as a form of corruption, where political influence is used, not just for financial gain, but to obtain immunity from prosecution for serious crimes.
Paedophiles exercise a great deal of denial when viewing their activities. If it is known that persons of public prominence are exempt from prosecution, this will confirm to them that what they are doing is acceptable. If on the other hand, they see that even serving MPs and other people of high rank are prosecuted for sexual abuse of children, this will cause some of them to draw back from acting out their inclinations.
I hope you will agree therefore that there is a clear public interest in bringing a prosecution in the case of Suspect J.
Regarding the supposed mental condition of Suspect J, in reading the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I find no exemptions from prosecution for people suffering from any form of mental or physical condition.
If after another psychiatric assessment, psychometric testing and use of MRIs and other tests for dementia it is determined that Suspect J is indeed suffering from dementia, I would be grateful if you could explain why, in terms of the Code, he should not be brought to Court.
Many thanks for giving attention to these representations.
With best wishes,