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Post by Verdi on 17.12.20 12:34

Shirley Oaks: 'Hundreds of children racially and sexually abused'

29th June 2020

Hundreds of children in the care of Lambeth Council were subjected to prolonged sexual, physical and racial abuse, an inquiry has heard.

For decades victims were targeted by paedophiles working at the council-run Shirley Oaks campus in Croydon.

The inquiry heard that despite widespread mistreatment of children, the authority failed to investigate any allegations at the time.

The Shirley Oaks abuse scandal is seen as one of the worst in British history.

This hearing is part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and is being held virtually.

Until 1980, hundreds of children there lived in "isolation, fear and vulnerability", inquiry barrister Rachel Langdale QC said.

Ms Langdale said evidence over the next four weeks would include examples of severe sexual abuse.

Children were systematically abused by paedophiles who targeted jobs in the care system to give them access to young people, the inquiry heard.

One, John Carroll, was revealed by another council to have a conviction for abuse, and to have concealed it from his employer.

Yet he was not sacked for years - and was not dismissed for child abuse - the inquiry heard.

Ms Langdale added: "Lambeth officials decided that Carroll should not be dismissed on account of his previous conviction, nor on account of his concealment of it."

Carroll was sacked in 1991 because of "financial irregularities", Ms Langdale said.

He was jailed for 10 years at Liverpool Crown Court in 1999 after admitting a string of sexual assaults against children while working in residential care between 1966 and 1986.
'Screams throughout the building'

Another paedophile, William Hook, managed to keep a job as a house father, despite being described as a "Walter Mitty character" working for his food and lodging.

The inquiry heard one former resident described how Hook openly sexually abused a care home child at a swimming pool.

Children were beaten, and locked up while one was held down in a bath of cold water resulting in "screams throughout the building".

Another was threatened with being "cut into little pieces" by an adult wielding garden shears, the inquiry heard.

Ms Langdale told the inquiry one child complained to Lambeth Council in the 1990s, saying that while she was in care her aim had been to keep her head down and get out of the system.

"If the height of a child in care's aspiration is simply to grow up so to escape it, then that is a damning indictment of the care system," Ms Langdale said.
'Social aunts and uncles'

The inquiry also heard allegations of physical and sexual assault that took place at other Lambeth Council children's homes, including the South Vale Assessment Centre and Ivy House.

Ms Langdale explained that Shirley Oaks was the oldest and largest residential care home for children, aged between two and 17, that was under the control of the council.

The home allowed for members of the public, known as "social aunts and uncles", to volunteer to spend time with children by taking them away on day trips or on holiday, the inquiry heard.

Ms Langdale said Lambeth Council "accepts" that during the operational period of Shirley Oaks, which could house up to 350 children, there were no requirements for staff to hold social work qualifications or to be police checked.

"It appears the doors to Shirley Oaks, in essence, may have been open to any adult professing an interest in taking children out," she said.

In 2016 the council started a £100m redress scheme offering a payment and apology to any child at Shirley Oaks, regardless of whether they had been abused.

The inquiry continues.

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Post by Verdi on 17.12.20 12:37

Shirley Oaks Children's Home

The Shirley Oaks Children's Home opened in 1903 and was run by the London Borough of Lambeth until its closure in 1982. It was the largest in the country. The children's home consisted of 38 cottages on a 80 acres (32 ha) site; it contained its own school. In 2014 allegations of abuse emerged, and the Shirley Oaks survivors association (SOSA) was set up. Between then and 2020, 1,760 people have described suffering sexual, physical and racial abuse while at the home. Children were "drugged, tortured and sexually assaulted." The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse "heard that despite widespread mistreatment of children, the authority (Lambeth Council) failed to investigate any allegations at the time."

The Metropolitan police inquiry, Operation Midland, which examined all the borough's children’s homes, concluded at least 35 men and women had abused children over a 20-year period. SOSA believes that over a 60-year period, over 120 abusers were involved.

To compensate victims of the abuse at Shirley Oaks (and also Lambeth Children’s Home), Lambeth Council has set up a Redress Scheme open until January 2022. The scheme is assisted by child abuse lawyers Ann Olivarius and Jeff Anderson of AO Advocates. As of January 2020, £30.7 million has been paid directly to victims.

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Post by Verdi on 17.12.20 12:38

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Post by Verdi on 17.12.20 15:18


Jimmy Savile allegations: Esther Rantzen's response defies belief

How could Esther Rantzen, the founder of ChildLine, possibly ignore 'green room gossip' about Jimmy Savile's alleged abuse of young girls, asks Katy Brand, in her first Paper Tiger weekly column.

By Katy Brand 05 October 2012 • 07:00 am

I don't know what to make of Esther Rantzen this week. In anticipation of Exposure, the documentary about Jimmy Savile's alleged abuse of young girls which ITV aired on Wednesday, the ChildLine founder started popping up all over the place to give her hand-wringing take on the revelations.

She also appeared at the end of the programme itself to say she was now convinced that Jimmy had indeed abused children and how appalling it all was. The talk of a BBC cover-up grew louder and more insistent as it emerged that the editor of Newsnight had vetoed an earlier report into the allegations, and this, along with the fact that Savile was using BBC property to continue his dubious and possibly illegal behaviour whilst bosses turned a blind eye, has made things very uncomfortable for those individuals who were considered his colleagues at the time of the abuse - individuals such as Esther Rantzen, for example.

Rantzen has admitted that she heard the rumours at the time, referring to it as 'green room gossip', the implication being that it was classier to ignore it. If I have learnt anything from my time working in TV, it is that 'green room gossip' is almost always true. The very best source of information on a show is the make-up artists, who see people at their very worst, and make them look their very best. They see everything and hear everything, and many a rumour has started in the make-up chair and not stopped until it has reached you sitting at your kitchen table, eating a boiled egg and reading all about it in the paper.



If you are a seasoned TV presenter, you know that green room chat is the most reliable source of information in the whole world, and so I cannot entirely sit back and say 'oh well, Esther, how could you possibly have known for sure?' But still, it's Esther Rantzen, and one should have a little respect.

It wasn't until I watched a Sky news interview with ‘Dame That's Life’ that I started getting really angry with her. Looking uncomfortable, she was clearly choosing her words carefully as the reporter asked her the obvious questions: 'What did you know? When did you know it? Couldn't you have said something? You started ChildLine for goodness sake, why didn't you do something?' (I am paraphrasing a little here, but only a little).

Esther's replies left my jaw on the floor. She started by saying that until now it had 'only been one single child's word against the word of a television icon', implying that this meant it was impossible to verify. She went on to say that now it was 'five adult women' who had come forward it was easier, and here was the part that started to make my blood boil, that they were 'cool, credible, sensible women', who through their lack of emotion were 'convincing' to Esther, and so she had started to believe there was some truth to it all. Really? Really, Esther? So, for you to believe allegations of child abuse, it can't only be 'one single child' saying it? And the victims have to be 'cool, credible and sensible' in order to be 'convincing'? And there has to be more than one, and they must never have met one another? Really? Isn't that kind of attitude exactly what you have been campaigning against all your professional life?

The reporter then asked her why she hadn't raised the rumours with anyone at the BBC. Esther's response was that it 'wasn't relevant to anything I was working on at the time'. What, like ChildLine? She then said she was 'only a guest' on Savile's show, effectively suggesting that child abuse was somebody else's department. Exactly whose department we'll never know, as the department of the person who was setting up ChildLine seemed to consider it 'irrelevant'.

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Watching Savile's ex-colleagues squirm around in the aftermath of all this is deeply unpleasant, and it just shows how difficult it can be to stand up to someone so powerful. People, including Esther, keep referring to the fact that Savile had even been blessed by the Pope, and if the Pope can't tell someone's a paedophile, then how could they possibly be expected to know? The irony of this defence is almost more than I can stand - yeah, let's put all the paedos in front of the Pope and let him decide how bad they are - GREAT IDEA. They say it takes a village to raise a child; perhaps it also takes a media village to abuse one. As Esther said, 'we all contributed'. Damn right.

At the time I was busy writing a letter to Jim asking him to fix it for me to meet Michael Jackson, so I can hardly claim to have been a great judge of character myself.

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Post by Verdi on 17.12.20 15:19

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Post by Verdi on 10.01.21 13:49


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Post by Verdi on 10.01.21 13:53



liar

For the most part you can spot them a mile off, especially when in the vicinity of children. There is a distinctive behavioural pattern, a creepy aura.

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Post by CaKeLoveR on 10.01.21 14:15

A now deceased relative of mine would often come across Saville in marathons, and he loathed the man, but he didn't tell us why. He also  recognised anther paedophile (who made a couple of dreadful records. This one wasn't garishly dressed, but he was imprisoned for his activities) long before it became common knowledge.
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Post by Verdi on 10.01.21 20:25

It brings me to the subject of elected members of parliament, whether that be elected by the people or in-house.

When voting for any individual, how can anyone know their true character - who knew what Ted Heath was up to outside, and possibly inside, the corridors of Westminster?

The people vote in all good faith, because they think the candidate is the best for the job, albeit out of a bad bunch.

Who in their right mind would vote for a child molester, even if the person had qualifications and letters after their name abundant?


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Post by CaKeLoveR on 11.01.21 11:38

People have watched Biden with little girls pressed up against him, and voted for him. Makes you shudder, doesn't it?
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