Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Police Allowed Family to be Torn Apart for 5 Months for No Good Reason

Wakefield council and police criticised
over 'child sexual abuse video' case

Family court judge lambasts West Yorkshire police and council
for ‘horrendous’ allegation that a girl and her mother
appeared in abuse video

West Yorkshire police and Wakefield council acknowledged a series of failings in their handling of the case. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA
Alice Ross

A family court judge has criticised “serious and systemic flaws” in how West Yorkshire police and Wakefield council handled a case in which a girl and her mother were wrongly identified as appearing in a child sexual abuse video.

The police and council have paid £20,000 in damages and Wakefield council apologised for the “horrendous” allegation, after the girl and her brother were kept in care for more than nine months.

It emerged that the police had known for months that the video did not show the girl and her mother before the children were returned.

Judgments in the family court are usually private, but Mr Justice Cobb decided to make his ruling, issued this week, public on the condition that the family involved was not identified.

The two children, a boy and a girl, were removed and placed in foster care in February 2015 after their parents were arrested in relation to an investigation into child sexual abuse content.

During the search, police found a video that they believed showed the mother engaged in a sex act with the daughter and a photograph they believed showed the daughter. 

The children were kept out of any contact with their parents for several days after being taken into care, despite expressing “very considerable distress”, the judge wrote, and a lack of coordination between the police and safeguarding authority meant that the girl was medically examined twice in three days.

Forensic experts told the officer leading the investigation, DS Hudson, in late March that video analysis had “eliminated” the mother as a possible candidate for being the woman in the video. In June, evidence emerged showing the video had been shot in the US, rather than West Yorkshire and that it conclusively did not show either the woman or her daughter.

But West Yorkshire police did not share this crucial evidence with social workers or anyone else involved in the case for almost five months. Even the police lawyers were only told of the new evidence in passing in August and were only made aware of how crucial it was in November.

In the meantime, the police continued to investigate, interviewing the parents under caution and showing them the photo of the girl in the video despite knowing it was not their daughter.

DS Hudson “struggled to shake off” his conviction that the video showed the mother and daughter, the court found. At a meeting in August, the judge found, he “misled the local authority” by encouraging them to spot similarities between the woman in the video and the mother. “At that time, he knew that the mother had been definitively excluded from consideration,” Cobb wrote.

The children’s father pleaded guilty to having downloaded images of child sexual abuse in August and was later sentenced to jail. The mother did not learn that she had been cleared until November and her children remained in foster care until mid-December. The authority later accepted “without reservation” that she neither abused her daughter nor allowed her daughter to be abused by the father.

“The damage has been significant; for a period of many months, two children were separated from their mother against whom allegations of the most serious form of abuse were levelled, while all the while, evidence was available which served to exonerate her,” Cobb wrote.

Wakefield council and West Yorkshire police acknowledged a series of failings in their handling of the case. The judge found that although it had been correct to take the children into care when their parents were first arrested, the way the investigation was handled led to the authorities “profoundly and obviously” breaching the human rights of the mother and her children. Among the failings, he said, was “a casual regard, and in some respects total disregard, of ordinary principles of good professional practice”.

Hudson needs to be disciplined significantly for this. The poor children would already suffer for their father going to prison as a pedophile, but to have to endure separation from their mother for no reason is liable to be nearly as traumatic as if they were sexually abused. This is inexplicable , inexcusable, and cannot be allowed to be repeated.

Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK