Category Archives: “Rebuilding Bridges – Restoring Bishop Bell’s place in history”



Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society


God ‘elp us all 

I note that the press conference for the release of the report by the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel which speaks so powerfully of Institutional Corruption took place at Church House, described thus by Wikipedia: ‘The Church House is the home of the headquarters of the Church of England, occupying the south end of Dean’s Yard next to Westminster Abbey in London’ where General Synod will be meeting next month- a location for prophetic voices speaking truth to power indeed.

Richard W. Symonds

Church House Westminster – “a location for prophetic voices speaking truth to power”:

June 30 2009 – “No Smoke, No Fire” – The Autobiography of Dave Jones [Know The Score Books 2009]

“No doubt there will be people who are going to think there is no smoke without fire. I can do nothing about that except to say such an attitude would be wrong” – Judge David Clarke (on the David Jones case)

“How deep cynicism was ultimately defeated by justice” – Patrick Barclay – The London Times

“Then the biggest question of all struck fear into my heart and I felt physically sick…what if I could not prove my utter innocence? What then?” – David Jones [Prologue]

“Outside the police station the street was teeming with press – a pack of wolves desperate to feed off a pack of lies” – [David Jones – Page 95]

“Those who reported…are hardly likely to get in touch with their conscience…It energised me to a huge extent. I was now ready to bang every door down and rattle every drum until people saw these accusations for what they were” [David Jones – Page 96]

“I felt there was a witch-hunt against me. But I also knew that to a certain extent I could choose whether to sink or swim. To me, sinking was not an option. I had to find the courage to stand up for myself and, with the support of Ann and my family, and those close to me who believed in me, I strongly felt that I had to do it” [David Jones – Page 98]

“I remember anticipating finally laying eyes on the people who had created my living hell by perpetuating a tissue of lies…[with]…the maniacal desire…to see me go down” [David Jones – Pages 129/130]

“Then came the words that will live with me forever: ‘No doubt there will be people who are going to think there is no smoke without fire,’ His Honour Judge David Clarke QC said. ‘I can do nothing about that except to say such an attitude would be wrong. No wrong-doing whatsoever on your part has been established.’ In other words, there was no smoke and there was no fire” [David Jones – Page 136]

“Which only adds to the chilling nature of the whole episode – having gone through what I have, in my opinion it is wholly wrong that convicted criminals can be allowed to swear solemn oaths on the Bible and give testimonies in open court, which could send decent men to prison. All the more so, in my opinion at least, that they are encouraged to do so by a police operation more interested in hitting targets, or needing a high profile result, than in the truth….

“What still rankles with me today is that under the Sexual Offences [Amendment] Act 1992 I am not allowed to name the four people who gave false statements to the police accusing me of these hideous crimes. I find it astonishing and absolutely disgraceful, incredibly, the legislation affords total anonymity to anyone against whom it is alleged that sexual abuse has taken place – even if they have made up that allegation themselves. I can, of course, understand the need for genuine sufferers of abuse to remain unidentified, especially if they are still children, but that was not the case here. Why is there no provision for those who concocted these horrendous false allegations about me to be named and shamed? Why was I not afforded that same anonymity? Why do I have to live with the after-effects of the trial still, a decade on, when my name was totally cleared, while my accusers can never suffer for their crimes? Why does this crass law continue to protect those who have lied in other similar cases? This seems to me a scandalous anomaly, a loophole, which needs to be closed, and soon.

“Equally, not being able to name the people who I feel hounded me long after they must have known that the allegations were utter rubbish, angers me greatly. They sought to destroy my life and yet have faced few, if any, repercussions themselves. Incredibly, the person who admitted ‘hugging’ the witness, after initially being suspended from duty, was cleared of any wrong-doing by an internal investigation. I find that amazing, but not as astounding as the fact that one of those people now holds a very senior position in the Crown Prosecution Service. How on earth could that have happened? Is that how we reward incompetence and such lack of judgement in this country? It’s a disgrace.

“In writing this book I have revisited the feelings and emotions of that 18-month period which climaxed in that wonderful day when the charges against me were dismissed. Over that time I developed an intense hatred of the scumbags who had perpetrated the horrific lies. And yet I ended up blaming the police far more than my accusers. Why? Because they allowed themselves to be blinkered by their pursuit of me.

“Did I believe in the judicial system beforehand? Absolutely. Do I now? Absolutely not. I have to say that I would never tar all police officers with the same brush. Far from it. Indeed I have relatives and friends in the service. But in my opinion the relevant department of Merseyside Police didn’t do their job properly. Their incompetence, and blindness to the blatantly obvious, beggared belief”

[David Jones – Pages 138/139]

“What pleases me now, looking back, is that because I have managed to come through the storm I can help others. I can bring my experience to bear and assist them. Not so long ago, I went to do a talk at Derby County FC and was asked the question by a worried youth team coach, what should we do if we are falsely accused? Find the best lawyer was my answer. For I have learned from bitter experience that for this type of accusation in this country you are guilty until proven innocent, even though it is supposed to be the other way round. Once you are tarred with that brush, it sticks.

“We didn’t know it at the time, but my case sparked a series of retrials of innocent care workers wrongly convicted on the basis of questionable evidence because of the disgraceful policy of ‘trawling’. How interesting that after my acquittal, two men, Basil Williams Rigby (the father of that little boy who had spoken to Ann) and Michael Lawson, who had both been given long prison sentences, were freed by the Court of Appeal after witnesses in my case had their evidence, which had also put those two gentleman inside, discredited. How interesting, too, that their lawyers claimed at the first trials they had been originally convicted on uncorroborated evidence of complainants who may have been motivated by the possibility of compensation. How interesting, too, that Merseyside Police closed Operation Care. It’s a sobering thought that without my own acquittal, these and other innocent men may never have been freed [David Jones – Page 145]

“I will be forever grateful to everyone who helped me and supported me throughout all the difficult times. Thankfully they are over. Now I am happy that I can say that I’ve seen yesterday, I am enjoying today and I am looking forward to tomorrow”

[David Jones – Page 192 – Last paragraph of the book]


 “I felt I was guilty until I proved my innocence” – Dave Jones

February 12 2018 – “Rebuilding Bridges” – ‘News Alert’ – BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ with Lord Carlile (Feb 10) – Comment by ‘GTP’


1. Carlile was recorded to the effect that the C of E said it had accepted and would act on his report. It had done

2. A church rep. [Bishop of Lambeth Tim Thornton – Ed] explained that new evidence had come to light since Carlile’s report.

3. He did not say whether this evidence lay behind Welby’s ‘cloud’ remark. but plainly encouraged us to think that
it did.

4. [I don’t believe it did. Else why did Welby not mention the new evidence when he made his remark ? It would have
explained what otherwise appeared an unjustifiable refusal to exonerate Bell. ]

5. The new evidence is being examined.

6. Bell;s family have asked to be represented at the fresh examination by their own barrister, a Mr Brown.

7. The C of E has refused the request and has appointed one of its care representatives to represent Bell’s interests.

8. Why has it refused ? Because until the evidence is examined, it is not known whether it makes any difference. It
may be too slight to take seriously or it may be important.

9. The obvious response to this, not answered straight by the church rep., is that a barrister appointed by Bell’s family
should be a part of the process by which the credibility of the new evidence is examined. If the church has appointed
its own person to represent Bell’s interests, why can’t those interests be represented (as they would be in a court of
law) by a barrister chosen by the defendant or in this case by the defendant’s family ?

10. All the signs are that the C of E has appointed someone whom it can control and who can be counted on to follow
the party line.

11. The Bell family are to be kept informed. This means that no-one has told them anything about the new evidence and
they will only know what the new inquiry ‘finds’.

I don’t need to comment.

~ ‘GTP’



February 4 2018 – ‘Rebuilding Bridges’ Website launch [following the Bishop Bell Rebuilding Bridges Conference at Church House Westminster on Feb 1]


Website following on from The Bishop Bell Rebuilding Bridges Conference at Church House Westminster on Thursday February 1 2018

In the news…

External links to a selection of Bishop Bell-related article that appeared after the Rebuilding Bridges conference.