Tag Archives: BBC

February 16 2018 – “Barry Bennell: Crewe ‘brushed scandal under carpet’ says Lord Carlile” – BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38632026

Barry Bennell: Crewe ‘brushed scandal under carpet’ says Lord Carlile

Barry Bennell: Lord Carlile says football failed to protect youngsters from abuse

The Barry Bennell scandal was “brushed under the carpet” by Crewe Alexandra, according to the eminent barrister who prosecuted the serial paedophile in 1998.

Lord Carlile – one of the country’s top legal experts – told the BBC the club at the centre of the case was guilty of “institutional failure” over their former youth coach.

He also fears young footballers were abused because “this danger was not drawn to the attention of a wider public”.

Bennell, 64, who has already received three prison sentences – in 1995, 1998 and 2015 – has been convicted of 43 further charges of child sex abuse by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court. The jury were told of abuse of 12 boys between 1979 and 1990.

In a statement on Thursday, Crewe said the club “was not aware of any sexual abuse by Bennell” until his arrest in Florida in 1994, and that it did not receive any sexual abuse complaint about him “before or during his employment with the club.”

Crewe also said a police investigation found “no evidence to corroborate that the club was aware of Bennell’s offending”.

Chris Unsworth, Micky Fallon and Steven Walters

Bennell, who worked with a number of clubs across the north west of England, including Manchester City and Stoke City, was jailed for nine years in 1998, pleading guilty to 23 specimen charges at Chester Crown Court.

But the prosecuting barrister at the trial, Alex Carlile QC, who was made a life peer in 1999, has now spoken out for the first time about Crewe’s handling of the case.

“I believe the Crewe board should have addressed this issue, and I’d be very interested to see the board minutes of the time because I feel sure the board would have discussed it in some way, but I have the feeling it was brushed under the carpet,” he said.

“What I am satisfied about is that there should have been further inquiry by any club involved, including Crewe Alexandra. I’m surprised I did not read subsequently that Crewe had carried out an inquiry into what had occurred.”

Speaking to the BBC last year, Carlile said Bennell “seemed to me to be the embodiment of the sort of person you wanted no nearer than a million miles from your children”.

Barry Bennell calling card
Bennell’s relationship with Man City remains unclear, but the BBC has obtained what is believed to be a business card that the coach handed out to young players and their parents, describing himself as a the club’s ‘North-West representative’. The BBC cannot verify the authenticity of the card, but if this is what it appears to be, it may show how Bennell used City’s name to lure some of his victims.

League Two club Crewe have been under intense scrutiny over what was known about Bennell since former player Andy Woodward spoke out in November about the abuse he had suffered while a trainee at the club. Since then, other former players who say they were victims of Bennell have come forward.

A former board member at Crewe, Hamilton Smith, has claimed he had warned the club about Bennell’s relationship with young boys in the late 1980s, but the coach was allowed to stay in his job.

Bennell was eventually sacked in 1992 for reasons that have never been made public. Smith also says he asked the FA to investigate the case in 2001, after Bennell was convicted, but was ignored.

“If any senior people at the club knew more than they let on at the time then they should have been open about it,” said Carlile.

“Football coaches had immense power over young boys who they were training and clubs were in the place of parents and it’s quite clear that they didn’t take that position seriously.”

Andy Woodward says ‘justice has been served’

Crewe director of football Dario Gradi, who was the club’s manager from 1983 to 2007, was suspended by the Football Association in November 2016. During Bennell’s trial in 1998 it was revealed that one of the offences happened at Gradi’s house.

John Bowler, who has been chairman of the club since 1987, continues in his role.

“I’m very surprised about the continuity in the club of a number of people who were present at that time,” said Carlile.

“Dario Gradi was a relevant figure in this case. I’m not making any sort of allegation against Dario Gradi, but he was a relevant figure and I think Crewe ought to come clean about the way in which they dealt with this problem, admitting their shortcomings where there were shortcomings.”

Both Gradi and Bowler have denied any wrongdoing, and say the first they knew about Bennell’s crimes was when he was arrested in 1994.

Gradi has said he would “do everything within my power to assist all investigatory authorities” while Crewe announced in November 2016 the club would hold an independent review into how it dealt with historical child sex abuse allegations.

But Carlile has also spoken about his dismay at the lack of interest in the case at the time of Bennell’s earlier conviction.

“I’m absolutely certain that at the time there was institutional failure, and I’m very disappointed that it now appears as a result of a lack of publicity of that case other boys have been abused, because this danger was not drawn to the attention of a wider public,” he said.

“If someone was prosecuting that case today about serious indecency against young boys, some of whom might have stardom as footballers in front of them, it would’ve had blanket press coverage.

“The follow-through by the media would have been huge, and I suspect more complainants would have come forward as a result.

“I’m absolutely certain that if the media and the sport had taken this on as an issue in 1998, a lot of young people would not have been abused in the years that followed.”

Football child sex abuse scandal one of FA’s biggest crises – Greg Clarke

With hundreds of potential victims coming forward, multiple suspects, and many clubs and police forces across the country now investigating, the FA has begun an internal review into the crisis, headed by barrister Clive Sheldon QC.

“The FA inquiry has spluttered into life,” said Carlile, who spent a decade as the government’s terrorism legislation reviewer, and is leading an independent study into how the Church of England handled child abuse accusations.

“There was a change of leadership within almost days, the explanation has never been entirely clear to me, but I think that Clive Sheldon will be a splendid head of that inquiry.

“What we’re talking about is multiple, repeated, horrific crimes and I think the inquiry will have to have a keen intelligence about the way in which crimes of this kind develop.

“The lessons learnt must include explaining to those who run [sports] clubs to be able to anticipate these events and to take child safeguarding measures that will make it much more difficult for these events to happen.

“It’s a huge crisis for sport, it’s a bigger crisis than doping for athletics. It’s a crisis of confidence. It will diminish Britain’s very considerable success in every sport unfortunately, because parents will be more reluctant to allow their children to take part in sports clubs.

“It is going to provoke real difficulties for sports, but the sports have themselves to blame for this to some extent.”

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January 23 2018 – “Bishop George Bell not to be cleared of ‘abuse'” – BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-42779684

Bishop George Bell not to be cleared over ‘abuse’

  • 22 January 2018
Bishop George BellImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption George Bell was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected calls for him to clear the name of the late Bishop George Bell, who was accused of abusing a young girl.

A review found failings in the way the Church investigated allegations against the Bishop of Chichester in the 1950s.

Supporters of Bishop Bell have called on the Most Rev Justin Welby to pronounce the bishop as innocent.

But Mr Welby said he could not rescind a statement in which he said a cloud hung over Bishop Bell’s name.

Bishop Bell’s supporters have sent three open letters to the archbishop in recent days.

They were written by a group of historians, an international group of church leaders, and a selection of former choristers at Chichester cathedral.

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Image caption The archbishop said the letter from the historians did not take into account the “realities” of past abuse in the church

But the archbishop said: “Our history over the last 70 years has revealed that the church covered up, ignored or denied the reality of abuse on major occasions.

“As a result, the church is rightly facing intense and concentrated scrutiny (focused in part on the Diocese of Chichester) through the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

“The Diocese of Chichester was given legal advice to make a settlement based on the civil standard of proof, the balance of probability.

“It was not alleged that Bishop Bell was found to have abused on the criminal standard of proof, beyond reasonable doubt.

“The two standards should not be confused.”

The independent reviewer, Lord Carlile QC, said the Church of England’s investigation into allegations against the bishop by a woman known as “Carol” were deficient.

The church apologised and compensated Carol after she claimed she had been assaulted by Bell as a young girl.

Lord Carlile said the church had “rushed to judgment”.

But Mr Welby provoked anger among the late bishop’s supporters when he said: “No human being is entirely good or bad. Bishop Bell was in many ways a hero. He is also accused of great wickedness.”

Related Topics

More on this story

  • Church apology over Bishop George Bell abuse inquiry
    15 December 2017
  • Petition seeks ‘justice’ for ‘abuse’ Bishop George Bell
    19 October 2016
  • Sussex Police apology over Bishop George Bell affair
    5 August 2016
  • George Bell: The battle for a bishop’s reputation
    5 May 2016
  • Bishop George Bell: Archbishop defends abuse claim payout
    25 March 2016
  • Carey’s support for abuse accused Bishop George Bell ‘distressing’
    7 March 2016

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

  • Church of England
  • Diocese of Chichester
  • George Bell Group

December 21 2017 – “Chichester under fire over George Bell claims” – Christian Today – James Macintyre

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/chichester-under-fire-over-george-bell-claims/121998.htm

Chichester under fire over George Bell claims

The Bishop of Chichester is under fire over his claim, made after the Carlile report into the Church of England’s handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against Bishop George Bell, that the Church did not proclaim the late Bishop Bell’s guilt.

The Mail on Sunday journalist Peter Hitchens, who has vigorously campaigned on behalf of the late bishop since the Church made public the claims against Bell in 2015, penned a hard-hitting letter to Martin Warner this week.

Bishop George Bell
Jimmy JamesBishop George Bell

In his letter, Hitchens focused on the impression that was left in the press after the Church issued a formal public apology and announced that it had paid £16,800 to the woman in question, known as ‘Carol’.

Hitchens wrote: ‘You said on Friday [the day the Carlile report was published], and yet again in your Radio 4 interview on Sunday that you had never proclaimed George Bell’s guilt. On Radio 4, you said ‘What we did not do and have not ever done is to make a clear statement which says “We have found George Bell guilty”. We have never done that’.

‘I must ask, in that case, why you did not write to The Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the BBC, the Argus of Brighton or the Chichester Observer, correcting their reports of your statement, reports which proclaimed that George Bell was guilty? Is it possible that you did so and they ignored your letters? Or did you choose to leave the impression of guilt which your statement had created, which you now insist you had not intended to create? Had you written to complain, it would have been very helpful to my own unending efforts to get these media to change their tune.’

The Church of England was criticised in the Carlile report for a ‘rush to judgment’ in its handling of the allegations against Bishop Bell, who died in 1958.

The report by Lord Carlile said that although the Church acted in good faith, its processes were deficient and it failed to give proper consideration to the rights of the accused.

Hitchens dramatically clashed with Bishop Warner and Peter Hancock, the Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, at the press conference for the release of the report on Friday, accusing the Church of behaving in a ‘Stalinoid’ fashion towards the memory of the late Bishop Bell.

The new Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner
The Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner

The columnist also raised the removal of Bishop Bell’s name from buildings, institutions and guide books in Chichester including from the former George Bell House. He said that ‘many mentions of George Bell have been excised from the Cathedral guide book, his name has been removed from the House which used to bear it at Bishop Luffa school where I should think you might have some influence, and also from a hall of residence at the University of Chichester.

‘I pointed out to you last Friday that even the Soviet Union had eventually rehabilitated those whom it had unjustly condemned in unfair show trials (whose memories, names and pictures were likewise removed from buildings, streets, photographs, encyclopaedias and so forth).’

Hitchens concluded: ‘The Church of England is surely judged by (and should regulate itself by) a higher standard than an atheist secret police state.’

A spokesperson for the Bishop of Chichester said: ‘We have received a copy of the letter and as it is a long, detailed document Bishop Martin will be responding in the New Year. There is no actual time to do it properly between now and Christmas as this is obviously a hugely busy week.’

Bishop Warner said on Friday: ‘Lord Carlile’s Independent Review is a demonstration of the Church of England’s commitment to equality of justice and transparency in our safeguarding practice. The diocese of Chichester requested this “lessons learned” Review.

‘We welcome Lord Carlile’s assessment of our processes, and apologise for failures in the work of the Core Group of national and diocesan officers and its inadequate attention to the rights of those who are dead. We also accept the Report’s recognition that we acted in good faith, and improvements to Core Group protocols are already in place. Further work on them is in hand.

‘The Report demands further consideration of the complexities of this case, such as what boundaries can be set to the principle of transparency. Lord Carlile rightly draws our attention to public perception. The emotive principle of innocent until proven guilty is a standard by which our actions are judged and we have to ensure as best we can that justice is seen to be done. Irrespective of whether she is technically a complainant, survivor, or victim, ‘Carol’ emerges from this report as a person of dignity and integrity. It is essential that her right to privacy continues to be fully respected.

‘The good deeds that Bishop George Bell did were recognised internationally. They will stand the test of time. In every other respect, we have all been diminished by the case that Lord Carlile has reviewed.’

Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley, 93, has said she wants the reputation of her uncle restored and has asked for a face-to-face apology from the Church of England.

‘I’m determined to clear his name before I die,’ she told the BBC.

December 21 2017 – “Welby ‘should resign’ over Bishop George Bell abuse claims” – BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42415659

Welby ‘should resign’ over Bishop George Bell abuse claims

  • 20 December 2017
Bishop George BellImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption George Bell was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958

The only surviving relative of a former senior Bishop accused of abusing a young girl has called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to resign.

Last week an independent inquiry criticised the Church over its handling of child abuse allegations made against George Bell after his death.

It said the Church was too quick to accept the claims “without serious investigation or inquiry”.

Barbara Whitley, 93, said she wanted the reputation of her uncle restored.

She told the BBC that she wanted Justin Welby to stand down, and a face-to-face apology from the Church of England.

“I’m determined to clear his name before I die,” she said.

George Bell was the Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in October 1958. He was alleged to have repeatedly abused a young girl.

The victim, known as “Carol”, made a formal complaint in 1995 and, 10 years later, won an apology and compensation from the Church.

She said he began abusing her when she was five and molested her in Chichester Cathedral as she sat listening to stories, with the abuse continuing for about four years.

Barbara Whitley
Image caption Barbara Whitley, 93, said she wanted the reputation of her uncle restored

In his report, Lord Carlile of Berriew criticised the Church’s response to the claims as “deficient” in a number of respects, and said the most significant was that “it failed to follow a process that was fair and equitable to both sides”.

“For Bishop Bell’s reputation to be catastrophically affected in the way that occurred was just wrong,” he concluded.

In a statement following its publication, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the bishop was “one of the great Anglican heroes of the 20th Century”, but he had been “accused of great wickedness”.

He said the decision to publish his name was taken “with immense reluctance” and the Church apologised for the failures of its processes.

Ms Whitley has always maintained that the allegations against her uncle were untrue.

“He just wasn’t that sort. He wasn’t a touchy-feely man,” she said.

She said she had not received an apology from the Church over its handling of the case, but would like to have one face-to-face.

In a statement, the Diocese of Chichester said its National Safeguarding Advisor had emailed her on Friday, reiterating the Church’s apology for the pain caused.

Related Topics

More on this story

  • Church apology over Bishop George Bell abuse inquiry
    15 December 2017
  • Bishop George Bell case: Lord Carlile to lead review
    23 November 2016
  • Petition seeks ‘justice’ for ‘abuse’ Bishop George Bell
    19 October 2016
  • Sussex Police apology over Bishop George Bell affair
    5 August 2016
  • Bishop George Bell: Review to look at ‘abuse’ case
    28 June 2016
  • George Bell: The battle for a bishop’s reputation
    5 May 2016
  • Bishop George Bell: Archbishop defends abuse claim payout
    25 March 2016
  • Challenge to Bishop George Bell abuse claim
    20 March 2016
  • Carey’s support for abuse accused Bishop George Bell ‘distressing’
    7 March 2016

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

  • Church of England
  • Diocese of Chichester
  • George Bell Group
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury

December 18 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury criticised by Lord Carey” – BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42401825

Archbishop of Canterbury criticised by Lord Carey

  • 18 December 2017
Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and incumbent Justin WelbyImage copyrightAFP/PA
Image caption George Carey criticised the current archbishop Justin Welby in a Christmas letter

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who was made to stand down from an honorary post by the incumbent Justin Welby, has criticised the move.

Lord Carey said the archbishop’s insistence he resign over his handling of claims against Bishop Peter Ball – jailed for sex offences – was unjust.

The 82-year-old made the remarks in a letter. Lambeth Palace said it did not comment on private correspondence.

A review this year found senior Church figures “colluded” with Ball.

A Lambeth Palace spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on private correspondence but the independent inquiry into the handling of the Peter Ball case speaks for itself.”

‘Unjust decision’

In a letter to update friends about developments during 2017, Lord Carey wrote: “Less desirable has been the shocking insistence by the archbishop that I should stand down from ministry ‘for a season’ for mistakes he believes were made 24 years ago when Bishop Peter Ball abused young potential priests.

“His decision is quite unjust and eventually will be judged as such.”

Lord Carey had been given a role as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford but was asked to resign after the Bishop Ball review.

Ball, former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, was jailed for two years and eight months in 2015, after admitting sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men between the 1970s and 1990s.

Lord Carey’s letter was sent out at the weekend, shortly after an independent inquiry criticised the Church over its handling of the Bishop George Bell case in Sussex.

A report on Friday found the Church “rushed to judgement” on the former Bishop of Chichester, who died in 1958 and was alleged to have repeatedly abused a young girl. The report also said Church processes were deficient.

  • Ex-Archbishop Lord Carey resigns after child abuse review
    26 June 2017
  • Church ‘colluded’ with sex abuse bishop Peter Ball
    22 June 2017
  • Retired bishop Peter Ball jailed for sex assaults
    7 October 2015

December 7 2017 – “Mud sticks to the innocent too” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Marion Somerville

IMG_0325

Chichester Observer – December 7 2017 – Letter – Marion Somerville

Peter Hitchens on Bishop Bell – Sunday – October 23 2016

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/10/peter-hitchens-why-are-these-child-refugees-fleeing-france-the-bad-coffee.html

Peter Hitchens – Mail on Sunday – October 23 2016

This is NOT justice – it’s a witch hunt 

BISHOP 1

George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

The Great Child Abuse Inquiry continues to devour itself, in a storm of rumour and whispers. There is some justice in this.

The whole idea that this country is waist-deep in unprosecuted abuse scandals has always been based on allegations that cannot be objectively proved. Now this industry is the target of its own methods.

The whole country has become a vast kangaroo court, in which guilty and innocent alike are accused, and in many cases we can never find the truth.

For a year, I have been fighting the case of the late Bishop George Bell, whose courage and principle I have long admired, who was suddenly accused of long-ago child abuse by a solitary complainant, 57 years after his death. No other accusers have come forward.

To begin with, his own church, aided by several newspapers, the BBC and the police, acted disgracefully as if his guilt was proven. The police even said they would have arrested him if he hadn’t been dead, an absurd and meaningless statement which persuaded many he was guilty.

Now, thanks to relentless pressure by many good people, plus me, the BBC have honourably retreated, the police have softened their line, and the Church themselves have published a booklet about Chichester Cathedral in which they admit that the charges against Bishop Bell have never been tested in any court and are just ‘plausible’, a feeble word given that the accusation, if true, would strip away his good name for ever.

It’s not enough. But it took all the running we could do just to stay in the same place, returning to the old English custom that all are presumed innocent until guilt is proven. If the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary could grasp this point, their hopeless inquiry could be shut down before it soaks up the entire national budget and we could go back to proper British justice.

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New Guidebook on sale in the Cathedral bookshop : “Chichester Cathedral – Society and Faith” [Pitkin 2016] – Page 37 

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/chichester-cathedral-september/