Letter to Goddard CSA Inquiry: Protecting Melanie Shaw And Other Child Abuse Survivors

Melanie Shaw was held unlawfully for a period over 24 hours and then released, as a highly vulnerable person, onto the streets with no phone (yet another phone 'confiscated' by the police) and no money.

The following text forms an open and public letter from the UKColumn to Lowell Goddard DNZM Chairman of the CSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The letter asks Ms Goddard how she intends to protect Melanie Shaw and other child-abuse victims, whistleblowers and witnesses from threats and harassment. Receipt of our original email was acknowledged by the CSA Inquiry at 17:33 27 July 2015 with an email in which they stated they aimed "to reply within 15 working days."  We look forward to Ms Goddard's reply.

16:43 27th July 2015

Dear Ms Goddard,

I have worked as a Community Journalist for some years during which time I have been approached by a number of child abuse victims.

More recently we were approached by a lady called Melanie Shaw. Melanie was abused at Beechwood Children's Home in Nottingham and her testimony of her own abuse and that of many other children initiated Operation Daybreak by Nottingham police. This investigation has now expanded to several other children's homes in the area. To date the 'investigation' has produced no tangible results, indeed one Judge is on record describing the investigation as a 'conspiracy theory'.

From the time Melanie Shaw expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of Nottingham police in their conduct of Operation Daybreak, including that they were failing to fully investigate evidence of child abuse and witnesses, she has been subjected to a campaign of harassment by Nottingham police, and has simultaneously been denied the mental health care in the community to which she is entitled, and needs as an abuse survivor.

Aside from the actions of Nottingham police, Melanie has been accused and convicted of crimes for which she protests her innocence, indeed many members of the public consider that the charges were malicious and designed to silence her as a child-abuse whistle blower. The aggressive charges were pursued by Alison Saunders Head of the Crown Prosecution Services, at the same time that Ms Saunders made every effort to prevent Lord Janner being brought to Court.

Melanie has also had her child removed by Social Services, after she was warned that this would happen if she continued to speak out about abuse, and she has been subjected to a regime of brutalisation, solitary confinement and denial of basic medical treatment in HMP Peterborough. All evidenced.

Taken back into the custody of Nottingham police just a few days ago, Melanie was then held unlawfully for a period over 24 hours and then released, as a highly vulnerable person onto the streets with no phone (yet another 'confiscated' by the police) and no money.

Nottingham Police is the same force that has consistently failed to protect children in Nottingham. Their visible failings and their ongoing appalling treatment and harassment of Melanie Shaw remains a matter of great and immediate Public Controversy.

I note that your Terms of Reference indicate at Annex A 2(a) that you are to "Consider the experiences of the survivors of child sexual abuse; providing opportunities for them to bear witness to the Inquiry, having regard to the need to provide appropriate support in doing so;"

That being the case can you please explain how you will take immediate and effective action to provide support and protect Melanie Shaw from threats, intimidation and harassment, including from Nottingham police who have failed her to date.

Your reassurance will be of immediate public interest, and will also be taken as the base-line intent of your inquiry to protect other child abuse survivors and whistleblowers from intimidation from the very public sector organisations who you are employed to investigate for their failings.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter and I look forward to your prompt response, taking into account the continuing harassment and neglect which Melanie is having to endure daily.

Your Sincerely

Brian Gerrish
Joint Editor