Skip to main content

More Than Corrupt

by | Thursday, 4th February 2010
This could be happening in your area, right now. The main subject of this article is a man called Matthew Byrne - listed as a member of the local advisory board of Common Purpose in Liverpool.

Here is an extract of a press report:

WIRRAL CHILDREN’S CHARITY BOSS ADMITS CHILD PORN CHARGES BUT DENIES OTHER SEX OFFENCES

Jan 9 2010 by Chloe Griffiths, Liverpool Echo A CHILDREN’S charity boss admitted making nearly 9,000 child porn images, but denied a string of other sex offences. Matthew Byrne, 37, now faces a total of 32 charges including rape, assault by penetration and false imprisonment. He is accused of sex attacks on seven different women and in some cases is alleged to have beaten the women with a cane, gagged or throttled them for sexual pleasure. Byrne, who ran the Young Person’s Advisory Service, used to work with children as young as 10. The children’s services boss appeared at Liverpool crown court via video-link from Walton prison for a plea and case management hearing yesterday. Appearing on the screen, he shuffled with a bag and produced a large amount of paperwork. Brian Treadwell, prosecuting, told the court additional charges had now been brought against Byrne meaning he faces a total of 32 allegations. Only 28 of the offences were put to him yesterday. As he was asked for his pleas, Byrne, of Tollemache Street, New Brighton, read from his documents. He pleaded guilty to a total of six charges of making obscene images of children, representing a total of 8,958 images.

So where does Common Purpose fit in with such a person?

Here is one example of how Common Purpose refer to Matthew Byrne:

Advisory Groups help our staff teams by keeping them up to date with developments in their sector and their locality by making a contribution to developing the leadership of the place they live or work.

The Advisory Group members for this area are:

  • Neil Ashbridge
  • Alan Stilwell
  • Michael Brown
  • Matthew Byrne
  • Paul Corcoran
  • Frank Coward
  • Rosemary Hawley, JP
  • Michele Ibbs
  • Matt Johnson
  • Martin King
  • Ann McCracken
  • Louise Shepherd

So, this fine upstanding pillar of the community is on the local advisory group for Common Purpose, rubbing his well-respected shoulders with his peers, including a lady magistrate and a senior member of the police.

Brian Gerrish in his talks, has highlighted how Common Purpose continued, on their web site, to support convicted paedophile Jamie Rennie, even after his conviction.

Let us apply this to Matthew Byrne, starting with when he was first arrested:

LIVERPOOL CHARITY WORKER HELD ON SEX ASSAULT AND CHILD PORN CHARGES

Jun 30 2009 by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Echo A CHILDREN’S charity worker has appeared in court facing sexual assault and child porn charges. Matthew Byrne, 37, of Tollemache Street, New Brighton, appeared at Wirral magistrates court after his home was raided last week. Byrne, who runs the Young Person’s Advisory Service, made no application for bail and was remanded in custody.

Here are the reactions of the charity that Matthew Byrne ran:

October 20th 2009: Official statement from the YPAS management committee: The management committee of YPAS has issued the following statement concerning the court appearance of Matthew Byrne on Wednesday 21st June 2009: * Matthew Byrne is no longer employed by the Charity. * At the Wirral Safeguarding Strategy Meeting on 19th September 2009, Merseyside Police confirmed that the charges and investigations into Matthew Byrne’s alleged activities do not relate to the charity or any of YPAS’s service users. * The Survivors Trust has set up two 24 hour confidential helplines for anyone who has concerns about this situation: For anybody who worked with Matthew Byrne: 01922 622 233 For everyone else - children, young people, parents, carers: 0560 204 2084 Our thanks to colleagues at The Survivors Trust for their support. Andy Kerr, Chair of Management Committee.

Young Person's Advisory Service Liverpool - What's new? - [Cached Version]

Published on: 7/13/2009 Last Visited: 9/12/2009 The Management and staff of YPAS are stunned at the course of events that have led to the court appearance of its director, Matthew Byrne on Monday 29th June 2009. Our immediate concern is for the welfare of the children and young people that use our services. In light of these events Mr Byrne's employment has been suspended with immediate effect. As far as we are aware, the charges against Mr Byrne do not relate directly to any child, young person or family who has accessed or currently accesses our services. We are co-operating fully with the Merseyside Police investigation. For anybody who worked with Matthew Byrne: 01922 622 233

So far so good for YPAS, the reaction expected.

But nothing from Common Purpose?

Where else had Matthew Byrne been?

From this example, someone within this government seems to have sufficient respect for Common Purpose Advisory Group Member Matthew Byrne to call up this exemplar of community leadership. It is known that Common Purpose is supported within the Cabinet Office and throughout this government.

Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence Examination of Witnesses (Questions 848-859) MR PHIL FRAMPTON, MR MATTHEW BYRNE, TERESA REYNOLDS AND KATHRYN STONE TUESDAY 25 JUNE 2002 (Mr Byrne) My name is Matthew Byrne from an organisation called Fire in Ice. Fire in Ice is a Merseyside-based, self-help project run by and for adult men who have experienced child abuse, especially those who have suffered abuse in child care institutions. We support men who have experienced abuse and their families by providing a one-to-one service with group support, publishing material and acting as a group focus for them to empower them. Our group has two clear aims. We aim to enable men who have experienced child abuse and their families to make positive change to their lives. We also aim to make the care experience safe for children and young people today. Over their past two years we have been operating, we have supported over 300 men and their families across Merseyside, most of whom have experience of Operation Care, Operation Van Gough and Operation Granite. 850. How did you come into existence? Your scheme is only two or three years old. (Mr Byrne) Yes. We were originally a small support group of men who had gone through the Operation Care investigation and formed together after the trial to say: what can we do to support each other? Main stream social services on Merseyside at that time did not meet their individual needs. The idea was to get together and do that. The funding for that came—and we are very proud of this—from Liverpool City Council.

So, Matthew Byrne has been receiving financial aid from a local authority, also where Common Purpose operate, for over a decade? No wonder Common Purpose appear to be sufficiently proud of him to put him on one of their senior committees, they want to share the podium.

Let us have a little look at Fire in Ice. Here are a couple of references:

www.fireinice.co.uk Fire in Ice is a self-help project run by and for men who have experienced child abuse, especially those who were abused in children's homes. It has its origins in Operation Care, the Merseyside Police investigation into historical institutional child abuse. Taking statements from survivors of abuse, the police failed to understand the traumatic consequences of their doing so. "I want this website to reflect the positive feeling that Fire in Ice has been able to give to many hundreds of men over the past few years," says Matthew Byrne. And it is doing just that. This small, simple-to-use site includes male survivor life stories in the form of poems and prose. The self-help pack, which covers "controlling panic and sudden distress", "beginning to feel" and "coping with crisis", is particularly useful. The crimes suffered by these men scorches the soul and melts the heart. www.factnotfiction.org.uk Whereas Fire in Ice immerses its outrage in a quiet dignity, there is nothing silent about this site, run by False Allegations against Carers and Teachers (Fact). While police methods clearly leave something to be desired for alleged abusers and, let's not forget, the abused (see above), Fact sees it as "a horrendous witch-hunt!". Fact was also set up after Operation Care, but this time over the perceived miscarriage of a 12-year sentence for Basil Williams-Rigby, a residential care worker with the Liverpool Catholic Social Services. Nonetheless, its tabloid approach (as in the headline, "Are you aware of the large amounts of compensation available for those claiming to have been abused?" - speculating that people are interested only in money) clearly struck a chord with the home affairs select committee inquiry into the investigation of child abuse. One of Fact's aims, to impose time limits for bringing of allegations of sexual abuse, has been recommended.

Readers are allowed to speculate that, as well as using the Common Purpose network, Matthew Byrne may well also have been involved with creating the organisational devices to evade being held accountable. You may research and make up your own minds about Basil Williams-Rigby.

Matthew Byrne was no stranger to self-promotion, a talent much valued by Common Purpose in their quest to recruit community leaders who can operate beyond their lawful authority.

Just how high, and with whom, was Matthew Byrne prepared to hog the limelight?

Here is but one example:

Liverpool Regeneration YPAS director Matt Byrne meets senior Conservatives Director of YPAS, Matt Byrne joined other representatives from Liverpool’s community, social enterprise and faith organisations on Monday 6 March 2006 to meet David Cameron MP, Leader of the Opposition and Lord (Michael) Heseltine, former minister for Merseyside.

David Cameron, Lord Heseltine, Matthew Byrne

Here is the prospective future Prime Minister of this country of ours striking a pose with Common Purpose hero Matthew Byrne.

No wonder Common Purpose find him so valuable. Note the link to money.

But what of David Cameron? Does he support Matthew Byrne and what he stands for?

David Cameron has only one reasonable, sensible, action he can now take:

The immediate, absolute, unequivocal and very public condemnation of Common Purpose, making it clear that the disassociation of the Conservative Party from Common Purpose is immediate and total.

Anything less would be taken as a national insult.

Just how high up within YPAS was the paragon of virtue Matthew Byrne, Common Purpose Advisory Group member?

Here is the previous structure:

YOUNG PERSONS ADVISORY SERVICE Company Information 31st March 2007 Company number:2596423 Charity number:1002706 Trustees: D. Hart (Chairperson) Secretary: M. Byrne (appointed 11.09.07) H. Wilkinson (resigned 11.09.07) Chief Executive: M. Byrne

Yes, Chief Executive no less, exactly the kind of person whose virtues are extolled by Common Purpose, who proudly carry his public credentials on their web site.

Had the situation described here been a one-off, it could have been written off as an isolated event. But twice? Now three times? Just how many times do these incidents have to occur before the penny drops?

We have already been seen how

  • cp are alleged to be linked to what some people called child snatching, or forced adoption
  • when there is fraud and corruption, accompanied by systematic abuse of any person arbitrarily deemed to be a potential threat, we see Common Purpose.

Now we see another aspect, the strong suspicion for which is being reinforced, that this is the deliberate targeting of young persons for 'training', seeking possession of infants, the targeting of young vulnerable children, whether from inner city ghettos or troubled teenagers with abuse problems, and all without the necessary CRB checks in place whilst shrouded in fiercely guarded secrecy - the Common Purpose involvement is associated with potential child abuse. Surely this case cannot be dismissed as coincidence.

COUNSELLING, INFORMATION, ADVICE, GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT TO CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 10-25 YEARS IN THE MERSEYSIDE AREA.

Date registered 26 April 1991

Now it is time to refer to what Common Purpose themselves have to say about Matthew Byrne, on their web site:

My Common Purpose Programme Merseyside profile October 2006 Matt Byrne is the Director of the Liverpool based charity ‘Young Person’s Advisory Service’ (YPAS), offering counselling, advice, information and support to children aged 10-15 years.............................etc

The accolades go on...

YPAS delivers targeted support to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Liverpool including young people who are homeless, abused, drug users, runaways, sexually exploited or at risk of offending. The Young Person's Advisory Service is commissioned to deliver community based services as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), through the Liverpool Youth Service, in schools and as a partner agency in the Citysafe initiative. YPAS is committed to putting children and young people at the heart of the community and ensuring that their views are always taken into consideration when determining service delivery and regeneration. Before joining YPAS he was employed as a Development Manager for 'The National Pyramid Trust for Children', this role involved setting up local agency partnerships to deliver after-school support for primary school age children who were quiet, withdrawn or who had difficulty making friends.

If you think that the above extract published by Common Purpose was bad, then please note that the date on the web site was 27/01/2010 !

As if things are not bad enough, here is a comment from his YPAS site:

* Partnership: working with external agencies, integrated children’s services, common assessment framework, information sharing protocols, learning the lessons from the murder of Victoria Climbie.

It beggars belief !

Are any members of Merseyside Police in any way associated with Common Purpose? What about other police forces?

Meanwhile, where is the promised report ( January 2010 ) from Common Purpose graduate and Executive Director of Sheffield Education into the need for, and supporting evidence, of the CRB checks that were missing from Common Purpose projects on 5 November 2008, when council leader Paul Scriven falsely accused this citizen of making allegations of child abuse? Here we are, fifteen months later, with Common Purpose still operating, and still we have no evidence. What's going on? Why the secrecy?

It is not every day that caring and responsible parents are given a golden opportunity to ensure their children are properly protected, and can have peace of mind. Elected members please take note, you too have a duty.

There have been four successful pilot schemes of 'Sarah's Law', which gives decent citizens the right to know if there are any people convicted of sex offences in their area. Government Minister Harriet Harman now intends to extend this scheme throughout the country.

The papers, the media, and the courts have seen how paedophiles have operated within the alleged Charity organisation known as Common Purpose. Common Purpose is an ideal vehicle for the paedophiles because:

  • their meetings are subject to secrecy
  • they bypass local authority governance and avoid public scrutiny
  • they hold 'courses' specifically aimed at targeted children, for example, the 12-15 year olds
  • Common Purpose have a national policy of preventing the public from knowing precisely who are their 'graduates'

It is a matter of public record how Common Purpose 'graduates' have taken advantage of their positions, only to find themselves found guilty before the Judges. No wonder Common Purpose are so secretive, they must have much to hide.

The message must go out, loud and clear, to all parents, that they will have the right to ask the important questions:

  • Would YOU not want to know if those in charge of YOUR children were in any way connected with Common Purpose?
  • Do you know who are the Common Purpose 'graduates' in your local council, or your community?
  • Have you asked for, or seen, the CRB checks for those who take your children on Common Purpose 'courses' or any other event that involves Common Purpose?
  • Has your council even carried out the statutory CRB checks on identified people linked to Common Purpose?
  • Now that you have the law on your side, can you afford NOT to ask?

There now follows a description of what happens when decent citizens, concerned for their community, ask legitimate questions of local authorities and national institutions about their involvement with Common Purpose.

It has been public knowledge for a considerable time that a registered charity known as Common Purpose has:

  • unlawfully gleaned, via its 'graduates' in its network of organisations such as local authorities, national institutions, development agencies, etc, the personal details of decent citizens who were genuinely concerned about what has been happening locally, regionally and nationally, and who made legitimate requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, with respect to Common Purpose and its’ graduates.
  • made highly personal and untrue attacks upon those arbitrarily deemed to be a potential threat
  • collected and collated these illegally obtained personal details, and then created a list, that was distributed nationally, with a disturbing cover-note, see below, there being about 200 names of innocent citizens on the list
  • coached its graduates and advised data controllers within these organisations how they wanted the FoIA request to be processed, and in several cases offering to 'help' them process the requests in such as way as to avoid complying with the law and maintaining secrecy of Common Purpose
  • imposed, directly or indirectly, influence, interest and control beyond its lawful authority, so as to control and minimise the flow of information.

The content of the cover-note ascribes the properties of this general attack to those decent citizens making legitimate FoIA requests and then associates these attributes to those citizens.

On this false basis Common Purpose claim that they have the right to control to an unlawful extent how requestees process FoIA requests, and in so doing have impugned the good character of the decent citizens, defamed them, and advised that these networked organisations contact Common Purpose for advice and assistance, with the intent that requestees, on a national basis, be prevented from accessing information to which they are lawfully entitled.

For a considerable time, the victims of this national campaign of abuse by Common Purpose against the decent citizens went unnoticed, and to this day only a relative few are aware of how their rights under the Data Protection Act were being flouted by Common Purpose. Needless to say, those that did learn were alarmed and distressed.

Common Purpose claimed that the creation of the list of these personal details was approved by the Information Commissioner. The supporting documents were obtained and provide evidence that Common Purpose had lied. The Information Commissioner conceded that although Common Purpose had the right to make a list of those citizens who had made FoI requests to Common Purpose, the Information Commissioner did NOT permit, advise or condone the unlawful garnering of the personal details of citizens who had made legitimate FoI requests to local authorities, institutions, or other national organisations, nor did the Information Commissioner in any way give permission to Common Purpose to then criminally distribute those personal details nationally.

The Information Commissioner has found against both Common Purpose and Local Authorities on many occasions for the unlawful breaches of the Data Protection Act and FoIA.

Whilst Common Purpose conceded that, for example, local authorities had the responsibility for compliance and liability for non-compliance, they nevertheless made futile attempts to establish that the rights of Common Purpose to continued secrecy and privacy trumped the statutory duty of disclosure of relevant information.

In truth, there are no privacy issues, and the attempts to argue breaches of Human Rights – Section 8.1 are based on a falsehood with specious reasoning. Common Purpose graduates are chosen for their public positions of power, are ‘trained’ at the cost of the taxpayer, meet in taxpayer time, use taxpayer resources – everything they do is of public interest.

Many of those involved with processing the FoI requests, or involved with criminally blocking access to information, were themselves Common Purpose graduates, but there have never been any voluntary declarations of interest, and Common Purpose has unlawfully resisted statutory disclosure.

Whilst Common Purpose may have conceded that it has acted illegally, and promised not to continue with his criminal practice, it has still unlawfully retained the list of requestees and their personal details, which were themselves criminally obtained and unlawfully distributed accompanied by the disturbing cover-note.

It has also been seen that Common Purpose graduates within organisations can propose, procure and authorise payment to Common Purpose, without ever declaring an interest. This is fraudulent insider dealing on a national scale, involving millions.

Whether through desperation or just futile bravado, readers may note, from the Common Purpose web site, the following notice:

7 January 2010 Important Circular: Ref - Statement from Sir David Bell, Chair of the Trustees of Common Purpose “Sir David Bell addresses the conspiracy theories about Common Purpose.”

No, not conspiracy theories, see the above and refer to the previous posts.

This article has been long, but necessarily so.

Parents, elected members – both of councils and Parliament, have much to do. But one reliable indicator of secrecy and corruption will be if anyone who asks any questions is met with anything other than absolute openness, transparency, accountability and honesty in a full and prompt reply.

Good Luck

Help the UK Column by becoming a member: