On Thursday 30 Oct 2014, at the end of a three day trial at Nottingham Crown Court, Nottingham Beechwood abuse survivor and whistleblower Melanie Shaw was found guilty of arson reckless and criminal damage. The Jury's verdict stunned the public present and condemned Melanie Shaw to 6 weeks bail to await psychiatric assessments and sentence.
The trial produced damning criticism from the public who described the early bullying nature of Judge Pert, who refused to allow the public present to use seats reserved for the press, and refused to bring in additional chairs for those wishing to see justice being done. Pert reinforced his threats to those who politely challenged his stance by stating "it was his court and that he would close it to the public if necessary." He was later observed sleeping during the hearing. Worse was to come.
According to those present in court, Judge Michael Pert 'conducted law from behind the bench' by offering unsubstantiated personal opinion on two occasions. His comments shocked the public present and effectively undermined Melanie's personal testimony. Most seriously his curious opinion that Operation Daybreak was a 'conspiracy theory' clearly steered the Jury just prior to retiring for a verdict. Pert is already regarded as highly controversial from an earlier High Court decison, where alongside two other Judges, he relaxed restrictions on the dangerous paedophile Stelios Kimpriktzis.
Desperate for a conviction, the Crown Prosecution Service accused Melanie Shaw as having a grudge against the female neighbour who reported Melanie to Social Services - an action which resulted Melanie's son being taken from her. It was claimed that Melanie's alleged grudge resulted in her threatening physical violence, sending threatening texts, setting fire to her neighbours shed, and ultimately throwing paint at her house in an act of criminal damage.
When questioned by the defence Barrister, it emerged that the police statement taken from the female neighbour did not mention the most serious threat which she had earlier stated from the witness box...Melanie threatened 'to pour petrol over her and set light to her'. Nor did the police statement show any threatening intent in the wording of text messages Melanie had sent. These appeared inexplicable omissions from this key witness.
CPS evidence for Melanie setting fire to the shed relied on graffiti which appeared on the neighbours house at the time of the fire. The credibility of this assumption was again destroyed by the defence team, when the police handwriting expert declared that she was unable to say 'beyond all reasonable doubt' that the handwriting was that of Melanie. Evidence as to criminal damage by paint thrown at the house was based on a rubbish sack containing an empty tin of paint. Marked by a single clean finger print of Melanie Shaw, it was also marked by other finger prints, marked by paint, none of which were identified by the police.
Melanie denied both charges and denied that she had threatened her neighbour. She gave a compelling testimony of the changes in her life following whistleblowing serious child abuse at Beechwood home Nottingham, and pointed out that her whistleblowing had created many with a serious grudge against her. All her attempts to clear her name were seriously undermined by the Judge's interjection to the Jury that they should not be put off that she was 'strange', and that the police operation which had resulted from her bravery, Operation Daybreak, was a "conspiracy theory."
Did Melanie Shaw receive a fair trial? Few would think so. The evidence against her appeared suspect. No friends, neighbours or professionals were brought for her defence. Abused by her family, foster family and later in Beechwood children's home Nottingham, Melanie was later to have her son removed by Nottingham Social Services. She states she was warned by local professionals that this would happen if she whistleblew. Can this really be justice? A brave child abuse survivor speaks out to seek justice and portect others, and she is now controlled by the very same Nottinghamshire Social Services that betrayed her not once, but repeatedly. I have huge respect for Melanie Shaw. Her testimony of her life and abuse is harrowing beyond belief. That she has now had her son taken, and has been convicted and may well suffer imprisonment or incarceration in a psychiatric unit is not disgraceful - it is disgusting. Meanwhile the abusers must be laughing. An abuse victim victimised whilst they are protected by Nottinghamshire police, Social Services, the CPS and the Court System, they can silently move to abuse the next child victim.
Following Melanie Shaw's trial, Fiona Woolf resigned leaving Home Secretary Theresa May's Child Abuse inquiry in tatters. Incompetence? Possibly, but I don't think so. Much more likely deliberate obfuscation to ensure that there is no honest, independent and effective inquiry into a trail of institutional child abuse, that is on such a scale that it can only have taken place with the active participation of MPs in Westminster and civil servants in the Police, Local Authorities, Social Services and Courts. How many more children must suffer before we the public take the necessary action to out the paedophiles in Westminster and the Establishment and bring them to trial? There is no other option, as those that should protect us and our families, are the protectors of abusers.