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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Lillie & Anor v Newcastle City Council & Ors  EWHC 1600 (QB) (30 July 2002)
Cite as:  EWHC 1600 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| CHRISTOPHER LILLIE
|- and -
|(1) NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL
(2) RICHARD BARKER
(3) JUDITH JONES
(4) JACQUI SARADJIAN
(5) ROY WARDELL
Mr G Bishop, Mr I Christie and Ms S Mansoori (instructed by Wragge & Co) for the
Newcastle City Council and the Review Team
Hearing dates : From 11th January 2002 to 20th June 2002
Crown Copyright ©
|1.||The factual background|
|The events of April 1993||1|
|The widening of the investigation||11|
|The disciplinary process||17|
|The criminal proceedings||24|
|The steps taken by the City Council meanwhile||56|
|2.||Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed||77|
|3.||The Review Team's Report published on 12 November 1998||114|
|4.||Media coverage of the Case|
|The Newcastle Chronicle||141|
|Other media coverage||294|
|5.||The issues raised in the litigation||322|
|6.||What is the correct approach to justification?||354|
|7.||The expert evidence relevant to child abuse|
|Dr Jane Watkeys and Dr Kathryn Ward: The paediatric evidence||383|
|Professor Maggie Bruck and Professor William Friedrich: The "disclosures"||401|
|Dr Sandra Hewitt and Dr Hamish Cameron: Child Behaviour||473|
|8.||The evidence of multiple abuse|
|The evidence of Dr Camille San Lazaro||540|
|9.||The evidence called for the claimants on the abuse issue||1051|
|10||The privilege issues for the Review Team||1085|
|11||The Review Team's Terms of Reference||1096|
|12||The evidence of the Review Team defendants.||1129|
|13||Findings on the allegations of malice against the Review Team||1284|
|14||The privilege issues for the Newcastle City Council||1400|
|15||The City Council's evidence on qualified privilege and malice|
|The "one-off" approach to publishing the Report||1459|
|17||A brief summary of findings||1552|
Mr Justice Eady :
1) The factual background
The events of April 1993
The widening of the investigation
The disciplinary process
" any proposed disciplinary proceedings would naturally relate to the same issues as in the criminal proceedings. There is, therefore, not only a risk that the criminal proceedings would be prejudiced, by the availability to the defence of 'abuse of process' arguments, but the defendants themselves would be unable to defend the disciplinary proceedings properly for fear of self incrimination".
The criminal proceedings
"There was unequivocal evidence of previous penetrative damage consistent with blunt trauma with any object from finger size upwards on one or many occasions in the past."
(1) With the possible exception of [Child 2], no child had made any contemporaneous complaint. Moreover, so far as Child 2 was concerned, having regard to the terms of what she had said, no action was taken at the time.
(2) It was conceded by the Crown that it was impossible, by way of a process of elimination, to prove of any child in respect of whom physical damage was found that access and opportunity to inflict such damage were confined to Mr Lillie and Miss Reed.
(3) Save to the extent that physical findings corroborated the allegation of physical interference (in some cases), and save to the extent that one child could provide "similar fact" support for one or more of the other children, there was no corroboration of the allegations of wrongdoing. Indeed, his Lordship added, to the extent that the children had provided detail as to venue, and as to the circumstances of various alleged incidents, no support had emerged for their contentions (despite extensive police enquiries). Thus, there would be insufficient evidence to prosecute without evidence from at least one child, and preferably more than one.
a) In a context in which "age is at a premium", she happened to be the oldest girl.
b) Her allegations were the most serious that had been made (i.e. there was a charge of rape).
c) There was a limited measure of corroboration for her evidence afforded by the physical findings following medical examination.
i) Was he satisfied that Child 14 was available for cross-examination?
ii) Was he satisfied that any rules of court requiring disclosure of the circumstances in which the relevant recordings were made had been complied with?
iii) Were the circumstances of the case such that, in the interests of justice, all or part of the recordings should be excluded?
i) Mr Lillie exposed himself to her in the toilets of the Nursery in the course of an indecent assault carried out by him on another little girl [who plays no direct part in the present libel proceedings but was known as Child 35].
ii) Miss Reed had done nothing at all to her.
iii) Child 14, Mr Lillie, Miss Reed and a woman called Moira (apparently another member of staff) had been to Mr Lillie's house by bus.
i) Mr Lillie had put a needle into her bottom (which, in this context, the Judge took to mean her vagina) and also into the other little girl.
ii) Miss Reed had also put a needle into her bottom and that of the other girl.
iii) All of these events had taken place in the Nursery toilet.
i) Mr Lillie had acted indecently towards her (initially), and then (finally) had raped her in the toilet of the Nursery.
ii) Miss Reed had done nothing to her.
iii) Child 14, Mr Lillie, Miss Reed and a woman called Amanda (understood to be another member of staff) had been to Mr Lillie's house (this time by train), where Mr Lillie was seen to be in bed with a lady called Doreen.
" I do not regard any of the statement[s] as set out by me, as disclosed by the recordings, potentially probative of anything at all against Miss Reed. It affords, in my judgment, no evidence upon which any reasonable jury could convict her upon Count 3.
It is true that the second video includes a description to the indecent assault by Miss Reed that is relied upon, but the first and [third] videos include, effectively, total exculpation of Miss Reed. One of the striking features of both first and [third] videos is the insistence with which [Child 14] seeks to exculpate her, and the fact that she does so upon her own initiative. Indeed, one of the points made by Mr Cosgrove [her counsel] in the course of his cross-examination of WPC Foster and of Mrs Lyon is that nobody picked up and thought to examine, in any way, this piece of initiative on the part of [Child 14].
The statement would only become potentially probative against Miss Reed if the graphic support for her that is initiated by [Child 14] herself and that is seen on the videos one and three - is put aside. I can see no basis for doing so. I remind myself that no jury can convict Miss Reed upon Count 3 without being sure and satisfied of her guilt. It is manifest on the evidence of [Child 14] (as disclosed in the statement from the three videos) that there could be no basis upon which they could be sure and satisfied. Indeed, there is a rather better basis for being sure and satisfied that she is innocent of that particular charge. Thus, in dealing with Miss Reed, I have no hesitation in ruling that the Crown's application to adduce that part of the video recordings as making a statement to be relied upon in the furtherance of their prosecution of her fails."
The steps taken by the City Council meanwhile
2) Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed
a) Mr Christopher Lillie
b) Miss Dawn Reed
"Dawn has continued to show the capabilities noted during her first year. She proves to be very much a part of any team she works with and has equally good relationships with children and staff. She has a quietly confident, caring manner with children and is very perceptive of their needs. She carries out duties reliably and without constant direction, although if unsure always has the confidence to clarify matters with staff. Activities have been planned and carried out with children, showing great adaptability and these are always displayed attractively when completed.
Two of her great strengths are her awareness of the needs of children, especially those with problems and the other is her appropriate handling of parents.
She has been an excellent student in all her placements, resulting in her gaining employment in the family centre where she spent a term".
"I have known Dawn since she was a student. Goodness knows how long that must be now. I can't think how long it is, but she got the job to work in the parents' room which, in those days, was a very hard job. I always admired her for her youth and her age to be able to go into a situation like that and cope very well with it.
I have worked with her myself. She had covered the room that I've been in on several occasions, when a member of staff has been on the sick, and I have always got on very well with her. She is a very unassuming person. She is a very personable type woman (and I say 'woman' because she is not a girl anymore) and I like her an awful lot. To have to listen to what has been said even the slightest thought of an allegation against her I find totally and utterly ludicrous, because she is such a very, very nice girl woman I should say and I hope this doesn't do her career prospects a downer, because as nursery nurses go she has got a lot more patience with younger ones that I ever, ever had. And I have done that job and, yes, I got a lot out of that job, but probably not as much as Dawn's got out of the job with the [two to three year olds]. She has got the right personality for it. She is calm, she is cool, she is quiet, she is unassuming. I have a lot of children in my room who have been with Dawn, who are asking now, bit by bit, 'Where's Dawn? I haven't seen Dawn for a long time. I like Dawn. 'She's nice'. Not being pushed or pressured by me, or any other member of staff to say those things. So in those respects Dawn is a very nice woman, and I miss her miss her a lot, and I think we have a lost a very, very valuable member of staff".
3) The Review Team's Report published on 12 November 1998
Children were hurt, they were hurt involving sexual acts, they were hurt both in the nursery and when they were taken out to other places, some of which were houses, flats and caravans. They were told that some of those places were libraries or Chris Lillie's home, sometimes other people were present and involved in the hurting, sometimes videos and photographs were taken of them, that the children were very frightened and many were most certainly traumatised by their experiences ( p.224).
That Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed, sometimes in conjunction with other people outside the nursery participated in sexual acts with children at times involved them in the making of illegal child pornography (p.228).
That Chris Lillie also regularly abused children acting alone both inside and outside the nursery. These sexual assaults took place in various places within the nursery, in particular in the toilets adjacent to the Red Room (ibid.).
In addition, the children were physically and emotionally abused both inside and outside the nursery by Dawn Reed and Chris Lillie in order to attempt to ensure the children's compliance and prevent disclosure of the abuses (ibid.).
There appeared to be a possibility that [the Claimants] had covered their abuse of the children by recording fictional accidents in the Nursery Records for the purpose of disguising either the physical signs of abuse or distress caused thereby (p.244).
From the evidence we have seen, it is clear that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had conspired as a pair to abuse children and it is also clear that people outside the nursery were also involved (p.264).
"REPORT: 'ABUSE IN EARLY YEARS'
Thank you for sending me two copies of the above report. The second I have passed on to Aidan Marron Q.C., who was Leading Counsel for the Crown in the criminal trial of Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed.
Although I was Leading Counsel for Miss Reed in that trial, I have no continuing professional interest. My continuing interest is in helping to ensure that we can all learn from this case how best to improve the course of justice.
Rightly, there has been much praise of many of the people who were involved in the criminal investigation, such as police officers and social workers. They and others, such as the lawyers in the case, were edging forward in trying to improve their understanding and abilities in these difficult matters. No-one can doubt that the objectives are (a) to protect children, and (b) to do justice by all parties.
I could not agree more with the observation made at the beginning of the Report (page i), namely that: "Given the proposed massive expansion nationally of day care provision in early years settings this case raises important lessons for consideration in relation to the delivery of services to young children outside their families."
It is tragic, therefore, that the Review Team has laboured for so long only to bring forward a report that is fundamentally flawed.
Both academic literature and forensic experience indicate that justice has been hindered by incorrect prejudices that sexual abuse doesn't happen in the family, or isn't committed by natural parents, or by women generally, or by a mother, or by caring professionals outside the home. Our increased understanding leads most of us to reject any such prejudices.
Modern prejudices are more likely to be twofold. At one extreme is the prejudgment that complaints of sexual abuse are likely to be the creation of some form of false memory syndrome. At the other extreme is the prejudgment that sexual abuse once suspected is present, and the only difficulty is in obtaining the evidence to prove it.
The Report's authors implicitly criticise unsolicited correspondents who fall into the trap of the former. There is considerable evidence throughout the Report that they themselves have fallen into the latter prejudgment.
The only safe approach is to keep an open mind in each case, to approach the evidence as objectively as possible in order to discover what it shows. In a free society that is the function of a Court, not the function of investigators, nor of persons with a therapeutic responsibility, nor of teams like the authors of the Report.
It is clear that Professor Davies (see the first paragraph of Appendix 6) has had sight of the Ruling of Mr Justice Holland in the criminal trial, given on 13th July 1994, but it is not clear whether the authors of the Report have read it.
If they have not done so, they have been grossly negligent. If they have read it, their conduct is disgraceful. Nowhere in the Report is there sufficient reference to the Ruling. That fact and the way in which the Report deals with the issues also dealt with in the Ruling lead to the inevitable misleading, even deception of the Report's readers.
It should be remembered that Mr Justice Holland delivered his judgment after careful consideration of the evidence.
The Crown Prosecution Service, no doubt acting on the advice of the police and of counsel, brought forward an indictment based on the six best cases (all of them involving Mr Lillie and four of them involving Miss Reed) from the point of view of the prosecution. No-one, to my knowledge, has questioned the industry or judgment of the prosecution in this case.
Of those six, one complainant (identified in the Report as Child F [now Child 14]) was taken as a 'test case' for preliminary submissions. The details of how this was done are set out clearly in Mr Justice Holland's Ruling. The Report's authors, to be fair, (see pages 148, 225 and 277) also appear to identify this young girl as providing the best evidence in the case.
It is helpful, at this stage, to set out what Mr Justice Holland said about this child's evidence. In the following quotation I have quoted the Judge verbatim, except that I have substituted 'Child F' for the girl's real name. The passage is to be found at pages 17 and 18 of the Ruling.
'It is convenient to start with the Crown's case against Miss Reed. As to this I do not regard any of the statement as set out by me, as disclosed by the recordings, potentially probative of anything at all against Miss Reed. It affords, in my judgment, no evidence upon which any reasonable jury could convict her upon Count 3.'
They should pause in their righteousness and consider these questions. What if Child F is correct? What if Miss Reed is wholly innocent of any abuse? They have purported to find her guilty of a most serious criminal offence, and have done so in direct contravention of their terms of reference (see below), for which there can be no excuse.
Sexual abuse of children is horrendous. Few things approach it for awfulness. One that does is to be wrongly accused of it. There is no justice for abused children if a wrong person is accused, condemned, convicted and punished.
We do not need to look to America, to the Kelly Michaels case, for examples of how people can be falsely accused. Close to home there is the 'Bishop Auckland satanic abuse case', for example. And we need look no further than Cleveland to see how misplaced zeal can cause a counter-reaction, and confuse the cause of protection of children.
It may be that the Report's authors will claim that they could not refer to the Judge's Ruling because of their Terms of Reference, particularly term 1A (at page 5): "it should be noted, however, that the Review cannot make any finding on matters dealt with by the Criminal Court". If so, that claim would be specious.
In apparent disobedience of that term of reference, the Report does make findings on matters dealt with by the Crown Court, and does so in direct contradiction to the findings made by the Court, although the Report's authors do not have the candour to draw that to the attention of their readers. A classic example is to be found at page 148.
During September a child who had previously been at the nursery began to disclose abuse by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. The child, Child F, was medically examined and clear physical evidence of sexual abuse followed. Over three video interviews, she detailed abuse of herself and other children by Chris Lillie, to a lesser extent by Dawn Reed, and she also mentioned other nursery staff's names. Her testimony in these videos, which we have seen, is extremely powerful and provided persuasive evidence of her abuse in the nursery and elsewhere.
In at least one other respect there is a material contradiction between the conclusions drawn by Mr Justice Holland and the Report's authors, and, once again, they do not draw it to the attention of their readers. This concerns the existence or otherwise of any corroborative evidence. I quote (again verbatim) from page 8 of the Judge's ruling.
" save to the extent that the physical findings corroborate the fact of physical interference in the case of certain of the children and save to the extent that one child might provide 'similar fact' support for one or more of the other children, there is no corroboration of the allegations that are made. Indeed, to the extent that the children have provided detail as to venue and as to the circumstances of various incidents, no support has emerged for their contentions, despite extensive enquiries to see whether any corroborative evidence is available."
The Learned Judge also gives significant details of the ages of the six 'indictment children', at various stages. Had they been included in the report, which they weren't, readers would have been able to make their own assessments in the light of the valuable research reviews contributed by Professors Bull and Davies.
"It is true that the second video includes a description of the indecent assault by Miss Reed that is relied upon, but the first and second videos include, effectively, total exculpation of Miss Reed. One of the striking features of both the first and second videos is the insistence with which [Child F] seeks to exculpate her, and the fact that she does so upon her own initiative. Indeed, one of the points made by Mr Cosgrove in the course of his cross examination of WPC Foster and Mrs Lyon is that nobody picked up and sought to examine, in any way, this piece of initiative on the part of [Child F].
"The statement would only become potentially probative against Miss Reed if the graphic support for her that was initiated by [Child F] herself and that is seen on videos one and three is put aside. I can see no basis for doing so. I remind myself that no jury can convict Miss Reed upon count 3 without being sure and satisfied of her guilt. It is manifest on the evidence of [Child F] (as disclosed in the statement from the tree videos) that there could be no basis upon which they could be sure and satisfied. Indeed, there is a rather better basis for being sure and satisfied that she is innocent of that particular charge.
"Thus, in dealing with Miss Reed, I have no hesitation in ruling that Crown's application to adduce that part of the video recordings as making a statement to be relied upon in the furtherance of their prosecution of her fails."
It may be that the Learned Judge made a slip of the tongue in the second paragraph quoted, and that he meant to refer to the first and third, not the first and second, videos. I rely on my memory for that, and I may be wrong.
In any event, in twenty two years of practice at the bar I have never heard a High Court Judge be so emphatic in an expressed view that the evidence pointed to someone's innocence, as opposed to it being insufficient to prove his or her guilt.
During the course of the criminal trial, there were groups of people outside the Court protesting on behalf of the children. They had placards saying things like "We believe the kids". On this point at least, Mr Justice Holland believed Child F. Why are others so reluctant so to do?
The Report gives the clear and unequivocal impression that the criminal case against both Defendants collapsed only because of the difficulties in getting children's evidence admitted in criminal trials, and that, as a result, two guilty paedophiles have wrongly gone free. The final paragraph of the body of the Report (page 303) is an example of this:
"Like many of the professionals who we have interviewed we share the distress of parents that the Shieldfield children were not able in the end to receive justice. We find that there was a failure of the adult world to provide the processes, systems and environment to ensure that child victims of assault are not disadvantaged and are regarded as being as entitled to justice as adults."
Yet we can see from Mr Justice Holland's Ruling that the primary reason why the not guilty verdict was entered against Miss Reed was that the evidence of the child pointed to her innocence. Why have the Report's authors hidden that from their readers? Why have they deceived them into thinking otherwise? Why have they misled opinion formers and policy makers like the Council and Members of Parliament? Why have they fed the feeding frenzy of the tabloid press?
There are other elements of the Report which give rise to concern, but the ones canvassed above are particularly grave. The flaws are such that they must bring the reliability and integrity of the whole of the Report into dispute. This is a great pity, as it may well be that many of its insights and judgments have value. It would be a mistake to place reliance upon it, however, as (to adapt a line of the Report at page 130): "Thus, if the [authors] were wrong with one thing they could be wrong and unreliable about everything else".
It would be wrong to pretend that any one of us has the answers to what happened, and what went wrong. That is why people were looking forward to the publication of the Report in the hope that it would give an indication of the best way forward. It is a matter of great disappointment that it does not.
What the Report does highlight is how many of the problems are not to do with the children or their accuracy or reliability, but with the adults, not least in their interpretation of what the child is trying to say. It is clear that the interpretation is not always as objective as the children and those caring for them have a right to expect.
One further area is of continuing concern. The parents of the children have suffered much anguish. The Report finds that children were subject to abuse by a paedophile group and were filmed for pornographic purposes. Given the other flaws in the Report, it would be foolish to rely upon these findings. They may or may not be true. If not true, the authors of the Report are guilty of unnecessarily causing yet more pain to the parents.
It is to be hoped that such a dangerous document does not have a lasting influence.
I appreciate that the Council is now in an impossible position, having agreed to publish the Report without any amendments. I do ask, however, that a copy of Mr Justice Holland's Ruling (amended only by removing identification of the children) be appended to every copy of the Report that is published or distributed. In this way, readers will have a more balanced picture.
I have yet to decide to whom I will send a copy of this letter, but I would be grateful if you would draw it to the attention, at least, of the appropriate chief officers, the chairs of the relevant committees and to the Leader of the Council.
Within the constraints of time, I would be willing to expand upon any of the points raised, preferably in a face to face meeting."
It was signed by both leaders.
" I have spent many hours examining and evaluating the information in the Report and in the complaints, and I feel I must offer you my objective opinion on both of them.
In the context of equivalent major inquiry reports this to me is without exception the worst I have read. I mean the worst in terms of quality of information, consistency, judgment, evaluation etc. I think we should be beginning to find a position statement which allows us to accept the report without attributing any significant status to it ..
With regard to the Inquiry Team's responses to the individual complaints, I have the following observations:-
1. Similar complaints received from a number of parents were given different answers by the Team.
2. Some comments by parents were turned into complaints when it was not necessary to do so.
3. Some complaints were given responses even though the complaints were not recorded.
4. Some complaints were sustained when the reply had clearly shown that they couldn't be sustained.
5. Some complaints were not sustained but the Review Team merely introduced a parallel issue and turned that into a sustained complaint instead.
6. The Review Team said it couldn't comment on police matters and then proceeded to do just that.
7. Many parents made general statements about child care, or staff, or the nursery; these were not answered directly but turned into an opportunity for critical analysis.
My off the record conclusion:
I am certain that children received very poor care at the Shieldfield nursery and I do believe that various forms of abuse and ill treatment took place there. What concerns me in the analysis by the Team however is that they don't evaluate the whole disorganised and haphazard way things appear to have happened.
The context is one where all the symptoms are overt, e.g. the missing clothes, parents turning up for their children and nobody knowing where they are, children showing symptoms of inappropriate regression and so forth. The clear impression given is that Lillie and Reed were among the most disorganised and chaotic abusers in the history of child care, an unusual feature of abusive personalities."
Mr Dervin gave evidence about this letter before me and I address that in due course (section 15 below).
A. The investigation of specific complaints made by parents. It should be noted, however, that the Review can not make any finding on matters dealt with by the Criminal Court.
B. Consider and report upon relevant concerns raised by parents or person interviewed.
C. A review of recruitment, selection and vetting procedures as they relate to Social Services Nurseries in general and the relevant day nursery in particular.
D. An investigation into how an alleged abusive situation may have developed and whether or how it may have continued over a period of time without detection.
E. A review of the way that the Social Services Department managed the post disclosure investigation, including Social Services' contribution to inter-agency collaborative working arrangements under Part 8, Working Together, and as outlined in Newcastle Area Child Protection Committee Procedural Manual.
F. A review of the Department's response to parents' concerns once the allegations of abuse were made, including the continuing safety and welfare of children and babies still attending the nursery.
G. To formulate appropriate conclusions and recommendations.
There then followed instructions as to how the investigation was to be conducted:
a) The Complaints Review Team will be provided with accommodation located outside of the Civic Centre and secretarial/typing support.
b) As the Team is being established under amended Complaints Procedures, it will not hear or take evidence in public. Team Members, accompanied as appropriate by an Independent Person from NCH, will visit all complainants and other interested parties in their own homes or other meeting place where evidential statements will be taken. All parties volunteering evidence may have a friend/advocate, legal or trade union representative present.
c) All statements will be returned in typed format to the complainants or other persons or their representatives for them to check accuracy. Any additional information or evidence which an individual wishes to give outside of the formal interview should be added to the typed text in writing and clearly indicated as such.
d) With the author's agreement, these statements may be published as part of the final Report.
e) The Complaints Review Team as proposed is not an inter-agency or multi-agency collaborative venture, and as such, records and documentation belonging to third parties, e.g. health, police etc., have not been made available to the Team. Social Services Department records relevant to the Terms of Reference and subject to any public interest immunity issue will be made available to the Complaints Review Team. In addition, publication of certain material may need to be restricted until the final outcome of any criminal or civil cases relating to this particular nursery. Further, and again subject to their relevance to the Terms of Reference and any public interest immunity issue, individuals' personal files and other confidential person records, though open to scrutiny as appropriate by the Team, will not be available for publication.
f) The Local Authority will fund the costs of legal representation for parents as stated in the attached Schedule.
g) As part of the process of evidence, parents will be enabled to discuss with Members of the Complaints Review Team names of witnesses whom they would wish to see interviewed. Staff members who choose not to provide statements, if requested, will have this noted in the Report.
h) In taking evidential statements, the Complaints Review Team will have the discretionary authority not to identify the source of the information, and to record that the statements were given anonymously. This will not apply to employees of the City Council, or former employees, or employees of other public sector organisations concerned with the relevant day nursery or the Child Protection Investigation relating thereto.
i) Throughout this process, the Manager, Standards and Quality Assurance Division, will ensure that meetings are arranged between the Complaints Review Team and the parents involved and their representatives, so as to allow for discussion on progress being made. The Complaints Review Team will not, however, disclose statements made by individuals, or comment on their findings or view on events until their report is presented.
Directions were also given as to the Report itself:
a) The final Report will be a typed document which covers and answers the areas included in the Terms of Reference.
b) Specific complaints made by parents and their outcome will only be included in the Report with the complainant's agreement.
c) With the authors' consent, and subject to public interest immunity, evidential statements may be published as an addendum to the main Report at the discretion of the Complaints Review Team.
d) The Report will be submitted to the city council through the Chief Executive of the Authority. The Local Authority will determine its publication date, but will undertake not to amend the report, subject only to any public immunity issue.
e) All parties to the report will have the opportunity to have their written observation on the Report considered in full by both Policy and Resources committee and the Social Services committee.
f) A separate Report will be prepared by the Independent Person Scheme.
g) Current legal advice indicates that the Review Team should not begin interviewing witnesses or taking evidence until the completion of all criminal cases relating to the Nursery.
"The investigation of specific complaints made by parents excepting any investigation into whether or not the alleged abuse occurred"
The last words were crossed out and new wording was substituted in manuscript. As a result of this change, the paragraph then read:
"The investigation of specific complaints made by parents. It should be noted, however, that the Review cannot make any finding on matters dealt with by the criminal court".
That obviously corresponds to the final version of paragraph A of the Terms of Reference. It is not possible to say exactly when that amendment was made, but I note that the acquittal of the Claimants was recorded two days after Mr Hassall's note. It is conceivable that somebody made that amendment once the outcome was known. The wording would appear to represent an unsatisfactory compromise between two irreconcilable positions. It was recognised, at least in general terms, that it would not be appropriate to go behind the findings of the court; on the other hand, it was perceived that meaningful recommendations could not be made on the basis of taking the Claimants' innocence (or, for that matter, guilt) as a datum.
"The Independent Complaints Review Team Shieldfield Nursery Case
You will no doubt by now be aware of the fact that there was a program [sic] on Panorama entitled "the Ultimate Taboo" screened on the 6th October this year. We refer to your letter of 12th May in which you indicated that information leaks did not emanate from the review team and that we could reassure our client in that respect. However, you will agree that the program is likely to lead people to the assumption that at least one of the team members by commenting on child abuse matters on a program that was dealing almost specifically with the Shieldfield Nursery case could lead one to assume bias. At no time during the film was Ms Sardijian's [sic] connection with the Independent Complaints Review Team into this case made known. Whilst she did not comment directly on the Shieldfield case, clearly the researchers for the program must have interviewed Ms Sardijian prior to her taking part in the program and one could be forgiven for reaching the conclusion that perhaps information on this case would be made known to the program researchers.
The particular program was in itself alarmist and very damaging and you will forgive us for wondering about the independent stance of members of the review team who involve themselves in programs of this type which are commenting specifically on cases which they are reviewing.
You will now perhaps appreciate why our client has taken the stance that she would not be afforded a full and fair hearing by the review team 'in private' as you state in your letter of 12th May, notwithstanding it's terms of reference require it to do so.
As a result of this program, our client has now been convicted in the public's mind notwithstanding being cleared by the Court and with no means of defence.
We understand this matter has already been taken up with the makers of the program and with the complaints authorities but you will appreciate our concern in a member of an enquiry panel taking part in a television program which in effect, itself pre judged the outcome of that persons investigation. We look forward to hearing from you as to your thoughts in relation to this matter and how it can be resolved."
4) Media coverage of the case
The Newcastle Chronicle
Articles 1-4: 12 November 1998
Articles 5-10: 13 November 1998
"TRAGIC toddlers who were systematically abused at a North East nursery will receive just a few thousand pounds in compensation, their solicitor revealed today".
"No amount of money would be enough but £7500 as a start is pathetic. My daughter was robbed of her childhood. Her family has been shattered by this".
"AN ANGUISHED mother told of her heartache today as she struggles to restore her son's stolen innocence.
The mum, whose son was abused at the nursery, told how the ordeal threatens to tear her family apart. The mum-of-4 says her son was a normal little boy when he went to the nursery. Now he has severe behavioural problems and the mental capacity of a child half his age. He is being treated for hyperactivity and she said the things he suffered had robbed him of his childhood.
The boy, now 10 joined the nursery when he was 18 months old. His mum said 'he started coming home with blood on his nappy so I went to speak to the people in charge but nothing was ever done about it.
On several occasions I sent him to the nursery dressed as a boy and he came back dressed as a girl. I went back to the nursery but nobody knew what happened to his clothes.'"
"TODAY the Chronicle challenges the authorities to answer the following questions. An appalling catalogue of child abuse, by two nursery nurses was exposed yesterday in a damning report which criticised staff and managers. Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed were part of a paedophile ring which abused children as young as two in the nursery where they worked. The 400-page report has taken three years to produce and although it is extremely detailed it has thrown out lots of questions which we want officials of the city council and other organisations involved to answer".
"ACCUSED Nursery nurses Christopher Lillie, left and Dawn Reed, right, are branded abusers in the council-commissioned report, but escaped prosecution as children were ruled too young to testify".
(That purports to be a summary of the ruling of Mr Justice Holland in July 1994.)
Articles 11-12: 14 November 1998
Articles 13-15: 16 November 1998
"I had no idea who he was until a gang of guys came in asking for Christopher Lillie. Within days it all came out and I felt sick.
The girlfriend of one of the chefs who worked for me had a daughter at the nursery and he was physically sick outside when he realised he had been friendly with him."
"It was claimed Lorraine Kelly only found out about his involvement in a paedophile ring when the report was published on Thursday. But experts who investigated the child abuse scandal said nursery nurse Lillie developed a relationship with Miss Kelly while he worked at the nursery. According to reports yesterday Lorraine Kelly moved out of the house she shared with Lillie in Gateshead last week".
Precisely what is being alleged there is unclear.
Articles 16-18: 17 November 1998
"The Newcastle nursery where Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed abused more than 60 children in their care has been running a pilot scheme which will soon be extended across the city.
It targets tots aged 18 months to four years and encourages them to tell someone if they have been frightened".
Articles 19-20: 18 November 1998
"She hopes she will finally be able to end her anguish by discovering if her son was abused in any of the films made by nursery nurses Lillie and Reed".
The article also contains quotations from the Review Team Report.
Articles 21-24: 19 November 1998
"IT is hard to imagine a more shabby and shameful episode.
Up to 60 children are abused by the people who are meant to be caring for them, nursery nurses, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed. The men and women running the Newcastle City Council they presided over this nightmare can't even bring themselves to say sorry!
They should hang their heads in shame.
From the moment this can of worms was opened, the powers that be have done nothing but wriggle."
"My main source of what has been said is the Chronicle. The college will take seriously any criticisms and a full action plan will be prepared.
These particular students were at the college eight years ago and lots of changes have been made since then. The way we monitor courses and students has changed.
We will be looking to see if points have been addressed and if they haven't I will be dealing with them with the utmost priority."
Articles 25-30: 20 November 1998
"The Chronicle believes parents have a right to know which schools are involved as the local authorities have not said they will tell the mums and dads".
Articles 31-32: 21 November 1998
Articles 33-35: 23 November 1998
"HE LOOKS like a normal young man enjoying himself at his girlfriend's birthday party.
But the person in this exclusive picture is Christopher Lillie, former nursery nurse responsible for the abuse of up to 60 Newcastle toddlers.
And there are no happy memories of that night for the young woman who joined Lillie to celebrate her 18th birthday. She can no longer bear to look at the pictures after just finding out that her first boyfriend was a pervert who preyed on little children.
The woman, who does not want to be named, contacted the Chronicle to express her disgust at the crimes committed by the man who was her first boyfriend".
Articles 36-38: 24 November 1998
"But they said their complaints were dismissed and it meant Lillie and Reed were able to go on and abuse dozens more children".
"We have been told that Chris Lillie took a particular interest in the youngest little boy and that they cared for the children away from the other residents and staff group in an old staff flat which had a separate entrance.
Thus during the day the children saw them at the nursery and in the evenings they were on their own with them from around 6 o'clock through bathtime until when they put him to bed.
One little boy who was cared for by Dawn Reed exhibited sexualised behaviour which concerned staff and was recorded.
A little girl was recorded as being distressed and collecting flowers for her mother whom she seemed to think was dead".
"We took the decision to name the other three as parents were not told their children could have been abused by Lillie. The Report into the scandal reveals social services staff failed to trace youngsters who were at schools where Lillie carried out student placements. In the face of the council's inactivity, we felt those parents had a right to know. We stand by that decision".
Articles 39-40: 26 November 1998
"VILE Christopher Lillie has fled his Tyneside home with his new partner, leaving behind a flat full of videos.
The couple have not been seen at the upstairs Tyneside flat since the nursery abuse scandal broke.
And after learning the true identity of his tenant Lillie's landlord has revealed that he will not be renewing the lease and has boarded up the flat. Lillie, 34 had been living at the terrace in Gateshead with Lorraine Kelly for 18 months under his new name Christopher Allen.
But his landlord said he never knew who he was and said the discovery that his tenant was the man who abused dozens of children in his care had left him stunned."
Article 41: 27 November 1998
Article 42: 30 November 1998
"Nursery nurses Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed walked free from court in 1994 after indecency charges were dismissed after inadmissible evidence.
But an independent report out two weeks ago [sic] disclosed the full extent of the abuse at the nursery and revealed proper recruitment and selection procedures had not been adequately followed".
Articles 43-44: 2 December 1998
"It comes with the Council still reeling over the damning report on serial child abusers Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed employed at a city nursery".
"Nursery nurses Lillie and Reed are accused of child abuse but walked free from Newcastle Crown Court when the case against them collapsed".
"Det. Con. Peter Smith declined to be interviewed by the Inquiry Team which investigated how nursery nurses Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed were able to abuse more than 60 children in their care. Det. Con. Smith was one of only seven witnesses, including Lillie and Reed who refused to help the Inquiry Team, which praised other police officers. He declined to be interviewed or provide a written statement".
Article 45: 3 December 1998
Article 46: 4 December 1998
"One mum, whose daughter was raped by Lillie, says 'I want to ask the leader if the council has any intention of stopping this pair working with children again. It's terrible to think that other children could be at risk'".
Article 47: 8 December 1998
Article 48: 9 December 1998
"He said as far as he was concerned abuse had happened and they had no doubt that these two had done it and that was as much as they could say".
Articles 49-52: 11 December 1998
"Newcastle City Council said it is keen to settle compensation claims by parents abused by perverts Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed out of court".
"It remains unclear how many of the other 1,162 children Lillie and Reed may have came into contact with in the years before they were arrested in 1993 will be re-visited".
"There are 1,162 children who may have been in contact with Lillie and Reed and the council says this requires further consultation with the Social Services Inspectorate to see whether the investigation needs to be re-opened."
Article 53: 12 December 1998
"The inquiry also found once she was established in the job, Eyeington went on to employ five of her relatives, including her niece who incompetently managed the nursery where Reed and Lillie preyed on youngsters".
Article 54: 14 December 1998
"The actual case of multiple sexual abuse is terrible and the families of the victims have every right to feel hatred and bitterness and all right thinking people will feel revulsion at the behaviour of Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed. They have escaped conviction and some of the frustration resulting from this has caused the anger to be displaced from the perpetrators on to Brian Roycroft and the staff who have been suspended".
Article 55: 17 December 1988
Article 56: 24 December 1998
"If Reed and Lillie were found that would be our best Christmas present. I want them to go through some of what we are going through.
My son asked me if they were in jail and I had to say no. He asked if we could move house because he is frightened that they will come and get him."
"The best Christmas present would be for Reed and Lillie to be locked up or found dead. They have caused so much heartbreak and broken so many families up."
Article 57: 26 December 1998
Article 58: 2 January 1999
"PARENTS demanded justice after nursery workers Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed were condemned as being child molesters who escaped prosecution because their victims were too young to give evidence. A damning 312-page report laid much of the blame at the doors of the Newcastle City Council which ran the nursery".
Articles 59-60: 7 January 1999
"It also follows the damning report into the Newcastle nursery abuse scandal which revealed a catalogue of errors made by the City Council.
One of the mums whose child was abused by nursery workers, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed while they worked at the council run nursery, said 'You would hope the City Council would now have in place a rigorous system of checks on those employees who worked with children and young people'.
The inquiry team investigating the scandal concluded proper recruitment and selection procedures were not followed in the case of Lillie and references and police checks were not followed up.
The council is supposed to carry out checks with police on staff working with children and young people every three years".
Article 61: 13 January 1999
Article 62: 15 January 1999
Article 63: 19 January 1999
Article 64: 22 January 1999
Article 65: 25 January 1999
"We still want to know who the other people in the paedophile ring with Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed were and why they were not investigated".
Article 66: 30 January 1999
Article 67: 3 February 1999
"Their four children were living in a residential home where Reed and Lillie worked and told social workers of their fears in 1990.
One of their sons received cuts and bruises and when he came home is behaviour was very aggressive.
But they claimed complaints were dismissed and Lillie and Reed went on to abuse at least 60 children in the Newcastle nursery scandal".
Article 68: 4 February 1999
"The more you hear about the details the more shocking and distressing the whole thing is".
The following words are attributed to him:
"This is a national disgrace not just a local one and I think these parents have a right to a proper hearing of their situation.
Even at this late stage there has got to be intervention. It screams out for justice and proper regard for the facts. It's my intention to involve national politicians".
"The inquiry team found that Lillie and Reed procured young children for other paedophiles but Northumbria police said that they would not re-open their investigation unless new evidence was produced.
Mr Summersby said: 'I cannot understand why the police cannot pursue people named'. One of the mums added: 'It was a very constructive meeting. I hope we can finally get something done after all these years of fighting'."
Article 69: 9 February 1999
"FAMILIES involved in Britain's worst case of multiple child abuse can only sit helplessly on the side lines as councillors squabble over the rights and wrongs of the affair.
Parents are still awaiting some sort of justice six years after their children were badly abused at a council-run Newcastle day nursery. If ever a group have been betrayed by the system and the authorities, it's them. Two nursery nurses accused of abuse, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed, walked free after the case collapsed. No one has been brought to justice, despite claims a paedophile ring was in operation."
Article 70:11 February 1999
"A WOMAN who took ecstasy tablets and fell ill is to receive £250,000 pay-out for her suffering, yet the families of those involved in the Newcastle child abuse scandal will get as little as £7,000 each. NOREEN COLMAN asks: Is our compensation system falling apart?"
Article 71: 13 February 1999
"At least 60 children were abused by Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed and many of them still suffer from severe behavioural problems. They have told how they were taken out of the nursery, molested in houses and flats in the neighbourhood, and there is evidence they were used in pornographic films.
Lillie and Reed were dismissed by the City Council for gross misconduct but walked free from court in 1984 when a Judge ruled as inadmissible video evidence from a four-year-old".
Article 72: 19 February 1999
Article 73: 23 February 1999
Article 74: 24 February 1999
Article 75: 1 March 1999
Article 76: 19 March 1999
"My son was terrified out of his wits physically and sexually abused and still suffers flashbacks. He's still got to live with that for the rest of his life.
I don't want to settle but fight through the courts and sue the council because of what they have done".
A little later she adds
"My child didn't ask to be raped and this is what I am fighting for. I hope the other parents stick it out and take it to court".
Articles 77-78: 26 March 1999
"The children were taken out of the nursery and abused so they can't say they weren't negligent."
"Had the nursery been run correctly, that would not have happened. As soon as they saw the children returning in a distressed state, something should have been done. Somebody has to be liable for the management of the nursery".
Articles 79-80: 27 March 1999
"PARENTS of children who suffered at the hands of evil nursery nurses Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed have every right to be disappointed by Newcastle City Council".
That is because their pleas for cameras to be installed have "fallen on deaf ears".
"A CALL for spy cameras in council run nurseries in wake of Newcastle's child abuse scandal looks set to fail. Parents asked for cameras to protect children after the case of evil nursery nurses Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed.
The pair were accused of abusing children at a council-run day nursery six years ago, but walked free after a crown court case collapsed".
Article 81: 29 March 1999
"Some people argue chemical castration but I think they should have their arms and legs chopped off to stop them getting anywhere near children. When I think what my son went through it really is unbelievable that these beasts got away with what they did for so long.
My son was two and a half when the abuse started and he's nine now and he is still suffering".
"My son not only suffered terrible sexual abuse which led to him having to have an aids test and treatment for a venereal decease, but he also had a knife held to his throat and was told his eyes would be cut out if he ever spoke about it".
Article 82: 30 March 1999
Articles 83-84: 2 April 1999
"STUNNED parents of abused nursery children were left reeling today after paedophiles Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed protested their innocence. The pair, who abused more that 60 children in a Newcastle council-run nursery are preparing to clear their names".
"I don't know why Reed is going to comment after all this time.
It would be interesting to see what they say and it would be really good if they went back to court. It seems really strange that they want to clear their names at this point."
Article 85: 7 April 1999
"He said that the hated pair, accused of being part of a paedophile ring which abused children at a Newcastle nursery are in hiding in fear of their lives.
But a representative of the Parents Together Working Together action group said: 'they have had six years to clear their names and have said nothing. If they were innocent they should have been screaming it front the rooftops.
Now, six years down the line, when things are getting too hot, they are saying they are not guilty.
There is no way my child made these things up. They were found not guilty in a court of law on a technicality because the children were too young to give evidence'".
Articles 86-87: 20 April 1999
Article 88: 23 April 1999
Article 89: 26 April 1999
"The parents of 60 youngsters suspected of being abused by Reed and Lillie have been invited to a meeting of the charity Childline and are furious that an organisation called 'Relatives and Friends of those falsely accused of sexual abuse' are to demonstrate on behalf of the pair".
Articles 90-91: 30 April 1999
"THIS is the second scandal to rock the city's nursery school system and comes after a damning probe into the abuse scandal.
Then, inspectors found that Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie systematically abused youngsters in their care at a city nursery".
Article 92: 12 May 1999
"The case comes in the wake of the Newcastle child abuse scandal, when toddlers at a council-run nursery were taken out and abused by perverts in a paedophile ring".
Articles 93-94: 17 May 1999
"A CLAIM that two Tyneside nursery nurses accused of child abuse are innocent sparked uproar today. The row followed an investigation which said the Independent Inquiry that concluded Mr Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed were guilty was flawed. The pair walked free 5 years ago when a court case against them collapsed. They protested their innocence but angry families are challenging them to go back to court".
There is an invitation to turn to the full story on page 5.
"OUTRAGED families today condemned attempts to rubbish the enquiry into the Newcastle child abuse scandal.
Families remain convinced that the report reached the correct conclusions in branding nursery nurses, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed, guilty of child abuse.
The case against them, at Newcastle Crown Court, collapsed after video evidence from alleged child victims was ruled inadmissible.
An independent inquiry team later concluded children at the nursery were abused by Lillie and Reed and the victims of a paedophile ring.
Parents were shocked by a report in a national Sunday newspaper following an investigation by journalist, Bob Woffinden, and author, Richard Webster suggesting inquiry conclusions were flawed.
Reed, 28 and Lillie, 34 are protesting their innocence, but the families are asking why they refused to give evidence to the independent inquiry, chaired by Dr Richard Barker of the University of Northumbria. They also want to know if the authors spoke to any parents or members of the inquiry team. And they said Lillie and Reed should not be afraid to stand up in court and be cross-examined.
Mr Woffinden, who campaigns against alleged miscarriages of justice, said today he believes Lillie and Reed are innocent.
His information will be passed to Bindman & Co, the London lawyers representing Lillie and Reed. Mr Woffinden declined to say if he had spoken to parents or the enquiry team.
Mr Woffinden said 'the families of the children have been through hell but the important thing is to make sure this story is told correctly and properly. The truth should never hurt anybody.'
But one angry representative of the Parents Together Working Together group, fighting for justice for the families involved, said 'Parents will be outraged at this. Lillie and Reed have had every opportunity to protest their innocence at the independent inquiry but they kept quiet'.
One parent who believes her son was abused by Lillie and Reed condemned the claims and said 'I helped out as a volunteer at the nursery at the time and I could see what they were like.
If they wanted to clear their names, why didn't they come before the inquiry I'm sick of it every time this comes up there is more sleepless nights'? "
Article 95: 18 May 1999
"The parents would like to see Lillie and Reed back in court so they could be cross-examined, but the only way that can now happen is through the civil action. That is still possible but it would take big money, the sort of money Lillie and Reed would appear to have found to sustain them".
Article 96: 21 May 1999
"They are people without resources and in hiding and unemployed and in a very weak situation.
I have only been involved for quite a short time. There's no evidence against them except very confused statements by very small children and in most cases made long after the event.
There are statements by other children saying that Dawn and Chris did nothing to them at all. The evidence against them is incredibly weak. Of course they can say quite a lot about their experiences but they're in the position of being asked to prove they didn't do something".
Article 97: 24 May 1999
Article 98: 1 June 1999
Article 99: 9 July 1999
"The proposals for tough monitoring of suspected child abusers, registers to keep track of their movements, and a locked door policy when it comes to future activity where it could pose a threat to youngsters, were all designed to provide the protection so clearly necessary. So what has gone so badly wrong?"
Article 100: 7 July 1999
Articles 101-105: 19 July 1999
"She tortured my son and to be honest I would trust Myra Hindley with my children more than I would her.
She seems as nice as pie on the face of it but I would warn parents to keep a very sharp eye, especially as this must be a contact sport".
Another "mum" is quoted as saying:
"I wouldn't want my daughter training with her you just never know do you, after all she has been accused of some terrible things".
"February 1994: Newcastle Council dismisses nursery nurses Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed for gross misconduct.
July 1994: Lillie and Reed stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Lillie denies raping and molesting one girl, indecently assaulting four others and abusing a boy. Reed denies indecently assaulting two girls and one boy. The case collapses after Judge Christopher Holland [sic] refused to admit video evidence."
"We find many children at the nursery were abused sexually, emotionally and physically by Lillie and Reed.
Evidence suggests children were sometimes filmed when they were being 'abused' outside the nursery and have drawn the conclusion Lillie and Reed were procuring children for pornographic purposes as well as their own motives".
Article 106: 20 July 1999
"She was branded an abuser in a report into alleged assaults involving up to 60 children in a Newcastle nursery and fled the North East.
But she has now returned and parents are furious that she is involved with children at the popular sports club".
"Reed was prosecuted along with colleague Christopher Lillie, 34, for alleged child abuse in 1994, but both were formally acquitted when the judge ruled the evidence against them was unreliable.
The independent report which later named her as an abuser has come under attack from lawyers who claim that the report itself is flawed.
But Reed has never had to answer questions in court."
Article 107: 21 July 1999
"Reed, who now uses her married name Jackson, and her former colleague Christopher Lillie, were cleared of abuse allegations when the court case against them collapsed in 1994.
But an inquiry into the scandal later concluded that they had abused up to 60 children in their care at Newcastle nursery.
Mr Krywko said 'The Traditional Tae Kwondo Association (North East) is well aware of her position.
This person has not been proven guilty in the court of law and we respect that judgment, we follow the same principle and will not pass moral judgement about anybody unless proven guilty by the court of law'."
Article 108: 22 July 1999
"A CAMPAIGNING MP behind a move to root out child abuse is told of her shock today at the Chronicle's Dawn Reed revelations.
Debra Shipley had her Private Member's Protection of Children Bill passed, which should close a loop hole and stop those who are strongly suspected, but not convicted, of child abuse from working with children".
"The Chronicle revealed Reed, 28, branded a child abuser in an independent report into the Newcastle nursery scandal, has been training alongside children at a Tae Kwondo club.
Reedwas named with fellow nursery worker, Christopher Lillie, 34 in the report as abusing children and being part of a paedophile ring".
"I didn't know Dawn Reed was going to the club, and I don't think many other parents knew.
It's an outrage that the trainers did not tell us, and I'd like to thank the Chronicle for warning us. My son won't be going back. I used to drop him off at the gate and let him go in so I couldn't have seen her myself."
Article 109: 23 July 1999
"We have been told Lillie took a particular interest in the youngest boy. They cared for the children away from other residents and staff in an old staff flat with a separate entrance".
Article 110: 29 July 1999
"Although the legislation will cover paid work and voluntary activities, including sport and religious groups, it would not have prevented alleged paedophile Dawn Reed from joining the North East martial arts club where she has trained alongside children.
The new order will apply only to anyone jailed for more than a year for serious criminal offences against children. Reed, 28, was acquitted of any offence by the courts but later branded an abuser by an official report into allegations of child abuse at a Newcastle nursery".
Article 111: 23 September 1999
"This book is about a scandal. It is about a decade of discovery and denial, a time towards the end of the 20th Century when the British state briefly took the side of children and almost instantly recoiled from the consequences, producing one of the most bewildering and tumultuous themes in British politics, in policing and in the welfare professions.
The outcome? It became almost impossible for children to get justice in the British Courts".
Other Media Coverage
"It's relatively easy for a skilled person to get the general truth from them about major issues like, who abused you. But the problem might come that your child might get confused over whether or not the person who abused had got a red shirt on or a blue shirt on a particular occasion".
"Whilst it is true that the risk of abuse can never be completely eradicated, we believe that this report contains some indication of how a system to protect children in early years and other settings can be improved. If that happens perhaps some of the pain and suffering endured by the children and families involved in this case may have been put to good purpose".
"A damning report published in the last few hours has revealed a catalogue of child abuse at a Newcastle City Council day nursery. Some of the victims were only two years old. The Report on the running of the Nursery, which can't be named to protect the identity of the young victims, highlights several key points. It names former Nursery workers, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed who deliberately abused children in their care. It says others, who weren't officers or elected members of the Council were also involved in the conspiracy. Proper recruitment procedures were not followed. And Brian Roycroft, Newcastle's former Director of Social Services was criticised for allowing personal relationships to interfere with management of the case. The Report is a severe embarrassment to Newcastle City Council "
There was also much criticism of the perceived inadequacies of the criminal justice system and the need for courts to be more accessible to very young children.
"An independent Report is coming out this morning into a nursery run by Newcastle City Council, where it is alleged more than 60 children were sexually abused. It is expected, the Report, to be critical of the way the council handled the really quite dreadful case. Parents say their complaints were not taken seriously, there were not proper checks on staff. An awful familiar story. Two nursery nurses were found not guilty of abuse of the children in 1994. The case virtually collapsed".
There then followed a long item including part of an interview with Claire Routledge, the solicitor acting for some of the families, who said, "There was quite horrific medical evidence showing very unpleasant injuries to the children which were of a sexual nature".
"PARENTS of young children who suffered systematic sexual abuse at a Nursery in Newcastle Upon Tyne were last night planning to sue the City Council for substantial damages after an independent report outlined a string of failures by the authority.
After a lengthy investigation, following the collapse of a child abuse trial involving two nursery nurses, a four-strong inquiry team said toddlers had been taken away from the Nursery for short periods and it hinted broadly that a paedophile ring was in operation.
The team said that as well as the two nurses at the centre of the affair, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed, it was clear that others outside the Nursery were involved in abusing children 'for their own gratification and probably also for production of pornographic materials'.
They added: 'These people have not been found.'
With 64 children affected by abuse at the Shieldfield Nursery, and 434 formal complaints made against the Council's Social Services department, Clare Routledge, a solicitor representing 27 families, said her clients intended to pursue compensation claims for all the children affected and were preparing legal action against the council ".
The article continues with quotations from Clare Routledge, referring to a "paedophiles' charter" and to the fact that paedophiles (obviously referring, in this instance, to Mr Lillie and Miss Reed) are "sophisticated people and they know how to target their victims and escape justice".
"Crucially, the team found that as well as Lillie and Reed, others outside the Nursery were involved in abusing children 'probably also for the production of pornographic material'.
The Report adds: 'These people have not been found'.
Asked by the Guardian whether this implied the existence of a paedophile ring, Mr Barker, after consultation with the Team's solicitors sitting alongside said people would have to draw their own conclusions".
"The Independent Complaints Review Team, led by Dr Richard Barker, Head of the Division of Child Family Studies at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, catalogued damning evidence against the Council. It found that: The Nursery was run for the convenience of the staff not the children.
Staff failed to recognise the distress among the abused children.
Staff ignored parents' sex abuse concerns and blamed the families.
Parents were wrongly suspected of abuse because of staff attitudes.
There was a failure to recognise the high number of so-called 'accidents' that had occurred under the care of the abusers.
The Report also found the Nursery had been manipulated by Reed and Lillie for their own purposes".
"Children as young as two were repeatedly molested by staff and taken out of the building to be supplied to paedophiles for filmed sex sessions.
The abuse led by nurses Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed left scores of families damaged, perhaps forever. The children, robbed of their innocence before they were old enough to go to school, are haunted by the attacks and the accompanying threats.
They were warned that if they said anything their parents would be shot. The abusers said they would come out of the children's wardrobes to get them".
"The Report says that there is no evidence that the pair arrived together at the Nursery as some form of paedophile conspiracy to procure children.
It was more likely that they met by chance and that one or the other was already connected to a paedophile group and then 'coerced, pressurised or encouraged the other into becoming involved into the sexual abuse and exploitation'."
"THERE are no words adequate to describe the perverted creatures who inflicted such horrors on tiny children at that Nursery in Newcastle. Some depths of human depravity simply defy belief.
Here was an environment where babies and toddlers should have been safe and secure, a place where trained staff would care for them with warmth and love. Instead the children were delivered into the hands of sexual predators who systematically abused them in a manner which numbs the imagination.
Two members of staff, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed, made it a practice to take toddlers -some of them less than two years old out of the Nursery on the flimsiest pretexts and deliver them to convenient locations around the city, where they were abused and filmed for the pornographic pleasure of paedophiles.
As we report elsewhere the children lived in uncomprehending terror at what was happening to them. Even today, some five years after Lillie and Reed were charged, many of the children and their shattered parents need continued therapeutic support.
take the way Lillie got his appointment.
References and police checks were not adequately taken up. He was unqualified. He had himself been through an unsettled childhood and home life. He spent years in care. The Report says that 'his experiences were such that he should never have been allowed to work with children' "
"Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed procured children as young as two to be filmed as they were sexually abused, the Report found. The victims were attacked in Nursery toilets and at Lillie's flat.
A total of 60 children under five were examined for evidence of sexual abuse during a police investigation".
"It is clear others outside the Nursery were involved in abusing children for their own gratification and probably for the production of pornographic material".
"Other toddlers at the Council run centre were farmed out to the evil pair's paedophile pals".
"The Report told how children were filmed as they were abused in the Nursery toilets or at Lillie's home to make videos for paedophiles".
"TWO Nursery teachers who allegedly abused more than 60 children in their care were probably part of a paedophile ring, an investigation has concluded. Some of the victims were less than two years old."
"He had been carted around the homes of other perverts. Reed and Lillie were not the only people to abuse him. He spoke of a man in a wheelchair and another person he referred to as just a dafty man".
"GIVEN what is at stake for those concerned, we should not be too surprised by recent attacks on the Abuse In Early Years Report.
These spurious attacks, together with belated protestations of the innocence of Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed by two journalists whose speciality is to challenge legal decisions, have all the appearance of an orchestrated campaign designed to create a climate of doubt around the findings of the independent Review Team which investigated abuse in a Newcastle Council-run Nursery.
This may be of some value to the Council's insurers. Coincidentally, of course. But those best served by the Report's critics are child abusers everywhere. They will take great comfort in the certain knowledge that there will always be those in high legal places who will come to their aid with suggestions that the abuse is more likely to be at home and that, anyway, the evidence of very young children is unreliable.
Paedophiles will know that, provided they are careful to select nursery age victims, they face little danger of being convicted".
5) The issues raised in the litigation
"i We have concluded that many children, some less than two years of age, were abused both in and outside the nursery.
We have found many of the events and incidents that were believed by some to indicate a conspiracy proved to have taken place. However having carefully considered all the evidence available we conclude that we are satisfied that there was no organised planned conspiracy by Newcastle City Council officers and elected members to procure children at Shieldfield nursery for abuse, or to cover up what happened at the nursery and elsewhere. We do think that there are individuals -- Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed -- who did probably conspire with others unknown, but we conclude that these others were not officers or elected members of the City Council.
iii There was a failure to notice and consider the significance of the large number of 'accidents' Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed recorded on children in their care, and a subsequent failure to notice and consider that an accident book covering the period immediately prior to Chris Lillie's suspension is missing.
Children were frequently and inappropriately taken out of the nursery by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed on the flimsiest of pretexts ....
v A lack of an overall steer by Brian Roycroft and a low key response to the first allegations from within the nursery sector contributed to the nursery staff and their management's denial that abuse had occurred for some months after the first suspension ..........
...........Over 1450 children came into contact with Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed during their training and employment, and whilst many have been identified the information given to some parents minimised what might have happened. There has been an apparent failure to contact or evaluate some of the children concerned.
1 This document considers the case of young children abused whilst they were being cared for outside their families. The location of the abuse was initially perceived to be in one small group of children, the evidence is that it was much more widespread than that.
2 Police and Social Services child protection investigations led to papers being submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service and a subsequent criminal trial which collapsed in the initial stages when the judge directed that 'not guilty' verdicts be returned on the two defendants. This was because of problems which were anticipated in dealing with the evidence of young children, as the defendants had not admitted to the charges.
18 We are .... deeply aware that many parents prior to and immediately after our appointment had been terribly keen that the review into Shieldfield should be held in public, in part to compensate for what they perceived as the prematurely truncated public court proceedings involving the two alleged perpetrators of the abuse.
20 In the case of the nursery staff, parents were not always clear about who might be the subject of their complaint -- for example, many parents complained that staff in the nursery should have noticed the effects of abuse amongst the nursery children cared for by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed.
25 The overriding concern of parents was that children left in the care of staff at Shieldfield Social Services day nursery were abused.
27 The overall concern in this category was that it was the poor management of the nursery that created the condition which allowed the children in the nursery to be abused.
The complaints specifically referred to: .....................
29 The overall concern was that the abuse has gone on unnoticed, and that there were behaviour and incidents that the nursery staff should have picked up and seen as signs of something untoward occurring.
43 The college also stated that at the time of the (alleged) offences Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed were Newcastle City Council employees: 'there is no responsibility on the college concerning any checks or supervision related to their employment'. This appeared to overlook the possibility that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed could have abused children whilst on placement, and seemed to minimise the college's responsibility as the educators and trainers of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed for their future practice.
63 On 12 May 1993 [Dawn Reed] was suspended from duty and on 22 April 1994, was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing on the grounds that she sexually, physically and verbally abused children attending the nursery. She appealed within the Council's internal disciplinary procure against this decision and on 11 May 1994, her appeal was unsuccessful and the decision to dismiss was confirmed.
90-1 In one case a member of staff was rightly concerned about an actual injury to a child's vagina. She acted appropriately and took the child to be examined. Susan Eyeington was able to recall this incident but dismissed it as saying she believed that the child 'had fallen or had had some accident at home'. Other staff told us that they knew that this child was very frightened of going into the Red Room. However we do not know if Susan Eyeington was aware of this at the time. She was unable to reconsider this in hindsight of what is now believed to have happened at Shieldfield nursery. When asked the same question as almost everyone else who was interviewed by the Review Team, Susan Eyeington did say that she thought that 'something awful' happened at Sheildfield nursery. When asked to explore that further she was eventually able to say by that she meant 'it had come to light that a number of children have been abused'. Regardless of her knowledge that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had been dismissed for the abuse of children, she struggled to associate those two workers, particularly Dawn Reed, with the abuse of those children.
106 Following the action against Chris Lillie ... Dawn Reed had four weeks to manipulate the evidence in the nursery if she so wished. If there were other perpetrators in the nursery they also had time to pressurise children, and to interfere with evidence.
135 It has been clear to the Review Team that in considering a way forward in the investigation of sexual abuse of very young children we must question the pivotal role of the video interview in the investigation. Its central importance will for good reason concern parents who may feel that the court processes which might flow from it might be not only abusive but also, as in this case, disappointing.
143 It was decided that the situations of all the children attending the nursery during April 1993 (Stage I) and all the children who had attended the nursery whilst Chris Reed and Dawn Reed had worked there (Stage II) should be examined. It was agreed that Social Services and the police would make contact with all the parents who currently had children attending the nursery. It was noted at this meeting that over 200 children had passed through the nursery during the period of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed's employment. The potential enormity was being considered. ...... The information that was presented was that there were 26 children about whom there were concerns, including changes of behaviour, sore bottoms, sexualised behaviour, and changes in toileting habits.
148 During September a child who had previously been at the nursery began to disclose abuse by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. This child, child F, was medically examined and clear evidence of sexual abuse followed. Over three video interviews, she detailed abuse of herself and other children by Chris Lillie, and to a lesser extent Dawn Reed, and she also mentioned other nursery staff's names. Her testimony in these videos, which we have seen, is extremely powerful and provided persuasive evidence of her abuse in the nursery and elsewhere.
150 By September news of the allegations had begun to reach other parents; in addition many of those parents who had thought that their child had not been hurt, were thinking otherwise as their children began to talk. Some of these children were found to have medical evidence of abuse. Nursery staff told us that the situation was becoming very difficult. They had expected that there would be an improvement and a return to normal, even that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed would return to work. However by September there were further disclosures, further police action and a growing realisation of the seriousness now reflected in the remand of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. The conclusions that something very wrong had occurred at the nursery was unavoidable.
154 In relation to the possibilities of ongoing child protection concerns about children with whom Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had come into contact, a process developed in which, as we have shown, children were categorised into 3 different Stages. The Part 8 Overview Report notes that Stage I constituted those 60 children who had places at the nursery on April 16 1993, the day Chris Lillie was suspended, Stage II those 230 children who had had places at the nursery during the period of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed's employment there, and Stage III those 1162 children who Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed would appear to have had contact with during their careers as nursery workers, childminders, relief residential staff, etc. Therefore, at least 1452 children were potentially involved.
155 In relation to their role as employers, as outlined elsewhere in this document, the Social Services Department suspended Chris Lillie in April and Dawn Reed in May 1993 and subsequently dismissed them for sexually, physically and verbally abusing children.
156 Stage III ... involved the examination of the large number of children with whom Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had come into contact prior to working at Shieldfield nursery. The need for such an investigation occurs because evidence tends to indicate that those who sexually abuse children tend to have a long history of involvement in such activity this had been highlighted by the case of Frank Beck whose history of abuse as a residential social worker with children for Leicester Social Services Department and others, received widespread publicity when he was found guilty on 17 counts of sexual and physical assaults of children in his care (including buggery and rape) on 29th November 1991 ...
159 We were told that the results of Stage III were that no children emerged about whom there were child protection concerns relating to Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. .... It is the Review Team's opinion as we discuss later, that this conclusion was not merited on the basis of the evidence we heard and saw. There is evidence, some of which is detailed below, that possible abuse by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed was missed in Stage III, that some situations were never assessed at all, and that in some cases the approach was too low key and minimised the possibilities of abuse.
162 On 7 March 1994 a memo from the computer data advisor gave details of establishments and settings worked in by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed and their 'risk' ratings. An undated list of March 1994 we have seen appears to be this rating ....
163 ..... The notion of risk and abuse is problematic. Whilst it is clear that there may have been a difference of opportunity between different settings, it is not automatically the case that those in 'low risk' groups were necessarily safer than those in 'high risk' groups. .... Unfortunately, we also do not feel that those who abuse children cannot also abuse adults, eg in the Frank Beck case he abused both children and adults, the latter did not necessarily find it any easier to report the abuse.
We feel that was an error of judgment to have classified Stage III in this way, all those whom Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had been in contact with, including the residents of elderly homes, should have been considered to have potentially been equally at risk.
170 Fernwood, a large Victorian House set in extensive grounds, was a residential establishment based approximately one mile away from Shieldfield nursery. .... Whilst it was still a children's home, on two separate occasions sibling pairs of young children were placed in Fernwood, the J's and the K's. Because of their ages, it was decided to use nursery staff to assist in their care, and Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed were amongst the limited number of staff who volunteered, for overtime pay, to care for these children after their normal working day at the nursery ......
.... One little boy who was cared for by Dawn Reed exhibited sexualised behaviour which concerned staff and was recorded......
171 .....One set of siblings, noted as having been moved out of the area having been returned to the care of their parents, the implications being that they were not contactable. The parents were therefore unaware of the potential risk from Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed........ The other brother and sister were picked up by Stage III. Indeed they were interviewed because social workers were concerned about their recording in the day book. We were able to interview the social worker who was able to confirm that he did speak to the boy, who by this time was 8 years old and able to speak coherently. He described being cared at Fernwood by a woman, for a short time, who had hurt him and frightened him.
172 ...........we asked Mike Murphy for his views. He agreed that there was a high risk that these children had been abused in care .....
.... Fernwood thus needed to be included as part of Stage III of the investigation. It was not clear which children other than the J's and the K's Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had been in contact with, some children and young people were still in local authority care, others were not. The records, which differ, indicate that between 44 and 50 children were involved from Fernwood.
178 We are also concerned that clear evidence from Stage III, that some of the children involved appeared to have been abused by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed, was misinterpreted and not followed through appropriately. We conclude therefore, that the results of Stage III indicate that some of the children in these various other settings had also possibly been abused by Chris Lillie and/or Dawn Reed.
196 .... As has been mentioned, nearby in the city of Newcastle immediately prior to these events, other parents had experienced their children being abused whilst in the care of local authority employees, when Jason Dabbs, a student on placement in a local authority nursery, sexually abused children, and was subsequently imprisoned. .... We have been told that the Shieldfield parents were able to learn from some of the experiences of the Dabbs parents.
198 This plan noted that two nursery nurses were, at that time, in custody on charges of sexual abusing up to 240 children who had been in their care in the nursery.
209 Whilst it is recognised that the following sections may be very difficult and distressing to read, the Review Team felt that it was important that the children's disclosures were described. ..... The children described what had happened to them at the nursery prior to the suspension of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed over the months that followed. Many of these disclosures were not included as part of the criminal proceedings.
Both girls and boys describe being sexually assaulted in Shieldfield nursery and when they were taken out of the nursery. Within the nursery the children only name Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed as the perpetrators of abuse. However two children both mentioned that another member of nursery staff (Jackie) dealt with them when they were bleeding after being abused. The member of staff denies this occurred. When taken out of the nursery a number of children describe other people also being involved in the abuse.
The children not only described what happened to them but also what they saw happening to other children. On the basis of these disclosures, children who had not been able to talk of their experiences or because of their young age could not talk of their experiences were identified. When investigations were carried out, in many of these cases physical evidence was found that validated the children's testimonies.
210 - 216 At the nursery
Boys and girls describe being sexually assaulted and witnessing other children being sexually assaulted by Chris Lillie and to a lesser extent by Dawn Reed. These assaults were said to have taken place in the toilets, in a cupboard, and in the play house at the nursery. For example one boy said that Chris Lillie had held his penis and 'rubbed it until it hurt'. One girl said that when she was angry with her at lunchtime, Dawn Reed had taken her to the toilet and put cutlery into 'into her bum and fairy'. Another child said a 'hammer with water coming out of it 'was put into her 'jenny', her 'bottom' and 'on her head'. Another child describes Chris Lillie 'weeing on his hair'. Children also describe being shouted at and hit, particularly by Dawn Reed. One child said that 'Dawn did most of the scary stuff'.
Out of the nursery the places to which children say they were taken
Children describe being taken to many places by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. Some of these trips out seemed to be innocuous while at other times the children describe being taken to places where they were abused. The children said that they were taken to 'the library' but said they were 'different libraries'. They said various things about these libraries such as they had no books and you could eat there and sleep there. The places that the children later pointed out to be libraries were in fact normal houses and flats.
The children were able to take parents to and/or describe places to which the parents had no idea their children had ever been. Parents were also surprised at the level of distress and panic some children experienced when they went to these places. Sometime in the course of a routine journey, a child would suddenly become distressed and identify a place that they said they had been taken to by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. One child had such a reaction to a house near St Dominic's. The child said that that was 'where Chris lives, other people go there too. Dawn goes with us and that's where she hurts children'. One child took his family near to a railway track where he says he was taken by Chris Lillie. Where he pointed to looked like a dead end but he said there was a gap in the fence and hedge to get through and on the other side was 'a long house'. On further investigation the parents found that the child was correct; there was a path through on the other side of which were two mobile homes. However the child then panicked saying 'Don't go in. Your bum will get sore'. When investigating this place the police found a half burnt pair of child's underpants, of a similar colour, style and make to one that the child was missing. One child described a house with a garden. Another child talked of going to a place where horses were. The child describes falling asleep and waking up with no clothes on. He said Dawn covered him with a blanket.
Several children told of a house with a black door in a named road. Children were also able to give a detailed description of the man who lived in the house which proved to be accurate. A parent said that when she took her child near that house she 'regressed and went into a panic state'. The child said 'the man who lived there was known as her daddy'. Children also talked of being taken into lifts to flats. Children talked of going to Chris Lillie's home and children identified this accurately. All the places that the children identified were within walking distances of Shieldfield nursery, close to local parks or en route to the Civic Centre.
Two member of the Review Team were taken by a parent on the route that her child had taken her from Shieldfield nursery to what is now know to be Chris Lillie's home, at the time, in Red Barnes. The members of the Team were struck by the complexity and intricacy of the route, which was not the most direct one and which would have been unknown to many local residents, let alone a very young child. The Team members shared the parent's surprise as to how a child could have know such a route.
As well as taking children out with Dawn Reed, Chris Lillie also took children out alone, for example to pick up pay slips or to go to a shop or hairdressers.
What children say they experienced
Children describe acts that they endured in these places that would be difficult to understand as anything other than sexual, physical and emotional abuse by Chris Lillie and/or Dawn Reed and/or other people. They describe other people being present some of the time. One child said 'they gave you to strangers'. Sometime the children referred to these people as 'other mummies and daddies'. In these places the children describe cameras, including video cameras, being used.
They described 'games' which included doctors and nurses. The described a 'white ambulance car and being been cranked up like a hospital bed'. Another child told her mother she had been to the seaside and laid on towels. The children describe Chris and Dawn being in bed together with no clothes on; 'Chris lying on Dawn's tummy'; 'they were fighting in bed with no clothes on' and 'a child being in the bed with them'; Dawn being in the bath with children, one child said that she and another child had to sit in the bath with Dawn 'like fairies and not cry'. One child described as Chris Lillie's 'willy pointing to the ceiling'. A child talked about 'Chris's willy getting bigger and sweeties would come out and I (the child) would get some'. The same child talked of 'more than one willy'. Another child talked of 'the daft man hurting my bottom'. The child said that 'Chris had told him he's daft and it wouldn't happen again but it did'. It was reported children said that 'he made blood in their bottoms' and 'he turned tiddlers round and round'. One child described how Chris Lillie had put 'his tiddler in her fairy' while she was sitting on the edge of a settee in his house. Some children (boys and girls) also physically illustrated how they were held and what was done to them while in this position indicating they had been raped. They also demonstrated what had been done to them by using dolls and/or teddy bears.
Several children described being give an injection which, we deduce from their descriptions, contained some form of analgesic. One child described injections in the arms, legs, and bottoms that 'make me go whoooo' and 'they hurt my fairy' but after injections 'it did not hurt'. Another child said it make 'bottoms feel alright'. Another child called it 'nice juice into bottoms so it would not hurt', and another said needles in his bottom 'make him dead'. Another child also talked of 'nasty people' putting 'cream on bottom'.
Other people children say were involved
Children described several other adults being involved in the abuse of them; 'an old woman who looked funny like a man'; 'man dressed as a woman'; 'Kelly'; 'lady', 'Michelle, with red hair'; 'Neil who had a camcorder, he was laughing'; 'a woman called Doreen'; 'Doreen was in bed with Chris'; 'a nasty doctor Alistair with brown hair'; 'Larry no eyes and a dog'; 'Susan and James (big people)'.
Apart from Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed there is no evidence that any other staff of the nursery were involved in the abuse of children. Two children did suggest that a third member of staff was involved; but they each named a different person, so that their allegations were wholly uncorroborated. Both persons were questioned by the police, who took no further action. We accept that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed were the only nursery staff involved in the abuse.
Strategies which appear to have been used to control the children
Children have variously stated they have been 'shouted at', 'sworn at', 'smacked', 'pinched', 'hit' and 'locked in cupboards', 'punched in the belly', 'hit on the willy', called 'a bastard', 'naughty', 'horrible', and 'shitty knickers' by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed.
They also describe many threats if they told about what was happening. These threats were in relation to the children themselves, their parents or grandparents. For example children were led to believe that they or their family would die. They say they were told 'a man will shoot daddy'; 'a boy and girl had been stabbed because they told their mum'; 'Chris could get into the house at any time and mum will die'. Other threats the children were able to talk about were of monsters, and a dog that would hurt you or scratch your fairy (vagina). One child described Dawn Reed stabbing an orange and saying that she would do that to their eyes. The children were told that the police did not believe children and if children told they would be locked up. Another child said that if they told the lift doors would get stuck and they would stay in the lift forever.
Behaviours the children were said to exhibit
Complainants describe changes in their children's behaviours after they attended the nursery. A number of parents describe talking about their concerns in relation to their children's behaviours to staff at the nursery. In some cases parents say they told Susan Eyeington and/or Audrey Palmer about the difficulties but in most cases they say that Dawn Reed was the person they discussed the child's difficulties with as she was the class teacher. However whoever they told of their concerns they say that the member of staff dismissed them as being 'normal', 'the terrible twos', or due to something that was happening in the family.
The most common symptoms parents described was an increase in wetting and to a lesser degree, soiling. Many children were described as being afraid of going to the toilet. Children who had been previously 'potty/toilet trained' regressed to having frequent 'accidents'. A number of children developed urinary tract problems from trying to retain urine and some children developed problems with constipation. Children experienced soreness of the genital and/or anal region which was generally attributed to 'wetting' or children not 'wiping themselves properly' after going to the toilet. There was more than one incident involving blood on knickers or in nappies.
Parents also noted that children they had previously experienced as cheerful, confident, outgoing and/or friendly, became withdrawn, unhappy and had a tendency to be frightened of and/or aggressive towards strangers. A number of parents describe children seeming 'cut off' at time, as if in a daze. There was a higher level of 'clinging' to parents and a reluctance to be left at the nursery. Parents described children screaming and/or crying on the way to the nursery.
Parents described an increase in difficult behaviours including an increase in tantrums. Some children's speech regressed and/or was inhibited and when the abuse was disclosed their speech seemed to improve dramatically. Parents described children regressing in other ways such as going back to using a dummy or a comfort blanket and needing a sleep in the day.
Many children became quite aggressive and would direct this aggression towards adults, including their parents and also towards other children. Some children began to harm themselves in some way; hitting themselves, head-banging, picking at their skin.
Almost all the complainants described behaviours that indicated the children had a high level of fear. At night this manifested itself as sleeping difficulties which included frequent nightmares and waking from sleep shouting and screaming, difficulties in going to bed and only being able to sleep in bed with their parent/s.
The children were also described as seeming to develop a great many fears of things to which they had previously not shown any distress. These fears manifested themselves during the day as well as by night. Parents related children showing uncharacteristic terror in relation to nappy cream, baths, loud noises, lifts, old women, men on roofs, an elderly man, dogs, ghosts, monsters, clowns, masks, dressing up clothes, things in a box, and the baby buggy. Several children developed a terror of needles &syringes) and some were terrified of doctors.
Many parents described their children becoming extremely anxious and distressed if they were called 'naughty'. Some children repeatedly questioned parents about whether or not they were naughty.
Several parents noted that their children exhibited symptoms of panic and extreme fear when taken near specific places and/or houses to which the parent had no knowledge of the child ever having been taken.
Children were said to have an unusual concern about the well-being of their parents, worrying that they would die. One parent described her child as 'obsessed by death'.
Many parents noticed their children engaging in sexualised behaviour. This involved touching their own genitals and inserting objects into their genitals and anus. Children were also seen to try and act sexually with other children, at the nursery and/or in the family, and towards adults both male and female. Parents also noted that children used sexual words not used at home. A number of the children also drew pictures which had sexual aspects.
Physical evidence of abuse
Many of the children were taken to have internal examinations. The majority of the children were seen by Dr Lazaro. She found physical evidence in numerous children of penetrative injury. In four children testing also revealed the presence of a bacterium that was found in the anus which is much more commonly found in the throat. Dr Lazaro describes this as an unusual finding which suggested a common source.
A number of parents also noted that during the time the children were in the care of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed they were frequently bruised. Initially they attributed this to normal childhood 'rough and tumble' but after the disclosure of the abuse they considered that some of these bruises may have had a more malevolent cause.
217 -218 Many aspects of the children's evidence that could be verified and were checked out, proved to be accurate. We do know that they were taken out of the nursery more by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed than anyone else. We do know that the managers of the nursery sometimes said that Chris Lillie, Dawn Reed and the children were in a specific place but they were not. The man the children said lived in the house with the black door did look exactly as the children described him. Chris Lillie did live in the place that the children said he did and more than one child could describe how to get to his home from the nursery. We know that Chris Lillie took a large number of photographs of children, that he regularly borrowed a video camera, and that he told people he could copy videos at home. We also know there was physical evidence corresponding to the sexual assaults that the children said had occurred. In Chris Lillie's interview with the police, he admitted taking one boy to his flat (although he did not admit to the abuse of the child). The Review Team believe this indicates that for some reason which we have been unable to determine, this child was of particular significance in this case.
Despite the methodological difficulties when the information collected was examined in its totality, the Review Team were impressed by how compatible the process of the disclosures were with how research indicates it is typical for pre-school children to describe traumatic events such as sexual abuse. The review Team was also impressed at the consistency of the core of the children's disclosures while there were significant individual differences in the accounts. The individual differences would be expected due to the individual differences in the sense they were able to make out of such unfamiliar experiences. This pattern of presentation of information lends credence to the validity of the disclosures.
219 - 220 The Review Team concluded that the style of the children's disclosures related closely to their template suggested by our expert witnesses as indicating non-suggestive disclosures. The children were more likely to describe events that happened in the nursery and the 'library' rather than in less familiar places. They were also more likely to report experiences with CL and DR than with other people who may have less familiar. The children describe many sexual acts which were evidently central to their experiences with these carers.
While accepting that very young children can misinterpret some events and experiences, during the lengthy process of the investigations, criminal and disciplinary, the perpetrators have never been able to offer an alternative explanation to account for the children's knowledge and disclosures. Professor Davies states that it is very unlikely that children of this age tell convincing lies about sexual acts. He emphasises that children of this agree can lie but that these lies are not elaborate and usually consist solely of an assertion or denial.
Professor Davies recommends that in evaluating a child's statements it is important to scrutinise very carefully the history of those statements. Was the name of the accused suggested or did the statement consistently identify the accused from the earliest stage? As far as it was possible to do so, the Review Team considered the children's statements in the light of this advice. In doing so the Review Team was convinced of the spontaneity of disclosures particularly in relation to: the acts children endured, the involvement of other people, the use of cameras, and syringes, and that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed had both been consistently, and differently, implicated as the perpetrators of those acts from the earliest stages.
It is highly likely that the original disclosure was in fact 'accidental' , that is the child did not intend to disclose that he was being sexually abused and the mother had no intention of eliciting a disclosure. The child could not have been aware of the significance of his response and would not have initially realised that he made disclosures. Sorenson and Snow describe how this is a common process of disclosure for pre-school children.
221 In the case involving the children at the Shieldfield nursery, not only are there very compelling aspects of both the content of the children's evidence and the process by which the evidence became known, there is also a considerable volume of medical and circumstantial evidence that verifies many of the children's disclosures.
223 In addition it is now recognised that children who are not themselves the direct victims of sexual assaults nor have been made to touch adults or other children in a sexual manner but who are present while this occurs to other children are also likely to have suffered serious psychological damage as a result of trauma. In an environment where children are physically and sexually abused by staff, a corrupt culture is established which facilitates that abuse. This culture often involves the terrorising of the children and/or the rewarding of the children for behaviours that are grossly inappropriate. Thus some children in contact with Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed may not have been directly sexually abused but may have suffered trauma from being within this environment and from what they have seen happening to other children. Research shows that children who have endured abuse and children who have witnessed the abuse of others within a corrupt environment created to facilitate such abuse, are susceptible to developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
223 - 224 Conclusions in relation to the children's disclosures
Whilst to an adult much of what the children say may appear confused and hard to believe, the Review Team has formed the view that the children attempted to describe to the best of their abilities experiences that were cognitively and emotionally overwhelming for them, which they did not fully understand, nor for which they had the appropriate language.
We have considered that some of what we have heard has come via the parents in statements to us which we took some time after the events. Thus we have assumed some changes from the original disclosures due to the time lag and the hearsay nature of the evidence. Thus whilst we cannot form an opinion about the veracity of each individual disclosure we are impressed by the compelling nature of the core factors in these disclosures: children were hurt, they were hurt involving sexual acts, they were hurt both in the nursery and when they were taken out to other places, some of which were houses, flats and a caravan, they were told that some of these places were libraries or Chris Lillie's home, sometimes other people were present and involved in the hurting, sometime videos and photographs were taken of them, that the children were very frightened and many were almost certainly traumatised by their experiences.
227 One of the terms of reference of the Review Team was to consider how a sexually abusive situation was set up and maintained at Shieldfield nursery.....
.... It is our hope that by trying to analyse closely what we know occurred at Shieldfield and the context in which it happened ....
228 No one other than those that perpetrated that abuse can provide definitive knowledge as to how this was carried out and those perpetrators that we know of have declined to talk to us. Therefore what follows can only be speculation based on those aspects of the situation that we do know about placed within a theoretical framework of what is known about perpetrators of child abuse.
The Review Team finding as to what occurred at Shieldfield nursery
We have considered various possibilities as to the meaning of the disclosures made by the children. We have concluded that it is most likely there were two simultaneous arenas in which the children were being sexually, physically, emotionally abused:
1. That Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed, sometimes in conjunction with other people outside the nursery, participated in sexual acts with children which at time involved the making of illegal child pornography.
2. That Chris Lillie also regularly sexually abused children acting alone both inside and outside the nursery. These sexual assaults took place in various places within the nursery, in particular the toilets adjacent to the Red Room.
In addition the children were physically and emotionally abused both inside and outside the nursery by Dawn Reed and Chris Lillie in order to attempt to ensure the children's compliance and prevent disclosure of the abuses.
229 How Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed came to be together at Shieldfield nursery
The Review Team deliberated over various suggestions as to how Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed may have come to act together at Shieldfield nursery to abuse children. .....
........ It is possible that they met by chance at the nursery; that either DR or CL had connections to a paedophile group; and, that one coerced, pressurised or encouraged the other into becoming involved in the sexual abuse and exploitation.
The third possibility is that someone arranged for one or both of them to obtain posts at Shieldfield nursery so that they could provide children for sexual use and exploitation. This could have been someone within Social Services, someone at the nursery, someone at the college or someone from an unidentified area also common to them both.
232 - 3 CL and DR decided not to be interviewed by the Review Team and not enough is known about their lives, beliefs, nor the true relationship between them to be able to categorically say what their specific motivations were to sexually, emotionally and physically abuse children.
.... Sexual offenders tend to think in a distorted way about the children that they sexually abuse which makes them feel they are entitled to meet their needs, whatever they may be, by abusing those children. Thus they tend to objectify the children, and put into these children whatever characteristic they want which will enable the abuser to abuse them. There are many ways of doing this. Some abusers construct 'a special relationship' between themselves and the children. They then see the abuse of the child as 'a natural expression of that relationship'. Some abusers objectify the children by making them 'bad' and behaving as if those children deserve to be hurt. In the case of Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed there are some indications that they used both these justifications. Chris Lillie particularly was seen as having special relationships with some children. There is also evidence that both Dawn Reed and Chris Lillie objectified the children in a highly negative manner, making the children out to be bad. This can be surmised from the names the children said they called them, such as 'bastard, horrible, shitty knickers'.
233 As CL and DR refused to be interviewed we cannot conclusively determine their personal motivations to abuse children, nor can we conclude what internal inhibitions they had against doing so and how they overcame any such inhibitions. However much more can be said about how they overcame the external inhibitors to allow them to gain access to children, to be with those children and have the opportunity to offend.
236 It appears that CL and DR took advantage of the re-organisation of the groups in the nursery to manipulate the situation so that they were working together with children aged between two to three years old ....
237 .......The location of the nursery and the fact that the little garden there was, was out of use for some time meant that there was an acceptance in the nursery that children would be taken out regularly ....
.......The role of DR was vital in enabling this to happen. While the nursery staff and many of the parents admit to finding it hard to believe and accept that Chris Lillie was alleged to have sexually abused children, they found it far more difficult to accept that Dawn Reed could have done so. In part this was because she appeared to them to be 'so normal', a person that many of them like but more than that, it was because she was a woman. Women in our society are seen as carers, nurturers protectors and sexually passive. The idea that a woman particularly a young, bright, articulate and heterosexual woman such as Dawn Reed could be involved in the sexual abuse of children in this way for many people is unthinkable. Consequently people were far less questioning than they may have been, of the fact that Chris Lillie was repeatedly taking groups of children out of the nursery than they would have been if he had always done so alone or with another male. The children were
considered safe as they were with her.
238 - 239 Due to the young age of the children, it would not have been difficult for CL, DR and/or any other abusers to overcome the child's resistance. .....
..... From the descriptions of staff, parents and what we know from the children, it would seem probable that DR and CL manipulated the children by being very rewarding to them and then being very punitive. It has been shown that very young children are very sensitive to this kind of treatment and subsequently become highly attuned to the moods of their carers. Thus the children would have learned not to do anything to go against them nor to displease them in any way. From what the children and staff have said Dawn Reed was more effective in instilling fear and controlling the children than Chris Lillie seems to have been.
Initially the children would not have understood the nature of the acts that were taking place. From what the children say it seems that the children were often abused in the context of games or being made to play 'lets pretend'. One particular game described seems to have involved children playing chase with 'water pistols'. When the children began to recognise that these 'games' led to the pain and discomfort associated with the sexual assaults, any resistance they then put up could have easily been overcome by threats and physical abuse. From the disclosures of the children and the degree of terror they showed at times to a whole range of objects, people and places, it is highly probably that the main technique used to overcome any resistance of the children was threatening behaviours and physical assaults.
The coding on the registers at the nursery could have conveyed at a glance to any potential abuser important information that could be used in manipulating a child to comply with abuse and also the most effective way of instilling fear in that child to try and prevent the risk of disclosure.
In addition, the children's disclosures would indicate that some of them were injected with some form of medication that reduced the children's abilities to physically and/or emotionally resist the abuses perpetrated against them.
239 Instilling fear in the child also appeared to be the main means by which the children were prevented from disclosing what was happening to them. Once children had made any disclosures about what had happened to them children tended to believe that something terrible would happen to themselves and/or one or both of their parents. Many of the children believed a dog would get to them and hurt them. Many were terrified that someone close to them, particularly a parent or a grandparent would die. It is likely that these were the threats made to the children as to what would happen if anyone found out about the abuse......
.......... The children also talked about other people's involvement and mentioned the names of other staff from the nursery. This could be because these staff were also involved but it could also be that CL and/or DR deliberately confused the children into making these often isolated disclosures so that if any disclosures were made they were all the more unbelievable.
244 What emerges from an analysis of the relevant documents is that:
1. There appears to be the possibility that CL and DR abused children and covered their activities by recording fictional accidents to disguise either physical abuse or signs of distress caused by the abuse.
252 As evidence began to emerge what might have happened to children who had been in CL and DR's case in Shieldfield nursery and elsewhere, alongside the investigation a number of children and parents began to need a therapeutic service.
259 As the children who were abused by CL, DR and others grow and develop, there will be a continuing need to provide age appropriate services at particular points in the future.
260 From our enquiries we can suggest that these children were dealing with a number of significant issues resulting from the abuse and to which attention should be paid by those offering a service. The factors which may have made an impact on an individual child are:
- that some children were made to believe that their parents delivered them to the abuse and that they knew about it
- that the distress the child was showing was not recognised as being associated with abuse and was often attributed to home circumstances or the child's age
- that the child may have been led to believe that the abuser had power over all the child's world
- that the child was led to believe that the abuser had power over life and death including the well being of relatives
- that the child was told the abuse was as a consequence of them being 'bad'
- that the child and those close to the child would be harmed if the child told
- that the child may have experienced abuses other than sexual, such as physical assaults, emotional humiliation and rejection
- that the child may have been abused in a group where there were hierarchies imposed by the perpetrators
- that the child may have seen other children abused, or made to abuse others
- that the child still may not feel protected from those who hurt him/her
- that the child may not feel that they have received justice from the adult world.
264 From the evidence we have seen, it is clear that CL and DR had conspired as a pair to abuse children, and it is also clear that other people outside the nursery were also involved.
265 We do think that there are individuals -- CL and DR who did probably conspire with others unknown, but we conclude that those others were not officers or elected members of the City Council.
268 CL and DR were also amongst the small number of nursery staff who volunteered to provide extra care for young children in a nearby children's home. There is evidence that CL and DR sexually abused some of the children they cared for in the home, although this was not suspected or investigated at the time or since.
269 The police investigation improved after the appointment of DI Findlay to lead it. Children gave their parents detailed information about the venues in which they had been abused, and by whom, which appear to have been followed up e.g. children's allegation that the 'house with a black door where a man with a black beard had abused them' were progressed, there proved to be - where they said a house with a black door in which a man with a black beard lived, but we were told that the evidence was not strong enough to be used in court. We are not aware of anyone in this case whom we have interviewed or who is employed by any of the agencies involved who fits this description.
274 After the initially slow start, the police investigation of the case appears to have been pursued with vigour. The Council disciplinary proceedings were also pursued robustly, for which the Council should be commended - CL and DR were dismissed for abuse, not on some other, perhaps more convenient, pretext....
..... As well as CL and DR, it is clear that others outside the nursery were involved in abusing children, for their own gratification and probably also for the production of pornographic materials.
282 FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
1. We find that many children at Shieldfield nursery were abused sexually, emotionally and physically by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed, who were dismissed for the same by Newcastle City Council. It is our view that the children described to the best of their ability abusive experiences by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed and other adults who as yet have not been identified, both inside and outside the nursery, in houses and flats in the locale. We find that there is evidence which suggests that the children were sometime filmed when they were being abused outside the nursery and we have drawn the conclusion that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed were procuring the children of Shieldfield nursery for pornographic purposes as well as their own motivations.
2. In the absence of being able to interview them we have been unable to find either Chris Lillie or Dawn Reed's personal motivations for their abusive behaviours. However, the indications from the children were that Chris Lillie took every opportunity to abuse them, and Dawn Reed was a party to abuse in particular situations, including during filming.
302 We do think that there are individuals, CL and DR, who did probably conspire with unnamed others, but we are satisfied that there was no involvement of officers or elected members of the City Council.
303 Like many of the professionals who we have interviewed we share the distress of parents that the Shieldfield children were not able in the end to receive justice. We find that there was a failure of the adult world to provide the processes, systems and environment to ensure that child victims of assault are not disadvantaged and are regarded as being entitled to justice as adults."
(a) sexually, physically and emotionally abused a very great number of young children whose care had been entrusted to them at Shieldfield Nursery, Fernwood House and in other institutions in which she had worked;
(b) were members of a paedophile ring, and used their position at Shieldfield Nursery to procure young children for rape and abuse by themselves and other members of the ring, including the handing over of children to be raped and assaulted and used in sexual acts and in the making of pornographic films; and
(c) had injected children with drugs in order to assault them sexually more easily; and
(d) terrorised children in their care into submission and silence in order to attempt to cover up the evidence of their crimes, including physically assaulting and verbally abusing children, and threatening them with physical harm and with the death of their parents and relatives; and
(e) were reasonably suspected of disposing or trying to dispose of evidence of their crimes in an attempt to prevent them coming to light and to pervert the course of justice; and
(f) were also reasonably to be suspected of the physical and/or sexual abuse of elderly residents of homes, whose care had been entrusted to them.
" the Council continues to accept the findings of the Review Team and believes that, on the balance of probabilities, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed did abuse a significant number of children in their care whilst they were employed by the Shieldfield Nursery. In addition, the Council stands by its decision to dismiss Lillie and Reed for gross misconduct following the finding of a disciplinary hearing and upon appeal that Lillie and Reed had physically and sexually abused children in their care. The Council is unable to plead particulars of justification because to do so would risk compromising claims which have been brought against it by parents who allege that their child were [sic] abused by Lillie and Reed while they were in the Council's care. The Council is required by its insurers not to allege particulars of abuse of those children which might amount to an admission in those other proceedings".
" the children were taken, alternatively there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they were taken, by Lillie and/or Reed to one or more houses or flats in the Sandyford area, including [named] Road, where they were abused by strangers, including one or more men [physical description follows]. One or more of the houses had a black door. Although some of the children have identified particular houses on [named] Road as places to which they were taken, we do not seek to establish or ask the court to find that they were taken to any particular house or that they were abused by any particular person living in the Sandyford area".
(a) The obligations and powers of the City Council to provide day care in accordance with s.18 of the Children Act 1989.
(b) The history of the allegations of abuse made in relation to children over the course of the spring and summer of 1993.
(c) The duty undertaken by the Review Team Defendants to report and submit their conclusions and recommendations (which they did through the Chief Executive of the City Council on 5 November 1998).
(d) The duty of the Chief Executive to place the Report before a meeting of the Day Nursery Complaints Review Panel and to provide its members with copies of the Report.
(e) A duty claimed under ss.100B and 100E of the Local Government Act 1972 to make copies of the Report available for members of the public present at the meeting of the Complaints Review Panel held on 12 November 1998.
(f) The City Council is also said to have been under a duty to make a copy of the Report available for inspection at its offices, at all reasonable hours, and to supply copies to any persons who required one: ss.100B, 100C, 100E and 100H of the 1972 Act.
(g) It is said that the City Council was also under a common law duty, and/or had a legitimate interest, to supply a copy of the Report to persons with a corresponding legitimate interest in receiving it. Accordingly, prior to the meeting of 12 November 1998 copies were supplied only to persons who had such a legitimate interest, and on 12 November to persons who were present at the meeting of the Complaints Review Panel, and thereafter only to persons who required a copy of it and/or satisfied the City Council that they had a legitimate interest in receiving a copy.
(h) Alternatively, all five of the Defendants rely upon a common law duty, and/or a legitimate interest, to publish the Report to the public at large. A large number of particulars are set out, giving the reasons why it is said that the subject-matter of the Report was of legitimate public interest, both locally and more widely. I shall return to consider these when I come to rule on the issues of qualified privilege.
6) What is the correct approach to justification?
"The balance of probability standard means that a court is satisfied an event occurred if the court considers that, on the evidence, the occurrence of the event was more likely than not. When assessing the probabilities the court will have in mind as a factor, to whatever extent is appropriate in the particular case, that the more serious the allegation the less likely it is that the event occurred and, hence, the stronger should be the evidence before the court concludes that the allegation is established on the balance of probability. Fraud is usually less likely than negligence. Deliberate physical injury is usually less likely than accidental physical injury. A step-father is usually less likely to have repeatedly raped and had non-consensual oral sex with his under-age stepdaughter than on some occasion to have lost his temper and slapped her. Built into the preponderance of probability standard is a generous degree of flexibility in respect of the seriousness of the allegation.
Although the result is much the same, this does not mean that where a serious allegation is in issue, the standard of proof required is higher. It means only that the inherent probability or improbability of an event is itself a matter to be taken into account when weighing the probabilities and deciding whether, on balance, an event occurred. The more probable the event, the stronger the evidence that it did occur before, on the balance of probability, its occurrence will be established. UngoedThomas J expressed this neatly in Re Dellow's Will Trusts, Lloyd's Bank v. Institute of Cancer Research  1 W.L.R. 451, 455: 'The more serious the allegation, the more cogent is the evidence required to overcome the unlikelihood of what is alleged and thus to prove it'."
"When the commission of a crime is alleged in civil proceedings, the stigma attaching to an affirmative finding might be thought to justify the imposition of a strict standard of proof; but the person against whom criminal conduct is alleged is adequately protected by the consideration that the antecedent improbability of his guilt is 'a part of a whole range of circumstances which have to be weighed in the scale when deciding as to the balance of probabilities'."
The words in quotation marks were cited from the judgment of Morris L.J. in Hornal (at p.266).
"It is the Defendants' case that it is necessary to look at the totality of the statements and disclosures of all the children referred to in the particulars of justification and that, looking at those statements and disclosures as a whole, there is overwhelming evidence that Chris and Dawn abused the children in their care".
"In the vast majority of cases the evidence relating to that child alone is sufficient to establish that the Claimants did sexually abuse the child, although if in any individual case there is any lingering doubt it is dispelled by looking at the picture as a whole. However, there are a few cases where the evidence specifically relating to a particular child would probably by itself not be sufficient for the court to conclude that the Claimants had abused him or her. Again in those cases it is necessary to look at the totality of the evidence to decide whether abuse probably occurred."
"The risk, the danger, the logical fallacy is indeed quite manifest to those who are in the habit of thinking about such matters. It is so easy to derive from a series of unsatisfactory accusations, if there are enough of them, an accusation which at least appears satisfactory. It is so easy to collect from a mass of ingredients, not one of which is sufficient, a totality which will appear to contain what is missing. That of course is only another way of saying that when a person is dealing with a considerable mass of facts, in particular if those facts are of such a nature as to invite reprobation, nothing is easier than confusion of mind; and, therefore, if such charges are to be brought in a mass, it becomes essential that the method upon which guilt is to be ascertained should be stated with punctilious exactness".
"From a forensic view point para. 12.35 of the [Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland (1987) (Cm 412) the unsuitability of having a parent present at an interview] remains a correct statement of the proper practice, particularly in a case where the only evidence of abuse up to the date of the first interview was what the mother has said the child has said to her. Quite apart from any pressure which the mother's presence may place on the child, the golden rule is that each interview is to be approached with an open mind: such a rule is in my view immediately broken if the mother is present at the interview".
"The use of child psychiatrists is obviously of the greatest assistance to the court in many cases. In some instances that will extend to pointing out features of the child's evidence which tend either to support or undermine its credibility. But it is usurping the function of the judge to give an opinion directly on whether the man did that of which he is accused. In this case three of the experts stated their respective beliefs that the father had sexually abused N in the way of which she complained, not because of the results of medical examination, but because they believed what she said in the video interview. Not only was such evidence inadmissible, it was capable of being highly prejudicial. Though judges are often required to put out of their mind inadmissible and prejudicial matters they are entitled to expect the parties and their representatives to use care to see that they are not faced with it in the first place. Moreover, not only may the wrongful admission of such evidence cause problems for the judge, it is also susceptible to giving the accused person the impression that he is being tried by the experts and not the judge".
i) The undesirability of calling them 'disclosure' interviews, which preludes the notion that sexual abuse might not have occurred.
ii) All interviews should be undertaken only by those with some training, experience and aptitude for talking with children.
iii) The need to approach each interview with an open mind.
iv) The style of the interview should be open-ended questions to support and encourage the child in free recall.
v) There should be where possible only one and not more than two interviews for the purpose of evaluation, and the interviews should not be too long.
vi) The interview should go at the pace of the child and not of the adult.
vii) The setting for the interview must be suitable and sympathetic.
viii) It must be accepted that at the end of the interview the child may have given no information to support the suspicion of sexual abuse and the position will remain unclear.
ix) There must be careful recording of the interview and what the child says, whether or not there is a video recording.
x) It must be recognised that the use of facilitative techniques may create difficulties in subsequent court proceedings.
xi) The great importance of adequate training for all those engaged in this work.
xii) In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to use the special skills of a 'facilitated' interview. That type of interview should be treated as a second stage. The interviewer must be conscious of the limitations and strengths of the techniques employed. In such cases the interview should only be conducted by those with special skills and specific training.
"The need for investigators of child sexual abuse to keep an open mind cannot be overstressed. Child sexual abuse is a highly emotive subject. Its investigation requires great skill and sensitivity. Interviewing children is a highly specialised skill which should only be undertaken by those who have been properly trained. Even then the trained interviewer must constantly bear in mind and put into effect the Cleveland guide-lines and now the Memorandum of Good Practice.
Where the interviewer approaches the case with the belief that abuse has occurred it is dangerously easy for the interviews with the child, as happened here, to degenerate into a cross-examination of the child in which the interviewer puts, in leading form, and in an increasingly pressurised way, what he or she believes has happened. It cannot be said too often that such an approach is wholly unacceptable. It not only renders the interview valueless as evidence but is abusive of the child, particularly where, as here, I find that the child has not been abused in the manner which emerged particularly in the final interview.
Let nobody be in doubt that the courts are in the forefront of those who believe that child sexual abuse is a major social evil. At the same time, a false allegation of abuse is equally damaging to family life. My criticisms of the incompetent investigation are twofold. First, it is a further abuse perpetrated in the name of child protection on a child who may or may not have already suffered the evil of abuse. Secondly, by muddying the waters it frequently renders impossible the task of the court in deciding whether or not there has been abuse. Thus it may not be possible to make a finding against an alleged perpetrator who is in truth guilty".
"The charge of sexual abuse is a grave one and has serious implications. The law requires that whoever makes an allegation must prove it. It is not an idle or artificial burden".
7) The expert evidence relevant to child abuse
i) Paediatric evidence relating to physical findings.
ii) Psychological evidence relating to statements or "disclosures" by children.
iii) Evidence about the potential significance of child "behaviours" as possible indicators of sexual abuse.
Dr Jane Watkeys and Dr Kathryn Ward: The paediatric evidence
"The problem about sexual abuse and the issue of compensation is that physical findings alone the absence or presence of physical findings are of no consequence. The largest consequence for sexually abused children is the emotional and traumatic effect upon them, upon their families, upon their future and on their children. So in essence the damages have very little to do with a tear in the hymen or a tag of the anus. It is to do with the emotional aftermath and the long term effects. I think that I am qualified to talk about those things and I still do them".
Professor Maggie Bruck and Professor William Friedrich: The "disclosures"
(1) Young children are suggestible.
(2) Great care is required in analysing and assessing the weight to be given to statements from young children.
(3) It is important to take into account the context of any such statement and how it was elicited (for example, whether any pressures, rewards or leading questions were used).
(4) It is necessary to focus also on the wider circumstances of the child's life in the period leading up to any such "disclosure" that might explain or colour what the child is saying.
(5) It is vital to take into account delay between any event recounted and the statement itself.
(6) One should take into account carefully any bias or pre-conceived ideas in the mind of an interviewer.
(7) It is desirable to have in mind throughout any scope for contamination by statements from others, whether children or adults.
(8) Similarities between what one child is saying and the statements of another may be two-edged, in the sense that they might tend to corroborate one another's accuracy or merely reflect a common source.
(9) One should be wary of interpreting childish references to behaviour, or parts of the body, through the distorting gauze of adult learning or reading (e.g. with regard to matters of oral or anal sex).
i) how spontaneous the disclosures were in the first place;
ii) whether the disclosures were in response to questions and, if so, how many;
iii) whether the accounts were derived from information coming untainted from the child or from suggestions put by the parent;
iv) how accurately the parent recalled the child's statement.
"I have reviewed hundreds of interviews with children suspected of abuse; the quality of these interviews has ranged from excellent to very poor. The interviews that I examined in the present case are among the worst that I have ever encountered. In this case, extremely young and bewildered children were brought in and interrogated (sometimes for over an hour) by one, by two and even by three interviewers. These interviewers used the full array of suggestive techniques to elicit allegations of abuse. When the children denied that they had been abused, they were bombarded with more suggestions, they were scolded, they were threatened and they were bribed. And when some children whimpered, moaned or begged the interviewers to end the questioning, the interviewers continued. In sum, the interviews were abusive and the children were victims of the interviewers. There were three aspects of these data that are incontrovertible: (1) these video-taped interviews provide the only opportunity for us to hear the children's own words; (2) the children did not initially make statements that were indicative of abuse; (3) when they did make statements these were preceded by extremely suggestive techniques that render all subsequent statements unreliable".
"It is my clinical impression, based on the view of the documents and video tapes provided to me, in combination with my experience in the evaluation and interviewing of very young children, that the majority of the evidence points to sexual abuse of these 28 children. I believe that the abuse onset can be tied to their entry into the Shieldfield Nursery and the weight of the evidence indicates that the perpetrators were Lillie and Reed".
"The actual interview process as well as the verbal output from the interviews of the Shieldfield children can be criticised for many reasons. For example, parents were present during interviews, leading questions were common, and the rooms were filled with distracting toys. In addition, the children that were interviewed were typically 2-3 years old. Not only are children of this age more likely to comply with suggestions/leading questions by adults, their expressive language was extremely immature, not just in terms of vocabulary, but in understanding the 'rules of conversation,' e.g. the need to respond to questions. They also lacked a grasp of self-representation, the purpose of the interview, and had no mastery of advanced concepts such as number and place. These difficulties are particularly true for the boys given the typical lag in maturation that young male children exhibit relative to same-aged females. In addition, all of the children were expected to converse in an emotionally charged setting about an emotionally charged subject."
"A: That is you know I do not think anyone told me that the, what the standard of proof that we are using a standard of proof, but the standard of you know if I asked to provide expert testimony in a criminal trial based on this information I would provide that information and I would make that statement and the standard of proof in a criminal trial is beyond a reasonable doubt and I approach this. Yes, I was not informed about the standard of evidence that I had to meet. It was what do you think of this data? What is your conclusion?"
Paragraph 13 "It is likely that these children were threatened to gain their co-operation and secrecy. In fact 17 out of the 28 children reported threats to either self or others. Most child molesters are not silent during this process but will actively shape the child's view of what was going on".
Paragraph 14 "With this group of nursery children, there is ample evidence that the perpetrators shaped the child's view both of himself and of the abuse".
Paragraph 18 "In fact, it is likely that many of the sexual behaviors that were perpetrated on these children were subtle and deliberately mislabelled by the perpetrators. This is the likely explanation for Child 14 stating that Lillie's 'Wiggy' landed in her friend's 'Mary,' rather than a statement that more clearly describes what actually happened".
Paragraph 40 "It is also very likely that the alleged perpetrators actively distorted what was going on by relabeling what was happening or where the child was. For example, many of these children talk about their 'other parent' or their 'other house'. Masturbation is likely to have been called 'water pistols,' 'a game' mentioned by at least two children. Buildings became libraries with a few books, a perfect ploy to use if the child was asked where they had gone that day. The abuse occurred in situations of high anxiety, further reducing the child's capacity to retain what was happening. All of these strategies by the alleged perpetrators add to the difficulty we can having in understanding young abused preschoolers".
"Well, if we stay with Child 10 the degree of sexual and aggressive behaviour that he does exhibit is going to be very separate from, say, a diagnosis of ADHD or a stressed out single parent and so we do go back to sexual behaviour and the origins of that and thinking about what is possible in this child's life".
This does not really meet the point.
"A: Well, take, for example, the association of sexually intrusive behaviour by that I mean children touching other children sexually. That was reported in 17 of these children. That is a very unusual behaviour for it to be reported in a group of children like this. It suggests something that is clearly not random. It suggests something that is very likely very unlikely to have occurred without some actual sexually abusive experience having been common in these children's lives and so that would make it highly likely that these children had been exposed to a sexually abusive experience. If you simply go to the risk factors in Mr Lillie's life, you do not have that high degree of likelihood. You simply have increased the likelihood of him having - of him maltreating, maybe on the order of two to three times more likely. So that is one way that I looked at probability across different scenarios, different behaviours, different individuals."
"I was asked to reply to a question raised on Thursday, April 25th, regarding the intent of my statement from paragraph 11100 of my report. The statement reads "It is my clinical impression based on a review of the documents and video tapes provided to me in combination with my experience in the evaluation and interviewing of very young children that the majority of the evidence points to sexual abuse of these 28 children".
The concern of the court is that this statement constitutes a misrepresentation as to what I had and had not reviewed prior to writing my report. I will address three issues in this reply. The first pertains to what I had told Foot Anstey Sargent about my materials review. The second issue is [sic] pertains to what it is that I meant in the above quote, and the third issue addresses the relevant circumstances regarding the review, e.g. timetable, time pressures, deadlines, etc.
The primary issue pertains to the fact that while prior to my report I had reviewed all of the transcripts that were provided to me (Children 1, 14, 19-a partial transcript, 22-a partial transcript, and 24), I had only fully reviewed 1.5 videotapes. These were half of the 3 videotapes that were available on Child #14. I do not have any documentation of what I specifically informed Foot Anstey Sargent prior to sending the report to them. I do know that after my first phone call with Cathryn Smith on 10-19, I had phone calls with Foot Anstey Sargent representatives on 11-13, 11-20, 11-30, 12-3 and 12-4. I was receiving boxes of materials on a regular basis and using every available moment to read what was being sent to me. I do know that on at least one of the phone calls, I said that I was having problems reviewing the videos since they were in a European format. I was informed around the 20th of December that Wragge & Co. had already embarked on transferring the video material to DVD format and these arrived in early January. By that time I had personally arranged to have the videos changed into a North American format and had embarked on the task not only of reviewing the verbal content but also coding the nonverbal behavior displayed during the interview.
Finally, I did not create the list of documents reviewed (Appendix 2) that was attached by Foot Anstey Sargent to the end of my report. On April 24, I did provide Mr Cunningham with an itemized list that indicated what of that list I had reviewed. Appendix 2 was generally complete, although I had reviewed several documents that were not cited in Appendix 2.
The second issue asks for an answer as to what I meant in my statement, ' based on a review of the documents and videotapes provided to me '. First, I would like to offer that this statement does not mean that I read every line of every document or watched every second of videotape. My charge was to primarily focus on the verbal productions of these children. As soon as case materials began to arrive in early November, I first reviewed an executive summary of the review team's report. I next reviewed all materials that were specifically about or from Lillie and Reed. I then reviewed every parent statement and then all of the interview transcripts. I was not surprised to read in these transcripts what I typically hear from American preschoolers. What I read were earnest and well-meaning professionals interviewing minimally disclosive children. That impression was supported by the videotaped interviews I reviewed on Child#14. I concluded that the child interviews would not be the source of data that would enable me to arrive at a decision about what if anything had happened to these children.
Consequently, I then began to read the therapist notes, the daybooks, and the expert reports by a variety of mental health professionals. I used the disclosure summaries to point to specific primary sources that I would read if I had not yet done so. In addition, I reread the case data in order to code behaviors of these children along the dimensions of PTSD and sexual behavior. I moved in this direction since it has been my experience which is supported by research literature, some of which I had contributed to, that behavior was the most important source of information about a preschool child's abuse status.
I can appreciate that there was a decision in this case that asked for an expert to review the verbal disclosures and another to review the children's behavior. This decision makes sense if these children had been older at the time they were first interviewed, or if the interviewers had been more expert. But the transcripts were clear that what I heard in Child 14's videotapes was typical of the other children. The same is true of the brief quotes from the child interviews that were summarized in the disclosure tables for each child.
Consequently, I believe I comprehensively reviewed the key material that was available on these children, and partially reviewed the direct verbal output of these children in the forensic interviews. I believe that I targeted my efforts to maximize the utility of my time spent on the volumes of material that were sent to me.
If I had meant to misrepresent my review to the court, I would have been less straightforward on the witness stand when I stated that I had only reviewed half of the taped material on Child #14. In addition, I also expressed to the court that some the handwritten therapy notes and Daybook materials were also difficult to read in their entirety, although I made every attempt to do so. Finally, after reviewing additional material during the course of my testimony, I reversed my decision about one child. This speaks further to my objectivity and willingness to listen to the data.
Finally, I have never worked so intensely and under such pressure as I have on this case. I had only put in 2 hours of document review prior to 11-14, when I was able to clear my calendar and concentrate on the regularly arriving boxes from the U.K. Between 11-14 and the delivery of the report, I spent over 130 hours reading case materials and coding data points that I could further analyze. This does not begin to reflect the additional hours I spent thinking about the case when away from the actual material. I have occasionally completed document reviews on similar cases with fewer children and have never spent as much time per child as I did with the Shieldfield case. I truly do believe that I gave the material the review that was necessary to analyze the data and arrive at a valid and completely justifiable conclusion.
I hope that this information will make my position clear and I would be pleased to answer any further questions the court may have about the preparation of my report.
William N. Friedrich, Ph.D., ABPP"
Dr Sandra Hewitt and Dr Hamish Cameron: Child behaviour
1) The combination of significant trauma and atypical sexual behaviours.
2) A commonality of fears, actions and references to places (not normally experienced in a random sampling of abused children) pointing to a common source.
3) She thought old memories were triggered and recalled in detail following a medical examination or formal interview. She describes "remarkable responses" to such events that were "unprompted and unstructured", thus emerging "with emotion and content intact".
4) Consistency of recall "not only within their accounts, but also across many children".
5) The commonality of atypical sexual behaviours she regards as "virtually impossible" without a common source.
6) She excluded the hypotheses of cross-contamination and suggestive questioning in her child-by-child analysis.
7) The commonality of atypical symptoms across so many children defies the probability of other causes than the origin of the trauma at Shieldfield.
8) In sum, she concludes, the cases reviewed match a "research and practice population of sexually abused pre-school children" but, in any event, the rich behavioural data cannot be explained by any other reasonable hypothesis than the experience of sexual abuse at Shieldfield Nursery during the time the children were in the Red Room with Lillie and Reed as their nurses.
"A difficulty, my Lord, is that that kind of sudden understanding, the flash of understanding comes with such force into the mind of the mother, a very reasonably concerned mother about her child, is often so strong that [it] becomes really a very entrenched belief which has far more energy from the emotions attached to it than from the logic attached to it, but I agree that it is understandable and reasonable presumption that the mother leapt to. But it is the way it sticks in the mind. It is the sudden conversion of belief which is driven emotionally as much as by intellect".
"I actually think paper exercises are very difficult things to do and fraught with risk in drawing conclusions. I like the approach that Dr Hewitt talked about the interview and I particularly like when she says [in her book] 'to schedule at least a 2 hour intake period'. 'At least' is in my experience quite the operative word. You often need a long time to really get the feel of the child. A paper exercise can take you so far, but actually it is in my view a very risky business going and drawing conclusions from papers alone. That is the difficulty I have myself found in giving evidence in this case that I have been asked about behaviours on paper, and that is it, and I think it has come out in cross-examination. This is it is a limited exercise".
"Did it occur or did it not occur? What I was trying to say is that, as I understand this case, Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed are alleged to have abused a group of children, a substantial group of children, so that the children themselves are the focus of having been abused, and the case emerges out of that group phenomenon. The parents say 'our child has been abused'. The alternative view is that there is still a group phenomenon but the group phenomenon is based on a collective belief that the children have been abused. The first one, the child has actually been abused. The second one, is there is a collective belief the children have been abused. When that collective belief takes root in a group it is a very powerful force. It actually holds people in a group, who mutually reinforce each other and it is quite difficult for professionals, unless they are very experienced, to stand back from the weight of that belief system. Now, that is the sort of belief system that child psychiatrists (of whom a number have been mentioned in this case) are familiar [with] when parents have a belief about a sickness in their child. That is the factitious disease by proxy idea: 'I believe my child is ill or harmed, therefore my child is ill or harmed, and my neighbour's child is ill or harmed, and my neighbour's neighbour's child is ill or harmed. All of us together as parents who have a child at this nursery our children are ill or harmed'. What is striking is that when one looks at that group of parents who come to occupy that belief, you find that others within the group will not say the same and that they refuse to join that group. They say, 'No, no, we do not think anything went on', but the belief system is a very powerful one. So when I am talking about the alternative hypothesis I am not trying to have a 'yes no, were these children abused or not?' I am trying to say these children have suffered harm. Either these children have been physically and sexually abused, as described, and they had actually been harmed, or the belief system in the group of parents, supported sometimes by professionals, has led to the perception that they had been harmed, and that perception has itself been abusive to the children. These children have been emotionally abused by the collective belief. So that is what I am saying, when I just wanted to set out the context within which I would analyse the case".
"Child 2's patterns, over time and across situations, strongly indicate that she suffered trauma as a result of the placement with Lillie and Reed. Her behaviours, coupled with [her] statements best identify the source of trauma".
"I have great respect for Dr Sandra Hewitt's work, my Lord, but I have to say that when children have experienced a major trauma at the hands of carers they will actually tell people that they have experienced something awful and frightening and in my view if trauma (by that I mean menacing violent actions towards the child) is fundamental to the assessment, and there is no evidence of that, no satisfactory evidence of that whatsoever then I cannot professionally see how there can be a post traumatic stress disorder assumption. You have to have a trauma before you can have a PTSD. If you diagnose PTSD in a child and then say, 'therefore there must have been a trauma', that is not logical and it does not add up".
"Psychologists applying the PTSD diagnosis as validation of child sexual abuse fail to recognise the tautological nature of this position (Fisher, 1995). According to DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), the essential feature of PTSD is 'the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure, to an extreme traumatic stress' (italics added, p.424). Thus, the validity of the PTSD diagnosis depends on first establishing that the child has been a victim of an uncommon trauma. Accordingly, to meet ethical and forensic demands for scientifically based evidence of child sexual abuse, a PTSD diagnosis cannot be established in the absence of independent documentation that sexual abuse has occurred.
In some cases, PTSD-like behaviors may be a consequence of the stressful nature of repeated interrogations by investigators, parents, therapists, or some combination of these people who attempted to substantiate whether sexual abuse had occurred (Fisher, 1995; Gardner, 1994). For example, in some instances, overenthusiastic social workers, police investigators, or psychologists may attempt to elicit from a child information regarding suspected abuse by describing lurid accusations made by others about the accused (see Bruck, Ceci, & Rosenthal, 1995). According to DSM-IV, learning about serious harm experienced by family or close friends may also trigger PTSD symptoms. Gardner suggested that court-appointed evaluators of child sexual abuse should attend to the temporal framework of PTSD symptoms, thereby distinguishing between abuse-related PTSD symptoms due to a sexual abuse trauma (usually present, to varying degrees, during and immediately following the discontinuation of the abuse) and investigatory-related PTSD that does not appear until after the disclosure and interrogation. Other investigatory-related PTSD-like symptoms, such as repetitive play in a therapist's office, may be a product of the repetitive nature of the therapy sessions rather than a pathological acting out of a traumatic event (Fisher, 1995)."
"I was trying, as I said earlier, to look at this data through the framework that I used to analyse the cases or to organise the cases that come to my practice the prior history, 'rule out' factors, objective measures and somewhere, about a week and a half before my report was due, I was feeling very crazy because none of the data I could not manage it, there was no way I could get it into conceptual framework that made sense to me and then suddenly I realised I could not stay with the framework as it was not working and I did not know where to go. Based on what I had read and the cluster of symptoms which I was concerned about, it felt to me that the best framework was going to be some measure of traumatic stress behaviours that are seen with children that comes out of a reliable source. Now, I went to the conference at Zero to Three when the sequelae to some earlier research were discussed and ended up being in this version of the manual with the traumatic stress disorder and I thought, I bet if I look at this data, organised around traumatic stress factors and central behaviour factors, it may make some sense, and in fact that is what I did. Suddenly, that lens organised the data for me. It is from looking at that, I could then reach the conclusions that the combination of traumatic stress behaviours, coupled with the atypical and unusual level of sexual behaviours would come together to say there has been a traumatic history for this child".
"If I am not to make a diagnosis, then I am not using this in that sense to frame a diagnosis, I am using it in combination with factors. I am using this cluster of behaviours which ends up being at a level which is significant. It is across the various types of behaviour that children can exhibit and across a number of sub-categories".
8) The evidence of multiple abuse
"There appears to be the possibility that Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed abused children and covered their activities by recording fictional accidents to disguise either physical signs of abuse or distress caused by the abuse".
The evidence of Dr Camille San Lazaro
"Miss Page: I am suggesting the whole picture is so unreliable and so flawed that the court could not safely conclude that this child had signs of penetrative injury at all?
Dr San Lazaro: I accept that this that the medical findings as laid out in this child's records cannot be relied on in their specificity, specifically. But I believe that all the information put together is clear on the fact that there was penetrative damage to the hymen and I quite accept that that is a difficult matter for this court".
"Miss Page: Why did you not take the opportunity to clarify and write down in your notes whether you had one or two complete transections or no complete transections, partial tearing, how many partial tears? Is it not extraordinary, bearing in mind that you were going to go into court as a prosecution witness on a charge of rape, that you should have the opportunity, with this child under anaesthetic, [and yet] you did not make any note of what you observed in those conditions?
Dr San Lazaro: It is regrettable. The whole of this is regrettable and I do not know why it was not done.
Miss Page: It was a professional lapse not to have done it, was it not?
Dr San Lazaro: All of this is a substantial professional lapse, I would have said."
"Dr San Lazaro: I think I did advocate for these children. I think there was I was certainly very distressed for them and affected by their trauma, and I accept that I attempted to do my best for them, or to present the best case for them. I do not think that is unusual practice for doctors in any situation.
Miss Page: The usual practice for a doctor is to simply send to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board their original report on the child and not to elaborate save to the extent that they are asked to do so.
Dr San Lazaro: In children who have been sexually abused, and I have been doing Criminal Injuries Reports for a very long time, I recognise that they have been emotive and they have been exaggerated and overstated in the past and they are much more measured now".
I cannot believe, as she appeared to suggest, that it would be "not unusual" for doctors generally to behave in this way with regard to their representations to the C.I.C.B.
"As a result of seeing Dr Lazaro I was impressed by her professionalism. I was also impressed by the information that she had to give about the large number of children that she had interviewed and examined that had medical findings of abuse, and also the level of trauma that she had witnessed and heard from these children.
I was also impressed by her impression of the parents, in that she did not feel that they were exaggerating the situation with the children. I was also impressed by her analysis of the situation, as she saw it, from her point of view as a very experienced forensic paediatrician".
The Review Team clearly fell under her spell.
"Thank you for your enquiry about this child. I can confirm that I saw him on 7.7.93. [Child 1] had been in the Shieldfield Nursery for 9 months.
At first he seemed happy there and his mother was gradually able to leave him alone. Within 2-3 weeks, however, [Child 1] became extremely distressed, screaming and wrapping his legs around his parents, begging them to allow him to go home. Mother remembers that she always tied double knots in [Child 1's] training shoes and that these had never come undone before he had gone to the nursery, or indeed when she had him home. However, he would often return from the nursery with a single knot in his shoes or his laces undone.
[Child 1] also stopped using the toilet to open his bowels and began to display markedly aggressive behaviour, often looking as if he had been crying when they picked him up from school. There was soiling and periods of marked aggression when he hit his mother, telling her that he hated her and that she didn't love him. He developed odd sexualised posturing and other sexualised behaviour and he appeared very frightened about having his nappy changed.
There is little doubt that this is one of the most severely affected children from the Shieldfield Nursery. He had gross signs of traumatic behaviour with regression, sudden phobias and anxieties, abrupt changes into infantile speech whenever the nursery was mentioned and he also gave an account to the police of being removed to a caravan site and having his underwear burnt. I understand that the police did indeed recover artifacts which supported this story.
His mother's relationship broke down after the discovery of abuse and events in the home have been very difficult and fraught. Certainly mother's distress and [Child 1's] own behavioural patterns have been such that I have spoken to her and seen the child on more occasions that I can count. I would suggest that there have been at least 30 contacts with our department since this original event and I also have spent hours late at night talking to the mother to try and help her through her distress.
This boy is receiving psychotherapy and I believe that it will be some time before he is going to recover from these experiences."
"The children were able to take parents to and/or describe places to which the parents had no idea their children had ever been. Parents were also surprised at the level of distress and panic some children experienced when they went to these places. Sometimes in the course of a routine journey, a child would suddenly become distressed and identify a place that they said they had been taken to by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. One child had such a reaction to a house near St. Dominic's."
"Parents were also surprised at the level of distress and panic some children experienced when they went to these places. Sometimes in the course of a routine journey, a child would suddenly become distressed and identify a place that they said they had been taken to by Chris Lillie and Dawn Reed. One child said that that was 'where Chris lives, other people go there too. Dawn goes with us and that's where she hurts children'."
"Suppose that child walked off the street and was not involved at Shieldfield at all, what would I do with that child? Would I refer that child for a child abuse inquiry? I would not."
It may be that much heartache could have been saved if a different consultant had been brought in all those years ago. The remark is also telling in another respect; namely, because it seemed that the very fact of coming from Shieldfield had pre-disposed her to finding abuse. This may well account for the unusually high percentage of physical findings which puzzled Dr Watkeys (see para. 384 above).
"If Mr Lillie did put cream on the child's bottom he would not have been the only one to do so in her life. When asked if anyone had done this to her, Child 7 is clear and says 'Chris'."
"The rich and diverse patterns of behaviour noted in Child 7's history is strongly indicative of a child who has suffered trauma as a result of sexual abuse during the period in which she was in the Red Room, and under the care of Dawn Reed and Chris Lillie. No other explanation of Child 7's behaviours can be found to fit the data".
"I went to one out of curiosity, I think, really. I wanted to know what was going on. I wanted to find out what was happening with the investigation . and parents said things that made me think that sounded like what my child was doing, and I started to feel a bit alarmed, and I decided that I would no longer send him to the nursery".