Child Abuse Whistleblower Gone Missing Under Police Custody*
A key whistleblowing witness and victim of child abuse at Nottingham Beechwood Children’s Home is effectively missing after sending a text to the UK Column starting…”pls ring urgent, something has happened n I don’t trust the police and I may be locked up tomorrow…” Sent at 21:22 on Wednesday 9th July 2014 the UK Column has been trying to locate the witness ever since.
This witness has reported to us rape, intimidation, beatings, physical and emotional threats as just some of the abuses suffered by vulnerable young children at Beechwood, but some youngsters were also witnesses to ‘suicides’ – children ‘falling’ from upper windows. Other witnesses report that children’s bodies were hidden on the site.
Fearful for the physical safety of this highly vulnerable witness, who already alleges a police cover-up and is fearful of the police, we contacted Nottinghamshire Police via their 101 phone line.
After speaking to the civilian telephone operator and expressing grave concerns for the safety of the witness, Nottingham police were asked if the witness had been arrested and if they were safe. In a short return call the operator said that a police officer had said that the witness was safe. Unconvinced by the vague reply, we asked the name of the police officer and a shoulder number. The operator said they were unsure. They were also unsure as to whether the witness had been judged ‘safe’ at home, had been arrested and was ‘safe’ in custody, or was in a psychiatric facility.
The UK Column duly asked for clarification from a named police officer with their personal number and was promised a call from such an officer. No such call was received overnight. Our worst fear remains that the witness has been sectioned and held in a psychiatric unit in order to silence them.
Early this morning Friday, 11th July 2014 the UK Column again made contact with Nottingham police via their media team. Again requesting information as to the whereabouts and safety of the witness, Richard from the media team would only confirm that the witness was safe, but would not give their location, state if they had been arrested nor give details of the police officer or their official number. He also appeared unsure as to why the police refusal to give full and proper details about the location and safety of a vulnerable child abuse witness would be in the public interest.
The UK Column has also expressed concerns for the safety of this individual to Bassetlaw Nottingham Labour MP John Mann. Mr Mann has recently spoken out about child abuse in Westminster stating that ”there was a cover-up with regard to child abuse investigations in Nottingham.” He also reported on his Twitter post:
On Monday Nottm court Beechwood children’s home abuse. No prosecutions for 100 victims. County Council denying liability.
Further posts state:
No answer yet on how many files destroyed by Notts County Council involving child abuse..Notts County Council offering [£]9000 to child abuse victims but admitting no liability.
BBC Nottingham news team who have previously reported on the horrific child abuses at Beechwood, were also informed by the UK Column of the witness safety concerns, particularly in light of increasing reports from across UK of police forces failing to investigate paedophiles, and reports by witnesses of police harassment and threats to silence them.
To date Nottingham City and Nottingham County Council, holding joint responsibility for the now closed Beechwood home, have paid out some £250,000 in compensation to 17 victims. It is believed the payouts included gagging orders. Nottingham police have previously stated to UK Column that over 92 victims of Beechwood abuse have come forward, but there is no murder investigation.
Again, because of the sensitivity of this case we are extremely concerned for the safety of this witness. We would like to ask that members of the public contact Nottingham Police about the Beechwood child abuse witness via their local 101 telephone number and ask for more information.
Child Abuse Whistleblower Imprisoned
The Beechwood Children’s Home abuse witness is being held in Peterborough prison after unknown police action on Thursday, 10th July, and a secret court hearing on Friday, 11th July 2014. For the personal safety of the individual and in the wider public interest we are naming the witness as Melanie Shaw.
On Friday, 11th July, the UK Column reported that a “key whistleblowing witness and victim of child abuse at Nottingham Beechwood Children’s Home is effectively missing after sending a text to the UKColumn starting ‘pls ring urgent, something has happened n I don’t trust the police and I may be locked up tomorrow.’ Sent at 21:22 on Wednesday, 9th July 2014 the UK Column has been trying to locate the witness ever since.”
Despite telephone calls by UK Column and members of the public to Nottinghamshire police over the weekend, we were unable to establish the precise whereabouts of Melanie. We remained concerned for her safety in light of civilian police staff claims that she was safe, without any supporting facts as to what had happened, or where she was being held. Late on Friday afternoon Melanie Shaw’s solicitor was also unaware of the police action or his clients location.
At 11.27 on Monday, 14th July we received a call from a friend of Melanie who informed us that she was being held in Peterborough prison after being picked up by Nottinghamshire police on Friday and held in cells overnight. After a Court hearing the following day, for which it is still not known if Melanie had proper legal representation or the benefit of public and press attendance, she was remanded to Peterborough prison. This category B prison run by Sodexo had a reputation in 2011 for drugs, bullying and violence. As the country’s only male and female prison, it has a maximum capacity of 840 and boasts a Mother and Baby Unit for 12 mums.
Melanie’s incarceration appears to be based on allegations that she set fire to a neighbours shed – a charge which Melanie denies. Melanie has reported to the UK Column that individuals linked to her bail conditions had been harassing her in recent weeks.
This latest punitive action on a child abuse victim by Nottingham Police and the Courts, follows the removal of her child by Social Services and disruptive action by the Local Council in respect of her home. Melanie claims she had been warned she could have her child taken when she first blew the whistle on Beechwood in 2011.
Melanie originally approached the UK Column because she wanted to expose the truth of the vicious rapes, sexual and physical abuse, and psychological intimidation that she and some 100 other young children suffered at Nottingham Beechwood children’s home. Clearly frightened of the police after irregularities in their investigations, Melanie strongly suspected that the police, Local Authorities and Members of Parliament, were already attempting to cover-up the Beechwood abuse.
Following Elm House child abuse London, BBC’s Jimmy Savile, and particularly in light of the ongoing exposure of the cover-up of paedophile rings within Westminster and the wider establishment, the UK Column believes that many of Melanie’s concerns are fully justified. Our opinion is reinforced by the fact that five other women known to the UK Column, who, having reported paedophile activity, have been harassed by the police and Local Authorities and later sectioned in psychiatric units. In two other UK Column cases where Social Services have been attempting to steal children, parents have also been falsely accused of arson attempts.
Three Nottingham MPs, Vernon Coaker, Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie have so far failed to respond to UK Column enquires as to their action to help Beechwood victims and protect other children from abuse. Their silence says much.