In 2017 Robert Scott-Buccleuch finally confessed to having sex with Alison on NHS hospital premises on multiple occasions in 1988, she was a Mental Health outpatient and these were illegal acts. He’d already had an opportunity to tell this to Cumbria Police in 2001, but after advice from his Union he refused to be interviewed. Cumbria Police say he has also now admitted knowing Alison was pregnant in 1988 and helping arrange the abortion that was the result of his actions. Abortion is an established way to hide the results of illegal sex acts. However, despite Scott-Buccleuch confessing to having sex with a vulnerable young woman with significant mental health issues, the CPS decided in 2017 not to prosecute him because they say “it is not in the public interest”. It is an absurd decision you might expect in the 1970’s or 80’s; not 2017. In a post-Saville era when victims of historical sex crimes are being encouraged to come forward, outdated decisions like this make a mockery of justice. You can bet your last penny that if Alison or Scott-Buccleuch had been celebrities, the CPS would have been all over this case like a rash.
Sexual crimes were committed by an older man in a position of trust in an NHS hospital which led to a pregnancy and crisis abortion, under the noses of NHS Managers and staff. They could have stopped it but they colluded and concealed it. A mentally ill young woman then found herself in such a dark confused place she ended her own life and no-one has been held accountable; is that acceptable? NHS Managers and staff, Cumbria Police and the CPS, all failed Alison. If the system we fund is not interested in protecting the rights of our most vulnerable, then what is its purpose?
The CPS; have sent out a clear message, the vulnerable and mentally ill who are not famous and are no longer here to speak for themselves, don’t matter. The evidence is clear and the crimes have been admitted. A man in a publicly funded position of trust has admitted serious offences which had massive repercussions. Why is it not in the Public Interest to prosecute him? They tried to deny us the right to review their decision as they said we could not prove a link between Alison’s death and the criminal acts in question (they have never proved otherwise). Their approach to this case has ensured the farcical “investigation” by Cumbria Police of 2001 is not subject to further scrutiny. They have also ensured other potential victims of nursing staff from the Garlands may never be discovered. And they have also made sure the inept role they played in the first investigation of 2001 will not see the light of day.
We believe the CPS made a decision not to prosecute this case because it is “not in their or Cumbria Police’s interests to pursue it” rather than what is genuinely in the Public Interest. In the wake of Poppi Worthington and other fiascos, they appear to be trying to make sure the incompetence and malpractice that occurs in Cumbria, remains hidden in Cumbria.
Cumbria Police; it is clear they did not want this case in 2001; they certainly never wanted it reopened in 2015. They have always made us feel they’re doing us a favour looking into it. Even when presented with evidence they “lost” during the first investigation, they tried to avoid reopening the case. They have never clarified what happened to the missing evidence and they insist the original investigating officers have no case for negligence to answer. They have never explained the role of a former Senior Police Commander who was on the board of the NHS Trust at the start of the 2001 investigation; was this a conflict of interest for Cumbria Police?
Cumbria NHS; in 1988, North Cumbria NHS closed its eyes to crimes being committed under its nose. In 2001 Senior Executives at Cumbria NHS had a chance to right this wrong, instead, they were so preoccupied managing their tarnished reputation, they brushed it under the carpet and did not share evidence with Cumbria Police. The reputation of the Trust was more important than justice for a young woman no longer able to speak for herself. We were told that Scott-Buccleuch would not be allowed to work in a patient facing environment again, yet he is a presenter on Hospital Radio at the Cumberland Infirmary.