In 2017 Robert Scott-Buccleuch finally admitted the illegal sex acts with Alison on NHS hospital premises; in 2001 he refused to be interviewed. Cumbria Police say he admitted being aware Alison was pregnant and acknowledged the abortion was the result of his actions. However, in 2018 the CPS decided not to prosecute him because it is “not in the public interest”. It is a 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 In a post-Saville era when victims of historical sex crimes are encouraged to come forward, outdated decisions like this make a mockery of justice.
We now know sexual offences were committed by a person in a position of trust with a vulnerable mental health patient in an NHS hospital, leading to a pregnancy and a crisis abortion, all under the noses of NHS Managers and staff who should have stopped it. A vulnerable mentally ill young woman then found herself in such a dark place she chose to end 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 the mentally ill who are invisible because they are no longer here to speak for themselves, don’t matter. If Alison or the offender were “famous” the CPS would be falling over themselves. The evidence is clear, a man in a publicly funded position of trust has admitted serious sexual offences that had massive repercussions. Why do the CPS think it is not in the Public Interest to prosecute him? In 2017 they tried to deny my family the right to review their decision as they said we could not prove a clear link between Alison’s death and the criminal acts in question. Their approach to this case will ensure the farcical investigation Cumbria Police undertook in 2001 is not subjected to scrutiny in court. They have also ensured that other victims of inappropriate sexual attention in the Garlands, may never be discovered. And of course, 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 basing their decision on 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, stay’s in Cumbria.
Cumbria Police; it is clear they did not want this case started in 2001; they certainly never wanted it reopened in 2015. They always made us feel they’re doing us a great favour looking into it. Even when presented with the 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, on the board of the NHS Trust at the start of the 2001 investigation; something that could have created a significant conflict of interest.
Cumbria NHS; in 1988, North Cumbria NHS closed its eyes to sexual offences being committed under the noses of staff and managers. In 2001 Senior Executives at Cumbria NHS had a chance to right this wrong. Instead, it appears they were so preoccupied managing a recently tarnished reputation, they chose not to share documents and evidence with Cumbria Police. It seems the reputation of the NHS Trust was more important than justice for a young woman who was no longer able to speak for herself. My family were also told by the NHS that Scott-Buccleuch would not be allowed to work in a patient facing environment again, yet he is listed as a presenter on Hospital Radio at the Cumberland Infirmary.