This year, Cumbria Police told us a man finally admitted committing multiple illegal sexual acts with Alison on hospital premises; we call this abuse. However, the CPS decided not to pursue the case. It is the kind of decision you might expect in the 1970’s or 80’s; not in 2017, in a post-Saville era when Police forces are encouraging victims of historical sex crimes to come forward. Poor policing and outdated decisions like this are making a mockery of justice and democracy.
We now know that serious sex offences were committed in an NHS hospital under the noses of people who knew and who could have stopped it. A vulnerable mentally ill young woman then found herself in such desperation, she took her own life; and no-one has been held accountable. Is that acceptable? NHS staff and Managers, Cumbria Police and the CPS all failed Alison. If the system we fund is not interested in protecting the most vulnerable it serves, then what is its purpose?
The CPS; have sent out a clear message that the most vulnerable in society, the young and the mentally ill, are not worthy of justice. They acknowledge the evidence is clear because the individual has admitted the offences. However, in spite of this, the CPS do not think it will serve the Public Interest to prosecute the case. They have also tried to deny my family the right to have the case reviewed as they say we cannot prove a clear link between Alison’s death and the actions of the individual in question. Their current approach will ensure that the farcical investigation Cumbria Police undertook in 2001 may never be subject to scrutiny in a 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 that the role they played in stopping the investigation in 2001/02 will not see the light of day.
Cumbria Police; it has become increasingly clear that Cumbria Police never wanted this case started in 2001 and they most certainly never wanted it reopened. In 2001 they made us feel they were doing us a great favour looking into it, and in 2015, even when presented with clear evidence of wrongdoing they did everything they could to avoid reopening an investigation. They have never clarified what happened to the evidence that was missing from the file they submitted to the CPS in 2001/02, they still insist the original investigating officers have no case for negligence to answer and they have never explained the role of a Senior Police Commander, George McCrone, who was on the board of the NHS Trust at the time of the first investigation; something that would appear to be a clear and significant conflict of interest.
Cumbria NHS; in 1987 and 1988, North Cumbria NHS closed its eyes to serious sexual wrongdoing that was occurring under the noses of its own staff and managers. And in 2001/02, Senior Managers and Executives at North Cumbria Mental Health NHS Trust had an opportunity to right this significant wrong, instead, they chose not to share vital incriminating documentation and records with Cumbria Police and the CPS. It is clear from their actions they were more worried about protecting their recently tarnished reputation than in seeking justice for a young woman who was no longer able to speak for herself.
We believe the regional CPS made the decision not to prosecute this case because it is “not in their or their partners’ 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 more recent fiascos, they appear to be trying to make sure that the incompetence and malpractice that occurs in Cumbria, stay’s in Cumbria.