It was over ten years later that my older sister Sarah and I found out what had happened to Alison when she was “in the care” of Cumbria NHS. Our Mum knew but had kept quiet, she is from a different generation and was ashamed. She is not proud of this but we don’t blame her for not speaking out. The real shame lies with the person who took advantage of Alison and with the people who sat back and let it happen.
In 2001 we approached Cumbria NHS and Cumbria Police to tell them what we’d found out and get justice for Alison. We made a mistake thinking they would be interested. Cumbria Police were indifferent, asking why it mattered as it had happened years ago. The NHS then conveniently lost Alison’s Medical Records. Cumbria NHS and Cumbria Police were utterly useless and it became my job to track records down. I found a copy of an abortion certificate and medical notes from a GP who treated Alison in Doncaster and I gave these to the Police and Cumbria NHS.
Records show Alison had an abortion as a Mental Health outpatient of the NHS. They show details of the abortion were withheld from her mental health records. This meant what she had been through was withheld from people who could have helped; the illegal sex, the pregnancy and resulting crisis abortion were brushed under the carpet by Scott-Buccleuch and those who turned a blind eye.
In February 2002 the CPS dismissed the case saying there was not enough evidence, despite records showing the abortion occurred and had been covered up. We were angry, confused and wrote to ask why the case had been dropped, but they just kept trotting out the same line, what we didn’t know was that Cumbria Police had “lost” the evidence we gave them and Executives at the NHS had not shared information with Cumbria Police. What has also become clear is that none of the institutions, Cumbria Police or the NHS, wanted the case to move forward. Cumbria Police did not bother to create a crime report or a basic investigation plan. So what happened next? Click here to fast forward to 2015…