The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has decided that as part of their inquiry into Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils they will consider allegations of child sexual abuse at Beechwood from 1967 to the present, allegations of child sexual abuse in foster care and allegations of sexual abuse carried out by children against other children in the care of the Councils.
Beechwood Children’s Home in Mapperley was investigated by Nottinghamshire Police’s Operation Daybreak as a result of allegations of abuse at the home between the 1960’s and 2000’s. The Operation resulted in 12 people, not all connected with the home being arrested.
The IICSA are considering whether Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council’s could have done more to prevent the abuse from happening. Hearings are scheduled to take place in October and are expected to last 3 weeks.
Professor Alexis Jay who is Chair of the Inquiry has decided that the Inquiry should look at the institutional responses to disclosures of allegations of sexual abuse in relation to Beechwood since 1967 and the barriers to disclosure of such abuse.
A proposal was made that the Inquiry should concentrate on allegations of abuse from 1988 onwards and be limited to allegations concerning Andris Logins. However, it was thought that this would result in the Inquiry being too narrow and would risk “excluding consideration of the broader issues”. Further, if consideration was only given to allegations concerning Logins this would “be seen to exclude the experiences of a significant number of complainants of child sexual abuse at Beechwood, both Core Participants and those who for entirely legitimate reasons have decided not to come forward.”
Professor Jay noted that whilst it would not be practical to hear oral evidence from all those who allege sexual abuse at Beechwood at the public hearings it was proposed that summaries of the accounts of those who suffered sexual abuse at Beechwood by other members of staff should be produced. These summaries would sit along side the oral evidence and form part of the Beechwood case study.
Professor Jay has stated, “I consider that such summaries will be an important part of the Beechwood case study and should include complainants’ experiences of disclosure; if they were unable to do so at the time, why that was the case; if they did do so, to whom they disclosed and why and what happened having done so.”
Whilst the Inquiry stated that they recognised the significance of other Nottingham Homes, it was decided that Wollaton House, Skegby Hall, Amberdale and Ranskill Garden will not be a case study in the hearings, the Inquiry will look at ways of “adducing aspects of complainant core participant experiences relating to homes other than Beechwood.”
Aston Hall was a hospital in Derbyshire where children in the care of the Nottinghamshire Councils were sent for assessment. It has been argued that it was “effectively treated as an Annex to care homes in Nottinghamshire.” Professor Jay commented that, “ she was not persuaded that a case study into Aston Hall, a hospital that is not located within the Nottinghamshire area, should take precedence over a case study concerning Beechwood, foster care or sexual abuse between children.” She did however say that there was nothing to prevent evidence in relation to Aston Hall being heard in the context of the wider investigation.
Jordans Solicitors represent victims who suffered abuse at Beechwood Children’s Home. If you would like help in pursuing a claim please contact us, we have a team of highly specialist lawyers who can ensure that your claim is handled sensitively, enabling you to secure the best level of compensation from those responsible for your traumatic experiences.