Children left in abusive or neglectful situations while under care of Social services.

Ian King made this Freedom of Information request to Dorset County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Dorset County Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Dorset County Council,

Could you kindly tell me in the last 7 years, how many children who have been subject to the "at risk register", child protection plan or in any way have been subject to involvement of your Social services dept, have been left in an abusive or neglectful situation for more than one year while you was still involved?

Thank You.

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email]

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation."

Dorset County Council

Dear Mr King

I am writing further to your email below.

I can confirm that in the past seven years there has been no cases of
children being left in an abusive or neglectful situation for more than one
year while Dorset County Council have been involved.

If you are not completely satisfied with my response, please contact me
again, or write to the complaints officer at: Dorset County Council, County
Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XJ. Or you can follow the
complaints procedure that can be found on our website www.dorsetforyou.com
at http://212.104.140.176/index.jsp?article... If your appeal is
not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to apply to the
Information Commissioner for a decision.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council


Ian King
<request-117471-3
f871d5f@whatdothe To
yknow.com> FOI requests at Dorset County
Council <[Dorset County Council request email]>
24/05/2012 22:16 cc

Subject
Freedom of Information request -
Children left in abusive or
neglectful situations while under
care of Social services.





Dear Dorset County Council,

Could you kindly tell me in the last 7 years, how many children who
have been subject to the "at risk register", child protection plan
or in any way have been subject to involvement of your Social
services dept, have been left in an abusive or neglectful situation
for more than one year while you was still involved?

Thank You.

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #117471 email]

Is [Dorset County Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Dorset County Council? If so, please contact us using
this form:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/contact

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Dear Dorset County Council,

This is not the case as I know of one pair of children who was myself and have the Court evidence in front of me. Would you care to answer that question again, this time, honestly, how many more such cases have there been?

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email]

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation."

Ian King left an annotation ()

As I suspect the person dealing with the FOI directly is only passing on information they have asked of others, could you kindly provide me with the names and positions of the Council employees you approached for this information and who they got it from?

Dear Dorset County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Children left in abusive or neglectful situations while under care of Social services.'.

I see you have refused to comply with the law and not answered this request honestly or in the time allowed by law. You have given false information under this FIA request, to which I have the documentation to show this. I will ask you once more to disclose the information asked of you under this request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email]

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation."

Dorset County Council

Dear Mr King

Please see a copy of our response which was sent on 9 July 2012. We have
had a small number of issues in the past with emails going missing between
us and the What Do They Know website.

If you still wish for us to undertake an internal review of our response
please could you confirm this.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council

show quoted sections

Ian King left an annotation ()

Dear Sirs,

I find it most unfortunate you have had this "issue" with emails at this particular time. Yes I wish for you to conduct an internal review and also to answer the original question and the subsequent points made to you thereafter, including the names of all those who have dealt with or been involved with this request please.

Could you also please tell me the precise times you appear to have "lost" these emails and I will confer with the Admins of this site for any input they might have. Maybe we can help you not to "lose" them again.

Ian King left an annotation ()

I should add again that the request was not just for those already on child protection plans, which is what you have addressed alone, but also those who was having any involvement with social services at all, prior to being put on a protection plan.

As an example two children known to and involved with social workers from your council living on the floor in feaces and urine and being exposed to dangerous people while being severely neglected, dumped in the streets with drug addicts and such for 5 years by their mother, before you bothered to do something about it.

I want to know how many children have been left in this state by your social services, or was it just this one case?

Dear Dorset County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Children left in abusive or neglectful situations while under care of Social services.'.

It appears you need remininding of the internal review, again.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email]

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation."

Dorset County Council

Dear Mr King

Your email has been passed onto the person who deals with internal reviews.
You will be contacted again within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Dorset County Council


Ian King
<request-117471-3
f871d5f@whatdothe To
yknow.com> FOI requests at Dorset County
Council <[Dorset County Council request email]>
17/09/2012 16:09 cc

Subject
Internal review of Freedom of
Information request - Children left
in abusive or neglectful situations
while under care of Social
services.





Dear Dorset County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Children left in abusive or
neglectful situations while under care of Social services.'.

It appears you need remininding of the internal review, again.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #117471 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Dorset County Council

Dear Mr King
Your email dated 17 September requesting an internal review of the way in
which Mr Woolmington handled your freedom of information request has been
referred to me.

The County Council operates a three stage process in handling requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental
Information Regulations.  Most requests are resolved at stage 1 through
the provision of the information that was requested.  If the person making
the request is dissatisfied, for instance where the Council relies upon an
exemption in the Act or the Regulations and says that information is not
to be disclosed, then at stage 2 the request is reviewed by myself.
 Finally, at stage 3, if the person who made the request is still
dissatisfied then they can appeal outside the County Council to the
Information Commissioner’s office.

In this instance the facts seem relatively straight forward and
undisputed.  You made a request for information on 24 May 2012.  You asked
for the following information:  'in the last 7 years, how many children
who have been subject to the "at risk register", child protection plan or
in any way have been subject to involvement of your Social services dept,
have been left in an abusive or neglectful situation for more than one
year while you was still involved'?  On 6th June Mr Woolmington replied to
say that there had been no such instances.  On 26th June you asked the
same question again and on 9th July Mr Woolmington replied with a fuller
response, but highlighted the fact that the requested information was not
collected by the authority.  He then proceeded to provide you with the
information we did hold.

As part of the review I have interviewed Mr Woolmington and the relevant
business area in Children's Services.  It is clear that there was a
misunderstanding between them that led to our email dated 6th June.  It
was the business area's answer that we did not separately record the
information being requested and that the fees limit would be breached as
we would have to go through all our files to achieve the necessary result.
 Mr Woolmington understood their response to be that there were simply no
such instances that fell within your request.  The subsequent email dated
9th July contains the correct, agreed, response.  I have spoken to the
Safeguarding Unit and they have confirmed that, for the period in
question, there are thousands of files that would need to be read fully to
see if they fall within the category you have stipulated.  The estimated
hours for conducting such a task is over 37 hours, based on an average of
20 minutes per file.  Under the terms of our fees policy (see link below)
this means that your request must be refused.

[1]http://www.dorsetforyou.com/330757

As part of the review process I have told Mr Woolmington he needs to be
completely satisfied that he understands the response to be correct before
he sends it out.  For my part, I apologise that the initial email was
incorrect and subsequently led to you having to re-iterate your request.
If you remain dissatisfied then it is open to you to complain further to
the Information Commissioner whose address is: Wycliffe House, WaterLane,
Wilmslow,  Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Richard Kirby
Records, DPA & FOI Manager
Dorset County Council

Ian King To FOI requests at
<[FOI #117471 email]> Dorset County Council
<[Dorset County Council request email]>
17/09/2012 16:09 cc
Subject Internal review of
Freedom of
Information request -
Children left in
abusive or neglectful
situations while
under care of Social
services.

     Dear Dorset County Council,
   
    Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
    Information reviews.
   
    I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County
    Council's handling of my FOI request 'Children left in abusive or
    neglectful situations while under care of Social services.'.
   
    It appears you need remininding of the internal review, again.
   
    A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
    available on the Internet at this address:
   
[2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    Ian King
   
   
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
    [FOI #117471 email]
   
    Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
    published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
    [3]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...
   
    If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
    web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
   
   

show quoted sections

Ian King left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Kirby,

If as it is claimed, you do not keep records of how many children have been abused or seriously neglected while under the care of your social services dept, it begs the question of how Mr Woolmington can give a categorical answer stating "there had been no such instances"? I think any reasonable person would view this with some scepticism.

As you are aware I have the files to show there has been such incidents in the Dorset County Council.

While the names of the social workers involved in the incident I speak of have been uncovered, the Council have refused to disclose the names of the senior social workers and dept heads who were responsible at the time.

Is it normal practise to refuse to name a public servant when requested by a member of the public who is making a complaint?

I will post the names of the Social workers here shortly so other members of the public investigating things via FOI's, can see them and come forward with any information they may have, or use it as a manner that is in the public interest.

Dear Dorset County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dorset County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Children left in abusive or neglectful situations while under care of Social services.'.

Still waiting.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...

Yours faithfully,

Ian King

Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This will now be passed to the relevant area(s) of the authority and a
response sent within 20 working days.
If for any reason we cannot respond in full within 20 days, we will let you
know.

Please ensure all responses to this mail are addressed to
[Dorset County Council request email]

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation."

Ian King left an annotation ()

For the viewer:

In an email from Jonathan French of the Dorset County council, when asked to name the Social workers responsible for the proven severe child abuse and neglect by a female whiel under the direct supervision of S.S workers between 2005-2009, so that a formal complaint can be filed with the health council against them, the Dorset County council refuse to name them.

-------------
excerpt from J. French email:

With regards to naming members of staff responsible for the care of your children between 2005-09, Patrick Crawford was the Team Manager in Children's Services during this period and Mrs Jackie Last was Head of Service. Above this there were a number of different Directors between
2005-09 including Steve Pit, Director of Social Services (to the end of
2005) Stephen Prewett, Director of Children's Services (from 2006 to July
2008) and John Nash, Director of Children's Services from 2008 onwards to his retirement in 2012. The Chief Executive was David Jenkins. We will not wish to identify any member of staff below that level as a team manager is accountable for the actions of their team. We have a duty of care to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and for this reason are not required to disclose the names of individual members of the team
-----------

The same Council in 2009 applied to the courts to cover this abuse up further by asking to have the Father of the children kept from finding out about the abuse by the mother, while under the care of the Council's social services.

The matter continues.

Dorset County Council

Dear Mr King
Thank you for your email.

Please find below a copy of the appeal review in this case which was
concluded last September.

Yours sincerely
Richard Kirby
Records, DPA & FOI Manager
Dorset County Council

Richard A To Ian King
Kirby/ARCHIVIST/Dorset <[FOI #117471 email]>
County Council cc
Subject Fw: Internal review of Freedom of
26/09/2012 15:27 Information request - Children left in
abusive or neglectful situations while under
care of Social services.

Dear Mr King
Your email dated 17 September requesting an internal review of the way in
which Mr Woolmington handled your freedom of information request has been
referred to me.

The County Council operates a three stage process in handling requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental
Information Regulations.  Most requests are resolved at stage 1 through
the provision of the information that was requested.  If the person making
the request is dissatisfied, for instance where the Council relies upon an
exemption in the Act or the Regulations and says that information is not
to be disclosed, then at stage 2 the request is reviewed by myself.
 Finally, at stage 3, if the person who made the request is still
dissatisfied then they can appeal outside the County Council to the
Information Commissioner’s office.

In this instance the facts seem relatively straight forward and
undisputed.  You made a request for information on 24 May 2012.  You asked
for the following information:  'in the last 7 years, how many children
who have been subject to the "at risk register", child protection plan or
in any way have been subject to involvement of your Social services dept,
have been left in an abusive or neglectful situation for more than one
year while you was still involved'?  On 6th June Mr Woolmington replied to
say that there had been no such instances.  On 26th June you asked the
same question again and on 9th July Mr Woolmington replied with a fuller
response, but highlighted the fact that the requested information was not
collected by the authority.  He then proceeded to provide you with the
information we did hold.

As part of the review I have interviewed Mr Woolmington and the relevant
business area in Children's Services.  It is clear that there was a
misunderstanding between them that led to our email dated 6th June.  It
was the business area's answer that we did not separately record the
information being requested and that the fees limit would be breached as
we would have to go through all our files to achieve the necessary result.
 Mr Woolmington understood their response to be that there were simply no
such instances that fell within your request.  The subsequent email dated
9th July contains the correct, agreed, response.  I have spoken to the
Safeguarding Unit and they have confirmed that, for the period in
question, there are thousands of files that would need to be read fully to
see if they fall within the category you have stipulated.  The estimated
hours for conducting such a task is over 37 hours, based on an average of
20 minutes per file.  Under the terms of our fees policy (see link below)
this means that your request must be refused.

[1]http://www.dorsetforyou.com/330757

As part of the review process I have told Mr Woolmington he needs to be
completely satisfied that he understands the response to be correct before
he sends it out.  For my part, I apologise that the initial email was
incorrect and subsequently led to you having to re-iterate your request.
If you remain dissatisfied then it is open to you to complain further to
the Information Commissioner whose address is: Wycliffe House, WaterLane,
Wilmslow,  Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Richard Kirby
Records, DPA & FOI Manager
Dorset County Council

show quoted sections

Ian King left an annotation ()

Dear Sir,

That is not what I asked. I asked why are you and your council not accepting evidence that will show to the public in this FIA request that your council has allowed abuse and neglect under its care? Clearly the FIA team shoudl be concerned if such evidence exists for the sake of their records and transparency at the very least?

Right now it looks very much to many like I am standing here with court papers in my hands proving this occurred under your council, papers that even have the words of a senior judges concern at your councils actions and you are happy to refuse it's existence.

You claim quite categorically, no such incident has occurred in your counci, yet refuse to answer my question put to you after your reply? :

" If as it is claimed, you do not keep records of how many children have been abused or seriously neglected while under the care of your social services dept, it begs the question of how Mr Woolmington can give a categorical answer stating "there had been no such instances"?

I have invited your council to re-examine your position and offered you the information that will assist you in realising you are wrong and correcting it for public record. I offer it again now.

Are you willing to accept or will you continue to refuse that this abuse and neglect has happened under your councils social services, even if I put the court documents in front of you proving it?

Will you still deny it then and mislead in FIA requests?

Andy Barnard left an annotation ()

It seems to me to be clear there is evidence in court documents to show abuse and neglect actually happened
whilst in care of the council.
It would appear hey are avoiding the issue.
Failing to investigate and attempting to mislead the public.
FIA manager actions would seem to be avoiding accepting his records are wrong and refusing to have them corrected with evidence of proper legal documentation.
Perhaps is just unable to accept that the council could be mistaken and is as fallible as any other body run by humans.
For the public good and his councils transparency this should be treat with the respect it deserves.

Ian King left an annotation ()

Mr Barnard,

It is not difficult to see when you tie this in with other requests, the DCC are happy to assist and cover up child abuse by their incompetent staff. Does anybody truly believe they would not know if children have been badly neglected or abused while under their direct supervision? The Father of the children has even asked the CEO of the council Debbie ward for a meeting about it recently on tape, she chose to skulk behind the councils Stalinist edifice and hide, refusing to come out and speak on record.

Ian King left an annotation ()

It should be noted that the Dorset Council have refused to date to name the social workers assigned to the case that they claim in this FIR "never happened" between 05-09, this is despite many requests. They claim in an email it is for "their protection". So if it "never happened" why do they need "protection" and why does the Council protect those who allow and cover up child abuse and neglect?

To remind all this is from a council who in this FIR above, claims no child has been abused or badly neglected while in their care or under their supervision, then changes tac half way through responding when questioned about their answer.. maybe this explains why ?

The serious abuse and neglect upon three children by a woman, took place between 2005 and 2009 while the Dorset County council were directly involved and had a duty of care.

The Council deliberately did not notify the non-resident Father, they even asked the court to dispense with telling him about the abuse of his children by the mother in 2009(the court refused). To compound this abusive behaviour by the Council, a phone recording going back to 2001-2002, of the Father warning Social services about his children being at risk from the mother and her family has also been found. They ignored the Father back then in line with the all too common anti-father/misandry agenda of many in local government.

Upon further investigation documents show that on 11/2005, Social worker RACHAEL DEEM was assigned to this case to asses the situation. The children had already not been to school for 6 months at this point, the mother was violent and an alcoholic. Nothing was done. An anonymous referral to the NSPCC was made on 12/2005 about them not being at school in 6 months. Incredibly, the case was then CLOSED by the Council despite the children still not at school, the mother a full blown alcoholic and violent to the children, their well being and health at this stage in serious neglect.

On 07/2006 Social worker ROS FOSTER was then allocated Social worker following a referral by a neighbour. The abuse and neglect continued for another 2 years ....

More to come and as you can see, this Council hides serious abuse in their care and practises Misandry toward Fathers who tried to warn of it.

Any further information anyone has on these two social workers, please email FIA's author.

Andy Barnard left an annotation ()

It would seem to me that:-
Dorset County Councils representatives are clearly attempting to use what they believe to be clever wordplay in a failing attempt to avoid the real issues. Which I see as the abuse of children whilst in their care and mismanagement by and or Gross misconduct off their employees.
The Social workers in the case Mr King has eluded to, Would seem to be guilty of criminal neglect so why have Dorset County Council Ignored the evidence Mr king has so freely offered?
They appear to be committing acts of purposeful omission then backtracking stating that they do not do something they have already stated as fact.
Perhaps this reflects a culture of lack of interest in investigating complaints, when they so clearly do not bother to read what they themselves have said previously, before replying to a current post!
To me it would seem they should stop and start afresh with the interest that their pay grade and position deserves..
Or resign and do something more suitable like stable hand.
This FOI request should have been cleared last year.
Talk about wasting public money !
Dorset County Council obviously have plenty to spend when it comes to disinformation and blowing smoke !

Jean James left an annotation ()

In the public interest, you should report the matter to the Information Commissioner, whether or not you finally got a reply. You have the evidence here, online, and Dorset should be disciplined for their games.

Make no mistake about it, all these quangos, local and central government, police, etc. sing from the same song sheet. It's about time the public woke up and did something about it.

Many of these authorities play the same game, hoping people will give up and go away. casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk

People are getting tired of the corrupt way in which they cover up and refuse to detail honestly.

Report them.

Ian King left an annotation ()

I think it is important in light of things here, to bring this article to the public attention. This is to help show the criminal behaviour, child abuse and culture of cover up that has been and still is operating in the Dorset County Council. This combined with misandry and deliberate anti-father bias.

--------
UK Father Claims Organized Miscarriage of Justice
By Steve Deeks

September 29, 2005

A CHRISTCHURCH father has gained access to sensitive information revealing an organised cover-up by authorities which he says has prevented him receiving custody of his son. And after dedicating the last year of his life solely to winning back the boy – who has been shown by a variety of experts to be at serious risk from the mother - he has also called into question the impartiality of a district judge.

Over the past year a bitter custody battle has been fought costing an estimated £1 million of tax payers’ money that he says may not have been necessary had important information not been concealed. The Advertiser and Times can also reveal that during the breakdown of the couple's relationship a campaign of “mud throwing” by the mother was launched in an attempt to smear her husband’s name that had devastating consequences. A friend of the mother was so taken in by what he later described as “convincing” stories of rape and abuse at the hands of her husband that he was propelled into acting. Wearing a balaclava the man broke into what he believed was his target’s house and in a frenzied hammer attack, struck the sleeping man with several blows to the head.

The victim – who was deemed lucky to live after having three fractures to the skull and a metal plate put into his head – was in fact not the intruder’s intended target. After being caught the attacker sentenced to six years in prison and while inside admitted his actions were based on the lies of his female friend and has even apologised to his intended victim. As well as calling for a series of reforms in the judiciary and the way information is handled by government departments, the father - David (under a false name) - has asked MP Chris Chope to take the case up to the House of Commons. The MP admitted the information - showing a succession of inconsistent statements and allegations by the mother - disclosed to David during the custody battle was “bizarre”.

In condemning the “collusion, incompetence and bias” operated by Dorset County Council’s Social Services, particularly the Christchurch and Ferndown teams, David says internal documents released at the asking of a judge about a co-ordinated “cover-up”, also involve the complaints team and legal services. In particular, the disclosure papers from the social services revealed how a Christchurch social worker spoke to the son, who admitted his injuries were the result of his mother and pleaded to be allowed to live with his father. Yet despite this the boy was told he had to return to his mother – only to be found to have fresh injuries the following week.

Even after numerous occasions when the son had expressed his desire to live with his father and explained fear of his mother, senior officials at social services said the injuries, which include scratches to the neck and back shown in photographs, were accidental.
Since the custody battle began the Christchurch social worker has since left with David trying in vain to speak with her and having evidence that his attempts have been blocked, because he says, of what else she may reveal apart from her statement.

In an email between two senior social services officials, in reference to the former Christchurch social worker, one states to the other: “I remember you telling me that you weren’t prepared for “x” to meet with David”.
As all emails were sent to the various departments and key players, David is concerned that the senior social services figures were able to wield considerable influence or “bully” other agencies or those further down the pecking order. He gave the example of when a member of the child care agency CAFCASS consulted with the social services figure - even though they are supposed to be separate bodies. And “influenced” by the senior figure, formed the same view that he was safe with the mother, despite the child care agency member not having investigated the situation herself.

The collusion between departments and, in particular, influence exerted by social services is seen by David as a means of not losing face. “It is easier to continue forward the same approach of avoiding or hiding information, rather than to reverse a big error that has snowballed out of all control.”

The systematic attempts to discredit David by his wife and then social services can be traced back to shortly after the couple’s separation in 1997. With his partner making a series of false accusations, which included raping her and abusing his son, he says it served to “get him out the house, gain custody of the child and therefore acquire housing refuge from the state”. Yet when appearing in court she has denied making these allegations of domestic abuse, leading to accusations by her former husband of perjury. A variety of statements to police and social services reveal her accounts to be inconsistent – a fact confirmed by a police officer who was involved in the case.

On obtaining the social services documents, David belatedly discovered that his wife was suffering from two personality disorders, including paranoia, which was confirmed by two psychiatrists in 1996. Two psychiatrists at the time of the baby’s birth said she was suffering from post natal depression and “could not love the child” and also demonstrated psychotic behaviour, such as believing the baby to be dead. David, after later making the claim to social services that she may in fact be suffering from a more sadistic personality disorder, has since been shunned and even threatened with the police by Dorset County Council’s legal service if he contacts them again. They now simply put the phone down on him even if he is ringing to express a concern, he says.

He is angry that the personality disorders were kept from him at the time and that the damaging accusations she made, although retracted by her, and proved to be unfounded, have stayed on the social services file. They have even been read out in court. These are two areas where he would like to see reform, with a correction mechanism put in place on those wrongly tarnished, as well as important information not to be kept fromthose it affects.

Serious reservations have also been expressed over the judiciary and in particular a district judge who presided over the residency hearing for the child since the end of last year. Over one aspect in particular, David said the judge was guilty of a “complete fabrication”. The judge said that he had slapped his former wife, but not even social services or the mother of the child had claimed this – she merely said she was grabbed. And even though the judge had stated there was to be no new evidence that day, he received a piece of paper from the mother’s barrister before admitting he was wrong – and subsequently changed his view to her being grabbed instead. David wanted the transcripts of the case but was unable to afford the £3, 500 to see if the correction was noted. This event happened on the same day when the father attempted to hand the judge a letter from his son saying he wanted to live with his father, but this was declined, leaving the father feeling unfairly dealt with.

An expert in child psychiatry, who had carried out an assessment of the boy, told the court of his concern if he remained with his mother but this information was also dismissed.
According to fathers’ rights group, Mankind, evidence used in courts, which highlights the benefits of awarding custody to the mother is often flawed and unfairly balanced toward the female. Chairman for the South East region, Paul Randle-Jolliffe, explained why John Bowlby’s study on “Maternal Deprivation", often used as evidence in court, is problematic: “The problem being that Bowlby's work was used politically to get women back into the home after World War Two and has been used by both the courts and other social agencies as a gender position despite other evidence and Bowlby's sample being unrepresentative of the majority of the population and erroneous in some areas.”

He added: “Many ordinary people suspect that things are wrong but they cannot put their finger on what is actually happening because they do not really know. Only when the juggernaut hits you like in (David’s) case - and with all the super dads you see on TV being just the tip of the ice berg - do you look deeper - or walk away from your children as many fathers for their own sanity do. Mothers are just as much the victim but even more so are our children. (David) is unusual in that he has proof of all he says, most of us do not! What you must realise is that there is a hidden agenda being promoted under the banner of equality and that it is global right into the UN.”

The “web of deceit” circulated by David’s former wife has also extended to members of his family, who were initially taken in by some of her accusations. But like the hammer wielding attacker, who saw her psychiatric reports while in prison -and then revealed she was prone to “paranoid” and “hysterical” behaviour– the relatives have now also realised they were duped. But others have steadfastly refused to look at the documents, in particular her psychiatric reports and statements of inconsistencies.
As a result of backing her out of “blind loyalty”, David says that a local church leader has not been interested in the facts and has even committed perjury, due to a sworn statement where he said he had not had a meeting with David but had.

Accusations of meddling have also been levelled at the church. Despite a court order entitling the father to see his boy on a Saturday, the church stepped into to look after the child for a week when his mother went on a holiday abroad, leading to David lambasting the clergyman’s behaviour as “shameful”.
While the case is now going to the court of appeal (at a cost of £15, 000), where there have only ever been two cases reversed in favour of the father, David is convinced in his belief of the need for reforms. He would like to see vital information not being withheld from those it directly affects, such as his then-wife’s personality disorders, as well as having false information changed. After the attempted murder he believes the police were too quick to hand over authority to social services and there needed to be a greater involvement from them in such cases.

While he believes the Children and Human Rights Act is acceptable he would like to see judges retrained so they do not automatically give custody to the mother.
Calls for greater objectivity and less “obvious professional bias and protection” from the judiciary towards social services is another key aim.

The secrecy of the family court does not embody the notion of a “fair trial” in David’s opinion, because of a lack of scrutiny where the judge can edit out parts of the transcript.
Finally, he would like there to be greater deterrence to perjury, with the judiciary coming down harder on those who make false statements and are able to get away with it.