Mother sentenced for sex abuse of her own sons - Ireland
South Africa completely inept in dealing with CSA
So. Yorkshire police chastised for failing victims of Ian Watkins - UK
Recluse sentenced of having 11k child porn images - UK
Released Chibok girls ready for education after ordeal
A County Wicklow woman who participated in the sexual abuse of her two sons has been sentenced to three years in prison.
The woman, aged in her 60s, appeared before Wicklow Circuit Court for sentencing recently, following her trial which took place in March.
The sentence hearing related to one incident, which State prosecutor Paul Murray said occurred some time between 1996 and 1999.
It was a Sunday, Formula One was on the television and they were all in the sitting room of the house. One of the brothers was aged between 12 and 14 at the time, the other between 10 and 13.
The stepfather told his wife to get undressed, which she did. The victims told the court during their mother's trial that they had been forced to digitally penetrate their mother. She took part in what happened and also touched the boys' genitals, as did their stepfather, who then had sex with the mother in front of the boys.
The older brother made a series of statements regarding his stepfather in 2014, as well as one statement indicating what happened involving his mother. The younger brother also came forward.
The victims' stepfather was sentenced to 21 years, with seven suspended, in the Central Criminal Court last year for the sexual abuse, which he carried out over many years when they were boys.
The victims' mother was interviewed in 2014. She answered some questions but denied stripping off in front of her children.
During her trial, the older brother gave evidence that he remembered his mother smiling at him during the incident.
'After what she did to me I never felt like I had a mother,' said the older brother in a victim impact statement. 'That day, she told [my stepfather] it was OK to do the things he did. I lost all confidence in myself, I had nobody to talk to. A mother is meant to protect her kids. I felt no protection. She allowed a paedophile to abuse me. She was a witness and she joined in.
'She has never taken responsibility for her crime. She made me relive it in court and deal with her barrister putting it to me that I was lying. She knew I was not lying.'
In his victim impact statement, the younger brother said that he was filled with anger and anxiety at putting pen to paper 'as, if I do, it means it really happened. It's no longer a nightmare, but a reality.
'That day will haunt me for the rest of my life,' he said. 'I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. The only job as a mother is to raise your children not to have to recover from their childhood. It's safe to say she failed. I have spent a lifetime trying to undo the damage.'
He said that he has no life skills and is not able to read and write properly as he was made leave school at 13.
'Sleeping at night is the hardest thing for me,' he said. 'I have constant nightmares and I am afraid of the dark. It's a daily battle facing the day ahead, when the vicious cycle begins.'
He said that after speaking to gardaí for the first time, he 'left the station feeling that there was someone there to protect us, the way a parent should protect a child.'
'These two young boys depended on their mother to protect them,' said Judge Michael O'Shea. 'A mother has influence, commanding and directing influence over the family. She was in a position of trust, a dominant position. She was in a position to be protector, instead of that she turned out to be an abuser,' said the judge.
'They were extremely vulnerable by reason of their ages,' he said. 'They could do absolutely nothing. What they were subjected to and what they had to do in the course of the abuse involving their mother is simply outrageous and disgusting. It has had a horrendous and destructive effect on both of them.'
Judge O'Shea sentenced the woman to five years, with two years suspended.
MPHATHI NXUMALO AND RUSANA PHILANDER
DURBAN - South Africa’s child protection services were in crisis, said World Vision SA, and a University of Cape Town (UCT) study found that only 19% of child abuse cases in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were referred to the police by social services.
In turn, the police only referred 8% of such cases to social services.
Paula Barnard, national director of World Vision, said there was a lack of inter-sectoral collaboration between social services and the police.
“We’re dealing with a fragmented, inadequate system which is failing our children daily. Perpetrators aren’t brought to justice, and children don’t receive crucial therapeutic and support services that are vital to their recovery and long-term well-being,” she said.
The lack of social welfare support and co-operation between various departments, said Barnard, resulted in many cases falling through the cracks.
Jackie Branfield, of the human rights NGO Bobbi Bear that helps sexually abused children, said the researchers were being “generous” by saying 19%.
She said tests conducted on child victims of sexual abuse were supposed to be sent to the forensic laboratory within seven days. But this was not the case, because some samples had been lying around for 18 months.
From her experience, Branfield said that 12 years ago only about 2% of cases that went to court in Durban resulted in convictions.
She felt the Department of Social Development needed to be more efficient.
“If the department could do only a quarter of their job, then there would be no need for Bobbi Bear,” Branfield said.
Valdi van Reenen-Le Roux, director of the Trauma Centre in the Cape, agreed there were not enough services which protected children.
“There are not enough counsellors and social workers, and that is why not a lot of children have access to these crucial services.”
The Child Abuse Tracking Study 2017, by UCT’s Children’s Institute, found that children were most at risk in their own homes, and younger children especially were most likely to be abused by a relative or someone they knew - 80% of under-four-year-olds were related to their abusers.
“Perpetrators behave with impunity and they often show callous disregard for the effects of their actions on children,” the report read.
Poor record-keeping meant vital information was often missing from files. The lack of information meant allocation of resources would be a problem.
“The lack of inter-sectoral collaboration was based on a lack of trust and low expectations, for example the police referred cases to the Department of Social Development and nothing happened.
“Additionally, there was limited inter-sectoral collaboration between other departments. Critically, schools and teachers are not being involved in the management of children post abuse,” the study found.
According to UCT’s research, delays in justice and lack of psychosocial support meant children were being traumatised again and could lead to them suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Another study, the Optimus Study by UCT and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, found that: “Of the young people interviewed in schools 35.4% - one in every three young people - had experienced some form of sexual abuse at some point in their lives.”
It found that 26.3% of children who were interviewed at home said they experienced sexual abuse.
The research found that 36.8% of boys and 33.9% of girls reported some form of sexual abuse.
The study estimated that more than 784967 young people aged 15 to 17 in South Africa had been sexually abused.
The Daily News had earlier this year reported that Childline received 20,000 calls for help in the province every month.
Most of the children come from Chatsworth, Phoenix, Pinetown, Inanda, KwaMashu and uMlazi.
Both the KZN police and the Department of Social Development declined to comment until they read the recent UCT study.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thobeka Mbhele told the Daily News that the police were not allowed to comment on statistics that were not from the police minister.
The police watchdog says South Yorkshire Police failed to act on child sex abuse claims made against former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins.
Watkins was jailed for 35 years for child sex crimes in 2013 after an investigation by police in Wales but his ex-partner says she made a number of claims to officers in our county the year before and was ignored.
The IPCC say that the inaction by officers may have placed a child at risk of further abuse for several months.
IPCC Comissioner Jan Williams IPCC Commander said:
“The evidence suggests there was a general view among officers at Doncaster that Ms Mjadzelics was not to be taken seriously, and consequently enquiries were not progressed as they should have been.
“It is concerning that a neighbourhood police constable without specific training or support, rather than an officer from a specialist team, was expected to view and make judgement on a potential image of child sexual abuse.
“South Yorkshire Police did not handle a request for assistance from South Wales Police thoroughly. I have recommended they create a policy document setting out what is expected of officers in collaborating on serious offence investigations.”
The IPCC now want the force to review how the deal with child sex abuse claims.
It's made the following recommendations:
• only suitably trained and qualified officers carry out child sex abuse investigations;
• their process for allocating serious offence enquiries should be reviewed to ensure they are assigned to the appropriate department; and
• a policy document is created to assist SYP collaboration with other police forces.
South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley has responded to the findings saying:
“Our handling of this matter fell far below the standard the public or we as a service would expect and I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Ms Mjadzelics as she received a service that was unacceptable with no support"
"As a service, we are absolutely committed to working together to protect the most vulnerable, achieve justice, and prevent future offending.
Ms Mjadzelics had a right to expect, and demand better from South Yorkshire Police.”
The NSPCC say it's "vitally important that lessons are learned" from South Yorkshire Police's handling of the claims.
A spokesman for the charity said:
“While Watkins is thankfully behind bars where he belongs, the report’s damning conclusion that a failure to treat initial claims made against the singer seriously could have put a child in danger should be a wake-up call for all those involved.
“The force must now ensure each of the report’s recommendations are swiftly acted on and appropriate action taken."
A PAEDOPHILE who was found to have more than 11,000 still and moving images showing the sexual abuse of children has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison.
The 22-year-old first appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on May 3 where he pleaded guilty to the offences. He was told that the offending was so serious he would be sentenced by a judge.
Knee has been living near Glasgow having fled Swindon when investigations into his offending first came to light.
The court heard how he came to the attention of the police as a result of investigations by the National Crime Agency.
Officers raided his address in January 2016 and his electronic devices were seized. Large numbers of still and moving images, many in category A which is the most serious, were found by specialist investigators.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said: “This defendant was identified as a person accessing and sharing indecent images using online file sharing websites. He used his real name and email address. “The devices that were seized each had high volumes of indecent images.”
Ms Hingston went on to outline that, in total, there were 3,183 images and videos in category A, 5,971 in category B and 2,191 in category C. She added: “When officers examined the devices they found numerous chat messages discussing the sharing of images.”
The judge was asked to take into account aggravating features including the age and vulnerability of the children, the “discernible pain” they were experiencing, the high volume of images and the number of people to whom they were distributed.
Gareth James, defending, acknowledged that the offending was very serious. He told the court that Knee had suffered traumatic experiences in his early life that had played a role in his behaviour.
“He is now a recluse,” said Mr James. “He lives in a property without internet access and has sought help. He does take his offending very seriously.”
Sentencing Knee to a total of five years and four months in prison, Recorder Richard Onslow said: “These images were some of the worst imaginable kinds of utterly depraved acts against children, including babies. You had evidently searched for these images and discussed the sexual abuse of children with other parties.
“You are 22, you have no previous convictions, you have led an isolated and lonely life and there are matters which trouble you. “But you know, as do most people, that making, possessing and distributing these appalling images encourages the vile trade in these things and the commission of dreadful acts against young, innocent children.”
Knee will serve half of his sentence in prison and half in the community on licence. He will be subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
His electronic devices will be destroyed.