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Camden

Community Care, 7th August 1997

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Daily Star, 1st August 1983

Star010883Daily Star, 2nd August 1983

Star020883Community Care, 1st September 1983

CC010983The Why Not club that Norman Walker owned is mentioned in a Nick Davies article:

By 1990, these two clubs on Spuistraat – together with Boys for Men, De Boys, the Blue Boy and the Why Not – had become the busiest watering hole in the international paedophile jungle. Dutch police at the time estimated there were 250 paedophiles involved in the production of child pornography in Amsterdam with an unknown floating population of child sex tourists from all over the world. A Swiss businessman, for example, was caught in the city with handcuffs, a gag and a large suitcase with airholes in the side; police found a video of him abusing two young girls with electrodes. A wealthy New York attorney was caught ferrying child pornography from Asia. But it was the British who formed the hard core of the new industry: Stephen Smith, who had helped to found the Paedophile Information Exchange, fled there to avoid imprisonment in England; Russell Tricker, now aged 58, a former private school teacher who was convicted of child-sex offences in the UK, moved to Amsterdam, where he used his job as a coach-driver to ferry suitable boys from London; Tricker’s friend, John Broomhall, opened a porn shop on Spuistraat and was caught with more than a thousand copies of videos of under-aged boys; Mark Enfield, now aged 41, sold a video of himself abusing a drugged boy; Andrew Prichodsky, now aged 50, jumped bail in England on the eve of his third trial for child sex offences. Full article

Notorious British paedophile Warwick Spinks later ran the Why Not club:

Spinks was convicted in 1995 of abducting the 14-year-old. He drugged the lad, who had run away from a children’s home, and sold him as a rent boy in Holland. British and Dutch police launched an investigation after the boy fled to the British Embassy. Spinks got seven years, cut to five years on appeal. Officers from Scotland Yard’s Paedophile Squad were furious when he got parole in 1997 after 30 months. He ignored conditions that he be supervised by probation officers and sign the Sex Offenders Register and fled – sending cops a taunting postcard from Holland.

International businessmen, lawyers and politicians were among Spinks’s clients when he ran the notorious Why Not boy brothel in Amsterdam before his arrest. Cops in Amsterdam secretly taped Spinks offering to supply a video in which a 10-year-old boy was killed. He also said an associate had seen a boy die in the making of a film. Full article

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The Evening Standard, 1st August 1997

YESTERDAY the Evening Standard revealed that a London council failed to act on warnings about sex abuse at one of its boys’ boarding schools. Today Local Government Correspondent Paul Waugh asks who was in charge and why they ignored pleas from police and social services to sack a suspected paedophile.

AFTER Islington, Hackney and Clywd, now comes Camden. The Labour-run council is the latest name added to the notorious list of boroughs where warnings on sexual abuse of children in their care went un-heeded.

An 18-month independent inquiry has found that children at Stockgrove Park School in Buckinghamshire were put at risk of abuse by a care worker after Camden failed to dismiss him. Most damning of all, the authority was offered by Thames Valley police and local social services evidence of abuse allegations concerning pupils at the school.

Surrounded by ancient woodland, Stockgrove Park School appeared to offer the perfect country retreat for young boys sent from abusive and impoverished homes.

The boarding school, which was founded by ILEA in 1970 to cater for “maladjusted children”, flourished largely unnoticed by locals in the nearby picturesque village of Heath and Reach.

Camden took over the school in 1989, and in 1992, following the insistence of Camden education director Peter Mitchell, a new headteacher was appointed.

Ken Rabone, a man with no experience in dealing with emotionally disturbed pupils, was given the job. He failed to tell his interviewers that he had a criminal conviction for assault with an offensive weapon.

According to an independent report by child protection experts Dr Barbara Kahan and Bodil Mlynarska, the climate at Stockgrove Park changed soon after Mr Rabone was appointed. He was said by staff to dress eccentrically, be unwilling to share issues with other teachers and developed a regime in which he frequently and irregularly expelled boys.

The situation deteriorated dramatically in November 1992, when an anonymous letter was sent to the education director alleging that Mr Rabone and his wife had engaged in unacceptable practices on a canal boat activity trip.

Education director Mr Mitchell, who had worked with Mr Rabone before, intervened and orders came from the education department that any criticism of the head was to be dealt with by disciplinary action.

Police and local social services first became involved when a pupil alleged that a black care worker at the school had been sexually and physically abusing children “for some time and quite frequently”.

The man was suspended but Camden managers completely botched the disciplinary proceedings against him. Crucially, they failed to use video and audio tapes of police interviews with the boy pupil. A disciplinary hearing found the man guilty of “misconduct” but decided to issue him only with a final warning. This was later downgraded to a written warning. The care worker returned to work several months later but he was suspended within six weeks following more allegations of abuse. He was suspended a second time and finally dismissed in February 1994.

The deputy head Terry Skillings, a man with 22 years’ experience at the school, was disciplined for alerting managers to allegations of abuse. He was found guilty by Camden of “vilification” of the head and told to leave in 1993.

Mr Rabone himself then began making allegations that some of the boys had been abused. He claimed that boys were regularly beaten, stripped and made to stand wet and naked in front of open windows. He also said that they were given the “cold hands treatment”, where staff would wake up boys by placing their hands on their bodies. Mr Rabone was told by Mr Mitchell to go on sick leave in January 1994 and the school was finally closed in June that year.

THE REPORT by Dr Kahan is extremely critical of Camden’s handling of Stockgrove Park and the suspen-sion of the care worker. What it fails to mention is that, since 1994, two former pupils have died of drug overdoses.
One of them claimed to have been abused by the man.

Judith Barnes, leader of Camden’s Tory opposition, said today: “The then director of education and senior Camden staff responsible for this nightmare must be made to answer for their extraordinary behaviour.”
The care worker is thought to be working for another local authority outside London, though not with chil-dren. Neither police nor Camden know of his whereabouts.

THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE

CAMDEN’s Director of Education throughout the Stockgrove Park affair was Peter Mitchell.
The first appeal hearing into allegations of sex abuse by the care worker was overseen by Dick Beedon, assistant director of education.

On the crucial question of which Camden officer decided to ignore a letter from police offering evidence of abuse, the inquiry is vague. A council investigator, referred to only as “E”, was one of those directly involved.
“E” admitted he had no experience in child protection, had never worked with the police before and was answerable to at least three superior officers.

Other senior figures at the time were head of special needs Denise Fenn and schools inspector Neil Smith.
Mr Mitchell, Mr Beedon and Ms Fenn no longer work for Camden.

Evening Standard, 31st July 1997

POLICE warnings of sexual and physical abuse at a boys’ boarding school were repeatedly ignored by a London council, a damning new report has found.

 An inquiry by child protection experts has discovered Camden reinstated a care worker accused of abuse at the school and effectively allowed him to prey on vulnerable children.

 In echoes of the Islington and Hackney child abuse scandals, the council also stands accused of political correctness in failing to act against the care worker because he was black.

 Thames Valley Police, who have now set up an investigation to try to trace boys abused at the school, strongly criticised the council for failing to act on its concerns about the man.

 The Evening Standard can also reveal that two teenagers allegedly abused by the care worker were later found dead and are believed to have committed suicide.

 The report, published tomorrow by independent investigators Dr Barbara Kahan and Bodil Mlynarska, makes clear that Camden failed to act on information about the abuse from both police and Buckinghamshire social services.

 It also details allegations from teachers at the school in Leighton Buzzard – run by Camden for emotionally disturbed children from across London – that boys were disciplined by being made to stand naked and wet in front of open windows, that staff woke up boys in the morning by laying cold hands on their bodies and that some pupils were regularly beaten.

 The care worker was suspended in 1993, one year before the school was finally closed, after claims that he had abused a boy.

 Police had gathered evidence against him but the council failed to use it.

 A police officer told the inquiry: “We offered to attend but were not asked.

 We would have shown them tapes and given evidence.”

 The man was reinstated on a technicality, but six weeks later he was fired after further abuse claims.

 The report finds that Camden acted chaotically in dealing with the case and even fired teachers who tried to give information.

 Camden’s director of education Bob Litchfield said: “We fully acknowledge the concerns that have been raised and we must, of course, learn from past mistakes. An action plan is in place to take on the recommendations in the report.”