Marie Black sentenced to life in prison for ‘utterly depraved’ rape and sexual abuse of children over 10-year period. Young children ‘were passed around like toys’
The Independent – 29th September 2015
Surely all right thinking people can only be reassured to know that this revolting crime will not go unpunished, and that the perpetrator and 2 of her accomplices have been given sentences of 24 years for their crimes?
But no – Christopher Booker of the Telegraph has led a campaign going back to 2012 in support of Black in her fight with social services for custody of her child –
In May and June I reported here more than once on the extraordinary legal drama over a baby born to an English couple living in France – Joe Ollis and Marie Black – who was tracked down, seized and brought back to England by Norfolk social workers. A High Court judge then ruled that the social workers had acted illegally …ordering the child to be returned to its overjoyed parents in France.
See Booker’s articles below:-
–Another couple flee to France only to have their baby taken away – Telegraph, 9th November 2013
–Owen Paterson: The ‘unknown Cabinet minister’ has a fight on his hands – Telegraph, 8th September 2012
–A baby comes home – but a mother remains in jail – Telegraph, 7th July 2012
–Social workers told to return snatched baby to France – Telegraph, 26th May 2012
-The greatest abuse would be to indulge in a witch hunt: Children have certainly suffered terribly, but in our rage we must not throw out due process – Telegraph, 9th August 2015.
In the more recent article cited above, Booker alludes to the Marie Black case as “the trial of “an alleged local “paedophile ring”” which he describes as “odd” and full of “lurid details”. He claims that the evidence was “without any medical or other corroboration” – implying that the statements of the children alleging abuse do not constitute corroborative evidence, ergo, are not to be believed.
Booker cites the defence’s description of the allegations as “nonsensical”, as if this were more conclusive than witness testimony. Yet surely the testimony of defence counsel is bound to support the accused? Isn’t that what the defence are paid for, and so rather less persuasive than the witness statements of children who allege they have been sexually abused?
Evidently the judge and jury found the children’s evidence compelling, with the judge summing up:
The case is the most harrowing it has been my misfortune to try. I and the jurors had to listen to the truly gruesome detail of what took place. Your conduct towards these children can only be described as utterly depraved – the children were subjected to sexual abuse of the worst kind.
Booker’s article questions whether the witness interviews – which he calls “interrogations” – conformed to guidelines, but offers no evidence that they failed to meet required standards. Without the slightest proof of any such failure, he suggests that the children may have been asked ““leading questions” which might prompt children into describing things which had never actually happened.”
Booker goes on to complain that “defence counsel were not happy at the judge’s ruling that they could not call as an expert witness the country’s leading academic authority on “false recovered memories’’ and how interviewees can be led by persistent questions into recalling events which never happened.”
No wonder defence were unhappy. “False Memory Syndrome” is an extremely controversial and entirely unproven doctrine, created by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation which was set up by Pamela and Peter Freyd after their adult daughter accused them of abusing her as a child. The doctrine is unsupported by any scientific evidence. It is frequently used in attempts to discredit survivor testimony and as such could certainly have been a useful tool for the defence.
This does not, however, in any way legitimise its very doubtful claims. Wikipedia states that “The FMSF has been accused of misrepresenting the science of memory, protecting child abusers and encouraging a societal denial of the existence of child sexual abuse”. Link
All of Booker’s articles use language that equates investigations into child sex abuse and in the case of Marie Black the social services involvement over the custody of her child, as well as her arrest and conviction, with Stalinist purges and McCarthyist witch hunts – some examples below:-
-Labels abuse investigations “witch hunt”
–Describes witness interviews as “interrogations”
-Accuses UK child protection system of “fanatical determination”
–Describes social services child protection as full of “manifold abuses and injustices” and a “crazily corrupted system”
–Calls removal of child by social services “an act of kidnapping”
This sort of emotive language is very much part and parcel of the mainstream media smear/dirty tricks campaign, which seeks to undermine and derail the child sex abuse investigations. Similarly, “satanic panic” is used to deride allegations of and investigations into ritual abuse (despite the revelations of Savile’s use of ritual, masks and Satanic paraphanalia), and public outrage is dismissed as “lynch mob hysteria”.
Booker finishes one of the articles above by comparing Marie Black’s winning back custody of her daughter to the case of Vicky Haigh, saying “I hope to be able to report that this new case has come to a similarly happy ending”
I can only say that I sincerely hope, for the sake of the children involved, that it will end more happily.