Saturday, July 12, 2014

Baroness Butler-Sloss Hid Claims of Bishop's Sex Abuse

Former judge appointed to investigate allegations of an establishment cover-up of child sex abuse kept allegations about a bishop out of the public domain because the 'press would love a bishop'
Baroness Butler-Sloss, former High Court judge, was put in charge of an investigation into how the Church of England handled the cases of two priests who had sexually abused boys.

The retired judge appointed to lead the Government's major review of child sex abuse allegations kept allegations about a bishop out of a report on a paedophile scandal because she "cared about the Church", it has emerged.

Baroness Butler-Sloss told a victim of alleged abuse that she did not want to include the claims because "the press would love a bishop".

It comes days after Lady Butler-Sloss was forced to apologise for "inaccuracies" in a previous inquiry into two paedophile priests.

Bishop Ball, 82, the former Bishop of Lewes and Bishop of Gloucester, was charged this year with indecent assault offences and misconduct in a public office.

During a meeting at the House of Lords in 2011, Lady Butler-Sloss told Phil Johnson that she would "prefer not to refer to him" because he was "very old now" and she wanted the focus of any press coverage to be two priests who were prolific abusers - one of whom was dead and the other in prison.

She said she would mention the allegations in a private report to the Archbishop of Cantebury instead, according to The Times.

Mr Johnson, who was abused by a number of clergymen when he was a choirboy in the Church of England Diocese of Chichester and now sits on a National Safeguarding Panel for the Church, kept a detailed record of the meeting. He said he "felt pressured to agree to exclude information about the bishop from the report".

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP who exposed the extent of Cyril Smith’s child sex offences, said "there is information coming out by the day which suggests she [Lady Butler-Sloss] is unsuitable for the role".

The peer previously made crucial errors during an investigation into how the Church of England handled the cases of two ministers in Sussex who had sexually abused boys.

Eight months after her report was published Lady Butler-Sloss had to issue a six-page addendum in which she apologised for “inaccuracies” which, she admitted, arose from her failure to corroborate information which was given to her by senior Anglican figures as part of the inquiry.

Lady Butler-Sloss said she had always tried to be "fair and compassionate" and had "never put the reputation of any institution, including the Church of England, above the pursuit of justice for victims".

A Home Office spokesman said: “The integrity of Baroness Butler-Sloss is beyond reproach and we stand by her appointment unreservedly.”

References:
Alice Philipson, The Telegraph, telegraph.co.uk, David Icke, Davidicke.com, The People's Voice, thepeoplesvoice.tv

Credits:
Special Thanks to Alice Philipson from The Telegraph UK and The People's Voice from thepeoplesvoice.tv

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