Abuse victims bid for justice from inquiry

Former Skegby Hall Care Home
Former Skegby Hall Care Home
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Survivors of child abuse across Nottinghamshire’s care homes are hopeful that an independent inquiry into the scandal will get underway in the coming months.

The victims have been pushing for the investigation into the homes run by Nottinghamshire’s county and the city council.

Nottinghamshire Police are already looking into the case, having launched Operation Daybreak five years ago and Operation Xeres earlier this year, but there is yet to be a prosecution.

Many survivors have questioned the value of the operations, and feel the only way to ensure a fair hearing is to bring in outside bodies to look at the police and both councils.

Hundreds have broken their silence about the systematic sex abuse they suffered at the hands of care home workers stretching back to the 1960s, but remain sceptical about the what the outcome will eventually be, and whether the perpetrators will ever be brought to justice.

The Nottinghamshire Child Sex Abuse (CSA) action group, set up with the help of former Forest Town man and abuse survivor Mickey Summer, recently met with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse -led by New Zealand’s Judge Lowell 
Goddard.

Leading the CSA group is close friend of Mickey Summers and retired Army officer, David Hollas MBE, who told the Chad: “The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how survivors were to be central in the outcomes of the Goddard inquiry.

“The discussions with the Goddard team clearly gave much confidence to the survivors group of the determination of Goddard not only to deliver a cathartic experience and allow survivors to tell of their experiences, but to ensure all necessary lessons are learnt and recommendations made.

“It will ensure that the institutional abuse of children can never again happen and also where there is evidence of failure by those that were supposed to protect the children, that they too will be exposed and bought to account.

“Survivors attending the meeting were able to air their general concerns over the police operations Daybreak and Xeres, which has still to see any prosecutions despite an unprecedented level of survivors coming forward to give evidence.

“There is clearly more to do, but survivors left the meeting knowing that Goddard will get to the truth and were prepared to listen to survivors.

“It is expected that greater clarity of the truth sessions that will allow survivors to tell their stories will come late autumn.”

Huge numbers of survivors have stepped forward to talk about their horrific experiences at the hands of staff at more than a dozen homes, including Skegby Hall in Skegby, Laybrook, Berry Hill Open Air School and The Ridge in Mansfield, and Cauldwell House in Southwell.