Esther Baker child sex abuse case: “Insufficent evidence”to prosecute as accused ex MP outs himself “

esther baker

Esther Baker

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

The two year long police investigation into allegations by Esther Baker against a former Liberal Democrat MP and two other people has ended with no prosecutions against any of the people following a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service that there is ” insufficient evidence” to get a conviction in court. Her case was highlighted,among others, by Exaro News, and centred around allegations that as a young girl she was sexually abused in the woods in Staffordshire by a number of prominent people while police officers looked on.

Staffordshire Police said in a  carefully worded statement which was supportive of Esther : “We have now concluded a thorough and sensitive investigation into a number of non-recent child sexual abuse allegations made by Esther Baker.

Throughout this process our priority has been to support Esther and ensure all potential lines of enquiry were carefully assessed and investigated. We submitted the findings to specialist lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction of any suspect in this case.

We recognise this investigation, and subsequent review by the CPS, has taken a great deal of time. ”

Supt Amanda Davies said “It was vital we gave the victim the time, space and support she needed to disclose the information. Over 100 hours of interviews were conducted by specially trained officers, and throughout the investigation we have kept her informed and continued to provide support.

“In this case Esther made the difficult decision to waive her right to anonymity and we will continue to support her, as we would with all victims of crime. We want to take this opportunity to reassure other potential victims that their identity is protected by law.”

“Supporting victims remains our absolute priority, rest assured you can contact us confident that you will be listened to and we will provide the support you need.”

Three people were interviewed under caution during this investigation, one of whom was arrested, he has now been released from bail.

John Hemming, the former Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham, Yardley, decided yesterday to reveal that he was subjected to allegations from Esther Baker and interviewed by the police though not arrested. In a long statement on his own blog, reproduced below, he attacked the Labour Party and accused his successful opponent,  Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham, Yardley of a campaign against him over the case ( even though he was never named) which he claimed was a perversion of the course of justice. He also attacked Sky News and Exaro for their reporting of it.

 He said :“I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.

I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. 

There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.

It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped. 

I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. Being subject to an unjust campaign of vilification is something I do not wish to repeat.

The police themselves have handled the allegations well. However, although it was obvious from the start that the allegations were nonsense, it has taken two years for this to be resolved. Identifying why that is will take time, but I believe that the system is too tolerant of false allegations. The current CPS guidelines on handling false allegations are in my view too tolerant of malicious allegations and need review. The unnecessary delay of around 2 years in resolving the issue I believe arises from procedures that are being used being flawed.

It has been in the public domain for 2 years that the complainant changed her allegations in early 2015 from those she had made publicly previously and that she had stated publicly that she had never met a politician…

It should be noted that the newspapers generally have handled the issue reasonably well. Exaro and Exaro’s funder have behaved dreadfully. Sky should recognise that not only was their broadcast of the original allegations in May 2015 a complete nonsense, but also had it been based upon truthful allegations that it would have undermined a criminal investigation. The attempts to drum up additional false complainants through the use of publicity highlights a difficulty with publicising cases whilst a police investigation is going on. There are people who will make false allegations merely because someone suggests that they are looking for such allegations.

Some members of the Labour Party, including my opponent in the last two General Elections, have invested considerable time in promoting these allegations. The promotion of the complainant as an expert in this subject area as a consequence of these allegations has caused additional difficulties for my family.

I am not myself aware of another situation where members and supporters of a political party have promoted such allegations in such a public manner – essentially arming the villagers with torches and pitchforks and setting off on a lynching. There were public attempts to prevent me from standing as a candidate because of allegations made maliciously by a Labour Party member backed by other members of the Labour Party. Many Labour members will find this unacceptable and it is an issue that needs consideration by the Labour leadership.

I have asked the police to investigate this attempt to pervert the course of justice and await their response. There are, of course, many procedural options that are open to me to obtain justice for my family. I will consider those over the near future.”

Two points need to be made as I suspect that this case will not be going away for some time.

First because other allegations  ( not involving the ex MP) made by Esther are still under investigation by Staffordshire Police with another police force, relating to when she was a teenager and she is intending to appeal the CPS decision.

Second it is clear Mr Hemming will not let this go. On his criticism of Exaro there are two points. He wrongly blames the former owner and funder, Jerome Booth, for publication of the story. Jerome never knew or wanted to know what stories Exaro was investigating and read the stories for the first time  like everyone else when they were published.

Secondly Exaro never named him throughout the investigation and when the police revealed his age which would have made it easier to identify him through ” a jigsaw identification ” removed the tag Liberal Democrat.

 

8 thoughts on “Esther Baker child sex abuse case: “Insufficent evidence”to prosecute as accused ex MP outs himself “

  1. I simply cannot believe you make a statement like : “Second it is clear Mr Hemming will not let this go.” after probably what was 2 years of sheer hell for the man. Why in the hell should he ‘let it go’?’
    Also to post the CPS statement in this way : ” insufficient evidence” is so disingenuous I think we see the problem her, it’s Henke and the remnants of Exaro who will not let this go. As to an attempt to exonerate the funder of the website, nice try. Next you’ll be telling us Rupert Murdoch is not responsible for what appears in his newspapers.

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    • I see you are very cross about my points – but I am afraid they are facts. The official statement from the police is ” insufficient evidence ” not ” cleared”. And the description of Jerome’s role is a fact. I should know,I worked there, you didn’t.

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  2. “I don’t think anyone can say more evil things about another human being. That he had committed child sex abuse, the torture of children and the serial murder of three children. Horrible and it haunts me. And it is a festering wound that I’m fighting very hard to recover from.

    “Nothing can undo the damage done to me.”

    Had to laugh at this quote from Harvey Proctor who seems to have forgotten that he did sexually and physically abuse under-age boys! He also seems to blame the inquiry for his loss of house and job when surely both must have been the responsibity of the Duke of Rutland, Proctor’s employer and landlord who, it would seem, acted too soon in removing Proctor from job and home. One has to wonder why?
    Further to your article David, and as I’ve written before, I despair at the mainstream media’s ability to turn “insufficient evidence to prosecute” into “no case to answer”. I await the day one of these so labelled “fantasists” is taken to court and the story actually told but suspect that it will never happen. Much rests on Alexis Jay who will be scrutinised mercilessly for the slightest fault then thrown to the wolves if she slips.

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  3. “Supporting victims remains our absolute priority, rest assured you can contact us confident that you will be listened to and we will provide the support you need.”

    That is an absolute joke/ entrapment. I hope nobody is actually stupid enough to fall for it……what they will do is collaborate with your abusers, section you, ass rape you still further, nasty sadistic torture including mutilation of genitals and stabbed in eyes with lit cigarettes….they will destroy your whole life, professionally, financially, personally….has been my experience and is still ongoing to this very day. Has been my experience.

    Or maybe you’ll justget lucky and the like of Keith Vaz will publish your personals on the internet so the other perps can come around and murder you, put cameras above your bed, in your bathroom etc. Too embarassed to even go to work when you are named and shamed on the internet like that at the very least…it really is irrelevant if he moonlights as washing machine repair man and/ or pays some people for sex in my view.

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