Daily Mail, Saturday, August 3, 2002
Two Line-Dancing lovers and the truth about the most shocking story of the week.
BIZARRE is a word that hardly begins to describe the horrendous story which unfolded this week In the High Court. Two nursery nurses - Christopher Lillie, 37. and Dawn Reed, 31 - had had their lives ruined by wrongly being branded paedophiles, in a report commissioned by their local council.
On Tuesday they left the court without a stain on their character, having been awarded the maximum possible libel damages of £200.000 each in compensation. The Judge suggested that if he'd had the power to give them more, he would have done so.
Were Key pro-SRAMists trying to create another McMartin?
The story that emerged was thoroughly shocking. For nine years they had fought to eradicate a smear that they were sexual Perverts abusing children in care at the council-run Shieldfield nursery.
The nightmare began in 1993 when the mother of a two-year-old boy who attended the nursery went to the police with her suspicions.
The following year they were cleared at Newcastle Crown Court of sex crimes against children in their care - but instead of this being the end of their nightmare it was only the beginning.
First they were sacked for gross misconduct. and then, in 1995, a four member team was set up by Newcastle upon Tyne City Council to investigate-complaints about the nursery.
Their report, published in 1998, could hardly have been more explosive or more shattering for the two nurses. It said that Mr Lillie 'took every opportunity to abuse the children' and that his female colleague was party to that abuse, Including filming them.
'We find that ....Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed were procuring children at the nursery for porno graphic purposes as well as their own motivation-'
Incredibly, none of this was true. Indeed, according to the judge. Mr Justice Eady, summing up at the end of the £6 million Action, the council report was
'malicious in a way which cannot be explained on the basis of incompetence or mere carelessness'.
What the court was not told, however was that one figure central to the report had already been totally discredited through her involvement in a child abuse report - and had made a crusade of supposed 'satanic abuse' which verges on the obsessional.
They would not. have known that Judith Jones, one of the inquiry team of four in Newcastle, led a similar enquiry some 13 years ago in Nottingham under her married name, Judith Dawson.
That report was later condemned after a detailed investigation involving senior social workers and police as inflammatory rubbish, as we shall see.
So how did Judith Jones, who markets herself as a child abuse counsellor, come to be engaged by left.-wing Newcastle Council as one of the four members on the panel of this sensitive and volatile inquiry?
Ms JONES, 51, Is a Woman with a chequered and controversial history. A mother of two sons from her marriage at 21 to a computer programmer she has lived for some years with the feminist Marxist author Bea Campbell in a two-bedroom terrace in the Byker area of Newcastle.
The two women share a passionate - some would say obsessive - belief that there is widespread satanic. or ritual, child abuse in this country.
They have continued to proclaim this belief over many years, despite a curious lack of evidence.
Ms Campbell, indeed, was said during a debate in the House of Commons to
'subscribe to the view that one in four of the population are abused as children'.
Everyone, of course, is-entitled to their beliefs and no one would doubt the two women's genuine desire to save children from abuse. But in the case of Judith Jones. there is strong evidence to suggest that her personal approach to what is believable and what is not is somewhat eccentric. And one is entitled to think that in the case of two nurses alleged to be paedophiles feeding their lust and offering children to others. you would not want eccentricity but caution and sensible judgment.
When the then Judith Dawson led her team of social workers investigating child abuse in Nottingham, where she was then working. there had indeed been a revolting case of incest. But her team claimed to have unearthed a satanic frenzy that involved ritualistic murder. An inquiry into their report found the satanic claims to be utter nonsense, and Judith Dawson's reputation should have been in tatters.
John Gwatkins was joint chairman of the Nottingham inquiry carried out together with police and yesterday he explained just why he was 'totally appalled' when he learned that Judith Jones was sitting on the Newcastle panel.
'In MY opinion she is totally unsuited to do this kind of work. As soon as we started out inquiry we began to feel that she was totally ignoring any evidence that contradicted her preconceived ideas.
,For example, she believed a ten year-old girl who said her stomach had been cut open in the front room of a council house. We learned that the girl had previously been in hospital for an appendix operation. and her surgeon was contacted. He identified his scar and told us the girl was otherwise untouched
'When we informed Judith Dawson of this, she replied that satanists were clever people and would cut along the same scar so that it wouldn't be noticed. 'We put this to the surgeon, who said it was medically impossible as scar tissue heals poorly. But when we told her what he had said. she was dismissive. She didn't want to know and refused to accept it. It was quite astonishing.'
Even more astonishing he says was some months later when he read an article about satanism by her in the New Statesman. She wrote about a girl who had described 'how she was laid on a table and had her stomach ritually cut open'.
'It was as though the evidence we had presented to her never existed'. says Mr Gwatkin, who was director of social services at Newark Notts, but has since retired to Lincolnshire.
'It beggars belief that someone with such a closed mind should be appointed to sit on a panel investigating alleged child abuse at a nursery school in Newcastle.'
Retired detective superintendent Peter Coles, who was involved in ritual abuse investigations in Nottingham, also remembers Judith Dawson and her team- and a particular incident involving a child who had allegedly been microwaved.
I was slightly mischievous and said to one of Judith's team that I had checked this out and it couldn't be right - because experts had told me if you did that, the baby's eyes would explode and the door of the microwave would come off. I was just kidding, but before long one of the team came back and said disclosures had now been made about babies' eyes being taken out before they were microwaved. These claims were pure invention.' (SAFF Ed: Click here for more background on how Peter Coles took Team 4's supporters to court for defamation and won an apology)
One is surely entitled to recall these bizarre incidents in relation to the libel judge's comments about claims of the Newcastle panel that they 'must have known to be untrue'
And yet , as we know, Judith Dawson's career did not plummet. On the contrary, she lectures widely and is on the Law Society's list of expert witnesses for 'family child issues' , including child abuse and lesbian or gay families.
John Gwatkin believes her career was saved because his inquiry report was never published by Nottingham council. Judith Dawson is understood to have complained that it was sexist, because her team of four were all women.
Two years ago, when it (the JET report), suddenly appeared on the internet, she was no longer using her married name, but her maiden name of Jones - and he says 'many people didn't realise it was the same person'.
Old colleagues in Nottinghamshire remember Judith Dawson as one says 'a rather sloppy person dashing about with files under one arm and shopping bag in the other' At that time Judith seemed to be a typically busy, ordinary working woman with children ' with too much on her mind to be very jolly'.
Then suddenly, ritual or satanic abuse became a talking point; and says one former social worker colleague, 'it seemed to take her over and she became quite obsessive about it. She became a very different person'./
More different, perhaps than colleagues realised. For at about that time journalist Bea Campbell who had been writing about the alleged satanic abuse in the Orkneys - where social workers arriving at dawn had taken children away from innocent parents- arrived to write about what was happening in Nottingham. Judith was able to tell her. (SAFF Ed: Click here to see background on Bea Campbell's media campaign to try and convince the public that Satanic Ritual Abuse exists)
Precisely at what point Judith Dawson left her husband Brendan whom she married in 1972 is not clear. But before very long the two women were not only fuelling each other's fixation with ritual abuse - and collaborating to produce articles discussing its presence in Nottingham as proven fact - but were being talked of as an 'item'.
In 1992 Judith moved to work in Sunderland - Bea, who has describe herself as a 'horrible queer Marxist'; lived in nearby Newcastle - and in 1997 they decided to cement their relationship by deciding to live together after discovering line-dancing.
Bea 57, a visiting professor in women's studies at Newcastle University 'dragged' my lover along' as she was to write, for line dancing at a local church hall , and at least once to the Powerhouse Club, Newcastle's only gay club.
By this time Judith Jones and her appointed colleagues at Newcastle were well into their three-year investigation (at around £25,000 a year each) into alleged serial child abuse by Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed.
Those two people's lives were about to be torn apart, as the libel judge said, in a manner that was more than 'incompetence or mere carelessness.'
The report that the libel judge has just demolished was published in 1998 and the following year Jones and Campbell co-wrote a book. Stolen Voices, which excoricated people who doubted the extent of Satanic child abuse. One reviewer called it 'a sad case of false ideology syndrome' and Jean La Fontaine, the emeritus professor of social anthropology at the LSE found 'facts which are not true'. The book she said was 'long on rhetoric, short on fact'.
The book , however, never arrived in the shops. Many threatened legal action and one engaged the late George Carman to write to the publishers. The Women's Press. 'We never distributed the book because of a legal warning' it recalls ' They could still be sitting in a warehouse somewhere.'
So why was Judith Jones on the report team? Newcastle Council advertised for independent experts and drew up a short-list. Ms Jones stood out as someone ' who had been working in Newcastle for many years and has strong links with the region' and she was appointed 'because of her expertise and experience in child protection and family work'. So much for what happened in Nottingham.
This week, as the two nursery nurses stepped outside the shadow that has dimmed their lives for nine years. Judith Jones and Bea Campbell were away on holiday apparently soaking up the sun.
Unbelievably with the judge's condemnation still ringing in her ears Judith is said to be considering writing another book with Bea about the Newcastle fiasco.
Ends: (c) Copyright The Daily Mail, London.
THANK GOODNESS FOR THE MAIL
The S.A.F.F. applaud the Daily Mail for their long-term commitment to ferreting out the truth behind the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth. Unlike most other British newspapers (including the so-called 'quality' broadsheets many of whom have given Bea Campbell and her coterie space to promulgate Satanic Ritual Abuse theory whilst actively refusing or even censoring input from people, like us, who had evidence that it was a myth) the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday have looked deeper. Be under no illusion; if a handful of professional reporters at the Mail had not bucked the fashionable trend to bandwagon the idea of Satanic Ritual Abuse over the past decade, we believe witch-hunts which victimise innocent people like Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed would be an everyday occurrence. The Mail didn't just report the truth, they financed legal campaigns to protect innocent victims from the power-shadow of the child-scare industry . As long as modern day Satan-hunters in social work are indemnified from the repercussions of their actions by local authorities these appalling and pernicious prejudices will persist to cause more harm to innocent children and adults. It is only a question of time. The question is when, not if. When the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth was first floated in the U.K. many people in positions of power in our society turned a blind eye thinking that it was of little consequence if a few weirdos who believed in Witchcraft and Satanism had their lives destroyed. They did not see, even when the SAFF repetitively gave long-term warnings to the police, politicians. local authorities and the press, that this poisonous myth had little if anything to do with the fears about Witchcraft/Satanism which drive it and that, just as during the witch hunts of the 16th century, only innocent people dragged into the hysteria would suffer. Poor Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed know the truth of our words to their cost but will the rest of you heed them and shun believers in Satanic Abuse as a pestilence, or are you waiting until YOU are accused too?
Despite it's constant rubbishing by leftists The Mail has been one of the very few voices of reason in the British Media.
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