This week we’ve been discussing the IPCC’s response letter to Ella Draper’s appeal of the first IPCC investigation of the September 2014 police investigation of the Hampstead SRA hoax. (Got all that?) The response letter was posted by several people, we’ve now discovered; the first known post dates back to 29 November 2016, but the hoax promoters and supporters have really made very little of this partial acceptance of Ella’s appeal, probably because it didn’t go the way they wanted it to.
For starters, the substance of the appeal acceptance letter can be boiled down to, “There is insufficient information for me to properly assess this…appeal”.
This is hardly the ringing indictment of the investigation that people like Kristie Sue Costa imagined when they set up their ill-conceived series of petitions, which, had they not been removed thanks to our readers’ efforts, would have tried to demand that the IPCC force a re-investigation of the case:
This, of course, would have been laughably unrealistic, as the IPCC states very clearly in all its publications that its role is not to re-open investigations and keep at them until the police arrive at the outcome the IPCC complainants want. In fact, they don’t re-open investigations at all; they merely look back over completed investigations to determine whether certain things could have been done better.
So sorry, Kristie Sue, but the partial appeal acceptance says nothing whatsoever about the reliability of Dr Hodes’ findings, which were neatly disposed of by Mrs Justice Pauffley during the fact-finding hearing in March 2015. It does mention that there are discrepancies in the police timeline concerning when those reports were received, but there is no issue taken with what the reports contained.
Sorry, tattoos are off-limits
As for the hoax promoters’ demands that “identifying marks and tattoos” on the falsely accused ought to have been investigated, the partial appeal acceptance letter states quite firmly that this is not at issue:
The case manager states, “I understand that the officers had concerns about arresting a large number of suspects especially when various pieces of evidence provided by the children had proved to be incorrect or untrue”. So much for the hoaxers’ dreams of getting a chance to closely and carefully inspect the privates of a lot of innocent Hampstead residents. Not going to happen, sorry.
No search warrant at the church? Here’s why
Despite Angela Power-Disney’s imaginative claim that she spied blood on the floor of the church when she visited it, there has never been even the slightest speck of evidence that anything untoward happened in the church. However, that hasn’t stopped the hoax promoters from braying about search warrants and “proper searches”.
In the partial appeal acceptance letter, it’s clearly explained (again) why no warrant was required:
In the original IPCC investigation last spring, it was explained that the officers who conducted the search of the church discovered that the building was completely unlike anything described by the children, “on a structural basis rather than just fixtures and fittings alone”. In the opinion of Ms Alderson, the IPCC case manager, it is “understandable that a forensic team was not deployed given that your children’s accounts were undermined by the fact that the church did not and could not fit the description they had given”.
We don’t expect the hoax promoters to believe this, of course. It doesn’t fit with their dearly held belief that the church contains drawers full of baby skulls and a refrigerator full of baby leftovers (for sandwiches, one presumes).
The swimming pool allegations: Sunk without a trace
Another complaint addressed in the partial appeal acceptance letter is the fact that the children did not explicitly withdraw their allegations about the having been gang-raped in a cubicle at the Finchley lido. Anyone who has read the original IPCC report will recall that an officer went to the swimming baths and measured each area where abuse was alleged to have taken place. From this, it was “determined that it would not have been possible for the allegations to have been true”.
This is still the case if not all the alleged abusers were in the cubicle at the same time. In his statements about the pool, the little boy does state that there were 20 people in the cubicle at one time. Given the measurements of that room, and the fact that there is a gap between the top of the walls and the swimming pool deck beyond, which would have meant that anything taking place in the cubicle would be completely audible on the pool deck, Ms Alderson concludes that this abuse most likely did not happen.
This partial appeal acceptance letter states that the IPCC will require that the MPS offer further clarification on a number of the points raised.
That’s it, that’s all. No re-opening of the case, no re-investigation.
Furthermore, once that has occurred, the IPCC is very clear that no further appeals will be accepted:
We do confess to stifling a giggle at the thought of the MPS contacting Abe and Ella directly to ask them about the actions they need to take; even more hilarious is the idea of Abe and/or Ella contacting the police directly to demand that they shake a leg and let them know what’s going on. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that conversation!
So that’s it then, really. Some parts of Ella’s appeal were accepted, a great many others were rejected, and aside from yet another report further clarifying matters, nothing of consequence will happen.
We do wonder why Ella and Abe were so insistent that this be pursued: surely their solicitor must have informed them of the potential outcome? At any rate, this does seem to help explain why they have been so silent of late. Even they can’t help but realise that this is the end of the road.