Not always black & white: On guilt by association

Quite some time ago we wrote about Marie Black, a Norwich woman who was convicted of running a paedophile ring in 2015 and is currently serving a life term. Our first mention of Ms Black was in the context of her having fled to France to give birth, with the aid of Sabine McNeill and Belinda McKenzie’s friend Ian Josephs, who has a habit of financing “mums on the run” from social workers.

Our concern when we wrote that first post was with Mr Josephs’ indiscriminate funding of parents who wished to avoid having their children seized by social services—and nothing has happened in the interim to assuage that concern.

However, when we mentioned Ms Black in a more recent blog post, we received a rap on the knuckles from Margaret Jervis. (Alert readers might recall that Margaret was one of the journalists who risked prosecution for publishing the suppressed JET report which detailed the joint police/social worker investigation into the Broxtowe false SRA case in 1990.)

When we mentioned Marie Black’s conviction in an article a couple of weeks ago about some of Brian Gerrish’s dodgy friends, Margaret commented:

While you are right to say Gerrish and the other fruit loops ‘cherry pick’ cases they want to use to support their cause, it is the case that innocent people may be persuaded to support – and misguidedly welcome the support of – the ‘conspiracy theorists’.

And yes the Marie Black case had no more ‘real evidence’ than Hoaxtead – and strangely included ‘ritual abuse’ allegations (murdered baby/drinking blood) that the prosecution decided not to rely on – even though there was nothing to differentiate this evidentially from the evidence relied on to convict – which was a progressive narrative through foster carer suggestion and inducements with children who had been ‘alienated’ from their mother and relatives (the majority of whom were acquitted at trial).

There was no physical evidence. No independent witness evidence. Just the foster care diaries re times past (ie no contemporaneous evidence) and video interviews with leading questions and suggestion of vulnerable children who were induced to fantasise via carrot and stick and fantasy ‘reenactments’. The defence were not permitted to adduce expert evidence as to the unreliability of the this process which echoed – both in process and the nature of the ‘claims’ the notorious McMartin/Kelly Michaels/Shieldfield cases in methods of production and unreliability.

Desperate people may readily be persuaded as to ‘conspiracies’ etc when the reality is more mundane – but no less – and I would venture – even more chilling concerning the potential injustice of the criminal justice system.

So while you are entitled to castigate Marie Black in the terms of her conviction, (she maintains her innocence) I would be wary of using it as a stick to beat the ‘mob’ with. There are plenty of appalling child abuse cases that are real, but Marie Black is not a good example.

The conspiranoid link

When we began to look more closely at the Norwich paedophile ring case, it became clear that the news reports on which we had based our original blog post had not told the entire story. This gets a bit complicated, but bear with.

We have written in the past about Rainer Kurz, the self-styled SRA expert who presented a paper titled “From Hampstead to Norwich: Ritual Violence or Coaching?” at the European Congress of Psychiatry in September 2017.

While Kurz accepts holus bolus the web of lies which constitutes the Hampstead hoax, as Barthsnotes put it in a blog post at the time:

…[T}here’s an unexpected twist: the “Norwich” part of his title refers to the case of Marie Black, who was convicted of running a paedophile ring in 2015 and is currently serving a life sentence. Suddenly, Kurz discovers some scepticism:

(Kurz says:)
‘One allegation was that Marie ostensibly put a baby that her friend had ‘run over’ into a bag, carried it into her house and made her children drink its blood! What is the credibility of these allegations when the friend did not own a car and did not have a driving licence either? No baby was reported missing and no dead baby was found. Without any physical evidence a criminal case ensued against 10 defendants most of whom were members of Marie’s family while the remaining 30 ‘alleged abusers’ were not even interviewed! In extremely dubious circumstances Marie and two former partners were found guilty of sexual abuse’.

Frankly, we wouldn’t take Kurz’s word for much, particularly when it comes to distinguishing fact from fiction.

However, BarthsNotes echoed some of Margaret Jervis’ concerns:

There are some grounds for concern about the Black verdict, from what can be gleaned from media reports, although one should of course be cautious with such limited information: six defendants were acquitted; lurid SRA-type allegations were not substantiated; the way that social workers coaxed the allegations from children was controversial; and Black was perhaps not well-served by her legal representation (1). The Chief Constable of Norwich Police described the case as just “the tip of the iceberg”, although the force doesn’t seem to have located the rest of it so far.

And when we looked at some of the links suggested in the Barthsnotes post, we found serious concerns had indeed been expressed about the social workers in the case:

Gail Barnard, a senior social worker with Norfolk County Council, told the court the children had described being abused at sex parties and rewarded with certificates carrying slogans such as “secrets are good” and “do not tell anyone”.

However, the court heard the trial had originally been due to start last year only to be delayed when prosecutors raised concerns over changes made by social workers to statements taken from the children. This resulted in Norfolk Police launching an investigation into alleged misconduct.

Miss Barnard denied the claim she told another social worker Malcolm Blissett to “tidy up” documents by removing leading questions.

Kurz, who describes himself as a “volunteer” for Ian Josephs’ website Forced Adoptions, seems to be able simultaneously to believe that thousands of babies are delivered by courier to Hampstead, to be slaughtered, roasted, and eaten; but he cannot bring himself to believe that one of Ian Josephs’ protegées could have forced children to drink blood.

However, we’re not immune to similar, equally irrational blind spots. While we weren’t aware of the details of the Norwich case when we wrote about it, believing it to be an open and shut case, it is entirely possible that our laxity in researching the case was prompted in part by Ms Black’s connection to Ian Josephs (whom we still regard as irresponsible at very best).

Ultimately, while we don’t have enough knowledge of the case to decide for ourselves what, if anything, Ms Black was guilty of, we do realise that eagerness to believe in a person’s guilt or innocence merely on the basis of their associations is unworthy of us. We would quite correctly be extremely critical of anyone else who did that.

We thank Margaret Jervis for pointing it out, and apologise for our short-sightedness.

Marie Black-by-Denise Bradley

Marie Black—photo: Denise Bradley

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111 thoughts on “Not always black & white: On guilt by association

  1. The difference I think is that we are willing to note new facts as they come to light, indeed it seems that Ms Black may have be railroaded, certainly from my admittedly quick perusal of the links provided, the entire case seems more than a bit shaky, and reminds one again of Fiona Barnetts attempts to have her stories separated

    What is worrying is yet again (!!!), we have social workers who not only seem to be not inept, but indeed actually going against good practice, and seeming to want to push a SRA agenda, considering the seemingly significant numbers of social workers past and present that seem to push the SRA line, when to date there is literally no evidence it exists, that I am thinking that a serious inquiry into their training, practices and qualifications needs to be done, especially considering the powers they have to separate families and have criminal investigations started, and despite the police finding most of the case implausible, the social worker concerned with the case still maintained “The majority of the accusations are not wild and nonsense. I am one piece in the jigsaw. I wouldn’t change what I did.”

    With great power comes great responsibility…..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it’s very disturbing to find this sort of thing amongst social workers, who one would think would be trained to exercise utmost care and professionalism. I’m quite certain that not all are like this, but still, it’s worrisome.

      As for Marie Black, from what I’ve now seen I would say that at least the parts of her case which revolve around allegations of SRA-like behaviour should be reviewed in court.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I feel that it’s alright to err on the side of understanding the importance of honesty and clarity with the good intention of exorcising possible dubious connections used to influence the more malleable amongst us through bringing it to public attention….feck it, You shouldn’t feel like you’ve failed yourself or your readers at all – if you do….thanks for this post because it is always useful to think and then think again ad infinitum.

          I was once approached by a fellow proclaiming himself to be a social worker, who, in that capacity, felt he was qualified to reprimand me on how I was dealing with a troublesome situation between my two-year-old temper tantrum throwing toddler and me….he told me “I could report you to the authorities” and I replied “Go ahead!”

          I noticed about him that he was wearing what I call a ‘Hare Krishna’ scarf….it was a dull pink colour wrapped round his neck just so and he had the distinct whiff of a particular odour deliberately used to mask the very strong smell of joint smoking – patchouli oil, otherwise known as “Pakistani piss”, at least that’s what my Da used to call it and I thought to myself that if my child wasn’t present I’d probably punch him in the face.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, just so you know, I’d attended parenting classes and it had been recommended that the parent should ignore the child when they were screaming their head off and thrashing about on the floor. But that was way back in 1997….notions might have changed since then

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe if she gave Universal Light Being another name, like Binky or Fred or something, he’d be more acceptable to her friends.

    Or just call him by his initials. ULB. Or even BULB, for “Beautiful Universal Light Being”. That’d make her sound a bit less “I am a fucking wackadoo”.

    Actually, it probably wouldn’t. Forget I said anything.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think it is good that you are reporting about this, albeit late in the day. I emailed you a few links about the Marie Black case some weeks ago, but they must have got lost in the avalanche of material you receive every day. I just checked the email I sent you again, these are the links I though were very serious cause for concern

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-33014095

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-32992861

    It is my understanding that our prisons house a significant population of completely innocent people who are serving long sentences for sexual crimes against children that they did not commit.

    An overhaul of the judicial system re cases of rape and child sexual abuse, especially historic cases involving dubious therapies, is long overdue.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scary thing was because of these clowns pushing the SRA angle, the case was nearly dismissed, had it been thrown out in its entirety, an actual child abuser (note for cruelty, not sexual) would have escaped justice entirely…

      (Yay miss Bernard, hows your conscience tonight????)

      Seriously there needs to be a major shakeup of the entire social worker training and licensing system- it seems to be out of control….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. We have the same problem over here, E.C. IMPO, if false accusers were punished, we would have less of it. False allegations in contested custody suits, parental alienation and parental abduction are Not prosecuted as they should be. Google: Prosecution dismisses Sex Trafficking case against Hudsonville, MI. couple called Chopra. Teens lied and cops threatened them when they tried to recant their lies. That county will be SUED big time! ;D
      Good thing those folks retained private counsel as a local public defender would have seen them in a cage for 20 years!! FFS!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it’s bizarre that those who make false allegations often don’t face the full force of the law. To my way of thinking, they pull the legal system into disrepute–and as our laws are in many ways the basis of our society, false accusers pose a very real threat.

        Like

  4. Oh Gawd, she’s not gonna burst out of a birthday cake in a leotard and sing Happy Birthday, is she? Not even Trump deserves that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think it’ll be useful for those in the USA if QAnon supporters all have bumper stickers on their cars. Best to know what kind of loony is driving ahead of you, I think.

      Like

  5. ‘What is the credibility of these allegations when the friend did not own a car and did not have a driving licence either? ‘

    Neither of those things make much difference to some people. You can be driving someone else’s car and in some sub cultures not having a driving licence is normal. If you sit in Magistrates court for a day you’ll see one after the other being ‘done’ for it. Just thought I’d point this out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, ‘I said ALL the magic words and they didn’t work!!!’
      Another successful FOTL ‘win’

      I don’t know how many saw the van being ‘stolen’ but edward made an appearance, babbling on to a totally bored cop, I loved the look on the poor cops face, I would love to send the poor bugga a slab for having to put up with the incessant babbling of ellis, he stood there and had to listen to him for the entire time they took to take the van- poor bloke…

      Should get at least a weeks holiday for performance above and beyond the call of duty

      All of them should…

      Liked by 2 people

      • giggles….
        They normally only steal supercars, they took this van, but they normally steal supercars, they took my sons car

        Since when has a clapped out 10 year old diesel BMW a ‘supercar’

        Oh my aching sides….

        Liked by 3 people

      • I am waiting for Equity Lawyer to try preventing the confiscation of a Rolls Royce, by perching on the hood, until finally he is physically removed by exasperated bailiffs.
        “He was struck off the Rolls”, I will say.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I wonder if the Scottish police are aware that Robert Green is due to appear as Fresh Fart’s guest speaker in Aberdeen, a city he’s banned from entering:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Usually people not old enough to get served in pubs. Next she’ll be telling us how excited she is to be going to the seaside and hoping to ride some dodgem cars and get candyfloss

      Like

    • She’s such an idiot – I told her quite early on that I’d reported her and not only did she not have the good sense to take down her comments but she even went on to post more that were just as bad! It’s like she wanted to get suspended!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. JournoAngie is saying that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist. That’s an extremely serious allegation. I’m sure she’ll be backing it up with some irrefutable proof at some point in the near future. Right?

    Like

    • Angie’s in good company. This myth has been propagated by that extremely creepy Roger Stone who was an associate of the even more creepier Roy Cohn, the Mafia lawyer who was Trump’s original attorney. Is it just me who finds this man quite repulsive?. He seems to think he’s some sort of dandy with his dressing but seems ignorant that real style involves a bit more than putting on some fine threads.
      I leave it up to you: who is the most creepy: Roy Cohn, Roger Stone or Angela Power Disney?.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Three cheers for Mr Tinribs! | HOAXTEAD RESEARCH

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