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Email from Michael Barnes, secretary to FACT, to David Whelan, 09/08/2005.

From: Michael Barnes
To: David Whelan
Date: 09/08/2005 12.10:20pm GMT
Subject: RE:John Porteous & Helen Porteous in response to the May 2004 article.

Dear Mr Whelan

Thank you for getting in touch and for your comments about a letter written by Helen Porteous which appears in the May 2004 edition of FACTion. I have looked again at Helen's letter which makes the following comments,

1   Helen's letter does not refer to any individual by name and does not identify you as a complainant.

2  Helen does make reference to abuse alleged to have taken place 35 years ago but not in the context of "you". What she is stating is fair comment. All she is doing is posing the question of whether or not a person's memory of events said to have occurred 35 years ago can be relied upon as being correct. In doing so she is re-iterating a concern we have about the fairness of historical allegations. (We know of cases where people had to defend allegations relating to events that were said to have occurred more that 40 years previously)

3  The issue of press involvement and anonymity is an interesting one. As an organisation we support the need for anonymity for the "accused" and the "victim" including during Court hearings. We agree that people should have the right to waive anonymity if they chose providing they respect the other parties right to anonymity.

4  We agree that everyone has an equal right to highlight any false allegations which have been made against them. as an organisation FACT supports the principle of indivisibility of justice - in other words justice must be equally shared and properly applied to all parties.

5  F.A.C.T. does not claim to know every circumstance relating to a complainant. What we do claim is to have a body of knowledge about a good number of complainants (several hundred) a good deal which is demonstrably false. F.A.C.T. accepts that abuse has (and does ) occur in our schools and care homes. What we ask is that others accept that, sometimes, people do make false or exaggerated allegations of child abuse. If you are not convinced of this you should read Richard Webster's newly published book "The Secret of Bryn Estyn" his research basically mirrors our own findings.

We look forward to the publication of your website. If at any time you find information on ours which is not accurate please do let me know and we will correct it.

Michael Barnes


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