This series of 6 appeals concerns Anver Daud Sheikh and St Camillus Care Home, Tadcaster, Operation Juno and perhaps Operation Courier
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Some reports have had victims names and personal details redacted and some assault details redacted.
This is a difficult balance- normally I would think that I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.
In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims, there may also be “assault redacted” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual.
Some redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, instituions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.
Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading softwware and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive. Alias letters are not transferable between appeals.
If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.
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 EWCA Crim J0309-3
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2
Tuesday, 9th March 2004
Lord Justice Kennedy
Regina v Anver Daud Sheikh
Computer-Aided Transcript of the Palantype Notes of Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited 190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR M BARLOW appeared on behalf of the APPELLANT
MR J GOOSE QC appeared on behalf of the CROWN
- LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Yes, Mr Barlow.
2. MR GOOSE: Please, my Lord, I propose to address you first bearing in mind the application is by the respondent for a retrial.
3. My Lords, I hope you have had the opportunity of seeing my skeleton argument upon this issue.
4. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: We have, for which we are grateful. We have had the skeleton argument also on behalf of the appellant, and we have read that. Penry-Davey J and I have had an opportunity, as it happens separately, to see the videos. Hedley J has not, but that is the position we are in.
5. MR GOOSE: I am grateful.
6. My Lord, you will have seen that within the skeleton argument that I have produced I invited the court to see the video because reading the transcript alone would not necessarily deal with matters fully.
7. My Lord, the respondent respectfully contends that it is in the public interest that this matter be retried. We contend that the two complainants remain credible witnesses. They were, according to their statements, in different units, different house units, at the home. They did not know each other when they were there. They came from different parts of the country, and they left and had not seen each other afterwards. The suggestion that was previously made that the two of them were part of a conspiracy appears not at this stage any longer to be pursued, bearing in mind that the evidence upon that, as my Lords will recall, has been withdrawn.
8. My Lords, before turning to the particular points that have been addressed since the matter was last before your Lordships, may I seek to start from this position. The two complainants in this case, from the position that they came, as I say, from different parts of the country, make complaint of these offences in circumstances which we submit bear fairly close similarity in what they allege. They allege that they were taken into a separate bedroom. Both of them say that in respect of their allegations. They allege that the occasions that it occurred involved the perpetrator taking the dominant role in regard to two forms of sex that are referred to in the statements, [assault redacted]
9. Thirdly, that no touching —and we say this is significant —no touching was required or took place by the complainants of the perpetrator. Quite often, as one can imagine, there is a mutual touching either forced or voluntary. In this it was all touching one way, none the other. None being required by the perpetrator —by these complainants on the perpetrator. They both involved a single episode of these two types of abuse, [assault redacted]. They both ended with threats to kill. My Lords will recall I think from the papers at pages 6 and 11 where they refer to that. We also say that there is an important piece of evidence that is described by [B], who described in the bedroom of the appellant in his staff quarters a place where the appellant said that no pupils were ever allowed, no residents were ever allowed, that there was a sheepskin rug on the double bed where the offence took place. The appellant in interview, at first he confirmed that residents, none of the boys were ever allowed in there, and secondly accepted, admitted that, yes, there had been a sheepskin rug in his bedroom.
10. We also rely upon the fact that both complainants were at the home in different units but at the same time, they overlapped with the appellant. The periods of overlap, my Lords, for the sake of my Lords’ note for B it was one month, that is the period of August. In respect of
[A] —it is the reverse way round, forgive me. For A it is one month, for B it is 41/2 months.
11. My Lords, the main issues that were of concern to the court on the last occasion were of course the reference to the boy C, in respect of A and the recollection of B of his absconding alone compared to the social services records. My Lords, we submit that when one watches the video of A and one sees what he says and how he describes it, without going again over the issue itself, one sees that, as we would submit in neutral terms, he is a credible witness, a matter that a jury would need to determine. It is right to observe —and this was not known when I addressed your Lordships on the last occasion —that in court during those proceedings A was present. He was entitled to be, he was no longer a witness he was a member of the public. So when your Lordship raised the question, at that point I turned to seek instructions as to whether we could contact him. I was told at that point that he appeared to be in court.
12. What I submit is that the net effect of that really does not affect the issue greatly because it would have been sensible in any event for A to have been told the reason that he was being reinterviewed. In fact, the officer did not do that, but he knew when he was being interviewed what the issue appeared to be.
13. The appellant no doubt seeks to argue, through my learned friend, that he knew what he was being asked about so he has changed his evidence. We submit that is most eminently an issue for a jury. If a jury is left unsure that the complaint is accurate and true given that particular change —that is to say, “Well, I am not sure about C now” —then the members of the jury will of course deal with the matter in the appropriate way. So we submit that is not a reason to prevent retrial, that the retrial should take place coupled with proper directions by the court in relation to that inconsistency, as it appears to be.
14. But I do say that when one reads the transcript as well as watches the video as far as he is concerned, one can see in clear terms he was asked on two occasions who those who bullied were, and he set out whom he believed them to be. He was asked in terms about C. My Lords, I will return briefly if I may because I want to deal with those points raised by my learned friend and refer your Lordship to short passages from the transcripts.
15. My Lords, may I turn then to what it is that my learned friend argues on behalf of the appellant. I do not propose to touch all of those issues that he raises, but only those that appears to be, if I may respectfully suggest, significant.
16. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Yes.
17. MR GOOSE: My Lords, at paragraph 5(e) of my learned friend’s skeleton argument refers to the fact that in the interview with the police that was conducted since this matter was last before your Lordships, the complainant described that he told Mr Clark that he was being bullied. My learned friend seeks to argue in his statement he referred to telling Mr Cain. My Lords, there is a distinction. What is clear, we submit, is that the complainant was describing telling Mr Clark about him being bullied. That is what he talked about in his interview with the police, and also talked about in the transcript. But what he talked about when he was making his statement was a complaint he said that he made to Mr Cain after the abuse; that is to say, the sexual offences committed upon him. And Mr Cain, as your Lordships will recall, has produced a statement —he was not called at the trial before —where he said, “I don’t recall such a thing, and had I done so I would have done various things.” So we say this is not a contradiction. These are separate complaints, one about the bullying and one about the matter of the sexual offence.
18. Paragraph 5(i), that is at the bottom of the page, is a reference to the complainant describing Mark Hurst as being one of the bullies. My Lords, it helps to revisit the transcript as to exactly what that particular passage said because we say that it was ambiguous as to quite what the complainant was saying in the interview and on transcript about who it was. My Lords, at the bottom of page 6 of the transcript of A.
19. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Yes.
20. MR GOOSE: He was asked —in fact he was asked twice in clear terms, but this is the first of them:
“Q. Can you recall who at that time was beating you up?”
Now that is in the context of the lead-up to the abuse, and his answer was:
“A. [dD] was one of them.”
We know it was not d but it was a different name, but D was correct:
“There was a guy from Barnsley, e, there was a big lad with a very big nose, [eE] I think, the name [eE] that name’s coming into it because we had a fight in the tea room in the canteen, going up to that time I can’t remember, I can’t remember if it was before or afterwards but I know he and [ ?] then he starts talking about Mr Cain, a member of staff.
21. So that really what one can say is he seems to be referring to [E]. It is not clear whether he was saying E was part of it at the time. It is accepted by the respondent that E was not a resident at that time, it was a year later. My learned friend refers to it. But what the complainant is not saying in clear and unequivocal times is that E was one of the bullies at the time leading up to this particular incident.
22. My Lords, over the page, paragraph 5(k). My learned friend seeks to try to pinpoint which weekend in August that this could have occurred. About halfway through paragraph 5(k) my learned friend sets out the relevant dates as being the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th. He says and we accept for the purpose of this argument that the 22nd was a day when it was recorded that he has absconded, so that cannot have been the correct weekend. The 31st was a day, again we accept for the purposes of this argument, that was when A was being interviewed by the police. That itself of course does not rule out the Friday when he said it happened, because that would appear to be the 29th. But the 8th and the 15th remain in place, and we say then one cannot say that this analysis means that it did not take place at the time that the complainant describes, because there are at least two weekends in that month when he was present and when the appellant was present when the offence could have taken place.
23. My learned friend seeks to develop to an extent at this stage an argument in relation to the day log books. The argument that he raises is it is not possible to see for sure whether the day log books would say that the appellant was on duty in house A. May I remind your Lordships that the appellant was a master, house master, resident in house A. But the evidence was that members of staff were required to work in other house units, and also it was that all of the members of staff had a master key to go into any of the house units they needed to go to.
24. We say this in relation to the contention concerning the day log books. A person who is intent upon committing offences such as these, if it were the appellant, would hardly need to wait until he happened to be rostered to be in that house unit. He may or may not be. He would have access as a member of staff. So we submit that that particular point is not with the force that my learned friend would say it has. But secondly WG was actually in the same house unit as the appellant and so therefore the duty log books would be of no relevance to his complaint at all.
25. My Lords, finally so far as A is concerned, the last paragraph, 5(m), refers to the matter of C in relation to a camping trip. I think my learned friend has mentioned this to me, it appears slightly ambiguous from his skeleton argument and I know that he is anxious that is not the case, he knows it should not be and does not want it to be ambiguous, that when one looks at transcript page 9, where the complainant is asked again about C and about the camping trip, about halfway down he is asked:
“Do you remember when that was?”
referring to the camping trip when he says he was attacked by C. The complainant says:
“When we went on a camping trip, I couldn’t tell you when, we were on a camping trip, with all the houses we all went somewhere and Mr CHEETHAM came as well I think, there was CHATCHAM or CHEETHAM or something he came with us.
Q. Can you recall if that event was before or after the incident that you complained of?
The significance of this is it was an attack by C on the complainant. His answer was:
“That was after, I think it was after, I think it was after. I know he absconded a few time but I can’t, I’m trying to think.”
So he was asked: “Look I know it’s very difficult [?], but it’s important that if you can recall when the beating from C took place?”
And he replied: “I couldn’t tell you, I can’t remember to be honest with you, I can’t remember if it was after or before, I’m not 100% sure.”
26. Now I do not know how far my learned friend wants to take that point, whether he is saying if it was before then of course it could not have happened at the time when he said. But the complainant when asked to think about that initially said, “I think the camping incident and the bullying by C was after I was abused by [as he says] the appellant.” But what he is not saying is that that incident took place before he was abused by, as he says, the appellant.
27. My Lords, may I then briefly turn to the issues relating to B raised by my learned friend. They can be taken I think in one way, referring to paragraphs 7(d), (e) and (f) of his skeleton argument. My learned friend refers to the fact that in his video interview B describes that he only recalls absconding on one occasion. He was asked was he sure about that. Initially he said that is what he remembered, and he said various things about how sure he was or not sure.
28. The social services notes (as set out in the statement of [F] as my Lords will recall) seek to record what it is that the social services note say. My Lords, the statement that I have of hers has the detail at page 8. I know on the last occasion my learned friend passed up a copy of F’s statement. My Lord, it is dated 23rd April 2001.
29. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Thank you. (Pause) I am surprised if I have not still got it because it should be with the papers.
30. MR GOOSE: Perhaps I can read from what I have and then I know my learned friend can follow and make sure that I am doing it correctly. It is about halfway down. It is at page 8. She says this from the notes:
“B absconded from St Camillus School on 2 (possibly 3) occasions.”
My Lords, you probably recall this.
31. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Yes we do.
32. MR GOOSE: “The report for the informal review held on 26.06.80 “
My Lord, went to St Camillus in April of 1980:
“[?] states that B absconded on [redacted] in the company of 3 others. He was returned by local police. The Residential Social Worker’s Report for B first formal review held on [redacted] “
My Lords, you will recall that the appellant ceased to work there on 31st August:
” B states that he has ‘absconded once, on 12th July when he was returned to school later the same day.'”
We do not know from that whether and by whom, but it was in the same day and on that occasion there appears to be a note that he has only absconded on the one occasion:
“There is no record of the reason B absconded on these (this) occasion.”
There is a further incident referred to, again on this page, of 13th October which my learned friend seeks to argue is the relevant one. We submit it is not. Carrying on with this part:
“Social work records indicate that B and Mrs G were seen by Mr Levy, Educational Psychologist for an assessment interview regarding the possibility of B admission to Phoenix House, Grimsby. B and Mr G were informed by Mr Levy that he did not feel Phoenix House was a suitable placement.”
This is the significant part, we submit:
“B failed to return to St Camillus School. An undated telephone message from B or Mrs Edwards at this time indicates that B had telephoned Social Services saying if he went back to St Camillus he ‘would bunk again’. He was advised to go home by Social Services staff. B was escorted back to school on 13.10.80. There is no record of who escorted him back.”
We submit that that occasion, 13th October, appears to be, although this cannot be absolutely clear, appears to be an occasion when he was refusing to come back when he had gone to visit others or gone home that weekend, and it was not an absconding by running away as B was describing.
33. So the social services notes indicate there may have been an occasion on 10th June, but there was an occasion where he absconded and was returned in the day on 12th July. We say that that would fit in with what WG described as the timetabling approximately of when he says he was abused. He arrived in April. He said the abuse took place two to three months after he arrived. In his statement he said that he absconded a matter of days, possibly weeks after. When he was interviewed by the police he thought it was one to two months. And that fits, we say, within the period that is relevant.
34. So that our submission is that in fact social services records do not contradict B’s complaint of when he absconded relevant to the time that this appellant was working at the home.
35. My Lords, we submit that when one views the videos, though of course neither complainant revisited the detail of the abuse, but when one sees the complainant, particularly, if I may say so, A who was seen I think slightly more at length than B, the complainants are credible witnesses. Their evidence should be heard before a jury. As I have said on the previous occasion, I know it is a trite point, these are very serious offences alleged and it is right in the public interest they should be retried.
36. Finally, may I say this. Of course we recognise that the appellant has served a period of time in custody. But the sort of sentence that he received would mean that a retrial for him would not be oppressive. It would be otherwise of course had the sentence been one where he had effectively served it, but that is not the case in this particular appeal.
37. My Lords, we submit that a retrial should be held so that these matters can be tried properly before a jury with the fresh evidence that has now been obtained.
38. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Mr Barlow.
39. MR BARLOW: May it please, my Lords. One of the difficulties of course is that by sitting back and trying to analyse in minute detail what is now said by the complainants will, on the face of it, produce inconsistencies. My respectful submission this afternoon is that, far from clarifying the position, these interviews with these two complainants have done little to clarify the issues that were raised on the last occasion as to whether or not what these young men asserted during the course of that trial is indeed right.
40. As I have set out in my skeleton argument, it is unfortunate that, unbeknown to the court or to counsel, A was present. I accept wholeheartedly that of course he is entitled to be present during the course of any hearing in any court. But if the matter had been known, I am very sure my learned friend would have informed me and it would have had some bearing on what I addressed your Lordships on on that day. The knock-on effect, in my respectful submission, is that unfortunately when it came to the stage of him being interviewed by the police officers —and if I may say today that the police officers dealt with the interview in a very professional manner and making it quite clear in their questioning of both these young men that they were just simply trying to sort out some ambiguities that have arisen and not alert them directly to the issues that have been considered by this court, that is and would have been the proper way to deal with it, to seek the clarification for today’s hearing. Therefore in my submission, unfortunately, A was very well aware of the issues that I made on behalf of Mr Sheikh. My submission is that when one steps back from his interview from the police, it is quite clear that he has tailored his account during the course of that interview.
41. One has to bear in mind, in my respectful submission, that before the jury he was certain about his evidence. It was certain that it was C, the [redacted] lad from Sheffield. That is what he clearly remembered. It was not a question of him saying to the jury, “Well, I am not all that sure on that point, I may well be wrong.” He was certain, and of course based upon those certainties I am sure the jury convicted this man. He has —and it is quite clear in the interview with the police aware of that issue, as I have raised in paragraph 5 —has backtracked considerably to the point where he is not entirely sure now whether or not it was C or someone else.
42. Now my learned friend very properly has raised before your Lordships today an observation that I make in relation to [G]. My learned friend quite understandably says today, “Well, when one looks at the interview there are some ambiguities into what this young man is saying.” Again, the difficulty with these kinds of interviews is that ambiguities will arise because of course the police officer is asking the questions and not counsel. It is quite clear from the information disclosed to myself and my instructing solicitors, the police together with the Crown Prosecution Service went to great pains to determine how best to approach this interview. Of course, as I understand it, it was decided not to raise the direct issue with them, but to deal with it in a general way.
43. Now the whole point about G is that when one looks at page 6, the question before the officer asks, “I’d like you to try and tell us and to try and think about when that sexual offence took place?” And we see his answer there, and he talks about [H] and others. He explained about the fact that the appellant was working that night and so on and so forth:
“Can you recall who at that time was beating you up?”
It may well be a matter of interpretation, but my submission is that he clearly mentions the name Mark Hurst and again refers to a fight in the canteen.
44. Now as my learned friend has conceded, G, very much like C, did not arrive at the school until way after this appellant left. That is the difficulty in my respectful submission, and my submission is that effectively this interview with A has not clarified the situation. If anything, it has made it worse in regard to the certainty of his account. Again, in my submission, it is quite clear that when he is asked about C, quite understandably he has tailored his evidence because he is aware of the issue surrounding C.
45. In relation to B —one of the difficulties your Lordships was that I understand at trial when these offences was not an issue that was placed in evidence before the trial, apart from the fact that it happened at some stage whilst this young man was at that school. The difficulty there from that point of view is we do not have a starting point from which we can refer back to the evidence heard by the jury. But significantly, in my respectful submission, as I set out in my earlier skeleton argument, he was there for a relatively short period of time. The interesting thing is that he says it occurred on a Friday evening. What is in my respectful submission important is that again, far from being certain about things, there is clear ambiguity now from what he told the police, and as I understand it what he told the jury from what he told the police officers, in regard to the period of time after the alleged offence was committed against him to when he absconded. At trial, or sorry in his police statement, he stated that it was a week —sorry, it was after a short period of time, maybe days or a week, he could not stand it and he ran away during the middle of the school day. That is the importance, in my respectful submission, because we only have before this court the information provided in the statement from the records held by the social services. It is unfortunate that we do not have copies of those reports concerning the abscontions. My learned friend, quite understandably, makes the point, “Well the points that Mr Barlow raises are rather weak because we say that the dates seem to match 12th July when the defendant was there, given the timescale given by the complainant.” In my respectful submission, one has to look at what the complainant says. He made it quite clear that he ran off during the school day, which is Monday to Friday. He was certain on that. When one looks at the dates it is quite clear that 12th July is not a school day, it is a weekend.
46. In regard to other aspects of what he said in this interview, it is quite clear that his recollection was that he only absconded once, that could be compared against the records. But when asked and directed by the officer, quite properly, he replied that he did not recall any other occasions when he absconded, and he was very positive on that point.
47. In my submission, your Lordships, the situation is far from clear; that the certainty that my learned friend raises in regard to these witnesses and their credibility in my respectful submission is misplaced. My learned friend at the start raised the issues which were placed before the jury on the similar fact aspects of this case. Now in many respects, in my submission, they are in fact the standard stock-in-trade in relation to these offences. But more importantly, my learned friend lays great emphasis on B’s evidence of being taken to Mr Sheikh’s room, staff quarters, and the sheepskin rug being there.
48. Let us have the complete picture. B was also of his recollection that there were spears on the wall. Now again this was not a matter that was taken up during the course of the trial. I was not involved in that trial. But I know that in my advices and my grounds that I have written on this case, I raised the important issue that the police had gone to see Mr Anver first wife to clarify the position about spears being on the wall. It is quite clear from the unused material and from the message action sheet that was prepared by the officer, is that her recollection was there were no spears on the wall. I raise it because my learned friend relies upon that to urge my Lords today to order a retrial.
49. But ultimately, in my respectful submission, the test that has to be applied, as is quite properly pointed out by my learned friend in his skeleton argument, is whether or not the public interest of bringing a retrial is made out in this case and can be conducted without unfairness to or oppression to the appellant. We all accept that the public interest is best served by the prosecution of those who are reasonably suspected of committing criminal offences and serious crime. I accept that crimes such as this against young persons are serious. But I also say this, as I have raised in aspects in my skeleton argument, they are also historic. They are extremely old allegations. As I have raised, the difficulties that are faced by men of good character such as Anver Sheikh in establishing the routine, and more importantly with the day log books whether or not he was on duty at the time that he is meant to have committed the offences against A. My learned friend raises the point, “How can these log books help?” As I understand from the trial, A’s case was that Mr Anver Sheikh was not in his house. He had come on duty to cover for another member of staff, which did happen. More importantly, if that happened it would have been noted in the daily log books, and significantly he would not have been the only other person on duty. It would have been also the nightwatchman who would be on duty as well. So I respectfully say to my Lords today that that is an aspect that has to be considered. Perhaps what is traditionally referred to as the abuse of process and the prejudice caused by loss of documents and also the death of witnesses, but it is a factor in these cases, these historic allegations, is a matter which I urge upon the court to consider in determining whether or not there should be a retrial in the first instance. It is clear that if those log books were in existence, they would go some considerable way, in my submission, to support this appellant, and also may well have assisted the prosecution in regard to taking a view in the first place.
50. But my significant submission I make today is that now that we are in this position today the material that is placed before the court, my submission is that it lacks a reasonable suspicion for the prosecution of this appellant, that the credibility of the witnesses, the complainants, have been undermined and they have been undermined further with the process that we have just gone through to seek clarification.
51. I do pray in aid my Lords consider the position of this appellant. My learned friend quite understandably makes the point, “It is only been short of two years of an 8-year sentence. But two years is still a considerable amount of time for a man of good character. As I have raised, an important issue of course is the stress that is associated with being accused of these offences, of waiting for trial, of the conviction and of course the seeking leave from this court to appeal that conviction. Those are matters which I do seek my Lords to consider today, and I say it is oppressive, in the light of this case and the circumstances of this case, that this man and his family should have to go through this process once again.
52. My Lords, those are my submissions on behalf of Mr Sheikh.
53. LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY: Thank you very much. We will rise for a moment or two.
(Judgment given [?] see separate transcript)
2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation 
Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.
- The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
- National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
- Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
- and Havoca [D].
- Useful post on Triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
- Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G] and Meditation [H] may be useful.
- Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma [J]
- Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
- Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
 2015 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/