Lawyer Micheal Pulsford, 68: Who Defended Pedophiles Found Guilty of Raping Children

A lawyer who represented defendants accused of sexual offences has himself been jailed for molesting children.

Michael Pulsford, 68, abused three boys and three girls while he was a Christian youth group leader between 1974 and 1989.

The victims, who were aged between 12 and 15, were abused in Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Pulsford admitted 16 counts of indecent assault. He was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison.

Southampton Crown Court heard Pulsford groomed children while he was viewed as a “pillar of the community” during summer camps, at his home and in his office.

His victims described Pulsford, of Corsham in Wiltshire, as “an evil manipulator” who had taken their “childhood innocence” by “abusing his position of trust”.

One complainant came forward in 2011 but Pulsford denied the allegations and no further action was taken.

‘Appalled at cases’

But police reopened the investigation in 2017 when another victim reported Pulsford for indecent assault.

A man told the court that coverage of the Jimmy Savile scandal prompted him to recall his own experiences of Pulsford, who had qualified as a solicitor-advocate and represented clients in criminal proceedings.

“I remember googling Mike Pulsford and being appalled at the number of child abuse cases he had defended,” the man said.

He said he told police about being molested when asked if he had witnessed any abuse against another victim at a Christian camp in the 1970s.

Two more women came forward with allegations of indecent assault after media coverage of the case began, the court was told.

In mitigation, defence barrister Michael Phillips said the incidents of abuse were “extremely unpleasant, but not as unpleasant as they could have been”.

He added: “He has accepted the title of being a paedophile, which is a rarity in these kinds of cases… hopefully it shows there is remorse.”

Judge Peter Henry said the youth group Pulsford led had the aim of “instilling Christian values”, but he had only been “pretending” to have those values.

“Throughout this period you were in a position of considerable power, influence and trust,” the judge said.

“What you did in this period amounts to a gross abuse of this trust.”

With many thanks to: Humans Are Free for the original story 

Scappaticci avoids jail after pleading guilty to extreme porn charges

Freddie Scappaticci admitted possessing 329 images

A man widely named as the IRA informer Stakeknife has avoided prison after admitting two counts of possessing extreme pornography.

Freddie Scappaticci appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London to admit the charges, which related to at least 329 images, some of them involving animals.

The 72-year-old wore a blue fleece and green tracksuit bottoms to the hearing.

Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot sentenced him to three months’ custody, suspended for a year.

“You have not been before the court for 50 years – and that’s good character in my book,” she told him.

“I can see you are not a well man at all – you have very serious health issues – and that you live a lonely life.”

Scappaticci has always denied claims that he is Stakeknife, a high-ranking military mole who reputedly led the IRA’s ‘nutting squad’.

The group was an internal security unit that interrogated and murdered suspected spies during the Troubles.

He was arrested by police in January over offences including murder and abduction but later released on bail.

The court heard Scappaticci told officers he was not sexually interested in animals, and preferred women with big breasts.

The alleged double agent also claimed he was “not doing anyone any real harm” and said he had depression.

Scappaticci used his laptop to search for a number of areas of interest including “cars, the British Army, maps, combat, football and politics”.

He also, however, searched for pornography.

He conducted a number of searches on a total of 13 different days between November 2015 and January 2018.

Scappaticci was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The defendant was convicted after material was seized as part of Operation Kenova.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who led the investigation, said the conviction came about as a result of “material recovered during a search conducted by the Kenova team”.

“This result is an indication that wherever criminal behaviour is identified during my investigation, evidence will be presented for the purposes of prosecution,” Chief Constable Boutcher added.

“Operation Kenova continues to recover evidence in relation to our core terms of reference and, as and when it is appropriate to speak further, I will do so.

“I would encourage anyone who might be able to assist with this important inquiry to please contact my team via the details on the Kenova website, or by calling Crimestoppers.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Ryan Hooper for original story 

 

Convicted sex offender pleads guilty to further changes

Gavin Cuthbert

A convicted sex offender serving a nine-year sentence was back in court where he admitted a further litany of offences against more young boys.

Gavin Cuthbert was jailed along with brother Mark last February for the “utterly squalid” targeting and sexually abuse of young males in east Belfast in the 1990s.

The 49-year old, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, was back in court, where he pleaded guilty to additional sex offences against two further victims, while in August he admitted abusing a third child.

Appearing in the dock using a crutch, Cuthbert spoke firstly to confirm his name, then to enter ‘guilty’ pleas to over 30 offences.

Regarding one victim, Cuthbert admitted two charges committed between February 2014 and August 2015 – namely for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, caused a child to look at an image of people engaging in sexual activity; and also inciting the same child to engage in sexual activity.

Cuthbert also admitted over 30 offences he committed against another male child over a period spanning from May 1997 to May 1998. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges of buggery with a boy, indecent assault and gross indecency.

In August, Cuthbert was arraigned on charges against another male victim when he appeared at Belfast Crown Court. On that occasion, he admitted four charges of causing a child to engage in sexual activity on dates between April 2014 and April 2018.

Following the pleas in August, an additional four charges he faced were ‘left on the book’ and will not be proceeded with by the Crown.

Cuthbert will now face sentencing for sexual offences committed against all three boys, and the case is due to be mentioned next week when it is anticipated a date for sentencing will be set.

Judge David McFarland said that in the meantime, the Crown should be seeking Victim Impact Statements from those abused by Cuthbert.

After Cuthbert entered his pleas, he was remanded back into custody.

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story 

Prince Andrew’s North of Ireland event attendance would ‘change the narrative,’ say organisers

Prince Andrew

An invitation to scandal-hit Prince Andrew to officiate at a ceremony in Northern Ireland has been withdrawn, it has been reported.

Sky News reported that organisers withdrew an invitation to the Duke of York to the ceremony at Portrush train station, which has undergone a £5m upgrade.

The Duke has been embroiled in controversy over claims he forced a woman to have sex with him when she was 17-years-old. He denies the claims. The alleged abuse was facilitated by his late friend, the disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in jail.

One of the organisers of the Portrush event expressed concerns to Sky News that the Duke’s presence would “change the narrative” surrounding their event.

However, it is believed his invite to the annual Duke Of York Young Champions Trophy at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he is patron and where The Open was recently staged, still stands. The competition is for boys and girls under the age of 18. A palace spokesperson said Andrew will “host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes”.

“The Duke of York has a full programme in Northern Ireland as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy. HRH will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story 

Child murderer Jon Venables days from freedom – and being ‘sent away to Canada’ at British taxpayers expense

EXCLUSIVE

Top-level sources insist plans for a permanent move abroadmost likely Canada – are ‘in motion’

Venables, now 34, was granted lifetime anonymity worldwide after being found guilty of the 1993 murder of toddler James

Child killer Jon Venables is days away from being released as officials prepare to ship him abroad for good.

Top-level sources insist plans for a permanent move to another country –most likely Canada – are “in motion”.

The Daily Star Sunday has learned the James Bulger killer is being kept in a private wing in prison ahead of the move.

James Bulger killer is being kept in a private wing in prison ahead of the move

Last month we revealed how the authorities believe paying for Venables to go to a country like Canada, Australia or New Zealand would be cheaper than funding more failed new starts in the UK.

Insiders say his move is imminent, adding: “He is currently being kept quietly away from the general lot of prisoners.

READ MORE
‘He’ll kill again’ James Bulger’s murderer ‘set to be released from prison’
“There are a handful of people who know who he really is and where he is. It’s costing a fortune.

“The security around Venables is tight, and the thinking is he will be shipped out, probably early, from the prison when no-one is expecting it, and sent abroad.

James Bulger, age two, who was abducted and murdered by 10 year old boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson on a railway line at Bootle on February 14th 1993

“It’ll be a highly organised event, and probably done in the middle of the night or very early morning.”

Venables, now 34, was granted lifelong anonymity worldwide after being found guilty of the 1993 murder of toddler James

Venables and pal Robert Thompson – both 10 at the time – snatched the two-year-old from his mum in a Liverpool shopping centre then tortured and battered him to death on a railway line.

Since walking free in 2001 he has been “outed” numerous times – even by himself – with each one leading to another costly new identity.

Venables and pal Robert Thompson – both 10 at the time – snatched the two-year-old from his mum in a Liverpool shopping centre then tortured and battered him to death (Image: PA)

He was jailed again in 2010 and 2017 on child porn charges.

And this year he beat a court bid by James’ father Ralph, 52, to overturn the order, costing taxpayers £65,000. Last week, Ralph publicly warned that Venables would soon be eligible for parole and free to roam UK streets, hidden behind the mask of yet another new identity.

A source said: “Despite the murder taking place decades ago, Venables is as notorious now as he has ever been.

He was jailed again in 2010 and 2017 on child porn charges

“And his picture, although supposed to be private, has been circulated, albeit illegally, a number of times. People who shared it have been prosecuted, but it has still made its way around and there is only so much someone can change.

“He cannot stay here. There aren’t many options.”

The Ministry of Justice has refused to speak at all about Venables’ case, and would not comment on our story.

Last month we revealed how the authorities believe paying for Venables to go to a country like Canada, Australia or New Zealand (Image: GETTY)

But officers in witness protection in the past have told how those being relocated “get a say” in where they will end up.

And they tell how prisoners who are seen to have a “high level of threat” against them are sometimes sent to start a new life abroad.

With many thanks to the: Daily Star Sunday and Felicity Cross for the EXCLUSIVE original story 

 

Fermanagh child abuse: Orange Order ‘did nothing’ over claims

Orange Order ‘covered up’ child sex abuse

Two women who have said they were abused by Orangemen as children claim the Orange Order “did nothing” when it was made aware of the allegations.

It is the latest revelation made in the Impartial Reporter newspaper as part of a long-running investigation into historic abuse in County Fermanagh.

More than 50 victims have named 60 alleged abusers. A police taskforce has been set up to investigate the claims.

The Orange Order said it would fully co-operate with any investigation.

Fermanagh child abuse victims ‘let down by PSNI’
Women allege sexual abuse by ex-school principal
The two alleged victims said they were abused by several individuals who were Orangemen and that the Orange Order was made aware of the allegations.

They claim some of the abuse, which dates back several decades, took place in and around Orange halls during band practice and after parades.

Presentational grey line
What is the Orange Order?
Fraternal organisation formed in 1795, when founding members swore to defend the Protestant faith
Claims to have tens of thousands of members, primarily in Ireland

Holds its marching season from April to August every year, with the centrepiece on 12 July
Twelfth of July parades commemorate the Dutch King William of Orange’s victory over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690

Presentational grey line
Impartial Reporter deputy editor Rodney Edwards said: “Victims believe that there was a cover up within the Orange Order, that certain individuals were protected because of who they were.

“One of the alleged victims says that she was told that she was opening a can of worms by making these allegations and that she was threatening the name of the institution.”

The allegations carried in the Impartial Reporter newspaper are the latest to emerge as part of a long-running investigation
One of the two alleged victims, referred to as Sara (not her real name), also said she was raped by a member of the Orange Order after singing in church.

She told BBC News NI that she approached church leaders and the Orange Order in County Fermanagh but they did “absolutely nothing”.

‘No punishment given out’
“The church sent me to a religious counsellor, I believe his title was, and he wanted to teach me how to pray for forgiveness so I never went back,” she said.

“I went to one session – and at that point I was suicidal – and this man was asking me to pray for forgiveness and that was like another slap in the face.”

Sara said the people she told were “out of their depth”.

“I’m not making excuses for them but people did not know what to do.

“I just wanted what had happened to be acknowledged and some form of punishment and then awareness – and that didn’t happen.

“There was no punishment that I know of given out to the perpetrators.”

She added: “As far as I was concerned, I was being punished because I wasn’t being listened to again.

“The more that happened the more you withdraw and the less likely you are to speak out, ever.

“So I was lucky – in so many respects I am one of the lucky ones.”A spokesperson for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said the allegations were “very serious”.

“The Orange Institution will fully co-operate with any PSNI investigation.

It added that no further public comment would be made at this point.

‘Don’t know what’s happening’
Sara gave statements to the police in the late 1990s but said the investigation went nowhere.

“People were questioned and eventually I was asked to go up to Belfast to meet the DPP (director of public prosecutions) and was told that lack of evidence, an old case – ‘Sorry, we’re really sorry but there’s nothing we can do’ – and that was it, go home, ” she said.

Sara has been told by the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) taskforce that it is re-examining her allegations.

“The police contacted me three months ago to tell me that they were reopening my case but I’ve yet to be interviewed,” she added.

“I don’t know if they’ve interviewed any of the people I made allegations against – I just don’t know what’s happening.”

The PSNI confirmed that both cases had previously been investigated and subsequently directed upon by the Public Prosecution Service.

“Both cases are being reviewed to ensure all lines of necessary inquiry were completed at the time and to determine if any new evidence is now available,” added the PSNI.

“Detectives have maintained contact with the victims throughout and will continue to do so.

“The public should be assured that detectives… treat every allegation of child sexual abuse seriously, whether it happened recently or many years ago.”

It said that officers can be contacted on 101 or through a dedicated email address – historicalabuse@psni.pnn.police.uk – where victims will be put in contact with a specially-trained officer.

With many thanks to: BBC News NI and Julian Fowler for the original story