The increasingly curious case of Robert Green

The increasingly curious case of Robert Green
Readers of this blog may remember the worrying case of Hollie Greig, a Down’s Syndrome sufferer who made allegations of serious and repeated sexual abuse, while a child living in Aberdeen.  As chief perpetrators, Hollie named her father and brother, but she alleged the involvement of a far wider ring, including a senior police officer, a judge, and a range of highly influential and prominent Scottish professionals.   She went on to name seven other children who, she said, had also been subjected to ritual abuse at hands of the same ring. 

Serious stuff, but despite medical evidence at the time confirming Hollie had indeed suffered sexual interference, including penetration, and the reports of two independent child psychologists saying that in their assessment Hollie was a reliable witness and there was no reason to doubt her testimony, the Grampian police apparently chose to dismiss her as a fantasist.   It is reported that they interviewed only two of the named twenty two suspects – without checking their computers for possible possession of child pornography images, as is routine with allegations of this nature – and refused to interview any of the named victims.  Not only that, but legal steps were apparently then taken to suppress all mention of the case in the media.  Hollie was subsequently awarded £13,500 by way of compensation.

Compensation for what, you might ask?  And one individual did just that.  Robert Green, an investigative journalist and child rights’ campaigner, shocked at what he felt to be a cover up, started a campaign to demand justice for Hollie, and a full investigation of the facts by the Grampian police. 

Now of course it is entirely possible that Hollie is indeed a fantasist, and Robert Green misguided, but in absence of proper investigation we shall never know.  However, in light of the grooming and abuse scandals of the last few years, coupled with clear evidence of police failure, such refusal seems almost perverse.  For all of us the spectre of Jimmy Savile looms large, and one would have thought that at the very least, in the interests of transparency and justice, the Scottish legal system would have wanted to establish the truth or otherwise of these claims.

Fast forward to February this year.  Robert Green was apparently quietly at home in Warrington, not having visited Aberdeen once in the last year, when he received a visit from the Grampian Police.  Now given that Warrington is under the jurisdiction of Cheshire, this was somewhat unusual, but there was worse to come, because the Grampian officers arrested him and took him back to Scotland, omitting to inform him of any charge.  Five days later, having subjected him to psychological assessment, but still not having interviewed him, VfJUK understands he was told he was in violation of a non-harassment order.  Which, curiously, seems not to exist.

Notwithstanding that minor point, however, since that time Robert has been confined in Perth prison, awaiting trial.  And, for violation of what on any scale seems a relatively minor offence (even if proved), astoundingly, he has three times been refused bail.

VfJUK has to confess that we are puzzled.  As already said, we have no idea as to the truth or otherwise of Hollie’s accusations – how could we in the absence of proper investigation?  But this method of proceeding seems bizarre, suggesting nothing so much as a deliberate attempt on the part of the authorities to silence someone who could potentially cause embarrassment.

So we are asking you, our readers, to write now to the First Minister of Scotland, Mr Alex Salmond MSP, and to the Scottish Justice Minister, Mr. Kenny MacAskill MSP, asking for all charges against Robert Green to be dropped and for his immediate release; and, in the interests of transparency and justice, that a full and proper investigation of Hollie’s claims now be made.  If she is the fantasist they claim, then let that be demonstrated – but, if not, let those responsible for terrible abuse be brought to justice. 

Below are included two letters to send or adapt as you please, along with addresses for both ministers.

Let us now join together to free Robert Green and put an end to what appears a clear miscarriage of justice, and stain upon the Scottish legal system!


SPECIMEN LETTER

Dear ….

            I am very concerned by reports of the arrest by Aberdeen Police of the children’s welfare campaigner, Robert Green. I understand that this is at least the third time they have arrested him.        
            Robert Green has been the leading campaigner pushing for allegations of child sex abuse made by Hollie Greig to be properly investigated. This young woman with Down’s syndrome, originally from Aberdeen, has named at least 22 suspects who allegedly sexually abused her since she was a child.  These suspects include head teachers, social workers, a senior police forensics officer (since deceased) and a judge. She also named 7 other victims of these alleged abusers.
            I understand that the Aberdeen Police have so far refused properly to investigate the Hollie Greig case, only interviewing at most 2 of the 22 named suspects, and not even bothering to check their computers for possible possession of child pornography images, as is normally done with suspected child sex abusers.  Aberdeen Police have also refused to interview any of the victims named by Miss Greig.
            This disturbing pattern of repeated arrests of Robert Green by the Aberdeen Police suggests that the arrests are a means of obstructing and stopping Mr. Green’s campaign for Ms Greig’s abusers to be brought to justice – standing in marked contrast to the speed with which they have prosecuted himself.  Simple justice requires, however, that Ms Greig’s allegations be properly investigated, most especially since, if true, there will be a fairly large number of child abusers left free to continue abusing other children in and around Aberdeen, and perhaps further afield.
            In recent months we have witnessed the appalling aftermath of revelations concerning Jimmy Savile, now established to be a long term sex abuser, but whom the police similarly avoided investigating during his lifetime.  The extent of the revelations has understandably provoked strong public concern over all such allegations, and I would have hoped the Aberdeen Police would have responded to this by investigating fully and properly the allegations made by Hollie Greig – if simply to allay public concern and fears of a cover up.
            It has been claimed that Mr. Green violated a non-harassment order, but, as indicated above, there are extensive and growing concerns that the real reason for his arrest is because of criticisms he has made of the Scottish Government’s handling of the Hollie Greig case, including the fact that the Freedom of Information Commissioner found your government in breach of the Freedom of Information Act in relation to the Hollie Greig case.
            In sum, I am deeply concerned by what appears to be the ongoing harassment by Aberdeen Police of Robert Green, and their attempts to silence his campaign for the child sex abuse allegations of Hollie Greig to be properly and thoroughly investigated. Given the extremely serious nature of these allegations, and in the interests of transparency and justice, I urge you and your government to ensure that Mr. Green’s rights are fully respected, that he be unconditionally released from prison, and that all his property seized by the Aberdeen Police be returned to him.  I further urge you and your government to ensure that the child sex abuse allegations made by Hollie Greig be properly and thoroughly investigated by the police as a matter of urgency.
            I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,
ADDRESSES: 

Mr. Alex Salmond MSP                                
St. Andrew’s House
Regent Road
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
Scotland

The Justice Secretary
Mr. Kenny MacAskill MSP
St. Andrew’s House                                                                                                  
Regent Road                                                                                                                                   
Edinburgh EH1 3DG                                                                                                                        
Scotland    

E-Mail addresses for Alex Salmond
Alex.Salmond.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
scottish.ministers@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
FirstMinister@scotland.gsi.gov.uk


E-Mail address for Kenny MacAskill MSP, Scotland’s Justice Secretary

Kenny.MacAskill.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
                                                                                                                                         
 
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