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!
Mr. Alex Salmond MSP
St. Andrew’s House
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
The Justice Secretary
Mr. Kenny MacAskill MSP
St. Andrew’s House
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
E-Mail address for Kenny MacAskill MSP, Scotland’s Justice Secretary