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Pcc, guardian and medomsley

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The PCC judgement on the Guardian and it publishing inaccuracies about Medomsley and Martin Narey's responsibility for child abuse there.

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Pcc, guardian and medomsley

  1. 1. The Press Complaints Commission publicstatement about The Guardian, MartinNarey,and Medomsley Detention Centre: [The Guardian]newspaper published tworeaders' letters which claimed that[Martin Narey]had refused or declined to apologise for child abuse that had taken place in the prison system at the hands of Neville Husband.The newspaper had been aware that the abuse had taken place long before the complainanthad even joined the prison service, and that the victims had sued the Home Office when he no longer was in the service and was not therefore in a position to publicly apologise on its behalf. It had known that there was no question of him declining toapologise to the families, yet published the letters anyway.The complainanthad contacted the newspaper in regardto each of these inaccuracies but it had consistently failed to afford him a rightof reply. And the letter from Martin Narey which the PCC compelled The Guardian to publish: “On April 14, EricAllison and Simon Hattenstone wrote an importantpiece about the historicabuse of children in custody by a Prison Officer, Neville Husband. Itook little issue with Eric's moving account. Subsequently however the Guardian published twoletters. The first said that I had declined to apologise for the abuse (and because of that had been unsuitable to lead Barnardo's as I did for six years). The second implied that, as Director General of the Prison Service I had tolerated the widespread rape and beating of children. Husband's offending began when I was thirteen years of age and the offences for which he was subsequently convicted took place in 1977 when I was still at University, five years before I joined the Prison Service and twenty one years before I became Director General. Later,when Husband's victims sued the Prison Service, I
  2. 2. had resigned from the Home Office and was in no position to make a response. The Guardian knew from E mail exchanges however, that I stood ready to make public my personal apology, and that I had, many years ago, expressed regretabout the abuse. I do not deny the appalling nature of Husband's crimes. Butit should not have needed me to complain to the Press Complaints Commission before this letter was published to make clear that the abuse did not occur when I was in a position of authority, and that I did not tolerate the abuse or fail to express my regretfor it. I may have had many failings as Director General of the Prison Service. But failing to address the abuse of prisoners of any age was not one of them.”

The PCC judgement on the Guardian and it publishing inaccuracies about Medomsley and Martin Narey's responsibility for child abuse there.

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