Pressing the CPS to engage

Dear Mr Lawson,

I write in relation to your correspondence dated 11th September 2014. In accordance with our guidance a complaint can only be made directly by the individual concerned or on their behalf by a nominated representative such as a family member, friend or support group. Your comments have therefore been noted and registered as a feedback.

I note you have expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of communication from CPS London, we have no record of previous communication from you in relation to this matter.

For your information I have attached the feedback and complaints.

Kind regards,

Sayma Khatun| CPS London VRR & Complaints Co-ordinator
Crown Prosecution Service, London
Communications Team
5th Floor, Rose Court
2 Southwark Bridge Road
DX 15436 Southwark 12


My response

Dear Sayma Khatuni

Thank you for your email.

You will recall that in my complaint I write that I "have been directly affected by the failure of the CPS in London to communicate with me in a reasonable way about this matter".

I have received 4 emails from your colleagues in Enquiries, 5 from Gavin Brown at the Press office, and one from Mr Malcolm McHaffie in Special Crime. They are attached.
You will see that each one of them is entirely void of engagement with the substance of my correspondence.

I also attach my original complaint.

In my complaint I wrote that "I am also affected directly as a citizen since the CPS is not acting in the public interest by accepting these two claims of dementia uncritically and without seeking to check them by requesting second psychiatric opinions backed by special investigations including MRI scans".

This is not mere feedback. I am making a serious complaint about a decision that someone in the CPS has made about two very important cases, in that they neglected to carry out due diligence by checking the validity of the claim of dementia made by two men accused of serious crimes.

There is a great deal of public concern about the issue of child sexual abuse at present, and your correspondence shows no indication that the CPS shares this concern.

The decision to accept the claim of dementia by Varley and Janner needs to be reviewed, and the review needs to be carried out quickly, since if there is indeed a dementia process in either one of these accused, the passage of time may mean that the dementia may become untreatable.

I would ask you therefore to reconsider your decision effectively to set aside my complaint, and instead to take it seriously.

If you are minded not to do so, I will ask formally that my complaint be referred to the Independent Assessor of Complaints.

If you are minded not to do this, since you classify this correspondence as feedback and not complaint, I will take it up with my MP, John Penrose, with a request for my complaint to be referred to the Minister of Justice, on the assumption that the CPS is ultimately responsible to the MoJ.

I am cc-ing this email to John Penrose to forewarn him of developments, but will hold back from taking things further until I have heard that the CPS does not intend to review your decision.

I look forward to your speedy response

Thank you

With kind regards

Dr Richard Lawson

29 September 2014
I have received an email in response to this, again playing a dead bat, as follows:

Dear Dr Lawson

I refer to previous correspondence with you (attached). I am aware that you have been in contact with CPS London in relation to the concerns you have with your perception of the CPS’s handling of the cases relating to two individuals that you have named and wished to raise a complaint. You have also spoken to a colleague within CPS Southwest.

The Crown Prosecution Service has a policy of not identifying individuals by name before we decide whether or not to prosecute unless there is a good reason to do so. While the CPS cannot confirm the status of any individual before a charging decision is made, these are matters that would normally fall under the remit of the Special Crime section of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS and not CPS London or CPS Southwest.

Mr McHaffie, with whom you have corresponded and who is head of that section, has asked me to let you know that:

(a) When you first wrote to us attaching an online news report regarding an unnamed peer we informed you that your comments had been passed to an appropriate lawyer.

(b) Claims of dementia and other illness are quite common and we are used to dealing with them. When an issue is raised we do not rely on our own views; we instruct experts.

You have been provided with a copy of the CPS Feedback and Complaints booklet, so you will know that in accordance with our policy, your concerns fall to be considered as feedback. Thank you for taking the time to bring your observations on the validity of claims of dementia to our attention, I must however advise you that we will not be dealing with your correspondence as a complaint and will be unable to enter into any further correspondence with you on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Special Crime & Counter Terrorism Division

Complaints & Enquiries Team

Crown Prosecution Service

I have replied (28/8/14):
Dear Correspondent

Just to let you know that I do not consider this a satisfactory response
1) because you clearly did not instruct experts
2) because you are refusing to be accountable.
I will continue this matter through my MP.

Richard Lawson

Now we must ask our MPs to press Theresa May to make the CPS carry out due diligence in the matter of Greville Janner and Raymond Varley.

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