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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child protection in religious organisations and settings Investigation Report

Contents

Annex 1: Overview of process and evidence obtained by the Inquiry

1. Definition of scope

The child protection in religious organisations and settings investigation was a thematic investigation into the nature and adequacy of current child protection policies, practices and procedures in religious organisations and settings within England and Wales.

The scope of the investigation was as follows:

  1. “2.1. The management of child protection within religious organisations and/or settings, including:

    1. 2.1.1. Training, and the understanding of child sexual abuse;

    2. 2.1.2. Policies and procedures;

    3. 2.1.3. Vetting and barring and regulated activity as identified in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012;

    4. 2.1.4. The arrangements in place to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse, including the provision of pastoral support;

    5. 2.1.5. Internal processes for auditing, inspection or oversight of the child protection practices and procedures.

  2. 2.2. The existing statutory framework for the protection of children from abuse, and its application to religious organisations or settings.

  3. 2.3. The existing framework for auditing, inspection or oversight of the practices and procedures by either state or non state institutions.

  4. 2.4. Whether there needs to be additional and/or different practices, processes or oversight (whether by way of internal or external oversight by a non state or state body) to ensure that children are protected from child sexual abuse within religious organisations or settings.”[1]

2. Core participants and legal representatives

Counsel to this investigation:

  • Fiona Scolding QC
  • Nikita McNeill
  • Olinga Tahzib

Core participants:

Victim and survivor groups and individuals

Victim and survivor groups and individuals
Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children
Solicitor Alan Collins, Hugh James
Dr Lisa Oakley (Chair of the National Working Group on Child Abuse Linked to Faith and Belief)
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Ms Yasmin Rehman (Chief Executive Officer of JUNO Women's Aid)
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Ms Sadia Hameed (Director of Gloucestershire Sisters)
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Mr (James) Lloyd Evans (Campaigner and advocate. Founder of JWsurvey.org)
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Migdal Emunah
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Southall Black Sisters
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Kol v’Oz
Solicitor Dr Ann Olivarius, AO Advocates

Institutions and organisations

Institutions and organisations
Home Office
Counsel Nick Griffin QC, Amelia Walker
Solicitor Daniel Rapport, Government Legal Department
Ofsted
Counsel Sarah Hannett QC, Alice de Coverley
Solicitor Beth Forrester, Ofsted Legal Services
Charity Commission
Counsel Saara Idelbi
Solicitor Felix Rechtman, Charity Commission Legal Department
Pagan Federation
Not legally represented
United Reformed Church
Not legally represented
Baptist Union of Great Britain
Counsel Ijeoma Omambala QC
Solicitor Caroline Sanderson, BUGB Legal Services
Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (CCJW)
Counsel Shane Brady
Solicitor Simon Achonu, CCJW Legal Department
Evangelical Alliance
Solicitor David Smellie, Farrer & Co
United Synagogue
Counsel Alan Payne QC
Liberal Judaism
Solicitor Paula Jefferson, BLM
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
Solicitor Paula Jefferson, BLM
Reform Judaism
Not legally represented
Interfaith Alliance UK
Solicitor Richard Scorer, Slater & Gordon
Thirtyone:eight
Not legally represented
Shema Koli
Counsel Adam Gersch
Methodist Church of Great Britain
Solicitor Maria Strauss, Farrer & Co

3. Evidence received by the Inquiry

Number of witness statements obtained:
181

Organisations and individuals to which requests for documentation or witness statements were sent:

  • Abuse Never Becomes Us UK
  • Mr Andrew Haigh
  • Reverend Andrew Webster
  • Asian Women’s Resource Centre
  • Bahá’í Community of the UK
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
  • BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
  • Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • Birmingham LSCB
  • Black Women’s Rape Action Project
  • Bradford Council for Mosques
  • Bradford LSCB
  • British Muslim Forum
  • Buddhist Society
  • Cardiff LSCB
  • Central Jamia Mosque, referred to as ‘Ghamkol Sharif’
  • Chabad Lubavitch UK
  • Channel 4
  • Charity Commission
  • Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel
  • Church of Scientology
  • Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
  • Department for Education
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Druid Network
  • East London Mosque
  • Evangelical Alliance
  • Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children
  • Faith Associates
  • Faith Workers’ Branch of Unite the Union
  • Faiths Forum for London
  • General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
  • Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
  • Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall
  • Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick
  • Hackney Council
  • Harrow Council
  • Haven – The Survivors Network
  • Hindu Council UK
  • Hindu Forum of Britain
  • Home Office
  • Inter Faith Network for the UK
  • Interfaith Alliance UK
  • Interfaith Council for Wales
  • Islamic Centre of England
  • Islamic Cultural Centre
  • Jain Network
  • Mr James Lloyd Evans
  • Jamiat Ulama-e-Britain
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association
  • Karma Nirvana
  • Professor Keith Brown
  • Kol v'Oz
  • Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation
  • Leeds LSCB
  • Liberal Judaism
  • Dr Lisa Oakley
  • Liverpool LSCB
  • Local Government Association
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • London Boroughs Faiths Network
  • Manchester Beth Din
  • Manchester LSCB
  • Masorti Judaism
  • Methodist Church in Britain
  • Migdal Emunah
  • Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS)
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Miriam Kliers
  • Muslim Council of Britain
  • Muslim Council of Wales
  • Muslim Women’s Network UK
  • Nahamu
  • National Council of Hindu Temples UK
  • National Police Chiefs’ Council
  • National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education
  • Network of Sikh Organisations
  • Northamptonshire Police
  • NSPCC
  • Ofsted
  • Pagan Federation
  • PR-A1
  • PR-A2
  • PR-A3
  • PR-A4
  • PR-A5
  • PR-A6
  • PR-A7
  • PR-A8
  • PR-A9
  • PR-A10
  • PR-X1
  • PR-X2
  • PR-X3
  • Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations
  • Reform Judaism
  • Religious Society of Friends in Britain (Quakers)
  • Reshet
  • Ms Sadia Hameed
  • Safer Sikhs Partnership
  • Salvation Army
  • She Can Consultancy Ltd
  • Shema Koli
  • Shree Hindu Temple & Community Centre
  • Sikh Women’s Action Network
  • Southall Black Sisters
  • Sri Lankan Sangha Sabha of GB
  • Strengthening Faith Institutions
  • The Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd
  • The Children’s Commissioner for England
  • The Children’s Society
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • The Council of African and Afro-Caribbean Churches
  • The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion
  • The Faith & Belief Forum
  • The Federation of Synagogues
  • The Interlink Foundation
  • The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB)
  • The Network of Buddhist Organisations
  • The Rt Hon Viscount Younger of Leckie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Faith and Communities (Lords)
  • The S&P Sephardi Community
  • The Spiritualists’ National Union
  • The Welsh Assembly
  • Thirtyone:eight
  • Triratna Buddhist Order and Community
  • Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
  • United Reformed Church
  • United Synagogue
  • Victims’ Voices UK
  • Vishwa Hindu Parishad (UK)
  • West Midlands Police
  • World Ahlul-Bayt Islamic League
  • World Zoroastrian Organisation
  • Ms Yasmin Rehman

4. Disclosure of documents

Total number of pages disclosed: 32,822

5. Public hearings including preliminary hearings

Preliminary hearings
1 23 July 2019
2 14 January 2020
Public hearings
Day 1 16 March 2020
Days 2–11
(heard virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic)
11 May 2020 to 22 May 2020
Days 12–16
(heard virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic)
10 August 2020 to 14 August 2020

6. List of witnesses

Forename Surname Title Called/read Hearing day
PR-A10 Called Day 1
16 March 2020
Goldsobel Yehudis Ms Called Day 2
11 May 2020
Marsh Shelley Ms Called Day 2
11 May 2020
Fetterman Rebecca Ms Called Day 3
12 May 2020
Adatia Shital Mr Called Day 3
12 May 2020
Levy Natan Mr Called Day 3
12 May 2020
Azmi Moin Mr Called Day 4
13 May 2020
Warraich Shaukat Mr Called Day 4
13 May 2020
Hussain Kamran Mr Called Day 4
13 May 2020
Khan Dilowar Mr Called Day 4
13 May 2020
Al-Dubyan Ahmad Dr Called Day 4
13 May 2020
Sanghera Jasvinder Ms Called Day 5
14 May 2020
Baldwin Richard Mr Called Day 5
14 May 2020
Tilby Graham Mr Called Day 5
14 May 2020
Knott David Mr Called Day 5
14 May 2020
Patel Pragna Ms Called Day 6
15 May 2020
Rattu Natasha Ms Called Day 6
15 May 2020
Hameed Sadia Ms Called Day 6
15 May 2020
Singh Gill Harmeet Mr Called Day 6
15 May 2020
Singh Basi Jatinder Mr Called Day 6
15 May 2020
Humphreys Justin Mr Called Day 7
18 May 2020
Oakley Lisa Dr Called Day 7
18 May 2020
Stone Rachel Ms Called Day 7
18 May 2020
Hirst Sally Ms Called Day 8
19 May 2020
Juster Dean Mr Called Day 8
19 May 2020
Noyes Phillip Mr Called Day 9
20 May 2020
McMullen Christian Mr Called Day 9
20 May 2020
Lynas Peter Mr Called Day 9
20 May 2020
Marchant Claire Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Miller Chris Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Reddy Steve Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Byrne Yvonne Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Smith Suzanne Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Frith Emily Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Heaney Albert Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Fewkes Richard Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Davies Andrew Dr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Vassie Pascale Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Srinivasan Vanajah Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
O’Mara Patrick Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Saglani Sejal Professor Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Hustler Jonathan Reverend Dr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Carter Tim Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Stygal Michael Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Parker Paul Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Angius Massimo Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Ford Andrew Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Athanasiou Ioannis Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Sharma Vinaya Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Slade Elizabeth Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Karim Zulfiqar Ali Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Kashyap Rajnish Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Ahmed Maswood Mr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Onyuku-Opukiri Fidelia Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Abiola Olu Dr Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Hackney Juliet Ms Read Day 9
20 May 2020
Hopper Catherine Ms Called Day 10
21 May 2020
Spielman Amanda Ms Called Day 10
21 May 2020
Gould Matthew Mr Called Day 11
22 May 2020
Brown Keith Professor Called Day 11
22 May 2020
PR-A5 Called Day 12
10 August 2020
Davies Sarah Ms Called Day 12
10 August 2020
Corbett Duncan Mr Called Day 12
10 August 2020
Evans Lloyd Mr Called Day 12
10 August 2020
Gillies Paul Mr Called Day 12
10 August 2020 and
Day 13
11 August 2020
Booth Jane Ms Called Day 13
11 August 2020
Gamble Jim Mr Called Day 13
11 August 2020
Wilson Steven Dr Called Day 14
12 August 2020
Baumgarten Jehudah Rabbi Called Day 14
12 August 2020
Akthar Nazmin Ms Called Day 15
13 August 2020
Greaves Daniel Mr Called Day 15
13 August 2020
Dixon Kate Ms Called Day 15
13 August 2020
Sofer Yehoshua Aharon Rabbi Read Day 15
13 August 2020
Lazarus Avi Rabbi Read Day 15
13 August 2020
Caton Sarah Ms Read Day 15
13 August 2020
Hobman Penelope Ms Read Day 15
13 August 2020
Kaur Kooner Narinder Ms Read Day 15
13 August 2020
Grenville Harvey Mr Called Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-H6 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-H7 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-H9 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-H10 and PR-H11 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-H12 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-H13 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
Kakokota Francis Mr Read Day 16
14 August 2020
Butler Daniel Mr Read Day 16
14 August 2020
Snelman Philip Mr Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-X1 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-X2 Read Day 16
14 August 2020
PR-X3 Read Day 16
14 August 2020

 

7. Restriction orders

On 7 February 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 granting anonymity to the witnesses known as PR-X1, PR-X2 and PR-X3.[2] The order covered protection of: “their identification and the identification of any individuals to whom they refer in any document, oral evidence, transcript of proceedings, as well as the Inquiry’s investigation and Final Reports”, to any core participant, the public or the press. For the avoidance of doubt, this means that these individuals’ true identities will not be revealed to the Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal representatives. The order prohibited the publication and disclosure of these individuals’ identities, and extended to material that identifies or tends to identify PR-X1, PR-X2 and PR-X3’s names, images, addresses and telephone numbers.

On 11 March 2020 and 16 July 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of the name of any individual whose identity had been redacted or ciphered by the Inquiry, and any information redacted as irrelevant and sensitive, in connection with this investigation, and referred to during the course of evidence adduced during the Inquiry’s proceedings.[3]

8. Broadcasting

The Chair directed that the proceedings would be broadcast, as has occurred in respect of public hearings in other investigations.

9. Redactions and ciphering

Some material obtained for this investigation was redacted, and where appropriate, ciphers were applied, in accordance with Version 3 of the Inquiry’s Protocol on the Redaction of Documents (the Protocol).[4] This meant that (in accordance with Annex A of the Protocol), for example, absent specific consent to the contrary, the identities of complainants and victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and other children were redacted – and if the Inquiry considered that their identity appeared to be sufficiently relevant to the investigation, a cipher was applied.

Pursuant to the Protocol, the identities of individuals convicted of child sexual abuse (including those who have accepted a police caution for offences related to child sexual abuse)­ were not generally redacted unless the naming of the individual would risk the identification of their victim, in which case a cipher would be applied.

The Protocol also addresses the position in respect of individuals accused, but not convicted, of child sexual abuse or other physical abuse against a child, and provides that their identities should be redacted and a cipher applied. However, where the allegations against an individual are so widely known that redaction would serve no meaningful purpose (for example, when the individual’s name has been published in the regulated media in connection with allegations of abuse), the Protocol provides that the Inquiry may decide not to redact their identity.

Finally, the Protocol recognises that, whilst the Inquiry does not distinguish as a matter of course between individuals who are known or believed to be deceased and those who are or are believed to be alive, the Inquiry may take the fact that an individual is deceased into account when considering whether or not to apply redactions in a particular instance.

The Protocol anticipates that it may be necessary for core participants to be aware of the identity of individuals whose identity has been redacted and in respect of whom a cipher has been applied, if the same is relevant to their interest in the investigation.

10. Warning letters

Rule 13 of the Inquiry Rules 2006 provides:

“(1) The chairman may send a warning letter to any person –

a. he considers may be, or who has been, subject to criticism in the inquiry proceedings; or

b. about whom criticism may be inferred from evidence that has been given during the inquiry proceedings; or

c. who may be subject to criticism in the report, or any interim report.

(2) The recipient of a warning letter may disclose it to his recognised legal representative.

(3) The inquiry panel must not include any explicit or significant criticism of a person in the report, or in any interim report, unless –

a. the chairman has sent that person a warning letter; and

b. the person has been given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the warning letter.”

In accordance with rule 13, warning letters were sent as appropriate to those who were covered by the provisions of rule 13, and the Chair and Panel considered the responses to those letters before finalising the report.

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