Following the publication of the Opinion of James Goudie QC and Holly Stout on 20th September 2017, Islington Council has commissioned an independent review of the allegations in relation to former councillor Sandy Marks published in the Islington Gazette in May / June 2017 and their relevance, if any to the findings of the Report of the Inquiry into the Management of Child Care in the London Borough of Islington 1995.
Islington Council has appointed Sarah Morgan QC as lead investigator to chair the independent review. Barrister Lucy Sprinz will work alongside Sarah Morgan.
The independent review began in February 2018. For background to the independent review, see papers for Islington Council’s Executive on Thursday, 28 September (item 427).
Statements from Sarah Morgan QC will be published below.
Call for information – Statement from Sarah Morgan QC – 9th February 2018
On 1st February 2018, I started work on the Independent Review of allegations in relation to former councillor Sandy Marks.
I would very much like to hear from anyone who believes that they have information to contribute to this Independent Review. That contribution may either be something relevant that you have within your own personal experience or it might be something that you have as a document, photograph or other record.
The questions which Islington has asked me to look at and on which I would welcome contributions are these:
- The nature, extent and duration of Sandy Marks’ involvement in Fallen Angels and any other pro-paedophile groups;
- What, if any, impact that involvement had on the way she carried out her duties on the Social Services Committee, whether as a Committee member between 1983 and 1991 or as Chair between 1991 and 1995;
- What Ms Marks knew about the ‘state of management’ of Islington Social Services Department (as it is referred to in the White Report), including in particular whether she had been aware of any abuse allegations prior to the Evening Standard’s story in 1992;
- Whether in her dealings with Fallen Angels, and possibly other paedophile groups, Ms Marks had become aware of anything relevant to the allegations of ‘organised abuse’ that were the subject of the White Report.
The time frame I am looking at is the period from 1979 to 1995.
If you would like to contribute information which you think is relevant would you do so by sending an email.
The only people who have access to the e mail address above are Sarah Morgan QC and Lucy Sprinz.
If you prefer to send me your contribution by post rather than email you can send it to:
Sarah Morgan QC
Islington Town Hall
It would be helpful to me if you set out in any contribution what it is that you wish to tell me and why you think it will help me answer the questions above. Please send anything you wish to contribute by 28th February.
It may be that I will want to arrange to talk in person to anyone who contacts me with a contribution. For this reason I would be grateful if you would let me know when you send me your contribution how you would like me to contact you if I want to arrange to talk to you in person or hear more from you. I expect to be doing that in March 2018.
Contributions received by post or printed out from email will be held securely in a room to which only Sarah Morgan and Lucy Sprinz have access and in our absence in locked cabinets in that room.
I intend that the contributions made will, where relevant, form part of my Report to Islington. To that extent contributions will be made public since Islington Council will publish my report. I would not intend to include the names and identities of victims and survivors of abuse or anyone living against whom allegations of abuse are made but who has not been the subject of findings or a conviction. If you would like me to consider treating any of the information contained in your contribution confidentially please say so, identifying the particular information and explaining why, clearly in the opening lines of the email or in a covering note if sending by post. Although most emails have a standard wording on the bottom about confidentiality this is not enough. I cannot guarantee that even if there is a request information will remain confidential and there are some circumstances in which I am obliged to pass on information even before the completion of my report.
Once I complete my review, all the information that I have had for it will be held securely by Islington council.
Sarah Morgan QC
9th February 2018
Statement from Sarah Morgan QC – 1st February 2018
I am pleased to have been appointed by Islington Council to conduct an independent Review to consider and investigate information provided to the Council by the Islington Gazette. The terms of reference of my appointment are as follows:
1 To Investigate the evidence as to:
a) The nature, extent and duration of Sandy Marks’ involvement in Fallen Angels and any other pro-paedophile groups;
b) What, if any, impact that involvement had on the way she carried out her duties on the Social Services Committee, whether as a Committee member between 1983 and 1991 or as Chair between 1991 and 1995;
c) What Ms Marks knew about the ‘state of management’ of Islington Social Services Department (as it is referred to in the White Report), including in particular whether she had been aware of any abuse allegations prior to the Evening Standard’s story in 1992;
d) Whether in her dealings with Fallen Angels, and possibly other paedophile groups, Ms Marks had become aware of anything relevant to the allegations of ‘organised abuse’ that were the subject of the White Report
2 Consider what difference, if any, the evidence in 1 above may have made to the White Report.
During this Review, which starts today, I will work alongside Counsel Lucy Sprinz. There is a great deal of documentary and archive material which has been made available to us and I know that efforts to provide us with documents; written material and digital media, which are relevant to the terms of reference above, are continuing.
I expect to identify, from that material, individuals who may have information relating to the remit of the Review. I intend to contact those individuals in due course.
I would also be very keen to hear from anyone who has information relating to the remit of the Review and will make a further statement in the near future with details of how anyone who believes that they have such information may contribute to the Review.
I will not reach any conclusions until I have considered all of the evidence which is available to me. At the conclusion of the Review I will submit my report to Islington Council for publication.
Sarah Morgan QC
1st February 2018