November 2021 update

I am now on sabbatical.  There is, however, one loose end I ought to deal with now, this year:
Six months ago it was here published that: “The well-known case of protective mother Samantha Baldwin, 44, of Rochdale is likely to be raised in the Houses of Parliament, later this year.  Matters arising from Miss Baldwin’s famous story are likely to be raised with the Attorney General and the Prime Minister.”
(Miss Baldwin is now 45.)
The Samantha Baldwin case has drained me enormously since I first took up the story one fateful Monday (27 March 2017), and especially since January 2019.  A vast volume of time, energy, money and sacrifice has gone into this one case – a hugely important, strategic SRA child abuse case to which I remain committed.
This year I have struggled to ‘keep on’ the case as much as I would have liked, and this has included in respect to pushing the case into the public exposure of Parliament.  (The struggle has been partly down to the usual juggling act that is life, but also difficulties arising from the hindrance of court orders in the background.)
I think it only right, now, at November’s end, that I state I think it very unlikely that any mention of Samantha Baldwin in Parliament will happen this year.  Right now, as regards what may yet happen with this matter, I simply do not know.  What I can say is that presently I remain actively engaged in correspondence in pursuit of this end.
Whilst I’m on, I shall avail myself of the opportunity to make a couple of other remarks:

I envisage the sabbatical running through to May next year. In that time, the pages on this site – which are undated – may change substantially, and new pages may be added, but I expect that today marks the end of any new [dated] posting of articles here (or of tweets on Twitter) until next year.

There may be further pruning of older [dated] articles – being the removal rather than the addition of content.

In the next few weeks the operation of this site is changing from one system to another, as is detailed in the smallest font text on the front page, though given that the change is occurring during the sabbatical, it is an all but imperceptible change for now (its effects may be more apparent after the sabbatical).

I am working to concurrent plans of six months (the sabbatical) and eighteen months with a view to changing and improving things for the future (the 2020s and beyond).

In future I hope to steer a course between online subscription journalism – a model I have never before pursued myself – and continuing to provide free-to-access content. I also want to sharpen up the quality and presentation of content (which is made possible in part by the aforesaid change of system), as the quality here has been somewhat variable in recent years. (Going forward, for several years yet a few items will remain on this site which, personally, I am not all that thrilled with, but that is the outcome of resolving the change of system.)

At the age of 45, this sabbatical has several purposes, including giving me some time to grapple properly with the rapidly changing nature of media and publishing, and enabling me to confront the challenges of how I proceed in future given the various physical disabilities with which I have been ‘walking wounded’ for many years already. I don’t ‘make a song and dance’ about disability issues, and on superficial acquaintance I may look as though all is well, but the scars, the pain and the limitations are very real.

I have had an ‘adventurous life’ and I live with the legacy of various wounds picked up over the years (most dramatically, on one occasion, was when I fell down a cliff in 2010), but my sense is that God’s will for my life in future is that I ought to function exceedingly well for many years to come, despite living with these disabling factors, these ‘thorns in the flesh’. (His grace is sufficient for me, and His power . . .)

If my planning is anything like right, next year will be a transitional year, with significant change coming into effect from spring/summer 2022, and then again from spring 2023 (the 18 month plan). The aim is to be ‘completely there’ – today’s caterpillar transforming into tomorrow’s papillon – over about eighteen months, from 2023.

Change is necessary and it means sustained hard work to make it, hence the sabbatical as part of the whole process. The gap in new content will, I trust, be worth the wait.

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Crown Court judge BANS release of Anke Hill restraining order

According to a Crown Court source (via email), judge HHJ Nicola Jones has today BANNED the release of the restraining order she imposed upon Dr Anke Hill (‘conspirator’ in the ‘kidnap’ of ‘Child A’) in the sentence handed down at Caernarfon Crown Court on 30 September 2021.
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Crown Court hiding Anke Hill restraining order

Crown Court staff in Wales are hiding the restraining order imposed on Dr Anke Hill.  Dr Hill, 51, was sentenced by judge Nicola Jones at Caernarfon Crown Court on 30 September 2021.  According to the CPS, Dr Hill’s sentence included a restraining order for an “indefinite period”.  (Presumably ‘indefinite’ means that the order will run for life, unless Dr Hill were to make a successful application to have the order varied or revoked).
I wasn’t present in court for the sentencing, so I know only that Dr Hill is subject to an indefinite restraining order; I do not know any of the specific details of that order.  The order’s particulars have never been reported publicly, though they could be, if they were known, subject to the extant reporting restrictions in the case.
This week I asked the court to disclose the full text of the order.  The court refused to disclose the order, and in so doing failed to cite any legal authority for that refusal.  My understanding of this refusal is that it is unlawful for a court not to disclose to the public any sentencing information stated in open court.
We may guess, of course, the sort of actions likely to be prohibited by the order – the places Dr Hill may not go, the persons whom Dr Hill may not contact or approach – but having to guess is rather ridiculous when the court ought to disclose the details of the order to any enquirer.  It occurred to me that if, in particular, the order bans Dr Hill from any contact with ‘Child A’ for life – that any such ban would be truly remarkable, and would be a fact (if fact it is) very much in the public interest.  That’s why I asked the court to disclose the order.
If judge Nicola Jones has banned Dr Hill for life from any contact with ‘Child A’, that would be a most interesting fact indeed.  I suspect it probably is a fact, but given the court’s [unlawful] refusal to disclose basic factual information in the public interest, I have no way of establishing in fact the contents of the restraining order.
(Dr Hill herself could no doubt tell me – or any other enquirer – whether or not judge Nicola Jones has banned her for life from any contact with ‘Child A’, but to date I have never attempted to communicate with Dr Hill.  Perhaps somebody who is acquainted with Dr Hill could find out?)
I think many people would be most interested to know whether or not Dr Hill has been banned for life from having any contact with ‘Child A’.  And more generally than that key question, given the nature of the case I think the public might form various strong opinions about the restraining order, if the details were known.
The court could – and should – disclose the details of the order, but has actually refused to do so, and without giving any good reason for that refusal.  We are therefore entitled to accuse the court of a cover-up, because there is no question that the court is concealing information from the public.  And we are entitled to ask why the court is hushing up and hiding this major element of the sentence handed down by judge Nicola Jones.  What has the court got to hide?
Why must the public be kept in the dark about what judge Nicola Jones did to Dr Anke Hill?  And we should not forget that this is not only about what judge Jones did to Dr Hill, but also what she has done to ‘Child A’.
In a few years ‘Child A’ will be an adult, and he may well want to have contact with his so-called ‘kidnapper’ Dr Hill (and which would not be surprising, given that ‘Child A’ does not consider himself a ‘kidnap victim’ of Dr Hill).  However, the way restraining orders work, even if ‘Child A’ were to make the contact, Dr Hill would nonetheless be in breach of the order if she had any contact, however it came about, with ‘Child A’.  If the restraining order does ban Dr Hill from any contact with ‘Child A’ for life, the significance of that is it’s a lifetime order imposed as much on ‘Child A’ as it is Dr Hill.
Why should ‘Child A’ – who has done nothing wrong (as even the State would agree) – be banned for life from seeing Dr Hill, if, as is extremely likely, he very much wants to see Dr Hill?
I suspect that if the public knew the details of this restraining order, many might view the order as evil and outrageous; that is by far the most likely explanation for the court’s hiding the conduct of judge Nicola Jones, in her sentencing of Dr Hill, from the public.
Furthermore, this concealment of facts is consistent with the conduct of judge Nicola Jones throughout the July 2021 trial at Caernarfon Crown Court.  Judge Nicola Jones imposed a total media black out over the whole trial, such that the trial could not be reported contemporaneously at all, and she unlawfully had kicked out of the building any press or public known to be unsympathetic to the prosecution.
But worst of all, judge Nicola Jones so ordered the trial that the facts of the sexual abuse of ‘Child A’ were concealed from the jury, thus scuppering the defence and making a fair trial impossible.  It was impossible for the defendants to prove their defence that they had attempted a lawful rescue (rather than an unlawful kidnap) of ‘Child A’ after the judge barred the defence from presenting any evidence to the jury of the sexual abuse of ‘Child A’.
In the context of all this covering up of facts by judge Nicola Jones during the trial, I should not be surprised by this latest act of concealment coming from Caernarfon Crown Court.  Indeed I’m not surprised by all this covering up – but it is profoundly wrong, and as a journalist I have a duty to expose it.
Given that the court apparently has no respect for its legal duty to disclose information to the public, and since I cannot forcibly compel Caernarfon Crown Court to disclose the details of the restraining order imposed upon Dr Anke Hill (and ‘Child A’), I am left with no alternative other than to expose this court’s gross contempt for the public.  I’m really most concerned by what’s happening at Caernarfon Crown Court.  What we have here is a court which is manifestly corrupt.
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