Unanswered questions on the jailed peadophile Humphreys case.

Owl is upgrading this recent comment from Tim to a full post.

“Am I alone in thinking that the buck would usually stop, as far as the councils and police elements of this disgraceful period are concerned, with the bosses, the CEO and the Chief Constable?

Am I also alone in having concerns about the conduct of the EDDC officer who attended the meeting to be told of Humphreys arrest, and whether he (or she) did or should have reported it to those who had a need to know – like his/her boss?

It must have been foreseen that both officers stood/stand a chance, however large or small, of being found wanting in the way they carried out their duties. Surely neither should have had anything to do with any element of any enquiry into the matter. They should have recused themselves. Is it not unprofessional to have failed to recognise this from the start ?

In his report, Mark Williams quotes a number of sources and it appears he suggests that they back his officer’s decision to keep the matter, Humphreys’ arrest, confidential. That is his Williams interpretation, others may differ. I see those sources as firstly making it clear that victims, past, present, and potential, must be the primary concern and steps must be taken to have them kept safe. The quoted sources then also talk of the need for confidentiality for an accused, and rightly, of the principle of innocent until proved guilty. However, they then say there will be times others should know – but on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis. I feel ill at ease with a CEO who it appears thinks it not necessary that he knows about a prolific and horrendous sex offender amongst those be has some responsibility for. I know that I would want to know if it were an employee of mine.

While we are at it, let’s get this nonsense about the Cliff Richard case out of the way. That action was against South Yorks police giving confidential information about Richards to the BBC who then spectacularly made it public. Of course they were wrong. In the Humphreys case however there is no suggestion that the information was going in to the public realm. It was to be an exchange of confidential information between senior staff of two statutory bodies, both of whom had responsibilities in regard to the protection of vulnerable people. The case does not support the argument that the EDDC officer acted correctly in maintaining confidentiality. It was not unusual to exchange such information, it is not unusual, it happens all over the country all of the time. I would go so far as to say that without such ‘need to know’ exchanges happening daily between appropriate parties, the judicial system, a part of which I worked in and daily exchanged confidential information, would fall to pieces.

There are many elements of this matter that remain unclear. I have many questions remaining unanswered or unclarified, in between all the gossip. If I get clarification, or answers, I hope to add them in due course. Meantime I share the concerns already expressed.”

[Owl is aware of how much effort Tim and also Mark Hawkins put into checking that the comments they make on this case can be substantiated] 

2 thoughts on “Unanswered questions on the jailed peadophile Humphreys case.

  1. Here is further evidence that the CEO’s claims about anonymity are false. The Home Secretary is considering bringing in a law to protect people suspected serious crime, perhaps in response to Cliff Richard’s campaign which is referenced in this article.


    What made the Richard case of particular concern is that someone in the police for whatever reason gave the BBC information about a raid on his home and they sent a helicopter to film it. Which is a bit like Devon and Cornwall police tipping off the media about the exhumation in Budleigh cemetery in 2011, so that they could have national press and TV reporting it.

    That is the precedent against which the conduct of Devon and Cornwall police in Humphreys’ case needs to be judged, and that is with regard to the ultimately successful professionally run investigation. Never mind the murky depths of the previous investigations, or the harassment and threats. None of these things are within the scope of the proposed investigation.

    Some time after the successful conclusion of the Budleigh investigation, in 2014, the Chief Constable came to Sidmouth to present commendations to the officers involved. In the same year we understand the gentleman who has spoken to the council was “invited” to the same police station to receive what he didn’t really consider was an apology regarding harassment and threats.

    Also in the same year Devon and Cornwall should have spent many hours at The Knowle carrying out their investigation into the activities of another disgraced councillor, Graham Brown. When they found no evidence… It’s truly remarkable that our diligent police force didn’t find time to have an off the record conversation about other matters with someone sufficiently high up and discrete when all that was going on.


  2. There are to my knowledge at least 5 formal allegation of criminal behaviour by EDDC members or officers made to Devon & Cornwall Police which were either not properly investigated or not investigated at all.

    And there is also the mysterious case of a confidential statement made to D&CP being leaked to to the EDDC CEO, Mark Williams, and then made public by him and used to bully an EDDC opposition councillor.

    I am not normally one for conspiracy theories, but to my mind there is simply too much evidence to be kind and classify D&CP behaviour simply as incompetence.


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