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Burnley campaigners in handcuff threat over child abuse claims
PROTESTORS from Burnley threatened to handcuff themselves to a council building to highlight its ’failure’ to properly investigate their friend’s claims of alleged sexual abuse.
The six-strong group, led by Rosehill man Graham Holden, demanded a public enquiry from officials at two Nottingham councils.
Mr Holden’s friend Michael Summers, 59, claims he was raped and physically abused at a care home and a school in the city in the 1960s.
Nottingham City Council and Nottingham County Council have both said they cannot find files relating to Mr Summer’s time at Beechwood Community House, Mapperley, where he claims he reported the abuse of other children.
Nottinghamshire police have launched an investigation, Operation Daybreak, into abuse at care homes, prompting more than 50 complaints from alleged victims.
Mr Holden was accompanied by Yvonne Nuttall, John Marren, Michael Clark, Trevor Hartley and Michael Mitchell, all from Burnley.
The group were eventually allowed into Nottingham City Council’s headquarters at Loxley House to meet with its chief executive Ian Curryer.
Mr Summers, who has waived his right to anonymity, claims that Mr Curryer had promised an independent serious case review into his allegations.
The councils have said that no such review can take place until police investigations are completed.
Mr Holden, 58, said: “The councils have admitted they’ve lost or destroyed Mickey’s files, but we know for a fact that other files kept in the years since have been returned to their owners, so why have Mickey’s gone?”
Mr Summers, who now lives in Rochester, New York, is due to be interviewed by police via video-link today.
He said: “Any apology now will in reality be as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike but it’s about the principle behind it.
“My principle is I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get this far but to get this far I have great strength and determination and real people who have stood by me throughout. I will not give up.”
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