Jump to content
The World News Media

UK Court Case: Otuo v Morley and Watch Tower


Recommended Posts

  • Member

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE CLAIMNO: HQ14D02898

QUEENS BENCH DIVISION


B E T W E E N:

 

FRANK KOFI OTUO

Claimant


&


JONATHAN DAVID MORLEY 1st Defendant

&

WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF BRITAIN 2nd Defendant

 

RE-AMENDED PARTICULARS OF CLAIM


The Claim

1. This is a claim in slander against the First and Second Defendant.


The Slander
2. The First Defendant is an “Elder” appointed by the Second Defendant to oversee its affairs in the Wimbledon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The latter is now being held vicariously liable for the malicious slander of the Claimant at a meeting set up by the First Defendant on the 22nd of June 2013 about 8:00pm, to mend a strained relationship with the Second Defendant.


3. The objective of the meeting was to seek reconciliation and reinstatement to the Second Defendant’s Organisation after a contentious disfellowshipping action taken against the Claimant that was premised on a false and malicious allegation of fraud against the Claimant. The Claimant does not accept that he is disfellowshipped.


BACKGROUND
4. The First Defendant summoned the Claimant to a brief meeting on Sunday the 30th December 2011. He informed the Claimant that, a fellow congregant, Mr Robert Wee had written a letter to the Body of Elders of the Wimbledon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses accusing the Claimant of fraud. The Claimant requested for a copy of the letter of accusation but the First Defendant refused to produce it and has not, to this day. The Claimant was informed that a “Judicial Committee” had been set up to hear the facts of the case and rule on it on Friday 6th January 2012. The Claimant’s attendance was thus mandated.


5. At the close of the said meeting, the First Defendant informed the Claimant that the accusation was founded and as such a decision has been made to dis-fellowship the Claimant from the Congregation and as such the worldwide organization of Jehovah Witnesses.


6. An announcement was made to that effect on the 19th July 2012. By this announcement, the Claimant avers that he was defamed by the 2nd Defendant. This is now subject to a separate claim in this Court pending judgement on the Claimant’s application to dis-apply s4A of the Limitation Act 1980.


7. At the meeting for reinstatement, the First Defendant made the accusation of fraud and the exact terms of the accusation are particularised as below;


The words complained of are:
“So just going back to July of last year when you were disfellowshipped, I think it was July 19 that it was announced to the Congregation, is that correct? I think it was do you … how do view then, what you were disfellowshipped for? Do you understand what you were disfellowshipped for?... just to summarise what I thought you have said, is that even today, you would not accept it was fraud … That is what you seem to be saying? … Is that your position?” … no that’s fine… we respect that and appreciate, we would not want you to lie to us, that will be counterproductive anyway because...ok, we appreciate … I guess the only question I will like to ask you, Frank though is, you got four brothers here who spent a lot of time on this matter as you know, you had three other brothers on the appeal committee, who spent a lot of time on it and after that, the Branch had a look at all of it, so, do [sic], have you not considered that, with that process that was gone through and that the conclusion was, on the part of the of the original committee, the appeal committee and the Branch that it was the a fraudulent situation, do you not feel that you ought to really reflect on whether you’ve understood the matter correctly?”


8. The publication of the words complained of was made in the presence of Mark Lewis, Collin Smith and Andrew Sutton.


9. The natural and ordinary meaning of the words complained of is that;


the Claimant has been disfellowshipped from his congregation for committing the act of fraud.


10.The innuendo meaning of the words complained of to those present is that;


the Claimant has been disfellowshipped from his Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for unrepentantly committing the act of fraud.


The special fact relied upon by the hearers to derive the innuendo meaning is that they were aware of an earlier allegation of fraud brought against the Claimant by the Second Defendant on the premise that it had been alleged by a fellow congregant, Robert Wee. There was however no confirmation of the accusation by the alleged complainant back then and to date.

 

Malice
11.The Claimant vigorously denies the allegation of fraud and has consistently maintained his innocence. The First and Second Defendants conspired to harm the Claimant, by, amongst many other facts to be explored at the trial, being indifferent to the truth or falsity of the defamatory allegations complained of, thereby precluding the Defendants from having an honest believe in their truth.


Damages Suffered
12.The Claimant has suffered a near irreparable damage to his reputation, emotions, physical and psychological and has reduced my standing before the hearers of the words complained of and community-at-large.


13.The damage suffered by the Claimant following the repetition of the slander by the 1st Defendant is cumulative upon the original the slander of the disfellowshipping by the 2nd Defendant announced to the Congregation twelve months earlier. The Congregants are also mandated by the teaching of the Second Defendant to repeat the slander to all who are Jehovah’s Witnesses but not necessarily members of the Wimbledon Congregation. This implies that the extent of defamation is worldwide and last a life time.


14.As a direct result of the gratuitous slander by the First Defendant at the said meeting, the Claimant was a fraudster and thus unfit to be reinstated into the Church. This has led to continued ostracism by the Claimant’s family and friends reinforcing and aggravating the damage done to the claimant’s reputation.


15.In a further aggravation of the damage caused; the slander has been republished in the London Evening Standard which boasts readership of over two million. This has subjected the Claimant to further ridicule and humiliation in his neighbourhood and community–at-large. The Claimant holds the Defendants responsible for the damage caused by the republication.


16. The republication, it is averred, to be the natural and foreseeable outcome upon a suit, as the 2nd Defendant enjoys an unenviable press interest. The 2nd Defendant was thus fully aware, upon notice of proceedings in a pre-action protocol, that if she does nothing to retract an unfounded allegation of fraud and proceedings ensued, the inevitable outcome was a press article in a major newspaper and a repeat of the slander that will lead to further substantial damage and aggravation of damages to the Claimant’s reputation.


17.See

    Hello guest!
[sup…].

 

18.The Claimant has continued to suffer extreme shunning by friends and family occasioned by the Defendants actions.


19.My three young children, who are pubescent to teenage, are finding it extremely difficult to cope with the fact that their Dad has been ostracised by the only community they have ever known since birth. This is in addition to the spiritual harm and mental distress caused to me as a direct consequence of the action.


20.I have lost all my friends who were only Jehovah Witnesses as they are not allowed to speak to me lest they face the same fate.

 

21.I have not travelled outside the UK, especially to see my ailing mother or any of my family members who are also members of the Organisation and as such barred from receiving me.


22.I lost my fundamental rights [Article 8 of the Human Rights Act] to my family as consequence of the sustained action by the Defendant and shall not regain it unless I admit to fraud and say I have repented of it. This is something I am unable to do conscientiously.


23.I have lost a least seven hundred regular friends I have known for up to forty years now. I had the privilege of service and associating with at least fifteen thousand such ones annually at the annual District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.


24.The worship and faith was in essence everything my family and I lived for. It was our lives and everything else revolved around it. I am not allowed to have any spiritual association with my own wife and children.


Breaches of the Claimant’s ECHR


25.The Claimants submits that the actions of the Defendant breaches Article 8(1) of ECHR which states;


“Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”


The Defendant’s publication of the words complained of and sustaining it has led to the continued loss of family life and the right of correspondence with his family.

26.The Claimant further submits that the actions of the Defendant have breached the Claimants right under Article 9(1) of the ECHR which states;


“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and……”


The Defendants’ actions have wrongfully usurped the Claimant’s right of expressing his religion and affiliation with his chosen religious community.

 

What the Claimant seeks as Remedy


The Slander
27.Seeks an injunction to barr the Defendants from repeating the alleged slander in any form communicable.

 

28.The Claimant seeks damages of £175,000.00 for reputational, emotional and psychological damages occasioned by the Defendants actions.


29.The Claimant seeks aggravated damages as consequence of the Defendants unreasonable behaviour subsequent to the accusation.

 

DATED: 1st February 2016.


I BELIEVE THE FACTS STATED IN THESE PARTICULARS OF CLAIM ARE TRUE.


SIGNED…………………………………………………………………………

FRANK OTUO.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Views 3k
  • Replies 1
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Member

England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions


You are here: 
    Hello guest!
 >> 
    Hello guest!
 >> 
    Hello guest!
 >> Otuo v Morley & Anor [2015] EWHC 1839 (QB) (26 June 2015) 
URL: 
    Hello guest!
 
Cite as: [2015] EWHC 1839 (QB)

[

    Hello guest!
] [
    Hello guest!
] [
    Hello guest!
]


 
    Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWHC 1839 (QB)
    Case No: CH/2014/0637

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
ON APPEAL FROM MASTER LESLIE

    Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
    26 June 2015

B e f o r e :

SIR DAVID EADY
Sitting as a High Court Judge
____________________

Between:
  Frank Kofi Otuo Claimant/
Respondent
  - and -
 
 
  Jonathan David Morley

- and -

Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Britain
First Defendant/
Appellant


Second Defendant/
Appellant

____________________

Richard Daniel (instructed by Watch Tower Legal Department) for the Appellants
The Respondent appeared in person
Hearing dates: 15 April and 18 June 2015 
____________________

HTML VERSION OF JUDGMENT
____________________

Crown Copyright ©

Sir David Eady :

"Fraud is defined as the intentional use of deception, trickery, or perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to give up a legal right."
"So just going back to July of last year when you were disfellowshipped, I think it was July 19 that it was announced to the congregation, is that correct? I think it was … do you… how do [you] view then what you were disfellowshipped for? Do you understand what you were disfellowshipped for? … Just to summarise what I thought you have said, is that even today you would not accept it was fraud … That is what you seem to be saying?"
"Publication of a libel, or indeed a slander, to one person may be trivial in one context, but more serious than publication to many more in another. Much depends on the nature of the allegation, and the identity of the person about whom and the person or persons to whom it is made. To that extent, the decision in each case is 'fact sensitive'. However, the court should not be drawn into making its decision on the basis of contested facts material to the issue of abuse which properly ought to be left to the tribunal of fact to decide."

That is an important principle to bear in mind when the court is called upon to address early applications for summary disposal in defamation cases, which have become increasingly frequent in recent years.

"In spite of the First Appellant maintaining that the accusation of fraud was communicated to him by a letter from the accuser, the Appellants have failed despite several requests to produce a copy of the letter. It is the R's case that the accusation was fabricated by the First Appellant to cause harm to the R and there was no such accusation from the accuser. The Appellants' failure to produce this letter clearly supports the R's assertion."
  1. On 24 November 2014, Master Leslie refused to grant the Defendants summary judgment in this slander claim. Permission was given to appeal by William Davis J on 20 February 2015. It is an unusual case and, like the Master, I have found it troubling. This is mainly because the Defendants are seeking to rid themselves of the claim on a summary basis at a stage when the statements of case are inchoate: they leave it unclear as to how much of a factual dispute there would be if the case is allowed to proceed to trial.
  2. Mr Otuo was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses for some 40 years until in 2012 he found himself "disfellowshipped". He claims that one of the significant consequences of this was that he was shunned by friends and family and, in particular, that he has had no contact with his elderly mother for several years. He believes that this was wholly unmerited and has never been able to understand why he was treated in this way. There are prescribed procedures for the taking of such disciplinary steps although Mr Daniel, who appeared for the Defendants, emphasised that they are to be found in a confidential rule book to which reference should not be made in court save in so far as it is absolutely necessary.
  3. What appears to have happened is that allegations of "fraud" had been made against the Claimant in a letter from an unnamed third party (which he says he has never seen) and these were examined by those given responsibility under those rules for doing so. Mr Daniel was at pains, however, to emphasise that the notion of "fraud" in this context was not such as to entail criminality, but rather bore a specific religious connotation, which he sought to define in his written submissions as follows:
  4. I confess to some puzzlement, as it seems to be a distinction without a significant difference. Surely anyone accused by reference to that definition would be seriously defamed in the eyes of any reasonable listener: it would clearly be an allegation of dishonesty. Yet Mr Daniel argued that "… if not de minimis, the actual damage sustained was very limited".
  5. At all events, the relevant committee, on its findings of fact, determined that the Claimant should be "disfellowshipped" with all the profound consequences which, according to the Claimant, flowed from that. He told me that he was aware of the identity of the unnamed third party and doubted whether he ever wrote such a letter or accused him of "fraud" (in any sense). He says that he pressed for a sight of the letter from the outset but that it was never vouchsafed to him. He doubted whether it ever existed. At the resumed hearing before me, on 18 June 2015, those doubts were reinforced when Mr Daniel told me that it had been destroyed on data protection grounds; that is to say, because the Defendants took the view that they had no legitimate reason for keeping it. 
  6. In due course, the Claimant took such steps as were open to him under the prescribed procedures to challenge the finding of the original committee and his consequent "disfellowship": he wished to be reinstated. He assumed that this would be dealt with on paper, but the Defendants decided to hold a meeting to consider his application, which he was invited to attend in July 2013. It was at an early stage of this meeting that the defamatory words were spoken by the First Defendant which led to the present slander claim.
  7. The words complained of are as follows:
  8. The Claimant suggests that these words meant inter alia that he "… has been disfellowshipped from his congregation for committing the criminal act of fraud". There is also pleaded an innuendo to the effect that he had been disfellowshipped "… for unrepentantly committing the criminal act of fraud". He would no doubt argue that the words are thus actionable without proof of special damage. 
  9. Although he does not plead a meaning as such, Mr Daniel has argued that one of the reasons why the action should be struck out is that the words are not defamatory in any sense. He says that, in context, they meant no more than that the ground on which he had been disfellowshipped in 2013 was, rightly or wrongly, that of "fraud". As I have already noted above, however, he drew a distinction between "criminal" fraud and the type of fraud he sought to define, although I find it a difficult boundary to draw. He has to take on the burden of establishing that any reasonable listener would have understood the First Defendant's question to the Claimant in a non-defamatory sense; for example, to the effect that it was no more than a purely fact finding or administrative enquiry as to the ground on which the earlier decision had purportedly been reached.
  10. Context is always important when assessing whether words are defamatory. Here, the actual meaning to be attributed may well depend on the evidence as to who was present, what exactly was their function and how much background knowledge they had. I am not asked on the present appeal to determine the meaning(s) of the words, but I do not believe that I can at this preliminary stage rule that the words spoken were so obviously not defamatory that the Claimant is left without a cause of action.
  11. Mr Daniel also submitted, in the light of Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones & Co Inc 
      Hello guest!
    , that the limited publication of the words could have caused no significant damage to the Claimant's reputation (let alone special damage), since the only people to have heard the remarks were the three other members of the committee who had been convened to address the Claimant's application for reinstatement. When the First Defendant spoke to them, they were not being told anything which they did not already know. There would thus be an abuse of process if the claim were allowed to proceed.
  12. Indeed, one of Mr Daniel's grounds for summary disposal was that there had been no publication at all. I do not follow that. Albeit on a very limited basis, the words spoken by the First Defendant were plainly published to anyone within earshot. Whether any such communication was the subject of qualified privilege is a separate matter, which I shall shortly need to address, but I reject the notion that there was no publication at all. 
  13. As to the undoubted fact that publication was very limited, I was reminded by the Claimant of the words of Sharp J (as she then was) in Haji-Ioannou v Dixon 
      Hello guest!
    , at [31]:
  14. If the words meant that the Claimant had been guilty of fraud (by whatever definition), and was thus dishonest, that is a defamatory allegation which is at least capable of causing serious reputational damage. The court should thus be reluctant to shut out such a claim in a case where the facts have yet to be fully explored. I naturally recognise that this claim is not concerned with damage flowing from the original "disfellowship" or from its announcement before the congregation, but only with the consequences of the limited publication sued upon, but even so it would be unduly "robust" in my view to hold that an allegation of fraud can have done no harm at all.
  15. It is not entirely clear to me whether the Defendants are intending to raise a plea of justification (e.g. to the effect that the Claimant was guilty of fraud). The current defence does not say so in terms and certainly does not put forward a Lucas-Box meaning or any particulars of justification. On the other hand, there is included, unusually for a defamation defence, a general traverse. They are generally avoided for the very reason that they could be taken as denying the falsity of the words, and thus stealthily importing a plea of justification. I asked Mr Daniel about this, and he replied that his clients wished to await the outcome of the current application for summary disposal before putting their cards on the table. They did not wish to plead justification unless it became necessary to do so. Plainly, however, I need in the meantime to bear in mind that the Claimant is entitled to a presumption that he is innocent of fraud (or indeed of having been found guilty of fraud) unless and until the contrary is proved by the Defendants.
  16. The Defendants intend to rely on qualified privilege and, although the evidence would need to be carefully considered in the context of the prescribed rules for the relevant internal procedures, there is quite a strong prima facie case to that effect. Nonetheless, the Claimant wishes to put forward a plea of malice against the First Defendant in particular. I understand that he wishes to assert, although no particulars of malice are yet pleaded, that the defendants must have known that there was no evidence of fraud on his part. The Claimant told me that he had been waiting to provide such particulars until at least he had seen the third party letter and the specific accusations it had supposedly made against him. Only in those circumstances, would he be in a position to pinpoint what the Defendants knew or believed about him and the genuineness of the First Defendant's state of mind at the time of the words complained of. It emerged at the resumed hearing before me on 18 June that the third party's letter has been destroyed, according to Mr Daniel on instructions, on data protection grounds and that, accordingly, the Claimant will never now be able to make an assessment of it or rely upon it in formulating his particulars of malice. It is fair to say, however, that this latest piece of news has done nothing to allay his suspicions as to their good faith.
  17. I was initially troubled by the Master's conclusion that there was evidence of malice which would need to be considered at a trial, as this appeared to be one of his principal grounds for refusing the Defendants summary relief. I had in mind the basic principles about pleading malice and the need to go beyond bare assertion. That was one of the reasons for having to adjourn on 15 April 2015, since none of the relevant principles or authorities was before the court; nor had they been considered by the parties: see e.g. Gatley on Libel & Slander (12th edn), at 28.6 and 30.35, Alexander v Arts Council of Wales 
      Hello guest!
    Seray-Wurie v Charity Commission for England & Wales 
      Hello guest!
    , and Henderson v London Borough of Hackney 
      Hello guest!
    . This was another consequence of the inchoate state of the pleadings and just one illustration of the disadvantages confronting a litigant in person. 
  18. Nevertheless, an indication had been given in the Claimant's first witness statement as to the case on malice he would wish to put forward. This is probably what the Master had in mind when he said, at paragraph 7 of the transcript, that in his judgment "… there is material from which a court might find that Mr Morley was actuated by some malice". What the Master did not have, although it was before me, was the Claimant's second witness statement dated 8 April 2015. This put more flesh on the bones of the anticipated plea of malice. I need cite only one passage, from paragraph 30(h), to illustrate the scope and gravity of the dispute between the parties:
  19. I have indicated already that the Claimant's suspicions have been enhanced by the recent claim that the third party letter has purportedly been destroyed. I am not in a position to say that the First Defendant has trumped up a case in fraud to bring about the Claimant's "disfellowship", for reasons of his own, or that he uttered the words at the reinstatement meeting in 2013 in order to manipulate its outcome. Of course not. Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that the Master was correct in his conclusion that there is more to this than currently meets the eye. It is not the sort of case which can be terminated by the convenient means of summary disposal nowadays available to the court in the light of the CPR and their application in such cases as Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones & Co Inc, cited above. It seems to me that a significant number of the real issues between the parties fall within the description of "fact sensitive" and do not lend themselves to a short cut. 
  20. I bear in mind Mr Daniel's warning that I may be allowing myself to be diverted by a "smokescreen", but it simply illustrates why the facts need to be properly investigated after full pleadings have become available, disclosure of documents has taken place and witness statements have been exchanged. Only then will the smoke have cleared.
  21. In these circumstances, I must dismiss the appeal.

BAILII: 

    Hello guest!
 | 
    Hello guest!
 | 
    Hello guest!
 | 
    Hello guest!
 | 
    Hello guest!
 
URL: 
    Hello guest!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Srecko Sostar
      Inquiry announces new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings
        2 May 2019 The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has announced a new 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  into Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in religious organisations and settings. The investigation will be thematic and will review the current child protection policies, practices and procedures in religious 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in England and Wales. Organisations falling under the remit of this investigation will include non conformist Christian denominations, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. This investigation is separate from our investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
      Religious settings such as mosques, synagogues, churches and temples are in scope. Places of faith tuition such as Muslim madrassahs and Christian Sunday schools and places where children and young people gather in connection with their religious beliefs, including youth groups and camps will also be investigated by the Inquiry.
      More than one in 10 survivors of 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (11 per cent) who shared their accounts with the Inquiry’s Truth Project reported sexual abuse in a religious institution. Of this group, almost a quarter (24 percent) told the Inquiry they were abused in institutions in scope of this new investigation, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Judaism and Islam. Not all participants provided details about the religious denomination of the institution or perpetrator. Organisations and individuals are being invited to apply for core participant status. Core participants must have a significant interest in this investigation and have special rights defined by legislation.
      A preliminary hearing will take place at 2pm on 23 July 2019 and public hearings will take place in 2020.
      source: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By admin
      How many of you in the UK are ready for Brexit?
      How do you think it will all go down?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left hospital after the arrival of their third child, a boy.
      The couple's second son, who was born at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz, is fifth in line to the throne.
      Prince George and Princess Charlotte had visited their brother at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London.
      Leaving the hospital Prince William said the couple were very happy, before holding up three fingers and joking he had "thrice the worry now".
      "We didn't keep you waiting too long this time," he added.
      When someone asked him whether the couple had decided on a name, he said: "You'll find out soon enough."
      Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43864933

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Plans to build a new place of worship on a storage container site in Ingoldisthorpe have been given the go ahead. West Norfolk Council’s planning committee approved proposals for the new building and car parking spaces at Coaly Lane at a meeting on Monday. The plans, submitted by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, said the new Jehovah’s Witnesses premises would provide a replacement facility for the existing meeting place at Hunstanton Road in Heacham. According to reports submitted to the committee, the building would be located on the western end of the site which has no standing containers at present. Andy Griffin, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: “They have been searching for a suitable premises to replace their current one for over 12 years. “It is badly in need of renovation with no parking provision, so elderly people find it very difficult to walk there.” The committee was told that the parking arrangements at the current premises are unsuitable, meaning that vehicles are often parked at the side of the road. Mr Griffin said on average there would be 15 cars attending main meetings twice a week, but the plans included 30 spaces to ensure there is an “oversupply”. He said the absence of commercial vehicles would “further improve” the safety of Coaly Lane for pedestrians. Committee member Avril Wright said she disagreed with the suggestion that there is heavy traffic on Coaly Lane. “There is hardly any traffic on that road now – it’s mostly used for dog walking and leisure use,” she said. Relocating the meeting place would also benefit traffic in Heacham, one member claimed. Terry Parish said: “By moving this hall, you would remove the traffic problems on Hunstanton Road.” Members expressed concerns regarding tree species at the site, as well as light pollution. The committee voted to approve the plans, with conditions that the premises only be used between 8am and 10pm, that the trees on the site be protected and that the authority would receive full details of a lighting scheme.

      Read more at:
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via .ORG
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the church not to report the crimes.
      Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religious organisation's own rules protected perpetrators.
      One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward because of the "two witness" rule.
      A spokesperson for the church said it did not "shield" abusers.
      'Bring reproach on Jehovah'
      BBC Hereford and Worcester spoke to victims - men and women - from Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leicester, Worcestershire and Glasgow, one of whom waived her right to anonymity.
      Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse.
      The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Midlands, said when she told the church of the abuse she was told not to go to police.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Mrs Mortimer was undergoing a hip operation when she refused the blood transfusion
      A Jehovah's Witness lost her life after she refused a blood transfusion during a major hip operation due to her religious beliefs.
      Barbara Mortimer, 69, went against doctors' advice and sadly died on May 24, 2017, shortly after a hip replacement.
      A final hearing was held at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield yesterday (Wednesday, October 18) before Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan.
      The court heard that in January of this year, Mrs Mortimer visited her GP Mark Penwell with "severe left hip pain."
      Doctor Penwell said: "She was struggling to walk with it, even using a stick.
      "The only useful intervention was a hip replacement."
      He admitted however, that he had concerns about Mrs Mortimer, of Portland Road, Bishop's Stortford, who would decline any blood products due to her being a Jehovah's Witness.
      Mrs Mortimer also suffered what was thought to be a heart attack in 2006 and acute coronary syndrome after having chest pain in 2010.
      For her hip, Mrs Mortimer was referred to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajeev Sharma.
      He said: "She came to see me in the clinic on Thursday, March 23.
      "She came in with a diagnosis of hip arthritis on one of the sides.
      "She had an X-ray that showed the joints were worn out."
      Risks associated with the procedure including displacing the hip, heart attack and most commonly infection, were discussed with Mrs Mortimer.
      Mrs Mortimer chose to ungergo surgery, but was taking aspirin at the time which thins the blood. There was also a risk that she would need a blood transfusion during the operation.
      Steps included administering tranexamic acid, swabs soaked in adrenalin and a spinal aesthetic as opposed to general, as these all help to prevent and restrict blood loss.
      Mr Sharma said: "We needed to be sure our surgery is in such a manner to prevent bleeding.
      "It was safe to proceed providing we take all the necessary precautions."
      The procedure went ahead with Mrs Mortimer's haemoglobin levels being within an acceptable range.
      But during the operation after the joint was dislocated, the living part of the bone began to bleed.
      The bleed then became "exponentially massive," according to Mr Sharma following the removal of hard cartilage.
      The adrenalin swabs, an alternative method to stopping the bleed due to Mrs Mortimer's belief's, were inserted to constrict the blood vessels as well as a plastic membrane.
      Mr Sharma said: "We continued with the procedure, it was the best way to stop the bleeding.
      "I could not think why such a lot of bleeding would take place.
      "Was it the aspirin? Would it have had a significant effect on her or was there an anomaly in the pelvic bone?"
      Following the surgery, Mr Sharma spoke with Mrs Mortimer's family.
      "The recommended blood products were declined," he said.
      "We were struggling to keep her alive if we can't give her any blood. Persistent refusal was risking her life."
      Mrs Mortimer faced the decision of accepting blood products or hope that the fluids given to her post-operation would stimulate cell production after such a huge blood loss.
      She died during the early hours of the morning at Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth.
      Mr Sharma was challenged in court by Counsel Kate Smith, who asked whether further enquiries should have been made prior to the hip replacement due to her age, religious beliefs, medical history and the fact she was taking aspirin.
      Ms Smith presented a booklet in court regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and surgery.
      It said "should avoid any medication that could increase blood loss," referring to aspirin which thins the blood and makes the likelihood of needing a blood transfusion more likely.
      Mrs Mortimer signed a refusal form indicating her religious convictions that "no blood transfusions are to be administered in any circumstances".
      Mr Sharma said in "hindsight" there are things that would have been done differently but at that stage all the safety precautions had been made.
      The operation was also not considered to be life-threatening.
      He was also challenged whether Mrs Mortimer needed to be on aspirin. The decision to take this course was made working on the basis that she had suffered a heart attack – later found to be untrue.
      Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan, said: "I cannot see a short form conclusion.
      "The adequate way to my mind is a narrative verdict to encompass blood loss [from the] surgical procedure and declining of blood products.
      "She was admitted to Rivers Hospital, she had advanced decision not to accept blood products, and asked to consider accepting blood products, but declined to do so."

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      An expected audience of around 3,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the public are beginning to arrive at the Westpoint Arena for their three day annual Exeter Convention.
      This year’s Convention theme is “Don’t Give Up!”
      “Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” states David A. Semonian, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Warwick, New York. “Our convention this year will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”
      Last weekend 3,800 Witnesses and others from Cornwall and South Devon attended their Convention at Westpoint, this weekend it is the turn of delegates from across Somerset, North, and Mid Devon to enjoy the same uplifting program. It is one of 21 such Conventions across the UK, in total the program will be presented in 24 different languages. Last year over 13 million persons attended the Witnesses Conventions worldwide, more are expected to attend this year.
      The program is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos. Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film designed to help families will be shown each afternoon. Of special interest will be a discourse especially for the public at 11.20 on Sunday morning entitled “Never Give Up Hope!”, as well as the public Baptism of new believers on Saturday at 11,45 a.m. The program lasts from Friday through to Sunday and begins at 9.20 each morning.
      Admission was free and no collections are taken
      Watch a video about our conventions and see a complete program schedule at jw.org

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By The Librarian
      NORTH KENSINGTON, London – Not less than four members of Jehovah’s Witnesses survived the inferno that ravaged the 24 storey Grenfel Tower, London killing at least 79 people.

      None of the witnesses died in the inferno, which has led to revolution and evacuation of about 25 other blocks that have failed fire resistant test in London.
      The 4 witnesses however lost their apartments and properties in the fire. 
      “Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community”, the JWs said on their website.Jehovah’s Witnesses are known worldwide for their speed in mitigating the affliction of their neighbours worldwide.See full statement below.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses are assisting victims of a catastrophic fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment building in the North Kensington area of London, in the early morning hours of June 14, 2017. Authorities are reporting that at least 79 people were killed.
      Four Witnesses were evacuated from the apartment building, two of which were residents of Grenfell Tower. Fortunately, none of them were injured, although the Witnesses’ apartments were among those completely destroyed in the blaze.
      Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Jack Ryan
      In Newcastle town centre. UK.
      The Chronicle Live. 15 June 2017.
      A council worker will stand trial after he was accused of being drunk at the wheel of his road sweeper in Newcastle city centre.
      John Paul Carruthers, who has since resigned from his post at Newcastle City Council, was allegedly over the legal drink-drive limit when he ploughed into a Jehovah’s Witness stand on Northumberland Street near to Haymarket Metro Station.
      Prosecuting, James Long told Newcastle Magistrates’ Court: “The allegation is that he was driving a Newcastle City Council road sweeper when he collided first with a Jehovah’s Witness stand next to Haymarket Metro Station. He carried on then a short while later was detained on Ridley Place and was said to be aggressive.

      READ MORE: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Jack Ryan
      09:38  Official police statement 
      Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the suspicious death of a man in Honiton today [6 June].
      Police and ambulance crews were called at around 3.40pm after concerns were raised for the welfare of the man at a premises in Dowell Street.
      On arrival they found the man, who is yet to be identified, deceased at the scene. He had sustained a number of stab wounds.
      A 55-year-old man was located nearby and has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He has been taken into custody in Exeter awaiting questioning.
      Detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team have launched an investigation to establish the circumstances of the man’s death.
      Officers are appealing for anyone who may have information which may assist with the enquiry to contact them.
      A cordon remains in place around the scene while a forensic examination is carried out by scenes of crime officers.
      Anyone who may have information about the incident is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by telephoning 101, quoting log 529 of 06/06/17.
      Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111 or the charity’s website at 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Read more at Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      ---------------------------------------
      The question now is.... are either of the two Jehovah's Witnesses?
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via TheWorldNewsOrg
      World News
    • By admin
      Terrorist incident at Manchester Arena 
      Police shutdown central Manchester, early Tuesday morning, after a suspected explosion at the Manchester Arena killed 19 and injured 50.
      Suicide Bomber suspected
      The incident is thought to have occurred at 22.35 local time (21.35 GMT), at the end of an Ariana Grande concert as 20,000 + attendees were leaving the premises. Emergency vehicles streamed to the arena and helicopters circled above as police urged people to stay clear of the area.
      As we all get more details about this event please post news below as a reply
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A WOMAN  who was molested by her father over 5 years and afterwards by a Jehovah’s Witnesses she asked for assistance has oral out about her ordeal.
      Terrified Angie Rodgers, from Ayrshire, was abused weekly by her perverted Jehovah’s Witness father Ian Cousins from a age of 11.

      Angie Rodgers was 11 years aged when her father started abusing her
      The dauntless teen eventually plucked adult a bravery to disclose in a Jehovah’s Witness elders, who took small action and she was after abused by one of them too, Harry Holt.
      Angie, now 36, said: “I incited to a church for assistance and we was abused a second time.
      “I was a child and they should have helped, though they incited on me. They make me feel sick.
      “I don’t consider I’ll ever get over what happened. I’ve usually schooled to live with it.
      “I have nightmares and flashbacks all a time and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.”
      Angie’s father was detained for 5 years in 2002 for his crimes, while Holt was usually jailed final year for Angie’s attack along with 7 others he molested.
      Now aged 36, Angie, a mother-of-four, has bravely waived her anonymity in a wish her story will assistance other people.
      She said: “Dad did it whenever he got a chance, even when we was ill.

      Angie Rodgers poses here with others in a Jehovah’s Witness community
      “Once, we was throwing adult with gastric influenza when father brought me home a feathery bunny, with a organic white floral dress and bloomers.
      “My wordless went to a Kingdom (church) and my father scooped me adult in his arms from a couch, took me to his room and molested me.
      “I prayed my wordless would come and save me though she never did. After that he used to try to hold me whenever we were alone. It got worse and worse.
      “We went to a Jehovah gathering when we was about 14 and he attempted to rape me in a tent. He was usually interrupted when an elder shouted him from outside.”
      At a age of 15 Angie confided in a friend, whose father led a opposite church, in a wish that they would be means to stop a abuse.
      While her father Cousins was called in for a “judicial meeting” no movement was taken, as Jehovah’s Witness elders can't act opposite suspects unless “there is a admission or dual convincing witnesses”.
      Angie was afterwards subjected to an talk by 3 masculine elders including Holt, where she was done to plead insinuate sum of a abuse.
      She explained: “They even asked what I’d been wearing, as if it was my fault. It was excruciating. we was so genuine we was still personification with toys and Lego during 18.”
      As Cousins showed plea for his sins he was authorised behind into a church after being reprimanded – and a abuse stopped.
      A brief while after in 1997, Holt done a pierce on Angie when pushing her home following a event door-knocking for members.
      She said: “On a approach home in a automobile he grabbed my leg and felt his approach adult towards my underwear.”
      Shocked, a immature lady told her relatives about a occurrence and a explanation led to Holt journey to Edinburgh.
      It was suggested in justice final year that he went on to abuse some-more children.
      Angie motionless to make a censure to a military about her father when she found out he had also abused another dual girls.
      She also incited her behind on a Jehovah’s Witnesses during 19 in a wish of starting fresh.
      The sacrament is pronounced to inspire members to reject people who leave, and Angie claimed that she didn’t see her mom for 6 years after she left.
      In 2014 a censure was done opposite Holt, and Angie concluded to come brazen and pronounce about her horrific experience.
      In Feb 2016, 71-year-old Holt was condemned to three-and-a-half years in jail for a abuse of 8 girls between 1971 and 2004.
      Angie said: “If what happened to me helps usually one immature lady – or child – go to a military it will have been value it. What happened to me is horrible though I’m perplexing to pierce on, differently my abusers have won.
      “The sacrament is zero though a cult. Children are kept wordless by fears of Holy condemnation and Armageddon if they move a church into ill repute.
      “It’s that fear and a fear of being shunned by friends and family if we leave that stops victims from stating to police. It’s primitive and it has to stop.”
      When contacted, a Jehovah’s Witnesses wouldn’t criticism on Angie’s box though they did criticism on their position in general.
      The matter said: “Jehovah’s Witnesses detest child abuse and perspective it as a iniquitous crime and sin. Safety of a children is of a pinnacle importance.
      “Elders do not defense abusers from a authorities. Anyone who commits a impiety of child abuse faces exclusion from a congregation. Any idea Jehovah’s Witnesses cover adult abuse is false.
      “We are doing all we can to forestall child abuse and to yield devout comfort to any who have suffered from this terrible impiety and crime.”

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      The world is finally waking up to the dangers of ignoring the simple Bible command to "abstain from blood" (Acts 15:20).
      Major scandal hitting the front pages of the UK press today, with the shadow health secretary calling the misuse of blood in the NHS (National Health Service) a "criminal cover up".
      Story below:
      NHS contaminated blood was 'criminal cover-up' - Burnham
      A "criminal cover-up on an industrial scale" took place over the use of NHS contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, former Health Secretary Andy Burnham has claimed.
      More than 2,000 deaths have been linked to the scandal in which haemophiliacs and others were infected with hepatitis C and HIV from imported blood products.
      Speaking in the Commons, the Labour MP said victims were "guinea pigs".
      Health minister Nicola Blackwood resisted calls for a fresh inquiry.
      She said thousands of documents had been released by the Department of Health in relation to the scandal, while two reviews had already been carried out.
      In 2015, the then Prime Minster David Cameron 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  of the contaminated blood scandal. 'Deliberate cover-up'

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  had found around 7,500 patients were infected by imported blood products - contracting hepatitis C and HIV - the virus that can develop into Aids. The UK imported supplies of the clotting agent Factor VIII - some of which turned out to be infected. Much of the plasma used to make Factor VIII came from donors like prison inmates in the US, who sold their blood.
      More than 2,000 UK patients have since died as a result.
      Now Mr Burnham is calling for a public "Hillsborough-style inquiry" - echoing calls already made by the Haemophilia Society and victims' families.
      In what was his final speech in the Commons - having announced 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in the upcoming election - the MP for Leigh outlined evidence that he claimed amounted to "deliberate, provable acts of cover-up". He gave examples of inappropriate treatment given to patients, tests being done on people without their knowledge or consent, and results from such tests being withheld for several years.
      He labelled these "criminal acts", and compared campaigning by relatives of infected people to the efforts by families of Liverpool football fans crushed to death in the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989.
      He said both cases "resulted in appalling negligence from public bodies" and involved "an orchestrated campaign to prevent the truth from being told".
      Mr Burnham told the Commons he will take his claims to the police if a new inquiry is not established before Parliament breaks for its summer recess in July.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Speaking during the adjournment debate, Mr Burnham cited the cases of three victims.
      One of those was haemophiliac Ken Bullock, infected with non-A, non-B hepatitis, who died in 1998.
      His widow said that in December 1983, her husband's medical notes changed to suggest he was "a clinical alcoholic".
      Mr Burnham told MPs this accusation escalated over the next 15 years, with Mr Bullock unaware of the "appalling" claims.
      Mr Bullock was possibly refused a liver transplant based on his falsified medical records saying he was an alcoholic, Mr Burnham said.
      Factor VIII 'warnings'
      The MP later mentioned two documents, including a 1975 letter from Stanford University's medical centre warning the source blood is "100% is from skid row derelicts".

      Image copyrightSPL
      Last year, the UK government launched 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  on the money available to to those affected by the scandal. As a result, the government announced that victims in England with stage 1 Hepatitis C would receive £3,500 a year, with the provision to appeal for a higher payment close to the £15,000 received by HIV patients who received toxic blood.
      It also announced it will fund payment for the bereaved partner or spouse of individuals infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV as a result of receiving NHS-supplied blood products.
      More on this story
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Proponents of “blood management” hope that transfusions will one day be a thing of the past. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.      
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Tribunal rejects claim investigation into charity’s handling of sexual abuse allegations amounts to religious discrimination
      A Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Manchester has lost a legal attempt to block an investigation into its handling of sexual abuse allegations, after failing to convince a judge that the inquiry amounted to religious discrimination.
      Organisations linked to the religion have fought legally to prevent the Charity Commission from launching two inquiries into allegations that survivors of sexual abuse were being forced to face their attackers in so-called judicial committees. The organisation’s efforts have been described by the commission as unprecedented.
      The Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into the Manchester New Moston congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2014, after reports surfaced that a convicted paedophile, Jonathan Rose, was brought face-to-face with survivors of his abuse in a judicial committee. 
      After Rose served nine months in prison for child sex offences, the New Moston congregation held a meeting attended by senior members, Rose and three of his victims – now adults – to see if he would be “disfellowshipped”, or expelled from of the congregation, the judgment notes. This would have involved “the elders of the charity (its trustees) and Mr Rose interviewing his victims, in an apparently intrusive way”. 
      This raised serious concerns at the Charity Commission, which oversees whether charity trustees are meeting their safeguarding responsibilities.
      The commission also launched a statutory inquiry into safeguarding the UK’s main Jehovah’s Witnesses charity, the Watch Tower Bible Tract Society of Great Britain (WTBTS), which oversees the UK’s 1,500 congregations and is believed to play a key role in deciding how claims of abuse are handled. 
      WTBTS launched litigation including an attempt to challenge in the supreme court the commission’s decision to start an investigation. The charity also fought in the lower courts against production orders that would oblige it to give the commission access to records showing how it handled the allegations, although in January it dropped its opposition to these requests.
      The Manchester New Moston congregation launched appeals at the first-tier tribunal challenging the Charity Commission’s decision to open a formal inquiry, arguing among other things that the investigation interfered with the congregation’s human rights, and that the decision to launch the inquiry amounted to religious discrimination. The charity alleged the commission had investigated safeguarding concerns at other charities without launching a full statutory inquiry.
      When the first appeal was dismissed, the congregation appealed to the upper tribunal. This was rejected on Tuesday at the upper tribunal of the tax and chancery division at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
      Mrs Justice Asplin ruled the lower tribunal had been “entitled to decide that there was no direct discrimination on the grounds of religion, the inquiry having been opened on the basis of unusual and distinctive factual reasons ... and that there were no other comparable cases from which to infer discrimination on the grounds of religious beliefs.”
      The Charity Commission’s head of litigation, Chris Willis Pickup, said: “We regret that public and charity funds have been used on this protracted litigation, but we will continue to defend robustly our legitimate role in investigating serious concerns about charities.
      “We hope and expect that this judgment concludes the litigation on this matter and allows us, and the charity, to focus our efforts on concluding the Commission’s inquiry.”

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via TheWorldNewsOrg
      World News
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      February 22, 2017 
      Blood transfusions are a common and often lifesaving procedure. However, some groups, such as 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , forbid blood transfusions on religious grounds. Recently, the Royal College of Surgeons issued Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  on what to do when a person rejects a transfusion based on religious belief. However, these guidelines need further clarification to make it easier for surgeons to act fully in line with developments in English law when it comes to children. In recent years, there has been a 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , where the doctor always knows best, and a move towards “shared-decision making” – a process that is enshrined in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . This means that the patient is informed of all the risks and, together with the doctor, they make an informed decision. The issue of transfusion refusals is becoming increasingly important because the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses is growing, as well as people who refuse blood transfusions for reasons unrelated to religion. And the guidelines make a good attempt to give direction to surgeons who have to grapple with potentially life-threatening situations involving the refusal of blood transfusions using a patient-focused approach.
      Clarity on adults
      There is a very clear picture about how surgeons should manage adults who refuse such intervention, and there is further practical advice on how they should comply with legal, ethical and regulatory obligations. If these adults have capacity, then their wishes should be respected. If they do not have capacity, the surgeons must act in the patient’s best interests. In emergency situations, as well as surgeons acting in the patient’s best interests actions must also be in line with any advance decision by the patient – if a document is available detailing their wishes.
      Adult refusals will be honoured if sufficient documentation exists – even in emergencies. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. However, the guidelines are too clear cut in the way they depict the issue of refusals in the case of children. They don’t grapple sufficiently with the developments in the law that have happened since the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in 1982. The Gillick case was brought by Victoria Gillick in 1982 in attempt to prevent doctors from giving contraceptive advice and treatment to children under 16-years-old, without informing or receiving consent from their parents. It was eventually dismissed and the judge said that if a child had enough maturity, understanding and intelligence regarding their medical treatment – known as a “standard for capacity” – then they could make decisions on this without parental consent.
      While English law deals with the capacity of 16 to 17-year-old children under the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , decisions about children under the age of 16 still rely heavily on the Gillick case and its subsequent developments. However, the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  for determining capacity has changed since Gillick and it is now pitched at a higher level – which is more difficult for children to reach because it can include, in some instances, a requirement to demonstrate an ability to understand the implications of the consequences of refusing treatment. This can become an almost unattainable standard. Additionally, case law dealing with children has now shifted much of its focus from respecting the autonomy of children to adopting an increasingly more paternal approach. Children – overruled
      In all cases that have been to the English courts, children who have refused transfusions have been found to 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to make these decisions. Therefore, the courts have consistently overruled the decisions of children. The guidelines state that overruling in the courts “has been the outcome of the majority of cases relating to the refusal of blood”. However, the guidelines should have avoided using the phrase “majority of cases”: no case in English law has upheld a child’s wish to refuse a blood transfusion because doing so has been seen, by the courts, to conflict with the child’s best interests.
      Therefore, satisfying the requirements of Gillick in terms of understanding and intelligence is not enough for children under 16. There is a strong likelihood that the wishes of children possessing these characteristics will still be overruled. This means that the standard of capacity under Gillick is not the only yardstick by which the validity of the decision of the child is measured. It is worth noting that cases in English law 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  that even if a 16 to 17-year-old child has the relevant capacity, his or her wishes may also be overruled by the courts. Parents can overrule their child. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Refusing a blood transfusion is, of course, a very serious decision to make, and so the guidelines are right to urge surgeons to be mindful of their obligations to patients. However they are not completely up to scratch in terms of how they tease out some nuanced developments in the law that have the potential to impact on children. More needs to be done to determine what decisions could be made in the courts.
      There are, indeed, flaws with the current approach in English law, but the guidelines must work within it and reflect the context of the law as it stands. The guidelines could, however, be more specific in the way in which they discuss the law, and particular focus could be given to legal developments post-Gillick in relation to children under 16.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      An NHS Foundation Trust v T [2016] EWHC 2980 (Fam)
      Decision of Mr Justice Peter Jackson in relation to an application for declarations in respect of treatment, including the administration of blood products, to a two year old boy, T, whose parents are Jehovah's Witnesses.
      An NHS Trust ('the Trust') applied for an order in relation to administration of blood and blood products to T, a little boy who suffers from low blood platelet count. T's treating doctors considered that he may have a medical condition affecting his production of bone marrow, as a result of which T has been the subject of investigation and hospital treatment from time to time.

      The Court had available to it a report from T's Consultant Paediatric Haematologist who indicated that, at the present time and from time to time in the future, T will need to have blood products administered to him in order to prevent a very serious deterioration in his health.

      T's parents were unable to consent to the administration of blood products to T, as they belong to the Jehovah's Witness faith, but they did not oppose the application, instead leaving the decision to the court. Whilst they did not attend court, and were not represented, they sent letters fully explaining the position in which they found themselves. T's parents emphasised that they would want forms of treatment other than the administration of blood products to be considered in any case in which they might be equally effective. That was also the position of the Trust. 

      The court concluded, having read the medical evidence and having considered the view of T's parents, that it is 'overwhelmingly' in T's best interests for him to be able to receive the proposed treatment in order for his health to be supported and further that the inability of the hospital to give him this treatment could lead to 'very serious and possibly even fatal consequences as time went on.' 

      Mr Justice Peter Jackson declared that it is lawful and in T's best interests that he receives blood or blood products should the same be clinically indicated in the opinion of the treating doctors. The order, made under the inherent jurisdiction, recorded that such treatment will only be given after consultation with the parents and that blood products or blood will only be used if there is no clinically appropriate alternative. 

      Summary by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , barrister, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      ______________________________________

      Case No: FD16P00641
      Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 2980 (Fam)

      IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
      FAMILY DIVISION

      Royal Courts of Justice
      Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

      Date: 18 November 2016

      Before:
       
      THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE PETER JACKSON
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      AN NHS FOUNDATION TRUST Applicant
      - and - 
      (1) MRS T 
      (2) MR T Respondents
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Claire Watson (instructed by Capsticks LLP) for the Applicant
      The Respondents did not attend and were not represented

      Hearing date: 18 November 2016
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      NOTE OF JUDGMENT
      APPROVED BY THE JUDGE
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      JUDGMENT 
      MR JUSTICE PETER JACKSON:
      1.  This is an application in relation to a 2-year-old boy known as Child T.  Unfortunately, he suffers from a low blood platelet count, which has led his treating doctors to consider that he may have a medical condition affecting his production of bone marrow. This is causing problems which have led him to be the subject of investigation and hospital treatment from time to time.

      2. I have read reports from the Consultant Paediatric Haematologist who is responsible for T's treatment. He indicates that, at the present time and from time to time in the future, T is going to need to have blood products administered to him in order to prevent a very serious deterioration in his health.

      3. T's parents are fully committed to their son and to achieving the best outcome for him. But the particular form of treatment (by the administration of blood products) causes them problems because they belong to the Jehovah's Witness faith. They have not attended court but have sent letters which fully explain the position they find themselves in. They are understandably unable to consent to what is being proposed but they do not oppose it and leave the decision to the Court. They emphasise that they would want forms of treatment other than the administration of blood products to be considered in any case in which they might be equally effective, and that is also the position of the Hospital Trust bringing the application. 

      4. I should mention that T himself is not legally represented and in the circumstances of the case I do not consider that to be necessary. Further, the Hospital Trust making the application had paperwork in order in case a reporting restriction order was needed but, having heard from Mr Farmer of the Press Association, I am satisfied that none is needed as there is no likelihood of this case attracting significant media attention. At all events this hearing has taken place in private and a judgment which does not name the child or the hospital will be recorded on the BAILII website in due course.

      5. I am in no doubt at all, having read the medical evidence and having considered the views of T's parents, that it is overwhelmingly in T's best interests for him to be able to receive this treatment in order for his health to be supported and that the inability of the hospital to give him this treatment could lead to very serious and possibly even fatal consequences as time went on. I am satisfied that it is necessary for the Court to make the decision instead of the parents. 

      6. I will therefore approve the Order which has been placed before the Court which provides that, notwithstanding the absence of parental consent, it is lawful and in T's best interests that he receives blood or blood products should the same be clinically indicated in the opinion of the treating doctors. The Order will record that such treatment will only be given after consultation with the parents and that blood products or blood will only be used if there is no clinically appropriate alternative. 

      7. The Order will be made under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court and not under section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

      8. I make the procedural orders allowing the Hospital Trust permission to bring this application. 

      9. That is my judgment.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
    • By Jack Ryan
      Watch Tower’s legal challenges have held up UK investigation into alleged sexual abuse for more than two years

      The charity commission is investigating claims that Jehovah’s Witnesses abuse survivors were forced to face their attackers. Photograph: Fairfax Media/Getty Images
      The UK’s main Jehovah’s Witnesses charity has dropped efforts to block an investigation into how it handled allegations of sexual abuse, including of children, after a legal fight lasting more than two years.
      The Charity Commission launched an inquiry into safeguarding at the religion’s main UK charity in May 2014 after receiving allegations that survivors of rape and sexual abuse, including people abused as children, were forced to face their attackers in “judicial committees”.
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, resisted the investigation into the Watch Tower Bible Tract Society of Great Britain (WTBTS), which oversees the UK’s 1,500 congregations and is believed to play a key role in deciding how claims of abuse are handled.
      The WTBTS, which had a turnover of more than £80m last year, launched a Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to the inquiry. These included an attempt to challenge in the supreme court the commission’s decision to start an investigation. The charity also fought in the lower courts against production orders that would oblige it to give the commission access to records showing how it handled the allegations.
      The Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. that, more than two and a half years after the investigation was launched, the WTBTS had shared some of the documents it had been seeking and the commission had since cancelled the production order. The charity had also dropped the last of its legal cases against the inquiry, the supreme court having refused to hear that particular case in July.
      Although charities do sometimes challenge the commission’s decisions in court, the extent and length of the Jehovah’s Witnesses litigation were unprecedented in recent times, a commission spokesman told the Guardian last year.
      A spokesman for the WTBTS said: “In light of the progress of the inquiry and the information obtained by the commission from Watch Tower and other sources, the commission has agreed to revoke the production order. Watch Tower has therefore agreed to withdraw its application for judicial review of the production order and a consent order has been filed with the high court to conclude the proceedings.
      “Watch Tower will now work with the commission to explore the issues that are the subject of the statutory inquiry and to address the commission’s regulatory concerns.”
      The commission is conducting a separate investigation into the Manchester New Moston congregation, where Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. shortly after he was released from prison after being jailed for attacking them.
      He was later “disfellowshipped”, or expelled, from the church. But two women in separate cases told the Guardian last year that although the church can disfellowship people from the tight-knit congregations for minor offences, such as gambling, their abusers had been allowed to remain in the church. One, who was raped as an adult, said she had been urged by senior congregation members, known as elders, to face her rapist at a private hearing, leaving her “completely traumatised” and leading to the breakup of her marriage.
      A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses said last year: “We are in no position to, and neither would we wish to, force any victim of abuse to confront their attacker.”
      Thomas Beale, of AO Advocates, who last year won a civil case that found the Jehovah’s Witnesses had failed to protect a woman from sexual abuse that began when she was four, said the commission’s decision to drop its production order could allow the charity to withhold further information.
      “Of course we welcome the ongoing statutory inquiry into Jehovah’s Witnesses’ safeguarding policies and look forward to reviewing its findings,” he said.
      “However, given our experience with Jehovah’s Witnesses in litigation, we struggle to see how a thorough and robust investigation can occur now that the Charity Commission has decided to revoke its production order. We think the chance of full disclosure now by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is very small.”
      The organisation has faced similar claims overseas. Last year Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. found the organisation failed to protect children from sexual abuse, and that its weak internal procedures left abusers at large. Similar claims have Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses told the Guardian last year: “Congregation elders do not discourage [reports to the authorities] or shield abusers from the authorities or from the consequences of their actions.”
      Fay Maxted, the chief executive of the Survivors Trust, said the WTBTS should apologise to those affected for the “appalling delays” caused by its litigation.
      “Faith groups need to really take on board the huge damage and pain caused to victims and survivors when appeal after appeal is pursued in an attempt to prevent them from having to share information,” she said. “It is very difficult in such circumstances to believe that the best interests of the victim or survivor are in any way being considered.”
      Maxted said she hoped the decision to share information with the commission signalled a change in their approach to the needs of victims and survivors.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.