Safeguarding in Birmingham was ‘shambolic’ says top abuse lawyer

Barnardo Review Institutional Failures

Title: Safeguarding in Birmingham was ‘shambolic’ says top abuse lawyer
Author: Ruth Gledhill
Publisher: The Tablet
Date: 20JUL2022

The Barnardo’s review shows that failures by the Archdiocese, which took place over a period of time, were institutional.

A top abuse lawyer has condemned the Archdiocese of Birmingham for safeguarding systems that were “shambolic and wholly inadequate”.

Richard Scorer, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon who has acted for numerous victims of abuse in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, was speaking after publication today of an independent review by children’s charity Barnardo’s into the management of concerns about Joseph Quigley, a priest in the archdiocese.

Scorer said: “This report is utterly damning. It paints a picture of a diocese in which safeguarding systems were shambolic and wholly inadequate. Since 2001 the Catholic Church has claimed that all abuse allegations are reported to the statutory authorities. This report clearly demonstrates that this is untrue, and that crucial information about Quigley was not passed on. This has been a systemic problem in the Catholic church and only a mandatory reporting law, with criminal sanctions for cover up, will change this. We need this law without delay.”

Quigley was convicted of child sex offences and sentenced, in January last year, to 11 years and six months’ imprisonment.

The trustees of the archdiocese of Birmingham commissioned Barnardo’s to undertake an independent, transparent review into what had gone wrong.

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