real fathers for justice.
Two activists scaled a building directly opposite the Minshull Street Crown Courts in Manchester in protest against the treatment of the two campaigners who are on trial nearly 3 years later for the handcuffing of MP Margaret Hodge, back in November 2004, both faced trial by jury for false imprisonment which can carry a life sentence the court case lasted 3 weeks costing the tax payer £500,0.
Jason Hatch, 35, and Jonathan Stanesby, 41, ambushed the MP at a family law conference in Salford in November 2004.
Mr Stanesby handcuffed himself to Mrs Hodge's wrist in a 'citizen's arrest'.
He confronted her with accusations that she had ignored warnings about a children's home paedophile ring while a council leader in North London in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1985, Demetrious Panton complained about abuse that he had suffered while in the council's care in the 70s and 80s. He did not receive an official reply until 1989, in which the council denied responsibility.
In 1990 Liz Davies, a senior social worker employed by the borough and her manager David Cofie, raised concerns about sexual abuse of children in Islington Council Care. Correspondence between Hodge and the Director of Social Work indicates that she declined a request for extra resources to investigate. In early 1992 Liz Davies resigned from her post and requested that Scotland Yard investigate the allegations.
The Evening Standard then began reporting on the allegations of abuse in Islingtons children's homes, shortly after which Hodge resigned to pursue a career with Price Waterhouse. In 1995, the White Report into sexual abuse in Islington Care homes reported that the council had failed to adequately investigate the allegations.
In 2003, following Hodge's appointment as Minister for Children, Demetrious Panton went public with his allegation that he was abused in Islington Council care and had repeatedly raised this issue with no effect. He holds Margaret Hodge ultimately responsible for the abuse that he suffered.
Liz Davies, also went public with the issues that she had raised concerns about while working for the council.Following a media campaign conducted by several national newspapers calling for her to resign from her new post, she responded to Panton by letter, in which she referred to him as 'extremely disturbed'. Panton then passed the letter to the press
which planned to publish it, only to be judicially restrained from doing so at the instruction of Hodge. The letter was eventually published, mainly on the grounds that the blocking of the letter was seen as disproportionate. Hodge was forced to publicly apologise and offered to contribute to a charity of the man's choosing as recompense. This effectively ended the affair in the eyes of the press, although the affair remains a blot on her political record.
RFFJ. website: realfathersforjustice.org
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