Thinking Anglicans

Review of Trevor Devamanikkam case

Update The Guardian has the background to this story: Church of England reviews its handling of sexual abuse case.
“Matthew Ineson said his claims that a vicar had raped him when he was 16 were ignored”

Update 2 Matthew Ineson has written about the review in a comment below.

Update 3 (Monday) Church Times has now covered this story Devamanikkam review challenged by survivor.

Press release from the Church of England

Review of Trevor Devamanikkam case
22/11/2019

Safeguarding consultant Jane Humphreys has been appointed as the independent reviewer into the Church of England’s handling of the allegations relating to the late Revd Trevor Devamanikkam.

Jane brings more than 30 years of experience from the statutory sector having previously been a director of children’s and adult services (see biography below).

The aim of the review is to identify both good practice and failings in the handling of these allegations, in order that the Church of England can take steps to enhance and improve its response to allegations of abuse and thereby ensure a safer environment for all.

The reviewer will look at written and verbal evidence from the survivor who brought the original allegation of abuse.

The reviewer will also make contact with the relevant archbishop and bishops as well as those safeguarding professionals in the Church who dealt with the allegations and external agencies.

The review will be published in full except for jigsaw identification details.

Melissa Caslake, the Church of England’s national director of safeguarding, said: “We are very pleased that Jane has agreed to take on this vital piece of work to enable the Church to learn lessons. We have listened to concerns about the importance of independence in this work and we believe Jane’s wealth of professional experience fits this criterion. We hope the review will be completed and published during 2020.”

Jane Humphreys said: “As an independent reviewer I am committed to working in a transparent way and will ensure that anyone who wishes to provide evidence to the Review will be heard. I will also ensure that all relevant documents relating to the Church’s handling of this case are looked at so lessons can be learnt to enable the Church to be a safer place for all.

Jane is a highly experienced Senior Social Care Consultant, and previous Director of Children’s and Adult’s Services with a career spanning more than 30 years. Having trained as a social worker she worked in a number of local authorities becoming a director of children’s and adult services in 2008. She currently specialises in change management and has a proven track record of directing service reviews and ensuring preparation for Ofsted and CQC inspections. Jane is also undertaking some work for the Local Government Association as a children’s improvement adviser. She is committed to supporting families and service users, and driving improvements in service delivery in a range of organisations. She also has broad based expertise in chairing Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards.

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Matthew InesonLeon GreenwellFr. Dean HenleyGraeme Buttery Recent comment authors
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Matthew Ineson
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Matthew Ineson

I was called yesterday afternoon by the nst and the statement read to me. I disagreed with it and pointed out the untruths in it. I was told my points would be raised with Melissa Caslake. This was not done and the statement was published virtually straight away. I have NEVER said I will give aural or documentary evidence to the church’s proposed ‘reviewer’, in fact I have categorically said I will not (as the ‘review’ is currently proposed). The reviewer will not get sight of all documents cos she wont get mine until a genuine independent review is agreed.… Read more »

Graeme Buttery
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Graeme Buttery

Matthew, can I just ask who should appoint the reviewer? I am on your side, but would be interested in how the mechanics works. Does the church ask someone or who takes this on to achieve proper scrutiny?

Graeme Buttery

Fr. Dean Henley
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Fr. Dean Henley

Graeme has a point, but equally Matt has been treated disgracefully by senior bishops and the NST, so no wonder he has no confidence in the CofE’s ability to appoint someone genuinely independent. The archbishops should hang their heads in shame for having so woefully failed Matt Ineson; as has so often been the case their hubris is their downfall.

Matthew Ineson
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Matthew Ineson

Dear Graeme, My apologies for not replying sooner. The issue here is what the proposed review actually is. The NST/CofE promote these ‘reviews’ as being quasi independent inquiries, which they are not. They band around the word ‘independent’ in an effort to give the ‘review’ credibility. When pushed on what this means they will say that the ‘reviewer’ is a person independent of the church who will be objective. However, (recent) history shows this not to be so. The last ‘proposed reviewer’ turned out to be someone employed by the church who was responsible in his work to none other… Read more »

Matthew Ineson
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Matthew Ineson

Earlier this year my solicitor and I proposed the following. It was rejected. Phase 1   An independent senior safeguarding expert (“the manager”) will be appointed by agreement between the parties. This manager will nominate the safeguarding expert (“the reviewer” ) who is to carry out the review. The manager will have access to sufficient funds deemed by him or her to meet the needs of the review. Such funds are to be controlled by him or her and be provided on demand. The manager will have access to independent legal advice of his or her choosing for advice on… Read more »

Leon Greenwell
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Leon Greenwell

I believe that the CofE has made a signal error in dismissing the recommendations of the SCIE in this area, and, as a parishioner, I will take every opportunity to support moves to correct this situation. Perhaps the clerics were listening to their voices?