c9494-screen2bshot2b2014-11-052bat2b14-55-35Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP,

18 High Street,



Dear Mr Javid,


Open letter: justice is not being seen to be done in the case of Melanie Shaw


Please find enclosed copies of my letter to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service dated 31 May, 2018, regarding the treatment of Melanie Shaw; of their reply, dated 4 July, 2018; and of my response, dated 26 July, 2018. The manner in which my simple request for information is being consistently refused or diverted adds to growing evidence that British subjects are no longer protected by due process and the rule of law.


As pointed out in my letter of 26 July to Prisoner Casework, under ordinary circumstances the exact nature of the offence for which Melanie was imprisoned would be in the public domain.  A tenet of natural law is that trials must be held in public, so that justice may be seen to be done. It is because Melanie was tried by video link behind closed doors that her friends and well-wishers have been reduced to begging for information from the authorities, only to be blocked at every turn by a wave of the Data Protection Act.   The Data Protection Act is irrelevant. No personal information about Melanie has been requested. I, along with many others, simply wish to know exactly what she did to break the law, so that we can compare her two-year sentence, including over eighteen months in solitary confinement, with those habitually meted out for similar offences and judge for ourselves whether the punishment fits the crime.  I have asked for no information beyond the facts which routinely appear in newspapers after a normal trial, and I find the reaction to my request absurd.


Prisoner Casework states that “There is no power for Ministers or officials to intervene in the sentences passed down by the courts, which are independent from Government”.  This presumed independence of the courts makes it imperative that their business should be conducted publicly.   Such enormous power requires enormous integrity, and no faith can be placed in institutions which operate in secret: nor, when ministers and judges are seen to be constantly rubbing shoulders socially, can lack of cooperation between judiciary and executive be taken for granted.  Only in the transparency of a public court, where those charged are present in person before juries who are presented with all the evidence for the defence and fully informed of their right to find the accused not guilty if they consider an unjust law is involved or if there are extenuating circumstances, can justice both be done and be seen to be done.


At present, it appears, we have no transparency.  Judging from Melanie’s case, any British subject who is causing inconvenience to the government or to other powerful and influential people may now be seized as they go about their daily business and held on remand indefinitely, without any charge being made public, before being tried, convicted and sentenced behind closed doors by a judge accountable to no one.  What is more, the reluctance of ministers and MPs in successive administrations to deal with this situation – indeed, the alacrity with which they amend legislation to wipe out the traditional protections of the common law, while keeping those juries which survive “reform” ignorant of the crucial role which they should play in eradicating unjust statutes – suggests that, though independent of each other in theory, government and judiciary are in fact at one in ushering in what shows every sign of becoming a fully-fledged police state.


Mounting evidence points to endemic corruption in the upper levels of both the justice system and the police, particularly where crimes against children are concerned.  Nothing else can explain the venom with which whistleblowers to these crimes are pursued, and the vast quantities of public money poured out to silence them. This corruption draws strength from the imposition of administrative and statutory measures alien to our constitution and common law  – as exemplified, for instance, by Melanie’s hole-and-corner trial by video link behind closed doors, and in the refusal to make the details of her offence and sentencing public. And the indication is that Melanie is only one among thousands suffering similar persecution.


Where is the file prepared by DC John Wedger and handed to Home Office officials by former minister for policing, Mike Penning ?  What steps are being taken to establish exactly how this, and other important documentation, is so easily “lost” by top civil servants ?  When is serious account going to be taken of the testimony of retired police officers and other persecuted whistleblowers ? Why was Melanie Shaw not given a place on the IICSA panel, after being nominated both by her MP, Chris Leslie, and by Paddy Tipping, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire ?


Above all, what action are you proposing to take, Mr Javid, to restore due process and the rule of law to the UK ?


Yours sincerely,


Gillian Swanson


Enc:  letter to Prisoner Casework, 31 May, 2018; letter from Prisoner Casework, 4 July, 2018;  letter to prisoner casework, 26 July, 2018

Cc: House of Commons; Home Office, London; Alan Campbell MP; and others

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