A jury delivered a shock guilty verdict onpaedophile ringwhistleblower,Melanie Shaw, yesterday, accused of starting a shed fire and throwing paint on a neighbour’s home in Nottingham, England.
Observers watched with incredulity as Judge Michael Pert QC announced the news, resulting in a conviction of arson – reckless as to whether life was endangered, on February 1, and damaging property on June 26. Sentencing will take place in six weeks following a psychiatric report.
An absence of substantive evidence, coupled with irregularities in the conduct of the trial, has reinforced public opinion that Beechwood Children’s Home survivor, Melanie Shaw, is the victim of a carefully orchestrated establishment set-up intended to silence her and protect a high-ranking paedophile ring involved in crimes against children andchild abuse– some of whom are said to have been murdered, committed suicide or disappeared without trace.
An orchestrated set-up
The prosecution argued that Melanie had set fire to a shed in revenge for a grudge against a neighbour who had alerted social services resulting in her child being taken away. But, strangely, no records were produced by the court to confirm there was any fire at the Sherwood address on February 1st.
Nottingham Police initially maintained that the fire took place on April 4th, a date which subsequently showed no official records of a fire. The police allegation of Melanie’s involvement in an arson attack on this date was effectively used to imprison her for three months in HMP Peterborough, one of the most brutal prisons in the country, where she was maltreated to the degree that she could barely walk on leaving.
Thelay advocate and McKenzie Friend, acting on behalf of Melanie, told Neon nettle: “There’s been no evidence from the Fire Brigade about the fire. The evidence is just not there. There’s nothing that proves beyond reasonable doubt that it was Melanie who set that fire.”
Convicted without evidence
A handwriting expert was unable to confirm that that the graffiti on the side of the neighbour’s house was Melanie’s handwriting.
A bag holding the tins of paint had ten fingerprints on it. One, without paint, was claimed to be Melanie’s, while the remainder in paint, have not been forensically examined, according to the lay advocate, who took notes throughout the three-day trial.
Internet TV broadcaster and journalist at the UK Column, Brian Gerrish, who was present on the first day, also told Neon Nettle: “When the paint was thrown, the owner of the house told Melanie that he’d installed CCTV. Melanie said: ‘So since you told me, why would I then go and be recorded on CCTV throwing paint?’ But mysteriously, the day that the paint was thrown, the CCTV wasn’t working.”
The lay advocate, who has been a regular visitor to the prison and spent 24 hours a day with Melanie over the fourteen day bail period, said: “The street that Melanie lives on had been blighted by crimes which were never investigated. I just think Melanie is being targeted to be kept captive, and by keeping her captive their main aim is to keep under wraps everything she knows.”
“My feeling is that they will go to absolutely any cost to keep her quiet.”
The Judge fell asleep several times during the proceedings, noted by observers as a sign that his mind had been made up from the start. Two jurors were seen asleep during yesterday’s hearing.
The lay advocate added: “This case has been totally led, and the jury has been totally influenced by the judge. He’s directed them. He actually gave them a sheet of paper with directions on how they need to go forward. It’s all very odd.”
Several observers reported hearing the judge refer to the police investigation into Beechwood as a “conspiracy theory,” just before the jury was about to retire, despite at least ten individuals having been arrested and compensation awarded to a number of victims.
Further questions around the Judge have come to the fore since it was discovered that he was involved in a controversial decision to overturn a conviction on an HIV positive predatory paedophile.
Gerrish, who got to know Melanie before her arrest on July 10th, said: “As far as we are concerned, we think we’re very close to the total breakdown of law and order, because the police are obviously totally corrupt, but it extends to courts aswell.”
“My opinion is that Melanie is a truthful witness and I’m absolutely going to stand by the position that this woman has been silenced for one reason – to cover up the widespread abuse of children in Nottingham.”
A psychiatric report produced in the court said Melanie had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. To the many supporters who have been writing to her in prison, this will be hard to swallow.
“I think the prison is totally responsible for her current mental health,” added the lay advocate. “It’s been clear to me during the time I’ve been with her, that they’ve been gradually destabilising her. There’s been a massive impact with them messing about with her medication, not giving her full prescription medication as and when she’d ordinarily have it. That adds all sorts of consequences to a person’s functioning and mentalhealth. I think that her treatment within that institution is totally responsible for her current state of mind. They’ve gradually broken her down. I think they’ve been part of a plan to do that.”
Actress Samantha Morton to meet Melanie Shaw
The vast swathe of public support rooting for Melanie Shaw’s release, now stronger than ever, has reached into the glittering circles of showbiz, and the orbit of fellow Beechwood survivor, actress Samantha Morton.
Morton has already been in contact with Melanie, said the advocate, and asked to see her in prison. “I don’t know how they are going to meet, to be honest. I know that Samantha Morton is doing another film, and she said Nottinghamshire police have been giving her a horrific time. They’ve been interviewing her again. She said the way they treat you is quite horrific.”
Another Beechwood survivor who stepped forward, the brother of one of Melanie’s friends, tried to commit suicide several times, because each time he went to the police and gave a statement they insisted he goes for a three-month psychiatric assessment. The psychiatric assessments took him to the brink of suicide each time.
It’s happening to others, says the advocate, “each time anybody tries to come forward, and put in the public domain exactly what did happen to them as abused children, they are closed down. They didn’t have a voice when they were a child, and now as adults, they’re trying to raise awareness about it, and they are stopped.”