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Breach of justice as a Suicide Trigger

Filed under: General — MurrayBacon @ 9:42 pm Mon 6th December 2010

Breach of justice as a Suicide Trigger
Please note that I am using justice in the sense of police investigation plus caught hearings.
Betrayal of trust can also be seen as being your own worst enemy, by misplacing your trust. Be streetwise!

Massive miscarriage of justice

By Louise Shorter, from insidetime issue November 2010

Legal action set to take place in the Court of Appeal in London could pave the way for hundreds of child pornography convictions, secured during Operation Ore, to be overturned in what is being described by campaigners as a massive miscarriage of justice.

Operation Ore, the codename for the police investigation which began in 2002, was launched after information supplied by US law enforcement agencies purported to show that more than 7,000 UK men used their credit cards to access online child pornography sites. It netted high profile figures such as The Who guitarist Pete Townshend and fed the nation’s fear that paedophilia is endemic throughout modern cyber-savvy society.

But the police operation which ran for more than five years is steeped in controversy, with critics claiming the computer database of users’ names and credit card details was riddled with fraud. Defence experts say the fraud being perpetuated was simple and effective: owners of websites including legal adult pornography re-used credit card details supplied to them to sign up for their illegal services, child pornography. Chris Saltrese, the solicitor representing Anthony O’Shea whose case will be heard at the Appeal Court this month, says: “there are hundreds of people who’ve been convicted of one of the worst crimes imaginable. Lives and families have been destroyed. But the evidence now shows that many of those convicted weren’t paedophiles at all. They were victims of straightforward online credit card fraud.”

Anthony O’Shea’s house was one of more than 4,000 homes raided during the police operation which ultimately led to 2,000 convictions and 140 children being removed from their homes. Though no illegal paedophile material was found on Mr O’Shea’s computer, his credit card had been used attempting to pay for access to sites. In 2005 he was convicted, sentenced to 5 months in jail and placed on the sex offender register for 7 years. His life, he says, and that of his wife, children, sibling and parents have all been destroyed.

Throughout all of the original trials, defence teams were denied access to the full computer database which provided the list of credit card details on which the Ore prosecutions were brought. Taking more than 5 years to secure sight of the database, a defence expert who has examined it now claims “indicators of fraud are present in abundance.” Those indicators include evidence that subscribers paid to access these illegal sites but then failed to view the material paid for, and that credit cards were used to pay for multiple subscriptions even though only one was required.

Last month, in a separate case, a London based businessman, Chris Singam, was awarded $180,000 damages after charges of downloading child pornography were thrown out two weeks before the case was due to be heard in court. Having lost his business, been threatened and ostracised, Mr Singam was eventually told the computer evidence the CPS relied on was “flawed”; his computer had been infected with a virus.

To date, 39 men caught up in Operation Ore are said to have committed suicide.

Louise Shorter was the Producer/Director of the BBC’s long running miscarriage of justice series Rough Justice for 10 years. She now runs a small investigative unit called Inside Justice for Inside Time and aims to secure publicity in the wider media for prisoners who claim they have been wrongly convicted. Submissions to this unit should, where possible, be sent via your solicitor to Louise Shorter at Inside Time.

Comments about this article

11/11/2010 Michael – [email protected]
Operation Ore lead to Operation Auxin in Australia using the same ‘evidence’ under exactly the same sensational media attention and 6 accused committed suicide with 2 weeks of being charged.

Politicians and senior police blatantly breached accused persons rights in media interviews and anecdotal evidence is that many of the accused pleaded guilty after detectives incorrectly told them that no prison sentence would be involved.

Remembering that the great majority of those accused were people who had never encountered the law before and took police advice at face value.

I know one person who not only lost their career but home due to legal costs as lawyers deliberately delayed and delayed trials to put as much distance between the orginal media reports and final court date, he says he was astonished to see the then state Premier and the most senior policeman lie on TV and state that all accused had been offered psychiatric assistance when he says the complete opposite happened. His arresting officers not only refused him his normal depression and anxiety medicine, they continually joked about suicide to him.

The outcome of this appeal will be interesting. It was always my belief that Ore would come crashing down at some stage.

25/11/2010 Steven Battram
So the men who download child porn are now expert credit card fraudsters, and most of the men Operatiion Ore uncovered are victims of fraud and not sex offenders.

Did these fraudsters use the credit card details for exotic holidays or any other fraudulant uses, like buying expensive consmer goods.

No doubt there was fraudulant uses, but the majority of the offenders Operation Ore uncovered? I find that hard to believe on the evidence at present.

29/11/2010 Geoff White – [email protected] –
Just to update on this – Mr O’Shea’s appeal was heard on 11/12 November – their Lordships reserved judgement, which is expected in the New Year. Having attended the hearing I’m doubtful that he will win his appeal, but you never know.

I produced a report for ITV’s News at Ten which contained some new evidence on this – there’s a link on the ITV News website.

Also, a word of caution on the suicide numbers – in Dec 2004 ACPO confirmed 32 deaths – I’ve tried to verify a figure for the number of subsequent suicides but not managed it – if anyone can point me in the direction of a reliable figure I’d be much obliged.


  1. Lives and families have been destroyed. But the evidence now shows that many of those convicted weren’t paedophiles at all. They were victims of straightforward online credit card fraud.

    I can’t think of a terser, more straight-to-the-point way of bringing attention to several unpopular topics at once, as well as having some success in being heard, than to caution people thus:

    Never divulge your credit card details online. Pedophiles may use it to pay for child pornography, and the police will assume whoever owns the card is the offender. It’s a lot easier to get VISA to cancel a purchase than it is to cancel a child sex offender’s trial.

    Comment by rc — Sat 11th December 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  2. Dear rc,

    I feel that you are missing a large part of the point. Although Louise Shorter was referring to the website owner’s carrying out fraud, by resubmitting the credit card details to banks for further payment, she was also referring to the police and prosecuting authority fraud, for preferring to prosecute (and drive to suicide) the commercial fraud victims, when it was obvious to them that many of these accused were actually innocent. They were responding to the pressures on them, from society and bosses, to deliver up trussed up victims, innocent or guilty, it didn’t matter at all. This is how they read our pressure onto them. Is this how you see the pressure that we collectively put onto them?

    Despite their suits, arrogance and coiffured self-righteousness in public, they really were worse than those whom they prosecuted. They were just crooks working in a sausage machine, self-called “justice department”.

    It strikes me, that there is an element of similarity between the crooked website owners and the police/prosecutors. The website owners chose a fraud that would crush their victims, even though this path of action eventually lead to so much pressure that it was investigated until the truth came out – eventually self destructive to the website owners. It looks to me that the police investigators and prosecution legal-workers showed the same degree of malice, cruelty and self destruction, in their decisions to prosecute, whilst holding evidence that many of the accused downloads had never occurred? So, what is your conclusion?

    Although Louise Shorter didn’t compare the magnitude of each of these frauds, she left it for readers to make their own judgement which of these sins was the worst.

    I apologise for using a UK example, where obviously it would be more relevant to present NZ examples.

    However, I know that many NZ people will read through a UK example, but will squirm and give up part way through a NZ example, unless our noses are really rubbed into it (I don’t enjoy seeing misdeeds of NZ policemen published either). In any case, with a little thought, Arthur Allan Thomas/Inspector Hutton, David Dougherty, Peter Ellis all come readily to mind. These are just the tip of quite a large iceberg, still to be exposed for public comment and waiting for compensation to be paid from our funds.

    It is cheaper and better for society, to get our trials right first time – it’s just that the thieves make more money out of relitigating everything, meritlessly. As a society, we should stop being our own worst enemy. If we want to catch up to Australian standars of living, then we must stop shooting ourselves in the head and wallet. We must cut away non-deserving beneficiaries, who can’t get our sympathy.

    Curious that fathers are sometimes accused of relitigating previously “determined” issues, but by far the worst offenders are our “judges” and prosecutors, just overpaid beneficiaries. Oh that we could get our “determinations” right more often! Oh that we could get our benefit levels right too.

    It is much more comfortable for the Government to truss up the managers of Pike River Coalmine in a big immolatory public sacrifice and much safer to distract attention away from their historic National Party roles in familycaught, (which could productively be investigated by a Commission of Enquiry into the Operation of familycaught).

    The Mining Commission might save a few coalminers lives in the future, from nasty searing smoky claustrophobic deaths, but the other coalmining companies are probably already working on improving their safety record anyway. It is self destructive for companies to kill their own workers.

    Should we be installing “Place of Safety” cubicles in familycaughts, where distressed parents could retreat to, to inhale fresh, pure, clean, carbon monoxide, to fairly quickly escape the enhanced psychological pain, searing distress, abuse and explosive financial plunder, they are being mangled through in familycaught?

    Although judge boshier has publicly commented, in a very understated manner, on parental suicides in the wake of familycaught hearings and refusals to hold hearings, what useful actions has he taken?

    Failure to act, in the face of ongoing extinguishment of life, is a major ethical crime, curiously not specifically listed in the Crimes Act…. although prosecuteable under Health and Safety in Employment Act section 15:

    Duties of employers to people who are not employees

    15. Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harms any other person.

    Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

    Does anyone want to wager on the Government prosecuting itself, either for it’s role in Pike River Coalmine, or in familycaught? You can make a shrewd guess, by remembering the Cave Creek Killings responsibility dodging……..

    My guess is that familycaught is rolling past 4,000 deaths, countless driven-to-mental-illnesses and sailing happily and self-satisfiedly into the 5,000s, all under the catchcry of protecting children! How many wakes will it take?

    Are our suited crooks doing more social vandalism, than our “bad guys”?
    Never let your children become one of these moral sliders, or marry one.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon axe-murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 11th December 2010 @ 5:15 pm

  3. Seeking a Lawyer to sue the nz government for social terrorism.

    Comment by Peter — Sun 12th December 2010 @ 6:24 pm

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