Linton v Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families, Court of Appeal, November 12, 2008,  UKFTT 2 (HESC)
|Resolution Date:||November 12, 2008|
|Actores:||Linton v Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families|
 UKFTT 2 (HESC)
Brian Malcolm Linton
The Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families
Application No.  1287.PC
Brian Malcolm Linton
The Secretary of State for Health
Application No.  1288.PVA
Mr John Reddish (Chairman)
Mrs Susan Howell
Mr Paul Thompson
Hearing dates: 20, 21, 22 and 23 October 2008
On 9 April 2008 the Applicant appealed under section 4(1)(a) of the Protection of Children Act 1999 against the decision of the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to include him in the list kept under section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1999 (the ``POCA'' list) and also appealed under section 86(1) of the Care Standards Act 2000 against the decision of the Secretary of State for Health to include him in the list kept under section 81 of the 2000 Act (the ``POVA'' list).
At the hearing Miss Maya Lester of Counsel, instructed by Mr Andrew Jack of the Treasury Solicitors, represented the Respondent Secretaries of State. The Applicant represented himself.
The Tribunal heard oral evidence on behalf of the Secretaries of State from:
Mr Stephen Reeves, the Head of Safeguarding for the Scout Association;
Miss Sana Bhopal, a history teacher at a special school in Middlesex;
Mr Nikolas Norman, a senior teacher at the same special school; and
Mr Greig Chandler, an instructor in music and drama who was employed at the same special school from January 2005 until May 2006.
The Tribunal also received written evidence on behalf of the Secretaries of State from:
Detective Constable Nicola Wood of the Thames Valley Police Force;
Ms Kate Thomas, the Notifiable Occupations & Family Court Disclosure Officer for the Thames Valley Police Force;
Mr Simon Aulton, an Officer of the Scout Association;
Ms Margaret Poland, formerly the Child Protection Co-ordinator for the Scout Association; and
Mr Stephen Barber, the Child Protection Adviser to the Diocese of Oxford.
The Tribunal heard oral evidence on behalf of the Applicant from:
the Applicant himself;
Mr Malcolm Hathaway, a Scout Leader;
the Applicant's grandson, J.;
Mrs Andrea Childs, the County Explorer Scout Administrator for Greater London Middlesex West, formerly the District Explorer Scout Commissioner for the Uxbridge District; and
the Applicant's wife, Mrs Margaret Linton.
The Tribunal also received written evidence on behalf of the Applicant from:
the Applicant's granddaughter, A.;
Mr J Carter, the Premises Manager of a College in Uxbridge;
Mr David Browning, the Chief Buyer for a building company and a Scout Commissioner;
Mr Frederick Webb M.B.E., the Chairman of the Hayes and Harlington District Scout Council; and
Mr John Childs, a Group Scout Leader in Uxbridge.
The Tribunal also read the documents submitted by the parties comprised in a binder, sub-divided into 76 sections and including the police log relating to the case maintained by the Thames Valley Police Force from 17 June 2005 to 14 November 2005; the record of the police interview of the Applicant conducted on 4 July 2005; correspondence between the Thames Valley Police Force and the Treasury Solicitors; minutes of two strategy meetings held by the London Borough of Hillingdon in June 2005; correspondence between the London Borough of Hillingdon and The Scout Association; correspondence between a solicitor acting on behalf of the Applicant and the London Borough of Hillingdon; various policy documents and forms issued by The Scout Association; the Applicant's application form for appointment as an Adult Member of The Scout Association; documents relating to the Child Protection Awareness Programme run by The Scout Association; correspondence between The Scout Association and the Applicant; correspondence between The Scout Association and the Secretaries of State and correspondence between the Secretaries of State and the Applicant. The Tribunal also viewed the videotape of an interview of S., conducted by a Detective Sergeant Cater of the Thames Valley Police Force in the presence of S's social worker on 17 June 2005.
On 28 July 2008 the Deputy President made an order, pursuant to regulation 18(1) of the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults and Care Standards Tribunal Regulations 2002, prohibiting the publication (including by electronic means) in a written publication available to the public, or the inclusion in a relevant programme for reception in England and Wales, of any matter likely to lead members of the public to the identify any child. That order applied until the conclusion of the hearing. The Tribunal decided to extend the order indefinitely.
The material facts found by the Tribunal are as follows:
The Applicant was born in 1947 and is now 61 years old. He has been married for 39 years. He lives in Berkshire with his wife and two of his four grandchildren. He is an electrician by trade and he has worked for the Ministry of Defence and for a variety of public and private companies, usually engaged in the maintenance of fire and intruder alarm systems. Throughout his working life the Applicant has also worked, usually as a volunteer but occasionally for reward, as a youth leader, particularly, but not exclusively, as a member of The Scout Association. He also undertakes other voluntary work. He is a churchwarden at his local parish church and he raises funds for a variety of charitable causes.
The Applicant first became an Assistant Scout Leader in south London in 1968. He continued in that role when he moved to Kent in 1971. Whilst living in Maidstone, the Applicant qualified as a youth leader and ran a youth club. From 1977 until 1979 he was a Group Scout Leader in Dover. Following a change in his employment and a move to Middlesex in 1979, the Applicant took a break from scouting activities but continued to work with young people as part of a team organised by the London Borough of Hillingdon. In 1988 the Applicant was again appointed as a Scout Leader and he continued to hold warrants, either as an Assistant Scout Leader, a Scout Leader, an Explorer Scout Leader or an Assistant Group Scout Leader until he was suspended and subsequently dismissed from The Scout Association in 2005.
On 17 July 2000 the Applicant signed an application form for appointment as the Leader of a Scout Group in Hillingdon and agreed ``to work within the policies and rules of The Scout Association and its code of behaviour and advice on Child Protection''.
The Applicant and his wife had three daughters. In 2002, their second daughter was unlawfully killed by her partner. The Applicant and his wife care for their deceased daughter's children, J and A. They have parental responsibility for them. J has moderate learning difficulties and now attends a College of Further Education. A attends a local mainstream secondary school.
From 2001, J (who had the benefit of a statement of his special educational needs) attended a special school in Middlesex for pupils aged 11 to 19 with a variety of learning difficulties. The Applicant and his wife took a keen interest in their grandson's education and supported his school whenever they could. Mrs Linton was appointed as a governor of the school and the Applicant assisted in the organisation of out-of-school activities for the pupils.
S was born in 1990. She lived with her family in Middlesex until about 2000 when her parents rejected her. She was then taken into the care of the London Borough of Hillingdon and was placed with experienced foster parents. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to rehabilitate her with her family. In 2002, it was agreed and arranged that S would remain with her foster parents on a long-term basis. As the result of her unsatisfactory and unhappy experiences in early life, S frequently indulged in attention-seeking behaviour. She often sought physical contact with adults and was liable to take hold of and hug anyone for whom she felt affection. Those who knew her and wished to convey to others that her actions might be thought to be inappropriately unrestrained, described her as a ``tactile'' or ``touchy-feely'' child.
In 2001 S's foster parents introduced her to the Scout Group run by Mrs Childs and she became a very keen member of that Group. When she attained the age of 14 in 2004, S became an Explorer Scout. In accordance with the usual arrangements in The Scout Association, she then took part in activities organised by her own and by other Explorer Scout Groups. S also became a ``Junior Leader'' and assisted the Leaders of groups of Beavers (aged 6 to 8) and Cubs (aged 8 to 10½).
The Applicant and his wife got to know S as an Explorer Scout and as a friend and contemporary of J. They had frequent contact with her and regularly welcomed her into their home. S took part in several activities organised and led by the Applicant, including a boating trip on the Norfolk Broads in May 2005. Mr and Mrs Linton were very friendly with S's foster parents.
On 24 November 2004 the Applicant successfully completed the ``Keeping Children Safe'' Child Protection Awareness Programme run by The Scout Association in connection with the St John's Ambulance Brigade and the NSPCC. As part of that Programme the Applicant was reminded not to allow or engage in inappropriate verbal or physical contact of any description with a child and to remember that ``someone else, in particular a child'' might misinterpret his actions. He was also told that ``giving the child alcohol, poison or inappropriate drugs'' would constitute physical abuse. Finally, the Applicant was enjoined to ensure that his own behaviour was ``appropriate at all times and never believe that `it won't happen to me'''.
In 2005 the Applicant arranged to take some of the pupils and staff of J's school on a day trip to the 60-acre Scout Association camp site near Chalfont St Peter called ``Chalfont Heights''...
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