- Dame Lowell Goddard resigned as head of the child sex abuse inquiry
- The judge became the third head of the investigation to abandon it
- She is thought to be in talks with the Home Office about her departure
- It is thought she may be entitled to a three month notice period
- Goddard could be allowed to keep living in taxpayer-funded London home
- She could also receive up to £90,000 in severance pay despite quitting
The multi-million pound inquiry, the biggest in British legal history, has been plunged into chaos since she walked out on Thursday.
Under the terms of her contract, Dame Lowell was required to give three months written notice before quitting.
But Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced she was stepping down with immediate effect, meaning she could be paid for a further three months, the equivalent of about £90,000.
Last night a Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are working on the terms of her departure. Nothing has been decided yet.’
The New Zealand judge, who had no experience of British courts, explained her decision by saying the job had been ‘a struggle in many respects’.
But one inquiry source claimed: ‘She couldn’t cope with the information coming in, she was just overwhelmed.
‘She appeared to have a ’24-hour memory’ and couldn’t get a grip on the detail – it seemed she couldn’t remember who anyone was, names, dates and so on.’ [and she’s a judge???…ed.]
The judge could receive up to £90,000 in severance pay – despite quitting the job
Miss Rudd has pledged a new chairman will be found and there will be ‘no delay’ in the wide-ranging public inquiry, which is feared will drag on for a decade at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.
But yesterday there were calls for it to be wound up or significantly scaled down.
Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP falsely accused of historical sex abuse, said: ‘She just wasn’t up to the job. At last week’s preliminary hearings, she asked a barrister three or four times to go over the point again about what she was being asked to judge.‘ [why ask him? pathetic…ed]
Mr Proctor branded the inquiry ‘an industry in thrall to every fantasist alive’ and called it ‘a lawyers’ paradise’ that ‘should be dismantled’. One legal source connected with the inquiry said: ‘She’s either not reading her briefs, or not understanding them.‘ There was also concern ‘about her ability to retain and digest information’.
Sources close to the inquiry spoke of ‘difficult relations’ between its officials and the chairman. One said there was conflict, but another suggested Dame Justice Goddard felt she was not getting the support her difficult job required.
Police forces and councils have been left in disarray at the resignation of the 67-year-old judge, whose brief was to investigate historical allegations of child abuse at institutions such as schools, care homes and churches. Some forces committed millions of pounds to setting up specialist teams to respond to demands from the inquiry.
A source said: ‘Now nobody knows if it is all a big waste of time and money.’ It also leaves Miss Rudd with a desperate search for a fourth chairman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
More than £17.9million of taxpayer’s cash has already been spent, but the inquiry is yet to hear a word of evidence.
Home affairs select committee chairman Keith Vaz demanded that Dame Lowell appear before MPs to give a ‘thorough explanation’ as to why she quit. He said: ‘I don’t really think a resignation letter or a statement is enough.’
She was appointed after two previous chairmen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf, resigned over accusations they were too close to the Establishment. As a New Zealand judge, Dame Lowell was untainted, but despite her credentials, an unofficial recent survey of her country’s 63 judges ranked her at 63rd. Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg said: ‘Goddard simply does not have the skills to run an inquiry of this sort – either in a courtroom setting or outside it. She seemed not to understand the most basic principles of judging.’ [the 1st words of truth so far?…ed.]
But others pointed out that Dame Lowell was sharp enough to have negotiated herself a pay and perks package worth £500,000 a year, making her the UK’s highest paid civil servant.
Her generous package provided a £360,000 salary, a £110,000 accommodation allowance and regular free return flights to New Zealand for her and her family. [OUTRAGEOUS!!…ed.]
She was appointed after two previous chairmen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf, resigned over accusations they were too close to the Establishment
Lawyers predicted the inquiry would spiral out of control as it emerged it is receiving as many as 100 fresh allegations every week. Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said the inquiry had become ‘unmanageable’ and called on Miss Rudd to ‘take a whole fresh look at this’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: ‘As for finding someone to take this on, this is going to be extraordinarily difficult. This is now seen not so much as a poisonous chalice as a lethal injection.’
Child abuse victims expressed deep dismay at the setback and called on Miss Rudd to appoint a new chairman quickly.
Phil Johnson, who has spent 20 years campaigning for justice for survivors, said: ‘In the public eye, the credibility of the inquiry is in tatters – so much public money is being spent, and it seems to be achieving so little.’
Announcing her resignation, Dame Lowell said: ‘The conduct of any public inquiry is not an easy task, let alone one of the magnitude of this.
‘Compounding the many difficulties was its legacy of failure which has been very hard to shake off and with hindsight it would have been better to have started completely afresh.’
The Home Office said: ‘The Inquiry has made good progress since Dame Lowell Goddard was appointed, and the Home Secretary has expressed her personal gratitude.‘ [£17 million spent so far, and now Godard’s ridiculous luxuries paid for by the British people on top – how can this Inquiry have made “good progress”? pathetic!!..we are not stupid!!.ed.]
Dame Lowell was unavailable for comment.
August 5, 2016
GODDARD QUITS CHILD SEX ABUSE ENQUIRY 4Aug16
OVER £17 MILLION WASTED SO FAR ON THIS DUBIOUS ENQUIRY – ANOTHER GOVERNMENT COVERUP!!!
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