Monday, 5 February 2007

Style to which one is accustomed

I managed to get home early tonight, I think for the first time. I spent the morning and early afternoon on site at a social services department helping The Master trawl through a vast quantity of files on some children at the centre of some sexual abuse claims. Quite nasty, as it looks like a paedophile ring combined with almost unbelievable depths of neglect. Just one of the details that will stick in my mind for some time was that one of the children's bedclothes were covered in blood after the first night spent at the foster carer's, caused by the child scratching at extensive flea bites. The behavioural problems the children now have are grim - not crime, they are too young, but modes of behaviour and play.

This precedes a probable public interest immunity hearing in the next couple of months. The prosecution were responsible for asking for disclosure and had, even more so than usual, done an appalling job. There were no pointers whatsoever as to what they wanted disclosed or what issues or themes for which they wanted us to be looking, just a request for the files. There's no way any competent social services department (er, I realise there's a flaw in this sentence somewhere) will just hand over all the conceivably relevant files in their entirety as it is a massive breach of the privacy of the subject of the files.

I've described this process before in an earlier post.

Today's bit of randomness from The Master happened very early in the day. It ended up we'd been on the same train and on the walk up to the social services buildings he asked me what I'd been up to at the weekend. I explained I'd been up to the Lake District and had met my girlfriend's mother for the first time. 'Serious, then?' he asked. 'Er, yes,' I replied, but immediately kicking myself for once again giving away personal information. He always asks follow up questions to this kind of thing. Sure enough, I found myself being cross examined on how old my girlfriend's parents are, what they do and other questions that appeared to be designed to establish whether she and her family can keep me in the style to which I've become accustomed.

Which may yet become important if my secret identity ends up being revealed.

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