Fraud, extortion, and a Care Inspectorate in crisis
“Fraud is committed when someone achieves a practical result by means of a false pretence. In other words, when someone is caused to do something they would not otherwise have done by deception”.
(Fraud Advisory Panel 2015)
“Extortion is a common law offence in Scotland of using threat of harm to demand money, property or some advantage from another person”.
We know that the Care Inspectorate acted illegally in taking enforcement action on the 2nd November, and we can prove that it was this that led to the withdrawal of Witherslack and the closure of the school.
We are also clear that this was part of a coordinated plan rather than professional incompetence and that the Care Inspectorate has had plenty of opportunities to acknowledge and correct any ‘errors’ that they may now try to claim they made. In other words, responsibility lies not with the feeble individuals who carried out the shameful task of forcing closure, but those in positions of seniority.
It was easy enough to con the Board of Governors into thinking that serious failings had occurred at the school. Easy to get them to suspend the Head to remove his influence at a critical time, and easy to blackmail them into closing the school in 5 days. What remains puzzling is that a group of professionals including 2 lawyers could be so easily deceived and that they offered no resistance when the lives of so many people under their care would be affected.
What we had not appreciated is that the evidence would become so clear that these actions could be criminal in nature and might result not just in substantial financial compensation to staff and families affected, but in the prosecution of those involved.
It would be fitting if those who caused so much human misery ended-up in court and behind bars.
In addition, if, in the course of business or through a close personal relationship, a person becomes aware or suspicious that two or more people have got together for the principal purpose of committing a serious crime (such as fraud), that person commits an offence if s/he does not report that knowledge or suspicion to Police Scotland.
This means that anyone who knew what the Care Inspectorate were doing and who failed to report it to the police, may be guilty themselves. This includes officers and elected members at Perth & Kinross Council.