ON BEHALF OF RICHARD KERR – VICTIM OF ABUSE AT THE KINCORA BOY’S HOME
KRW represent Richard Kerr, a victim of abuse whilst ‘in the care of’ the Kincora Boy’s Home. Recent media reports have misrepresented aspects of our client’s account and compounded what he considers is an inaccurate analysis of his abuse and mistaken conclusions about his treatment made in the recent Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Report. On his behalf we are considering possible challenges to the report in respect of our client and other victims we represent.
Richard Kerr had initially agreed to be made a Core Participant (CP) to the HIA Inquiry despite his publicly raised concerns at the approach the Inquiry had taken.
Most notably he was concerned that the British Security forces and Security services were complicit in the abuse perpetrated on him and others at Kincora. Richard Kerr was concerned that collusion was a factor in that abuse. Key to these concerns were the allegations made by Roy Garland, Colin Wallace and Brian Gemmell. In order to properly investigate these allegations the most basic human rights compliant investigation would require to hear evidence from these individuals: the HIA Inquiry did not.
Richard Kerr had agreed to be made a CP to the HIA Inquiry in the expectation that access to the core evidence bundle would allow him to provide valuable input to the Inquiry process, and would inform him as to the level of knowledge the Security forces and Services had about his abuse.
Instead, and in stark contrast to the approach the Inquiry had publicly maintained they would be required to adopt should any other survivor of abuse be granted legal representation (let alone core participant status), the Inquiry refused to permit Richard Kerr access to the majority of the documents constituting the Core Bundle as provided to other CPs.
Instead the Inquiry provided a bundle of some 740 pages, including duplications of documents, publicly available reports and transcripts of his own media interviews. He was provided with no documents touching on the knowledge of the Security forces or Security services regarding Kincora. As a consequence Richard Kerr was left with little option but to withdraw as a CP and not give evidence. With the benefit of hindsight that decision has clearly been justified, particularly in light of the HIA Inquiry’s decision to subject him to unfair and unwarranted criticism.
Mr Kerr has been disappointed by the Inquiry’s approach, which appears to have subjected the accounts and records of the state and institutions to inadequate scrutiny in relation to the allegations of collusion at Kincora. Instead the Inquiry’s focus on examining of historical documents relating to him in order to identify what the Inquiry believes to have been inconsistencies has been conducted in a manner which failed to adequately consider the credibility or reliability of these records and in any event appears to have been inherently unfair to Mr Kerr, particularly in circumstances where they did not benefit from hearing any evidence from him.
This is particularly disappointing given the serious allegations of collusion that surrounds the abuse perpetrated at Kincora, and particularly so given that the persistence of these rumours has ensured there is particular need for a comprehensive human rights compliant investigation in order to finally determine the truth of these matters. In any event the criticisms of Richard Kerr are entirely unjust, unwarranted and inappropriate.
Contact: Claire McKeegan firstname.lastname@example.org
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