Wednesday 20 May 2020

A Draft from the Past - the Burn Family still trying to find out why they were victimised.

In my series of blogs on "The Councillors' lost daughter" I have described the torment suffered by the Burn family over ten years ago, Their daughter, Carina, has a rare genetic condition which means she cannot speak and has learning difficulties. She is able to communicate simply using a letter board, with her mother
 Carina was taken into care after allegations were made through her  2 occasional day carers that she was being sexually abused and involved, with her parents, in prostitution. Even though the carers had just been sacked by her mother, Julia, after Carina's spending money went missing without receipts, the story of abuse was naturally taken very seriously. The 2 carers "helped" Carina make detailed statements to the police implicating her parents.This disabled young woman who had always been assessed as having severe learning difficulties was even assessed by a Psychiatrist as a competent adult on the "evidence" of the 2 carers who assisted her in communicating  "like an adult", apparently tatally fooling the doctor! He was later criticised by the GMC.

The police found no evidence of abuse whatsoever, but social services were still suspicious of wrongdoing. Carina was put into residential care and not allowed to see her parents for almost 6 months.,

A scientific examination of Carina with her carers by a specialist communication expert eventually showed that neither woman could communicate with Carina at all .The Council delayed returning the girl to her parents, apparently desperate to find evidence to support their own actions, even inviting Professor Howlin to Carmarthen to explain how there was no evidence against her parents.

 The Professor had shown without doubt that the carers could not communicate with Carina at all, However, Carina could communicate with the professor and spelt out that she wanted to go home. She had the communication skills of a young child.

Even then Council officers appeared unconvinced and there was some evidence that they were  arranging to foster her out of County. The foster parents would have had no means of communicating with Carina and her parents could still have been prevented from contacting her.

  However, as the County Council insisted that Carina was a fully competent adult, her mother was able to invite her daughter to accompany her home at an access visit she was given with Carina.
Carina chose to go home with her mother.

Even though it had been proved that none of the Carers could communicate with Carina, a social worker claimed that Carina insisted she did not want to see her father. When she got home she was clearly delighted to see him.

Carina with her father, Robin Burn.

It is not unusual for public bodies to try to hide mistakes but Julia and Robin have been tortured for years as to why these awful accusations were made.Was it just a plan to get back at the parents for dismissing the carers that got out of hand or was there a deeper, more sinister reason?. Robin Burn was a local, outspoken, town councillor. He had moved from England to Carmarthenshire to give Carina the best quality of life possible and was active in the local community.

 He represented Plaid Cymru on Burry Port Town council but, as often happens, was no longer welcome in his political party after the "scandal" even though nothing was ever proved against him. Was this part of political campaign or a personal vendetta? Why did the 2 carers make such cruel allegations about Carina's loving parents. Did someone "put them up to it"

Julia, Carina;s mother, put up a petition asking  for an  independent safeguarding investigation of the case. She is desperate to find out the truth about why all this happened. The employers of the 2 Carers, Perthyn, have asked Change.corg to take the petition down, Julia has asked to keep the petition active and it still is available.

 Perthyn were employed by Carmarthenshire County Council to provide the 2 carers. Julia and Robin are, as yet, no closer to finding out why their family suffered this awful experience. but are now aware that Perthyn do not wish their case  to be looked at again. Change .org are keeping the petition open on their site. : Justice for Carina 

 Siân Caiach 

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