To remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice ~Desmond Tutu~
Lower Court [address witheld]
Northampton Crown and County Court
Case No. NN09C03774
2nd October 2009
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
I am [name witheld] a relative of Ngozi and Chinyere Godwell. Although I am a relative I have not seen either of them for about three years, it does not mean that we do not communicate. The main channel of communication has been via the telephone. It is with deep regret that the communication has to remain on paper and via the phone for some time yet. Unfortunately, my mobility is severely limited at present due to dislocated vertebrae; consequently, I would be unable to attend the hearing in person.
Ngozi recently acquainted me with their plight. It is fair to say that most of the relatives are not aware of what they have been through this past few years. The experience Ngozi recounted to me relating to what both she and Chinyere have suffered was horrendous.
However, my main concern is the welfare of Chinyere. The description of her present condition is extremely difficult to fathom. The last time I saw Chinyere she was a healthy, happy child, well adjusted, friendly and outgoing. The catalogue of what she has experienced and some that is still ongoing is disconcerting to me. It is appalling to note that while in care she sustained injuries that scarred both legs. I am told that she has been sexually abused, as a result she is now introverted and frightened and in addition to all these she is incontinent of urine day and night. How bad can it get for this little girl? I want to know what is being done to rectify this sorry situation. Is anybody considering this child’s human right?
Our families, relatives and community value our children and grand children. Therefore, it saddens me to note that Chinyere was placed with complete strangers. It appeared that the authorities made no effort to seek out her immediate relatives before placing her with total strangers. If her welfare were to have been thought of as paramount importance, the primary consideration when deciding on placement should have been where she would be shown love. That is what she needs desperately at the moment. Furthermore, she needs where she would be accepted and cared for properly; where her comfort and her general wellbeing would be the overriding concern. These are important factors; if these factors were considered crucial at the decision making stage, her immediate relatives would have been the first port of call. For officials to decide to cut Chinyere off from her family and root is to all intent and purpose punishing the child. She does not deserve that.
I have to emphasize that there is no implication of criticism towards the foster parents. No doubt they are well meaning and doing their utmost to care for her.
Nevertheless, the fact as I perceive it is glaring; Chinyere is separated from her relatives and community. She is not given the opportunity to interact with her relatives. That cannot be in her best interest. I must therefore, reiterate my earlier statement; “My main concern is the welfare of Chinyere”. I indicated my wish to speak to Chinyere and be in her life if possible not only because I am one of her relatives but also because I am interested in the wellbeing of children in general.
I do not understand how the severing of relationship between the child and her relatives would be in the best interest of the child.
I received a telephone call yesterday from a Miss Laura Bonner in reciprocation to my earlier call enquiring about Chinyere. Initially, the reception was cordial until I introduced myself and enquired about the possibility of speaking to Chinyere. Miss Bonner did not mince words. She virtually called me a liar. I deduced that she was insinuating that I was an imposter. When I confronted her, reiterating what she had said, she apologised profusely, told me that what she said was not what she meant. She proceeded to inform me that she would sound the opinion of her legal team. I presume it is necessary to seek their permission before arriving at a decision as to whether I should be allowed to speak to my grand niece. It is scandalous that I actually need the permission of a lawyer to speak to my grandniece. I wonder what crime she or I have committed to merit this kind of treatment. I further wonder what the reason is for this blatant act of alienation of the child from her relatives. Is it perhaps because relative involvement would mean awkward questions being asked and close scrutiny of what is happening to Chinyere?
The relationship between the mother and those who are custodian of this child’s welfare must not be allowed to impact on the care and wellbeing of Chinyere. Everyone involved in this case must understand that it is not about them or about Miss Godwell versus the authorities. It is about Chinyere; the physical, mental, social and religious wellbeing of Chinyere.
Our family are ambitious; we do not necessarily covet monetary wealth but we value education and we encourage our children to achieve their best. Chinyere is included in this. Therefore where ever she is I would wish that she is cared for the way the family would care for her. I would want her to be given the opportunity to achieve her best in education and every aspect of her life; but most importantly, I would prefer that she is reunited with her family because her family would ensure that this happens naturally.
Then His Honour Judge Waine barred this relative from the proceedings.
Police corruption is a specific form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, and/or career advancement for a police officer or officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest.
"We were assisting DC Helen Garvie she had to attend 85 Raeburn Road, to Northampton to deal with Ngozi Godwell."
This is what they call a child protection issue?
To go and deal with me!