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(21 Posts)
kennyp Mon 17-Mar-14 19:05:39

no drip feeding, the shortest version possible is this:

friend has a brother (bob). bob is 46 (irrelevant but true!) and was arrested in january this year for 5 counts of grooming on children (both sex) aged under 14.
bob has gone to ground and friend hasn't heard from him. no charges to be made because of lack of evidence, although bob was charged (not sure of the legal hoo ha of all this but tha'ts what i've been told).

bob once looked after my two kids (under 12 years old) and his 2 kids (ditto) and friends 3 kids (ditto) when they were all in the garden last summer. i knew bob well and left my kids there for 1 hour max (obviously no-one had any idea whatsoever of his grooming tendencies).

friend told me ON FRIDAY about bob's arrest. i am extremely pissed off that she told me two months later. i have had a "chat" with the kids as to people acting weirdly (etc). i see this friend 4 times a week at least (via school) and she has never mentioned it - although i know bob has gone to ground but that's all she said.

friends best friends have been told (although their children have never had unsupervised contact with bob) an obvoiusly bob's parents and siblings know, but she hasn't told anyone else (i.e. me, whose children were left in his unsupervised care (only once but i'm still fucked off)

if it had been my brother and her kids i would have said to her, out of decency "my brother has been arrested. he looked after your kids, remember? and i wanted to tell you". but she didn't.

aibu to be fucked off?? i am bloody fuming to be honest. i am fucked off on behalf of my children. i wish she'd told me earlier, when he was arrested. or should i just be grateful that she told me at all???

GertTheFlirt Mon 17-Mar-14 19:09:43

I'd be embarrassed if 'bob' were my brother.

bob has gone to ground and friend hasn't heard from him. no charges to be made because of lack of evidence, although bob was charged (not sure of the legal hoo ha of all this but tha'ts what i've been told).

No charges made but bob was charged?

Which is it?

kennyp Mon 17-Mar-14 19:14:44

i obviously got that all wrong - he was arrested but no charges due to lack of evidence. does that make sense?? so he hasn't been charged (i am a bit thick at teh best of times) but he was arrested and as a result his immediate family are fuming with him so he has gone into hiding somewhere.

MaryWestmacott Mon 17-Mar-14 19:17:06

Do you mean bob was arrested but not charged?

Anyway, I think this must have been very hard for your friend to tell you, she probably should have told you sooner, and probably would have done if bob was likely to be in contact with you again. Does your friend even remember the 1 hour all the children played together in bobs care so long ago?

Most families, if no charges where brought, would be tempted to brush this under the carpet, your friend told you, knowing there's no evidence against her brother, I take that as a sign she is taking this very serious and rates you very highly.

blanchedeveraux Mon 17-Mar-14 19:18:54

The lack of charge is fairly crucial. Perhaps she was hoping that if he didn't get charged it wasn't necessary to let anyone know because he's not been found guilty of anything, let alone something as shameful and family destroying as child grooming. I'm not defending her decision or making excuses for her, just trying to find reasons. Sorry you're having to go through this, it must be very worrying and unpleasant.

GertTheFlirt Mon 17-Mar-14 19:25:35

Innocent until proven guilty.

Arrested but no charges brought.

I suppose we could go up the 'no smoke without fire route' .

In all honesty - if no charges brought - why would you gossip about the arrest?

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 19:26:08

I agree with others about why she didn't tell you. I think you should be fuming with Bob really. Both of you should be. He's an animal (allegedly).

The question is you don't actually know whether or not he did it. If I were you I would talk to his sister about it and get as much info as you can so you have more of an understanding of what you think might have really happened.

You never know it might have been a false accusation by someone with a grudge. It's unlikely, but if anyone knows, his sister will.

kennyp Mon 17-Mar-14 19:36:42

i have no idea when he allegedly did it, but that it was 5 separate accounts (he works with youth groups (don't want to say which ones as it would out the sister).

the sister was more than aware of when bob looked after all our children as we were both saying how good he is with children and loves being with children (honestly - you couldn't make it up - he spoke to children in such a nice way (no awkwardness) - although this looks extremely different now following the arrest).

thanks for your replies. sorry i didn't word it clearly.

WooWooOwl Mon 17-Mar-14 19:43:47

I think the shock of finding out that your brother is being accused of grooming children might take a little while to get your head around, and as you know that the children in question here are completely safe and are in no danger, there is no need for there to be a big rush to tell the parents.

You obviously deserve to know, and while two months is maybe pushing it a bit, I don't think this sister was obliged to tell you straight away. She has told you now, direct your understandable anger at the person who actually did something wrong instead.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 17-Mar-14 19:53:07

Yes I would expect to be told. YANBU. Your situation is painfully similar to my own, so I know exactly how you feel - except in my case the wife of the man arrested immediately told everyone whose children he had ever had contact with. She did the right thing imo.

Possibly it's different because it's her brother (family) rather than husband? I don't know - but the wife in my situation threw her husband out because of it and has not seen him since.

It makes you feel sick, doesn't it.

GertTheFlirt Mon 17-Mar-14 19:54:39

He wasnt charged.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 17-Mar-14 19:57:52

5 separate reports though? Not being charged just means the cps don't have enough evidence to charge - it doesn't mean the man is not a possible risk to children.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 17-Mar-14 19:59:17

And it's innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty. It doesn't mean that everyone is actually innocent until proven guilty - that would be ridiculous.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 20:30:15

He works with youth groups and looks after children, there are 5 separate accounts - sounds pretty guilty to me. I think you should speak to his sister. It may be that she's worried about her own career prospects being damaged by this.

TheBody Mon 17-Mar-14 20:33:50

the only important point here is to chat to your children about dangers/boundaries and keeping safe.

the rest is gossip and hearsay so keep out of it. his family will be more devastated than you and be suffering more.

MaryWestmacott Tue 18-Mar-14 11:11:38

I think you have to allow for the fact that her innitial reaction was probably "this is a huge mistake, there's no way my brother would do that." and wanting to keep it quiet so it can all be proved a mistake and go away - and if she was a 'head in the sand' sort of person, him not being charged with anything would mean she could do just that - "see, there was no evidence, it was all a big mistake" - but yoru friend hasn't done that. She's accepted that there's probably some truth in it (even if the police can't get enough evidence to charge him), so she's told you.

Your DCs where in no danger, I'm sure if she thought you might leave your DCs with him again after the arrest, she'd have told you. It's understandable you are upset you weren't told at the time, but the timing has made no actual difference to your DCs safety.

And yes, you should be grateful she's told you now, she didn't need to and a lot of families really wouldn't have told anyone if no charges were brought. It must be hard for her to talk about. Be kind, she might well have gone through a form of berevament herself, she's effectively lost her brother. She's going to need your support. Be there for her.

Your DCs were left in his care once, for 1 hour with lots of other DCs around, have her DCs ever had one-one time with their uncle? Overnights at his house? Take the horror you feel, and imagine being her and realising the extent of time her brother has had with her children.

MammaTJ Tue 18-Mar-14 11:15:57

I was once arrested for having knocked a child to the ground. Totally fabricated and untrue, so no charges brought. Should I tell everyone whos children I have contact with?

horsetowater Tue 18-Mar-14 12:55:50

Mamma were you accused 5 times by 5 different people and were all those cases reported to the police?

StrawberryGashes Tue 18-Mar-14 17:15:33

I think you possibly could be being a bit unreasonable. This must be very hard for her as Bob is her brother. She hasn't kept it a secret from you, she's just not told you straight away. She probably had to have some time to get her head around it all first before telling people. She told her best friends but that was presumably for support.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Tue 18-Mar-14 17:25:08

YABU. If she had allowed your children to be in his care AFTER he was charged/ accused of grooming children, then I would understand your anger. But as it stands she has told you at a time when your children have not been put at any additional risk.
It has probably been a horrible time for your friend to hear this about her brother, and maybe she didn't believe that he had done anything wrong until now.
I think you need to put your anger to one side, and be a good friend to her. She has done nothing wrong from what I can see.

horsetowater Wed 19-Mar-14 00:58:25

It's also possible that Bob's sister was biding time to give Bob a chance to go safely into hiding. Imagine what OP's DH would do when he found out?

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