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NATIONAL VICTIMS’ ASSOCIATION Formerly North of England Victims’ Association Reg Charity No 1040883

P O Box 111 Jarrow Tyne & Wear NE32 5TE United Kingdom Tel & Fax : 0191 423 2210 Website: www.victimsfirst.co.uk Email : info@victimsfirst.co.uk

Sara Payne, Victims’ Champion Ministry of Justice, Selborne House, 54-60 Victoria Street, London. SW1E 6QW 26 January 2009 Dear Sara, Congratulations on the new job. I hope you find it enjoyable and worthwhile. It has been my pleasure to help you over the years and I wish you all the best. It was great to hear you say in one of your interviews that you would be representing the views of victims' families and that you would be independent. Several NVA friends who were at last year's conference have been in touch today to ask me to contact you with a couple of specific requests and it would be a massive boost for families of homicide if you could address these two issues in your early days in post. 1 Gordon Brown You will remember from the conference that we had written to Gordon Brown numerous times over twelve months, on behalf of the families of 38 murder victims, requesting a meeting to put a number of concerns to him. To this day he has refused to even acknowledge our letters, much less agree to a meeting. Can you please ask him to meet with us or explain why he refuses to? If he can find the time to meet Mr Motivator and music and fashion industry celebrities, I'm sure you'll agree that an hour with the UK's longest established specialist homicide support charity isn't too much to ask. 2 Vernon Coaker You will also remember from the conference that Vernon said publically that he was confident that he would be able to help with the funding of our 2009 national conference. He promised to keep in touch with all those present and asked me to contact him personally at any time, because he wanted to help our bereaved families. Numerous letters, telephone calls and emails later, he has yet to respond to our now desperate cry for help. Because he has failed to provide the help he promised, the conference will not now take place and this is a tragedy for the hundreds of bereaved families who see the event as their one and only lifeline. Can you please ask Vernon to honour his pledge of help and even at this short notice, we might be able to resurrect our 2009 conference. Lastly, are you coming to the National Memorial Service on February 14th? Hundreds of bereaved families would be delighted to see you there to be reassured that the Victims' Champion they had argued for, for so many years, was there by their side at the UK's largest reportedly Memorial service for homicide victims' families. Thank you very much Sara....there are countless families counting upon you to speak up for them and I know you won't let them down. Yours sincerely

David Hines Chairman

Patrons Lord Charles Falconer of Thoroton QC; Commander Dave Johnston (Metropolitan Police Retired); Rt Rev Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Retired) Past Patrons Rt Rev Bishop Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle (Deceased); Lady Barbara Chapman OBE (Deceased)


NATIONAL VICTIMS’ ASSOCIATION Formerly North of England Victims’ Association Reg Charity No 1040883

P O Box 111 Jarrow Tyne & Wear NE32 5TE United Kingdom Tel & Fax : 0191 423 2210 Website: www.victimsfirst.co.uk Email : info@victimsfirst.co.uk

Sara Payne, Victims’ Champion, Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Home Office, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London. SW1P 4DF Thursday, 05 February 2009

Dear Sara, On behalf of all your good friends at NVA, I have sent you letters and emails to both your home address and the MOJ. In desperation, I rang Fiona Harrow's office to clarify your official address so I'm now sending copies of my letters to the OCJR office. We are all still hoping to see you at the Memorial Service on 14th February 2009 but if you could confirm whether you are coming or not, that would be a big help. I'm receiving calls from many of your old friends on a daily basis now Sara, all asking whether you have spoken to Gordon Brown and Vernon Coaker on behalf of the victims' families and it would be great to be able to report back some good news. Could you please find a moment to reply to my letters? Many thanks. Love and best wishes,

David Hines Chairman

Patrons Lord Charles Falconer of Thoroton QC; Commander Dave Johnston (Metropolitan Police Retired); Rt Rev Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Retired) Past Patrons Rt Rev Bishop Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle (Deceased); Lady Barbara Chapman OBE (Deceased)


NATIONAL VICTIMS’ ASSOCIATION Formerly North of England Victims’ Association Reg Charity No 1040883

P O Box 111 Jarrow Tyne & Wear NE32 5TE United Kingdom Tel & Fax : 0191 423 2210 Website: www.victimsfirst.co.uk Email : info@victimsfirst.co.uk

Sara Payne, Victims’ Champion, Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Home Office, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London. SW1P 4DF Thursday, 05 February 2009 Dear Sara, Congratulations on the new job. I hope you find it enjoyable and worthwhile. It has been my pleasure to help you over the years and I wish you all the best. It was great to hear you say in one of your interviews that you would be representing the views of victims' families and that you would be independent. Several NVA friends who were at last year's conference have been in touch today to ask me to contact you with a couple of specific requests and it would be a massive boost for families of homicide if you could address these two issues in your early days in post. 1 Gordon Brown You will remember from the conference that we had written to Gordon Brown numerous times over twelve months, on behalf of the families of 38 murder victims, requesting a meeting to put a number of concerns to him. To this day he has refused to even acknowledge our letters, much less agree to a meeting. Can you please ask him to meet with us or explain why he refuses to? If he can find the time to meet Mr Motivator and music and fashion industry celebrities, I'm sure you'll agree that an hour with the UK's longest established specialist homicide support charity isn't too much to ask. 2 Vernon Coaker You will also remember from the conference that Vernon said publically that he was confident that he would be able to help with the funding of our 2009 national conference. He promised to keep in touch with all those present and asked me to contact him personally at any time, because he wanted to help our bereaved families. Numerous letters, telephone calls and emails later, he has yet to respond to our now desperate cry for help. Because he has failed to provide the help he promised, the conference will not now take place and this is a tragedy for the hundreds of bereaved families who see the event as their one and only lifeline. Can you please ask Vernon to honour his pledge of help and even at this short notice, we might be able to resurrect our 2009 conference. Lastly, are you coming to the National Memorial Service on February 14th? Hundreds of bereaved families would be delighted to see you there to be reassured that the Victims' Champion they had argued for, for so many years, was there by their side at the UK's largest reportedly Memorial service for homicide victims' families. Thank you very much Sara....there are countless families counting upon you to speak up for them and I know you won't let them down. Yours sincerely

David Hines Chairman Patrons Lord Charles Falconer of Thoroton QC; Commander Dave Johnston (Metropolitan Police Retired); Rt Rev Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Retired) Past Patrons Rt Rev Bishop Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle (Deceased); Lady Barbara Chapman OBE (Deceased)


NATIONAL VICTIMS’ ASSOCIATION Formerly North of England Victims’ Association Reg Charity No 1040883

P O Box 111 Jarrow Tyne & Wear NE32 5TE United Kingdom Tel & Fax : 0191 423 2210 Website: www.victimsfirst.co.uk Email : info@victimsfirst.co.uk

Sara Payne, Address removed for confidentiality Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Dear Sara, Please treat this letter as extremely urgent. On a number occasions since your appointment, I have emailed you and written to you, to both your home and office addresses but have not received any acknowledgement. Numerous NVA families - your friends in grief - are DESPERATE to know why you have not answered their queries concerning Gordon Brown and Vernon Coaker and are meeting after the Memorial Service on Saturday to discuss what they can do to get you to speak up on their behalf. I am being reminded on a daily basis of your media promises to take victims' concerns to the heart of Government and as loyal a friend as I have always been to you, I cannot hold back this tidal wave of expectation much longer. I have repeatedly assured these victims' families that you are on their side and that you WILL represent their views but you obviously cannot do this if you don't even acknowledge all these letters and emails. You were sitting 10 feet away from Vernon when he made his promise to help with funding for our (now cancelled) 2009 conference - a promise he has subsequently broken. You also talked on our DVD of the importance and uniqueness of the NVA conference, and you KNOW how critical it is for our families. You also know that Gordon Brown has refused for a year to meet (or even acknowledge) the request for a meeting with the families of 34 homicide victims - once again you sat in front of Vernon when he promised to take up the issue with the Prime Minister and once again, he broke that promise too. Meeting so- called celebrities like Mr Motivator is clearly higher on his list of priorities than meeting homicide victims' families and we know that you will be as outraged by this as any other victim. We love and respect you Sara but now is the time for you to show homicide victims' families what you are going to do for them, starting with answering the letters I have sent you on their behalf. Love and best wishes,

David Hines Chairman

Patrons Lord Charles Falconer of Thoroton QC; Commander Dave Johnston (Metropolitan Police Retired); Rt Rev Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Retired) Past Patrons Rt Rev Bishop Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle (Deceased); Lady Barbara Chapman OBE (Deceased)


NATIONAL VICTIMS’ ASSOCIATION Formerly North of England Victims’ Association Reg Charity No 1040883

P O Box 111 Jarrow Tyne & Wear NE32 5TE United Kingdom Tel & Fax : 0191 423 2210 Website: www.victimsfirst.co.uk Email : info@victimsfirst.co.uk

Sara Payne, Victims’ Champion, Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Home Office, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London. SW1P 4DF Thursday, 19 February 2009 Dear Sara, Thank you very much for your email on the eve of the Annual Memorial Service. There was widespread disappointment that you weren't present and the overwhelming feeling was that for what will probably be the largest national gathering of bereaved families during your one year tenure as Victims Champion, you should have been there to show your support. As you know, despite countless invitations, no Government Minister has ever attended any of our Memorial Services, choosing instead to cherry-pick memorial services for high profile, media-worthy victims. Saturday was an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that there was in fact someone in Government interested in bereaved families and the truth is that many people trusted that their Victims Champion wouldn't have dreamt of not being there. That may not be what you want to hear but honesty is always best. You didn't attend and nothing can change that, but at the post-Service meeting, there was a comprehensive discussion about what the bereaved families would like you to do in representing their views to the Government, and I have been formally tasked with writing to you with the following five requests. On behalf of all those bereaved families who made the journey to be part of our Service, could you please: 1 Ask Vernon Coaker for an urgent explanation of his refusal to acknowledge all of our letters, emails and telephone calls; and explain the reasons why he changed his mind on the issue of helping to fund - and attend - our (now cancelled) 2009 conference. I know you will not be diverted by the irrelevance of his change of job...his promise to help was not conditional on his job title. 2 Ask Gordon Brown to meet a delegation of our bereaved families from NVA for one hour in the next 10 weeks to discuss their wide-ranging concerns about their treatment by the Government. 3 Confirm your support for the proposed role of Victims' Commissioner and your opposition to any suggestion that the role should be scrapped. 4 Confirm the official route by which bereaved families can contact you for a speedy response to queries and problems.

Patrons Lord Charles Falconer of Thoroton QC; Commander Dave Johnston (Metropolitan Police Retired); Rt Rev Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Retired) Past Patrons Rt Rev Bishop Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle (Deceased); Lady Barbara Chapman OBE (Deceased)


5 Confirm what you aim to achieve for families bereaved through murder and manslaughter in the next 11 months. I know that you will represent your friends fearlessly and independently and that you will not allow yourself to be fobbed off...I know you will deliver for us Sara. I have been asked to copy approximately 120 families in on this letter and will also forward them your reply. Best wishes

David Hines Chairman

cc: Jack Straw, Minister for Justice; Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary


NATIONAL VICTIMS’ ASSOCIATION Formerly North of England Victims’ Association Reg Charity No 1040883

P O Box 111 Jarrow Tyne & Wear NE32 5TE United Kingdom Tel & Fax: 0191 423 2210 Website: www.victimsfirst.co.uk Email: info@victimsfirst.co.uk

Sara Payne, (address removed for confidentiality) Monday, 11 May 2009

RECORDED DELIVERY

Dear Sara, On behalf of over 100 bereaved families who have asked me to contact you, could you please respond to the queries raised in our many unacknowledged letters and emails since your appointment? 8th May 2009 marked 100 days of you being in post as Victims Champion and we would be most grateful if you would inform us of your achievements on behalf of homicide victims' families in that period. Thank you very much. Yours sincerely,

David Hines Chairman cc: The Prime Minister, The Home Secretary, The Attorney General, Jack Straw MP, Sharon White OCJR, Fiona Harrow OCJR, David Burrowes MP, Tim Boswell MP, Vernon Coaker MP, Alan Campbell MP, Andrew George MP, Stephen Hepburn MP, David Miliband MP, Iain Duncan Smith MP, Lord Falconer, Commander David Johnston, Victims’ Advisory Panel.

Posted also to: Sara Payne, Victims’ Champion, Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Home Office, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London. SW1P 4DF

Patrons Lord Charles Falconer of Thoroton QC; Commander Dave Johnston (Metropolitan Police Retired); Rt. Rev. Bishop Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle; Rt. Rev Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Retired) Past Patrons Rt. Rev Bishop Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle (Deceased); Lady Barbara Chapman OBE (Deceased)

Sara Payne letters  

A collection of some of the 20+ letters and emails sent to Sara Payne, Victims Champion, since her appointment in january 2009. Not one of...

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