I will email this around UK Newspapers, even the ones I wouldn't be seen dead reading. I have aimed for succinct and non-sensational.
Please feel free to use and abuse it if you want, the more emails they all get the more it may catch their attention.
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The legal corporation that controls the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, has been ordered by a Californian court to pay $20 000 001 in punitive damages to a victim of child sexual abuse.
The victim Candace Conti brought the action after the organisation refused to change its official policy of secrecy as to sexual abuse of children by congregation members. As a nine year old Candace was abused by Jehovah’s Witness Jonathan Kendrick on multiple occasions over a period of more than a year beginning in 1995. It was proven in court that Elders of the North Freemont Congregation received a confession from Kendrick in 1993 that he had molested his stepdaughter Andrea.
Following official policy the Elders kept this confession secret and failed to alert the police or warn parents in the congregation that Kendrick posed a danger to their children. The policy forbidding local elders from taking appropriate action was laid down in a confidential letter from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to all Bodies of Elders worldwide on July 1 1989. This policy remains in place.
The jury found that “the negligent conduct of Watchtower that was a substantial factor in causing harm to Plaintiff Candace Conti was engaged in with malice.”
The 2002 Panorama documentary “Suffer the Little Children” exposed the potential size of this problem in the USA and the United Kingdom. This is the first time a victim of the Watchtower’s policy has refused to settle out of court and the favourable decision may lead to more claims.
Court documents can be viewed at http://apps.alameda.courts.ca.gov/domainweb/html/index.html Click on the “Case Summary” link and enter case number HG11558324