Former mayor rejects pro-paedophile group links despite barrister conclusion
"On the balance of probabilities" Sandy Marks attended conference
09 November, 2018 — By Emily Finch
Sarah Morgan QC who wrote the review report for Islington Council
THE review into alleged links between a former mayor and a pro-paedophile group published this week was prompted by an investigation by the Islington Gazette.
The whole report can be found here on the council’s website.
The newspaper said Ms Marks, a Labour councillor between 1982 and 2001, was associated with Fallen Angels and attended the International Gay Association conference in April 1980.
Ms Morgan agreed with the Gazette and said “on the balance of probabilities” Ms Marks had attended the conference with the Fallen Angels. But she also said there was “no evidence” that her involvement “had any impact on the way she carried out her duties on the Social Services Committee or any other Islington committee on which she sat either as member or as Chair”.
She added: “I did not find evidence that Ms Marks appeared to be exercising control and direction in relation to children and their placement in care.” There may be an “incongruity” between her two conclusions but she said: “Yet they are what the evidence showed me.”
Former Islington Mayor and disability rights activist Sandy Marks
Ms Morgan had access to sub-committee minutes where decisions were made by Ms Marks alongside other panel members as to which care homes children were sent to.
She said: “I did not find evidence of Sandy Marks doing anything other on these meetings than carrying out essentially an approval function on a panel resulting in a decision which enabled an application to be made to a court.”
Ms Morgan added that she found in the documents “a good deal about Sandy Marks’ conduct that was positive and demonstrated what appeared to me to be a legitimate concern for child welfare”.
Ms Morgan said that the “earliest association” she found of Sandy Marks with any pro-paedophile group or issue was September 1979 and the latest was five months later.
Fallen Angels was a little-known group which supported the members of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) who openly advocated paedophilia.
Ms Marks this week denied she had been associated with Fallen Angels or any pro- paedophile group, despite Ms Morgan’s conclusions.
She said: “The whole affair has had a devastating effect on my health, my employment, my family and my political activities. I was wrongly accused of a string of truly terrible things that brought me into public disgrace and destroyed much of the work I had been doing on behalf of others. I have every sympathy for those young people so poorly served in our homes and other establishments and hope they can still find justice for what they experienced. However, the report makes clear I never misused any of the offices I held on the council and for that I’m grateful.” She said she was now looking to “rebuild” her life.