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When Talking About Lucy Letby Turns To Action

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Here are your suggestions in response to my "Calling All Chimps!" post, posted on the blog or sent privately, about what we can do, over and above posting comments and responses on the blog, to help Lucy

There have been some great suggestions as to how we can collaborate more, how we can work together more, how we can be more active. I have zero experience in this sort of thing, other than blog writing, so if any of you can step up, please do.

First, some background.

My rather limited understanding about the work required to get an individual a fair trial* is that it essentially involves two main strands, which can be described as "inside the Courtroom" and "outside the Courtroom". In relation to Lucy, the former will involve her legal team (solicitor/barrister who will be in close contact with Lucy and her parents), the solicitor firm's research resources, and the various experts called upon (medical/scientific) to debunk (this time effectively) the prosecution's evidence presented at the first trial.

That first strand is not where we sit, though of course if you are an expert who is qualified to provide a different (correct!) interpretation of the two blood tests (haematologist? endocrinologist?), the X-rays (radiologist?), the Post-It note, the hoarding of handover sheets, text messages, Facebook searches (psychiatrist/psychologist?), the roster data (statistician?), etc, then please contact Lucy's defence team when we know who they will be (she will have one whether or not she applies for leave for appeal, though I'm sure we all feel/hope she will apply, we just don't know if she will).

So, we are involved with the latter strand (i.e. the work that goes on outside the Courtroom) and the main thrust of that relates to reaching out to two groups: a) the general public and, b) those in some sort of position of power who can have a positive influence in some way over Lucy's case. Both will involve a good understanding of the various issues relating to the case. If we are to persuade people we must educate ourselves about all aspects of the case (what the prosecution evidence was in the first trial, what the correct interpretation looks like, the public inquiry, the ongoing police investigation, etc.

We also need to know whom to contact, whether politicians, lawyers, scientists, celebrities, journalists, other advocacy groups, etc to tell them about the case and to ask them to do what they can.

Rather than going away as individuals to learn more detail about the case, we should probably pool resources to help each other achieve this, and indeed also have regular groups calls on which we can discuss the case (see suggestions below). Also, rather than each of us building a list of those we should contact, we should as a group build a database of those to contact, including keeping a record of all contact (see suggestions below). And please, if you have experience in these things, shout!

It feels odd that there may be other groups out there thinking similarly about what can be done to help Lucy. It feels odd to be thinking about how to help Lucy without having got her endorsement or that of her parents. I suspect Lucy and her parents are very busy right now, and anyway the trauma of the verdicts is still raw. The situation is very fluid. There may come a time when there is an "official" campaign, endorsed by Lucy and her parents, which of course would be great. Until then, if we as members of this blog want to come together and work together, support each other, great.

Before I list the various suggestions, one thing that I believe would help with all of them is to have somewhere to meet physically, whether to chat together or to work together. My flat is a ten minute walk from Euston Station, London. I have a decent sized area/room that is currently unused (I've been thinking for ages about what to do with it!) where I could set up a square table with eight chairs or so. The room also has a big empty wall which could be used as a notice board. I could get a large whiteboard too. And there's a pub right across the road!

I have thought long and hard about this as it would be a commitment that I would want to be able to follow through on, but I would be delighted to open up that space (and the fridge and biscuit tin!) to anyone who would like to drop by, whether to chat or to work on the case (yes, there will be work to be done).

Security would be paramount so there would have to be a way of vetting those who would like to drop by. Many of you have already proven without doubt by way of your comments, responses, private messages etc, that your credentials and motivations are gold-plated. However, there would probably need to be something more secure and systematic in place. Perhaps a two step process. The first step would be to put you on a list, having provided sufficient details to be verified. The second step would be to have some sort of booking system, including issuance of a number that you can shout into the intercom. This all sounds very covert but I have been told by a number of people that we have to be very very careful. After all, the ramifications of what we are doing could be serious (let's hope they are).

I will have a think about this and contact you by email.

So, below are various suggestions that you have made.

Letter/email writing/sending

One of you copied me in on a great letter they sent to their MP and a couple of cabinet ministers, together with an attachment laying out the key issues as they saw them. They have said we are welcome to use both the content of the letter and the document. I will put them into some sort of template form and provide further details in another blog in the very near future. The idea would be that all you need to do is some simple copying and pasting, then either press send or put in envelopes.

Creating various databases (of people to write to for example, names, addresses, email addresses etc) that can be stored in a secure shared drive for everyone to access.

There are various steps here:

1. Set up a secure shared drive. If any of you is an IT expert and has ideas on this front, please let me know.

2. Decide what sort of databases we need. Are there off the shelf options?

3. Decide who should be responsible for maintaining these databases.

Very clear fact sheets about unjust trial, stats etc simply written, easily printed, easily distributed. Sent to whomever, wherever. Maximizing potential, possibly, of far away weak ties not just strong localized ones.

I understand that a team at Science on Trial is doing exactly this. Please do join SoT if you haven't already and see what they have on that front. I will continue to write, and I think my future blogs could well focus on specific aspects and therefore constitute material that could easily be converted into "fact sheets". If you like writing, speak up and we can coordinate (I'm not precious about being the only author on this blog, though I do think it would be good to keep it well organised etc.)

Other documents/papers in the public domain that are of interest?

I have loads of PDFs saved off that I can start putting in individual blog posts, whether academic papers, articles about forensic science, articles about previous miscarriages etc.

Never underestimate word of mouth, people frequently make this error in the world of social media. Just talk to people, colleagues, family, friends, etc, and be honest with them about how you see the case. Continue with the social media, just remember it’s ephemeral and people are busy and distracted. Don’t shout at them and move on if they’re not receptive, it will may have planted some doubt in the recess of their mind and then when they see a social media post …… Convincing just one person is enough (although more than one is better, of course), they will then convince others and on it goes. It really does work. I’ve convinced 5 people in a week and they are forwarding on material that I send them. What you’re looking to do is to counter the MSM propaganda, which is what we are all bombarded with everyday when we watch, listen or read any MSM. You’ll feel a lot better psychologically if you ban it all!

Totally totally agree

While I greatly appreciate the platform you have provided and all the work you seem to have done, it’s a little deflating reading an article basically saying ‘sooo… now what?’. There‘s no plan then? No fund or anything? Or is that somewhere else?

There will be a way to fund Lucy's legal team directly at some point. If we do things that need funding, I'm sure we will find the right way to do that.

I would really like to see pieces from the likes of Scott Mclachlan, Norman Fenton, Mark McDonald, and others who are not sold on Lucy's guilt. Any chance of that, Peter? Particularly valuable would be pieces from medical professionals who can seriously challenge the expert medical evidence. The reality is that the serious work is being done over at SOT. Our contribution here at Chimp? Simply communicating to all and sundry our disquiet over Lucy's conviction. All and sundry includes friends, acquaintances, news media, those columnists who need challenging/converting. Everyone and anyone. Always remember to be civil and balanced.

I think that "communicating to all and sundry our disquiet over Lucy's conviction" is not a simple matter. Nor is it secondary to other work - it is hugely important. Also, it will involve a lot of work and a lot of coordination (see earlier). I think the idea of linking blogs to the work of others involved in this is a great idea, perhaps with summaries of some sort. If anyone sees anything that they think should be on this blog, please say.

Yes to this. And a legal voice as conductor.

It would be great to have an authoritative legal voice who can provide credible and useful insights into where things go from here, what the legal issues are etc. If that person could be you, please say and I will set you up as an author.

Yes, the stuff on SOT is beyond my understanding, but it is the really important stuff that is going on now. SOT will overturn Lucy's conviction, Chimp can help in that regard. We are better than a talking shop, we can influence public opinion and change the mood from "Lucy the serial killer of babies" to perhaps not, and eventually to something better still.

Yes. As you say, we can influence public opinion. This blog is not about putting together the science that will be useful to Lucy's legal team. It is as you say about influencing public opinion. And writing to influential people. And putting stuff on this site that journalists will read (and that we can actively send to journalists).

Hi Peter - There will be people who have invested a significant amount of time already in campaign support who will understandably be a little confused and wonder what's happened to lead to this. It strikes me that the previous collaboration made sense and appeared to be making progress but multiple strands has the potential for confusion and blurring of vision. Are you able to expand at all and explain how this will fit with other activities towards a common goal?

This blog is very different to what SoT is doing. I suspect the four entities (SoT, Richard Gill, LawHealthAnd Tech, Chimp, and the various others too who have posted videos for example) could be considered members of a football team, each doing something different but important. SoT may be the equivalent of Erling Haaland but the others are doing something useful too. As mentioned in another response, the science is critical but the Court of Appeal will drag their heels if there is no public pressure on them. I think this is where other parties can help. And there is absolutely nothing to stop the various parties collaborating. ask for suggestions on how we can go forward . In late June I was in London and whilst wandering around Westminster, I took the opportunity to observe the Supreme Court at work. The public can do that, which is as it should be, and that open access impressed me greatly. A lot of what was said was legalese and went over my heard, but what has remained with me is the demeanour of the learned , articulate and well meaning judges who I saw at work that day. I just know in my heart that they and their counterparts are committed to justice. So how on earth has this unprecedented injustice come about?? And why was the presiding judge in LLs trial so vitriolic in his condemnation of her? He was anything but impartial, unlike any other judges I’ve observed. I am still very disturbed by the whole thing.

I wonder If we could get a Supreme Court judge to at least read this blog- or even a list of the main bullet points of the flaws in the prosecution- they may agree to help? Am I being naive? I believe we do need a figure with a National profile to help here. A politician? I’ve always admired Gordon Brown. Or a NHS Consultant? As we know there of the latter who believe in this cause. Another Q. Has LL decided to appeal? Time is going on isn’t it? I worry that she is not going to bother. She must be mentally wrung out, poor vulnerable girl.

Finally, whilst out hillwalking yesterday I met a nurse and we fell into conversation. She told me that she has doubts about this conviction, as so many of her colleagues do. Another resource which could be harnessed? Please keep up the good work. Sorry if I have rambled on. Thank you.

What a super message. I certainly think we can send the aforementioned letters/emails to Supreme Court judges (past and present) and to the various other parties mentioned. And really lovely to hear about the nurse who has doubts about the conviction. As mentioned previously, although Lucy is at the centre of this, her case is about more than just her. It is about reforming the NHS. It is about reforming the justice system.

Hi, I think the work you (Peter and others) have done exposing issues with the evidence, and bringing people together to question whether this was a fair trial is admirable. However this blog talks about supporting Lucy and campaigning for her release. I personally think the focus should be on scrutiny of the facts and establishing the truth - not just for her (if she is indeed innocent) but also: a) for the sake of the families so they know what happened, b) to protect future babies by identifying if there were any other causes eg. Infection, poor hygiene, poor medical practice etc, c) to hold power to account within the NHS and justice system

Great message. I agree, and think that future blogs can focus on specific aspects of the case, scrutiny of the facts, establishing the truth, understanding how we got here etc. And, as you say, for the families, for future babies and their parents, and to help build a better NHS and a better justice system.

What are the various aspects of Lucy's case that we should be thinking about?

In no particular order, below is a list of things that I know in my case I want to really understand well and focus on.

1. The public inquiry: is there any way it can consider the possibility that Lucy is not a killer but that there were other explanations for the spike in deaths and collapses?

2. Operation Hummingbird: what is the ongoing investigation about?

3. The various legal routes for Lucy going forward (the Court of Appeal, CCRC, Supreme Court).

4. The grounds for appeal: a) the judge's appalling summing up, b) incompetent councel, c) the Cheshire Police Youtube video (is that new evidence?), d) new scientific interpretation of the medical evidence.

5. What was the evidence that convicted Lucy and how can it be countered.

6. Previous miscarriages/exonerations (Sally Clark, sub postmasters, Barry George, Daniela Poggiali, Lucia de Berk, Angela Cannings, and many more).

7. Other suspected cases of wrongful conviction (Colin Norris, Ben Geen, Omar Benguit, Roger Kearney, Michael Stone, and many more).

8. Looking after ourselves and each other. I suspect we are all getting rather stressed out about the thought of this young person locked in a cell 23 hours a day, thinking they will be there forever, and thinking they did not get a fair trial, that the system let them down.

Finally, the above is essentially a brain dump. Mine and yours! I am not an expert. I have not done this before. Some of you may have read the above and thought, oh, he's missed that, or not touched on that. If that is the case, please let me know and I can add to this post. This is not like a newspaper. Articles can be added to, improved. Importantly, while I enjoy writing and have put what I think is an ok blog site together, the next steps that are needed, the action that you have suggested/asked for will be a team effort.

* Several of you have said that we will be seen as far more credible by the media, politicians, opponents even, if our stance is that Lucy deserves a fair trail rather than that she is innocent which makes sense. Lawyers uses the phrase "unsafe conviction" and we should do likewise. We do not want to seen as a bunch of "crazies" but as a group of thoughtful, rational specialists and nonspecialists who have an abhorrence of injustice. Yes? No?

The views expressed in this communication are those of Peter Elston at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. They do not constitute investment advice and whilst all reasonable efforts have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this communication, the reliability, completeness or accuracy of the content cannot be guaranteed. This communication provides information for professional use only and should not be relied upon by retail investors as the sole basis for investment.

© Chimp Investor Ltd

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