Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TERROR OF BOY EXPOSED AS GANG WITNESS; MET BLUNDER FORCES FAMILY TO FLEE 'CPS and the Police Destroyed Our Lives'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TERROR OF BOY EXPOSED AS GANG WITNESS; MET BLUNDER FORCES FAMILY TO FLEE 'CPS and the Police Destroyed Our Lives'

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

A BOY and his family had to flee their London home after a blunder by the Met and Crown Prosecution Service gave his name to gang members he had agreed to give evidence against.

The 16-year-old had bravely promised to testify about an attack he saw on condition of anonymity but his name and address were passed on in error. The family began to suffer a campaign of intimidation. The boy, his mother, her partner and their other children had "no option" but to leave their home, careers, families and friends "without even being able to say goodbye".

The family received a payout of [pounds sterling]600,000 but today blasted the " unbelievable mistakes" by the Continued on Page 4

Continued from Page 1 CPS and police in 2005 that "not only destroyed our lives but ultimately caused the complete failure of the prosecution case against the gang members (even though we remained willing to fully cooperate from within witness protection).

"We endured years of unbearable pain but the prosecution was abandoned because of those failures. "The children were uprooted from their schools and whisked away without an opportunity to explain. The trauma and upset this caused is beyond words."

The statement added that for the boy "no sum of compensation would have given him back his youth", adding: "He will never recover from this experience, he has lost trust in the police and if he were to witness a similar crime tomorrow he would look away."

The family's solicitor said that the compensation had been paid for psychiatric injuries, lost earnings and relocation costs, but had only been given after a three year legal battle with the CPS and police.

Mayoral candidate and former Met officer Brian Paddick said: "It is incredibly brave of anyone to stand up and give evidence in such gang cases, let alone a 16-year-old boy. …

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