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October 03 , 2008

No Truth No Justice


David and Goliath Story of a Mother's Successful Struggle Against Public Authorities to Secure Justice for her Son Murdered While in their Care. A shocking book showing the need for vigilance about the way citizens can be treated by the State. Should be read by anyone with the merest responsibility for decisions affecting other people - and of extra significance in the criminal justice and mental health spheres.The book in outline: In 1994 Christopher Edwards was found dead in his cell at Chelmsford Prison battered beyond recognition by a paranoid schizophrenic prisoner with whom Christopher - himself also mentally ill - had been made to share a cell. The tragedy occurred despite the fact that information was in the pipeline that his assailant presented an exceptional risk to other people.For the next eight years Christopher's parents, Audrey and Paul Edwards, sought truth and justice at every turn. What they encountered was a wall of officialdom and red tape: sometimes accompanied by a culture which served to exclude them at key stages and which was often indifferent to their needs as a bereaved family and as victims. This ranged from silence to misleading information, obstruction, insensitive treatment and an attitude of self-preservation-leading in turn to suspicion and mistrust across the board at the way public responsibilities were being discharged.Undeterred, Audrey and Paul Edwards ceaselessly challenged the official responses and the legal and other processes which had relegated them to the sidelines. Ultimately, with the assistance of the civil rights organization Liberty, they sought redress in the European Court of Human Rights where in 2002 it was established that the UK Government had denied Christopher his right to life and the criminal justice, mental health and inquiry arrangements were found wanting at various points.
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