Steve Hedley issues statement

March 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm (Free Speech, RMT, strange situations, tragedy)

As we published the allegation against him, we’re now publishing his response (having been exonerated by an RMT internal investigation), in the interests of fairness and balance:

It is with great sadness that I have to release this statement to clear my name and to protect my family and friends who have been subject to  verbal assault cyber assault and even  threatened with physical violence. I also truly hope that it will give men who are suffering violence and abuse in relationships some encouragement to come forward and report their abusers. I have already been contacted by a number of men in the trade union movement who have suffered domestic violence but who were afraid to make a public statement out of a misconceived shame and embarrassment about being abused. Up until this point I have not commented upon the allegation that I assaulted Caroline Leneghan as I did not wish to add to Ms Leneghan’ s  mental health problems and an  RMT internal investigation was ongoing . I feel that now I need to comment as my family are being seriously effected by the unfounded allegations which have been spread on the Internet by people who are not in possession of the facts.

Ms Leneghan made a complaint to the police more than a year after the alleged event(which she claims took place in January 2012), Firstly she said she had no photographic evidence of the alleged “assault” saying that it had been deleted and only laterproduced some very dubious and undated pictures more than a yearafter the event claiming to show her injuries.  The police questioned me investigated the allegation thoroughly, had the case reviewed by a senior officer and took No Further Action. Ms Leneghan also made a complaint to my employer the RMT trade union which has carried out an exhaustive investigation and found that I had “no case to answer”. During both investigations I provided hundreds of texts and emails that showed that Caroline Leneghan had been abusive to and assaulted me on several occasions. During the 18 months I spent with Ms Leneghan I was slapped, deprived of sleep, punched, pinched, scratched, elbowed in the ribs, kneed, had shoes ,belts and other objects thrown at me, had paint rubbed in my face and was kicked in the stomach about a week after I had an operation for a hernia. I stayed with Ms Leneghan  because she was attending therapy twice a week in an attempt to control her violent outbursts, she  suffers from a condition known as Borderline, Personality Disorder and has a history of violence ,severe self harm and attempted suicide. On the day she alleges the assault took place I was assaulted by her and whilst trying to take a screwdriver away from her(on previous occasions I had to take razor blades and knives away from her and call ambulances to treat her from self inflicted  razor cuts on her arms legs and stomach)   we both fell to the floor, Ms Leneghan landed face down and I landed on top of her. Ms Leneghan then went to her room and appeared the next day with bruising on her face. Ms Leneghan accepted that this was an accident and explained to several people at the time what had happed(several people made statements to the police to this effect). The assault allegations only arose over a year later when I finished my relationship with Ms Leneghan after being kicked in the stomach by her whilst on holiday  just a week after I had a stomach operation for a hernia. When I broke off the relationship with Ms leneghan she pretended to be pregnant and threatened to have an abortion unless I had her back ,she even threatened to commit suicide which led me to spend several hours at her address on 1 January 2013 trying to calm her down. (this is all confirmed in the emails I gave the police and my employers). Ms Leneghan then hacked my facebook account on 21 January 2013 and discovered that I was going out with someone else, she made several abusive phone calls to me and sent very abusive and threatening texts and emails to me and my girlfriend  and threatened  me  by text that “you are going down Steve”(which I did not reply to on solicitors advice but provided the evidence to the police and the RMT investigations). Ms Leneghan then went to the police and my employers as I have described. Having spoken to Mankind an organization that deals with domestic violence against men I was informed that abusive women often continue to abuse their victims when a relationship is finished by making false allegations to the police. I hope now that the investigations are complete and I have been cleared of any wrong doing that I can draw a line under this and move on with my life . I hope that  Ms Leneghan can also move on  continue with her treatment for her illness and find happiness uninfluenced by those who wish to make politically motivated attacks on me and my trade union.

12 Comments

  1. Modernity's Ghost said,

    Yes, Steve is a victim.

    How predictable.

  2. Sarah AB said,

    It just seems to be one person’s word against another. I don’t like his views on other issues – but male victims of domestic violence are often overlooked.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence

  3. Malte Laurids Brigge said,

    Some of the details her sound familiar and convincing to me. I exprienced similar conditions and violent behaviour in a relationship. The woman that was responsible was a heavy drinker and prone to violent outbursts. Over a one year period I was subjected to two knife attacks, had clumps yanked out of my scalp, was kicked punched and scratched while asleep, had a fork thrust into the gap between my thumb and index finger, and had to sleep rough to avoid going back to the house when this person’s sister was visting as they both drank heavily and would attack me at the slightest ‘provocation’ (like being sober and not wanting to go to the ‘pub’). This person was a left-winger and a trade unionsist and was always rattling on about ‘oppression’ and ‘state-sponsored violence’. She thrust a kitchen knife into my back and it embedded itself in my shoulder blade – the surgeon told me that if it had been two inches to the right and between the shoulder blades I would have been dead before I hit the floor. It has always struck me as curious that many left-wingers who purport to believe in gender equality can not come to terms with the fact of female violence. The ‘idea’ of women as perpetual and ‘weaker’ victims is itself a version of patriarchy to me and always has been.
    Yes, superficial and sanctimonious one-liners from Modernity’s Ghost on a complex and demanding issue. How every predictable!

  4. Modernity's Ghost said,

    There are some informed (non-misogynistic) comments here, http://socialistunity.com/statement-from-steve-hedley/#comment-646416

    Best read them before they are deleted or the thread vanishes.

  5. Jimmy said,

    Ah yes, the important early responses given by perpetrator of domestic abuse:
    1. Discredit the victim at all costs. Mental health issues or a history of self harm/suicide are all useful here.
    2. Claim that you yourself were actually the victim of abuse, and if anything you should be getting support for this but you don’t because you didn’t want to cause any trouble. In fact you were probably acting in self-defence.
    3. Say that the Police are taking no further action. Which they do in the vast majority of violent incidents between partners/ex-partners, particularly if the victim does not immediately pursue a complaint.

    It’s a story I hear from violent perpetrators on a daily basis and frankly it’s unconvincing and repetitive. This woman should be praised and supported for speaking out about the abuse she has suffered. This man should be universally discredited.

  6. Malte Laurids Brigge said,

    Ah yes, the politically backward idea that women are genetically pre-disposed to be victims and are incapable of self-generated violence and therefore need men like Jimmy and the state to ‘protect’ and speak for them. So ingrained is this ideology that people such as Jimmy are inclined to tell others what they have lived through and deploy witless terms such as ‘universally’ without the slightest regard for reality. It is a story I hear a lot from people who have no other professional gifts other than to mouth the platitudes of state-sponsored social service functionaries.

    My advice to you Jimmy is to read Kafka’s Hunger Artist and then think carefully about a phrase such as ‘universally discredited’ which you will find is actually a meaningless. Who would be doing the ‘crediting’?

    • Jimmy said,

      Well, the people reading his version of events would be considering giving credence to them, i.e. judging them as being trustworthy or not, therefore it would be those people – everybody reading his statement – who could choose to give credence or, as you would put it, ‘do some crediting’.

      I would also direct you to the following definition of the word ‘universal’:
      “Including, relating to, or affecting all members of the class or group under consideration”.
      The group being the aforementioned readers of the statement.

      Also, I don’t believe that I suggested that women are pre-disposed to be victims any more than men are pre-disposed to be perpetrators. Perhaps it would have been useful to read my post before responding. I didn’t even mention that most perpetrators of domestic abuse are men; however this is the case. This is not a sweeping gender stereotype but a fact. This, again, is not to say that men are never victims of domestic violence because they frequently are and this is an under-reported phenomenon.

      I don’t think your suggestion to read Kafka is really advancing the discussion. And most of your post made little sense.

  7. Modernity's Ghost said,

    Jim,

    If you had the time you might do an update, Ms.Leneghan’s rep, Andy Littlechild has released a statement.

    This is the key part:

    https://carolineleneghan.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/steve-hedleys-statement-not-cleared-of-domestic-violence-with-a-case-still-to-answer-andy-littlechild-rmt-rep/

    “Caroline like many people (national average is 25% of the population suffer from a mental health issue during their lives) has suffered with mental health issues; in her youth she self-harmed, and today copes with depression.

    She is not a violent person and has no history of violence towards anyone (a history of self-harm (superficial cutting as teenager) is the exact opposite of outward violence.

    The implication in the way Steve Hedley has put forward “mental health issues” so prominently seems to be aimed at saying that people with common mental health issues are violent and have a tendency towards violence; this serves to demonise, stigmatise and stereotype people with mental health difficulties, in particular for women for who this stereotype is more problematic

    Some of the factual details above of Caroline Leneghan’s mental health history were disclosed to Steve by her when they were happier, as couples do sharing and being intimate together. Using this evidence of Caroline’s mental health along with allegations of assault by Caroline Leneghan on himself that she totally refutes, is an irresponsible and gross misrepresentation of the experience of people that suffer with mental health issues such as depression.

    Caroline’s complaint was a straight forward matter of her being assaulted by Steve Hedley, which he either did or didn’t do; her mental health has nothing to do with the complaint that she raised. “

  8. Malte Laurids Brigge said,

    Marvelous Jimmy, your impression of a moral exhibitionist is impeccable, almost comic!
    I will not offer you an outline of the exact nature of the relationship between universal and particular from a Hegelian or Kantian perspective or even from a logical point of view, as I am usually paid to do this. For you, a simple dictionary definition will suffice.
    It is my estimation that you are correct; reading the Kafka would be utterly pointless. You remind me of the Prague bureaucrat who said he thought Kafka’s works were ‘worthless’ because he ‘didn’t believe a word of them’.

  9. Gerald said,

    Steve Hedley Cleared and no case to answer – a refutation of a witch hunt.

    A statement has been published by Andy Littlechild, an RMT member which claims to be setting the record straight following an RMT investigation into allegations of domestic abuse by RMT Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley. An allegation to which Steve Hedley is innocent and has not been found guilty by the Police or the RMT.

    Far from setting the record straight Andy’s statement seeks to present the actual clearing of Steve Hedley as the opposite by deliberately distorting the facts.

    Andy claims he is ‘not a member of a political group seeking to make politically motivated (or any other) attacks on Steve Hedley or the RMT’ – but Andy’s association with the anarchist Solidarity Federation is well known. If he was not seeking to assist what is now seen by many in the RMT and elsewhere as a witch-hunt, then he would not have circulated such a document far and wide. Instead he would have respected the RMT procedures.

    Andy has been the RMT rep representing Caroline Leneghan during the union’s investigation. In his statement he denies that Caroline or her friends sent abusive emails or threatened violence. Yet contrary to Andy’s statement the RMT investigation was provided with several abusive emails from Caroline not only to Steve Hedley but also to his girlfriend. Additionally the RMT were provided with several texts which were abusive and threatening. As regards violence – an officer of a sister union has been threatened with violence by an associate of Caroline’s after Steve Hedley had attended a benefit for striking cleaners.

    On the substantive issue Andy’s cites from an email he claims to be from the Police, but he excludes from his statement: “The police would not be able to say whether we believe or not. We are bound by evidential rules of whether we can prove matters beyond reasonable doubt. .We also need to explain to the Cps that there is a high chance of conviction if this matter was to be taken to court.’

    Instead Andy begins his quote at

    “….there is a high chance of conviction if this matter was to be taken to Court.”

    This is the kind of editing to be expected from the gutter press – completely distorting what was actually stated. The intention being to mislead people as to the actual outcome of the Police investigation. Andy also claims that the case was dropped due to Crown Prosecution Service procedural limits; this is not true. The case was reviewed by a senior police officer and not even given to the CpS.

    Andy misrepresents the actual outcome of the RMT investigation, stating that: ‘At no point was the dropping of Caroline’s complaint by the General Secretary stated as because Steve Hedley “had no case to answer” as claimed by him in his statement!’

    This is simply untrue – Bob Crow wrote to Steve Hedley at the conclusion of investigation on 27th March stating: ‘Having studied the investigation in depth, I can advise that there is no case to answer by yourself and I will not be taking any further action on this matter.’

    Andy questions the motives for Caroline’s mental health issues having been raised at all. It would be morally wrong to condemn an innocent person for presenting evidence of their innocence out of concern for the sensitivities of their accuser.
    In his statement Andy again engages in misrepresentation – he claims that Caroline suffers from depression, when the matter raised in the investigation was the fact she suffers from ‘borderline personality disorder’. Andy claims that Caroline has no history of violence or self-harm – but again evidence was presented in the investigation to the contrary, including some awful acts. This is not about stigmatising people; it is about setting out the truth of a situation and actual real life difficulties that can arise from such a condition. It has in fact been the remorseless effort of certain individuals and groups to conduct a show trial by internet that has set about demonising and stigmatising.

    The statement by Andy is a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts in an effort to portray an innocent person as guilty when neither the Police nor the RMT have found that to be the case.

  10. Jim Denham said,

  11. Malte Laurids Brigge said,

    …remember, despite his pedling of petty bourgeois sensationalism, Jim still thinks that Michael Winner is a right ‘good bloke’. Puts it all in perspective for me!

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