Forensic Linguistic Analysis here!

Please note also the analysis and comments on

Reblogged from https://hroldblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/forensic-linguistic-analysis-here/

Again, a thousand thanks to our forensic linguist, who chooses to remain anonymous for the moment. And s/he even sent me the code to make it easy to insert into the website – what a hero!

The way I read this fascinating report is that Child Q was bullied into a retraction. What do you think?

We can’t wait to receive this kind person’s analysis of Dearman’s interview transcript.

Another example of everybody pulling together to help the children.

Q police interview September 17 2014 – Is this a retraction?

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines define three elements of a retraction:

1) a prior statement (original allegation) that is cancelled or reversed;

2) original reasons for making the previous statement;

3) reasons for making the current retraction.

All three elements should be evident in a claimed retraction for it to be considered authentic. This is especially the case with children and child sexual abuse cases in which false retractions are not uncommon (as high as 1 in 6 has been recorded).

In this forensic linguistic analysis of Q’s ‘retraction interview’, I focus solely on the text of that interview. This is because all elements of a retraction – the original allegation and the reasons for making it and subsequent withdrawal – should be clearly signalled in the retraction interview through discourse markers e.g “You said before that….”, “The reason I said that was…”. “I’m saying this now because…”. It is also useful to present analysis in this way in order to minimise any bias or influence as a result of the nature of the previous texts.

Prior Statement Deduced From ‘Retraction’ Interview Topic Areas.

This ‘retraction’ is related to 7 specific topic areas. (Any retraction only relates to the topics covered in this interview and cannot be generalised to other areas). The majority of topics are initiated by the interviewer but Q volunteers the first two topics after general prompting by the interviewer about “something you wanted to tell me in the car”.

1. Dad hurting Q (first mentioned by Q.)

3

P: you to wait until we got here before we talked……….. So what is it you really wanted to tell me?

4

Q:                                                                          (yeah).

5

Q: Want to tell, Abraham he like accused me like er like when um he said does your Dad hurt you much…….

2. Babies being killed (first mentioned by Q prompted by P )

12

P: OK. So, what was it, we talked in two other interviews before, didn’t we

13

Q: (yeah)

14

P: Was what you told me the truth?

15

Q: Yeah

16

P: So all that stuff about the babies

17

Q: (yeah)

18

P: and the church

19

Q: (yeah)

20

P: and all that..

3. Secret rooms (2 mentions)

46

P: OK, what about all the secret rooms in these houses and places.

—–

76

P: no babies being killed, no baby skulls…secret rooms, are there any secret rooms?

77

Q: No.

78

P: What about with the wardrobes….

79

Q: No, no, look, no that’s not true

80

P: cupboards

4. Baby skulls and people dancing

64

P: OK and then you told me about lots of other things that happened about baby skulls and people dancing. Does that happen?

5. Willy being touched in the disabled toilets in the swimming pool

70

P: Oh ok. And what about…you told me about obviously the swimming pool, you told me lots of people in this disabled toilets and they done stuff with your willy

6. Visiting Mr Hollins’ house

86

P:                                ……and have you ever been to Mr Mullin’s house..?

87

Q: Hollins? No, it’s not Mullins it’s Hollins

88

P: …Have you ever been to Mr Hollins’ house?

7. Plastic willies

114

P: OK. And the, the stuff with the plastic willies, how did you find out about the plastic willies, who told you about plastic willies

Additional Ear injury topic arising out of clarification of Doctor’s visit (asking for confirmation rather than retraction).

143

Q: OK. I heard from one of the doctor’s one of your ears is hurt as well.

144

P: Yeah

145

P: How did that happen?

Summary of analysis

The following analysis focuses on the claimed retractions and does not discuss Q’s expressed attitude to his father or to his mother’s current partner, Abraham. See full transcript below.

Q’s ‘retraction’ in these 7 topic areas have different levels of certainty:

                        

Unequivocal Retraction

                

                        

Hedged Retraction                         

                

                        

No Retraction (Confirmation)

                

                        

Dad hurting him

                

                        

Babies being killed (by Dad)

                

                        

Willy being touched in the disabled toilets in the                 swimming pool

                

                        

‘Baby         skulls and people dancing’

                

                        

Secret rooms

                

                        

                        

                

                        

                        

                

                        

Mr Hollins’ house

                

                        

                        

                

                        

                        

                

                        

Plastic willies

                

                        

                        

                

Hedged Retractions

In four of the seven topic areas, Q’s retraction is ambiguous and hesitant.

Babies killed

Q at first denies that babies are killed every day but asserts that some babies are killed.

16

P: So all that stuff about the babies

17

Q: (yeah)

18

P: and the church

19

Q: (yeah)

20

P: and all that..

21

Q: no, no the babies, the babies, he um no well there is some of the babies killed yep.

22

P: OK, are you sure?

23

Q: Yes. But not much, not every single day not every single day like killed, no not like that.

P then contradicts Q and give Q a reason to retract. Q appears to accept this…

24

P: OK, coz I heard you watched a film Zorro, is that right?

25

Q: Yep

26

P: And there was someone killed…killed there, weren’t there. Because, coz of the way it sounded, it sounded to me similar to the way you told me about the babies and that’s why I was a bit…wondering are babies actualy killed

27

Q: (yeah)

28

P: or is it something you’ve been made to say.

29

Q: Yeah, it’s something I’ve been made to say.

….but then sticks to his story and confirms that his Dad is involved.  

30

P: So are babies being killed?

31

Q: No, not much but there is, yeah. But not much.

32

P: By who?

33

Q: By my Dad. Not much.

34

P: Are you sure?

35

Q (Yes)

P again gives Q an opportunity to retract (this time without a specific reason)

36

P: It’s ok, if it hasn’t happened it’s ok as long as we talk about it now. OK?

Now Q retracts story and explains why he made the original statement – Abraham “made me say it”

37

Q: Yeah. So I lied about it no because he made me say it.

38

P: So I, so, there’s two things. So first of all you say you lied… So are…Let me just be clear. Are babies being killed or not.

39

Q. No

40

P. So they’re not.

41

Q. No, he made me say it.

42

P: Who’s he? Who made you say it.

43

Q: Abraham.

44

P: How did he make you say it?

45

Q: When I said,,,when I, when he asked me, Is any baby killed?’ I said no there isn’t and then he says yes there is he’s like accusing me of my Dad killing me, of me of him helping me killing babies

Note that Q includes himself in the final retraction.

Secret Rooms

Q initial answer is confused and ambiguous.

46

P: OK, what about all the secret rooms in these houses and places.

47

Q: No.

48

P: Are there any secret rooms?

49

Q: Ss..not much. Well there is, yeah not much not much no.

50

P: What do you mean…so have you ever been in a secret room in any of these places?

51

Q: Well it’s not kind of secret room…

52

P: Shall we start with the church. You told me there was a secret room

53

Q: Yeah there is those rooms. No there isn’t there isn’t because Abraham, like, he tried to make me say it.

P then seeks clarification by initially focusing on the church location Q then retracts and restates that he was forced to make the original statement by Abraham.

54

P: Coz the way…coz I went to that church and I just wanted to understand where it was, coz you said it was in the old..in the nursery, and then the toyroom, and then you go into another door in the toyroom.

55

Q: No

56

P: Is there a door really in that toyroom

57

Q: No. Because he tried to make me say it but I like say no no no. Not no there isn’t there isn’t there isn’t. But he tried to make me say it.

P returns to the topic of secret rooms at a different location fro the church/nursery. Q now clearly asserts that that there are no secret rooms and gives a reason for making the original statement – Abraham made me say that.

76

P: no babies being killed, no baby skulls…secret rooms, are there any secret rooms?

77

Q: No.

78

P: What about with the wardrobes….

79

Q: No, no, look, no that’s not true

80

P: cupboards

81

Q: No. Yeah. I ?????. Abraham made me say that, He said, “Where’s the secret room. He said where the secret ???????” My Dad is the main person doing the sex…so um he is the main person…Abraham accused me of saying he got the most secret rooms..

82

P: So..has your..have you been to a house of your Dad’s with secret rooms?

83

Q: No..

84

P: So their’s no secret rooms…

85

Q: No..

Q also clearly attempts to explain Abraham’s reasoning i.e. that Q had apparently said something different to Abraham beforehand (“Abraham accused me of saying…”). Q also appears to state that his Dad “is the main person doing sex” although it is not clear whether Q is making a new statement or referring to a prior alleged statement. Nevertheless, this is new information volunteered by Q.

Mr Hollins’ House

Q first states that he has been to the house in question but can’t recall the correct address

86

P:                                ……and have you ever been to Mr Mullin’s house..?

87

Q: Hollins? No, it’s not Mullins it’s Hollins

88

P: …Have you ever been to Mr Hollins’ house?

89

Q: Yes. Um it’s um it’s um it’s um on..it’s number five and it’s a …number f…no it’s number ten it’s from how’s it called Highgate Road

90

P: OK. We went to ten Highgate Road you remember and it was a block of flats wasn’t it remember

91

Q: Yeah

P then gives Q an opportunity to retract. Q retracts and gives a reason why it’s not true, although not a reason why he made the original assertion.

92

P: Er, remember you won’t get into trouble, I promise you, as long as you just tell me the truth about..if we can just talk about the truth…then have you been to Mr Hollins’ house?

93

Q: No, because he’s my teacher…No He’s not my teacher, he’s my sister’s teacher.

94

P: He’s your sister’s teacher. So you haven’t been to his house.

95

Q: No

So P then seeks explanation for the original statement. Q implies that he said it because his Dad stays there.

96

P: OK. SO why did you say you’d been to Mr Hollins’ house before?

97

Q: Well my Dad actually stays there. Un because he…he doesn’t like staying alone.

98

P: Ok.

99

Q: So he stays at Mr Hollins’s house.

Later, P checks whether Q is telling the truth about his Dad staying with Mr Hollins. Q confirms and elaborates on the relationship between the two.

110

P: Ok and do you know he stays at Mr Hollins’ house or do you guess that?

111

Q: Who? No, no no I don’t.

112

P: You don’t know, you guess or

113

Q: No I don’t guess because um because my Dad and Mr Hollins are really close friends, really close.

By implication, Q made the original statement because of the lose relationship between his Dad and Mr Hollins.

Plastic Willies

Q starts by categorically stating that this story is true.

114

P: OK. And the, the stuff with the plastic willies, how did you find out about the plastic willies, who told you about plastic willies

115

Q: No no that’s true.

116

P: That’s true?

117

Q: Yeah

P contradicts Q and first gives an opportunity for a retraction by asserting that an unnamed third party has given a contrary statement.. Q then wonders if his sister may have made the contrary statement. P agrees that it was Q’s sister and then uses this to give a clear opportunity for Q to retract.

118

P: OK. Coz I’ve been told something different.

119

Q:…………….by A [Q’s sister]?

120

P: Yeah……so honestly, just be truthful…if things aren’t..I promise you won’t get in trouble if you’ve lied before, I promise. But we just, all it is I need to know the truth, what to look for and who to speak to. So if some of it is a lie, and you’ve lied about something I promise you won’t get into trouble. OK?

Q retracts.

121

Q: So I lied about the plastic willies.

122

P: How did you find about plastic willies?

123

Q: None of it was real. None of it.

P then seeks explanation for Q’s original statements.

124

P: Why was you nervous about telling me that none of this was real.

Q doesn’t answer this question directly but instead volunteers a new denial related to his sister.

Unequivocal Retraction

Dad hurting Q

Q begins the retraction part of the interview by offering the information that his Dad doesn’t hurt him.

5

Q: Want to tell, Abraham he like accused me like er like when um he said does your Dad hurt you much…….

6

P: (yeah)

7

Q: …..does he hurt you really bad? And I say, no he doesn’t and he said yes he does and he accuses me.

8

P: OK. And then what happens?

9

Q: And then he says yes your Dad does hit you really hard.

10

P: (yeah)

11

Q: And he says no he doesn’t hit me hard. He hits me softly….just to remind me.

Q is slightly confused in his answer (saying ‘he says’ rather than ‘I say’ in line 11) but in general the message is that Q’s father doesn’t hurt him.

Later P seeks to confirm that Q’s Dad has not hurt him in anyway. Q confirms and gives a long justification through a story of a pleasant occasion spent with his Dad. After that, P shifts the focus back to Abraham in pressing for a reason for the original statement (Q’s Dad hurt him) in line 177 – “coz Abraham kept accusing you”. Q does not confirm or deny the offered reason.

167

P: So he doesn’t hit you and he’s never put anything in your bum.

168

Q: No. He’s really nice.

169

P: Is he?

170

Q: ????? so the ???? last week. This is actually the truth what happened.

171

P: Go on.

172

Q:                                                                                         The ????? last week, the first time I remember the first time we went on…the first, I don’t remember the first one, I’m sure I remember it we um…The first time we went shopping, and buy some food for us and then we went to ?????, it was closed but…no I mean we ate and then he gave us ten pounds for our pocket money that’s how that was the first time he ever gave us pocket money

173

P: …Who your Dad?

174

Q: Yeah, He gave us ten pounds

175

P: That’s a lot isn’t it

176

Q: Yeah, it’s really much..and then we went to ????land and because we parked near ????? and we ate in the car. Then we cleaned the car and then we went to ????land and it was closed. Then it was it was nearly for us to go back to ???? centre…and then the next time, yeah the next time we went swimming to East Finchley.

177

P: OK. So you’re saying the only reason you said this about your Dad was coz Abraham kept accusing you?

178

Q: [….looks up]

Baby skulls and people dancing.        

Q categorically states that this is not true. He also explains why and how he made the original statement.

64

P: OK and then you told me about lots of other things that happened about baby skulls and people dancing. Does that happen?

65

Q: No..

66

P: So…

67

Q: You know what happened?….

68

P:..Go on…

69

Q: … When he er he accused me of killing babies, he said what do you do with the skulls? What do you do with the bones? He like, he like really shouting it out…I couldn’t think of nothing, what they did with the bones what they did with the skulls….and I got nothing to think of and…and I had to like say…l had to like…straightaway I had to like say They were dancing with it, they were trying it on.

This is the clearest retraction in that it contains the circumstances as well as the reason for making the original statement.

No Retraction (Confirmation)

Being touched in the disabled toilets in the swimming pool

Q confirms that abuse occured at the swimming pool.

70

P: Oh ok. And what about…you told me about obviously the swimming pool, you told me lots of people in this disabled toilets and they done stuff with your willy

71

Q:                                                                        Yeah yeah that that’s true. That is true, yep.

72

P: It’s true, even though you said you was only 4 and you hadn’t been to that school.

73

Q: No, they had they had like..they were friends like teachers like I know I only was 4 years old but my sister was in the school when I was 4 years old.

 P does not challenge this story. Instead he seeks reconfirmation of the other retractions.

74

P: OK. S S So… what we’ll do, we’ll try and sort out what’s true and what’s not true. So the babies, it’s not true

75

Q: …no..

76

P: no babies being killed, no baby skulls…secret rooms, are there any secret rooms?

77

Q: No.

78

P: What about with the wardrobes….

79

Q: No, no, look, no that’s not true

80

P: cupboards

81

Q: No. Yeah. I ?????. Abraham made me say that, He said, Where’s the secret room. He said where the secret ???????”  My Dad is the main person doing the sex…so um he is the main person…Abraham accused me of saying he got the most secret rooms..

82

P: So..has your..have you been to a house of your Dad’s with secret rooms?

83

Q: No..

84

P: So there’s no secret rooms…

85

Q: No..

P seeks reconfirmation of the same elements – no babies killed, no skulls, no secret rooms – at other points in the interview (as well as of the Mr Hollins topic introduced after the first summary confirmation). P again ignores the topic of the swimming pool/disabled toilets.

104

P: OK, so we know there’s no baby skulls {Q shakes head} no babies being killed {Q looks up} your Dad hasn’t got any secret rooms {Q shakes head} you haven’t been to Mr Hollins’ house {Q shakes head}. OK.

 Thus this topic of “doing stuff with your willy” in the disabled toilets at the swimming pool has not been retracted.

Remainder of interview.

The remainder of the interview is dedicated to seeking Q’s explanation for the injuries to the bottom and ear observed during Q’s visit to the doctor, and to Q’s contrasting attitude towards his Dad and Abraham. It appears that Q likes his Dad very much and hates his mother’s current partner Abraham. See transcript lines

Conclusion

The judge’s analysis of Q’s interview is contained in her public judgement:

143. Q’s interview was initially somewhat confused. He said, “Yeah there is still some of the babies killed….Not much (are there babies killed)….I lied about it because he (Mr Christie) made me say it”. A little later, Q said. “None of it was real…The plastic willies were not true.” Abraham had “slapped (his ear) as hard as he could.”.

With respect, this analysis of a key piece of evidence is insufficient. Q’s retraction is ambiguous and incomplete. A complete retraction is only made of the story regarding dancing with baby skulls. The issue of secret rooms and visiting Mr Hollins’ house is a quite convincingly retracted after only slight prompting, whilst that of babies being killed and plastic willies is retracted only after heavy prompting (including indirect pressure through reference to Q’s sister’s statement) by P. Significantly, abuse at the swimming pool in the disabled toilets is confirmed by Q and this confirmation is not disputed by the interviewer.

In the majority of cases, P partially fulfils the requirements of the retraction genre by confirming reasons for the original statement. However, reasons for retraction are never made explicit. Furthermore, P provides ample opportunities and prompting for retraction. CPS guidelines on retraction indicate that providing opportunities to retract, particularly in the absence of evidence that the original allegations are in fact false, are more likely to lead to perversion of the course of justice.

 In conclusion, this interview is at best a partial retraction of a set of claims and leaves a number of claims that have not convincingly been retracted as well as numerous avenues that required additional probing during the interview and would benefit from further investigation. It could also be argued that presenting opportunities for retraction as a positive move disqualifies this interview from the retraction genre.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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4 thoughts on “Forensic Linguistic Analysis here!

  1. Amazing analysis, thank you to the forensic linguist! Great work! 

    I have always had questions in the back of my mind about Russell Brands ‘Trews’. I have wanted to believe that he is truly up to some good. But there’s a nagging piece, his strong connection to David Lynch with  his transcendental meditation has left me a bit confused. When I see what David lynch is still up to even thou he is promoting peace, it does not line up…  (look at his ‘Crazy clown time’ official video).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QJpY2VNP0E

    I have been waiting for Russell to pick up on the thread of the kids plight. No action, which is confirming my suspicions. However, he has a very large following and I am thinking if we all start/keep posting this web whistleblowerkids.uk/ site and hampsteadresearch.wordpress.com site on his comment pages, many posts, every day, perhaps others will pay attention, even if he is not! (I would suggest being respectful so we are listened to). Who knows, maybe he will come thru for the children and prove himself to truly be for the people. 

    (I know this was a bit off topic, but wanted to suggest somewhere) 

    Like

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