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Victim breaks silence with 'very serious' claims of abuse by politician on Cannock Chase as police watched

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Detectives are investigating 'very serious allegations' after a woman claimed she was sexually abused as a child by a politician and police officers on Cannock Chase.

Esther Baker waived her right to anonymity to make allegations about assaults in the 1980s and 90s, which she claims may have also involved a Lord and a judge.

Ms Baker, now 32, said the alleged abuse of her and other children was filmed and carried out by men from different parts of the country.

Police stood guard while the abuse took place and sometimes joined in, she claims.

The accused politician is said to be from the current era. His name has been passed to police.

Labour MP John Mann, a child abuse campaigner, said it was 'a real problem' that the man had not been arrested over the 'credible allegations'. He added: "I predict more people will now come forward. There's far too many people at the top of society getting away with horrific abuse."

MP Tom Watson today called for a 'comprehensive investigation'. Staffordshire Police said they had already interviewed Ms Baker and would continue doing so this week.

Ms Baker described the political figure, who does not come from Staffordshire, as: "One of the core members. He was there quite often – I was one of his favourites. I know every inch of his face." Of the police officers she added: "I got the feeling very much that they were protecting somebody, that they were with one of the men.

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"One of them (police officers) I knew from church. There were a few occasions where they would be in uniform and I learned that when they were in uniform it was going to be a rough night. On occasion they would sort of join in."

She said she sometimes tried to run away from her alleged abusers and on one occasion a police officer caught her, carried her back and 'said he was sorry'.

She claims her abuse began when she was six years old and happened on Cannock Chase and at properties in Staffordshire and beyond.

Explaining her decision to forego anonymity, Ms Baker said she had 'nothing to lose'.

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And she urged any other children who were abused on Cannock Chase to come forward. She said: "We were all pretty much the same, same ages, we never spoke.

"I know they are terrified, I know what they were told, I know what threats were made and I know why they are scared. But every one of us that comes forward will hold a different piece of the puzzle. I can't fill it in on my own."

Police said they were at the 'early stages' of an investigation. Assistant Chief Constable Jon Drake said: "We are investigating very serious allegations from the 1980s and 90s. Specially-trained officers are carrying out interviews with the victim to build up an understanding of what took place, and her recollections of all those involved. We are determined to gather any evidence to bring those who may have been involved to justice, while taking a sensitive approach to supporting the victim.

"We will continue to interview her over the coming days, recognising the horrific nature of what we are investigating. To be clear, regardless of role, anyone who has been involved in criminal offences will be investigated."

West Bromwich East MP Mr Watson said: "Esther has made very serious allegations.

"They concern a politician who is in the public eye today and is therefore different to allegations from previous eras. I hope the police will resource a comprehensive investigation."

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