On 22 November, the Church of England issued the following Press Release which announces the appointment of safeguarding consultant Jane Humphreys as the independent reviewer into its handling of the allegations relating to the late Revd Trevor Devamanikkam.
Review of Trevor Devamanikkam case
Safeguarding consultant Jane Humphreys has been appointed as the independent reviewer into the Church of England’s handling of the allegations relating to the late Revd Trevor Devamanikkam.
Jane brings more than 30 years of experience from the statutory sector having previously been a director of children’s and adult services (see biography below).
The aim of the review is to identify both good practice and failings in the handling of these allegations, in order that the Church of England can take steps to enhance and improve its response to allegations of abuse and thereby ensure a safer environment for all.
The reviewer will look at written and verbal evidence from the survivor who brought the original allegation of abuse.
The reviewer will also make contact with the relevant archbishop and bishops as well as those safeguarding professionals in the Church who dealt with the allegations and external agencies.
The review will be published in full except for jigsaw identification details.
Melissa Caslake, the Church of England’s national director of safeguarding, said: “We are very pleased that Jane has agreed to take on this vital piece of work to enable the Church to learn lessons. We have listened to concerns about the importance of independence in this work and we believe Jane’s wealth of professional experience fits this criterion. We hope the review will be completed and published during 2020.”
Jane Humphreys said: “As an independent reviewer I am committed to working in a transparent way and will ensure that anyone who wishes to provide evidence to the Review will be heard. I will also ensure that all relevant documents relating to the Church’s handling of this case are looked at so lessons can be learnt to enable the Church to be a safer place for all.
“Jane is a highly experienced Senior Social Care Consultant, and previous Director of Children’s and Adult’s Services with a career spanning more than 30 years. Having trained as a social worker she worked in a number of local authorities becoming a director of children’s and adult services in 2008. She currently specialises in change management and has a proven track record of directing service reviews and ensuring preparation for Ofsted and CQC inspections. Jane is also undertaking some work for the Local Government Association as a children’s improvement adviser. She is committed to supporting families and service users, and driving improvements in service delivery in a range of organisations. She also has broad based expertise in chairing Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards.
The Guardian provides a summary of the circumstances associated with Devamanikkam, which notes inter alia:
“…the case of Trevor Devamanikkam, a vicar who was accused of raping a teenage boy more than three decades ago. Devamanikkam killed himself in June 2017, the day before he was due to appear in court on three counts of buggery and three counts of indecent assault.
Matthew Ineson, who made the allegations against Devamanikkam and who has waived his right to anonymity, has said he disclosed, either directly or indirectly, his account of being raped at the age of 16 to four bishops and the Archbishop of York”.
The Church of England web site includes the following references to Devamanikkam:
- Statement on Matthew Ineson case, 07/03/2018: Due to a BBC report this week and comments on social media the National Safeguarding Team has issued a statement to clarify details of the case.
Safeguarding General Synod July 2019, 07/07/2019: Presentation from lead safeguarding bishop, Peter Hancock, is below. Synod also heard from Meg Munn, Independent chair of the National Safeguarding Panel and a survivor.
The Terms of Reference are yet to be published.