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Bolt Burdon Kemp’s successful campaign leads to Forfeiture Committee Statement on alleged abuser’s MBE

Bolt Burdon Kemp’s successful campaign leads to Forfeiture Committee Statement on alleged abuser’s MBE


Bolt Burdon Kemp's advocacy results in Forfeiture Committee acknowledging potential action against deceased child abuser's MBE

Bolt Burdon Kemp, a law firm dedicated to representing survivors of abuse, has triumphed in its campaign to secure a statement from the Forfeiture Committee concerning the MBE awarded to Peter Sherwin, an alleged child abuser from Birmingham. Sherwin, a former Commanding Officer at the TS Stirling Sea Cadets, faced accusations of serious childhood sexual abuse from 37 clients represented by Bolt Burdon Kemp.

The abuse, characterised as serious, sadistic, and prolonged, occurred during Sherwin's tenure as Commanding Officer. Despite a police investigation in 2013, no further action was taken due to insufficient evidence, and Sherwin passed away in 2014. The Sea Cadets subsequently settled over £1,500,000 in out-of-court compensation to survivors of Sherwin's abuse.

The Forfeiture Committee has now confirmed that action would have been taken against Sherwin if he had been convicted during his lifetime. While honours like the MBE automatically cease upon the recipient's death, the Committee can assess cases where posthumous accusations of crimes arise.

Bolt Burdon Kemp initiated the petition to prompt the Forfeiture Committee's statement, aiming to acknowledge Sherwin's alleged crimes and the lasting impact on the firm's clients. Rebecca Sheriff, Partner in the Abuse department at Bolt Burdon Kemp, expressed her satisfaction with the Committee's announcement, stating that it provides some form of justice and peace for the survivors moving forward.

The survivors themselves, represented by initials MS and LH, shared their gratitude for the campaign's efforts. MS emphasised the need for lessons to be learned, empowering children to speak out at the time of abuse, while LH expressed relief that justice has been served and hoped for improved safeguarding procedures in the future.

In light of posthumous allegations against public figures like Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith, the government updated its forfeiture guidance in 2021, allowing the Forfeiture Committee to issue formal statements in cases where proceedings would have occurred if the recipient had been alive to face charges. This development reflects a commitment to addressing historical abuses and ensuring accountability even after the accused's death.

Lexis+ AI