‘Trawling’ under fire as man is released

The police use of “trawling” was thrown into further doubt last
week when a former care worker jailed for abusing children over 20
years ago had his conviction quashed.

Anver Daud Sheikh’s solicitor, Mark Newby, is now calling for the
government to speed up the reviews of 120 similar cases.

Sheikh, 52, was convicted for eight years in May 2002 for abusing
two boys at a North Yorkshire children’s home in 1980 after police
trawled for ex-residents to support allegations.

He was released after doubt was cast on the validity of the claims.
Judges will rule on whether to grant a retrial in March.

Newby, part of solicitors’ group the Historical Abuse Appeal Panel,
said that while trawling was sometimes necessary, past evidence had
shown that in some cases the police had told other former residents
about the nature of complaints against care workers.

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