Letter to Superintendent Nick Gargan,
from Councillor Merlyn Vaz
I have been given a copy of a letter from you to
Elizabeth Filkin dated 10 January 2002. According to your letter,
you state that you were informed by Mrs Filkin that the Committee
of Standards and Privileges had asked you to meet with her.
You will appreciate, that as the victim of the reported
act, I am extremely concerned about a number of inaccuracies in
your statement and in some of the judgements made in connection
with your investigation.
In particular, I believe you seriously misled the
Committee in stating that I have refused to co-operate with you.
I have been having treatment for * * * for the past
three years; this has resulted in additional complications of
* * *. You were aware, it seems, of my movements into and out
of hospital since the beginning of October, and therefore, clearly
should also have been aware that within days of my release at
the end of November 2001, I was re-admitted to hospital with *
* *, particularly since my daughter wrote to you on 8th January,
explicitly informing you about this.
I was informed by my consultant yesterday when I
told him I was considering writing to you he told me that two
officers had called at the hospital while I was in intensive care
and were told by him that I should not be disturbed. I am surprised
that you did not tell the Committee of this. He did not even want
to tell me about this so as not to impede my progress.
* * *, and I had to be transported from London while
on oxygen to the hospital in Leicester. You will understand from
this, therefore, that your written request for a meeting at the
beginning of December (when I was in hospital) came at a very
difficult time for me, and made it impossible for me to respond
in the way I would have wanted to do.
My illness, particularly over the last three months,
has been a cause of considerable anxiety to me and to my family,
given my age and the nature of the complications. I have been
advised by my consultant that stress or anxiety of any kind may
* * *. I live in fear that any infection might again cause * *
*. I note that you, too, have apparently acknowledged the difficulties
I am facing, in saying: "...given her current health problems,
I am not minded to sanction any additional contact with her".
I am, therefore, confused by the claim in your statement
that "the victim has chosen not to co-operate with the investigation".
This is surely seriously misleading, particularly when you appear
to contrast me directly with "... the most likely suspects,
who have co-operated fully".
I told my son about the telephone call immediately
before I was admitted to hospital. I would normally have contacted
you myself. I was unable during much of following period to read
and speak at all and recently to speak without considerable discomfort.
I have relied on my daughter to respond to your only communication
to me (which came while I was in hospital).
My children do not, as you know have the right to
act in any further capacity on my behalf. It cannot, therefore,
have been right, surely, for you to expect my son to provide you
with confidential information about me while I was in intensive
care. With the dignity I have left, I try to continue to make
my own decisions about my life. I especially needed to seek your
advice as to what was to happen. Strong medical advice remains
that I should not have any further anxiety in my life.
In the light of the above, and in the interests of
the truth, you will wish I am sure to correct the assertion you
have made about my choosing 'not to co-operate with the Investigation',
and to acknowledge that I was, in fact, in hospital between 6
and 21 December. In addition, I should appreciate a full explanation
from you as to why the quite reasonable act of reporting the call
to the police, and my responses, should be the subject for discussions
with third parties without my consent and, I think, in breach
of my human rights. I am not a witness in the Filkin matter and
do not seek to be. I simply had one problem which I would have
thought the police could resolve.
Please let me know if you require confirmation from
the doctors treating me. I enclose a copy of my current medical
status. Needless to say, I am quite willing to give you any information
However, I trust you will understand my wish for
you to communicate with me directly, as you would with any other
victim, and not to have your decisions on the case relayed to
me through Mrs Filkin, as has just happened in this extraordinary
I would be most grateful, as the victim, to receive
a step by step account of what has been done and for what reason.
(dictated by Cllr Merlyn Vaz and typed by her daughter)
22 January 2002