Thank you for staying with my story of my quest for justice against David Baulch.I never thought it’d be so long to write but I am grateful for your patience.
Eventually Fifefield contacted me to say my childhood friend wanted to talk to me before he made his statement to the police. Fifefield seemed happy for this to happen, despite my concerns for contaminating the evidence. I refused to jeopardise the potential for a prossecution, having come so far. I can only speculate but one assumes that if we had spoken it would have appeared we colluded and therefore Fifefield could have written the case off. Anyhow my friend became aware of concerns that Baulch had access to children without any checks in place, but also that he may still have been actively abusing children. As a result he was ready to make a statement to the police. My sister who 6 years earlier tried to make a statement but was not in a fit state to also was ready to make her statement.
Six months had passed since Annie & I had approached the police to reinvestigate, things were going slowly. We had an agreement that Fifefield would give me an update every two weeks, even if there was no news. This agreement was rarely kept by him. My anxiety was getting worse. Annie had referred me to Sam, an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) as she was leaving Survive and moving onto a new job as chaplain at a university. Getting fed up with Fifefield I wrote a shitty email to him, which I copied his seargent in on to lodge my displeasure, the pace of the investigation had slowed to a halt, at this point we were more than a year after making contact with York PVP to raise our concerns that Baulch had potentially unchecked access to children and the other witnesses were ready to make a statement. I was also really aggitated that Fifefield had neglected an agreement with Annie just to give me a quick call every 2 weeks, even if only to say there’s no news. He was rarely calling me and if we did speak it was mainly because I had initiated contact. I had always had a feeling, even back in 2007, that he had little motivation to investigate Baulch, being a historic case. It really had been hard for 7 years being kept at arms length more than 250 miles away from everything. I was becoming increasingly more agitated, anxious, depressed and homicidal. I had even been stopped on several occasions in hospital from leaving because I’d a back packed with a secreted knife and headed for the train station. In my mind if the law wasn’t going to stop him, I had no option but be the one to do it by any means. Everything had fallen on deaf ears, except that Fifefield had made some vague protestations he was doing his job.
About a month had passed since I sent that email, then out of the blue when Sam, rang the child protection unit, we found he was on gardening leave, well we belive it to be gardening leave despite the official story being on sick leave. A few days later I had the most wonderful email for Peter, the detective reassigned to the case. He said he’d try to call me later that day or the next morning after he’d read the case file and familiarised himself with everything. I don’t remember exactly which it was but he was as good as his word, instantly I could feel my faith being restored in that team. Having previously been constantly palmed off with “it’s with the cps and will take as long as it takes” which drove me even more crazy with uncertainty, Peter had said it was with the backlog at the cps and would take upto 16 weeks, but we would have a decision whether to charge Baulch or not by the 19th of January.
During that time I had moved into my new house with my wonderful girlfriend, we had enough stress, both had been in different hospitals beforehand, packing, moving, unpacking, on top of the stress of buying the house, our own personal situations. Peter had taken one wieght off, as far as the investigation, he was in control I was finally at some peace. Christmas had passed with some complications, January was cold, the middle of January was close and the 19th felt like a real pivotal point in time. When the day had arrived, little sleep had preceeded it the previous few nights I awaited the phonecall from Peter. 3:30pm had passed and my phone had been relatively quiet, i jumped at every text or call but nothing was what i was waiting for. Eventually 4pm arrived, i could wait no longer so I rang Peter up myself. I was gutted with the news, as was he. The CPS had not even picked up my file, it had been stuck on a desk for the previous 5 months. Apparently they had employed a barrista to help plough through the cases to make the decisions. I would have to wait upto another 2 weeks before I would have a decision.
The anxiety got worse again, I resorted to old self injurous behavious to release some pressure and to cope. Finally about 10 days and numerous new scars later I had a the phone call I had been waiting months for. When the phone rang, the number displayed on my screen I felt weak at the knees. Peter’s voice came through loud and clear, so much so it was almost echoing through my head.
“Hi Al, we’ve got a decision mate. We’re going to charge him”
I had to ask Peter to repeat himself because I wasn’t sure I’d heard correctly. I had the same response. Finally that bastard was going to have to answer for his crimes, finally he was going to be held accountable. I’d have to wait a few weeks but I knew what was coming, because he’d not been arrested previously he wasn’t on bail so didn’t have to come into the station to be charged, instead they would issue a summons letter to Baulch instructing him to appear before Worthing Magistrates Court. Having known how slowly the wheels had turned so far I had a bet with Sam, she said he’d be in court before my birthday (which fell around Easter that year) though I didn’t believe it so we had a bet with Cadbury’s Creme Eggs the stake. True enough the summons hadn’t actually been issued til late March and he wasn’t due to appear before the magistrates til May. I didn’t mind so much the delay because we were finally heading to a place I wanted to be. Having said that, little did I know what exactly was to come!!