Police investigating allegations by 40 people who complained about their treatment at Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit in the 1970's have decided that no criminal charges will be laid against the man at the centre of the allegations, Doctor Selwyn Leeks.
Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said that, despite a lengthy investigation, Police had decided that there was insufficient evidence on which to mount a prosecution. The Police opinion of the evidence has been subject to an independent legal peer review which reached a similar conclusion.
The police inquiry included locating and analysing medical records, a comprehensive search of Police and Health file systems to try and identify any material that might assist, and the further interview of witnesses and complainants. In addition to the police enquiries, material was assembled from the Ombudsman's inquiry in 1977 and the Commission of Inquiry from 1977.
Mr Burgess said that the inquiry was made more difficult by the delay in having these matters investigated:
"These events happened over thirty years ago. Some witnesses have died, others were unable to accurately recall events to the level of detail required, some records and original files that may have assisted the inquiry have been lost or destroyed."
Mr Burgess said the Police inquiry, which was renewed in 2006 following the receipt of two additional complaints, was now at an end. He said that each of the complainants had been advised of the outcome of the inquiry.
Media contact: Grant Ogilvie or Jon Neilson: 04 474 9476 or 04 474 9482