Allegation by R.G. Adams
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
An evil monster exposed?
Or an innocent father condemned?
A scandal will shake a small community to its very foundations.
Sandbeach, South Wales.
Two women have come forward to make historical sexual allegations against a pillar of the local community, Matthew Cooper.
The case lands on the desk of inexperienced Social Worker, Kit Goddard, who must remove Cooper from his home and family while the investigation is carried out. Although intrepid and intuitive, she is ill-prepared for such a high-profile case.
Kit finds herself navigating a local minefield of connections and class, reputations and rumour. Unsure whether her interference is a heroic intervention or a hurtful intrusion, she knows one thing: it will have an impact. The question is whether this impact will be to expose a lie, or destroy an innocent life…
‘All of it. It’s bloody nonsense. You are not seriously telling me you are going to go over there and ruin this . . . this lovely family on the basis of this . . . this . . . crap? They have a very seriously disabled daughter, you know, plus the two little ones.’ She sat back down and threw the referral onto the desk in front of Kit.
‘Yes, I do know, Jean, that’s why I’m here,’ Kit started. She felt that she was doing quite well so far, keeping her patience. ‘Vernon asked me to—’
‘Oh, yes, I might have known he had a hand in it. Well, you can tell Vernon Griffiths from me that there’s no need to bother going in there all gung-ho. I’m the case manager for this family and this can be NFA’d right now. Mr Cooper is marvellous with the oldest girl. He is a fantastic father and a very nice man. As if he would need to . . .’
Jean’s nose wrinkled slightly. She couldn’t bear to say it out loud, Kit realised.
‘I can tell you what this is,’ Jean continued. ‘It’s jumping on the bandwagon. End of.’
Kit could feel a burn forming in her stomach. She thought back to anger-management group and how she had learnt to breathe in and count to ten, and she tried to keep the heat down and not let it up into her throat. She seemed to remember something about becoming aware of the real reason behind your anger, but she found that the only reason that she could come up with was that Jean Collins was such an idiot.
‘No one’s saying he isn’t marvellous with his daughter, Jean. That’s not really the point, though, is it? It’s a historical sexual abuse allegation, it’s been referred to us and we need to make sure the children are safe and make a decision about conference and—’
‘Conference?’ Jean’s tone was rising. People at nearby desks were looking around to see what the commotion was. ‘You do know he’s a very successful accountant? The only reason they’re known to us at all is because they were unfortunate enough to have a child with severe cerebral palsy, and a very good job they do looking after her, Mr Cooper especially. He is totally committed to Lisa—’
‘Lucy,’ Kit interjected.
‘Yes. Whatever.’ Jean was not deterred. ‘Conference? No. You are joking. He’d make mincemeat of you. This is not a family off a council estate, taking drugs and giving the baby Coca-Cola in its bottle. These people are well connected. They are capable of ending your career, and believe me, they won’t think twice about it.’
At this, Kit breathed again and told herself three times in a row to keep her temper. Then she lost it.
‘No, Jean, I am not joking. This is a serious child-protection matter and we cannot treat it differently to any other referral just because they’re a little bit up-and-coming and you fancy the dad.’