From 1964 -1971 Clifford Heap was Superintendent of Stamford House secure unit prior to his appointment in Islington where he became in 1973 Assistant Director of Social Services for Day and Residential Care until 1980. Heap prior to 1964 was Superintendent of Shirley Oaks children’s home.
n 1979, Heap took a child from an Islington children’s home to visit another Islington child who had been placed in Stamford House [where Heap had previously been Superintendent] and threatened him that if he told about sexual abuse in the children’s home he would “end up in that secure unit”. Report #4: Morgan’s denial of organised abuse – Islington Survivors Network
Of the twelve ISN survivors who came forward from Mildmay Park, four went directly from Mildmay to Stamford House (between 1976 and 1982). Others went there at a later or even earlier stage. The procedures for being sent to Stamford House were unclear from the survivor’s incomplete file records. To place a child in secure would usually require the agreement of the Assistant Director – who would have been for 3 of these children the aforesaid Clifford Heap. Although some children were sent to Stamford House directly as a result of a court hearing, the Mildmay children’s incomplete files are not always clear about psychiatric or social work recommendations to the court making it difficult to know why this extreme measure was recommended and by whom. Survivor’s comments about the impact of social work industrial action interestingly state that because their social workers were not present in court to speak up for them they got sent to secure units although one survivor appreciated that a social worker broke the strike in order to support ‘the boys’ in court.
Shirley Oaks Survivors Association alerted Sarah Morgan QC to their concerns about Heap and the connections between Lambeth and Islington abuse networks.
“We are sure you will be aware of links between convicted and known child abusers, as well as people of influence, in Lambeth and Islington. We are certain that there were organised crime networks abusing and exploiting children which went across the authorities during the years covered by your Review. As just one example: Clifford Heap was the Superintendent of Shirley Oaks Children’s Home [1952-65] who subsequently became Assistant Director in Islington (1971-80). In our view it is relevant for you to explore, investigate and include this information in your Review.”
Shirley Oaks Survivors Association email to Sarah Morgan QC 26.3.18
“I began to build on my knowledge of the 90s and understand the extent of the networks that I had only begun to uncover. I also learnt of the links between Lambeth abuse networks and Islington. I began to liaise with Shirley Oaks Survivors Association e.g. Clifford Heap as Superintendent of Shirley Oaks children’s home and then appointed as ADSS Islington with responsibility for residential care. Heap also set up a fostering ‘experiment’ (his description) in 1977 whereby a children’s home was closed down and the manager was given 5 of the children to foster. Survivors have described this ‘experiment’ in some detail as they were told it was their family and they had to call the manager ‘Mum’. A file record states that she had not been assessed as a foster carer”. Liz Davies report to Sarah Morgan QC 13.2.18:13.4