Demetrious Panton, a successful lawyer, was a child in Islington’s children’s homes from 1977 to the early 80s. He has tirelessly campaigned for the protection of Islington children and justice for survivors of abuse.
Demetrious was assaulted by two members of staff from the homes. In 1981, one of the abusers, Martin Ashley Saville, pleaded guilty to charges of gross indecency and indecent assault and received a 3 month suspended sentence. The other abuser was Bernie Bain, children’s home manager of 1 Elwood Street. Bain was later convicted and imprisoned in Morocco for possession of abusive images of children and subsequently committed suicide in Thailand. Demetrious, as a child, had reported to Islington social services his abuse by Bain who was allowed to resign from his post without facing prosecution.
Demetrious was described by Margaret Hodge as an ‘extremely disturbed person’ for which, in response to his legal challenge, she had to make a formal public apology and make payment to a charity. The press coverage relating to this is listed below.
In 2003, Demetrious stood as a parliamentary candidate in Barking and Dagenham against Margaret Hodge and raised publicly her role in the cover-up of abuse within Islington children’s homes. She has since apologised about this and says she was misinformed by the managers in Islington at the time.
‘Mrs Hodge has not learned anything. ‘Threatening’ letter caused anger and anguish among BBC chiefs’ The Telegraph,12th November 2003
‘Abuse victim to sue minister over complaint to BBC’ The Times, 12th November 2003
‘See you in court Minister. Margaret Hodge under pressure to quit as abuse victims threaten to sue her’ Evening Standard, 12th November 2003
‘Another victim says he will sue Hodge. ‘She gave no apology. I find that amazing” Evening Standard, 12th November 2003
‘If you had an iota of shame Mrs Hodge you’d resign now’ Daily Mail, 12th November 2003
‘Kid’s Minister slurs child abuse victim. Hodge bid to gag Beeb’ The Sun, 12th November 2003
‘Children’s Minister is accused of smearing abuse victim in BBC row’ The Telegraph, 12th November 2003
‘Hodge tried to gag Today over ‘abuse’ Pressure on Hodge rises with call for statement to MPs’ The Guardian, 12th November 2003
‘Hodge must go for slur against child sex victim’ Daily Mail, 12th November 2003
‘Hodge accused of smear campaign after bid to suppress ‘deplorable’ BBC story’ The Independent, 12th November 2003
‘Children’s minister faces fresh call to resign over smear’ The Independent, 13th November 2003
‘Adding new insult to old injury’ The Guardian, 13th November 2003
‘Blair throws protective arm around embattled Hodge’ The Independent, 14th November 2003
‘Hodge child abuse apology not genuine’ The Telegraph, 15th November 2003
‘Ministering Justice – Margaret Hodge should do the honourable thing’ The Times, 15th November 2003
‘I only wanted her to listen. Exclusive interview with Demetrious Panton’ The Daily Mail, 15th November 2003
‘Public humiliation for Hodge’ The Guardian, 15th November 2003
‘Kids Minister faces £18k bill to stay in job’ News of the World, 16th November 2003
‘Hodge faces £10,000 bill to save career’ The Sunday Times, 16th November 2003
‘Explain or be sued victim tells Hodge’ The Independent, 16th November 2003
‘New social worker condemns Hodge. I too want a public apology from Margaret Hodge’ Evening Standard, 17th November 2003
‘‘Downgraded’ Hodge still under pressure despite court apology’ Evening Standard, 18th November 2003
‘Howard puts PM on spot over refusal to sack Hodge’ Evening Standard, 19th November 2003
‘Mrs Hodge said I was ‘disturbed’. Now I’m going to beat her on election day’ Evening Standard, 12th April 2005