TRY To Get Published!
When I spent four days interviewing Robert Ireland at his home in Sechelt, British Columbia, I discovered a handsome, once vibrant man, well respected in his community. Bob’s a former cop and social worker, married to a lovely wife, with kids. For more than 20 years, they’ve operated an exemplary foster home guiding more than 60 high-risk youngsters to stability. But then, with absolutely no warning, one of the female children Bob’s been patiently raising antes up this accusation to the authorities: “He’s been sexually abusing me for years.”
There are no words to describe what such a fabrication can do to a man. Even though this caustic, cooked up claim was far-fetched, the allegation still penetrated Bob’s very self-image. Cursory research then revealed that this immoral child had laid the same charge on four other men, each of whom was found innocent. Her brother offered, “She’s a nut case. She has a pattern of making these claims every time she feels like she’s losing her connection with a man.”
It’s well known the girl had delusions from fetal alcohol syndrome. But amazingly, the authorities investigating the case ignored the facts and made serious mistakes. The police treated the suspect as guilty. They took the girl’s side and the children under Bob’s foster home roof were escorted away while his self-esteem and social standing were cast aside. Then he was stripped of his authority to continue running a foster home. A new, tainted police record prevented him from getting work. And he found himself swallowing his pride and mortgaging the family residence simply to put food on the table.
Bob Ireland’s freedom had died, his life destroyed. Unemployed and weary, he began to wonder about life’s value… that is, until his accuser finally admitted she’d fabricated the whole story. Meanwhile an RCMP sergeant stuck a public claim against Bob’s reputation that can last for 70 years. He tried to negotiate with Canada’s Human Rights Tribunal while watching his local Member of Parliament offer little more than lip service. And all the while, Lisa, Bob’s stalwart wife confronted the challenges of trying to operate a start-up small business while dealing with multiple sclerosis, a progressive, debilitating disease that magnifies its crippling impact when the body and mind are under stress.
I’ve tried to interest publishers with this incredible story, but with no luck. I’d already headed out to B.C. at my own expense to meet Bob and interview him, I’d spoken with people like Hans Scherrer, publisher of Justice Denied out of Seattle, Washington, about why cases of wrongful convictions occur, even talked with James Lockyer, founding director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, who revealed how he exposed several high profile unjust rulings. But publishers just don’t seem keen on bringing this amazing story to the public.
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