Child abuse inquiry journalise
is now under arrest

By Paul Taylor: Chief reporter
Sunderland Echo

Police have arrested an investigative journalist who was involved in exposing a child abuse controversy surrounding a Sunderland family.

Brian Morgan 59, a freelance and photo-journalist since 1985, who also produces TV
documentaries and reports, was arrested at his office in Cardiff on Thursday morning, by two detectives who had travelled there from Sunderland. Along with a third officer from South Wales, they told Mr Morgan he was under suspicion of conspiring with the Sunderland family to keep a child out of official custody and seized his computer and various documents.

Mr Morgan denied committing any offence before being taken to Cardiff’s Fairwater police station and interviewed. He was released on bail, to report to a Sunderland police station later this month.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “A Cardiff man was arrested by police in connection with conspiracy to abduct a child. He is currently on police bail, pending further inquires.” But the police declined to comment on statement by Mr Morgan’s solicitor, Clayton Williams, who said: “It is a very serious issue for journalism, and freedom of speech and expression if, as Brian advises me, he is involved purely because of his interest as a journalise.” He added that if police could not produce irrefutable proof that Mr Morgan had done anything other than a legitimate job of investigative journalism, their actions raised serious issues about freedom of speech.

Mr Morgan assisted the Echo in reporting the controversy behind the story of a local family who had a child taken into care after two paediatricians voiced a suspicion that the child’s illnesses may have been induced by adult relations.

Mr Morgan has devoted his working life throughout the 1990s to investigating and reporting on a disputed diagnosis of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, which initially was suspected in the Sunderland case, although it did not form the basis of care decision.

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