Well it’s been 6 months since People First held their annual People First Gala all at the Adelphi Hotel. For those who attended will remember what a great evening’s entertainment it was. It was also a sad moment as well as it was their opportunity to say farewell and “bon-voyage” to their longest serving Voluntary Director Mark Pathak. Mark was leaving to start a new job in Ontario, Canada.
Mark developed a model of working which he called “The Liverpool Model of Witness Support, Preparation and Profiling” which enabled victims of crime who had a learning disability give evince in Crown Court trials. when he started developing the model, according to Mencap the national conviction rate of people who committed crimes against people with a learning disability was less that 1/2 %. Using Marks model, within Liverpool Crown Court is rose to 86%. The highest in England and Wales. The conviction rate for the crime of rape was 100% compared to a national average of 5.5%. The model was described as a model of Best Practice at a national level and has been commended by the past three DDP’s (Directors of Public Prosecutions) and also the ex-Lord Chief Chancellor (this Countries highest criminal Judge). It has also been introduced into other parts of the country and indeed now that whole of the UK. The Republic of Ireland are also interested in to.
With this success rate in mind, one particular service for adults with an intellectual disability (the term used in Canada) was really impressed with the model and asked Mark if he would like to try and introduce it into Canada as people with learning disabilities who were victims of crime hardly ever received justice.
It took him about three years to arrange but he started work in early November 2014.
As a leaving present at the Gala People First gave him a winter onesey, a Christmas jumper, some slippers, and a clock so he would never be late for another meeting again. He was always late for Board meetings!! People First had a real surprise when a couple of weeks ago he walked into their office to surprise them all. He had flown home to surprise his mum on her 81st birthday. He told everyone about life in Canada, about the snow that was still everywhere and what it was like to drive on the wrong side of the road. He is really enjoying himself and he was really glad he made the decision to go. Self-advocacy is not as big and important over in Canada but he may get involved in a local People First type group if one starts up.
Our loss is certainly Canada’s gain.
Well done Mark.» Back to News