"I am not saying there are no bad apples," Mrs Whitehead said. "But there are mischievous allegations and, of course, we all know that children dig themselves into a deeper hole to avoid retracting their allegations.
"This is in a climate where parents are usually unwilling to believe anybody other than their child. We have all had the experience of the parent who says: 'I know my child is not an angel but one thing I know is that he's not a liar.'
"I am open-mouthed in amazement when I hear that because one thing we do know is that many children will tell lies if it gets them out of a hole."