News Round Up, 13 October 2017

A case from Wales has been in the London-based media this week. A gay father from south Wales – Matthew Scully-Hicks – is standing trial at Cardiff Crown Court charged with the murder of the baby girl Elsie whom he and his partner had adopted just a few weeks before she died. The Court has heard how Scully-Hicks was completely unable to cope with looking after the baby, described her as ‘Satan in a baby gro’ and screamed and shouted in frustration at her. Scully-Hicks’s partner however claimed that their house ‘was full of love’ – I think that perhaps the Vale of Glamorgan Social Services who allowed Scully-Hicks to adopt Elsie might have some explaining to do.

 

Politicians and child sexual abuse have taken up much news time over the past few days, particularly as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has been hearing evidence about former Liberal MP for Rochdale Cyril Smith. It was reported that for many years prosecutors were lying when they made public statements maintaining that they didn’t know about the allegations of sex offences against children involving Cyril Smith – prosecutors knew that there had been numerous complaints against Smith and he was even arrested on at least one occasion but was allowed to quietly walk away without charge. The Inquiry heard that Smith used his ‘respectability’ to protect himself from prosecution or public exposure. The DPP Alison Saunders popped up on Radio 4’s Today programme to reassure us all that nothing like this could ever happen these days – of course Smith would be prosecuted today because the ‘systems’ have improved so much. That explains why not only was Lord Greville Janner never prosecuted despite many allegations that he sexually abused children, but that Alison Saunders herself admitted that he should have been charged back in the 1990s. She was unable to explain why he wasn’t. Janner famously was eventually ordered to face a ‘trial of the facts’ – he could not actually be tried for the alleged offences because his lawyers submitted medical evidence that he was suffering from dementia. This evidence was challenged, but the CPS accepted it. Janner never did face a trial of the facts because the whole process took so long that he died before anyone got within a whiff of a trial of the facts. Alison Saunders was DPP at the time. For further background on Alison and her dedication to improving systems, see post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…’.

Just to reinforce how much systems have changed, following the release of Operation Conifer’s report into the allegations that Ted Heath abused male children, supporters of Ted are demanding a judicial review of Operation Conifer as well as the blood of Mike Veale – the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police who led Operation Conifer – for supposedly besmirching Heath’s reputation. Heath’s fan club are fuming because one of the men who claimed that Ted Heath raped him as a child is ‘a paedophile serving a prison sentence for a sex offence who confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed’. He is therefore an ‘evil’ ‘fantasist’ who cannot be believed, whereas Ted Heath was a respectable politician.

No-one has felt able to mention that not only does being sexually assaulted as a child often lead to huge confusion and distress in adult life, but some – although by no means all – kids who are molested go on to sexually abuse other children. What leaps out at me however is that the man making the allegations against Heath confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed – what if he also confessed to a sexual assault on a child that he hadn’t committed and that’s why he’s sitting in prison at the moment? Furthermore, we know nothing about the circumstances in which he confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed – was he, like the Birmingham Six, beaten to a pulp by the police until he confessed? Was he being ironic after being accused of committing a very serious offence that he obviously hadn’t committed? Did he even confess to the POLICE to this murder? He could have been larking around with his mates in terms of ‘ooh there’s been a murder’ – ‘yeh, I know, I done it’ sort of thing. We have so little information about the man who alleges that Heath raped him that no conclusions can be drawn at all, let along a conclusion that he is an ‘evil fantasist’. I can only remind Heath’s supporters that one problem noted during the various investigations into the abuse of children in care in north Wales was that by the time that anyone began investigating, the former children had grown up and many had led very troubled lives. They weren’t Peter Pan – at the time that they gave evidence they were adult men and many of them had criminal convictions, drug and alcohol problems. (They had complained whilst they were children but had been ignored by everyone but the whistle blowing social worker Alison Taylor who was sacked.) Which is what tends to happen to teenaged boys who spend years in places like Bryn Estyn where they are beaten and buggered daily. It results in no-one believing them, which is particularly convenient when the whole of north Wales wants to delude themselves that the ‘children’s services’ really weren’t as bad as some people are making out and no-one knew  anything anyway.

 

Mail Online reported that 15 year old Robyn Lewis Ellson from north Wales died after Alder Hey Children’s Hospital gave her a toxic combination of medication during treatment for leukaemia. The Top Doctors admitted that it should never have happened and apologised to Robyn’s family. It won’t happen again they have reassured everyone. Toxic combinations of drugs are actually quite a common occurrence in the NHS – I was prescribed such a combination myself by Dr Richard Tranter at the Hergest Unit, but I didn’t take it which probably saved my life. Tranter is a psychopharmacologist. If he’s prescribing lethal combinations of drugs in the face of warnings published about those combinations, the problem will be widespread – but the patients are not usually in a position to know that it’s happening.

Radio 4 reported that the  CQC have blamed the now undeniable NHS crisis on the rising number of elderly patients and levels of obesity. So as with most things NHS, it’s the patients fault – they’re all too fat and old. A CQC spokesman arrived on the Today programme talking cobblers. He stated that because people are living so much longer, the cost of the NHS caring for them throughout their older years was enormous. Older people do not actually drain the NHS of resources in the way suggested. People are now experiencing much better health in their older years than a couple of generations ago. The huge cost is usually encountered only in the final 18-24 months of someone’s life, when multiple health problems frequently occur. That can happen when someone is in their 90s or, if they are less fortunate, in their early 70s. People don’t hit retirement age and then spend 30 years utterly decrepit, occupying a hospital bed on life support. Furthermore of course, in the case of many elderly people who are very frail, the final nail in the coffin is often an admission to hospital for a routine problem which is then dealt with appallingly.

The man from the CQC did stress that most NHS care is still ‘excellent’. Of course – there’d be no problem at all if it weren’t for all these fat old gits demanding a service from the Top Doctors and Angels.

 

There has been widespread derision from those on the left at Theresa May’s plan to train one million volunteers in ‘mental health first aid’ – although the likes of MIND have been vigorously promoting these ‘courses’ for ages. The Gov’t has stated that they will probably be online courses and the estimated cost is £15 million. Public Health England will consult on how the courses will be run and taught – that’s the Public Health England that is part of the system that has led to the current dire state of affairs. Theresa has of course used the stigma discourse – the mental health first aiders will be ‘fighting the stigma’. Theresa has been accused of wanting to replace mental health professionals with members of the general public after spending 15 quid on training each of them. I have always been very rude about the idea of ‘mental health first aid’ because it cannot possibly address the problems of people with severe and enduring mental illness – it’s the sort of thing that people might find useful to reassure a friend who is anxious or mildly stressed. If you’ve been clobbered with a psychotic illness or are so clinically depressed that you can’t talk or get out of bed, ‘mental health first aid’ is not going to do much for you. It will also possibly decrease understanding of seriously ill people and increase the levels of dear old stigma – if someone’s had mental health first aid applied and they’re still not back in full-time work or have topped themselves, it just goes to show that it was their fault and that there was probably something wrong with them.

On the other hand, mental health professionals are doing such a bad job that I’m not surprised that Theresa May has decided that she doesn’t want to waste anymore money on training and employing the sort of ones that we have at the moment. As I have mentioned many times, it is mental health professionals who have the most stigmatising attitudes to people with mental health problems -members of the general public are often very understanding, unless of course an Angel or a Top Doctor has been whispering sweet nothings in their ear about Dangerous Mental Patients.

After yet more ‘fighting stigma’ talk, I was interested to note the fulfilment of a prediction that I made on the blog a few days ago in my comments section, regarding the ‘research’ that Radio Five Live had ‘carried out’ among ‘nurses’, which ‘proved’ that the level of attacks on Angels by mental health patients were rocketing as a result of The Cuts. Radio Five Live did not mention their methodology, the way in which they analysed their results or even how many Angels that they interviewed, let alone how they selected those Angels. Neither did they explain the statistics behind the % increase in assaults that the Angels claimed was occurring or from which date they had calculated the alleged % increase – it was so obviously a figure plucked out of thin air.

As if on cue, the next day a Labour MP – an MP with a remit for disability as well – spoke up in Parliament about the ‘research’ that ‘proved’ that attacks on ‘staff’ by ‘psychiatric patients’ were increasing. Anyone for fighting stigma? Ironically on the same day in Parliament, Chris Bryant – a Labour MP for one of the constituencies in the south Wales valleys – very effectively ripped apart Theresa May’s laughable website of unanalysed statistics which she believes will help fight injustice against ethnic minority groups. Bryant made the point that there is a difference between correlation and causation – he quipped that when Thatcher was voted out, Marathon bars were renamed Snickers, but it probably wasn’t that which was responsible for Thatcher’s comeuppance. I am hoping that Mr Bryant will have a word with whichever dickwit Jezza has appointed disability spokesperson – even if ‘attacks’ on Angels by psychiatric patients are increasing (and I very much doubt that they are and Radio Five Live has certainly proved no such thing), it cannot be assumed that it is a result of The Cuts. Particularly as there haven’t been any Cuts – the Tories haven’t dared implement The Cuts much as they’d like to, because of the wailing and the gnashing of teeth that they know will follow. What has happened is that the dosh that has been given to the NHS for mental health services has been spent on other things. It is the NHS that has done this, not the Tories. The NHS really is not very nice to mental health patients, it certainly doesn’t spend money on them. The NHS spends money on PFI agreements, on expensive carpets for executives offices, on management consultants as well as on enormous salaries for its own managers, on machines that go ping, on expensive lawyers to fight patients whom the NHS has maimed or damaged, on away days and training, but it definitely doesn’t spend money on mental health patients.

The fuckwittery has been taken up by the Angels employed by the Betsi – who’s mental health services are so bad that they have landed the Health Board in special measures. The Daily Post Online ran a huge feature about an Angel who works as a psychiatric nurse for the Betsi. The unidentified Angel maintains that ‘every nurse’ whom she knows ‘has been attacked’. Well as the Betsi believe that a distressed or psychotic patient swearing in the presence of an Angel – not even AT an Angel – constitutes an ‘attack’ (it counts as a ‘verbal assault’) it is hardly surprising that ‘every’ Angel has been attacked. I can absolutely guarantee that very few Angels have been physically assaulted by a mental health patient – despite the crude stereotypes that the NHS likes to promote when it is asking the Gov’t for more money, physical assaults on staff by patients are unusual and when they do happen are more likely to come from drunks than mental health patients. However certainly at the Hergest Unit there have been a number of complaints from patients of assaults on them by Angels – I was assaulted myself by four Angels in the Hergest Unit. My complaint was not investigated by the Hergest let alone the police – and evidence was destroyed. I know of other patients who were assaulted by staff in the Hergest or who witnessed other patients being assaulted by staff. One male patient told me that he witnessed male Angels in the Hergest employing every excuse possible to ‘restrain’ one particular female patient and using this as an excuse to grope her.

The Angel interviewed by the Daily Post Online talks about the dreadful standard of the mental health services at the Betsi and how it is all the managers’ fault. She mentions that she has worked there for a long time and refers to the Tawel Fan scandal to illustrate her points regarding the dreadful service. The mental health service in north Wales is dreadful, it has been dreadful for decades – so that particular Angel has been part of the problem. The managers are indeed shite – many of those managers are promoted Angels themselves and they too have been there decades. The buck stops with this lot. They cannot blame anyone but themselves for the mess, the deaths, the litigation and the Ombudsman’s damning reports. The Top Doctors and Angels hounded out Mary Burrows, the CEO from outside of the region, who tried very hard to improve matters. The current Chair of the Betsi, Dr Peter Higson, is a former clinical psychologist who grew up in north Wales, who trained in north Wales, who worked as a psychologist in north Wales and who then managed the mental health services in north Wales. Higson’s sister Ruth Hussey was until recently Chief Medical Officer for Wales – she ignored what was going on as well. Martin Jones, the Director of Workforce for the Betsi, comes from Anglesey, went to school on Anglesey, went to Bangor University and then began his working life as an office boy in Ysbyty Gwynedd. (It is rumoured that he failed accountancy exams at some point, but I haven’t seen concrete evidence of that.) Craig Barton, the Director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, came from north Wales, went to Bangor University, became an NHS manager in north Wales and was previously a manager of the Hergest Unit. You couldn’t get much more local than this collection of local talent. And what a mess they have made. To quote from the mad mother in the horror film ‘Carrie’ – ‘the Devil has come to his own’.

As for Tawel Fan – no Angel was attacked by anyone. That ward was shut down because the Angels were abusing the patients. The only Angel who was disciplined was the real Angel who recorded what was going on in that ward and blew the whistle – she was arrested, received death threats, faced disciplinary action from the NMC and lost her job. The other Angels were transferred to another mental health unit. Where there was another scandal involving the abuse of patients shortly after they arrived. To my knowledge, no-one has been sacked, although the Angels concerned were refusing to co-operate with an external investigation.

The Angel in the Daily Post mentions that UNISON is supporting their campaign. UNISON and its predecessor COHSE have a long and glorious history of concealing misconduct and malpractice on the part of their members and of conjuring up images of violent nutters attempting to murder Angels when they’re about to submit a pay claim. The former General Secretary of COHSE was David Williams, an Angel from north Wales who trained and worked at the North Wales Hospital when patients died after being lobotomised, when they were physically and sexually abused by staff and when the staff of that hospital concealed organised child sexual abuse (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’).

The abusive Angels of the Betsi have the full support of the North Wales Community Health Council – the Chief Exec of the CHC has spoken to the Post himself and backed up the Angels. This is the CHC that ignored at least two very serious complaints about abuse and neglect in the north Wales mental health services. The CHC that numbers among its past and present members Top Doctors from north Wales, including a retired psychiatrist from the Hergest Unit, Dr Sadie Francis and a retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Christine Evans. One member of the CHC is married to a member of the Betsi Board and another former member is Glanville Owen. Glanville was the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for children’s homes whilst a paedophile ring raged in those children’s homes (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).The highest profile member of the North Wales CHC however is one Eleanor Burnham.

Eleanor was a Lib Dem AM for North Wales, 2001-2011, before the electorate decided that they’d had a bellyful of her and voted her out. Eleanor was born in Wrexham and her early career was in social services management. She sat as a Wrexham Magistrate and also on Mental Health Review Tribunals for the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. She competed in and won prizes at the International Eisteddfod Llangollen.

The children’s homes in north Wales where children were abused were run by the social services. The homes with the biggest problem of sexual abuse were near Wrexham. The abuse of children in those homes went back decades. The abuse was so extensive that the homes were functioning as child brothels. Boys who complained of being abused were stitched up for crimes in the local Magistrates Courts. The North Wales Hospital detained patients unlawfully and also detained people who complained of being abused by psychiatrists, social workers or in the children’s homes. A number of people involved with concealing the abuse in the children’s homes were involved with the International Eisteddfod. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse, the judge who carried out the biggest cover-up, was President of the International Eisteddfod.

Eleanor’s biography has disappeared from the Lib Dems website. I cannot imagine why.

Some years ago I attended a meeting of the Court at Bangor University when Eleanor Burnham was in the audience. I don’t know what precipitated it, but during the meeting Eleanor Burnham became very angry, stood up and started shouting and yelling at the Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor. She hurled comments about everyone being MEN and shrieked ‘do you have any women on the University Council?’ Instead of replying ‘we’ve got loads you dipstick, take a look at the list of members’, they simply commented ‘yes there are women on the Council’. It wasn’t enough for Eleanor – she continued yelling and eventually the Vice Chancellor quipped that he’d attended the first Women’s Liberation conference in Oxford (which was true – I don’t think that Eleanor was there though, she’d have been far too busy assisting the paedophiles of north Wales). At which point Eleanor screamed ‘and look what happened to you’ and stormed out of the room.

Christ almighty Eleanor, look what happened to YOU – you’ve got what must be the most shameful CV in Wales and you ended up in the Senedd and now you’re on the CHC, no wonder there’s problems, you shouldn’t even be walking the streets a free woman.

Eleanor lists one of her interests as being ‘social inclusion’.

 

The Daily Post Online also reported that Ernest Marjerison, an elderly man who was admitted to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital with a fractured hip, died after a feeding tube was inserted into his lung. Coroner John Gittins carried out the inquest in Ruthin. No, there was not a verdict of murder returned or manslaughter or even gross negligence…

 

Daily Post Online reported an enormous row over the alleged oppression of Welsh speaking police officers in north Wales. I have no idea whether there is discrimination against them within the North Wales Police, but I was interested to see that Arfon Jones the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner came to the rescue, pledging to ‘support the language’. When Arfon was a police constable he was the man who chauffeured the senior officer Gordon Anglesea to the venues in which Anglesea molested boys in care. In his capacity as Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon was responsible for an ‘oversight’ that resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving a police pension, although her husband died in prison a convicted child abuser. Another well-known defender of the Welsh language was former Assistant Chief Constable Elfed Roberts, who later became Chair of the disastrous North West Wales NHS Trust and had me arrested because I had pink hair, had called his car a penismobile and he was fed up of my complaints about the mental health services (see post ‘After The Attempt To Frame Me…’). A friend of mine was told by the dreadful Trystan Pritchard  – a former NHS manager in north Wales and now Chief Exec of St David’s Hospice – that he really admired Elfed because he had ‘done so much for the language’ in the NHS. The former Chief Constable of the North Wales Police Richard Brunstrom was also enthusiastic about the language. He learnt Welsh to a very high standard, became a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards and Wales’s national poet penned a tribute to him. Elfed Roberts really hated Mr Brunstrom, in fact Elfed Roberts fed stories to the Daily Mail about how everyone else hated Mr Brunstrom as well and how important it was that Mr Brunstrom should Go. It was Elfed who coined the description of Richard Brunstrom as ‘the mad mullah of the traffic Taliban’ – not of course that Elfed was at all bigoted, ignorant or held crude stereotypes of people who lived in Foreign Parts. Elfed Roberts left the North Wales Police himself after what was described to me as ‘a conversation about the privileges and perks that Elfed seemed to be enjoying’. Other people told me that Mr Brunstrom ‘kicked Elfed out for corruption’. The Daily Mail didn’t report that.

Arfon Jones recently signed a document of solidarity with the protesters in Catalonia.

 

A well-known and popular homeless man of Llandudno was found dead after going missing for days. He was being ‘supported’ by ARC – an organisation previously featured on this blog after winning an award from the paedophiles’ friend Arfon Jones. Nicola Jones the Coroner stressed that his death had ‘nothing to do’ with his homelessness – it could have happened to any of us. Except that it didn’t, it happened to the homeless man, in the same way that so many deaths in north Wales that Coroners rule to be completely unrelated to the appalling neglect of the local mental health services keep happening to people with mental health problems.

Police in North Wales tasered and nearly killed a man whom was ‘thought’ to be carrying a knife. The incident ie. near murder, was referred to the IPCC who have now cleared the North Wales Police. I note that it was not confirmed that the man who was nearly killed HAD been carrying a knife – just that it was ‘reported’ that he ‘had been seen’ with a large knife. Had the man actually been carrying the knife as reported, I’m fairly sure that this would have been stressed. So the police very nearly killed an innocent man and have now been given a clean bill of health by the IPCC. Years ago in England police shot dead man after a member of the public reported seeing him walking down the street carrying a shotgun- the shotgun that was spotted had actually been a chair leg…

 

The  crisis of austerity is really beginning to bite in Wales. Councils in Wales have been told by Carwyn Jones that the Welsh Gov’t is so short of money after limited settlements from Westminster that if the NHS in Wales receives yet more money the Councils will have to make drastic cuts. The Councils are squealing loudly about the prospect of closing down all non-essential services and still not having enough money to run schools. One Council leader has entertainingly lectured the NHS and told them that they could learn good money management from Councils, because of course Councils never spend their money in the manner of a drunken sailor themselves and the Councillors have never fiddled their expenses or indulged in misconduct. Not even those on Anglesey, one of whom inexplicably became very rich indeed and then went to prison.

I think that the NHS must be following a plan to give the Councillors ammunition, because days after the Councillors declared war on the NHS – the scammers in these ‘services’ had previously enjoyed very cosy relationships, particularly where screwing money out of the Welsh Gov’t for causes like CAIS had been concerned – a report stated that the Betsi doesn’t know what to do with itself because it had planned a £25 million overspend but now it realises that the overspend will be £50 million instead.

How exactly does one ‘plan’ for an overspend of 25 million and expect to be taken seriously???

Days later, a local people held a protest outside of a meeting of the Betsi Board about the lack of GP services in Wrexham.

 

Both the London-based media and the Welsh media have reported so many NHS cock-ups leading to fatalities that I haven’t got the scope to cover them all on the blog. A teenaged boy in south Wales hung himself after being refused help for mental health problems and scores of Top Doctors from England have ended up in hot water for various matters, including domestic violence as well as the standard catalogue of neglect and misconduct.

 

This morning Guardian Online has published an article by Gaby Hinsliffe praising Baroness Jean Trumpington on feminist grounds. The article maintains that Trumpers would have known how to deal with Harvey Weinstein. One of the many comments that follows my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ outlines how Trumpers also knew a great deal about the abuse of children and mental health patients by the state, but Trumpers said nothing. Trumpers was also a big supporter of Jeremy Thorpe – although ironically she hated poofs. The high spot of Trumpers’ career came when she was Under-Secretary of State at the DHSS in 1987 – it was Trumpers who appointed Jimmy Savile to the Management Board of Broadmoor. Somehow Trumpers’ name has been completely kept out of the Savile business – Edwina Currie and Ken Clarke took the flack, but dear old Trumpers  was the one who did the dirty deed.

Trumpers et al ‘not knowing’ about Savile and all the associated shit is a pretty similar phenomenon to the current denouncing of Harvey Weinstein. It was explained on the radio that although Angela Jolie ‘knew about Weinstein’ (as indeed did everyone who worked with him), she couldn’t speak out because of the ‘stage of her career’ and the ‘place where she was’ when she found out what he was up to. Could that stage in her career and place where she was possibly have been realising that if one had sex with Weinstein, one’s career would go a very long way indeed? And that one could even end up as a Professor of Practice at the LSE without needing any qualifications at all? Or as an Ambassador for Women with the UN?

 

 

No Ordinary Methods

My most recent reading material has been Dominic Carman’s biography of his father George the much feared Rottweiler of a barrister, ‘No Ordinary Man’. George Carman has featured on this blog in posts such as ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’, ‘Y Gwir Yn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’ and ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’, in which I discuss Carman’s role in the 1994 libel action brought by Gordon Anglesea after Private Eye and others named Anglesea as having sexually abused boys in care in north Wales and Carman’s role in Jeremy Thorpe’s trial in 1979. Successfully defending Thorpe after he stood trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder Norman Scott was what made Carman’s name and took him to London from Manchester where he had previously been based.

I speculated in ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’ that Carman had deliberately thrown the case when he defended Private Eye et al against Anglesea’s accusation of libel. By the time that Carman took that case he was known as the best libel barrister in the UK. He had built up an international reputation and the mention of his name was enough to cause people to settle actions out of Court. Anglesea had indeed abused boys in care in north Wales, he later went to prison for it – Carman was famed for trawling through people’s knicker drawers if he was facing them in Court and north Wales was heaving with evidence of and witnesses to the crimes of Anglesea and co. Carman losing that case was inexplicable.

I knew that Carman was a massively heavy drinker, was addicted to gambling, was violent to all of his partners and was so feared by the police and others that his partners could find no help even when they were visibly broken and bleeding. I knew that certainly when he worked in Manchester Carman spent his time socialising with what are euphemistically known as figures from the ‘underworld’, as well as with prostitutes, with bent police officers, ‘celebrities’, journalists and numerous other people. I also knew that when Carman was acting in a trial, crucial damning ‘evidence’ would be delivered to his team, literally during the trial, at a crucial point which would frequently win him the case.

The most famous example of this occurred when the South African journalist Jani Allan faced Carman in Court in 1992 after bringing a libel action against Channel 4. A crucial part of the case rested on Allan’s denial of an affair with a married man. Just after Allan swore on oath that she would not have such a relationship, a package arrived at the Court addressed to Carman. He refused to open it, but Jan Tomalin – the in-house lawyer for Channel 4 – seemed to know that this package was good news and she opened it. Inside was a notebook which Jani Allan had used as a diary in 1984-85 and in which she had recorded her sexual fantasies whilst undergoing psychiatric care. She was finished. If I was Jani Allan I’d want to know how anyone – let alone Carman’s team – got their hands on that, but I have found no references to any such investigation.

Dominic’s book however makes it clear that Carman was far more unpleasant, ruthless and questionable than anyone ever previously dared suggest. There are indications that he had been badly damaged when young by incredibly harsh treatment at St Joseph’s School in Blackpool run by the Irish Christian Brothers – years later a number of former pupils alleged abuse during their time there. Carman simply didn’t speak about his experiences at St Joseph’s.

Carman was very, very well networked. He would have been in a position to thrash out deals behind the scenes with a whole variety of people.

Carman enjoyed being seen in the company of women and even cultivated the image of a womaniser. I had heard rumours that he was bisexual, but one thing that I learnt from Dominic’s book is that Carman’s first wife maintained that Carman was never interested in her sexually, that their marriage was unconsummated, that he received postcards which were obviously from men rather than women and that she believed that he was gay, but he kept what she believed were sexual relationships with other men very quiet indeed. This marriage only lasted three years and Carman failed to mention it in his Who’s Who entry. Indeed, the lady concerned claims that Carman worked very hard to ensure that her account of a truly dreadful relationship never made it into the public domain.

Carman’s second wife, Dominic’s mother, stated that after the children were born Carman stopped having sex with her. Her story is remarkably similar to that told by his first wife – excessive drinking, huge gambling debts and a very high level of physical and mental abuse. Dominic remembers witnessing his father’s violent attacks on his mother.

Carman had a third wife. Guess what – he undermined and belittled her, forced her to give up her career and spend her days watching his performances in Court instead and didn’t have a sexual relationship with her either.

As well as these three marriages, Carman had numerous other close friendships with women and was regularly seen hanging out with teenage ‘hostesses’ in ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ and women who were known to be working as prostitutes (not only those considered to be ‘high class call girls’).

From 1986 Carman had a long term relationship with a barrister called Karen Phillips who hung out with showbiz folk including Julia Morley, Russ Abbott and Bruce Forsyth’s wife Winnie. She was also friends with Dr Veronica Varney and Martin Landau. Elton John’s wife Renate was co-director of one of Phillips’s companies and Carman acted with Karen for Renate in her divorce from Elton. A number of Carman’s clients were friends with Karen including Norman Lamont, Richard Branson, Aidan Barclay and Marco Pierre White.

Between 1980-93 Karen  was also in a relationship with David Green. Carman formed an alliance with Green’s wife whom Carman had traced through ‘detective work’. Interestingly enough although Green was a wealthy man who was able to supply Phillips with a flat in an expensive part of London and a BMW, his company ended up going into liquidation – although Karen succeeded in keeping possession of the valuable flat and even the car. Phillips gave up law in the early 1990s and became involved with Charity Work, evolving into a lady who lunches. At one point she lent her flat to Sarah Ferguson – one of Karen’s mates was a friend of Fergie’s.

Towards the end of Carman’s life he became very angry when photos of Phillips in the company of boxing promoter Jarvis Astaire began appearing in glossy magazines and gossip columns. Carman watched Phillips, followed her and discussed her activities with another lawyer who worked with her. Phillips was someone else who maintained that throughout her very long relationship with Carman they never had sex.

Carman’s very first relationship with a woman was with Anne Meuller whilst they were both at Oxford. Anne Meuller ended up breaking their engagement off because she was unable to cope with Carman’s bisexuality – one presumes that Carman ended up making a nuisance of himself because Anne engaged the services of solicitors to threaten legal action against him. Anne later became Dame Anne and was the most successful civil servant of her generation, being appointed as the Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office (1984-87) and then moving to the Treasury (1987-90). She was Chancellor of De Montfort University (1991-95), a Director of BSkyB as well as CARE International and was associated with Manchester Business School. Dame Anne died in 2000 so like Carman is no longer able to answer questions.

For a man who never or rarely had sex with his wives/partners and who spent much of his spare time getting bladdered in clubs with other women whom everyone presumed that he was having sex with, Carman reacted very strongly on the occasions that he suspected his female partners of infidelity. At one point when he (wrongly) believed that one of his wives was having an affair with another man, he violently assaulted the man in question cracking his ribs.

Carman’s whole existence was one of behaving appalling towards other people but this rarely becoming public and Carman rarely facing any consequences. When he was older and famous, various gossip columnists – including Nigel Dempster – encountered him ripped to the tits in clubs in dubious company but not a word was ever printed about it.

After Jeremy Thorpe had been charged but before Carman had relocated to London, Carman crashed his car whilst drunk – until this incident Carman regularly drove whilst well over the limit. He was arrested and taken to Platt Lane Police Station. He declined the breathalyser and called his solicitor Ian Burton. Carman did the ‘don’t you know who I am’ bit. The plods in the station didn’t know who he was, so Carman told them that he was ‘standing Counsel to the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester’, ie. James Anderton. Even the plods knew who he was and Carman demanded that the police phone Anderton. They rang Anderton’s home and his wife answered – she contacted Anderton who was at the time out at a dinner. When Anderton heard that Carman was in police custody, a Superintendent in uniform was despatched to Platt Lane Police Station. Whilst waiting for the cavalry, Carman was busy telling the plods in the station what to do and raising points of law, which the plods would be in no position to know actually existed or not. Carman was actually charged and Burton represented him in Court, although Carman wrote the mitigation speech. He received a mild slap – a £150 fine and a one year ban. Dominic Carman commented that the ‘press comment was fairly modest’ – even though the barrister who had been retained for one of the most high profile criminal trials of the 20 century had crashed his car whilst pissed and been arrested. Carman’s punishment on a professional level was to be restricted to working in Altrincham County Court for a year, issuing judgement summons’s.

John Anderton was of course the notoriously unhinged Chief Constable who had a bee in his bonnet about ‘immorality’, hated prostitutes so much that some of his own officers speculated that he might have been the person carrying out the murders for which Peter Sutcliffe was later convicted, stated that people who contracted AIDS were ‘swirling in a human cesspit of their own making’ and maintained that he was a prophet. Anderton was famous for stating that he would ‘clean up’ Manchester, especially in terms of porn, sex work and police corruption. An account of Anderton’s colleagues and their relationships with the paedophiles’ friends can be found in my post ‘Top Of The Cops’ and ‘A Stalker’s Network’.

Carman will have known a few other people as well as Anderton. In previous posts, I speculated that Carman will have known about the North Wales Paedophile Ring and may have even known some of the paedophiles’ friends from the north Wales/Cheshire ring as a result of his boozing and clubbing with bent police officers, gangsters and journos in Manchester. Dominic’s book mentions some of the locations at which Carman lived – Carman lived in Wilmslow and Altrincham. Those areas covered the location of the Cheshire paedophile ring and were not a million miles away from Chester, the constituency of Sir Peter Morrison the MP who was abusing boys in care in north Wales. Carman will also have found out a great deal by being marooned working in Altrincham County Court – although he’ll have known a great deal anyway, because before and after that his duties as a barrister took him to Courts in Cheshire. John Stalker, the Greater Manchester Police Officer featured in my posts ‘Top Of The Cops’ and ‘A Stalker’s Network’, also lived in Cheshire – as did great swathes of the professional classes who worked in Manchester.

Carman didn’t move to London until 1980, but he was already very well-networked by the time that he acted for Thorpe.

Carman read law at Balliol College, Oxford. Whilst there he was friends with Dick Taverne (who later became a Labour MP, but then defected to the SDP – he is now in the Lords). Patrick Mayhew read law with him – the Patrick Mayhew who later was the legal assessor for the GMC when Dr Morris Fraser was allowed to continue working as a psychiatrist despite convictions for paedophilia, the Patrick Mayhew who in his capacity as Attorney General authorised contempt of Court proceedings against me on the basis of Dr Tony Francis’s (Dr X’s) perjury, after I alleged that serious abuses were happening in the north Wales psychiatric services. Carman also knew barrister Stanley Brodie at Oxford and shared a room with George Carver, who later became Deputy Director of the CIA. He knew Sir Robin Day – who was also big mates with Sir Ronnie Waterhouse – and William Rees-Mogg. Carman was also friends with Vivian Price – who was the best man at Carman’s first wedding – and later became one of Carman’s clients as well. Oh – and Carman was friends with a man called Jeremy Thorpe. Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson who later became a Lord Justice of Appeal was at Oxford with Carman.

After graduation, Carman spent a short time in London and worked as a libel reader for the News of the World. He tried his hand at business – he set a girl up as a masseuse in a flat in Great Portland Street (the GMC offices are in Great Portland Street), but the girl disappeared after she was faced with a client who expected rather more than a massage. Carman had paid rent on the flat in advance, so was left out of pocket.

Carman looked for a pupillage in London and used the connections of his former tutor at Balliol to do this. He was taken on as the pupil of Neil Lawson who later became Chairman of the Law Commission and a High Court judge.

However Carman discovered that he was far too poor to afford to continue with a pupillage in London – particularly in those days, one really needed a private income to sustain oneself as a pupil barrister – and he returned to Blackpool (by now his mother was dying). Carman took up a pupillage in Manchester with Godfrey Heilpern – who acted for Myra Hindley in her 1966 trial. Readers may remember how many of the corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit who assisted the paedophiles’ friends were involved in that trial – Heilpern will have known all of them, including Ronnie Waterhouse. Joseph Cantley was working in chambers in Manchester at this time – Cantley later presided over the trial of Jeremy Thorpe – as was Fenton Atkinson, who presided over the trial of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. Carman became friendly with Sir Basil Nield, a Recorder of Manchester and was also popular with Sir Robertson Crichton, who was a Recorder of Manchester. Carman was mates with solicitor John Budd and was also admired by Gerald (Lord) Gardiner, Leonard Kaplan, Robert McCrindle and Jack Nahum QC.

Carman’s first wife was the daughter of a local Tory grandee. Carman was persuaded to put himself forward as a Parliamentary candidate and he got as far as being shortlisted for Salford for the Tories. (Whilst Carman was at Oxford his tutor Richard Crossman – who held a series of Ministerial posts in Harold Wilson’s Gov’t – had asked him to consider standing for Parliament.)

Between 1966-71 Carman worked on a great many personal injury cases. These frequently involved industrial injury and Carman was often instructed by the trade union solicitors Thompsons. Thompsons were brothers Brian and Robin, two champagne socialists from Hampstead with close links to trade union leaders. Nic Carter, who set up the Thompsons Manchester office, socialised with Carman.

Carman had begun to land High Court work in London whilst he was still in Manchester. He was helped by John Gorna, a well connected solicitor who was described by his daughter as a member of the ‘Catholic mafia’. Gorna was godfather to Dominic Carman.

John Gorna was a Director of Manchester United and gave Carman work for the club. Carman advised the club’s Chairman Louis Edwards and his son Martin. Carman acted for George Best when Best was sued by a girlfriend – it was Gorna and Sir Matt Busby who retained Carman. The case was unexpectedly settled quickly. Carman also successfully defended George Best’s mate, Pat Crerand – another Man United player – when he broke someone’s jaw and was charged with GBH. Carman became good mates with George Best but the friendship ended abruptly after Best had an affair with Carman’s wife. When Carman lived in Altrincham his next door neighbour was Willy Morgan, the recently retired captain of Man Utd. Another neighbour was solicitor John Elliot, the son of Charles Elliot QC.

Carman worked with celebs and legal bigwigs in Manchester but he also slummed it in some well-known dives, including the Nile Club on Moss Side and Russian Dave’s which was known for prostitution. During this time Carman was regularly hiring prostitutes but was also having gay relationships.

Carman was turned down for silk in 1970 by the office of the Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Gardiner. Distraught, he went to chat to his old Oxford mate Dick Taverne, who was then Finance Secretary to the Treasury – Taverne had worked with Gardiner on the Family Law Reform Committee.

The following year not only was Carman made a QC, but he was also offered a place in the chambers of Sir Peter Rawlinson who had recently been appointed as Ted Heath’s Attorney General. Carman turned it down because he lacked the money to move to London. Carman was certainly very tempted by the offer – but if you’re going to lose thousands every month in casinos you’re going to be seriously short of money.

Carman stopped driving after the car crash that caused him to call on the services of James Anderton, after that he depended upon taxis and lifts. He was ably assisted by a retired Manchester police sergeant John Cooper who worked at the Manchester courts – after bouts of all night drinking Carman would summon Cooper who would drive him home.

As well as personal injury work resulting from industrial accidents, Carman built up quite a name for himself in personal injury cases as a result of what Dominic Carman quaintly terms ‘health authority blunders’. Carman’s adversary in the High Court in Manchester in many such cases was Patrick Russell QC, who later became an Appeal Court judge. As with so many of Carman’s ‘court room adversaries’, Russell and Carman seemed to get on very well and they were good at negotiating deals when they encountered each other in personal injury cases. One of Carman’s notable successes after a ‘health authority blunder’ secured a settlement of £310k after someone was left a paraplegic – so that was one hell of a blunder. Carman’s last case of this nature was in 1987 – by which time he was in London. He secured a settlement of £550k from Berkshire Health Authority for a 14 year old girl who suffered permanent injury after falling out of her parents car in the grounds of Eton College. How falling out of one’s parents car on the premises of the country’s most elite public school could ever be the fault of Berkshire Health Authority I cannot imagine, but then I’m not George Carman.

Although it was Carman’s success in defending Thorpe that made him a household name and took him to London in 1980, Sir David Napley – Thorpe’s solicitor who retained Carman to act for Thorpe – was alleged to have spotted Carman’s genius in 1973 when Carman acted for James Hogan, the manager of Battersea funfair. Carman had been instructed by John Gorna after Hogan was charged with the manslaughter of five children as a result of gross negligence, when an accident that should never have happened did. The case was heard at the Old Bailey – Roger Lane-Smith, a solicitor from Gorna’s firm, stayed in London with Carman for the duration of the case. Carman’s defence of Hogan was actually predicated on the argument that Hogan was so utterly incompetent that he should never have been given responsibility for managing the funfair. The strategy worked, Carman won. Napley had been involved in the trial himself, he had represented the engineer Frank Etches.

It was after this that Napley started instructing Carman.

Thorpe was not the only politician in deep shit whom Napley represented – Napley was Greville Janner’s solicitor when Janner was interviewed over child sex offences in the early 1990s. Napley was so certain that Janner would be charged that he retained Carman – but of course charges were dropped although the CPS later admitted that a prosecution should have gone ahead.

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ discusses Thorpe’s career and his trial which I did know quite a lot about already having lived in west Somerset whilst Thorpe was busy in north Devon, but Dominic’s book supplies a few more details of which I was unaware.

Thorpe’s solicitor was initially Lord Goodman – someone else who was able to extract people from rather difficult situations – but he then hired Napley. Napley instructed Carman – but Napley had quoted a staggeringly low fee to Thorpe. Furthermore, James Goldsmith was footing the bill for a substantial chunk of it – but Carman allegedly didn’t know this. Carman did meet Thorpe for dinner on more than one occasion at Thorpe’s house at Orme Square and noticed the treasures within. Thorpe’s wife Marion had been left a wealthy woman after her divorce from the Earl of Harewood. Carman was representing Thorpe for a very low fee – he was told that the reward would be his reputation. So presumably Napley, Carman and co were pretty sure that they would be winning that case – a bit of an assumption in view of the enormous amount of evidence against Thorpe. But the tarot’s proved to be accurate – they did win.

The committal hearing for Thorpe and his co-defendants was held at Minehead Magistrates Court and Napley turned up at Minehead in his Rolls. I remember much over-awing of the bumpkins happening at the time, so this sort of grandiosity won’t have been accidental.

Kingsley Napley partner Christopher Murray later described Gareth Williams QC – later Lord Williams – as ‘very cunning’. Williams acted for one of Thorpe’s co-defendants George Deakin, a man from south Wales. Gareth Williams was from north Wales and was acquainted with many of the paedophiles’ friends. On the first day of the committal hearing Williams applied for reporting restrictions to be lifted, arguing that the interests of his client were different from his co-defendants. This derailed Norman Scott and his team who had to cope with reporting and publicity that they had not expected.

Over the next three weeks, Napley phoned Carman daily to review tactics. He was phoning Carman because Carman wasn’t at the committal hearing – Napley had insisted on doing that himself, although no-one was ever told why Napley followed this rather unusual path.

‘No Ordinary Man’ reproduces parts of the transcript of the Thorpe trial, particularly Cantley’s hectoring and downright abuse of Norman Scott both during cross-examination and in the summing up. One is reminded of how accurate Peter Cook’s satire on the bent old git was. Dominic observes that Norman Scott was ‘problematic’ because he was a ‘tough witness’ and put up a ‘good performance’, even recalling distinguishing marks on Thorpe’s body when it was suggested that Thorpe had never had a relationship with him. Yes Dominic – as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, most of the west country put Norman’s ‘good performance’ down to the fact that he was telling the truth.

Dominic reveals that it was Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice, who agreed to change the date of the trial after Callaghan announced the date of the forthcoming General Election, in which Thorpe would be standing. Dominic also reveals that Carman attempted to have Auberon Waugh, the Private Eye journo who stood against Thorpe in north Devon at the General Election, jailed if he didn’t ‘tone down’ his ‘election rhetoric’. Carman actually obtained an injunction against Waugh preventing him from distributing an election address leaflet – Carman’s original request to the Lord Chief Justice was refused, so Carman literally went straight down the corridor to the Court of Appeal and dear old Lord Denning the Master of the Rolls overturned the Lord Chief Justice’s decision and granted the injunction.

The prosecuting counsel at Thorpe’s trial was Peter Taylor QC, the son of a Top Doctor from Newcastle. Taylor had handled many personal injury cases on the North Eastern Circuit. Dominic’s book reveals that Taylor was most helpful to Thorpe’s defence barrister Carman. Taylor disclosed privately to Carman that there was ‘significant evidence’ proving that Thorpe was gay, which included a sexually explicit postcard that Thorpe had sent to a man whom he had had a relationship with. Thus Carman ensured that Thorpe was never directly questioned about his homosexuality. And of course Carman famously didn’t call Thorpe to give evidence. Dominic believes that in disclosing the info to Carman ‘Taylor’s honourable gesture reflected his strong commitment to fairness and objectivity’ and that Carman was ‘relieved’ ‘for the integrity of the Bar’ that Taylor acted as he did – it means that there  was no additional evidence of homosexuality in the prosecution case, so it was ‘a good deal for Thorpe’.

Not only that, but Taylor ‘avoided going for Thorpe’s jugular throughout the case and the closing speech was no exception’ – it was interpreted by the press as sympathetic to Thorpe. Indeed Taylor explained that Thorpe’s career had been ‘blighted by the Scott affair’, it was ‘a tragedy of truly Greek or Shakespearian proportions – the slow but inevitable destruction of a man by the stamp of one defect’.

Carman of course did go for the jugular – in his closing speech he maintained that Thorpe’s life ‘had more than its fair share of grief and agony…he had the misfortune to meet Norman Scott’. As for Norman, according to Carman he was ‘sad, mad or bad or a combination of all three, I care not’.

Whilst they were awaiting the verdict, Thorpe and his co-defendants lunched in a private room at the Old Bailey on smoked salmon, beef and Chablis – the grub was provided by Thorpe’s Liberal Party friend and colleague the molester Clement Freud.

The Carmans stayed in touch with Thorpe and Dominic recalls that in 2001 he was lunching with him when it was revealed that Thorpe had ‘joked’ to Carman that if he got him off he’d make him a High Court judge. In reality though even after Carman did do as required, it was many months before Thorpe even wrote to thank Carman and when he did, Thorpe simply observed that ‘as for the Bench, I am sure that it will only be a matter of time’.

So what became of the esteemed lawyers after the trial? Carman’s fees rocketed and work flooded in. Peter Taylor became a judge, Chaired the Hillsborough Disaster Inquiry and between 1992-96 was Lord Chief Justice. Judge Joseph Cantley disappeared into oblivion – as Peter Cook quipped when he was playing the part of the Biased Judge summing up for the jury ‘and now you must retire – as must I – and consider your verdict of not guilty’. Dominic reveals that at the time of the trial Carman had known Cantley for 20 years. Cantley had been the Presiding judge on the Northern Circuit where Carman had practised. Cantley was the son of a Top Doctor, a product of Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University who unusually had married the widow of his pupil master.

So had there been ‘a strong commitment to fairness and objectivity’? Or the most disgraceful crucifixion of a man who had been the target of a murder plot by a bunch of corrupt lawyers and politicians who were all connected with each other and realised that goodies would come their way as long as they let a potential murderer – who was connected to them – walk free?

The official story is that Carman was plucked from obscurity in the north to a glittering life in London after working miracles at Thorpe’s trial. But what if someone in London knew that there was a barrister in the north who boozed excessively, who had huge gambling debts, who was close to scores of crooked people from all walks of life but who was also well-connected with ‘respectable’ members of society – someone who not only needed a barrister for the Thorpe trial but who thought that such a barrister might prove very useful if they were based in London rather than Manchester?

A theme one constantly encounters when reading about George Carman and his excesses is that people ‘liked him’. But people were also very, very frightened of him. Probably far too frightened to admit that they didn’t like him at all.

After the Thorpe trial, Carman acted in two more high profile trials before he moved to London.

In 1980 in Leeds Carman represented Lord Kagan in the Kagan Textiles Case – Kagan’s manufactured the famous Gannex raincoats as sported by Harold Wilson and Prince Philip even after the shit hit the fan. Kagan was found guilty of theft and false accounting and went to prison. He kept his seat in the Lords and whilst he was in prison he negotiated a business deal to supply the prison service with uniforms.

In Carman’s last big case in Manchester he acted for the Police Federation on behalf of four police officers who ‘had been involved’ in the death of Jimmy Kelley in Liverpool. The officers received support from the local MP – a Harold Wilson. A verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ was returned.

The Police Federation supported North Wales Police’s senior officer Gordon Anglesea throughout his trial for abusing children, supported him in his plans to appeal after he was convicted and offered to pay his legal costs and turned out in force at his funeral to give him a good send off.

When Carman sold his house in Altrincham to move to London, the money that he received from the sale went to pay his gambling debts to the Manchester Playboy Club. Carman had a symbiotic relationship with casinos and clubs – he ran up huge debts with them but they also frequently used him for legal advice when they were applying for licences.

After moving to London Carman became head of New Court Chambers. Throughout the 1980s his supporting juniors in New Court were Michael Brompton and Tony Clover. Brompton knew Carman very well because he shared a room in Chambers with him.

It was in London that Carman developed his reputation as a libel lawyer, particularly for celebs.

Carman handled two libel cases for Richard Branson – Hugh Tomlinson was Carman’s junior for those. Charles Howard QC was his junior when he acted for Phil Lynott and Maria Aitken (in drugs cases rather than libel). Charles Howard married Rosie Boycott, who was editor of the Indie and the Express and who was a friend of Carman – Carman was best man at their wedding.

Carman picked up international work and was involved in cases in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Washington and New York. By the early 1980s he had come to the attention of Sir Denys Roberts, Hong Kong’s Chief Justice and was offered a position as a High Court judge in Hong Kong. Carman really wanted such a position in England – so off he trotted for a chat with his mate Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls. Denning had a word with the Lord Chief Justice, Geoffrey Lane – it is the Lord Chief Justice who makes the recommendations for High Court appointments to the Lord Chancellor. Denning had previously worked with Lord Lane. Sadly Lane told Denning that Carman was not on his list. Carman decided to take up the offer from Hong Kong. However for some reason he changed his mind during a stay in Leicester of all places.

Carman was in Leicester in 1981 for the trial of Dr Leonard Arthur at Leicester Crown Court. Leonard Arthur was on trial after he had ordered nursing staff to provide no care or treatment to a newly born baby with Down’s syndrome. Arthur also prescribed doses of dihydrocodeine. Unsurprisingly the baby died. I can remember this case well and although the prosecution was brought by the anti-abortion group LIFE – and this is what Dominic has recorded in his book – the only reason why anyone at all got to hear about the baby’s death was because a nurse who witnessed what had happened was appalled at the deliberate killing of a disabled, but very much alive, baby. At the time that nurse was constructed as an interfering know nothing who was well above her station. These days she would be called a whistleblower.

Douglas Draycott QC acted for the prosecution, Carman for the defence. Carman did not put Leonard Arthur into the witness box. However he did call a nurse, a Margaret Slater – who casually mentioned in her evidence that her own baby would not be here today if it wasn’t for Dr Arthur. I don’t know how she managed to be in Court on that day, it is all rather reminiscent of the way that Jani Allan’s old diaries turned up in Court at a crucial moment. The nurse saved Dr Arthur’s neck and he was found not guilty. The nurse was assisted by Carman who ‘destroyed’ Prof Alan Usher, the Home office pathologist who was ready with evidence about the damage to the baby’s brain. The Presiding judge was Justice Farquarson.

History records that Leonard Arthur was not someone who didn’t think that disabled people were worth keeping alive, but someone who was a caring Top Doctor, selflessly devoted to children, worked night and day for the greater good of the nation’s infants – you get the picture.

So what happened in Leicester to persuade Carman to turn down the job of a High Court judge in Hong Kong and remain in England working as a barrister instead? Who knows.

Leicester County Council of course had a problem with a paedophile ring in its children’s services, a ring that Lord Greville Janner was alleged to have been involved with. Frank Beck, the notorious social worker who devised whacky therapies which served as a cover for his abuse of children, was given five life sentences for sexually abusing hundreds of children in 1991. Beck had been involved with the Liberal Party.

One lawyer was particularly impressed by George Carman’s successful defence of a doctor who finished off a baby with learning disabilities – that was a Cherie Booth who praised Carman for ensuring that ‘justice’ prevailed. In the 1980s Cherie Booth was a barrister in New Court Chambers! There was another barrister in New Court as well, who was Carman’s junior – Cherie knew him well, he was a Tony Blair!

Now the Blairs have kept THAT quiet – I’ve been trying to find out in which chambers old Blair worked before he became an MP and it’s not a piece of info that appears in any of the obvious places. But now I know. Blair never forgot the talents of his former boss. Within six months of Blair becoming Prime Minister, Carman found himself at a reception in Downing Street along with Richard Branson when Blair told Branson that Carman was the best lawyer that he could have found.

In Nov 1982 Carman defended Geoffrey Prime who worked for GCHQ but also spied for the KGB. Prime was a paedophile and a member of PIE who had been involved with under-aged girls in the Cheltenham/Gloucester area. Carman’s junior in that case was Tony Clover and the Presiding judge was Lord Chief Justice Lane. Prime was convicted, so Carman took the case to appeal – it was dismissed by Lord Justice Lawton.

Carman was involved in the case involving the grisly death of Roberto Calvi who in 1982 was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Calvi had been President of the ‘Vatican’s Bank’, Banco Ambrosiano and was believed many, including his family, to have been murdered. Lurid stories of Masonic corruption and involvement with Opus Dei circulated – and all the money was missing from the bank. David Napley represented Calvi’s family at the inquest which was held by Dr David Paul, the coroner for the City of London – Paul rushed the inquiry. The autopsy was carried out by Prof Keith Simpson. A suicide verdict was returned – which was widely ridiculed because there were numerous aspects of the case which suggested that Calvi had been the victim of a bizarre crime. His underpants were full of bricks which was a bit weird and his hands were clean and well-manicured, which if he’d been crawling around under Blackfriars Bridge hanging himself they would not have been. Carman wanted a fresh inquest in front of Lord Geoffrey Lane. In March 1983 the Lord Chief Justice agreed to overturn the verdict. A new coroner was appointed, Dr Graham Davies and an open verdict was returned in June 1983.

In 1983 in Burnley Carman defended Peter Adamson aka Len Fairclough from Coronation Street after he was charged with indecently assaulting two eight year old girls in a swimming pool. Adamson was cleared although it was alleged that Carman believed that he had been guilty. In 1988 Adamson flogged a story to the Sun admitting that he had been guilty.

Following the Adamson revelations, in 1989 Prof George Steiner joked about Carman’s ability to get anyone off just about anything. It increased Carman’s business.

Carman’s close female friends in London included Sue Cook from BBC’s Crimewatch, Pippa Jessel the former wife of Tory MP Toby Jessel, Frances Heggarty/Hyfield the barrister/crime writer and Lady Annunziata Asquith.

Dominic relates a very worrying story when read in the light of Carman’s conduct towards his female partners and his links with questionable people in high places. Dominic tells us that in 1984 Carman had a ‘close relationship’ with a 30 year old woman but the ’10 month relationship ended with disastrous consequences’. The lady moved to London and into Carman’s Lincoln’s Inn flat and was ‘surprised when he showed no physical interest in her’. I think that we’ve been here before. This woman was ’emotionally volatile’ and Carman’s ‘subsequent humiliation of her precipitated a nervous breakdown’. According to Dominic, George was terrified of anything to do with mental illness – he asked Dominic ‘to accompany him as he registered her as a psychiatric inpatient, before telling her mother to come and pick up the pieces’.

Now there’s a story. So what did Carman do to the ’emotionally volatile’ lady whom he had invited to move in with him? Or what had she witnessed or found out? Which hospital so obligingly admitted her as an in-patient and how did they repackage the horror? I think we should be told…

One of Carman’s most famous triumphs was successfully defending Ken Dodd after Dodd was charged with tax evasion. The presiding judge was none other than our old friend – and indeed Carman’s old friend – Ronnie Waterhouse, the prosecuting counsel was Brian Leveson and the trial was held at Liverpool Crown Court. Waterhouse was a member of the Garrick – as was Carman and indeed their mutual friend Robin Day. Waterhouse also knew Thorpe through their Liberal Party activities.

Ken Dodd was a much-loved son of Liverpool. Waterhouse was born just a few miles away from Ken Dodd’s birthplace. The not guilty verdict caused much entertainment because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against Dodd – Dodd himself joked about not paying his taxes. The Inland Revenue had discovered accounts of Dodd’s in Jersey and the Isle of Man, there was thousands of pounds in used notes secreted about his house, there were references to wheelbarrows of money being moved around, it was ridiculous. A neighbour commented to me at the time that it looked as though the only questions would be ‘which prison and for how many years?’

At the opening of the trial Carman claimed that Dodd was suffering from ventricular tachycardia, a potentially fatal condition, that Dodd was in imminent danger of death and that the trial would almost certainly kill him. Carman tried to get the trial stopped on medical grounds – two weeks before the trial Carman had sent Dodd to a heart specialist, although the date for the trial had been set many months previously. The trial did go ahead and Dodd is still alive – and performing – today, nearly twenty years later.

The Top Doctor who gave evidence that Dodd was about to drop dead was Dr Rhys Williams from Manchester Royal Infirmary. However another Top Doctor, Prof John Camm, testified that Dodd was fit for trial. Camm worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School, so God only knows how anyone persuaded him to give evidence against a dodgy lawyer. Er – yes, I’ve just realised the significance of that quip – dear old St George’s had an awful lot to hide and had participated in some terrible things at the time of Dodd’s trial.

There also seem to have been some porkies told about Dodd’s age at his trial. Dodd’s Who’s Who entries for years have stated that he is four years younger than the age given when he stood trial.

Carman read out letters from Harold Wilson, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher at Dodd’s trial, all supportive of Dodd. Character evidence was supplied by Roy Hudd, Eric Sykes, Michael Billington, John Fisher (the head of Variety at Thames Television) and Shelia Murray (the Secretary of Clatterbridge Hospital’s Cancer Research Trust – Dodd had helped them raise £10 million).

It was revealed at the trial that in 1984 Reginald Hunter – Dodd’s accountant between 1972-82 – had been prosecuted at Mold Crown Court for false accounting to enable other clients to avoid tax. Waterhouse grew up in Flintshire and retained close links there. Mold is the legal/administrative centre of Flintshire.

The barrister on the losing side of the Dodd case, Brian Leveson, did OK for himself. He became a High Court judge and Lord Leveson found fame and fortune when he Chaired the 2011-12 public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press. Like Dodd, Leveson was a local boy made big from Liverpool.

Carman got into libel work via Oscar Beuselinck, whom Carman knew as the in-house lawyer for the Mirror News Group. Back in the 50s Oscar had represented entertainers, including John Osborne. He had become a Director of Woodfall Films with Osborne and acted for Hollywood clients. In the 70s Oscar began taking defamation work. He sued Private Eye in the 60s but then became their principal solicitor, representing them against Robert Maxwell in 1986. Maxwell himself then recruited Oscar in 1989, although Oscar resigned after a damning Panorama documentary on Maxwell was screened in 1991 – however he did remain as a consultant to Maxwell.

Carman’s juniors in libel cases were Adrienne Page, Victoria Sharp, Andrew Caldecott, James Price, Heather Rogers and Hugh Tomlinson.

Not only do the same names keep cropping up in terms of barristers whom Carman worked with or faced as opponents in Court, but the same judges keep popping up as well. Carman appeared many times in the Court of Mr Justice Drake. We know that judges are impartial of course but in one case Drake made it clear after the case that he was delighted that Carman had won the case. That case in question was the 1989 libel action against the News of the World – owned by the News Group, Murdoch’s empire – brought by Sonia Sutcliffe, the wife of Peter Sutcliffe. The News of the Screws admitted that they HAD defamed Sonia Sutcliffe, they had even paid £50k into Court, but Sutcliffe wanted more. Barbara Jones, a journo for the Mail on Sunday was named as a co-defendant – if Sonia won, Jones would have been liable for the News of the Screws’ indemnity damages and costs, which would have left Jones financially ruined. The potential for this had led to total hostility between Jones and News Group. Now Jones had previously been on holiday with Sonia and they had been pretty good friends – they had been planning to write a book together. But it was Jones’s evidence in Court that completely shafted Sonia Sutcliffe – evidence that Jones had gained regarding Sonia’s alleged attitude towards her husbands crimes during their holiday. Jones defended herself in Court – but she much appreciated Carman’s ‘quiet support and encouragement’. He advised her and told her what to do and say in Court, including telling her to ‘rile’ Sonia.

Sonia Sutcliffe lost the case and was left with a bill for 1/4 of a million quid.

There was little public sympathy for Sonia Sutcliffe at the time – she was the wife of a serial killer, there were allegations flying that she knew that her husband had been attacking women and she’d already won a number of big settlements from newspapers in libel cases.

Something else was happening at the time. The press were desperate to stem the tide of libel awards. The settlements were getting bigger and bigger and it was costing them a great deal of money. One man in particular was costing them a fortune – George Carman.

The more that I find out about the Sonia Sutcliffe case the more that it looks as though the sort of deal that seems to have happened in the Thorpe trial had occurred. A group of very greedy, very unscrupulous, very powerful people could well have got together behind the scenes and come to a convenient arrangement. The only person who didn’t benefit was Sonia Sutcliffe. But she wasn’t a press baron, or a journo or a lawyer. She was the wife of a murderer. Carman was hailed as a hero in the press and Tom Crone, News Group’s lawyer – a barrister who had previously worked for the Mirror Group – made a triumphalist speech outside of the Court. Crone was a close friend of Carman. In 2011 Crone resigned from his job as News International’s legal affairs manager during the phone hacking scandal, after it was revealed that the phone of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked.

Not only did Justice Drake announce his satisfaction with the verdict – the Justice Drake who later presided over the libel case brought by Gordon Anglesea in which Carman represented Private Eye and others against Anglesea but lost – but the Private Eye lot were so pleased that they held a party which Carman attended. Sonia had successfully sued them previously…

The Jani Allan case that I mentioned earlier also occurred at the time that newspapers were worried about spiralling libel costs. Like Sonia Sutcliffe, Jani Allan had won a number of libel cases. It was Carman who finished Jani Allan off – but her counsel was Charles Howard QC, Carman’s mate.

I mentioned that Carman produced some interesting medical evidence in the Ken Dodd trial. Carman seemed to know some very helpful Top Doctors. In 1987 Carman’s former best man and good friend from Oxford Vivian Price QC was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and driving twice whilst disqualified. Price was a senior barrister and a High Court judge. Carman obtained medical evidence at the 11th hour stating that Price had a brain tumour. It got Price off a prison sentence. The very understanding judge was Justice Farquarson – who had presided over the trial of Dr Leonard Arthur in which Carman had triumphed.

Carman also produced a helpful medical expert when he defended the Sun in 1994 after Gillian Taylforth the Eastenders actress brought a libel case against them. Taylforth and her partner Geoff Knights had been stopped on a motorway and Knights had been arrested and charged with driving offences. A policeman then sold a story to the Sun claiming that Gillian Taylforth had been giving Knights oral sex in the car. Taylforth and Knights denied it and their story was that Knights suffered from pancreatitis, had been in pain, so Taylforth undid his trousers to rub his belly. Carman produced Dr Iain Murray Lyon, a pancreatitis specialist, who testified that Knights could have been faking the pancreatitis attack by describing the symptoms. Well yes he could, but Dr Lyon was not there at the time so had no idea at all whether Knights was making it up or not. Not only did Carman produce a Top Doctor out of the hat, but at the beginning of the second week of the trial a video arrived at court. It was a film six years old of a drunken party attended by the Eastenders cast. Taylforth could be seen messing around with a sausage joking about oral sex and gesticulating with a bottle between her legs. She was fully clothed, it was daylight and there were many people present – it was hardly an orgy and wasn’t that shocking. But Carman made it sound like Sodom and Gomorrah. Taylforth lost the case and became so distressed that she collapsed and had to be wheeled out of the court on a stretcher attached to a supply of oxygen. Everyone had a real laugh and once again Tom Crone appeared outside the Court to crow. Michael Beloff QC acted for Taylforth but no-one asked what a policeman was doing selling a story to the Sun or how an ancient video of a party long-forgotten had found its way into Carman’s hands at a most convenient time.

As for the Top Doctor – Dr Iain Murray-Lyon works at Harley Street and at the Edward VII Hospital. That hospital was featured in my post ‘Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal’. It was the hospital which employed the nurse who looked after the Duchess of Cambridge when she suffered from severe pregnancy-induced vomiting who committed suicide when some Australian shock jocks rang up pretending to be the Queen. The Chairman of the hospital was Lord Simon Glenarthur – who is also the Director of the MDU and was the Health Minister responsible for the NHS ‘tainted blood’ scandal (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz…’).

Figures from the whole spectrum of the press loved Carman and utilised his talents. Yet he threatened and crapped on them as well. In 1982 Carman had Sir David English the editor of the Daily Mail fined for contempt for a prejudicial article about the Leonard Arthur case. Ten years later when Carman discovered that his ex-wife had given an interview to the Daily Mail he leant on English – who was still the editor – to tone down the article. It was published two days after the verdict following Carman’s savaging of Jani Allan in Court.

In July 1993 Carman was retained by Ian Burton to defend John Jermyn Hervey, the Marquis of Bristol, on drugs charges. The trial was at Snaresbrook Crown Court and the judge was Owen Stable QC. During the trial – and in his consultations with Carman before the trial – Hervey took both coke and heroin (he was even consuming drugs in the bogs in Court). The sentence was deferred on the grounds that Hervey was receiving treatment in the Charter Clinic, Chelsea. Before sentencing Hervey discharged himself from the clinic and went to France on a massive drugs binge. Carman put in a plea for mitigation based on Hervey’s deprived childhood no less, but he was jailed nonetheless. Hervey died from an AIDS related illness in 1999. He was a wildly promiscuous user of rent boys and by his own estimation had sex with thousands of them. Presumably infecting more than a few.

In Nov 1993 Elton John retained Carman to take on Carman’s own friends at Mirror Group Newspapers – Carman had secured a settlement of £1 million for Elton in 1988 after the Sun alleged that Elton John had suffered from an eating disorder which resulted in him spitting food out. The ever dependable Justice Drake presided and awarded exemplary damages to Elton. However in 1995 the Court of Appeal reduced the damages and laid out recommendations for future damages – just when the press really needed it. This bought an end to juries imposing punitive damages on newspapers and also resulted in the settlement of a libel action brought by Michael Jackson agains Mirror Group Newspapers.

Whoever could tell who was dealing with who behind the scenes and who was stuffing who over? Although the press barons got bigger and bigger and Carman became richer and richer and even more feared.

In 1998 the Times speculated that Carman’s earnings had dropped off – Carman was so cross that he phoned Clare Dyer, the Guardian’s legal correspondent and Frances Gibb, the Times’ legal editor and ensured that Gibb was au fait with his present success and recent work. Gibb duly obliged by running a big article the following week that flattered Carman.

Carman revelled in his Hollywood clients, including Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. He was retained by them in 1997 after a Sunday Express article made allegations about their involvement with Scientology, Cruise’s alleged infertility and the couple’s unhappy marriage. Carman sent ‘compelling medical evidence’ to the Express Group and in Oct 1998 the Express Group paid Cruise and Kidman damages and costs. They divorced some two years later amid allegations of Scientology and marital distress.

In 2000 the celebrity chef Marco Pierre White sued the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Geoffrey Ripon QC acted for the newspapers and Carman acted for White. Carman won and the day after the damages were awarded White got married – Michael Winner was the best man and George Carman was a guest.

I remember hearing about Marco Pierre White in the early 1990s, from a young woman who had worked for him in London. This young woman had some very interesting stories – stories of drug use, of sexual exploitation and chaos in the business. She claimed to have had sex with White herself – in fact she told me that she had been in some sort of relationship with him whilst his ‘official’ partner was somebody else. Not that the young woman in question will ever be able to flog a story to anyone about it all – because she was an in-patient at the Hergest Unit, with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ of course. She had grown up in north Wales, gone to university in London and met Marco Pierre White down there. Her parents confirmed that. But after a rather wild time in London she had a breakdown and was brought back to Wales – by a Top Doctor – and sectioned at Ysbyty Gwynedd. By exactly the same social workers and Top Doctors who unlawfully imprisoned me, pretty much at the same time that I was unlawfully detained. Her parents also told me that the law had been repeatedly broken and when they complained about it Gwynedd Social Services and Ysbyty Gwynedd lied constantly. I got to know this young woman quite well over the following years. Her one desire was to ‘get better’ and go back to London. The mental health services were very keen for her not to do this. I and her other friends used to notice that on a number of occasions she seemed to recover from her distress and enrol for courses, find jobs etc. But every time that she began to improve, the Top Doctors at Hergest – usually Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) – would alter her ‘medication’ and within three weeks she would be back in hospital, usually sectioned. It makes me wonder what goes on in Marco Pierre White’s world.

Carman took to hosting parties in the 1990s. He held a bash in the summer of 1993. Guests included the Lord Chief Justice, Sue Lawley, Ian Hislop, Norman Lamont, Sir David English (Chair of Associated Newspapers, which was the major shareholder of Euromoney Publications, Dominic Carman’s employers). Carman held another knees-up in 1998 at the Ritz, but a lot of people seemed to be unavailable, including Tom Bingham the Lord Chief Justice, David Frost, Elton John, Ian Hislop, Mo Mowlam, Imran Khan and his wife Jemima, Richard Branson and Jeffrey Archer. Those who did attend included  Dominic Lawson, Robin Day, Sue Cook, P.D. James, Freddie Forsythe, Lord Robert Alexander QC, Lord Gareth Williams, Lord Grabiner, Aidan Barclay and the Blairs, who dropped in on their way to Tuscany! Conrad Black turned up after the party had ended.

In 1998 Sir Ronnie Waterhouse had just finished taking evidence about the most appalling abuse of children in care in north Wales at the public inquiry which he was Chairing. A lot of people were very shocked at what witnessed said about their time in north Wales children’s homes in the 70s and 80s – it was far worse than anyone expected. A number of male  witnesses talked about being taken to Cheshire and London to be sexually abused by older men.

In 1993 George Carman purchased a house in Wimbledon and lived there until 1999. Wimbledon is just down the road from St George’s Hospital Medical School and is the preferred location for the residences of the senior staff of that institution. In 1999 Carman moved to another house in Wimbledon. He held a party there after winning the case for Al Fayed against Neil Hamilton.

Blair was not the only Prime Minister who had reason to be grateful to Carman. In April 1994 he acted for Thatcher in a copyright dispute involving her memoirs. In 1995 he was retained by John Major after the New Statesman published allegations about Clare Latimer. Major stopped the retention of Carman after the Observer published a comment about Carman offering free advice to Major – an apology to Carman was published and somehow John Major’s action was settled shortly afterwards.

Aspiring Prime Ministers sought Carman’s help as well. Portillo retained Carman with regard to the allegations of past homosexual activity on the part of Portillo – until Portillo decided to admit publicly that in the past he had participated in gay sex.

Very rich people whose funding is vital to Prime Ministers also beat a path to Carman’s door. In 1999 Carman advised Michael Ashcroft when he sued the Times after they published allegations of money laundering and drugs related crimes. Ashcroft met with Carman and that afternoon met with Murdoch after Jeff Randall acted as the broker to get them together. A deal was struck with a settlement. In the mid 1990s I knew someone who responded to the TV adverts that were being screened in Wales at the time urging people to report crime to Crimestoppers. This person reported the suspicious death of an elderly lady in one of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing homes’ and also reported one of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘substance abuse patients’ who was openly seeling Class A drugs to schoolchildren in Bangor. No action was taken, so this person rang Crimestoppers again a few weeks later and repeated their allegations. They were told that Crimestoppers would not be taking any action because Crimestoppers were treating these calls as hoaxes.

Lord Michael Ashcroft funded and established Crimestoppers.

I suppose that it was inevitable that Jeffrey Archer crossed Carman’s path. In Oct 1999 Carman was retained by Eversheds to act for Archer in libel procedings against the Times. The matter was settled, an apology was issued and damages paid. In Dec 1999, new evidence emerged regarding a libel trial involving Archer and the Star twelve years previously. Carman was asked by Lovells – solicitors for Express Newspapers – to act against Archer in appealing the Star libel decision. Carman had been advising Archer eight weeks earlier. Carman held a conference at Lovells with David Pannick QC to discuss strategy. The civil action was abandoned in April 2000 when Archer faced criminal charges. Archer wrote to Carman in Oct 2000 regarding his impending trial for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, requesting lunch with Carman in order to ‘discuss matters’.

Another crook of impressive proportions who had dealings wirth Carman was Robert Maxwell. Between 1990-91 Maxwell was a regular client of Carman’s. Carman almost got into charity work through Maxwell. Carman supported Shelter and Maxwell promised to run a Mirror campaign for the homeless but it never happened. Carman parted company  with Shelter soon afterwards stating that he was fed up of giving them money. Carman had been acting for Maxwell in a libel case against the BBC but Maxwell went overboard before the case was heard. After Maxwell’s death Kevin Maxwell took over the Maxwell Communication Group and Ian Maxwell took over the Mirror Group. There  was of course the matter of the missing £426 million fron two pension funds at the Mirror Group. In Jan 1992 Carman appeared for Kevin in front of the Commons Select Committee – John Jarvis QC appeared for Ian and the Chair of the Committee was Frank Field. David Pannick QC was a member of the Maxwell’s advisory team. Carman visited Kevin’s wife Pandora at home to chat with her about the deep shit that the Maxwells were in. However Carman declined to defend Kevin at his subsequent trial – Carman told Clare Dyer of the Gyardian that he didn’t want to be committed to a long legal aid defence. Carman was therefore in breach of Bar Council rules but who cares about that, the Maxwells had no dosh anymore…

In 1993 Carman represented Branson in a libel claim against British Airways and secured a settlement of £610k. The settlement was somehow leaked to the Sun and was a scoop for David Yelland, the then City editor. Five years later Murdoch made Yelland the editor. In 1998 Carman represented Branson again, in a libel case against Guy Snowden, a major lottery operator. The presiding judge was Justice Morland – who also presided over the trial of the two ten year olds who killed James Bulger – who had known Carman for 50 years. They had been contemporaries at Oxford and both worked on the Northern  Circuit.

In the late 1990s Al Fayed was a regular client of Carman’s – numerous cases of Al Fayed’s were settled out of court or dropped. In 1999 Carman represented Al Fayed against Neil Hamilton – Desmond Browne QC acted for Hamilton and Justice Morland presided. One of Al Fayed’s many accusations against Hamilton was that Hamilton had procured rent boys. Hamilton was the MP for the Cheshire constituency that bordered on Sir Peter Morrison constituency and Hamilton and his wife attended social functions with Morrison. Carman won that case. Prior to that in 1995 Hamilton had sued the Guardian for libel – Carman succeeded in getting the case stopped on a point of law. Hamilton enlisted the help of Thatcher who had the law changed in Hamilton’s favour.

Carman did of course advise members of the Royal Family – including Diana, Prince Michael of Kent and Sarah Ferguson.

In 2000 Carman dissolved New Court Chambers and joined Elizabeth Appleby QC in her chambers – Carman took the room vacated by Cherie Booth, who had left to form Matrix. The former joint head of the chambers Michael Beloff QC left shortly after Carman joined.

Not only did Carman have access to helpful Top Doctors for his work as a barrister but he had his very own helpful Top Doctor on tap for his own medical needs – Dr Annie Coxon, a Harley street physician and neurologist. Annie Coxon was always on hand to deal with Carman’s ‘crises’ – which were nearly always a result of Carman drinking so much that he needed medical attention. On one occasion he collapsed in Court as a result of intoxication and Coxon even set up a drip for him as she attended. Coxon was known to take calls from Carman regularly in the early hours of the morning, she made sure that she was always available. There seems to have been major discord between Coxon and the Top Doctors who treated Carman at the end of his life when he developed cancer. He was of course treated privately by other Harley Street Top Doctors at the London Clinic but they seemed to freeze Coxon out of his care and she was not happy about this.

Coxon was a Catholic but converted to Islam over twenty years ago. She was introduced to Islam by the mother of the Sultan of Oman who was one of her patients. She was also the personal doctor of Al Fayed. Coxon was also the doctor of Jade Goody and was most critical of the NHS after Goody’s death from cancer.

Carman died of cancer in Jan 2001. Before he died he was courted by many cancer charities – he settled on supporting the Cancer Research Campaign (CRCUK) after Prof Gordon McVie visited him at home. His memorial service was attended by a number of people including Cherie Blair and Jeremy Thorpe.

George Carman seems to have touched the lives of a great many people who were involved in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Ring. Carman’s mycelia reached everywhere. I was particularly surprised to find out that Carman’s senior clerk in New Court Chambers Bill Conner – Carman’s right hand man after Carman moved to London – was a keen birder. Enthusiastic birders get to know each other and travel across the UK regularly – the wealthier ones travel internationally. I have mentioned that my group of friends whilst I was at university in the early/mid-80s were birders – our house on Anglesey was the centre of much Bangor Bird Group activity. In 1985 just before we were all due to leave north Wales, my closest friend at university and house mate was killed in a car crash. My friend’s former boyfriend, also a well-known birder, was left brain-damaged and paralysed. My friend knew all about the problems that I was having with the north Wales mental health services. She was killed when a TR7 crashed into her head on whilst it was travelling on her side of the road. The driver of the TR7 was unscathed except for a broken arm. There was no investigation into the crash. A few weeks later Dr DGE Wood, the corrupt GP whom I now know was working very hard to conceal the criminal activities in north Wales and who ran the Student Health Centre at Bangor University, had a huge row with me when once more I raised the question of the misconduct of his colleagues. He finished by yelling at me that there was nothing for me in north Wales anymore and that I ought to leave the area and forget about everything that had happened there. A few days after my friend’s death, Wood’s colleague, the nurse who worked in the Student Health Centre, took my friend’s file out of the records locker and wrote ‘DEAD’ across the front of it in front of me. I wonder whether that was supposed to have been some sort of warning.

Ooh, nearly forgot – Sir John Kay, the High Court judge who issued Gwynedd Social Services with an injunction against me on the basis of affidavits from two social workers who perjured themselves (one of whom had never met me and the other one who had met me at most on three occasions) was a judge on the Northern Circuit. I could not work out at the time why a bunch of crooked social workers from Caernarfon had gone all the way to Leeds High Court to seek out a judge.

Sir John Kay knew George Carman.

Nasty business, organised child sexual abuse.

News Round Up, 6 October 2017

The Betsi has been in the news again this week and of course it has not been for any positive reasons. Both BBC News Wales and Daily Post Online have reported on the case of ‘Mr D’, who died at Ysbyty Gwynedd after receiving ‘substandard care’.

Mr D was admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Dec 2014 with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was diagnosed with pneumonia and respiratory failure. The day following his admission, his daughter Ms C was told that he was improving and that discharge plans were being discussed. Yet Mr D’s condition worsened and on Christmas Day, four days after he had been admitted, he suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

In Feb 2015, Ms C – ironically a member of staff in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Complaints Dept – made a formal complaint to the Betsi. She waited almost a year for a response but having still heard nothing from the Betsi about her complaint, she enlisted the help of a Community Health Council advocate. Nineteen months after her complaint was lodged the Board finally replied and although they admitted that there was a failure to carry out observations on Mr D, they stated that this did not affect the ‘sad outcome’.

This complaint has ended up in the hands of the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, who has absolutely slammed the Betsi. Mr Bennett has highlighted ‘serious failings’ and ‘missed opportunities’ – such as the failure to move Mr D to a high dependency unit – which led to Mr D’s death. Mr Bennett also mentioned that an inaccurate record was made of the cause of Mr D’s death and that there was a failure to carry out a serious incident investigation. Mr Bennett stated that the Betsi had been ‘disingenuous’ and had refused to admit that their failings led to Mr D’s death. Mr Bennett’s report also revealed that the cause of Mr D’s death had actually been acute kidney injury secondary to sepsis, which was never treated. Furthermore the staff involved in Mr D’s ‘care’ made inappropriate comments about the complaint to a member of Mr D’s family – the Board failed to follow up this matter properly.

So the Betsi failed to diagnose a serious illness, they failed to provide the appropriate care, a completely avoidable death occurred, they then failed to respond to a complaint about that death for more than a year and six months, when they did respond they lied, they also failed to follow their own complaints procedure, a member of their staff then spoke ‘inappropriately’ and breached confidentiality and the Betsi failed to deal with that matter properly as well.

This is pretty much par for the course where the north Wales NHS is concerned and it has been for decades.

Gill Harris, Director of Nursing at the Betsi, has spouted the usual load of meaningless tripe about how sorry they are, how they are seeking to improve and how they are improving their ‘concerns procedures’ (it is a standing joke in north Wales that the Betsi never refers to a ‘complaint’, it is always a ‘concern’).

The Betsi have been told repeatedly to improve their ‘clinical standards’ and to improve their response to complaints. The north Wales NHS was told this repeatedly in its previous incarnation in the form of the NHS Trusts that preceded the Betsi. They were supposedly ‘prioritising sepsis’ nearly ten years ago – yet someone else has now died of it after the Betsi failed to treat it and in this instance the Betsi simply pretended that the patient had died of something else.

Is anybody really surprised that this has happened AGAIN? There are members of the Betsi Board such as the Chair Peter Higson and Director of Workforce Martin Jones who have been employed in the NHS in north Wales for decades and they have ALWAYS concealed gross negligence and misconduct on the part of clinical staff, lied about doing so and then failed to investigate complaints properly – it is their business model. Did anyone expect them to conduct themselves any differently just because the organisation was given a new name?

Much as I sympathise with Ms C after what she has been through, I would like to ask her why, as a member of the complaints team at the Betsi, that she hasn’t previously blown the whistle when she witnessed this happening to other people – because she will have. Perhaps Ms C could also tell me when the very serious complaint that I made about the Betsi last year will be investigated because to date it has not been. I was lied to – and about – as well and when I pointed this out it was ignored. My complaint remains unresolved – but I will not be alone, there’ll be hundreds of us in that position.

 

The Daily Post has reported on the inquest in Ruthin of Susan England, a 63 year old teacher who died in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd of an accidental overdose of dihydrocodeine. Ms England took the accidental overdose after trying to ease the pain from her hip whilst she waited for an operation. The Coroner Nicola Jones stated that this death illustrates the ‘perils of self-medicating’. It also illustrates the perils of having to rely upon the north Wales NHS – you are left in agony and I bet that there was no advice or help given to Ms England concerning pain management. She’ll have been left to deal with it herself. Nicola Jones told Susan England’s family that she realised that they’d been through ’48 hours of absolute hell’. Ms England herself had probably been through many months of hell, firstly trying to get an appointment regarding her hip problems, then being left to deal with the agony alone on a very long waiting list. I have two friends who both recently had orthopaedic problems and who live in north Wales. They were both told that they could skip a very long waiting list if they agreed to pay for private treatment – from exactly the same consultant who would perform the operation if they had it on the NHS. One friend is ideologically against private care and stated that as a matter of principal he’d wait for NHS treatment. Within two months of being offered the chance to skip the waiting list, he was in agony – which his greedy, grasping ‘NHS consultant’ knew that he’d be. There was no advice offered regarding pain control – just another offer to skip the waiting list if my friend stumped up for private treatment. The consultant treating him – or more accurately doing all he can not to treat him unless it is on a private basis – will be earning almost £100k pa for his NHS work. NHS work that involves leaving people in agony on a very long waiting list whilst you wait for them to crumble and agree to book in for private care at Spire Wrexham or some such similar establishment.

Nicola Jones observed that Ms England was ‘a healthy woman apart from her hip pain’ and returned a verdict of ‘accidental death’.

 

Nicola Jones also recently carried out the inquest on Mathew Gareth Jones, a 34 year old man with an alcohol problem. Nicola Jones stated at the inquest that Mathew’s death was ‘alcohol related’ and that ‘a lot of work was done by health professionals to try to help him’. Mathew’s parents disagreed with this statement so strongly that they spoke to the Daily Post. They maintained that Mathew should have had more help for his alcohol problem and that both Denbighshire County Council’s housing dept and the Ablett Unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd let him down badly. They explained that Mathew had been in and out of the Ablett Unit for two years, that he was homeless during this time and that when he was housed, it was in a B&B above a pub in Rhyl.

People unacquainted with the ‘help’ on offer to mental health patients in north Wales may believe that Mathew’s parents are unfairly blaming other agencies for their son’s problems. I doubt that they are. For years when I lived in north Wales I watched the most ludicrous – indeed dangerous – decisions taken about vulnerable people. I knew one alcoholic who was housed immediately next door to one pub in Bethesda and just a few doors away from two other pubs. I knew another alcoholic who was housed in substandard accommodation next door to an off licence. Both these men drank themselves to death within months of being ‘housed’. I knew a vulnerable man with mental health problems who was housed in the same block of flats as big time drug dealers – they intimidated him out of his flat (he fled in terror) and he was then refused further accommodation after the Arfon Community Mental Health Team declared that he had ‘made himself homeless’. Another vulnerable mental health patient was housed in the ‘hard to let’ part of the toughest council estate in Gwynedd. She had a brick thrown through her window within three weeks of moving in. I could cite many more examples, it was constant. Furthermore even these people had only been housed after spending years begging for help to find accommodation – most mental health patients requesting such help were just told to take a running jump. The degree of neglect was scandalous. Three years ago I discovered that there was a team of five or six social workers employed by Gwynedd County Council whose remit it was to find homeless people accommodation – and two of those social workers were supposedly dedicated to housing disabled people. I did not know such a team even existed and no-one else that I knew had ever heard of them either – yet I knew numerous disabled homeless people in Gwynedd who had begged for help with housing and were all simply told ‘we don’t have any housing’.

 

So I was not really that surprised to discover that Nick Bennett the Public Services Ombudsman was reported in the Daily Post as saying that the number of health complaints has doubled in a decade and that he is seeing a rise in the number of complaints against the Betsi. Last year Mr Bennett published six public interest reports – three of them concerned the Betsi, all of them involved Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. This should not surprise anyone either. Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been in a dreadful state for many years and its serious problems were simply denied and concealed by the previous Chief Exec of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, Gren Kershaw (see post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’). The director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at present is Craig Barton. Barton was formerly a senior manager of the North West Wales NHS Trust and at one point he was appointed to ‘modernise’ the Hergest Unit. When he was asked by two people known to me how he was going to do this – two people who knew all about the catalogue of deaths and abuse at the Hergest Unit – Barton told them that he wasn’t even going to try, because the then manager of the Hergest Unit Alun Davies was alright if he liked you, but if he took a dislike to you ‘your feet won’t touch the floor’. Davies and Barton remained as ‘managers’ of the Hergest Unit and patients continued to die. I was told that Craig Barton was the rather daft son of someone senior in the North Wales Probation Service – a ‘service’ which was corrupt as fuck and a great friend to the North Wales Paedophile Ring. Craig did rather badly in his degree at Bangor and of course ended up in the north Wales NHS. A career path that has been followed by a great many fuckwits local to north Wales, including Martin Jones.

Nick Bennett has stated that the Betsi needs a ‘culture change’ but this will not be easy. That Nick is because it is run by the likes of Higson, Barton and Martin Jones and no-one is ever sacked no matter how badly they conduct themselves or how many people die. Nick himself is from Anglesey and is now based in Cardiff. So Nick’s pretty much part of the same crowd then – Nick’s pedigree was discussed recently on the Welsh political blog Jac O The North. Nick Bennett told the Daily Post that his ‘most experienced and senior investigators’ were now working with the Betsi. Which will be a complete waste of time, because they will be the very same people who have spent their whole careers in the Welsh NHS or Welsh civil service and it is they who have failed to deal with the problems previously and they certainly won’t now. Most of them probably know Higson by name and may have even worked for him/with him when he was Chief Exec of Health Inspectorate Wales – which consistently failed to investigate serious complaints against the north Wales NHS… Higson’s sister is Dr Ruth Hussey, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales… I could go on for ever in this vein, but the corrupt incestuous circle involves so many people that readers will just have to use the search facility on this blog for further details.

 

BBC News Wales reported a crisis in home care on Anglesey. Gwawr Rowlands who has Rett syndrome – a genetic condition which affects brain development and can result in severe mental and physical disabilities – has been receiving a care package funded by the Betsi but organised by Anglesey County Council’s social services. The package includes help with washing and changing. On 25 Sept Gwawr’s mother received a phone call telling her that Gwawr’s carers would no longer be providing care after 29 Sept – so Gwawr and her family received a grand total of five days notice that her care was going to stop.

The company contracted to provide care for Gwawr was Abacare. Abacare maintain that they made Gwawr’s social worker aware that they were struggling to provide the care package ten days previously and that they suggested that Anglesey County Council find another agency to provide care. It transpires that Abacare has had problems fulfilling other care packages for clients on Anglesey and the company has stated that it has been using care workers from Bangor and Caernarfon which is not sustainable. Abacare maintains that they have offered to work with the Council’s in-house dept or other agencies in order to find care for Gwawr ‘although this is against the company policy’. They have had no response from Anglesey County Council. Gwawr’s mother maintains that she has had no explanation from Abacare regarding their decision to suddenly withdraw her daughter’s care.

I suspect that there are many other cases like Gwawr’s, but Gwawr’s has come to light because Gwawr’s mother rang a radio programme about her case. The care system in north Wales has been doing things like this for years. There are scores of ‘care agencies’ that have now been contracted to provide a few hours of ‘care’ daily to clients in their own homes (Gwawr’s care package consisted of two hours daily). I have friends who have worked for these agencies and as long ago as 2005 it was a shambles. North Wales is a rural area and carers – being paid the minimum wage and no travelling expenses – were being despatched many miles to provide one hours ‘care’. I knew someone who lived in Cricieth who was given clients in Rhyl – she was expected to drive to Rhyl and back for one or two hours work. The agency my friend worked for was Medicare – it was scandalous. The carers were casual workers – no-one was offered any training and many of the staff were young people who weren’t able to shoulder the responsibilities given to them. Untrained unqualified carers were told to administer prescribed, essential medication. My friend discovered that the only source of ‘support’ or ‘advice’ was telephone contact with a ‘manager’ – who didn’t even have a nursing qualification. On a number of occasions my friend arrived at clients’ homes to find that the carer responsible for the previous ‘shift’ hadn’t bothered to turn up and hadn’t bothered to tell the ‘manager’ that they were going to make their call. My friend called on one bedbound elderly man at 6pm to find that his morning carer hadn’t turned up, neither had his lunch-time carer. He had not been out of bed, taken to the loo, given any food or drink or his medication since the evening before. My friend left Medicare after this, stating that people’s lives were being put at risk and that she wasn’t prepared to be part of it.

I know one person who was offered a carers job last year with an agency responsible for home care in Wrexham – commissioned by Wrexham County  Borough Council – without references being taken up or a DBS check being carried out. The job involved handling the money and medication of housebound elderly people. The agency involved was a company based in Nottingham who’s ‘office’ in Wrexham was a portacabin on an industrial estate. During the ‘interview’, confidential clients’ files were scattered around the room with clients’ names and details visible.

Most of these ‘care agencies’ are so shambolic and pay staff so badly and treat them so unreasonably that no-one wants to work for them – that is why they are constantly short of ‘carers’, even in a region like north Wales which has a high rate of unemployment. The Councils contracting them are equally as sloppy – they know damn well how these agencies conduct themselves. Both Anglesey and Wrexham Social Services have a long and glorious history of serious abuse in their children’s services. I suspect that Gwawr’s ‘care’ was the responsibility of Anglesey’s Communities section – the head was (and may still be) the hopeless Gwenan Carrington, previously Director of Gwynedd Social Services. After her position there became untenable following a series of well-publicised disasters, dear old Gwenan made a sideways move into Anglesey County Council… Gwenan’s colleagues in Anglesey Social Services are no better – they have failed to deliver any ‘services’ for years, the residents of Anglesey with relatives in need of services are tearing their hair out. There has also been a long-standing problem of the bullying of social work students who have dared raise concerns at the bad practice that they witnessed on placement.

Gwawr has Rett syndrome. I think that everyone involved in providing the ‘care packages’ that she and other disabled people depend upon must have Rhett syndrome, named after Rhett Butler, the famous character in Gone With The Wind – definitely a case of ‘frankly my dear I don’t give a damn’…

 

Wrexham Maelor psychiatrist Thomas Jenkins who was caught using the gay dating app Grindr to request a 13 year old boy to have sex with him without a condom by an undercover police officer has been ordered to attend a sex offenders programme for three years and has been placed on the sex offenders register for five years. Jenkins qualified at Cardiff University two years ago and was in the second year of the foundation course in psychiatry at Wrexham Maelor when he was arrested. That’ll be the course that Peter Higson, Martin Jones and the rest of the Betsi Board are so proud of. I wonder if Higson will be mentioning this particular triumph at the next Board meeting? Incredibly the GMC have actually struck Jenkins off. Can they possibly be clamping down on criminal medical practitioners? Jenkins was told by the GMC that he’d brought the profession into disrepute (unlike dear old Dafydd, who is of course a fine upstanding member of that profession) and that his ‘fellow doctors would fins his actions deplorable’. Even if they did, experience demonstrates that they would still lie on his behalf, refuse to investigate complaints against him and continue to refer patients to him. And the GMC would not be above forging documents in order to protect him either.

 

The Welsh Gov’t have been boasting about providing midwives in Wales with special training to care for premature babies who are born before 24 weeks and will not survive. A young mother from Cardiff was so distressed at the treatment of her own premature baby – who was born at 22 weeks and died just after an hour later after midwives had refused to touch or handle the baby at all – that she lobbied Health Boards and Welsh Gov’t Ministers for dignified treatment of premature babies who will not survive. Sadly what this young mother and the Welsh Gov’t will not be taking into account is, once more, the bad behaviour of Angels and Top Doctors in the face of ‘training’. In the early 1990s St George’s Hospital Medical School was considered to have had an excellent special care baby unit, so a lot of mothers in the region who were considered to be at risk of delivering premature babies opted to give birth at St George’s. I have mentioned previously on this blog that a lot of the midwives there were very good. Even in 1990, it was routine at St George’s for the very premature babies who died to be dressed up in baby clothes and put in a Moses basket and to be given back to their mother for a few hours. Most of the midwives did treat the bodies of the babies who died with respect. But there was one midwife there who used to entertain herself by playing with the dead babies, putting their limbs in grotesque positions and having a good laugh whilst she was doing it. As ever, she was not challenged although everybody knew what she was doing. And no, her conduct would not have improved if she’d been paid more…

 

Mark Drakeford, the Finance Minister (formerly the Health Minister, formerly Rhodri Morgan’s special advisor on Health Policy, formerly a social worker in Dyfed where a paedophile ring existed), has announced that he can only give the Welsh NHS £450 million because of austerity imposed by Westminster. I have no time for the Westminster Gov’t and they undoubtedly do great damage to Wales, but Drakeford is not helping matters by giving millions of pounds to people whom he knows are institutionally corrupt and telling them how sorry he is that he cannot give them more. Wales needs that money very badly Drakeford and you are giving it to crooks – and you have known for years that they are crooks, but you ignored the people (like me) who sent you the evidence. Tawel Fan blew up in your face whilst you were Health Minister and it has not yet been resolved – the worst mental healthcare scandal that there had ever been in the UK happened at the Ablett Unit in the Betsi and not one abusive member of staff was disciplined. Instead the nurse who blew the whistle on it all was sacked.

 

I despair of Drakeford et al, I don’t think they that have any idea of the public anger that there is in north Wales regarding the shite public services which are gobbling up millions whilst they exterminate vulnerable people – and every time there’s another scandal the dickwit Drakeford tells everyone that it’s because the paedophiles’ friends have not been given enough money. The troughing bastards are the most highly paid people in north Wales, the Martins and the Craigs with their third class degrees from Bangor, Aber and Cardiff are all pulling in well over £100k pa. (Martin is trousering about £150k now.)

 

NHS England continues to experience traumas, as reported by the Mail Online.

The Warrington and Halton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cheshire has stopped spinal surgery after four serious incidents, two of them involving patient deaths.

Brioney Woolfe, a former midwifery assistant, has appeared in Colchester Magistrates Court after accessing the data of 29 patients – not just midwifery patients either – between Dec 2014 and May 2016. Woolfe’s activities only came to light after one patient discovered that details of an illness that he wanted kept private had become public knowledge. I am staggered that Woolfe has even been disciplined for this, yet alone has ended up in Court. This conduct is de rigueur, both in the NHS and social services. Confidentiality is flouted constantly, patients and clients are the subject of casual gossip and patients’ records and data are freely passed around to just about anyone, including non-clinical members of staff. It is endemic. There is no confidentiality in the UK NHS or social services – I have given numerous examples on this blog and some of my readers have left comments on the blog about serious breaches of confidentiality involving them.

 

A major scandal involving IVF Hammersmith, the fertility clinic that Blair’s mate Lord Robert Winston (who has featured on this blog previously) established, has hit the media today. A man who cannot be named for legal reasons sued Hammersmith after his former partner forged his signature on a consent form and gave birth to a daughter after becoming pregnant using an embryo frozen several years previously. The couple had been patients at IVF Hammersmith, had one son as a result of their treatment there but then had a very acrimonious relationship break-up. Hammersmith were not told about this and several years later the female partner approached Hammersmith for further treatment and was implanted with an embryo fertilised by her previous partner after forging his signature of a consent form – he knew nothing about this until she texted him when she was three months pregnant. He had made it known that he did not want any more children. The man concerned has given a media interview explaining his distress at now being the father of a little girl whom he cares for but did not actually want – the confusion that has resulted from it is evident in his comments.

The father of the little girl sued Hammersmith for negligence and the anticipated cost of bringing up the child. The details of his claim are somewhat laughable to those of us who are not rich enough to be patients of IVF Hammersmith – it included the cost of her private schooling, ski-ing trips, gap year, wedding and the cost of an expensive car to drive her to school. However, it is people who consider such things to be necessities whom IVF Hammersmith targets as patients. He has lost his claim, but the case is going to the Court of Appeal.

IVF Hammersmith is trying to wash its hands of the whole matter, maintaining that they take patients on trust and cannot know if they are criminals. Yet IVF Hammersmith would seem to have been very lax indeed here – there has always been much emphasis in fertility treatment on seeing both partners if a couple are requesting treatment, on ensuring that no-one is being coerced into fertility treatment, on ensuring that the relationship is stable etc. How did Hammersmith manage to treat a woman when she reappeared several years after a previous course of treatment with nothing more than her partner’s (alleged) signature on a consent form? My post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’) details some of what I knew to be going on in fertility clinics in London in the 80s and 90s. Robert Winston at Hammersmith was always considered above and beyond such unscrupulous practices, but he did know what was happening in his colleagues’ clinics. I have also described how Winston employed a gynaecologist at Hammersmith who was a serious sexual harasser but simply passed him on to another hospital.

The man who tried to sue Hammersmith commented upon the ‘unacceptable conduct of fertility clinics which have grown into multimillion pound businesses on the back of sharp practices’. He is quite right, its been happening for years and is well known in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology. As with all branches of medicine, no-one has been prepared to speak out about the way business is being conducted. Despite all the talk of ensuring that patients are in a position to give a child a stable, caring home, the reality is that for many of those clinics if you come up with the dosh you will be treated. Furthermore you will be encouraged to part with large quantities of dosh even if there is very little chance of you becoming pregnant and some highly questionable procedures will be flogged to you.

The man in the Hammersmith case lost in court because although it was accepted that his former partner had forged his signature and Hammersmith were condemned for being so sloppy in their procedures, it is policy that damages for negligence cannot be awarded in the event of the birth of a healthy child.

So once more the Top Doctors are off scot free leaving a big mess in their wake.

So who is responsible for regulating the Top Doctors in question? It is the ‘independent regulator’, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), as featured on this blog previously – whose failings have now been described as ‘catastrophic’. The thing that has always struck me about the leading lights at the HFEA is that none of them are doctors or scientists, so they are not even in a position to understand the science behind the business that they are supposed to be regulating. The folk involved with the HFEA are essentially elitist public figures who are professional busybodies – they jump from being Chair of one quango to another and then lead an Oxbridge College or two until they arrive at their final destination in the Lords.

Baroness Mary Warnock was the pioneer, she Chaired the Inquiry back in the early 80s which led to the establishment of the HFEA. Mary Warnock was originally a girls’ schoolteacher along the lines of the Malory Towers model and then became an Oxford academic – her field is philosophy. Mary Warnock was regularly wheeled out in the media to offer her opinion on the Big Questions, although things went a little pear shaped some years ago when she pronounced herself to be so in favour of euthanasia for the elderly that she was about to volunteer for it. There was quite a fuss with her family going public on the fact that they really didn’t want to wave her off to Dignitas and since then Mary Warnock has kept a low profile. But it was fairly obvious back in the 80s that Warnock was quite out of her depth at being given the responsibility to grapple with a very new, little understood, fast developing and highly experimental branch of the biomedical sciences. Basically she knew bugger all about it.

Successive Chairs of the HFEA have been variations on Mary Warnock. They have included Lord Richard Harries (an Army Officer and a bishop);  Lisa Jardine (daughter of Jacob Bronowski, historian and Radio 4 regular); the awful Baroness Ruth Deech (lawyer, formerly of the BBC Governors, Oxford academic); Dame Suzi Leather (who has Chaired every quango going as detailed on this blog some months ago); Shirley Harrison (Sunday Times journo, NUJ member, Chair of the South Yorkshire Probation Board, member of Sheffield Council, Labour Party member, also involved with Cancer Research UK); Walter Merricks (lawyer, inaugural director of Camden Community Law Centre, founding Chair of the Office of Health Professions Adjudicator, Chair of the Trustees of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges); Sir Colin Campbell (lawyer, former VC of the University of Nottingham 1988-2008 who just prior to his retirement accepted a 90% pay rise making him the highest paid VC in the UK, he proposed the privatisation of universities and accepted a £3.8 million endowment from British American Tobacco to fund an International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University Business School which caused resignations, the exodus of a research team and the withdrawal of research funding from Cancer Research UK). The current Chair is Sally Cheshire, a corporate accountant lately of Deloitte.

With this lot at the helm are we surprised that there have been ‘catastrophic failings’ at the HFEA? Readers will have realised from the details provided that a few of the above will know what Top Doctors get up to – but they are certainly never going to admit it. Lisa Jardine almost got around to admitting how questionable the whole fertility business is after she stepped down from her role as Chair of the HFEA. She stated in an interview with the Indie that ‘as a communicator’ she regretted that she had not been able to publicise how traumatised many patients were by fertility treatment or for how many people it was unsuccessful. In the same interview Jardine also admitted that a mixed race baby had been born to a black couple. So how was it that ‘as a communicator’ Jardine didn’t manage to spit all this out whilst she was still Chair? She had her own slot of Radio 4 in which she mouthed off every weekend, so who or what was keeping her quiet? The Coalition Gov’t wanted to abolish the HFEA in their ‘bonfire of the quangos’. Jardine somehow stopped them – so she managed to communicate something then.

The lawyer acting for Hammersmith was James Lawford Davies, a partner at Hempsons. The Hempsons who act for the MDU, who so helpfully supplied Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) with lawyers and barristers who attempted to imprison me – although I now have copies of documents demonstrating that Hempsons knew that I had not done what I was accused of and that Francis was perjuring himself.

So what of the people of IVF Hammersmith itself? The person wheeled out to make the ‘I Know Nuzzing’ comments to the press was Jude Fleming, their Chief Operating Officer. Now I think that someone at Hammersmith really should have taken a closer look at Jude’s CV before they gave her that job. My suspicion was aroused after reading Jude’s Linked In profile – it would not have looked amiss on the university application of a rather weak A level student who couldn’t think of anything original to say about themselves. Jude explains that she is an active person who is interested in what she does and has worked very hard in educational and sporting activities since she was 11. Incredibly enough, until just over ten years ago, Jude’s employment was as a bookings clerk and a waitress and then as a ski-instructor at Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre. Many people of course have worked as waitresses and ski-instructors, but somehow Jude went directly from that to managing a fertility clinic – namely GCRM Fertility Clinic in Glasgow. Yet googling GCRM Fertility Clinic doesn’t reveal what one normally thinks of as a fertility clinic. GCRM is situated on the business park, just next to the M8, around the corner from the Volvo Truck and Bus Centre. It is certainly a most unusual setting for a fertility clinic and the online info is a bit odd as well. There are no details of the doctors working at this ‘clinic’, just a notice explaining that if you’re a patient who needs advice out of hours you’ve got to ring the emergency services because doctors are only available during clinic hours. It doesn’t sound anything like any fertility clinic that I’ve ever come across and I suspect that it might simply be a referral centre to doctors who are actually based elsewhere. Jude worked around the corner from the Volvo Truck Centre for eight years and then landed a job as manager of the Oxford Fertility Unit in 2015. I presume that she is a recent arrival at IVF Hammersmith.

What about the Clinic Directors at IVF Hammersmith? Well now that dear old Robert Winston has joined the ranks of those who slumber on the benches in the Lords in return for £300/day, the Directors at Hammersmith are Stuart Lavary and Geoffrey Trew.

Stuart Lavary is a Consultant at Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte Hospitals and also runs a private practice at Hammersmith Hospital, Harley Street and Marylebone. Nice little earner, NHS consultancy and plenty of private work as well. Stuart is the HFEA ‘person responsible’ for IVF Hammersmith – so the business of the forged signature was his domain then. Lavary is an honorary senior lecturer at the den of bad practice/research fraud that is Imperial College (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’) and trained at the John Radcliffe, Oxford.

Geoffrey Trew is also a Consultant at Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s – he qualified at St George’s in 1984! He’ll have witnessed much the same madness that I did then. And he’ll have been there when Professor Oliver Brooke who was later jailed for the possession of huge amounts of child porn worked at St George’s as a paediatrician. Trew has ‘an international referral base and has appeared for the last three years in the Tatler’s list of Best Private Doctors’. Which just about sums it up – never mind The Lancet or Nature, IVF Hammersmith comes highly recommended by fucking Tatler.

 

Finally a conundrum from NHS England. A few days ago I heard Dr Sarah Wollaston, GP and Tory MP, interviewed on Radio 4 about Boris’s dreadful behaviour. Something clicked – why hasn’t Theresa May appointed Sarah Wollaston as Health Minister? She is very well thought of even by people who are not Conservatives, she is very popular in her constituency in Devon, she is indeed a Top Doctor but doesn’t seem to be a pompous demanding greedy one – she seems to be the real article – and she actually KNOWS about medicine and healthcare. I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Sarah Wollaston – she is capable, respectful, well-informed and doesn’t spout rubbish. Furthermore unlike other women in politics Sarah Wollaston doesn’t feel the need to bollock on about being a strong woman or obsess over her clothes. What on earth is Jeremy Hunt still doing in his job? In fact if I were the Tory Party I’d be asking Dr Wollaston if she’d like to be the next leader – they are going to be looking for one soon but all they can do is scream ‘ooh it has to be Boris’. But on second thoughts – a pleasant, intelligent, capable woman who knows what she is doing or an offensive dangerously irresponsible idiot with a track record of abusing and exploiting people? Of course they’ll choose Boris. Frankly I’m surprised that anyone listens to Dr Wollaston at all – she hasn’t been highly recommended by The Tatler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, August 11 2017

The fall-out from the Newcastle sexploitation case continues in the media (see post ‘Lest We Forget…’), but a slightly modified version of the blame-game has emerged – it’s not South Asian men that are the problem, it’s Muslim men. No – these cases are happening across the whole of the UK as was admitted by the National Crime Agency, but the mainstream media is choosing to report those cases involving South Asian/Muslim men. My post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’ explains in detail why the en masse sexual abuse and trafficking of children in north Wales in the 1980s and 90s never received the media attention that it should have. The people named in that post are still controlling the UK media and they are choosing which cases to highlight. I note that Peter Saunders, who established NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused In Childhood), observed that there has been a major problem with the sexual abuse of children by representatives of the Catholic Church. How many of them were South Asian or Muslim men? Whilst I’m glad that Peter made public comment about this, Peter has missed a trick as well. He stated that the problem was that many ‘men’ were abusing young people. Yes it does tend to be men that are carrying out the actual abuse – but this blog has named an awful lot of women who facilitated and concealed such abuse, suppressed complaint or discredited complainants. Once more I emphasise that the common theme is the abuse of vulnerable people who were in the clutches of the health and social care system. The headlines at the moment are concentrating on the abuse of ‘white girls’, but many of the victims are boys and I bet that they are not only white boys either. However, most of the victims are from disadvantaged social groups.

The Mail Online today has published an interview with Ann Cryer, the former Labour MP for Keighley. Ann has told the Mail that she is greatly relieved that this sort of crime is now being dealt with because for many years she was trying to bring attention to the sexual abuse of white girls by South Asian men but was ignored by ‘politically correct’ people who accused her of racism. I am friends with someone who knows Ann Cryer who told me years ago that Ann is not racist and that she was trying to represent and protect some people having a very hard time. (Ann also raised the issue of forced marriages and honour killings before anyone else dared to.) Ann was the MP for a constituency with a high South Asian population – so in Ann’s constituency, the abuse will have been substantially carried out by South Asian men, that is indeed what Ann will have witnessed. I know that she was accused of racism, my friend told me years ago that there was a witch-hunt against Ann Cryer by those with vested interests. I suspect that to accuse Ann of racism was simply the easiest way of discrediting her in that community.

This blog has provided numerous details concerning people who have tried to speak out about organised sexual abuse in health and social care settings or the abuses of a psychiatric system which has proved so useful in concealing it. Alison Taylor wasn’t accused of racism – she couldn’t be, everyone involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was white British. Alison was accused of exaggerating, of being ‘devious’, of being ‘worse than a troublemaker’ and of using her ability as a novelist to embellish her accounts of the abuse. Mary Wynch wasn’t accused of racism – she was a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’. I wasn’t accused of racism – I was a ‘known troublemaker’, ‘psychotic’, ‘manipulative’, in possession of a ‘borderline personality disorder’, ‘highly intelligent and plausible’ with an ability ‘to get people on my side’ and ‘likely to end up in a ward for the criminally insane’. The Hergest Whistbelower wasn’t accused of racism – he was accused of ‘cherry picking’ ‘attractive young women’. My former PhD supervisor wasn’t accused of racism when he made a witness statement regarding the way that I had been harassed, intimidated and slandered by the mental health services – he was called ‘naïve’. The people who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry regarding the abuse that they’d suffered in care in north Wales weren’t accused of racism. It was instead stressed that they were drug addicts, had criminal convictions, had mental health problems or were simply ‘very poor witnesses’.

Having said all that, I need to add a caveat here. In north Wales ‘racism’ involving ‘ethnic minorities’ wasn’t an issue. But relations between the ‘Welsh’ and the ‘English’ were sometimes used to muddy the waters. My post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ described how a number of self-appointed guardians of Welsh culture and the Welsh language used this as a smokescreen to hide their gross misconduct. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, when it was convenient, reminded everyone of his Welshness and his dedication to the Welsh nation. Whilst his mistress Lucille Hughes facilitated a paedophile ring trafficking youngsters from Wales to be sexually used by Westminster figures and whilst Dafydd himself banged up anyone who complained about what was happening. At the same time as selling his services as a ‘sex therapist’ or ‘expert’ to anyone who’d line his pocket, no matter what their language or nationality.

Race and allegations of racism reared their heads in Keighley because there is a substantial  ethnic minority population there. In other parts of the UK where race and racism is very obviously not a factor in organised sexual abuse or professional malpractice, some other excuse will be made as to why the victims and whistleblowers mustn’t be believed.

Ann mentions someone previously named on this blog in her Mail interview – Ken Livingstone. She explains how when she met Ken and discussed her concerns with him, he told her that what she was encountering in Keighley was what he and others had encountered in London ten years previously but in London they now ‘understood’ the ‘communities’ involved. Ken ‘doesn’t remember’ this meeting but I can believe that he did say it – Ken is an unscrupulous wily old politician who’ll use any excuse to get himself out of a tight spot (he has recently tried to discredit opponents by calling them Nazis or declaring them insane). My post ‘The London Connection’ details how some of the London boroughs not only were running children’s services that had been infiltrated with paedophiles but were also sending children in their care to north Wales where they were abused. Ken and the GLC were in the thick of it and before Ken ran the GLC he was a Councillor in Lambeth, who were sending children in their care to north Wales and whose own children’s homes were rife with paedophiles. Ken was also one of those politicians who signed the Early Day Motion in protest at proposals to close Garth Angharad, the privately run ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ in Gwynedd which housed some of those who dared complain about the abuse that was going on (see post ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’).

 

An item featured on BBC News yesterday involved Dr Peter Wheeler, Diana’s former doctor (he identified her body after her death). Wheeler is being sued by the widow of Stefanos Vavalidis for negligence, after Wheeler, in his capacity as a ‘private doctor’, spent a number of years prescribing methotrexate for Stefanos’s psoriasis but failed to monitor Stefanos by blood tests as recommended. Stefanos died in 2016 from liver failure, which an inquest decided was ‘most probably’ associated with methotrexate toxicity. The solicitor from Leigh Day who is acting for Mr Vavalidis’s widow has stated that despite ‘specialising in healthcare since 1985…[this is the] worst case of repeated, persistent, negligence that I have ever come across’. He hasn’t been party to the activities of the north Wales mental health services then.

Wheeler is being represented by the MDU. His surgery met all five essential standards in it’s last CQC inspection four years ago. He has however admitted to a breach of his duty and is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police as well as by the GMC. Stefanos’s widow has observed that 18 months after his death, she still doesn’t know whether the GMC will actually be bringing fitness to practice proceedings against Wheeler. Readers are recommended to read Dr Sara Ryan’s blog regarding her experience with the GMC – Sara’s son Connor Sparrowhawk died whilst in the ‘care’ of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and the psychiatrist responsible for his care is currently up in front of the GMC. Sara has been on the receiving end of many months of non-communication and disrespect from the GMC, the psychiatrist concerned previously described Sara as a ‘toxic woman’, lied about her and is shedding tears on the witness stand now that she is finally facing a fitness to practice hearing. She continues to work as a psychiatrist in Ireland after being suspended from the register in the UK.

Another story concerning a healthcare professional from England features that of ‘married NHS psychologist’ Markus Themessl-Huber, who is currently the subject of a Health Care Professions Council Tribunal after conducting an affair with a female patient who had previously been sexually abused. Following her relationship with Themessl-Huber, she took an overdose. The Tribunal heard that Themessl-Huber, who worked for NHS Tayside, wooed his patient with chocolates, cake and cheese and spent therapy sessions holding hands with her, rubbing arms or exchanging hugs whilst she sat on his lap. Whilst doing all this Themessl-Huber also falsified his timesheets to conceal the time that he was spending out of the office with the patient.

Themessl-Huber’s rationale for his misconduct was for his patient ‘to be in close proximity to men’. I’ll be interested to hear what the verdict in this case is, because in the 1990s it was actually standard practice in Broadmoor and Ashworth to encourage female patients – who had very often been sexually molested – to enter into relationships with male patients, who were very often sex offenders or even murderers. This was packaged as ‘therapy’ for both the female and male patients. It’s every woman’s dream obviously, a sex offender or murderer as a partner.

A watered down version of the same line of ‘therapy’ involving rather hackneyed ideas of gender roles that was even more widespread and often dished out to female patients with anorexia involved encouraging patients to dress in a ‘feminine’ way if they were thought to have issues with their gender. The writer Laurie Penny was on the receiving end of this when she developed anorexia as a teenager and she has written a bit about it. It was done by some therapists with the best of intentions, but obvious factors – such as someone just wanting to wear trousers on that occasion – tended to be misinterpreted. I was told some years ago that unbeknown to me at the time, one of the geniuses from the Hergest Unit believed that he knew that I was ‘well’ when I was wearing a dress. Which is seriously weird because I owned both dresses and trousers and what I chose to wear when was bugger all to do with if I felt depressed or not. But then a number of people believed that I used to have pink hair because I was bipolar. No, I just liked pink hair. And the Hergest Unit changed my diagnosis on a regular basis depending upon what they wanted to deny or have me arrested for anyway.

The full blown Themessl-Huber therapeutic techniques however were alive and kicking in an appallingly abusive chain of ‘nursing homes’ in north Wales, Prestwood Homes, much more recently (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’). Prestwood was, as I have described previously (see post ‘News Round Up And Crime Report, May 14 2017’), very obviously a trafficking organisation, softening up female ‘service users’ for sex work and packing off male ‘service users’ to ‘placements’ in which they would work in labouring jobs for little or no pay. I witnessed female residents being told that ‘Sue loves you’ (‘Sue’ being Suzanne Hamlet, the highly abusive manager of Prestwood who was in a same sex relationship with Lynda Holland, the other highly abusive manager of Prestwood) and being encouraged to hug and cuddle ‘Sue’ as ‘therapy’, to overcome past experiences of sexual abuse. Other therapy involved young women who had been molested being locked in rooms whilst pornography was screened and being ordered to ‘work with’ male support workers, yes, to acclimatise them to close relationships with men. Prestwood got away with this – and much worse – for years until finally a POVA inspection commented on the ‘bad practice’. Prestwood were ordered to stop their ‘therapy’. The dreadful Sue n Lynda used to publish an in-house magazine (called most appropriately ‘Pulp’) and they reported POVA’s criticism with disgust in ‘Pulp’, commenting that ‘it’s the world we live in’. ‘It’s the home we live in’ observed Brown.

 

BBC News Wales reported yesterday that the charity ‘Crisis’ has predicted a massive increase in homelessness in Wales over the next few years and are busy telling the Welsh Gov’t what they need to do about this matter. Like other Third sector organisations mentioned on this blog, ‘Crisis’ is not all that it is cracked up to be. I and a friend did a stint with them years ago, volunteering to work at one of their famous ‘open Christmas’s’ in London. There were tons of enthusiastic volunteers but the management was chaotic and volunteers were angered at the lack of people skills displayed by the organisers. The homeless people partaking of the ‘open Christmas’ all had to wear a different style of ID badge to the volunteers which pissed them off and were not given a voice in the organisation, which was a great pity because some of them obviously had abilities which could have been put to good use. It was instead made very clear that they were the paupers in receipt of our charity. ‘Crisis’ perpetuated another big lie too – they made a name for themselves by claiming that ‘no-one is ever turned away’. They were. As I left the building in the middle of Christmas Day, I found a young man sitting on the pavement just down the road, in very inclement weather, blankets soaked in the rain, begging. I asked him if he knew that there was food and shelter available about half a mile down the road and he told me that he’d already tried to get into the ‘open Christmas’ but had been turned away because they were ‘full’. That wasn’t surprising because at that time there were a great many homeless people in London and it was understandable that ‘Crisis’ wouldn’t be able to cater for them all, but they didn’t admit that.

‘Crisis’ kept quiet about other things as well. Anyone working at ‘Crisis’ was brought up sharp against the neglect and abuse of the mental health services as well as the dreadful attitude of the Top Doctors to people who don’t have anywhere to live. One young man had come to ‘Crisis’ seeking advice from their Top Doctor (Crisis enlisted the help of a Top Doctor and held a ‘clinic’ for the duration of the ‘open Christmas’). He had been attacked whilst sleeping rough in London and was stabbed, sustaining a serious injury to a kidney. He had been taken to a central London teaching hospital, had been operated on and was then discharged virtually immediately, although he had nowhere to live and no-one to help him. That would not have happened to someone with a home and people around them to witness events. This young man was in considerable pain and his wound wasn’t healing which was why he was seeking medical advice from ‘Crisis’. I’ve never noticed them speak about such matters, but they’ll have plenty of evidence.

‘Crisis’ these days is a much, much bigger charity than it was when I volunteered, but I suspect that the management is still questionable. I know that the ‘cook in charge’ of one of their recent ‘open Christmas’s’ was someone who has harassed and made unfounded malicious allegations against at least three vulnerable neighbours of hers and who was some years ago dismissed from a position as an assistant psychologist after she was deemed to be a danger to vulnerable people. She was good enough to blog about her work for ‘Crisis’ – not as an expose, but to let the world know what a charitable person she is – and it was clear from her account that chaos and mismanagement reigned.

‘Crisis’, like MIND, the NSPCC et al is now big business. In the year 2012-13, ‘Crisis’ had a turnover of over £22 million and had 280 staff. A look at recent Chief Execs of ‘Crisis’ suggests that like MIND et al, ‘Crisis’ is run by people who are making a career out of managing huge charities which are receiving millions in grants from Gov’t – those Chief Execs in turn sit on Gov’t advisory Committees. It is a convenient relationship but not one which is conducive to coming up with solutions to problems. The current Chief Exec of ‘Crisis’ is Jon Sparkes. He was before his present appointment the Chief Operating Officer of UNICEF and prior to that head of Scope. I don’t know anything about UNICEF but I have heard much criticism of Scope. Jon Sparkes replaced Leslie Morphy as Chief Exec of ‘Crisis’. Leslie Morphy is now Vice-Chairman of Oxford Brookes University, a member of the Home Group Board and the Chair of an unidentified charity ‘focussed on supporting newborns in Vietnam’.

This is big business and the rewards are huge salaries, gongs, invitations to Buck House and for some, seats on bodies such as the EHRC. There are still some well-motivated people involved in charities but it can be a frustrating business if your charity is dependent upon Gov’t grants – no-one will dare speak out if Gov’t does something unacceptable or which simply won’t work. I was previously involved with a Third sector women’s organisation in Wales. All the Trustees were excellent and very genuine, but there was one issue in particular that they wanted to speak out about. The organisation was ordered by a Welsh Gov’t Minister to remove a sentence from one of it’s reports – because the sentence was mildly critical of the Welsh Gov’t. The Minister who pressurised that organisation is a Minister who continually touts herself as a Minister representing the feminist cause, who has built her reputation upon being the founder and former head of a major Welsh charity fighting for women’s equality and who dishes out awards for ‘Women of Achievement’ in Wales. At her last such ceremony she gave an award to a woman who formerly worked at Bangor University who was the most ferocious self-serving bully and who attempted to close down four departments which, if she had succeeded, would have put a considerable number of other women out of work. The charity that I was involved with did not carry on like ‘Kids Company’, but sadly the Kids Companies of the world do very well for themselves – if they toady to Ministers and tell them what they want to hear they can draw down millions.

The Third sector has it’s own publications, it’s own awards ceremonies and it’s own websites advertising career opportunities and Gov’t funding opportunities. It is no longer a voice independent of Gov’t/the state, it employs people who have been trained in Gov’t/state agencies and it reproduces the same problems as Gov’t/state organisations do. For years I thought that the symbiotic relationship between Gov’t and charity that spilt over into corruption was just evident in MIND. Then I noticed it in other mental health charities. Then in drugs/alcohol charities. Talking to other people who have worked for a whole variety of charities it is clear that the back-scratching and corruption is endemic. With regard to charities providing health and social care services, as far as the ‘support workers’ on the ground ‘supporting the clients’ are concerned, it is low pay, masses of responsibility and no recognition. Union membership in this sector is never discussed. The supervisors and managers are frequently Angels or social workers who have disgraced themselves in their previous career.

There has been much discussion on the Welsh political blog Jac O The North recently regarding the Third sector in Wales. Jac and a number of his correspondents take a right wing nationalist perspective and are scathing about the Third sector because it is bank-rolled by the Welsh Gov’t and is responsible for attracting many people with social problems into Wales. This should not be interpreted as only a right wing or nationalist argument, it is indeed happening and the result is vulnerable people not receiving the support that they need. Cheap property and the availability of Gov’t grants is resulting in a lot of charities housing disadvantaged people from England in rural Wales. Usually the biggest concern is the neglect or abuse of the vulnerable clients themselves, but there is now a growing business in the provision of ‘services’ for sex offenders or other people whose behaviour may well be very distressing to those living around them. For me, the salient issue is England exporting it’s citizens who need care and are costly to the state to parts of Wales which does not have the infrastructure to support them. Wales is then derided for having so many citizens categorised as ‘disabled’ or in receipt of benefits, the implication being that we’re all ignorant bastards who ignore the dear old public health experts’ advice and have willingly got ourselves into such a state that we can’t work. No, England has sent us thousands of people that they will not look after and do not want.

Yesterday it was reported in the Daily Post Online that ‘homelessness charity’ The Wallich has just won a Court Appeal giving them permission to house homeless people with histories of sex offending and drug use in Colwyn Bay. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which serves that region, is in special measures as a result of the institutional abuse of mental health patients, it’s mental health services have collapsed, it does not have any services for sex offenders and ‘substance abuse services’ are provided by Dafydd and Lucille’s charity CAIS. The area houses a chapter of the bike club ‘The Outlaws’, two of whose members were recently convicted of drug dealing on a massive scale and has seen turf wars between rival drug dealers which has resulted in stabbings, shootings and murders. It is not the best place to house sex offenders and people with drug problems.

The Third sector con seems to have been going on for a long while. A friend told me the other day of how he caused a diplomatic incident at an Amnesty International meeting in Birmingham years ago. He had asked the person presiding over the meeting when they were going to support the Birmingham Six, who at that time were still languishing in prison. Amnesty supported Nelson Mandela, but no they would not support the Birmingham Six ‘because they had a fair trial’. No they didn’t, they were framed and spent years in prison because just about everybody involved in the case had lied. Even Amnesty wouldn’t admit that the British justice system was bent. Probably because someone had applied for Gov’t funding or wanted a gong.

 

The Welsh media are once more reporting on the rural GP crisis. Dear old Dr Eamonn Jessup, a regular on this blog, has been mouthing off again regarding the ‘rapidly escalating rural GP crisis’. Eamonn and his mate Dr D.G.E. Wood featured on this blog recently after I discovered that they are popping over to Cyprus and advertising their services as ‘real British doctors’ to folk unacquainted with them (see post ‘I Think That We’ve Been Here Before’). One of these real British doctors – Wood – was instrumental in threatening, harassing and lying about me in his efforts to conceal the criminal activities of his mates Gwynne the lobotomist, Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Those three were of course in turn concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring. Eamonn regularly screams and screams until he is sick, he started doing this when Edwina Hart was Health Minister and Mary Burrows was CEO of the Betsi and they were both trying to address the corruption and misconduct in the north Wales NHS. Whilst trying to depose Edwina and Mary, Eamonn promoted a Facebook group, ‘Higher Pay For Doctors’. Eamonn and ‘Dave’ have been leading lights in general practice in north Wales for decades and have both been involved in GP training. So if GPs don’t want to work in north Wales it is very probably something to do with them.

To illustrate the GP crisis in north Wales there has been much lamenting that two local practices are closing. One is the practice of Dr Adriaan Smits near Bontwnog. This is the practice that was recently found to have unlawfully dismissed it’s practice manager because she dared to complain about the vile behaviour of one GP towards both staff and patients. The other GPs colluded with him, framed her for embezzling money and unlawfully sacked her (see post ‘Top Doctors In Trouble Again And News Round Up’).The other sad loss is of the appalling Dr John Morris Jones whose practice at Penygroes is shutting it’s doors now that Morris Jones is retiring. This is a man who hung up on me when he was supposed to be performing on call duties when I rang, because I had complained about his mate Dr Tony Roberts of the Hergest Unit (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ for details). I was actually ringing in response to a much nicer female doctor who had been worried about my condition a few hours earlier and had asked me to ring back. Morris Jones did not tell me that she was still in the office and he did not tell her that I was on the phone asking for her. When he realised that it was me ringing he simply said ‘she’s not here’ and put the phone down. Since this event I heard a number of first hand stories of Morris Jones refusing to treat or insulting the residents of Penygroes. This lethal git raked in the best part of £100k pa for risking the lives of people in that village. No-one will be any the worse off after the closure of these two surgeries, the NHS will simply save itself a great deal of money. Perhaps Jessup and Wood would like to piss off to Cyprus on a permanent basis and hand over the remit for GP training to others, then maybe trainee GPs will stop running away from north Wales screaming.

 

A story from south Wales – a groping NHS male nurse has been found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault at Cardiff Crown Court, although it is not reported at which establishment he was employed. He is said to have been molesting female colleagues for the last four years ‘at an NHS hospital’ – although I bet he’s been doing it for far longer, he’s not just going to have spontaneously turned into a sex offender for no good reason four years ago. He gave the reason for his groping as him not being able to help it. Which was always the excuse used by sex pests in days gone by. In fact Jimmy Savile used to make comments like that when he pretended to faint with desire at being surrounded by so many dolly birds on ‘Top of the Pops’. When he wasn’t asking four year old girls if he could be their boyfriend whilst they were trapped in a hospital bed. Not of course that Esther ever noticed any of this.

 

An inquest at Ruthin has heard that an elderly resident in a ‘care home’ at Rhos-on-Sea died as a result of serious untreated pressure sores. The manager of the home failed to call a GP and wouldn’t let anyone else call one either. I’m tempted to say that the elderly lady would probably only have encountered Jessup, Wood, Smits or Jones anyway, so who knows if the outcome would have been any better if a GP had been consulted.

 

The Daily Post Online are reporting on a major trauma – that patients in north Wales might ‘lose their watchdog’. Yes the Welsh Gov’t are ‘consulting’ regarding the future of the most ineffective watchdog in the land, the yapping Jack Russell that is the Betsi/North Wales Community Health Council, the subject of a number of previous posts (eg. ‘High-Level Shenanigans At The Community Health Councils’). That is the ‘independent voice of the patients’ which has a considerable number of retired Top Doctors and their allies sitting as members, including former Hergest psychiatrist Dr Sadie Francis, former facilitator of the paedophile ring Glanville Owen (Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services whilst the paedophile ring operated in that organisation) and the mummy of them all ‘Dr Chris’ aka Dr Christine Evans, retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Long time readers of this blog may remember me reporting on Dr Chris’s adventures many months ago. At one time Dr Chris was leading the CHC – she also most helpfully wrote a blog in her capacity as a Councillor which made it quite obvious that Dr Chris’s loyalty was first and foremost to her former colleagues at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, who along with other vascular surgeons in north Wales were scrapping among themselves, failing to co-operate with anyone and making decisions which prioritised their own lifestyles and wishes rather than patients’ needs. Unsurprisingly they were the subject of a highly critical report suggesting that at least some of their units should be shut down. They screamed and screamed until they were sick and then enlisted the help of Dr Chris, who pledged her support for them on her blog. Dr Chris had every right to support her former colleagues even if they were foul and incompetent, but she shouldn’t have been passing herself off as the independent voice of the patients whilst doing so. Furthermore the independent voice of the patients was still working as a surgeon herself – she was going on jollies with other surgeons, working as an examiner and doing a bit of charity work as a surgeon. Her effectiveness as the independent voice of the patients was limited by her habit of only remaining in Board meetings long enough to say what she wanted in defence of her colleagues and then walking out.

Hilda Foxall, whose husband died whilst on the care of Bryn Hesketh Unit in July 2015, has been conned into defending Dr Chris and co. Hilda has told the Post that her husband died from kidney problems and sepsis and that the CHC helped her gain answers from the Betsi. The CHC probably didn’t tell Hilda that her husband should never have died in the first place – the Betsi has been prioritising and ‘training’ it’s staff in sepsis for a good ten years now and they still miss the symptoms every time. Furthermore Hilda’s husband died in 2015 – that was long after the Betsi was placed in special measures by the Welsh Gov’t for the institutional abuse of patients in Tawel Fan ward. Where were the staff responsible for the abuse in Tawel Fan redeployed (none of them were disciplined except for the nurse who blew the whistle on the abuse, who was sacked)? Bryn Hesketh. So they were very likely to have been the very people responsible for failing to look after Hilda’s husband properly.

The Betsi have stated that they ‘value’ the CHC’s work and that they ‘have a good working relationship with the CHC’ and that they ‘work in partnership with them’. Of course they do, the CHC is the best friend that the Betsi could possibly have, their members are either complete dickwits or former employees of the NHS and their partners in crime.

Plaid AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd has sprung into action – the Llyr who knows exactly how bad the mental health services are because I wrote to him in detail about one my friends who was left to kill himself by the Hergest Unit. Llyr is defending the clapped out bunch of con-artists that is the CHC and had told the post that ‘leading politicians’ such as Andy Burnham ‘regretted’ the scrapping of the CHCs in England. Andy will have been horrified at the scrapping of the CHCs – Andy Burnham was the Minister who, along with Alan Johnson, refused over 80 requests from concerned colleagues to hold an inquiry into Mid-Staffs. The CHC helped keep the lid on all those patients who died up there….

 

Lastly, I have to report a triumph for those we know and love. Jimmy Burns, the police officer and former Hergest Unit nursing assistant who has been on trial in Caernarfon Crown Court for attempting to pervert the course of justice and assault, has been cleared, along with another police officer, despite a body camera worn by a third officer filming Jimmy Burns shouting and swearing at a man whom they had arrested and then spraying pepper spray in his face, although the man under arrest was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car at the time. Jimmy and his colleague seemed to have had a helping hand from the judge, Huw Rees, who yesterday ordered the jury to clear Burns’s colleague. Jimmy’s barrister was a man called Wyn Williams. Who is married to one of Burns’s former colleagues, a psychiatric nurse at the Ablett Unit! I’m glad that Wyn has been able to effectively represent his wife’s former colleague. Because when my solicitor sought an opinion from Wyn Williams regarding the conduct of the mental health services towards me – including his view regarding the evidence of criminal activity and collusion on the part of the Ablett Unit – somehow it all fizzled out. In fact I remember meeting Wyn, but I don’t actually remember receiving a report from him. Thank goodness that he was on the ball for Jimmy!

After noticing which barrister had represented Jimmy, I did a bit of research on Judge Huw Rees who had been so helpful to the defendants. Huw Rees is a law graduate of the University of Aberystwyth, like so many lawyers and judges named on this blog. Huw was formerly a barrister based in Iscoed Chambers, Swansea and listed ‘sexual abuse cases’ as one of his specialities. Some years ago he was involved in the high profile case of the paedophile ring in west Wales. Since Huw has been sitting as a judge, he has shown a great deal of understanding towards certain offenders. In the last few days he passed sentence on a man who punched his girlfriend in the face, breaking her cheekbone. Huw observed that he wasn’t a violent man and passed a community sentence rather than a prison sentence. I’m not sure how Huw concluded that the man involved wasn’t a violent man, because he already had a caution for a previous assault on a female partner. Huw Rees was also most understanding in 2015 when he presided over the trial of a primary school caretaker who had been found in possession of more than 600 child abuse images – he escaped a prison sentence too. As did a Colwyn Bay man who carried out a serious sexual assault on a woman, he got away with a community sentence.  In one of his judgements, Huw made reference to people knowing his sentencing policy towards sex offenders – this seemed to be a reference to Huw being known to favour less draconian sentences in such cases. I don’t think that prison sentences do much good myself and I would prefer a world in which greater understanding was shown towards more offenders and indeed the availability of therapeutic programmes for certain sex offenders, such as those found in possession of indecent images.

But Huw comes down like a ton of bricks now and then. In April 2017 he jailed a man from Bangor for three years after his two young children had been ‘exposed to heroin fumes’. Caernarfon Crown Court heard that the father didn’t mean to harm his children, the offence happened as a result of his own drug addiction. Whilst presiding over the trial of a teenaged girl from Bethesda who had kicked a man (she had played as a professional junior footballer) whilst he was lying on the ground after he’d been in fight with her and two of her companions, Huw denounced her as ‘feral’, stated that he would not tolerate anyone who kicks someone when they’re on the ground and imprisoned her, although she had only inflicted  minor injury. She sounded like a cow – but there was one aspect reported regarding the case which was not fully explained. That was, a comment that the girl had ‘felt threatened’ as a result of something that had happened on the bus upon which she, the man whom she kicked and another youth had been previously travelling. The only info regarding the circumstances leading up to the fight was that those involved were on a bus when some comments were passed – the teenager and the youth with her texted another man who met them when they all got off the bus and it was then that they had a fight with the man who ended up getting kicked by the teenager. So something happened on the bus – that allegedly upset a teenaged girl and caused a fight between two of her male companions and another man. But we don’t know what it was.

Since 2012, Huw Rees has been a legal member of the restricted patients’ panel of the Mental Health Act Tribunal. Which could well be great news if you’re a mentally ill sex offender but not so great news if you’re a mentally ill teenaged girl who’s lashed out after feeling threatened by someone. Whatever, if you’re a mentally ill wife-beater you’ll be well away if Huw’s sitting on the Tribunal.

‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’

The keener followers of this blog may have noticed that one of my readers, Richard, has recently referred to a number of high profile murders and miscarriages of justice in the comments section of the blog. Two of the cases to which Richard referred, the deaths of Hilda Murrell and Lynette White, I remembered well.

I was aware that Lynette was a prostitute in Cardiff who was murdered in 1988, that three innocent people went to prison for her murder as a result of corruption in the South Wales Police, that years later there was an attempt to prosecute a number of serving and former police officers but that the trial collapsed. What I didn’t realise until Richard e mailed me was that Lynette had been forced into prostitution at the age of 14, escaped from the gang involved but had been trapped by them again and forced back into sex work – Lynette was murdered just before she was due to give evidence in two criminal trials, one involving an allegation of attempted murder and one involving an allegation of procuring a 13 year old girl for prostitution. Since Richard e mailed, I’ve done a bit of research into Lynette’s case and the police corruption involved – it’s a seriously grim sequence of events spanning many years. I was aware that the trial of the numerous police officers accused of corruption collapsed, but I didn’t realise who was responsible for the collapse of the trial. It was the then Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – one Sir Keir Starmer. Keir Starmer is now the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras and until Jeremy Corbyn captured everyone’s hearts Keir was constantly described by commentators as ‘a future leader of the Labour Party’. Admittedly the pillocks who work as political commentators were saying this about scores of people, including Jess Phillips, Dan Jarvis and Jo Cox, but Keir certainly has a big fan club. Having read up about Lynette’s murder and the aftermath I really do hope that Keir never does become leader of the Labour Party.

Lynette disappeared in Feb 1988 and the police ‘conjectured’ that she was holed up somewhere in order to avoid giving evidence at the forthcoming attempted murder trial which was scheduled to begin at Cardiff Crown Court on 15 Feb 1988. Indeed, the police had been searching for her with the intention of arresting her to ensure that she did give evidence. Some weeks before Lynette’s body was found in a flat in Cardiff that was used for the purposes of prostitution – her throat had been slit, she had been stabbed in the heart seven times and there was a total of 69 wounds on her body – she had given an interview for the BBC explaining how a gang had drugged her and taken her to Bristol when she was 14 and forced her into prostitution. She managed to get back to Cardiff but was effectively trapped into prostitution again. Lynette was well-known in Cardiff – most of the money that she earned was given to her boyfriend, who was also her pimp, to fund his cocaine habit. He was Stephen Miller who as well as having a drug habit was described as ‘having the mental age of 11’.

The investigation into Lynette’s murder was led by Detective Chief Superintendent John Williams, the head of South Wales Police’s CID. Williams drew up a list of suspects, which initially included a paedophile with a history of mental illness who had been described by a Top Doctor as a ‘psychopath’. South Wales Police were so convinced of his guilt that he was placed under surveillance. However DNA evidence subsequently eliminated him from the investigation. The South Wales Police continued to pursue a number of other people, including Lynette’s boyfriend/pimp Stephen Miller. The techniques used by the South Wales Police left a lot to be desired. Miller was interviewed over the course of four days, 19 times for a total of 13 hours and was denied access to a solicitor for the first two interviews. Miller eventually confessed to killing Lynette after denying it 307 times. His ‘confession’ implicated other people. In Nov 1988 five black and mixed race men were charged with Lynette’s murder despite there being no scientific evidence suggesting their involvement.

The murder trial took place at Swansea Crown Court in Oct 1989. The trial was interrupted in Feb 1990 – after a considerable amount of evidence had been heard – after the judge, Justice McNeill, died suddenly of a heart attack. A retrial was held at Swansea in May 1990. In November 1990 after the longest murder trial in British history, three of the men were found guilty and imprisoned for life. The two men who were acquitted had spent two years in custody and one of them, Ronnie Actie, was subsequently found dead in his back garden in Sept 2007. Police described his death as ‘not suspicious’. Just like the deaths of those former residents of children’s homes in north Wales who alleged that they had been abused and forced into prostitution. The judge presiding over the trial was Sir John Leonard who in 1986 had achieved notoriety as a result of the Ealing vicarage rape trial. Three men had burgled a vicarage in Ealing, raped the 21 year old  daughter of the vicar and bludgeoned the vicar and his daughter’s boyfriend with a cricket bat. Leonard gave the burglar who had not been involved in the rape a longer sentence than the two who had and commented that the trauma suffered by the young woman who had been raped was ‘not so great’. An outcry followed with demands for Leonard to resign, which snowballed when the woman who had been raped spoke publicly about it all. Leonard didn’t resign which was why he was till in circulation a few years later to preside over Lynette’s murder trial, which resulted in an enormous miscarriage of justice.

Early in 1991 a journalist questioned the safety of the convictions of the ‘Cardiff Three’ and a Channel 4 documentary followed. In May 1991 two of the Cardiff Three were given leave to appeal, although Stephen Miller’s application for leave was denied. A investigative journalist discovered two alibis who had not been called as witnesses at the original trial. Following this Gareth Pierce took up the case of the Three and instructed Michael Mansfield QC.

In Dec 1992 the appeal was held. Lord Peter Taylor was brutally frank in his comments regarding the way in which the police had bullied and hectored Miller after hearing a tape of a ‘travesty of an interview’. Mansfield argued that the police had done everything possible short of physical violence in order to extract a confession from Miller. Lord Taylor was so shocked at the contents of the tape that he ordered that a copy be sent to the DPP in an effort to ensure that no such police ‘interview’ ever took place again. The convictions of the Cardiff Three were quashed and they were all released. One of the men was diagnosed with PSTD and spoke of the effect of being wrongfully convicted of murder – he commented that the conviction had wrecked him. This man subsequently died of a perforated ulcer at the age of 49 in 2011.

In Sept 2000 the case was reopened. Fresh forensic evidence was obtained and new DNA technology subsequently identified the man who really did murder Lynette, Jeffrey Gafoor. In 2003 Gafoor pleaded guilty to murdering Lynette at Cardiff Crown Court. Sir John Royce sentenced Gafoor to life imprisonment – but Gafoor’s tariff was actually less than the tariff that Leonard had given to the three men who were wrongly convicted.

In 2004 the IPCC announced that they would be investigating South Wales Police. In April 2005 five retired police officers were arrested and charged with false imprisonment, conspiring to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office. Days later four more retired police officers were arrested and then a further thirteen people were arrested. In May 2005 three serving police officers were arrested. By Nov 2005 over 30 arrests had been made, including 19 serving or retired police officers, one of whom was an inspector.

In Feb 2007 four witnesses who were not police officers were charged with perjury. In Dec 2008 three of them were convicted and imprisoned – the fourth person was found unfit to stand trial. Despite imprisoning them, Sir David Maddison accepted that the police had seriously hounded, bullied, threatened, abused and manipulated these witnesses over several months. In March 2009 the CPS announced that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute three serving police officers and ten former police officers with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Two further witnesses were charged with perjury. In 2011 the largest police corruption trial in British criminal history was held at Swansea Crown Court. A further four retired officers were scheduled to stand trial in 2012. One of the ‘witnesses’ was a convicted armed robber who had been in HMP Cardiff at the same time as the original innocent defendants who had agreed to act as a police informant in return for police representations at his Parole Board hearing. This man had claimed that one of the Cardiff Three had confessed to him in person that he’d murdered Lynette.

During the police corruption trial the defence counsel constantly raised objections to the non-disclosure by the prosecution of relevant documents. In Nov 2011 Sir Nigel Sweeney ordered the prosecution to produce specific documents requested by the defence. Four documents were found to be missing and the police concluded that they had been destroyed in 2010 on the instructions of Detective Chief Superintendent Coutts. Nicholas Dean QC, counsel for the prosecution, offered no further evidence on 1 Dec 2011 and invited the judge to direct the jury to return not guilty verdicts. The trial collapsed. It was revealed that the instruction to Nicholas Dean not to offer further evidence had come from the very top of the CPS – the DPP, Keir Starmer. The South Wales Police made yet another referral to the IPCC. In Jan 2012 the missing ‘destroyed’ documents were found in the office of Detective Chief Superintendent Coutts, in the original box in which they had been sent from the IPCC.

After the collapse of the trial, Tom Mangold, the BBC journalist who had covered the case for Panorama, commented that ‘if the 13 accused Cardiff detectives had been found guilty, presumably all previous cases – hundreds – will have had to be reopened and re-examined’. By the time that the trial had collapsed, all the police officers charged had been allowed to retire. Not that the officers involved thanked their lucky stars that they’d got clean away with framing three innocent men through browbeating and harassing vulnerable witnesses and allowed a very dangerous man to escape justice. No, eight former officers and seven others sued the South Wales Police for damage to their reputations, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and misfeance in public office by South Wales Police. In June 2016 Justice Wyn Williams dismissed their case.

So Keir Starmer did a very big favour to a bunch of thoroughly corrupt officers who seemed to want to ensure that the person who murdered a girl who had spoken to the BBC about being forced into prostitution at the age of 14 was never caught. Keir was appointed DPP in 2008. He was appointed by the Attorney General at the time – a Lady who has featured a number of times previously on the blog, Patricia Scotland QC! (Please see posts ‘Baroness Patricia Scotland QC Was On Board As Well’, ‘More On Baroness Patricia Scotland QC – And Her Very Sleazy Friends’ and ‘Even More About Baroness Patricia Scotland QC’.) Patricia was of course the barrister who represented the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry. The Welsh Office that failed to inspect children’s homes whilst ‘care’ staff were being sent to prison for abusing their young charges, the Welsh Office that ignored people like Alison Taylor and me who were telling them that something was terribly wrong with the social services and mental health services in north Wales, the Welsh Office that employed a Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen, who concealed abuse and criminal activity in the mental health services – and the Welsh Office that had it’s very own corrupt lawyer Andrew Park, who was advising the mental health services on how to frame me…. Like so many lawyers who seem to be advising people who have abused others, Keir is a barrister specialising in human rights. He was previously joint head of Doughty Street Chambers. He’s in good company there. Helena Kennedy works at Doughty Street, the St Helena who has relied on the expertise of Professor Nigel Eastman, one of the psychiatrists at St Georges Hospital Medical School who was presented with evidence that patients were being abused and framed in north Wales but who ignored it. There’s another star at Doughty Street as well – Theo Huckle QC! The Theo who, in his capacity as Counsel General for Wales, had sight of nearly 10,000 documents spanning more than twenty five years, demonstrating that throughout that time the mental health services and social services in north Wales and elsewhere had lied on oath, had encouraged other people to lie on oath, were refusing treatment to patients who had made complaint even when those patients were seriously ill and were framing patients for serious offences. Theo also had sight of evidence demonstrating that the Welsh Office, the GMC and the Mental Health Act Commission colluded in all of this and had even forged documents. Oh dear Theo, those documents are now in my possession – I really don’t think that your credibility as a human rights lawyer is too high at present…

In Dec 2013 the Labour Party announced that Keir Starmer would lead an inquiry into changing the law to give further protection to victims in rape and child abuse trials. I’m not sure that giving such a remit to Keir is a good idea.

To return to the collapse of the South Wales Police corruption trial after Keir’s helpful intervention. The judge who ordered that the ‘missing’ documents – which weren’t actually missing at all – be produced and who then directed the jury to acquit the corrupt officers when the missing documents which were obediently sitting in their box waiting to be produced in court ‘couldn’t be found’ also has a bit of previous. Sir Nigel Sweeney was appointed as a High Court judge in 2008. He presided over the mistrial of Rolf Harris when Rolf was up in front of him charged with a number of indecent assaults. When Sweeney was still a barrister he was the prosecuting counsel in a case that I have previously detailed on this blog – that of Michael Stone. Michael Stone is currently in prison for the murders of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie Russell. The Russells were attacked on a country lane in Kent – they had only been living there a matter of weeks, having just moved from Snowdonia. There was no forensic evidence against Michael Stone and he has always denied being responsible for the attacks. He was only arrested after a Top Doctor contacted the police and told them that Stone fitted the profile of the killer. Michael Stone had been abused whilst he was a kid in care and after his conviction it was admitted that the mental health services had ‘failed’, but hey their ‘failings’ couldn’t be blamed for the attack on the Russells.

As well as ‘failing’ it was also demonstrated that the mental health services had lied on certain points during the investigation into their care and treatment of Michael Stone. But of course they were exonerated – the investigation was led by Sir Robert Francis QC, he who tried to have me imprisoned in 1991 for harassment because I kept writing letters claiming that the mental health services in north Wales were abusing patients and involved in criminal activities (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). The man who instructed Robert Francis to demand my imprisonment was Tony Francis (Dr X), one of the Top Doctors who was breaking the law himself and had been the subject of my complaints. Their case was funded by the Medical Defence Union and at least one of the solicitors acting for the MDU, Ann Ball, knew exactly how serious my allegations were because she had read my letters of complaint and had a telephone conversation with me which lasted at least 30 minutes in which I told her of the abuses happening in north Wales. Michael Stone has unsuccessfully appealed against his conviction. A crucial part of Stone’s defence hinges on a shoelace that was found at the scene of the crime which it is alleged if forensically examined will suggest that the murderer is actually someone else (the name being bandied around is Levi Bellfield). Stone’s team attempted to have the lace examined – the lace disappeared in transit. There is information on the internet which alleges that Nigel Sweeney knew at the time of Stone’s original trial that forensic examination of the shoelace would clear Stone but Sweeney chose to keep quiet about this.

The fallout from the collapse of the South Wales Police corruption trial in 2011 was such that the Home Secretary at the time, Theresa May, was asked to hold a public inquiry. She refused, but in Feb 2015 she did agree to an investigation into the collapse of the trial to be led by Richard Horwell QC. Horwell’s investigation was expected to have presented it’s findings in the summer of 2015 but it was delayed by the South Wales Police officers attempts to sue. Richard Horwell still doesn’t seem to have completed his investigation. Like so many people involved in miscarriages of justice, Richard Horwell is interesting himself. He was the barrister who defended Max Clifford, who is currently in prison for a series of sexual assaults, including one on a twelve year old girl. Horwell advised on matters relating to the inquests of Diana and Dodi and he currently describes himself as advising ‘schools and others’ on ‘how to respond’ to the Goddard Inquiry. So he’s advising institutions who employed paedophiles how to cope with being investigated by the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. That noble history apart, there is another reason why Theresa May might have preferred an investigation into massive police corruption which happened under a Tory Gov’t between 1988-1990 (the Home Secretaries at the time were Douglas Hurd and David Waddington) to be carried out by Horwell rather than by a full public inquiry. Horwell practices at Three Raymond Buildings, the chambers of Alexander Cameron QC. Who is the brother of David Cameron – the PM when Theresa appointed Horwell. Obviously Richard Horwell is considered a very safe pair of hands.

I decided to write about the case of Lynette White because I noticed that yet again, the DPP had made a decision that seemed to protect people who were involved with the abuse and/or forced prostitution of children. The DPP is the head of the CPS. The CPS was established in 1986 but it seems to have a truly dire track record in a number of areas, one of those being taking action against child abusers.

When the CPS was established the DPP was Sir Thomas Hetherington. It was Hetherington who, along with the Attorney-General at the time Sir Michael Havers, refused to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman, the diplomat who was a member of PIE and found to be in possession of ‘extreme’ paedophilic literature (see post ‘A UK Network’). Hetherington was also DPP at the time of the unlawful arrest and imprisonment of Mary Wynch from north Wales (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). In 1987 Sir Allan Green was appointed DPP. Allan Green was the DPP whom Alison Taylor wrote to in 1988 informing him that she had witnessed the abuse of children in care in north Wales. Sir Allan resigned in Oct 1991 after an incident which was described as him ‘kerb crawling in Kings Cross’. The details however seem to be that for some reason that he never explained, after attending a Law Society function he went to Kings Cross to talk to prostitutes working there. No-one ever got to the bottom of any of it – although Green was knighted after he resigned. Three months after Green’s resignation his estranged wife Eva was found dead at her home. Her body was discovered by Green’s son Robin and there was a suicide note found on the stairs addressed to him. Toxicology tests showed that there had been much higher than therapeutic levels of temazepam in her blood but not enough to kill her. It was claimed instead at her inquest that Eva Green had died from suffocation – she was found with a plastic bag over her head. People were puzzled because the night before she had had dinner with her son and seemed fine and she was talking about her holiday plans. The reason that her son discovered her was that they had arranged to go out for lunch together. The coroner concluded that nonetheless Eva Green must have had personal problems of which people were unaware. Surely it was actually her husband who had the personal problems?

My antennae only started twitching at the sad tale of the nature of Lady Green’s death when I saw the name of the coroner who had carried out the inquest. It was Dr Paul Knapman. Knapman was the coroner for Westminster for years, between 1980-2011 and prior to that he had been the deputy coroner. He had been involved in some very high profile inquests, all the famous London disasters, including the Iranian Embassy siege, the Libyan Embassy siege, the sinking of the Marchioness boat, the Clapham Junction rail disaster and the London bombings in 2005. But I remembered his name for another reason. Knapman was known to be Westminster’s answer to Dewi Pritchard Jones – he was a coroner who frequently came out with some rather odd conclusions in the case of suspicious deaths, particularly if there had been allegations of foul play on the part of Establishment figures or institutions. Knapman could be relied upon to reassure everyone that nothing untoward had happened. I remember seeing his name in ‘Private Eye’ constantly. I then heard about him when I went to do an MSc at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. The thing that really took me aback was how even a very conservative woman with a great faith in the professions there completely accepted that Knapman was corrupt. This was a lady who retained an enormous belief in the noble motives of nearly everyone in medicine and law, but even she concurred that Knapman could not be trusted. I read a bit more about Knapman this morning – and I discovered that before he trained as a lawyer, he qualified as a doctor, from St George’s Hospital Medical School no less! If one’s going to be a corrupt member of the middle classes I cannot think of a better start to one’s career. Knapman qualified from St George’s in 1968. In 1975 as Westminster Deputy Coroner he was involved in his first really high profile inquest, that of Sandra Rivett, Lord Lucan’s nanny, whom everyone has always assumed was murdered by Lord Lucan. By the time that Knapman had got round to announcing that Lord Lucan should stand trial for murder Lucan had buggered off and was never seen again. However the aspect of the Lord Lucan business that I always wondered about was the declaration by various people that his wife Veronica was ‘mad’. Veronica was sectioned and lost custody of her children. Now it wasn’t Veronica who was ever accused of murdering the nanny, it was her husband. The allegation that Lady Lucan was barking was based on her staggering around London in a state claiming that her husband had just tried to kill her. Well somebody had, she was injured- I think with a head wound – and shortly afterwards her nanny was found murdered and her husband disappeared without trace. Somebody was certainly behaving in an unhinged manner but it wasn’t her. I only learnt the other day which hospital it was that Lady Lucan was taken to after she had been attacked – it was St George’s. A few weeks ago Lady Lucan gave a lengthy TV interview – I didn’t watch it but I did read extracts. She spoke of how her husband was manipulative and abusive and how after they married she feared that he was trying to have her categorised as ‘insane’. She was experiencing mild depression and anxiety and was seeing a doctor on a private basis but maintained that Lord Lucan was conspiring with that doctor to have her ‘locked up’. Well that’s what happened in the end, she was sectioned and labelled mad, even though by then someone had tried to murder her.

I cannot find any references anywhere to the hospital it was in which Lady Lucan was detained. But I am absolutely sure that it would be well within the capabilities of St Georges’s to arrange the detention of a woman who was being abused by her husband and declare her to be irrational and mad. Because they did that in 1991. When I was a patient at Springfield Hospital – the mental health unit attached to St George’s – there was another patient there whom I made friends with. She was a lady who some years earlier had entered into an arranged marriage. She and her husband had moved to London and her husband had become increasingly abusive. By this time she had two children. Her husband constantly told her that he would have her confined to a mental hospital and gain control of the children. Which is what he did. He came to visit her frequently in Springfield and brought the children with him. After he left she would inevitably be incredibly distressed. Whenever patients brought this to the attention of the nursing staff – most of whom were hostile towards and uninterested in patients – the nurses would maintain that this lady was upset because she was missing her children. However that lady told me and other patients that she was distraught after her husband’s visits because he had been threatening to kill her. None of us were in a position to know what her husband had said to her because whenever he visited he spoke a language that no-one else on the ward spoke, including the nurses. I do know however that the lady in question was deceived into going to Springfield. She was driven there by her husband who had told her that he was taking her for a day out in the country – only he drove her to Springfield where she was forced into the ward and detained against her will. I witnessed her confront the nurses about her mode of arrival and they freely admitted that this was indeed what had happened. They simply told her that if she’d have been told that she was going to a psychiatric hospital she wouldn’t have got in the car. Of course she wouldn’t, she had an abusive husband who was threatening to kill her and planning to have her incarcerated in a mental hospital whilst he made off with the kids. And as far as I could see, part of his plan had worked like a dream.

But then abused women were frequently to be found in Springfield. Another patient was a lady who had worked as a secretary at Scotland Yard. She had been raped in her own house by her boss, a senior police officer. She had been admitted to Springfield in the aftermath and was in such a bad way that she was terrified of entering her house again after what had happened. She told me at length that she felt that the staff at Springfield had no understanding of how she felt and that they were trying to coerce her into discharging herself before she was ready. A few days after she told me this, a nurse told her that she wasn’t facing up to her problems and that they would be discharging her anyway. Back to the house that she was terrified to re-enter – and the rapist would of course still know where she lived. To read more about the glories of Springfield Hospital see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’

St George’s is not the only questionable name that Knapman has been associated with. The first judge whom had been charged with carrying out the inquests of Diana and Dodi backed out on the grounds of pressure of work. So on March 2 2007 Knapman was appointed coroner for Diana’s inquest and he appointed Elizabeth Butler-Sloss – Sir Michael Havers’s sister – as deputy coroner. She resigned just over a month later. Not that Knapman was defeated. In June 2007 he appointed Lord Justice Scott-Baker as assistant deputy coroner. Lord Justice Scott-Baker was the judge who in 1995 inexplicably imprisoned a vulnerable former patient of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. That case had all the hallmarks of someone under attack by those we know and love in north Wales – please see posts ‘So Who’s Path Had Susan Brooke Crossed?’, ‘More On The Susan Brooke Case’ and ‘Updates On The Cases Of Susan Brooke And Sara Thornton’.

As befitting someone whose whole career has involved huge quantities of dodginess, Paul Knapman was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London in 2008 and Deputy Lieutenant for Westminster in 2013.

After Sir Allan Green resigned as DPP, Barbara Mills – who later became Dame Barbara – was appointed. The CPS really came into it’s own under Barbara Mills. Staff morale hit rock bottom, there were constant allegations that the CPS wasn’t prosecuting when they should have been and the nicest thing that anybody had to say about Barbara Mills was that she was well-coiffured. It would seem that Barbara’s hair was the only thing that was in order at the time. Prior to her appointment as DPP Barbara Mills had been Director of the Serious Fraud Office. There’d been trouble whilst she was there. The SFO investigated a company set up by David Mills – Barbara’s brother-in-law – regarding allegations that bribes had been received from Silvio Berlusconi, but Mills himself wasn’t investigated. (Mills was later convicted in the Italian courts of receiving a bribe from Silvio.) David Mills was of course married to Tessa Jowell, the Tessa who was a child care officer in Lambeth – where the children’s services had been infiltrated by a paedophile ring. Subsequently Tessa became deputy director of MIND – whilst she was in post MIND held a conference at which the rights of paedophiles were discussed and a recommendation to abolish the age of consent was made (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng And Tessa Jowell’). Months after Tessa departed from MIND the legal director of MIND, William Bingley, admitted to me that MIND knew all about the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the north Wales mental health services. For many years Tessa was a Councillor in Camden. Babs’s husband John was also a Councillor in Camden.

The highest profile disaster on Mills’s watch was the failure to prosecute anyone for the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Mills eventually resigned in 1998 after criticism for repeatedly refusing to prosecute following deaths in police custody. Mills’s regime touched north Wales in a big way though. It was during Barbara’s tenure that the CPS failed again and again to prosecute following the revelations of the serious abuse of children in care in north Wales. Whilst Barbara was DPP the North Wales Police held a major investigation into child abuse. They collected 2,600 witness statements and 300 cases were sent to the CPS – there were only seven prosecutions. None of those prosecutions involved anyone more senior than bottom feeding care workers. It was on Barbara’s watch that there was a failure to prosecute Gordon Anglesea – although a recommendation was made to the CPS by the police that he should be prosecuted – the senior police officer who in 2016 was finally imprisoned for molesting children in care.

Barbara Mills did put her foot down hard once whilst she was DPP though. After the investigation into the wrongdoing of the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad which resulted in the wrongful convictions of the Birmingham Six, Barbara placed a 75 year embargo on all documents relating to the investigation. So even though the Birmingham Six were beaten up and framed by the West Midlands Police, even they’re not allowed to read about it.

The failure to prosecute Greville Janner for abusing children in Leicester can also be traced back to the regimes of Allan Green and Barbara Mills. It has now been admitted that in the early 90s the evidence was there and no-one can understand why the CPS didn’t prosecute.

Of course Allan Green and Barbara Mills had a good reason why they weren’t prosecuting paedophiles. They were far too busy prosecuting me, as well as a few other patients and former kids in care in north Wales who had dared complain about what was happening to them. During the years that Allan and Babs were running the CPS, I was arrested again and again and again, at the behest of the mental health services. They only ever managed one successful prosecution – in 1993 I was convicted of staring at a social worker in Safeways and ordered to pay £60 costs. The social worker admitted in the witness box that she’d lied in her original statement to the police and then started crying. No questions asked, I hadn’t launched the attack on her that she claimed that I had, but I had stared at her and that was obviously a far more Serious Matter than a social worker perjuring herself. I knew of many other people in north Wales who were also being dragged through the courts for asinine ‘offences’ after they had made complaint about the ‘services’. Meanwhile a paedophile ring ran riot in the children’s homes in the region and patients were seriously abused in the mental health services. And people who had complained kept turning up dead. Shortly after being taken to court and relieved of £60 for staring at a social worker whose colleagues were operating a paedophile ring, I wrote to Michael Mansfield after reading his book ‘Presumed Guilty’ and told him some of what was happening in north Wales. He did reply but he simply thanked me for my letter and commented ‘that it is always good to have support’. I have always wondered about this. It may simply have been that Michael Mansfield was snowed under with fan mail or requests for help from the oppressed, but I have noticed – and given scores of examples on this blog – how no high profile ‘radicals’ will touch anything to do with either the north Wales Child abuse scandal or the abuse of psychiatry in north Wales. Indeed some of those with a reputation for radicalism have connections with those who have been directly involved in the abuse themselves. The nations chambers are choc full of allegedly radical lawyers or human rights lawyers some of whom I know are well aware of what has gone on in north Wales and none of them will say a word. The ultimate example being Theo Huckle – who built his reputation partly on clinical negligence work.

On many occasions I complained to the GMC about the conduct of certain Top Doctors. My concerns were ignored. Barbara was of course a legal assessor of the GMC.

Barbara is now dead so I presume that we will never receive an explanation as to why chaos reigned in the CPS whilst she was DPP.

After Barbara’s resignation, Sir David Calvert-Smith became DPP. He was in post between 1998-2003. He later became a High Court judge. David did a bit better than Barbara but not much. He failed to prosecute anyone for the murder of Damilola Taylor, but he did manage to prosecute Harold Shipman. Although if Barbara and the GMC had been doing their jobs properly in the first place, Shipman wouldn’t have murdered hundreds of people. Towards the end of his term, Calvert-Smith decided that CPS lawyers would make the decisions regarding charging suspects rather than the police. Obviously a decision that was taken on the basis of the outstanding track record of the CPS. Calvert-Smith’s successor fully implemented this decision.

It was on Calvert-Smith’s watch that a CPS lawyer made the decision to prosecute me for ‘threatening to kill’ Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, after I’d told his secretary over the phone that he was a fat idiot. The case rumbled around the Crown Courts of north Wales for two years, with me being on bail and constantly living with the threat of being imprisoned for years should anyone believe the lies that were being told, but the case eventually collapsed and I was convicted of calling Davies a fat idiot. Which I’d always been happy to admit to having done. No-one ever managed to explain the numerous staff from the Hergest Unit who’d made statements saying that they’d witnessed me threatening to kill Davies. It was also whilst Calvert-Smith was DPP that I was arrested three times in one weekend, again on the say so of the mental health services. The cases collapsed each time, but no-one wondered what might have been going on. Not even when the first case collapsed and I walked out of the door of the magistrates court to find a policeman outside saying ‘I’m really sorry but we’ve been told to arrest you again’. That case was dismissed, as was the next one. If David Calvert-Smith can explain why the CPS found it within them to mount these prosecutions against me when they were incapable of prosecuting people who raped children in their care – some of whom were later found dead – he’s welcome to get in touch.

In 2003 Ken MacDonald – later Lord Ken – became DPP. Ken is now a Lib Dem Peer. Ken has rubbed noses with a few who have been named and shamed on this blog. He was the first pupil barrister of Lady Helena Kennedy of the Corrupt Expert Witness. Ken had co-founded the chambers Matrix with Cherie Booth aka Mrs Tony Blair, so his appointment as DPP by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, a friend of Mrs Blair’s husband who just happened to be PM, caused quite a row with allegations of extreme cronyism being made. But Lord Goldsmith, Blair’s mate, reassured everyone that nothing could be further from the truth so Ken remained in post. When he’d finished being DPP in 2008 – no doubt after failing to prosecute a few people who could cause intense embarrassment for New Labour if they were prosecuted – Ken returned to work at Matrix. Matrix was of course established in anticipation of the business that would be forthcoming in the wake of Labour establishing the Human Rights Act – the Act that has proved a Godsend in terms of protecting the Human Rights of those who are abusing the Human Rights of people with less money than themselves.

Hot on the heels of Ken came Keir Starmer. After Keir, in Nov 2013 came one of the contemporary breed of Strong Women, a woman who like Patricia Scotland is lauded for breaking down barriers – Alison Saunders. Alison is the first DPP who isn’t a QC and the first DPP who was appointed from within the CPS. As the CPS has been hopelessly corrupt since it was established it is therefore unsurprising that Alison is proving to be as bad as Barbara Mills. (They don’t do much for the feminist cause do they.) Saunders failed to ensure that Leon Brittan was interviewed in 2014 regarding an historical rape allegation and in April 2015 Saunders refused to prosecute Greville Janner despite the mountain of evidence against him. In June 2015 her decision was overturned and it was announced that Janner would face trial for child abuse. Medical evidence from a Top Doctor was then produced and although this was contested, Janner was deemed to be unfit to stand trial and so instead a trial of the facts was to be held. Janner died before that ever happened. The CPS certainly served him well. For further details of the many idiocies of Alison since she has been DPP please see post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves’.

So there we have it – over thirty years of the CPS under DPPs of Gov’ts of differing political hues. The running theme is if you’re involved with organised child abuse they’re not going to touch you.

 

 

Top Doctors In Trouble Again And News Round Up

A glut of Top Doctors from north west Wales have featured in the media this week after finding themselves in trouble.

The Daily Post online reported that Dr Richard Sion Williams, an ENT Consultant at Ysbyty Gwynedd, appeared in Llandudno Magistrates Court after being charged with threatening behaviour. Williams has been involved in a long running spat with the National Trust who own the Vaynol Estate near Bangor where Williams lives and things exploded on March 13. Two NT rangers removed approximately eight large concrete blocks that they found on a grass verge and put them back over Williams’s hedge, presuming that Williams had placed them on the verge. It seems that this scenario had happened a number of times previously and the rangers were following legal advice. The rangers then drove off, but slowly because the track was bumpy with potholes. Williams pursued them and according to John Whitley, one of the rangers, was ‘driving like a madman, very close to us, beeping his horn and flashing his headlights’. It is alleged that Williams got out of his vehicle and ran towards the rangers, whereupon Whitley told him ‘I’m not talking to you, you’re dangerous’. Williams got back into his vehicle, followed them and managed to overtake them twice, blocking their way. At one point after Williams had left his vehicle it is alleged that Williams ran alongside the rangers’ vehicle, banging on the window, yelling ‘I’m going to fucking kill you’. Whitley told the Court about Williams’s ‘sheer aggression and loss of control’, stating ‘I did fear for my safety…I really thought my life was in danger. I could see he meant me harm’. Whitley’s colleague Will Westwood claimed that ‘I thought he was going to ram us’. Williams’s barrister Ellen Owen maintained that the rangers’ story was ‘a flagrant case of lying on oath as these Courts are as likely to come across’. I hate to burst your bubble Ellen, but I think it is I who have evidence of the most flagrant cases of lying on oath that the Courts are as likely to come across – thirty years worth of documents compiled by Top Doctors, nurses, social workers and managers who lied their arses off on oath again and again, even after their own lawyers had told them that they didn’t have the evidence for their claims…. The Betsi now claims to have ‘lost’ these documents – but I still have my copies and I’ve stored them somewhere very safe, a long way from the Betsi’s paper shredders…

Another story from the Post featured the GPs of Meddygfa Rhydbach Surgery, Bontwnog (near Pwhelli), in particular a Dr Adriaan Smits. The surgery’s former practice manager, Meryl Williams, took this practice to an Employment Tribunal, alleging that the bunch of shites who double up as the partners there bullied her so badly that she was forced to resign. She has just won her claim for constructive dismissal. The story behind all this is that Meryl began work as a receptionist at the surgery in 1986 and in 1996 became practice manager, although she had never received formal training for this role. However, it seems that the previous partners thought highly of her and all was well until they retired. By 2014 the partners were Dr Adriaan Smits, Dr Gwyn Morris and Dr Zameel Haque. It was stated at the Tribunal that there was a long-running history of difficult interpersonal relationships between the surgery’s staff and the partners, particularly involving Dr Smits. In 2010 ten staff signed a letter complaining about Smits. He was described as ‘direct, brusque, blunt’ as well as ‘aggressive, irascible, overbearing’. After repeated clashes with Smits, Meryl eventually lodged a formal grievance, although at one point she had been talked out of lodging a formal grievance by Dr Gwyn Morris and she had subsequently raised the matter with the Local Health Board. After she lodged the formal grievance, the partners ‘closed ranks’, tried to discredit her and even accused her of financial irregularities, although they had no evidence of this. The partners referred the matter to independent consultants but the grievance and Meryl’s subsequent appeal were dismissed. The Employment Tribunal judge ruled in favour of Meryl however, stating that the independent consultants acted in good faith but had been unduly influenced by the partners’ approach which left them suspicious of the claimant. The judge referred to the environment of ‘oppression’ and ‘suspicion’ that Meryl worked in and that the partners could not be trusted to act fairly and reasonably in any procedures concerning her. I’m sorry to trump a Post shock horror scandal once more, but I think that the Hergest Unit and dear old Dr Tony Roberts have bettered the Bastards of Botwnog, who merely bullied an employee, accused her of nicking the dosh when she complained about them and then dripped poison into the ears of the ‘independent consultants’. When Tony Roberts did his best to ensure that I died some years ago – after I was assaulted by four staff whilst in his ‘care’ – because no-one at the North West Wales NHS Trust would co-operate with the investigation of my (very serious) complaint, my lawyer and I were instead offered a ‘mediator’ to resolve the situation. The mediator was from south Wales and was selected and paid for by the Trust. My lawyer constantly stressed to me that no matter how dreadfully the Trust had conducted themselves, we had to give the mediator a chance. So I agreed. The four staff who assaulted me refused to attend the mediation or answer any questions from me about any aspect of their conduct. Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, refused to sit in the same room as me. Tony Roberts agreed to sit in the same room as me but only if I was accompanied by my lawyer and he was accompanied by the hospital solicitor, a duplicitous cow called Patricia Gaskell, whom I later discovered had done a very good impression of pretending to try to resolve the complaint when speaking to me and my lawyer, but behind the scenes was rolling over and reassuring violent staff and dangerous doctors that of course everything would be done on their terms. The heavily stage managed ‘mediation’ got underway and as the mediator finished outlining the terms of engagement, Roberts stood up, declared that ‘I’m not going to listen to this’ and waddled out of the room. Gaskell went after him and tried to persuade him to return but he wouldn’t. So that was the mediation. The mediator then wrote a letter stating that the situation was ‘unmediable’. Keith Thomson, Chief Exec of the Trust at that time, wrote a letter to my lawyer stating that the situation broke down because of my behaviour. He had to be reminded that it was Roberts who had walked out of the meeting before anyone had begun and that the rest of his staff refused to attend the meeting. Presumably the mediator who had witnessed all this didn’t feel able to write a letter explaining that Ysbyty Gwynedd was staffed by dangerous unhinged idiots throwing hissy fits, because it was the Trust who were paying him. At the time, Tony Roberts had such a high death rate among his patients that it showed up as a statistical outlier in the UK database. He continued to work at the Hergest Unit until last year.

There’s no guarantee of a better quality of practitioner if one ventures into the alternative medicine sector either, although having encountered Tony Roberts et al a lot of people do try this. Yet another story from the Post online features  Michael Hammond, an osteopath from Llangoed, Ynys Mon, who has been bailed to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court next month to face trial for sexually assaulting a female patient and voyeurism.

As if to emphasise just how useless the Top Doctors of north Wales are, the Post was also reporting that a Paul Hanley was jailed for 21 months at Mold Crown Court for violently assaulting his girlfriend – he was described as ‘paranoid and controlling’, with mental health issues and had grown up in care. I can only imagine the sorry story that will have been his life.

The Mail online and BBC also featured a Top Doctor Fail story, that of the murder of 16 year old Christine Edkins, who was stabbed by Philip Simelane whilst she was on a bus on Birmingham. In 2013 Simelane, described as a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’, admitted manslaughter and was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. A previous report into this event of course maintained that Christine’s death was not predictable or preventable, yet at the same time fessed up to ‘serious failures’ on the part of the mental health and prison services  and paradoxically stated that had Simelane received mental health treatment the death could have been prevented. Yet another report has been produced regarding this case, one being commissioned by NHS England. It’s conclusions are just as confusing – that the death was not itself predictable nor was an attack on a member of the public, but it was clear that Simelane ‘would continue to deteriorate’ and was ‘likely to offend violently’.  Simelane had previously spent time in prison for assault and battery on his mother, but even so her subsequent please for help were ignored – before he attacked Christine, his mother had rung the police six times in two days fearing that Simelane would kill her. The report admitted that the police and mental health services were aware of ‘multiple episodes’ involving Simelane and ‘multiple risk factors’. This is not the first mental health disaster from Birmingham by a long chalk – the Birmingham that boasts the University of Birmingham Medical School with it’s flagship ‘service user research’, the Birmingham that is living with the legacy of dear old Professor Robert Bluglass CBE, the UK’s leading forensic psychiatrist, until that was he asked for his name to be removed from the Medical Register and he disappeared from his academic posts…

In the face of all this extreme hopelessness, I notice that Stephen Crabb and Jeremy Hunt were making noises this week about paying the Top Doctors and Angels more after holding out for so long! Should Jeremy and Stephen need evidence of just how distressed the Top Doctors are, I recommend that they read a recent post on Rob Poole’s blog. Under normal circumstances I would not recommend anyone to waste their time reading anything by Rob Poole, but he posted up a wonderful piece recently, in which he waxed lyrical about meeting up with his old medical school mates again on a trip to London where they saved the life of someone whom they encountered in the street – this from a man who does not tell his patients who have appointments with him that he can’t make it because he’s off on a jolly to India, so those patients are left sitting on a ward believing that Dr Poole is going to appear for a long awaited consultation at any minute. After their heroics they all got talking over a few drinks (Rob is supposed to have a research interest in alcohol abuse no less) and Rob was reminded of their days in St Georges Medical School bar (start your career as you mean to go on Rob – in the bar) when they were all so bright eyed and bushy tailed. Rob looks at them now and is gobsmacked by how many of them are jaded and disillusioned and indeed have retired! As Rob explains they have retired to go sailing, to go on round the world trips, luxury holidays…. Cos it’s all just been so hard…Rob’s blog has taken on the quality of Jeffrey Archer’s writings after he was imprisoned when he would say things like ‘Are you listening Home Secretary?’ as he recounted the terrible conditions in whichever prison that they banged him up in – only Rob is appealing to the Labour Party to save the Top Docs and ensure that they continue to trouser £100k pa as the absolute basic.

To return to Stephen and Jeremy – they are obviously worried that Theresa is going to crumble and that the other Jeremy is in danger of entering Number 10. However since Crabb and Hunt started falling in love with the NHS, Grenfell Tower went up in flames incinerating God knows how many not very well off Londoners who were crammed in there and charged £1,600/month rent and the Tories now have far bigger problems than the ever demanding Top Doctors. Perhaps a bit of that dosh that Hunt and Crabb wanted liberated could be sent in the direction of people really in need and be used to build some decent social housing. Not that it can ever be built fast enough to save Theresa’s neck -today she was reassuring the nation that the survivors from Grenfell Tower will all be rehoused locally. I don’t know how, because the only reason that any of them were prepared to pay so much rent for such poor accommodation is that there is no spare housing at all in London. Except of course for all those empty luxury properties owned by the Russian mafia.

There have been more drug raids in north Wales, class A drugs have been seized in Bangor. It transpires that all these drugs busts are part of Operation Rattle, active in Gwynedd and on Ynys Mon. Oh well CAIS is still a roaring success in controlling the substance abuse problem them.

The shenanigans at Conwy County Council continue. A recent post explained how Gareth Jones from Plaid had done a deal with Chery Carlisle, a Conservative, and a coalition was proposed. It caused an awful lot of trauma among the rest of Plaid who were horrified at the thought of the Council sharing power with the Tories and the arrangement has now been vetoed by the Plaid National Executive. Alun Ffred, Plaid’s Chair, has stated that Plaid will not form a cabinet involving Conservatives. Which is odd, because as my posts giving details of the public servants and politicians who turned a blind eye to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal illustrate, Plaid and the Tories both worked very hard to keep the lid on all that, it could have been described as a symbiotic relationship. A leaked e mail has stated that a Plaid/Tory coalition would have a ‘catastrophic effect’ locally and one Trystan Lewis has already fallen on his sword, resigning from the Cabinet because he fears that his presence has ‘put the party in a difficult position’. I think that Gareth Jones’s presence has put the party in an even more difficult position – not only did he come up with this brainwave for a coalition with the Tories, but long, long ago Gareth knew all about the sexual abuse of children in care in north Wales (please see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’) but his lips have remained firmly buttoned, all through the Waterhouse Inquiry, all through the years that he spent as the AM for Aberconwy…. Because no-one knew about those kids being beaten and raped did they, no-one at all…

Now to matters at Plaid-dominated Gwynedd County Council. They’re featuring in ‘Private Eye’ again. The latest issue supplies details of the generous allowances and payments that the Councillors are receiving, as they cut services and workers pay. It is mentioned that one brave Councillor told them that it appears to the people of Gwynedd that they are lining their pockets at the expense of the citizens. Nonetheless, the Councillors then voted for an increase in their allowances. Gwynedd Councillors and certain employees have enjoyed many perks and privileges that would probably precipitate a council tax strike if they were widely known about and it’s been going on for years – please see post ‘News Round Up, March 24 2017’ for the details of just the scams and fiddles that I knew about. Meanwhile, virtually all the public bogs have been shut down in Gwynedd and the parking charges have almost doubled. This affects local people as well, but it really clobbers tourists, whom the Council maintain that they are trying to encourage. (A lot of the Tourist Info places have been closed as well, which is a rather odd thing to do if you want to encourage tourists.) I’ll be surprised if any tourists return in the face of what is happening. The arguments regarding the closure of the bogs was bizarre. One Councillor some months ago when faced with allegations that this was discriminatory against people with certain health conditions maintained that ‘disabled people’ never take unplanned journeys anyway – she maintained that they always made travel plans that involved strategic bog stops. Try telling that to someone who has Crohn’s Disease, or IBS, or has had prostate surgery – the effect of these conditions is not in the least bit predictable. They certainly won’t dare visit Gwynedd in the future.

The ‘Eye’ has another reference to wales as well. They have named a Cardiff haemophilia specialist, Professor Arthur Bloom, as someone who was putting patients at risk by using them as uninformed ‘guinea pigs’ for blood products of uncertain safety back in the 80s. Bloom had previously worked at the Oxford Haemophilia Centre, then moved to Cardiff, where he became the doctor of a little boy called Colin Smith. Bloom’s experimenting resulted in Colin becoming infected with HIV and hepatitis C and he died at seven years old in 1990. The campaign group ‘Tainted Blood’ have acquired letters written by Bloom which they maintain shows that he was criminally negligent towards haemophiliacs. That man of the people Andy Burnham, in his last Commons speech as an MP, threatened to take the letters to the police if the Gov’t didn’t act, claiming that there needed to be an inquiry as there had been a ‘criminal cover-up on an industrial scale’. Which I’m sure that there was – just like there was in the case of Mid-Staffs. In that case the name of the Minister who refused an inquiry for years despite evidence of criminal conduct and negligence was one Andy Burnham.

The ‘Eye’ also has two mental health failure stories, in this case two seriously mentally ill people killing themselves in prison when they should never have been in prison in the first place. The inquests into Callum Smith and Caroline Hunt both found multiple failures on the part of mental health services and prison staff. Both Callum and Caroline were suicidal and were ‘dealt with’ by being isolated in their cells. They both hung themselves. The coroners in each case wrote to both health authorities and the prison authorities regarding the prevention of further deaths. Which reminds me – the Betsi has by now received quite a few such coroners letters, but they don’t seem to be having much effect. Deborah Coles from ‘Inquest’ described Callum’s and Caroline’s deaths as ‘wholly preventable’, blaming the starvation of the mental health services which has led to a shortage of psychiatric beds and an over-reliance on a prison service that can’t cope. I’m a great admirer of Deborah Coles and have found her to be one of the few people working in the Third sector who is not afraid to be honest about how bad the nation’s mental health services are – note the complete silence of MIND on all these prison deaths of seriously ill people. However I do disagree with Deborah about the cause of this problem – the mental health services have been sending patients to prison now for years, regardless of the state of Gov’t investment in the services. Furthermore the mental health services in north Wales perjured themselves to ensure that patients ended up in prison if those patients had complained about the mental health services or if they were children who’d been abused in care. This is about negligent, criminal mental health staff, not money. As well as the vindictive targeting of certain patients, there has also been a philosophical and political shift, which has resulted in society failing to identify distress and instead demanding that people should ‘take responsibility’, even if their clinical condition precludes them from doing this. The sociologist Loic Wacquant has written extensively about this neoliberal penality and has taken a particular interest in how great swathes of black people in the U.S. have been criminalised and subsequently disenfranchised (actually as a result of legislation passed by Bill Clinton, assisted by that Heroic Role Model to the rest of us with ovaries, Hillary). I believe that in the UK the phenomenon is most obvious among people with mental health problems. When they don’t recover, it’s not because the care and treatment are crap or because they have a long term problem, it’s because they have a Borderline Personality Disorder and they are Untreatable and prison will show ’em. This approach very obviously led to the mortality rate that Tony Roberts presided over but such was the disaster involved that absolutely no-one would admit that this man was decimating patients and the GMC resorted to utilising forged documents to conceal the nightmare (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

The ‘Eye’s’ medical correspondent M.D. aka Dr Phil Hammond, discusses the Gov’ts lame anti-radicalisation programme Prevent. He compares the failure of Prevent with the failures of psychiatry and social work: ‘Every day psychiatrists in understaffed overwhelmed services have to prioritise the suicide risks of those who have only just started self-harming and those who have been doing it for years…social workers overwhelmed by their caseloads have to juggle the risks to abused children’. I’m not quite sure that it works like that Phil. It might now and again, for the few decent committed people trying to do a good job – and there are a few of them. However they are vastly outnumbered by their colleagues who are either punitive or simply don’t give a fuck. If you are a self-harmer you are highly likely to be met with mental health professionals who refuse to assess let alone treat you and as for children’s social services – er, the organised abuse and trafficking of ‘looked after’ children in nearly every region of the UK springs to mind… Interestingly enough Phil goes on to state that ‘some terrorists are doctors whose grievances are overfed by the UK military interventions and foreign policies…citizens must be supported to speak up’. Phil then recommends that Prevent should be widened to ‘encompass speaking up about any serious crime (child abuse, rape, murder, people trafficking, fraud, extremism) using the Crimestoppers model’. Well Phil your colleagues really have given me thirty years of hell – because I discovered that some of them were concealing a paedophile ring. This may have ‘overfed’ my criticisms of psychiatry but I have not yet resorted to locking any of them in a cage and slowly burning them to death, which is what the ISIS doctor did to someone. The ISIS doctor who had previously worked at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before he went into action with ISIS. As for Crimestoppers – I knew someone in north Wales who repeatedly telephoned Crimestoppers to report a psychiatrist who was involved in the illegal sale and distribution of drugs, in the concealing of child abuse and in the coercion of patients into prostitution. This man also reported the suspicious death of one of this psychiatrist’s patients. Names, dates and details of the offences were given. Nothing happened. So the man rang back a few weeks later to ask why no action had been taken – only to be told that his call had been classified as a hoax. So he gave all the details again. Still nothing happened. At the time that this man was making those calls, the colleagues of that psychiatrist in the social services were being investigated for child abuse and soon after that the Waterhouse Inquiry was held – denounced by many as a massive cover up. The same psychiatrist had been sued for false imprisonment and had been the subject of numerous complaints to the GMC. But no action was taken. Hoax call? I don’t think even Crimestoppers believed that was a hoax call. So there must have been some other reason why no action was taken. Phil Hammond provides many good insights – I remember that he memorably described the London medical schools as being run by ‘fat masons’, which I am told was the prevailing situation at St Georges – but I don’t think that he’s quite grasped the essence of Crimestoppers.

Which brings me onto the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA), who also feature in the latest edition of the Eye. SOSA are the group of the former residents of Lambeth Council children’s homes who have walked out of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. Just before they walked out, the third Chair of the Inquiry walked out, Judge Lowell Goddard. The ‘Eye’ reveals that the reason that both Judge Goddard and SOSA walked out was because the Home Office was trying to impose it’s own team of officials on Goddard. She rightly pointed out that would not make it an ‘independent’ inquiry. It is very clear that the Gov’t micromanaged the Waterhouse Inquiry and presumably they expect to do the same with the Independent Inquiry. Goddard and SOSA are still in touch and SOSA have published their own report into the happenings at Lambeth which is alleged to focus on the multiple failings of the Home Office. I have been in touch with SOSA but they have told me that their report isn’t available until later this summer due to legal constraints, but they have promised to send me a copy when it’s available. SOSA’s website names many of the paedophiles who were active in the children’s homes, so I asked them if they were going to name any of the councillors or politicians who colluded or covered up the abuse. They have named some councillors in their report but not any politicians. So if anyone wants to find out which politicians were involved – as well as other respectable members of society who believed that they’d actually got away with all this – Service Shenanigans is the site to follow.

Of course, some children from Lambeth were sent to children’s homes in north Wales. I will be posting up more soon about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal with more names of those involved at all levels.

 

News Round Up – And Another Top Doctor Goes To Prison

This morning the Daily Post online is telling us all that the Betsi has overspent it’s budget by £80 million in the last three years, according to a report from the Welsh Auditor General. Janet Finch-Saunders, the Conservative AM for Aberconwy, is quoted as someone ‘who has previously spoken out about the underfunding of the NHS by the Welsh Gov’t’. Today Janet is maintaining that she ‘welcomes’ the Welsh Gov’t covering the extra spend, but ‘given that they are monitoring the Betsi’s finances, they should have taken action to ensure it didn’t get into this position’. Janet gives some suggestions as to how this could be achieved – for example by the Welsh Gov’t allocating a more generous initial budget or by the Betsi ‘weaning themselves’ off wasteful practices such as the use of ‘highly expensive agency workers’. The Post mentions that for two years of the overspend, the Betsi was in special measures after being placed in there by former Health Minister Mark Drakeford and that the financial problems have been managed through the NHS escalation framework, which brings the Welsh Gov’t, the Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales together to manage the solution. The present Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has stated that ‘cash support’ will continue to be provided when required to all Health Boards to enable them to meet normal cash commitments including payroll expenditure and that cash assistance is repayable in future financial years when appropriate. A Betsi spokeswoman has been quoted as saying that the Board need to improve their quality and performance whilst safely reducing operating costs and that their Action Plan for 2017/18 starts to address this.

There is much to comment upon here. First, one wonders why Janet Finch-Saunders, as a fully paid up member of the fiscal responsibility party, is urging the Welsh Gov’t to throw even more money in the direction of this Board of fools and fuckwits. It is a Board dominated by the likes of Dr Peter Higson, Martin Jones, Grace Lewis-Parry, Lyn Meadows et al who have for years stuffed up big time in every role to which they have been appointed. None of them should have been allowed near this Health Board and things are not going to improve until they are removed, it is as simple as that. The reason that the Betsi is spending so much on agency staff is principally because no-one will work for them so dire is their reputation, but also because the Top Doctors and Angels who staff the nation’s NHS are fully aware that they can earn more by working for an agency than by conventional employment and that is why a lot of them choose to do so. It is a well-established scam that has been growing and growing for years and no-one has sought to address it – indeed before it was quite such a popular scam elsewhere, it was known to be a substantial problem in the North West Wales NHS Trust when one Martin Jones was the CEO. Can anyone spot a theme here? Of course the reason why honest capable staff won’t work for the Betsi is that they don’t want to work for a dysfunctional organisation rife with bad or frankly dangerous practices. Had politicians like Janet been honest about these practices which have been in place for many years now, bad practice could have been stopped and the Betsi would not now be comatose on the floor. But Janet and nearly everybody else said nothing at all – indeed Janet herself was even telling mental health charities not to send dissatisfied patients to her because she didn’t want to deal with their cases. So as usual too many people stood with the Top Doctors and Angels and ignored the terrifying mortality rates. But Janet is not the only one mentioned above who has added to the problems of the NHS in north Wales by colluding with abusive, lethal practitioners. Mark Drakeford knew damn well how dreadful things were, both throughout the years when he was special advisor to Rhodri Morgan and until he was finally forced to put the Betsi in special measures when Tawel Fan blew up in his face. But then this former social worker had received a long training in turning a blind eye to abuse and malpractice and instead sat around a table talking to the unions who were protecting their own members rather than the people who some of those members were harming (see post ‘News Round Up, June 11 2017’). As for the NHS escalation framework that is ‘managing the situation’, the troika of the Welsh Gov’t, Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales – the Welsh Gov’t no longer knows what to do in the face of this disaster (my co-researcher has suggested that someone just appoints the Chuckle Brothers in the place of the Betsi Board) and HIW ignored the slaughter and mayhem in the north Wales NHS for years (of course it did, it’s CEO was Peter Higson, who’d previously overseen the horror story that was the North Wales Hospital – Higson is now of course Chair of the Betsi). What about the Auditor General, Huw Vaughan Thomas? Well he featured in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’. He was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst their social services had been infiltrated by a paedophile gang and prior to that he had been Chief Exec of Denbighshire – whose social services had also been infiltrated by the paedophile gang! I’m sure that he’ll do a brilliant job of sorting it all out.

Vaughan mentioned that Health Boards will continue to receive extra cash, although he did make mention of the cash being repayable in certain circumstances. In other words, whoever finally takes over at the Betsi once Higson et al just HAVE to be removed will then be left to clear up the mess on a shoestring after Higson, Grace and Martin have broken the bank. Does Vaughan think that he’ll receive many applications for future ‘leadership roles’ at the Betsi? As for his generous offer to carry on bailing out Health Boards across Wales, let us look at how some of that tax-payers cash was spent by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

In 2009 Cardiff and Vale employed a gynaecologist called Dr Anthony Madu and paid him nearly £100k pa (the Betsi pay Martin Jones and Grace even more). Anthony Madu has just been sent to prison for two years, after failing to repay the NHS over £70k as ordered by a previous court – £70k that he defrauded them out of, by continuing to work as a locum whilst he was initially suspended and then on extended sick leave for ‘stress’. Whilst receiving sick pay from Cardiff and Vale, Madu worked at Middlesborough’s James Cook University Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital Birmingham, Scarborough General Hospital and the Royal Oldham General Hospital, Greater Manchester. I have a friend who lives in Scarborough who tells me that Scarborough Hospital has a similar reputation to the hospitals in north Wales and thus good doctors won’t work there. I suspect that the other hospitals that Madu moonlighted at will also have had similar problems. Madu had actually been found guilty of fraud in 2014 but had been spared jail on condition that he repaid the £70k. He appealed against the decision, lost but failed to repay the money anyway, hence the prison sentence. Although he was only ordered to repay £70k, the cost to the hospitals was calculated to have been £240k and he transferred £95k to a Nigerian bank account in an attempt to cover his tracks. So Madu was being treated pretty leniently. Yet there had been problems before he started fiddling – in 2009 he was suspended by Cardiff and Vale as a result of allegations relating to his conduct towards other staff and allegations that he’d falsified his post-graduate training record. And it seems that the GMC knew all about him! They had investigated him and placed restrictions on his practice – which he ignored. He also failed to co-operate with investigations. But no, they didn’t strike him off, so he just turned up at other hospitals in England. But Madu had been in trouble before he ever arrived at Cardiff and Vale. He had previously worked at the Royal Bolton Hospital and had mismanaged a labour so badly that the baby died. Weeks later Madu was employed by Cardiff and Vale. The inquest on the baby wasn’t held until 2012, but when it was held the coroner denounced Madu as an ‘unimpressive witness…largely unreliable’. No charges were brought against Madu, although the Royal Bolton did apologise to the baby’s parents.

At the conclusion of Madu’s previous trial, Judge David Wynn Morgan praised Cardiff and Vale for taking action against Madu when they caught him fiddling and stated that ‘it may be that tragedy was avoided by the timely actions of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’. Tragedy wasn’t avoided – a baby had already died, but not at Cardiff and Vale. No doubt had Madu caused any tragedies at Cardiff and Vale no-one would have been told anyway. Had Cardiff and Vale been told about the dead baby at Bolton when they employed Madu? If so, why did they employ him? Did they know about his run-ins with the GMC? If they didn’t know about any of this, why didn’t they? Who supplied Madu with references, either for Cardiff and Vale or any of his other jobs? Is there going to be an investigation into any of this or indeed into the GMC failing to stop him? I very much doubt it. Madu was known to be a problem at the Royal Bolton and they did what is always done with problematic doctors – they passed him onto someone else.

I can only compare the case of Madu, who had killed a baby and then swindled again and again yet was given chance after chance, with that of Dr Sian Caiach. Sian was a surgeon working in Wales who in about 2000 discovered two of her colleagues perpetuating a fraud by using NHS facilities to treat private patients without declaring it. Sian reported them to the Wales Audit Office. The WAO investigated and found that the fraud reported by Sian had indeed been committed. Those doctors were not dismissed. Nonetheless, Sian was suspended, sacked and eventually prevented from practicing by the GMC. At one point the rationale for stopping her working was that she would damage the ‘mental health’ of her colleagues. Presumably they might feel a bit anxious lest she discover what they were up to. Years later Sian was permitted to practice again after being subjected to the most offensive comments from the GMC – but only under very restricted circumstances. Honest whistleblowing surgeon with a commitment to the NHS? Christ we hadn’t better let her loose. It seems that Sian is too honest for party politics as well – her name was on the Plaid candidate list but was removed. Yet numerous members, councillors and politicians of that party were involved in colluding with the abuses in the mental health services and children’s homes in north Wales.

I mentioned earlier that a Betsi spokeswoman had stated that they needed to improve their quality and their performance. So how are they doing? Well, according to the BBC News Wales site, it’s business as usual. A 75 year old lady was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and died shortly after, having experienced the sort of dreadful care of the elderly that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is well-known for. The old lady suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clywd in Nov 2015 after a fall at home causing her to break her femur. She was given surgery and transferred to the HDU (High Dependency Unit). The trouble occurred when she was then transferred to an orthopaedic ward. Her family raised concerns when they discovered her sitting in her own faeces and after they had to visit her out of hours to give her food and drink because this wasn’t being done by the staff. The old lady’s son was told by a nurse that she had been ‘spoiled’ on the HDU (where presumably the staff actually did what they were paid to do). The old lady then developed pneumonia and died. At the inquest the conclusion was recorded as accidental death with the fall as a contributing factor. Which would seem to be a complete lie. The old lady’s family took their complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who upheld their complaint, stating that there had been inappropriate communication, inadequate nursing care and that the elderly lady had been admitted to an inappropriate ward. To show how seriously that the Ombudsman took the matter of an old lady being left sitting in her own crap whilst being given no food or drink, subjected to non-existent ‘nursing care’ – whilst her family were insulted by the staff – and then dying, he awarded the old lady’s family the grand total of £250. Martin Jones spends about that on a pair of his infamous cufflinks. As always though, the learning has been embedded and the service users empowered. The Betsi has stated that it has tackled the problem by appointing doctors from a range of backgrounds to support geriatric patients on orthopaedic wards, with a consultant to lead the service. Which seems to be missing the point – in this case it was the Angels who had disgraced themselves rather than the Top Doctors. Furthermore, ‘staff have received training in dignity and respect for patients’. Should this have been needed? If I were looking after a bed-ridden friend or relative even I would not leave them sitting in turds. But then I’m not an Angel.

As with Huw Vaughan Thomas, Mark Drakeford, HIW et al, there is a legacy involved with the problem that this old lady encountered. Elderly care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been absolutely dreadful for many, many years as detailed in my post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’. Staff ensured that their own families did not end up there and some ten years ago a retired Professor from Bangor University, Clare Wenger, was so appalled by what she witnessed as a patient there that she compiled a dossier and sent it to over 100 people. Clare Wenger’s specialism was in old age care and she had led a major 20 year study into this which was funded by the Department of Health. Notwithstanding all this, Clare Wenger was denounced as a stuck up old cow who expected special treatment. The elderly continued to be neglected and abused and throughout it all the former CEO of the Trust that ran Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before the Betsi was created, Gren Kershaw, was awarded the accolade of Best Chief Executive in the UK by ‘Nursing Times’. Kershaw has now retired and works as a ‘management consultant’. And the elderly are still neglected and abused by the staff who voted for him to be given an award by ‘Nursing Times’.

Now another story from the Daily Post online, combining two common themes of this blog, politics and the Betsi. It has been announced that Plaid and the Tories have gone into coalition to run Conwy Council. So the Counci leader is now Gareth Jones and his Deputy is Cheryl Carlisle. Gareth is a Plaid Councillor and is the former AM for Aberconwy. Many years before that Gareth was a member of a panel that conducted one of the numerous investigations that was held into the sexual abuse of children in care in Clwyd. So Gareth knew that there was a serious problem – but like so many people he’s remained silent for years. However he has announced that the new Cabinet is an ‘open administration based on inclusiveness and transparency’. If Gareth is now going all inclusive and transparent it’ll be a first for him. As for Cheryl – well she’s a Conservative and is a member of the Betsi Board! Cheryl now holds the Cabinet portfolio for ‘children, family and safeguarding’. We should just be thankful that it’s not Gareth overseeing those particular matters. The Plaid group in Conwy seem to have done something odd. There had been a previous agreement for Plaid, Labour and the Independent Group to work together, but this backfired when much of the Plaid Group voted for Gareth Jones in the leadership election. What can be going on? But then something else peculiar happened this week involving Plaid. Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym, a policy advisor for Plaid, publicly announced that they would be willing to support the Tories on ‘some matters’. Now some people are saying that they have no problem with that if it benefits Wales, but Leanne Wood – Plaid’s leader – and many of her colleagues, loathe everything about the Tories and have made ‘no deals with Tories under any conditions ever’ a central theme within Plaid. How does Leanne feel about her colleagues snuggling up to the Tories? Plaid are really proud of Eurfyl ap Gwilym because he famously floored Paxman on ‘Newsnight’ a few years ago. However, he does sometimes take surprising stances. I was at a conference where he spoke some years ago and he provided a devastating critique of Blair’s H.E. policy. I much appreciated this, because Blair imposed an ill thought out policy on UK universities which was never going to work with the staffing and funding available and it did very great damage, resulting in, among other things, a vicious snobbery between different universities. But Eurfyl seemed to be firing his ammo at the wrong people. After stating that he was an ‘unashamed elitist’, he went on to put the boot into graduates from less prestigious universities who had found themselves working at Tesco, saying that they didn’t deserve anything other than a job in Tesco. Those graduates were very much the victim of the problem not the cause. Most of them did not know that a degree from Glyndwr University doesn’t have the same currency as a degree from a Russell Group institution – New Labour led them to think that once one had a degree, one would waltz into a well paid professional job immediately after graduation. They were conned and it was not their fault. Furthermore, going to university on large amounts of borrowed money was sold to them on the promise of high salaries after graduation – no-one mentioned widening their horizons or gaining a liberal education or critical thinking skills, it was the mythical ‘graduate premium’ that was used as the carrot. Meanwhile the kids of Cabinet Ministers carried on applying for places at Oxbridge because their parents knew that there was a difference in status between institutions. As for deserving to work in Tescos – I’m not sure that anyone deserves the fate of that particular regime, where it’s minimum wage on the tills and insults from harried customers as well as a supervisor of questionable quality breathing down your neck. Perhaps Eurfyl would like to give it a go himself. I did try to speak to Eurfyl after his presentation when everyone started on the wine and nibbles, but he blanked me and proceeded to work his way around the room only speaking to the most important people there. People nearly as important as him.

Plaid’s cosy relationship with the Tories has echoes of the historical arrangement that this blog has revealed with regard to the child abuse in the north Wales children’s homes in the 70s, 80s and 90s. That abuse – as well as the linked abuse in the mental health services – was facilitated by many members of Plaid and their representatives, whilst certain Tory Ministers sat at the top of the tree concealing the whole mess. Meanwhile the likes of Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and Conservative MP for Chester, and Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, actually abused the children in care themselves. The state bureaucrats who grossly mismanaged the local authorities, as well as the health and care professionals, occupied various positions in the pecking order below them. Thus a whole structure was kept in place. The only people who didn’t benefit were the kids/patients – they were coerced into providing sexual services and either died, or spent a lifetime travelling in and out of places like Risley Remand Centre or the North Wales Hospital if they dared complain about what was happening to them.

Now I have arrived at one of my running themes on the blog – highly paid people who are pissing all over the rest of us whilst caring – I can report that my mates the BMA have been in the news again. Specifically the BMA GPs representatives. A Dr Sophie Quinney, representing a group called ‘Wales For GP Survival’, has been making claims that GPs are retiring early or cutting down their hours ‘to stay sane’. Which is odd, because I thought that they retired in their mid 50s because their pension pots were so big that they didn’t have to go on until they dropped. Furthermore, despite any stress that their job does involve – and if you’re a GOOD GP it is stressful – the GPs that I know who chose to work part-time were all honest enough to admit that they were so well-paid that they could just work three days a week and still live very comfortably. But members of the BMA representing GPs have been crawling out of the woodwork everywhere with their tales of woe and they all seem to be giving out the same message – that is, if the Gov’t doesn’t do what we say, we will all stop working and then what will you do? I presume that there has been a BMA conference somewhere and they all voted to take a leaf out of the book of Violet Elizabeth Bott i.e. that they would thcweam and thcweam until they were thick.

Indeed, one of those participating in the thcweaming is someone known to me, Dr Graham Thomas, who works in the Corwen Health Centre. Graham has appeared in the Daily Post online urging ‘politicians and patients to put pressure on the Betsi Board to help the practice out’. Graham is rattled because his surgery is in danger of losing it’s Rural Support Payment of £52k which it has received – presumably from the Betsi – for the last 15 years. The Post reports that this is a ‘cry from the heart’ and that Graham, as a GP, ‘speaks from experience’. Graham states that if the Betsi takes over the management of the practice – Graham is suggesting that if the Rural Support Payment is not forthcoming that is what will have to happen – patients will have longer waiting times. He makes reference to the time a few years ago when he assisted at the practice when it was managed by the Betsi and says that ‘I just knew that I was unable to give the time and attention that some of those patients required’. Now I happen to know that although he is a very capable doctor, Graham Thomas is also capable of very great deceit and like Councillor Gareth Jones mentioned earlier, Graham often keeps schtum about terrible things when he shouldn’t. I know this because I used to live in the same village as him, I was in the same hill walking club as him and I used to know him very, very well. He made quite big efforts to cultivate my company, just at the time when I had started making it known that I intended to publish my truly dreadful experiences with the mental health services. Graham knew exactly how bad those services were because he used to work at the Hergest Unit and he saw the neglect, the abuse and indeed the deaths himself. He did not raise any concerns with anyone. He still did not raise any concerns when he left the Hergest Unit and worked in the area as a GP. He still said not a word when he became a more senior GP. He knew that the Hergest was dreadful and he didn’t even bother to send his own patients there, but he did not raise a concern. Neither did he raise concerns when members of the staff at the Hergest Unit were perjuring themselves in an attempt to ensure that I ended up in prison. He knew about it, because I lived just down the lane from him at the time and he used to regularly ask me what I was going to do about the threats and harassment that I was receiving from his colleagues. Although Graham knew how bad many of the staff working in the mental health services were, he was still happy to ensure that they acquired yet another dodgy doctor. On one occasion I got into conversation with a psychiatrist in the hill walking group who had just taken a job at the medium secure unit in Llanfairfechan. I asked him why he had come to Wales and he told me that he hadn’t been able to gain employment after some unspecified hoo ha in his last job. But Dr Graham Thomas had very kindly helped him out and got him a job in north Wales! At one point some charming character threw dog turds at my house. Graham admitted that he knew who did it. I told him that I wanted to report this matter to the police – so Graham refused to reveal the identity of the culprit. He also knew that his colleagues were slandering me. I only discovered the extent of this when he asked me for advice. He had fallen out with a charity that he had been involved with – although I wasn’t ever sure of the details – but it seemed that he believed that they were accusing him of unlawful practices. He was worried that his reputation would be damaged and didn’t know what to do to challenge it. So he asked me for advice, as someone whom he knew to have been subjected to a smear campaign – by his own colleagues. The last time that Graham and his wife spoke to me was after I told them that I had finally had a bellyful of the mental health services and that I had instructed my lawyers to begin action and that I had every intention of one day publishing everything that I had witnessed. Graham and his wife Casi never spoke to me again.

I suspect that as in the case of Professor Catherine Robinson, someone else who was colluding with a great deal of wrongdoing, Graham only ever befriended me to find out what I knew about his colleagues and where or when I was going to publish and was very probably relaying everything that I told him straight back to those we know and love. Two other very odd things happened to me during the time when I was socialising with Graham and Casi. I was looking for a house to rent and I viewed one near where they lived. I told them that I had viewed it and they were very encouraging about it. So I handed over the deposit, rent etc and moved in. After a few weeks it was clear that not only did the landlady have quite serious problems herself but that there were a lot of structural problems with the house that were so bad that they constituted a health and safety risk. I mentioned them to Graham one day who, it transpired, knew all about them. He also knew that previous tenants had moved out of the house after discovering what I had discovered and had also had problems with the landlady. I didn’t remember him telling me about any of that when he encouraged me to move in. The other experience was even more weird. One day after my car broke down, Graham made a very generous offer. He had a car that he could sell me, at an incredibly low price. He said that he was more than happy to do a favour for a friend and I greatly appreciated being able to acquire the car. About a month later, I was driving the car when I was rammed from behind by a man who then became phenomenally aggressive when I asked him for his details. I persevered and eventually I extracted his name, insurance details etc from him. I discovered later that he was a retired officer from the North Wales Police – who I had begun to have quite a lot of problems with by then. In fact during the time that I lived a few doors down from Graham an awful lot of bizarre things happened to me, usually at the hands of people who I then discovered were friendly with Graham and Casi. After I left the village, I found out that Graham and Casi had over the past few years been asked to leave numerous chapels, community organisations and charities. Like me, a lot of people had some very odd experiences with them. I’m glad to hear that it’s onward and upward for them though – Casi is now aiming for ordination in the Church In Wales! And Graham obviously is going to thcweam and thweam until he’s sick. At the time that he was so keen to discover what action I was planning to take against his negligent, abusive, criminal colleagues, Graham was the BMA’s representative for the GPs group in north Wales.

Graham has already recruited one politician to his cause. Llyr Huws Grufydd has publicised Graham’s demand for £50k as a ‘cry for help from a busy rural GP practice’. But then Llyr described Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing home’ Ty Gwyn as a ‘beacon of excellence’, as it imploded after the population gradually realised what a scam it was. Llyr is a Plaid AM for north Wales. Unless he’s joined the Tories by now.

The Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu was alleged to have said that ‘if you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by’. As far as I can see if you watch the north Wales media for long enough the names of the people involved in the most dreadful abuses of their positions will float by.

 

 

 

Another Suicide – June 10 2017

Daily Post online are reporting on the inquest of Dafydd Dafis, 58, from Beaumaris. Mr Dafis was found hanging from railings at Bangor University’s Ocean Sciences building on April 3 2017 by a security guard. Pathologist Dr Mark Lord stated that his death had been from asphyxiation due to hanging. Dewi Pritchard Jones, coroner for north west Wales who held the inquest at Caernarfon, stated that he was satisfied that Mr Dafis had died as a result of his own actions and that no-one else was involved.

Mr Dafis was an actor who had starred in Rownd a Rownd and was well known on the Welsh music scene.

Failings In Care – But Another Narrative Verdict

The media have reported that a narrative verdict has been returned by John Gittins, the coroner who carried out the inquest on Sgt Lee Johnson who hung himself whilst a patient at the Heddfan Unit, Wrexham Maelor. Yet another narrative verdict in the face of what everyone acknowledges was the suicide of someone who was in the care of the Betsi mental health services. If anyone ever did have any doubts about what has been going on in north Wales, this case makes it crystal clear – inquest verdicts are being manipulated to conceal the size of the problem that is the mental health services in north Wales. It is only two years since Danielle Robinson hung herself in the Heddfan Unit. We were told then that ‘lessons had been learned’ – they haven’t. Anyone familiar with the physical layout of the Heddfan Unit will know how easy it is for staff to check on patients, the building has been designed for that. So how are people managing to hang themselves? Hanging is not a quick or easy method of killing oneself – and a key element of health and safety requirements of mental health units is the identification and removal of ligature points.

Another factor was introduced into the explanation for the death of Sgt Johnson – he had been drinking whilst in the Heddfan Unit and it was known that drink made him suicidal, but staff commented that he was reluctant to discuss this. I noted in my previous post ‘It’s Yet Another Inquest Into Yet Another Death’ that the standard response of the mental health services in north Wales to people with drink problems is to refuse to treat them and refer them to CAIS, a charity shot through with failure and dodgy practice. So that will probably have been why Sgt Johnson was reluctant to discuss this – Sgt Johnson and his wife were/are police officers and Sgt Johnson’s wife mentioned in the inquest that they had previously had dealings with Heddfan professionally. So they will have known about the attitude towards patients with drink problems (it is the police who are called upon to throw the patients with alcohol problems out of the hospitals). I also mentioned in my previous post that the acute mental health units run by the Betsi actually breathalyse patients and searches their rooms if they are suspected of drinking. Unbelievably, John Gittins commented at the inquest that this policy is effective but needs to be made more robust. No this policy is almost certainly what led to Sgt Johnson’s death – the policy on alcohol is so rigid and draconian that people with alcohol problems feel unable to discuss this and resort to sneaking in alcohol if their problem is that bad. The Betsi are carrying out their own version of Prohibition – it didn’t work in the U.S. in the 1920s and it’s not working in north Wales now. The only choice that people with alcohol problems have is to knock on the door of CAIS, an organisation with some of the sleaziest people in north Wales on it’s Board, including a number who concealed a paedophile gang (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) But wasn’t it concluded that Prohibition failed because it pushed the alcohol trade into the embrace of gangsters?

I notice that once more Dr Stuart Porter, the man who was memorably described to me as sporting a pair of ‘wanker’s glasses’ by a less than impressed patient – who was refused treatment by Porter et al although he was seriously depressed – has been wheeled out as the public face of the Betsi and was referred to as the ‘interim clinical director’. Porter’s previous stomping ground was the Ablett Unit – the Unit that released a patient with no aftercare maintaining that he was ‘feigning illness in order to secure accommodation’. That patient was actually seriously ill and went on to decapitate someone (please see post ‘Homicide Committed By Patient At Ablett Unit’). It was of course the Ablett Unit that hosted the infamous Tawel Fan ward, where elderly mentally ill patients were left to crawl around naked on a floor covered in urine and faeces whilst  nurses swore at them and discussed their sex lives. One of those patients was found to have an untreated broken arm. It was Tawel Fan that led to the Betsi being placed in special measures. So with Porter and his glasses at the helm it’s obvious that the mental health services are heading for the stars…

There is however a long and glorious history of people in the public domain colluding with the appalling mental health services in north Wales. I was reading parts of the Waterhouse Report yesterday in preparation for a future post and I was gobsmacked to read that Rob Evans, the senior manager of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for mental health services, had given evidence to the Waterhouse Inquiry and described the community mental health services as among the best in Europe. He was talking about the Arfon Community Mental Health Team there. Who perjured themselves in order to obtain High Court injunctions against people who complained about them, who perjured themselves again in order to try and have those people imprisoned for breaking the injunctions, who assaulted patients in the team’s office in Bangor and who threatened to assault patients in their own homes. The Arfon Team had done all these things by the time that Evans made that comment to the inquiry and what’s more Evans knew it. Furthermore, not long before Evans was called to give that evidence, he had been responsible for investigating a complaint of mine regarding the constant harassment and aggression that I was receiving from the Arfon Team. The complaint remained unresolved and the aggro towards me from the Arfon Team continued. I now have documents in my possession written by Rob Evans regarding my complaint. He had asked Keith Fearns, the psychopath who was the ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team, ‘what he wanted done’ with me. Fearns had replied ‘lock her up’. Evans had told Fearns that wasn’t possible. Fearns had repeated ‘lock her up’. Evans noted that the situation was unresolvable and that he was leaving his post imminently so he did not intend to pursue this matter further. The best in Europe? Before Evans had been appointed Director of Mental Health, he had been involved in child care. When Evans met me to hold a futile discussion regarding the problem that was Fearns and his gang of thugs, Evans kept stressing that ‘social work practice’ changes with time and what was acceptable at one point may not be acceptable in the future (what relevance this had to social workers lying in court and assaulting their clients I do not know). As an example Evans said that when he used to place children in children’s homes he used to take away their shoes to stop them running away ‘but you’re not allowed to do that now’. When the former residents of the north Wales children’s homes gave evidence at the trials of the men who had sexually abused them, one of them stated that he had tried to run away after being sexually molested. So someone took his shoes away to stop him. I think at the very least, Rob Evans should now be prosecuted for lying to the Waterhouse Inquiry. (Another thing that I remember Rob saying to me was that some children hated him for placing them in the children’s homes but he knew that he’d done the right thing because their parents ‘should look after their kids properly’. Rob thought that they weren’t doing this so he handed their kids over to a paedophile gang. Nice work Rob.) The Waterhouse Report also mentions that Rob Evans’s employment prospects were limited and that he wasn’t a Welsh speaker. So what did Rob do when he stopped being Director of Mental Health for Gwynedd? He became Director of Community Services for Anglesey! The last time that I saw the dreadful Rob he accused me of ‘arrassin’ him because I dared question him about the documents that he compiled about me after he met Fearns in the wake of my complaint. So I ‘arrased him. Well he handed fresh meat over to a fucking paedophile ring.

Rob was not alone in believing that an abusive service imprisoning it’s clients and driving them to suicide was leading the field on a European level. As the closure of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh loomed, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones made regular appearances in the local media and was described as ‘Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist’. He wasn’t even a forensic psychiatrist. But he was banging up people who had complained about the abuse in the children’s services and mental health services.

What was it about the paedophile’s friends that made them obsessed with their status as Europe’s leading? Couldn’t they have just gone for gold and announced themselves as global leaders? Or were there better facilitators of a paedophile gang somewhere on another continent?

 

It’s Yet Another Inquest Into Yet Another Death

BBC News Wales are reporting on the inquest at Ruthin of Lee Johnson, 45, a police sergeant with West Mercia Police, who was found hanged in the Heddfan Unit, Wrexham Maelor, whilst he was a voluntary patient there. Emma Evans, clinical psychologist, told the inquest that Sgt Johnson had discussed his mother’s suicide, his difficult childhood and his experiences in the RAF and the police. It was said that Sgt Johnson had had some ‘horrible experiences’ at work and was under investigation for alleged misconduct. Dr Evans commented that Sgt Johnson had a drink problem and often felt suicidal under the influence of alcohol, but was reluctant to discuss this. Sgt Johnson’s wife Barbara, who is an officer with the North Wales Police, told the inquest that she presumed that the Heddfan Unit would be a place of safety. Consultant psychiatrist Nafia Hussein described Sgt Johnson as a ‘model patient’ who was quite happy to be in hospital and to engage with anything that he thought might help. Dr Hussein commented that Sgt Johnson was very open about discussing harming himself. Dr Evans last session with Sgt Johnson had been the day before he died and she commented that it was clear to her that ‘it wasn’t going to be resolved overnight’.

It needs to be asked exactly how Sgt Johnson managed to hang himself whilst an inpatient. I know the layout of the Heddfan Unit and it is not difficult for staff to keep an eye on patients. It is quite a new unit and the building was supposed to make it a flagship unit – the physical conditions there are very good. Yet Sgt Johnson is not the first person who has died there. It’s also worth remarking on his reluctance to discuss his alcohol problem. The north Wales mental health services have a very punitive attitude to people with drink problems – if someone is found to have a drink problem they are usually flatly refused treatment and referred to dear old CAIS instead. The problem is particularly bad at the Hergest Unit, where there seems to be a pathological hatred of people with drink problems. There are shades of the same attitude at Heddfan. When I was a patient there some three years ago, a number of patients were livid because after one of the nurses suspected that one of the group had been drinking – none of them had and no-one worked out why they had been accused – the rooms of all the patients in that friendship circle were searched and patients were breathalysed. Yes, a group of hospital patients were actually breathalysed and were told that if they didn’t agree to this the police would be called and they’d be forcibly thrown out of the unit. It is highly likely that Sgt Johnson had got wind of this dreadful view of people with alcohol problems and feared being refused treatment.

The mental health services run by the Betsi show absolutely no ability at all to learn from previous disasters – no, the learning has not been embedded – or even observe and listen to patients to gain some understanding of how they feel. Their view of patients has not changed for years – they are viewed as subhuman, devoid of feelings and can only be ‘managed’ by coercion and crude manipulation. Sgt Johnson, in case they hadn’t noticed, was a grown-up and probably had considerably more experience than the staff did of dealing with people in distress – after all, it is usually the police who attend to people with mental health problems in north Wales because the mental health services are so unhelpful. And the inpatient units in north Wales regularly call in the police to throw distressed patients out (the Hergest has a track record of calling the police to taser patients). So where was Sgt Johnson supposed to turn when he couldn’t cope? No wonder he couldn’t discuss his drinking, he probably feared that one of his wife’s colleagues would be summoned and requested to blast a few thousand volts through him. Yes, that has happened to at least one patient in the Hergest Unit.

There’s still another week of the election campaign to go. So Plaid have got seven more days to continue to promise to build a medical school on the foundations of the ‘excellence’ to be found at the Betsi. And all local politicians have seven more days to not mention a word about the two inquests over the past 48 hours on mental health patients in north Wales who have hung themselves whilst on the receiving end of the excellence of the Top Doctors. And of course to entertain the whinging from the Top Doctors regarding ‘pay restraint’ – by my calculations a 1% rise on £100,000k is pretty good going. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Or indeed a few thousand volts through you when you’re so distressed that you’ve ended up in a psychiatric unit.