Close Your Eyes And Make A WISH

The feminist campaigner Julie Bindel has written an article in the Independent Online about prostitution. I can’t agree with everything that Bindel publishes but on a lot of matters she’s still a breath of fresh air. However there are matters on which I am sure that Julie is remaining silent when she shouldn’t be – which is odd, because Julie Bindel has not been afraid to place herself in the firing line on a number of subjects. One of those issues on which she remains curiously quiet is the way in which a lot of women ended up in secure mental health settings because they had alleged sexual abuse at the hands of the social services or mental health services. Bindel and others – including Helena Kennedy QC – formed ‘Justice for Women’ back in the early 1990s and worked very closely with the women’s prison system and the mental health system. They will have known what was happening to women in those systems and the ways in which so many women ended up there. They did not utter a word. My posts ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’ and ‘Ieuan Stands Down – And Other Updates’ details the work of ‘Justice for Women’ and some of their high profile cases. I also explain how Helena Kennedy had relied on the ‘court room skills’ of Professor Nigel Eastman of St George’s Hospital Medical School to win cases. Eastman was one of the psychiatrists at St George’s who knew about the abuses and criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales and kept schtum (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’.) In her book ‘Eve was Framed’ Kennedy also praises the work of Dr James Earp from Leicester – James Earp was the first ‘second opinion’ to whom I was referred who was also brought up sharp against the malpractice of the Top Doctors in north Wales but decided to keep quiet (see post ‘An Expert From England’). Of course there was a paedophile ring in operation in Leicestershire involving a powerful figure – Lord Greville Janner. I suspect that Earp knew about that and wasn’t going to tangle with him, let alone take on Dafydd et al, who were concealing the paedophile gang that was directly supplying boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

In her article, Bindel mentions Emma Humphreys. Emma was born in Dolgellau, north Wales, had a very difficult life and ended up working as a prostitute whilst a teenager. She killed her pimp when she was 17 and was imprisoned. ‘Justice for Women’ took up her case, secured her release and Emma became one of their cause celebres. Sadly Emma died from an overdose just three years after being released from prison. There are a lot of unanswered questions about Emma’s case and her death took place in very worrying circumstances. ‘Justice for Women’ have never raised some very obvious questions (see posts ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’ and ‘Ieuan Stands Down – And Other Updates’). Yet an Emma Humphrey Memorial Prize was established by ‘Justice for Women’ – Julie’s article in the Indie contains a link to the relevant webpage. One of the Patrons listed on the webpage is Vera Baird QC – Baird represented Emma Humphreys on appeal. Like Helena, Vera has built her reputation on being a feminist barrister. Yet like Helena, Vera has metaphorically got into bed with people who have inflicted great harm on the very people whom she claims to have been fighting for. My post ‘News Round Up, August 15 2017’ described how Lord Charlie Falconer effectively removing Legal Aid resulted in people who had been abused by the health and welfare services being completely unable to obtain justice, which of course rendered New Labour’s much boasted about Human Rights Act meaningless. Vera Baird was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to Charlie Falconer in the Department for Constitutional Affairs when Legal Aid was withdrawn.

The Emma Humphrey’s Memorial Prize webpage contains a link to WISH, Women in Secure Hospitals (formerly known as Woman In Special Hospitals). WISH was established in the late 1980s to represent women detained in Ashworth, Rampton and Broadmoor. Like ‘Justice for Women’, WISH will have known that a lot of these women had been banged up because they had complained of being abused by the children’s services or the mental health services (see posts ‘Socio-Political Context Of North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’ and ‘Ieuan Stands Down – And Other Updates’). They will have known that those women were being sexually abused all over again in those secure hospitals and they’ll have known about Jimmy Savile as well. They did not breathe a word. The current WISH website is spectacularly lame. The biographies of the people listed as Trustees suggests that none of them would be capable of taking on institutionalised corruption in psychiatry – indeed the absence of WISH in highlighting any of the serious problems that are now being admitted to be rife in mental health care suggests that indeed none of these people could take on the mental health establishment. Instead the WISH website is littered with very familiar things – advocacy, gender mainstreaming, references to the way that the services ‘make women feel’ etc. Not a word about violent or sexual assaults on patients, not a word about miscarriages of justice, not a word about deaths in secure mental health units, nothing. However WISH does mention that it provides advocacy services for women in a number of Cygnet hospitals. Cgynet Healthcare is a multi-million pound American company which is rapidly gobbling up huge swathes of the UK NHS. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe, a man who was happy to submit a pack of lies about me, Brown, the Hergest Whistleblower, my lawyer and even my PhD supervisor in an ‘expert witness report’ (see post ‘An Expert In Resistant Service Users’). A lot of eyes and ears were very firmly closed when someone decided to make a WISH.

The institutional abuse to which some of those women in secure hospitals had been subjected but whose interests WISH failed to effectively represent was the forerunner to the large scale abuse and trafficking of disadvantaged young people that is leading the news bulletins at the moment.

Yesterday Sarah Champion resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team after an article appeared in The Sun using comments from her with regard to the widespread sexual abuse of girls in Rotherham – Sarah is the MP for Rotherham. I applaud Sarah for her campaigning on this matter, but as I have repeatedly stated on this blog, this is not only a matter of ‘South Asian’ or ‘Muslim’ men sexually exploiting white girls – the press are highlighting those cases involving South Asian men but have ignored the other cases in which the same sort of crime was perpetrated by people who were not South Asian or Muslim. Unfortunately Sarah didn’t choose her words too wisely – although if she had made more nuanced comments I doubt that The Sun would have run the article – and she now stands accused of racism. Sajid Javid has tweeted a response to Sarah’s resignation saying that we ‘need an honest open debate on child sexual exploitation’.

We could start by admitting that it has been going on for decades and that by the 1980s it had metamorphosed into a form of organised crime that was evident in the social services of most UK local authorities – and that ALL political parties colluded in denying and concealing it at the highest levels. Javid’s own Conservative Party were instrumental in this – the Home Office under Leon Brittan ‘lost’ dozens and dozens of crucial files with details of Westminster figures involved in child abuse and under John Major, William Hague – in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales – organised the Waterhouse Inquiry into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal which was the biggest whitewash that has ever been conducted in Wales. Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Hague by Peter Hennessey this morning and Hague spoke frankly about having to be ‘ruthless’ in Gov’t and remove people if they were a liability. He could have added that when the scandal was so great, stretched back so many years and involved so many people that you couldn’t just remove them, one organises a large scale cover-up a la Waterhouse.

The Times also commented extensively on Sarah’s resignation today, questioning how it was possible to change attitudes without causing offence. They could start by working on one of their own journalists, Matthew Parris. Parris has admitted attending parties with his mates at an Italian venue known as the ‘villa of shame’ where ‘boys who were always willing’ were supplied. Before becoming a Tory MP Parris worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary – so he will have known all about the sex parties with under-aged boys that Sir Peter Morrison the MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide was known to be attending. Parris also worked in the Foreign Office so he was in a position to know about Sir Peter Hayman, the UK diplomat who was a paedophile and was eventually convicted for that. Another person who has had doings with The Times is Gyles Brandreth, who became the MP for Chester after Morrison stood down. My post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ explains why I believe that Brandreth knew about Morrison’s activities. I’ve just begun reading Brandreth’s autobiography ‘Breaking The Code’ and I note that he mentions that he has been friends with Edwina Currie since they were at Oxford together. That’s the Edwina who described Peter Morrison in her own book as a ‘pederast’. The Times reminds us that in 2011 when it first began reporting on the sexual abuse of white British girls by gangs of South Asian men, Jack Straw described those girls as being seen as ‘easy meat’.

Jack’s own hands are not clean. He was Margaret Hodge’s deputy on the Housing Committee in Islington Council whilst the Council’s homes were rife with paedophiles who were abusing the children. Islington Council were repeatedly told what was happening and ignored it. In 1986 the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens raised serious concerns about child abuse in Islington. A whistleblowing social worker disappeared in fear of their life and was assumed to have ‘gone abroad’. (There’s another rather more worrying possibility which comes to mind when someone disappears after telling people that they rumbled crime so serious that they’re in fear of their life.) In 1995 the White Report confirmed everyone’s worst fears – Islington children’s homes had been infiltrated by gangs of organised paedophiles and the Council had failed to act. Margaret Hodge was famously sued by a man who had been abused whilst in the care of Islington Council when she was Council leader after he wrote to her and told her what had actually happened to him and she insulted him.

This is where we now come to Jeremy Corbyn. This blog has detailed how scores of figures in the Tory Party and New Labour knew about organised child abuse and said nothing, but it seems as though Jeremy knew as well, although he has now issued a statement stating that the ‘Harris-Savile scandal shows how serious the problem of sexual abuse is, the way it can arise in different parts of society and the need for effective action to tackle it’. A correspondent to this blog, Mike Claybrook, left a link in my comments column a few hours ago to an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn from John Mann, a fellow Labour MP. John Mann details how Jeremy was told on a number of occasions what was happening to children in Islington, but like nearly everybody else Jeremy did not take appropriate action. The Labour Party are currently organising the speakers for their forthcoming conference. Keynotes lined up include Diane Abbott, Keir Starmer and John McDonnell. Abbott was former Head of Press and PR for Lambeth Council, which had a problem with paedophiles in it’s children’s homes every bit as big as the problems in Islington and north Wales (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’). Keir Starmer, whilst he was DPP, personally ordered an intervention in a massive police corruption trial in south Wales which caused the trial to collapse (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party?’). The police on trial had been involved in framing innocent people for the murder of Lynette White, a young woman in Cardiff who had given an interview to the BBC about how she was forced into prostitution as a child. My post ‘A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions’ gives the reasons why I think that John McDonnell also knew about the large scale sexual abuse of children in care in London in the 70s and 80s.

The Chief Executive of the EHRC has also jumped on the bandwagon, stating that it was a ‘real shame’ that Sarah Champion had resigned ‘over sensitivity about language’. What is an ever bigger shame is that Dr Rachel Perkins has a seat on the EHRC – Perkins was Clinical Director of Springfield Hospital whilst they concealed evidence concerning organised child sexual abuse.

But whilst everyone is now banging on about the serious problem of child sexual abuse and how we’re all fully aware of it now and ooh we’ll never ignore it again, just look what was reported from Cardiff Crown Court yesterday. Dr Armon Daniels, a GP, was found to be in possession of more than 16,000 indecent images of children and 850 indecent video films of children. He received an 8 month prison sentence – suspended for two years. The GMC has given him an ‘interim suspension order’. We have learned nothing – in the 70s, 80s and 90s the paedophile ring in north Wales was facilitated by the Top Doctors. No-one would act because they were fucking doctors – everyone knew what they were doing, but the GMC made excuse after excuse not to take action against them. Meanwhile witnesses were found dead after giving evidence against the paedophile gang. How much worse could it have got? Yet now we’re all supposed to be so aware, a Top Doctor is caught with more than 16000 images – oooh dear, well perhaps we’ll suspend him just for a little while… Dr Daniels might as well have murdered a few of the witnesses, there’d have been no investigation.

 

Regarding wrongdoing in the NHS, news hot off the press is that Sir Leonard Fenwick, the CEO of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – the longest serving NHS executive in the country – has been sacked for gross misconduct. Details of his alleged sins have not been released but it has been confirmed that the Trust has ‘reported a number of concerns’ to the NHS counter-fraud and security management service. The dismissal of Sir Leonard is particularly intriguing because the Trust that he ran was in the news earlier this year, after it was alleged that a ‘sex ring’ was operating in the hospital, the leading lights of which were two consultants who were caught having sex with female staff on hospital premises whilst on duty. Sir Leonard tried to force the resignation of the Top Doctors involved but the dismissals were stopped by the Trust Chair Kingsley Smith and non-executive director Bryan Dodson – the Top Doctors were reinstated within twenty minutes and an ‘outside HR specialist’ brought in to investigate Sir Leonard for ‘bullying and abusive behaviour’. Now I know one thing about the NHS – although senior executives are very powerful, the mass force of the medical establishment is even more powerful. The two groups hate each other and are constantly trying to get one up on each other. The ‘sex ring’ consultants were caught on the job as it were – sex on duty on the premises was witnessed and loads of indecent e mails written during working hours and on the NHS IT system were found. What if the Top Doctors had gone running to the BMA and MDU for help once the scandal broke? Again and again in institutions I have seen examples of people who have been caught doing something that they shouldn’t turn the tables on any manager who tries to discipline them by levelling a charge of ‘bullying’ against the manager concerned. This is why institutions like universities and hospitals are so difficult to manage. Dr Alberto, the one competent, patient-friendly decent psychiatrist that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has was accused of bullying by the bunch of psychopaths who work at the Hergest Unit – whose patients regularly committed suicide – when he challenged them about their lethal practice.

So was Sir Leonard up to no good as well as the Top Doctors and this was only discovered during the course of a major investigation? Or has Sir Leonard been the subject of an NHS stitch-up? Either way Sir Leonard is out on his ear – whilst the shagging Top Doctors and their bedfellows are still in their jobs and have not been identified.

 

The Parliamentary Ombudsman in England carried out a survey which discovered that 58% of the families of elderly people who had concerns about their care whilst they were in the hands of the NHS did not complain because they feared that it would make matters worse. Sadly they are probably quite right – they would be faced with the usual passive-aggression from the NHS, the nearest they’ll ever get to an admission of service shortcomings is ‘I’m sorry you feel like that’ (rather than ‘I’m sorry that we’ve nearly killed your grandmother’) and that’ll only happen after letters have been exchanged for two years. If the complaining patient has inadvertently discovered a paedophile ring being facilitated by the Top Doctors they’ll find it nigh-on impossible to ever get NHS treatment again, a campaign of slander will be conducted against them and they may well find themselves up in court on serious but ludicrous charges.

Whilst we’re on the subject of the conduct of the Top Doctors in north Wales, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Nick Bennett has stated that the number of complaints against the NHS in Wales has continued to rise and a huge proportion of the complaints are about the Betsi, particularly Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Not that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd will suffer any ill-effects – the Betsi have proudly announced that they’ve put forward a ‘business case’ for a new vascular unit in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd costing £2.7 million. This comes after a 2015 report from the Royal College of Surgeons confirming dreadful behaviour on the part of the vascular surgeons and an admission that they were making decisions based on their needs not the patients. The vascular surgeons went apeshit at the suggestion that a reorganisation of the service might take place and their former colleague Dr Christine Evans went into battle on their behalf, disguised as The Patients Voice aka the North Wales Community Health Council. They’ll be cracking open the champagne down at The Raven, the community pub in Denbighshire that Dr Chris helps run, now that the Top Doctors have been rewarded with a unit worth millions to misbehave in after screaming and screaming until they were sick. Likewise the special care baby unit costing millions is well underway, that’s going to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as well, specifically to the obstetrics service that was so crazed that the student midwives from Bangor University were withdrawn and a hit-squad from the Welsh Gov’t were sent in with the aim, in their own words, of ‘achieving normality’. I wonder if they’ve achieved it yet. But this is how things are done in the NHS – if the Top Doctors are really unhinged and are killing people, the building is blamed and they’re given a brand new building in which to continue their misconduct. As at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. It was the fault of the building. The building was actually weird but splendid, one of the best examples of architecture of that sort in the UK. It was in the hills with lovely views and squirrels in the grounds. Unfortunately Dafydd and Gwynne were in there as well, lobotomising people, molesting them, drugging them and refusing to ever let them out. That was the problem, rather than the building. So new buildings were created across north Wales – and Dafydd and co took up residence in the new buildings! Guess what? Not much changed. A few new people arrived and they did try, but they were pretty soon hounded out and ten years after Denbigh shut it was clear that things were still grim. Now once more, it is all being blamed on the buildings. Indeed it is so much the fault of the buildings that there are now ‘home treatment teams’. But it’s the same dreadful staff on those teams so the empowered service users are now insulted and threatened in their own homes by the Angels instead of in the hospitals.

 

The Welsh Ambulance Service continues to excel – another elderly person, 88 year old Anton Kusz, died after an eight hour wait for an ambulance after fracturing his hip. A narrative verdict was returned at the inquest. Just in case anyone thought that this death might have had something to do with an 88 year old man being left on the ground with a fractured hip for eight hours.

 

Dafydd, Lucille and CAIS could hit the jackpot again soon. The Welsh Gov’t is about to shell out another £2.1 million for projects tackling ‘rough sleeping and youth homelessness’ and it has been suggested that a cut of this dosh could be used to fund a ‘Black Mamba Day Centre’ to care for people who’ve overdone it on the Mamba and are terrorising Wrexham by ‘standing still like zombies’. The paedophiles’ friend, Arfon Jones the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, thinks it’s a great idea, but he does tend to support anything that might pass a few more million in the direction of CAIS.

Lastly, the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death hasn’t escaped the Betsi. The Rev Wynne Roberts, the hospital chaplain at Ysbyty Gwynedd, has been doing some more dressing up and pretending to be Elvis. For the background on Wynne and the many reasons why he should not be a hospital chaplain, please see post ‘Music Therapy Anyone?’. But as a correspondent to the blog noted a few months ago when the Betsi tried to reconstruct Wynne as a ‘music therapist’, why would anyone want a proper chaplain when the Betsi has got a ‘singing Elvis-impersonating vicar who shags his parishioners?’.

 

The Great And The Good

As promised I’ll provide brief reviews of those Top Doctors and their associates who have popped up in the media today. The first one that I heard was Cathy Warwick, Chief Exec of the Royal College of Midwives on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. As well as awakening to the Mental Health Crisis which has been with us for years, the UK has now awoken from it’s slumber regarding the Maternity Care Crisis. It has been revealed that during 2016 nearly half of the maternity units in England temporarily shut down at some point as a result of a ‘bed shortage’. Some of the media reports have attributed the problems to ‘women choosing to give birth at a later age’ thus increasing the number of complex deliveries, or ‘a higher number of obese mothers’. So it’s the patients’ fault then, I thought that perhaps it might be, they’re all old and fat. Now and then the real reason for the problem has been mentioned – the NHS is short of thousands of midwives. Discussions have been held about the possible reasons – such as pay or the loss of training bursaries. The one factor not mentioned is that good midwives won’t work in an NHS where women and babies are regularly put at risk or where the midwives are scapegoated for cock-ups that are beyond their control – I actually know midwives who have left midwifery who have not hesitated to state that these were the reasons why they left their jobs.

So Cathy was wheeled out to comment on Radio 4. She didn’t admit the real reasons why midwives are fast becoming an endangered species either. But then she is very much part of the problem. Cathy Warwick has led the RCM since 2008 and knows exactly how dreadful some maternity care is. Not only has she never spoken out about this, but when James Titcombe, a former advisor to the CQC, was a little too critical of the state of maternity services for her liking, she wrote to the Chief Exec of the CQC and asked them if they could persuade James to be ‘less antagonistic’ on social media. James ended up resigning from his post as a result of the relentless pressure that he was subjected to by the midwifery establishment.

James Titcombe had good reason to be blunt about the danger that women and babies are regularly placed in – his own baby died as a result of negligence at Furness Hospital. Not only that, but after James was faced with a less than honest response following his son’s death, he did a bit of digging and found that many other babies had died at that hospital and that there had been a major cover-up regarding the dreadful conduct of a small number of midwives. James faced extreme hostility and efforts to silence him after he had been appointed to his role with the CQC and at one point a midwife even sent out a tweet about it being difficult to disagree with a ‘grieving and angry man’ who was blaming a whole profession for his loss. James had every right to be angry and of course he was grieving, his baby had died. Furthermore he wasn’t blaming a whole profession for his loss, he had simply very skilfully demonstrated that the ‘whole profession’ closes ranks and risks patient safety and that it is a considerably dishonest profession. In 2015 James commented that the National Review of Maternity Care failed to examine the current quality and variation in safety on maternity wards. Anyone want to admit that he was correct?

Not only has Cathy Warwick failed to speak out regarding the many problems in NHS maternity services, but she’s kept very quiet about the systematic way in which independent midwives have been prevented from practicing. A number of them such as Beatrice Carla were subjected to high profile show trials at the hands of the NMC and were driven out of the profession in that way, but because a few dared to persist their insurance was then withdrawn and midwives are legally unable to practice without insurance, so it was curtains for them. It is unlawful for women to give birth unaided in the UK, so unless one is very wealthy indeed and books oneself into somewhere like the Portland Hospital – which provides lovely grub and rooms as good as the best hotels but has presided over some major clinical disasters itself – it’s off down to the local NHS Unit for everyone now, even if the one nearest to you is lethal. The only way around this is for a woman to lie about her delivery due date and give birth ‘accidentally’ at home. Which is actually what some women are resorting to if they’ve previously had a really bad experience in hospital.

This is no way to treat women is it. The biggest laugh of all is that whilst risking women’s and babies safety, Cathy Warwick maintained that as a feminist she would make an ‘executive decision’ on behalf of the RCM to support the abolition of any time limits on abortion – members were not balloted. Hundreds of furious RCM members who had conscientious objections to abortion protested but Cathy ignored them.

Cathy rakes in a good deal more than the average midwife – in excess of £100k pa. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by that hallowed institution St George’s Hospital Medical School in 2007.

 

Then Radio 4 inflicted a Top Doctor upon it’s listeners on ‘The World At One’ – John Ashton, who was fuming away about the health of ‘northerners’ and maintaining that what was needed was more funding for public health in the north. Ashton’s angry near-rant followed clips of interviews with a number of northern men who all showed a healthy disrespect towards the BBC journalist when he quizzed them about their smoking habits and diets. Ashton banged on about the sins of Public Health England in spending far more per head of population in the south than they do in the north and also got in a mention of the ‘male identity crisis’ as well. The male identity crisis is not something that is going to be solved by the Gov’t giving more money to bodies like Public Health England or indeed by Public Health England upping their budget for the north. There is massive inequality between the south and the north but Public Health England is not the sort of body which will address the sort of inequality that needs addressing. John Ashton sounded so furious that I thought that it would be worth googling him because I hadn’t come across his name before.

Professor John Ashton has passed through the hands of a few institutions that have been named on this blog as concealing the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors – the University of Southampton, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool Medical School. Ashton is the former Director of Public Health for Cumbria – well the NHS had a few problems in Cumbria didn’t it John, which were of course concealed. Such as all those babies who died in Furness Hospital, one of whom was James Titcombe’s son. It was also the NHS in Cumbria which appointed William Bingley to a senior role in the regional Trust – the William Bingley who colluded with the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst he held senior positions with MIND and the Mental Health Act Commission. Bingley ended up resigning from the Trust after his business activities and associated conflicts of interest were made embarrassingly public. He ended up with a Chair in Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Cumbria, so he didn’t go far.

John Ashton might have known about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales himself. In 1986 John Ashton was employed as a Senior Lecturer in Liverpool Medical School. It was in 1987 that Dafydd told me that if I dropped my complaint against him he’d have a word with his friend who was a Professor in Liverpool Medical School and he’d get me a place there. In the summer of 1984 I had been told by a friend of Sonia Maxwell, the daughter of Terry Maxwell the Clinical Director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, that Sonia had been offered a place to study medicine at Liverpool regardless of her A level results before she had even applied ‘because they know her dad’. Ashton himself whilst he worked in Liverpool in 1986 established a pioneering needle exchange scheme for addicts. So I presume that Ashton knew the pioneering psychiatrist Dr John Marks from Liverpool who achieved impressive results regarding the reduction of harm among drug users, who in the early 1990s wanted to go to north Wales to work. Whose appointment was blocked by Gwynedd Health Authority because they wanted to give the contract for ‘substance misuse services’ to Dafydd. Which indeed they did (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’)

John Ashton originally trained as a psychiatrist. He has also worked in family planning and reproductive medicine. He’ll know all about the fertility treatment scams which have been discussed on this blog then.

In Feb 2007 the Manchester Evening News reported that Ashton was quitting his NHS post because he was fed-up with Gov’t reorganisations of the NHS and ‘red tape’. He stated that he was contemplating a career in politics.

He obviously changed his mind because between 2013-2016 John Ashton was President of the Faculty of Public Health. He was suspended from his post at one point after sending out a tweet referring to a group of people as ‘cunts’. I think that they had disagreed with him over something.

In July 2014 Ashton pledged his support for a change in the law to allow doctors to act in cases of ‘assisted dying’. The suicide statistics for north Wales suggest that Dafydd et al have been helping people on their way for years.

John Ashton has been very robust in his support of some other Top Doctors. In 2012 he took on the UK media after an article appeared in the ‘Independent’ stating that Clare Gerada, the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, had a vested interest in opposing the Gov’ts NHS reforms. Ashton charged into battle on her behalf, robustly defending her and later accused the Dept of Health of trying to gag him, saying that he had felt ‘bullied’. He should have just sent them all a tweet calling them cunts.

Who was the oppressed woman whom Ashton valiantly defended? Clare Gerada was the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2010-2013. She is a London based GP with interests in mental health and substance abuse. So she’ll know how crap the mental health services are then. Not that she’ll have ever publicly admitted it – because she’s one of the lot who trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley! In the 1980s – when the Maudsley’s finest alumnus Dafydd was concealing the paedophile ring and illegally imprisoning people in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. But Clare will already have been schooled in the art of keeping quiet in the face of people doing unscrupulous things – she studied medicine at UCL. In 1992 Clare began working as a GP in Lambeth – the Lambeth that, like north Wales, ran children’s services teaming with paedophiles. The Lambeth who – until the 1990s – was also sending children in it’s care to children’s homes in north Wales where they were abused. Did you really not ever notice any of this Clare?

In April 2016 Clare was elected to the Council of the BMA. Clare is also a member and honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

In Sept 2016 Clare was named as one of the Lib Dems new ‘Beveridge’ group of advisors – although she had been a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party until the EU Referendum. Perhaps she was one of these people who threw a hissy fit because they thought that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t enthusiastic enough about the bankers club which is the EU.

Clare is a convenor of the cross party political group ‘More United’. I suspect that the only unity that Clare shows is with that of other Top Doctors.

There is a nice photo of Clare on her wiki entry. She is carefully posed – in a similar position to that famous pose adopted by Helen Mirren when she was photographed a few years ago to demonstrate that the over-65s can still look wonderful in a bikini. Clare isn’t wearing a bikini though, she’s wearing a boring but very expensive dress and for some reason is clutching an equally boring designer handbag in such a way as to ensure that it is featured in the frame. Clare must have spent ages getting that photo right, it even looks as though it was professionally done in a studio. The caption above the photo reads ‘Lady Clare Wessely’. Because that’s who she is – she’s married to a Sir!

The Sir to whom Clare is married is another Top Doctor, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, the Professor of Psychological Medicine at Kings College London and the Director of the Kings Centre for Military Health Research. If I presented ‘Woman’s Hour’ I’d call Clare and Simon a ‘power couple’.

Sir Simon is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Kings College Hospital and at the Maudsley! Indeed he studied at the Maudsley in the mid-1980s. And at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is a Civilian Consultant Advisor in psychiatry to the British Army.

He was knighted in 2013 for his services to military healthcare and to psychological medicine. In 2014 Simon was appointed President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Yet the mental health services are such a mess…

In an interview with the ‘Lancet’ in 2007 regarding the controversy over Wessely’s position concerning Gulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome, Wessely excused himself by saying that he was ‘keen to get published’. So what else did he publish in a hurry without thinking about it? He maintained however that regarding chronic fatigue syndrome, he was subjected to ‘a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate’. Never mind Simon, at least you weren’t illegally imprisoned, fitted up for crimes that you never committed, hounded out of jobs, subjected to an organised slander and discovered two attempts to set fire to your house, which is what happened to me after I complained about Dafydd and the Top Doctors. Of course most of the people who gave evidence against the paedophile ring that Dafydd et al concealed were found dead. That is what constitutes a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate, not a bit of criticism of some rather sub-standard research and ill-advised public comments.

Simon Wessely is a member of the Gov’ts Mental Health Taskforce, that one Chaired by Paul Farmer – who’s known all about the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al for at least ten years. Ever since I wrote to him about it.

Wessely was instrumental in setting up the Committee on Acute Psychiatric Care investigating out of area psychiatric placements which was Chaired by Lord Crisp, the man whom Blair put in charge of the NHS at one point. Crisp resigned from his position running the NHS when he realised that he (Crisp) didn’t actually know what was going on. Acute psychiatric care is now so bad that some NHS organisations have placed patients in France because they were unable to find placements anywhere in the UK.

When Wessely ascended the throne at the Royal College he stated that his priorities would include improving the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists, improving recruitment to the speciality and ensuring excellence in education and training. He’s done brilliantly there hadn’t he, no doubt he’ll be elevated to the peerage soon and Lady Clare can purchase a new outfit for the occasion.

Health Services Journal named Simon as one of the ‘Top 100 Clinicians’ in 2014. But then HSJ named Katrina Percy as CEO of the year. Katrina Percy was CEO of Southern Health which oversaw the deaths of hundreds of patients with mental health problems and learning difficulties, one of those deaths being of Connor Sparrowhawk. The Top Doctor responsible for Connor’s ‘care’ at Southern Health is currently facing a GMC tribunal. Yesterday she admitted 28 ‘failings’ in relation to Connor’s care.

In Feb 2017 BBC News online reported that had been a 50% increase in unexpected mental health deaths – including those due to suicide, neglect and misadventure – in three years. The Dept of Health maintained that the increase was due to ‘changes in recording and investigating deaths’. Perhaps that meant that the DoH had stopped lying about the situation. Simon announced that the ‘services are about to get worse’. The services were so bad by then that they couldn’t get much worse – perhaps Simon meant that the horrible truth could not be concealed any longer. Marjorie Wallace (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) was gobsmacked that the DoH had started admitting the dire state of affairs as well – she  claimed to be ‘shocked’ by the figures.

 

Another guest on the ‘Today’ programme this morning was the barrister who is acting for the 17 year old girl who was the subject of Sir James Munby’s comments that society will have blood on it’s hands if a place in a suitable mental health unit cannot be found for her. The barrister described the girl’s current living conditions – alone in a cell, with only a mattress. As I have explained previously these are exactly the conditions to which some patients in mental health units are subjected – there is no guarantee that the treatment of that young woman is going to change in any way with a move from custody to ‘psychiatric care’. Her barrister also explained that at present, the way in which that young woman is restrained is by people ‘sitting on her’. The journalist conducting the interview was horrified. I’m sorry to burst her bubble, but ‘sitting on people’ in order to ‘restrain’ them happens in mental health care settings as well – and it is the Angels who do it. There was for many years a notorious dreadful building in Bangor called Neuadd Deiniol that was laughingly described as a home for people with mental health problems. The care was dreadful, one man choked to death in there and his body wasn’t discovered for a few hours – although he was being ‘observed’ every twenty minutes of course – and the only people who worked there for any length of time were people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else. At one point virtually all the patients there were Dafydd’s but after a while Neuadd Deiniol extended it’s welcome to patients of other Top Doctors as well. I got it straight from the horses mouth – I encountered a rather weird woman who was employed there as a nurse in charge and she cheerily recounted how they had to ‘sit on’ patients. A care assistant – who was no paragon of good practice herself – witnessed the conversation and challenged the Angel, saying that there were never any circumstances in which one should sit on a patient. The Angel was baffled and reiterated ooh no, you’ve got to.

 

As mentioned in previous posts I have suspected that once more the BMA are on a course of action in which they are going to scream and scream until they’re sick. It’s been confirmed by an article in Mail online today. The BMA have organised a ballot of ‘senior GPs’ across England regarding the possible suspension of new patient registrations. In other words, if the GPs vote yes, surgeries will refuse to take on any new patients. Which means that no-one will be able to change doctors, or register with a new practice when they move house or find a new doctor if their doctor retires or dies. Richard Vautrey of the BMA suggested a ban on new registrations as a form of industrial action in protest at ‘the lack of funding for surgeries’. It is reported that the Top Doctors are ‘angry’ at, among other things, the prospect of weekend opening. There is of course still quite a lot of funding for surgeries and for the salaries of Top Doctors. In fact GPs are still benefiting from the notorious out of hours contract that the BMA negotiated in 2004 which means that they can opt out of evening and weekend responsibilities but still earn in excess of £100k pa.

But did Top Doctors who worked as GPs offer a better service before they became as ‘angry’ as they are at present? This blog has posted much about a number of GPs who have conducted themselves appallingly, such as Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr K. Shah who assisted Dafydd et al in their criminal activities. But even GPs in positions further removed from Dafydd and his mates were capable of some pretty dreadful things. My post ‘A Trade In People – Between London And North Wales’ described how a group of Top Doctors, assisted by some crooked lawyers, swindled a vulnerable brother and sister from London out of their inheritance and relocated them to north Wales after their mother had died in suspicious circumstances in Warlingham Park Hospital, although they had never even visited Wales previously. The financial swindle was perpetuated by Top Doctors in London, as was the most serious abuse and neglect to which these this family had been subjected, but the full details of their history was known to the GPs at Bethesda surgery. Those GPs also witnessed the serious poverty that they were living in and the dreadful neglect towards them by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. They were not the only patients who were neglected by that surgery, the village was alive with anecdotes of very poor practice and not only with respect to vulnerable mental health patients. I attributed nearly all of this to the general level of poor care offered by that surgery, although there was one GP there who was noticeably better than the others.

There was one GP in that practice though who was quite competent when he wanted to be – when treating his friends for example – but who seemed to be incredibly negligent or ‘make mistakes’ in certain other circumstances. I witnessed him completely blank someone when they reported a case of sexual abuse to him for example – neither did he ever follow that report up. He also seemed to want to exert an astonishing level of control over the brother of the vulnerable family from London. He refused to refer this man for specialist care when he requested it, he told the man ‘not to bother’ when the man expressed an interest in voluntary work and intriguingly when this man had a short-lived sexual relationship with another woman who lived in the village, he virtually demanded full details of their sexual activity. His interest in the details of this man’s life were inexplicable – the GP wasn’t ever interested in providing him with a better level of care, or better living conditions and the sexual relationship that he was so interested in was consensual, between adults and non-exploitative. Neither was an unplanned pregnancy an issue because of the age of the woman involved. A couple of years after this, the same GP was involved in the death of a patient, a young man, S.

S had an older brother, J. J was notorious locally. He was in care as a child, developed drug and mental health problems by his mid-teens and ended up in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for burglary. I was friends with one of his foster parents who not only told me about the violence and abuse to which J had been subjected when he was young but also told me of the beatings and abuse that he and other young men suffered whilst in Risley Remand Centre. My friend did try and challenge the authorities regarding what was happening but she realised that the prison service was a law unto itself and she got nowhere. When J was released from Risley Remand Centre, he resumed his lifestyle of hard drug use, petty crime and dossing down in other peoples houses when they allowed him to. My friend continued to keep in contact with him. However S, his younger brother, was much more stable. He never became involved in crime or drug use and at the time that he died he was actually performing very well at a local FE college. Despite the differences between them S and J were on good terms and communicated regularly.

Then something happened to J that really concerned my friend. He was referred to Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. J began telling my friend some very bizarre things about his encounters with Dafydd. Dafydd told J that he loved him. (A number of other patients also reported that Dafydd had told them that he loved them.) J then appeared on a TV programme telling a few porkies in support of Dafydd when there was an attempt to force Dafydd into retirement in the mid 1990s. My friend asked J why he had gone on TV saying those things and he replied that he’d been paid to do so. Although J had a drug problem, Dafydd did what he was notorious for doing – he supplied J with any drugs that J requested. Whilst all this was happening J could be seen in Bangor openly selling hard drugs to school children. A number of people reported this to the police but no action was taken.

My friend then moved away from Bethesda and I didn’t hear any further details of J’s interactions with Dafydd although I was aware that J was still ‘Dafydd’s patient’. A few months after my friend left the village, there was a huge pubic scene in the GPs surgery. S and J’s mother was screaming abuse at one of the GPs and calling him a murderer. It transpired that S had died the night before – he was 18. He had been taken ill at home and the family were concerned that he had meningitis. They had rung Bethesda surgery and a GP had visited and stated that he ‘didn’t think’ that it was meningitis, it was just flu. S’s condition deteriorated and a few hours later they rang the surgery again. This time a different GP arrived – the GP who took such a close interest in the activities of the man from London. Again S’s parents expressed their concern that S might have meningitis. The GP told them quite categorically that S did not have meningitis, told them to give S paracetamol and not to call the GP again. Later that evening S started to lose his vision. His dad drove him to Ysbyty Gwynedd. By the time they had got out of the car S told his dad that he could no longer see. S died a few hours later. He had meningitis.

S’s death caused a huge amount of bad feeling in Bethesda, he was a popular young man. His mum made a complaint and attempted to have an investigation into her son’s case opened but got nowhere. The GP who had told her husband that S didn’t have meningitis, to give him paracetamol and not to call them out again told third parties that S’s mother’s distress was due to guilt ‘because the wrong son had died’. At the time I just put S’s death down to yet another monumental cock-up on the part of Bethesda surgery. But something was brought to my attention this morning. That is, that S was yet someone else who will have known what Dafydd was up to – because J will have told him – who would be a credible witness but who died as a result of a ‘mistake’ on the part of the NHS in north Wales. J is still alive. But J is like all those witnesses who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry – he has a history of drug abuse and mental health problems as well as a criminal record and people who didn’t know him would never believe a word that he said. The GP whose actions led to the death of his brother retired last year, although he’s only in his late 50s. He told some people that I know that he was fed up of working and could afford to retire so he would.

So was Dr Gareth Jones a truly incompetent GP who didn’t notice the terrible abuse and fleecing of a vulnerable family at the hands of a circle of crooked professional people and who just had an inexplicable desire to exercise control over this family – and a few years later made a disastrous mistake when someone who had been a witness to Dafydd’s wrongdoing developed the symptoms of meningitis? Or was something even more unpleasant happening?

 

The ‘Today’ programme doesn’t just provide Top Doctors with air-time, it does of course have a daily slot set aside for people with theological interests. So imagine my surprise when the person introduced as the presenter for Thought For The Day this morning was Rabbi Laura Janner-Krausner, Greville Janner’s daughter! This morning Laura was talking about ‘healthy holiness’, but of course the last time that I heard Laura on the ‘Today’ programme she was spitting blood in the direction of those people who claimed that her father had molested them when they were children in care in Leicestershire – Laura’s insistence that it is the easiest thing in the world to falsely convict an innocent peer for child sexual abuse prompted my post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’. Laura memorably said of Greville that ‘he was great and he was good’, which why she and the extended Janner clan were going to defend his name and silence those who had dared make allegations against him. (She didn’t manage to explain why the CPS admitted that there was enough evidence to prosecute Janner as long ago as the early 90s but for some reason they didn’t or that his own lawyer fully expected him to be charged with child abuse, which is why they had George Carman on speed dial.)

As well as being a lawyer and a politician, when he was younger Greville wrote a few books. I found one in a second hand bookshop some weeks ago. It looked a rather boring book called ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’, but in the light of Laura’s insistence that the author was ‘Great and Good’ in the face of many other people maintaining that he was a lying child molester who used his mates in high places to keep himself out of trouble, I thought that I’d buy the book and read Greville’s advice re writing letters.

Greville’s book isn’t simply a guide to correct grammar and style. The stated aim of ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is to show the reader how to achieve want they want. Greville seems to have made an in-depth study in Getting What You Want. He dispenses advice on how to write letters that will enable one to maximise profits, to fire staff without any comeback, to insult and upset people without using insulting or abusive words, to ingratiate oneself to people who are in a position to do one favours, to flatter, to praise and to appeal for money from very rich people.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ commiserates with the reader that one of the drawbacks of hurting someone by letter is that one isn’t there to watch the ‘enemy’ read it, although he does explain that if one later hears that the recipient of one’s letter has been seen moaning and groaning in the bankruptcy courts, the letter has obviously hit home. He helpfully supplies some examples of ‘final, rude, rebuffs’. He explains that if one is ‘attacked by a commercial loud mouth look for his business groin: take aim and fire hard’, that through ‘calculated coolness you can make the other man feel like a worm’, that ‘some lies are forgivable’, that ‘the letterwriter needs to know how best to disguise the truth’, that ‘sometimes the truth is just too horrible to tell’, that ‘courts of law are not courts of morals and justice is sometimes cruel’, that ‘if lies must be told at least tell them well’, that ‘the lying letter is as much a fact of business life as the lying witness is a regular occupant of the witness-box’, that ‘when the lie is a large one, you have two alternatives: you may either build up to it by a series of minor fibs, or you can shout the big fib from the start’ and that ‘the fact of course is fiction’. Greville chooses some interesting sub-headings for his chapters – ‘irony and sarcasm’, ‘at the expense of others’, ‘the sting in the tail’ are just a few examples.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is a masterclass into how to deceive, intimidate and manipulate without anyone being able to describe exactly how one is doing so. When branching off briefly into advice regarding how to conduct oneself in person, Janner explains that it’s most important to always smile, even if you are knowingly inflicting damage upon someone. One of the children who alleged that Janner had abused him made a reference to ‘the smiling man’.

In the introduction to his book Greville thanks his son ‘Daniel Janner, BA (Cantab), barrister’ for his help in preparing the book. That’s Laura’s brother, who since his father’s death has threatened to sue the arse of those who made allegations against his dad if they dare repeat them.

 

 

‘One Of The Safest Pairs Of Hands At The Criminal Bar’

The title of this post is a quote that can be found on the online profile of Timothy Cray. Who he? Timothy Cray is the barrister who acted for Henry Hendron – a barrister himself – who ended up receiving much media coverage in 2016 as a result of the ‘chemsex trial’. Hendron is a barrister in his mid-thirties who was arrested and charged after his 18 year old Columbian boyfriend was found dead at their flat after Hendron had supplied him with chemsex drugs. I will return to this case later. But first I want to discuss a friend of Hendron’s, whom Hendron himself had previously provided with legal advice – Nigel Evans.

Nigel Evans is the Tory MP for Ribble Valley who in 2014 stood trial for a series of assaults on seven men. Evans was acquitted of all charges – one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted sexual assault and two indecent assaults. So Nigel Evans was somehow either accused quite wrongly by a series of people independently of each other of very serious offences – or he had a very good barrister, obviously yet another safe pair of hands at the Criminal Bar. The circumstances of the alleged offences were all rather similar – they were committed by Evans, a senior Tory in his mid-50s, against much younger men who were working in Westminster or aspiring to do so, after sessions of very heavy drinking by Evans. Following Evans’s acquittal there was an enormous outpouring of support and sympathy for Evans from his fellow politicians and not just from Tories. Evans waxed lyrical about his ordeal and described in detail his distress at being charged and his colleagues rallied round stressing what a lovely bloke he was. Stephen Crabb, the Conservative MP for Preseli in Pembrokeshire, tweeted that his ‘friend’ Evans was ‘a good man’ and Ann Widdecombe – not known for her sympathy towards promiscuous gay sex when blind drunk – described Evans as a ‘truthful, considerate and kind individual’.

Now when Evans was arrested he was known as an MP representing a constituency in the north of England. But I knew of Evans as a rather unusual man, a Thatcherite Tory who actually came from Wales. Evans grew up in Swansea where his family ran a small business, went to Swansea University and only became the MP for Ribble Valley in 1992 after unsuccessfully contesting seats in south Wales. Before he was an MP Evans was a County Councillor in West Glamorgan (elected in 1985) and in 1990 became deputy Tory leader of that Council. He stood down as a Councillor in 1991.

In 1993 Evans became PPS to David Hunt, the Secretary of State for Employment and he remained Hunt’s PPS when Hunt was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1994. Readers will remember that David Hunt was Secretary of State for Wales on two occasions, between 1990-93 and again for just one month in the summer of 1995. Hunt was in that post when there was a total failure by the Welsh Office to respond to the serious abuse that was rife in children’s homes in north Wales or to the abuses that were happening in the north Wales mental health services. The Welsh Office knew about these matters and actively concealed everything. In 1995 Evans became PPS to Tony Baldry, Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Then in 1996 Evans was appointed PPS to William Hague when he was appointed Secretary of State for Wales by John Major. William Hague’s biggest task in that post was of course arranging the public inquiry into child abuse in north Wales. Previous posts have detailed the many reasons why I think someone worked very hard at selecting those who were involved with the Waterhouse Inquiry. As Hague’s PPS, Evans will have been deeply involved in the leg work relating to that Inquiry – and Evans knew Wales very well indeed, even if Hague didn’t. Hague is a very able man and would soon have been able to research everything that is officially on record about Wales, but Evans will have known what it is really important to know and what you only find out by living and working in Wales – the gossip and the lowdown.

So Evans was involved in the most enormous cover-up of organised child abuse in Wales – child abuse that involved under-aged boys ‘in care’ being sexually molested by older men, including it would seem at least one senior Tory, Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s PPS and deputy Chairman of the Party. Some of the boys giving evidence to Waterhouse maintained that they were taken to other locations where they had sex with multiple older men unknown to them. John Allen, who owned and managed the Bryn Alyn Community, a collection of children’s homes where some of the worst abuse took place, is currently serving a life sentence for abusing boys in his care. Waterhouse described John Allen as ‘kind’ and ‘generous’ as a result of John Allen buying presents and giving money to boys whom he was having sex with. Allen owned what Waterhouse called ‘unsuitable accommodation’ in London and Brighton in which some boys lived after they left children’s homes in north Wales. The boys themselves claimed that Allen owned brothels in London and Brighton and some of them worked in those brothels after they left ‘care’.

Evans could well have heard about some of this before he worked for Hague as a result of coming from Wales and being involved in local politics there, although he never mentioned it. But Evans didn’t mention something else either and he didn’t mention it until 2010. That he was gay. Not only did Evans not mention that he was gay, but he actively concealed it and states himself that he pretended to be a ‘red blooded’ heterosexual lest being openly gay damaged his political prospects in a party that was perceived as being highly homophobic in the wake of passing Section 28 in the late 1980s. Evans even voted against reducing the age of consent for gay men in 1994 and again on two following occasions. (I also seem to remember Evans appearing on a TV show arguing against reducing the age of consent for gays in 1994.) Evans also ensured that he was absent from the Commons vote on civil partnerships, he missed three votes on gay adoption and in one vote he opposed the move. In 1993 a piece appeared in ‘Private Eye’ claiming that Evans had been seen ‘canoodling’ with a young man. Evans personally phoned Ian Hislop to deny the story, although the Eye never published a retraction or an apology.

Evans came out as gay to the press in 2010 claiming that he was sick of living a lie. But he only did so after a Labour MP threatened to out him. After he came out as gay Evans constructed himself as some sort of gay rights champ for Westminster and stressed how many gay politicians there were, many of whom had not yet publicly admitted it. He also said that when he first entered Parliament he had known of loads of gay politicians who were concealing it. Evans formed an LGBT networking group in Westminster, Parliout. In the light of what was revealed during and after Evans’s trial, I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that there wasn’t any need for Parliout, Evans and others seemed to have already established a gay network at Westminster.

Young male parliamentary workers who gave evidence at Evans’s trial described how they were groped or kissed by Evans after getting completely bladdered with him in bars at the House of Commons or in Soho. Allegations then emerged in the press of a heavy drinking culture at Westminster – I had heard that from a friend years ago. But the revelations in the media became increasingly more sordid. It wasn’t just excessive drinking that was commonplace – it was alleged that there was a big problem with senior politicians expecting sexual favours from wannabes and if wannabes were unhappy with this there was no effective redress. Supplying sexual favours would ensure that your career advanced but complaining would bring it to a rapid halt. After Evans was acquitted, much was made of some of the witnesses saying in court that they had not wanted the case against Evans to go ahead, that they didn’t feel like victims and one of them claimed that after getting pissed with Evans and finding Evans’s hand down his trousers it was just a case of ‘crazy crazy Westminster’. (Why don’t women want to be politicians? Ooh it’s because they all have low self esteem and need role models like Harriet! It cannot possibly be because they do not regularly get bladdered and participate in mutual groping sessions with tosspots. Except to be fair, some of them do, a Lib Dem who believes that she’s broken the glass ceiling in Wales comes to mind.) Evans’s defence was considered to have been given a considerable boost when the judge, Justice Timothy King, instructed the jury to find Evans not guilty on one alleged offence. There was a major attempt to construct Nigel Evans’s activities as the high drunken jinks of a harmless gregarious man who had been hung out to dry by the police and the CPS. His excessive drinking was explained as the result of him having difficulty ‘coming to terms with his sexuality’ and of course the death of his dear old mum who had no idea that he was gay. Evans continued the misery memoir by explaining that the one sadness in his life was that he had never had a regular boyfriend. One suspects that Nigel Evans’s lifestyle would mitigate against a regular relationship.

There was however one witness at the trial who did not claim that he had no problem with Evans’s harmless drunken groping. That was the 22 year old man who claimed that Evans had raped him. Evans’s account was that he and this young man had participated in consensual sex ‘in a number of different positions’. The young man – who gave evidence from behind a screen and was described as ‘nervous’ and ‘whispering’ – had been a university student at the time of the incident, had stayed at Evans’s house and had maintained that he woke up to find Evans on top of him. Media accounts stressed how this young man ‘wasn’t believed’. He’s not going to have a career in politics now is he – but those spoke fondly of Evans in court and who never wanted the case against him to go ahead will still be in with a chance.

The way in which the police came to hear about the allegations against Evans is significant. One young man, a politics student, had been befriended by Evans in 2008 on Facebook. This student was later described as ‘ruthlessly ambitious’. (Just like Evans had been when he was a young man.) This man alleged that he had stayed at Evans’s house overnight in 2009 and that Evans had ‘groped his penis’. The young man told of his encounter with Evans to Adam Price (Plaid), Michael Fabricant (Conservative) and Iain Corby (a Tory policy boss). A few days later he recounted the story to the then Tory Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin and his deputy John Randall. The student had wanted Evans to resign, which was described by McLoughlin as a ‘big ask’. Patrick McLoughlin is now Sir Patrick and in July 2016 was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party. Randall is an MP for Derbyshire – he was elected to Matthew Parris’s seat when Parris stood down in 1986. The Matthew Parris who wrote about having sex with boys who ‘were always willing’ along with his political friends when on holiday. McLoughlin is also Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. John Randall has also been knighted but stood down from Parliament in 2015. He is now a Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Human Trafficking Foundation – a man who was unable to respond when he was told of an allegation of sexual assault perpetrated by someone who had previously been involved in a cover-up of the sexual abuse and trafficking into prostitution of children in care. The allegations against Evans went no further – until the student told Dr Sarah Woolaston, Tory MP for Totnes. A friend of this student then revealed to him that he too had been assaulted by Evans and so he contacted Sara Woolaston. Woolaston contacted John Bercow the Speaker, who said that it was for the two young men to go to the police. But then after receiving legal advice from the Speaker’s Counsel, Michael Carpenter, Bercow’s secretary told Sarah Woolaston that the Speaker ‘cannot handle this’. Sarah Woolaston is a Top Doctor who claims experience in dealing with matters of sexual abuse and readers will guess that under most circumstances I would roll about laughing at the notion that a Top Doctor might actually know how to conduct themselves in such a situation, but to Sarah’s credit, she seems to have been the only person who had engaged her brain. Frustrated by the response from the Speaker’s office, she told the two young men that they had a responsibility to report Evans to the police because there was no telling whom he was going to do this to next and gave them a police number. Sarah also in 2013 brought the allegations to the attention of the Palace of Westminster Police. So that’s how the ball started rolling.

Yesterday’s post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’ described how over decades the CPS have worked very hard at not prosecuting people involved with the sexual abuse of young people, particularly if there are connections to political figures. It was of course the CPS who bit the bullet in the case of Nigel Evans and prosecuted. They certainly had a lot of shit thrown at them for daring to do this after his acquittal. Evans’s case was categorised with the cases of two Coronation Street actors, Michael Le Vell and Ken Roache, who had also been acquitted of sex offences. Although the cases of Le Vell and Roache were very different from Evans, Evans and his supporters discussed the three cases as if they were all very similar, ie. people making claims for which there was no evidence against public figures. Vicky Entwhistle, an actor from Coronation Street, appeared in public at Evans’s trial to support him. Not that the actors in Coronation Street have proved themselves to be particularly good judges of character – John Stalker’s book boasts of how he hung out with the Coronation Street crowd and William Roache is a former Patron of St David’s Hospice Llandudno, which seems to act a repository for disgraced NHS staff from north Wales who either left their jobs under a cloud or concealed the paedophile ring (see posts ‘The CEOs Of St David’s Hospice’ and ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’). In the wake of all this, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve demanded an explanation from DPP Alison Saunders why Evans’s prosecution had gone ahead, even though Saunders hadn’t been DPP when the decision to prosecute had been made. Saunders track record suggests that she never would have prosecuted Evans. I note that when Evans was prosecuted Saunders was actually working for the CPS as the regional case manager in London. Which explains an awful lot – sex offences against young people aren’t only committed in north Wales and a lot of high profile and powerful people live in London. Jack Straw also had a go at the CPS, suggesting that the DPP might be more cautious in bringing high profile sex offence cases in the future – the Jack who was years ago a Councillor in Islington Council when it’s children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles, the Jack who was a leading light in New Labour which was so hopelessly compromised because of ignoring the institutionalised sexual abuse of children (see post ‘The London Connection’).

Evans angrily told the media that he had spent his life savings – £130,000 – on his legal fees and he demanded that the CPS repay him. Which was deeply ironic because the legislation that caused Evans to cough up in his particular circumstances was passed by the Coalition Gov’t of whom the Tories were the leading partners. Evans also had the support of an incredibly powerful man in the Commons, who constantly ends up in scandals himself – dear old Keith Vaz, then Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, who considered holding a separate inquiry into the prosecution of Evans. I have a friend who often expresses at length her amazement at what Keith Vaz has got away with – the expense scandals, the constant conflicts of interest or failure to declare interests, the failure to declare payments, the business of the passports and the Hinduja brothers, his narrow escape from being prosecuted by Leicestershire Police after making false allegations against a former police officer, his leading a march through Leicester demanding the banning of ‘The Satanic Verses’ after a fatwa had been issued against Salman Rushdie and much more. In Sept 2016 Vaz resigned as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee after he was caught in a tabloid gay prostitution and cocaine expose. One month later he was appointed to the Justice Select Committee. My mate keeps asking me how he does it particularly as no-one seems to like him or trust him.

So how did Keith Vaz, a senior solicitor to Islington Council in the mid 80s (when Islington Council’s children’s homes were rife with paedophiles whilst the Council was stuffed full of Councillors who would later become some of the biggest figures in the New Labour Gov’t), then a solicitor in a Leicester Council funded law centre between 1985-87 (when Frank Beck, a Leicester social worker was abusing kids in care in Leicester along with it seems Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West until he was elevated to the Lords in 1990) ever get himself so well thought of in the Labour Party that he was selected as candidate for Leicester East? Could it have been the support from his mother, who was a Labour Councillor on Leicester City Council for 14 years, from the point at which Keith was selected as a candidate? Or could it have been that a lot of people were very grateful to him for something? He continued to impress once he was elected to the Commons. By 1997 Vaz was PPs to the Attorney General John Morris – the John Morris who was Secretary of State for Wales when children in children’s homes in north Wales were being abused and trafficked by paedophiles, the John Morris whose constituency is in West Glamorgan, Nigel Evans’s old stomping ground – and between May-Oct 1999 Vaz was PPS to the Lord Chancellor’s Dept, the Lord Chancellor being Blair’s mate Lord Goldsmith. Vaz just went onwards and upwards. Surely there’s a clue somewhere in that CV as to the root of his Teflon qualities…

As in the case of Vaz, I suspect that the overwhelming ‘popularity’ of Nigel Evans is Parliament speak for ‘a lot of us are very grateful to him for something’. He was welcomed back into the Commons after his acquittal – although it transpired that a lot of his constituents in the Ribble Valley had been expressing concerns for some time about Nigel’s activities.

Whilst Evans and Hague were helping everyone out of a tight spot by employing the talents of Ronnie Waterhouse and co, there was of course a change of Gov’t. In 1997, during the Waterhouse Inquiry, Blair won the election. Blair chose to axe the post of Welsh Secretary from the Cabinet, a decision that Evans opposed. This morning I found a photo of Nigel carrying a spoof ‘Tony Blair Estate Agents’ placard, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Wales Office For Sale’. Indeed the Welsh Office had been for sale for years – the whole lot of them sold themselves to a paedophile gang and a bunch of criminals who worked in the health and welfare services as documents in my possession demonstrate. Although the Tories didn’t have any seats in Wales after the 97 General Election, John Major put Evans on his shadow frontbench as spokesman for Welsh Affairs. Evans was obviously a man who could be relied upon. When Duncan Smith became Tory leader, Evans was a member of the shadow cabinet and between 2001-2003 was shadow Secretary of State for Wales. Evans returned to the backbenches on principle (is this a man who has any principles?) when Michael Howard became leader and took the role of shadow Secretary of State for Wales outside of the shadow cabinet. Evans remained a member of the Trade and Industry and the Welsh Affairs Select Committees in 2003. In Nov 2004 he became Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party, with specific responsibility for overseeing Conservatives Abroad. With Cameron’s election in 2005 Evans returned to the backbenches. He was one of the Speaker’s three deputies until he resigned after being arrested in 2013. Although Nigel was very cross when his own party’s changes to legal aid hit him in his own pocket, Nigel isn’t too keen on other people keeping afloat financially. He voted against the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999 and voted against every increase afterwards. In 2009 he was one of 11 MPs to back the Employment Opportunities Bill, which aimed to make the minimum wage optional. Presumably Nigel’s idea of employment opportunities is to sell one’s body to predatory older politicians and indeed many young people who were kids in care in north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s were trained or forced to do this. But what are they supposed to do for a living when they’re too old for politicians to be interested in them?

Although Parliament opened it’s heart to Nigel throughout the trial and afterwards, I would have thought that as in the case of Ken Dodd and the allegations of tax evasion, the evidence against Nigel was quite substantial. So I did what I enjoy doing in such cases, I did a bit of reading regarding the barristers and judge involved. The judge was Timothy King, who in 2006 had defended the BNP leader Nick Griffin against a charge of inciting racial hatred.

So who acted for Evans? There seems to have been two barristers involved. Evans’s friend the aforementioned Henry Hendron and Peter Wright QC. I’m not sure whether Hendron acted for Evans in a paid capacity, but he did boast about advising him during the trial – I will return to Hendron later. Peter Wright was the name that appeared in the media as Counsel for Evans.

Well Evans certainly didn’t take any risks when he sought advice, Peter Wright knows how to extract people from very deep slurry pits indeed. Wright boasts of having acted in cases of organised crime – including people who have accused of committing organised crime – and people who have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. Peter successfully defended a gang of armed robbers who shot a policewoman dead, a company that ran a care home that was prosecuted by the HSE when an elderly resident died as a result of scalding and a nurse who managed to kill a three week old baby boy whilst performing a circumcision for cultural reasons. He successfully defended a Detective Chief Inspector who was accused of misconduct in public office after leaking the identity of an IRA bomber to a journalist and a senior officer at HM Customs and Excise who was accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office which involved his links to organised crime. One case that must have really made Peter feel good about himself was his defence of someone who petrol bombed a family’s home leading to the death of eight members of the family. But Peter doesn’t just act for your everyday murderous scumbag. No, Peter was Counsel in the LIBOR scandal (now you know why bankers never go to prison even when they cause the global economy to collapse!) and in Operation Elveden (the police investigation into corrupt payments between journalists and public officials, which resulted in the prosecution of Cameron’s mates Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson as well as a few others).

In 2006 Wright was appointed as Senior Treasury Counsel by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith. Wright boasts of being the first person to be directly appointed to this post – so presumably Goldsmith noticed his talents in defending petrol bombers, crooked bankers and Murdoch’s employees and decided that the Gov’t could utilise those talents. In 2010 Wright stood down again as Senior Treasury Counsel – well he had all those bent bankers and press barons to get out of trouble – but he continues to advise the CPS, the Attorney General and the Treasury Solicitor. Which sounds rather like multiple conflicts of interest to me.

So Evans hired the man who had worked for the Gov’t that Evans was part of. But what of Evans’s ‘friend and barrister’ Henry Hendron? We know that everyone loves Evans, even Ann Widdecombe and that poor old Evans only gets rat arsed and gropes people because he misses his mum and didn’t come out as gay when he should have. Evans’s mate Henry has fought personal demons too. Particularly after he was arrested for supplying the drugs that killed his teenaged boyfriend. The Torygraph online published a real tear jerker of an interview with Henry’s brother Richard who was also a barrister (and before that an Inspector with the Metropolitan Police) just before Henry’s trial in 2016. As well as being represented by Timothy Cray, Henry was also being advised by Richard. Richard gave the Torygraph full details of Henry’s downward spiral after his boyfriend had been found dead in his flat. How did Richard know that Henry was grieving? Because Henry ‘binged on drugs’ to mask his grief and attended chemsex parties on a non-stop basis. He collapsed at one such party after overdoing the drugs and was rushed to hospital – this was one week after his boyfriend Miguel’s death. The nation’s widows really don’t know how to grieve properly do they, all they do is rely on the cat for company.

At Henry’s trial he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply. The circumstances were that he purchased £1000 of goodies from a BBC producer called Andrew Parkin with the intention of flogging them to other people at chemsex parties. He gave some to his boyfriend and it killed him and when the police searched his house afterwards they found methodrone and GBL. Parkin was given 200 hours of community service and Hendron 140 hours. (That’s what I got when I was prosecuted for calling a corrupt NHS manager who was assisting in concealing a paedophile ring a fat idiot.) It was revealed at the trial that Hendron had three previous convictions – for drink driving.

Something else came to light among all the publicity around Hendron after his trial. That he had previously been fined £2000 by the Bar Council for professional misconduct. The particulars of the misconduct being that on the eve of the starting date of Nigel Evans’s trial Hendron had described the witnesses due to give evidence against Evans as ‘manipulative and duplicitous’ online. I cannot help wondering what other pressure may have been applied to those witnesses. The media hype concerning Hendron mentioned that his clients included Nadine Dorries and the Earl of Cardigan. A bit of history was dredged up as well – that as a teenager Hendron had appeared at the Tory Party Conference arguing for the reintroduction of corporal punishment. This appearance had resulted in him being tipped as a future leader. He’d be able to add S&M (or in his case probably just S) to his chemsex-drink driving-killing of teenaged boyfriends repertoire.

Prior to his trial Henry worked as a barrister at Strand Chambers and before that at 2 Kings Bench Walk. Between 2006-2008 he worked for the CPS ‘advising senior civil servants and ministerial teams’. Including the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health.

After the trial the NHS and BMA made public statements regarding the major problem that is chemsex. Well if they’re not careful all the other lawyers that they use will be struck off by the Law Society as well after they’ve woken up next to a corpse resulting from the binge the previous night.

Henry himself commented after the trial that he did accept that perhaps he might not be able to work as a barrister again, although one day he hoped to. Meanwhile, he is comforting himself with regular trips to the family of his boyfriend who died – who live in Columbia. I cannot help but wonder whether with Henry’s track record Columbia might hold attractions other than the relatives of his boyfriend. Indeed I was surprised that there were no media comments at the time of Miguel’s death regarding the unlikely domestic set-up of Henry – a barrister with a passion for chemsex whose friends include a senior middle aged Tory who has faced multiple charges of sexual assault on young men, living with a teenager from Columbia who worked as a café assistant.

So how ever did this self-indulgent binging twat with so little regard for the safety of other people end up with community service after he’d managed to kill someone? Could it have been the skills of Timothy Cray, his barrister, one of the safest hands at the Criminal Bar? Cray’s online profile tells us that he has ‘unique knowledge of international organised crime’ and ‘extensive experience of defending in allegations of sexual misconduct with emphasis on sensitive and high profile cases’. Cray acts for the Serious Fraud Office – of course – and in Jan 2014 he was appointed by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve as Senior Treasury Counsel. Because he is of course used to defending criminals who work in the professions with links to Gov’t.

As for the judge who felt that a few boring but not too dreadful hours working in a charity shop or clearing footpaths was going to ensure that Henry mended his ways, that was Richard Marks QC who was appointed a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in 2012 by the Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke. Before this, one of Marks’s responsibilities was as a legal member of the restricted patients panel. Who will have been banged up for a lot less than overdosing their teenaged partners and in many cases won’t have committed any crime at all. In 2015 Marks precipitated a lot of media coverage after he was removed from a trial involving ‘Sun’ journalists who were alleged to have bribed public officials for information. The ‘Sun’ was very angry and maintained that Marks had been replaced with judge Charles Wide ‘in secret and against his will’ because Wide was perceived as being more likely to secure a conviction. This rationale was angrily denied by Sir Nigel Sweeney, the judge who was alleged to have had something to do with the decision. Sweeney had a fairly shameful history (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’) and I do wonder if he might have been worried what those ‘Sun’ journalists might dig up if they continued to bribe public officials for information.

There seems to be a great many safe pairs of hands at the Criminal Bar, protecting a great many people. I don’t really mind if politicians get ripped to the tits and participate in gay or indeed heterosexual orgies, but I do mind when they employ their extensive networks to protect people who have forced ‘looked after children’ to take part in such things with them. Or indeed protect people who perjure themselves repeatedly in an attempt to imprison the likes of me because we unwittingly walked into the whole sordid mess when we discovered what the Top Doctors were colluding with.

It is indeed a Criminal Bar.

‘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.

 

 

Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng And Tessa Jowell

Yesterday’s post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’ mentioned that Tower Hamlets Council thought it worth their while to send a solicitor and counsel to the Waterhouse Inquiry to represent them, which suggested that they believed that they might have something to worry about. I also speculated on possible links between Tower Hamlets and north Wales but I didn’t know of any for certain. My co-researcher has come up trumps again and has sent me a few useful links and pieces of information. There is a direct connection between Tower Hamlets Council and north Wales and that is a man called Roger Saint. Roger Saint features in the Waterhouse Report, indeed there is a chapter devoted entirely to his activities, but of course it had to be one of the chapters that I had not read. I hadn’t read it because it was a chapter entirely concerned with one foster carer, that is Roger Saint, rather than a chapter with information about the children’s homes or Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils. However it is a chapter full of treasures for those of us who are interested in networks, connections and fuckwittery so great that it surpasses all expectations.

Roger Saint was a man originally from Somerset but who had passed through many other places. He was educated in south Wales and gained employment in residential care in 1968 in a boys’ remand home in Winchester. After working there for a year he moved onto a children’s home in Wednesfield, then one in Wiltshire, then one near Salisbury. Whilst he was employed at Salisbury, in June 1972 he pleaded guilty at Neath Magistrates Court to indecently assaulting a 12 year old boy. Saint did not know the boy, but he saw the boy who was walking a dog as Saint drove past. He stopped his car, got out, grabbed the boy and indecently assaulted him. This conviction was reported to the Home Office Police Department by letter by the Chief Constable in June 1972 and the letter noted Saint’s appointment. Saint had resigned from his job before he was convicted and then secured another job in Manchester at a children’s home run by the Boys and Girls Welfare Society. His next job was at a children’s home in Barry, south Wales, but they found out about his conviction and he was asked to leave.

In Dec 1976 Saint purchased a house in Holywell, Clwyd, with his wife Carol whom he’d married in March 1976. Carol had a number of children from her previous marriage and in 1997 Saint pleaded guilty to a specimen charge of indecently assaulting one of those children. In 1975 Saint had acquired a job at the West Kirby Residential School – he stayed there for ten years. In 1997 he pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court to offences of indecent assault on two pupils from West Kirby Residential School between 1975 and 1979. Three other counts against two other pupils were not proceeded with.

In 1977 Carol Saint responded to an advert from Clwyd Social Services for foster parents. A social worker from the Delyn Area Office dealt with her inquiry. In April 1978 the Saints approached Clwyd Social Services again, stating their interest in offering a placement to a baby or very young child. The same social worker processed their application and carried out home visits. Roger Saint did not disclose his 1972 conviction but the Saints did authorise Clwyd to check for convictions with the North Wales Police. Saint’s conviction did not of course show up on the records held by the North Wales Police because it had been incurred in south Wales and although New Scotland Yard had a record of it, the North Wales Police didn’t. The social worker provided a positive report about the Saints to the Local Authority’s Adoption Panel and in Dec 1978 the Saints were approved as adoptive parents. Documents submitted to the Waterhouse Inquiry showed that Saint had not mentioned his employment at Barry being terminated and he had falsified other details relating to his employment record as well. It was also revealed by Waterhouse that two references supplied by Saint during the process of his vetting by Clwyd in 1978 hadn’t been received yet this was never followed up, although West Glamorgan Social Services informed Clwyd that they had not been able to make contact with the names that Saint had supplied.

Between Dec 1978 and Feb 1988, eleven children were placed with the Saints, although only two of these were from Clwyd Social Services. The first placement was arranged two days after Clwyd approved the Saints. It was a result of a private arrangement between the Saints and the child’s mother, although a Clwyd social worker did carry out welfare checks and home visits between Dec 1978 and June 1979. The adoption went ahead in July 1979. Two more boys were placed with the Saints by Clwyd in April 1979, but things went wrong very quickly and although the social worker involved – who was from the Wrexham Area Office, although the boy already placed with the Saints was the responsibility of the Delyn Area Office – took no action. In Oct 1979 the boys ran away, were picked up by the police and taken to Holywell Police Station where the Social Services were called. The boys made allegations that they had been physically abused by both Carol and Roger Saint. Nevertheless they were returned to the Saints’ care. They ran away again in Jan 1980 and were found in St Asaph. The social worker had her reservations about returning them to the Saints and both boys were openly expressing a dislike of Roger Saint. Yet at this time the Saints were pressing for yet another child to be placed with them. By March 1980 it was acknowledged by everyone involved that one of the two boys was in a very bad emotional state. Roger Saint continued to request that a third child be placed with them, although three social workers did not think that this would be a good idea. The boy in a bad way was removed from the Saints’ care in March 1980. He gave evidence at Waterhouse that Roger Saint had physically and sexually abused him, as did the other boy, who himself was removed from the Saints’ care in July 1981. The ‘End Of Foster Placement Report’ compiled in Oct 1981 by the social worker in respect of this child was critical of the Saints but did not mention the physical abuse from Roger Saint, although she had been told about it previously by the boy. This boy was so frightened of the Saints that he had asked to be removed from their care without them being warned first, presumably because he feared retribution. The social services did indeed comply with his request.

From 1981 the Saints sought fostering and adoption opportunities outside of Clwyd. Saint maintained that they were encouraged in this by the Clwyd Adoptions Officer, who introduced him to a publication from BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering), which led to him contacting the London Borough of Ealing. Saint also came across PPIAS, a national self-help group of mainly adoptive parents and through PPIAS he approached other authorities, including Tower Hamlets. He was making these approaches at the time that the second boy was being removed from the Saints care. The Saints were considered by Ealing but failed to bond with the two teenaged boys involved. Ealing were warned by the social worker of the second boy who had been removed from the Saints that Roger Saint subjected children to enormous pressure, but she didn’t tell Ealing about the physical danger from Saint. In July 1981 the London Borough of Greenwich considered a placement with the Saints and held two conversations with the aforementioned social worker who did mention the physical abuse. In August 1981 Greenwich turned down the Saints, as did Brent and Nottinghamshire in 1982.

In March 1982 Cheshire Social Services placed a one year old boy with the Saints, whom they later adopted via Clwyd’s Adoption Agency which was part of the Local Authority. Waterhouse notes that this boy stayed with the Saints and made no complaints about them. However as he had cerebral palsy and ‘special educational needs’, he may have been in no position to make complaints about them – Waterhouse does not detail the severity of his disabilities.

In Nov 1982 Tower Hamlets Social Services told Clwyd that the Saints were being presented to their adoption panel in Dec 1982 as prospective parents for two brothers in their early teens. Tower Hamlets asked Clwyd to carry out a police check on the Saints, which Clwyd didn’t do. Tower Hamlets failed to follow up the lack of a police check. From 1982, the Saints’ main involvement with new placements was with Tower Hamlets. At the end of 1984 they moved from Holywell to a village between Mold and Ruthin and then in Sept 1990 they moved near to Bala in Gwynedd. In Oct 1987 Roger was appointed a member of the Statutory Adoption and Foster Care Panel for Clwyd South, after Clwyd’s Adoption Officer had nominated him in Sept 1987. By then Saint was also the local representative of PPIAS. Within four months of approving the nomination from the Adoption Officer, Gledwyn Jones, Clwyd’s Director of Social Services, had found out about Saint’s 1972 conviction and in Feb 1988 wrote to Roger Davies, the County Secretary and Solicitor for advice. Davies did not reply, despite being sent a reminder 18 months later. Saint remained on the panel until Clwyd County Council was abolished in March 1996. In August 1992 Roger Davies became Chief Exec of Clwyd County Council.

Between Feb 1983 and Sept 1985, Tower Hamlets placed seven children with the Saints, five of whom they adopted. After their initial period of being boarded out with the Saints, all five boys complained of being sexually abused by Roger Saint. Four of the boys were adopted in Jan 1989, which was after Saint’s 1972 conviction had been revealed. Waterhouse makes reference to a letter that was written by the Metropolitan Police to Tower Hamlets in March 1988 confirming the conviction. In March 1997 Saint pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court to indecently assaulting all five of the boys. Waterhouse notes that Saint’s 1972 conviction did not seem to have been revealed to Mold County Court in Jan 1989 when adoption orders were issued for the four boys.

At one point there was a change of social workers from Tower Hamlets who were dealing with the Saints. By the time that this happened, the Saints house was piled high with ‘looked after’ children but the new social worker recorded that the Saints were ‘parental’ and in no way was their place a mini children’s home. She also referred to the very sound relationship between Tower Hamlets and the Saints. Events in 1985 provide a clue as to why the Saints filled their home with kids whom they didn’t seem to like and yet requested more when some were removed from them as a result of their violence. Roger Saint had given up his job – on the advice of Tower Hamlets no less – and in 1985 an arrangement was made to pay the Saints double the going rate for looking after the children. In addition, Tower Hamlets enlisted the help of a charity to help finance the Saints’ smallholding. The Saints received a further rise in pay in May 1986. The Waterhouse Report states that one of the Tower Hamlets social workers had become ‘an advocate for the Saints’ even after she had discovered that Roger Saint had not disclosed his conviction. At much the same time that the Tower Hamlets social worker formed her view of the Saints, a social worker from Southall who had been involved with them was highly critical and so concerned that she rang Tower Hamlets in July 1987.

In the late summer of 1985 a girl of twelve from Tower Hamlets was boarded out with the Saints and remained with them until Sept 1989. The girl was driven to a local school by taxi and Roger Saint had told the taxi driver that she was ‘schizophrenic’. At a later date the girl told this taxi driver that Roger Saint was repeatedly asking her to remove he knickers so he could look at her. The taxi driver contacted Clwyd’s Head of School Transport who said that she’d notify Clwyd’s Social Services Dept. Within an hour, Saint had phoned the taxi driver threatening retribution through his solicitors, alleging that it was the girl’s condition that caused her to say such things. The taxi driver confirmed that he was never approached by Clwyd Education Dept or Social Services. Waterhouse notes in his Report that the girl later left the Saint’s care after she had run down the drive at their home saying that she’d had sex with a man three times. The police interviewed her with Roger sitting in on the interview. This girl was not called to give evidence to Waterhouse and old Ronnie concluded that ‘it seems quite possible that they [the incidents of sexual interference] were imagined by her’ and ‘were attributable as Saint said to her condition’. One can only wonder why at the time north Wales was populated by so many people who were suffering from a type of schizophrenia that caused them to allege that they were being abused whilst they were in care or in the clutches of the local psychiatrists! It can’t be attributed to the genetic inferiority of the locals and their putative inbreeding because a lot of these schizophrenics weren’t from north Wales. The symptoms did however only manifest themselves when they encountered the children’s services or mental health services…

In Feb 1988 the Saints applied to adopt two children from Devon and Devon Social Services discovered Saint’s conviction (in 1981, the national database of computerised police records had been established) and the Director of Social Services of Devon informed Clwyd. Clwyd asked the North Wales Police to check Saint’s record and they confirmed his conviction. North Yorkshire Council placed a boy with the Saints in Sept 1991 and he was adopted by them in 1995, becoming their eighth adopted child. North Yorkshire placed a further two children with them, in Dec 1993 and April 1995. Two other children from North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council and Greenwich were placed with the Saints in May 1994 and Aug 1995 and remained with the Saints until Roger Saint’s arrest before his 1997 trial. Ronnie Waterhouse didn’t seek evidence from North Tyneside or Greenwich because there had been no complaints. Nothing to worry about there then.

At Saint’s trial at Chester Crown Court in 1997 – where he was found guilty and sentenced to six and a half years in prison – North Tyneside Council stated that ‘the [1972] conviction was not so big and that he had successfully cared for so many children in the past and no person had made a complaint against him’. As mitigation, before sentence was passed on Saint, Ronnie Waterhouse noted that ‘Counsel…emphasised the positive aspects of Saint’s record as a carer of children, including the continuing allegiance of many of the adopted children’. The allegiance of children who no doubt knew that they would be violently assaulted or called schizophrenic and mysteriously disappear if they did complain…

So those were the practices which Tower Hamlets needed to defend when it dispatched Bryan McGuire the lawyer who was ‘instrumental in many of the changes and developments in public law in recent years, particularly in the field of…children’s services’ and who ‘sought to improve Local Authority services for the vulnerable’ to the Waterhouse Inquiry.

 

Much as Ronnie Waterhouse, Tower Hamlets/North Tyneside/ Greenwich/ Cheshire/North Yorkshire Councils took a rather relaxed view of placing children in the care of a man who had a track record of violently assaulting them, molesting them and then demanding enhanced payment from Local Authorities in return for providing this service, the rest of the world didn’t and there was quite a hoo hah in the press following Roger Saint’s conviction and imprisonment. There was such a fuss that Blair’s newly elected Gov’t made a point of Taking Action. The man who Spoke Out was Paul Boateng, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health. Boateng had responsibility for social services and mental health and said regarding Saint: ‘…a truly horrific case. This new Gov’t will not tolerate a loophole in the law that allows Local Authorities to place children for foster care or adoption with convicted child abusers which happened in this case’.

‘A truly horrific case’ was Boateng’s opinion in 1997. But Boateng knew that something was very wrong in north Wales many, many years before he said that. Because before he was elected as MP for Brent South in 1987, Paul Boateng was a civil rights solicitor for Birnberg and Co and became a partner in the company. So he will definitely have known about a case that made legal history which was handled by Birnberg and Co whilst Boateng worked there – the case of Miss Mary Wynch. But let’s give Boateng the benefit of the doubt and accept that although he will have known that a lady from north Wales was illegally arrested, imprisoned and detained in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh for a year by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones after she complained about being swindled out of her inheritance by a ring of crooked solicitors, he may not have known that the North Wales Hospital was also being used to illegally bang up people who complained that they had been molested whilst in care in north Wales. (Although one wonders why Paul, a civil rights lawyer and Champ of the Common Man, committed to equality and diversity, never breathed a word about Mary’s case once he became an MP, never commented when the stuffing over of Mary received much media coverage and was the subject of an Early Day Motion in Parliament in the early 1990s and still remained silent when Mary was sent off into the sunset by Michael Howard’s Home Office, ruined, in 1995.) It is highly probable however that Paul knew that all was not well in terms of children in care in north Wales – and he most definitely knew that all was not well with children in care in London, some of whom were being sent to north Wales to live with people like Roger Saint.

In March 2016 the BBC revealed that a London police officer, Detective Inspector Clive Driscoll, in 1998 had been removed from an investigation that he was working on regarding the sexual abuse of children on an enormous scale whilst in the care of Lambeth Council. Driscoll was particularly interested in the activities of a paedophile called Michael John Carroll – usually known as John Carroll. Carroll had been the manager of Angell Road Children’s Home in Lambeth and was eventually jailed for ten years for sexual offences against children. Driscoll had identified five people whom he wanted to talk about regarding Carroll and one was Paul Boateng, who was then the Minister for Police in the Home Office. Driscoll made the mistake of attending a meeting with a group of social workers from Lambeth and named Boateng as someone whom he wanted to talk to. An internal Scotland Yard document that ‘Newsnight’ managed to obtain accused Driscoll of ‘serious indiscretions’ and referred to the ‘political sensitivities’ that resulted in his removal from Lambeth. Two people who gave information to Driscoll spoke to ‘Newsnight’ and suggested that Carroll and Boateng knew each other. Social worker Teresa Johnson who worked with Carroll at Angell Road said that she’d seen Boateng at the home on up to six occasions during the mid 80s. Another witness claimed to have seen Boateng during caravan holidays for children run by ACYC (Association of Combined Youth Clubs), of which Carroll was a member. The witness claimed that Carroll had boasted of his friendship with Boateng, believing that Boateng could ‘open doors’ for him. Boateng himself told the BBC that he had no recollection of going to Angell Road or meeting Carroll or visiting the ACYC during caravan holidays. Boateng stated that ‘as a campaigning youth justice lawyer in the 70s and 80s, I acted for many young people in care, met many of their social workers and visited many youth facilities…’ Ah, so he’ll have met the social workers who placed those children in north Wales and other settings where they were abused. Paul Boateng knew one social worker from Lambeth very well indeed – she was a lady called Janet and he married her in 1980. Janet appeared in the Telegraph in 2009 when it was claimed that the Foreign Office were investigating claims that she had bullied black members of domestic staff at the High Commissioner’s residence in South Africa – Boateng was appointed High Commissioner to South Africa in 2005 after he stood down as an MP.

All this surfaced in the media in 2016 because Judge Lowell Goddard, who had been appointed to Chair the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, had stated that she was particularly interested in getting to the bottom of what had happened in Lambeth and wanted to examine ‘allegations that there was inappropriate interference in law enforcement investigations into the sexual abuse of children in the care of the Council’. Since then of course Lowell Goddard has resigned from her role as Chair of that Inquiry, stating that the Home Office were trying to force their own team of officials on her, which would not make it an independent inquiry. A group of former residents of children’s homes in Lambeth, the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, walked out of the Inquiry for the same reason.

John Carroll is central to the child abuse investigation in Lambeth. At one point he said that he wanted to turn the Angell Road home into a centre to provide therapy for victims of child abuse – the police even sought advice from him when they investigated abuse in another home. In 1998 Carroll was arrested and one year later was convicted of 35 offences, including buggering young boys. There were 40 charges left on file. The offences were committed in Merseyside and London. Carroll was sentenced to ten years in prison and served five. But Carroll had been first convicted of indecent assault in 1966, against a 12 year old girl in his care at St Edmonds Orphanage, Wirral. He took up his post at Angell Road in 1978. In 1986 Carroll and his wife applied to Croydon Council in order to foster with a view to adopting two boys who’d holidayed with them in north Wales – his earlier conviction for indecent assault was uncovered, yet he was allowed to keep his job at Angell Road. In 1990 he was sacked by Lambeth Council after spending £300 on cigarettes and alcohol whilst the children ate out of date food. In Jan 1991 Carroll purchased the Hand Hotel in Chirk for £725,000 and also ran a small antique shop near Wrexham. I wonder how a jobbing paedophile working in a council run children’s home acquired that sort of money. (I also remember that one of the witnesses at the Waterhouse Tribunal told of how he was taken to Chirk and assaulted in a truly grim ordeal. Ronnie Waterhouse didn’t believe him.) Lambeth was one of the authorities sending children in their care to north Wales.

Boateng’s wife is not the only member of Boateng’s immediate family to attract bad media coverage. In 2011 his son Benjamin was found guilty of sexual assault and was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison and was put on the sex offenders register. It was then revealed that not long before he had been cautioned for sending a hostile text message to his former girlfriend and whilst the family were living in South Africa in 2006 Benjamin was cleared of accusations of the double rape of a teenager.

His knowledge of Mary Wynch’s case and his putative knowledge of John Carroll notwithstanding, I think that Boateng knew exactly how grim children’s services in London in the 80s were and I think that he has a very good reason for pretending that he knew nuzzling until Roger Saint was waved under his nose – apart from his wife being a social worker from Lambeth of course. Before he became an MP, Boateng was a Councillor with the GLC under Ken Livingstone – Boateng was Chair of the GLC’s Police Committee. Ken’s GLC did of course have it’s HQ and it’s powerbase in Lambeth. So Boateng was a Councillor in the organisation that was overseeing the bodies responsible for the kids who were being abused. Boateng was always considered to be on the hard left of the Labour Party until Kinnock became leader – and then Boateng’s political hue started changing… By the time he was a Minister in the Home Office under Home Secretary Jack Straw, Boateng took quite a firm line on law n order – after keeping quiet about all that wrongdoing in the children’s services and mental health services previously. Like many of his contemporaries in the GLC, Boateng was also involved with the NCCL, the National Council for Civil Liberties, which at one point allowed PIE to become affiliated to it – PIE being the organisation that campaigned to legalise sex between children and adults. Boateng was an executive member of the NCCL. Many other leading lights in New Labour were involved with NCCL, including Harriet Harman, Patricia Hewitt, Jack Dromey and Henry Hodge. When the NCCL’s links with PIE received media coverage some three years ago, Harriet et al became very vexed and tried to deny the connections. They couldn’t – PIE were affiliated to the NCCL and successfully managed to dupe idiots like Harriet into conflating homosexuality and paedophilia. (Some members of the Chester branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, CHE, walked away because so many of the members were actually paedophiles, some of whom were employed in children’s homes in north Wales.) Recently, Shami Chakrabarti, who for years led ‘Liberty’, the name that NCCL later adopted, publicly spoke about paedophiles ‘infiltrating’ the NCCL. They didn’t infiltrate anywhere, they were quite open about their activities, it was just that Harriet et al were too thick and too busy playing identity politics to realise what PIE actually was all about. Interestingly enough, I have discovered that on one occasion when Peter Hain was still in the Young Liberals and was honorary Vice-President of CHE, he stated that ‘paedophilia is not a condition to be given a nod and a wink as a healthy fringe activity in society – it is a wholly undesirable abnormality requiring sensitive treatment’. If Peter Hain managed to work that out I wonder what was wrong with the rest of them. For more info on the NCCL and those who were involved in it, see post ‘The London Connection’.

Not that Boateng’s link with PIE hampered him – in 2000 Boateng was appointed Minister for Young People by Blair. But then Margaret Hodge was Minister for Children and she was leader of Islington Council when their children’s homes had been host to paedophile gangs.

On account of Paul being the first mixed race cabinet minister, his portrait hangs in that Hall of Lame – or indeed Shame – the collection of portraits of 21st century Parliamentarians.

Boateng was elevated to the House of Lords in 2010. When he was introduced to the House he was supported by Lord Ouseley and Lord Greville Janner. Greville is best known to me as the father of the dreadful Marion, who believes that she is a mental health campaigner and in this capacity travels around the UK visiting abusive facilities and complimenting the staff on their excellent work. Marion is sufficiently delicate as to need to be accompanied everywhere by her emotional support dog Buddy, even when she arrives in the Radio 4 studio to a toadying welcome from Claudia Hammond presenting the ‘All In The Mind’ programme. I know a lot of people who have suffered very badly at the hands of some whom Marion has supplied with free PR, but none of them have the luxury of an emotional support dog. However, most of the nation know Greville for something else – for being accused again and again of molesting children who were in care in the Leicester area. Despite the robust denials of Greville – and indeed his offspring (please see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’), it has now been admitted by the police and the CPS that there was enough evidence for Greville to have been charged years ago and were it not for inexplicable slip ups on the part of the DPP, he would have been. Sadly the slip ups continued at the hands of Alison Saunders, the latest occupier of that office. Greville was supposed to be at least facing a trial of the facts after some Top Doctors gave evidence that he wasn’t fit to stand trial, but more mysterious delays ensured that Greville was safely dead and buried before anyone ever got near a trial of the facts.

Boateng used his maiden speech in the Lords to highlight the needs of poor and disadvantaged children in both rural and urban areas. Like the kids from inner London who were shipped out to rural north Wales to join the kids there in being abused – shipped out by colleagues of Paul’s wife…

Paul is a Methodist lay preacher and in 1988 received the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his contribution to the field of civil rights. His contribution continues – he is a non-executive director of Aegis Defence Services, a ‘private security, military and risk management company’. Judging from it’s website, this is one of those companies that employs ‘security men’ who shoot poor people who have the misfortune to be living in dangerous parts of the world under oppressive regimes (the sort of regimes that Boateng’s former boss Blair now sells his ‘advice’ to). The Chairman of Aegis is Nicholas Soames (or as ‘Private Eye’ always calls him, Fatty Soames), former Tory Defence Minister, friend of Prince Charles, who told the media that Diana was mentally ill and in an advanced state of paranoia when she accused Charles of having an affair with Camilla. Fatty Soames has denied threatening Diana in the months before she died, telling her that accidents happen. I do hope that Fatty doesn’t own a white Fiat Uno, although if he does I doubt that he’d actually fit inside of it.

I have good friends who are Methodists and I don’t think that they would believe that being involved with Ageis would be a particularly Christian or neighbourly thing to be doing. But as Brown observed ‘people with an interest in human rights tend to end up giving advice to the violators rather than the victims, presumably because the former have most money’. Brown then claimed that Sylvester Stallone once said ‘ain’t nothing clean’. Perhaps I should incorporate that phrase into the title of this blog.

One of Paul’s former colleagues in Blair’s Gov’t could probably have helped Judge Lowell Goddard with her inquiries into the child abuse at Lambeth Council, if only Goddard hadn’t had a bellyful of the Home Office and returned to New Zealand. That is a former star of this blog, Tessa Jowell. Tessa has paddled in some very unpleasant ponds in her time. She was a child care officer in Lambeth between 1969-71 and a psychiatric social worker at the Maudsley Hospital between 1972-74. That’s the Maudsley where Dr Dafydd Alun Jones did a stint of ‘training’ under Dr Bob Hobson, before returning to north Wales to illegally imprison people who dared try to complain about the paedophile gang. The Maudsley that was still protecting Dafydd from the consequences of his criminal activities in 1991 (please see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). Tessa was a Councillor in Camden between 1971-86 and was Chair of Camden’s Social Services Committee when she was 25 years old. I don’t think that meant she was Wonder Woman, I think it meant that someone was daft enough to appoint someone as Chair of the Committee who in no way had sufficient life experience for such as position. Between 1978-86 Tessa was Chairwoman of the Social Services Committee of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. Those will have been the Metropolitan Authorities whose Social Service Depts were placing children in establishments staffed and run by paedophiles.

Between 1974-1986 Tessa was Assistant Director of MIND. So she will have worked with the Legal Director of MIND William Bingley. Who in the summer of 1987, told me that he knew all about Dafydd Alun Jones, that Jones was a ‘very charming psychopath’, that there had been five complaints about Jones to the GMC in one month including one involving a death and that the Mental Health Act Commission knew all about Jones as well but was ‘toothless’. When I contacted Bingley again a few weeks later and told him that Jones had now tried to bribe me and when that hadn’t worked had threatened to have me arrested and imprisoned unless I dropped my complaints about him, Bingley told me that such behaviour was ‘entirely characteristic’ of Jones. Bingley clearly wasn’t going to spring into action regarding Jones though, despite all the radical talk that was emanating from MIND at the time. A few days later I received a letter from William advising me not to go to north Wales at all. After leaving his post at MIND Bingley then took a job as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission. Which did of course continue to fail to challenge the abuses of the mental health services in north Wales. Guess who else was a member of the ‘toothless’ Mental Health Act Commission which colluded with Jones et al between 1985-90? Tessa! The MHA Commission may have been shite, it may have colluded with a man who was illegally imprisoning and sexually abusing his patients and concealing a paedophile ring that was operating in the social services dept of whom his mistress was Director, but it looked great on your CV!

MIND did something else interesting whilst Tessa was Assistant Director. In 1975 MIND organised a conference which was attended by a man called Keith Hose. Keith was Chairman of PIE and was busy campaigning to legalise sex between children and adults. Between 1975-76 Hose actively sought to increase the membership of PIE as much as possible and gain mass publicity to ensure that paedophilia ‘became a public issue’. It was suggested at the MIND conference in 1975 that PIE should submit evidence to the Home Office’s Criminal Law Revision Committee on the age of consent. PIE submitted a 17 page document in which it proposed that there should be no age of consent.

Tessa was a Governor of the National Institute of Social Work between 1985-97. That’s the National Institute of Social Work who’s Director of Education was Peter Righton, a convicted paedophile and founding member of PIE who used his position to publish material advocating sexual relationships between adults and children (see post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’).

Tessa was elected as Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood in 1992 and of course hit the big time under Blair’s Govt, becoming a member of the cabinet – she was also a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet. She encountered a bit of difficulty when her husband David Mills, a friend of Silvio Berlusconi, was prosecuted in the Italian Courts for accepting a bribe from Berlusconi to give false evidence in corruption trials.  At that point Tessa publicly announced that they had split up, although people continued to spot them together looking like they were very good friends in places where Tessa thought that there might not be a media presence. Happily the relationship healed rapidly when David escaped prison on a technicality. You can read more about Tessa and David’s difficulties in my post ‘The London Connection’.

In 2012 Tessa became a Dame!

Tessa stood down from the Commons in 2015 and was elevated to the peerage in the 2015 dissolution honours. Luckily working in a vile institution with corrupt abusive psychiatrists or spending many years being involved with a number of other organisations that are colluding with, facilitating or concealing child sexual abuse is no barrier to a seat in the Lords. Tessa famously said on one occasion that she would jump under a bus for Tony Blair. With a CV like hers I’m surprised that no-one’s given her a push.

Just to finish, a brief word about a former colleague of both Tessa and Paul, dear old Diane Abbott. Diane has trodden a fairly similar path to that trodden by Tessa and Paul although she’s never actually aligned herself to the right of the Labour Party, simply remaining a hypocrite instead. Remember all that business of sending her son to a fee paying school after spending years maintaining that she completely opposed private education? Diane was also involved in a leadership contest at one point and stated that she was the outside candidate. She did claim that this was because she was a black, female, single parent, but a friend of mine observed cynically that it must have been because Diane had been to Cambridge whereas the others had been to Oxford. She did a stint at the NCCL between 1978-80 when PIE was affiliated to it and between 1985-86 was press officer at the GLC under Ken Livingstone. Between 1986-87 she was head of press and public relations at Lambeth Council – considering the slurry that is now pouring out in relation to that Council during that time, she either did a really brilliant job or there were so many of them involved that no-one was ever going to leak anything. Having watched and heard Diane in action many times on the TV and radio, I suspect that the latter was the case.

 

 

I Know Nuzzing…

My post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ described how the Jillings Report was commissioned in 1994 to investigate the extent of child abuse in children’s homes managed by Clwyd County Council. Jillings uncovered such horrors that Municipal Mutual, the Council’s insurers, refused to allow the Report to be made public. It was only in 2013 that the Jillings Report was released after constant allegations that the subsequent Waterhouse Inquiry had been a cover up – although even then the Jillings Report was heavily redacted. Following Jillings, there was huge pressure for a public enquiry into events in children’s homes in north Wales as allegations of a paedophile ring involving senior public figures and police officers swirled. A number of people employed in children’s homes in north Wales had been imprisoned for offences against children and many former residents of children’s homes in north Wales had been found dead. By this time the Secretary of State for Wales was William Hague. Hague initially held out against holding a public inquiry but then buckled. In 1996 he announced that Sir Ronald Waterhouse, a judge who had just retired, would be Chairing a public inquiry into the abuse of children in the care of Clwyd and Gwynedd County Councils between 1974 and 1996. The Waterhouse Report, ‘Lost In Care’, written as a result of this Inquiry, was published in February 2000. Like Jillings, it’s findings were damning, revealing widespread abuse of children in care in north Wales. However, as soon as the Waterhouse Report was published, there were angry allegations that there had been a substantial cover-up at a very high level. Waterhouse concluded that a paedophile ring had been in operation in north Wales, but he was perceived to have ‘blamed’ everything on a few bottom feeding social care workers, rather than investigate the possibility that a number of much grander people might have been fully involved. (When one examines the background of Sir Ronald Waterhouse, it is easy to see why he would be in an excellent position and indeed be motivated to lead such a cover-up. A future blog post will be exploring the backgrounds and networks of some of the lawyers and judges named on this blog, including Ronald Waterhouse.) The Waterhouse Report is enormous and I’ve never read it from cover to cover, but I have read big chunks of it and I have been refreshing my memory over the past few days. What strikes me upon reading it is that Waterhouse managed to frequently avoid blaming the bottom feeders as well -the abuse of children was undoubtedly far worse and far more extensive than Waterhouse admitted. He seems to have disregarded huge amounts of evidence of extensive brutality and wrongdoing – this man was a JUDGE, some of what he brushed to one side or chose not to comment on was extraordinary. I will give examples later on in this post.

Waterhouse supplied details of the management structures and the backgrounds of the senior managers and managers of Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils after taking evidence from numerous witnesses. Everybody involved claimed to have no knowledge of the extensive abuse of children. It is always said of north Wales that everybody knows everybody else’s business and to a large extent that’s a fairly accurate caricature. This seems to be one reason why the idea that the arson campaign against second homes in the 70s and 80s was the work of the security services acting as agent provocateurs caught on – I was told by a number of people rooted locally that ‘no-one can do anything in north Wales without everyone knowing, but no-one knows anyone who knows anything about the fires, it is definitely not one of us doing it’. Regarding the abuse of children though, people most certainly did know that it was happening – they just weren’t openly admitting it. It was a classic case of the social anthropologist Isabel Emmett’s notion of ‘not knowing’ (please see post ‘How No-One Knew About Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’). In the same way that everybody knew that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients, people knew that those kids were being abused. I got wind of it as a first year undergrad at Bangor University – I had no family from the region, I knew nothing about north Wales until I went to university there, but I soon found out that all was not well with the disadvantaged kids. I didn’t hear about a paedophile ring, but then laypeople didn’t tend to be obsessed with paedophiles in the early 1980s – but I did hear about ‘cruelty’. I heard more and more about it as time went by – at one point I lodged with a man who had grown up in care and I heard it from him and his girlfriend. Then I shared a house with some other young people, one of whom was a young man who’d grown up on a farm on the Llyn Peninsula. His mum had been a foster parent and the whole extended family were appalled at the lack of care and the degree of callousness shown by social workers towards the children in their care. This particular family were vey keen to care for their foster children well, but they observed that there was no help or interest from social workers at all and that they could have done pretty much anything to those kids and no-one would have asked any questions. They also told me that on the 16th birthday of the children the social workers would announce that the kids were no longer their responsibility and that was that, they wanted to hear no more about them. This particular family continued to support their foster children without the ‘input’ of the social services after they were 16. (Interestingly enough one thing that was admitted in both the Jillings and Waterhouse Reports was that ‘aftercare’ for children in care was appalling.) When I entered the mental health system I encountered many people who had grown up in ‘care’ and it was very clear that something was terribly wrong – of course the mental health services were key figures in concealing the paedophile ring, as detailed in previous posts. So if an 18 year old undergrad newly arrived in north Wales heard a few worrying things I think it highly unlikely that the managers of those ‘services’ did not know what was going on. To illustrate this further and explore how so many people were able to maintain that they ‘didn’t know’, let’s take a look at the management of Gwynedd Social Services and what they said, based on the information supplied in the Waterhouse Report – as well what I saw and heard when I lived in Gwynedd. (I’ll explore the situation in Clwyd in another post.)

Waterhouse looked at the scene from 1974 onwards, although the Jillings Report noted that they suspected that the serious abuse of children had been going on in north Wales for decades. My own knowledge of those involved with the children’s and mental health services and conversations with numerous people suggest that is indeed likely.

Let’s look at Gwynedd Social Services. Between April 1974 and September 1982, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services was T.E. Jones. He had previously held the same post in the old Local Authority area of Caernarvonshire, before the formation of Gwynedd County Council. T.E. Jones had grown up in Montgomeryshire, had no professional qualifications and no experience of child care work. He had been the County Welfare Officer in Merionethshire from 1952 to 1964 and the County Welfare Officer in Caernarvonshire for seven years after that. The Deputy Director until 1983 was David Alun Parry – he was then Assistant Director (Special Duties) until March 31 1987, when he took voluntary redundancy. Before Parry was Deputy Director of Gwynedd, he had spent three years as Director of Social Services for Anglesey. Between 1964 and 1971 he was Deputy Children’s Officer, then Children’s Officer, for Anglesey. Parry was an Aberystwyth graduate who had also undertaken Diplomas in Social Science and Applied Social Studies at the Universities of Swansea and Liverpool. He also held the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care and had attended several management courses for senior officers at Liverpool University and in 1972, attended two short courses for Directors of Social Services at the Institute for Local Government Studies at Birmingham University. Below Jones and Parry, there were three Assistant Directors. The responsibilities for children were divided between Emyr Davies and G.H. Egerton. Elizabeth Hughes was the Homes Officer reporting to Emyr Davies. Egerton was responsible for five Area Officers under an Area Controller – the Senior Officer (Children) accountable to him from 1975 was Larry King. T.E. Jones maintained that Parry was incapable of carrying out his duties as his Deputy – Parry was therefore relieved of these duties, but kept his rank and was put in charge of the children’s section. T.E. Jones also maintained that Emyr Davies and Egerton were seriously ill, absent for a long time and had to retire. From February 1976 a new structure was imposed. A Principal Assistant Director of similar status to the Deputy Director was appointed – one Lucille Hughes, who had previously been an Assistant Director. For the benefit of new readers – Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation in the social services but failed to act. She was also the mistress of the dreadful Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, who was illegally banging up people n the North Wales Hospital Denbigh who had complained about the mental health services or who had been molested ‘in care’. Lucille now had Emyr Davies (Elderly) and Egerton (Mental Health) under her and Parry had Larry King as Senior (later Principal) Officer (Children) under him. King retired in 1988. He had been in the Army, then in the police in England, transferring to the Colonial Police in Rhodesia. He had been a Housemaster at Bryn Estyn – the home in Clwyd which was one of the centres of the most serious abuse, where a number of staff were imprisoned for serious sexual offences. In 1969 King began work for Denbighshire County Council after qualifying for the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care at Liverpool University. He was later a Senior Social Worker for Flintshire County Council and then moved to the Llandudno Area Office managed by Gwynedd County Council in 1974. From 1975 King was a Senior Officer in Gwynedd  – he was redesignated as Principal Officer (Children) from 1979.

Parry’s story was that the previous incorporation of Anglesey Social Services into Gwynedd was not a happy one. He maintained that working relationships were seriously impaired and claimed that the children’s section lacked resources. From July 1981, the responsibility for the children’s section was transferred to Lucille Hughes. This transfer occurred at the same time that Gwynedd County Council’s Chief Executive Ioan Bowen Rees commissioned officials from Dyfed County Council to investigate complaints made by current and former staff regarding Y Gwyngyll community home. Furthermore in 1981, Nefyn Dodd was made responsible for all the community homes in Gwynedd. Nefyn Dodd and his wife June were accused by scores of people of the most ferocious abuse and brutality towards children. Parry was an uncritical admirer of Nefyn Dodd. Elizabeth Hughes the Homes Officer was for a long while on long term sick leave, then left and was not replaced. In the face of this chaos and mismanagement, Waterhouse commented that it was ‘commendable’ that Gwynedd provided such a level of service with ‘comparatively few’ complaints of abuse. (Waterhouse doesn’t seem to have questioned the degree of fuckwittery present and there were actually numerous complaints of abuse, many ignored by Gwynedd and others brushed aside by Waterhouse himself.)

Then in 1982, Parry had a car crash and was off for a long time. When T.E. Jones retired in 1982, Lynn Ebsworth, who had been Chief Personnel Officer, became Acting Director. Parry returned as Assistant Director (Special Duties) after May 1983. In March 1987, after ‘negotiations with his professional organisation’ Parry took voluntary redundancy and received an enhanced pension. To return to Lucille who had been responsible for children since July 1981. Lucille was an English graduate from UCNW (which later became Bangor University) and also had a Certificate in Social Sciences from Liverpool University and the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care. For 13 years she had worked in the children’s departments of Cheshire and Anglesey County Councils, as a Children’s Officer in both counties and then as Deputy Director in Cheshire in 1971. She was Principal Assistant Director in Gwynedd from Feb 1976 and until July 1981 her responsibilities were principally the elderly and mental health. Assisting Lucille was Owain Gethin Evans. Gethin Evans had graduated in Social Administration from Manchester University in 1968 and obtained Diplomas in Education (1970) from Cardiff University and Social Work Studies (1974) from the LSE. He had worked as a social worker in Cheshire between 1971 and 1973. After his stint at the LSE he returned to Gwynedd as a social worker and from 1975 spent three years as a community organiser. In 1978 Gethin Evans was appointed Senior Officer (General) to assist Lucille. He was then appointed Principal Officer (Children) and was Head of the Children’s Services in 1982. In 1995 he was appointed Director of Social Services for Ceredigion County Council. Evans was the de facto Head of Children’s Services in Gwynedd, except for between 1987-1992 when he was Assistant Director (Resources and Support). Evans was also a member of Dwyfor District Council between 1976-1986 and was it’s Chairman in 1983/84.

Lynn Ebsworth was Acting Director of Social Services from May 1982-Sept 1983. Lucille Hughes was appointed Director with effect from 1 Oct 1983. Ebsworth had previously been Management Services Officer to Ioan Bowen Rees the County Secretary, and Chief Personnel Officer to the newly formed Gwynedd County Council’s first Chief Executive, D. Alun Jones. Bowen Rees succeeded D. Alun Jones as Chief Exec in 1980. Ebsworth then became accountable to Bowen Rees. Ebsworth had no previous training or experience in Social Services. Under Ebsworth was Gethin Evans, responsible for the Children’s Section but with virtually no experience of children in care. Responsible to him were Nefyn Dodd and Larry King. It was Gethin Evans who oversaw Dodd being given responsibility for all of the community homes. Extraordinarily, amidst this mess, the County Council’s Chief Exec, Ioan Bowen Rees, thought that Lucille ‘performed admirably’ as Director of Social Services. That was while she knew that a paedophile ring was in operation but failed to act. I will return to Bowen Rees later.

On 2 April 1984 a new Deputy Director of Social Services was appointed, David Glanville Owen – Gethin Evans was also short-listed for the post. Glanville was from Pwhelli and had been a trainee in the Children’s Dept in the Liverpool Corporation in 1965 after graduating in economics from Liverpool University. He then acquired a Diploma in Applied Social Studies and the Home Office Letter of Recognition in Child Care from Nottingham University by 1967. He had also worked in four English Local Authorities and for the National Children Home (NCH). He had been a senior social worker to the Assistant Director at Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

When Glanville was applying for the Gwynedd position, he was undertaking a course in Advanced Management for Local Government at Birmingham University. He was Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services until the local government reorganisation, then spent 18 months as Head of Policy Unit of the new Gwynedd County Council until Sept 1997, when he was made redundant.

Being made redundant didn’t end Glanville’s substantial toxic influence in Gwynedd. By 2003 Glanville was Chief Exec of Gwynedd Community Health Council – the patients watchdog! That’s how I came across him. I approached him with my very serious complaint about the Hergest Unit – this was at a time when the madness was evident with patients dying and being hauled off to prison and people writing to politicians about the brutality and the chaos – and Glanville refused to receive me, telling me that the CHC wasn’t responsible for hospitals. I found out that this was a lie, so I returned to Glanville who then lied about telling the first lie. I submitted my complaint and for many, many months Glanville and one of his ‘officers’, a lady called Hilary, went around and around in circles. My complaint was neither investigated properly or resolved and Glanville and Hilary never managed to explain why. The last time that I saw the disgusting Glanville he was attending a meeting in his capacity as a member of the North Wales CHC. So Gwynedd is not rid of him yet.

Glanville sounds as though he was his usual slippery negligent self in his evidence to Waterhouse.  He emphasised that he had never managed a community home for children or worked in one, even when he was with the NCH. As Deputy Director, he was ‘remote’ from the residential section and had not much contact with it – that was Lucille’s domain. However although Glanville claimed to know nuzzing, Waterhouse noted that almost as soon as he arrived in Gwynedd, he took up 12 points regarding the community homes in Gwynedd, including some serious allegations of staff misconduct, with Gethin Evans. Evans responded to Glanville with a memo that Waterhouse described as ‘inappropriate, complacent and discourteous’ which onbiously was ‘intended to discourage intrusion’. Glanville reorganised the Social Services Dept soon after his arrival and the responsibility for the development of Children’s Services was given to the Assistant Director, one Gethin Evans.

From 1987, the Assistant Director responsible for the Children’s Section was Rob Evans, who had been the Area Officer for Aberconwy since November 1984. Rob Evans had graduated in Social Sciences from Leicester University and obtained his CQSW in 1976. By 1984 he had acquired 10 years of management experience of social work in Northampton and Dorset and had served as a Team Manager in Dorset. In 1992, restructuring resulted in Rob Evans being appointed Assistant Director (Mental Health) – Waterhouse notes that Evans ‘left local government’ in March 1996. It was in his capacity as Assistant Director that I encountered Rob in the mid 90s. As a result of the constant aggro that I was receiving from the delightful Arfon Community Mental Health Team (please see previous posts), Rob was called in to sort it out. I had a truly bizarre meeting with him in which he made no comments about the law-breaking and perjury and constant aggression of the Arfon Team, but instead offered a discourse on ‘changing practice’ in social work. As an example he explained that when he used to take children to children’s homes he used to take their shoes away to stop them running away. He said that the children hated him for taking them to the homes but he knew that he was doing the right thing. A couple of years ago, some of the interviews that some of the former residents of north Wales children’s homes gave to the police in the criminal trials were made public. Some of the witnesses explained that they ran away after they were molested by members of the paedophile ring but someone took their shoes away after that to prevent them escaping. Many years after my own encounter with Rob, my lawyers obtained the documents that he had compiled after he had met me to discuss the Arfon Team and their activities. Rob had noted that he had met Keith Fearns, the psychopath who was the ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team and asked him what he wanted done with me. Fearns had replied ‘lock her up’. Rob had told him that wasn’t possible. Fearns had replied once more ‘lock her up’. Rob had noted that the situation was unresolvable and that he was leaving his post tomorrow anyway. Waterhouse was wrong about Rob – he didn’t leave local government in 1996. After no-one had been held to account for the rape and battery of hundreds of children over many years, Rob resurfaced again – as Head of Community Services on Anglesey! Waterhouse noted that in his evidence, Rob had told him that he wasn’t a fluent Welsh speaker and he considered that his chances of an appropriate ‘senior’ position were virtually zero. So it’s good to know that Anglesey found a home for him. The last time that I saw Rob I tried to ask him about his activities regarding Fearns many years ago. Rob told me that I was ‘arrassin’ him and if I didn’t stop he’d call the police. Rob often seemed to find himself the line manager of thugs – he was responsible for Larry King and Nefyn Dodd until his job changed and he was then overseeing dear old Fearns.

Rob had an interesting interpretation of Fearns and co’s threats, harassment and aggression though. In his evidence to Waterhouse, Rob maintained that because a Health Advisory Service Inspection in 1986 had been ‘very critical’ of mental health services in Gwynedd, Rob had made mental health a priority and the community mental health services had now been recognised as among the best in Europe! I’d love to know who ‘recognised’ them as such. The only people with knowledge of social work and mental health services in other parts of Europe that I knew who had contact with the thugs and liars that were employed by Lucille et al were a team of German social scientists who had a link with Bangor University. I worked with them myself and they were a nice lot – but they had no idea at all how patients were being treated because their contact was with the thugs and liars themselves who never fessed up that they were facilitating a paedophile ring. They just met up with the Germans for nibbles and drinks and no doubt told them that the services had been recognised as the best in Europe. But then idiots in north Wales were a bit obsessed with Europe in those days. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones kept appearing in the local press described as ‘Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist’. He wasn’t even a forensic psychiatrist.

Larry King retired in 1988 and was replaced by Peter James Hibbs. Hibbs had grown up in Colwyn Bay and graduated in sociology from the South Bank Poly in 1973. He had been an Education Welfare Officer in ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) for four years, then completed his CQSW at UCNW (Bangor University) and also gained a Diploma in Social Studies. In Dec 1979 Hibbs joined Gwynedd as a member of the Child Care Team at the Anglesey Area Office and was promoted to senior social worker in Nov 1985. When Nefyn Dodd retired from the post of Principal Officer (Residential Services) in May 1990, Hibbs took over. Hibbs himself encountered serious personal difficulties and became ill with severe depression –  he was deemed by a Medical Officer to be unable continue working after December 1990 and formally retired in Jan 1993. However, at the time of giving evidence to Waterhouse, he had been working since November 1995 as a Senior Practitioner at the Family Centre, Rhyl, run by NCH. Hibbs stated that he used to see Rob Evans about once a week, but was ‘uncertain’ whether Rob grasped ‘child protection issues’, he was more of a ‘mental health specialist’ no less.

Hibbs had been responsible to Gethin Evans and when Hibbs retired he was replaced by Dafydd Ifans. Ifans had worked in the North Wales Probation Services for the last ten years after obtaining his CQSW at Cartrefle College as well as an OU degree. Prior to that he’d been in the Army for fifteen years after leaving school at fifteen to join as an Army apprentice. He then worked as a manager for ASDA for two years. Ifans worked in Gwynedd until 31 December 1995, when he was then appointed as Service Manager for the Children and Families Services for Conwy County Borough Council. During his nearly three years as a Principal Officer, Ifans was responsible for line managing three community homes in Gwynedd.

I have deliberately given a lot of details regarding the managers of Gwynedd Social Services to demonstrate a number of points. Firstly, the degree of conflict that obviously existed between some of them. Secondly, the number of people that were falling apart at the seams themselves – a lot of people were on long-term sick leave or being deemed incapable of fulfilling their duties. This is a key sign of an organisation in trouble but judging from the chunks of the Waterhouse Report that I’ve read so far, Waterhouse doesn’t seem to have taken on board the significance of this. One inescapable theme is how many of these people had connections with each other, or had been circulating around the system for some time. During the 80s and 90s, if one was English and living in Gwynedd, one heard constant allegations that Gwynedd County Council was a ‘closed shop’ and that ‘they only employ their friends and their relatives’. There does seem to have been an awful lot of that going on – but another allegation that English people frequently made was ‘none of them have ever been out of Gwynedd’. Judging from the previous account that is very obviously not true. They had all had stints of studying or working elsewhere – or moving on elsewhere after presiding over the horror that was Gwynedd children’s services. But as far as I can see that is simply more terrifying. That lot had a well-established network that will have been affording them protection and as I have previously argued it stretched far and wide, into England as well. A number of them had also worked in places where it is now known that there was a problem with the organised abuse of children eg. Cheshire, Leicester and inner London. Again and again I was told that the problems in north Wales re the children’s services and mental health services was ‘just north Wales’. It was not. It surfaced in north Wales and ‘outsiders’ were always suspicious and curious because they were very obviously excluded on the grounds of language and it was easy for them to conjure up spectres of cave-dwelling sheep shaggers who molest the kids and burn English peoples houses down. But the vile ones had mates next door in England and had an established network to assist them. Some of them also had connections to the police and the Army…

Among all the detail supplied in the Waterhouse Report regarding Gwynedd Social Services, there is a glaring omission. Waterhouse mentions in passing a ‘child protection officer’ who was working under Gethin Evans. In a region where children were being abused by a paedophile ring and having the living daylights battered out of them by the likes of Nefyn Dodd and were being half-starved and used as free labour by ‘foster parents’, the child protection officer would be a fairly crucial member of the team. Yet they are not named and there is no reference to their evidence in the Waterhouse Report. Were they fast asleep on the job or simply terrified? Or had someone decided that they didn’t want to hear evidence from them? Or had Waterhouse heard their evidence and decided not to mention it? There was something else that he passed by with barely a comment. When he ‘reviewed’ the evidence against Nefyn and June Dodd, as well as ignoring scores of complaints of brutality – and a few of sexual abuse – against the Dodds and the people whom they employed in the community home that they ran in Bangor, Waterhouse mentions a complaint from someone referred to as X, against the Dodds. Waterhouse acknowledges that a letter of ‘dubious authenticity’ allegedly signed by X was sent from Risley Remand Centre to Lucille Hughes expressing support for the Dodds. But Waterhouse accepted that X didn’t write this and so he disregarded it! So someone in Risley Remand Centre forged a letter from X and sent it to Lucille Hughes, supporting the Dodds, when the Dodds were under investigation for abusing children. And Waterhouse barely bats an eyelid. But then someone forged a letter from me and sent it to the GMC after I complained about Dr Tony Roberts (please see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’). Someone forged a certificate of indictment saying that I’d been found guilty of ‘violent disorder’ at Caernarfon Crown Court when I hadn’t (please see post ‘An Update On Those Legal Conundrums’). It’s good to know that I wasn’t being singled out – forging documents is obviously an everyday pastime of health and welfare folk in the face of complaints about the health and social care services. How many more forged documents are there sitting in files in the wake of caring staff having been cleared of serious wrongdoing after the plebs of this parish dared complain about them?

And therein lies the key. For the most part, the people on the receiving end of this bunch of scumbags were indeed the plebs. They were people with long-term mental health problems, drug/alcohol problems, kids in care, various dispossessed or disadvantaged people. They also often had criminal records, because as I have detailed previously on this blog, if you complained about that bunch of bastards they stitched you up for crimes that everyone knew that you hadn’t done so they could then dismiss your complaints as coming from a ‘criminal’ and therefore not to be believed. Because I constantly had the most dreadful encounters with the ‘services’ and then more dreadful encounters with officious lying shits like Glanville Owen when I tried to raise concerns about them, for many years I gained the impression that Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils must be run by daft old buggers who had worked their way up from jobs as admin assistants when they were 16 and who did not know their arses from their elbows. Some people did equate to this stereotype – namely Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, who could hardly string a coherent sentence together – but let’s have a look at those at the very top of the tree in Gwynedd County Council, the successive Chief Executives who oversaw this horror. So how dim and uninformed were they?

The Chief Execs of Gwynedd County Council for the period of time reviewed by Waterhouse were: David Alun Jones, 1974-1980; Ioan Bowen Rees, 1980-1991; Huw Vaughan Thomas, 1991-1996.

David Alun Jones was a solicitor, the Deputy Clerk (1952-1961), then Clerk of Denbighshire County Council for 13 years. He read law at Aberystwyth University, then held posts as a solicitor in Ilford, Southampton, Berkshire and Surrey before Denbighshire. After his stint as Chief Exec at Gwynedd, he was the Commissioner for Local Administration in Wales for the next five years until his retirement in 1985. His evidence to the Waterhouse Tribunal revolved around the theme of how financially poor the area of Gwynedd was. It was stated that T.E. Jones, the Director of Social Services, didn’t discuss problems regarding children or the community homes with Alun Jones and Waterhouse stated that he had no reason to think that Alun Jones was aware of the complaints. Alun Jones was consulted by the Director of Social Services regarding the alleged failings of Parry, the Deputy Director of Social Services, in approx. 1974. Alun Jones thought that Parry’s services should be dispensed with, but the Chairman of the Social Services Committee, formerly of Anglesey County Council (I presume this will have been Councillor Eric Davies) thought that Parry should be given responsibility for children’s services and this was the view that prevailed. So they handed children’s services over to a man whom they seemed to be in dispute with and whom they maintained could not do his job. Did Alun Jones not think this was a little high risk? Alun Jones was a lawyer – presumably not completely stupid. But look at his background – all those years as a legal advisor to Denbighshire County Council. The North Wales Hospital was on his patch – he was there whilst Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were in action. He will have known about the problems out there and what was alleged to have been happening. I note that Alun Jones read law at Aber – it has always been maintained that one factor preventing the true extent of the child abuse in north Wales becoming public was rampant corruption among lawyers in the region. A previous post of mine looking at corruption in the region noted how many people who had been implicated were law graduates from Aber (see post ‘Updates, Common Themes And News, May 5 2017’).

Ioan Bowen Rees was Chief Exec for much of the time under review by Waterhouse, ie. 1980-1991. It was during this time that the complaints and allegations of child abuse came thick and fast, when Alison Taylor the social worker who blew the whistle on it all first raised concerns within the social services and, when she was dismissed in the wake of doing so, went very public indeed, contacting the media as well as Ministers, including Margaret Thatcher. So one would have that Ioan might have noticed that something was amiss. Ioan was a from a local family and had grown up in Dolgellau. His father was a teacher there and his mother had been one of the first women graduates from UCNW (Bangor University). Ioan went to school in Dolgellau and won a scholarship to Oxford to read modern history. So not only did he know the area but he was no fool. He decided to become a solicitor and did his articles with – the Clerk of Denbighshire County Council! Well where else? Waterhouse states that Ioan Bowen Rees was admitted as a solicitor in 1956 – so one presumes that he was doing his articles when his predecessor as Chief Exec Alun Jones worked as the Deputy Clerk of Denbighshire County Council. Bowen Rees then served in local government in Lancashire, Cardiff and Pembrokeshire, as Deputy Clerk to the County Council. Waterhouse mentions that Bowen Rees was ‘well-known’ outside Gwynedd. He certainly was. Bowen Rees died some years ago and his obituaries tell us a lot about him. He stood for election as a Plaid candidate in Conway in 1955 and 1959 and in Methyr Tydfil in 1964. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was involved in Plaid during those years and stood for election for Denbigh in 1959 and 1964. Another reason why Bowen Rees will have known Dafydd then. That’s the Dafydd whose mistress was Lucille Hughes. The Dafydd who illegally banged people up in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh if they complained about the childrens services or the mental health services. In 1973, Bowen Rees became the County Secretary of the newly formed Dyfed County Council. Bowen Rees was considered something of an authority on local government and won the Haldane Medal from the Royal Institution for Public Administration for his 1971 publication ‘Government By Community’, which was described by Max Beloff as ‘essential reading’. This is the Conservative peer Max Beloff, the father of Michael Beloff QC. Michael Beloff was the lawyer who advised Municipal Mutual, Clwyd County Council’s insurers, to suppress the Jillings Report! Bowen Rees was awarded an honorary LLD by the University of Wales in 1997. He was a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards – as was Dafydd and so many others mentioned in previous blog posts. He advised the Association of County Councils and was Chair of the Society of Local Chief Executives. He was described by the TLS as ‘one of the old breed of highly educated, civilised public servants’. My co-researcher made the following observation of Bowen Rees – ‘Oxford, Plaid, Gorsedd, Gwynedd County Council – he’s got a full house’. Bingo indeed.

In his evidence to Waterhouse, Bowen Rees stated that there was a ‘difficulty’ because Gwynedd Council had no overall leader and that the financial situation through the 1980s left one with a feeling of ‘helplessness’. It was stated that Bowen Rees was more ‘interventionist’ in the Social Services than his predecessor. He was told of complaints and he therefore ordered an enquiry and a report to be conducted by officers of Dyfed County Council – whom he will have known well because he had previously been County Secretary of Dyfed. It was during Bowen Rees’s time as Chief Exec that Gwynedd saw many children in their care ‘boarded out’ (often, it was alleged, to the care of very unsuitable people). Gwynedd had the highest proportion of children boarded out in Wales and the second highest proportion in Great Britain. But Bowen Rees explained to Waterhouse that it saved the Council a great deal of money. Bowen Rees had taken a particular interest in the complaints of Alison Taylor. He told Waterhouse that he had ‘very little recollection of events surrounding the police investigation’ (thank goodness his memory didn’t let him down like that at Oxford or when he was winning medals, it just went a bit flaky when his Council was investigated by the police in the wake of allegations of a paedophile ring), but he knew that he’d asked Lucille to get in touch with him when investigation was over.(Nuffin’ to do with me Guv, I’m only the Chief Exec.) Luciile was described as being ‘over the moon’ when she told him that the police would not be taking proceedings against anyone and that there was ‘no substance’ to the allegations of abuse. Bowen Rees was satisfied that no disciplinary proceedings would have to be taken against any Council officers without talking to Lucille, because he’d talked to senior police officers. (Regular readers will remember that among the allegations of child abuse in north Wales were those that police were involved. A former senior police officer from the North Wales Police, Gordon Anglesea, was last year imprisoned for molesting children in care in north Wales.) Bowen Rees told Waterhouse that he had not been aware of Nefyn Dodd’s dual role in the management of children’s services and had been told that Alison Taylor was ‘worse than a troublemaker’. He thought that poor old Lucille had been ‘unfortunate’ in her Chairman of the Social Services Committee in the 1980s, as he was ‘wilful’ and tolerated only because of his war record. Which is quite a surprising thing for Bowen Rees to have said really, because the rest of us are of the opinion that Eric Davies did Lucille some pretty big favours – he spat poison in the direction of Alison Taylor, carried out a character assassination of her and ensured that she was sacked after she blew the whistle on child abuse in Gwynedd.

Even just the information supplied above suggests that Bowen Rees knew that there was cause for concern in the children’s services which he was paid to run. But there’s another reason why Bowen Rees would have known about the misery and suffering that his children’s services inflicted upon local people as those services worked hand in hand with his mental health services. Because he lived in a hill village near Bethesda where an awful lot of the casualties of Lucille and Dafydd resided. I know because I too lived there for years. At the same time as Bowen Rees. I and the others who had been shafted by Bowen Rees’s ‘services’ mostly lived in the main part of the village, comprised of 19th century quarrymans cottages. Bowen Rees lived near us – but not in our terraces. No, Bowen Rees resided in splendour in an enormous house shielded from our view by beech trees, down a long lane. (However, his widow does now live in the village square, but in one of the most desirable houses there.) Bowen Rees was described by his mates Jim Perrin and Meic Stephens in their obituaries of him as a ‘leftwing nationalist’, an ‘internationalist’, ‘with a philosophy of localism’, who believed in ‘the centrality of [the citizens] voice in determining policies’ and whose observations on mountaineering – which Bowen Rees enjoyed – included that ‘the early mountaineers didn’t concern themselves with the activity of a lower class’. Jim Perrin stated that Bowen Rees ‘firmy identified with that lower class’. That’s funny Jim, because I got the distinct impression that he didn’t give a fuck about them. Except perhaps at election time. I was amused to see in one of Ioan’s obituaries the comment that he ‘enjoyed the close community spirit’ of the village where we all lived. Wondering if I’d somehow missed all the occasions on which Ioan hung out in the village pub or in the canolfan or purchased his stamps from the Post Office, yesterday I rang one of my former neighbours to ask her if she ever remembered socialising with Ioan. Now this was not a neighbour who was one of the dispossessed being screwed over by Ioan and his staff. This is someone who is a retired teacher, whose husband is a retired teacher (and he graduated with a First as well), who have lived in that village for decades, who both learnt Welsh to a very high standard, who do know quite a few public figures and who are acquainted with pretty much everyone around. She replied that she knew OF the Bowen Rees’s and his wife ‘is very pleasant but they are a bit above and beyond the reach of the rest of us’. The man of the common people! Bowen Rees’s obituaries also stated that when he was young, he was regularly consulted by Gwynfor Evans, the President of Plaid (I think that he also co-authored with Gwynfor Evans) and was subsequently consulted by Dafydd Wigley, the MP for Caernarfon. Who definitely knew about the havoc in the mental health services because I wrote to him about it – and I can’t really believe that he didn’t ever hear about what Lucille and co were up to either.

I’ll outline a few things that were going on in the village where Bowen Rees actually lived. There was a severely mentally ill homeless man who for some months literally lived on the playing field, completely psychotic, whilst his neighbours begged for help from the mental health services to no avail. There was another severely mentally ill man who was living in a derelict schoolhouse with an open fire inside and about nine dogs – both the police and his neigbours begged the Arfon Mental Health Team to assist him. They didn’t. This went on for many months until a relative of his was traced and she arranged for a religious order to look after him in another region. One of my neighbours up there was a young man who whose mother had killed herself when he was a child – he used to scavenge in bins for food and by the time that he was a teenager he had developed a drink problem and mental health problems. He was violent and a nuisance when he was pissed but to be fair to him, he went down to the GPs surgery in Bethesda for help with his ‘nerves’. No help was forthcoming from the GPs let alone the mental health team. There was a whole family of adults who had been on the receiving end of such serious sexual and physical abuse whilst they were children that one of them was an elective mute and another one was in the ‘care’ of the mental health services – he became destitute when the day centre at the Hergest Unit was shut down, on the orders of the Arfon Team. There was a single parent who was such a hopeless drunk that her 10 year old daughter was looking after her, the house and her younger brother – who was displaying sexually abusive behaviour himself after being exposed to sexual activity from his father. There were also the people whom I discussed in my post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’ – in which two fathers were denied access to their own children by Gwynedd Social Services and one of those children was instead handed over to people with a known record of abusing children themselves. There was the family who had been swindled out of their inheritance and left to rot by a number of crooked lawyers and doctors, who were also refused help from the Arfon Team (please see post ‘A Trade In People – Between London and North Wales’). There were two other men displaying what a social worker (well one who knew what they were doing) would describe as sexually inappropriate behaviour who had been in the ‘care’ of Gwynedd Social Services as children. There was another family whose daughter had been removed from them and had been handed over to Gwynedd Social Services for her ‘protection’ who was wrecked after her encounters with the children’s and mental health services. There was also a little girl being fostered at weekends to give her mother who lived in the neighbouring village ‘respite’. That little girl’s mother had held Alun Davies the manager of the Hergest Unit hostage at knife point in her house and he had to be freed in a police operation. No charges were ever brought against her because Davies had unlawfully accessed her medical records, removed them from the hospital and gone out to see her without anyone’s permission or indeed even telling anyone. He would have been in much trouble himself if anyone had discovered what he had done, therefore his ordeal as a hostage was ignored.

What a record of achievement! Give that man another medal. Bowen Rees drove past these people on his way to work every day – whilst they waited for the bus. Lest any readers think that poor old Bowen Rees just wasn’t mixing in the right circles to hear the accounts of the ‘service users’, there were some people in that village who had worked in his children’s homes and left, appalled at the abuse that they witnessed. I knew three of these people – they all told me that they had witnessed young people being abused. They didn’t witness sexual abuse but they witnessed physical abuse and one of them described Nefyn Dodd to me as a ‘total fascist’. The other two people had worked in the home where Alison Taylor had initially reported abuse and told me that as well as being on the receiving end of ‘cruelty’, the teenaged boys in the home were being forced to work for no pay in the black economy. They boys expressed fear of physical violence from social workers if they refused this work.

But something else was happenining in that village as Ioan Bowen Rees managed to not see what was happening on his doorstep. Something that he most certainly knew about. Lucille Hughes’s henchmen from the Arfon Team were perjuring themselves in Chester Crown Court in an attempt to have me imprisoned. They were being coached and advised in this by Lucille, Hywel Ellis Hughes the County Secretary and Solicitor, and Ron Evans, his sidekick. I have the documents to prove it and described it in detail in my post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’. Ioan will have known about all that because Gwynedd County Council were spending a fortune trying to have me (and a few other patients) imprisoned and he will have had to sign something off. I bet he knew my address as well, because I was being served with Court documents at home. So Ioan knew that I was a neighbour! Where was his much boasted about community spirit? Oh – the other thing that happened whilst I lived in the same village as Ioan was that someone tried to set fire to my house. Twice. Another memorable feature of the village was the phone box. Ioan won’t have used it because he’ll have had a landline and a mobile as well, but a lot of people in that village didn’t have a phone so there was often a queue at that phone box. That phone box lives on in my memory for one reason – it was the phone box that was used by a mental health patient who lived in that village who repeatedly rang Crimestoppers and reported the law-breaking and abuse of named staff of the mental health services and the thugs that they were using to distribute drugs and intimidate patients who complained. There wasn’t an investigation. Ioan probably had a few words with his friends in the police again like he did after Alison Taylor blew the whistle.

Ioan will not have been able to have missed the reality of the lives of the people in that village no matter how fast he drove past them. Because his own son went to school with some of those kids who had been so badly neglected and abused. Ioan’s son went to Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen and is now famous – he is Gruff Rhys from the rock band the Superfurry Animals. He and his mates used to practice their music in the hall at the end of the terrace where I used to live. Ioan was known to be passionate about the Welsh language and is on record as saying that we speak Welsh ‘for the sake of our children’. I’m all for bilingual children as well, but whilst Ioan’s son was learning Welsh and becoming a rock star there were a number of other children who were being beaten, buggered and raped in the ‘service’ for which Ioan was paid handsomely to provide.

Ioan’s glorious career didn’t stop after he stood down from the Chief Exec’s role after the police investigation which exonerated the whole bloody lot of them. No, Ioan was a passionate believer in devolution and was a member of the working party that advised Ron Davies the Secretary of State for Wales regarding the creation of the National Assembly of Wales. Who knows, Ioan would probably have gone on to become President of the World, but he died (Waterhouse observed that he was very sad about this) in 1999. Months before the publication of the Waterhouse Report. So if any lesser gifted and less well-connected creatures than Ioan feared that Waterhouse was actually going to admit the enormity of what had gone on and that Ioan would get himself out of the ordure by landing them right in it, they need not have worried. Ioans’s memories have been taken to the grave with him.

The Story of Ioan reminds me very much of the work of the Welsh Labour historians who were busy in the 1970s and 80s. They pissed a lot of people off because they maintained that the exploitation of the Welsh labourers in the quarries and other industries involved an enormous degree of collusion from the Welsh middle classes who also exploited the labourers and did very well for themselves out of this, but who had successfully rewritten their part in history and framed themselves as defenders of language and nation. I think it was in Jim Perrin’s obituary of Ioan Bowen Rees that there was a reference to the refreshing Ioan in contrast to the English bourgeoisie who colonised the land conservation societies… the noble Ioan who lived in his Plas shielded by beech trees so as to avoid the prying eyes of the people whom he was shafting whilst they lived in poverty…

After the People’s Champ and Defender of the Nation left his post as Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, Huw Vaughan Thomas took over. Huw was originally from mid-Glamorgan, read modern history at Durham University, acquired a Masters in Administrative Sciences from City University and entered the civil service. He worked in the Department of Employment and bodies associated with it and was the Private Secretary to two Ministers of Employment. He then lead the Manpower Services Commission’s employment rehabilitation programme for disabled people. In May 1988 he moved to Wales as Director of Training Agency, Wales. He was Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council for six years – of course he was, it seems obligatory to do a stint with them if you’re going to preside over a major child abuse scandal. Huw told Waterhouse that the allocation of resources in Gwynedd County Council  owed much to history and political considerations rather than assessment of need and the Council’s image was one of ‘fortress Gwynedd’ with a single issue of the language agenda. (I rather suspect that might have been the smokescreen that Ioan created to detract from rather more serious problems.) For most of the first three years of Huw’s tenure, there was a police investigation of Gwynedd’s children’s homes. Alison Taylor wrote to Huw shortly before an HTV programme about the abuse in north Wales in Sept 1991, requesting a meeting to discuss the ill-treatment of children. He ‘took advice’ – we are not told from whom – and he said that she should get in touch with him if she had any new matters not already investigated to report. Alison wrote again asking for a meeting regarding the extensive dossier that he had prepared relating to the abuse of children. Huw declined to meet her on the advice of the Council’s legal officers and the Chief Constable. That will have been at about the same time that those legal officers were pursuing me through the Courts for ludicrous offences such as ‘staring at a social worker in Safeways’ or more serious offences that I had not committed.

So how did Huw fare once he stopped being the Chief Exec of Gwynedd in 1996? Well he was the  Assistant National Secretary of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and he has also been on exchanges with Chief Execs in Tasmania and New Zealand (Christ he’s gone global.) In 2001 he was appointed the Director and Principal Consultant for Taro Consulting Ltd. He was a member of the Richards Commission into the powers and electoral arrangements of the National Assembly of Wales 2002-2004, he’s Chaired the Big Lottery Fund and served on the Parole Board for England and Wales (it really is unbelievable isn’t it). He’s a Board member for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, for the North Wales Training and Enterprise Council, a member of HEFCW, of the Law Society Council, of the Hearing Aid Council and the Olympic Lottery Distributer. His voluntary activities include involvement in two charities for deaf people, a member of the National Trust Committee for Wales, of the Princes Trust and the Chair of Plas Glyn Y Weddw Arts Centre.

Concealed a paedophile gang? Come this way Sir, we’d just love to have you on our Board.

The jewel in the crown was that on July 2010 Huw was recommended for the post of Auditor General of Wales by the National Assembly of Wales. HM the Queen herself appointed him from October 2010. He now oversees 20 billion quid of taxpayers money. His wife Enid is the Chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a member of the BUPA council. His son Owain is a trainee – at the Wales Audit Office.

Once more, I can only repeat what the residents of Ioan Bowen Rees’s village used to say when they were screwed over once more by Gwynedd County Council in some way – Jesus Christ.

There is an ancient Bela Lugosi film that used to cause merriment among film and media students because it was thought to be so ridiculous. I was told that it contained a scene where Bela looms up out of a churchyard and says ‘It’s murder – and somebody’s responsible’. Well for years children in the care of Gwynedd County Council were beaten, kicked, forced to lick Nefyn Dodd’s shoes, used as slave labour, sexually molested, kept short of food and/or abandoned. And nobody was responsible at all. The only person who lost their job was Alison Taylor.

 

 

It’s A Piece Of Cake…

Recently I listened to an interview on the ‘Today’ programme with a very angry Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, daughter of the late Lord Greville Janner. Laura was fuming over what she alleged was the smearing of her late father, a Labour politician, whom she described as ‘great and good’. Janner of course has been the centre of a number of allegations that he sexually abused children in Leicestershire and was linked with Frank Beck, a Leicestershire social worker who in 1991 was imprisoned for abusing children in care. Janner and his other daughter Marion, as well as Marion’s ’emotional support dog’ who has also starred on Radio 4, featured in my previous post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…’. Although Laura robustly defended her father maintaining that he was an innocent man targeted by malicious liars, she failed to mention that the reasons why her father wasn’t prosecuted for sexually molesting children were the serial failures of the CPS. Laura maintained that the allegations against Janner caused a deterioration in his Alzheimers and his doctor had confirmed that. Before Janner died there was of course going to be a ‘trial of the facts’ in his case because medical evidence had deemed him unfit to stand trial. Some of that medical evidence was contested in Court. Although Laura fumed away, she also displayed a triumphalist note, stating that her father’s accusers had now dropped their civil cases against his estate. That Laura is just as likely to be down to the fact that your brother is a barrister who made an awful lot of noise about challenging your father’s accusers, than to your father’s accusers being a bunch of liars. Laura is now fighting to have all references to the allegations against her father erased from the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse and she may well be successful, as that Inquiry is falling apart anyway. During her interview Laura expressed some very interesting ideas about the ease of securing a conviction against someone and/or suing them for historical child abuse. According to Laura it’s a pushover – one just makes serious unfounded allegations, one doesn’t even have to appear in Court and hey presto, job done. An innocent peer convicted! She of course made reference to ‘compensation culture’ and assured the listeners that there are lawyers throughout the nation encouraging such claims. I’ve got news for Laura – for most of my adult life I lived in north Wales, the region which saw the worst child abuse scandal in the UK and I never once saw a lawyer begging people to come forward with allegations of abuse. What I did witness though was some of the former residents of the homes where abuse had happened unlawfully detained and discredited by the mental health services, denied care for their very serious distress, repeatedly arrested for ludicrous ‘offences’ and smeared and harassed by the welfare services. A number of people among that group known to me are dead, as are even more people not personally known to me. Some of them were found dead in very suspicious circumstances. The managers of the ‘services’ hosting this abuse were never prosecuted and did not even lose their jobs. Neither did the scores of public servants who knew what was happening but failed to act. Most of the politicians charged with ultimately overseeing those public servants ended up in the House of Lords and may very well have been mates with Greville himself. The one politician whom it is acknowledged was having sex with underage boys and visiting children’s homes in north Wales, Peter Morrison MP, ended up as Sir Peter Morrison and obtained roles as Margaret Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. The children who were abused in those homes, if they managed to stay alive and out of prison, usually ended up living in not very salubrious accommodation on low incomes. They certainly led very different lives to Laura, who went to Cambridge University and is now a regular on the BBC, which gives her a voice denied to people who have been abused whilst in ‘care’. Laura is now writing a book about ‘resilience’ – I wonder who is more resilient, the Cambridge educated daughter of a member of the House of Lords, or someone who spent their childhood being molested by those paid to care for them, denied mental health care for the distress that this caused and was then kicked out into the world at 16 or 17 into substandard accommodation to live on benefits. Now Laura, who do you think has come out of all of this smiling then? Oh and it’s highly unlikely that the kids growing up in care happen to have a barrister in the family to fight their corner either.

The enormities of Laura’s fantasies were impressed upon me in the hours after she gave that interview, when I read the Jillings Report in detail. I have mentioned the Jillings Report previously – it was the first external investigation into child abuse in children’s homes managed by Clwyd County Council and covered the period 1974-1995. The findings of the Report were so damning that the Council’s insurers, Municipal Mutual, on the advice of their lawyers, Browne Jacobson, ordered it never to be made public on the grounds that what had happened was indefensible and everyone involved would be at risk of being sued to such an extent that they would be personally bankrupted. Limited extracts from the Report were made available to a small number of people in 1996 and nearly all copies of the Report were pulped. However, years later, in the wake of constant allegations that the subsequent Waterhouse Report had been a cover-up and that public figures had been involved in a paedophile ring operating in children’s homes in north Wales, someone managed to locate a copy of the Report and it was eventually released, although very heavily redacted, in 2013. Lest Laura Janner-Klauser has actually convinced anyone that it’s a piece of cake for people who have once been in care to make themselves heard when they make allegations that they were sexually abused, I will provide a review of the Jillings Report here – of course I only have a copy of the redacted version, which removed the names of the people most culpable. The version is very heavily redacted at that, pages and pages are blacked out. Nonetheless, what remains is very incriminating indeed.

The Jillings Report was commissioned by Clwyd County Council after a number of their staff had been imprisoned for serious sexual assaults on children in care and it was realised that twelve young people who were former residents of children’s homes in Clwyd had been found dead. The London-based media had started to take an interest in what was happening and allegations of a paedophile ring involving senior public figures were being made. Clwyd County Council could no longer keep a lid on it all, so they commissioned an independent panel led by John Jillings, the former Director of Derbyshire Social Services, to investigate. The other members of the panel consisted of Gerrilyn Smith, a clinical psychologist with much experience in working with survivors of child sexual abuse and Professor Jane Tunstill, a social work academic who had been employed by the University of East Anglia and was then appointed to a Chair at Keele. The panel carried out their investigation between March 1994 and December 1995 – their report was completed in February 1996.

The panel were constrained from the outset. Municipal Mutual refused to allow them to issue a public notice in advance of their investigation lest too many witnesses turned up. The newly appointed Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, Michael Argent, refused to co-operate with them and the police withheld 130 boxes of evidence. The non-co-operation of the police was seen to be significant because there were constant allegations that not only had the police known about the scale of the abuse and failed to act but that some officers themselves had been involved. Gordon Anglesea, a senior officer with the North Wales Police, had famously won a libel case against Private Eye and the Independent in December 1994, after they accused him of abusing children in care. The man who gave evidence that Anglesea had abused him, Mark Humphreys, was found dead on 2 February 1995, after the trial. Anglesea was eventually convicted of child abuse and imprisoned last year, but died a few months after beginning his sentence. Some staff representing other organisations and former staff of Clwyd refused to meet the Jillings panel. The documentation that they received from Clwyd Social Services was incomplete, muddled and frequently unsigned and undated. The panel were obstructed to such a degree that they considered resigning, but persevered because they knew that due to the forthcoming local government re-organisation Clwyd County Council would cease to exist beyond March 1996 and there may well have been no further possibility of an investigation. What they did not know was that Municipal Mutual were going to suppress their report anyway. Municipal Mutual did try and place a number of other constraints upon the panel from the outset, but they fought back against this.

The problems in Clwyd had been attributed to Clwyd providing large residential care facilities that were difficult to manage, that took children from within the county as well as from across Wales and England. There were very serious problems at Bryn Estyn, a former Home Office run approved school in Wrexham, where members of staff had been imprisoned for child abuse. It was said that staff existed who used ‘old methods’ of discipline and ‘found it difficult to adapt to new Department of Health regulations’. Translated this meant that some staff violently assaulted children, punching them in the face, stomach and groin, ordering other older or bigger/tougher children to assault them, ordering children to urinate and defaecate on each other or forcing them to carry out arduous tasks. As well as raping them, sodomising them, groping them and forcing them to perform oral sex with staff. Even if the ‘old fashioned’ staff hadn’t been doing all this, by the 1990s it was accepted that aggregating deprived and troubled young people into large residential establishments, often located in remote rural areas, was inappropriate. Furthermore in many of the homes sexual abuse between the children was endemic, as many of them were victims who had evolved into perpetrators. There were no programmes in existence in Clwyd to address sexual offending by juveniles.

There had been numerous convictions of child care workers in Clwyd. William Mars-Jones had presided over the trial of Jackie Thomas in 1986 (she was convicted of indecent assault on a boy in care) – when in Jan 1987 David Gillison, a former member of staff at Bryn Estyn, was convicted of gross indecency, Mars-Jones requested an inquiry by Clwyd County Council, because it was noted that Thomas and Gillison were linked. Frederick Rutter had worked at Bryn Estyn between 1982 and 1983 and afterwards at other establishments managed by Clwyd Social Services, as well as at the privately owned Bryn Alyn Community (whose owner John Allen was also imprisoned for the sexual abuse of children in care). In 1988 Frederick Rutter was appointed as the warden at Pen-y-Llan hostel, managed by the Clwyd and Alyn Housing Association. In July 1991 he was convicted of rape and indecent assault on young women. It came to light that not only had he been given a reference to obtain the job at the Housing Association despite concerns about him and that there were ‘irregularities’ in that reference, but he had formerly been a probationary police officer but had chosen to resign at the end of his probationary period rather than be dismissed.

On 17 July 1991 a letter from Roger Davies in his capacity as Clwyd County Secretary and Solicitor was sent to the Chief Constable of North Wales Police – I think at the time that would have been David Owen – expressing deep concern at the abuse that had taken place and raising the possibility that a paedophile ring was in operation. An investigation was undertaken by a specially established police team, led by Detective Superintendent Ackerly, which lasted over three years. In March 1992, 17 people were arrested and detained for questioning. Jillings states that former social services staff were charged with physical and sexual offences regarding Bryn Estyn. The names Stephen Norris, Peter Howarth and Paul Bicker Wilson are given, but the fourth name is redacted – however other information available suggests that it was probably David Birch (who was later acquitted of offences against children). Although there was also very serious concern concerning the Bryn Alyn Community and the activities of its proprietor John Allen, who was alleged to have been running a porn and gay prostitution empire, this was considered to be outside the scope of the panel. However although Bryn Alyn was privately owned, many links existed between Bryn Alyn and the statutory sector. Clwyd County Council maintained that they were in favour of the Welsh Office holding a major public inquiry because of the possibility of a paedophile ring.

Alison Taylor, the former Gwynedd County Council social worker who had been the first person to blow the whistle on the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales, submitted her 1991 dossier of concerns to the Jillings panel. They wrote to Lucille Hughes, Director of Gwynedd Social Services and on 1 May 1995 the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services wrote back to the panel stating that Alison Taylor’s allegations were made known to the police and the Welsh Office, had been fully investigated and that no charges had been brought. (The name of the Deputy Director of Social Services is not given, but I suspect that it might have been the dreadful Rob Evans, who in his capacity as Deputy Director, was also concealing abuse in the mental health services in Gwynedd.) In 2000 the Waterhouse Report named Lucille Hughes as knowing that a paedophile ring had been in operation in the social services but had failed to respond. There were cross county placements of children between Gwynedd and Clwyd.

In their report, the panel refer to the Hughes Report of 1985, concerning the abuse of children in N Ireland, the Staffordshire Social Services Dept ‘Pin-Down’ Report of 1991 and the Report following the major inquiry into Frank Beck’s activities in Leicestershire in 1992. They mention that there are currently extensive police enquiries underway in five local authorities in England and that the Department of Health have admitted that there is a ‘significant problem’. The panel note that since 1977, 10 people working in children’s establishments in Clwyd had been charged with offences against children in care, including five past or present members of staff at Bryn Estyn. The panel make reference to the adolescent unit run by the NHS, the Gwynfa Unit. I seem to remember that it was the Gwynfa Unit that was located at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Presumably this is the ‘young persons unit’ that Mary Wynch told me about, where Dr Dafydd Alun Jones (the one time partner of Lucille Hughes) encouraged the young people to have sex with each other as staff watched the live sex show. The panel conclude that there was widespread and extensive abuse in children’s homes in Clwyd but that they were unable to address the question of whether public figures were involved. They discovered that there had been ten previous internal investigations into abuse in the children’s homes and an investigation into Bryn Estyn in 1971.

Some of the key managers involved in running the ‘services’ during the period of time under investigation were:

Emlyn Evans, Director of Social Services 1974-1980, Gledwyn Jones, Director of Social Services 1980-1991, John Jevons, Director of Social Services 1991-1995. (Upon the receipt of this devastating report and the dissolving of Clwyd County Council days later, John Jevons then took up the appointment of Director of Social Services for Cardiff. Perish the thought that anyone should actually resign.) Emlyn Evans, Gledwyn Jones and John Jevons had all worked within the system for years and had achieved their position as a result of internal promotions so presumably had something to do with the mess. Before the formation of Clwyd County Council in 1974, Both Emlyn Evans and Gledwyn Jones had been senior managers with Denbighshire Social Services. So they’ll have known Dafydd and T. Gwynne Williams the lobotomist then! Emlyn will have known Dafydd and the lobotomist very well indeed, mental health was his remit. Leta Jones, a former children’s officer for Denbighshire was retained in a senior post in Clwyd, responsible for children’s services. At the time of the panel’s investigation, the Chief Exec of Clwyd County Council was Roger Davies – he had previously been the County Secretary and Solicitor.

Some of the previous internal investigations into child abuse that the panel discovered were an investigation into the employment of David Gillison and Jackie Thomas in Jan 1987 and the establishment of a panel in Dec 1988 by Gledwyn Jones to investigate the sexual assault of a girl at Park House, Prestatyn. This panel included Andrew Loveridge (Assistant County Secretary, Clwyd) and Keith MacKenzie (Assistant Director UK West, National Children’s Homes). They also stumbled across the Cartrefle Report, which alone gave an insight into just how bad the problems in Clwyd were. Cartrefle was a home that was closed in 1993, which employed Stephen Norris as its officer in charge. Norris was convicted in October 1990 and subsequently imprisoned. In July 1990, Norris appeared in Court charged with sexual offences. In August 1990, the Chief Inspector of the Welsh Office Social Services Inspectorate (SSIW), David Evans, wrote to the Director of Social Services, Gledwyn Jones, requesting details. Yet on 18 Oct 1990, Evans declined a request from Clwyd themselves requesting a Welsh Office inspection, after Norris’s conviction. Instead, a review by the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) was ordered. So reports were commissioned from John Banham (who had formerly worked with Cheshire Social Services), Dr Kathleen Dalzell from the District Health Authority and David Lund from Clwyd County Council Education Dept. Their reports formed individual sections of an overarching report from the Cartrefle Panel of Inquiry, which was appointed in June 1991. The members of this panel were: Hywel Ellis Hughes (former County Secretary and Solicitor for Gwynedd County Council and Secretary to North Wales Probation Committee), Susan Mead (Chief Inspector to Social Services Inspection Division of Birmingham City Council), Dr David Roberts (Consultant in Public Health Medicine in Gwynedd Health Authority), Gareth Jones (Head of Ysgol John Bright, Llandudno) and Christopher Allen (Divisional Officer, Dyfed Social Services Dept). Some of these names and the areas from which they hailed rang bells for me. Kathleen Delzell from Clwyd Health Authority – the Health Authority that covered up for Dafydd Alun Jones as he illegally imprisoned people in the North Wales Hospital where they were then abused and sexually exploited. Hywel Ellis Hughes – the crooked solicitor previously featured on this blog (please see post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’) who had a hotline to Lucille Hughes and who was prepared to assist people whom he knew were perjuring themselves in Court in order to imprison people who had complained about Gwynedd Social Services and the mental health services. Susan Mead from Birmingham – well there were a few corrupt people in Birmingham doing a few corrupt people in north Wales favours (please see posts ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ and ‘Amber Rudd, The Miners Strike And A Memory Jogged’). Dr David Roberts – his name crops up in my own medical records as someone providing advice regarding the numerous attempts to conceal the wrongdoing in the mental health services and have me imprisoned for crimes that everyone knew that I had not committed. What an excellent choice of people to conduct an investigation into a violent sexual offender who was employed in a children’s home! I wonder how a man like that ever ended up there with those paragons of virtue on hand to proffer advice. As for Gareth Jones – as a headmaster he would I assume know how unacceptable sexually molesting children in your care is. Gareth later became the Plaid AM for Aberconwy – his successful campaign was attributed to him running on an ‘I love the NHS’ ticket – and very recently was appointed as leader of Conwy County Council! Is it not time for you to go public on some of what you knew to be going on in the NHS and social care services Gareth? The Jillings Report mentions that the ACPC itself was ‘marginalised’ – but they were as utterly hopeless and as compromised as everyone else. It is mentioned that the Chair of the ACPC was a Mrs Train, who doubled up as the Director of Public Health Nursing in Clwyd Health Authority – someone else who will have been concealing the activities of Dafydd and his chums in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh! And guess who the Vice-Chair of the ACPC was? None other than the Director of Social Services himself, John Jevons! How marginalised was he? I am wondering whether the Jillings panel’s notion that the ACPC was ‘marginalised’ might have had something to do with the fact that John Banham acted as an advisor to the Jillings panel – John Banham had of course been involved in the ACPC’s report regarding Cartrefle. At the time of the Cartrefle outrages, the ACPC thought that perhaps health and education personnel ‘might have failed to identify abuse’. Er, yes – along with an awful lot of other people, including the ACPC. However I’m glad to note that the ACPC did show at least a bit of nouse on one occasion – Jevons had been Chair of the ACPC and Mrs Train had been the Vice-Chair, but after the shit hit the fan at Cartrefle, Jevons suggested to Mrs Train that perhaps she might like to be Chair for a while because it might look dodgy if the Director of Social Services was Chair of the ACPC. So he was just the Vice-Chair instead.

Clwyd obviously went for the belt and braces approach where Cartrefle and Stephen Norris were concerned – not only did they employ some well-known spineless colluders (or worse) to compile the Carterfle Report, but they then ensured that it wasn’t published or presented in its entirety. The Jillings panel wrote to the Director of Social Services as well as to the County Secretary and Solicitor about this. They received a letter from the County Solicitor and Secretary dated 11 May 1995 explaining that a copy of the Cartrefle Report had been sent to the Council’s insurers (them again!) and that comments were invited pre-publication. The letter states that ‘needless to say this was done with the full knowledge of leading politicians’. So some ‘leading politicians’ knew that children were being sexually assaulted in Clwyd children’s homes in 1990 then. I wonder who those politicians might have been? The County Secretary and Solicitor however maintained that the report wasn’t published lest it prejudice the trial of Stephen Norris. That doesn’t explain why they continued to keep it quiet after Norris was convicted – or why the same insurers did prevent Jillings’s own report from being made public.

The Jillings Report mentions another name that I recognised. It is mentioned that after Norris was convicted, in a meeting of the ACPC in Dec 1990, Superintendent Roberts said that ‘a review of police procedures was difficult to envisage in view of the late stage at which the police were brought in’. Could this be the same Superintendent Roberts that the nurses at the North Wales Hospital documented had cooked up a ‘deal’ with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones to illegally detain me? And I’ve heard the phrase ‘at this late stage’ before as well. As everyone flatly refused to investigate the most serious aspects of my complaint against Dafydd, as witness statements from Brown were ‘lost’ (although the letter from Brown that I was told had been lost turned up in my medical records years later with two handwritten unsigned comments on it, namely ‘what shall we do about Dr Brown’s letter?’, ‘do not reply’), I was eventually sent a letter from the dreadful Alun Davies, manager of the Hergest Unit, saying that they really couldn’t investigate my complaint ‘at this late stage’. So that’s how its done – complaints about the most serious criminal activity are ignored for years and then are deemed uninvestigable ‘at this late stage’.

It seems that the toothless, spineless colluders who compiled the Cartrefle Report nonetheless recommended the creation of a senior specialist post at Clwyd HQ leading up children’s services. John Jevons ignored the recommendation. The Jillings team described the existence of the Cartrefle Report as an ‘open secret’ within Clwyd Social Services. A few staff even had a copy, but didn’t even know if they should admit to this. It was unclear which officers of the Social Services, Health and Education Depts had a copy of the full report. Jillings commented on the ‘chaotic management systems’ within the Social Services and noted that although the Health and Education Depts had conducted a review, the North Wales Police hadn’t. Furthermore there was nothing to suggest that the Social Services Committee or the Welsh Office had sought an explanation of why there had been no police input into the Cartrefle Report. A copy of the Cartefle Report was sent to David Evans, the Chief Inspector at the Welsh Office’s SSIW, by the Director of Social Services, along with a covering letter explaining that ‘no-one but yourself’ had a full copy of the Report and that there is no intention to circulate the report to members of the ACPC or members of Clwyd County Council. The Director of Social Services also observed that ‘the sanctions available to the CPS to cover ‘leakage’ and any other form of publication…are really dire for Clwyd County Council and for any individual concerned’. Now there’s a hint! Jillings observes that no direct consultation seems to have taken place between the Inspectorate and the CPS concerning the report or the accompanying letter. Indeed the Welsh Office Inspectorate did not attend the special meeting of the Social Services Committee on 27 Oct 1992 or the ACPC meeting of 10 Sept 1992, at which the synopsis of the Cartrefle recommendations was presented and furthermore the Inspectorate were given virtually no notice of the meeting – but the Welsh Office showed remarkably little concern anyway, which surprised Jillings.

I have previously mentioned Frederick Rutter, who was imprisoned for rape and indecent assaults on a number of young women. Not only was Rutter a former Clwyd employee but he was a foster parent too. In October 1992 John Jevons reported to the Social Services sub-committee on the investigation that had been conducted by Geoff Wyatt, Assistant Director of Social Services, in the wake of Rutter’s conviction. It transpired that there had been an ‘incident’ in 1985 involving Rutter at a holiday camp with children from Park House, the home where Rutter had been ‘officer in charge’. Andrew Loveridge, Assistant County Secretary and Solicitor and a member of the Park House Inquiry Panel, told Wyatt that he was unaware of this incident. Once again this investigation shows how lacklustre and clueless people were. Wyatt had questioned exactly what they do if people make comments such as ‘he gives me the creeps’ and seemed uncertain as to how allegations against staff are recorded on their files. However my experiences with the north Wales mental health services suggest that this sort of confusion has proved to be very useful to them. When I complained repeatedly about Dafydd’s inappropriate attitude and conduct towards me and other female patients, I was consistently told by one Hergest nurse that she too found Dafydd ‘unpleasant and creepy’, but being ‘unpleasant and creepy’ wasn’t a foundation for disciplinary action and that because Dafydd hadn’t ‘touched me’ there was nothing anyone could do. There was a good reason as to why Dafydd hadn’t touched me – I didn’t give him the chance. He had however illegally detained me, threatened me, tried to bribe me and had told Dr Robin Jacobson, a psychiatrist at St Georges Hospital Medical School, that I was ‘attractive and seductive’, causing Jacobson to observe that Dafydd ‘lacked boundaries’. Furthermore Dafydd had cohabited with two female patients at once, constantly sexually harassed the female staff and five female patients had provided statements to MIND saying that they’d had sexual relationships with him. How much evidence did anyone need? Meanwhile over in Clwyd – Dafydd’s powerbase! – Rutter was raping people and he too was framed as being a bit creepy. But Geoff Wyatt had a track record of not dealing with creepy people who were carrying out serious sexual assaults on children – he previously had management oversight of Bryn Estyn, where boys who had run away after being molested by the notorious Peter Howarth were returned by the police, even those boys who had needed hospital treatment. The regime that Wyatt ‘oversaw’ at Bryn Estyn was certainly extraordinary and involved physical brutality resulting in injury and late night pyjama parties in Howarth’s accommodation, where boys were shown porn and molested. It transpired that there were connections between the police and the staff at Bryn Estyn in terms of socialising through the golf and rugby clubs. Bryn Estyn also had some interesting recruitment procedures – at one point that was being done via the rugby club as well. Jillings observed that the police investigation into Bryn Estyn in 1991 should have been a joint one with the Social Services, rather than a police only investigation. I doubt that it would have made any difference – both social services staff and the police knew exactly what was happening to those boys and some of them were joining in with the fun themselves.

Jillings observes that Welsh Office guidance states that the local authority is required to report to the Secretary of State the suffering of serious harm by children accommodated in homes, but that this wasn’t done. But the Secretary of State must have been sound asleep anyway, because there were criminal trials of ‘care workers’ happening resulting in prison sentences for serious sexual offences. And of course Alison Taylor was constantly telling Ministers that a paedophile ring was operating in the children’s homes of north Wales. But the Secretary of State remained in a deep slumber. In fact a number of Secretaries of State did, because this happened over a period of years. Not that it did them any harm, they ended up in the House of Lords… In March 1995, someone finally stirred at the Welsh Office and serious concerns were raised to Clwyd over the case of a girl who had been physically assaulted and raped whilst in their care. Other bizarre things had happened to her as well, like being tied to a mop handle and dumped in a cold bath. The Welsh Office managed to actually attend a meeting about this.

Jillings commented that the role of the Welsh Office in the Cartrefle inquiry merited careful consideration by the Dept of Health, the Welsh Office Social Services Inspectorate and the CPS. Who was Secretary of State for Wales at the time of the Cartrefle inquiry? David Hunt, now Lord Hunt. Presumably Lord Hunt of I Couldn’t Give a Fuck If Children Are Being Raped – the Welsh Office obviously really came under scrutiny there.

The Welsh Office was described by former Director of Social Services Emlyn Evans as to be rather remote and not fulfilling their roles of examining malpractice or impropriety. Although I very much doubt that Emlyn was too keen for them to do this considering what was happening on his patch. Jillings provides yet more evidence of just how incestuous the system was and how long some of these managers had been around. The names Ray Powell and Janet Handley are supplied as senior managers with responsibility for children in residential care. Powell had previously worked in the old Flintshire Authority, Handley in Denbighshire. The aforementioned Geoff Wyatt who wasn’t very good at dealing with creepy rapists had previously worked for Denbighshire as the Court and Liaison Officer. Wyatt was even the representative on the Children’s Regional Planning Committee, established by the Welsh Office to plan residential child care across Wales, comprising of Directors of Social Services and the Welsh Office Social Work Service. A John Coley was appointed Deputy Director of Social Services in 1980 but in 1984 took up a post with Tayside Social Services. A John Llewellyn-Thomas, a senior children’s service manager, took up a post as Assistant Director in Mid-Glamorgan Social Services Dept.

Geoff Wyatt told the Jillings panel that during the 1980s, the number of people dismissed by Clwyd County Council through it’s disciplinary process was ‘very few and far between’ – those that were dismissed were those who had been prosecuted and imprisoned. The picture that emerges is deeply depressing – a bunch of moribund old farts all scratching each others backs, who had occupied various positions in the region for decades, who had knowingly ignored the violence and serious sexual abuse meted out to children and hadn’t got a clue what to do now that it had all become very public. Above them a Welsh Office who just didn’t give a toss what the sheepshaggers below were doing to each other. What’s even more frightening was that a few of those turning a blind eye to all this serious crime escaped with their poison to other parts of the UK, presumably to stuff up there.

The Jillings Report supplies much other information that confirms just how dysfunctional and clueless Clwyd Social Services were. As the police investigation in the early 1990s into child abuse in Clwyd began, an NSPCC Helpline was established, supposedly to support those former residents of children’s homes – who were now adults – who were giving evidence to the police and in Court. A previous post ‘News Updates, Additional Comments And Observations’ has featured the woman – who is now the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales and has stood as a Plain candidate in two elections – who established this Helpline. She is Ann Griffiths, who was a mental health social worker with one of the teams that was abusing clients and then worked as a manager for Gwynedd Social Services, which had also been host to the paedophile ring and whose Director, Lucille Hughes, was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing about the paedophile ring but not taking any action. Gwynedd sent children on placement to Clwyd and vice versa. So this Helpline was questionable from the outset. The Helpline was funded by Clwyd Social Services and opened on 1 December 1991. The Helpline seemed to be compromised in every way. There was liaison between the NSPCC project leader – who was also a counsellor on the Helpline – and Social Services Officers. The project leader was also the Helpline complaints receiving officer. Supervision was unclear and there was no protocol for confidentiality. Some clients were referred to other agencies but there were no further information regarding this. Gender was taken into consideration – the ex-residents were offered a woman counsellor. I know that gender considerations should be made in such circumstances but the issue of gender where the abuses in north Wales were concerned was tricky. Again and again I saw examples where women were used – with their knowledge – to assist in perpetuating or concealing abuses. A tried and tested technique of the mental health services was to use some female stooge to maintain that they had been assaulted or threatened by a patient – the ‘services’ knew damn well that if they wanted to frame a patient or maintain that a patient was threatening or dangerous, it was far more effective coming from a woman. Particularly one in a stereotypically ‘caring’ role, such as a nurse or a social worker. Furthermore, many of those ‘caring women’ were in relationships with the abusing men or men in senior roles who were concealing the abuses. I note that the Jillings Report mentioned that most of the ‘housemothers’ in the children’s homes were married to the men who were sexually molesting the boys – how could those boys ever have told the housemothers what was happening? Although the housemothers almost certainly knew anyway, everyone else did. Women in such roles knew damn well that they were being used in this way – some were every bit as abusive as their male colleagues and joined in enthusiastically with the lies and perjury, others were bullied into it. Another favourite ploy was indeed to provide a female ‘counsellor’ – who would then pass on the knowledge that they had extracted from the patient in the counselling sessions to the abusive colleagues who would then use that knowledge against the patient. I think it entirely probable that the information gained from the people using this Helpline was fed straight back to the managers of the service – who were only interested in protecting themselves – or even to the abusers themselves, so they would have known exactly who was prepared to give evidence against them, what their allegations were and how near to breaking point they were. Jillings mentions that the counsellor employed on the Helpline had previous experience of mental health work, was a qualified social worker but only had limited experience of working in Court and giving evidence. Which is what the people using the Helpline really needed – they were all giving evidence in Court. This person was not given a job specification or was even interviewed – but it was mentioned that she’d previously worked for Gwynedd County Council, so Clwyd had knowledge of her ‘experience and skills’. I bet they did – she had probably been hand-picked by Lucille Hughes to go next door to Clwyd, work on that Helpline and grass up who was brave enough to give evidence. Although Jillings stated that supervision for the Helpline was unclear, Clwyd  stated that supervision was provided by David Hugh Davies, Child Protection Co-Ordinator – obviously a man who had protected no children at all. It transpired that the only contact that Davies had with the counsellor whom he was alleged to be supervising was regular informal contact through their mutual involvement with Stepping Stones, a Wrexham based charity for females who had been sexually abused. (Jillings noted that there was no service in Clwyd for males who had been sexually abused. Of course there wasn’t, a paedophile ring targeting mostly boys had operated in the area for years, no-one was going to provide help for the victims of that ring.) The North Wales Police – who had very obviously colluded with the abuse for years – helpfully supplied officers to support and transport witnesses to and from Court. Jillings noted that one former resident who had given evidence in Court and who had been ‘supported’ by the Helpline had recently been found hanged. But at least it was stressed that the person who ‘supported’ the dead man was an employee of Clwyd County Council so was covered by the authority’s insurance. Thank goodness for that! It was noted that the involvement of the NHS was unclear, especially with regard to the mental health services and that no special service had been set up. I can tell the Jillings team what the role of the mental health services was. It was to find out from patients what they knew about the abuse and malpractice, who they were telling about it, whether they might be believed and if so to label them ‘deluded’, section them and if possible secure a conviction against them so that everyone could be told that they were a criminal and couldn’t be believed. (And in my case it was also to find out which jobs I was applying for and whether I was going to publish what I knew.) Then if they developed any illness such as depression, to ensure that they did not receive effective treatment. Jillings notes that the former residents of the children’s homes using the Helpline were now adults, so having a Helpline run by a children’s charity was inappropriate. As was having a Helpline set up and run by the abusers themselves. The Jillings Report noted that the Helpline didn’t encourage people to use local resources for mental health problems although those former residents were so traumatised that they were in need of long term mental healthcare. This was no coincidence – they were undoubtedly being left to kill themselves or end up in such a bad way that they wouldn’t make good witnesses in Court. Which, if one now looks back at this history of the north Wales child abuse scandal, is exactly what happened. Jillings remarked that the Home Office and Department of Health were ‘looking at the issue of psychiatric treatment prior to criminal proceedings’ in the case of child sexual abuse – they obviously didn’t look too hard…

The Jillings Report had some an insightful remarks regarding an aggressive male-dominated hierarchy in Clwyd with very few female managers, female staff being sexually harassed and having to seek ‘help’ from male colleagues – or even friends – of the harassers – and female staff being ‘harried and over-ridden’ by a powerful male hierarchy. Now as I have previously mentioned, I noticed exactly the same model in the mental health system – but those women DID have agency and they had a lot more power than the children or mental health patients who were being horribly abused. They were doing the dirty work of patriarchy and they bloody well knew it – they did not HAVE to do it. The ‘services’ in north Wales these days do have women in senior management positions – they are the women who for years colluded with the abuses and they have been well-rewarded. The services are still shite because there are now clueless abusive women running them as well as clueless abusive men. This is no feminist triumph.

Jillings also discovered further evidence of the high levels of protection that abusive staff enjoyed. Not only would no representative from UNISON agree to meet with Jillings and his panel, but there is a reference to a letter dated July 91 to John Jevons from John Cooke of NALGO, requesting that Stephen Norris be granted retirement on the grounds of ill health, enclosing a psychiatrist’s letter of support. Norris was a prolific sex offender who was eventually imprisoned and had been charged by the time that this letter was written. The people who had been abused received no such support from NALGO or a psychiatrist. (I wonder who the psychiatrist who was so helpful to a child abuser was?) But some of the abusers were union reps themselves – in February 1984 Paul Bicker Wilson was appointed a senior steward for NALGO. In August 1987, Clwyd personnel recommended that Wilson retire on the grounds of ill health – Clwyd had previously tried to resolve the problem that was Wilson by transferring him to the ‘mental handicap’ team, but they didn’t want him and he didn’t want them, so he was transferred back to children’s work. In December 1987 the Director of Social Services recommended that Wilson retire on the grounds of ill health – throughout all this Wilson himself had managed to make a complaint that was dealt with by the County Secretary and Solicitor. Wilson, who had worked at Bryn Estyn, was finally convicted of violent assaults on children at Knutsford Crown Court in 1994 (but only after Chester Crown Court had acquitted him of a few other assaults a few months previously). Wilson had previously work at children’s homes in Leicester and Southwark (please see posts ‘An Expert From England’ and ‘The London Connection’). Sounds like a network to me… Again I witnessed this protection of abusive staff by ‘democratic’ bodies such as unions or professional organisations repeatedly in the mental health services. They have access to unlimited free legal advice in the way that those being abused do not. Jillings mentions that the rights of staff should be equally balanced against the rights of children – the report also mentions that in Clwyd, the rights and needs of the staff were constantly prioritised above those of the children. Like the mental health services, the children’s services were run for the benefit of the staff. Indeed the former Bryn Estyn staff were given a support service and individual counselling was offered to all former Bryn Estyn staff still working for Clwyd. A previous ‘self-help group’ set up by former Bryn Estyn staff met with senior officers and selected Members during the course of the police investigation and trials. So the people who had spent years brutalising and raping children had their emotional needs well attended to… The staff also knew how bad the ‘care’ that they delivered was – the Jillings panel were constantly told by staff that they would never be able to get jobs elsewhere, so toxic was the reputation of Clwyd. Jillings notes that children in Clwyd were sexually exploited under the guise of ‘homosexual equality’. (This was also a problem in the child abuse scandals in inner London – please see post ‘The London Connection’). Jillings notes that there was no effective complaints procedure for children in Clwyd.

So exactly how much interest did the Welsh Office take in this lethal service for which their Social Services Inspectorate were ultimately responsible?  There were no inspections of any residential facilities caring for adults or children in 1991 or 1992 – although the biggest police investigation into child abuse in the UK was taking place in Clwyd at this time. During the years between 1986 and 1992, there were no general inspections of Clwyd at all. Between 1984 and 1990 there were no inspections of Cartrefle and between 1984 and 1993 there was no Welsh Office SSIW inspection of any Clwyd Social Services residential children’s home. There was no evidence of any inspection of Bryn Estyn throughout the period that it was managed by Clwyd. However, following the publication of the Staffordshire ‘Pin Down’ Report and allegations of the widespread abuse of children in Wales, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Nicholas Bennett, instructed the Inspectorate to undertake a ‘review’ because it was ‘important to receive an assurance that children’s homes in Wales were providing a high standard of service to the children in them’. This review involved a postal questionnaire sent to the service providers, interviews with managers and staff, interviews with three small groups of children, as well as interviews with staff representatives, the voluntary sector, unions and professional associations. No information was available regarding how those who were interviewed were selected. After this very robust review, published in January 1992, the Welsh Office were able to state that the review did not reveal examples of causes for concern. But they remained on the ball as ever – in Sept 1992 the Secretary of State for Wales – David Hunt – expressed deep concern about the allegations of child abuse in north Wales and it was concluded that a Public Inquiry was needed in view of ‘public disquiet’. However it was stated that this couldn’t happen until the police investigation was complete. The Chair of the Council’s Social Services Committee, Councillor Malcolm King, had constantly raised objections to the North Wales Police being allowed to investigate very serious matters involving their own officers. In the wake of continued concerns being expressed that the North Wales Police were investigating themselves, a letter dated 17 May 1993 from a Mr Lockyer, the Private Secretary to the Home Office, was sent to the County Secretary and Solicitor, stating that Ministers couldn’t intervene in police operational matters and had no powers to direct the Chief Constable to appoint an officer from outside of the force to take over or supervise and that the Chief Constable of North Wales resisted the suggestion of bringing in an outside officer. (The Chief Constable is not named, but it will have been either David Owen or Michael Argent – I note that there is very little information publicly available about the higher echelons of the North Wales Police during this period of time.)Furthermore, it was stated that the proposed public inquiry would take place after the completion of any criminal proceedings and would be concerned with the action of the local authority and would not include a review of the way in which the police conducted their investigation. So the North Wales Police investigated themselves, refused to co-operate with the Jillings inquiry, refused to hand over an enormous quantity of evidence and their conduct during the criminal investigation was never scrutinised. Nicola Davies QC was appointed by the Welsh Office in May 1995 to review the documentation relating to child abuse in north Wales. On 11 December 1995, William Hague, the Secretary of State for Wales, announced that on the basis of the evidence seen by Nicola Davies a public inquiry could not be justified. (There was of course a change of plan and a public inquiry, Chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, was subsequently held.)

I have previously mentioned that the extensive and very damning report compiled by Jillings and his team was suppressed for years by Clwyd’s insurers, Municipal Mutual (which was subsequently taken over by Zurich Insurance), on the advice of their solicitors, Browne Jacobson. Not only that, but it was recommended that if that troublesome bugger Councillor Malcolm King, the Chair of the Social Services Committee who had raised so many objections to the North Wales Police investigating themselves, insisting on blurting out any of the contents of the Jillings Report that everyone else would rather remained unknown, he should be sacked. Municipal Mutual were also the insurers of the North Wales Police. Immediately after Jillings compiled the report, there was a reorganisation of the local authorities in Wales and Clwyd disappeared. Because the report wasn’t seen by anybody, new arrivals in the wake of the reorganisation had no knowledge at all about what had gone on in Clwyd. So they remained in the dark – but those from the old corrupt regime who were still in place had been afforded protection. When Jillings et al discovered that their report was not going to see the light of day, they made some very pertinent comments. They noted that ‘those advising the insurers’ are raising issues that ‘impinge on the established democratic and constitutional arrangements of England and Wales’. I have obtained the name of one of those who advised the insurers to suppress information regarding the way in which hundreds of children were subjected to horrific cruelty and sexual assault over years and who subverted democracy. It was one Michael Beloff QC. Beloff practices at Blackstone Chambers and like so many others featuring on this blog who have colluded with or concealed the most appalling abuses of vulnerable people, Beloff is a specialist in human rights! But here’s the clincher – Beloff is a friend of Tony and Cherie Blair and was among their guests at Chequers. Researching for this blog has certainly been an Education, Education, Education…

As with other posts, I’ll briefly remind readers of what was happening to me whilst the biggest UK police investigation into child abuse was happening in Clwyd, whilst social care professionals were sentenced to lengthy spells in prison for serious sexual offences against children and whilst the Welsh Office completely ignored what ‘public servants’ in north Wales were concealing. I was being repeatedly dragged through the Courts for very serious offences although there was no evidence at all that I’d ever committed such offences and eminent ‘expert witnesses’ from London such as Professor Nigel Eastman and Dr Paul Bowden, backed up by lesser names such as Dr Robin Jacobson, were declaring me ‘extremely dangerous’ on the basis of conversations that they had held with those closely associated with the services under criminal investigation in north Wales. Oh and Sir Robert Francis QC tried to have me imprisoned – because I wouldn’t stop writing letters maintaining that mental health professionals in north Wales were involved in criminal activity.

So just to remind everyone who was fast asleep in the Welsh Office whilst ‘services’ employing people raping children and terrorising witnesses were left uninspected – despite the regular appearance of some of those employees in Courts charged with serious offences and the deaths of witnesses – and the one external independent investigation into all this was completely suppressed:

Nicholas Edwards, Secretary of State for Wales, 5 May 1979-13 June 1987; Peter Walker, Secretary of State for Wales 13 June 1987 -4 May 1990; David Hunt, Secretary of State for Wales 4 May 1990- 27 May 1993; John Redwood, Secretary of State for Wales 27 May 1993-26 June 1995; David Hunt (again!), Secretary of State for Wales 26 June 1995-5 July 1995; William Hague, Secretary of State for Wales 5 July 1995-3 May 1997. All of these but Redwood ended up in the House of Lords.

What about the Home Secretaries – who watched as the North Wales Police investigated themselves, refused to allow an officer from another force to oversee them and then refused to co-operate with the Jillings team, withholding evidence? They were:

Kenneth Baker, Home Secretary 28 November 1990-10 April 1992; Ken Clarke, Home Secretary 10 April 1992-27 May 1993, Michael Howard, Home Secretary 27 May 1993-2 May 1997. Baker and Howard are now in the House of Lords.

Many of these names cropped up in my previous posts when I detailed the Ministers who ignored the abuses taking place in the north Wales mental health services…

Of course, at the time when I was outraging Sir Robert Francis and St Georges Hospital Medical School I only had evidence relating to the dreadful conduct of the mental health services. However in 1993 I witnessed the child protection services in Gwynedd in action. That will be the subject of a future post.

I began this post with reference to Laura Janner-Klausner, who believes that making allegations of historical child sexual abuse against public figures in order to extract dosh is a pushover. I can’t recommend that Laura accesses the full details of the horror that prevailed in Clwyd children’s homes because even today, there is no version of the Jillings Report that is not heavily redacted available – and even if she was prepared to listen to witness accounts, Laura still wouldn’t hear the full story because most of the witnesses are dead. However Jillings did make a point of commenting that the former residents of Clwyd children’s homes were not motivated by financial recompense or malice, they just wanted to ensure that what happened to them never happened to anyone else. Recent events demonstrate that large scale sexual abuse of children in care is still happening. One reason why still no-one is learning from their experience is that people like Laura use their considerable influence to tell everyone that they’re a load of gold-digging liars. By the way, Laura’s sister Marion styles herself as a ‘mental health campaigner’. She is a regular on the utterly lame Radio 4 ‘All In The Mind’ programme which serves primarily as a PR vehicle for the mental health services. Marion visited the mental health services in north east Wales and remarked on their excellence. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that runs those services is now in special measures – because of institutional abuse in the mental health services. I think the sooner the Janners shut their collective mouths and stop making appearances on the BBC the better – Marion is of course such a delicate flower that she makes a point of insisting that her ’emotional support dog’ accompanies her everywhere. You didn’t get one of them if you were raped in a children’s home in Clwyd, probably because the cost of the breeding and training programme that would have been needed to produce sufficient numbers of Labradors would have been prohibitive. So it’s only Marion who’s secured one. Of course if Laura does ever trouble herself to read about what happened in children’s homes in north Wales over decades, she will notice that despite the huge police investigation, confusion continued to reign and a lot of witness statements somehow never found their way into the hands of the CPS anyway. Despite an acknowledgement that there was child abuse on a massive scale occurring and a paedophile ring in operation, with the exception of Gordon Anglesea, only a small number of social care workers at the bottom of the food chain were ever convicted and imprisoned. Because it’s just so fucking easy isn’t it Laura.

 

 

 

 

News Updates, Additional Comments and Observations

We’ve had a temporary reprieve from the squealing of the Top Doctors – presumably the continued bad publicity surrounding Ian Paterson, the rogue surgeon who carried out unnecessary operations for non-existent breast cancers, has taken the wind out of their sails for a few hours. However, the pressure continues from their associates. I have recently reported on the demands from the ‘life sciences industry’ for billions more to be handed over to the NHS – now it’s the turn of a few others to announce the end of the world if the Top Doctors are not given a large amount of dosh very soon. On Saturday the ‘Guardian’ ran an article penned by one Niall Dickson, Chief Exec of the ‘NHS Confederation’. Who are the ‘NHS Confederation’? Well according to their website, they are ‘the authentic voice of NHS leadership’, comprising the ‘NHS Employers Organisation’, who it is claimed are ‘the voice of employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first’. This translates as the voice of NHS senior managers – the Peter Higsons, the Martin Jones’s, the Katrina Percys, the ‘senior managers’ at Mid-Staffordshire etc etc ie. that collection of liars and charlatans who have constantly concealed scandals and who never ever resign no matter how many patients die. They do not have a history of ‘putting patients first’. But then neither does Niall Dickson – for a number of years Niall was the Chief Exec of the GMC and received numerous e mails from me regarding the criminal activities of doctors employed in the north Wales mental health service. No, Niall did not investigate – of course I did not know at the time that the GMC themselves presented a forged document purporting to be a letter from me some years earlier when I complained about the dreadful Dr Tony Roberts at the Hergest Unit. (Please see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’.) Niall’s article in the ‘Guardian’ did not touch on forging letters from patients, or on psychiatrists with such high death rates among their patients that they showed up as statistical outliers though. No, Niall banged on at length about the necessity of NHS staff being paid more. Not of course the poorly paid staff, such as the cleaners, porters or healthcare assistants, just the Top Doctors and nurses. Dickson mentioned the crisis in staffing in the mental health services. There is a crisis Dickson because these services are so bad – and are run by people like Higson and Katrina Percy who then appoint ‘clinical directors’ such as Tony Roberts – that absolutely no-one wants to work in them. ‘Pay restraint’ doesn’t enter into the equation. Dysfunction, workplace bullying and having to witness one’s patients being neglected and abused does. Dickson states that ‘parts of the country are finding it almost impossible to entice GPs’. Like north Wales perhaps? I know GPs who wouldn’t work in north Wales but, as with the staffing crisis in the mental health services, that was because they didn’t want to work with negligent, abusive crooks. Furthermore, GPs are paid so well and have such generous pension pots that many of them choose to work only three days a week and retire in their mid-50s – hardly surprising that there’s a ‘shortage’. Of course there was one north Wales GP who waxed lyrical about the crisis in north Wales – one Dr Eamonn Jessup, Chairman of the North Wales Local Medical Committee. He ran a Facebook group entitled ‘higher pay for doctors’ and announced his retirement recently, yet even more recently cropped up in a clinic in Cyprus selling his services, along with another north Wales GP, the dreadful Dr DGE Wood, who coerced me into seeing Gwynne Williams the lobotomist and then spent the next few years telling anyone who would listen that I was ‘dangerous’ and that they mustn’t listen to a word that I said about Gwynne the lobotomist because I really couldn’t be believed. DGE Wood also had a very chummy relationship with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, he who was concealing and facilitating the north Wales paedophile ring. Along with Jessup, Wood was a leading light in the North Wales Local Medical Committee. The Secretary of the North Wales Local Medical Committee was one Dr Phil White, BMA representative, who at one point mouthed off regularly in the local media. However he went silent for a while after his son was imprisoned for drug dealing. He soon bounced back though and last year appeared in the Daily Post stating that parents who allow their children to become obese should have their children taken into care because they aren’t looking after them properly. Unlike proud dad Phil, who reared a drug dealer. Furthermore, anyone who has ever encountered Phil White will have noticed one thing – that he is absolutely enormous. But then I’ve known for a long time that Phil has a sense of the ridiculous. Many years ago he had a patient who was a rather chaotic 17 year old girl who consumed vast quantities of prescription painkillers. She had a particular affinity for distalgesic and she was also a very heavy drinker. She was obtaining the distalgesic from one Phil White. At the time there was much publicity regarding distalgesic, because there had been a number of deaths of patients who had taken it whilst drinking. Brown’s brother speculated that perhaps Phil White was trying to finish her off: ‘wash ’em down with a couple of whiskies…’ Oh and dear old DGE Wood knew about Phil’s lethal prescribing habits as well… But they all stand together on the Local Medical Committee! To return to the dire warnings from the ‘NHS Confederation’. Perhaps someone else in a ‘leadership role’ with them can be relied upon to be a bit more patient-friendly than Niall Dickson? Such as their Chairman? Their Chairman is a Stephen Dorrell. That’s the Stephen Dorrell who was for many years a Tory MP and who was in 1995, under John Major, appointed the Secretary of State for Health. In 1995 there were requests in the House of Commons for an inquiry into the problems at the Foundation Trust Stafford. An investigation was refused. And look what was revealed some years later… Between 2010 and 2014 Dorrell was Chair of the House of Commons Health Select Committee. In 2012 he was reported to IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) after he arranged to sell his London flat to ‘friends’ who owned a chain of nursing homes and subsequently rented the flat back to Dorrell for £1,400/month (funded by the taxpayer). The Health Select Committee at the time was investigating social care – the chain of nursing homes owned by Dorrell’s ‘friends’ had been criticised by the CQC. The other Committee members did not know of Dorrell’s financial connection. Cameron refused to intervene. In 2014 Dorrell announced his intention to stand down from Parliament to take up a ‘senior role’ with consultants KPMG, ‘supporting their health and public service practice’. For six months he worked both for KPMG and as an MP, whilst KPMG considered bidding for a £1 billion NHS contract. At one point a group of pensioners arrived at Dorrell’s office with a petition signed by more than 2000 people demanding his resignation. The police were called on the grounds that the penioners were ‘trespassing’. In 2016, Dorrell was appointed Chair of healthcare consultant LaingBuisson. Nicky Morgan, that not very bright stooge of Cameron’s who doubled up as ‘Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities’, is on record as saying that Dorrell has been ‘a really important political figure in Leicestershire since 1979’. That’s the Leicestershire that, like north Wales, had a paedophile ring operating in it’s children’s services. The Leicestershire that had another MP, Greville Janner, who, it is now acknowledged, should have stood trial for child abuse. (Of course there is another Leicestershire MP of note, one Keith Vaz. The Keith Vaz that ends up in scandal after scandal, the most recent involving male prostitutes and cocaine, but somehow just bounces back after every resignation.) Dorrell’s role as Secretary of State for Health was taken over by Frank Dobson when Blair was elected in 1997. So the ‘NHS Confederation’ is led by one man with a long track record of ignoring the serious wrongdoing of the Top Doctors and another man who has his nose deep in the trough of privatised healthcare. ‘Putting patients first’ really is not on the radar of either of them.

Dickson is not the only Top Doctors friend to be begging for more dosh for the NHS. Chris Hopson, CEO of ‘NHS Providers’ which ‘represents hospital trusts’ (in England), has stated that the mere £770 million overspend by English NHS Trusts last year – despite an extra £2 billion bailout funding from the Westminster Gov’t – represents ‘genuine success at cutting costs’. Hopson has featured on this blog previously – begging for more money for NHS staff salaries (see post ‘Those Who Care Are Concerned’). Two ‘health thinktanks’ have also joined in. Sally Gainsbury, senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust, has commented that ‘£770 million is a very poor measure of how much the NHS is actually overspending by…[it] overspent by significantly more that £770 million’. However both the Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund maintain that nonetheless the NHS is performing the most magnificent job, is underfunded and Must Be Given More. The present Chief Exec of the Kings Fund is Prof Chris Ham. The former Chief Exec is a Niall Dickson! And the Kings Fund have just jointly published a report on ‘future models of care’ with my old friends the Royal College of Psychiatrists… The Nuffield Trust, like the Kings Fund, is very much part of the medical establishment. I know the Nuffield Trust as a funder of research. Some years ago I and a senior colleague at Bangor University applied to the Nuffield Trust for funding to explore the experiences of mental health patients, including those who had been prosecuted by the NHS. Our bid was peer-reviewed and it came back with many compliments regarding our methodology, our research design and our background knowledge. However we were turned down for funding because ‘it is a great pity that a project claiming to research service users experiences does not contain a service user researcher’. I was named as the person who would be managing the day to day work of the project – but I wasn’t wearing my yellow star… So my senior colleague wrote to the Nuffield Trust explaining my background but commenting that it was intrusive and unethical to expect researchers to provide confidential details concerning their personal medical histories as part of their funding applications. He also observed that the Nuffield Trust seemed to be allocating research funding for reasons other than research-related criteria. He did not receive a reply to his letter. (If any member of the Nuffield Trust is reading this blog: you will now realise that I have more ‘lived experience’ of the mental health services than either Peter Beresford or Rachel Perkins. Furthermore, they have never been harassed, threatened, abused and framed for serious offences by the mental health services. I think that my yellow star is bigger and better than theirs even if I have a habit of not wearing it at all times as required. In the light of this, would you now like to give me some funding?) Just in case Niall Dickson, Chris Hopson, the Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund weren’t providing enough muscle for the Top Doctors, I noticed that it was also reported that a number of unidentified NHS ‘finance experts’ all maintained that none of the three major political parties manifestos were pledging enough extra money for the NHS during the next Parliament. Not even Jeremy and John McDonnell, who as far as I can see have promised to give the NHS everything, including the shirts off their backs.

Now for a bit of news from north Wales. Daily Post online excitedly reported that a Zoe Davies of Wrexham has been given a community award from the esteemed Arfon Jones, North Wales’s Police and Crime Commissioner. It was explained that Zoe, 39, is a former drug addict but has been clean for two years. Zoe started using cannabis and ecstasy at 13, sold LSD at 14 (Zoe maintains that this wasn’t very profitable, she only made enough to buy more drugs), was onto methadone reefers at 17 and also ‘got really good at blagging doctors for prescription drugs’ and was an addict at 18. She explained that the doctors in the Wrexham area stopped prescribing methadone but because she was addicted she experienced serious withdrawal symptoms. She moved away from Wrexham believing that would enable her to move away from drugs, but although she was away from north Wales she still ended up in prison for dealing, once in 2008 and again in 2013. Zoe now volunteers with CAIS and works as a healthcare support worker at Hafan Wen ‘detox centre’ in Wrexham. Zoe commented that she wants to ‘repay the people and community of Wrexham’ ‘for all the trouble’ that she caused. I’m not sure that Zoe was the one causing the trouble. Let’s look at this story closely. Zoe, a teenage drug addict, managed to ‘blag’ prescription drugs out of doctors. There was one doctor in north Wales who was notorious for, as one former addict told me, giving you ‘anything that you wanted, anything at all’. That was one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – Chair of CAIS. CAIS runs the Hafan Wen detox unit. Furthermore, it was Jones who was the mover and the shaker behind the campaign to stop doctors prescribing methadone – Jones was taking patients who had stabilised on methadone off it and loading them up with benzodiazepines instead. Indeed, in the 1990s Jones appeared on ‘The Kane Debates’ boasting about this practice. He was challenged by members of the audience who told him that benzodiazepines were highly addictive but Dafydd robustly defended his prescribing excesses, pompousing away about how ‘the profession’ understands the dangers and has regulated itself. So perhaps Dafydd can explain why in today’s Mail Online there’s a huge feature regarding the enormous numbers of people who have become hooked on benzodiazepines because of irresponsible prescribing by UK medical practitioners and how the BMA are spearheading a campaign to stop this. That would be the BMA that Dafydd and his colleagues were using for free advice and to back them up when they were perjuring themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned when I complained about Dafydd’s criminal activities. The GMC are involved in the stop the benzodiazepines campaign as well – yes, the same GMC who failed to take any action against Dafydd despite the numerous very serious complaints against him. Regarding Zoe’s failed attempts to get away from the drug scene by moving to another region – this is standard advice given to people with drug problems. It is the advice given to the people from Liverpool with drug problems and it is why they are encouraged to move to north Wales – as Dafydd well knows, because some of those people end up as his patients. I note that Zoe tried selling drugs when she was young but didn’t make much money. She obviously wasn’t linked into the right distribution network then, because I have been told again and again that a lot of the CAIS ‘volunteers’ and ‘peer supporters’ are dealing in drugs and are doing very well out of this. The real winner has to be Dafydd though – CAIS are being paid millions by the Welsh Gov’t (as previously detailed on this blog) for their part in the battle against drugs in north Wales. By the way, a reader recently sent me more info regarding CAIS. Business must be booming, not only have they colonised mid-Wales but they’re now in south Wales as well. The same reader also wondered whether CAIS Chief Exec Clive Wolfendale is about to launch his own enterprise. This reader sent me a link about Clive and his ventures and I notice that before his time with the North Wales Police, Clive was a member of the Greater Manchester Police Force. That was another force alleged to be rife with corruption, the force that ignored the sexual exploitation of hundreds of children by criminal gangs in Rochdale recently, the force that violently assaulted the student demonstrators at Manchester University in 1984, one of the students being threatened and assaulted so seriously that he fled abroad to hide. Furthermore, when I was able to access the details of Elfed Roberts’s Facebook friends because he hadn’t set his privacy settings – Elfed being the former north Wales police officer who left the force under a very big cloud and was subsequently appointed as the Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust, only to achieve notoriety by demanding that I be arrested because I had pink hair, had called his car a penismobile and he was sick of my complaints – some of them were former officers in the Greater Manchester Police Force. So Clive’s just the sort of man one wants involved with a drug charity then. On a pan-Wales level.

What of the man who presented Zoe with her award, Arfon Jones? Well it transpires that as well as presenting her with the award, he nominated her for it as well. Arfon is of course a regular on this blog, Arfon being the former police officer who used to drive Gordon Anglesea to the venues where he molested children and Arfon being the man whose ‘oversight’ led to Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of a police pension, even though her husband died in prison a convicted child abuser. Arfon told the Post that Zoe was a ‘beacon of hope’ for the community. Just like Llyr Huws Gruffydd (Plaid) described Dafydd’s mediocre boarding house aka Ty Gwyn nursing home as a ‘beacon of excellence’. The beacon that charged patients more than a thousand a week for a shared room, that told patients to go into Llandudno and buy takeaways for meals, the beacon where patients received no face to face counselling or therapy from Dafydd or anyone else… There’s another person in the photo of Zoe receiving her award – Ann Griffiths, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales. Ann was ‘nominated’ for this role in July 2016. She trained as a psychiatric social worker! She has lived on Ynys Mon since 1984, when she took up a post as a social worker with a community mental health team. So that would be one of the local CMHTs who were complicit with the criminal activities of Dafydd and his colleagues at Ysbyty Gwynedd and the North Wales Hospital then. Who were banging up people who’d complained about being molested whilst they were residents of children’s homes in north Wales. Ann was later promoted to the position of line manager at Gwynedd County Council. So her manager would have been Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services (as well as Dafydd’s mistress), who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failing to act on this information. Ann was then team leader in the Arfon Duty Team responsible for the initial assessments and joint investigation of child abuse with the police (it’s just terrifying isn’t it – no wonder so few of the paedophiles were imprisoned until very recently and so many of the witnesses were found dead). Ann then spent 10 years working for NSPCC Cymru! Again her responsibilities related to children who had been abused – presumably whilst in the care of Ann’s previous employer – and she set up the NSPCC Cymru helpline (which was dogged by allegations that callers weren’t being helped…) Since 2002 Ann has been an Independent Social Care Consultant employed in a range of roles across north Wales – again largely concerned with children who’ve been abused… So a social worker employed whilst the paedophile ring was active in the social services was later used to ‘investigate’ the abuse, ‘counsel’ the victims, chair the child protection conferences and was employed in very senior roles in this very abusive ‘service’. Which has still not been cleaned up – I know one social work student who left north Wales as soon as they qualified because they maintained that children in care were still being abused and I know someone who grew up in foster care in north Wales who was violently abused by her foster mother. She ran away from the foster home and called ‘her’ social worker and told him what was happening to her. He drove her to the police station, rang the foster mother, summoned her to the police station and asked the girl ‘would you like to repeat your allegations to your foster mother?’ The girl was then returned to the foster mother. That social worker still works in north Wales as a social worker. The abusive foster mother was rewarded in an honours list for her ‘contribution’ to ‘looked after children’. But Ann Griffiths is now Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. Furthermore in 2013 Ann was elected as a Plaid Councillor to Anglesey County Council. She has held the shadow portfolio for Social Services and Housing and Planning and was Vice-Chair of the fostering panel. She is currently chairperson of the Planning and Licensing Committee. Anglesey Council has appeared regularly in Private Eye’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column and some councillors have been imprisoned. There are constant allegations that the Planning Committee in particular is corrupt and one councillor is alleged to have become a millionaire through dodgy planning deals. In 2015 Ann stood in the general election as the Plaid candidate for Montgomeryshire and in 2016 she was the Plaid candidate for the National Assembly for Wales election. It can only be a matter of time before she joins that Strong Woman on her Independence Journey, Leanne, in the Senedd. ‘Jesus Christ’ as they used to say in Bethesda…

There has been a news report that someone called Matt Johnson is going to be starring in a film to be shot in the Brecon Beacons that will be ‘tackling mental health’. Johnson is described as being an ‘active ambassador for MIND’. The MIND that is colluding with abuse and criminal activity in the mental health services in north Wales and elsewhere and was recently outed on the Disability News Service as intending to bid for Gov’t contracts to assist the Tories in removing welfare benefits from people with mental health problems. Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND, earns approx. £100,000pa. Other MIND ambassadors include those well-known underprivileged people Stephen Fry, Alistair Campbell and Melvyn Bragg.

A friend told me that they had heard Dr David Healy on Radio 4 and then another friend observed that Healy has positioned himself as a defender of ECT rather than anti-depressants. Which is interesting because there’s been an awful lot in the media recently about how ECT is actually really good and ooh its nothing like ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ and a nurse held my hand and it was lovely and I’m really glad that I had it. It may be coincidental but I wonder if David ‘you’ll never take me alive’ Healy has been doing a bit of PR? After all he has good media connections, he may well be gearing up for one of his summer appearances at Hay or somewhere in front of an audience who have no idea of what he has been complicit with at the Hergest Unit and Healy is of course the psychiatrist with responsibility for ECT at the Hergest Unit. I witnessed someone who was being ‘prepared’ for ECT at the Hergest Unit on one occasion – she had experienced it previously and I presume that it wasn’t a beautiful experience with a nurse holding her hand, because she was incredibly distressed, shouting at nurses ‘you’re not going to do that to me again’, tried to run away from them and then tried to hide. Three of them yelled at her ‘right if you won’t walk you’re going in a wheelchair’, picked her up and man-handled her into the said wheelchair and pinned her in there whilst they carted her off. This was a lady of about 70. I bet David Healy isn’t going to tell the Radio 4 listeners about that…

There has been some shock-horror figures released and discussed in the ‘Guardian’ regarding the number of students who are withdrawing from universities because of mental health problems. Brown and I published on this many years ago, but I see that the same problems exist now – students cannot get care and instead of the focus being on an NHS that is seriously letting them down, universities are being blamed. Universities are being told that they must provide more ‘support’ for students. Aren’t the Top Doctors paid to do this? University staff aren’t paid half what the Top Doctors are and anyway they are supposed to be teachers and researchers. Indeed the Top Doctors in north Wales were so bloody hopeless that other mental health professionals were actually advising local people to enrol for courses at the University because the University had a counselling service and counselling wasn’t available from the NHS mental health services. Furthermore I knew a number of students who were just completely unable to access any mental healthcare at all – they all told me that their tutors had been far more supportive to them than the bunch of thugs that constituted the Arfon Community Mental Health Team or the psychiatrists who refused to see them, telling them to ‘go home’ (ie. back to their parents) if they were ill. One of my friends is a retired academic and she told me that she regularly took distressed suicidal students to Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E for assessments, only to be kept waiting for hours and told ‘take them back to their parents, if they’re students we won’t treat them’. I knew of one member of staff who was allowing two seriously depressed students to stay over at her place on the grounds that she was not going to stand by and watch them kill themselves. The same member of staff told me that she had contacted the dreadful Keith Fearns, ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team, to tell him that one of ‘his’ clients was threatening to kill himself by jumping off the Menai Bridge, only to be told by Fearns to let him go on and do it then and that if ‘the little bastard’ bothered Fearns again, Fearns would section him. How on earth has anyone got the temerity to suggest that the deficit lies with universities when ‘mental health professionals’ behave like this? There are even some people making noises about the possibility of suing universities for lack of a duty of care – surely it is the NHS that has a duty of care? In my own case, whilst I was doing my PhD, my supervisor and his wife very kindly did what the mental health services were being paid to do but refused to – throughout my PhD they flatly refused to treat me, threatened and abused me when they saw me around the town and rang my supervisor and other members of staff to tell them that I was ‘dangerous’. And of course tried to frame me for a serious crime, only for the case to collapse when it became evidence that a number of ‘mental health professionals’ had committed perjury. Believe me, the problem of students being unable to get support for mental health problems does not lie with the universities.

Mail online reported that a nurse from Scotland confronted Nicola Sturgeon and told her that she was having to use foodbanks. There was then an accusation that the nurse in question was a Tory plant, which was robustly denied. Sturgeon apologised and ‘paid tribute’ to hard-working NHS staff. Photos were then found online of the nurse knocking back champagne and enjoying herself on holiday in New York. Of course if Nicola really wants to know what goes on in the Scottish NHS, instead of relying on nurses telling tall stories during an election campaign, she could just pay a visit to Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow, where I had the misfortune to spend a few weeks about three years ago, after a neurological problem was misdiagnosed. I was assaulted by nurses myself and witnessed this happening to other patients. Staff regularly swore at and insulted the patients. There were patients who had been sectioned there for months who didn’t even have a change of clothes. Myself and another patient caught staff altering drug sheets and stealing drugs – this wasn’t even for their own use, they were selling the drugs to another member of staff from another ward who arrived at about 5am each morning to collect the package. One young male patient was delighted to discover that he could access hard core porn on the ward TV – because someone on the hospital staff had subscribed to those channels and was obviously watching it whilst they were on duty. An elderly lady fell over in a corridor and injured herself whilst the staff looked on – it was other patients who helped her. As ever on such abusive wards, there were two or three staff doing their best – one encouraged me to document everything that I was witnessing and make a formal complaint. I did and there was of course never any investigation. When I finally got out of there I did a bit of research – there had been a number of deaths there, the hospital had been deemed unsafe and had been earmarked for closure some years ago. But somehow Sturgeon just hadn’t got round to that. Whilst I sat in there making field-notes, I watched the Scottish news where Scottish Ministers regularly made an appearance boasting about the fine state of the NHS Scotland. I discovered that one reason why Parkhead was in such a state was that all the resources were going into Southern General, the flagship hospital and neurological centre a few miles away. Southern General is one of the best hospitals in the western world and has had literally billions invested in it. So I thought that I’d find out a bit about it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the clinical director was one Dr Gwen Jones-Edwards – I recognised that name. She used to work at the Hergest Unit of all places and disappeared in the mid to late 90s. If anyone knows how a mediocre jobbing psychiatrist from a dump like the Hergest Unit whose colleagues were concealing the presence of a paedophile ring ended up ten years later as clinical director of Southern General, please do let me know. It is so improbable that I know that there’ll be a story worth blogging about behind it.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack yesterday in Manchester, both Andy Burnham and Tessa Jowell were interviewed on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. Burnham was his usual hideous self – but then he was someone who in his capacity an Secretary of State for Health, along with Alan Johnson, ignored 81 requests for an investigation into the very high death rates in Mid-Staffs. Andy had something far more important to think about – he wanted to become Prime Minister… He didn’t make it, so now he’s settled for Mayor of Manchester. Tessa was just wonderful – you could picture her taking the onion out of her pocket, as she put on her special social workers voice and kept referring to ‘loving’ and ‘caring’ for all the people in Manchester, oh and ‘connecting’ with them. She also kept mentioning ‘leadership’ as well for some reason and remembered Ken Livingstone’s wonderful ‘leadership’. That’s the Ken who signed the Early Day Motion to keep Garth Angaharad open, one of Dafydd’s prisons where the kids who were abused in the children’s homes ended up (please see ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’). The man who owned Garth  Angharad, Paul Hett, also owned ‘schools’ and ‘children’s homes’ which were the centre of allegations of cruelty and sexual abuse. Some of the children placed in those homes/schools came from London boroughs. Such as Lambeth – where Ken was a councillor. Tessa also had a connection to Lambeth – she was a children’s care officer there. Lambeth Council have now paid out several million pounds to children in their homes in the 70s and 80s who were abused by paedophile gangs – Lambeth admitted to knowing that the gangs were at work but failed to protect the children. Before working for a council that allowed paedophiles free reign Tessa was a psychiatric social worker. At the Maudsley. Where Dafydd trained! Tessa was also deputy director of MIND. At the same time as MIND was concealing criminal activity in the north Wales mental health services. And now Tessa is in the House of Lords talking about loving and caring. For more information on Tess and her appalling New Labour cronies, please see post ‘The London Connection’. (NB. Tessa – you need to be a bit careful with regard to talking about loving people. Dafydd used to tell his patients that he loved them, but what he meant was that he was sexually exploiting them. And Suzanne Hamlet of Prestwood Homes fame told the patients that she loved them and she was operating a people trafficking business. Of course, MIND knew about both Dafydd and Prestwood.)

 

 

 

 

 

Social Work -Theory

BBC News Wales are reporting that more than 130 ‘looked after’ children from Wales are currently in ‘care placements’ outside of the country. The numbers of children placed outside of Wales varies between local authorities – for example Swansea has a comparatively high number, whereas Carmarthenshire and Denbighshire have none. The BBC asked all 22 local authorities in Wales how many children and young people were placed outside the country. Eighteen provided figures, revealing that at least 131 children were placed outside of Wales, with either a relative, friend, foster carer or in a home. Merthyr Tydfil, Rhonda Cynon Taf, the Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham Councils did not provide figures. Among the long list of English authorities which were named as receiving children from Wales there were some such as Doncaster that have been the centre of scandals involving the sexual exploitation of children in care. Of course some of the councils sending children on placement to England, such as Swansea, have also presided over scandals regarding their children’s services. ‘Action For Children’ have stated that children placed hundreds of miles away from their original homes can feel ‘disconnected’. Jennie Welham, the ‘children’s services manager’ for Torfaen’s multi-disciplinary intervention service has commented that it’s a ‘big deal’ for children to be miles away from families, communities, schools, friends and previous activities. She also observed that placing a child from the Welsh Valleys in suburban Surrey would be ‘huge for identity’. Dr Jael Harris, a clinical psychologist colleague of Ms Welhams observed that the lack of foster carers was the key reason that youngsters ended up outside of Wales, that foster carer’s receive ‘inadequate support from the mental health services and therapeutic services to really understand children’s needs…it really does require people to work together across health, education, social care and the voluntary sector and that’s sometimes difficult to pull off…takes a shared vision across agencies and that willingness to collaborate’. Des Manion, head of NSPCC in Wales, commented that the majority of children who need foster care have suffered from abuse and neglect in their birth families and were taken into care to protect them from significant harm and that it is often challenging to find a placement that will meet the child’s needs – moving them outside of their local area often makes it difficult to provide the best possible support for them.

It is so obvious that transporting ‘looked after’ children hundreds of miles across the UK and frequently moving them from one ‘placement’ to another will be profoundly damaging, that people involved in child care outside of the UK are gobsmacked that this happens. Some years ago I got to know a young German man who, in Germany, had worked as a ‘social pedagogue’ (a profession that we don’t have in the UK, but it’s a profession that spans the fields of social work/occupational therapy/education) and he could not believe what the UK care system does to it’s children. Indeed, he established a consultancy and was able to make a living advising English local authorities that moving children from placement to placement hundreds of miles away from their original homes, families, schools and friends really was not a good idea. I was delighted to hear that he was doing this – but why did it take a young German in his capacity as a consultant to tell the UK care system something that nearly every grandma in the country could have told them?

This process of transporting children in care around the UK has been going on for decades. Readers will remember that in my posts about the north Wales child abuse scandal, I detailed how children from London authorities – authorities which also had paedophile rings operating in their children’s homes – were being placed in Paul Hett’s ‘children’s homes’ and ‘residential schools’ at Dolgellau where there were allegations of sexual abuse and cruelty (see post ‘Further Information On Garth Angharad Hospital’). It was revealed during the Waterhouse Inquiry that children from other parts of the UK were being placed with the Bryn Alyn Community, the children’s home complex in north Wales where sexual abuse had been rife. However these former residents could not be traced, because their records had gone up in flames during the Waterhouse Inquiry in the warehouse fire that ‘wasn’t suspicious’ and they were no longer living in Wales.

I really don’t think that it was an accident that children in those children’s homes which had been infiltrated by paedophiles were being shunted around hundreds of miles across the UK – there was very obviously a reciprocal arrangement in place and my post ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’ has explained the links that existed between these abusive ‘services’ across the UK. If you are a vulnerable person being abused in the ‘care’ of others it is very much harder to draw attention to what is happening to you if you are hundreds of miles away from your family, your friends, any other connections that you might have. It’s even harder if you are a kid from inner London living in an isolated ‘home’ in Snowdonia where you don’t even speak the same language as the rest of the village. It would be equally isolating for a child from Wales to be placed in London. (I described the same process in my post ‘A Very Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’, only in that case it was vulnerable people with learning difficulties and mental health problems being transported from hospitals in England to a network of thoroughly abusive ‘care homes’ in north Wales which were actually part of a people trafficking organisation.) But that was what was happening in the 80s and it’s still happening now. Furthermore, this wasn’t a result of a few ‘bad eggs’. This sort of en masse child abuse is rather different from an unsavoury character in a flasher’s mac lurking around on the corner – that is bad enough, but the sort of thing that the Waterhouse Inquiry was investigating and that the other more recent inquiries into child abuse have investigated is organised crime, which is why the inquiries never get to the bottom of it and the large scale abuse of children in care has continued. More recent scandals such as Rotherham have begun to show just how serious the criminals involved are – the teenagers being abused were being threatened with guns if there was a suspicion that they might go to the police and one girl was doused in petrol and threatened with being burned alive. This is nasty stuff and involves institutional corruption in the police, the mental health services and the law. If new readers think that I am blowing things out of proportion here, read my past posts regarding the names of the numerous ‘expert witnesses’, lawyers and judges who were faced with the reality of what the children’s services and mental health services in north Wales were doing to people but either ignored it or colluded – and of course the many politicians who knew but kept schtum. It has been admitted that the CPS ‘missed opportunities’ to prosecute Lord Greville Janner for child abuse – at least one of those ‘missed opportunities’ was due to a slip-up by Alison Saunders. Alison Saunders is Director of Public Prosecutions. (For further details please see post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves’.)A system like that can’t operate unless an awful lot of people are on board – and if this sort of machinery was in place in the 1980s, what is going to be happening now?

So what of the people on the ground who are organising these ‘placements’ and who are responsible for the children’s welfare ie. the social workers? One does not have to be a journalist working for the Daily Mail to realise that the social work profession is in deep trouble. I am close friends with a number of people who have worked as social workers or completed social work education and all have told me that it is a very dysfunctional profession. They all believe that social work has a place in society but they maintain that it has gone badly wrong and indeed went badly wrong years ago because of, basically, institutionalised corruption. One friend underwent social work training in London in the 1970s and undertook a placement with Haringey. (Haringey was of course the authority that became mired in serious scandal after the death of Victoria Climbie and then again after the death of ‘Baby P’, Peter Connelly.) He told me that even then, Haringey was in chaos. He and his fellow students were expected to process the most sensitive, difficult cases in a conveyor-belt like fashion. He told me of one case in which a client died as a direct result of a decision made by a social worker that a layperson could have predicted would be catastrophic. At one point, my friend wrote a report stating that the main problem that the ‘problem family’ to which he had been allocated had was very bad housing. He was told by his tutor that he ‘wasn’t allowed’ to write that and that the students must not criticise the council. That would have been Islington Council presumably – the Islington Council whose children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles, the Islington Council run by Margaret Hodge – the Margaret Hodge who is now in the House of Lords, the Margaret Hodge who is a mate of Tony Blair. The Margaret Hodge who was married to a judge. (For more complicity of this nature involving some now very influential people please see post ‘The London Connection’.) I have a friend whose father is a retired social worker and who was himself involved in the investigation of a paedophile ring in Chester, which involved social workers. She remarked that it was frightening how ‘evil’ some social workers are. (Having been stung by Lucille Hughes, Rob Evans and Keith Fearns, I second that.) I have another friend who left social work because they felt that they could not protect their clients from the rampant abuses within the care system itself. I know a number of social work students who reported abuse that they’d witnessed on placement and were told very firmly to keep quiet about this or they would not be qualifying. They took the view that they would go along with this to qualify but after qualifying they would work in some other sector because they could not be complicit with such malpractice. I live in hope that one day some of these people will publish what they witnessed – we need to hear a critique of what has gone so wrong in social work, but not from a Thatcheresque ‘I hate them because they are a bunch of Guardian-reading pinkos’ perspective. The anecdotes that I have heard have come from right across the UK, from people ranging in age from their 20s to their late 60s. Like psychiatry, social work has been in a bad way for decades.

Social workers like to believe that ‘social work theory’ underpins their practice. ‘Social work theory’, like ‘nursing science’, is a rather strange beast. The ‘theory’ that student social workers are actually exposed to is usually a sort of rather uncritical watered down version of a simplistic understanding of sociology. Social workers are aware that ‘gender’ matters, but the message that is sent out is frightening. Some five years ago I sat in a seminar room with four other female academics and a social worker  – we were taking part in a seminar to analyse gender in film. The film in question was a particularly vomit-inducing romcom with Jennifer Anniston. The plot seemed to revolve around Jennifer Anniston bursting into tears periodically because her boyfriend hadn’t purchased her flowers. The boyfriend would then claim ‘but you told me not to’, so Jen would cry even harder and say things like ‘but you must know not to believe a girl when she says that she doesn’t want flowers’. (And of course when a woman says she doesn’t want sex she really means YES!) A discussion followed where we all agreed that the portrayal of women in this film as passive aggressive idiots who say no when they mean yes was very worrying, but at least it was set in New York or some similar city and didn’t really have much to say to a normal woman living in Wales. I say we all agreed – well all of us except for the social worker. She assured us that this hogwash was an accurate portrayal of the lives of the women that she met in north Wales in her capacity as a social worker and that such films provided her with a real ‘insight’ into the roles in the families that she worked with. And that because she was a social worker she knew all about sex roles. This was not a one-off. I was told by a senior academic who was a sociologist that he was called in to resolve a problem with a social work student – the student had complained of being bullied whilst on placement – which necessitated meeting the social worker supervising the placement, who robustly denied any wrongdoing. The meeting took place in the sociologist’s office and a few days previously a student had sent him a postcard whilst on holiday, a standard postcard of people sitting on the beach, featuring men in trunks and women in bikinis. As the dispute regarding whether the student had been bullied on placement or not heated up, the supervising social worker told the senior sociologist that he needed ‘gender training’ because he had pinned up a ‘sexist oppressive’ postcard on the office wall. At this point the sociologist told the social worker to ‘fuck off’. The sociologist could also have mentioned that he’d published on gender theory, but hey I don’t think that it would have sunk in, so telling the social worker to fuck off was probably more sensible. The social worker concerned was employed in an authority that had previously been the centre of a major child abuse scandal and is still plagued by allegations of abuse and corruption.

I witnessed at first hand much confusion over ‘theory’ in social work whilst I attended a course at an FE college in north Wales some years ago. Many people were using this as an ‘access to social work’ course and only me and two other students did not go on to become social workers. This course provided me with some knowledge of the thinking of a number of people who eventually were employed as social workers in north Wales. The whole class was constantly told that ‘anti-discriminatory’ and ‘anti-oppressive practice’ was central to social work. Yet it was clear that there was very little understanding of what these terms meant, even on the part of the lecturer. One morning there was a discussion regarding Section 28 (the legislation introduced by Thatcher that prevented the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities). The discussion didn’t pivot around the political manipulation of services or the stigmatising by Gov’t of a group of people who were not breaking any law. The discussion was led by two women (who both subsequently obtained employment as social workers in north Wales) as to whether homosexuality was ‘right’ or not. A comment of ‘well we’ve all heard about their rights but what about ours? I don’t want to work with people like that’ was made by one of these students. Another student then asked the lecturer whether she thought that homosexuality was ‘right’ or not. The lecturer replied that she thought that it was ‘wrong’. Anti-discriminatory practice anyone? Or are we talking hating queers? On another occasion a student robustly denounced the presence of another student on the course because they were German and she wouldn’t want ‘a German’ as a social worker. One day in a discussion concerning the circumstances under which social workers should impose their will on clients, one of the students who hated poofs revealed that she worked with an old lady who had terminal cancer. The old lady lived in the cottage on Anglesey where she’d lived all of her life but it wasn’t modernised and she had to walk across a courtyard to get hot water. The student who hated poofs had been making representation to her manager suggesting that the old lady should be made to move into a nice bungalow, although the old lady was highly resistant to this idea. The manager had explained to the student that the old lady was fully in possession of her faculties and that she wanted to stay in her life-long home. The student remarked to the class that ‘if I was in charge I’d have her out of there’. And the old lady would probably be dead within a month…

Throughout this course, as I heard the most extraordinary attitudes expressed, I had to keep reminding myself that not all these people would actually become social workers and be let loose on the world. They did and they were. The only students who didn’t become social workers were me and two others who chose to do something else. The queer-bashing German-hating old lady-dictating students all qualified. Some six years ago I heard a follow up anecdote from someone who knew one of the homophobes. The homophobe had become a probation officer and had been promoted to the position of team leader of a team that was alleged to be full of bad practice, bullying and was generally considered to be unmanageable. I was told that not only was the homophobe completely out of her depth but that the team had been in trouble because of a major cock-up. A group of young male prisoners had been given early release and as part of the conditions for this they were obliged to attend a course at an FE college. There was subsequently an incident at the FE college when one of these young men became incredibly aggressive with a female lecturer. It transpired that this man had been in prison for rape and no-one had told the college. The woman lecturer had been left alone with him, out of hours. Questions were asked about how this ever happened – and it was discovered that the homophobic ‘team leader’ had not risk-assessed any of the former prisoners. I was told that it was this incident, as well as the general chaos presiding in the team that she ‘led’, that caused her to be quietly put out to grass in the form of ‘sick leave’ followed by early retirement shortly afterwards.

It seemed that no matter how unsuitable a student, they would be allowed to qualify from this course. I knew of another case in which a student – but not one in the year in which I undertook that course – was identified as being a potential danger to clients by the one very competent lecturer who taught on the course (who interestingly enough wasn’t a social worker herself). This student had misunderstood the theories regarding the toxicity of organophosphates used in sheep deep and kept maintaining that she knew ‘farmers who had developed schizophrenia from the sheep dip’. Believing that Gwynedd was heaving with farmers sent mad because of the sheep deep could be perceived as eccentric but harmless – but this young woman was rounding the farmers up and taking them to the Hergest Unit demanding that they be sectioned. The college knew that this was happening. The young woman concerned was also known to be claiming to be personal friends with various well-known people when she wasn’t. Although the one capable lecturer was doing her best to raise concerns about the conduct of that student she was ignored. She became even more concerned when, a few weeks before the final exams, this student heard a woman in a supermarket shout at her child when they were shopping and rang the police telling them that she was a social worker and that this woman was a child abuser and demanded that she be arrested. The college were told of this incident by the very concerned police. Weeks later that student qualified. I was told that an objection was raised by someone but they were told that there was a shortage of Welsh speaking social workers and she was a Welsh speaker and on those grounds alone she would be permitted to qualify. Bilingual social workers are a useful thing, but there doesn’t seem much point in having them if they also keep trying to lock innocent people up for no good reason – before they’ve even got around to qualifying. So if you live in Gwynedd – that woman is practising near you, so don’t yell at the kids or admit to using sheep dip if she’s in your vicinity.

As with the insanity prevailing in the mental health services, I strongly reject the notion that these things are ‘only happening in north Wales’. They aren’t. The craziness and misunderstanding has its own manifestation in north Wales because of local concerns – for example, rurality and the Welsh speaking nature of many communities. But the complete misunderstanding and misapplication of ‘theory’ takes place across the board. Shortly before all hell broke loose in, I think it was Rotherham, in the wake of the publicity regarding the criminal gangs who’d been sexually molesting teenage girls whilst EVERYONE ignored this, one of the senior social services managers who was named as being complicit with the abuse in the same authority was the centre of a less high profile scandal, in which a foster family had had a child removed from their care because they were found to be UKIP supporters. The woman who was later named in the abuse scandal appeared on the BBC explaining that the foster child was mixed race and as UKIP was a racist party they had to remove the child. There had been no previous concerns regarding the child’s welfare at the hands of the Ukippers. I can’t really imagine a situation in which I’d ever vote UKIP myself, but there was clearly a lot of confusion involved in this decision – confusion regarding what racism is, what ethnicity and associated identity might be and indeed confusion as to what UKIP actually is. Meanwhile the same woman said nothing when scores of white teenagers were gang raped by criminal gangs because she confused notions of crime and notions of racism.

I think a lot of what I’ve seen and heard regarding the misuse of ‘theory’ in social work is a result of sheer fuckwittery. However I have seen such examples that definitely are not. I know one lady who has for many years fostered and worked with troubled young people who have been abused variously by their birth families, the child care system and the mental health system. She has been very, very brave in taking a stand against some very abusive individuals and systems. She is also involved with the Anglican Church. On one occasion I was discussing her work with a social worker whom I now know has for years known about the serious abuses in the north Wales mental health system and undoubtedly knew about the child abuse within the children’s services as well – he has kept quiet about all of it and for years worked within those systems without blowing the whistle. He commented that this lady’s ‘religious beliefs made her oppressive’. No they didn’t, at no point did she ever try to involve any of the many people whom she supported in her religious life – although some of them did end up choosing to attend church with her, this was because they asked her if they could accompany her. I suspect that a lot of people felt very challenged by this lady and what she was discovering – she very obviously couldn’t be discredited in any other way, but oooh, those religious beliefs… Thus the waters are muddied.

Gaining clarity through the muddied waters is very difficult indeed. I note that the BBC report about the children in care relied on the opinions of people from the Third sector as well. The Third sector is frequently complicit with abuse in the statutory and private services (hence the many previous references to MIND on this blog). The NSPCC was found to have failed as badly as Haringey Social Services in the Victoria Climbie case – furthermore the NSPCC altered documentation in order to try to conceal their failures. Martin Knapp, an academic now at the LSE, memorably described the Third sector as a ‘loose and baggy monster’. It’s a hugely variable sector, with some parts doing some very fine work, but other parts are corrupted or are simply complicit with failures in other sectors. The big professionalised charities who receive millions in Gov’t funding are undoubtedly completely compromised.

The BBC has just finished screening a three part series, ‘Three Girls’, based on the Rochdale child abuse scandal. (I haven’t watched it all on catch-up yet, but I have seen two episodes.) There seems to be much discussion regarding the social worker who blew the whistle being made redundant. Of course she was, that is part of the routine. If a whistleblower was ever going to be listened to, the sort of abuses that were happening in Rochdale would never have taken place. This was not a case of ‘stigmatised’ teenagers ‘not being believed’ – everyone knew what was happening, they were all just working very hard indeed not to admit it. Girls and their parents were repeatedly telling the police and social workers what was going on and they were clearly terrified. Girls of thirteen were getting pregnant – these weren’t immaculate conceptions. There was massive collusion among every branch of the state. Much has been made of allegations that it was ‘political correctness’ that stopped people identifying the problem because the gangs were South Asian. So why did everybody collude with the paedophile gang that operated in north Wales then? They weren’t Asian. What about the paedophile gangs that were in operation in Islington and Lambeth at the same time? They weren’t Asian either. There was a huge cover up at the highest levels in all these cases. The running theme is not Asian gangs and white girls – it is organised crime wreaking havoc in children’s services and the whole statutory sector refusing to stop it. But as explained in previous posts, a substantial machinery that had become completely corrupted is in place – the police, the NHS, the CPS, lawyers and judges, all the way up to the political class, even at the level of the House of Lords. A lot of people and institutions would come crashing down if anyone actually admitted to what was happening.

Some years ago I went to a lecture on the theme of citizenship by the sociologist Professor Colin Crouch. It was a really brilliant but terrifying lecture. He was talking about citizenship rights and how global corporations of the sort that Rupert Murdoch owns were now trying to legally construct themselves as ‘citizens’ in order to gain ‘citizenship rights’. He stated that they were using the same lawyers that advise Gov’ts to do this and that one day they would succeed in gaining those ‘rights’ and then we’ll all really be in trouble. I believe that a parallel nightmare scenario has developed in the UK ‘care’ system. The laws that were originally formulated to protect those in ‘care’ are now being ruthlessly used by those who know that the ‘care services’ are riddled with abuse and crime. For example the Court of Protection – there has been case after case where vulnerable people under the Court of Protection have been grossly abused or have even died. Nothing can be published about any of it. Even by the closest relatives of those who have died. Some people have been imprisoned because they have tried to publicise that a relative was abused whilst under the Court of Protection. Other vulnerable people have been detained in hospital against their will for years under the Court of Protection. Again, nothing can be published about these cases. A number of these cases seem to have arisen when families have complained that the vulnerable person has been abused whilst in some other ‘care’ setting. But look at who is running the legal system – previous posts of mine have named lawyers and judges who were fully complicit with the wrongdoing in the north Wales children’s and mental health services. Including Sir Robert Francis QC – who led the ‘Freedom To Speak Up Review’ into whistleblowing, which did not lead to any protection for whistleblowers. Of course they’re still getting sacked, Robert Francis has made sure of that. In much the same vein, if we have a care system shot through with abuse and corruption, whoever would want a well-educated social worker who was a critical thinker and could cut through the bullshit? Let alone one who understood what ‘anti-oppressive practice’ actually meant. Of course the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse is falling apart with successive Chairs resigning and lawyers walking out. Everyone involved has achieved seniority in a field which for at least the last thirty years has been infiltrated by paedophile gangs – they won’t all be child abusers themselves but they all will definitely have had to turn a blind eye to some pretty horrific things on their way up the greasy pole. And the people who wrote their references when they applied for promotion will have been in exactly the same position. And anyway they’ll all be after a gong or a seat in the Lords themselves now and you don’t get those by exposing people in high places. The price for doing that sort of thing has always been rather steep. When I was still living in north Wales I knew a lady who, when she heard that I was investigating abuse in the mental health and children’s services, asked me over for tea. She revealed that she was a former headmistress and she and her husband had fostered children. One of the girls had told her that she had been abused whilst in care. This lady called the police. The foster daughter was removed from her care immediately and she never saw her again. Days later her husband was arrested and charged with abusing the girl himself, after the social services who had been responsible for running the home where the girl alleged that she was abused made allegations about him. He was imprisoned. When he finally got out of prison they moved to north Wales to get away from the people who had made false allegations about him. The place where all the high drama had occurred was Stafford and this all happened back in the 80s. Stafford children’s services were named in a high profile scandal shortly after this lady’s husband was jailed, the so-called ‘pin down’ scandal, where it was revealed that children in ‘care’ in the ‘children’s homes’ were being subjected to physical and emotional abuse. There was never any investigation into the circumstances of this lady’s husband’s imprisonment. Remember – the reason why children have to be sent hundreds of miles away from their homes is that there’s a shortage of foster parents…