MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…

MRegular followers of this blog will know that I – and some of those commenting on my posts – have been bringing to public attention the appalling hypocrisy of MIND, an organisation claiming to be the ‘voice of the service user’ whilst concealing serious abuses in the mental health services and even entering into ‘partnerships’ with abusive services and individuals  (see posts such as ‘The Mysterious Silence Of MIND’, ‘Newly Discovered – Parabl’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’).

I have explained that I first became aware of the corruption of MIND when I went down to see William Bingley, their Legal Director, in 1987 regarding the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services. Bingley admitted that he knew all about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and indeed he knew a lot more than I did. I gave Bingley yet more evidence re Jones et al but not only did Bingley continue to keep quiet regarding Dafydd and co but when Bingley later became Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission, he and that organisation continued to collude with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), although they knew about the continued illegal detention of people and abuse of the Mental Health Act in north Wales. I knew from my meeting with Bingley that he knew an awful lot about Dafydd – including the deaths in Dafydd’s ‘care homes’, the allegations that the wrongdoing in north Wales was linked to Freemasonry and the existence of Dafydd’s extensive ‘sex therapy’ practice and the possible purposes of that business. I have no idea whether Bingley knew that Dafydd et al were concealing the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales at the time though – the paedophile ring that was concealed again at a higher level by Thatcher’s and Major’s Gov’ts. However before Bingley began working for MIND, he worked as a research assistant for Matthew Parris, A Tory MP who had previously worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary. A man whose autobiography told of his summer trips – in the company of friends – to a place in Italy that they named the ‘villa of shame’, where they would be visited by ‘boys’ whom Parris described as ‘always willing’. For more background on Parris and his connections, see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’.

I had thought that I had previously dug up a substantial amount of shit and compromising info on MIND, but I’ve spent a bit of time doing more research on a few other key figures in that organisation and I’ve found much more worrying info – that organisation has been compromised for decades. Here are a few of the highlights that I have dug up.

The current Chief Exec is the disgusting Paul Farmer whom I have blogged about previously. Farmer’s reputation is plummeting fast as a result of his enthusiasm for MIND to land contracts from the Dept of Work and Pensions, contracts that are all about forcing ‘service users’ into employment that may well be unsuitable and for which they may well be too ill. Farmer’s enormous salary has also been made public by disability activists – he trousers in excess of £100k pa for his role as the Voice of the Service User – and I’m delighted to say that this unscrupulous git has been met with protests on his travels around the UK. I was expecting the BBC to wheel him out for him to give his comments regarding the latest round of bad news re the UK’s mental health services, but mercifully we were spared that for once. Had he done the rounds of the BBC studios perhaps somebody would have finally asked him why he and his lame organisation have kept so quiet about the crisis – which has been evident for many years. Of course Farmer also knew all about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services many years ago. When I wrote to Peter Hain in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales in approx. 2005 giving him full details of what had happened to me t the hands of the mental health services, I cc’d the letter to the Chief Exec of Rethink (I didn’t cc it to MIND because I knew that they were ignoring what was happening in north Wales) – who at the time was one Paul Farmer. I never received a response, although a few months later Farmer then became Chief Exec of MIND!

But what of previous CEOs of MIND? Before Farmer, the CEO was Richard Brook, who was appointed in 2001. Brook was CEO when I e mailed MIND HQ about the assaults being carried out by Hergest Unit staff on patients – only to receive an e mail back written as though it was to a small child telling me that what I had to do was go to the yellow pages and look up ‘solicitors’ and go and talk to one of them…. At this time the ‘service user reps’ for the Hergest were heavily involved with MIND – those reps who wet themselves at the thought of confronting Hergest staff and managers concerning the gross abuses that were endemic. One of those ‘service user reps’ admitted to me that she knew that residents in Prestwood Homes were being abused – furthermore, Prestwood Homes were taking full advantage of free MIND facilities such as walking groups, drop in centres etc without paying MIND a penny, although Prestwood were charging thousands of quid a week for a ‘placement’. Somebody else involved with MIND knew about the abuse of residents at Prestwood as well – Geoff Lees, who is now Director of Vale of Clwyd MIND. I told him about it, whilst he was still working as a social work tutor at Coleg Menai in Bangor. I know that a number of other people told him what was going on at Prestwood as well. For details of the horrors at Prestwood and the unfortunate death of a young woman support worker there who witnessed even more that I did, see posts ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’.

Richard Brook was able to publicise unacceptable practice if he felt like it though. In 2004 the ‘Daily Mail’ ran an article entitled ‘Why I Resigned Over This Disgraceful Happy Pill Cover-Up’. The article explained that Brook had resigned from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) after he discovered that they had known about the side effects of the anti-depressant Seroxat but had not publicised them. Brook claimed that he had been threatened with legal action by Prof Kent Woods, the CEO of the MHRA, if he revealed that the MHRA had been ‘sitting on’ it’s knowledge of Seroxat’s side effects. Brook stated that MIND had been ‘tracking Seroxat’ for a decade’. So MIND knew about Seroxat and it’s problems as well then – but then they’d known about the problems in north Wales since 1979 at least, when Mary Wynch was illegally arrested and imprisoned (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’) and had done or said nothing. In this article, Brook mentions the ‘Panorama’ programme about Seroxat that had been screened the year before – that will be the programme that featured Dr David Healy, who worked at the Hergest Unit! So MIND had got into bed (so to speak) with two psychiatrists from north Wales – Dafydd, who years before had been involved with MIND and David, as he Bravely Spoke Out. Brook told the Mail that following the ‘Panorama’ programme, MIND held a demo outside the offices of the MHRA. As opposed to outside of the Hergest Unit, where patients were being assaulted, framed for serious crimes, refused treatment no matter how ill they were and were committing suicide.

Brook maintains that he went to see the Health Minister Lord Warner to tell him of his concerns regarding SSRIs and Warner told him that he would speak to the MHRA. Warner then simply issued a guide to doctors detailing the max recommended dose of Seroxat (that must have been why Dr Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend, protégé and PhD student prescribed a friend of mine three times the maximum recommended dose of Seroxat then). It was at this point that the man of principle Brook resigned from the MHRA. Brook told the Mail that there was an urgent need for an inquiry into the MHRA and stated that many people involved with the MHRA also have connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Which is true – but then MIND’s hands are as dirty as those of any advisor to the pharmaceutical industry.

In Jan 2006 Brook featured in a BBC News online report and commented on the mental health of people living in rural areas. He stated that ‘the extent of mental health problems in the countryside is likely to be hidden’ – it was in north Wales, it was hidden by MIND, they knew that huge numbers of people were being given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ and refused care after being told that they were ‘untreatable’. At the time the area served by the Hergest Unit had the second highest rate of suicide for women in England and Wales.

After defending people with mental health problems so successively, upon leaving MIND Brook was appointed CEO of the newly created Office of the Public Guardian! Just the sort of person that was needed in such a position obviously. After a year guarding the public, Brook then became CEO of the deaf-blind charity SENSE.

MIND’s CEO before Brook was Judi Clements, who was in post between 1992-2001. So she oversaw those crazy years in which I was repeatedly arrested by the mental health services for ludicrous reasons, in which Dafydd resisted efforts to shut down the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and for his pains walked away with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for North Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) – the years which also saw the massive cover-up of the paedophile ring in north Wales which was the Waterhouse Report, in the wake of which a lot of people who’d been victims of that gang as children were found dead after becoming ‘users’ of the mental health services. Judi’s tenure also spanned the years in which Prestwood Homes were established and became big business within just a few months, what with the constant supply of vulnerable people from secure hospitals available for Prestwood to traffic them…

Something must have happened on Judi’s watch, because there is virtually no info from MIND available about Judi, it’s as though she never passed through their doors. However, there is some info about her in an article in HSJ from 2010. HSJ told us that after being Chief Exec of MIND for nine years, she was leaving due to health related problems, namely diabetes and arthritis. A David Peryer, the Chair of Trustees of MIND, stated that Judi would be ‘sorely missed’ – so that’s why they subsequently air-brushed her out of history. Preyrer mentioned that MIND was currently undergoing restructuring to concentrate on ‘supporting local offices’. These were of course the ‘local offices’ which included those in north Wales who were so helpfully providing free services to Prestwood Homes and who then began entering ‘partnerships’ with CAIS to provide yet more ‘services’ after being handed contracts by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – many of whose former staff and their friends were now working with MIND.

Judi didn’t just leave MIND, she did a Richard Tranter and left the UK for New Zealand. Despite the diabetes and the arthritis, Judi seems to have bounced back and in 2005 when she relocated to New Zealand, she landed a job as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Foundation over there. She ‘moved on’ in 2015. In Feb 2015 Judi featured on the website of the New Zealand Law Society, promoting her forthcoming seminar on Mindfulness for the New Zealand Law Society Auckland Branch. On this website Judi was described as an ‘experienced Chief Exec in the NGO sector’ with a ‘background in law, social policy, housing, local government and management practice’. It was explained that ‘after a successful career in local government service management, policy and practice development, Judi moved to the NGO sector’. So which failing local authority did Judi work for prior to keeping the lid on the barrel of shit in MIND then? Judi has an LLB – so she will recognise serious crime when she sees it. Or indeed conceals it – or even facilitates it.

Judi has sat on ‘several Gov’t advisory groups covering mental health, social policy and NGO development’.

Between 1989 and 1992, Ros Hepplewhite was Chief Exec of MIND. Whose reign also spanned the Dafydd years, but then the Dafydd years have gone on for the last five decades so everyone’s implicated where Dafydd is concerned. So perhaps it’s more helpful to mention that Ros’s reign spanned the period of time during which St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital colluded with Dafydd – although they knew what he was up – to in his attempts to have me labelled dangerous and banged up. The early 1990s of course also saw allegations that a paedophile ring was active in north Wales involving political figures appear in the London based media. Dafydd and his mistress Lucille Hughes were concealing and facilitating this paedophile ring – it was Dafydd and Lucille to whom St George’s Hospital and Springfield turned for ‘evidence’ of my dangerousness. It was in 1992 that five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a flat in Brighton (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs). So Ros was pretty close to some serious action.

However I can’t find any references to Ros’s activities at MIND. Although Ros did hit the headlines after she left MIND. In 1993 Ros was appointed CEO of the Child Support Agency – which was a Gov’t disaster as big as the NHS IT system that had to be shelved after a few billion had been spent on it. Although unlike the CSA, the failed NHS IT system was not thought to have contributed to anyone’s suicide…Ros was famously removed from her post and the CSA metamorphosed into something else because Gov’t could not withstand the embarrassment any longer.

I have found a reference to Ros on the blog of the Labour MEP for London, Mary Honeyball. Mary’s post dated Jan 11 2010 discusses examples of what she believed was outrageous sexism. Honeyball believes that Ros was removed from her post as a result of such sexism – nothing to do with the suicides of distraught parents then, or the numerous parents who were never able to collect their maintenance payments, or the absent parents who used every trick in the book not to pay up leaving their former partners destitute whilst the CSA refused to listen to their pleas for help… Tragedies as a result of the chaos that was the CSA involved both men and women – and of course the children. Honeyball entertainingly stated that Dame Barbara Mills the DPP was also the victim of sexism. Babs has featured on this blog previously – she was the DPP whilst the CPS found excuse after excuse not to mount prosecutions against numerous paedophiles despite stacks of evidence being presented (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’). Mary Honeyball also extended her ‘sympathies’ to the former Home Secretary Jaqui Smith, who was ‘hounded’ for being a ‘high profile woman’. No, Jaqui Smith became a source of national entertainment when it was revealed that her husband had rented porn films, the cost of which Jaqui had then reclaimed on her Parliamentary expenses. In a desperate attempt to salvage herself in the eyes of a nation rolling around laughing, Jaqui then tried to construct herself as a latter day Mary Whitehouse and began speaking out about Porn and Sex, which culminated in her presenting a documentary about prostitution. Unfortunately she did this whilst wearing one of those brightly coloured plastic macs when she was filmed under street lamps, which caused one of the better Radio 4 comedians – it might have been Sue Perkins – to comment that Jaqui looked like something out of ‘Band of Gold’.

Mary Honeyball ends her post by explaining that she speaks as someone ‘who ran’ the Association of Chief Officers of Probation in the mid-90s – she mentions that she didn’t have a background in probation, but that she was appointed on the basis of her other talents. So that’s why at that time some of those accused of molesting children in north Wales or failing to act when their colleagues were molesting children found it possible to move into careers with the Probation Service.

Ros Hepplewhite was CEO of MIND whilst the most dreadful scandals involving the abuse and even murder of patients occurred at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Don’t remember the Voice of the Service Users saying much about all that at the time.

At the time of my initial encounters with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in the mid-80s, the CEO of MIND was Christopher Heginbotham – he’d been appointed CEO in 1982. He was in post at the time that I had my meeting with William Bingley. I suspect that Chris and Bingley might have been chums – Heginbotham was appointed CEO in 1982. Bingley was working as lobbyist for MIND at that time and landed his plum full time post there in 1983. Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was also a bigwig in MIND and was Chair 1978-84. Furthermore Heginbotham departed from MIND in 1989 – Bingley ‘moved on’ into the post as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission in 1990. Bingley eventually wound up in the Chair of Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire and then in a role at the University of Cumbria after resigning from his post as Chair of an NHS Trust when a few awkward questions were asked about his business interests. Heginbotham also eventually secured a position at the University of Cumbria. References to William Bingley seemed to have disappeared from the MIND website recently, but I know that MIND named a building after him in Lancashire, ‘William Bingley House’. I wonder if it’ll be a bit like the fall out after Jimmy Savile’s death and MIND will end up renaming the building in a desperate attempt to pretend that they’d never met Bingley? But guess what? Heginbotham ended up in Lancashire too – where I presume that he still is.

Bingley and Heginbotham were at MIND when Savile was appointed General Manager of Broadmoor. I do not remember them questioning the appointment. What’s the betting that there’s some photos somewhere of dear old Jim with folk from MIND that are now well hidden? Should anyone know of any, please do let me know…

Heginbotham is a Director of something called ‘Values Based Commissioning Ltd’ in Lancashire, which began life in 2011. The other Director is a Christine Heginbotham. It is described as ‘health and social care consultancy’. Christopher Heginbotham has also published a book on Values Based Commissioning of Health and Social Care. So what is this all about?

According to an article in HSJ from June 2013, ‘Values Based Commissioning’ (VbC) ‘aims to put users’ views at the heart of reshaping services’. The discussion concerns the commissioning of mental health services by CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and it is explained that ‘expertise’ in this area is ‘varied’. However, as readers may have guessed, a few aficionados are on hand to help! HSJ quotes words of wisdom from Rethink’s Associate Director of Policy, Research and Campaigning, Victoria Bleazard, as well as Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at MIND. A Joint Commissioning Panel on Mental Health (JCPMH) was established in 2011, which is co-chaired by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners – this Panel produced ‘guidance’. VbC is ‘a new type of commissioning’ (which must be why it involves the same old people and institutions as the previous commissioning did), ‘prioritising service users’ values and experiences’ (the Royal Colleges mentioned, Rethink and MIND have such good track records in that area don’t they).

HSJ identifies a Dr Neil Deuchar as the architect and champion of VbC – he’s a psychiatrist from Birmingham, a specialist advisor on commissioning and JCPMH Co-Chair. The other Co-Chair is Liz England, a GP who is Mental Health Lead for a Locality Care Group within a CCG and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Deuchar is quoted as saying that ‘patient power is the key’ and that ‘co-production between patient and carer groups, clinicians and commissioners is vital’. There then follows a bit of asinine text headed by the words ‘what do service users think?’

So Christopher Heginbotham saw an opportunity then – an insane system was devised by a Gov’t that had relied on the likes of Heginbotham and his mates at MIND for advice, this insane system was then explained to the world by HSJ and promoted by MIND and their friends, by which time Heginbotham had written his book and set up his company – presumably with Mrs Heginbotham – to serve the insane system. The insane system was entirely dependent at every stage on the involvement of the very same people and institutions that were colluding with the likes of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Is it surprising that five years down the line we have Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Courts, hitting the roof because there is virtually no provision in the whole of the UK for a suicidal 17 year old girl who is due to be released from ‘secure custody’? Although no-one has explained why a girl in her state is IN secure custody, allegedly alone in a seclusion room from which everything has been removed except a mattress on the floor. That’s going to do her a power of good isn’t it. Furthermore I guarantee that I know how that barbaric regime will be described on that girl’s records – there will be a reference to her being ‘nursed’. I have heard mental health nurses taking about ‘nursing’ people in ‘seclusion’ or ‘nursing’ them ‘on a mattress on the floor’. The whole system is completely nuts and the people working within it have been sent nuts by it if they weren’t already nuts when they took up their employment.

If readers have been impressed by the calibre of MIND CEOs described so far, hold on to your hats whilst I tell you about Heginbotham’s predecessor, Tony Smythe, CEO from 1974-82.  Smythe’s incumbency pre-dated the internet, but Smythe was quite something and info about him is still available online. Smythe’s full name was Clifford Anthony Smythe. He categorised himself as a radical anarcho-pacifist until the day that he died in 2004 and was involved with a number of political causes. He was appointed General Secretary of the NCCL in 1966, a post that he held until 1971. It was in the 70s that it became clear that the NCCL had been infiltrated by paedophiles who had conflated their cause with gay liberation – paedophiles also infiltrated the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) at this time and a number of those guilty of abusing children in north Wales were active in CHE. Smythe was at one point Vice-President of CHE. In 1971 Smythe became involved with MIND. His obituary describes him as establishing an ‘executive committee’ which led to ‘service users becoming involved in management and policy decisions’ and that this ‘chimed with Tony’s anarchist belief’.

Now this talk of the active involvement of ‘service users’ also surrounds Bingley and his mother. Which ‘service users’ do people think that the Bingleys and Smythe liberated? Psychiatry was dreadful in the 70s and early 80s – it was particularly gross in north Wales but it was pretty grim everywhere else as well. There is no way that ‘service users’ had any voice anywhere in the 70s – who are MIND actually talking about? Radical ideas were bandied around by people like Laing et al but these ideas didn’t touch mainstream psychiatric practice – it is dishonest to pretend that they did.  I am wondering if all this guff about the active involvement of ‘service users’ in MIND is simply a glorified reference to one or two influential people in the organisation who may have had mental health problems themselves at some point. Of course Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told everyone that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’ himself – it was a good excuse when he was challenged about his appalling conduct.

CHE was usually led by people who were gay themselves, so I was interested to read that Smythe had a ‘lifelong partner’ Jeanne and five daughters. Jeanne died in 2001.

Smythe and Jeanne were involved with Haringey MIND long after Smythe had stepped down from his post as CEO. Tony Smythe was listed as a Director of Haringey MIND between 1998-2000 and Jeanne between 1990-92 and between 1996-97.

I have mentioned previously that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had a contact in Haringey Social Services – when I finally got out of the North Wales Hospital in Jan 1987, he told me that he had rung Haringey Social Services to ‘let them know’ that I would be living on their patch. This was not any sort of referral for aftercare – this was just the way that Dafydd conducted himself. I have also mentioned that I now have copies of letters between Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services in Gwynedd and Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which they discuss their ‘friend’ at St George’s trying to find out which dept I was working in when I started working there in 1989 – there is also a reference to their friend accessing mail that was sent to me at St George’s in an attempt to discover my home address. There is no clue as to the identity of this friend in my documents, but whilst I was working at St George’s I was visited by a junior doctor called Jimmy Schroff who had come to find me because he’d heard that there was a girl from Bangor working there – Jimmy Schroff seemed to know everyone whom I had made a complaint about in north Wales and furthermore he had done his GP training in the practice of Dr D.G.E. Wood (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). Jimmy Schroff died some years ago – his widow works at the Betsi.

Tony Smythe was also a Director of an organisation on the Embankment called Reach Volunteering in 1990/91. In 1992 and again between 1995-2001 Jeanne was a Director of ‘an inclusive community hub’ called the Markfield Project.

Tony Smythe kept interesting company. He was acquainted with an actress called Adrienne Corri who died in 2016. Corri had a cult following and was noted for being rather excessive, sometimes swearing aggressively at her own audiences. She was friends with Ronnie and Reggie Kray. In the days before they were both banged up when it dawned upon everyone that despite hanging out with Barbara Windsor and Adrianne Corri they were a pair of vicious thugs. Who had also murdered people. Ronnie of course ended up in Broadmoor and there was a lot of huffing and puffing from some Tory MPs when it was revealed in the press that he had superstar status in Broadmoor, was politely called Mr Kray by the prison officers (who according to the likes of Professor Robert Bluglass were ‘nurses’) who generally pandered to him. What the Tories expected from an institution which Edwina Currie had appointed Jimmy Savile to run I do not know. Perhaps they should have taken a bit of notice of the other patients who complained that they were being beaten up and sexually abused by the ‘nurses’. As well as by Savile.

In 1968 whilst Tony Smythe was still leading the NCCL, they sponsored a production of Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Come and Go’ which starred Adrienne Corri. It was advertised as ‘gala entertainment concerning depravity and corruption’. The evening included other entertainment as well and was compered by George Melly. The George Melly who was famously promiscuous but whose wife was very tolerant of his desire for an open marriage. Much has been written about Melly’s bisexuality and his penchant for numerous extra-marital relationships, but his wife was I suspect much more tolerant than most people realised. Many years ago, George Melly came to do a gig at Theatre Gwynedd in Bangor. I know a man who was at the time of Melly’s performance in Bangor 16 yrs old. Melly paid to have sex with him. This was whilst the age of consent for gays was still 21. I have never seen Melly’s name included among the Rolfs or the Saviles or the Gary Glitters, which is extraordinary, particularly as some years before he died Melly gave an interview to a newspaper mentioning how much he enjoyed caressing the thighs of pre-pubescent boys. Yet no-one commented on this at all. Melly retired to Wales of course – to the Brecon Beacons.

Tony Smythe’s years as CEO of MIND covered the period of time which saw Mary Wynch unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in Denbigh for a year by Dafydd. Whilst she was in Denbigh Mary told me that she witnessed the patients in Dafydd’s ‘young people’s ward’ having sex with each other – after being encouraged to do so by Dafydd – whilst the nurses watched the show. Mary approached MIND for advice regarding her unlawful imprisonment. William Bingley admitted to me that MIND received grant funding from Gwynedd Health Authority and that Dafydd wrote to MIND telling them that he would block their dosh from Gwynedd if they advised Mary. Bingley told me that they didn’t succumb to Dafydd’s threats. However I now know that Bingley wasn’t in the least bit truthful regarding his stories of fighting for patients rights. What’s the betting that they slung Mary overboard lest they lost their dosh from Gwynedd Health Authority? Bingley also admitted to me that Dafydd had been a ‘leading light’ in MIND himself in the 1960s.

The General Secretary of MIND immediately prior to Smythe was Mary Appleby. She was CEO from 1951-74. Whilst Dafydd was a leading light in MIND! At the same time that Gwynne was lobotomising people and the paedophile ring was growing and growing, assisted by John Allen’s collection of children’s homes, the Bryn Alyn Community, which was doing a roaring trade in accepting children from across the UK but particularly from the London boroughs and the West Midlands…

Appleby died in 2013 and her obituary in the ‘Guardian’ mentioned that she became involved in MIND because there were mental health issues in her family. The ‘Guardian’ tells us that it was as a result of Mary’s efforts that MIND (then still called the National Association for Mental Health) became hugely influential, employing 200 people and was consulted by the Gov’t, the judiciary, the NHS and social workers’ organisations. In the early 70s a group of Scientologists tried to join MIND. Scientologists, although they are a rather eccentric group of people themselves, famously loathe psychiatry. They attempted to join MIND after alleging that psychiatrists were illegally imprisoning people, torturing people and were ‘carrying out perversions’. Mary fought the Scientologists in the High Court to keep them out of MIND. However, she allowed Dafydd to remain in.

Mary Appleby worked in both the War Office and the Foreign Office. She Chaired the Bench of Magistrates in an inner London juvenile Court for many years. She contributed to Gov’t Inquiries on mental health and social services. She sat on the appeals panel for the BBC and ITV and was a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunals. She also sat on the Selection Committee for the Civil Service. A pretty well-connected and influential lady then – even at Whitehall level.

Tony Smythe took over from Mary Appleby in 1974, but Appleby remained a Vice-President of MIND until her death in 2013. She will have not only had substantial influence regarding the appointment of Smythe, but she wielded considerable influence over that organisation for decades. She will have known exactly what sort of people were being appointed, what they were getting up to and indeed what they were concealing, ignoring or colluding with.

 

So what about those who have Chaired MIND? Let’s take a look at some of them….

Between 1969-78 Christopher Mayhew MP was Chair. Mayhew spent many years as a Labour MP but in 1974 he defected to the Liberals. In 1974 the Liberal MP Cyril Smith was busy abusing boys (and had been for some years) but it is now admitted that there was assistance from the security services in ensuring that he was never prosecuted (see post ‘Dr Death’). Mayhew is perhaps most famous however for taking part in a mescaline experiment in 1955 with Dr Humphrey Osmond. The plan was to film Mayhew on a mescaline trip for ‘Panorama’ but the programme was never broadcast. Humphrey Osmond was a psychiatrist who was well-known for his research into hallucinogens and schizophrenia – he was the man who administered mescaline to Aldous Huxley in the 50s which resulted in Aldous Huxley writing ‘The Doors of Perception’. Osmond also experimented with peyote when he went to stay with Native Americans.

So Mayhew was a man up for experimentation. He was given a peerage in 1981.

Between 1978 and 1984, William Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was Chair. Juliet Bingley grew up in Harley Street – her father was a surgeon at Barts. She studied social administration at the LSE, during which time she undertook a placement in Liverpool at the Personal Services Society. In 1945 she qualified as a medical almoner (what we would now call a social worker). Her first job was at Barts. Juliet Bingley was married to Admiral Sir Alec Bingley who in 1959 was appointed NATO commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet in Malta. The family only spent three years in Malta but Juliet got to work out there. She became involved in the development of health services for elderly people – but she was also good mates with the former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff. Mintoff had just resigned as PM, which meant that Malta was under direct rule from London – Juliet became the ‘messenger’ between Mintoff and the London Gov’t and continued to play this role throughout the 70s and 80s during the various crises in Anglo-Maltese relations. Alec Bingley died in 1972 which was when Juliet became involved with MIND. She was initially Chair of the Local Associations Committee before becoming Chair of the whole organisation. In 1973 she also took up a post as medical social worker at St Marks, a hospital for gastro-intestinal disorders in London and was Chair of the Heads of Departments Committee there.

Juliet Bingley was busy with other charity work as well as MIND. In 1979 she founded the National Association for Colitis and Chrohns and she was also a founding Trustee of the Carr-Gomm Society, a charity now working for the homeless.

Well with a mum and dad with backgrounds and connections like that William Bingley was certainly not going to do anything to put Dafydd out of action whilst he and Lucille facilitated a paedophile ring supplying boys to Westminster figures and others in London who were enjoying the protection of the security services at the time. Come to think of it I don’t think that Juliet would have been particularly inclined to put a stop to Dafydd’s activities either – and she was incredibly well-connected among the very Top of the Top Doctors as well as the highest echelons of Gov’t should she need to protect him…

How did the Bingley clan ever manage to convince anyone that they were the Voice of the Service Users?

The person who succeeded Juliet as Chair of MIND was Lord David Ennals – he was Chair between 1984-89. Ennals was a Labour politician. In 1967 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office under Jim Callaghan. The Home Office that was at that time directly managing Bryn Estyn, where a brutal regime overseeing the violent sexual abuse of teenaged boys was becoming established. Ennals became Minister of State for Social Services in 1969. He lost his seat in 1970 and it was then that he became the ‘Mind campaign’ Director for the National Association of Mental Health. This campaign was established to fundraise but also to clarify the policies and aims of the organisation – as a result of the campaign in 1972 the charity changed it’s name to MIND. It was whilst Ennals was Chair that Tony Smythe was appointed Chief Exec – supposedly on the basis of his ‘human rights’ experience. Ennals remained campaign director until 1973 and was re-elected to Parliament in 1974. He lost his seat again in 1983 and was elevated to the Lords – then he popped back to MIND again to become Chair.

Ennals has a few close relatives who are worth mentioning. His younger brother Martin was a human rights activist and Secretary-General of Amnesty International. His son Paul has fingers in numerous pies.

Sir Paul Ennals was Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) between 1998-2011. That’s the NCB to whom Peter Righton, a social care expert and academic who was a founder member of PIE and a convicted paedophile, acted as a ‘consultant’ (see post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’). Despite such worrying connections, the NCB, being an umbrella organisation, has links with many other organisations, including Barnardos – some of those involved with child abuse in north Wales had worked for Barnardos. The NCB also collaborates with the NSPCC – which works with Esther Rantzen’s Childline (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ for the questionable background of Valerie Howarth, the first Chief Exec of Childline) – and works in partnership with the Department of Health.

Paul Ennals is Chair of Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board; South Tyneside Local Safeguarding Children Board; Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board; Sunderland Local Safeguarding Children Board. I do not know why Ennals has interests in both Haringey and the north east of England but I presume that he does a lot of commuting. If anyone living in the north east hopes to escape Paul Ennals’s safeguarding when they hit 18, they’ll be disappointed – he also Chairs the Safeguarding Adults Board of Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Before Ennals was involved with the NCB he was Director of Employment at the RNIB. He has Chaired or played a leading role on numerous Gov’t taskforces, working groups etc concerned with SEN, disabled or very young children.

Between 1994-2001 David Peryer was Chair of MIND. Peryer had previously been Director of Humberside Social Services. On 23 April 1998 Peryer gave evidence to the Select Committee on Health, along with Liz Sayce (Policy Director of MIND), Peter Wilson and Dinah Morley. Wilson had been Director of Young Minds for six years, was a child psychotherapist and had ‘many’ many years ago’ been a social worker. He had also worked in child and adolescent mental health at another institution familiar to readers of this blog, the Maudsley. In addition Wilson stated that he had worked in ‘child guidance’ in London. Dinah Morley was the ‘professional services manager’ for Young Minds. She had previously been the Assistant Director of an unidentified London borough, responsible for mental health and children’s services. Before that she ran a multi-disciplinary mental health team. She is also a member of a Health Authority.

So these witnesses all had vast experience of working in organisations and fields that had screwed up badly. Indeed Peryer told the Committee that he began working the field of child protection in 1977 in East Sussex, ‘shortly after the Maria Colwell case’. Maria Colwell was the first high profile death of a child in recent decades that was attributed to the fuckwittery of the welfare services.

The Committee were happy to rely on the advice of this bunch nonetheless. Liz Sayce in particular had a lot to say to the Committee. She was keen to tell the Committee of the sort of problems that ‘service users bring to us’ – did they include abusive psychiatrists, mental health staff perjuring themselves in order to secure convictions against them or their illegal detention in secure units? No, the service users complained of being bored in day hospitals. So Liz recommended that day hospitals should be shut and service users encouraged to attend college. I remember the results of Sayce’s recommendations well. The day hospitals were indeed closed down – nothing replaced them, so service users had nowhere to go at all and lost touch with their friends whom they used to meet in the day hospitals. So service users ended up being bored at home, alone. In the two years following the closure of the day hospital at the Hergest Unit, service users could be seen hanging about in the local towns destitute. A number of them died. As for ‘going to college’ – well a very small number of ‘service users’ benefited greatly from this and it turned their lives around. However Sayce’s ‘encouragement’ of such activity was interpreted by mental health teams as ‘coercion’ and certainly in north Wales numerous ‘service users’ were frog marched into college courses – they were told that they would lose social services support if they didn’t ‘take responsibility for getting better’ and enrol. Many of them did not have the academic ability needed for the courses that they had been coerced into joining and even more of them were far too fragile emotionally to cope with a college course. I knew of one course in which at the beginning of term about 15 service users enrolled at the behest of their mental health teams – every one of them withdrew before the course was half-way through and two of them were so distressed that instead of handing in essays to their tutor they handed in suicide notes and accounts of how they had been sexually abused by members of their chapel when they were children. The college ‘counselling service’ was in no way equipped to deal with the difficulties that these students were encountering. Not that the mental health team cared – once the ‘service user’ had enrolled, the mental health team ticked a box marked ‘recovered’ and forgot about them. A lot of ‘service users’ paid a very high price as a result of Liz Sayce’s advice.

No-one noticed – Sayce fucked up peoples lives all over again a few years later once she had been appointed Chief Exec of the Disability Rights Commission and a leading light on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It was Sayce that advised the Gov’t – what with her unique insight and being the Voice of the Service User – to close the Remploy factories on the grounds that they were ghettoes. Hundreds of Remploy staff volubly protested that they loved working at Remploy, that their disabilities were such that they couldn’t hold down other jobs – Remploy staff came forward with the most harrowing accounts of their mistreatment in previous workplaces and begged for Remploy to be reprieved. But Nurse Liz knew best and in 2012 told anyone who would listen in no uncertain terms that Service Users must be Included, that Remploy was Old Fashioned and that the Gov’t proposed Access To Work Fund was far more Empowering (it was also much cheaper and merely involved chucking a few hundred quid at a few service users to pay for simple adaptions on things like cars). The Gov’t followed Sayce’s advice and shut the Remploy factories down. Many of the former Remploy staff never worked again and are now on benefits. Furthermore I think that Theresa May et al are now proposing to whittle away at the Access To Work Fund anyway.

The Gov’t is still grappling with the advice that Liz gave them in 1998 – she recommended that health care and social care should NOT be merged. That’s why there is still such extreme inequity in the treatment of those people classed as needing ‘social care’ as compared to those whose needs are categorised as ‘medical’. But somebody was stupid enough to allow Liz to ‘lead’ on creating the Disability Agenda forming the basis of policy for the next two decades….

In Jan 2017 Liz announced her retirement from the Disability Rights Commission – she’d been shortlisted for a post as a Disability Commissioner on the European Human Rights Commission! For fuckwittery, arrogance and sheer irresponsibility, Liz is only matched by Rachel Perkins.

In 2001 David Henry took over as Chair. I can find no info about David Henry at all other than that whilst he was Chair of MIND he was given two free tickets worth £1,500 for the opening ceremony to some grand event in his capacity as ‘leader’ of a UK charity.

The present Chair, Ryan Campbell, has been in post since 2012. He was formerly the CEO of a ‘drug, alcohol and mental health charity in the south east of England’ and is currently the CEO of Demelza Hospice Care in Hindhead, Surrey. Ryan was previously involved with Age Concern and has been an expert advisor to Gov’t on the development of health services; is the author of DoH guidance to commissioning in the Third Sector; has been an advisor and taskforce member to DoH guidance on High Impact Changes in Health and Social Care (2008); and was the UK rep to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Ryan is also a member of something called the ‘Association of Chairs’, which seems to be no more than a collection of freeloading dipsticks who become Chairs of outfits like MIND. Ryan explains on their website that he joined the Association ‘because I need a network’. Of course you do Ryan. To propel you onwards and upwards in the face of your dismal performance in order that one day you too can bag a seat in the Lords or a place on the EHRC alongside Rachel bloody Perkins.

 

It is because of people like this lot that so many other people are dying and suffering in the UK’s health and welfare system.

 

NB. BBC News Wales and the ‘Daily Post’ online are reporting that there is pressure on Wales to provide ‘fix rooms’ in which drug users can inject heroin. North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones – he who as a young PC chauffeured Gordon Anglesea to the venues at which Anglesea molested boys and who many years later as Police and Crime Commissioner ‘made a mistake’ which resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted child abuser – is fully in support of the idea. Well it’s another great business opportunity for Dafydd and Lucille at CAIS – they can provide shooting galleries in which the CAIS clients can inject the goodies which they have been sold by their ‘peer guides’ and draw down a grant from the Welsh Gov’t to fund it all! I used to know someone who always quipped that CAIS stood for ‘Come And Inject Some’.

Anyone for co-production?

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More Summer Reading!

I’ve been digging around in book shops recently and I managed to pick up a second hand book which might be of interest to readers of this blog.

‘NHS plc’ was published in 2004 and was written by Allyson Pollock. I read quite a lot of Pollock’s work some years ago and what always struck me was that although Pollock undoubtedly knows exactly what goes on in the NHS, she was rather mealy mouthed when it came to admitting the full horror of it all. I always attributed this to Pollock being a policy advisor and therefore maintaining a discreet silence regarding patients’ being maimed and killed – I also was under the impression that Pollock had a background in social policy and such researchers very often do have trouble admitting just how much blood there is on the carpet. But I discovered yesterday that Pollock is actually a Top Doctor – she’s a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and has been since 1986. Since Jan 2017, Pollock has been Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Pollock set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University (2005-11). Before then she was Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. Her earlier career is not mentioned on her wiki entry – but guess what can be discovered if one reads ‘NHS plc’? That Allyson previously worked at Sin City – St George’s Hospital Medical School! She mentions that she worked there ‘before’ New Labour’s 1997 election victory. As she has been a consultant since 1986, presumably she was a consultant at St George’s. So she was there at some point in the 90s then – when the madness and malpractice that I have detailed on this blog prevailed there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’), under the ‘leadership’ of the dreadful Sir William Asscher…

Allyson Pollock is best known for her work on the gradual privatisation of the NHS with the associated imposition of a ‘business culture’ and the introduction of ‘new public management’ techniques. Her work on this is very, very good. I have never been able to fault her analysis of what this process has resulted in or her historical detail of the steps by which it has taken place. But reading ‘NHS plc’, it is clear why Pollock’s work never details the chaos and tragedy that is happening in the NHS, although she obviously loathes the privatisation agenda and could add considerable weight to her argument if she was prepared to go public on the excesses of the NHS. It is because Pollock is only telling half the story. The bit that Allyson Pollock just won’t mention is the contribution of the Top Doctors themselves to the mess.

Throughout ‘NHS plc’, Pollock paints a picture of a medical establishment that always does and has always done the best for NHS patients and which has been forced off course by the privatisation agenda – an agenda which Pollock suggests that nearly all Top Doctors have fought against for noble reasons. She does name the occasional sinner, the odd Top Doctor who has encouraged and personally benefited from privatisation, such as the odious Dr Chai Patel. Pollock describes Patel as a ‘millionaire doctor’. He is far from the only one Allyson as you well know. Patel of course notoriously ran a huge chain of private ‘care homes’ which were eventually exposed as being riddled with the most dreadful abuse and neglect of patients – it was this that forced him to step down from his role as a Dept of Health advisor on the care of the elderly. Among Patel’s business interests was his acquisition and expansion of the ‘Priory Group’. That is the Priory Group that currently employs two of Allyson’s former colleagues from St George’s and the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, Dr Robin Jacobson and Dr Adrienne Key! Likewise Allyson names a few of the biggest scandals that there have been in the NHS – scandals so big that she can’t avoid naming them, such as the Bristol Children’s Heart Surgery Scandal or Harold Shipman. There is not a mention of the fact that actually the NHS for a very long time has been dogged by scandals in which patients suffered greatly and were known to be suffering but no-one acted. According to ‘NHS plc’ the problems only began when Thatcher’s administration began privatising the NHS, a process which escalated under New Labour. It is New Labour into whom Allyson really puts the boot – she hates them.

Whilst Allyson highlights the idiocies that that Tories imposed upon the NHS in the name of the ‘internal market’, she makes no mention of why they were able to convince voters at the time that this might be a good idea. It was actually because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NHS. I can remember the debates very well – the allegations made again and again were of Top Doctors who were so fucking arrogant that they would not listen to patients or respond to their needs. It wasn’t simply a case of affluent patients wanting a private room or special treatment, although that was indeed Margaret Thatcher’s personal interpretation. There had been for example massive dissatisfaction among women concerning the way in which many of them had been treated whilst giving birth, which led to practitioners like Michele Odent establishing private practices to which middle class women swarmed. There was the emergence of ME and the Top Doctors’ complete refusal to accept that this might have a physical cause – seriously ill people were dismissed as suffering from ‘Yuppie Flu’. People with an interest in alternative medicine also fumed at the way in which they were mocked and belittled by Top Doctors. I’m of the opinion that much ‘alternative medicine’ is indeed ineffective, but if one is a Top Doctor faced with anxious patients enquiring about such matters, taking the piss out of them to their faces is not the best way to proceed. The London surgeon Michael Baum was interviewed on TV regarding alternative medicine and he explained that patients enquiring about this were usually middle aged women wearing ethnic weave clothes who read the ‘Guardian’. That’s the sort of observation that is best made to one’s friends in private, not made on prime time TV – it caused massive offence and actually did him a lot of damage (which was unfortunate, because some of Baum’s opinions are worth listening to). I remember an episode of ‘Any Questions’ in which the biggest cheer from the audience was given to a Tory MP who when talking about the Tories reforms of the NHS, had robustly said of hospital consultants ‘they’re not God, they’re just guys doing a job’. People had really had a bellyful of the Top Doctors by the mid to late 1980s and that feeling was exactly what the Tories utilised to sell the voters their agenda for the NHS. Allyson mentions that ‘some’ hospital consultants were ‘downright arrogant’, that they were not ‘directly accountable to anyone’ and that team working was ‘often poor’, but she does not get anywhere near to admitting the extend of the greed, the bullying, the autocracy, the abuse of their positions and the overall preservation of their own vested interests that did – and still does – go on.

The attitude of the Top Doctors to patients was exemplified by the ‘reviews’ that the Top Doctors who fancied themselves as thespians used to put on themselves in medical schools at Christmas. Those stage shows were essentially a series of sketches in which the Top Doctors patted themselves on the back and sneered at patients for all being a bit ignorant or neurotic. I attended two such Christmas Reviews whilst I worked at St Georges – they were virtually identical and basically served to consolidate what someone the other day termed the ‘professional superglue’ that causes NHS staff to close ranks in the face of malpractice or patient harm.

Allyson mentions the concession to accept ‘pay beds’ that Bevan made when establishing the NHS. Bevan of course admitted that he was forced into doing this in order to get the Top Doctors to accept the idea of the NHS. (The Top Doctors REALLY objected to the idea of the NHS.) Pollock I note doesn’t quote Bevan’s most famous words – that in order to overcome the Top Doctors’ objections to the NHS he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. Allyson tactfully states that Bevan had accepted the existence of pay beds ‘in order to secure consultants’ participation in the new free health care system’. Pollock mentions that in 1975 Barbara Castle abolished pay beds – and my God wasn’t that one of her biggest battles – but her decision was later reversed and ‘by the 1980s pay beds were justified as an income earner for hospitals’. I don’t remember the Top Doctors objecting to their re-introduction Allyson – in fact when you and I were working at St George’s there was plenty of private practice going on. To be fair, some of the Top Doctors doing it were re-investing their earnings into their research programmes and of course there was a limit placed on the amount that medical academics were allowed to earn through private practice. Which was why so many Top Doctors didn’t want academic posts… Some of Allyson’s non-academic colleagues at St George’s were known to be very rich indeed as a result of their private practices.

Again and again Allyson portrays these very wealthy people with interests in private practice who ignored the wrongdoing of their colleagues as selfless barefoot doctors. She maintains that when ‘concerned NHS staff’ critiqued public-private partnerships they were dismissed by Gov’t as ‘self-interested’. However did anyone come to that conclusion? So who were the concerned NHS staff that Allyson was talking about? The cleaners? The canteen staff or the porters? The Angels perhaps? No, it was the BMA and the NHS Consultants’ Association.

There are plenty of clues in Allyson’s book as to what the beef of the Top Doctors really was. It was not that the Top Doctors were taking a principled stand against privatisation. It was a power battle. The Tories wanted to flatten the BMA in the way that they had flattened the NUM because the BMA were causing havoc behind the scenes and that’s what much of the obsession with imposing a business culture and managerialist practices on the NHS was all about. Unfortunately the Tories tried to fight the Top Doctors by giving huge power to an equally toxic group of people – NHS senior managers. The Tories were well aware of the damage that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were inflicting upon the NHS and it’s patients, but their solution was to give as much power to the likes of Alun Davies and Martin Jones. It was not a good idea and for years now a full-on battle has raged between these two groups who are substantially made up of shites. Top Doctors who do have integrity are not going to be told what to do by Martin which is why so many of them are now leaving the NHS and good managers aren’t attracted to working in the NHS because most of the other managers there are like Martin. A few years ago I was friends with a newly qualified law graduate who landed himself a job in the management offices of Ysbyty Gwynedd. He memorably described Martin and co as ‘corrupt as fuck and thick as shit’. Of course, when the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was first established, they had an excellent CEO, Mary Burrows, who was very bright and genuinely committed to improving the dire state of the NHS in north Wales. Mary was effectively hounded out by the Top Doctors and Martin et al. The last thing that a bunch of unscrupulous, abusive Top Doctors lining their own pockets want is a high calibre senior manager. Which is why you don’t tend to find such creatures in the NHS.

Allyson writes of the battle that the BMA had with Ken Clarke regarding GP fundholding and describes how the BMA were ‘defeated’ and ‘would never again challenge the Gov’t on matters of principle’. Allyson is being somewhat economical with the truth here. The BMA continued to fight Gov’ts tooth and nail, but they adopted a new tactic. Instead of presenting themselves as Top Doctors Who Knew Best overtly confronting the Gov’t, they constructed themselves as People Who Cared About The Disadvantaged – which is exactly the way in which Allyson presents herself! ‘NHS plc’ is full of warm words for the BMA – except towards the end of the book, in which Allyson accuses them of selling out, upon the appointment of a particular Chief Exec. Allyson wrote that book in 2004. In 2007 the BMA famously screwed the Gov’t over regarding the negotiation of the GP out of hours contract which was so favourable to the Top Doctors that one of the BMA negotiators described it as ‘a bit of a laugh’. It was this that led to enormous problems concerning GP out of hours provision. But Allyson’s heart must have melted at some point because in 2014 she was appointed as a Member of the BMA’s Council! She is still there.

Pollock’s own attempts to categorise herself as a barefoot doctor are interesting. She mentions going to dinner with a merchant banker before the election of New Labour to discuss PFIs (I wonder why Allyson was doing that?) and describes how the dinner was held in the ‘bank’s private dining room’ with ‘black coated waiters’ who ‘served lunch that lasted almost three hours’. Allyson compares that dining room with the ‘hospital canteen’ at St Georges and how she ‘could not help thinking of the rows of terraced houses in the impoverished community of Tooting from which St George’s mainly female, mainly black ancillary workforce was drawn’.

I remember those rows of terraces in Tooting as well – I lived in one of them. As indeed did many of the female, black workers of St Georges. So what did the Top Doctors of St Georges think about those workers and the other people who lived in those terraces? Well, one Top Doctor described the midwives as being ‘really thick especially the black ones’. Another Top Doctor told one of the researchers about a ‘really scummy family who live in Garrett Lane’ (Garrett Lane was one of the most deprived parts of Tooting.) A medical student was ostracised because he lived in a shared house in Garrett Lane. It wasn’t only living in Garrett Lane that made one persona non-grata – I attended a departmental meal in a restaurant in Wimbledon during which the wife of a senior registrar refused to speak to a junior doctor after she was told that the junior doctor lived in Brixton. Many of the Top Doctors at St Georges lived in Wimbledon or Clapham or further afield in affluent areas. I only knew of one Top Doctor who lived in Tooting who, as a result of having a number of young children from a series of broken relationships, didn’t have the sort of disposable income that his colleagues had and could only afford to buy in Tooting. He resented living there – although his house was a good deal better than everyone else’s – and he complained at length about the lifestyle enjoyed by another Top Doctor from Kings, who was sufficiently loaded that she was having a house built to her own specifications with a matching bathroom for each bedroom. That was Professor Linda Cardosa – I didn’t ever see her house which caused so much envy, but if any readers did do e mail me and tell me all about it. Should anyone ever see Prof Cardosa on a BMA protest supporting a pay claim I suggest that they ignore her.

As for merchant bankers – the brother of one of the researchers in the dept in which I worked at St Georges was a merchant banker. One of his bonuses was bigger than the annual salary of his sister’s boss. This caused much gnashing of teeth, but no-one used it as evidence that merchant bankers should be paid less – they used it as evidence that they should be paid as much as merchant bankers. As for the merchant banker’s sister – she grumbled at length about her own salary although it later emerged that some sort of ‘special arrangement’ had been made for her so she was earning much more than all the other researchers anyway. Not that she needed a higher salary than everyone else – she drove a Mercedes, but ‘only an old one’ which her father had given her and when she had enough of living in the inner city her parents allowed her to live rent free in the cottage on their estate in Surrey which had previously been inhabited by the gardener. I’m only surprised that mum and dad didn’t supply her with a butler as well.

Not all of my former colleagues at St Georges were as spoiled, as fuckwitted, as snobbish and as shallow as this, but one didn’t have to work too hard to find people who were. There were a lot of them cluttering up the place. The source of their discontent was the fact that so many of them did come privileged backgrounds and they had friends and family who were earning even more than Top Doctors did. So many Top Doctors, despite being among the most highly paid people in the UK, managed to convince themselves that they were very hard done by indeed. It is this phenomenon that propels the BMA and it’s campaigns. The notion of ‘public service’ does not enter into the equation.

In ‘NHS plc’ Pollock is also very critical of NHS organisations selling off buildings and land – the ‘NHS estate’ – to raise money. Such sales are often a very bad deal for the NHS and are effectively fleecing the tax-payer, but the example which Pollock provides is yet another reflection of Pollock’s sleight of hand. She refers to the proposed sale of Springfield Hospital and the accompanying proposed deal with a private care company. Springfield Hospital was an appalling place, in a dreadful state of repair with completely inadequate facilities. It was in no way suitable to be housing mental health patients in the late 20th century. The care was dreadful, abuses of patients were rampant (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and eventually there was a public inquiry after a series of murders there. I do not know what the facilities and care standards at the establishment where it was proposed to transfer the patents to were like, but no-one could defend Springfield Hospital. This example reminded me of the articles that ‘New Statesman’ ran back in the 80s concerning the closure of institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Those articles accused Thatcher of selling off the ‘homes’ of patients – I really don’t think that the readers of the ‘New Statesman’ would have wanted a home like Denbigh. Of course, the first Health Minister to propose closing the asylums was Enoch Powell – after visiting Denbigh, which appalled him. Pollock compliments Powell for his ‘political inspiration’ behind the 1962 Hospital Building Plan, but she doesn’t mention a word about him wanting to close institutions like Denbigh and Springfield.

Again and again Pollock lays the blame for notorious NHS shortcomings on privatisation. She rightly mocks the deals that were done with celebrities like Lloyd Grossman which resulted in private companies being contracted to provide hospital food that turned out to be awful. But hospital food was known to be awful before privatisation – it was, like British Rail sandwiches, a byword for dreadful food. Whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd Alun Jones Brown worried about my diet – because he knew how bad the food was in institutions like that. In Denbigh most patients lived on chips – the fare was so grim that chips were usually the most edible thing on the ‘menu’. One patient at Denbigh who was actually receiving regular visitors – unlike most people who had simply been illegally imprisoned and abandoned in there – got her daughter to bring her meals in. Things were no better in Springfield in 1991 where Pollock’s fellow Top Doctors worked. One inpatient was a young South Asian woman who, for religious reasons, was being given meals that differed from everyone else’s (they certainly couldn’t have managed that at Denbigh). So Springfield could therefore tick the ‘catering for a multicultural community’ box – but this young woman was delivered a meal each day which no choice offered or no say in what it was. On one occasion a meal was delivered which for dietary reasons she could not eat (one of the ingredients upset her stomach). She explained this to the vile abusive ward manager – an Australian called Stephanie whose standard method of communication was to shout and swear at patients – and was simply told ‘you’ve got to have it, these meals are costing us a fortune’. The young Asian woman went without dinner that day. This was before there had been any implementation of the idea of privatising NHS catering.

Pollock writes some scathing passages about the dreadful neglect of the elderly in the private sector – again this is endemic and she is quite right to draw attention to what is going on. But this was happening before NHS privatisation was on the agenda. As far back as the 1970s I knew of a notorious nursing home in the Somerset town in which I went to school. It was owned and run by a nurse who had been sacked from Taunton hospital and it employed schoolgirls as ‘nurses’ (my friend worked there – at 15 years of age she was passed off as a ‘nurse’). Every Top Doctor in Bridgwater knew about that home – they’d have never allowed their own relatives to end up there but no-one put a stop to it. When I went to university in Bangor in 1981 I found out about a very similar establishment in Menai Bridge. The man who owned the nursing home was a drunk and the ‘matron’ in charge was a nurse who had been sacked by the C&A Hospital in Bangor – after she was found having sex with a male patient in his bed on the ward. This was common knowledge, as was the neglect to which the residents were subjected – Dr D.G.E. Wood had some patients there and visited regularly. No-one had the place closed down. Furthermore Chai Patel is not to the only Top Doctor who owned care homes with questionable standards. Brig-y-Nant in Bethesda was owned by Top Doctor Dr K. Shah, a mate of Dafydd’s (see post ‘Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritic Oaf?’ for details of my encounter with Shah). Shah’s wife ‘managed’ Brig y Nant and I heard allegations from one former care assistant that not only were ‘difficult’ elderly residents dumped in baths of cold water, but when injuries were sustained, one doctor would always be called to deal with the problem – a Dr K. Shah.

Something else that Allyson attributes to NHS privatisation is the silencing of whistleblowers and the appearance of dodgy publications in the BMJ. I can kill two birds with one stone here. Back in the 1980s I remember reading an article that a particularly courageous doctor had penned for the BMJ. He was a GP from Devon and he wrote an account of how he had been called out to visit a patient in a nursing home and had arrived to find residents tied to their chairs with pairs of nylon tights and what he described as a ‘sloppy’ young woman on duty. He attended to his patient and as he prepared to leave he was stopped by an old lady who asked him if he was a doctor. When he said yes, the old lady pulled her skirt up and showed him severe, extensive scalding over her thighs. The old lady told him that someone had poured a kettle of hot water over her legs. This nursing home was owned by a local Top Doctor. A few days later the GP heard that the old lady who had been scalded had died. He was so worried about standards at this home that he contacted the coroner regarding his concerns. The coroner told him that there were no concerns at all regarding the home. The GP discovered that the coroner was a business partner of the Top Doctor who owned the home. The GP contacted the GMC and was told to take a running jump. So he penned an article for the BMJ to let the world now exactly what was possible on Planet Care Home. Was this caring and diligent GP supported in his efforts to expose this scandal? Not at all. In the next issue of the BMJ there were a number of letters published from other Top Doctors, all pompously declaring that the BMJ was not the place to air allegations about one’s colleagues. But that was not the worst thing that appeared in the BMJ in the 80s. On one occasion they debated Homosexuality. One old bigot wrote in and stated quite categorically that homosexuality does not exist ‘in the animal kingdom’ and that it is most definitely a perversion of Man. I’ve got news for that particular high-flier – homosexuality DOES exist in the animal kingdom as any zoologist will confirm. Such was the shite that the BMJ felt able to publish in days gone by.

As for whistleblowing – Allyson’s off in fairyland regarding this: ‘formerly doctors could and did speak out in the interests of their patients’ and ‘in the past doctors were free to speak out – in fact they were under a moral obligation to do so – if they felt it was in the interests of their patients’. Of course Allyson – that is why, for many, many years pre-NHS privatisation, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were able to break the law, sexually exploit patients, sell drugs to addicts, lie on oath, illegally imprison people in Denbigh, conceal a paedophile ring and threaten and bribe people with many, many people knowing and no-one blew the whistle on any of it. In fact your own colleagues at St Georges and Springfield knew of at least some of what was going on and documented it – but told each other that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and should be referred to the forensic services ‘for containment’ after I spoke to them about it. Other people who knew what Dafydd and co were up to included Dr James Earp from Leicester (see post ‘An Expert From England’), Professor Robert Bluglass (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE…’), The Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, Dr Chris Mawson (see post ‘Doctors Who Disappeared From The Medical Register’) and Dr Chris Hunter (see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dr Mawson and Dr Earp did not, unlike the others, suggest that I should be banged up without trial in a secure hospital, but not one of them raised the alarm regarding what was going on.

‘NHS plc’ also takes aim at the various inspection regimes that have been introduced in recent years, such as the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement). Pollock describes such inspectorates as ‘ineffectual’ and mentions that the review teams are ‘inevitably less qualified and less experienced than the hospital staff they were inspecting’. Which is true and it is insulting to good hospital staff. But those inspectorates have been a Godsend to Top Doctors who aren’t doing what they should be doing – such as in Mid-Staffs. Or indeed in north Wales. Dangerous troubled services have passed inspections with flying colours. But it has always been thus – the Mental Health Act Commission were actively colluding with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales to conceal their criminal activity before privatisation was underway.

There is a glaring contradiction in Pollock’s writing, in that among her attempts to portray Top Doctors as helpless pawns in the face of power-crazed Gov’ts there are actually plenty of indications that she knows just how powerful swathes of the medical establishment are, including her own colleagues and the institutions in which she herself has spent her career as a senior member of staff. She clearly explains how the London teaching hospitals and medical schools are invested with prestige and status enabling them to attract high calibre staff, which in turn gives them huge influence even over Gov’t policy – just like Allyson and her Public Policy Units based in those medical schools have sometimes enjoyed.

Allyson mentions the idea to close Guys and St Tommy’s that was put forward some years ago – but she admits that the notion pretty soon died a death because of course Tommy’s is the hospital that serves Parliament. No, no-one’s going to shut down the most elite joint in town with plenty of friends in the Palace of Westminster. Allyson also mentions the enormous power and influence that Great Ormond Street Hospital has, due it’s legacy from J.M. Barrie and it’s very successful fundraising arm. She explains that in 2000, Camden and Islington Health Authority along with the Medical Director at UCL Hospitals Trust, planned to integrate all paediatric services across the area, but that GOSH disagreed with this plan, ‘was in a powerful position to put it’s own priorities before patients needs or planning’ and was successful in ‘silencing debate’.

Yet elsewhere in her book, Pollock holds up GOSH and it’s satellite hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children as being all that is best about the NHS. Queen Elizabeth Hospital was linked to GOSH and a number of consultants at GOSH had shared appointments with Queen Elizabeth. Allyson explains how Queen Elizabeth served the severely disadvantaged area of Hackney where some of the poorest children in the UK lived. She states that Queen Elizabeth was a ‘model of how a hospital in a severely deprived inner city area should be run’, that it was ‘accessible, open and caring with exceptional expertise’ providing a ‘superb service to needy children’. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ mentions that Dr Robin Skynner, who had links with Top Doctors who were concealing child sexual abuse, was the Physician in Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth between 1965-70.

As for GOSH – that was the hospital that employed the negligent doctor who contributed to the death of Peter Connelly in the ‘Baby P’ case a few years. GOSH has also just been at the centre of the Charlie Gard storm. And I doubt that either of those cases had much to do with privatisation.

Another inconsistency in Pollock’s book concerns Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ. He’s mentioned in Pollock’s acknowledgements section as one of the people who have ‘inspired’ her. Yet Smith is named elsewhere in the book as a baddie who jumped ship in 2004 and joined United Healthcare as CEO.

There are clues in the text as to what irks Pollock so much about New Labour as well as the root of some of her inconsistencies. Pollock seems to get to meet some very grand people. Not only did she dine with a merchant banker whilst her heart remained with the St Georges canteen in downtown Tooting, but she had an audience with Geoffrey Robinson in his capacity as Blair’s Paymaster General who afterwards invited her for a drink on the terrace of the House of Commons – although obviously she really wished that she was having a cup of char at a cleaner’s house in Garrett Lane – and she even met Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. She described them as being on a ‘charm offensive’ and wanted to be ‘seen to be listening’. Pollock also thought very highly of Blair’s first Secretary of State for Health (1997-99) Frank Dobson – ‘a well-liked and competent Minister’. Not many other people shared that opinion – Dobson was widely perceived to be well-meaning but a bit gullible and dim (‘Private Eye’ named him ‘Dobbo’). The NHS continued to go pear-shaped and Dobbo’s scalp was demanded. There was another perceived problem with Dobbo as well – he rolled over for the Top Doctors…

Now although the Top Doctors are a very conservative bunch, they really didn’t like Thatcher and she didn’t like them. Thatcher loathed the professions (as well as academics) and very much saw them as being conspiracies against the layman. So the Top Doctors were most glad to see the back of Thatcher – I remember loud cheering breaking out in St George’s when she resigned. But the Top Doctors are not a bunch of lefties no matter what the Daily Mail says about them. However I suspect that when Blair was elected, Allyson and her fellow Public Policy/Public Health specialists may well have thought that their boat had come in. A Labour Gov’t that wasn’t socialist, with an authoritarian streak, wedded to the notion that Policy Experts should tell the plebs how to live. Which is probably why Allyson broke a leg in her efforts to meet Blair’s Ministers. A similar phenomenon occurred among HE specialists committed to widening participation – Blair maintained that he was going to pursue this policy and educational sociologists all got very excited, but of course he didn’t listen to any of them and a lot of them ended up very miffed. I suspect that Allyson fell into the same trap. Indeed, she makes it clear in her book that she feels that New Labour discredited and intimidated it’s critics, including her. Which they probably did – but then the Top Doctors discredited and intimidated those of us who discovered that their colleagues in north Wales were concealing a paedophile ring. At least Blair didn’t try to frame Allyson for serious crimes or state that she would end up in an institution for the ‘criminally insane’ as dear old Dafydd and Bluglass did with respect to me.

For all her griping though, Allyson knows that the Top Doctors can pack a punch if they are able to successfully construct themselves as the defenders of the NHS in the face of Bastards In Government. She reminds us of the lesson that no politician has ever forgotten – the election of Top Doctor Dr Richard Taylor in Kidderminster, who unseated the Labour MP David Locke. Taylor of course did this by running on a ticket of opposing hospital closures. Pollock mentions another similar event as well – the election of retired Top Doctor Dr Jean Turner in Glasgow in the wake of plans to close Stobhill Hospital. Pollock states that the Gov’ts announcement in 2003 that there would be no closures of smaller local hospitals after the election of Taylor and Turner was ‘a notable acknowledgement of the power of popular mobilisation’.

No Allyson, it was an acknowledgement of how bloody-minded the BMA are – they were fighting ALL hospital closures, including hospitals which were unsafe and harming or killing patients. They didn’t admit that any hospitals were doing this and they didn’t even work behind the scenes to raise standards – they did what they have always done and told the Gov’t ‘touch us and we’ll brain you’. Which indeed they did.

As all good Top Doctors do when they wish to ram home their arguments, Allyson makes references to popular media images of Top Doctors. We are told that the ‘frantic atmosphere in ‘Holby City’ is quite typical of the acute hospital today’. Which is rather like saying that the ‘Carry On’ films with Hattie Jacques giving terrified weedy men bed-baths and Barbara Windsor wearing an Anne Summers style nurse’s uniform whilst her bra flies off were an accurate depiction of life in an NHS hospital in the 60s. There is one big difference between Holby City and ‘an acute hospital today’ – in Holby City the staff never make mistakes and the complex cutting edge surgery is always successful, unless it’s an utterly hopeless case and the patient’s chance of life was unfathomably slim anyway. And from the episodes that I’ve seen, a lot of the surgeons are proud of their upwardly mobile journey from their disadvantaged childhoods – in one episode a female surgeon called Jac even revealed that she’d grown up in care and had been sexually abused. Er, no, as we know from the fate of the kids who grew up in care in north Wales, Jac would not be a heart surgeon, she’d be banged up in Denbigh with everyone calling her a dangerous liar. That is if she hadn’t actually been found dead in suspicious circumstances after having given evidence against the paedophiles that were employed in her children’s home.

Pollock also makes reference to a film called ‘As Good As It Gets’, which she appreciates because it makes some barbed points about US privatised healthcare. It stars Jack Nicholson. As of course did ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Which was a film that one of Pollock’s colleagues at St George’s, the occupational health physician Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, had a real problem with. Mitchell-Heggs had previously been a psychiatrist and maintained that ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ set out to deceive because it was modelled on an asylum from the 50s but pretended that such places were still in existence. Which of course they weren’t. Indeed not Nicky – at Denbigh the patients didn’t wear uniforms and there was no piped music. But all the other ingredients were there – a lobotomist, Nurse Rached aka Janice Davies, sane people imprisoned and drugged up because they had dared challenge corrupt Top Doctors and staff terrorising and blackmailing vulnerable people by threatening to release confidential info about them. Except that Denbigh also had a psychopathic psychiatrist sexually abusing the patients who was also concealing the paedophile ring that his mistress facilitated. And those were the two people from whom Mitchell-Heggs and her colleagues were taking evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’ so she must have known that they were there…. Mitchell-Heggs’s online profile describes her interests as theatre, opera and ski-ing! It’s those self-sacrificing Top Doctors again who fight tooth and nail for the NHS. I also seem to remember reading that both Mitchell-Heggs and her husband now run private practices.

In the initial pages of ‘NHS plc’ Pollock explains that she isn’t able to cover everything in a volume of that length, so there are some areas that she hasn’t commented upon. Such as mental health and learning disability services. Which is just as well considering how bloody shameful these ‘services’ are and were when she wrote that book. She also mentions that she doesn’t cover groups of staff such as cleaners, canteen workers, security officers and porters. In other words those staff who are treated and paid appallingly, whose presence is generally ignored by the Top Doctors and who are actually the very staff who have suffered most as a result of NHS privatisation.

At the beginning of her book, Pollock gives a long list of acknowledgments and names the people who have ‘inspired’ her. They include Dr Richard Taylor, ‘all members of the NHS Consultants Association’, ‘members of the Medical Practitioners Union’, ‘Brian Potter formerly of the Scottish BMA’, ‘Sir Sandy Macara at the BMA’ and Richard Horton of the ‘Lancet’. She mentions ‘many others’ to have come ‘to the aid’ of the Public Policy Unit which she was directing when she wrote ‘NHS plc’. Pollock pays tribute to the ‘special stalwarts of the NHS including Charles Webster, the former official historian of the NHS’. I mention on the front page of this blog that a number of people have written ‘histories’ of psychiatry in north Wales. These histories are at their best highly sanitised and at their worst have about as much historical accuracy as a Barbara Cartland novel. One of those ‘histories’ was written by a Bangor University lecturer called David Hirst and I’m fairly sure that it was his book that was co-authored or assisted in some way by an ‘NHS historian’ called Charles someone. I’m fairly sure that it was Charles Webster. I’ve been googling to try and clarify this but all traces of that book have vanished from the internet. I wonder why – after all it was proudly on display in Bangor University for years, so it definitely exists….However I note that David has co-authored with a number of the Top Doctors from the Hergest Unit! He arrived in Bangor to begin his work in ‘social policy’ in 1973 – Christ almighty, Gwynne and Dafydd were in full swing then, they will have been lobotomising and subjecting people to ‘aversion therapy’ if they dared to be gay til the cows came home. And of course Bryn Estyn was still under the direct management of the Home Office and the systematic sexual abuse of the boys there will have been well-embedded by then. Fancy publishing anything about that lot then David?

Pollock makes several mentions in her book of a man who has acquired superhero status in the eyes of any Top Doctor who wants to pledge their commitment to the NHS – Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is very elderly now, but he is one of the few Top Doctors still practising who was practising before the establishment of the NHS. He has written about just how grim things were in those days – Tudor Hart worked in south Wales among people experiencing very great poverty and hardship. I am interested in Tudor Hart, because although I do completely accept his account of how dreadful it was to fall ill or have an accident before the establishment of the NHS, he does seem somewhat blind to some of what goes on in the NHS. He is an intelligent man and a keen scholar, so like Allyson Pollock he will know. And being a man of his age from Wales, he will know what Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd got up to as well. Tudor Hart has been very rude about Ivan Illich and sees Illich as someone who simply plays to an audience of privileged middle class rebels, which is pretty much what the psychiatric establishment used to say about Thomas Szasz. There is truth in that argument – one had to be affluent to afford sessions with Thomas Szasz – but it ignores why the work of people like Illich and Szasz caught the imagination of so many. It was because of what folk like Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were actually doing to them – people didn’t find it very helpful. There is also another factor about Tudor Hart that I cannot forget. He worked in the same practice as Dr Brian Gibbons, the former Health Minister for Wales. Who when I told him that I had evidence of the Top Doctors and managers in the Hergest Unit participating in criminal activities wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’. At the time the Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales.

I can only conclude that Allyson Pollock is one of the most articulate, useful PR mouthpieces that the Top Doctors possess and that she, along with the rest of the Top Doctors, are not very happy that Gov’ts are no longer commissioning their ‘research’ and seeking their ‘opinion’ on which to base policy.

As Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame might have said – ‘It’s the Top Doctors. They don’t like it up ’em’.

 

There is one Top Doctor in particular who certainly doesn’t like it up ‘im – David Healy. I’ve been interested to note that since I reviewed his appearance on ‘Panorama’ the other day and observed that the voices of patients were noticeably absent from that programme and that whilst the Top Doctors scrap amongst themselves global capitalism continues to screw up healthcare, Healy has retweeted a couple of things. One was from a patient claiming to have ‘lived experience’ – the use of that phrase alone suggests that he falls into the category of a ‘professional service user’ (my neighbours don’t talk about ‘lived experience’ when they discuss their the local health services). Another retweet was from someone whom I have corresponded with, Finola Moss. Finola is a blogger who is doing some brilliant work exposing just how much money the Top Doctors who are involved with private psychiatric provision are now making. One company very much in Finola’s sight is Cygnet Healthcare and it was info relating to the billions that Cygnet is now raking in that Healy retweeted. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe. Kehoe was the ‘expert witness’ who lied in a report about me, Brown, my PhD supervisor and even my lawyer after we had all made representation regarding the criminal activities and negligence of the Hergest Unit. David Healy was one of those named on the documents submitted to Kehoe in evidence. I later discovered that Kehoe’s business partner had a personal connection to Healy’s colleague at the Hergest, Dr Tony Roberts.

Yet More Crime And Punishment

The Daily Post Online today is running one of it’s regular shock horror stories regarding that which the hard pressed staff of the Betsi have to tolerate as they go about their daily heroics: ‘Sexual Abuse, Violent Attacks and Verbal Insults – The Crimes North Wales NHS Staff Suffer’. The article explains that ‘new figures reveal the extent of the appalling offences committed against NHS workers’. We are told that NHS staff in north Wales have been ‘attacked’ more than 7000 times since 2012, according to ‘shocking figures’ released as a result of an FoI request. In 2013 there were 1929 incidents and over the next three years there were more than 1700 incidents each year.

It sounds terrible doesn’t it. But these thousands of incidents do not represent the numbers of convictions – they are figures supplied by the Betsi, not the police. Neither have they been confirmed by any other body. I happen to know that the Betsi employs a very elastic definition when it uses the phrase ‘attack on a member of staff’. The statistics for such ‘attacks’ include instances of psychotic or learning disabled patients swearing – not even necessarily swearing AT staff, but merely swearing in their presence. It is entirely at the discretion of Betsi staff whether they report ‘attacks’ on them and some of those staff are known to be reporting the most trivial of incidences – particularly if the patient involved has made a complaint. I know of staff employed in the Hergest Unit who were routinely complaining of being ‘attacked’ by patients as a means of getting themselves out of trouble when the staff themselves were the subject of complaint. I know of a number of patients – including me – who were accused of ‘assaulting’ or ‘attacking’ staff after they had complained about being assaulted by staff themselves. Most of these complaints involved the same staff. Furthermore I have compared my own medical records with the records of some of the patients who contacted me after they too had been wrongly accused – the same phrases had been used about all of us by the same staff. Those staff were working to a script. In no case that I know of were the staff involved disciplined – yet there was complaint after complaint about them.

The problems with certain members of staff in the Hergest Unit reached a peak in the years before the North West Wales NHS Trust was abolished, when Keith Thomson and then Martin Jones were CEOs there. (Details of the violence and aggression that I encountered and that I witnessed other patients being subjected to can be read in my posts ‘Who Is In Need Of Restraining?’ and ‘The Real Story Behind These Figures…’.) Both Thomson and Jones were constantly briefing local newspapers about the problems of staff being attacked by mad psychiatric patients – they were undoubtedly doing this because a number of patients were consulting lawyers and writing to politicians after having been violently assaulted by staff in the Hergest Unit. A now retired member of staff from Hergest told me that they were convinced that evidence against some patients who had dared complain had been fabricated and that some patients had been wrongly convicted as a result.

There is one former member of staff from Hergest who was a willing accomplice in all of this – a nurse called Gareth Phillips. Gareth retired from nursing as a result of ill health, but was offered the post of RCN rep. It was Gareth who was happy to provide comments to local papers about the shocking number of attacks on Ysbyty Gwynedd staff. I knew Gareth for years whilst he still worked as a nurse – I never witnessed Gareth abuse anyone himself, but he certainly knew that some of his colleagues were behaving appallingly. And he knew that some patients were being arrested and fitted up for offences that they had not committed, after hospital staff had lied to the police. Furthermore Gareth knew that this had happened to me. Someone else knew about this as well – Gareth’s wife Penny, who also worked as a nurse at the Hergest Unit. I have mentioned in previous posts how under the regimes of Keith Thomson and Martin Jones, there was an exodus of the better staff from Hergest. I met one of those people after they had escaped to work in another part of the Trust and they told me that both they and their spouse (who was also a nurse) had been stuffed over and forced out of their jobs – interestingly enough after one of them warned the authorities at Ysbyty Gwynedd that the conduct of staff towards the patients was making the Hergest Unit unsafe. This person remarked that the Trust however had ‘looked after’ Gareth Phillips when he became too ill to work, by giving him a job as RCN rep. This person also mentioned that the Trust ‘looked after’ Bob Ingham when Ingham became too ill to work. Ingham was a notoriously aggressive CPN with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – on my first meeting with him he dragged me down a corridor after telling me that he was someone else and I know of another patient who was threatened with assault in his own home by Ingham when Ingham was making a ‘home visit’. So Keith and Martin were ‘looking after’ staff who agreed to keep silent about abuse and produce propaganda for the media and even staff who were abusive themselves. The people who did not get looked after were staff raising concerns about the level of aggression to which patients were subjected. Martin Jones is at present the Director of Workforce for the Betsi. Are we surprised that florid figures about attacks on Angels are still being bandied about?

If the figures being produced were accurate, anyone spending any length of time in any of the hospitals run by the Betsi would have witnessed at least one of these ‘attacks’. I have spent much time in their hospitals – the only thing that I ever witnessed that came anywhere near to an ‘attack’ was an acutely psychotic patient throwing a book at a psychiatrist which hit him in the face. Even that incident could probably have been avoided if the psychiatrist concerned, the dreadful Raj Sambhi, had built up any sort of rapport with his patients. He didn’t – he walked onto the ward for twenty minutes once a week and spoke arrogantly to distressed patients who barely knew who he was. With the exception of that incident I have never witnessed any patient physically attack any member of staff. I have witnessed an awful lot of rudeness towards members of staff, I have witnessed patients shout and swear at members of staff – but as with Sambhi and the book, many of those incidents were obviously a result of patients being treated very disrespectfully themselves. I have asked other people who have spent a long time in hospitals in north Wales if they have ever seen ‘attacks’ on staff and they haven’t either. One of them, like me, had witnessed an assault on a patient in the Hergest Unit by staff, but had only ever witnessed disorientated or distressed patients shouting or swearing at staff.

The Post article includes a comment from Gwenfair Jones, a Wrexham County Councillor who worked as a community nurse for twenty years before she retired two years ago. Gwenfair states that ‘it’s terrifying to think of the risks that NHS staff face every day at work’. She then relates an account of how a colleague was responding to a patient when someone tried to get in her car and having failed to do that, jumped on the bonnet. Gwenfair doesn’t state that it was the patient who did this, so presumably it was someone else – who actually might have been confused or distressed rather than out to attack the car driver… There is simply not enough info from that anecdote to suggest that it is an example of the terror that NHS staff face every day as a result of their work.

Gwenfair also mentions that when the NHS followed it’s lone working policy, staff were issued with alarms. Well I know of a situation in which the issuing of a piece of equipment to be used as an ‘alarm’ was ruthlessly used by the managers of the Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust and their partners in crime in the Arfon Community Mental Health Team in an attempt to frame a patient. In the mid-1990s I was prosecuted at the insistence of Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust for allegedly making an obscene and threatening telephone call to Bridget Lloyd, a CPN with the Arfon Team. I did not make this call. Florid statements were made about me to the police by Bridget Lloyd about her being terrified of me, indeed so frightened that the Trust had issued her with a mobile phone to carry with her when she went out in order to enable her to ring for help should she meet me and I attack her. There was also a statement made in Court by the Trust that I represented such a risk to Bridget and her ‘two young children’ that the Trust had organised a safe house for them should I be found not guilty. I did not even know that Bridget Lloyd had young children. I was found not guilty. Whether dear old Bridget and the kids then took up residence in the safe house I do not know, but when I requested an apology for being denied access to NHS hospitals during the course of this malicious case I was told very firmly that I would not be receiving an apology. A few months ago my lawyer forwarded me the documentation relating to this case. Among all the documents was a memo that Bridget Lloyd had written herself to her managers saying that she had only met me once or twice, that it was many years ago and that she was sure that if I saw her I would not recognise her. That memo was written before the case against me went ahead – it was also written at about the same time as her statement about the risk that I presented to her and her children and how she was ‘absolutely terrified’ of me.

Bridget didn’t mention on the memo the circumstances in which she had met me years previously. I met Bridget Lloyd when I had been illegally detained in Seiriol Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd after I refused to drop my requests for a copy of my medical records. Bridget was the nurse in charge of the ward. I challenged Bridget over my illegal detention, as well as over the threats that I had received from Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services – and over the mistreatment of other patients that I was witnessing. Bridget told me that ‘someone’ had decided that I ‘should be here’ and that no-one was being abused or illegally detained. Yes they were Bridget and you knew it. Now, off down to the police station with you to provide a statement giving the details of who it was who ordered you to perjure yourself in court in an attempt to secure a conviction against me.

The article in the Post makes a reference to the case of a man called Christopher Bambrough, who was jailed some months ago after ‘threatening to knock out a nurse’ at Wrexham Maelor. Sounds nasty doesn’t it. The facts of the case are that Bambrough had gone to Wrexham Maelor seeking help for mental health problems but had been refused such help and had been told to go and make an appointment with his GP. He became distressed and shouted a few rash comments that people were going to get hurt. OK, so a man whom it is admitted had mental health problems went for help – and was effectively told to piss off. Knowing just how damn near impossible it is to now access mental health care in north Wales I can imagine how desperate and frustrated that man probably was. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had made umpteen visits to his GP and the local hospitals trying to get help – I have witnessed people doing this and it is quite clear that there is no way that they will get treatment. Because the mental health services are no longer permitted to refuse to assess or treat people, the technique used in north Wales is now to send them from pillar to post, around and around in circles, with everybody refusing to treat them and telling them to see someone else.

So who was it who imprisoned a mentally ill desperate man for shouting a few rash things in the direction of the Angels? It was Judge Niclas Parry, who when he was merely solicitor advocate Niclas Parry, represented one of the most vicious of the paedophiles at the Waterhouse Inquiry (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’ for details of Parry’s glorious career, his shameful role in the Waterhouse Inquiry and his kid-glove handling of two other people involved in organised crime). Parry told Brambrough that ‘hospital staff will be protected by the Courts’. Yes, along with paedophiles and drug dealers thanks to Old Nick being on the bench.

Daily Post Online makes reference to the police ‘having to be’ called out to ‘attacks on staff’ 591 times in the last five years. I wonder what the opinion of the police is regarding those call outs – because when I still lived in north Wales I was told quite frankly by a police officer that they were sick to death of the Hergest calling them out to deal with trivial situations that the staff should be dealing with themselves. But this has been happening for decades. When Dafydd Alun Jones et al first began having me arrested in the 80s there was an officer called Sgt Tim Evans who was known to be telling people that the whole situation was farcical – a bunch of pompous braying consultants were on the one hand telling Sgt Evans and his colleagues that they were ‘experts’ and Had To Be Listened To, but on the other hand were ringing the police on an almost daily basis because I was refusing to drop my complaints about the mental health services and continued requesting copies of my own records. I was told that Sgt Evans noted just how much more than the police that bunch of fuckwits were being paid yet were demanding that the police clear up their mess. As an example of the sort of thing that the Top Doctors were doing, I have in my possession a document which is a copy of a letter written by Top Doctor Sadie Francis, backed up by her mate from the Arfon Team the appalling social worker Sheila Jenkins, complaining about me walking into a room at Ysbyty Gwynedd ‘carrying a rolled up newspaper’. Francis and Jenkins demanded that the police be called in case I was ‘concealing a knife’ in the newspaper.  I could have been storing weapons grade plutonium in the rolled up newspaper but I wasn’t – these crazy allegations with absolutely no grounds were being bandied around about me (and a number of other patients) constantly.

The Betsi told the Daily Post that their staff receive ‘violence and aggression training’ and ‘de-escalation’ training. That ‘training’ leaves a lot to be desired. It is delivered by staff who have learnt their own aggression at the knee of the north Wales mental health services – for many years, the man who ‘trained’ the local Angels in ‘control and restraint’ was a nurse from the North Wales Hospital, the institution in which victims of the North Wales Paedophile Ring were illegally imprisoned. More latterly the ‘training’ was delivered by the dreadful Alison Parry, the highly abusive nurse responsible for running the highly abusive Taliesin Ward. I have watched the Angels from the Hergest Unit use their ‘training’ – it involves jumping on patients from a height for no good reason and pinning them to the floor for twenty minutes. As for ‘de-escalation’ – well after Alun Davies, the former manager of the Hergest Unit, refused to answer questions from either me or my lawyer regarding Parry and co carrying out assaults on me, I asked Davies in person when he was going to reply to my lawyer’s letters. He stood in a corridor at Hergest and bellowed ‘shut up’ at me repeatedly. My lawyer suggested to him that this was rather unacceptable and she received a letter from Davies saying that he was using ‘de-escalation techniques’ and that they were so good that a psychiatrist had complimented him on them. I can only presume that the Top Doctor in question was actually taking the piss out of him, but Davies was far too thick to realise.

In addition to boasting about the ‘training’ that their staff receive, the Betsi told the Post that all three of their District General Hospitals have police and security on site. I have known some of the ‘police on site’ at Ysbyty Gwynedd. One of them was really good, a very nice man with an excellent relationship with the patients. This however was ruined because the Hergest staff kept telling him to threaten to arrest the patients, instead of allowing him to talk to them. On one occasion this resulted in him having to threaten to arrest a young female psychiatric patient in the locked ward at Hergest because she kept dialling 999. Yes, the Hergest staff wanted a psychotic teenager taken out of a locked ward where she was sectioned anyway, arrested and charged for dialling 999 for bizarre reasons. That policeman ended up leaving that post – and I can see why. After he left he was replaced by a Scouse Thug who threatened me over the phone when I rang the hospital to inform them that I would be attending the hospital in person to deliver a statement from a third party who had witnessed hospital staff lie about me in order to have me arrested. I’m sure that the authorities at YG thought that the Scouse Thug did a great job.

As well as on site police and security, a Betsi spokesperson also explained to the Daily Post that they employ a ‘violence and aggression case manager’. Yes, I’ve heard about this person – they’re the one whom I was told actively encourages staff to demand that patients are prosecuted even if staff don’t want to press charges. Interestingly enough, the Betsi spokesperson does admit to the Daily Post that it is ‘important to recognise’ that the figures provided ‘may not reflect the actions of some patients who may not intend to be deliberately aggressive and may act in this way by extent of their conditions’. So that’s them fessing up then. But nonetheless they were still happy to release these ludicrous misleading figures – which even they admit aren’t a true reflection of the situation.

Intriguingly, the Betsi states that there is a National Memorandum of Understanding across Wales between the police, the CPS and the NHS on how to ‘support staff’ following incidents of violence. Readers who have followed my posts about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the associated cover-up will remember that it involved the police, the CPS and the NHS…Those bodies understand each other very well in north Wales – and if Old Nick is on the bench, there’s even more understanding…

People who have been following this blog for a while will also remember my posts describing the scores of errors, fallacious allegations and downright lies that I discovered entered upon my medical records. Highlights include entries that I ‘had held a nurse hostage’, ‘was in prison after attacking someone with a knife’ and had ‘sexually assaulted a psychiatrist’. What’s the betting that these lurid allegations have added to the statistics that the Betsi have made up? Despite protracted correspondence with Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, I have been unable to persuade them to remove the dozens of lies from my records. Gary did agree to remove the references to me sexually assaulting a psychiatrist because he admitted that never happened – I note that Gary did not carry out any investigation into how these gross slur ever found it’s way onto my records and that no-one was disciplined for writing it. Gary has refused to amend anything else – although I can prove that the comments are not true – on the grounds that his staff told him that these things had happened and thus they must have happened. Furthermore Gary is now stating that twenty years worth of my records don’t exist because he can’t find them. I have copies here with me which my lawyer obtained previously, but no, according to Gary those records don’t exist.

How can anyone believe any statistics at all collected by this bunch of lying dipsticks?

Another former star of this blog featured in the Post article – Tina Donnelly, the Director of the RCN in Wales. Tina warns that these attacks on NHS staff affect recruitment. No Tina, what is affecting recruitment in the Betsi is the dreadful standard of care that is known to exist up there – good nurses do not want to work with negligent abusive people – and the brutal treatment of whistleblowers. The nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked, wrongfully arrested after being subjected to malicious allegations and has received death threats. The staff who abused the patients in Tawel Fan were subjected to no disciplinary action at all. Donnelly has sat in the RCN throughout scandal after scandal in north Wales – including Tawel Fan – and has done nothing to take action against her members who are abusing their positions. I have read plenty of her semi-literate articles in the Welsh media demanding higher salaries for her members, or indeed banging on about the way in which they spend every waking hour at work being viciously attacked by unhinged patients, but I have not yet read any condemnation from her concerning poor standards of care on the part of some Angels. Indeed Donnelly seems to be quite close to two particularly unpleasant Angels employed at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – Stephen Gallagher and Andrew Parry. Please read post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for details of Gallagher and Parry’s lies, threats and dishonesty. Donnelly ‘serves’ in the Territorial Army along with Gallagher and Parry. For further details of Donnelly’s contacts and questionable background, see post ‘Oh To Be In Receipt Of Academic Honours’.

At the end of the article, the Daily Post chips in with their ‘opinion’. The Post maintains that ‘people join the NHS because they care…good decent human beings who want to make a difference…the vast majority of them aren’t in it for the money…these same decent people are routinely subjected to violence and verbal abuse – sometimes racist or sexual… [the offenders] should forfeit their right to free NHS treatment in the future…’

Now most people do indeed join the NHS for the right reasons – but there is a very big problem in north Wales. Until very recently a vicious paedophile ring operated throughout the region and it was concealed and facilitated by the mental health services. A lot of the people involved are still working in the mental health services – indeed one of them is the Chairman of the Betsi – and this has left a toxic legacy. These were not ‘caring’ ‘decent’ people and furthermore they were not subjected to violence and verbal abuse, they lied on oath in order to discredit people who were complaining about their own malpractice and abuse. They are using the same techniques now in a desperate attempt to detract from the train wreck that is the NHS in north Wales. I will remind the Daily Post of what happened at Tawel Fan – elderly patients were found to be crawling around naked on floors covered in faeces and urine; one patient had an untreated broken arm; staff swore at patients, trapped them in their beds by placing furniture on top of them and discussed their sex lives. Some of those patients died as a result of the neglect and abuse that they endured. The ward was shut down and the Board was placed in special measures after the Welsh Gov’t admitted institutional abuse of patients. It was the worst mental health scandal in recent years in the UK. And which newspaper carried ‘interviews’ with those staff, interviews in which staff insulted the patients and their relatives? The Daily Post.

Until the 1990s, people working in and managing children’s homes in north Wales were believed to be kindly avuncular folk working for modest salaries looking after ‘tearaways’, ‘naughty boys’, ‘disturbed teenagers’, ‘young thugs’, ‘streetwise kids’ or ‘criminals’. We now know that they were actually starving, beating and raping those kids before forcing them into prostitution and delivering them to the Westminster Paedophile Ring. When those kids told people what was happening to them they were discussed in exactly the same terms that the Post is using to discuss people whom they believe are ‘attacking’ noble selfless NHS staff.

As for people forfeiting their right to free NHS treatment – there are at present people in north Wales, particularly people with mental health problems, who CANNOT access the care that they need and to which they are legally entitled. Sometimes this is because the ‘service’ has collapsed and doesn’t exist to provide treatment, but a number of people have been subjected to a co-ordinated campaign to ensure that they will not be treated under any circumstances – because they complained about a fucking paedophile gang.

As for staff not being in it for the money – no many of them are not. But some undoubtedly are. This blog has exposed a number of scams being runs by NHS staff and those scams have been designed to line their own pockets. It is difficult to find highly paid work in north Wales and no-one but the Betsi is going to pay Martin Jones and his ilk £130,000 pa and Martin knows it. Which is why he is still sitting on that Board after years of disaster wearing cufflinks that cost as much as some people earn in a week. Martin with his rather poor degree (you weren’t up to much when you were at Bangor University were you Martin), Martin who is rumoured to have failed accountancy exams, Martin with his Mickey Mouse qualification in ‘Innovation and Change’, Martin who when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust flew first class to America on NHS expenses and lived it up with his mates for no good reason. Martin is most definitely in it for the money.

Although the Post article is about the NHS in north Wales, there is a link to an interview with someone employed by Cardiff and Vale UHB. That’s the Cardiff and Vale UHB that employs a consultant gynaecologist who many years ago was frozen out of the London circle because he was a relentless sexual harasser (see post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’).

Newsflash: Just appeared on the Daily Post website – a female paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service in north Wales has been convicted of assaulting another young woman. The ‘caring’ ‘decent’ NHS worker had ‘trained’ in the Army Medical Corps. Probably alongside Donnelly, Gallagher and Parry. She’s been travelling around in the back of an ambulance in a green jumpsuit for the last two years whilst the likes of the Daily Post told us that she was some sort of superior being.

As for all this talk of ‘decent’ people, in the early 1990s I attempted to enter Menai Bridge police station to make a complaint about a Top Doctor – one of those who was facilitating the paedophile ring – threatening me. What can only be described as a Ginger Pig in a sergeants uniform confronted me and told me that if I entered the police station he would arrest me. I told him that I had been threatened and I wished to make a statement. The Ginger Pig told me that he was here to protect ‘decent’ people like the Top Doctor and if I didn’t get out of Menai Bridge immediately he’d arrest me. He then pursued me as far as the Menai Suspension Bridge insulting me and told me to do everyone a favour and throw myself off the bridge. When I got home I rang Menai Bridge police station in an attempt to discover the identity of the Ginger Pig. Another policeman answered – whom I knew, because I had met him previously in Bangor Police Station after the Top Doctors had of course had me arrested. He was called Kelvin, he was nothing like the Ginger Pig himself, but he would not tell me the name of the Ginger Pig and he wouldn’t take down a complaint about him. On another occasion I tried to make representation about the Top Doctors and their harassment to an inspector in Bangor Police Station, an Inspector Beedham. As with Kelvin, Inspector Beedham didn’t conduct himself in the manner of the Ginger Pig, but no, he wouldn’t take a complaint about the Top Doctors either.

Sgt Tim Evans, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham all witnessed what was happening to me at the hands of the Top Doctors and Gwynedd Social Services. I now have possession of the documents that demonstrate that the Top Doctors et al perjured themselves repeatedly and ordered their minions to perjure themselves repeatedly, in order to conceal a paedophile ring. Come on Tim, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham, get your statements prepared and can you tell us who the Ginger Pig was as well….

 

I have mentioned in this post and in previous posts just how serious the wrongdoing of staff in the Hergest Unit and Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E was – unlawfully refusing people treatment, threatening patients, assaulting patients, lying to the police about patients, lying on oath, encouraging others to lie on oath etc. I have detailed how Alun Davies, Keith Thomson and later on Martin Jones simply did not investigate complaints (not just mine either – I knew of others who had terrible experiences whose complaints were never ever investigated). After Thomson wasted months of my and my lawyer’s time in a deliberate attempt not to investigate a series of assaults on me by his staff and their malicious allegations about me to the police, I tried the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. At that time the Ombudsman for Wales was Adam Peat. Getting a response out of Peat to my complaint was like pulling teeth, so in the end I rang his office. I didn’t speak to Peat himself, I spoke to his sidekick – who was either a Gethin or a Geraint, I can’t remember which. And guess what – he insulted and then threatened me. Just like the NMC did when I tried to make representation to them about Sian Ruth Lloyd’s misconduct. Now I was getting pretty used to this sort of behaviour from the Top Doctors and Angels, but this was the Ombudsman’s office…

Shortly after my brush with Adam Peat’s sidekick, I received a reply from Adam himself. He had decided that he wasn’t going to investigate my complaint against the North West Wales NHS Trust. Not in the public interest. (This was at a time when the North West Wales NHS Trust had the second highest suicide rate among women in England and Wales.) I mentioned this later to a Welsh politician who was honest enough to tell me that there was a major problem with the Ombudsman’s office, in that Peat was choosing not to investigate an awful lot of very serious complaints. I now have the documentation relating to that period of time – evidence of perjury and perverting the course of justice, the altering of medical records, a forged document allegedly written by me found in the possession of the GMC, evidence of dishonesty on the part of the Mental Health Act Commission, the illegal interference with my record on the Police National Computer and the forging of a certificate of indictment on the part of the Courts among much other wrongdoing.

Looks like Adam had knowingly ignored some very, very serious stuff.

Adam Peat retired as the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in April 2008. His final report before he retired covered the period 2007/08. This report showed that despite a 10% increase in complaints that year, the number upheld by the Ombudsman remained roughly the same. Out of 1420 complaints, Peat only upheld – either whole or in part – 139. He did not investigate 975 complaints. Of the complaints that Peat did uphold, 19 became public interest reports. So Peat was ignoring an awful lot of problems – and nearly all the 1420 complaints will have been a result of very serious problems because one cannot approach the Ombudsman until one has exhausted all other avenues of complaint and even then there are so many hurdles to overcome that no-one would ever get as far as the Ombudsman unless they had a real grievance.

So who was Peat, the man who decided that it was best to ignore thousands of complaints, even ones involving serious corruption in the NHS, social services, police, court service and probation service – for which he was paid £135k pa? Well between 1998 and 2003, Adam Peat was a senior civil servant in the National Assembly of Wales. For the previous nine years he had been Chief Exec of Tai Cymru, the body funding and regulating the housing association movement in Wales. Now my worries about Peat were always that he had prevented an investigation into such serious wrongdoing in the NHS – but his activities re housing are just as worrying. He had spent all those years involved with Tai Cymru, yet as Ombudsman he was responsible for investigating housing problems. Indeed, housing problems were something that he took a very big interest in – during his time as Ombudsman, one of his reports was devoted to housing allocation and homeless provision. So not only was Peat suppressing complaint into criminal activities in the NHS, but he had massive conflicts of interest as well.

So where is Adam Peat now? He’s back in the housing business! Adam Peat OBE is now Chairman of Magna Housing. Magna Housing is a community based housing association located primarily in Dorset and Somerset and provides over 8500 homes to let and 350 shared ownership homes. It’s annual turnover is in excess of £36 million. There is a notice on Magna’s website explaining that Magna has a confidential reporting process for employees to report serious concerns relating to trafficking and modern slavery. This organisation has a Chairman who suppressed a complaint about people involved in organised crime, namely a paedophile ring that was trafficking young people into prostitution. I wonder what’s going to happen if a Magna employee does report modern slavery or trafficking?

One of the blogs that I follow is Jac O The North. I don’t share the political views of Jac and most of his correspondents, but Jac does an excellent job of exposing corruption in Wales. There has been much on Jac’s blog concerning housing associations in Wales and the very odd things that seem to be happening in them. For example, the very great difficulty that some people even those who have lived in Wales for years have obtaining housing association properties. Many of Jac’s correspondents have written in with anecdotes of serious offenders from England somehow succeeding in obtaining housing association properties in rural Wales after they have been released from prison. A lot of those offenders have been sex offenders – and there was even a case in which yes, a whole paedophile ring were rehoused in Wales from England. When I first started reading these accounts, I presumed that these were the sort of myths one hears which don’t bear much relation to reality – along the lines of Theresa May’s anecdote to the Tory Party Conference about the terrorist who couldn’t be deported because his pet cat allowed him to use the Human Rights Act to remain in the UK. ‘I am not making this up’ said Theresa. It turned out that she was. However, it seems that Jac and his correspondents really are not making things up – sex offenders and people known to be involved with organised sexual abuse are being housed in rural Wales despite having no previous connections with the region at all. And it is happening too frequently for it to be a consequence of the general movement of people who choose to relocate. What if, as well as the network of corrupt people in the NHS, police, social services and legal services facilitating organised child sexual abuse and associated people trafficking, there were a few of them working in the housing association sector?

What do you reckon Adam?

 

 

 

Last Man Standing

I have plagiarized the title of this post from Jack Straw’s autobiography which I am about to start reading. Because I haven’t read his book yet I don’t know why a privileged former Cabinet Minister has framed himself as the last man standing, but the subject of this blog post really is worthy of that title, as his chances of reaching mid-life yet alone pensionable age were so much lower than Straw’s. I decided to write this post to illustrate the ways in which mental health patients’ experiences are grossly caricatured by mental health staff, how abuses and horrors are intentionally air-brushed out of medical histories and how if anyone really wanted to uncover the institutional wrongdoing that was prevalent in north Wales during the latter decades of the twentieth century they could, quite easily.

The man starring in this post is F, a man who has spent most of his adult life living among the hippy community in Bethesda. F acquired diagnoses of, variously, ‘paranoid schizophrenia’, ‘drug induced psychosis’ and ‘chronic psychotic illness, resistant to medication’. F did suffer from a psychotic illness and at stages during his life had been in a very bad way indeed, but the way in which he had arrived at that state does not appear in any of his medical records. F is – unbelievably for those of us who know something of his adventures – still alive, although I understand is no longer under the ‘care’ of the mental health services, after a lifetime of their ‘help’. He told them to piss off some three years ago as he had decided that they play no useful role.

As did many of the Bethesda hippies, F came from a middle class background in England but actively made the decision to ‘drop out’ sometime in the seventies. He moved to Bethesda in either the late 70s or early 80s when his first wife took up a place at Bangor to do teacher training. By the time that F had moved to Bethesda he had already acquired a degree in Fine Art – at one point he was described as the most talented artist in north Wales, but unlike his contemporaries Ed Povey and Peter Prendergast, F was seriously hampered by illness. He could still do the artistic bit and churned out excellent work but tended to say and do bizarre and unacceptable things at exhibitions or when trying to negotiate sales, which unsurprisingly resulted in him not ever selling very much.

By the time that they arrived in Bethesda, F and his wife were enthusiastic dope blowers as well as keen consumers of magic mushrooms. They were completely uninterested in narcotics, had pretty much given up amphetamines but occasionally took hallucinogens. Although F’s wife qualified as a teacher she didn’t like teaching and she established a gardening and house renovating business. F spent most of his time painting although he did spend a few summers working as a gardener at Penrhyn Castle – he inherited money as a young man which enabled him to lead quite a leisurely lifestyle. Previous posts have discussed the police corruption that was rampant in north Wales. This has received UK-wide media coverage because of the part that it played in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, but students and hippies invariably experienced it in the form of the completely bent drug squad that operated in north Wales, in particular two notorious plain clothes drug squad officers who used to frequent the Bangor area and stitch up anyone whom had crossed their path. The effect of the actions of these two was to constantly harass and prosecute people for possessing small amounts of cannabis whilst allowing a thriving trade in hard drugs to develop in the area, to a large degree facilitated by Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘peer support workers’ at CAIS who were frequently dealing to their ‘clients’.

F came to the attention of the corrupt drug squad because he was basically a hippy who was newly arrived in the area. In the early 80s they raided his house. During the raid, they planted cocaine in his wife’s handbag and seized the small amount of cannabis that was in the house. The drug squad then ordered F’s wife to make a statement against him, framing him for possessing much greater quantities of drugs than he actually had, in return for a plea bargain concerning the cocaine that they had planted on her. F and his wife had a volatile relationship and led a fairly chaotic existence – although they were both bright and well-educated – and thus F’s wife allowed herself to be threatened by the drug squad in this way. So F was arrested and taken off to the police station. He was not given access to a solicitor whilst he was there. At the police station – I think it was Bangor – he was ordered to strip naked. After he did so, a senior officer – F described him as an ‘inspector’ – walked into the room and in F’s words ‘ogled me’ and commented on his genitals. F responded by saying ‘Christ can’t I even undress in peace’ and ‘why do you want to look at another naked man’. The Inspector punched him in the face. F responded by saying ‘that took a real man with the whole police force behind you’ and stated to the constable who had witnessed this assault that he would complain about this. The Inspector walked out and F didn’t see him again. F  was charged with possession of drugs – far more than he had actually been in possession of – and after a long while, with no medical attention following the punch in the face, was released. He went back to Bethesda, distressed after what had happened at the police station.

He was alone at home, his wife had gone back to England to visit family, not knowing what had happened at the station. That night, F descended into a full blown psychosis. He had not consumed any drugs since leaving the station – his interpretation is that the arrest, framing and assault at the station had been so traumatising that it all precipitated the psychotic episode. (F had experienced his first psychotic episode in England a couple of years previously.) F’s account of that night is that he hallucinated giant spiders crawling out of the walls, a demon sitting in the corner of the room and then heard God’s voice telling him to ‘raze this house’. F set fire to the house – it was a terrace and fortunately the neighbours saw smoke and called the fire brigade. By this time F had left the house believing that it was possessed. He spent the night outside, seriously ill and he was only picked up when the police arrested him for arson and endangering life.

He was taken to the magistrates court – I think in Bangor – and was detained in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for ‘psychiatric assessment’. F’s account is that after two weeks or so in Risley, the psychotic episode had passed – not that he received any ‘medication’ whilst he was there. He graphically described to me how every night he heard the screams of the other prisoners as they were beaten up by the prison officers, how prison officers taunted all the prisoners with threats of ‘we’ll make sure you come back here and it will be even worse when you do’ and how when he asked an officer if he would change the light bulb in his cell because it kept flickering on and off and was stopping him from sleeping, the officer removed the light bulb leaving him in darkness saying ‘you’ll sleep alright now won’t you’. He was left in darkness for several days. But something else happened to F whilst he was in Risley. A detective from London came to visit him and tried to interview him. This detective got frustrated with F and gave up, threw him back in his cell saying ‘There’s no point talking to you, you’re mad’. F told me this story many times but he never managed to work out what it was that the detective from London wanted to know. F remembers the detective constantly saying ‘I want to talk to you about your brother’. F  had a brother who lived in Surrey whom he did not get on with and had little contact with. F’s brother ran the family business, he was not involved with drugs or hippydom and he was very condemning of F’s lifestyle. So it is unlikely that the detective would have been hoping to grill F about any potential criminal activities involving his brother.

I had always presumed that the detective would have been after info about the drugs trade in north Wales. But researching the details of the North Wales Child Abuse Ring and it’s network into Westminster has thrown up another possibility that F himself never mentioned. F had been violently assaulted after challenging an Inspector who had walked into his cell after F had been framed and ordered to take off his clothes. F was a young man when this happened, he was attractive as a young man and he was also very slightly built. We now know that police officers such as Gordon Anglesea – who was, guess what, an Inspector – were sexually abusing boys and young men after they had been arrested, detained and criminalised for trivial offences. Those young men described being violently assaulted if they resisted – and many of them ended up in Risley Remand Centre or in the mental health system. F had announced his intention to complain about the officer who hit him. The assault had been witnessed by a constable. F was not an illiterate teenager who had grown up in care, he was from a middle class affluent family and his wife’s father was a society dentist with mates in Harley Street. F’s wife’s brother was a journalist. I’m wondering if there might have been some very worried police officers after F ended up going psychotic – F had of course made the headlines of the local papers after setting fire to the house. I suspect that this might have been why F received a visit from a detective from London when he was in Risley. F’s father was dead and his mother had returned to South Africa to live (she grew up there and only moved to England after she married) – so F’s brother was his only blood relative. F’s next of kin was of course his wife – who had been framed by the police herself and forced to make a statement against him. I really don’t think that the North Wales Police would have wanted to answer any difficult questions about what had happened to F in the police station.

So what happened to F after this detective visited him in Risley? Whilst he was there, F’s psychotic episode quietened down. By this time he did have a solicitor, who visited him in Risley and told him that although everyone accepted that he was no longer psychotic, he was going to be transferred to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh ‘to keep the courts happy’. F was told that he would only be expected to stay at Denbigh for three weeks or so. The charges of ‘endangering life’ were dropped – interestingly enough, after F’s solicitor mentioned that he had been assaulted by an unidentified police officer. F was charged and convicted of arson. He was then transferred to the North Wales Hospital – to the care of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones!

So F arrived at Denbigh, no longer psychotic. Once there he was told again that he would just be there for a month or so as a formality. He had an interview with Dafydd and like all interviews with Dafydd it was bizarre. F described Dafydd as ‘a bit of a twat’, but F is quite open and friendly even to twats, so cheerfully engaged in a conversation with Dafydd about his cannabis smoking habits. F’s account of his interview with Dafydd is worth hearing – he does a good impersonation of Dafydd and explains how he mentioned to Dafydd that he was walking in the mountains and ate some grass. To which Dafydd responded ‘do you mean mar-i-jew-a-na?’. F replied ‘no, grass’. Dafydd asked ‘why were you eating grass?’ F explained ‘because I was thirsty’. At which point Dafydd began furiously scribbling away. F later caught sight of his notes – Dafydd had described him as ‘a man with pleasant manners and casual attire’ who of course was suffering from ‘cannabis psychosis’. No mention of F and his wife being framed by the drug squad, no mention of F being punched in the face by a senior police officer who had inexplicably appeared as F was naked, no mention of conditions at Risley Remand Centre, no mention of the detective from London visiting F at Risley, no mention of F no longer being psychotic and only being admitted to Denbigh ‘to keep the courts happy’. No mention of any of it – but a diagnosis of cannabis psychosis!

So did F only stay at Denbigh for a month to keep the courts happy? No, of course not. F was in Denbigh for a year. When F was first admitted to Denbigh, F commented to the nurses on their quasi-military uniforms. He playfully flicked the epaulettes on the shirt of one nurse and asked him if he was a sergeant major. He was dragged off down a corridor and sedated. After about four weeks in Denbigh F was offered amphetamines by another patient. Yes, Dafydd’s proud establishment, his much boasted about ‘therapeutic community’ where people who’d grown up in care and hippies had to remain for months and months to keep them away from the perils of cannabis, was host to a healthy trade in drugs much more problematic than cannabis. At the time that F was offered the amphetamines, he was severely depressed so he accepted the offer. Whatever he was given was incredibly strong – and it precipitated another psychotic episode. So F was deemed to be suffering from such a serious form of cannabis psychosis that he was detained by Dafydd for a year.

Imprisoning F for a year lest anyone began to investigate those corrupt police officers wasn’t enough for Dafydd though. F only narrowly escaped ending up in Holyrood House, the appalling ‘care home’ in Llandudno run by Margaret Richards that was choc full of Dafydd’s patients. Holyrood House was the centre of a media expose in the 1980s and even got a mention on ‘That’s Life’. Patients were being beaten up by a heavy who was employed as a ‘security guard’ there and a former drug addict from Liverpool was responsible for the drugs cabinet. When Dafydd finally decided that the coast was clear and that it was safe to let F out, he told F that he would make a better recovery in lovely Llandudno. F told me that he ‘wanted to get back to dogs, Bethesda and mess, not live in bloody Llandudno’. Dafydd then refused to let F out ‘because you do not have an offer of accommodation’. Apart from Holyrood House that was. After a few weeks of Dafydd trying to force F into Holyrood House or be forever incarcerated in Denbigh, F sneaked out of the grounds, rang a hippy friend in Bethesda, explained what was happening and the hippy friend agreed to write to Dafydd offering F accommodation. And that is the only way that F actually got out of Denbigh.

F had many other adventures in Denbigh. I’m not going to detail them all here, I’m going to let those we know and love guess how much F told me. They’ll all know who F is and because F is chatty a lot of them actually know what happened to him before he set fire to his house because he used to talk about it quite openly. But those bastards don’t know what else he told me….

Whilst F was in Denbigh, he did try and engage the help of the charity ‘Release’, which had a reputation for being able to get people out of prison or police custody if they had been arrested on drugs charges. A man from ‘Release’ did go all the way up to Denbigh from England, but he was unable to get F out. I wonder what he thought was happening – he had travelled to the wilds of Wales and found a sane but eccentric man being held prisoner in a hell-hole…

I knew F well for the best part of ten years and I knew how he and his problems were conceptualised by the Hergest Unit throughout the 1990s. It was all a matter of drug induced psychosis – or occasionally there would be speculation that he was someone who would have been vulnerable to psychosis anyway, but his consumption of drugs triggered it. I heard him tell Hergest staff what had happened before the fire. I was even in his company when he met the policeman who had witnessed the Inspector punch him in the face and he reminded that policeman of what had happened that day – the policeman still worked locally. The policeman looked sheepish and had a sudden lapse of memory. More recently that particular policeman was stationed at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

North Wales is heaving with people who knew that these sorts of things were happening. They are all colluding in a sort of en masse delusion as many of them now move into their comfortable retirements on public service pensions. Every time the North Wales Child Abuse ring is mentioned – ooh, no, I never knew anything about that. Every time police corruption is mentioned – ooh but we never knew. As for Denbigh – ooh it wasn’t good, but no, we didn’t know patients were being abused….

F’s adventures at Risley and at the hands of Dafydd are some thirty years ago now. But F was stung more recently all over again by those we know and love. My post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’ details how F was denied access to his own baby because he dared report a child molester who was being protected by Jo Bott, the monstrous ‘safeguarding officer’. Bott had previously been a police officer. That post also describes the untimely death of yet someone else who had witnessed wrongdoing on the part of Gwynedd Social Service’s child protection team – this young man was killed just at the time that no-one could deny any longer that child abuse on an enormous scale had taken place in north Wales and talk of police cover-ups and possible public inquiries were in the media.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post how F has suffered from a psychotic illness throughout his life. This is true – he is bright and sociable, but he certainly had difficulties throughout the whole time that I knew him. But the thing that I noticed more and more during the 90s were that a lot of F’s difficulties were being caused by the mental health services. Not just in the obvious ways – they stood by whilst he was fleeced financially by an unscrupulous family after he finally split up from his first wife and they stood by whilst lies were perpetuated about him which led to him losing access to his own child – but the ‘medication regime’ that he was on had to be witnessed to be believed. This was someone who when he was young did take drugs – but he gave up illegal drugs after the house fire and the year in Denbigh. Instead he moved onto prescribed drugs – which were given to him in huge quantities by the mental health services. Obviously they didn’t have to work too hard to persuade him to take them, he was delighted to have some drugs to take – but they did bugger all to try to stop him. As far as I knew there were only two people – two of the rather better GPs that worked in the area – who warned him frankly about the dangers of excessive drugs and told him that they would in no way collude with him if he abused prescription drugs. The psychiatrists at the Hergest Unit – namely Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Dr Bob Tresman – loaded him up with more and more drugs as the years went by. The drugs were never reviewed, although they were very obviously affecting F’s functioning – he used to sleep for about 18 hours a day because he was so heavily sedated – and whenever he expressed any anxiety or stress (which he did very regularly) the prescription pad would be wielded and another anti-psychotic or benzodiazepine would be added. But no drug was EVER removed as another one was added. Suggestions from other people that he might be massively over-medicated would be brushed aside with ‘but he’s got a psychotic illness’. Yet bizarrely his Hergest notes described him as ‘chronically psychotic, resistant to medication’. If his illness was resistant to medication why did they continue to dispense so much of it and continue adding to it?

As F hit his 40s, his teeth very obviously began to disintegrate. He maintained that there was nothing wrong with his teeth because he wasn’t experiencing toothache. In the end, he was persuaded by his friends to visit a dentist. By the time that he made that visit his teeth were so far gone that the dentist maintained that the only option was to remove the remains that were there. F was staggered and asked the dentist why he hadn’t been getting toothache. The dentist explained that he was on such high levels of benzodiazepines and anti-psychotics that his pain receptors weren’t responding. Even the dentist was shocked as to the drugs that were being prescribed. There was one person in F’s life who took prescription drugs along with him though – that was a social worker who lived in the village who had been a friend of his from his hippy days. She used to pop around for a coffee and down a few benzodiazepines with him, just as the rest of his friends were desperately trying to impress upon him that the shite being foisted upon him by the wielders of prescription pads in the Hergest was not really doing him any good. That social worker now works as a social work trainer for Conwy!

F is no longer living in Bethesda and I haven’t seen him for years, but one of my friends is in contact with him. He is now in his 60s and I am told that his psychotic symptoms have decreased drastically, that he still paints and that his moods are much more stable. A few years ago for a while, for the first time in his life, he was allocated a CPN whom I was told was head and shoulders above the others. This CPN actually managed to get a review of F’s medication to reduce the amount being prescribed. His psychotic symptoms gradually started to recede….

So that’s the story of F, who is indeed the last man standing from Denbigh. As far as I know, I and two other women are the last women standing. Like nearly all the former kids in care who witnessed the North Wales Paedophile Ring in action, everyone else from Denbigh (and pretty much the early days of the Hergest Unit as well) is dead. But before they died, they will have told scores of people what had happened to them. Which was almost certainly why no-one worked too hard to ensure that they stayed alive.

F spent more than thirty years being used by the mental health services in north Wales as a cautionary tale of the perils of Too Much Cannabis. He was actually the consequence of a corrupt drug squad, a perverted and violent police inspector, a corrupt magistrates court and Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the associated thoroughly rotten mental health and children’s services. Compared to the damage that lot did to F, the cannabis was neither here nor there.

Although the main trashing of F seems to have been precipitated by the fear of what would happen if anyone started investigating the circumstances in which he was arrested and what subsequently went on in the police station, a lot of people had a vested interest years later in ensuring that no-one would believe anything that F said and not just because of his knowledge of the misconduct on the part of the children’s services in Gwynedd. F had a sense of humour and although he was always dismissed by Hergest staff as being completely mad, he chatted to people, listened to their stories, remembered those stories and often knew some of the ‘professionals’ whose misconduct he was hearing about. He had heard nearly as many first hand accounts of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s inappropriate conduct with female patients and staff as I had heard; he noticed that everyone appointed as a ‘service user representative’ in Gwynedd and Anglesey was a total fuckwit who were simply doing what they were told by the managers of the mental health services and he confronted Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, about the naked corruption that was occurring between the managers and clinical director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, Dr Terry Maxwell; he personally knew people who had been threatened with violence by staff of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team; he knew scores of dispossessed people in the area whose lives had been ruined by those we know and love, including people who had been sexually molested by people paid to care for them; he knew about the corruption in MIND and had confronted the staff in the Bangor branch about it and was then banned from the ‘drop in centre’ by the Voice Of The Patients Helen Milne (who after ignoring the criminal abuse of patients at MIND was given the Rape Crisis Centre to play with would you believe) and sometimes, as a result of entertaining himself, F would uncover serious wrongdoing. One such occasion involved F’s efforts to secure a telephone for the Hergest whistleblower.

The Hergest whistleblower led a team of three or four and was the most valuable, helpful member of staff at the Hergest Unit. He was of course also the only person who kept blowing the whistle on the malpractice up there. F noticed that the Hergest whistleblower was treated very disrespectfully by Alun Davies and that although he was a team leader and had a bigger client load than anyone else, the Hergest whistleblower was the only member of staff who didn’t have a phone in his office. So F announced that he would get him a phone. He didn’t tell the whistleblower that he was going to do this, but he did tell me. F then rang BT and told them that he was John Mullen – who was either Chair or Chief Exec of the Trust at the time – and that he wanted to order an extra phone for an office in the Hergest Unit. And BT actually said ‘will this be on the special arrangement Mr Mullen?’ F was not asked to prove who he was, he was not asked anything about an invoice or an account, he was just asked if it was to be on the special arrangement. So F said ‘yes please’ and gave BT the number of the office in the Hergest Unit in which the whistleblower worked. There were literally no questions asked at all, BT cheerily stated that they would be installing the phone asap. F then rang the receptionist of the Hergest Unit, claiming to be BT and told her that a telephone would soon be arriving for the Hergest whistleblower’s office and when BT arrived please could she show them to the correct office. She was happy to oblige. I didn’t think that this plan would ever work, but it was really incredible because about a week later, there was a newly installed phone in the whistleblower’s office. F asked him about it and the whistleblower said ‘it’s all rather odd, I didn’t ask for a phone, Alun Davies told me that I wouldn’t be getting one, but it just arrived’.

So as Brown pointed out, there was obviously an irregular corrupt arrangement between that Trust and BT. Where had the bill for the installation of the phone been sent? Where was the bill for the use of the phone being sent? What on earth was the ‘special arrangement’? How the bloody hell could a patient make one phone call to BT’s marketing dept, claiming to be John Mullen and order a phone? Brown speculated that people in that Trust were installing home phones for themselves and charging them to the NHS and suggested that F could probably have ordered a car for the Hergest whistleblower as well and had that on a special arrangement.

Would John Mullen and Alun Davies care to enlighten us all regarding the ‘special arrangement’? This was happening during the John Major NHS efficiency years, circa 1995. About the time of the Jillings Report and all those assurances from the Welsh Office that there was nothing at all untoward happening in the public services in north Wales. Ooh and about the time that Dafydd was allowed to retire without all the very serious complaints about him being followed up and with the contract for providing ‘substance abuse services’ in his greedy clutches (see post ‘The Evolution Of a Drugs Baron?’).

F’s problems with the North Wales Police were a regular occurrence as well. At one point for a short while, he moved to Holyhead. His house was burgled and he called the police. An officer arrived who then threatened F. F told the officer that he would complain to a senior officer about this – so the police were forewarned. F arrived at the police station shortly afterwards and explained to the desk sergeant that he wished to make a complaint. The desk sergeant tried to obstruct him, so F asked to see the Inspector. The desk sergeant disappeared into the depths and F heard him swearing away at the Inspector waxing lyrical about what a pain F was. F heard the Inspector ask ‘but is he intelligent?’. The sergeant replied ‘yes’. F was entertained to find that the Inspector then appeared wearing a pair of half moons, presumably with the intention of impressing upon F that he was a scholarly intellectual man, rather than a corrupt old bastard whose officers threatened burglary victims. F’s complaint went uninvestigated. The half moons became a joke, because of course Dafydd and many of the other clapped out old fools with whom we all had to deal sported half moons. I have been told that in criminology, this sort of thing is known as a ‘signifier’ – conmen use such techniques, for example brass plaques outside the buildings of people masquerading as professionals when they are not. But in north Wales it was half moons.

Readers might think that although mental health professionals and others in north Wales were told hair-raising stories by F, this was a man who did suffer from a psychotic illness and perhaps those professionals genuinely didn’t believe the stories that F recounted. After all, Dafydd et al were writing down that F had ‘cannabis psychosis’, they certainly weren’t recording what had actually happened to him at their hands or anyone else’s, although he was telling everyone very clearly. It would be understandable to conclude that in the face of wrongdoing this dreadful, it could be difficult to believe a patient with serious mental health problems. But as I keep mentioning, there are some old lags in north Wales who’ve cluttered up the place for decades and they witnessed much of this, although every time there’s an investigation it’s a case of ‘I Know Nuzzing’. That is why I’ve started naming people on this blog.

Now there is one social worker in north Wales who has spent the last twenty years working in community work/probation work/alcohol and substance abuse services/social work training who most definitely knows the names of many of the sinners and knows about the sins that they committed – and many, many years ago he knew F. Step forward Wulf Livingstone, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Glyndwr University.

Wulf Livingstone certainly knows me from my time working in the School of Social Sciences at Bangor University, but I doubt that he remembers the first time that he met me. It was in about 1993 and I was in a café in Bangor with F. Livingstone breezed through and F cheerily greeted him, only to be patronised by Wulf and spoken to like a loony. That was because Wulf was moving away from being a ‘service user’ himself into one who provides the services. After Wulf had gone, F explained that he knew Wulf from his drug taking days and that Wulf had ‘worked as a cook for that bastard Tindall and sued him’. Tindall was a notorious Bangor ‘businessman’ who owned and ran a number of absolutely dreadful ‘care homes’ for mental health patients – they were bad even by north Wales standards and were eventually forcibly shut down, amid rumours of Tindall being investigated by the police and being forced to surrender his passport. One of Tindall’s ‘homes’ seemed to almost solely house patients of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. The sorts of things that went on in Tindall’s ‘homes’ were gross – elderly patients thrown back onto beds if they fell out at night, homes for EMI patients had no incontinence pads or gloves available, all health and safety considerations were ignored, chipped and cracked crockery was standard practice, furniture was purchased from junk shops, patients were fed inadequate quantities of the cheapest food available, staff were employed who had been dismissed from everywhere else, it was truly dire. Because there was a shortage of jobs in north Wales, a lot of people took jobs with Tindall’s establishments and left again within a couple of weeks – there were numerous allegations of Tindall not paying people. Wulf’s name was being bandied around Bangor as someone who had been swindled by Tindall and who had challenged him in court. That was how I first heard of and met Wulf.

Years later, when I started in the School of Social Sciences, I was gobsmacked to find Wulf working there – he was introduced to me as a social work lecturer ‘with an interest in mental health’. He didn’t seem too overjoyed to see me – I very much doubt that he ever remembered meeting me that day in the café with F, so I wondered if he was part of the contingent that had begun squirming with embarrassment because I’d turned up at the University with decades of knowledge of how patients were actually being treated in the ‘services’ that these folk were associated with. By then, Brown and I had also started appearing in the laypress making very critical noises about the mental health services in north Wales. A couple of days later I saw Wulf again at lunchtime, so I thought that I’d try to be sociable and I went over to say hello. I told him that he probably wouldn’t remember me but years ago I remembered him making a name for himself by taking on Tindall in court. I told him that it was good to know that someone had challenged Tindall. But Wulf’s reaction was quite interesting – he very obviously didn’t want to talk about that and he just said ‘yeh, right, yeh, nasty man’. So I made a few comments about the vile abuse of patients that had been going on and that I was very glad to see Tindall put out of business. I then mentioned that another chain of care homes equally as abusive as Tindall’s had started up, Prestwood Homes and I wondered if Prestwood was actually anything to do with Tindall. Wulf then announced ‘yeh, yeh, I know all about Prestwwod too. Still, we don’t want to go back to Denbigh do we’ and got up and walked off. Which apart from being bizarre and rude was unfathomable, because the likes of Tindall and Prestwood were abusing patients being released from psychiatric hospitals in exactly the same way that Holyrood House abused patients released from Denbigh.

Over the next few months I began to suspect that I knew why Wulf might have a problem with me. I discovered that since that day in the café, he had actually worked for many of the utterly shite organisations jammed full of abusive or corrupt people – but unlike Brown and me he wasn’t going public about any of it. And he knew that I knew what was going on and that I had intentions of publishing. Furthermore Wulf liked to portray himself as a radical service users champion – so I don’t think he really would have wanted anyone to know what he was keeping quiet about. Wulf had of course worked for CAIS – Dafydd’s set up. Unlike the stooges employed by Hergest as ‘service user representatives’, Wulf is not gullible and naïve, he is a very competent social scientist and he knows abuse and malpractice when he sees it. And from what I know of his CV, he has seen much of it. He was involved with CAIS for years and he also worked for the probation service in north Wales – the probation service that employed some of the people who had been accused of child abuse, the probation service that was warehousing the scores of people who had been fitted up in the way that so many people like F and indeed myself were.

Wulf definitely knows all about another man as well, who like so many of us experienced the worst of the ‘services’. This man was a friend of F years ago and experienced alcohol and drug problems himself for many years. He tried AA and walked out because he found an associate of Dafydd Alun Jones there – a man who masqueraded as a Minister and used to appear wearing his dog collar on TV and calling himself ‘Rev’ along with Dafydd, discussing how people could be weaned off drugs and drink. This friend of F’s brought a lot of grief upon himself by exposing this fake Minister. This man has also done much to challenge another bunch of quacks in north Wales claiming to offer ‘services’ to people with substance abuse and alcohol problems, a group based on Anglesey called AGRO. I do not know one person who has benefitted from AGRO, everybody has described it as a con. There is no confidentiality at all, another friend who was ‘referred’ to AGRO by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team received e mails openly cc’d to dozens of other ‘service users’ with their names and e mail addresses visible to all. On one occasion this friend received an e mail from AGRO asking him to send money urgently because the organiser of AGRO had been robbed whilst on holiday in the Philippines and needed money to get back home – whether this was the organiser of AGRO trying a rather transparent scam or whether his e mail had been hacked I do not know, but AGRO is very obviously not an organisation which is going to assist people with drink or drug problems. AGRO is of course in receipt of funding from numerous sources. How do I know that Wulf knows all about F’s friend’s experiences with AA, Dafydd, the fake Minister and AGRO? Because a couple of years ago I bumped into him and he told me that he was having another go at detoxing – and that his mentor was a man called Wulf Livingstone.

So Wulf has been a ‘service user’ himself, he knows other ‘service users’ very well and he knows exactly how bad and abusive the ‘services’ are – the services that he now works for! Just before I left north Wales I was given the name of a CAIS worker who it was alleged was a major drug dealer in Gwynedd. I was told that she and Wulf were in discussion regarding plans to set up a business together offering probation ‘services’ – the probation service is undergoing a sort of privatisation process and from what I understand many probation officers are now forming businesses in order to contract out their services to the probation service. I also notice that the online blurb available about Wulf describes him as providing ‘social work supervision’ for several teams and that he is also involved with the British Association for Social Work Cymru. It also states that Wulf is part of the ‘growing north Wales recovery movement’. There is no ‘recovery movement’ in north Wales, it is another illusion like ‘service user involvement’, organised by the same abusive colluding people who have spent years colluding with all the other malpractice. Wulf will of course know all about the appalling practices of the likes of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. He has a particular interest in alcohol and substance abuse – so he will know that the Hergest Unit refuses to assist anyone at all with alcohol or substance abuse problems and that there has been a number of deaths of such patients hours after they have been turned away from the Hergest Unit.

So what’s keeping you so quiet about the rampant wrongdoing, misconduct and abuse of vulnerable people in north Wales then Wulf?

Are You Local?

My post ‘Local Accessories’ named a few former social workers from Gwynedd who undoubtedly had knowledge of the wrongdoing by the paedophile gang and their associates that operated in north Wales. Following all the bad publicity, the police investigation and Waterhouse Inquiry in the 90s, it was admitted even by those who were doing their utmost to conceal the extent of the abuse of children in care in north Wales that there was a paedophile gang that operated in the Wrexham and Cheshire area and that they abused children in care in the region. It is admitted that the most dreadful sexual abuse occurred at Bryn Estyn and at the Bryn Alyn Community in Clwyd and a number of ‘care staff’ were imprisoned. Even dear old Ronnie Waterhouse acknowledged that. Ronnie also identified Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation but she did nothing to stop it. Yet Ronnie really poo-poohed the notion that widespread sexual abuse had happened in the children’s homes in Gwynedd, even at Ty’r Felin, the children’s home in Bangor run by the dreadful Nefyn Dodd and his wife June, as detailed in ‘Local Accessories’.

Conditions at Ty’r Felin were known to be dreadful and Dodd was ferociously violent towards the children. ‘Local Accessories’ described how the complicit fool Waterhouse dismissed the fact that a teenaged girl was allegedly made pregnant by David Hughes, a staff member at Ty’r Felin. As with so many folk in north Wales who are ‘highly disturbed’ – that is who allege terrible abuse and wrongdoing – this girl was transported elsewhere, in her case to south Wales. Documents now in my possession demonstrate that this is what Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and his colleagues were trying to ensure happened to me. They had their mate Dr Chris Hunter from the Caswell Clinic in south Wales on tap and were busy behind the scenes with a highly organised attempt to have me declared dangerous and transferred to Hunter’s institution. Indeed Hunter HAD proffered his opinion that I was ‘very dangerous’ – although he had never met me. His opinion had been formed on the ‘evidence’ presented to him by Tony Francis, as well as Jackie Brandt and Keith Fearns, two social workers from Gwynedd whose colleagues were of course abusing kids and colluding with organised paedophilic activity. For full details of the ‘case conference’ that was held about me – whilst I was employed in a London medical school with no knowledge of what was going on regarding my planned future ‘care’ at the hands of these monsters – please see post ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’.

Readers who follow the ‘comments’ section of my blog will have noticed that a friend of Tony Francis’s, Kate, is becoming increasingly angry with me as I reveal more about his network and activities on this blog. I have left Kate’s recent comments up because they are an example of what I have had to put up with for thirty years after unwittingly stumbling across the associates of the paedophiles – manipulative sleights, suggesting that I am some sort of wicked master-criminal who uses many aliases and harbours a crazed obsession resulting in me maligning innocent Top Doctors. Kate and co continually maintain that I have no evidence for my claims, despite me offering to show them the documentation that my lawyer forwarded to me a few months ago. They’re going to get even more angry with me now, because the activities of the social services in Gwynedd and the Top Doctors who concealed them were, it would seem, far worse than even I knew.

I have received communication from a journalist who maintains that Nefyn and June Dodd and their colleagues were not just excessively violent to children – I had heard that time and again and people I knew who worked at Ty’r Felin confirmed that – but that there was en masse sexual abuse happening at Ty’r Felin, just as there was at Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn in Clwyd. This journalist tells me that numerous former residents of Ty’r Felin didn’t just detail the physical abuse that they suffered at the Dodd’s hands, but they described how they were forced into participating into sex with the Dodds, repeatedly. It is also alleged that the girls at Ty’r Felin were taken to ‘nightclubs in Bangor’ by care staff where huge quantities of booze was consumed and the girls were forced into returning to the homes of people who had financial arrangements with the staff of the home. The boys were not taken to nightclubs but were farmed out to private homes and hotel rooms to provide sexual services there. After children left Ty’r Felin, they were transferred to London and trafficked into prostitution.

Now I had never heard about boys from that home working as prostitutes, but the allegations regarding the girls certainly ring true. The journalist who sent me all this is London-based, so probably doesn’t know that in Bangor in the 1980s one couldn’t talk of ‘nightclubs’. There was ONE nightclub, the Octagon, and it was notorious. Everybody had really looked forward to the Octagon opening when word got round that a nightclub had come to town because there wasn’t anything of the sort in Bangor and never had been. There was a shed on Anglesey called Plas Coch which deluded itself that it was a nightclub – this caused much entertainment among postgrads who came to Bangor after having done their first degrees in cities with real nightclubs – but Plas Coch was essentially just a barn that sold drink, held discos and paid local Welsh rock groups to do a turn there. It had a very good atmosphere though and came highly recommended and I don’t remember there ever being any grief at Plas Coch. But for a real nightclub one had to go to Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester. Bangor University Students Union also arranged trips to these cities to see rock groups because they did not come to Bangor, not even to the Students Union.

The Octagon opened I think in the summer of 1984 among much excitement. Samantha Fox came to the opening night and the lecherous old farts from the Daily Post and Bangor and Anglesey Mail could barely cope. People were really wowed by the Octagon because it had ‘moving coloured lights’. But within weeks students were telling each other not to go there. There were violent attacks on male students, sexual assaults on female students and the one thing that everybody was commenting on were the underage girls ‘from Maesgeirchan’ who were very obviously being sexually used by older men. Maesgeirchan is a big council estate on the outskirts of Bangor and in the 80s it was one of the most socially disadvantaged areas in Wales with a very high crime rate. One part of Maesgeirchan had such a fearsome reputation that people on the housing waiting list used to turn down the offer of a house if it was there. Ty’r Felin was located on Maesgeirchan.

At the time of the opening of the Octagon I knew a student who had been employed to help with the preparations. He told me that the club was being run by a bunch of gangsters from Manchester who were terrifying local businesses. Then the Octagon started hitting the local press on a regular basis. There were complaints that it was being used for large scale drug dealing. Then there were cases of passers-by being violently attacked and there was at least one rape of a young woman who had been in the vicinity. Yet the Octagon was not closed down. Considering how the good burghers of Bangor actually carried on in those days, that was incredible. Bangor famously didn’t have an M&S store because for some reason best known to themselves the Council had conspired to keep M&S at bay and when I first went to Bangor you still couldn’t buy alcohol in a pub on a Sunday. So everyone was mystified at Sodom and Gomorrah erupting in the form of the Octagon.

But it didn’t get closed down, instead it simply became a complete no go area for students and it was rumoured to be essentially a place where schoolgirls sold sex to very unsavoury men. Presumably all that was being facilitated by Ty’r Felin. Which would also explain why the Octagon never got closed down. It was the fucking managers of Gwynedd County Council who colluded with the paedophile ring, they weren’t going to shut down the brothel.

I note that the London journalist claims that boys from Ty’r Felin were sent to hotels with clients. Bangor was pretty devoid of hotels in the 80s as well. There was the Railway Hotel which may well have shut down by then anyway and the Temperance Hotel which also had probably shut by then. The two functioning hotels were the Castle Hotel and the British Hotel. The daughter of the family who owned the Castle Hotel studied at Bangor at the same time as me and achieved infamy for cheating in her finals – she was caught by an invigilator with sheets of crib notes from which she was openly copying – and then being allowed to graduate nonetheless. There was much bad feeling about that among the staff and there was speculation as to how she had managed to get away with it. The Castle Hotel had a cellar bar and my friends and I soon found out that going in there was not a good idea. The first occasion resulted in one of the boys from our house being approached by one of a gang of elderly rough-necks, who pointed to one of the other elderly rough-necks and said ‘did you know that he’s a former boxer?’ Whereupon my mate was rash enough to reply ‘with a face like that I didn’t think he’d be a brain surgeon’ and we had to flee. It transpired that the retired boxer was a bloke called Dai Davies from Maesgeirchan and his mates considered the cellar bar of the Castle their turf and the likes of us were not welcome. Street knowledge circulating around Bangor dictated that Dai Davies himself was not the problem, it was the meat-heads that accompanied him who were alleged to be into serious crime. There was an incident a while later in which some of them murdered a tourist on Anglesey. Dai Davies’s brother Steve Davies was a well-known maniac with a serious drug problem who ended up going to prison for a long time after terrifying someone so much that they jumped out of a window to escape what they were sure would be certain death at Davies’s hands and broke both of their legs. A few weeks after the brain surgeon comment, my mates and I were driving home from a friend’s house late one night when we encountered the Davies gang again in their beaten up elderly Mercedes and we had to escape their clutches once more. We were not the only people to have had an unpleasant encounter in the cellar bar, I heard of a number of other people who also had similar experiences there with the Davies’s and they pretty much colonised the place in the mid 80s. So it is possible that the Castle Hotel was being used as a location for the abuse of Ty’r Felin kids.

However I know for a fact that unscrupulous social workers had a nice little number going on with the British Hotel in the mid 1990s. I used to know a young learning disabled woman from Bethesda who one day couldn’t stop crying when she was on the bus. I asked her what the matter was and she explained that she didn’t like her job. This was weird because she was on benefits and was fairly obviously someone who wouldn’t have been able to hold down a conventional ‘job’, so I enquired further. It transpired that she was washing up in the British Hotel for 50p/hour between mid-morning and mid-afternoon every day and was being mistreated by her ‘boss’. I asked her why she didn’t simply leave the job and she told me that her social worker had told her that she had to do it. A pretty similar arrangement to the one that my friend’s wife uncovered when she worked at the teenaged boy’s hostel Ty Newydd (see post ‘Local Accessories’).

I suspect that the landscape for people with learning disabilities in north Wales was as grim as it was for kids in care or for people with mental health problems. There was a saga on Anglesey when it was discovered that a group of people with learning disabilities who had previously been staffing a café for 50p/hour had all been laid off and were told that if they wanted to continue working in the café, THEY would have to pay the café, because the jobs had been reclassified as ‘training’. I also discovered a bit of a dung heap in the late 80s when I naively applied for a job as an advocate at the hospital for people with learning disabilities at Bryn Yn Neuadd, Llanfairfechan. I was invited for interview, along with another candidate. When I arrived early (I get everywhere early, it can be interesting), I found the other candidate having a cup of tea in the office with the interviewing panel – they knew her because she was an employee of Bryn Yn Neuadd. The job was for an ‘independent advocate’ to ensure that nothing untoward was happening to the residents. I was also surprised when during the interview, one of the panel, a senior manager of Bryn Yn Neuadd, explained to me that most of the patients were ‘cabbages’. I did not get the job, so presumably they employed their own member of staff to safeguard the rights of the cabbages.

This lot are so fucking bad that they don’t even understand how bad they are.

Regarding hotels in Bangor, I note that there is a comment in the Waterhouse Report regarding one the of the former residents of Ty’r Felin who gave evidence that he was abused by Nefyn Dodd. This man explained that because he was on a ‘catering course’ at a hotel in Bangor, Nefyn Dodd made him do all the cooking and washing up at Ty’r Felin. Would that ‘catering course’ possibly have been one at the British Hotel which involved washing up for several hours a day at 50p/hour? And why was a schoolboy on a ‘catering course’ anyway? Ty’r Felin was a home for kids below the school leaving age. Ronnie doesn’t ask any difficult questions, as ever.

Previous posts (‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’ and ‘Local Accessories’) have detailed how Waterhouse blithely dismissed accounts of the most serious physical and sexual abuse of children or used the most flimsy and ludicrous explanations to point to why scores of witnesses could not be believed. I mentioned previously how at one point in the Waterhouse Report, Ronnie mentions that he was presented with a letter of ‘dubious authenticity’ written in Risley Remand Centre, sent to Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, in support of Nefyn and June Dodd, supposedly signed by a young man who’d alleged that they’d abused him. Ronnie accepts that the letter had been forged so ignores it. At no point does he wonder why someone would have gone to such lengths and the wrongdoing involved in the forging of the letter anyway. When people resort to forging documents, there is much at stake – as there is when they resort to inviting a load of people to a party and then petrol bombing the building (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’). So the Dodd’s protectors included folk working in Risley Remand Centre as well as Lucille Hughes who were happy to forge documentation. Just as Dr Tony Roberts’s protectors at the GMC were prepared to forge a letter from me (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

If the Dodd’s were involved in the trafficking of children for prostitution such extreme efforts to get them off the hook would be understandable. The one person in north Wales who had corrupt colleagues working at Risley Remand Centre was Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Lucille’s bedfellow. The Dafydd who discredited and banged up people who complained about the activities of the paedophile gang.

Dafydd was the Top Doctor who handled many of the young men from north east Wales who had passed through the children’s homes in Clwyd, although Dafydd himself lived on Anglesey. Dafydd’s domain was primarily the North Wales Hospital Denbigh but previous posts have explained how he held clinics in Ysbyty Gwynedd – although he rarely bothered to turn up, he was usually at a private clinic somewhere else. But children in care – and indeed learning disabled people – being exploited and abused in Gwynedd would undoubtedly come to the attention of Top Doctors and not only with regard to mental health issues. Sexual abuse/exploitation usually involves unwanted pregnancies, demands for contraception by unlikely people eg. very young girls and STDs. The information that the London based journalist sent me alleges cases of STDs at Ty’r Felin. The Top Doctors of Bangor would have known about that. Including Dr D.G.E. Wood, whose patients included people from Maesgeirchan (who didn’t like him – I witnessed some less than satisfied customers in his surgery). My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ described how practices at St David’s Hospital in Bangor were nearly on a par with the Magdalen laundries in Ireland. So how were the unwanted pregnancies at Ty’r Felin – of which the London-based journalist alleged there were many and even Waterhouse admits that he heard about one – dealt with? It was famously nearly impossible for women to access abortions in north Wales in the 80s because of an arrangement made by the local Top Doctors who were anti-abortion, that’s why students went private to Chester if they wanted terminations. Abused schoolgirls in care wouldn’t have been able to go private to Chester.

Trafficking and prostitution at Ty’r Felin would also explain why children from Gwynedd with alleged psychiatric problems were being sent by Gwynedd Health Authority to the notorious Gwynfa Unit in Clwyd, where they were of course abused, as detailed in post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’. Waterhouse’s Report mentions that both children in care and living with their own families were ending up at Gwynfa. If children from Gwynedd in care were being sent to Gwynfa, they will either have been residents of Ty’r Felin, Cartref Bontnewydd, Queens Park Close or Y Gwyngyll. (Queen’s Park Close and Y Gwyngyll were children’s homes on Anglesey.) They were the only children’s homes in Gwynedd (Anglesey came under Gwynedd for NHS purposes). Nefyn Dodd lived on the premises at Ty’r Felin, but he was also the line manager for Queen’s Park Close and Y Gwyngyll. Not only did Gwynfa take virtually all it’s patients from Gwynedd, but Dr Barry Kiehn, the child psychiatrist responsible for Gwynfa, was employed by Gwynedd Health Authority.

So if Nefyn Dodd was trafficking those kids, not only did the social services know about it but the Top Doctors did as well. Including the Top Doctors at the Hergest Unit. Sorry Kate, this one leads to Dr Tony Francis and his colleagues again.

I have gained a further insight into the everyday story of Ty’r Felin folk over the past two days. Someone who was a resident there has been e mailing me. As a fifteen year old in Ty’r Felin he was visited by a man involved with voluntary work at Ysbyty Gwynedd who was 61. He began a sexual relationship with him and when he left Ty’r Felin he went to live with this man – who it turned out wasn’t just using a false name, but was also a businessman in Bangor who was a complete crook. This man was violent and also used to take pornographic photos of the former Ty’r Felin resident. During an incident of domestic violence the former Ty’r Felin resident pushed the older man, who fell over, hit his head and died. The former Ty’r Felin resident was charged with murder. However those charges were mysteriously dropped and he was subsequently charged with manslaughter. He then found out that the older man who had been allowed into Ty’r Felin to abuse him had previously served a prison sentence for buggering children. When his case came to trial he was only given probation. Furthermore, the details of his trial did not appear anywhere in the media in Wales. I suspect because no-one wanted anyone to ever find out how a teenaged boy who’d left care had ended up cohabiting with an older sex offender who was beating him up and using him for porn. Particularly when the said sex offender was a well-known volunteer at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The former Ty’r Felin resident is now in the care of the mental health services. Who will of course know all about his past. So the Top Doctors DO know what was going on in Ty’r Felin, as do the probation service. This man has also told me that as a teenager in Bangor he was paid for sex by a number of doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd. My post ‘Another Case Of Not Knowing’ describes how a young psychiatric patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the early 1990s was being sexually exploited by a group of junior gynaecologists who worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd, who made her pregnant twice and who coerced her into abortions that she did not want and that they arranged. Her psychiatrist whilst she was admitted to a mental health ward the night before one of those terminations was a man called Tony Francis.

It comes as no surprise to me that a crooked businessman who was also a convicted sex offender was volunteering at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Dodgy business deals were a hallmark of that place and indeed the wider North West Wales NHS Trust. There was the chaos of ‘Butty Wars’ (see post ‘There’s Going To Be A Hog Roast’) which erupted in the wake of the WRVS HQ cancelling the contract that the WRVS Ysbyty Gwynedd canteen had with the Menai Deli to supply sandwiches – the Menai Deli whose proprietors seemed to have many close links with Elfed Roberts, the former Chairman of the NW Wales NHS Trust. Then there was squealing when Mary Burrows, the first CEO of the Betsi who did her best to clean up, dared to cancel the contract that Ysbyty Gwynedd had with Blasus Ar Fwyd – a catering company that just happens to be owned by Deiniol ap Dafydd, the son of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. The backhanders and dodgy dealing of course extends into the Third Sector as well. Posts ‘The CEOs of St David’s Hospice’ and ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’ describe how St David’s Hospice at Llandudno is managed and supported by the former clapped out staff and managers of the local NHS who were responsible for much wrongdoing. It hasn’t stopped. Trystan Pritchard, Elfed’s old mate who formerly worked as a manager at Ysbyty Gwynedd and who is now CEO of St David’s Hospice, appeared on the Daily Post’s website today explaining how he was hoping to come to an agreement with the Betsi regarding the hospice using the ‘unused wards’ of the Betsi. Peter Higson, the Chair of the Betsi, is quoted as saying that he’s sure that they’ll be able to help. Of course they will, no-one will ask how a Health Board with waiting lists a mile long has spare capacity to donate to Trystan or will question the numerous conflicts of interest which will no doubt be involved.

My correspondent who spent time in Ty’r Felin mentioned something else as well. That he approached the S4C programme ‘Y Byd Y Bedwar’with his story and there was initial interest but then all went dead. In about 2006 I was in contact with a journalist from ‘Y Byd Y Bedwar’ and after they read the incriminating documents that I had regarding Alun Davies the former manager of the Hergest Unit, Martin Jones the former CEO of the NW Wales NHS Trust, Gwynedd Social Services and the mental health services, they were very keen to do a documentary about what had happened to me. I had many meetings with the journalist and she even got as far as preparing to go into Ysbyty Gwynedd with a hidden camera to film undercover. But the day before she had planned to do that, her boss pulled the plug on the whole documentary without explanation.

So who’s the Big Cheese at S4C ensuring that no documentaries featuring anyone who can name the culprits or produce documentary evidence of wrongdoing on the part of those we know and love ever goes ahead?

It would seem that Nefyn Dodd was afforded even more protection than those at Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn – at least some of their staff were imprisoned and named. For Nefyn Dodd to have escaped when the Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn contingent didn’t, Nefyn Dodd would have had to be useful to someone. The London journalist has given me the name of a lobbyist for the Conservative Party who was also one of Thatcher’s speech writers, whom he claims was receiving those kids trafficked from Gwynedd. This man has been named as one of those involved with the Westminster Paedophile Ring, but he has not been the subject of the sort of extreme Satanic sexual abuse allegations that Ted Heath for example has been. I have been sent a list of names that are business contacts of this man – one of whom is allegedly Neil Hamilton – and a list of MPs whom have stated themselves are friends of his, which include Edwina Currie and William Hague. The Edwina who appointed Jimmy Savile as manager of Broadmoor, an institution containing kids abused in care, at least one of whom was from north Wales at the time of Waterhouse. The Hague who organised Ronnie’s whitewash. I have also been given the name of a Tory peer whose son is alleged to have abused children from Ty’r Felin – not Tyrell-Kenyon whom I named in a previous post who was known to have abused boys in care at Bryn Estyn, but someone else. I note that the son of this peer studied at Aberystwyth University in the 1980s and now lives in Australia.

The London journalist also told me something else that I did already know. That the Welsh Office held one inspection of Ty’r Felin and hardly ever returned. Dyfed County Council’s officers were requested to investigate Ty’r Felin by Ioan Bowen Rees, the then Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council after complaints of serious abuse. Bowen Rees was formerly the County Secretary of Dyfed, so he’ll have known the investigators from Dyfed well. The investigators did as required, there was much criticism so everyone could claim to have dealt with the concerns. But no-one admitted the trafficking and coercing of children into prostitution or even that children were being forced to have sex with June and Nefyn Dodd. The collusion of Dyfed has present day ramifications. Mark Drakeford, the former Health Minister who proved so fucking useless in the face of the scandalous state of the NHS in north Wales, is a former social worker from Dyfed.

For the names, backgrounds and details of the extreme fuckwittery of the senior managers of Gwynedd Social Services and Gwynedd County Council whilst all this happened, please see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’

So Nefyn Dodd was left entirely to his own devices. There was of course a police investigation into Nefyn Dodd after Alison Taylor blew the whistle. No action was taken against him. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dodd was obviously mad, obviously abusive and was hated by everyone. But no-one scrutinised his activities and even in the face of the most serious complaints backed up by evidence, no action was taken against him. Because Dodd was supplying boys to the Tory lobbyist – who was also involved in huge business deals which were benefiting the Tory Party.

I really do think that just about every social worker and Top Doctor working in Gwynedd in the 1980s will have known something about all of this. They could hardly have missed it.

My post ‘Local Accessories’ named a few social workers who definitely DID have information and I requested that they now pay a visit to the police to make statements. There are a number of other people who definitely have some knowledge of these sordid events who need to be questioned by the police as well. One of those is Gwenan Carrington, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and latterly of Anglesey County Council. Another is Aled Griffiths aka the Buffet Slayer, who is Gwenan’s brother and doubles up as senior lecturer in law and social policy at Bangor University. The other is Joanna Griffiths, the Buffet Slayer’s wife, who is the former Director of Conwy Social Services. Which I think took over the management of Gwynfa when Clwyd Social Services was dissolved and was also responsible for the staff of the inspection unit who threatened me when I contacted them about the abuse and possible trafficking of residents of the dreadful Prestwood Homes, as described in the post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’. Gwenan, the Slayer and Joanna have had their fingers in many pies for years and most of those pies involve concealing the wrongdoing in the social services. They know all the people named in my post ‘Local Accessories’ and are collectively known as The Mafia in north Wales. The Slayer himself attempted to block my path one day just before I left Bangor University and started bellowing at me – my complaints about the mental health services were making him even angrier than my blog is making the friends of Tony Francis. Well the party’s over now isn’t it you fat crook.

 

The day before yesterday a stranger who seemed to know about the contents of this blog suggested that I do a bit of research into a well-known politician who is also a Top Doctor – the stranger thought that this man knew either Tony Francis or D.G.E. Wood. I will be blogging more about this soon.

‘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.

 

 

Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice

Most of Ronnie Waterhouse’s whitewash was dedicated to excusing people employed in social care or social work who had abused children in care. However for those of us au fait with the mental health services in north Wales, there is a chapter that makes even more dreadful reading than the rest of the Waterhouse Report – the chapter concerning Gwynfa, a residential NHS unit for children with mental health problems, or in Ronnie’s parlance, ’emotionally disturbed and maladjusted children’. I need to remind readers yet again here that Ronnie’s definition of ‘disturbed’ and ‘maladjusted’, or indeed the mental health service’s definition, may well not be what the rest of the world – even in those days – would define as disturbed or maladjusted. In north Wales NHS speak it simply means that you’ve complained about a Top Doctor breaking the law or abusing their position. Ronnie’s chapter on Gwynfa demonstrates that this was as true in the children’s mental health services as it was in the adults’ services.

Gwynfa was a residential unit in Colwyn Bay that was a combined clinic and school. It was established in 1961 as an NHS psychiatric hospital for children with an on-site school. With the establishment of Clwyd County Council in 1974 the residential/clinic part became the responsibility of Clwyd Health Authority and the school became the responsibility of Clwyd County Council. Until 1982/83 the North Wales Child Guidance Clinic Service offered and monitored admissions, but after that it was administered by the Mental Health Unit of Clwyd Health Authority – yes, that bunch of goons who allowed Dr Dafydd Alun Jones to illegally bang up anyone who crossed his path, who oversaw a shagfest in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and who failed to investigate any complaints, even those of serious abuse of patients. Gwynfa by this time was an 18 bed unit for children below school leaving age, staffed by eight qualified nurses, six ‘other’ nurses (who won’t have actually been nurses if they weren’t qualified) and four psychologists. A child psychiatrist, Dr Barry Kiehn, was appointed in 1981 his remit being specifically Gwynfa and according to Waterhouse it was at this time that ‘the concept of a therapeutic community was introduced’. In April 1993 the administration of Gwynfa was taken over by the Clwydian Community Care NHS Trust after an NHS reorganisation. Of course the people managing and staffing the Clwydian Community Care NHS Trust were exactly the same corrupt old gits who had managed and staffed the previous organisations. Letters in my possession regarding my own case written after the ‘reorganisation’ are signed by exactly the same people and use exactly the same phrases as before. Believe me, nothing changed. The average stay for the patients at Gwynfa was five months, although some were there a lot longer.

The overall responsibility for managing Gwynfa was taken by the Principal Nursing Officer, who was responsible for recruitment and selection of staff. They reported to the Unit Nursing Officer (later known as the Director of Nursing Services) at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, who visited Gwynfa about once a month. So Gwynfa was ultimately run by the person who ran Denbigh. When I read that I knew that the tales from the children at Gwynfa would be bad. Gwynfa was shut down in 1997 – I wonder whether that decision had been made in anticipation of what former patients might say to the Waterhouse Inquiry.

Between 1972-1990 the Principal Nursing Officer for Gwynfa was Nigel Mannering Berry. By 1972 he had already been employed there for nine years. Waterhouse tells us that Berry qualified as a registered mental nurse in 1959 and had been previously employed at Denbigh. So the ‘therapeutic community’ for children was run by something out of the ark who had worked at Denbigh when Gwynne the lobotomist was in full swing. Waterhouse notes that Berry had no specific training in dealing with ‘disturbed’ children. Waterhouse states that since 1974 there had been five internal investigations/reviews of the conduct of specific members of nursing staff at Gwynfa.

In 1986 a male member of staff had head butted a boy patient. The nurse received a final warning (which suggests that he’d done similar things previously) and was transferred to ‘another hospital’ for adults. Probably the North Wales Hospital, presumably so he could head butt patients there.

In 1991 an investigation was held into the relationship between a 16 year old girl with a depressive disorder and a 45 year old auxillary nurse, Robert Martin Williams. We are told that the investigation began after a ‘letter’ was found, but staff were unable to encourage the girl to supply details of Williams’s activities. I wonder how hard they tried. Waterhouse notes that Williams had been previously ‘counselled’ (!) regarding his behaviour towards patients after other staff members raised concerns about him. He denied an unspecified ‘offence’ and resigned. Waterhouse goes on to explain that in 1996 the girl told the police that Williams had actually raped her twice. Waterhouse refers to a ‘highly incriminating letter’ which he had seen himself. Williams was charged with two counts of rape and in March 1997 was convicted at Mold Crown Court of both offences and sentenced to six years in prison. I note that like many other children at Gwynfa this girl had not been in care, so could not even be dehumanised and dishonoured like so many of the ‘troublesome’ young people in the children’s homes who were abused. Neither was she ‘disturbed’ or ‘maladjusted’ – even Gwynfa described her as ‘depressed’. So a 16 year old girl with depression was raped twice by a member of staff. And nothing happened until some years later when there was a major police investigation into the care of children in north Wales. Had there not been that investigation, Clwyd Health Authority and the North Wales Hospital would have sat on those rapes forever. Waterhouse notes that the girl who had been raped ‘did not feel able’ to use the complaints system. No-one asked her why. Of course, readers who have read my earlier posts will know that by the time that this teenager ‘did not feel able’ to use the complaints system, I had used that system and I had used it to raise concerns about, among other things, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s conduct towards female patients and staff at the North Wales Hospital physically assaulting patients. I got nowhere and interestingly enough at the time that this girl was being raped in Gwynfa, I was being dragged through the High Court by Sir Robert Francis QC – at the behest of psychiatrists in north Wales – who was demanding my imprisonment for ‘harassment’ because I was writing numerous letters alleging that patients were being criminally abused in the north Wales mental health services (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’).

But it transpired that there had been many other allegations of abuse by children who had been patients at Gwynfa and that by July 1993 it was clear that there was a problem with allegations of a ‘serious nature’. It was about this time that I was receiving letters from Laurie Wood, the former manager of the mental health services in Clwyd who then became Chief Exec of the Clwydian Community NHS Trust, refusing to reopen my own complaint and reassuring me that he was certain that no-one else was having the sort of experiences that I had – although of course at the same time maintaining that nobody had behaved improperly in my case at all. In July 1993 Detective Superintendent Ackerley from the North Wales Police was invited to conduct a fuller investigation into Gwynfa. That’s the North Wales Police whose officers conspired with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones to unlawfully arrest people and detain them in the North Wales Hospital – the same North Wales Police who returned children to children’s homes after they’d run away to escape the beatings and the buggery, the same North Wales Police who returned patients to Denbigh if they ran off even though they were being held there illegally. The same North Wales Police who employed Gordon Anglesea, who was abusing boys in care himself.

Waterhouse intriguingly tells us that ‘at some stage’ the NHS Trust ‘became aware’ that seven former patients had made serious allegations to the police against a member of staff who was still employed at Gwynfa, referred to only as Z. The Trust asked the police to ask the former patients who had made statements for their permission for the Trust to access the statements for internal disciplinary purposes. Only four patients gave permission. Waterhouse simply observes that because of this the NHS Trust had to investigate the matter ‘on an incomplete basis’. Ronnie doesn’t ask why the other patients had given statements to the police but wouldn’t co-operate with the Trust. Had they perhaps found themselves repeatedly up in Court after NHS staff made daft allegations about them? Ronnie tells us that the legal advice that the Trust Board received was that the available evidence was insufficient to justify Z’s dismissal. That advice would have come from the same source as the advice to repeatedly arrest me after I made serious complaint – that source being Andrew Park, the bent solicitor from the Welsh Office. Two members of staff were transferred to a day hospital. There’s a familiar pattern here – serious allegations made against a staff member, complaints mysteriously dropped or not followed up, the member of staff at the centre of the allegations transferred to work somewhere else with equally vulnerable people. Exactly what happened when I complained about the SEN Stephen Rose, employed at the North Wales Hospital, assaulting me. No investigation, but Rose relocated to Park Lane Hospital – an institution notorious for staff abusing patients. Regarding Z, it gets worse. Yet further allegations against Z were made at a later date and Z was finally suspended in July 1997. In March 1999 the CPS stated that a prosecution was not justified.

Altogether 27 people told the Waterhouse Tribunal that they had been abused at Gwynfa. 23 people complained about incidents between 1974-1987, 10 of them named Z. At the time that Ronnie submitted his Report, the police investigation into Z was continuing. Ronnie states that it would be ‘inappropriate to make any further comment’ because he had not heard any evidence from Z and Z’s ‘legal position was not clear to the Tribunal’. So even with all those lawyers, the team of paralegals and administrators from the Welsh Office and his numerous advisors, poor old Ronnie – a former High Court judge – couldn’t clarify Z’s legal position. So no more was said. Not that Ronnie had reached his zenith with this comment – he admitted that although there were allegations of sexual abuse against four members of staff, ‘they do not suggest a pattern of such abuse among staff’. His rationale for this thinking was bizarre – it was because each allegation of sexual abuse was made about a different member of staff, on a different occasion, by a different patient. Which suggests to me that there was one hell of a problem – particularly as one member of staff was already in prison for the double rape of a patient and dear old Z was at the centre of a police investigation. It’s also highly likely that there were many more allegations that no-one ever got to hear about. We learn from Ronnie’s Report that a 13 year old girl was indecently assaulted but did not report it at the time and that a 17 year old male patient was buggered in 1979/80, but that this allegation didn’t come to light until the police interviewed the complainant in 1992 – in 1993 there was a decision not to prosecute.

Ronnie didn’t just hear about sexual abuse at Gwynfa. Again and again bizarre stories – bizarre but all too believable to those of us who know how the mental health services routinely conducted themselves – were related by former patients. A boy who was described as ‘behaving disruptively’ at a private school in Llandudno was sent to Gwynfa – but he thought that he was going into hospital to have his heart investigated! Who told him this cock and bull story? And what was the nature of his ‘disruptive behaviour’ at the private school in Llandudno? Which school was it? We know that people were diverted into the mental health services if they crossed the paths of certain people or questioned abuses – is it possible that something was going on in the school in Llandudno that shouldn’t have been? This boy told Waterhouse that his year at Gwynfa had been a ‘waste of time’, that he hadn’t been helped, that the education at Gwynfa was inadequate, but he also told of two very serious assaults from male members of staff. On one occasion, a harness was made of rubber rings and he was yanked up on a door using this contraption – it was incredibly painful but he was told by the ‘nurses’ who did this to ‘take it in good spirit’. On another occasion he was dropped onto the ground outside from a first floor window. Each of these incidents was constructed as being the patient’s own fault. As every assault on a mental health patient in north Wales always is.

A girl felt so uneasy about Z that she told her (female) social worker that she didn’t like him. The social worker told her not to be silly, he was nice. The girl persisted with her concerns about Z – the social worker stated that she was ‘seeking attention’. Again this is depressingly familiar – over the last thirty years, I and others consistently raised concerns about staff who were doing things that they shouldn’t have been doing. We too were fobbed off constantly with idiocies – I lost count of the number of times that I was told that Dafydd Alun Jones had ‘helped people’, that ‘other patients like him’ or even, yes, that he was ‘nice’. He wasn’t, he was/is a fucking criminal who was abusing patients and everyone knew it. What chance did CHILDREN stuck in a residential unit for months have against staff who were groping them, raping them and throwing them out of windows? Ronnie admits that one witness at the Tribunal remembered being physically assaulted by Z – Ronnie simply states ‘we say no more about it’. Other former patients remembered being gagged with elastoplasts that were then ripped off, hit on the head with a pool cue, hung out of a window, regularly assaulted and beaten up. One witness described how a dog collar was put on him and he was led around on a lead – he was seven years old. One former patient compared Gwynfa to a prison. Which it was, but probably one with fewer safeguards.

Waterhouse details two ‘therapies’ that were used at Gwynfa. ‘Pyjama therapy’ – where the children had their clothes removed and could only wear pyjamas. (I witnessed an adult male patient subjected to this at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the early 1990s.) But Gwynfa also had ‘bed therapy’ – children’s clothes AND pyjamas were removed from them so they were forced to remain in bed. Presumably naked under the covers with a bunch of rapists ‘caring’ for them. Sexual assault therapy could well have followed.

Despite the graphic accounts of the daily abuse that so many children endured, Ronnie decided that ‘the picture we have received of conditions at Gwynfa has been incomplete’ and ‘we have not attempted to reach detailed conclusions about the regime at Gwynfa’. Ronnie does have a bit of advice concerning Gwynfa though. He notes that it was staffed by male adult psychiatric nurses with no experience of child care, so he recommended that there should be more social services involvement, with trained residential care staff being introduced and that senior staff should have qualifications in residential child care. So instead of being assaulted by a bunch of former Denbigh nurses, the children could be assaulted by the sort of children’s social care staff that the rest of Ronnie’s Report was concerned with.

It seems that the abuses at Gwynfa only came to light when in Sept 1991 a former Gwynfa patient appeared on TV and a police investigation followed. Clwyd Health Authority reacted by ordering an investigation and a report from Irene Train, who was at the time of the Waterhouse Inquiry, Divisional General Manager (North) of Clwyd’s Community and Mental Health Unit. Irene featured in a previous blog post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’. In 1990 after Stephen Norris the Officer in Charge of a children’s home called Cartrefle had been convicted of sexual assault, the ACPC (Area Children’s Protection Committee) was asked to conduct a review. Irene Train was Vice-Chair – and then Chair – of the ACPC. She was at that time Director of Public Health Nursing in Clwyd Health Authority. So Irene was someone else who was in a very senior position, was very well-networked and even Chaired the ACPC – who was just so taken aback by all the allegations of violence and rape that emerged after people started appearing on TV and in the press. Irene presented ‘written evidence’ to the Tribunal informing Ronnie that: there was now ‘confidential free telephone facilities for patients to obtain individual counselling’; the development of child advocacy services; and that patients were informed of their right to have their complaints dealt with by the Chief Exec and a right of appeal to a non-executive director of the NHS Trust. Right – there is no confidentiality in the north Wales mental health services, the entire system works on gossip and rumour; hardly any of the ‘counsellors’ employed know anything about counselling, nearly all of them have been ‘trained’ by the same lame abusive idiots that have spawned the disaster in the first place; the ‘advocacy’ services positively ensure that no competent ‘advocate’ is ever employed and most of the ‘advocates’ are ‘service users’ themselves who are dependent upon the system and far too frightened to challenge it; the Chief Exec was Laurie Wood, who was ultimately responsible for the abusive services and who was very much part of the problem; a non-executive director of the NHS Trust will not step on anyone’s toes. So I really don’t think that Irene Train’s bright ideas were ever going to stop any future patients being abused.

So the children at Gwynfa were raped and assaulted and as with the children in care I expect that many – if not most of them – will be dead by now. What of those responsible for the ‘service’? Such as Dr Barry Kiehn, the child psychiatrist specifically responsible for the ‘therapeutic community’ that was Gwynfa? Barry Kiehn is now retired and living the life of Riley. His twitter feed informs us that he lives in Colwyn Bay (as so many featured in the wrongdoing detailed on this blog do) and he enjoys opera, classical music, ballet, art, ceramics, travel, languages, science and singing. How did such a cultured man stand by whilst his young patients were sexually assaulted and battered by a bunch of ageing thugs who had been transferred from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh? What about Irene, the most senior nurse responsible for those thugs? Irene is now retired but she keeps busy. In 2003-2004 she was Secretary for St David’s Promotions Ltd – that’s the fundraising bit of St David’s Hospice. The St David’s Hospice in Llandudno that gave the former manager of the Hergest Unit Alun Davies a job as Chief Exec after his corruption and mismanagement left the Hergest Unit a heap of smouldering rubble; the St David’s Hospice who, once Davies finally went, gave the dreadful Trystan Pritchard a job as Chief Exec – the Trystan who was responsible for lies, deceit and mismanagement when he worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd, the Trystan with Masonic connections who was on excellent terms with the regime of managers previously employed by the North West Wales NHS Trust. Please see post ‘The CEOs Of St David’s Hospice’ for more information. In 2006 however, Irene Train turned up as a company director, along with a Howard Geoffrey Train and a number of other people with the surname ‘Train’, of an outfit called H Domestic Agency Ltd. H Domestic Agency’s address is 99 Blimco Grove, Cambridge, should anyone wish to contact Irene and ask her a few questions about her glorious career in Clwyd. As for Nigel Mannering Berry, the pig who was ‘Principal Nursing Officer’ at Gwynfa, who oversaw the brutality and the abuse after gaining so much ‘experience’ at Denbigh – well he lives in Colwyn Bay as well. Specifically at 40 Yerburgh Avenue, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7NB. But guess what? Between 1993-94 Nigel was a Director of Colwyn Bay Masonic Hall! Ah, the Masons that never provided any sort of protective network at all for anyone involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – we know that because Ronnie confirmed in his Report that there was no evidence of Masonic links and so did Stephen Crabb, who was Secretary of State for Wales when the cover-up that covered up Ronnie’s cover-up, ie. the Macur Review, was published. I invite Ronnie and Stephen Crabb to do what I’ve just done, google Nigel Mannering Berry and read that very long list of names that are associated with the Colwyn Bay Masonic Hall – and that’s just the Colwyn Bay contingent. And if they’ve got time Ronnie and Stephen can google dear old Mrs Train and her former associates at St David’s Hospice – they’re all there, the elderly negligent fuckwits from yesteryear who brought the north Wales NHS to it’s knees.

There is of course one elderly negligent fuckwit who was in a senior management role with the Clwyd mental health services whilst horrors were being perpetuated at Gwynfa who has not yet been put out to grass. That is Dr Peter Higson, the current Chairman of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Let me remind you Higson: a 16 year old girl with depression raped twice; a 17 year old boy buggered; a seven year old boy fitted with a dog collar and led around on a lead; children dropped out of windows; hit with pool cues; regularly assaulted and beaten.

Waterhouse makes an passing observation regarding Gwynfa that I find telling. That most of the patients there were actually from Gwynedd – and that Barry Kiehn was categorised as a child psychiatrist employed by Gwynedd Health Authority. So it was those fine upstanding Top Doctors from Gwynedd who were referring children to a ‘hospital’ where they were beaten and raped.

Do all these people not owe the world an explanation? Or am I just being silly because they’re nice?

 

 

 

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 Round Up – And Murder Most Foul

MMail online have reported on yet another serious NHS mental health services failure. Jennifer and Graham Slack, a couple in their 60s, drowned in the River Yare near Great Yarmouth. They left a suicide note behind explaining that they were killing themselves because they were unable to get any help for Mrs Slack’s serious depression and anxiety problems, which she had endured for 20 years. The couple tied themselves together and jumped into the river. They also left behind another two suicide notes in their house, along with passports, financial documents and cash to pay for their funerals. It transpired that Mrs Slack’s GP had made an urgent referral to a psychiatrist at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust but the letter had not been marked ‘urgent’, so it remained unattended until it was too late. Further details revealed at the inquest painted a familiar picture. Mrs Slack, a former nurse, had been on anti-depressants for many years. Her father died, leaving her as the main carer for her elderly mother. She went to see her GP and was referred to a ‘Well Being Service’ run by the Trust and then had two telephone appointments with a mental health nurse. Although she did claim to benefit from this, she began feeling very bad again the following month and returned to the GP. She and her husband met with the GP, Dr Donna Machin, told her how desperate they felt and stressed that they wanted to actually see someone – it was mentioned at the inquest that they had been given a mountain of documentation concerning ‘advice’. Dr Machin decided not to make an immediate referral to a community mental health team because although Mrs Slack had stated that she was feeling suicidal, she did not describe a ‘clear plan’ to commit suicide. A verdict of suicide was recorded. This case illustrates very well what is happening in the UK mental health services – there is a plethora of ‘well being initiatives’ and stacks of ‘advice on ‘mental health’ for people with mild ‘problems’, but very little treatment or care available for people who are becoming desperate and seriously ill. It does not seem to have occurred to those with a touching faith in the benefits of ‘talking about it’ or ‘raising awareness’ or ‘self-help literature’ that such things are not going to make a blind bit of difference to someone who’s crashed out in a foetal position and who can’t stop crying. They won’t be able to ‘share’ or ‘talk’ or raise their awareness even if such things were effective (and there’s not much evidence that they are). It’s interesting that Mrs Slack was a former nurse as well – even healthcare professionals themselves are having difficulty extracting a ‘service’ out of the ‘services’ these days. As is customary when Mail online report a suicide story, there was a little note at the end of the article suggesting that suicidal people should contact the Samaritans for assistance. There’s no point bothering if they live in Bangor, the Samaritans there are remarkably unconcerned if someone with mental health problems becomes suicidal because ‘these people’ kill themselves anyway and furthermore the Samaritans ‘aren’t trained’ to deal with them (please see previous posts).

Recent blog posts have been charting the Top Doctors allies attempts to put the case for huge more quantities of funding for the NHS now that the pleas of the Top Doctors themselves have fallen on deaf ears. It’s now the turn of healthcare researchers to assist the Top Doctors in pursuit of dosh. The Guardian online is carrying an article explaining that a crisis (yet another one) is imminent, as usual attributed to people having the nerve to live too long and/or daring to develop dementia. The solution is more money please, to the NHS and to social care. I am entirely sympathetic to the notion of properly funded social care, but I notice that whenever the Top Doctors and their chums are leading the debate, there is not a robust argument put forward in favour of social care workers being paid properly. It is sometimes mentioned in passing, but the Top Doctors relentlessly present the argument for themselves being paid more, or sometimes nurses as well. Social care workers endure the worst pay and conditions of any group of non-trafficked workers in the country – you wouldn’t get a Top Doctor or indeed a member of the Royal College of Nursing lifting immobile doubly incontinent elderly people off beds and into chairs and then back again or feeding them by hand and changing incontinence pads for £8/hour, day in day out working twelve hour shifts. The outcry about this is indeed there, it rears it’s head when someone makes a documentary exposing the shoddy state of the UK’s social care infrastructure, but these workers are rendered invisible in most of the ‘the NHS needs more money’ debates. The Guardian quotes Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (she’s getting wheeled out in the media on a regular basis at the moment) as saying that not only is ‘more investment’ in the NHS desperately needed, but that it is a ‘great testament to medical research and the NHS’ that the population is living longer. Well although modern medicine has given us all effective pain relief which is a very great blessing, the real advances in terms of extending life span are of course attributed to the big public health advances such as infection control, decent housing, improved nutrition, sanitation and changes in the nature of employment meaning that people don’t die in industrial accidents before they are 40 which used to be commonplace. The average lifespan of the quarrymen at the bottom of the hierarchy in the slate quarries of north west Wales was 32 (or it might have been 36). That wasn’t because they didn’t have the NHS with Top Doctors earning £100,000, it was because their diet was subsistence, their housing was terrible and their work was very dangerous indeed. And of course even with the NHS and the Top Doctors there are still huge differences in lifespan between different socio-economic groups in the UK. As Top Doctors themselves know well, Sir Richard Doll saved many more lives by demonstrating the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer than highly paid Top Doctors with machines that go ping or access to the Cancer Drugs Fund. Helen Stokes-Lampard also made her comments with reference to dementia which was a bit puzzling – research hasn’t yet made a dent in dementia.

Now for Wales-related news. BBC News Wales have reported that four men have now been convicted variously of murder and manslaughter after Mark Mason from Rhyl was stabbed to death in the car park of Home Bargains in Rhyl. This killing was a revenge killing after somebody else was murdered – it is part of an on-going turf war between two rival gangs of drug dealers who are busy killing each other for the right to control the supply of drugs in Rhyl. So Dafydd and CAIS are continuing to do a really brilliant job with the millions of pounds that the Welsh Gov’t are giving them to ‘tackle substance abuse and associated problems’ then. (The joke among the dope blowers in Bethesda was always that CAIS was the acronym for ‘Come And Inject Some’, but I note that CAIS is also the acronym for Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, which is a pretty good description of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones where female patients are concerned.) I have heard from a reader today that as well as getting millions in funding from the Welsh Gov’t, CAIS are also raking in huge quantities of dosh from the DWP. Someone else who doesn’t seem to realise that CAIS has been a scam from the outset observed that CAIS has ‘lost its way’. This person works for the CAB – the dreadful Lucille Hughes of CAIS fame also of course has a role at a very senior level in the management of CAB, so I imagine that people in the CAB will have been led up the garden path as to the value of CAIS, so if they’ve noticed that all is not well it must be bad. If any readers know when Lucille became involved in the CAB I’d be interested to hear from them. I met the one honest solicitor in Bangor who very effectively defended me from the excesses of Dafydd and Lucille when he was doing sessions at the CAB in Bangor and Dafydd knew that was where I’d sought his advice. Within months of that solicitor advising me as to how to defend myself from Dafydd, CAB had stopped providing free legal advice sessions. Knowing how Dafydd and Lucille literally nobbled everyone who dared stand up to them and wreaked a Terrible Revenge on anyone who challenged their corruption I have always wondered if there might have been a connection with the disappearance of the lawyers from the CAB and this man’s effective fighting of my corner against Dafydd. After all, if word got around that there was an excellent lawyer providing free legal advice who wasn’t afraid to challenge Dafydd and who wouldn’t allow himself to be corrupted either, who knows what problems that would have presented for Dafydd, Lucille, the mental health services and the north Wales paedophile ring.

Kirsty Williams has taken a leaf out of Leanne’s book and has been giving media interviews about the trauma that she has incurred after being insulted by the electorate, both face to face and on social media. As part of her Misery Memoir she mentioned how frightened she was when she found that someone had put a ‘Vote Conservative’ poster in her hedge. She commented that ‘someone probably thought that was very funny’. Well it is quite witty in view of the fact that Kirsty’s in-laws are a well-known Tory family but support her because she’s a relative – presumably the poster in her hedge was a reference to this. Perhaps Kirsty’s in-laws are hoping that she will be Wales’s answer to Nick Clegg and form a ConDem coalition with the Tories. Another Strong Woman in politics suffered a trauma recently as well – Theresa May went to Wrexham campaigning and was confronted by a young man who was an anti-hunt protestor. He blew a bugle in her presence and this was deemed to be such a threat to national security that he was arrested. Theresa is clearly even more delicate than the rest of them, so much for ‘strong and stable’.

Earlier today, Radio 4 broadcast a programme that mentioned that a number of ‘expert witnesses’ who lied in court are facing imprisonment. In view of the number of times that various Top Doctors lied about me on oath my ears pricked up at this news. It transpires that there has been industrial scale perjury going on with regard to insurance claims after car accidents and someone’s finally decided to round everybody up and prosecute them. It was mentioned that police and barristers knew that this was going on but ignored it, so now there may be prosecutions mounted against some of them as well. Oh well perhaps the days of those we know and love lying through their teeth in court with impunity in order to secure convictions against anyone who has discovered their extensive corruption might be drawing to a close. I read in the Daily Post online that HMP Berwyn is opening another wing with capacity for 700 inmates. You could house an awful lot of dishonest Top Doctors, Top Lawyers and Top Judges in there and there’d still be a spare cell for Peter Higson and Martin Jones to share.

Discussing the corruption of the vile ones brings me neatly onto the next thing that caught my eye in the Daily Post online, an article by the man who found the body of Sophie Hook, describing his memories of that event. Sophie was a seven year old girl who’s body was found washed up on the beach in Llandudno in July 1995. Howard Hughes, a man with learning disabilities, behaviour problems and dyslexia who had previously spent time in Bryn Estyn, one of the children’s homes targeted by the north Wales paedophile ring, is currently serving a 50 year prison sentence for her abduction, rape and murder. Howard Hughes’s case has been taken up by INNOCENT, an organisation concerned with miscarriages of justice. There is certainly an awful lot to be worried about regarding his conviction.

Sophie was on holiday with relatives who lived in Llandudno and she and her cousins were sleeping in a tent in the garden when she went missing. Her body was found washed up on a beach a few hours later and Howard Hughes was arrested a few hours after that. There was no forensic evidence at all against Hughes, just an awful lot of people who knew that he was a Wrong ‘Un and some witnesses of very questionable character. Before Sophie was killed however, Hughes’s life had already been touched many times by those we have known. Howard Hughes looked frightening – he had a chromosome abnormality (XYY) which caused him to grow quickly to a very great height. So he was very tall even as an early teen and by the time that he stopped growing he was 6ft 8ins. He attended a series of special schools, including some residential ones, and his father, who seemed to have difficulty coming to terms with his son’s disabilities, paid for extra tuition. Hughes did not gain any qualifications. When he was 16, it was alleged that Hughes took a seven year old boy into a derelict house, exposed himself, made indecent suggestions and attempted to strangle him. He was convicted of assault and was given a two year supervision order and was sent under the Mental Health Act to St Andrews Hospital, Northampton and then to Garth Angharad near Dolgellau. Both of these institutions have previously featured on this blog. St Andrews is a very troubled institution and has been so for many years. It has recently been the subject of a number of scandals involving the mistreatment and deaths of patients. I have a friend who grew up in Northampton and he told me that St Andrews had a reputation like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, a lawless hell-hole. St Andrews featured in the Jeremy Bamber case in the 1980s (please see post ‘Family Annihilation’) and was alleged to have provided very substandard care to Jeremy Bamber’s sister. Garth Angharad of course was one of the personal prisons used by Dafydd and the paedophile ring (please see post ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’). A lot of people who complained about them seemed to end up in there, an establishment described as a ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’. After his release Hughes lived with his mother in Colwyn Bay. By the age of 19, he had convictions for assault, burglary, theft, criminal damage, threatening behaviour, motoring offences and possession of weapons. Such a record sounds dreadful – but Hughes was living in north Wales in the 70s and 80s and was in the ‘care’ of the mental health services and children’s services, which were rife with corruption and concealing a paedophile ring to boot. At the time that Hughes clocked up this criminal record, Dafydd and the Top Doctors had tried to have me prosecuted for, among other things, trying to strangle a doctor, trying to stab a doctor, ‘five assaults’, criminal damage and threatening behaviour. I hadn’t done any of it – as a letter from their own corrupt lawyer Andrew Park at the Welsh Office admitted – but that didn’t stop them all documenting that I had. The only conviction that they secured against me was ‘staring at a social worker in Safeway’s’ no less – but then I was a young woman with two degrees and an excellent solicitor. They managed to cause quite enough trouble for me nonetheless – had I been 6ft 8ins with a learning disability I’m pretty sure that I too would have acquired a criminal record very similar to that of Hughes. It is also recorded that before Sophie’s murder, Hughes had been accused of indecently assaulting three girls aged three, five and nine and was interviewed in connection with five allegations ‘brought by or on behalf of children’. These cases were dropped by the CPS because it was considered that the children were too young to give reliable evidence. I would have thought that a nine year old was well capable of giving reliable evidence and indeed nine year olds do give evidence, so I wonder why that case went pear shaped. But it’s worth mentioning here that those we have known have a bit of a thing about ‘children’ (apart from running a paedophile ring themselves that is). At the cover-up which constituted the investigation into my complaint about Dafydd et al by Robert Bluglass (please see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’), Dafydd told Bluglass that I had used ‘foul and abusive language’ in front of his young children and anyone who does such a thing is ‘not mentally normal’. I didn’t even know that Jones had young children when this allegation was made. Jones was not asked to provide any evidence for his allegation and I wasn’t even told that he’d made it – I only found out when I read the report. It was documented as fact. My post ‘A Trade In People – Between London And North Wales’ describes how a young woman from a family of three people with long-term mental health problems who were swindled out of their inheritance by a group of Top Doctors and lawyers was taken to Bethesda police station and accused of having a sexual interest in children within days of moving into the village. I know of another person who, after he made a complaint about the dreadful Tom Harney, a CPN with the aggressive and dysfunctional Arfon Community Mental Health Team, years later discovered that Harney had documented that he’d threatened to kill Harney and his family. This man didn’t know that Harney had a family. On one occasion, Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) accused me of ‘frightening children’. God knows how I did that, as with Dafydd and the foul and abusive language, there weren’t any children present at the scene for me to frighten even if I’d wanted to do so. There is among my medical records a letter written by Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services, which has been cc’d to a number of people explaining that if Gwynedd Health Authority looked as though they are taking a ‘caring’ attitude towards me, this would stand them in good stead with the Courts next time they prosecuted me. Following the writing of this letter, the Top Doctors prosecuted me for making offensive telephone calls to a CPN in the Arfon Team, one Bridget Lloyd. I hadn’t done this and I was found not guilty (no I never received an apology). However, in her evidence to the Court, Bridget Lloyd stated that she was so terrified of me and that I was such a threat to her and her young children – again, more children that I didn’t know existed – that not only was Gwynedd Health Authority going to provide her and the legendary children with a safe house, but that she had been issued with a mobile phone to carry with her at all times lest she bumped into me and I attacked her. Some weeks ago when I received further bundles of evidence from my lawyers, I found a memo written by Bridget Lloyd just before this court case in which she states that I had only ever met her once, it was a very long time ago and that she was fairly sure that I wouldn’t recognise her. But that’s not what she said to the Court. This lot lie, they lie and they lie and they lie. And they really love introducing the concept of children into their tall stories. Indeed even Brown has had the children treatment from them. After we started publishing material about the practices of the mental health services and Brown provided a witness statement concerning their wrongdoing, a poison pen letter postmarked ‘Cardiff’ was sent to the authorities at the University where he works, which stated that he was a ‘known paedophile’ (please see post ‘A Nasty Ludicrous Poison Pen Letter’). Yes the paedophile gang and those who assisted them really enjoyed accusing other people of offences against children. Often people whom they had damaged themselves. Including possibly Howard Hughes.

Another thing that I need to mention here is those we have known take what a friend described as ‘pre-emptive action’ against people whom they might want to frame in the future. My own medical records show how Dafydd and Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) were very carefully building up a picture of me as a dangerous nutter for many months before they started court action against me. And it was all very skilfully done – letters detailing violent assaults that never took place were written and cc’d to people who had never met me. Those people would then make statements maintaining that they were frightened of me because I was ‘known’ to be ‘dangerous’ and then these statements were  used as evidence that I was so dangerous that people were frightened of me. I have collated all these letters and taken a note of the dates and what was cc’d to whom and it was very obviously co-ordinated and organised – and it began days after I made my first complaint about the mental health services. The friend who talked about ‘pre-emptive action’ also used a lawyer to obtain a full copy of his medical records and exactly the same process could be seen. Within days of making a formal complaint about the Arfon Team, it was documented that he had smashed down a door at their office and threatened female members of staff. He wasn’t told that this had been documented, but he was told that they were ‘upset’ because he had sworn at them and thrown a cushion across the room (which he did, he was at the end of his tether with them) and Tony Francis ordered him to write a letter of apology. He agreed – and Francis suggested wording which would be ‘helpful’. The wording that my friend was encouraged to use was to apologise for his ‘behaviour’ and for ‘upsetting and frightening’ staff. So he did as suggested. When, years later, he received his medical records, he discovered that his apology – as dictated by Francis – had been attached to an unsigned fallacious account of the incident, ie. the alleged smashing down of the door and threatening women. So this sequence of documents gave every impression that my friend had smashed down a door, threatened women and then realised how terrible his actions had been and he had thus guiltily apologised a few days later. This man is an accountant and a businessman. If those we have known fitted us up using these techniques I can only imagine the fun that they had with a man who had learning difficulties and literacy problems.

So, some time after all these offences against children that Hughes was ‘linked to’ but never charged with, Sophie was found dead and hours later Hughes was arrested. Within hours he was released on the grounds that the police had no evidence against him. But hours after that, they searched his home and very conveniently found indecent images of children, so Hughes was rearrested. Hours later he was charged with the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie on the basis of ‘further information’ that had been acquired. The details of this further information were not revealed. Hughes was remanded in custody until the trial in June 1996. There was no forensic evidence presented against him at his trial. However there were some very interesting witness statements. He had been spotted looking around on the ground in the area near the garden where Sophie and her cousins had pitched their tent. The witness claimed that Hughes had said that he was searching for some money that he dropped. It was stated at the trial that from that spot Hughes would have been able to hear the children talking in the tent – and that he would have heard them discussing how they were going to sleep in the tent. There was no evidence at all that he’d heard any such thing – but it was possible. You never know. It is recorded that later that day  ‘it is believed’ that Hughes tried to abduct six year old Alexandra Roberts who was performing handstands in a park but who then ran away. It is not explained why this was ‘believed’ – there is no record of any evidence that any such abduction attempt was made. (At one point on my medical records it is stated that ‘it is believed’ that I was in Risley Remand Centre after attacking someone with a knife. I’ve never been in Risley Remand Centre – not even as a visitor – and I’ve never attacked anyone with a knife. But someone believed that I was and I had. So it was written down and placed in my medical records.) At 2-55 am on the night that Sophie was sleeping in the tent, Hughes was spoken to by a policeman who saw him patrolling the promenade. Which was a convenient time for the policeman to have seen Hughes up and about in Llandudno, because Sophie’s cousin gave evidence stating that he woke up at 2-30 am and saw Sophie asleep beside him but when he woke up again at 7-15 am she was missing. At the trial, Hughes’s father – whom Hughes had not lived with for years – stated that Hughes had confessed to killing Sophie when he was taken into custody by the police. Hughes denied making this confession. Another witness, Jonathan Carroll – a career criminal who was in prison at the time that he testified – stated that he’d seen Hughes carrying a hessian sack along a street in Llandudno on the night of the murder and that he saw a glimpse of a naked body in the sack. He admitted that he was in the process of stealing property from someone’s garden when he saw the body in the sack which is presumably why he didn’t take action there and then. Unless seeing people strolling around Llandudno with a dead body in a sack is a day to day occurrence for him and thus he didn’t raise an eyebrow. A third witness was a convicted child sex offender, Michael Guidi, who told the Court that Hughes had boasted to him a few years before that he would like to rape a girl of four or five. Which sounds to me rather more like the fantasy of a child sex offender than a credible piece of evidence.

Miscarriages of justice tend to happen in cases where there is much emotion in the wake of a truly horrible crime. As well as hearing witness statements by Hughes’s father – who had always been rather desperate about his son – and two ne’er do wells, the jury also heard details of the injuries inflicted upon Sophie. It was stated that the injuries were inflicted before she died. Her arm and ankle were broken, her body was covered in bruises as though she’d been slapped about the face and head, she had internal bleeding and had been raped and sodomised. The Court was told that the sort of injuries that she sustained were normally seen on people who had been killed or injured in major car crashes. It was stated that her death had been as a result of manual strangulation and that her body had been thrown into the sea ‘to wash away forensic evidence’ (how would someone simply carrying out an examination of the body know this?). Sophie’s clothes were not found at the time that her body was. The court also heard that Sophie had been in so much pain before she died that there were teeth marks on both sides of her tongue and on the inside of her lower lip. So there will no doubt have been a lot of high emotion in that Court after hearing all this. Who was it who gave the evidence regarding Sophie’s injuries? None other than the illustrious Home Office pathologist Dr Donald Wayte. Wayte hit the UK media a few years before Sophie was killed because he announced publicly that nearly all children who were presumed to have died from cot death had been murdered by their parents. He had no evidence at all for saying this, but say it he did because He Knew. It caused a very big furore with many deeply distressed people who’d lost a child to cot death speaking publicly about the offence that Wayte caused. But no-one pointed out that the really worrying thing was that a pathologist who was responsible for giving evidence in murder trials felt able to spout hogwash on a subject about which he knew nothing on the basis of no evidence. And a few years later he gave evidence at the trial of Howard Hughes. But Wayte had a disregard for protocol on other matters too. I know someone whose mother was friends with Donald Wayte who, when this person was 15, was interested in ‘what goes on in a hospital’. So Donald Wayte took him in and showed him the lot. No worries about trivial matters such as ethics or procedure there… Interestingly enough, there is a Dr Avril Wayte who sits on the Board of CAIS along with Dafydd and Lucille – she’s a pathologist too. Very probably the wife or daughter of Donald. It’s a small world when you’re a Top Doctor.

Howard Hughes was found guilty of the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie Hook in July 1996. At Chester Crown Court. The Chester Crown Court where there was an attempt to imprison me after the Arfon Community Mental Health Team had perjured themselves (see post ‘The Arfon Community Mental Health Team’). The Chester Crown Court where the Rev Emyr Owen was found guilty and imprisoned for a crime that could not have happened (see post ‘Updates, Common Themes And News, May 5 2017’). The Chester Crown Court that was part of the Chester and Wales Circuit that was known to have a problem with corruption. But then the North Wales Police who investigated Sophie’s murder were also alleged to be riddled with corruption. The North Wales Police had been under the spotlight at the time of Hughes’s arrest and conviction. At the time of Sophie’s murder, the Jillings Report was being compiled. The Jillings Report was the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse scandal that was commissioned by Clwyd County Council. The Chief Constable of North Wales had refused to co-operate with the enquiry and the police had withheld 130 boxes of files from the enquiry panel. Jillings and his team encountered such obstruction and difficulties during their investigation that they nearly resigned. The Chair of Social Services and the County Secretary and Solicitor told the North Wales Police and the Home Office that what were described as ‘profoundly serious allegations’ against the police should not be investigated. The Jillings Report was famously not published after it was completed in 1996 on the basis of legal advice given to Clwyd County Council. They were effectively told that what had gone on was so bad that they should refuse to publish any of it and destroy all copies of the Report. One month after Clwyd Council accepted this legal advice, a reorganisation of the local authorities in north Wales very conveniently resulted in Clwyd Council being dissolved. At this point the Independent newspaper began calling for a public inquiry. In June 1996 William Hague, the Secretary of State for Wales, announced the North Wales Child Abuse Enquiry. The following month Howard Hughes was convicted and imprisoned.

But north Wales was going a bit mad between 1994 and 1996 anyway. The North Wales Hospital Denbigh was closing down and Dafydd was completely losing it – well there were all those people illegally detained out there, he must have wondered what he was going to do with them. Furthermore people just would not stop making allegations that they had been sexually abused whilst in children’s homes in north Wales – and those people had started turning up dead. The most well known of these people outside of Wales was Mark Humphreys. At the end of 1994, Gordon Anglesea, a senior police officer with the North Wales Police, sued Private Eye and The Independent for libel after they accused him of being a paedophile. Mark gave evidence that Anglesea was indeed a paedophile. Anglesea won the case. Mark was found dead two months later. Last year Gordon Anglesea was imprisoned – for sexually abusing children. He died in prison a few months after his conviction. Gordon Anglesea lived at Colwyn Bay – just down the road from Llandudno! The North Wales Police HQ was at Colwyn Bay as well! As for the lives of those of us who had dared complain about the mental health services – well it was in 1994 that the mental health services started moving heaven and earth yet again to have me convicted of something. Anything would do, it didn’t really matter what. I was charged with making the offensive phone calls to Bridget Lloyd at this time and Dr Tony Francis – who was one of the people who insisted that I should be arrested and charged – then helpfully wrote a report for the Court recommending what should be done WHEN I was found guilty. Only I was cleared, so that plan was out of the window. Regular readers of the blog will remember Mary Wynch, the lady who was illegally imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital for a year and who sued Dafydd and the Home Office. Well after the demands in Parliament for an investigation into her case suddenly died away, it was in 1995 that Mary, by now elderly and financially ruined, was given a pittance of a final payment authorised by the Home Office and told to finally piss off (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).

The judge who presided over Howard Hughes’s trial was Justice Richard Curtis. In his summing up he denounced Hughes as a ‘fiend’. But from the minute that Sophie’s body was found – before Donald Wayte waxed lyrical about the detail of her injuries and people branched out into a bit of blue sky thinking regarding the reason why her body had been thrown into the sea – the police seemed to have a pretty good idea of the sort of person who would be arrested for this crime. The man in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Eric Jones, declared that the person responsible for Sophie’s murder was ‘a brute who must be caught – quickly’. They found the brute that they were looking for a few hours later when they arrested Howard Hughes at the house that he shared with his mother. A remarkably snappy bit of detective work there from a police force who at that very time was refusing to co-operate with a major investigation into a possible paedophile ring operating in the institutions in which the brute that they arrested had spent time himself. As a learning disabled child. Who even if he had raped and murdered Sophie Hook would probably have never known that forensic evidence would be lost if the body was thrown into the sea and her clothes were not found. I tell you who would know all about destroying forensic evidence though – someone with knowledge of police investigations. Such as a policeman who was a paedophile.

In September 1997 the Court of Appeal granted leave to Hughes to appeal against his conviction. Six months later north Wales was further outraged when the brute claimed that he’d been abused whilst in Bryn Estyn and launched a claim for £50,000 compensation. Two weeks after the brute launched this claim, the Court of Appeal rejected his bid to have his convictions quashed. A second appeal was made in 2001 – the Court decided that there was no grounds to quash the convictions. The judges at this appeal ruled that there must be no more contestations unless new evidence was discovered.

So Howard Hughes remains in prison – he’s now serving a 50 year sentence thanks to the intervention of dear old Blunkett when he was Home Secretary – on the word of a career criminal, a convicted child sex offender and his father, whom he didn’t seem to have the best of relationships with. And upon the fact that he was obviously a fiend and a brute, after a life at the hands of a thoroughly corrupt mental health service, a children’s service that had a paedophile gang operating in it’s children’s homes and a police force that had a well-established reputation for corruption and that employed a senior officer who was a child molester himself. But if Hughes is ever let out of prison someone might have to ask who did kill Sophie and how did Hughes ever end up serving a fifty year sentence on the personal recommendation of David Blunkett on the basis of such flimsy evidence…