A Solicitor’s Letter From North East Wales MIND

Some weeks ago I wrote a blog post giving an account of the experiences of a former employee of North East Wales MIND (formerly known as Flintshire MIND), Karen Hughes. Karen alleged workplace bullying, financial irregularities, loss of client’s data, breaches of clients’ confidentiality and the suicide of one client after he was told by a counsellor at North East Wales MIND that she could do no more for him. Karen had contacted Paul Farmer, the CEO of national MIND and Sara Moseley, the Director of MIND Cymru and informed them of her experiences and allegations but they failed to reply.

Karen provided me with extensive documentation to back up her allegations.

Karen was not the first employee/former employee of MIND to contact me – I had previously received correspondence from other people alleging that there are massive problems in MIND and that a regime of terror leaves people far too frightened to speak out publicly. All these people asked me not to publish anything on my blog that could lead to their identities being revealed. However Karen told me that she was happy to be named as a whistleblower.

 

On Friday afternoon I received a message from my hoster, forwarding a solicitor’s letter that they had received from a David Mann from Aaron and Partners (who are based in Chester). Mr Mann is acting for North East Wales MIND. Mr Mann alleged that virtually every one of Karen’s allegations was ‘untrue’ and that my post about North East Wales MIND was ‘libellous’, ‘defamatory’ and ‘offensive’. David Mann is demanding that I delete the original post about North East Wales MIND.

I have always made it clear on this blog that if anybody believes that I have published anything as fact that is not true, I am happy to edit it. I rang Mr Mann to discuss the documentary evidence in my possession which supports Karen’s allegations, but I was told that he was out of the office. I rang again sometime later and was told that he ‘wasn’t picking up the phone’. So I e mailed David Mann. I have not yet heard back from him. I also e mailed my hoster but I have not heard back from them either.

The problem that I have is that my hoster is located in the Philippines and I can only communicate with them about this problem by e mail. I am happy to do this but I suspect that because it is the weekend I will not be able to communicate with them about Mr Mann’s allegations until tomorrow. Unfortunately, the misuse procedure with my hoster has an automatic element to it – if a solution isn’t found to a complaint within a certain time limit, the website is automatically suspended. Because of the timing of David Mann’s complaint to my hoster, there is a chance that my blog could be suspended later tonight automatically. Furthermore I am going away for Easter and will not have access to wifi, so I really do not want anything going pear-shaped with my blog this week.

So after a conversation with Karen, it was agreed that I should delete the previous post concerning North East Wales MIND which will enable my hoster’s automatic process to pick up that I have responded to their concern – thus safeguarding the blog – and replace it with an updated post about MIND.

Despite David Mann’s accusations that Karen’s allegations are simply ‘untrue’, Karen has provided me with documentary evidence that every part of her complaint about North East Wales MIND was upheld by Parabl, the agency which works in partnership with MIND and runs the counselling courses with them. It was North East Wales MIND’s practices regarding their work with Parabl that Karen raised concerns about.

There was another investigation into Karen’s complaints which resulted in none of them being upheld. This was an ‘independent’ investigation – carried out by Tony Bochenski, the Chair of North East Wales MIND, who was one of the people whom Karen named in her complaints.

So Tony has cleared himself and his colleagues, but they have all been found guilty by Parabl…

Tony Bochenski is a solicitor himself so I’m wondering why his organisation has employed another solicitor to write to my hoster.

Karen and I take the view that David Mann’s letter is simply an attempt to silence us.

Karen has also told me that since I published the post about North East Wales MIND, her immediate line manager – about whom Karen had no complaints at all and maintained was the one person in North East Wales MIND who conducted herself professionally at all times – has been forced by North East Wales MIND to sign an agreement stating that she will have no more contact with Karen. Karen doubts the legality of this agreement but presumes that her former line manager feared losing her job if she did not sign on the dotted line.

 

Whilst I am blogging about MIND in north Wales, I will take this opportunity to discuss some more of the documents that are in my medical files which the NHS illegally witheld from me for years and which were only released after my lawyers took the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust to the High Court in Cardiff where he was threatened with imprisonment.

In my post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’ I discussed an attempt in 1997 by the north Wales mental health services to frame me for a criminal offence in order to have me deemed a dangerous patient, banned from NHS premises and transferred to a forensic psychiatry team. Immediately after my arrest I received a letter telling me that I had been banned from seeing any member of staff except for members of the forensic team or Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and if I entered any NHS property managed by Gwynedd Community Health Trust unless it was to see Tony Francis or the forensic team, I would be arrested – again. The other patient who was arrested and jointly charged with me was subject to the same conditions. The case circulated around the courts for a few months until the trial. We were both acquitted. The Trust refused to apologise, stating that as far as they were concerned we were guilty no matter what the verdict of the court had been. We also discovered that Tony Francis had prepared a Report for the court before the trial explaining what was to be done with us WHEN we were found guilty. I was to be ‘assessed’ with a view to banging me up in a secure unit and my co-accused was to have been put on probation.

I now have in my possession a document written by the person whom it was alleged that we had harassed and threatened – a CPN with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team called Bridget Lloyd – in which she states that she had only ever met me once, that it was many years ago and that she didn’t think that I’d recognise her if I saw her. This document had been circulated among managers at the Trust and had been sent to Tony Francis. Yet the court was told that Lloyd had made a statement explaining that she was ‘absolutely terrified’ of me, that she had ‘young children’ who were deemed to be at risk of attack from me as well and that the Trust had issued her with a personal alarm to carry at all times lest she bumped into me and I attacked her. The magistrates were also told that the Trust were looking into the possibility of providing Lloyd and her family with a safe house if I was acquitted, such was the danger that they were all in.

After my acquittal, my complaints about the whole matter were ignored – numerous previous other complaints made by me regarding the abuses of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were still uninvestigated.

I and the other person who was charged with me were arrested in Nov 1997. We were kept in the cells at Caernarfon Police Station for most of the day but no-one would explain why. The person who was arrested with me was deprived of essential medication for a number of hours despite him making repeated requests for it. We were released at the end of the day with no transport or money to pay for public transport home although we lived a number of miles from Caernarfon. We hitch-hiked back home.

After I received the letter from Gwynedd Community Health Trust banning me from contacting anyone but the forensic team or entering Trust premises, I rang the Hergest Unit to try to find out what on earth was going on. I spoke to a man who refused to identify himself but who obviously knew all about me. I only found out who this man was years later when my lawyers obtained copies of my files and there was an account of my telephone call among the documents.

The man with whom I spoke was Robin Holden, the then Head of Mental Health Nursing/Lead Manager for Acute Mental Illness at Gwynedd Community Health Trust. On 11/11/97 Holden completed a ‘note for file’ after I rang him.

Holden’s note states that I repeated my complaints about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s conduct towards female patients and I stated that there had been ‘numerous complaints of this nature’ made by me and others about Dafydd.

Holdren wrote on his file note that he told me that my complaints had been investigated and that if I had any ‘further comments’ I could ‘make them in writing to me’. Holden then wrote that ‘when I advised her that I did not see this telephone conversation as being very helpful, she hung up after telling me to fuck off’. Holden goes on to say that ‘her demeanour was excitable and unreasonable, demanding answers to closed questions and not allowing me to engage in meaningful dialogue’.

I remember the conversation well. I did tell Holden to fuck off, because in response to every question of mine, including ‘who am I speaking to please?’, ‘who was responsible for having me arrested?’ and ‘on what legal basis have I been banned from speaking to my own key worker and banned from NHS property?’ Holden simply replied ‘I do not want to share that with you’.

Holden was speaking to someone who had recently spent a day in the cells, had been charged for an offence that she had not committed and had now received a letter threatening her with arrest again if she walked into the local hospital or rang her key worker – and he found it unreasonable that she was asking ‘closed questions’. Is there any other way of asking someone who they are or who has had them arrested?

As for Holden’s observation that I was ‘excitable and unreasonable’ – Holden had trained and worked as a nurse at the North Wales Hospital, Denbigh. A quick perusal of the notes of any patient in that institution will reveal that they were all ‘excitable and unreasonable’, all the time, under all circumstances, even when they were catatonically depressed. I suspect that the reason why everyone in Denbigh was ‘excitable and unreasonable’ is that there was only a very limited repertoire of treatments there – lobotomy, ECT or huge quantities of chlorpromazine. Everybody got the chlorpromazine even if they subsequently also got the lobotomy and/or ECT – and the only justification for giving the doses that were dispensed was to describe someone as ‘excitable and unreasonable’. I did not meet one ‘excitable and unreasonable’ patient whilst I was in Denbigh, not even the man who was manic. He was manic, but no, he wasn’t actually unreasonable, I had some good chats with him.

But I wasn’t Trained, which must have been why I didn’t notice all the excitable, unreasonable folk who surrounded me.

As for Holden’s insistence that my previous complaints had been investigated – the documentation compiled at the time by his colleagues demonstrates very clearly that my complaints had not been investigated. There are copies of letters that managers had sent to Dafydd begging him to address my complaints – Dafydd simply ignored all such requests. After a few months of being ignored, a senior manager would then write back to me saying that Dafydd ‘refutes all your allegations’. I doubt if Dafydd even got as far as refuting anything, there was no evidence that they’d even spoken to him and certainly no evidence of any investigation into any of the numerous matters of very serious misconduct that I raised over a period of years. There is a copy of one letter written by senior manager Dr Peter Higson which states that Dafydd is ‘not compliant’ with the complaints investigation process. Higson does not make any suggestions as to what should be done in the face of Dafydd’s non-compliance.

Peter Higson is now the Chair of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Robin Holden has now retired from the NHS. Psychiatric nurses of Holden’s vintage were allowed to retire at 55 years old, because everyone knew that the strain of looking after excitable, unreasonable people who are prone to attacking one and insist on asking closed questions really takes it out of a fit healthy 55 year old. Which was why many of the retired Angels then returned to work for the NHS in their former roles at a much higher pay rate after signing up for agency work. One former Denbigh nurse was still working shifts in the Heddfan Unit at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 2013 – he owned a second home in the Florida Keys. Another retired Denbigh nurse continued to work on Ynys Mon until about 10 years ago – where he also kept his yacht.

Duw, it’s hard, as Max Boyce used to sing.

So what did Robin Holden do after he retired? He set up a consultancy and flogged his expertise to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board! As the patient and staff suicides at the Hergest Unit could no longer be explained away using the usual techniques, Peter Higson commissioned Holden to write a report on Hergest. Holden observed that Hergest ‘was in serious trouble’ and very sensitive mediation would be required because the staff were alienated and demoralised. I expect that Robin’s consultancy provided the mediation for the worthless bastards who used to work for him when he was their senior manager and was refusing to answer closed questions from patients whom they had had arrested.

Robin has a new role now. He’s a MIND executive! In Aberconwy I understand. He is involved with Parabl…

Robin also owns a few properties which he lets out as holiday cottages.

Duw, Duw, Duw, the poverty, the stress, the long hours, how do any of them cope?

On behalf of all the patients in north Wales – Jesus Christ!

 

After I had been acquitted of threatening Bridget Lloyd, Jackie Ehlen, the forensic psychiatric nurse to whom I had been referred as a result of being so phenomenally dangerous, wrote on my notes in 1998 that I and the other patient who was charged and acquitted along with me knew that we’d harassed Bridget and ‘had only got off on a technicality’. The technicality being that I had not actually spoken to Bridget but had been charged because I was in the same building as the person who did make the ‘harassing’ call. Not that he had spoken to Bridget either – he had been rude about Bridget to a third party over the telephone. Because Bridget had previously tried to have him arrested…

So that was the technicality on which we got off – the fact that we didn’t actually do it.

So who else knew about this idiocy in 1997 involving Robin the MIND executive? Well, it went right to the top of the Trust. John Mullen the CEO of Gwynedd Community Health Trust knew. Because Robin faxed him about 10 mins after my phone call during which I asked closed questions! Robin didn’t fax John Mullen because of me being excitable and unreasonable, he faxed John Mullen because after Robin refused to share anything with me – including his name – another patient rang Robin and asked Robin ‘if you are part of the cover-up regarding the allegations of abuse against Dafydd involving John Mullen, Nerys Owen, Alun Davies and the Freemasons’. Robin faxed John Mullen immediately. Robin noted that patient was asking closed questions as well.

The Chairman of Gwynedd Community Health Trust at the time was Hefin Davies. Who was/is a Freemason. The Provincial Grand Master of North Wales in 1997 was one Ian Lawrie Mackeson-Sandbach.

Ian’s mother Geraldine – who died in 2001 – was President of the Denbigh branch of the Royal College of Midwives 1955-75, a Magistrate on the Llanwrst Bench 1942-79 and was President of the Juvenile Bench. The Sandbach family estate is located near Llanwrst. Dr Peter Higson comes from Llanwrst and his sister is Dr Ruth Hussey, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales! Ian Mackeson-Sandbach has a daughter, Antoinette. She’s the Tory MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire. Antoinette used to be the Tory AM for Delyn. Prior to pursuing a career in politics, Antoniette was working as a criminal barrister in London, but she felt a sudden urge to return to north Wales just when people started demanding a re-investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal on the grounds that the Waterhouse Report had been a massive cover-up. Within weeks of arriving in north Wales, Antoinette was working for David Jones, the Tory MP for Clwyd West. David Jones worked as a solicitor in Bangor and looked on as the victims of the paedophiles’ friends were stitched up in court (see post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’). The son of David Jones’s boss in the Bangor law firm, Elwyn Jones, was also a solicitor and – along with Gwynedd Social Services, the North Wales Police, the North Wales Housing Association, Dafydd Orwig a Gwynedd County Councillor, Bethesda GPs surgery and the mental health services – stitched up an innocent man for allegedly being a danger to his own baby, whilst protecting two other people who had abused children, as described in my post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’. David Jones is a Freemason.

David Jones’s constituency office is in Colwyn Bay. Which is the location of the HQ of the North Wales Police. The Gwynfa Unit was also in Colwyn Bay. Gwynfa Unit was a residential child and adolescent mental health unit. It was revealed at the Waterhouse Inquiry that numerous young patients had been severely abused, sexually and physically. One member of staff was imprisoned for raping a 14 year old girl and another male patient was buggered on two occasions (see post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’). From 1993 Gwynfa was run by the Clwydian Community Care NHS Trust. Prior to that it had been run by Clwyd Health Authority – the old name for the Clwydian Community Care NHS Trust. Both organisations employed Dafydd and Peter Higson in senior roles and both organisations failed to investigate my complaints. Gwynfa was shut down in 1997 – I rather suspect because of what was going to be revealed about it in the Waterhouse Inquiry.

The nurse in charge of Gwynfa, 1972-90 was Nigel Mannering Berry, one of Robin Holden’s former nurse colleagues from the North Wales Hospital. Between 1993-94, Nigel Berry was a Director of Colwyn Bay Masonic Hall. Berry lives in Colwyn Bay. As did Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman appointed by the Welsh Office who co-ordinated the cover-up of the criminal activities of Dafydd et al in 1988 after my complaint (see post ‘In Memoriam – Professor Robert Owen’). Gordon Anglesea, the former retired North Wales Police officer who was imprisoned in 2016 for historical sex offences against boys in care in north Wales, also lived in Colwyn Bay.

Dr Barry Kiehn lives in Colwyn Bay as well. Kiehn is a retired Top Doctor who for many years was the psychiatrist for Gwynfa, although he was employed by Gwynedd Health Authority. Barry Kiehn also compiled a document which turned up in my medical notes. Back in 1987 when I began to realise just how extensive Dafydd’s wrongdoing was and how many people knew about it, I placed an advert in ‘Private Eye’ for info about Dafydd. It caused a stir and although I wasn’t living in north Wales at the time, I received a few phone calls from people there saying ‘ooh was that advert placed by you?’ I know that Dafydd himself saw it because he was one of the people who phoned me up. He was more friendly than I ever would have thought was possible and was chuckling away saying ‘ooh dear you have found out a lot about my private life haven’t you heh heh heh’ – not that it was private, Dafydd’s sexual exploitation of patients and criminality wasn’t at all private – and it was shortly after seeing that advert that Dafydd tried to bribe me. How did Dafydd know about the advert? Because Barry Kiehn told him. There is a copy of the letter that Kiehn wrote to Dafydd in my file. Kiehn was obviously good mates with Dafydd, they were on first name terms – ‘Dear Dafydd’. Kiehn sent Dafydd a copy of my advert saying that ‘a colleague’ had seen it and although Barry had no idea what it was all about, he thought that Dafydd should know about it…

 

Other people who knew about the fuckwittery of Robin Holden et al in 1997 included Nerys Owen, the Director of Nursing for Gwynedd Community Health Trust and Liz Brown, PA to Nerys Owen. Also Bruce Stephens, the manager of the Hergest Unit at that time and Amanda Lloyd, the Trust HQ ‘services manager’. All these people were CC’d into letters with regard to the trumped up charges brought against me in 1997. The usual suspect was involved as well of course – Alun Davies. Davies even turned up at our trial and sat in the front row of the spectators gallery hoping to see us taken away in the Black Maria. I was delighted to note that Davies looked as though someone had emptied a bucket of slops over his head when we were acquitted. Davies seemed so certain that we were going to be found guilty as well. Presumably a magistrate wasn’t following orders somewhere along the line.

Alun Davies owns property in Colwyn Bay which he lets out to other crooks employed by the NHS.

The Gwynedd Community Health Trust’s solicitor, Tony Lane, also knew what was happening. Tony Lane’s advice had been sought by the Trust because they didn’t know what to do about my complaints… My documents show that by 1997 the Trust had been seeking Lane’s advice regarding me for a number of years because they thought that Dafydd had done a number of things that they could not defend. They must have been in a real pickle to have been using Tony Lane as well, because the NHS routinely utilised the services of the corrupt lawyer employed by the Welsh Office, Andrew Park, to threaten me with court action.

Tony Lane’s firm was Jones, Evans and Lane and was based at 32 Y Maes, Caernarfon. His partners were R. Meirion Jones and Merfyn Jones-Evans and the associates were Wyn Trefor Jones and Mandy Maria Williams.

 

One the wider UK stage, whilst this perjury and unlawful withdrawal of NHS care was happening, the Waterhouse Inquiry had just begun taking evidence from witnesses. Ah, so that was why there was such an effort being made to label me as one who was Dangerous and Unreasonable and Who Could Not Be Believed. Blair was PM and the Secretary of State for Wales was dear old Ron Davies. The MP for the constituency in which I and the person arrested with me lived was the paedophiles’ friend Lord Wyn Roberts (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’). Ysbyty Gwynedd and Bangor Magistrates Court where we were tried was also in Wyn Roberts’s constituency. Caernarfon Police Station in which I was detained for hours without good reason and in which my co-accused was deprived of essential medication was located in the constituency of Dafydd Wigley, as was the company of Tony Lane the solicitor who knew that the Trust had broken – and continued to break – the law.

 

Have any of you got anything to say about it all having said so much about me at the time?

 

 

 

 

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?