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?

 

 

 

Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng And Tessa Jowell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 2012 Tessa became a Dame!

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

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

 

 

The Aftermath Of The Jillings Report – In Parliament

In the wake of a number of staff from children’s homes in Clwyd being convicted of offences against children and a lot of former residents of children’s homes in Clwyd being found dead, in 1994 Clwyd County Council ordered an independent external investigation into the county’s children’s homes. It was led by John Jillings, the retired Director of Derbyshire Social Services. My post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ provides details of the Jillings Report. Of course the Jillings Report has never been published in full – it wasn’t available at all until 2013 and then only in a heavily redacted form. As I explained in ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’, Michael Beloff QC advised the Council’s insurers, Municipal Mutual, not to make the report available at all – what had happened in the children’s homes was so indefensible that this was the only way that those advising Clwyd Council could see of dealing with it. Clwyd County Council itself was dissolved days after the report was submitted, in a very convenient local government reorganisation. When it was revealed that the long awaited Report would not be available to hardly anyone – not even to most Members of the Council itself – and that this was to protect the Council from legal claims, there was outrage in Wales. Some of the nation’s politicians were incredibly vocal about the fact that there had been large scale abuse of children in north Wales and possibly a paedophile ring at work but no-one was allowed to know the results of the investigation into this, yet alone the identities of those involved.

A look at Hansard is informative. One politician whom it seems was particularly vexed was the Labour MP for Cynon Valley, Ann Clwyd. Ann Clwyd came under a lot of fire for supporting Blair over the war with Iraq, but with regard to the abuse of children in care, her record seems to be impeccable. I was at a public lecture that she gave last year on the day that Gordon Anglesea was convicted and she made a point of expressing her great relief that perhaps this was now the beginning of a degree of honesty. Sadly I doubt that it was – on the same occasion Ann mentioned that George Thomas the former Speaker of the House, aka Lord Tonypandy, was also under investigation, but I read the other day that the police investigation into him had stopped. None of my documents relate to George Thomas but I am aware that in the wake of the Ely Hospital Scandal Thomas described the methods of the ‘nurses’ involved as being ‘old fashioned’. These were ‘nurses’ whose ‘old fashioned’ ways included punching and beating elderly people, dragging them around wards whilst they were naked and turning cold hoses on them. Then lying through their teeth about all of it.

At least four of the former residents of Bryn Estyn had lived in the Cynon Valley and had spoken to Ann about their experiences there. Hansard, June 1996, records that Ann made reference to Speaker Weatherill’s ruling of 17 Feb 1992 which was used to block Early Day Motions (EDMs) that Ann had attempted to table the night before regarding the North Wales Police and child abuse. Ann asked the Speaker – who was at that time Betty Boothroyd – to reconsider the position and observed that ‘it now seems that one cannot table a motion or a question for an oral or written answer; one cannot speak in a debate or probably even introduce a Bill drawing on the experience of Clwyd. One cannot raise the issue in a Select Committee or a Standing Committee either. A wall of silence will surround the passage of the Government Motion later tonight’. [I assume that the motion that Ann is referring to here is the Motion regarding the establishing of a public inquiry into the abuse of children whilst in the care of Gwynedd and Clwyd County Councils.]

Ann makes the point that some of her constituents were involved in the Clwyd abuse ‘and there are things that should be done before that Motion is passed. We should have had a debate in the House on child abuse and the Secretary of State for Health should have made a statement on the Utting Review. This morning a Welsh Office Minister tried to convince me that the Jillings Report was defamatory…I want to expose the fact that 25 years ago there was a Report on Bryn Estyn….it was never published because the Home Office suppressed it…’

Madam Speaker then responds with ‘I have looked at the two proposed Motions that she has attempted to table. I am satisfied that one of her Motions breaks the campaign rule…I am content that the other Motion be tabled…however that this Motion, along with the three other EDMs that she tabled on Monday, will be withdrawn automatically as a result of the application of the House’s sub-judice rule… if and when the Motion setting up the Tribunal of Inquiry is agreed to by the House. If she is seeking a statement by a Minister or a debate on the matters before that Motion is passed, she should ask questions of the leader of the House tomorrow. She should deal with her front bench team about having the subject placed on the Order Paper…She will be aware…that in raising her voice in objection to the Motion, which is now on the Order Paper, the setting up of the Tribunal will be delayed.’

The Madam Speaker concerned, Betty Boothroyd, was generally considered to be an all round good egg – yet it does look here as if there are machinations at work to prevent Ann Clwyd from raising questions and eliciting debate regarding the matter of the serious abuse of children in care in north Wales.

After this exchange between Ann Clwyd and the Speaker, Hansard records that Alice Mahon, the Labour MP for Halifax, said that ‘the Commons Select Committee on Health is undertaking an extensive inquiry into all aspects of children’s health and well-being. Will you clarify whether the ruling that you have made means that the Select Committee cannot take evidence on Clwyd?’ Following this, Nicholas Winterton, the Conservative MP for Macclesfield, said ‘Yesterday the Government announced that here would be a review of the care and abuse of children and children’s homes and residential accommodation throughout England and Wales. I am particularly concerned about problems that have been encountered in Cheshire…will you confirm that there are no restrictions on Members who want to take matters forward in respect of England and Wales, but especially in respect of Cheshire?’ Madam Speaker replies ‘There will be no restrictions’.

I’m not sure what to make of this – that Ann Clwyd was the only person on whom restrictions were placed? Or is the Speaker just wriggling here, reassuring people that of course there are no restrictions on anyone, when there were very obviously restrictions placed on Ann Clwyd?

Some months prior to this, in the wake of the suppression of the Jillings Report, three EDMs had been tabled concerning the North Wales Abuse Scandal.

On 27/3/96, Martyn Jones (Labour, Clwyd South) was the primary sponsor of an Early Day Motion: ‘That this House deplores the actions of the insurance company providing cover for Clwyd County Council which is attempting to suppress by process of law a report produced for that council, at some cost to the taxpayer called Child Abuse, An Independent Investigation commissioned by Clwyd County Council 1974 to 1995, the Jillings Report, simply because it may lay the council open to claims against itself and further considers that putting the interest of the finances of an insurance company above the rights of even one abused child is an outrage’.

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/1995-96/673

It was sponsored by Win Griffiths, David Hanson, John Marek, Rhodri Morgan and Don Touhig. It was signed by Diane Abbott, Janet Anderson, Tony Banks, Harry Barnes, D.N. Campbell Savours, Michael Clapham, Eric Clarke, Ann Clywd, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn, Jean Corston, John Cummings, Terry Davis, Bill Etherington, John Evans, Win Griffiths, John Gunnell, Mike Hall, David Hanson, Eric Illsley, Barry Jones, Martyn Jones, Ken Livingstone, Elfyn Llwyd, Alice Mahon, John Marek, Ian McCartney, Kevin McNamara, Alan Meale, Bill Michie, Rhodri Morgan, Paul Murphy, Paddy Tipping, Don Touhig, Robert N. Wareing, Dafydd Wigley.

The next day, 28/3/96, saw another EDM, whose primary sponsor was Rhodri Morgan: ‘That this House calls on the directors of Municipal Mutual Insurance Co., it’s affiliate Zurich Mutual Insurance Co and Municipal Mutual Insurance’s solicitors Browne Jacobson, to desist from all further anti-democratic actions in relation to Clwyd County Council and the report by John Jillings retired Director of Social Services of Derbyshire County Council into child sex abuse at children’s homes in Clwyd, and in particular to desist from their request to the county council to remove from office the Chair of the Social Services Committee, and further calls on the Secretary of State for Wales to consider whether it’s proper for an insurance company specialising in local government insurance to conduct itself in a manner which threatened the primacy of the duty of the local authority in child protection to put the welfare of children first, attempts to set the duty of looking after the councils finances and the insurance company’s own claims liabilities above child protection, and uses the threat of voiding the council’s insurance cover and the transfer of finance liability from the insurance company to individual councillors as a means of suppressing the truth, and to amend regulations governing local government insurance if necessary.’

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/1995-96/685

It was signed by Janet Anderson, Tony Banks, Harry Barnes, Clive Betts, D.N. Campbell Savours, Michael Clapham, Eric Clarke, Michael Connarty, Jean Corston, John Cummings, Denzil Davies, Terry Davis, John Evans, Paul Flynn, Norman A. Godman, Win Griffiths, John Gunnell, Mike Hall, David Hanson, Martyn Jones, Ken Livingstone, Elfyn Llwyd, John Marek, Ian McCartney, Kevin McNamara, Alan Meale, Bill Michie, Rhodri Morgan, Ken Purchase, Ernie Ross, Dennis Skinner, Don Touhig, Dafydd Wigley.

 

All those signing these EDMs were Labour MPs, apart from Dafydd Wigley (Plaid), Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid) and Ken Livingstone (not affiliated to any party).

I find it difficult to believe that many of those who signed these EDMs did not previously know that children were being abused in care in north Wales. Many of them were MPs from north Wales themselves – and the whistleblowing social worker Alison Taylor had gone public on the child abuse years previously. Furthermore, ‘children’s care workers’ had been appearing in the local Courts on trial for offences against children for a very long time. My posts ‘Further Information On Garth Angharad Hospital’ and ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’ describe how in 1992 a number of MPs signed an EDM in response to plans to close Garth Angharad, a facility for ‘mentally abnormal criminals’. People who had been abused whilst in care in north Wales tended to end up in there. The notoriously unscrupulous psychiatrists in north Wales who were involved with criminal activities as well as with discrediting and imprisoning people who had been abused whilst in care had connections with this ‘hospital’. Furthermore it was a very odd ‘hospital’. It was not an NHS facility, it was owned and managed by Paul Hett, who also owned a number of schools and children’s homes in north Wales that had been the subject of allegations of sexual and physical abuse. Later in his career Paul Hett became a solicitor but ended up being struck off for embezzling clients money. Paul Flynn, Dafydd Wigley, Elfyn Llwyd and Ken Livingstone were all among those expressing outrage that Garth Angharad might close it’s doors. Ken had previously been instrumental in running Lambeth Borough Council – who sent children in their care to Paul Hett’s establishments. Lambeth Borough Council is now the centre of a huge scandal regarding the sexual abuse of children in care between the late 1950s and 1980s – millions have been paid out in compensation and more is expected to be paid after it was admitted that the Council’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles, that this was known, yet nothing was done to protect children. Dafydd Wigley definitely knew about the criminal practices in the north Wales mental health services because I wrote to him about them. He initially sent me a very supportive letter but when I wrote again some two years later I did not receive a reply. Dafydd Wigley was MP for Caernarfon, where the HQ of Gwynedd County Council was. There was serious corruption in that Council among its legal advisors and social services dept. Gwynedd’s Director of Social Services, Lucille Hughes, was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failed to act. If I knew about the very serious problems in that Council, particularly in the Dept of Social Services, then I’m sure that Dafydd Wigley did. Previous posts have described how the children’s services and mental health services in Gwynedd were notorious. Dafydd Wigley must have been told of people’s concerns and he almost certainly received correspondence from people other than me. Elfyn Llwyd was also a Gwynedd MP, he will have heard. Furthermore, Elfyn Llwyd was President of Gwynedd Law Society in 1990-91, so he’ll have known all those dodgy lawyers who were concealing abuse in the children’s and mental health services and indeed trying to imprison people whom they knew were innocent. Paul Flynn had stood as the Labour candidate for Denbigh in 1974. Denbigh was a town in which nearly every resident worked at – or had a relative or friend who worked at – the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, where people who had been abused in care were imprisoned. Denbigh had a dreadful reputation but those who worked at that institution had votes, those imprisoned did not. Which is why Paul Flynn was never going to campaign on behalf of the people being abused in there. Martyn Jones was MP for Clwyd South between 1987-2010 and was Wrexham born and bred. He lived on the doorstep of the children’s homes with the worst reputations for abuse – but he too signed the EDM opposing the closure of Garth Angharad.

John Marek was a Wrexham MP between 1983-2001, albeit a rather strange one. He eventually defected from Labour and set up his own party consisting of himself and he is now a member of the Conservative Party. He too was right on the doorstep of Bryn Estyn, the home where serious abuse had gone on for decades. David Hanson has been the MP for Delyn in north east Wales since 1992. He had known the region before that, having been in pursuit of a seat in the Cheshire and north east Wales region. The paedophile ring that was active in north Wales was operating in Cheshire as well. Surely Hanson will have heard something about the problems in the region even if he didn’t know the full picture? I suspect that the same situation prevailed with Win Griffiths, Rhodri Morgan, Paul Murphy and Don Touhig, all MPs from south Wales. Don Touhig had worked as a journalist in Wales including as an editor – journalists tend to receive leaks from allsorts of people, including the police. Win Griffiths has for a long time been involved with what is now called the Third sector – people working in that sector knew that children were being abused.

 

On the same day, 28/3/96, Rhodri Morgan sponsored another EDM: ‘That this House calls on the Secretary of State for Wales to fulfil the promise made on 7th September 1992 to hold a public inquiry into child abuse in North Wales children’s homes by the honourable member for Cardiff North, the Parliamentary Under Secretary then responsible for health and social services in Wales and reported in Welsh Office press release W92359 of the same date, and which was reported by him as going to start as soon as the criminal proceedings were completed; believes that the Chief Constable of North Wales was also correct to call for such a public inquiry when criminal proceedings were over on 4th September 1992 and reaffirmed on 13th August 1993; and further believes that the need for the promised public inquiry is now more urgent with the imminent danger of the shredding of all copies of the independent but non-judicial inquiry into Clwyd County Council child care homes and policies carried out by John Jillings, the retired Director of Social Services of Derbyshire, which drew attention to the deaths of 12 young people who were victims of child sexual abuse who had been in the care of Clwyd and the failure of the Welsh Office Social Services Inspectorate and the North Wales Police to detect the failures in the child care system in North Wales and which also called for a public inquiry.’

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/1995-96/686

It was signed by Diane Abbott, Janet Anderson, Tony Banks, Harry Barnes, Roy Beggs, Michael Clapham, Eric Clarke, Ann Clwyd, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn, Jean Corston, John Cummings, Terry Davis, John Evans, Paul Flynn, Norman A. Godman, Win Griffiths, John Gunnell, Mike             Hall, David Hanson, Barry Jones, Lynne Jones, Martyn Jones, Ken Livingstone, Elfyn Llwyd, John Marek, Ian McCartney, Kevin McNamara, Alan Meale, Bill Michie, Rhodri Morgan, Ken Purchase, Ernie Ross, Dennis Skinner, Paddy Tipping, Don Touhig, Robert N. Wareing, Dafydd Wigley.

Again, all the signatories were from the Labour Party, except for Dafydd Wigley (Plaid), Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid), Ken Livingstone (not affiliated to any party) and Roy Beggs (Ulster Unionist). I am wondering whether Roy Beggs might have taken an interest in child abuse matters as a result of the Kincora Boys Home Scandal in Belfast. Some of the MPs outside of Wales who signed this EDM were representing constituencies and had even been councillors in areas where the children’s services had also been infiltrated by paedophiles.

Years later, in the wake of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal rearing it’s head again, on 8/11/12, Ann Clwyd was the primary sponsor of an EDM: ‘That this House notes EDM 1003 tabled June 1996 stating ‘That this House notes that the honourable Member for Cynon Valley has been personally approached by a young man who has been abused while in care; regrets that at least four people from the Cynon Valley were in care in Bryn Estyn during the period covered by the Jillings Report; notes that the child abuse affair in Clwyd ranks as one of the worst and most shocking scandals to come to light in Britain, in that the Report exposes unimaginable horrors such as buggery, rape, bestiality, violent assaults and torture; in the light of disclosures, is appalled by the conduct and failure of public authorities with the responsibility to protect children; in this regard notes that Clwyd County Council has failed to publish the report; further notes moves to block the publication of this report by the insurance companies Zurich Municipal and Municipal Mutual, presumably simply to avoid their liabilities; further notes that in this regard the police have lost the confidence of the public by their apparent failure properly to investigate the full extent of the paedophile activity in North Wales; and similarly that the Crown Prosecution Service has inexplicably failed to prosecute on a number of occasions despite clear evidence and a large number of allegations, and in some cases statements of admission of guilt by paedophiles of sexual offences against children; and notes the failure to prosecute all concerned.’

It’s sponsors were Paul Flynn (Labour, Newport) and Linda Riordan (Labour, Halifax). I presume that the original EDM was one of the EDMs that Ann Clwyd referred to as I quoted earlier ie. one of the EDMs that the Speaker told her would be ‘withdrawn automatically’. So it was Ann mentioning this sort of thing that caused so much upset in Parliament…

So what became of those MPs in Wales who seemed to have kept quiet about the activities of a paedophile ring until they were forced into action by public concern accompanied by UK wide coverage? Most of them have done quite nicely for themselves. Dafydd Wigley, Don Touhig and Paul Murphy have ended up in the Lords. David Hanson was appointed PPS to Tony Blair in 2001 and ended up as Minister of State for Security, Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Policing at the Home Office until Labour lost the election in 2010. Win Griffiths became the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales in 1997, with responsibility for Health and Social Services. He has retired from politics now but was (and maybe still is) Chair of WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action), a body that acts as an umbrella organisation for many charities that have concealed child abuse and  until 2012 was Chair of Abertawe Morgannwg University Health Board. In 2010 he was appointed as Chair of the Welsh NHS Confederation. Wales’s NHS is somewhat troubled and in north Wales has just about collapsed, mainly as a result of the legacy of the paedophile ring and the corruption that accompanied it. As for Rhodri – well he became First Minister of Wales after the National Assembly for Wales came into being. Whilst he was First Minister I wrote and wrote and wrote about the harassment and threats that I was receiving at the hands of the mental health services – the services which had concealed and colluded with the paedophile ring. Rhodri’s Health Minister Brian Gibbons responded by writing to me to tell me that ‘this correspondence is at an end’ when I told him that I had evidence of criminal activity in the NHS in north Wales. Rhodri is no longer with us but the mess that was left behind after no-one tackled the organised criminals that ran that paedophile ring is all over north Wales. Martyn Jones has retired from politics but he was very critical of the former Chief Constable of North Wales Richard Brunstrom, for being so zealous regarding traffic offences. As compared to the previous Chief Constable Michael Argent who refused to co-operate with an investigation into a paedophile ring.

I suspect that Ann Clwyd really did want to blow the lid off the cover-ups of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I’m not convinced that the others did. Some of them must have had some indication of what was going on yet none of them raised their heads until the public outcry over the suppression of the Jillings Report, when they just couldn’t continue to ignore what was happening. I note that by 2012, only three people were sufficiently interested to sign the EDM. As for the situation at the present time – it is clear that there now are so many in politics, the civil service, the police, the law, medicine and the social services who have in some way been involved in concealing or colluding with abuses in the children’s care services or the mental health services across the UK, that I think there are far more of them who don’t want an expose than those who do. Previous posts have named scores of institutions including the Garrick Club, the Law Society, the BMA, the MDU and the GMC who hosted the people who concealed and colluded with child abuse in north Wales. People still trip over themselves to join the Garrick (I think it’s one of those clubs with a waiting list literally years long) and the Top Doctors believe that a position on a BMA committee is worth having. And being involved with the GMC or MDU does wonders for one’s career.

Unlike so many named on this blog, Ann Clwyd has not been elevated to the House of Lords. If anyone ever did give her a seat in there she’d probably have great difficulty finding anyone worth sitting next to.

 

Baroness Patricia Scotland QC Was On Board As Well!

I am continuing to read chunks of the Waterhouse Report and am seeing so many familiar names and references to so many familiar practices that I think that I’m going to have to get my teeth into it and read the whole report, there are clearly gems within. The appendices of the Report contain a long list of names of the people who acted as legal advisors to the various witnesses and parties involved – I know some of them and will blog more about this soon.

There was one name that leapt out at me however although I have never met this person. It was the name of the QC who acted for the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office that for years had ignored the concerns and plight of Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and me. The Welsh Office that had employed a corrupt lawyer, Andrew Park, who had advised and colluded with Top Doctors whom he knew were involved in criminal activities in attempts to bring criminal charges against me. The Welsh Office that employed the Medical Ombudsman Professor Robert Owen, who also colluded with Top Doctors whom he knew had broken the law and who co-ordinated the substantial effort to conceal their wrongdoing. The Welsh Office that did not carry out any inspections of children’s homes in north Wales for years  – years when members of staff of those homes were being convicted of serious offences against children and when many of the former residents of the homes were found dead. The Welsh Office that had ordered the ‘independent’ Waterhouse Inquiry, the Welsh Office that strenuously denied any wrongdoing or neglect but nonetheless ensured that it had a QC to protect it’s interests.

So who was the person who helped the Welsh Office when they were in a tight spot? It was one Lady Patricia Scotland QC. I was surprised to see this name, not because Patricia Scotland is now very well known, because as previous blogs have explained a lot of people who participated in concealing the mountain of crap in north Wales who were unknown at the time ended up doing very well for themselves, but because she had already been elevated to the peerage at the time of the Waterhouse Inquiry – Scotland was the only person involved who was actually already a peer. But I’ve discovered something interesting. Scotland was given her peerage WHILST she was representing the dear old Welsh Office at the Inquiry. She became a working Labour peer, Lady Patricia, on 30 Oct 1997, so someone was grateful to her for something. The Waterhouse Inquiry began under Secretary of State for Wales William Hague, who was part of John Major’s Gov’t, but on 2 May 1997, Blair was elected as PM and on 3 May 1997 Ron Davies was appointed as Secretary of State for Wales. So by the time that Ronnie Waterhouse wrote his report, plain old Patricia Scotland was indeed Lady Scotland.

Patricia Scotland was born in Dominica but moved to Walthamstow when she was two years old. In 1991 she caused a sensation by being the first black woman to be appointed a QC. She was appointed a member of the Commission for Racial Equality and between 1999-2001 she was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and among her responsibilities were diplomatic relations with N America, the Caribbean and Overseas Territories as well as Parliamentary business in the Lords. In 2001 she became Parliamentary Secretary to the Lord Chancellor’s Department. The Lord Chancellor at the time was Derry Irvine, Blair’s old mate (Blair had been Derry’s pupil barrister), who at one point found himself the centre of controversy and ridicule when it was revealed that his official residence had been redecorated at a cost to the taxpayer of £650,000 – the wallpaper alone had cost £59,000. Furthermore the contractors carrying out the work had been forced to sign the Official Secrets Act lest the exorbitant cost of Derry’s wallpaper found its way into the public domain. (It’s heartening to know that a Julian Assange of painting and decorating leaked the info nonetheless.) Patricia was responsible for civil justice and reform of civil law, as well as for international affairs whilst she was at the Lord Chancellor’s Dept. Blair also appointed her as the UK Alternate Representative to the European Convention – her primary responsibility was for the negotiations in relation to the Charter of Rights.

In 2003 Scotland became the Minister of State for the Criminal Justice System and Law Reform at the Home Office. She remained in that role until 2007, serving under three Home Secretaries, David Blunkett, Charles Clarke and John Reid. I could wax lyrical for months regarding the ill-thought out decisions of these three authoritarian Blairite gits, but instead I’ll just give two examples of how Blunkett touched the lives of folk in north Wales in a very personal way.

In 2002 Blunkett set a minimum tariff of 50 years before convicted child murderer Howard Hughes could be considered for parole. Howard Hughes was a learning disabled man from Llandudno who had been convicted of the murder of Sophie Hook. There was no forensic evidence to link him with the crime and many of those we know and love named on this blog had played a part in his life, including in his arrest and conviction. Many people believe that Hughes is the subject of a very serious miscarriage of justice. (Please see post ‘News Round Up – And Murder Most Foul’ for full details of the Hughes case.) Hughes had spent time in Bryn Estyn, the children’s home in Wrexham which had been the location of some of the most serious abuse of children and also in Garth Angharad, a ‘hospital’ for ‘mentally abnormal criminals’ which was where a number of those who complained that they’d been abused in children’s homes ended up. Garth Angharad was owned and managed by Paul Hett, a man who also owned a number of schools and children’s homes which had been at the centre of allegations of abuse. For more info on Garth Angharad and Paul Hett, please see posts ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’ and ‘Further Information On Garth Angharad Hospital’.

In his capacity as Home Secretary, at one point Blunkett was giving out awards to recognise community champions. He gave one to a woman living near Caernarfon (who also later bagged an MBE as well) on the basis of her involvement in a charity allegedly campaigning against gun and knife crime. What Blunkett wouldn’t have known was the amount of local anger aroused when this woman was given her ‘awards’. She was actually rather unpleasant and aggressive and had given a number of neighbours a very bad time. She particularly loathed people with mental health problems because she believed that they were all axe murderers. The reason that I first found out about this woman’s presence in my village was when I was warned about her by a neighbour. I had recently had a number of letters and articles published in the national media concerning the abuse and neglect in the mental health services and there were concerns that this woman might subject me to vigilante action. There was also a young woman living in the same village who was terrified of her – this young woman had a brother who was detained in a secure psychiatric unit and once more local people kept this information away from Blunkett’s community champ for fear of the unpleasantness that might result if it became known to her. As for the community champ’s charidee fundraising – yes, she used to hold events in the village for this purpose. Villagers would be stopped and pressurised into ‘donating’ whether they wanted to or not. People stumped up for fear of aggro if they didn’t. The community champ then became at risk from people of her own ilk. A teenaged boy related to her sexually assaulted a small girl and was detained in a young offenders institution. This boy actually had a number of problems himself which had not been addressed by the glorious CAMHS team or anyone else although his difficulties were obvious and indeed well known. But under Blunkett’s regime he was banged up (and will probably be on the sex offenders register and remain ostracised for the rest of his life). Imagine my surprise when I was confronted by two ‘friends’ of the community champ – a local Top Doctor and his wife no less – who knew that I was aware of the circumstances of this boy’s disappearance from the village and who stood glowering at me repeating ‘he’s in a children’s home in England RIGHT??’ The whole bunch of them were aggressive, abusive people themselves (I noted that no-one asked why the teenaged boy might have been exhibiting sexually precocious behaviour) who created an oppressive atmosphere for their neighbours – yet the leader of the pack was invited to Downing Street for a photo-opportunity. Another person I knew from north Wales attended a photo-opportunity at Downing Street during this time as well. They had grown up in care and had been abused. They had reported the abuse to their social worker who drove them to the police station where they were met by their abuser and challenged to repeat their allegations. This person had excelled academically and Blair had invited them to a do to ‘celebrate’ the achievements of people who had been in care as children. This person had achieved a lot but it was no thanks to the ‘care’ system or indeed to Baroness fucking Scotland et al who concealed what had been happening – although I doubt that this person realised that one of the people who assisted the Welsh Office in concealing the abuse of children in north Wales was lurking away in Blair’s Gov’t when Blair asked to be photographed with them.

Whilst at the Home Office, Patricia Scotland made much of her success in reducing domestic violence (although as domestic violence is a notoriously hidden crime that remains substantially unreported I can’t see how she could be so sure of this success), she created an advisory group for victims (victims of paedophile rings whilst in local authority care perhaps Patricia?) and introduced the Crime and Victims Act, which included a new offence of ‘familial homicide’. It was under this legislation that the killers of ‘Baby P’, Peter Connelly, were imprisoned. The Baby P who was yet another casualty of the chaos that was Haringey Social Services – the Haringey Social Services which had been in chaos for years and which had a personal link to one of the corrupt psychiatrists, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, who was assisting in concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales himself and whose own criminal activities were concealed by the Welsh Office! Please see post ‘The London Connection’ for details of the Haringey-north Wales link. Furthermore there is someone in north Wales who ‘advised’ on the Baby P case. That is Ann Griffiths, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales. Ann was employed as a social worker by Gwynedd Social Services whilst the paedophile ring operated within it. Ann had also been employed by the notoriously abusive mental health services in north Wales. But Ann really came into her own when the police investigation into the child abuse began and some people actually started giving evidence in Court – Ann set up a Helpline to support them. The person providing the ‘counselling support’ had also been employed as a social worker by Gwynedd Social Services, had no appropriate supervision and only limited experience of supporting people in Court. One man who was brave enough to give evidence against this vicious bunch of organised criminals and was supported by the Helpline was found dead very soon after giving evidence. It was noted that the counsellor who had been ‘supporting’ him was covered by the Council’s insurance. Phew.

On 28 June 2007 Patricia was appointed Attorney General by Gordon Brown. It was another first for Patricia – the first woman to ever hold the post! This position meant that Patricia was Chief Legal Advisor to the CPS. The CPS that has been shown time and again to have failed to mount prosecutions against child abusers in the presence of evidence. Patricia also had oversight of the Treasury Solicitor’s Dept, but Patricia will have encountered the Treasury Solicitor before – at the Waterhouse Inquiry where a whole team from the Treasury Solicitor was sent in to ‘advise’. In addition, Patricia was Guardian of the Rule of Law and Public Interest!

In December 2010 Scotland wrote an article for the Guardian, ‘My Legal Hero: Robert F. Kennedy’. He’s her legal hero because he had a ‘commitment to rooting out corruption’. Whether he assisted in covering up the activities of a paedophile ring she does not reveal.

In 2012 Patricia was appointed the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to South Africa. So her star didn’t fade when New Labour were voted out then. But then her original appointment as counsel for the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry all those years ago was made under a Tory Gov’t.

Between 2014-15 Patricia was the senior advisor to the Chairman of something called Arcanum, which is a division of something else called Magellau Investment Holdings Ltd. I wondered what on earth this was, so I googled it. All that is revealed is that Magellau Holdings Ltd has a correspondence address of 1 Knightsbridge, London and has two company directors, one who gives his job title as ‘managing director’ and one as ‘entrepreneur’. I can only presume that whatever business Magellau Holdings Ltd is conducting, they don’t want the rest of us to find out about it. A bit like the Welsh Office didn’t.

In 2016 Patricia took up the post of Commonwealth Secretary General. Guess what – she was the first woman to hold this position! When she was nominated however, her candidacy was opposed by Hugh Segal, the former Canadian special envoy to the Commonwealth and a Senator. He argued that Patricia wasn’t qualified for the position because she had accepted a well-paying brief from the junta in the Maldives to argue against the Commonwealth’s legitimacy when it and Canada sought restoration of democracy to that country. Which is interesting because I seem to remember reading that Cherie, the wife of Patricia’s old mucker Blair, in her capacity as a ‘Human Rights’ lawyer, was acting for a member of that junta.

Patricia is of course involved with a bit of charidee work. Among other things, she is Patron of CFAB (Children and Families Across Borders), which is dedicated to reuniting children who have been separated from their parents. She is also the Chancellor of the University of Greenwich. I used to know someone who now works there. They are yet another person who was abused whilst in the care of the children’s services in north Wales – they left north Wales because they couldn’t bear to remain in the region after what happened to them there.

There has been much obsequious rubbish published about Patricia and her commitment to all things good and her superhuman qualities in being both female and black, but things have not always gone smoothly for her. In 2009 she was found to have employed an illegal immigrant, who had been using a forged passport and who had no valid papers at all by the time that Patricia employed her. This was whilst Patricia was Attorney General -Patricia was fined £5000 for not keeping copies of her employee’s documents to check her immigration status. Patricia knew that such rules existed – because she had drafted them when she had worked as a Home Office Minister. Somehow however the UK Border Agency managed to conclude that Patricia had not ‘knowingly’ employed an illegal worker.

Patricia found herself the centre of attention again in 2016 when the blogger Guido Fawkes published extracts from leaked documents regarding the enormous amount of money that had been provided by the public purse to redecorate Patricia’s grace and favour Mayfair apartment. (I presume that she learnt this sort of thing at the knee of Derry Irvine many years ago.) £4,020 had been spent on a cupboard, £5000 on a vanity unit, the wallpaper had cost £10,500, a safe had been refurbished at a cost of £5000 and a door had cost £4000. Patricia stated on the Commonwealth website that there had been ‘no extravagance at all’ and that the spending had been agreed by the previous Commonwealth Secretary-General. Who presumably was every bit as much of a greedy freeloading waste of space as Patricia.

As I continue to research material for this blog, I am becoming increasingly gobsmacked at how many people currently sitting in the House of Lords have played major roles in concealing the horrors that passed for the children’s services and mental health services in north Wales. I think that Doreen Lawrence must be the only one in the place with clean hands.

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…

 

 

Social Work -Theory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The London Connection

Previous posts (‘A Network Stretching To London?’, ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’ and ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/90’) have detailed the connections that the north Wales mental health services had to hospitals and medical schools in London and how they used these connections to stalk me, construct a portrait of me as being ‘dangerous’ and generally harass me. Since I wrote those posts though I have researched and written a more about the links between institutional child sexual abuse and abuses in the mental services (see posts ‘My Response To An Invitation…’ and ‘A Bit More About Those Very Muddy Waters’). It seems as though the mental health system has played a key role in the facilitating of institutional child sexual abuse, by discrediting and if necessary imprisoning people who dared complain that they had experienced it.

In recent years it has become clear that institutionalised child sexual abuse has been (and could well still be) rife in settings such as local authority ‘care’, some schools, churches, youth organisations etc. Thus the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse was set up in 2015, but is very obviously falling apart, with successive Chairs walking out, lawyers resigning and now a group of ‘survivors’, the Shirley Oaks Survivors, declaring it a farce and withdrawing. There are/have been a number of police investigations into institutional child sexual abuse spanning the UK, some of them dedicated to investigating allegations against high profile figures such as politicians or ‘VIPs’ and celebs. Many people have maintained that many of the ‘centres’ of organised paedophile activity are all linked up forming one big network. This subject is so big that my blog can’t ever do it justice (and of course it’ll be an international network), but I thought that I’d write a post discussing the little bit of the picture that I think that I can see.

I was prompted to write this post when I was listening to a Radio 4 programme a few days ago, ‘The Reunion’, which was discussing the murder of Victoria Climbie in 2000. Victoria was an eight year old girl from the Ivory Coast who had been sent to live with relatives in the borough of Haringey in London. They were convicted of very great cruelty towards her and of her murder. The case gained huge publicity because of the serious failings that were identified on the part of Haringey Children’s Services, although there had been enormous failure on the part of the police, the NHS and the NSPCC as well. (In the Reunion programme, it was none other than dear old Niall Dickson that could be heard on the archive footage reporting on Victoria’s death – that’s the Niall that later became Chief Exec of the GMC!) The services in Haringey were found to be in utter chaos with much dysfunction – a newly qualified social worker, Lisa Arthurworrey, carried the can for Victoria’s death although it was revealed that her training and supervision were utterly inadequate. One of her line managers was reported to have been suffering from a psychotic illness but had not been given leave from work and another line manager was alleged to have been far more concerned with the politics of identity than the realities of child protection. Lisa was pilloried in the press, suffered a breakdown and was struck off, although years later she was reinstated on the social workers register.  The usual promises of ‘we’ll do better’ were extracted from Haringey, but then in 2007 another huge scandal engulfed them when Peter Connelly, ‘Baby P’, was murdered whilst under the ‘care’ of the borough of Haringey (again the NHS was also found to be seriously deficient). The scandal ran and ran – after the horrors of Peter’s life and death were made public, the Director of Children’s Services responsible, Sharon Shoesmith, famously was interviewed on Radio 4 and boasted of how many ‘stars’ her service had – Eddie Mair the interviewer asked her how many stars she thought she’d get for this. Sharon Shoesmith continued to robustly defend herself as public outrage at the serial cock-ups involved in Peter’s case were revealed and then Ed Balls, the then Children’s Secretary, sacked her live on TV. Shoesmith sued and won and was subsequently awarded a very big compensation package which just pissed the nation off even more. Shoesmith proved remarkably resilient and continued to frame herself as a victim – she has recently re-emerged having completed a PhD at the LSE on herself no less (or at least that part of herself that was involved in the Baby Peter cock-up) and I think that she has just published her thesis as a book. (In 2015 Shoesmith was invited to Wales as a keynote speaker to discuss ‘Accountability in Social Work’ – Mark Drakeford, the former Health Minister for Wales and a former social worker himself, also spoke.) After Victoria Climbie and Peter Connelly, Haringey Children’s Services were widely regarded as an irretrievable basket-case – the fall-out led to changes in social worker education and training at a national level.

When I listened to the radio programme I was reminded of something that happened many years ago. In 1986 I lived in Harringay (part of the borough of Haringey) – I had just moved there from Anglesey to begin a postgrad course. Harringay was a place favoured by Greek and Turkish people and I lived in a shared house – one of the other residents who lived downstairs was a Turkish man. He was quite difficult, told a lot of lies and kept breaking the house rules – in the end our landlord, a local Greek accountant who was actually a very good landlord, threatened to evict the Turkish man. One of the more extraordinary things that the Turkish man downstairs did was, after moving into the house, start sharing his room with a 15 year old boy. The boy had just come over from Turkey and couldn’t speak any English so none of us could ask him what was going on or if he was OK – he was sharing a single room downstairs with this rather odd Turk. It then transpired that the boy couldn’t cook – his mum had always done that – and the awkward Turkish man wasn’t going to cook for him either, he sent him out for takeaways to live on. The tale that the Turkish man told us regarding how this teenager had ended up in his room was that the boy’s father had wanted to send the boy to London but was afraid that he’d catch AIDS no less (this was at the height of the AIDS panic) – so the difficult and irresponsible Turk had said that he’d ‘look after’ him. No-one checked on this boy and his presence was not declared to the landlord – he was sent out of the house when the landlord was due. The boy then disappeared – none of us found out where he’d gone and then the landlord evicted the Turkish bloke anyway. So a 15 yr old with no English lived in a single room with a much older rather unsavoury man – and no questions were asked. That sounds rather like a child protection issue that should have been of concern to Haringey Children’s Services…

Then something else memorable happened, in early 1987. I had returned to north Wales for the Christmas holidays and as explained in previous posts had been illegally imprisoned at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. When Jones realised that he didn’t actually know what to do with me and finally released me, he declared that he was going to ‘ring Haringey Social Services’ to ‘let them know that I was living in the area’. So Dafydd, who had illegally detained me as a result of criminal activity with a corrupt Superintendent at Bangor Police Station (paperwork compiled by the nursing staff actually documented all this in detail), then lied about the date of my discharge from the hospital and the ‘diagnosis’ (although the diagnoses were so meaningless that it probably didn’t matter that there was lies told about them) felt able to telephone Haringey Social Services – without my consent – to inform them that I was on their patch. Like all matters Dafydd, this was completely irregular – there was no discharge planning, no aftercare and I certainly never received any welfare-related contact from Haringey Social Services. But in retrospect I think that Dafydd was probably just having a word in someone’s ear – after all, that is how he operated. So the north Wales mental health services had a contact in Haringey…

But as I described in my post ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’, children from London authorities – Islington was one of the Councils named – were being placed at children’s homes in north Wales, certainly in the children’s homes owned by Paul Hett, the man who owned and managed Garth Angharad, the ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ where people who complained about being sexually abused in children’s homes in north Wales ended up. And of course there had been complaints of sexual abuse and cruelty made about Paul Hett’s establishments.

I have previously mentioned that Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital, had a contact at St Georges Hospital Medical School and was using this contact to illicitly gain personal information about me. And when I was in Springfield Hospital, the psychiatric hospital affiliated to St Georges, there was much communication between Dafydd et al and Springfield/St Georges – and between Lucille Hughes of Gwynedd Social Services and the social work team attached to St Georges, although I’d never been in receipt of ‘services’ from Gwynedd Social Services or the social work team at St Georges. Indeed I didn’t even know that the communication between them had taken place until a few weeks ago when my lawyers sent me copies of their correspondence. Of course, nine years after she was corresponding with social workers in south London about me, Lucille ‘retired’ after being named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failing to act. But there had been a paedophile at St Georges as well! In 1986 Professor Oliver Brooke, the Professor of paediatrics at St Georges, was jailed for the possession of child pornography. St Georges pacified a panicking public by reassuring everyone that he had definitely never molested any of his patients (well they’d hardly have fessed up to that would they, look at the malpractice that was pervasive in that institution) and Brooke was let out of prison early by a sympathetic judge, Lord Lane, who likened Brooke’s hoarding of child pornography to the collecting of cigarette cards. There is now information on the internet about the Brooke case claiming that one of the police officers who caught him was livid when he was released – this officer alleged that Brooke was a key player in a European-wide paedophile ring. So he may well have known a few people that Lucille knew… I was interested to read the recent claims on the internet because when I worked at St Georges I was friendly with some people from child health and I heard the full story of the discovery of Oliver Brooke. A technician had gone looking for something in a cupboard and found child porn in there. Every other cupboard was locked, so she alerted someone who opened them – they were all full of child porn, stacks and stacks of it. It was everywhere. The sheer quantity of porn that Brooke had stashed was not highlighted in the press.

What about other London authorities in the 70s and 80s? It has now been admitted that Lambeth children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles and millions have been paid out in compensation and more is expected to be paid. It has been acknowledged that it was known that paedophiles were active in the children’s services and that there was a complete failure to protect children from them. The Shirley Oaks Survivors who have walked out of the Independent Inquiry are from Lambeth. As I explained in my post ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’, Ken Livingstone hailed from Lambeth and was a councillor there. Another name from 80s radical politics was Linda Bellos, who was leader of Lambeth Council between 1986 and 1988. Unlike a lot of London Labour councillors from the 80s Bellos never ended up in Parliament, but she did establish a reputation as an ‘expert’ on black issues and LGBT issues. Bellos has since acted as an advisor to the Metropolitan Police, the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Another Council whose children’s homes were rife with paedophiles was Islington. The leader of Islington Council between 1982 and 1992 was one Margaret Hodge. In 1992, a report in the Evening Standard alleged sexual abuse of children in Islington children’s homes on an enormous scale. Hodge denounced the report as ‘sensationalist gutter journalism’. In 1995 the White Report concluded that Islington Council had failed to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse. By that time Hodge was Labour MP for Barking. One boy who was abused in children’s homes in Islington grew up to be a lawyer and repeatedly wrote to Hodge to tell her what had happened to him – Hodge described him as an ‘extremely disturbed person’ in an attempt to discredit him at a time when there were preparations for a TV programme concerning what had happened in Islington. He sued her and won. The stories of the Islington paedophile ring are dreadful – two social workers consistently tried to blow the whistle on what was happening, police investigations maintained that there was ‘no evidence’ of sexual abuse and one social worker literally disappeared – it was presumed that they’d fled overseas. There have also been allegations that Jimmy Savile was involved in the Islington paedophile ring. Margaret Hodge finally admitted years later that what had gone on was a ‘shameful disgrace’. It didn’t hold her back – she was appointed Minister for Children in 2003! Hodge’s career might have been helped by her support for one Tony Blair – she backed him for Labour leader after John Smith died. There were a few other associates of Hodge who did OK for themselves as well – a man called Jack Straw had been her deputy when she was chairman of the housing committee in Islington and her husband, a lawyer called Henry Hodge, became a judge! (More on Henry in a minute…) Margaret hit celeb status a few years ago when she was appointed Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which meant that she was able to be very rude to lots of people when they were unable to be rude back. A flurry of letters were published in the Guardian from misguided readers stating that she’d make such a good PM. Hodge has since written a book about her time as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, entitled ‘Called To Account’. If only she had been. In 2014 when the shit could be contained no longer and Islington fessed up to its gruesome history and there were calls for an investigation, it was revealed that the Islington Cabinet member for Children and Families Services was a man called Joe Caluori – Margaret’s son-in-law. Margaret is now both a Dame and a Baroness!

Now a word about Henry, Margaret’s husband. Henry was a member of the National Council for Civil Liberties, which when it was established had it’s heart in the right place. However during the 70s and early 80s, something very unfortunate happened – groups campaigning for the legislation of paedophilia, PIE (the Paedophile Information Exchange) and the Paedophile Action for Liberation, became affiliated to it. This caused the NCCL (now more commonly known as Liberty) massive embarrassment three years ago, as many people involved with the NCCL in what has been referred to as it’s ‘paedophile period’ had become leading lights in the Labour Party and a few had been in Gov’t. Henry had been a member of the NCCL at this time. So was Jack Dromey, better known as Mr Harriet Harman – Dromey was a member of the NCCL between 1970 and 79 and was Chair of it’s Executive Committee. But Harriet herself was the legal officer for the NCCL between 1978 and 82. Harriet was caused a great deal of distress when this was dug up by the press and denied that she had ever been involved with all the embarrassing business of the NCCL campaigning on behalf of paedophiles – then she really freaked out when someone produced a document written by her that did rather read as though it was campaigning on behalf of paedophiles… Another leading light in the NCCL who later became a big figure in the Labour Party was Patricia Hewitt, who was the General Secretary of the NCCL for nine years. After this, in 1997, Patricia became the MP for Leicester West, upon the retirement of Greville Janner. That’s the Greville Janner who molested children in care in Leicester but who somehow never faced trial, due to a few slip-ups on the part of the CPS. Patsy later became Secretary of State for Health.

MI5 had Patsy and Harriet under surveillance during their tenure at the NCCL and the European Court later became very cross with MI5 for having done this. (Note to MI5 – next time that you come across two utter fuckwits who are facilitating paedophile gangs, please could you actually stop them becoming Government ministers? Thanks. Oh and could you stop Blair making a comeback as well?)

NCCLs ‘paedophile period’ is now variously explained as a result of ‘loony left policies’, or as a result of paedophiles skilfully conflating their cause with gay rights or, if you are Shami Chakrabarti, as a result of paedophiles ‘infiltrating’ the organisation. All these may be a partial explanations of what happened, but the thing that strikes me is that the social work profession seems to have been completely colonised by paedophiles – and they were then afforded protection by their very close professional colleagues in mental health. And of course social workers do politically tend to align themselves to what they believe are ‘progressive’ causes. Peter Righton was a leading light in PIE who was later convicted of child sex offences – he was the Director of Education at the National Institute of Social Work. Again and again, people who were sexually abused whilst in ‘care’ tell us that they were abused by social workers, not labourers who were visiting the homes. And if there was the occasional labourer involved, they were being facilitated by social workers. One further worrying fact – there are a lot of politicians who were once social workers, particularly in Wales…

Which brings me on to the finest example of the London connection of them all – Baroness Tessa Jowell, Tony Blair’s biggest fan who once said that she would ‘jump under a bus’ for him (be my guest Tessa). Tessa, the daughter of a physician, became a social worker – she worked as a children’s care officer in Lambeth, then trained as a psychiatric social worker and worked at the Maudsley (where Dafydd ‘trained’ under Bob Hobson!) – she later became the assistant director of MIND. Yes, the MIND that was concealing the mountain of shit in north Wales…. By the age of 25 Tessa was Chair of Camden Council’s Social Services Committee no less. She became the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood in 1992 and held the seat until 2015. After the Labour landslide in 97, Tessa was appointed Minister of State in the Dept of Health. She was one of the key movers and shakers behind New Labour’s ‘gambling reforms’ ie. the touching belief that a ‘super-casino’ in every city would revitalise the economy rather than lead to a lot of vulnerable people losing all their money and a few of them killing themselves. Tessa is perhaps best remembered for being married to David Mills, a lawyer who acted for Silvio Berlusconi and who was subsequently investigated for money laundering and tax fraud. Tessa was also investigated by the Cabinet Secretary who helpfully passed the ball to Blair who then cleared Tessa of any wrongdoing. Mills was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for accepting a bribe from Berlusconi to give false evidence in corruption trials – Mills appealed twice (which it is possible to do in the Italian Courts) and avoided serving his sentence under the Statute of Limitations, after successfully quibbling about when he had actually received the bribe. Private Eye derived a lot of entertainment when Tessa announced her separation from Mills just as he landed himself in hot water and published a photo of Tessa saying ‘Of course I have never met my husband’. Tessa was spotted over the following months walking hand in hand with Mills at locations where she presumed that they would not be spotted. It all ended happily though, they soon got back together – and in 2016 Tessa ran for election as Labour’s candidate for London Mayor and made it very obvious that she was a dead cert. Unfortunately for her Sadiq Khan was elected and Tessa could be seen crying on camera when the result was announced. (Bet she never shed tears like that over the kids in Lambeth or the patients in the Maudsley.) Since then Tessa has enjoyed herself at Harvard as a ‘senior leadership fellow’, dispensing her wisdom with regard to ‘health policy and leadership’.

I do not believe that all the scumbags named above who did so nicely out of New Labour were paedophiles themselves – but I do believe that they were responsible for running chaotic, dangerous children’s services in which paedophile gangs operated and I am pretty convinced that they knew it and that it left them deeply compromised when they got into Government. And now they are just as compromised sitting in the House of Lords.

Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…

This blog has previously touched on the way that ‘progressive’ causes such as ‘equality and diversity’ are ruthlessly manipulated by powerful people to close down complaint or debate about abuse in systems like the NHS and Social Services – a lot of Mike Claybrook’s comments on my posts discuss this. The blog has also constantly drawn attention to the various politicians in Wales who style themselves as ‘progressive’ and who keenly tweet their support for every worthy cause going yet who have remained strangely silent about the carnage in the north Wales mental health services.

The Guardian website is covering a story involving the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, who has become embroiled in a spat with a Judge Shorrock, after he wrote a letter to the Telegraph concerning witness testimony in rape and sexual assault trials. Saunders has accused Shorrock of ‘victim-blaming’ and peddling ‘rape myths’.

It would appear that this row was precipitated by a column written by Allison Pearson in the Daily Telegraph, in which she accused Saunders and Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, of forming a ‘militant sisterhood’ because of their plans to ensure that alleged rape victims no longer have to endure live cross-examination in Court. Allison Pearson is a writer of bile in right-wing newspapers and is almost the living embodiment of the Private Eye’s imagined female columnist ‘Polly Filler’- Pearson’s writing usually involves an all-out attack on other women, usually women rather less privileged than her. Alison Saunders is probably delighted that Pearson has accused her of being a paid-up member of a ‘militant sisterhood’, Saunders would love people to believe that she is championing the cause of the oppressed, in this case victims of sexual assault. There are undoubtedly problems in sexual assault trials because by their very nature, no victim of an assault of that nature is ever going to want to stand up in open court and discuss it and this is frequently fully exploited by people accused of sexual assault or their legal representatives. On the other hand, being found guilty of serious sexual assault can result in a hefty prison sentence and it is not something that one wants to happen to someone who is not guilty. (Furthermore prisoners convicted of sex offences are frequently subjected to violent attacks from other inmates and their lives are often wrecked even after they have left prison.) So the system is left with a situation in which the defendant must be afforded a fair trial but the alleged victim spared as much distress as possible. In this instance, Saunders has gained much of kudos because a lot of people continue to be very concerned at the treatment of some witnesses in sexual assault trials. But how much of an underdog’s champ is Alison Saunders?

When Alison Saunders was first appointed as DPP there was a great rejoicing in certain quarters because she was only the second woman to have held the office, was the first DPP who was not a QC and was the first person to be appointed from within the Crown Prosecution Service. However Saunders’s time as DPP has been dogged by controversy.

There was much criticism of Saunders in the wake of the case of Eleanor de Freitas, who killed herself after the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take over a private prosecution brought against her by the man whom she had accused of rape. Eleanor was a very troubled young woman who had bipolar disorder. Saunders stated that the ‘evidence in this case was strong and having considered it in light of all of our knowledge and guidance on prosecuting sexual offences and allegedly false rape claims, it is clear there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for perverting the course of justice’.

Saunders also came under fire from campaigners against assisted suicide when in 2014 she was alleged to have amended prosecution policy outside of the democratic process. She was taken to the High Court in 2015 by a campaigner who argued that Saunders’s amendment could pave the way for organisations like Dignitas to operate in the UK. The case against Saunders was dismissed…

However my ears really pricked up over the case of Lord Greville Janner, the former Labour MP from Leicester who for many years had been the subject of allegations that he sexually abused boys in care. Janner always denied this and maintained that he had been the subject of a smear by Frank Beck, a senior social worker in Leicestershire, whilst Beck was on trial himself for sexually abusing children in care – a witness at Beck’s trial also claimed that he’d been abused by Janner. Beck was later sentenced to seven life terms. The allegations against Janner did not go away and it was eventually revealed that the CPS had in fact had enough evidence to prosecute him many years ago but had failed to do so on a number of occasions. In April 2015 Saunders herself made the decision not to prosecute Janner on child sexual abuse charges despite his meeting the evidential test for prosecution. Saunders cited his poor health as the reason for not prosecuting Janner – although some of the medical evidence presented was challenged. In June 2015 Saunders’s decision not to prosecute Janner was overturned –  the decision marked the first time that a DDP has had a major prosecuting decision reviewed and overturned. Because Janner was deemed to be suffering from dementia and unfit to stand trial, it was announced that there would be a ‘trial of the facts’. Janner died before that happened. Since Janner’s death, many more people have made allegations that they were sexually abused by him and Leicestershire Police have placed the blame concerning the failure to prosecute him very firmly on the CPS. A number of the alleged victims of Janner have stated their intention to sue his estate. Janner’s family continue to maintain his innocence and his son, a barrister like Janner himself was, recently stated that the family will oppose attempts to sue his father’s estate. Janner’s daughter Marion is a mental health campaigner and is frequently wheeled out by Radio 4’s programme ‘All In The Mind’ as a ‘service user campaigner’. Much is made of the need for Marion to be accompanied at all times by her ’emotional support dog’ and indeed Marion, the dog and Greville used to make collective appearances until those sexual abuse allegations refused to disappear from the headlines. Marion launched a campaign entitled ‘Star Wards’, which seemed to involve complimenting dreadful services on their ‘care’ – indeed she managed to visit north east Wales a few years ago and noted the ‘excellent services’. Marion is now the proud possessor of an OBE. Oh well her dad netted a peerage…

After all that Janner business, there were calls for Saunders to resign. She didn’t.

There is another high profile female lawyer who also comes under attack from sections of the right-wing press for her alleged militant feminism and that is Vera Baird. Vera has a very impressive pedigree as far as feminist lawyers go. She was a colleague of Michael Mansfield’s, she acted for Greenham Common women, for striking miners in 1984-85 including for those involved in the Battle of Orgreave, for numerous women in domestic abuse and rape cases and worked with dear old MIND to make courts ‘more responsive’ to the needs of people with mental health problems. Vera is generally a very big name in terms of radical lawyers. Vera was elected as a Labour MP when Tony Blair was Prime Minister. She was eventually appointed as Solicitor General for England and Wales and her boss was Lord Falconer aka Charlie Falconer, Tony Blair’s former flatmate. Falconer had been appointed Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs by Blair in the wake of the abolition of the office of Lord Chancellor. The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs became the sponsoring Department for the Secretary of State for Wales.

One of New Labour’s achievements that Charlie – and Vera – really enjoyed boasting about was the Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Act they stressed gave people redress if they were, for example, in ‘care’ settings and were being treated with a lack of dignity, let alone being abused or neglected. But Charlie did something else that Vera supported which received much less publicity. They made it virtually impossible for anyone to gain access to the Legal Aid needed to bring a case under the Human Rights Act. Charlie Falconer touched my own life about ten years ago when he came to give a public lecture at Bangor University – he had been invited there by Betty Williams, the Labour MP for Aberconwy who had ignored many complaints from constituents about the abuses in the Hergest Unit. I was in the audience – and so were two local lawyers, both people who had represented many mental health patients. Charlie waxed lyrical about his achievements in Government, particularly the Human Rights Act, and gave a touching little theoretical example of an old lady who in a nursing home who was being left too long sitting upon a commode. She could now sue under the Human Rights Act thanks to New Labour! As we listened to this, I and the two lawyers all wanted to make the same point – that little old lady had effectively been prevented from suing the nursing home for anything unless she was very rich indeed, because you Charlie have just effectively abolished Legal Aid. Charlie finished his lecture – and Betty announced that Charlie would not be taking questions because he had another important appointment. I later found out that what Charlie actually did immediately after the lecture was to attend a drinks party with a select number of academics from Bangor who presumably had been invited on the grounds that they could be relied upon not to ask him any difficult questions. After Charlie’s visit to Bangor, the abuses at the Hergest Unit continued and some people died. No-one sued Hergest for anything under the Human Rights Act.

Charlie Falconer also worked very hard to amend procedures to make it easier for Government depts to refuse to release information in response to Freedom of Information requests. Indeed I have been refused access to documentation relating to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and the now defunct Mental Health Act Commission under clauses introduced by Charlie.

Vera, Charlie’s right hand woman, is now Dame Vera, on account of her services to ‘women and equalities’. Vera is now Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumberland. Unlike her situation when she was a Labour MP, Vera cannot now be voted out.

There are is another example of a female layer who also did very well for herself on the basis of her commitment to equalities and that was Constance Briscoe. Briscoe made much of being one of the few black women judges and achieved notoriety when she wrote a particularly grim misery memoir entitled ‘Ugly’, in which she detailed how she was horribly abused as a child by her mother and her stepfather, her mother memorably calling her ‘Miss Pissabed’. Briscoe’s misery memoir was featured in ‘Take A Break’ magazine which one would not have thought was standard reading for members of the judiciary – Briscoe was a recorder specialising in, among other things, children’s welfare and Mental Health Tribunals. Briscoe was a darling of the Daily Mail and was frequently featured in there discussing the enormous amount of cosmetic surgery to which she was subjecting herself on the grounds of her poor self-image that had resulted from her abusive childhood.

The tabloids and women’s magazines who lapped up Briscoe’s ‘inspirational’ story didn’t seem to notice that not only was all this rather unusual behaviour for a judge, but there were a few other worrying things happening around Briscoe. Her mother had come forward claiming that ‘Ugly’ was a pack of lies and that Briscoe had never been abused – her mother attempted to sue Briscoe for libel. Her mother lost, whereupon other members of Briscoe’s family then spoke to the media maintaining that Briscoe was indeed a liar and was abusing her position as a lawyer. However, abusive families sometimes do collude against any family member who exposes them and this was very much the line that the media took after Briscoe’s family went public. But then former colleagues of Briscoe’s who had worked with her at Mansfield’s  chambers – Briscoe had been given a pupillage by Mansfield, being a black female lawyer from a disadvantaged background – began to say some not very flattering things about her. Helena Kennedy was asked her opinion regarding her memories of working with Briscoe and was not half as rude as everyone else had been. Briscoe flattened her, making some very unpleasant comments regarding Kennedy’s attempts to look after the junior members of the chambers at that time. Then Briscoe became embroiled in yet another extraordinary court case. She maintained that she had been walking through London when a cab driver had yelled out of his window at her that she was a ‘black c***’. Briscoe jumped in the cab behind, pursued him through London, caught up with him, performed a citizen’s arrest and had him prosecuted. The cabbie protested his innocence but he lost the case – Briscoe was hailed as a heroine for her brave battle against racism and subsequently gave media interviews about the evils of a white man who couldn’t bear to see a black female judge. No-one pointed out the obvious – that it would be highly unlikely that a cabbie would actually have ever heard of Briscoe, yet alone recognised her. Furthermore, London is full of well-dressed professional black women, she wouldn’t have stood out at all. And if I know anything about traffic in central London, it is more than a little fortuitous that there just happened to be yet another cab available, just behind the alleged offender, for Briscoe to jump into in order to pursue and then apprehend him.

The next time that Briscoe hit the media it elicited rather less flattering headlines. In the wake of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce’s acrimonious marital breakdown, it was alleged that Briscoe, a friend and neighbour of Pryce, had perverted the course of justice in an attempt to ensure that Huhne was imprisoned. Briscoe was found guilty of lying to a police officer, lying in a police statement as well as providing a forged document and was jailed. The career that Miss Pissabed had built on the basis of her ‘inspirational’ fight for ‘equality’ ended. Vicky Pryce also went to prison but constructed herself as the female victim of her oppressive husband. Pryce was not a single mother on benefits, she was one of the country’s leading economists and an advisor to the UK Government. After serving her prison sentence she was soon back on the ‘Today’ programme, ‘Any Questions’ etc, such are the downtrodden.

The sort of ‘militant sisterhood’ displayed by the people whom I have written about above is about as genuine as the outbreak of feminism in Plaid recently, when Leanne and a few of her mates decided to shaft Neil McEvoy, for making a ‘bullying’ comment. At the time I understand that McEvoy was representing a woman who was in danger of being evicted.

Are these Sisters Doing It For Themselves or are these simply Sisters In It For Themselves?

 

 

 

 

 

R.I.P. The Previous King of Wales

The Daily Post has recently been running features on two American men who are both claiming to be the ‘King of Wales’. It all seems to have started when the first one to claim the title put a notice in The Times and then another one followed hot on his heels, showing Wales Online documents that he claimed demonstrated that he was actually the rightful King of Wales. It’s caused a bit of a stir, eliciting a lot of rude comments from readers of the Daily Post.

This all reminded me of another man who claimed to be King of Wales, who was a well-known figure in Bangor in the 80s and 90s. He was Charles Pearce, who seemed to have experienced some sort of mania and styled himself King of Wales and the County of Kerry. I used to encounter Charles when the mental health services repeatedly had me prosecuted for ridiculous offences, such as ‘staring at a social worker in Safeway’. Charles too was constantly being prosecuted for ludicrous reasons, but from what I remember it was the police who were mounting prosecutions against him. He was done for speeding on a regular basis – but as he was probably manic, this was not surprising. There was another notorious incident when Charles was prosecuted for possessing an offensive weapon – the weapon in question being his ceremonial sword (Charles used to dress up in some interesting gear, he had a home-made crown, robes, the whole lot). I was told that he was actually found not guilty on that occasion – he argued that his sword was purely ceremonial, not for inflicting damage.

As I encountered Charles again and again in Bangor Magistrates Court, I noticed a few things that were happening in his life. This was a man who had passed through the hands of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, who had been diagnosed with, I understand, acute mania, had been kept there for a few months and was then thrown out and seemed to have then been left entirely to his own devices, despite his obvious problems and vulnerability. (I was told that Denbigh had announced that Charles was ‘untreatable’ – just like the rest of us then.) At one stage in his life, Charles had obviously been quite capable. He had clocked up a few ‘A’ levels and had acquired qualifications in electrical engineering. Indeed he was actually so good at this that even during the extremes of his mania, local people would still take their electrical equipment to Charles for him to repair. Some people paid him but he seemed to be getting ripped off a lot as well. But Charles was fleeced in a far bigger way on another occasion. Earlier in his life, Charles had managed to acquire some property in one of the streets behind Bangor High Street. He had two or three terraced houses there that he had converted into one. Charles’s properties were distinctive because he had painted weird faces all over them. He obviously didn’t look after his properties in the way that most other people did, but they weren’t derelict, they were inhabitable and were in a similar state to a lot of other properties in Bangor at that time. However Charles had a problem. He was prosecuted and fined so frequently that he was having difficulty paying the fines. This was no secret, because when Charles was in court, he would bring with him sheets and sheets of documents that he’d compiled, sometimes explaining why he thought he was being victimised unfairly and explaining that he was having to sell his property to pay these fines. I watched him handing over these documents to the clerk of the court. So people knew what was happening to him. Thus, Charles put his houses up for sale. At this time, there was a bit of a property boom in Bangor and the surrounding villages, because the A55 had recently been completed and there was an influx of English people moving in which pushed the house prices up in a very big way – during 1988-89, the prices of the quarrymen’s cottages around Bethesda literally doubled. This phenomenon was very well-known, everyone was talking about it – some people because they were making a lot of money from houses that a few years previously had been unsaleable and others because they were worried about the effects that a mass migration of English speakers into a Welsh speaking area was having. So Charles had no problem at all selling his houses. But despite this local property boom, Charles was paid an absolute pittance for his houses, many thousands below the market rate. Was it someone like Charles himself who had purchased his houses, who perhaps didn’t have much money themselves and might not know the value of his properties? No. If I remember rightly, it was the North Wales Housing Association who picked up Charles’s houses for a song. And as at that time they had purchased many other properties to Bangor to build their empire, they knew exactly what properties in the town were worth. The North Wales Housing Association boasts that it provides accommodation for vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems…

After the North Wales Housing Association acquired Charles’s houses, he was of course homeless himself. Because he had been paid so little for his properties and had fines to pay – although these fines only amounted to a few hundred pounds, it was money that everyone knew that Charles didn’t have – he wasn’t left with much to buy somewhere else. So he went to the only place that he could afford – a former council house on the tough part of a notoriously tough council estate on the outskirts of Bangor. A few aspiring people on this estate had purchased their houses under Thatcher’s right to buy scheme and had then tried to sell them on, only to find that they were untouchable. This estate had a very bad reputation in the 80s and no-one wanted to live there. Charles spent all the money that he had on one of these houses. He was of course an immediate target and was subjected to much disability hate crime, although no-one used that phrase at the time. I last saw Charles Pearce sometime in the 1990s, but I still used to hear tales about him occasionally. In 1999 I was working as a care assistant in an old people’s home in Bangor and I made friends with another care assistant, a really lovely girl whose ambition was to enter nursing. She lived on this estate  and started telling me about a neighbour who had been mentally ill and scandalously neglected by the mental health services. She told me that her neighbour was called Charles, used to dress up as a King and had developed an obsessional habit of picking at his skin. It had become increasingly more serious until he was removing chunks of flesh from his body and he could be seen walking around the estate visibly bleeding and injured. One day it was noticed that no-one had seen him for a while, so someone broke into his house. He was dead and according to the young woman who worked in the home with me he had tried to disembowel himself. She could not understand where the mental health services were in all this.

Charles Pearce was an utterly harmless man who lived a difficult life, was constantly harassed and effectively bankrupted by the stupidity of the Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and Bangor Magistrates Court and then died a truly dreadful death. This happened in full view of the whole of Gwynedd. At the time that Charles was being shafted by everyone, the mental health services were claiming to be prioritising people with ‘severe and enduring’ mental health problems. I presume that Charles was one of the many who had been completely abandoned by that notorious bunch, the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – who all drew healthy salaries whilst their ‘clients’ died – who have featured on this blog on a regular basis. At the time that Charles Pearce encountered such problems, MIND in Bangor was also receiving funding to ‘support’ mentally ill people and of course there was a whole infrastructure in Gwynedd Health Authority allegedly dedicated to this. A lot of people were doing very well out of funding for mental illness but it wasn’t those that were suffering from it.