‘Twas The Night Before Christmas And The Culprits Were Named…

Previous posts such as ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’ have mentioned how useful the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal in 1987 was in terms of distracting attention from the reports emanating from north Wales that something dreadful was happening there which involved the abuse of mental health patients and kids in care by those responsible for caring for them. Those posts also detailed some of the connections between healthcare professionals in north Wales and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Two of the key players in the paedophile ring which operated in north Wales – Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth – had previously worked at Axwell Park Approved School in Gateshead, where there had been allegations that Howarth had abused boys.

So let’s take a closer look at the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal.

 

Between Feb and July 1987 a series of extraordinary events in the child protection services in Cleveland in the north of England achieved international media coverage and made history.

The rest of the UK became aware that something very odd was happening in Cleveland when in May 1987 the media reported that an enormous number of children had been removed from their families and taken into care after it was alleged that they had been sexually abused. The media reports were a result of angry parents whose children had been removed from their care holding a protest. It transpired that so many children had been taken into care that the system couldn’t function – the authorities had run out of foster places, so children were being kept on the children’s wards in Middlesborough General Hospital in north Yorkshire. Because the wards were full of children who had allegedly been abused, there were no beds for children with medical conditions, the conditions on the wards became insanitary and unsafe as a result of the overcrowding, confidentiality was lost and nurses couldn’t cope because they were not kept informed about the legal status of the children or even who some of the people arriving on the wards to attend case conferences were. One nurse described the treatment of children and their families as ‘disgraceful’ and nurses were so concerned at what was happening that they made complaints to their managers and to the South Tees Health Authority. At one point the police were called in to maintain order on one of the wards as distraught and angry parents turned up to confront staff.

The thing that finally caused the system to stop functioning however was the complete breakdown in working relationships between the local professionals involved in child protection – paediatricians, social workers, the police and the police surgeons. Stuart Bell, the Labour MP for Middlesborough, became involved as a result of being contacted by a number of parents who maintained that they had been wrongly accused of abusing their children and who claimed that the professionals involved had not conducted themselves properly.

During the scandal, the mother of one child attempted suicide and two of the men accused of child abuse killed themselves in Durham Prison. After the death of one man evidence emerged suggesting he was innocent – the other dead man’s name was cleared when the real offender (in this case a child really had been abused) was convicted and sentenced. The mother of the dead man began litigation against Cleveland Constabulary and the Home Office. Not that the prison gave a stuff – the Top Doctors working at the prison described the dead INNOCENT man as ‘upset and mentally hysterical’.

So who was the Home Secretary whilst this was happening? Step forward Douglas Hurd, former pupil and good friend of Alan Barker, husband of Trumpers aka Baroness Jean Trumpington, who only months after the Cleveland Scandal appointed Jimmy Savile to the Broadmooor Hospital Management Board in her capacity as a junior Health Minister…

The Northern Regional Health Authority and Cleveland Social Services were thrown into complete chaos as a result of the events of 1987.

The very high number of children taken into care was a direct result of the work of three people  -two paediatricians, Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt and a ‘child abuse specialist’, social worker Sue Richardson. They had very little support from colleagues either in the north of England or anywhere else – except for a small clique, the highest profile of which was Dr Jane Wynne, a paediatrician from St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

Higgs, Wyatt, Richardson and Wynne have never accepted that they were ever mistaken or misguided. Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson robustly defended themselves – even after they were removed from child abuse work because their senior managers were unable to defend their practice. The line taken by Higgs et al throughout was that child sexual abuse was a very much bigger problem than anyone dared admit and that they were receiving a hostile reception because they were daring to draw attention to this.

Higgs et al were of course right in that in 1987 there was a major problem with child sexual abuse. Whilst I am sure that the abuse of children by families, family friends etc was underestimated, the thing that was being actively concealed was that in many parts of the UK the children’s services themselves had been infiltrated by gangs of paedophiles who were abusing and trafficking the children in their care. Huge swathes of society’s infrastructure – including the mental health services, the police, the legal/criminal justice system and charities – were colluding with what was happening in the care system. It is now admitted that gangs were in operation in north Wales/Cheshire/Shropshire, in the north east of England, in Yorkshire and Lancashire, in Birmingham, in London, in Belfast, in west Wales and in Scotland. These gangs had links with each other and were involved with organised crime on a pan-European basis. Corrupt professionals were involved including doctors, police officers, social workers, lawyers, judges, teachers, academics and people from the Third sector. The icing on the cake was the active involvement of a small number of politicians from across the political spectrum who were actually abusing children in care themselves and the desire of their colleagues not to ever let the wrongdoing become public for fear of the effect on their party at the ballot box.

The result was a massive cover-up and the consequent corrupting of much of the country’s infrastructure, the legacy of which the UK is still experiencing today.

There was a very obvious aspect of the Cleveland Scandal that suggested that the concerns of Higgs et al were not simply the concerns of professionals who simply believed that child sexual abuse was under-reported – that was the near obsession of Higgs and her colleagues with the idea that the numerous children whom they saw had been anally raped. Evidence suggests that most sexual abuse of children actually involves unwanted touching/groping of children or the enticement of children to indecently touch the abuser.  The anal rape of children is much less common. One situation in which the anal rape of children did occur however was during the abuse of male children by the paedophile gangs in areas like north Wales, where the gangs were targeting boys as much as girls.

Higgs and her colleagues famously relied entirely upon a now discredited technique – reflex anal dilatation (RAD) – upon which to base their ‘diagnosis’ of sexual abuse. Higgs and co always referred to their use of this technique to justify their actions – yet it was Dr Jane Wynne and her colleague from Leeds General Infirmary Dr Christopher Hobbs who were responsible for having claimed in the first place that it was reliable. Jane Wynne was close to Higgs and had mentored Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson – so they all referred to each others ‘expertise’, having previously declared themselves experts. The most ferocious row raged in the medical press with the majority of doctors maintaining that RAD was absolutely not a reliable test at all – some doctors made a point of demonstrating on their own babes in arms that using RAD ‘proved’ that their own babies had been anally penetrated. Other doctors maintained that a ‘positive’ response could result from something as simple as constipation. I have seen film footage of Jane Wynne explaining exactly how RAD develops as a result of anal rape – Wynne’s ‘explanation’ was not based on any science at all. This will have been why Wynne was challenged by medical practitioners rather than by social workers or journalists. Jane Wynne took a leaf out of the book of ‘Dr’ Gilliam McKeith and spent a few minutes garbling pseudoscience which would have sounded convincing to someone who had no knowledge of anatomy and physiology but the response of someone educated in those disciplines would be ‘sorry, it doesn’t work like that’. Jane Wynne might as well have thrown in a few references to the healing powers of crystals and Stonehenge for good measure.

Another glaring elephant in the room was that if children have been repeatedly anally raped – or in the case of babies/very young children, raped at all – they sustain injuries. Children’s anuses are not adult vaginas – there are no elastic tissues, they are damaged if things become too brutal. Indeed the boys in care in north Wales who had been raped by the paedophile gang were presenting to doctors with anal injuries, only to be dismissed by those Top Doctors colluding with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles in north Wales with idiocies such as ‘you’ve got piles’. If all these infants encountered by Marietta Higgs et al really had been anally abused, Higgs et al would have seen a good deal more than RAD.

Higgs and her colleagues really did seem to descend into a madness that was evident to everyone but them. Whilst I accept that children who have been abused show a variety of behaviours/symptoms that may not be obvious or may be complex, some of what went on in Cleveland in 1987 was inexplicable by any standards. On one occasion Dr Geoffrey Wyatt rang a social worker and demanded that all 120 pupils of a local school for learning disabled children be brought to his clinic at Middlesborough General Hospital by 5 pm that day for anal examinations. A child with learning disabilities taken to Middlesborough General Hospital for a brain scan because of epilepsy and no other reason at all was given an anal examination lest they had been abused. One child taken along to the hospital because of an ear problem ended up being taken into care after their anus was examined and found wanting. Higgs and Wyatt were appearing on the children’s wards at midnight equipped with torches to conduct anal examinations of children, including those who had been admitted by other paediatricians for other reasons. Some children were given anal examinations ten or eleven times. Gobsmacked parents were asking incredulously ‘what ARE you doing?’, nurses were in tears and telephoning managers to report their deep concerns at what was happening and eventually the police photographer refused the requests of Higgs and colleagues to photograph the suspect anuses after proffering the opinion that this was abuse itself. When the police refused to photograph any more bottoms, social workers did it instead.

The insanity reached such epic proportions that Viz magazine began a cartoon strip called ‘The Bottom Inspectors’ in which uniformed Official Bottom Inspectors patrolled the nation and waylaid passers-by with the blood curdling cry of ‘bare your bottoms now’ in search of bottom crimes such as ‘labourer’s cleft’, for which people would be sent to a Bottom Correction Centre for re-education. Which hordes of young people thought was absolutely hysterically funny at the time, but a more sober reading of what happened in Cleveland in 1987 strikes one as having been every bit as ridiculous as the best that Viz conjured up.

In July 1987 it was clear that the chaos had to be brought to a stop. Higgs was suspended from child abuse work and Lord Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (she was called Lord Justice back then because Butler-Sloss was the only female Lord Justice that there had been and it was beyond the wit of anyone to think of calling her ‘Lady Justice’) was commissioned by the Gov’t to Chair an Inquiry into the events at Cleveland. The Inquiry sat between 4 August-17 Dec 1987 and final submissions were heard from the end of January. and Butler-Sloss submitted her Report in July 1988.

Even after Butler-Sloss’s Report, there was not that much clarity regarding the events of Feb-July 1987 in Cleveland. Although some accounts deny this, Butler-Sloss concluded that the majority of children taken into care by Higgs et al in 1987 had not been sexually abused and that RAD wasn’t a reliable technique upon which to base a diagnosis of anal rape. Out of the 121 children taken into care during those months, 94 were returned to their parents. However Butler-Sloss did not attempt any meaningful analysis of what on earth had led to the havoc in Cleveland – it was explained as basically all the result of a few genuine but misguided people who had a misplaced faith in a ‘controversial technique’.

But then Butler-Sloss could not have afforded to dig too deeply, let alone expose a child protection system that was rotten to the core and facilitating the large scale serious abuse of those in its care, abuse which was  concealed by the very professions in which society places the most trust and gives the most power. Butler-Sloss’s brother was Sir Michael Havers, the Attorney General for Margaret Thatcher’s Government, 1979-June 1987. Havers was in post virtually throughout the whole saga. He was succeeded by Sir Patrick Mayhew – who in his capacity as Attorney General authorised two prosecutions against me for contempt of Court on the basis of the perjury of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales in the years following Cleveland. In 1981 in response to a question in the House from Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, Michael Havers admitted that he had blocked the prosecution of Sir Peter Hayman – a former diplomat who was alleged to work for MI6 – who was a paedophile and had been caught in possession of obscene material featuring children. Furthermore Thatcher was a personal friend of Jimmy Savile, who was a paedophile active in north Yorkshire – as well as in other locations –  and who called the shots at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, where Dr Jane Wynne worked. Savile’s friend Alan Franey was Assistant Manager of Leeds General Infirmary, where Dr Christopher Hobbs worked. St James’s Hospital was the subject of constant good PR from the BBC as a result of Savile’s connections there. Whilst Butler-Sloss was writing her Report Savile and Alan Franey were appointed to the Senior Management Board of Broadmoor Hospital via a highly irregular process by Thatcher’s junior Health Minister Baroness Jean Trumpington. At the time the civil service serving the DHSS also contained corrupt and dysfunctional mandarins (see posts ‘The Socio-Political Context Of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The Late 1980s’, ’95 Glorious Years!’ and ‘Always On The Side Of The Children’). Whilst insanity in Cleveland prevailed, Sir Peter Morrison -who was abusing children in care in north Wales – held the post of Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and when Butler-Sloss was keeping herself busy writing her Report, Morrison occupied the position of Minister of State for Energy.

Like her brother, Butler-Sloss was a Tory. She had previously stood for election as a Conservative candidate. She has every right to be a Conservative, but since Cleveland, Butler-Sloss has demonstrated that she cannot always act impartiality. She was Theresa May’s first choice to Chair the IICSA (Independent Inquiry On Child Sexual Abuse), but stepped down after questions were asked about her being compromised by her brother’s refusal to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman. It was then revealed that Butler-Sloss had wanted to ensure that abuse perpetrated by people in the Church of England wasn’t included in the IICSA – Butler-Sloss is a leading light in the Church of England.

I have just finished reading Stuart Bell’s 1988 account of the events in Cleveland in 1987, ‘When Salem Came To The Boro’. Bell, the Labour MP for Middlesborough, was one of people who came under attack in numerous Guardian articles (which were usually uncritically supportive of Higgs et al) at the time. Bell was portrayed as a shamelessly opportunistic politician questioning ‘experts’ who only had children’s best interests at heart. Much was made of allegations that Stuart Bell’s ‘interference’ had made a lot of people very angry and that he lost political friends because of it. I bet he did – no-one would have wanted him taking a close look at what was happening. After all what does the reputation, welfare and freedom of a few little people matter when there are the careers of politicians and the reputations of the medical establishment, child protection system, criminal justice system, legal profession and judiciary to consider? In 1979 Lord Denning had claimed that if the convictions of the Birmingham Six were to be overturned it would mean admitting that such a degree of corruption existed in the criminal justice and legal system that the result would be an ‘appalling vista’ – such an appalling vista that it was better to keep six innocent men in prison. Likewise who would ever want to admit that a dangerous old nutter in north Wales was being allowed to practice psychiatry whilst he unlawfully imprisoned young women whom he wanted to have sex with and facilitated a paedophile ring with the knowledge of the whole medical establishment? This was yet another vista which was so appalling that it was obviously better that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was allowed to continue uninvestigated by the GMC and unhindered, even if his patients and kids in care did keep turning up dead.

Stuart Bell’s book is actually meticulously researched and based on documents compiled at the time by those involved and interviews with a very wide spectrum of people holding varying views and allegiances. It is a very thorough account which provides full details of the events throughout 1987, along with times and dates.

Bell describes in his book some of the things that I witnessed in north Wales in the wake of my daring to complain about Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends. Most noticeably, Marietta Higgs, Geoffrey Wyatt and Sue Richardson would work with virtually no-one else except Jane Wynne, their mentor and partner in crime. Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson complained that it was other people who wouldn’t work with them – but that was very obviously because other people found their practices so concerning that they challenged them, only to be met with serious hissy fits. Thus other practitioners backed off, leaving Higgs and Wyatt the elbow room to declare domain over ‘their’ patients. This is exactly what went on with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones in north Wales – no sane practitioner wanted to get involved in any patient’s case with Dafydd because everything about him stunk and everyone knew it. A lawyer told me in 1987 that once a patient had been referred to Dafydd, they’d had it – it was known in the region that no other doctor would agree to take over that patient’s case, no matter how badly things were going with dear old Dafydd. Like Dafydd, who also had a very small number of acolytes with whom he ‘worked’, Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson referred patients to each other – or to Jane Wynne. They backed up each other’s diagnoses without question and used every strategy possible to exclude other practitioners, including police surgeons – which considering that they were dealing with children who had allegedly been the victims of serious crime was extraordinary.

As already mentioned, Wynne, Wyatt and Higgs established themselves as experts in RAD and then referred to their own expertise to defend themselves. I saw this model of practice again and again in north Wales – for example, Dafydd was an ‘expert in PTSD’ and Professor Mark Williams was an ‘expert in MBCT’. In other words they stated that they were an expert, published something questionable, then their immediate circle were ‘trained’ by them and before you knew it an empire had been built and a nationwide expert created.

Higgs et al dominated an organisation called BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse), which had been established by Higg’s former mentor Dr Christina Cooper in 1984-85. Prior to this Cooper had turned herself into something called the Ciba Foundation. Higgs was a member of BASPCAN, as was Jane Wynne, Sue Richardson, Christopher Hobbs and two people who did their bidding, Margery ‘Madge’ Bray, a social worker and Marjorie Dunne, a senior nurse with South Tees Health Authority and designated officer for child abuse in the Langbaurgh district of Cleveland. Higgs also formed the Cleveland Sex Abuse Group. BASPCAN and the Cleveland Sex Abuse Group were used as vehicles by this small group of people to rebuff challenges to their practice and to back each other up when under fire, under the umbrella of training and professional development. Mark Williams’s mindfulness retreats and practices in north west Wales served a similar function.

The other thing that was familiar when I read Bell’s account was the way in which everyone was just utterly impotent in the face of the sheer chaos that in the end threatened to stop the regional NHS and social services working. Readers unfamiliar with north Wales in the 1980s and 90s will find it hard to understand just how much trouble Dr Dafydd Alun Jones caused – it was havoc. Of course it was, he was doing completely crazy things much to the embarrassment of other professionals. After he had me unlawfully arrested and detained, a few days later he turned up at the North Wales Hospital to ‘visit’ me at midnight – the nurses got me out of bed. I was told some years later by a former member of staff from Denbigh that Dafydd would hold ward rounds at 3 am and that for most of the time he was so ‘floridly manic’ that it was impossible to work with him. Another former member of staff was frank enough to say that ‘he was mad, he was chaotic and he was dangerous’. People were horrified – like the nurses in Middlesborough were who witnessed Higgs and Wyatt turning up at midnight to inspect a few bottoms and then telling the nurses to get other children out of beds because their bottoms needed inspecting as well – but no-one actually felt able to say ‘stop it or you will face disciplinary action’. Serious complaints about Wyatt and Higgs from patients and other staff were responded to by the senior managers holding yet another meeting with Higgs and Wyatt where their actions would be ‘discussed’, only for Higgs and Wyatt to robustly defend themselves and then return to business as usual as soon as they left the meeting. Which was exactly the response of the authorities in north Wales to Dafydd – even in the events of patients dying or taking legal action.

Like Dafydd, Marietta Higgs was in conflict with the Health Authority over other matters – there had been an exchange of letters over ‘funding’ (well that was inevitable) and Higgs was demanding that she be allowed to establish a whole new Family Assessment Unit, in which she, Wyatt and Richardson could place all these families whose children’s bottoms were suspect under intensive surveillance.

Higgs also kept the medical records of the children whom she’d had taken into care in her office in another hospital – so the staff looking after the children on the wards of Middlesborough General couldn’t access even the records of children who also suffered from serious medical conditions. Higgs also removed certain pieces of crucial information from children’s medical records. This was going on in north Wales with my medical records but I didn’t realise it until last year when my lawyer forwarded some more documents relating to my case to me. There was a letter in there written to a Top Doctor and signed by Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services for Gwynedd Health Authority, asking for my medical records back because Alun Davies usually kept them with him! Davies also mentioned in the letter that he had read through my medical records himself to see if he could find anything in them which would result in the Health Authority being sued. Davies – the fact that you, a non-clinical member of staff, were keeping my records and had even read them was enough in itself for the Health Authority to be sued.

Most worryingly in Cleveland, as with Dafydd and his colleagues, there were complaints that patients were finding their encounters with Higgs and Wyatt incredibly distressing. Parents reported being treated harshly as a result of being suspected of having abused their children. But some very distressing things happened to some of the children whom Higgs et al claimed to be protecting. There were accounts of Geoffrey Wyatt swearing at children – although he denied this – shouting at others, losing his patience with frightened or distressed children and physically hurting them during the bottom inspections.

Those of us in north Wales who tangled with Dafydd and the gang noticed that we always seemed to end up in the hands of certain police officers, social workers or magistrates if Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends were hoping to have us imprisoned. Pwllheli Magistrates Court was a favourite venue if corruption was at play – people would be transported all the way to Pwllheli from Bangor, Bethesda, Caernarfon, Llanberis, Anglesey, anywhere really, even on days when Magistrates Courts in the local towns would be sitting. Likewise Huw Daniel was a favourite judge of the mental health services if someone needed to be prosecuted and hopefully imprisoned on the basis of mental health staff perjuring themselves – great efforts were made to ensure that dear old Huw would hear the case all the way through. In the case of Cleveland, Stuart Bell discovered that nearly all the place of safety orders obtained by Higgs/Wyatt/Richardson – and there were a great many, 276 applications between 1 Jan and the end of July in 1987 which is what led to questions being asked – were obtained by an application to a JP at home, rather than before a Court. The Social Services had a yearbook of all the Magistrates home addresses, so presumably Richardson et al could leaf through and approach those who could be relied upon to sign the care order quietly without asking any questions. The Magistrates were certainly good at doing what they were told – in one single day in June 1987, 59 care orders were signed.

Just to reassure everyone that the Magistrates would know what they were doing, Marietta wanted to Train them in the art of Bottomology. After the police refused to photograph any more bottoms, Marietta explained that she needed the photos to ‘educate’ the Magistrates. The Magistrates were pretty keen to educate themselves as well – Leonard Davies, the Chairman of the Teeside Juvenile Court panel and Alan Glyn Cooke, the Clerk to the Teeside Justices, met at a seminar on juvenile justice held by Teeside Poly where Davies was the speaker. Davies expressed concerns about what was happening.

Bell’s book describes an incident which I do not remember ever being reported anywhere at the time. One of the social workers responsible for interviewing the children who had allegedly been abused, Kathleen Anguoin, had conducted a series of – literally – interrogations of a small girl, in an attempt to get the girl to describe how a male relative had abused her. As with some of the accounts of other similar scandals eg. the Orkneys and Rochdale, the ‘interview’ was so leading that had the police conducted it in order to gain evidence, it would have been inadmissable in Court. To Kathleen’s frustration the little girl repeatedly denied that anyone had done anything untoward to  her bottom or any other part of her anatomy and she was uninterested in the ‘anatomically correct’ dolls given to her (ie. dolls in possession of bigger genitals than any human being that I have ever encountered). Kathleen spent several days ‘interviewing’ the little girl and ended up so desperate that when the little girl began playing with a stuffed snake – interestingly enough she shoved the sake into Kathleen’s mouth – Kathleen asked her what the ‘willy-snake’ had done and whether the willy-snake was wet or dry when she had played with it. The little girl still said nothing incriminating. Kathleen handed over two tapes of interviews to be used as evidence but destroyed another tape of interviews. She then wrote a suicide note, left messages for her nearest and dearest and on July 20 1987 drove to the north Yorkshire moors where she disappeared. She was found on the moors in a bad way by a search and rescue party two days later and was taken to Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. Cleveland County Council subsequently withdrew the tapes that Kathleen had submitted as evidence.

Marietta Higgs had only been in post as a consultant paediatrician for a matter of weeks before she caused havoc in Cleveland. Furthermore she had actually been employed as an intensive care neonatologist, a role unconnected with child abuse.

I’ll now provide a brief overview of the key players in the Cleveland Scandal.

Higgs grew up in Australia and when she was in her late teens her mother remarried a Duncan Halliday. Halliday’s brother-in-law was a prominent gynaecologist in Dundee, Scotland. After a visit to Scotland where she witnessed her step-uncle at work in 1967, Marietta applied to study medicine at the University of Western Australia – she failed some crucial exams and was unable to take up the place. She married her boyfriend Donald Higgs and in 1968 started a family – she eventually became a mother of five. After re-taking exams, Higgs took up a place at medical school and qualified in 1975. She spent her pre-registration and then a subsequent year working at the Royal Adeleide Hospital, where her mentor was Prof George Maxwell, the Head of the Peadiatrics Dept at Adelaide University. Maxwell had trained in the UK at Edinburgh, then worked at the University of Wisconsin and in 1959 moved to Australia. Maxwell had pioneered child abuse work in Australia in the early 1960s.

In 1976 Higgs and her family relocated to England. She worked as a locum in Nottingham, then as an SHO in Chatham, Kent and in 1979 took up a post in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with a research team investigating cot deaths. In 1980 Higgs embarked upon a two year scheme for registrars with the local Health Authority. It was then that Higgs developed an interest in child abuse. She worked with Dr Christina ‘Tina’ Cooper in Newcastle, who thought that Higgs should play a more active role in child abuse work. As part of her rota Higgs worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, where her boss was Dr Simon Court. Higgs also attended regular sessions at the Nuffield Child Psychiatry Unit in Newcastle – where she may well have met some of those we know and love who ended up working in north Wales or at least knew those in north Wales.

In 1983 Higgs attended a two day conference on child sexual abuse organised at the Northumbria Police HQ.

By 1985 Higgs was working as an intensive care neonatologist at the Princess Mary Maternity Hospital and also worked at the Fleming Hospital next door. The Fleming housed a Family Assessment Unit run by Dr Hans Steiner and Higgs wanted to set up a similar unit on Teeside. It was Higgs’s boss at Newcastle, Dr Edmund Hey who told Higgs of a consultant paediatrician vacancy at Middlesborough General Hospital.

Dr Geoffrey Wyatt qualified at Liverpool University in 1973 – this blog has previously given details of the numerous alumni of Liverpool medical school who played key roles in the north Wales NHS, including Dafydd himself and Dr Terry Maxwell, the clinical director of Ysbyty Gwynedd. After graduation Wyatt spent three years working in South Africa. He returned to the UK and worked in Manchester in neonatology, then in Portsmouth and then in oncology in Southampton. In 1983 Wyatt was appointed as a consultant paediatrician at Middlesborough General Hospital by the Northern Regional Health Authority. Wyatt was in conflict with many of his colleagues as well as with South Tees CHC and the South Tees Health Authority – he was co-signatory to a letter with Higgs alleging ‘asset stripping’.

Geoffrey Wyatt lived in an unidentified village in north Yorkshire. North Yorkshire was the centre of a paedophile ring.

Sue Richardson was appointed as ‘child abuse consultant’ by Cleveland Social Services in June 1986. Richardson had worked for Cleveland Social Services since 1975 and had specialised in social work for 15 years. Richardson had met Higgs through BASPCAN – she had already met Higgs twice and established a friendship with Higgs by post before Higgs arrived to work on Teeside. The close working links between Cleveland and Leeds developed when Richardson suggested to the Leeds contingent that her service at Cleveland should work in close co-operation with them after Richardson, Jane Wynne and Christopher Hobbs all attended a meeting in Leicester at which Wynne and Hobbs gave a presentation. At the time a paedophile gang was at work in Leicestershire Social Services, a key player of which was senior social worker Frank Beck – Beck’s mate Lord Greville Janner was also involved. After Sue Richardson was appointed child abuse consultant, she was responsible for the child abuse register and handled consultancy, advice, preparation and planning.

So what prompted Cleveland Social Services to appoint Sue Richardson as child abuse consultant? Richardson was appointed in the wake of Louis Blom-Cooper’s Report following the murder of Jasmine Beckford whilst Jasmine was in the care of Brent Social Services. Although Brent Council, Brent Social Services and Brent District Health Authority had all ‘made mistakes’, – indeed they probably ‘failed Jasmine’ – Blom-Cooper stressed that no blame could be attributed to any individual. Which was just as well because a few high profile names were involved with Brent at the time – including Ken Livingstone and Paul Boateng. Harriet Harman and Mr Harriet Harman aka Jack Dromey helped the needy by working in Brent Law Centre. Unless the needy were people being neglected and abused by the idiots in the local authority or the local NHS, in which case the plight of the needy was ignored.

Blom Cooper was a member of the Mental Health Act Commission whilst the Commission colluded with the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales and also led one of the Inquiries into Ashworth Hospital – one of the institutions to which Dafydd was sending patients.

Someone else was Profoundly Affected by Blom-Cooper’s Report on Jasmine’s death as well – Dame Esther. In fact Esther was so moved that she launched a campaign, Childwatch and the notorious Childline, what with Esther Caring About The Children and not knowing about Jimmy Savile. Esther knew about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones though once she launched her mental health campaign, because I wrote and told her about him, although Esther didn’t reply. Esther followed up Childwatch and the mental health campaign with Drugwatch. So Esther made her name and bagged herself a CBE and a fancy title as a result of her campaigning on child abuse, mental illness and drug use. That’ll be why children are still being sexually exploited and trafficked by gangs whilst in the care of social services, why the mental health services don’t even pretend to look after their patients anymore and why business is booming re the drug trade. Thanks Esther, you’ve made a real difference – you made things far, far worse with your foolish propaganda and collusion with the very people causing the problems. The ever wise Esther appointed Valerie Howarth as Chief Exec of Childline. Valerie Howarth had been the Director of Brent Social Services when Jasmine was murdered. More importantly Valerie was a friend of Esther’s sister – Esther’s sister was a social worker among the paedophiles of Lambeth Social Services and Valerie had been her boss. Paul Boateng’s wife was also a social worker among the paedophiles of Lambeth and Tessa Jowell had been a childcare officer working among the paedophiles of Lambeth. Thank goodness Esther set up Childwatch – particularly as Valerie Howarth was unemployable post-Jasmine and needed a job. Valerie is now in the House of Lords along with Tessa and Paul Boateng, so all’s well that ends well.

Esther launched Childwatch on 23 Oct 1986.

Sue Richardson subsequently persuaded her boss Mike Bishop, the Director of Cleveland Social Services, to hire Deborah Glassbrook who had worked with Esther and Childwatch.

Esther didn’t only galvanise the Official Bottom Inspectors of Cleveland into action – Childwatch led to Lothian Social Services mobilising 36 social workers to handle the expected flood of referrals (a similar number were mobilised in Cleveland). Esther’s claims that the nation’s kids were all being sexually assaulted by their families and friends weren’t confirmed by the calls to Childline. Over one period of monitoring, 3395 children called Childline, but this only resulted in 76 referrals to social services on a nationwide basis. Children were calling Childline, but it was usually about bullying at school or problems other than child sexual abuse. Of course it is now known that children in care – including some from north Wales – did call Childline about being sexually abused but those calls were not responded to. I expect that Esther ignored all the calls about Jimmy Savile as well – she has been accused of ignoring at least one woman who maintained that she told Esther about Savile in person.

Now here’s a mystery for readers to puzzle over for Christmas. In Oct 1986, three months BEFORE Higgs arrived in Middlesborough to take up her post as a neonatologist, Sue Richardson sent her a briefing document prepared in anticipation of the first Childwatch programme – this document mentioned Higg’s desire to establish a Family Assessment Unit on Teeside. Richardson had certainly been a busy bee before Marietta arrived in Middlesborough – as well as the PR material for Esther’s scam, Richardson had sent to Higgs’s home address in Newcastle the full details of the Cleveland child abuse register of 30 June 1986 – some of the info had been personally typed by Richardson. Richardson also sent Higgs the report regarding the working party on child sexual abuse published in May 1986. Furthermore, although Higgs’s appointment was in neonatology, Richardson identified child sexual abuse cases for Higgs’s consideration prior to Higgs’s arrival – Higgs had made contact with Richardson via BASPCAN in preparation for her new post. Sue Richardson’s role did not involve the care of neonates.

Therefore Higgs, who was due to take up a post in neonatology, was supplied with a ‘blueprint’ on how to deal with child sexual abuse in Cleveland – which was sent to her home address – months before her arrival in Middlesborough. It rather sounds as though Richardson and Marietta expected to find a great many cases of child sexual abuse once Marietta arrived – in the same way that Esther knew what a huge problem child sexual abuse was. The Esther who had no knowledge or experience of paediatrics at all, but who had a sister whose friend was a Director of Social Services in very deep shit and a colleague – Jimmy Savile – who had visited Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wales and participated in child abuse, a children’s home that was now the centre of allegations of child abuse by a whistleblower in north Wales. The Jimmy who was mates with Margaret Thatcher who’s Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Sir Peter Morrison was abusing kids in north Wales – including kids from Bryn Estyn.

At a meeting at the end of May 1986 called to discuss the conflict between the Social Services and the police, the police representative was told that Higgs had been appointed by South Tees Health Authority as a paediatrician with special responsibility for child sexual abuse – so Higgs’s job description had been amended after she took up her post. The police were informed at this meeting that there would be no further involvement of police surgeons in the examination of children alleged to have been abused – this was to be the exclusive domain of Marietta Higgs. Well she was an expert wasn’t she. Furthermore it was later discovered that Mike Bishop, the Director of Cleveland Social Services, rewrote the rules regarding child abuse investigations – without the knowledge of the police, Councillors or the officers of Cleveland County Council. The new rules not only excluded the involvement of police surgeons but stated that a ‘medical diagnosis’ by Higgs would be sufficient by itself for an application to take a child into care immediately. Bishop ‘implemented’ the technique of RAD in Cleveland without any discussion with the Social Services Inspectorate at the DHSS.

Dr Ellis Fraser was a supporter of Jane Wynne and Marietta Higgs and was called upon to back them up when it looked as though they were going to end up in hot water. Fraser had graduated from Edinburgh in 1941 and had worked at the Edinburgh Hospital for Sick Children. She  subsequently worked as a GP in South Shields for 15 years and was a member of the Northumbria Police Women Doctors Group which was set up in 1983. Fraser was involved in examinations in cases of rape and child sexual abuse. Fraser had been working in the region for so long that she must have known about the paedophile ring that was operating in the region of which Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth had been members. Unlike the Cleveland Constabulary whose officers found what Marietta Higgs et al were doing very worrying indeed, Northumbria Police worked closely with Higgs and with BASPCAN.

Marjorie ‘Madge’ Bray was a social worker who left local authority work in July 1984 and set up an agency with another social worker, Mary Walsh, which offered advice to the social services in cases where children were already in care – ‘SACCS’, the ‘sexual abuse child consultant services’. SACCS conducted ‘disclosure interviews’. Madge was retained by Cleveland County Council after she was recommended to the Council by Sue Richardson. Madge had previously held a management post in fostering and adoption with Shropshire County Council. The tentacles of the North Wales Paedophile Ring reached into Shropshire – John Allen, the owner of the Bryn Alyn Community who was not only abusing children in his care himself along with his staff but was trafficking them into brothels in London and Brighton which he owned, also owned a children’s home in Shropshire.

Dr Alistair Irvine, a GP, had worked as the senior police surgeon in Cleveland Constabulary since 1982. Alistair Irvine loathed Marietta Higgs and Sue Richardson and they loathed him. Alistair Irvine was the subject of a lot of very negative press coverage by the Guardian during the Cleveland Scandal. The Guardian didn’t give any examples of wrongdoing on his part, they simply kept stressing that he was a big man with a loud voice. In other words, ‘mouthy old git’ – as compared to the calm composed quietly spoken Marietta and compassionate Sue.

Two other people who occupied senior positions whilst all hell let loose were Bruce Stevenson, the Chief Executive of Cleveland County Council and Ian Donaldson, the District General Manager of South Tees Health Authority.

Dr Liam Donaldson was the Regional Medical Officer of the Northern Regional Health Authority, the employers of Higgs and Wyatt. In 1986 Donaldson stated that he had ‘become aware that the problem of child sexual abuse was a growing one’. So what advancements in science, medicine or social sciences had elicited Donaldson’s ‘awareness’? Which publications by which world leading researchers and academics had Donaldson read on the subject? Well none actually. Donaldson’s awareness had been raised by Esther Rantzen’s Childwatch programmes of Oct 23 and 30 in 1986. Many years later Liam Donaldson was rewarded for his failure to ask or indeed to answer any questions about the Cleveland Scandal by being appointed Chief Medical Officer under Blair. In Feb 2007 – 30 years later – Liam finally fessed up that ‘mistakes were made’ in Cleveland. Liam Donaldson is now Chancellor of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University.

Mike Bishop was Director of Cleveland County Council’s Social Services. Not only did Bishop rewrite the guidelines for investigating child abuse without consulting or telling anyone, but on 12 May 1986 Bishop addressed a meeting of South Tees CHC regarding services for the elderly and people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. He told the CHC that the only group with a DECREASING need was children in care – yet Middlesborough General Hospital at that point was overflowing with ‘abused’ children. After this meeting Bishop was accused of needing to justify Cleveland’s policy of closing children’s homes and transferring the children to foster care.

The Chief Constable of Cleveland Constabulary was Christopher Payne. Payne found that any requests for children who had allegedly been abused to be seen by a police surgeon were being refused by Higgs/Wyatt/Richardson. Payne’s officers also took the view that the interviews conducted with the children by social workers were ‘leading’. The North Yorkshire Police were involved in some of the cases – in one case they had requested that the child involved be examined at the Friarge Hospital in Northallerton but were told by the social worker that their dept ‘preferred’ to use Higgs for such work.

So who was the biggest wig of all the players in the Cleveland Scandal? It was Professor Sir Bernard Tomlinson, the Chairman of the Northern Regional Health Authority, 1982-90. Bernie was the man who would have agreed to advertise the post of consultant paediatrician at Middlesborough General Hospital – which Marietta was helpfully told about by Dr Edmund Hey before it was advertised – and who OK’d Marietta’s appointment in the summer of 1986. Bernie will also have had something to do with subsequently amending Higg’s contract to include the remit for child abuse. It was Bernie who didn’t sack Higgs and Wyatt – Higgs and Wyatt were never disciplined and were never referred to the GMC. They were simply removed from child abuse work after Butler-Sloss published her Report – they both continued to work in the region as paediatricians.

Bernie was acting with authority from the very top – he Chaired the Joint Planning Appointments Committee of the DHSS, 1986-90. The Secretary of State for the DHSS at the time of Higgs’s appointment was Norman Fowler. It was Fowler who had appointed Bernie Chair of the Northern Regional Health Authority in 1982.

Tomlinson was a neuropathologist who is known as the ‘father of Alzheimer’s Disease neuropathology’ and who carried out work with Professor Sir Martin Roth. He graduated in medicine from UCL in 1943. He joined the Socialist Health Association as a young man and campaigned for the NHS in the 1945 General Election. In 1949 he took up a post in pathology at Newcastle General Hospital, which was the beginning of a very long association with Newcastle-Upon-Tyne General Hospital and University. Tomlinson was Prof of Pathology, 1973-85. In 1991 the Secretary of State for Health William Waldegrave asked Tomlinson to produce a Report on healthcare in the London. The subsequent report, the Tomlinson Review, recommended a move to primary and community facilities, involving the closure of Charing Cross Hospital, the Middlesex Hospital, St Bartholemew’s Hospital, the merger of Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals and the closure of ten smaller hospitals. There was uproar. Such uproar that most of Tomlinson’s proposals were rejected because they were far too controversial even for the Tories who had commissioned the Review. The Middlesex closed and Guy’s and Tommy’s merged, but that was about it.

There was a very entertaining interview with Tomlinson in the Indie in Oct 1992, the day after his Review was published. Tomlinson certainly got out the onions and the violins. He explained to the Indie that he had ‘agonised’ over recommending the closure of such fine old London institutions. However Tomlinson reassured the Indie that he had never experienced ‘a word or a whisper’ of political pressure during the Inquiry which led to the Review, that if he had he ‘would have packed the job in straight away’, that he had ‘no political affiliations’ and had been ‘a solid NHS man all my life’. He added that on the one occasion on which he had been an NHS in-patient, he had received ‘marvellous care’. Tomlinson also mentioned that he ‘believes that the new emphasis in the NHS on purchasing and providing is benefiting the patients’. Not that standards would ever slip in the NHS because ‘standards are stern’. So that was why Tomlison allowed himself to be pressured by someone in the DHSS to appoint a grossly abusive and quite mad doctor to cause a moral panic which led to two innocent people killing themselves in prison, the massive traumatising of more than 100 children, allegations of serious crime against scores of innocent people who had simply taken their children to the local hospital for advice on medical ailments and the breakdown in the functioning of the local NHS and social services. All this to detract from a vicious murdering paedophile gang in north Wales which was being facilitating by the local Top Doctors.

By the time that Tomlinson’s Review was published, five witnesses to the paedophile gang in north Wales had been killed in a firebomb attack (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’), I and my friends who knew what had happened to me in north Wales had all been hounded out of our careers – and one of my friends had been killed – and I had been forced into penury and had had to sell my house. Good to know that the standards in the NHS are ‘stern’ and can’t possibly slip!

So when John Major’s Gov’t and Waldegrave wanted to restructure the NHS in London they called on their old running dog to help – but they were told to fuck off by the Top Doctors who fiercely fought to keep their fiefdoms. The running dog and John Major had to give in to them, because the Top Doctors in London knew about the horrors in north Wales – the Top Doctors in London who had been called upon to collude with the cover-up when I was at Hammersmith Hospital/Royal Postgraduate Medical School (whilst the Cleveland Scandal was in full swing) and then when I worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989-1991. Furthermore, Prof Vincent Marks, my head of dept when I worked at Surrey University, had also helped them all out – Vincent Marks’s brother John Marks was the Chairman of the BMA at the time and fighting with Ken Clarke, the then Secretary of State for Health.

So this bunch of worthless turds battled with each other constantly and it always ended up in stalemate – because they had all concealed serious crime and they were all tied up together. No-one could bring anyone else down. So people carried on being abused and dying in north Wales.

No-one can ask Bernie exactly who ordered him to do the dirty deed and create a vacancy specifically for Marietta who had been primed to cause havoc, because the old bastard died in July. But for the benefit of anyone who still thinks that I’m on the biggest grassy knoll in existence, let’s correlate a few events which took place prior to the Cleveland Scandal, during the scandal and in the aftermath.

By 1986, Alison Taylor, the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the child abuse in north Wales, just would not stop approaching the authorities making allegations that children in care were being seriously abused. I was bellyaching about the mental health services as well – I had been threatened constantly by Top Doctors and my medical records were being unlawfully witheld. I had also been lied to repeatedly.

In Feb 1986 Alison Taylor took her allegations of abuse to a County Councillor, Keith Marshall. Alison and Councillor Marshall met with a police officer, DCS Gwynne Owen, to discuss the allegations. In March Alison detailed the allegations in a statement to the police. Between April and September 1986, DCS Gwynne Owen denigrated Alison, stating that her complaints were ‘false’ and ‘unsubstantiated’. As for me, I was receiving increasingly aggressive letters from Gwynedd Health Authority which failed to investigate or explain anything. On July 22 1986, Ian Muir, the Headmaster of the school attached to the Bryn Alyn Community, was convicted at Mold Crown Court of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under 16 yrs old. Muir was sentenced to six months imprisonment. The victim had been resident at Bryn Alyn for three years and was 15 yrs old when she left.

In July 1986 Marietta Higg’s appointment as a neonatal paediatrician at Middlesborough General Hospital was confirmed.

In September 1986 I was unlawfully detained at Ysbyty Gwynedd by Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), a Dr Perera and Jackie Brandt, a social worker employed by Gwynedd Social Services. The following morning Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told me that if I continued to make representation about the mental health services he would have me arrested. I made a formal complaint and wrote to the Mental Health Act Commission about all of it.

In Oct 1986 DCS Gwynne Owen sent a report to the CPS criticising Alison Taylor. By this time I had begun an MSc at Hammersmith Hospital/RPMS.

In Dec 1986 Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress and Director of Gwynedd Social Services, ie. Alison’s boss – informally suspended Alison. In the same month a former child in care from north Wales made allegations to DCS Gwynne Owen that they had been abused. Gwynne Owen ‘failed to substantiate the allegations as true’. I was unlawfully arrested and detained in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd in this month.

On Jan 13 1987 – less than two weeks after Marietta Higgs started work in Middlesborough – Alison was officially suspended by Gwynedd County Council. On Jan 6 1987 Dafydd let me out of Denbigh and told me that if I did not leave north Wales immediately he would have me arrested and detained in Risley Remand Centre. I had not committed, or been charged with, any offence. I was given a one way ticket to London – paid for by the NHS no less – and two nurses drove me to a railway station where I was literally put on a train to London. As soon as I got to London I made another formal complaint – and wrote to the Mental Health Act Commission. Who hadn’t yet responded to my first complaint.

On Jan 17 1987 Alison wrote to Margaret Thatcher, explaining that she had personally witnessed the abuse of children in care in north Wales.

Over in Cleveland the bottom inspections had begun…

In March 1987 David Gillinson was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for gross indecency against a boy in care in north Wales. Gillinson was a prominent member of the Chester branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.

In Cleveland children had begun to be taken into care on the grounds that they’d been sexually abused at an inexplicable rate.

In the summer of 1987 I received a letter inviting me to a meeting in Ysbyty Gwynedd to discuss my complaint. When I arrived in July there was no-one with whom to discuss my complaint but a junior doctor who told me that I was mentally ill. I was then arrested for attempting to stab the junior doctor. I hadn’t attempted to stab anyone and was later released from police custody after a nurse who had been in the room made a statement confirming that I hadn’t tried to stab anyone (see post ‘Workers’ Play Time’). Whilst I was at the police station, Janice Davies – a nurse from Denbigh – and Tony Francis both rang the police saying that I’d threatened them. I was charged with a public order offence – which was later dropped – but before I left the police station Dafydd turned up and told me that he thought that I should be in prison. The police let me out once Dafydd had departed. I returned to Leicester where I was by then living with Brown and some other friends. Brown enquired about the possibility of prosecuting the lying junior doctor for perjury regarding his allegations about me attempting to stab him but was told that because he didn’t swear his statement in Court we couldn’t.

It was after this that I sought advice from MIND in Leicester and MIND’s legal director in London, William Bingley – I did not know at the time that Bingley was colluding with Dafydd and concealing the wrongdoing in north Wales.

I made further formal complaints and wrote to the Mental Health Act Commission yet again. I heard nothing from the MHAC. Many years later I discovered that it had been documented upon my medical notes that I had been detained in Risley Remand Centre after stabbing someone with a knife and that someone had told the Mental Health Act Commission this as well – a David Ewart from the Liverpool MHAC office had even written to Ysbyty Gwynedd saying that he understood that I was in Risley Remand Centre after attacking someone with a knife, so he would therefore reply to my complaint at my home address in Leicester. I never actually received a letter from the Mental Health Act Commission, so presumably David Ewart thought that I’d been framed by Dafydd et al as planned and was incarcerated in prison so he didn’t even bother to go through the motions of sending the letter to the address where he thought that I wasn’t (see post ‘Workers’ Play Time’).

Dr Liam Donaldson and the Northern Regional Health Authority finally suspended Higgs and Wyatt from working with cases of child sexual abuse in the same month that Dafydd et al had tried to frame me – which some people mistakenly thought had been successful. Butler-Sloss was then appointed by Thatcher’s Gov’t to hold an Inquiry into Cleveland. Thatcher had won the recent General Election which had been held on 11 June – as advanced plans to frame me were underway and while William Bingley and MIND were no doubt feeding back everything that I was saying about Dafydd et al to corrupt people in high places. After Thatcher won the election, Sir Peter Morrison was appointed Minister for Energy.

In Oct 1987 DCS Owen wrote a second report to the CPS re Alison stating that ‘there is every likelihood…she will manipulate others in the future to make similar complaints’. On 3 Nov 1987 Alison was dismissed from her job by Gwynedd County Council.

On 28 Feb 1988 – by which time Butler-Sloss had started writing her Report about Cleveland – Alison Taylor wrote to Tony Newton the Secretary of State for Health, describing a brutal assault that she had witnessed herself.

I was then told by the corrupt Medical Ombudsman at the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen, that my complaint against Dafydd et al was going to be fully investigated by two independent consultants.

Between May and June 1988, the Nottingham Satanic Panic occurred.

In July 1988 Butler-Sloss published her Report.

 

Exactly one year later in July 1989 Professor Robert Bluglass and Colin Berry ‘investigated’ my complaint. They failed to investigate any aspects of my complaint relating to Dr Tony Francis, Dr Perera and Jackie Brandt/Gwynedd Social Services, as well as any aspects of my complaint relating to the threats made towards me and the attempts to frame me for serious offences. They did not investigate an assault on me by Steven Rose a nurse in Denbigh and no action was subsequently taken against Dafydd. A ‘discussion’ was held with him and he was told to ‘raise his clinical standards’. Bluglass and Berry stated in their report that I had caused a great deal of annoyance to many caring people and that Top Doctors really couldn’t be expected to put up with me. Bluglass told Dafydd that he thought that I would end up in a ward for the criminally insane and Dafydd observed that it was a ‘chilling prediction’ (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’).

Dafydd carried on running the paedophile ring and sexually exploiting patients. I later found out that Bluglass was mates with a number of people who had worked with Dafydd and that one of Bluglass’s close colleagues at Birmingham University was Tony Francis’s former boss and will have written his reference when Francis applied for the job in north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’).

Of course, throughout all this, Mary Wynch sued Dafydd for wrongful imprisonment and won – but Clwyd Health Authority and Risley Remand Centre then simply refused to pay the agreed compensation (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).

Whilst Dafydd ran riot in north Wales and Marietta Higgs created hell in Cleveland, two psychiatrists in Yorkshire – William Kerr and Michael Haslam – were raping and sexually abusing their female patients. People had complained about them repeatedly – there was no action taken against them until the late 1990s, by which time Kerr and Haslam had reached the age of retirement. One of them did go to prison for a brief spell. They both saw out their days on fat NHS pensions. A subsequent Inquiry into their activities reassured everyone that it could never happen again (see post ‘All The Ingredients Of A Scandal’).

Cleveland reared its ugly head again some ten years later when a Channel 4 TV documentary was made in which Sue Richardson ‘spoke out for the first time’. The documentary foregrounded the views of Sue Richardson and Jane Wynne and misrepresented many matters – including Butler-Sloss’s admission that most of the children taken into care had not been sexually abused and that RAD was not a sound technique. Richardson revealed that once the media had lost interest in the plight of the wrongly accused families in Cleveland, two years later Richardson et al went after them again and ‘re-referred’ them for molesting their children. This PR piece for Richardson and co was screened in 1997. Just as the Waterhouse Tribunal began to hear the harrowing accounts of the abuse suffered by the children who had been in care in north Wales. And just as the dear old mental health services tried to frame me yet again and recommended that if found guilty I should be transferred to a forensic team with a view to having me sent to a high security psychiatric hospital. I was acquitted of all charges. There was no investigation into the perjury which had been committed by the mental health services, but I was beginning to get used to that.

Bernard Tomlinson is dead but perhaps those still alive would like to answer a few questions.

Stuart Bell’s book mentions that the Earl of Stockton followed the Cleveland Scandal in detail, with great concern and interest. The Earl of Stockton was of course Harold Macmillan, who was very frail but still alive in 1987. The Harold Macmillan whose name will always be associated with the Profumo Affair and the sex scandals which swirled around his Gov’t as well as his own family members and friends. Sex scandals which again and again involved people in Gov’t sexually exploiting disadvantaged much younger people for sex – young people who had often been in the care of state and who seemed to have been introduced to prostitution by people involved in the welfare services. Some of those young people ended up in the hands of Top Doctors after ‘becoming psychotic’, others were found dead. Rather like north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s. One of the weekenders who partied at Cliveden in the 1960s with Bill Astor, Jack Profumo, the teenaged call girls and the Russian spies is of course still alive – dear old Baroness Trumpington (see post ’95 Glorious Years!’). She’s going to be a guest editor on the Radio 4 Today programme next week. I know that I ought to listen, but I don’t think that I’ll be able to bear to hear the smug old bat chortling away presenting herself as an elderly wag with a sense of humour. I keep thinking about all those kids in care and psychiatric patients from north Wales who were found dead.

 

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.