News Round Up, August 20 2017

There’s been a number of high profile Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board failures over the last two days.

David Roberts, a man of 70 from Amlwch, is in severe pain and waiting for a knee replacement. Mr Roberts has been on the waiting list since August 2016 and has been told by the Betsi that the waiting time for the relevant operation is now 98+ weeks… Mr Roberts is remarkably understanding and has commented that ‘I understand that it’s all down to funding, low staff and cut backs’. No Mr Roberts, sadly that is not true – it is down to incompetence and corruption. The Betsi has plenty of money and Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Gov’t keep giving it more as well, it is being wasted. They are short of staff but that’s because no-one will work in north Wales because the NHS there has such an atrocious reputation. People do know that abusive staff are catered for and protected whilst whistleblowers are sacked. That is not the way to attract good staff but it’s what Martin Jones and Peter Higson have done for years, which is why the Betsi is in this state.

Another Betsi story in the news at the moment concerns Brooke Cheatle. Brooke is eight years old and had her leg amputated when she was younger. She wears a prosthetic leg but the Betsi is involved so things are not going smoothly. Brooke is now using a wheelchair whilst her mum battles with ‘Betsi chiefs’ in a desperate attempt to secure decent treatment for Brooke. Brooke has had a number of prosthetic legs which have been faulty. The foot of the last one actually fell off, so Brooke’s mother returned it to the Betsi. It was sent back through the post with the foot crudely glued on at the wrong angle. Furthermore it was returned to Brooke without a fitting, so it didn’t fit properly, cut into Brooke’s skin and caused pressure sores and blisters. Medical professionals have now deemed the prosthetic leg ‘unsafe to use’. Who has been providing this splendid service? The Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre at Wrexham. Brooke’s mother made a written complaint to the Betsi and attempted to transfer Brooke’s care to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. This necessitated writing to their GP for funding – the Betsi refused the funding without any explanation, so the transfer has not happened. Brooke’s mum has been told that Brooke’s care must remain with the Wrexham centre. She has now stated that she ‘has lost all faith’ in the Betsi and wants Brooke treated in England. Well good luck with that Brooke’s mum – I know of a number of mental health patients, including me, who after the most dreadful negligence and sometimes all out abuse tried to transfer elsewhere. The dear old Hergest Unit refused to let us go. They made it quite clear that they loathed us and were waiting for us to drop dead, but no, every time we tried to get care from elsewhere the Hergest threw a hissy fit and stated that we were ‘their’ patients. I realised that the Hergest was going to end up either killing me or imprisoning me for something that I hadn’t done after yet more attempts to frame me, so in the end I walked away. I know a number of other people who sought private care in other parts of the UK and one man who went abroad.

The Daily Post Online is reporting yet another bizarre mental health services story. Judge Niclas Parry has given James Harland an 18 month suspended prison sentence and a restraining order after Harland  told a number of people that he was planning to kill himself and his wife. Harland made it quite clear why he was making these threats – it was because he wanted help for mental health problems and couldn’t get it. He told the local mental health team who failed to respond, so he put two knives in his vehicle and showed them to the mental health team, telling them that this was how desperate he felt. No response. So he then rang the office of the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside Mark Tami to complain about the mental health services. Mr Harland repeated his threat – and a member of Mr Tami’s staff called the police and Mr Harland was arrested. Niclas Parry has described it as a ‘seriously worrying case’ – because ‘a professional person’ (ie. the mental health social worker) saw the knives and ‘did not call the police’. They didn’t offer him any help with psychiatric care either. Neither did Mr Tami’s lot – they did call the police but did that rather than respond to Mr Harland’s complaints about the mental health services. Niclas Parry told Mr Harland in Court that ‘you are now going to be offered help’. What a pity that didn’t happen before – when Mr Harland asked for it. Parry also stated that a ‘robust risk management plan…to protect the public’ would be put in place. Which there is no need for – Mr Harland isn’t a risk to anyone. He was showing social workers’ knives because nothing he did resulted in an offer of mental health care, so he tried to demonstrate to people how desperate he was. Niclas Parry also sentenced Mr Harland to 40 days rehabilitation. What a bizarre, traumatic and very expensive way of getting Mr Harland the help that he needed. Except that he’s got a criminal record now as well, for carrying a blade and threatening behaviour. So when he’s recovered he’s not going to be able to get a job is he. Ooh it’s the stigma you see…there’s so much stigma against people with mental health problems, that’s why they don’t get jobs.

Niclas Parry said that he was ‘alarmed’ at this case. So am I, but for rather different reasons than Niclas Parry. But then I’m alarmed at Niclas Parry’s presence as a Crown Court judge. Back in 1996 when he was just a whippersnapper, Niclas Parry appeared at the Waterhouse Inquiry as Solicitor-Advocate to a particularly nasty paedophile (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Niclas’s biography also demonstrates that he has close personal and professional links to many others who concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales. Niclas’s career has gone from strength to strength and now he’s on the Circuit in Wales regularly making the most bizarre decisions and comments.

 

BBC News Wales online today ran a report about how ‘job sharing’ might be a possibility for future AMs. The Assembly Commission said that a change of electoral rules might be possible under the forthcoming Wales Act 2017 which will give new powers to the Assembly and that it might be possible to introduce a system of job sharing which at the moment isn’t permissible. It was stated that this might increase the proportion of women and disabled people willing to stand for election to the Assembly. Sarah Rees of the Women’s Equality Party spoke in favour of the idea and said that Wales should lead on this. Sarah has two young children and stood as a candidate in the last election. I know Sarah, she’s very committed and a very hard worker – she’d be an excellent candidate whether she chose to job share or not. Sarah was speaking for women’s interests. Who spoke for ‘the disabled?’ A former candidate with a disability perhaps? Of course not. It was Rhian Davies, Chief Exec of Disability Wales, who stated that ‘more creative solutions are needed to encourage disabled people into politics’. I think she said something about stigma as well.

The most creative solution would be to get rid of Disability Wales and to stop Rhian Davies mouthing off lame clichés on behalf of disabled people. Rhian Davies has been Chief Exec of Disability Wales since 2001 and has achieved bugger all for disabled people. A look at the Disability Wales website shows the hundreds of thousands of pounds pouring into the coffers of Disability Wales from the Welsh Government but this blog alone – indeed this post – shows how grim things are for people with health problems or disabilities in Wales (and indeed in the wider UK). It is nothing to do with ‘stigma’ or the need for ‘creative solutions’ – a functioning health and care system would work wonders. Or for Theresa May to stop butchering disability benefits to such an extent that disabled people are being made destitute. I’ve never heard Rhian Davies utter a word on these topics. Guess who’s building up a nice little career for herself on the back of ‘disability issues’ though? Rhian Davies!

Rhian is Chair of the Coalition on Changing Cymru; a member of the Welsh Gov’ts Tackling Poverty External Advisory Group; between 2007-12 she was a member of EHRC’s Statutory Wales Committee; and she played an active role in the Inquiry Into Disability Harassment. In 2010 she completed an MSc in Equality and Diversity from Cardiff University!

I don’t think that there’s going to be many creative solutions coming from Rhian. However I know what will happen if the Welsh Government introduces any sort of initiative at all in order to help people with disabilities stand for election. A sharp elbowed person – who will probably have followed a career of the sort that Rhian Davies has – will flag up an inconvenience as a ‘disability’ and use that to demand special consideration. In the way that Theresa May suddenly announced that she had a ‘disability’ – she’s a diabetic – after she was accused of shafting disabled people with the welfare reforms. Diane Abbott developed a disability – again diabetes, but Diane Abbott has type 2 diabetes which means she doesn’t have to inject herself with insulin, she just has to watch her diet. Diane declared her own disability after a dismal media performance during which she couldn’t answer questions. But that is a regular occurrence with Diane Abbott and she’s never mentioned diabetes before. She usually just accuses whoever has put her on the spot of sexism and racism. That is the danger of ‘initiatives’ – if they are not very carefully thought out they are just used by the same old culprits to ruthlessly elbow everybody else out of the way.

My post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ reported on the inexplicable twitter storm that followed a recent innocuous tweet sent out by Leanne Wood. The appalling Katie Hopkins has now joined the fray and tweeted ‘What is Welsh for ‘get back down the mines’?’ If you want to know that Katie, enrol in a Welsh class and bloody well learn instead of spitting poison at the rest of the world via Mail Online or LBC. And in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t any mines left in Wales – the Tory Party that you so robustly support closed every one of them down. That’s why Leanne’s dad became unemployed you total ignoramus. By the way, despite coming from a region of Wales wrecked by Thatcher and Heseltine and despite having a dad who was shoved onto a dole queue whilst she was growing up, Leanne has become the leader of a political party. Which is more than you’ve achieved – all you managed to do was to lie to get into Sandhurst and then get caught out.

Corruption Bay Special

Yesterday’s post ‘I Want Serious Money Now’ told the story of the way in which the former Secretary of State for Wales Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell and his mates siphoned off millions of pounds from public funds to fuel their business interests during the development of Cardiff Bay, at a time when Wales was on it’s knees. I speculated that the reason why no opposition politicians either in Wales or London blew the whistle on Edwardes’s scam was that they too had been involved in concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales which Edwardes had concealed for years whilst he was Secretary of State for Wales. That paedophile gang was supplying boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring, so there was a lot at stake for some very powerful people and the hordes feeding off them.

Since finishing yesterday’s post, I have researched a few of Edwardes’ friends and colleagues involved in the development of Corruption Bay and I think it’s worth publishing what I’ve discovered – so here’s a Corruption Bay Special.

The man who so ably assisted Nicholas Edwardes was his friend Sir Geoffrey Inkin, who was Chairman of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC), 1987-2000. I mentioned yesterday how Geoffrey was also Chairman of the Land Agency for Wales, 1987-88. LAW was an organisation that acquired land for development. As with Edwardes’ role in the development of Corruption Bay, there seems to be many conflicts of interest in evidence. But look what else I’ve discovered – not only was Inkin, like Edwardes, a Board member of the Welsh National Opera (there was a massive attempt to press for the building of an Opera House in Cardiff Bay), but Geoffrey was also a member of Gwent County Council, 1977-83 and a member of Gwent Police Authority. Regular readers will remember my posts and the comments from my reader Richard concerning the corruption that was rife in the South Wales Police in the 70s, 80s and 90s and the miscarriages of justice that resulted. In my post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party?’ I described the collapse in south Wales of the biggest police corruption trial held on mainland Britain after the helpful intervention of the DPP Keir Starmer and Sir Nigel Sweeney, the judge. Geoffrey Inkin was a lay member of the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.

Inkin died in 2013 and after his death BBC News Online reported on his success in leading the development of Corruption Bay, stating that ‘homes, offices and leisure facilities sprung up along the waterfront’ – as if by magic. ‘I Want Serious Money Now’ explained how there was nothing magical about any of it, the development was very carefully planned and engineered from the outset. Furthermore, Geoffrey certainly seems to have pulled out all the stops, using his extensive network to drum up business – including his connections to Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and Cardiff Business Club. Geoffrey was the former Chair of Cardiff Business Club. Articles about Geoffrey nearly always refer to his ‘physical presence’ and how this ‘helped’ him achieve what he wanted – he was a ‘giant of a man’. What did he do, threaten to thump people if they didn’t agree to locate their businesses in Corruption Bay??

Inkin’s obituaries mention the ‘considerable opposition’ that there was to the Corruption Bay development – environmentalists were horrified because of the destruction of the distinctive habitat that the mudflats provided and a lot of people, including Rhodri Morgan, were very cynical regarding the economic benefits. (Rhodri turned out to right on that one – Cardiff Bay itself is great, but it’s done bugger all for the rest of Wales, even the valleys a few miles down the road.) Yet the adulation of Geoffrey and his alleged achievements continue to be touted. One ‘leading local businessman’ commented that Corruption Bay had helped ‘lift Cardiff up by it’s coat tails’ and Andrew R.T. Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said that Inkin was ‘rightfully credited with what remains one of the greatest acclaimed redevelopments in Europe’ (it was certainly the most demanding of the taxpayer). South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael claimed that Inkin had ‘made a considerable contribution to ensuring the success of the Cardiff Bay barrage and rebuilding the economy of the southern area of Cardiff’. Ah – the ‘southern area of Cardiff’. So the benefits of the £500 million plus that Inkin and his mates extracted from public funds are pretty localised then.

Geoffrey had another pal who must have been very useful when it came to realising his business ambitions – Lord David Rowe-Beddoe, described as a ‘close friend’. Rowe-Beddoe was Chair of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) at the time of the development of Corruption Bay! The WDA of course – despite being robustly promoted by Thatcher – became a byword for corruption, incompetence and all-round dodgy dealing and was wound up in 2006 after many embarrassments. Rowe-Beddoe hailed Inkin as a ‘visionary’ and stated that ‘what we have today is really a part of what he was able to achieve’. What we have today – a glittering development enjoyed by tourists and day trippers and a few people fortunate enough to afford flats in the Bay, whilst much of Wales still lives in’t cardboard box in middle of t’ road. But not Nicholas Edwardes and his mates obviously.

Was Geoffrey Inkin a Billy Butlin, a man who started off with a handcart and achieved greatness in business entirely as a result of his own efforts? Not really. He was the son of a banker and before he milked the British taxpayer he pursued a career in the British Army. After Sandhurst he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. As with his achievements in business, we are reassured that in the Army too Inkin achieved great things. As their commanding officer in 1973 he led the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers in a tour of Londonderry, as the height of the Troubles, barely a month after Bloody Sunday. There are indications that something gruesome might have happened during that tour of duty. Vague mentions of ‘difficulties’ were made and  in Dec 1973 Inkin was awarded an OBE ‘in recognition of distinguished services in Northern Ireland between 1 May 1973 and 31 July 1973’. In 1974 ‘to some surprise and disappointment’ Inkin ‘chose to leave with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel to pursue farming and commercial interests’. It is stated that he became a dairy farmer in Monmouth, although I doubt that he actually milked the cows himself. Nowhere is there an explanation of why this man who had been a soldier for many years and was tipped as a future general suddenly bowed out after being decorated a number of times and mentioned in dispatches early in his career.

In 1979 Inkin stood as the Conservative candidate in Ebbw Vale, against Michael Foot.

In April 1983 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Gwent and in 1987 Hugh Sheriff of Gwent. He was knighted in 1993.

Although Wales has really seen very little for the hundreds of millions of public funds that were poured into the hungry mouths of Inkin, Edwardes et al, I’m glad to say that Farmer Inkin and his dairy cows obviously did OK for themselves. In July 2005 Wales Online ran a feature entitled ‘Is This The Most Expensive House In Wales?’ excitedly reporting on a Grade II listed property in Monmouthshire, Court St Lawrence, that was for sale at a price of £2.25 million, believed to be the most expensive house ever sold in Wales. So who lived in a house like that? It was Geoffrey Inkin and his wife Susan of course. Not that Geoffrey was mentioned in the article – although Susan and Geoffrey’s sons Charles and Edmund featured, along with a free plug for their restaurant ‘The Felin Fach Griffin’. Perhaps someone considered it best not to mention that horny handed son of the soil Geoffrey, lest someone else reminded everyone of how much public money was given to Inkin’s business. Despite having done so much for Wales and it’s people, Geoffrey and Susan obviously didn’t expect anyone from Wales to buy Court St Lawrence, because they advertised it with Lane Fox, an estate agent in London. Among the house’s many features there was a ‘walk-in drinks cupboard’ and a ‘flower room’, ie. room with a sink, especially for the preparation of flowers. So whilst Geoffrey got pissed, Lady Susan could busy herself with the flower arranging.

Not that Lady Susan spends all her time flower arranging. She sits on St Brides Community Council, was Chair of the Governors at Haberdashers’ Girls School and is a Board Member of the English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth (which does things like teach young people how to prepare for delivering speeches in the House of Lords – yes, really, have a look at their website). The president of the ESU is Princess Ann and the Patron is HM the Queen. The Chairman is a man who has previously featured on the blog, who knows all about the criminal activities of the mental health services in north Wales and the paedophile ring, Lord Paul Boateng (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’).

Like Geoffrey, Susan had a stab at standing for Parliament.  She was the Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan in 2001. The ‘election prediction project website’ predicted a Labour win but gleefully mentioned that Labour had lost control of the Vale of Glamorgan Council after the furore about the Council Leader’s misuse of the Council Credit Card. I know that he shouldn’t have misused the Council Credit Card but I very much doubt that he managed to extract £500 fucking million out of it a la Geoffrey Inkin and Corruption Bay.

Geoffrey’s obituaries all mentioned his strong support for the armed forces and how he took over as Chair of the Army Benevolent Fund from one Tasker Watkins.

 

Tasker Watkins – described by some toadies as ‘The Greatest Living Welshman’ – is a name from the past. Tasker died in 2007. He was a Welsh lawyer and reached the heights of Lord Justice of Appeal and Deputy Lord Chief Justice.

Tasker Watkins came to prominence in 1966 when he acted as Counsel to the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Aberfan Disaster. He also presided over some of the trials of Welsh activists who took direct action.

I have provided many examples in previous blog posts of corruption among lawyers – there has been a major problem with corruption on the Chester and Wales Circuit stretching back decades. Tasker Watkins was Leader of that Circuit in 1970-71 and Presiding Judge of the Chester and Wales Circuit from 1975 until he was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 1980. He was Chairman of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Wales Region 1960-71. Between 1977-80 he was Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board and between 1987-98 President of the University of Wales College of Medicine aka Cardiff Medical School. He retired from the bench in 1993 and between 1993-2004 was President of the Welsh Rugby Union. Tasker Watkins was President of the British Legion 1947-68 and a member of the TA Association of Glamorgan and Wales.

Tasker was Deputy Lieutenant of Glamorgan in 1956, Honorary Deputy Lieutenant of Wales in 1979 and of Glamorgan in 1996. He was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1992.

Just before he was appointed to the High Court in 1971, Tasker Watkins headed the Inquiry for the DHSS into the running of Farleigh Hospital, Somerset, a psychiatric hospital in Bristol. This Inquiry followed the imprisonment of two nurses – I have not been able to find details of the abuses at Farleigh, but to have elicited a Public Inquiry back then, things will have been very bad. I have found references to it being discussed by Keith Joseph in Hansard – of course the discussion was framed in terms of the problems that nurses encounter handling ‘violent, disturbed’ patients. I can imagine the accusations made by the staff as they covered their tracks. Watkins’s Inquiry produced recommendations for the handling of ‘violent patients’ by nurses.

In 1990 Tasker was a member of the divisional court which rejected the claim by Pat Pottle and Michael Randall – who had assisted the escape of the spy George Blake – that the delay in prosecuting them was an abuse of legal process. The legal process as applied to Pottle and Randall was somewhat farcical anyway, as was the conduct of the police with regard to them and their families – in July 1991 after yet another farce that was their trial, Pottle and Randall were cleared.

Whilst addressing the National Assembly for Wales in 2007, Lord Chief Justice Phillips commented ‘Thank God for Tasker’, when remembering how the Beeching Commission suggested that the Chester and Wales Circuit should be split into two and annexed to Bristol and Manchester. This happened whilst Tasker was Leader of that Circuit and he seems to have taken the credit for stopping the implementation of the Commission’s suggestion.

The documented history of Tasker Watkins is that of a Welsh hero, with allegations that he was so fantastic that at one point he was offered a safe seat in Parliament in order to enable him to become Prime Minister, but he turned down this opportunity. What I notice from Tasker Watkins’s biography however is that the Leader of a Circuit known to be riddled with corruption prevented it from being broken up. He was Chairman of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in Wales throughout the 60s, spanning the Lobotomy Years of Gwynne and Dafydd at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – considering how many people were banged up there unlawfully in the late 70s and 80s, one can only speculate as to how many were incarcerated illegally when Tasker reigned over the Review Tribunal. Of course, Denbigh was known to be rife with violence and the sexual and financial abuse of patients as well. It was mentioned in the discussions of the terrible abuse of patients at Ely Hospital in the late 60s that conditions at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh were worse. Whilst Tasker Chaired that Tribunal, Gwynne and Dafydd abused whoever they wanted in whatever way they chose. I presume that Tasker never raised any objections. Perhaps this was why Tasker was chosen to lead the Farleigh Inquiry – God only knows the horrors that were prevailing there, but was Tasker appointed because he could be relied upon to frame the problem as one of nurses not knowing what to do with ‘violent, disturbed patients’ and thus overstepping the mark?

Whilst I was briefly looking for information relating to the Farleigh Inquiry, I found a list of Public Inquiries that were held in the UK during the 60s, 70s and 80s into the abuse of patients in psychiatric hospitals. I had heard of some of them, such as those concerning Ely Hospital or Brookwood Hospital, but there were a number that I had not known about. Then it hit me. The practices and conditions at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh were known to have been worse than even the conditions and practices of institutions subject to those Inquiries. In the early 1980s legal history was made when Mary Wynch became the first person to obtain leave from the Court of Appeal to sue a psychiatrist for unlawfully detaining them – Mary of course sued Dafydd and Clwyd Health Authority after being unlawfully imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital. Yet there was at no time any Public Inquiry or even a suggestion of one into the North Wales Hospital.  Probably because it was known to be the institution dealing with anyone who dared complain about the paedophile gang that was supplying the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

Something else about Tasker. He was a lawyer through and through. With the exception of his Chairing of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, which is always done by legal professionals, Tasker had no background or professional responsibilities with Top Doctors. Yet between 1987-1998 he was President of the Medical School at Cardiff. There were problems in that institution and they were building up during those years – and finally hit the media in a series of scandals. Tasker was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1992. There was one very high profile man in north Wales who in the late 80s covered up the barrel of shit that was Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and their criminal activities (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). That was Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman from the Welsh Office. He was Professor of Surgery at Cardiff Medical School – and a leading light in the Royal College of Surgeons. As for Tasker’s involvement with the Army and it’s veterans – why did he never speak out about a man who was known to be assisting people to fraudulently claim Army pensions, who was claiming funding for treating veterans with PTSD when they were very often simply people with drug and alcohol problems who had got into trouble with the law and who gave evidence to a Parliamentary Committee regarding veterans mental health despite being utterly disgraced by then, a Dr Dafydd Alun Jones?

Tasker was born in another era, but he remained active well into this millennium. By then Dafydd and the scam that was his ‘treatment’ of veterans had become public and there had been a police investigation and a Public Inquiry into a paedophile ring in north Wales that had existed for decades. The Greatest Living Welshman remained silent throughout.

 

Now for further background on Lord David Rowe-Beddoe, the ‘close friend’ of Geoffrey Inkin and Chair of the WDA. Rowe-Beddoe was given a peerage in 2006 and sits as a crossbencher. He was Chairman of Cardiff Airport until Nov 2016.

Rowe-Beddoe was CEO of Thomas De La Rue 1971-76, the President (Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa) of Revlon 1976-81 and President, Morgan Stanley-GFTA Ltd 1983-91. Wiki states that Rowe-Beddoe was ‘known as a Monaco-based businessman’ and Tory Party fundraiser when an ‘opportunity arose for him to be appointed to a Welsh quango’ (how many people find that such opportunities just pop up, particularly if they’re living in Monaco at the time?) and ‘that opportunity led to others’ (yes, I guessed that it would). In July 1993 Rowe-Beddoe was appointed Chair of the WDA for a nine year term. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Wales Millennium Centre where he remains today – the Millennium Centre was part of the Corruption Bay development led by his mate Geoffrey. In 2004 Rowe-Beddoe was appointed President of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, having previously been a Governor and then Chairman of the Board there. In 2005 he was awarded the Beacon Prize for Wales for his contribution to the economic and social development of Wales and in 2007 Rowe-Beddoe became Pro-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan. The University of Glamorgan has awarded an honorary doctorate of Laws to Lord Morris of Aberavon (see post ‘Oh To Be In Receipt of Academic Honours’). Lord Morris of Aberavon was Secretary of State for Wales in 1975 when the WDA was established under him and knew about the wrongdoing in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and probably knew much about the paedophile ring that was being concealed by the North Wales Hospital as well.

Between 2002- 2012, David Rowe-Beddoe was Chairman of the Representative Body of the Church In Wales, the charitable trust that holds the Church’s assets. The Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, whilst praising Rowe-Beddoe’s efforts, stated that Rowe-Beddoe ‘realised that running a Church is not the same as running a business’. No, the Church doesn’t have quite as much money from public funds given to it as the WDA and their associates did. I do seem to remember as well that there was a bit of grief in the Church not so long ago when it was discovered that some of their dosh had been invested in some very unethical ways.

David is also the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the St David’s Awards. He is at present the Deputy Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, which is responsible for the Government’s Office of National Statistics. In 2008 the former Permanent Secretary at the Welsh Office Sir Nicholas Scholar was appointed Chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

David is the Deputy Lieutenant of Gwent. As a lot of people involved with the development of Corruption Bay seem to have been.

There is much boasting about the WDA and it’s successes. For example, that along with South Glamorgan Council it helped establish Admiral Insurance plc. I’m not sure why, but Third sector organisations in Cardiff trip over themselves to toady to Admiral in the hope that Admiral will give them some dosh. Perhaps Admiral is simply continuing the generosity, having been given so much dosh themselves by the WDA. The WDA also contributed to the building of the Millennium Stadium – of which the former Chair of the WDA Rowe-Beddoe is now Chair. The WDA ‘formed partnerships with 22 local authorities in the mid-90s’ which allegedly lead to urban regeneration via Town Improvement Grants – although none of it made much difference. But that was always the allegation levelled at the WDA – that it gave money to businesses from overseas which arrived in Wales and employed people for a short while in low skilled poorly paid jobs and once the business concerned had hovered up all the dosh from the WDA, it was up and off back home to Japan or wherever.

People resident in Wales in the early 1990s however will never forget the WDA. Even I knew about the shenanigans at the WDA and I was neither in Cardiff or in business. It all started with film footage of Margaret Thatcher dragging a youngish man along by the arm, yelling at the cameras ‘isn’t he wonderful? Isn’t he just splendid?’, robustly maintaining that this man was the future for Wales and that he was where it was at. The man concerned was Dr Gwyn Jones, the then Chairman of the WDA. Peter Walker, Secretary of State for Wales, had met Gwyn, a ‘businessman’, at a Conservative Party fundraising lunch and had rather rashly given him the job of WDA Chair. Things subsequently became difficult and Gwyn resigned in 1992 just ahead of the Commons Public Accounts Committee Report.

The Report revealed that between 1989-92, the WDA had made illegal redundancy payments totalling £1.4 million; that a £228,000 non-disclosure payment had been made to a former executive who had been sacked in 1991; that free private motoring for Board members had been provided between 1984-92; that a £16,895 WDA rural development payment to Gwyn himself had been made – Gwyn had used it for something else without informing the WDA but was never asked to repay it, even after a WDA inspector found out about it; that WDA Director’s had been flying on Concorde; that public money – £308,000 – had been used to investigate the possibility of a buyout which would have privatised the agency; and that ‘many irregularities’ were discovered when the Auditor General examined the WDA’s accounts.

It was also revealed that Gwyn had employed someone who was sacked for poor performance but was allowed to take £53k worth of office equipment with him. Gwyn had appointed another man as a Marketing Director but no-one at the WDA checked his CV and it transpired that the CV was fraudulent and that he was a discharged bankrupt – he was later investigated by the police and was imprisoned after being convicted of theft and deception.

After these ‘governance issues’, Rowe-Beddoe was appointed as Chair in 1993. He ordered an Inquiry, led by Sir John Caines in late 1993, which resulted in the appointment of new executives. These included a new Legal Director and a new Agency Secretary in 1994, who worked with the National Audit Office and Welsh Office under Sir Michael Scholar in 1994-96 (for info on the numerous pies in which Michael Scholar has fingers, see post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’). The WDA reported to Secretaries of State for Wales John Redwood, David Hunt and William Hague. Hunt and Hague were of course responsible for concealing the wrongdoing in the mental health services in north Wales and Hague organised the mother of all cover-ups concerning the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, ie. the Waterhouse Inquiry.

On 1 April 2006 the WDA was abolished. At the same time two other ne’er do wells, the Wales Tourist Board and ELWa, were merged into the Welsh Gov’t. Dr Peter Higson, the current Chair of the Betsi Board, was part of the disaster that was ELWa. The Minister for the Economy and Transport whilst all this was going on was Ieuan Wyn Jones, another lawyer who knew all about the abuses and criminal activity at the North Wales Hospital but preferred to remain silent and stand for election for Denbigh instead.

 

In spite of the high profile embarrassment that was the WDA and the supply of scandal that emanated from it, the ‘business community’ in Cardiff never forgot the largesse of the WDA – who can blame them, even the NHS isn’t a trough of that depth – and they constantly bellyached for it’s return. In Feb 2011 the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee stated that the abolition of the WDA ‘reduced Wales’s visibility’ in the ‘global marketplace’. They maintained that the WDA ‘remains one of the most recognisable Welsh brands’ – yes, companies based in the Far East never forgot the mugs in the UK who gave them millions of pounds to set up shop in warehouses in Wales and pay the locals appallingly. Conservatives in the Senedd stated that they ‘regretted’ the passing of the WDA – in response, Edwina Hart, the Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science, accused them of ‘wanting to revisit the past’. No Edwina, it was the open chequebook that they wanted to revisit. If they really revisited the past, they’d find that the effective running of a business does not necessitate making friends with the Secretary of State, going into business with him and his mates who are Chairing state-sponsored organisations and subsequently siphoning off millions of pounds of public funds.

In March 2013 Professor Brian Morgan, Director of Cardiff University’s School of Management’s Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre, stated that the closure of the WDA would ‘go down in history as the worst policy decision made in Wales in living memory’. ‘Research’ by Cardiff Business Partnership called for a unified Welsh agency to ‘attract inward investment’. Shadow Business Secretary Nick Ramsay quoted Cardiff Business School and accused the Welsh Gov’t of frequently blaming all ills on Westminster. Well Nick, if you look at the roots of the massive con that was Corruption Bay which swallowed millions of quid whilst leaving the rest of Wales on the bread line, you will find that it’s origins were firmly in the Westminster Gov’t. As were the roots of the Great Paedophile Cover-Up. Dafydd and Lucille would never have got away with it all if Westminster hadn’t have been concealing the dung heap whilst at the same time pointing at Wales and saying ‘well what else can we expect from them?’

All that can be said of Gwyn Jones was that unlike that other hero of Thatcher’s, Jimmy Savile, at least he wasn’t a child molester. Perhaps if he had have been, she’d have personally lobbied for him to be given a knighthood and invited him to Chequers for Christmas as well.

So what became of Gwyn, after he brought the WDA into complete disrepute and made a laughing stock of Wales’s ‘business community’? Gwyn is working in the University of Leicester’s School of Management of course, teaching on their MBA course! He is also a visiting Professor at Essex and Aberystwyth. He describes himself as a ‘businessman and experienced Chairman, Director and non-executive Director’. Gwyn’s areas of expertise are ‘Innovation, Entrepreneurial Management, leadership and change’. He states that he has been a BBC Governor and ‘helped bring commercial rigour’ into the boardroom. So that’s why the fur is flying in the wake of revelations that Claudia is only on £500k, whilst poor poverty-stricken Tess is on even less – £300k – but Chris Evans trousers £2 million. Gwyn has also been a member of the S4C authority – the not very successful S4C whom it is alleged distributes commissions on the basis of extreme cronyism.

The saddest thing about Gwyn’s glorious career isn’t it’s utter pointlessness – it is that Gwyn can actually do a Real Thing. According to Gwyn’s biography, he has a degree in computing (unless of course he’s made that up as well). So why the hell is he farting around being a leader in Innovation and Change a la a particularly dreadful NHS manager on the Betsi Board whom we know and love?

 

I have a theory that in the way that Fergus Lowe spawned a whole generation of psychologists in Bangor University to believe that the route to success as an academic was to bully, to lie, to cheat and to plagiarise (see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s a Very Naughty Boy’), the WDA and it’s mates had a similarly corrosive effect on the notion of what constitutes ‘business’ in Wales.  They propagated the idea that ‘business’ means pompousing like there’s no tomorrow and boasting in a grandiose manner about one’s very limited achievements and status whilst being in receipt of huge quantities of dosh from the Gov’t because your business isn’t actually viable and would soon go tits up without regular bail outs.

Whilst I worked at Bangor University I spent a very entertaining few years watching the activities of a man called Colyn Gardner. Like Gwyn Jones at the WDA, once witnessed Colyn’s ‘business practices’ could never be forgotten. In the early 1990s, Colyn had been an ‘executive’ at the WDA. I presume that he was one of those who was kicked out.

Colyn was the Chief Exec of the Management Centre which was in some way linked to Bangor Business School but I never worked out how. The Management Centre was housed in a lovely old building which had been renovated – I think with EU funding – just for them, so they had a pretty big head start. Attached to the Management Centre was an accommodation block of very nice rooms looking out over the Menai Strait. It was by far the best place to stay in Bangor, but when it first opened the rooms were so highly priced – even by the standard of highly priced rooms – that no-one could afford to stay there, so the rooms remained unbooked. The Management Centre also housed a café, which was where Colyn could be observed. Colyn spent most of his time dressed up in an expensive suit, sporting what one of the PhD students called a ‘posh hairstyle’, sitting in the café drinking coffee with his mate, the Head of the Business School, an utter tosspot, Ted Gardiner. They were routinely referred to as ‘Ted and Colyn’ and even signed themselves as such on a letter, causing someone to observe that they sounded like a couple celebrating their civil partnership. Colyn drove a ridiculous car which could be best described as a batmobile, a black thing with a personalised numberplate ending in ‘666’ no less. Upon taking up his post as CEO, not only did Colyn insist on a reserved parking space – which no-one else in the University did at all, not even the VC – but the specific parking space that he demanded was a disabled space. So Colyn ordered a slave to get out in the car park with a blow torch and burn off the paint demarking it as a disabled space.

Upon his arrival at Bangor Colyn let it be known that he was used to much better things and we were all very lucky to have him. An article appeared in the local paper constructing him as some sort of jet-setting businessman, the like of which Bangor had never seen before. Which was odd because it soon became obvious that not only was Colyn deeply unpleasant and someone who routinely broke all employment legislation – he ended up being successfully sued for disability discrimination – but Colyn had no idea how to manage anything. Because no-one was booking into the rooms and he hadn’t actually launched any management courses, all Colyn had to do was get the café up and running, but that was clearly beyond him. He bullied and hectored the café assistants but wouldn’t actually show them how to do anything or use the equipment, so they were both anxious and at sea. In the end everyone gave up, stopped going over there because it would take at least 25 mins to be served with even just a coffee and went elsewhere. Then Ted started sending e mails around to everyone virtually ordering them to use the café.

After some months, the accommodation actually received some bookings. One of the members of staff there was in my Welsh class and they had previously worked in a busy hotel in Llandudno. This person thought it was hilarious that Colyn was panicking at the idea that five guests would all need breakfast at once and he wasn’t sure how to manage it.

Ted and Colyn then opened the Bangor Business Club, which Colyn had so obviously modelled on the fuckwittery at Cardiff from his WDA days. They placed notices around the Management Centre, but they weren’t welcoming notices. They were rude, pompous notices stressing that the Business Club was by Invitation Only and NO-ONE else would be allowed in. Having no desire to join a Business Club run by Ted and Colyn, I didn’t take much notice of this. However I did a few months later when people were rolling around laughing because no-one had joined the Business Club, so Ted and Colyn had sent out an e mail to half of the University asking them if they’d like to join the Business Club – only demanding payment. Unsurprisingly no-one joined. Further e mails followed, advertising the delights of the Business Club Bar which was open to senior staff from the Business School ONLY. Ted and Colyn really knew how to piss people off and alienate them. The Business Club died a death. The café struggled on and it was painful to witness. Rumours started flying that the Management Centre was losing a great deal of money.

Ted and Colyn tried launching various other initiatives, but they always made the same mistake. Although they were located in a small town like Bangor and in a University, everything they organised was grandiose and pompous with the message that ‘plebs are not welcome’. And as huge swathes of the University staff liked to identify with plebs not a pair of madmen deluding themselves that they were Rupert Murdoch when they couldn’t even run a small café, no-one joined in anything that Ted and Colyn did.

Colyn then launched an MBA. I knew one genuine businessman who completed it. But enrolment numbers were low – by now Colyn had insulted and offended so many people that word had got around the wider community that Colyn was not a man one wanted to have dealings with. So Colyn hit on a wheeze regarding the MBA. He got his wife – who has a different surname to Colyn – to enrol and not let on that she was married to him. Liz – Mrs Gardner – then circulated, telling everyone how good the course was. But Liz had another role as well once people were lured in. Liz was a spy – she reported back to Colyn on any students who raised concerns about the standard of the course. Which of course a number of them did. They were then subjected to a Vicious Attack by Colyn.

Colyn and Ted were constantly dreaming of having merchant bankers knocking at their door and at one point they produced a glossy brochure which was designed to tempt merchant bankers up from London into the Management Centre. The brochure extolled the virtues of the Management Centre and of course of Bangor and also mentioned that nearby there were mountains that one could climb or go mountain biking on. There was a little map inside the brochure of the London underground with arrows pointing off from Euston station, to indicate that one could catch a train to Bangor. People were crying tears of laughter when they saw this brochure, everyone knows that merchant bankers don’t do effort, but Ted n Colyn presumed that they were going to get on the train at Euston and make their way up to the Management Centre. One of the researchers working at Bangor at that time had a dad who ran a company in London who did a lot of toadying to people working in the City – he was hiring helicopters to take them to France for jollies, but such ideas escaped Ted n Colyn. The daftest idea that Colyn had however was not to refer to the Manager Centre by it’s name, but to call it – for some unfathomable reason – ’53 degrees north’. So the brochure had ’53 degrees north’ all over it but the Management Centre hadn’t actually changed it’s name. So if a merchant banker had come up to Bangor in the second class carriage of the Euston-Holyhead train, they’d have got lost after getting off at Bangor, because no-one would ever know where ’53 degrees north’ was. We then discovered that there was an outdoor adventure shop in Ireland called ’53 degrees north’, so a merchant banker would have got even more confused if they’d tried to google Colyn or use an app or whatever.

Colyn and the Management Centre continued in this vein and people started openly expressing concern as to how much money must be going down the drain. The anecdotes concerning Colyn’s bullying and intimidation of staff in 53 degrees north became increasingly worrying and there were allegations that he was using the services of HR – widely believed to be a corrupt old cow called Lyn Meadows who was the Director of HR and who now sits on the Betsi Board – to access sensitive information about staff and basically blackmail them. There was a member of staff who when they were much younger had developed a drug problem and somehow Colyn had found out about it. This person was living in fear as Colyn held it over them constantly.

At one point – no-one knew HOW – Ted and Colyn actually managed to get a competent person to join their ‘team’. She was the sort of person they dreamed of – a lady called Sandra, who had years ago worked at Deutchebank no less. Ted sent an e mail around boasting of their new acquisition and constantly began name-dropping ‘Sandra from Deutchebank’. I couldn’t understand why anyone on the planet would want to work with Colyn, so I wondered if Sandra from Deutchebank was stringing them along with a false CV or had been kicked out of Deutchebank. But one of my friends started working with her in a different capacity and they said no, she’s really nice, she knows what she’s doing and she’s supposedly come to teach on the courses that Colyn is supposed to be running. Sandra lasted three weeks before she told Colyn to take a running jump and walked out of the job. I was told that she was singularly unimpressed when she witnessed Colyn constantly shouting and swearing at staff and that the last straw was when he did it to her. Another capable manager who walked out of a job with Colyn described him as a ‘smiling alligator’. She was right, Colyn was a total predator.

Eventually the Management Centre was losing so much money and acquiring such a bad reputation that the University authorities moved in. I was told that there was a stand-up row between Colyn and the VC and that Colyn lost. He disappeared shortly after.

Earlier today I googled Colyn, wondering if the spiv had set up another business somewhere. God I had a shock. Colyn, the man who could not run a café, who enrolled his own wife as a student in his MBA course to lie and spy on other students, has done rather more than launch another business. Colyn is now featuring on a website describing himself as Professor Colyn Gardner, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University and Dean of Sunway Business School, Kuala Lumpar. He describes himself as having had a ‘distinguished academic career’, as having a ‘PhD in Corporate Finance’ from Bangor University (he didn’t have one of those when he was sacked) and that his ‘entire career has been spent either as a practicing banker or a specialist banking industry consultant and a professor of banking’. No mention of failing to run a small café in Bangor then.

Who are Sunway University? How on earth were they conned by a man who very clearly knows nothing about corporate finance? And why would a man with a distinguished academic career bother to include on his web profile a photo of himself when he was at Aberdare Grammar School and details of his rather average A level grades from forty years ago? Furthermore, if Sunway University spend five minutes checking Colyn’s record on the Company Directors’ register, they will find that he has been a director of a whole series of businesses that have all been dissolved within a few years of starting up.

Among his many achievements, Colyn mentions that he has been an advisor to the World Bank. One of Colyn’s former colleagues in the Bangor Business School had also worked for the World Bank. That was John Thornton, the Professor of Global Finance. (What one of those was doing in Bangor I do not know.) John Thornton used to give his home address as being in Washington DC – I guess that he drove into Bangor from there every morning – and when he appeared on the panel at an IWA debate he explained that the most sensible thing for the Westminster Gov’t to do would be to turn Wales into a tax haven, a bit like the Isle of Man. Because according to Thornton, Wales will never be economically viable and it’s best hope is to simply provide nice places to live for people who are either so wealthy that they don’t need to work or who commute over the border into England.  It was at this debate that I read Thornton’s own account of his career history. Whilst he was at the World Bank, he stated that his title was ‘Director of the Western Hemisphere’. He was director of the Western Hemisphere for a few years, which obviously explains why the Western Hemisphere is not in a very good state. When he became Head of Bangor Business School, the Director of the Western Hemisphere passed PhD theses that he knew had been plagiarised and told colleagues to write glowing references for people who had graduated and moved abroad even if the lecturers concerned couldn’t remember who the students were. According to the Director of the Western Hemisphere, students enrolling for courses at Bangor Business School were paying tuition fees in return for a good reference as well as for a good degree.

So that’s business for you – the WDA and World Bank way.

News Round Up, August 1, 2017

I am no longer attending Betsi Board meetings having moved elsewhere, but I do still hear about them. I have recently received an e mail from someone who attended the last Board meeting who told me that the Betsi Board are still utterly deluded regarding the ‘services’ that they are providing and their abilities to run their own organisation. Bad news Betsi stories continue to hit the local media on a weekly basis and the Board remains in special measures. Vaughan Gething the Health Minister recently refused to establish a medical school in north Wales, no doubt because he knows that the problems in the NHS in north Wales are such that any medical school sited there would be a disaster – and a spectacular waste of money. The Board is currently awaiting the results of two independent investigations into the ‘institutional abuse’ of mental health patients.

So my correspondent was somewhat surprised to hear Peter Higson, the Chair of the Board, use the phrase ‘IF there is to be another appraisal’ when speaking about the Board’s possible release from special measures. As my correspondent noted – ‘IF’??? Does Higson really think that he is going to get away with no more appraisals after the scale of the disaster? Perhaps Higson does think this – after all he was the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh whilst the most appalling things went on and was never required to answer to anyone, he then played a leading role in the scandal ridden quango Elwa and was rewarded with an appointment as Chief Exec of Health Inspectorate Wales, during which time he steadfastly failed to investigate serious complaints. By the time that Higson left HIW it was described as ‘not fit for purpose’ – he was then appointed Chair of the Betsi. Yes, maybe Higson is a little surprised that for the first time in his long and glorious career of shafting the citizens of Wales he is now finally under scrutiny. The Welsh Office’s concealing of the shite at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh because it in turn was concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring provided a big umbrella for Higson for many years and he won’t have suffered by having a sister who was Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Ruth Hussey – although I note that Ruth’s exorbitant salary was made public in the Welsh media last week and invoked fury in some quarters….

It’s entertaining to compare what is appearing in the media concerning the Betsi with the ‘press releases’ on their website. What appears in the local media is a relentless catalogue of scandal, complaint, crisis, suicides, avoidable deaths of patients and damning reports from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. But when one clicks on the Betsi’s website one enters another universe. I’ll detail just a few of the stories that have appeared on there over the last couple of weeks.

On July 25 it was reported that at Llandudno Hospital, some ‘dementia champions’ were encouraging staff and visitors to back a scheme established by the Alzheimers Society to train ‘dementia friends’ to ‘support local people living with dementia’. Dementia support worker Rachel Richards, who has worked at Llandudno Hospital as a dementia champion for four years, won the UNISON Wales 2016 ‘Outstanding Person of the Year’ award for her work concerning dementia. Now Rachel might be a really nice person who has moved heaven and earth to try and improve the lives of people with dementia. If she has done this, it will be in spite of her employers, not because of them. The Betsi is currently in special measures and the subject of two investigations as a result of the scandalous abuse of patients with dementia on Tawel Fan ward. After the closure of that ward, there was another scandal involving dementia patients at Bryn Hesketh, although the Betsi refused to ever come clean regarding the details of that.

UNISON is the union that a lot of Betsi staff belong to – including some of the staff who over the past years have been involved in the abuse of patients. UNISON has provided those staff with unlimited free legal advice even in the face of very serious complaint from patients. Some years ago a former manager of the Hergest Unit, Robin Holden, told someone known to me that the problems at the Hergest were very serious but that he was completely unable to resolve them whilst he was employed as a manager there because ‘the unions’ obstructed him constantly. And I bet that one of those unions was UNISON. UNISON doesn’t support whistleblowers but it does support staff who are the subject of very serious complaint, including assault or sexual assault on patients. I accept that everybody is entitled to a fair hearing no matter how serious the allegations against them are, but in the case of patients alleging abuse on the part of NHS staff it is not a level playing field. The staff accused will receive free legal advice from their union and the support of the NHS – because the NHS NEVER admits failure until there is a damning external report from somewhere – whereas the patients/relatives will only be entitled to a very limited number of hours of legal aid, even in the case of a death. Furthermore, if you are Martin Jones (the former Chief Exec of the North West Wales NHS Trust and currently the Director of Workforce at the Betsi) you will deliberately fail to answer questions from patients’ lawyers no matter how many times they are put to you in order to prolong correspondence between yourself and patients’ lawyers as much as possible, knowing damn well that if you manage to string this out for a few months the patient’s legal aid will run out. Martin will then write the patient a letter refusing to correspond with them any further. Which is what you did to me when CCTV filmed your staff threatening me, refusing to treat me and making false allegations against me in an attempt to have me arrested wasn’t it Martin?

On July 21 the Betsi website published an article about a lady of whom they are most proud, Dr Alys Cole-King, an ‘expert’ in suicide prevention. This expert in suicide prevention is a former psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit which had one of the highest suicide rates in the UK among it’s patients. Alys now works at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as a psychiatrist – the hospital which was the site of the institutional abuse of mental health patients. My post ‘Experts In Suicide Prevention??’ provides a full account of the bullshit and hypocrisy that emanates from Alys as well as details of the con that is her organisation ‘Connecting With People’. Alys was congratulated by Higson after she won a ‘top international award’ for her ‘pioneering work’ supporting people at risk of suicide and self-harm. So that’ll be why so many people are still killing themselves in north Wales then and why self-harming patients are still reporting that they are unable to access effective treatment from the Betsi. Alys went to Malaysia no less, to the ‘glittering awards ceremony’. Well that beats staying at home in north Wales treating your patients doesn’t it.

But Alys isn’t the only expert on suicide and self-harm from the Betsi gaining international recognition! Professor Rob Poole – a psychiatrist who mistreated one patient of his so badly that he was the subject of a speech in the Senedd – and his colleague Professor Catherine Robinson have been awarded dosh to continue their trips to south Asia to teach Johnny Foreigner all about self harm and suicide prevention (see posts ‘It’s Those Experts From The Betsi Again!’ and ‘He’s Not The Messiah – He’s A Very Naughty Boy’ for more info on Poole and Robinson). I received a phone call from someone telling me ‘but they don’t know anything about suicide prevention’. I know that they don’t, but they don’t tell anyone that. They tell everybody that they are experts in these matters and everybody around them goes along with the fantasy in the hope that the Betsi or Bangor University can then tweet nonsense about the experts in their employ. And no-one in south Asia knows the grim reality of what passes for ‘care’ of the suicidal or self-harmers in north Wales. This technique worked so well for Mark Williams and Mindfulness (see post ‘The Biggest Expert of the Lot’) that others have taken a leaf out of his book.

The Betsi published another story on it’s website on July 21 as well – it announced that a ‘UK top clinical leader’ had attended an event at Bryn y Neuadd Hospital, supporting the Betsi’s strategic plan involving ‘senior mental health nurses’. These will be the senior mental health nurses that have been responsible for the neglect and abuse of patients to date then – they won’t be new senior mental health nurses because nobody will actually work for the Betsi so bad is it’s reputation. Jen French, the Director of Nursing for Mental Health and Learning Disability, admitted this – she commented that she hoped that the new strategy would boost recruitment when word got around about the ‘supportive environment that we provide’. That environment is so supportive that the nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked. None of the staff involved in abusing the patients were disciplined. The whistleblower was also wrongfully arrested, subjected to malicious smears and received death threats. That’s Jen’s ‘supportive environment’ for you.

So who was the ‘top clinical leader’ who gave the Betsi his support? He was Emeritus Professor Tony Butterworth. The Betsi stressed that Tony was listed as one of the top 100 clinical leaders by the ‘respected’ Healthcare Services Journal. The HSJ was the offender who at one point named Katrina Percy as ‘NHS CEO of the Year’. Percy presided over the scandal at Southern Health, where hundreds of patients with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems died. The scandal only ever became public as a result of the campaigning of Dr Sara Ryan, an Oxford sociologist, whose son died whilst in the care of Southern Health. As happens to so many people who dare expose NHS failure, Sara has received abuse and threats, her abilities as a parent were questioned by Southern Health, she was described by the psychiatrist who was responsible for the care of her son when he died as ‘toxic’ and the teenaged son of a colleague of Katrina Percy sent out a tweet describing Sara as a ‘fucking pest’. Yesterday the inquest returned the verdict on the death of Connor, Sara’s son – death by neglect. The associated report was utterly damning of Southern Health. So I don’t think that anyone is going to be too impressed by anyone who comes highly recommended by the HSJ.

Tony Butterworth wasn’t the only person invited along to the event at Bryn y Neuadd – CANIAD were there too! That’s the CANIAD that has been established by Dafydd Alun Jones et al at CAIS to represent ‘service users’. For details of the con that is CANIAD and the corrupt process which resulted in it landing the contract for ‘service user involvement’ for north Wales, please see posts ‘Introducing Caniad’ and ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’. I have already received correspondence from someone who was duped into working for CANIAD and has discovered that it does not represent service users at all. But then Dafydd et al don’t have much of a track record where patient representation is concerned.

On 19 July, the Betsi website featured a ‘therapy dog’ called Max. Max is currently paying visits to the Hergest Unit where he is alleged to be working wonders. It was observed that when Max arrives the patients come out of their rooms. I bet they do – the reason why patients stay in their rooms in the Hergest Unit is that the staff ignore them or are nakedly aggressive towards them. Max will be a very welcome change (unless he becomes inducted into the culture of the Hergest Unit and starts snapping and snarling at the patients). There is a photo of Max on the website and I note that he is wearing an ID badge. Which is considerably more than the Hergest staff used to – they were notorious for refusing to identify themselves to patients, for refusing to wear ID badges and even uniforms. There was one principal reason for this – it was to ensure that if patients wanted to make a complaint about their appalling behaviour, the patients wouldn’t be able to identify them. All the patients were ever told was the first name of the member of staff and all staff referred to themselves as ‘nurses’. They weren’t – they were nearly all nursing assistants and a lot of them were agency or bank staff. In fact so few of them were qualified nurses that sometimes there was no qualified nurse on duty.

When I made a serious complaint about four Hergest staff, it took me MONTHS to actually find out who they were, although the complaint involved an assault. Nobody would say anymore than ‘Bethan, Michelle, Dave and Sian, nurses’. It was bloody obvious that most of them weren’t nurses, they were barely literate and ‘Dave’ was a caveman with a broken nose, nearly shaved head and prison tattoos. After many months of detective work, I discovered that they were actually Gwen Bethan Roberts, Michelle Shaw, David Wood (nursing assistants) and Sian Ruth Lloyd (newly qualified nurse). I also discovered that there had been numerous other complaints about them involving their abuse and aggression towards patients and that in a previous job with young people ‘nurse Dave’ was alleged to have flushed a client’s head down the bog. Max the dog is going to be a very big improvement on that bunch of thugs.

The article about Max boasts of the other activities that are available to Hergest patients. Art therapy is mentioned. There is an art therapist at Hergest and a lot of patients speak very highly of her. One patient who desperately wanted to do art therapy was prevented from doing so – because she had been to the same school as the art therapist and the dear old Hergest were worried about ‘boundaries’. I suspect that what they were really worried about was that the patient might have told her former school friend what had happened to her in Taliesin Ward – she had been so badly treated in there that one of her neighbours pretended to be a lawyer when she visited her, because the neighbour thought that if the Hergest staff thought that they were being observed by a lawyer the extent of their neglect and brutality might be curbed. The website claims that Tai Chi and walking groups are available for patients. I know a Hergest patient who attended those Tai Chi and walking groups. The ‘groups’ consisted of him – a keen mountaineer in his late 50s – and four or five elderly ladies with the early stages of dementia. No, there was not much Tai Chi or walking done. It is mentioned that a group of Bangor University student volunteers also attend the Hergest Unit to assist with activities. That student group was set up by the Hergest Whistleblower a few years ago – the students were lovely and were very keen. The Hergest Unit management did all they could to stop that group – because they did not want those students witnessing what was going on in the Hergest Unit. At least one of the students was refused permission to continue with the work on the grounds of a minor criminal conviction that he had incurred some years previously – so he was left feeling really bad about himself after being labelled a ‘danger’ to staff and patients. It was bollocks – he wasn’t a danger to anyone, the Hergest management knew that they were employing people like Caveman Dave and they did not want people knowing how patients were being treated.

Interestingly enough, for years animals were banned from the Hergest Unit as well. Patients like me who had dogs had to get our friends to bring our dogs to the hospital and we had to go out into the car park to meet our dogs. And if the ‘nurses’ decided not to let you out of the ward, you couldn’t see your dogs because there was a total ban on animals. Many years ago there was a very friendly Irish junior doctor who worked at the Hergest who was actually a human being and he used to bring his dog in at nights to greet the patients when the other Top Doctors had all gone home. He told us that if anyone found out that he was doing this he would be sacked. It wasn’t just mammals that were banned at Hergest – pigeons were unacceptable as well. The day centre at Hergest – which was eventually closed down entirely – used to have a little courtyard attached to it and pigeons would land in the courtyard. Patients really loved the pigeons and fed them biscuits. A notice appeared on the wall asking everyone not to feed the pigeons. Everyone ignored it and carried on feeding the pigeons so another notice appeared ORDERING everyone not to feed the pigeons. Everyone ignored that notice as well, so then another notice appeared saying that the door into the courtyard would be locked because people were continuing to feed the pigeons.

On July 13 the Betsi website reported that the family of a man with learning disabilities who died whilst in the ‘care’ of Morriston Hospital in Swansea had appeared at the launch of yet another Betsi ‘initiative’ to improve the care of learning disabled people. It was mentioned that the failures in care at the Morriston had been described by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales as ‘abject’ and ‘dire’. The Ombudsman has made very similar comments about the failures of care provided by the Betsi recently. The Morriston Hospital isn’t in special measures either.

 

My recent post ‘A Prescription For Murder’ reviewed a ‘Panorama’ programme which featured that well-known Top Doctor from the Hergest, Dodgy Geezer Dr David Healy. There’s been quite a bit of fall-out from the programme with the Top Doctors taking to twitter – Rob Poole even wrote a blog post about it (Rob touchingly uses the phrase ‘we experts’ in his post). The voices noticeably absent are those of the patients – I’m glad to say however that someone who has been on the receiving end of Healy has left comments on ‘Service Shenanigans’….

NHS England also caused a twitter storm and prompted much media comment earlier this week when it was announced that there was to be a huge increase in the number of mental health posts. So Jeremy Hunt is going to train and employ thousands more people to carry on doing what has failed to help people with mental health problems so spectacularly so far then. The Top Doctors and their associates have been scrapping over those plans as much as they have been scrapping over Healy’s appearance on ‘Panorama’. I am reminded of that scene in ‘Time Bandits’ when the dwarves all start fighting each other and Napolean looks on delighted and applauds saying ‘That’s what I like – little things hitting each other’. As the Top Doctors and the RCN and the Dodgy Geezers all argue amongst each other, falsify their research and declare themselves the true experts, global capitalism continues to screw healthcare completely. Jeremy Hunt himself has also hit a new enlightenment – he stated that there are ‘problems’ in the NHS that can’t be solved no matter how much is invested in it and that other Gov’ts found the same problem despite spending huge amounts of money on the NHS. I suspect that the ‘problems’ Jeremy might be thinking of are called the BMA and GMC. That’s right Jeremy, they’re institutionally corrupt, you’ve all known it for years and the monsters are now so big and so greedy and so demanding that you can’t possibly give them what they want and now they going to scream and scream until they’re sick.

A fascinating medical scandal has begun to emerge, one that the ‘Independent’ is maintaining could be as big as thalidomide – the vaginal mesh scandal. Since the 1990s, thousands of women experiencing even just mild occasional stress incontinence have been encouraged to have vaginal meshes inserted. The meshes are kept in place by hooks attached to one’s soft tissues. Surprise, surprise, it’s now been revealed that inserting a mesh with hooks on into one’s fanny is not a particularly good idea, the meshes have been slicing through tissue causing bleeding and other awful consequences. Various gynaecologists have been crawling out of the woodwork and some have given comments to the press interpreting this as a consequence of sexism and a cavalier attitude to female health. No, this is an example of the cavalier attitude that Top Doctors routinely adopt towards their patients’ health in general. Gynaecologists both male and female knew what those meshes were doing to people but they have kept quiet for the last twenty years. Furthermore, although a few female gynaecologists self-identifying as the defenders of women’s health are now speaking up, they could have done so a very long time ago – but they didn’t. There is also a complete absence of information regarding who developed vaginal meshes and where the early clinical trials took place. Anyone happen to know? Because someone put those things on the market and robustly promoted them, including to some women who did not actually need such interventions….

It brought back a few more memories of the Everyday Story of St George’s Folk for me. I have mentioned in previous posts how dysfunctional relationships were between Top Doctors at St George’s and how the main pastime was knifing each other or gossiping about who was shagging who. There was one Top Doctor there who was particularly loathed by everyone – a gynaecologist called Stuart Stanton who specialised in treating urinary incontinence. He seemed very secretive about his practices and people spent much time and effort trying to find out what he was up to – including where in the world he actually was at any one time, because he wasn’t always in London. Stanton was robustly recommended to well-heeled private patients as being the man to consult should they suffer from pelvic floor problems. Yet people who worked with him used to constantly make comments along the lines of ‘Christ I wouldn’t let him near me’. I never ever found out what it was that he was doing that repulsed everybody so much and why there were so many efforts made by so many people to try and find out about his business practices. As ever with the Top Doctors, there was clearly a slurry pit somewhere involving Stanton but they weren’t going to let on, especially not to patients. Stanton is still practicing – in Harley Street of course. I keep wondering how many people he might have recommended a vaginal mesh to…

Whilst reading all about the vaginal meshes in the ‘Indie’, I noticed another story on their website. That of a case of a learning disabled couple in Oregon, who have had their new born baby removed from them on the grounds that they had learning disabilities. There were no allegations of them presenting a danger to the baby, the decision was made simply because both the baby’s parents had ‘low IQs’. This is not a first and this sort of thing happens rather closer to home than Oregon. You’ve guessed it – I witnessed the very same thing happen to a learning disabled couple whose baby was born at St Georges. The decision to remove the baby from their care as soon as it was born was not one taken by the midwives or obstetricians and a lot of them were very uncomfortable with what was happening and felt that it was very sad. The decision had been taken by the social services – as were other decisions regarding the removal of babies from their mothers, again in circumstances that left a lot of the staff on the labour ward very uncomfortable. I felt that this was bad enough at the time, but after receiving the documents regarding my own case a few months ago, I am now very concerned at what might have been going on. Because the social workers making the decisions to remove those babies from their parents at birth were the very same social workers who my documents now demonstrate were without my knowledge – and after never having even met me – in communication with Lucille Hughes, Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) regarding my ‘dangerousness’. The Lucille, Dafydd and Tony who were facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales. Many of the decisions to remove babies from mothers giving birth at St Georges were made in consultation with psychiatrists from St Georges – the psychiatrists who knew about the serious criminal activities of Dafydd Alun Jones et al in north Wales but who colluded with them and said nothing about their wrongdoing….

The ‘Guardian’ is reporting on a major industrial dispute in NHS England that is getting remarkably little attention – but then it doesn’t involve Top Doctors or Angels. This dispute involves some genuinely very badly paid NHS workers – the cleaners of Barts NHS Trust. They are not actually employees of Barts or indeed of the NHS because of course the cleaning contract has been outsourced, in order to pay the cleaners even less. The cleaners are working for Serco, some shifts start at 4am in the morning and some of the cleaners are in their 60s with health problems. The workforce involved is mostly female and substantially made up of ethnic minorities. So among all these media allegations of ‘nurses going to food banks because their pay is so low’ – no, nurses’ pay is not that low, it is not high but it is above the UK average – here is a group of workers who really are being exploited and paid dreadfully. So where’s the outcry then? I’m glad to note that Jeremy Corbyn is supporting them, but there’s a conspicuous absence of other high profile names who have tripped over themselves to spout off about junior doctors not being able to live on their salaries and of course all those nurses down at the food banks. There is one glaring inaccuracy in the ‘Indie’ report though. It states that Florence Nightingale knew the value of hygiene. She didn’t – Florence had quite a casual attitude to hygiene, it was all a bit Mid-Staffs. When Florence was told of the existence of ‘germs’, she refused to believe that they existed on the grounds that something that small wasn’t possible. So she continued to walk through the wards giving everyone a dose of the deathly lamp.

 

BBC News Wales online has had much coverage of the commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele over the last few days. There has been much remembering of the fallen. As the Betsi continues to exterminate people with mental health problems whilst boasting about it’s experts, I think that it’s about time that we remembered the now hundreds of people who have died in the face of all this expertise. I suggest a Tomb of the Unknown Service User with an eternal flame to counteract the constant stream of propaganda from Higson et al.

 

Dr Death

Readers noticing the title of this post could be forgiven for wondering who exactly it is referring to as a number of Top Doctors featured on this blog are worthy of the name. I am however making reference to the Dr Death whose adventures so entertained ‘Private Eye’ readers in the 1980s, Dr David Owen, now Lord Owen.

I am of the generation who particularly loathed Dr Death and I was very glad to see the back of him when he finally admitted defeat after the SDP polled fewer votes than the Official Monster Raving Loony Party at the Bootle by-election in 1990. Dr Death had a well-established reputation as a complete bastard and he wrecked every organisation that he became involved with. When Dr Death was doing his best to become Prime Minister or should I say to ‘break the mould of politics’, I was just on the cusp of being seriously screwed over by the other Top Doctors who are the stars of this blog, Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Documents now in my possession demonstrate that these two used to engage me in conversation back in the mid 80s in order to acquire information regarding my network of friends and my activities because they were more than a little worried about what I might be saying to whom about the mental health services in north Wales. One thing that I was interested in was politics and I certainly chatted about that at length with Wood and Francis and the one thing that I remember was that they were both paid up members of the SDP and they idolised Dr Death. Brown observed at the time that they were ‘defending another shit in their own profession again’ – they had already done their best to get Gwynne the lobotomist off the hook by then but I was unaware of the extremes to which they were prepared to go to do this. Brown’s comment proved to be prescient.

Last week somebody suggested to me that either Francis or Wood knew Dr Death personally and that he may well have been part of the network protecting them as they protected the north Wales paedophile ring. I’d never previously suspected this, but it wouldn’t be completely beyond the bounds of possibility – some very high profile people indeed from the fields of both politics and medicine were concealing what was happening in north Wales and Dr Death was well-connected in both of these fields. Dr Death also had connections to Wales.

Like so many named in previous posts who concealed the criminal conduct of Wood, Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist et al, Dr Death began his career as a psychiatrist. Dr Death was born in Devon to Welsh parents and qualified as a doctor from St Thomas’s Hospital in 1962. He then worked as a neurologist and psychiatrist at Tommy’s for two years. Now Dr Death and his supporters always made much of Dr Death ‘being a doctor’ and took that as evidence that not only was he ethical, compassionate and intelligent, but that he had an insight into matters of mental health, psychology, personal motivation and of course the right way to run a health service. ‘Private Eye’ cartoons at the time used to frequently feature Dr Death as Dracula saying things like ‘but I’m a nice young doctor’, whilst someone else in the frame would be saying ‘no you’re not you’re a vampire’. So was Dr Death a nice young doctor?

Dr Death’s early career at Tommy’s is not actually detailed that often and there might be a good reason for that. Dr Death was the assistant – for two years – to a psychiatrist called William Sargant, whose track record is so grim that psychiatry really would rather that he had not ever existed. Contemporary psychiatry text books rarely cite him so discredited is he. Sargant was a very big name in his day and was what we would now call a media psychiatrist. Even at the time there were people gravely concerned about Sargant’s activities but as ever in psychiatry their concerns were ignored. When Dr Death worked for him, Sargant’s work was described as ‘research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology’. William Sargant was wildly enthusiastic about every dangerous, completely discredited psychiatric treatment – psychosurgery, deep sleep therapy, ECT in massive bursts very frequently and insulin shock therapy. Lest readers just presume that he was a man of his time, Sargant was bad even by the standards of mid-twentieth century psychiatry, in much the same way that the north Wales contingent were bad by anyone’s standards.

Sargant did not begin his career as a psychiatrist, he wanted to be a physician. He conducted some research into pernicious anaemia which involved giving patients huge doses of iron and history simply tells us that this research was ‘not well received’, indeed it was ‘disasterous’, which led to Sargant suffering a mental breakdown and being institutionalised himself. He was unable to continue his career as a physician and embarked upon a career in psychiatry instead. Sargant is by no means the only doctor who has been diverted into psychiatry because no-one else will have them, that characteristic is very obviously written into the biographies of many of those we know and love. I also wonder what the gory details of the ‘research’ were. Sargant was not a sensitive flower, for the research to have been so disasterous that he had a breakdown, ended up hospitalised and was unable to continue in his chosen field, I suspect that a few patients may have died – as they did on a regular basis when Sargant worked a psychiatrist. But because they were psychiatric patients it was tolerated.

Sargant did his psychiatric training at the Maudsley of course. In 1945 he became Director of Psychological Medicine at Tommy’s, where he stayed until his retirement in 1972 and indeed after that as well. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Sargant held a part-time NHS contract, which meant that whilst he slaughtered NHS patients he was able to build up an enormous private practice, in Sargant’s case at Harley Street. Sargant held a distaste for all types of psychotherapy. He took amphetamines himself whilst he was studying for his Diploma in Psychological Medicine – he took a number of drugs for depression throughout his life. Whilst he was at the Maudsley, insulin shock therapy was introduced. Sargant enthusiastically embraced this and it became a staple of his at Tommy’s. In the late 1930s whilst he was in America, Sargant met the notorious Walter Freeman and saw the results of Freeman’s psychosurgery on three patients. The patients had suffered huge damage but nonetheless Sargant then introduced psychosurgery to Britain.

At one point after the war London County Council tried to curb Sargant’s experiments with ECT and psychosurgery, but Sargant boasted that ‘we generally got our own way in the end’. London County Council insisted that advisors were needed to approve every psychosurgery case. If the advisors opposed, Sargant simply sent the patient to Wylie McKissock at St George’s and he lobotomised the patient. Sargant described this as ‘doing good by stealth’. Sargant selected neurotic patients, especially those with neurotic ruminations, for psychosurgery. The ‘operation’ often  left them with severely impaired functioning, serious memory loss and/or incontinent. A number of them died. Sargant also experimented with ‘abreaction techniques’ using barbiturates, in military psychiatric casualties. More experiments of his involved methedrine injections and ‘deep sleep’ treatments. Indeed so ‘experimental’ was Sargant’s work that he combined all these treatments. He subjected patients to up to three months of combined ECT, continuous narcosis, insulin coma and drugs. Sargant found narcosis a particular blessing, because as he explained himself he often found that patients ‘dreaded’ further treatment after the first two or three sessions, but if they were treated whilst they were in an induced sleep, ECT could be administered without their knowledge. Sargant also found another way of treating patients who didn’t want to be treated as well – he increased the frequency of ECT for ‘resistant obsessional patients’ to produce ‘therapeutic confusion’ which had the magical effect of ‘removing the power of refusal’. In other words they were shocked into oblivion and didn’t know whether they were coming or going.

This is what Sargant said about the beneficial effects of narcosis treatment: ‘all sorts of treatment can be given whilst the patient is kept sleeping, including a variety of drugs and ECT together, generally induce considerable memory loss for period under narcosis…patient does not know how long he has been asleep, or what treatment…he has been given’. Sargant inspired the psychiatrist Harry Bailey in Australia, whose deep sleep treatment resulted in the death of 26 patients. Bailey and Sargant’s correspondence show that they were in competition with each other to see who could keep a patient in the deepest coma. Sargant’s patients died as well and it has been suggested that the only reason that his death rate wasn’t as high as Bailey’s was the attention that the Tommy’s nurses paid to the patients once Sargant had got his hands on them. The nurses were waking the patients up every fifteen minutes, taking them to the loo and feeding them, which it is assumed kept a few of them alive. Sargant wasn’t put off when his patients did die in his ‘care’. He attributed the poor outcomes to the lack of a ‘good previous personality’. Now where have we heard that before???

Critics of Sargant maintained that he had extreme views, was irresponsible, cruel and ignored advice. It was said that he relied ‘upon dogma rather than clinical evidence’, was autocratic, a danger, a disaster and some spoke of ‘the damage he did’. So a combination of Dr T. Gwynne Williams, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Roberts then.

In 2009 a Radio 4 documentary interviewed patients whose lives had been ruined by William Sargant. There was discussion of his routine violation of patient’s rights regarding consent and his admission to an Australian lawyer that patients had died under deep sleep. The records of patients treated by Sargant at Tommy’s and associated Health Authorities have been destroyed which prevented patients seeking redress through the Courts.

It has been revealed that William Sargant worked as a consultant for MI5.

So what was Dr Death’s opinion of this lethal maniac who shocked, drugged and lobotomised patients without their knowledge let alone consent? After all Dr Death assisted him for two years. Dr Death stated that Sargant was ‘a dominating personality with the therapeutic courage of a lion’ and ‘the sort of person of whom legends are made’.

In March 1974 Dr Death was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health. In July 1974 he became Minister of State for Health and Social Security and remained in that post until Sept 1976.

Between 1977-1979 Dr Death was Foreign Secretary. I remember many allegations at the time that Dr Death was rude and arrogant, offended foreign statesmen and couldn’t get on with people. Dr Death has since stated that whilst he was Foreign Secretary he considered having Idi Amin assassinated. Like a troublesome psychiatric patient perhaps. In 1981 Dr Death left the Labour Party and with the infamous Gang of Four formed the SDP. He led the SDP between 1983-87 but when the SDP membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party Dr Death threw a hissy fit and announced that he would lead the ‘continuing SDP’. Dr Death is of course quite a one for hissy fits, his political career has been a sequence of resignations. He led the continuing SDP until 1990 when even he couldn’t pretend that it existed any longer. It was at this time that Dr Death made public statements about having wished that he’d stuck with a career in psychiatry. Presumably because lobotomised patients can’t vote for someone else. Dr Death wasn’t in the wilderness for long, in 1992 he became a member of the Lords. He sat as a cross bencher until 2014, but he now sits as an ‘independent social democrat’, after giving more than £7000 to the Labour Party when Ed Miliband announced his intentions to ‘reform’ the relationship between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions.

Many people have suspected that Dr Death is actually a Tory and did his best to inflict serious damage upon the Labour Party.  Thatcher was certainly very complimentary about his talents and a lot of people looked forward to him joining the Conservative Party and then destroying them. He never did though, despite John Major nominating him for a peerage and wanting him in his Cabinet. Blair also approached Dr Death, as did Gordon Brown, but he declined offers from both of them.

Dr Death has of course been back in the news over the past few days. He has been speaking a lot about the contaminated blood scandal and once more is exploiting his position as a nice doctor who wants the best. As a man who was once William Sargant’s assistant of course he does. Dr Death is not only telling anyone who’ll listen that he was demanding that Britain should become self-sufficient in blood products in the mid 70s rather than reply on imported products derived from the US, but he is also maintaining that the archived files of his containing all the documents that would shed light on who suggested and did what regarding blood products for use in the NHS in the 70s and 80s has been destroyed by an unidentified person. Dr Death is alleging a Civil Service cover up. I too believe that there has undoubtedly been a cover up at Gov’t level regarding the contaminated blood scandal and I’ve previously blogged about this. Substantial blame rests with Thatcher’s Gov’t who were told that patients would die because US blood was not screened, but who then shut down the UK MRC lab, ensuring that the NHS was completely dependent upon US imported products.

But it is becoming clear that blame does not just lie with Thatcher’s administrations. There is now information that administrations before Thatcher’s were being told of the grave dangers posed to NHS patients by the use of contaminated blood – although the threat in the 70s was considered to be Hepatitis C rather than HIV which only became a serious problem subsequently. I have found out that in 1974 the Dept of Health were explicitly warned by a specialist in the field that the products that they were using at that time could infect NHS patients. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Security was Dr Death. He had of course been a Minister in the same dept before that. Furthermore, Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has now revealed that her mum – who died from complications arising from Hep C in 2007 – contracted Hep C from an infected blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth in 1971. Neither did anyone actually tell Anita Roddick that she was infected with Hep C until she had developed cirrhosis and it was too late for effective treatment. Of course no-one will have told Anita, because it was the NHS who had caused the damage and the NHS never informs people when it has harmed them. So by the time that Dr Death was making hay by making public statement in 1976 regarding the need for the NHS to become self-sufficient in blood products, people had already been infected and for a number of years as well. But no-one will ever find out exactly how much Dr Death knew and when and what his responses were because his files have been destroyed. By someone naughty in the Civil Service. Who did Dr Death a very big favour because he can now claim to be only relying on his memory when asked about the whole sorry business. This blog has previously described the rare variant of dementia which affects Top Doctors when they are faced with difficult questions regarding their role in patient harm – other sufferers include Dafydd, Robert Bluglass and Peter Higson. I suspect that Dr Death will be clobbered by a particularly serious form any day now.

Dr Death has spent his political career reminding everyone of his commitment to the NHS and has done this again very recently. So that is obviously why he was a member of the Board of the Abbott Laboratories, an American drug company between 1996-2011. In 2012 Abbott Labs were charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, the second biggest fine in US history for a drug company. This was as a result of Abbott Labs unlawfully promoting the anti-psychotic Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA, including it’s use in children. Abbott Labs were also given a five year term of probation and court supervision. Which is more than William Sargant and his assistant ever got. Dr Death was Chairman of the Board of Yukos International UK BV, a division of a former Russian petroleum company, between 2002-2005. He was non-executive Chairman of European Steel until 2015. Between 2009-2014 Dr Death was on the Board of Texas-based Hyperdynamics Corporation, an oil concern.

Latterly Dr Death has expressed deep concern about ‘hubris syndrome’ among politicians. He became so worried about this that he established the Daedalus Trust. The Daedalus Trust exists to ‘promote and provide funds for the interdisciplinary study of how the intoxication of power in all walks of life affects personality and decision making’. Dr Death is Chair of the Trust. Well he would be wouldn’t he. He no doubt will remember this quote from his mentor William Sargant: ‘men…should humbly remember how much they resemble dogs in brain function and not boast themselves as demigods’. Other men that is, not Dr Death or William Sargant obviously.

As for Dr Death’s Welsh connections, I didn’t know about these until I heard him interviewed by Peter Hennesey on the radio in 2015. Dr Death explained that he grew up in Plymouth but was raised ‘in the Welsh radical tradition’. He spent his summers living with his grandparents in Tenby or Aberporth. Dr Death explained that his grandpa was a ‘clergyman’ ‘in the Welsh Church but was basically a Methodist’. Which is a bit confusing because historically Welsh chapels have been very keen to distinguish themselves from the Anglican Church in Wales and the Church in Wales doesn’t have a radical tradition. And Methodists call their Ministers Ministers rather than clergymen. The mystery deepened when Dr Death maintained that as a boy ‘I went to the local school everyday with him [his grandfather]…I learnt Welsh but I’ve forgotten every word of it’. Apart from a few specific locations which are noted for being bastions of Welsh speaking Welsh isn’t very widely spoken in south Wales, certainly by kids from Devon on their summer holidays. Dr Death is getting on a bit, when he was a schoolboy there won’t have been any Welsh medium schools in south Wales. The fight for Welsh medium education took place whilst Dr Death was an adult – when he was a boy Wales was still suffering from the notion that teaching kids through the medium of Welsh was not a good idea. Welsh was the language at home of many children in the north, but not where Dr Death was holidaying. Furthermore if Dr Death had learnt Welsh, how could his memory have become wiped clean completely? One’s second language can certainly become very rusty if one doesn’t stay immersed in it, but it’s not forgotten. Surely Dr Death could manage a ‘bore da’ or a ‘diolch’?

However Dr Death DOES have some Welsh connections via his extended family. In fact Dr Death is considered to be a bit of a celeb by some in south Wales, so much so that when the building that used to house a shop owned and run by one of his forebears was converted into a museum, Dr Death was invited to open it. Dr Death has also always clung to his identity as a Top Doctor and I bet Dr Death still networks with other Top Doctors as well – including Top Doctors in Wales. Both D.G.E. Wood and Tony Francis had good connections with other Top Doctors in south Wales. Wood worked for the Royal College of General Practitioners which took him to south Wales frequently and was also involved in training doctors, which again will have involved working with doctors in south Wales. Francis studied at Cardiff medical school and also spent a number of years working there. Furthermore when Francis wanted to have me declared dangerous and banged up, it was Dr Chris Hunter, his mate from south Wales, that he enlisted to help him (please see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dafydd and a number of the other Top Doctors involved in wrongdoing in north Wales trained at Liverpool medical school. Dr Death was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool between 1996-2009. The Waterhouse Inquiry was announced in 1996.

I have blogged about a number of politicians involved in the cover-ups relating to child abuse and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services, but I haven’t mentioned any figures whom I know to be politically close to Dr Death. There was an SDP MP who ended up in hot water after sexual impropriety, Mike Hancock, but that case involved him indecently assaulting an adult constituent with mental health problems. Hancock checked himself into the Priory after the constituent complained, where he probably received rather more care and attention that the woman that he assaulted did at the hands of the NHS.

There is of course one party which has been plagued by actual sex abuse scandals, rather than simply alleged sex abuse scandals and that is the party that Dr Death formed an alliance with, the Liberal Party. There was the Jeremy Thorpe business, although of course that involved adults rather than the abuse of under-aged children. But recently it has been admitted that two Liberal MPs were known to have abused children – Cyril Smith and Clement Freud.

The track record of Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, was appalling – as was the track record of the Liberals/Lib Dems in failing to deal with him In 2012 the Greater Manchester Police admitted that Smith should have been charged with sex offences against children. In April 2014 it was revealed that there had been 144 complaints against Smith, involving children as young as eight and that attempts to prosecute him had actively been blocked. Rochdale Council, the police and the social services were all implicated. In 2015 it was revealed that Smith had been arrested in the early 80s, but a high level cover up resulted in his release within hours. The investigating officers were bound by the Official Secrets Act. There were investigations into Smith in 1970, 1998 and 1999. He was a friend of Jimmy Savile and appeared on one of Savile’s TV shows in the early 70s. In 2012 a former Special Branch officer with the Lancashire Police stated that a dossier of sex abuse allegations against Smith which police claimed was lost had actually been seized by MI5. The Special Branch officer had been asked by MI5 to send this dossier, which was ‘thick’ with allegations that Smith had abused boys, to London.

Smith was alleged to have abused boys at the Knowl View residential school – there were allegations of a paedophile ring. Greater Manchester Police stated that there were 21 suspects, 14 of whom had been identified, one of these being Smith. In July 2014 Rochdale Council’s inquiry into child abuse at Knowl View was stopped at the request of the Greater Manchester Police, whilst detectives investigated a possible institutional cover up.

It is known that Smith put pressure on the BBC in 1976, asking them not to investigate the ‘private lives of certain MPs’ – the National Archives reveal that Smith wrote to the Director General Sir Charles Curran, ‘deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC’.

In July 2014 the CPS admitted that in 1970 a police detective investigating Smith presented evidence to a superior concerning Smith’s abuse of boys at a care home in Rochdale but no action was taken. In Nov 2014 the former editor of the ‘Bury Messenger’, Don Hale, stated that he had been served with a D notice in the 80s the day after Cyril Smith had been ‘aggressive’ and threatened him with a D notice from the police.

In 2015 a retired police officer had said that he had been threatened with the Official Secrets Act after he found Smith in the home of a known sex offender with two drunk teenaged boys and a police sergeant in civilian clothes. The retired officer stated that he was then summoned to a meeting with a senior officer at Stockport Police Station and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ not to say anything. The alleged incident was in 1988 at a house in Stockport after a complaint that the occupier was committing a lewd act in the window in front of a newspaper boy.

BBC Newsnight has broadcast claims that Smith was arrested in the early 80s regarding his participation in a paedophile ring, but that there was a cover up using the Official Secrets Act. There were also reports of his arrest by Northamptonshire Police and his subsequent release in mysterious circumstances.

In 2013 a spokesman for the Met confirmed that Smith had visited the Elm Guest House, a brothel near Barnes Common in south west London where children in care alleged that they were abused by politicians and other high profile figures. Savile was alleged to have visited and some parties there were organised by Sydney Cooke, a paedophile who was imprisoned for the murder of Jason Swift. At least one former resident of a north Wales children’s home has alleged that he was taken there and molested. One man alleged that he had been raped at the Elm Guest House when he was 14 by Sir Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, who was also known to have visited children’s homes in north Wales. The manager of the Elm Guest House, Carole Kasir, was found dead in 1990 at the age of 47, from an insulin overdose. The death was categorised as suicide, although people who knew Carole at that time have disputed this.

Sexual abuse and grooming at the Elm Guest House was the focus of Operation Fairbank. Operation Fernbridge resulted from the Operation Fairbank allegations and Peter McKelvie, a retired child protection team manager, claimed that evidence of a powerful paedophile ring was covered up in 1991. 1991 – I remember it well. I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, told by psychiatrists there who knew about the criminal activities of their colleagues in north Wales to ‘go back to north Wales’, taken to Court on the basis of a statement in which Dr Tony Francis perjured himself to find that one Sir Robert Francis QC was requesting my imprisonment for ‘harassment’, the harassment being me writing letters maintaining that psychiatrists in north Wales were breaking the law (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). In 1991 my friend who was interested in making a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society. We should count ourselves lucky, a number of people who were victims of the north Wales paedophile ring were found dead at that time.

Cabinet Office papers released in March 2015 confirmed that Margaret Thatcher was aware of the allegations concerning Smith before he was knighted in 1988.

Other members of the Liberal Party have not really come up smelling of roses with regard to Cyril Smith’s conduct. David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party between 1976-1988 and Dr Death’s political partner during the years that the Liberals and SDP were in the Alliance together, recommended Smith for a knighthood. In 1979 ‘Private Eye’ published an article which was based on an investigation carried out by the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ into Smith, which revealed that Smith was known to have spanked boys on their bare bums. After the publication of this, Smith admitted to David Steel that he’d carried out (presumably bogus because he wasn’t a Top Doctor) intimate medical examinations on boys at a residential establishment. Steel famously commented that all Smith had done was ‘spank a few bare bottoms’. Steel became very angry when he was reminded of this response after the extent of Smith’s abuse was revealed – however it is also known that after the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ published their article, Steel’s Press Office commented to them that ‘it was not a very friendly gesture, publishing that’. In 2014 Steel stated that he confronted Smith about his ‘unusual’ behaviour with boys after the 1979 allegations. Steel has also commented that it was a ‘different era’ and that ‘corporal punishment was permitted’. Which does not really adequately explain what the local MP was doing administering the punishment in question. It may have been a different era but molesting children wasn’t acceptable in that era either which is probably why so many people were working so hard to ensure that the allegations about Smith didn’t find their way into the public domain.

In 2014 the Liberal leader Nick Clegg refused to hold an inquiry into Smith – Clegg maintained that the Party did not know about Smith’s actions.

Just to add to the Liberal Parties woes, in 2016 it was alleged that former Liberal MP Clement Freud, who died in 2009, had been a paedophile who had spent a lifetime molesting and harassing young women, including girls as young as ten. A number of people came forward with tales of Freud’s lechery and unusually in such situations, there was no attempt by anyone to deny the allegations. Freud’s widow made a public apology to his victims, although she hadn’t actually done the molesting. Freud had shared an office with Cyril Smith. Freud too was knighted, in 1987. Mourners at Freud’s funeral included David Steel, George Osborne and Gordon Brown. But then Cyril Smith had a good turn out and I think that Clegg even made a speech at his funeral. Freud was someone who was in a very good position where suppressing stories that he didn’t want to appear in the media was concerned. Freud had many media connections as he was himself a food and drink journalist and later a favourite on Radio 4. His daughter Emma is also a journalist and a regular star of Radio 4 – she is married to the producer/script writer Richard Curtis. But it is Freud’s son Matthew who truly excels in this arena. Matthew Freud has his own PR company which he established in 1985. He was formerly married to the second wife of Earl Spencer and after that married Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert. A quick look at the website of Freud Communications revealed a photo of Sadiq Khan – presumably a client – and the logos of BBC Worldwide and Public Health England.

The Liberal Party, SDP and Lib Dems have often become excited in the face of notions that they are in situations whereby they can affect the balance of power and at such times there have been allegations that they have been very demanding of other parties. I can imagine a lot of wriggling if they not only had someone like Cyril Smith on their team but knew that there were people getting up to similar things with under-aged children in other parties. If Dr Death were to be introduced into those machinations – the Chair of the Daedalus Trust suffering from a very severe case of hubris himself at all times and under all circumstances – I can only imagine what might have gone on. Particularly if a few Top Doctors from Wales involved in the chain of supply of fresh meat for the Westminster Paedophile Ring had sent out a mayday call.

 

 

Are You Local?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Local Accessories

There was a lot of publicity yesterday regarding the future of the Welsh language and the Welsh Gov’ts desire to vastly increase the number of people who speak Welsh over the next few decades. There’s been a problem with previous efforts to do this by teaching children through the medium of Welsh at school, because some kids then came to associate speaking Welsh with the sort of boring, stuffy chores one has to do whilst at school, so of course they made a point of speaking English when they were not at school. There is much interesting research on the best ways of keeping Welsh alive, but the Welsh Gov’ts plans in this area are hampered by the incompetence and unpopularity of the Welsh Language Commissioner, one Meri Huws, who really is not a good advert for anything that she has ever endorsed. So of course, who turned up on the ‘Today’ programme yesterday morning? Meri! She made no more sense than she usually does. My post ‘Let Me Enlighten Lord Gnome…’ described how Meri has been appointed to a series of jobs that she was not qualified for and just could not do and explained why she has zero credibility with language campaigners and scholars. Her Marjorie Wallace-like conduct in terms of being ‘close to’ a number of well-connected men politically which seems to have been the one consistent factor in her appointments to various positions is openly – and crudely – discussed in Wales and there was much entertainment some years ago when it became known that Meri was allegedly referred to as ‘the crack of doom’ in the Welsh Assembly. A PhD student with knowledge of the way in which Meri conducts business observed at the time ‘that name actually took some intelligence to think up’.

At about the same time I was told by someone else who had been chatting to a civil servant working at Westminster that Wales was making an idiot of itself by giving public positions and funds to, in the words of the civil servant, ‘a really weird woman who doesn’t know what she’s doing’ – it was Meri to whom he was referring. I was told years ago that Meri was holding a lot of people over a barrel because of the ‘unspoken blackmail’ that she was alleged to be directing towards her former bedfellows. That is the most common interpretation of Meri’s influence in political circles in Wales – ie that she’s shagged loads of them, they’re now embarrassed by her and they know that she won’t keep quiet if she doesn’t get what she wants. But long ago, before she got anywhere near the dizzy heights of a job as Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri worked in a rather more mundane capacity, yet one in which if she used her brains (not sure that there are many of those in Meri’s skull though) would provide her with a lot more potential where silent blackmail is concerned. Meri was a social worker in Caernarfon.

I don’t know many details of Meri’s career in social work, but I think that she was categorised as a ‘community social worker’ and from what I know of Meri’s age and subsequent career, I presume that it will have been in the late 70s or 80s. Meri was a social worker in Caernarfon, for Gwynedd County Council, at the time when the paedophile gang that operated within the social services was going strong. Even if Meri didn’t have the lowdown on the paedophile gang, she will definitely have known that something was very wrong in Gwynedd Social Services and that the ‘service’ was full of serious misconduct and the abuse of clients, because everyone who had anything to do with Gwynedd Social Services knew that, it wasn’t even hidden. I do suspect though that dear old Meri may have been party to a great deal of info. I’ve been able to find out loads – mainly of course because I was under attack by Gwynedd Social Services, I remember very clearly what they did and I now have the documents that demonstrate that what was going on without my knowledge was even worse, but also because I knew other people under attack as well and watched what happened to them. But Meri is very much more sociable than me. Meri is a party animal and has spent decades getting pissed with the very people that were covering up for that paedophile ring. Furthermore Meri, professing to be a champion of the Welsh language, has moved among the very people who were, on a local level, up to their eyeballs in colluding with the wrongdoing. Previous posts have explained how a number of people have flown the flag for nation and language as a distraction for some of their rather less reputable activities. Meri has spent decades at the heart of that lot. Meri, I am going to carry on naming people on this blog, at all levels and across the UK, so perhaps you’d like to make your way down to the police now and tell them of the many sordid activities that you found out about and who was involved.

The paedophile ring operated throughout Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services and was assisted and concealed by all other health and welfare agencies. So pretty much everyone who worked in social work in north Wales during the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s would have known something. I am not for one minute suggesting that they were all paedophiles themselves, but what they all knew was that their senior managers were appalling and that the staff were very frightened of them. Exactly as in the mental health services – even the staff who were doing their best knew damn well that complaints were never investigated, that patient care was unbelievably poor and often led to unnecessary deaths and that there were scores of people even at very senior levels who very obviously should not have been in their posts. Virtually everyone employed in those services has valuable information about the very serious criminal activity that was happening.

So I’ll mention here the names of a few other people – who are probably known to Meri actually – who definitely would have information of value to the police.

One of those people has for many years worked at Bangor University as a lecturer in social work – Malcolm John. Malcolm John has caused very serious grief to a number of his former colleagues and no-one could ever understand why. Two people in particular were very nearly made ill by his conduct and both left the social work teaching team after they could bear no more of him. To onlookers it was inexplicable – both of these people were collegiate, bright, pleasant, committed to students and had solid academic reputations. But Malcolm John very obviously didn’t want colleagues like that. I heard allegations from a number of people that Malcolm John was failing to fulfil his work commitments and fiddling his expenses. He lives in Dolgellau which is so far from Bangor that people openly commented that he clearly didn’t even expect to commute into work every day – people were speculating that he might actually have another job somewhere else. But even that didn’t explain the way in which Malcolm seemed determined to drive high calibre colleagues out of their positions. His manipulative bullying – which was so bad that one former colleague described him as ‘evil’ – had been honed to a fine art.

Some five years ago when I was following up some local history concerning the Methodist Church in north Wales, I responded to an advert inviting interested people to drop into a building at Bontnewydd near Caernarfon, which was well-known locally as having been a former orphanage established and run by Methodists in 1907. The building was being sold, so it was an end of the era invitation for people to look around. I was interested because some time before this I’d met a man who’d been in that orphanage in the 1950s and 60s and had described a very idyllic existence there. This man knew about the abuse in the children’s homes run by the social services and unfavourably compared those homes to the one that he had grown up in. But he mentioned something else. That in recent years, that home had been given by the Methodist Trust to Gwynedd County Council to run and once that happened there were ‘problems’. He didn’t expand on the nature of the problems. So I went into the former orphanage, Cartref Bontnewydd, to look around. One lady there was ever so welcoming and chatty and I explained that I was a sociologist from Bangor University researching for future publications. She started giving me a guided tour, explaining the history of the home and whilst I was looking around a few older people came in and started chatting to me, telling me that they had lived in the home as children. There was another person there as well – a woman who had been working at the home recently, who was getting frostier and frostier towards me as the tour continued. We went into yet another room and there on the walls were a series of framed photos of people involved in running the home  – and Malcolm John was in every one of them. The friendly lady cheerily said ‘oh that’s Malcolm John, he’s worked with us for years, he’s our senior advisor and organises foster placements for us’. I realised that I had discovered Malcolm’s other job.

At this point the woman who was currently employed at the home interrupted us and asked me to leave, on the grounds that former residents might become ’emotional’ whilst looking around and it would be ‘inappropriate’ for me to be there. I presumed that I was in the company of a social worker, almost certainly one who was on good terms with Malcolm John.

The Waterhouse Report has a chapter on Cartref Bontnewydd. It explains that it was run by the Methodist Trust as a children’s home until 1983. It shut then as a result of the belief that children were better off in foster placements than in children’s homes, so Cartref Bontnewydd then became a Family Placement Centre, again run by the Methodist Trust. But they did this as an agency in partnership with Gwynedd County Council, providing fostering services. This continued until Gwynedd County Council was abolished in March 1996. However in 1988, much of the building was re-opened as a children’s home, managed and controlled by Gwynedd County Council which occupied it under licence from the Methodist Trust. It was still operating as a children’s home at the time that Waterhouse wrote his report and remained so for a few more years.

I have mentioned before that Waterhouse admitted that children in Gwynedd and Clwyd were seriously abused in foster placements. I have also mentioned that in 1983 I shared a house with someone whose mum fostered children for Gwynedd and who remarked on the degree of callousness of the social workers involved and their complete uninterest in the children’s welfare. My friend’s mum always noted that she could have done anything to those kids and no-one would have intervened. Some of the revelations about the foster placements where some of children were sent to north Wales were horrific. Children were sent to the homes of people with past records of sexual abuse and physical violence, they were used as unpaid labour and there was one case in which a teenaged boy was not only made to do the work of an adult farm worker but was hung up by ropes from the barn roof and flogged. So Malcolm John was the man who arranged the foster placements for Gwynedd Social Services.

Did Malcolm do any better in his capacity as ‘senior advisor’ to the children’s home when it was managed by Gwynedd County Council? Let’s refer to Waterhouse – who did of course bend over backwards to play down the degree of abuse that had happened. Ronnie Waterhouse observes that during the years that the children’s home was run by the Methodist Trust there were no complaints. But then Gwynedd took over – and ooh dear, things went downhill…

The staff of Cartref Bontnewydd mentioned in Ronnie’s whitewash were David Bayley Hughes, Mari Thomas, Anna Ashton and Peter Gadd. They had all previously worked for Gwynedd Social Services.

David Bayley Hughes was the family placement officer at Cartref Bontnewydd from Feb 1986. Hughes crops up elsewhere in the Waterhouse Report. He had worked at Ty’r Felin in Bangor, the children’s home that was run by the notorious Nefyn and June Dodd who were repeatedly accused of brutality and the sexual abuse of children by witnesses at the Waterhouse Inquiry. In 1977 a ‘highly disturbed girl’ who had been at Ty’r Felin and was then transferred to Silverbrook Treatment Centre in Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, ‘alleged’ that she’d had sexual intercourse with Hughes two or three times whilst she was at Ty’r Felin and had become pregnant as a result. She had made ‘similar allegations’ against a different person at an earlier date. Her claims were investigated by the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services, D. Alun Parry, who was ‘completely satisfied’ that the relationship between Hughes and the girl was ‘completely innocent’ and that the allegations were ‘completely unfounded’. Mid-Glamorgan was informed and no further action was deemed necessary. Ronnie states that he had seen the ‘background documentation’ and was not going to criticise the decision.

I have detailed previously how a number of people who alleged abuse and misconduct on the part of health and social care staff in north Wales were described as ‘highly disturbed’ – including me. I do now of course have documentation demonstrating that my allegations were true, which is something that some of the other ‘highly disturbed’ people haven’t got, because they ended up in prison or dead. ‘Highly disturbed’ simply translates as ‘making very serious allegations that we have just got to squash’. As for the man who investigated the allegations – Waterhouse himself documents elsewhere that D. Alun Parry was identified by his own colleagues as incompetent and unable to carry out his job – he was eventually removed from his position. Ronnie mentions that he had seen the ‘background documentation’, but he gives no indication of what that documentation said or who compiled it. There is such an enormous elephant in the room here that I’m surprised that even Ronnie didn’t try and deal with it somehow. A pregnancy involves a foetus. If Hughes had made the ‘highly disturbed’ girl pregnant, she would either have had an abortion or a miscarriage or a baby. It wouldn’t be difficult to demonstrate that none of these outcomes had occurred – and that would clear Hughes’s name. But a non-pregnancy is not mentioned. Neither is a result of a pregnancy. Instead she was transferred to Pontypridd and they were informed of the result of the ‘investigation’. Was she pregnant or not on arrival at Pontypridd? Did they deal with the arrival or non-arrival of the baby? Or was that problem dealt with in north Wales perhaps – in the way that a few other embarrassing pregnancies that were the result of people abusing their positions were dealt with (see posts ‘Another Case of Not Knowing’ and ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’). After all Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was the psychiatrist responsible for assessing women who requested terminations on mental health grounds… I note that this young woman was so disturbed that she had made similar allegations previously. Well as she was living in a region where the children’s homes had been infiltrated by a paedophile gang and were rife with abuse, that comes as no surprise.

Would someone like to trace that girl – if indeed she is still alive – and find out whether she did become pregnant and if so what happened subsequently?

The home at which the girl allegedly become pregnant was the home where practices were such that social worker Alison Taylor blew the whistle on the abuse. It was at this point that poison was thrown at Alison and attempts were made to discredit her in every way possible. In one damning letter dated 1 Feb 1978 – drafted by D. Alun Parry but signed by the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, T.E. Jones – about her alleged shortcomings, one sentence reads ‘I do not wish to comment at all on the work that you have done with the children as this gives the appearance of being satisfactory’. So Alison was not the one abusing the kids or facing allegations from ‘highly disturbed’ young people, but she was the one who ended up being sacked.

After the highly disturbed girl was transported to south Wales, David Bayley Hughes completed his CQSW at Cartrefle College (which later became NEWI and then Glyndwr University). I’d be interested to know what was going on at Cartrefle College because the Waterhouse Report names umpteen child abusers who obtained social care or social work qualifications from there. After this, Hughes was employed at an establishment near Bangor called Ty Newydd. Ty Newydd was also the centre of abuse allegations. Someone I know used to help out at Ty Newydd because his wife had a job there. They both ended up leaving after alleging that the young people were being mistreated and forced to work illegally – my friend and his wife told the boys to refuse to do this work but the boys expressed fear of violence from social workers if they did this.

David Hughes’s name comes up in another place in the Waterhouse Report as well. Among a catalogue of sexual abuse allegations by former residents of Ty’r Felin – Ronnie concludes that although a number of former residents alleged sexual abuse, they all named different members of staff and no-one else but that notoriously highly disturbed girl named David Hughes. Ronnie therefore concludes that there was no ‘pattern’ and no evidence that there was a problem of sexual abuse at Ty’r Felin. There were only twelve allegation of sexual abuse after all. One complainant that Ronnie was made aware of was the mother of a child but Ronnie ignored her as well because the sexual abuse alleged had not been documented by staff at Ty’r Felin. Well fancy that.

Mari Thomas was also transferred from Ty’r Felin to work at Cartref Bontnewydd. Mari did a solid bit of career building at Cartref Bontnewydd and stayed there a number of years, ending up as manager of the place by the time that Ronnie wrote his Report. There were four complainants who alleged that Mari was physically abusive. Former residents accused her of slapping them round the face, of forcing them to strip and then removing their clothes and of deliberately knocking one 14 year old girl against a windowsill causing her to bang her head, after having grabbed her by the hair. This girl subsequently told the police that she didn’t want an investigation into any aspect of her ‘care’ at Cartref Bontnewydd. Probably because she was still living there at the mercy of Mari Thomas. A number of residents alleged that Thomas’s violence had followed after they had been returned to the home by the police after running away.

Ronnie was very cross with one witness at the Tribunal who alleged that she had been abused at Cartref Bontnewydd. She was ‘a very unsatisfactory witness. She was anxious to give live evidence…very nervous about doing so but her recollection of events was confused and at times demonstrably false…her allegation in relation to her period at Cartrefle Bontnewydd was directed against a member of staff called Mark, whom no-one has been able to identify and she had not been interviewed by the police in the course of the major investigation between 1991 and 1993’.

So this very unsatisfactory witness was keen to give evidence – as were a lot of people, because everyone was led to believe that Waterhouse would get to the bottom of what had happened in north Wales and wanted to hear from people who had suffered. She was very nervous – I bet she was, the paedophiles had scores of lawyers cross-examining their victims in an aggressive manner at that Inquiry and all this was happening in public. Ronnie’s assertion that some of this witness’s evidence was ‘demonstrably false’ was based on the fact that records produced by Gwynedd County Council didn’t reflect her account of which homes she was in and when. Well records of mine from the North Wales Hospital were not an accurate record of when I was actually there – those records state that I left the hospital in February of 1987 when I didn’t. But unlike this poor young woman I have plenty of other evidence to prove that the records compiled by the North Wales Hospital were fallacious. Dafydd Alun Jones was responsible for that institution and his mistress Lucille Hughes was responsible for Gwynedd Social Services. It won’t have been the former resident’s evidence that will have been demonstrably untrue, it will have been the evidence from Gwynedd. As for no-one remembering ‘Mark’, when I tried to trace a clinical psychologist from the North Wales Hospital called Nigel whom had spent hours with me I was told repeatedly that no such person worked there and there was no trace of any clinical psychologist visiting me. I now have possession of a document compiled by an administrator at that hospital called Kay Hemsley stating that I was trying to contact Nigel Stennet-Cox and could someone please ‘persuade’ him not to speak to me. It is also significant that the young woman making allegations against Mark wasn’t interviewed in the police investigation. So someone was working very hard to ensure that she wasn’t heard.

These people were harbouring a paedophile gang, they were making up the documentation as they went along, altering it if necessary and frequently disposing of it altogether. Just as the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board still are. I received yet another letter from the CEO Gary Doherty a couple of days ago telling me that there are no more medical records of mine to be found. Not only has Gary lost more than 20 years worth of them, but I actually have copies of the ones that he says don’t exist – my lawyer sent them to me.

As for Mari Thomas who denied ever slapping, pushing, stripping children or knocking anyone’s head against a windowsill, her name is mentioned in another part of the Waterhouse Report as well, in the chapter concerning Ty’r Felin, where of course she worked prior to Cartref Bontnewydd. Guess what – a number of former residents describe her slapping them across the face, dragging them out of bed by the hair or shoving them, particularly after they had been brought back by the police after running away! One person remembered that Mari Thomas used to approach him in the day room and for no reason put her hands over his nose and mouth to stop him breathing. One witness described Mari as Nefyn Dodd’s ‘henchwoman’. Nefyn Dodd was the manager of Ty’r Felin, as well as line manager of two other children’s homes and was repeatedly accused of punching, kicking, caning, head-butting and thrashing children, of making virtually all the residents lick his boots and some of them lick his bare feet and of sexually abusing at least five children. He forced children to eat carbolic soap which left their mouths ulcered and blistered and then failed to access medical care for them. But Ronnie just can’t believe what those former residents say about Dodd. He notes that one man had experienced a mental breakdown which must have affected his memory. Another witness was ‘mistaken’ because he claimed to have been assaulted by Dodd yet his description of the person who attacked him didn’t match that of Dodd. I suggest then that he was assaulted by someone else who claimed to be Dodd, in the way in which I was assaulted by a CPN called Bob Ingham, who told me that he was Arfon Community Mental Health Team ‘leader’ Keith Fearns. I didn’t know what Fearns looked like – he had of course perjured himself in an affidavit by then, when he gave evidence about my extreme dangerousness, but I’d never met him and I didn’t know what he looked like. This lot didn’t hand over their passports for the purposes of identification when they assaulted and molested people and furthermore they lied about everything at all times, including who they were. The same went on at the Hergest Unit – violent care assistants called themselves ‘nurses’, refused to reveal their surnames and refused to wear their ID badges. When new uniforms were introduced that differed in colour according to their roles, they refused to wear the uniforms.

One former member of staff told Waterhouse that Dodd was ‘a martinet who ruled with a rod of iron’, another former staff member said that staff and children were petrified of him and someone I know who worked at Ty’r Felin described Dodd as a ‘total fascist’. Mari claimed that he was firm but fair, but autocratic and that when she first worked at Cartref Bontnewydd she was ‘a bit strict’ after having worked for Dodd. Her attempts at suffocating children was just her ‘being playful’. Ronnie suggested that a lot of people saw Dodd as a gentle giant.

Someone else who worked with Mari and was schooled in the ways of Nefyn Dodd was also transferred from Ty’r Felin to Cartref Bontnewydd and that was Anna Ashton. A Peter Gadd also worked with Mari at Cartref Bontnewydd but he left to join the probation service!

So a bunch of thugs who learnt at the knee of Nefyn Dodd – who had previously worked at Bryn Estyn where even Waterhouse admitted that boys were beaten and buggered by a paedophile ring, the Bryn Estyn where a number of staff went to prison – were redeployed to Cartref Bontnewydd and behaved in exactly the same way as they had at Ty’r Felin.

Not that Ronnie found much amiss. He found no evidence at all that Mari Thomas or anyone else had ever been responsible for any physical or sexual abuse at Cartref Bontnewydd, although ‘it may well be’  ‘on one or two occasions’ ‘in the early days’ that Mari Thomas did ‘use very limited force’. In fact Ronnie was really impressed with Mari and took further evidence from her in her capacity as Manager of Cartref Bontnewydd. He detailed all the improvements that she claimed to have made at Bontnewydd – including a whistleblowing system enabling members of staff to report untoward incidents to her! So she could then slap a few people around the face and drag them about by the hair. Or order them to strip and take their clothes away. By the time that Waterhouse was lapping up Mari’s lies, Mari had gone a step further than the other ‘care workers’. It wasn’t Cartrefle College for Mari, no, she’d acquired a Diploma in Social Work from Bangor University! That will have been the course that Malcolm John taught on then… He probably encouraged her to enrol, in his capacity as ‘senior advisor’ for Cartref Bontnewydd.

Waterhouse noted that he thought that Mari’s evidence was particularly important because she had worked in child care in Gwynedd for the old Gwynedd County Council and the newly formed Gwynedd Council after the local government reorganisation. In other words, the sadistic Mari had survived the cull after all the scandal, the police investigation and indeed the establishment of Ronnie’s Inquiry. Cartref Bontnewydd has closed down now – what’s the betting that Mari is at present a senior manager somewhere in Gwynedd Social Services or elsewhere in north Wales. Or indeed with the Third Sector.

As for Ronnie’s certainty that Nefyn Dodd, Mari’s mentor, was a gentle giant and that no sexual abuse went on at Ty’r Felin, this morning I received an e mail from a man who had been a resident there in Mari’s day. He described Ty’r Felin as ‘hell’ and when he was fifteen he was regularly visited by a much older man who it turned out was using a false name. This man had a sexual relationship with him and when the man who wrote to me left ‘care’ he set up home with the Ty’r Felin visitor. The older man became very physically abusive and the younger man is now in the care of the mental health services. His abuser used to carry out voluntary work at Ysbyty Gwnedd.

A number of my former colleagues at Bangor University used to observe that Malcolm John ought to be sacked. I think that he ought to be arrested and questioned under caution. Along with Mari.

There is another former social work tutor latterly of Bangor University who perhaps ought to be asked a few questions and that is a man called John Borland. I didn’t know Borland, but I do know something rather worrying about him. Social work degrees have panels of ‘service users’ who give lectures to students about their ‘lived experience’ and who sit on admissions panels. It’s a manifestation of ‘service user involvement’ and like most ‘service user involvement’ it’s a tokenistic joke. Social work courses are so troubled and students see so much bad practice and abuse on placement and are simply failed or removed from the course as ‘unsuitable’ if they blow the whistle, that no-one is going to let an activist near a social work course. So the service users always have the official stamp of approval and are usually very tame. But Borland had the production of tame service users down to a fine art. Borland established a company of ‘service user consultants’ and when Borland was still working at Bangor it was only from Borland’s approved list that the service users could be selected. I presume that Borland also charged the University a fee for this service. When a new member of staff took over the management of the social work degree this practice was ended, but I presume that it had been going on for years. No doubt John Borland is still doing ‘consultancy work’ somewhere, which will involve giving a truly dire ‘service’ the stamp of approval. So why wouldn’t Borland let service users other than those who worked for him near the social work students then???

Two other people associated with Bangor University and north Wales social work who might like to make statements are Sian and Richard Barker. Both have worked as social workers and social work tutors, both have been around for years and Richard Barker is yet another social worker who set himself up as a ‘consultant’. So he’ll provide the ‘independent opinion’ to get his former colleagues in the statutory sector out of trouble. I am told that the Barkers also have close personal connections to the bunch of crooks that run Anglesey County Council. The social services on Anglesey are famously a catastrophe…

 

Now for another two people who need to make their way to their nearest police station, but this pair’s knowledge of wrongdoing has been acquired as a result of their careers in the NHS – Dr Ruth Hussey and her brother Dr Peter Higson. Ruth is the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales and after screwing up in that role for years is now Chairing a panel of nine ‘experts’ in order to thrash out some ideas as to how to make health and social care in Wales ‘sustainable’. Vaughan Gething the Health Minister has asked her to do this. The one organisation in NHS Wales that is so obviously not sustainable is the one Chaired by Ruth’s brother Higson, ie. the Betsi Cadwalar University Health Board. Higson’s track record is as bad as Ruth’s – he managed the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and then the wider mental health services in north Wales throughout those long and glorious years when the region’s mental health professionals concealed and colluded with a paedophile ring. After Waterhouse carried on the cover-up, Higson was then appointed Chief Exec of Health Inspectorate Wales. Once in that position he failed to investigate complaints against his former colleagues, no matter how serious. The biggest single improvement to the NHS in Wales that Vaughan Gething could make would be to sack Higson and remove his equally appalling sister from all positions of influence. They have inflicted quite enough damage on the nation.

 

 

 

Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

‘Ain’t Nothing Clean’ – Not Even The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists

My post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ detailed the findings of the Jillings Report – or at least those findings that anyone was allowed to read, what with the Jillings Report being so heavily redacted by the time that it was eventually published. The Jillings Report investigated sexual abuse in children’s homes in Clwyd and in that post I provided a few details regarding the managers of Clwyd Social Services during the period under investigation, 1974-1995. The over-riding impression that one is left with from the Jillings Report is how clueless the managers all were and the enormous degree of cronyism involved in appointments. I thought that I’d have a look at what the Waterhouse Report said about it all and I also decided to do a bit of research on the most senior figures in Clwyd County Council – and their fate after they had been outed as presiding over the biggest child abuse scandal in the history of the UK.

Ronald Waterhouse introduces his discussion regarding the management of Clwyd County Council by observing that as Clwyd County Council ceased to exist on 1 April 1996 – a local government reorganisation most conveniently occurred just as John Jillings submitted his report – and stating that the Council ‘could not therefore be represented before us’, mentioning this as one of the many difficulties that the Waterhouse Tribunal was faced with. The successor authorities were represented – by the crooked former Gwynedd County Council lawyer Ron Evans and counsel Merfyn Hughes QC – but they didn’t purport to present a case on behalf of Clwyd County Council. Ronnie states that it was ‘left to the Tribunal itself to conduct the investigation…and to seek out appropriate witnesses’. So that’s why Ronnie did such a hopeless job – he had to do it all himself, supported only by the other two stooges who completed his panel, the Treasury Solicitor’s team, the lawyers representing the Welsh Office, the team of paralegals and administrators from the Welsh Office dispatched by the Welsh Office, Gerard Elias QC, Ernest Ryder, Gregory Treverton-Jones, Ron Evans and Merfyn Hughes QC.

Clwyd County Council was formed in 1974. It’s first Director of Social Services was Emlyn Evans (1974-80) and his Deputy Director was Gledwyn Jones. Neither of them had a specialist background in child care matters. Evans had previously been the Director of Social Services for Denbighshire from Jan 1971 and for Flintshire from approx April 1973. So he knew the patch well and he’ll also have known Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the lobotomist Dr T. Gwynne Williams who were unlawfully banging up any awkward customers in the North Wales Hospital. Jillings observed that serious child abuse had probably been happening in the region for decades and my own inquiries suggest that is almost certainly true… When Evans retired in 1980, he was succeeded by Gledwyn, who remained as Director of Social Services until 1991. It was acknowledged that there were serious problems in the Social Services Dept before Evans retired and an internal investigation, the O and M Report (by Clwyd’s Organisation and Methods dept), reported in Feb 1980. The report was highly critical and described the sorry state of the management of child care services.

When Gledwyn was appointed Director, John Coley was appointed his Deputy Director. Coley had been the Assistant Director of Dorset Social Services since 1974 and after he left Clwyd in Feb 1984 he was appointed Senior Deputy Director of Tayside Regional Council. John Jevons then succeeded Coley as Deputy Director. Jevons had no experience in child care either, although he had previously spent ten years as the Social Development Manager in the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. In 1991 Jevons became Director of Clwyd Social Services when Gledwyn retired. One of the managers beneath Gledwyn and Jevons with responsibility for children’s services was John Llewellyn-Thomas, who came to Clwyd in Feb 1984 from the Regional Planning Unit for Wales. Prior to that he had been a probation officer. Llewellyn-Thomas was initially responsible for residential homes for children and then in 1986 his responsibility was widened to cover virtually everything concerning children’s services. In April 1991 he was appointed Assistant Director of Children and Family Services and after that he became Director of Social Services for Torfaen.

Waterhouse noted that the Deputy Directors in the 80s were ‘not closely involved in children’s services’, although Coley had a ‘specific role to play in Clwyd County Council’s function as an adoption agency’. However, Coley ‘cannot recall any complaints or allegations of abuse in respect of children in care reaching him’. Jevons, when he was an Assistant Director, had an input into policy ‘mainly in respect of mental handicap and mental illness’ and as Deputy Director he retained those responsibilities and took on others, but continued to be heavily involved in mental health strategy. Gledwyn was concentrating his energies on children’s services. So Jevons was partly responsible for Dafydd and the lobotomist being given free reign then – who were discrediting and imprisoning people who had complained about being molested whilst in care. Jevons attended Senior Management Team meetings but couldn’t remember any matter of complaint relating to the children’s services being discussed at any of the meetings.

In the 80s, the middle managers responsible for children in residential care were Geoffrey Wyatt and Raymond Powell (Assistant Directors of Social Services) and John Llewellyn-Thomas (Principal Officer for Children from 1984). Until 1987 Gordon Ramsey was responsible for placements and from Jan 1988, Michael Barnes was directly responsible for children’s homes.

Waterhouse described ‘turmoil’ prevailing in Clwyd Social Services as the 1980s drew to a close and they prepared for the implementation of the Children’s Act 1989 and the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. The NHS and Community Care Act certainly caused them traumas because the North Wales Hospital Denbigh was stuffed full with people being held there unlawfully, most of whom should never have been there in the first place and Dafydd, Peter Higson, Laurie Wood et al knew that they were going to have some explaining to do when that place was emptied. And of course there was the matter of the patients who had disappeared and those that Gwynne had more than likely killed whilst he was lobotomising them. In 1990 there was a major reorganisation in Clwyd Social Services and it was split into three divisions on a geographical basis. Waterhouse makes a point of saying that he’s not going to enter into details about this, so that reorganisation must have been hiding a multitude of sins. After the reorganisation, John Jevons was promoted to Director and the position of Deputy Director was dispensed with – there were instead three new Divisional Directors.

Geoffrey Wyatt retired in Sept 1992 – he had been responsible for the registration and inspection of children’s homes. John Llewllyn-Thomas left Clwyd in April 1991 – he had been a member of the Welsh Office’s working party regarding preparation for the Children Act. During this time Clwyd had one of the highest proportions of children placed in residential care in Wales. In Jan 1992, Jackie Thomas was appointed as Principal Officer (Children). She only lasted in this post until April 1994 and then left as a result of a long term illness.

So that lot were the people screwing up big time on the ground. What of the most senior people in the Council as a whole, the Chief Executive and the County Secretary? The first Chief Exec of Clwyd was T.M. Hadyn Rees. Hadyn Rees had been around for donkeys years. He originated from Swansea and in 1947 was appointed as assistant solicitor to Caernarvon County Council. The following year he went to Flint County Council in a similar role and became the County Clerk in 1967. He retired in 1977. Mervyn Phillips succeeded Hadyn as Chief Exec and stayed in the post until 1992. He had been Deputy Chief Exec from the creation of Clwyd County Council. Phillips was a solicitor who was a law graduate of Liverpool University. When Mervyn stood down in 1992, he was succeeded by Roger Davies. Davies was a solicitor and an Oxford graduate who in 1977 became Director of Legal Services in Clwyd, was County Secretary from 1980 and then Deputy Chief Exec from 1982 (although he was still usually referred to as the County Secretary). He became Chief Exec in Aug 1992 and remained as such until Clwyd’s dissolution. So between them, Hadyn Rees, Mervyn Phillips and Roger Davies knew that region very well indeed and had been at the top of the tree for a very long time. Yet none of them took responsibility for anything concerning the rampant abuse of children in care in Clwyd and the operation of a gang of paedophiles involved in organised crime.

Roger Davies serviced/attended the Social Services Committee and Mervyn Phillips shouldered the responsibility firmly onto Roger and Gledwyn, the Director of Social Services. Waterhouse stated that Phillips ‘relied heavily upon the Director of Social Services and the County Secretary’. Yet Phillips only met Gledwyn about twice a month, although he spoke to Roger almost daily. Waterhouse claims that Phillips ‘learned for example of the convictions of social services staff when they occurred through the Director or County Secretary and similarly of the request made by Mr Justice Mars-Jones for an investigation’. He also maintains that the ‘failure to inform the Chief Exec of criticism of management and practices of the department was part of a pattern of deliberate non-disclosure’, which resulted in ‘ineffective monitoring’ by the Chief Exec. It seems that there were a number of damning internal reports concerning the social services dept of which it is claimed that Phillips knew nothing. So Waterhouse believed that Phillips knew nuzzing, even when staff of Clwyd were appearing in the media being carted off to prison for abusing the children in their care. I shall explore how likely this was later on. However it was admitted that when Gledwyn was in hospital in 1987, Jevons did discuss Mars-Jones’s request with Phillips and Phillips decided that Roger Davies would carry out the investigation. Jevons himself claimed that when he became Director of Social Services in April 1991 he received no guidance from Phillips or Davies regarding which matters to refer to the Chief Exec – this was not long before Phillips’s retirement and just before the major police investigation into child abuse in Clwyd. Waterhouse summarises Phillips’s management style by stating that ‘Phillips did not offer regular discussions or supervision and did not expect to be informed of day to day business’. Whilst he mildly admonishes Mervyn Phillips et al for taking their eye off the ball, the person who comes in for the most serious condemnation was one of the people with least clout, Iorwerth Thomas, who was ‘a striking example of a person who never shouldered his assigned responsibility for the children’s services’. Unlike those highly paid law graduates who were also solicitors who had been employed in the system for decades and who of course had no idea at all of what was going on.

Waterhouse notes at one point in the Report that between 1977-1980 Emlyn Evans ‘thought that Arnold was living up to his high commendation by the Home Office’. This is a reference to Matt Arnold who was the head of the monstrous Bryn Estyn home, which was one of the most intense centres of paedophile activity, as well as being a place of very great physical cruelty. A number of staff from Bryn Estyn alone were convicted of the sexual abuse of children, the worst offender being Peter Howarth. Howarth had known Arnold since the mid 1960s and they had both worked together at an approved school in Gateshead, where there were allegations that Howarth had sexually abused boys. It was Arnold who brought Howarth to Bryn Estyn with him when Arnold was appointed head. So the Home Office had ‘highly commended’ Arnold – of course until 1974, Bryn Estyn was run by the Home Office. A number of the staff who were eventually convicted of child abuse had worked at Bryn Estyn whilst it was run by the Home Office. That would have been the Home Office under Ted Heath. Gledwyn Jones expressed a similarly high opinion of Arnold. Raymond Powell (Assistant Director, Children In Residential Care) between 1974-89 held the same opinion of Arnold. Powell claimed that the atmosphere at Bryn Estyn was ‘always good’ and that the ‘boys seemed to be happy’. The boys who were constantly running away because they were being physically injured and repeatedly molested. Waterhouse notes that Geoffrey Wyatt, Arnold’s line manager, was faced with great difficulty – it was admitted that Arnold did whatever he wanted, ‘felt able to approach the Director of Social Services directly when he chose to do so’ and that Arnold was ‘wrongly permitted to run Bryn Estyn as his own fiefdom’. Waterhouse also mentions that Arnold earned ‘substantially more’ than Wyatt.

Shouldn’t Ronnie’s antennae at least have twitched at this point? Arnold is out of control, his line manager can’t reign him in, Arnold is paid SUBSTANTIALLY MORE than his line manager and he’s got a hot line to the Director of Social Services. Furthermore he was ‘highly commended’ by the Home Office and was running a home for them – a home where boys were being molested by a paedophile ring. A ring that those boys alleged contained a number of public figures and politicians… One of the boys who dared complain was transferred to Neath Farm School, a place that had an even worse reputation than Bryn Estyn – the other boys were known to have feared that the same thing would happen to them if they complained. Sounds as though that all this could be connected with the putative Westminster paedophile ring…

Regarding the bigwigs at the top of Clwyd County Council who had not a clue that children were being abused, that is T.M. Hadyn Rees, Mervyn Phillips and Roger Davies:

Hadyn Rees died in 1995 and his obituary in the ‘Independent’ was revealing. It described Hadyn Rees as having spent ‘a lifetime in public service in Wales’ and that he lobbied for the setting up of Mold Law Courts, which made the town the principal legal centre in north Wales. Hadyn Rees also campaigned after Thatcher’s policies devastated industry on Deeside and Shotton, especially after the steel works closed down. He was said to have ‘immersed himself in the battle to bring in new employment’ and his activities led to the establishment of Deeside Industrial Park. So somehow he had a lot of clout in high places. One obituary stated that ‘his battles with the Welsh Office to secure parity with south Wales when discussions of Gov’t funding was discussed became something of a legend – and won him wide respect’. So this solicitor who had been working in north Wales since the late 1940s and who oversaw a Council whose children’s homes were rife with paedophile activity had a lot of power at the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office who ignored complaints about the paedophile gang that was operating in the social services that Hadyn Rees ran, the Welsh Office who knew that the mental health services in the region – which were banging up the former residents of children’s homes – were involved in criminal activities and who used their own crooked lawyer Andrew Park to conceal this. But guess what – Hadyn was clerk to the North Wales Police Authority between 1967-77. The North Wales Police who were accused of failing to take action against the paedophile gang and who employed Gordon Anglesea as an officer, who was eventually imprisoned for abusing boys in care in north Wales. Upon retirement Hadyn Rees became a magistrate in Mold and then in 1985 became Chairman of the Magistrates in Mold. That will have been as useful as his stint with the North Wales Police Authority. Of course, one of the biggest movers and shakers that there was in north Wales at that time, Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was also a member of the North Wales Police Authority. He was the father of Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, who in 1979 was involved in an embarrassing incident after having sex with a teenage boy who was in the care of Clwyd Social Services. Please see post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’.

Hadyn had his fingers in a lot more pies than law n order though. He was Chairman of the Welsh Water Authority 1977-82; a member of the Severn Barrage Committee 1978-81; a member of the National Water Council 1977-82 and a part-time member of BSC (Industry) Ltd 1979-83, which is the name that British Steel formerly went under. But didn’t Hadyn battle so hard for the people of Clwyd when Thatcher shut the steel works down??? Hadyn however seems to be best known for Mold’s crowning glory – Theatr Clwyd. It is acknowledged by one and all that Theatr Clwyd was a result of Hadyn’s vision and it was even opened by HM the Queen in 1976. Hadyn was a member of the Welsh Arts Council 1968-77 as well, so that might have loosened a few purse strings even if the gay brothels staffed by children in care didn’t. Like so many others who seemed to be connected with the business of concealing the abuse of children in care in north Wales, Hadyn Rees was a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards.

Mervyn Phillips succeeded Hadyn as Chief Exec. Mervyn is a man of many good deeds as well. Mervyn is best known for being the first Chairman of Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham. Nightingale House started as a day ward in Wrexham Maelor Hospital and in an interview for the Daily Post Mervyn explained that ‘I was coming up for retirement in 1992 [just when the police were investigating the abuse of children in the care of his County Council] but I was approached to ask if I could help raise funds to set up the hospice’. Mervyn was given one hell of a task – he was asked to raise £2.5 million in order to open the hospice, but he did it remarkably quickly. Building started in 1994 but Mervyn seemed to have found the speediest builders in Wales and it was completed and opened in 1995. Mervyn explained that the money was ‘raised through donations and people involved in health care’. Now I don’t think that Mervyn raised £2.5 million by rattling a tin in Wrexham town centre but I do know that a lot of people involved in ‘health care’ in north Wales are very dishonest indeed and concealed the paedophile gang that operated in the children’s homes. I wonder if Merv persuaded them to stump up and if they did I wonder which budget the dosh for the ‘donations’ came from.

Mervyn is a busy bee though. Companies House data reveals that Mervyn is a director of the Clwyd Fine Arts Trust; was a director of the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust (resigned Jan 2017); was a director of the Wrexham Hospital and Cancer Support Centre Foundation [the original name of Nightingale House Hospice] (resigned May 2014); was a director of Gladstone’s Library (resigned 2005); was a director of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Assurance Trust (resigned 2005); was a director of Nightingale House Lottery Ltd (resigned 2001); was a director of Nightingale House Promotions Ltd (resigned Feb 2001); was a director of the European Centre for Training and Regional Co-Operation (resigned Feb 1999); was a director of Clwydfro (resigned March 1994); was a director of the Institute for Welsh Affairs (resigned June 1993). There is also a reference on the internet to Mervyn being involved with the Flying North Derbyshire Tinnitus Support Group of all things – along with David Owen, the Chief Constable of the North Wales Police who led the force when it investigated abuse in children’s homes whilst Mervyn was Chief Exec. There was a lot of people who thought that Owen should not have led that investigation because allegations had been made that his own officers had been involved with the abuse. But Owen refused to appoint an outside officer to lead the investigation and the Home Secretary at the time refused to intervene regarding Owen investigating his own force either.

Mervyn Phillips also oversaw the redevelopment of Tyddyn Street Church, Mold in June 2012. The dosh for this came from Cadwyn Council, which provided £14,823 from the Flintshire Key Fund – this money came from the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2001-13, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Gov’t. (Flintshire was one of the successor authorities when Clwyd was dissolved and Mold is in Flintshire.) I’d love to know who was sitting on the grant awarding committee.

In 1985 Mervyn was appointed to the Registered Homes Tribunal. That was at the time the body responsible for appeals relating to the registration of nursing homes, care homes and children’s homes.

In 1991 Mervyn appeared in the Birthday Honours!

In Aug 1999 Mervyn appeared on the BBC in his capacity as the Secretary of the Presbytarian Church of Wales Social Issues Committee, raising concerns regarding genetic engineering and the use of GM plants. Mervyn referred to ‘the Christian perspectives on the importance of creation and human dignity’. I’m not sure that there was much dignity in being passed around a paedophile ring and having the living daylights beaten out of you if you dared complain, but at least it didn’t involve genetic manipulation.

Interestingly enough, when Gordon Anglesea died in prison last year, there was a big turn out at his funeral, including from the Police Federation and the Methodist Church. I wonder if Mervyn was among the mourners.

Merv’s generosity knows no bounds though. In July 2015, a local paper in north Wales ran an interview with Gethin Davies, who was stepping down after being on the Board of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod after 45 years. Gethin was explaining this history of the Royal International Pavilion and said that in 1958 the Eisteddfod purchased the fields where the Eisteddfod is held for £12,000, which ‘turned out to be a very good piece of business’. Part of the parcel of land was then leased to Denbighshire County Council with the proviso it be available to the Eisteddfod. Gethin went on to say that they ‘later worked out a deal with Clwyd County Council thanks to Mervyn Phillips’ ‘which has also proved crucial’. The Royal International Pavilion was opened by HM the Queen in 1992. Next time the Queen is invited to open something that’s the brainchild of a Chief Exec of Clwyd County Council I suggest that she asks to see all the paperwork. Like Mervyn, Gethin Davies was a solicitor. Gethin read law at Aberystwyth University – as did scores of others named on this blog – and was a partner in GHP Legal in Wrexham. GHP is described as a ‘major sponsor’ of the International Eisteddfod. Gethin is the only person who has ever been Chairman of the International Eisteddfod twice, between 1992-03 and 2013-15. Readers might remember that Ronnie Waterhouse too was involved in the International Eisteddfod and was President, 1994-97.

Mervyn was succeeded as Chief Exec by another solicitor, Roger Davies, an Oxford graduate.  He died in 2013 and his obituary mentioned his ‘great service’ to the public. He retired shortly before Clwyd was dissolved in 1996. Which was probably the only possible path open to him – he had been the Director of Legal Services for Clwyd, then the County Secretary, then the Deputy Chief Exec, then was appointed Chief Exec in the middle of the police investigation into the child abuse. He was never held responsible for what happened either.

I gained a clue as to how no-one at all in Clwyd Council, except for one bottom feeding social worker, was held responsible for the biggest child abuse scandal in the UK when I read the minutes of a meeting of Denbighshire County Council (a successor authority to Clwyd) held on 7 Dec 2010. Councillor D.I. Smith was noted as having offered prayers at the commencement of the meeting. There were references to Councillor H.H. Evans winning the ‘Welsh Local Gov’t Politician Of The Year’ Award and the ‘many other awards’ recently won by the Authority. There were tributes paid to three senior officers who were retiring. One of those was Roger Parry, the Finance Chief, who had started working in (the original)Denbighshire County Council in 1971. One of Roger’s sayings was, it was noted, was ‘struggling on’. The meeting heard how Denbighshire ‘inherited’ ‘enormous debt’ at the establishment of the Unitary Authorities in 1996 (ie. after Clwyd was dissolved) and they ‘did indeed struggle’, but Roger helped turned things around. Roger was described as ‘pretty cool in a crisis’. Roger thanked the Members and the Corporate Director and said ‘in particular’ ‘in the early 1990s all had worked together well when facing problems and it was likely that similar problems would have to be faced in the future and his advice was for all to work together, bury any difficulties to deliver for the Authority’. Roger then warned them all not to touch the balance!

So not only was Clwyd host to the worst case of organised paedophilia in the UK but they’d nicked all the money as well – and not one person has ever been held accountable for any of it because they all stuck together like glue and Roger got them out of it by being cool in a crisis. Rather more cool than the kids who had been abused in Clwyd’s children’s homes who collapsed in Court whilst giving evidence and became so distressed during the Waterhouse Inquiry that Ronnie Waterhouse dismissed them as not being good witnesses. And after he retired he organised the International Eisteddfod which was held in the Pavilion which sounds very much as though it was paid for by some of the money that had disappeared from Clwyd County Council.

Before staff from the North West Wales NHS Trust perjured themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned, someone sent a memo around asking for ‘more nurses down the police station to make statements please’ (the Angels obliged – scores of them trooped down to the cop shop to lie their arses off and although the case collapsed against me in Court not one of them was prosecuted for perverting the course of justice). Can I appeal for more former employees of Clwyd County Council down the police station please – only unlike nurses employed by Ysbyty Gwynedd they won’t have to lie about serious crime because they bloody well committed it.

 

News Round Up – And Another Top Doctor Goes To Prison

This morning the Daily Post online is telling us all that the Betsi has overspent it’s budget by £80 million in the last three years, according to a report from the Welsh Auditor General. Janet Finch-Saunders, the Conservative AM for Aberconwy, is quoted as someone ‘who has previously spoken out about the underfunding of the NHS by the Welsh Gov’t’. Today Janet is maintaining that she ‘welcomes’ the Welsh Gov’t covering the extra spend, but ‘given that they are monitoring the Betsi’s finances, they should have taken action to ensure it didn’t get into this position’. Janet gives some suggestions as to how this could be achieved – for example by the Welsh Gov’t allocating a more generous initial budget or by the Betsi ‘weaning themselves’ off wasteful practices such as the use of ‘highly expensive agency workers’. The Post mentions that for two years of the overspend, the Betsi was in special measures after being placed in there by former Health Minister Mark Drakeford and that the financial problems have been managed through the NHS escalation framework, which brings the Welsh Gov’t, the Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales together to manage the solution. The present Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has stated that ‘cash support’ will continue to be provided when required to all Health Boards to enable them to meet normal cash commitments including payroll expenditure and that cash assistance is repayable in future financial years when appropriate. A Betsi spokeswoman has been quoted as saying that the Board need to improve their quality and performance whilst safely reducing operating costs and that their Action Plan for 2017/18 starts to address this.

There is much to comment upon here. First, one wonders why Janet Finch-Saunders, as a fully paid up member of the fiscal responsibility party, is urging the Welsh Gov’t to throw even more money in the direction of this Board of fools and fuckwits. It is a Board dominated by the likes of Dr Peter Higson, Martin Jones, Grace Lewis-Parry, Lyn Meadows et al who have for years stuffed up big time in every role to which they have been appointed. None of them should have been allowed near this Health Board and things are not going to improve until they are removed, it is as simple as that. The reason that the Betsi is spending so much on agency staff is principally because no-one will work for them so dire is their reputation, but also because the Top Doctors and Angels who staff the nation’s NHS are fully aware that they can earn more by working for an agency than by conventional employment and that is why a lot of them choose to do so. It is a well-established scam that has been growing and growing for years and no-one has sought to address it – indeed before it was quite such a popular scam elsewhere, it was known to be a substantial problem in the North West Wales NHS Trust when one Martin Jones was the CEO. Can anyone spot a theme here? Of course the reason why honest capable staff won’t work for the Betsi is that they don’t want to work for a dysfunctional organisation rife with bad or frankly dangerous practices. Had politicians like Janet been honest about these practices which have been in place for many years now, bad practice could have been stopped and the Betsi would not now be comatose on the floor. But Janet and nearly everybody else said nothing at all – indeed Janet herself was even telling mental health charities not to send dissatisfied patients to her because she didn’t want to deal with their cases. So as usual too many people stood with the Top Doctors and Angels and ignored the terrifying mortality rates. But Janet is not the only one mentioned above who has added to the problems of the NHS in north Wales by colluding with abusive, lethal practitioners. Mark Drakeford knew damn well how dreadful things were, both throughout the years when he was special advisor to Rhodri Morgan and until he was finally forced to put the Betsi in special measures when Tawel Fan blew up in his face. But then this former social worker had received a long training in turning a blind eye to abuse and malpractice and instead sat around a table talking to the unions who were protecting their own members rather than the people who some of those members were harming (see post ‘News Round Up, June 11 2017’). As for the NHS escalation framework that is ‘managing the situation’, the troika of the Welsh Gov’t, Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales – the Welsh Gov’t no longer knows what to do in the face of this disaster (my co-researcher has suggested that someone just appoints the Chuckle Brothers in the place of the Betsi Board) and HIW ignored the slaughter and mayhem in the north Wales NHS for years (of course it did, it’s CEO was Peter Higson, who’d previously overseen the horror story that was the North Wales Hospital – Higson is now of course Chair of the Betsi). What about the Auditor General, Huw Vaughan Thomas? Well he featured in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’. He was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst their social services had been infiltrated by a paedophile gang and prior to that he had been Chief Exec of Denbighshire – whose social services had also been infiltrated by the paedophile gang! I’m sure that he’ll do a brilliant job of sorting it all out.

Vaughan mentioned that Health Boards will continue to receive extra cash, although he did make mention of the cash being repayable in certain circumstances. In other words, whoever finally takes over at the Betsi once Higson et al just HAVE to be removed will then be left to clear up the mess on a shoestring after Higson, Grace and Martin have broken the bank. Does Vaughan think that he’ll receive many applications for future ‘leadership roles’ at the Betsi? As for his generous offer to carry on bailing out Health Boards across Wales, let us look at how some of that tax-payers cash was spent by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

In 2009 Cardiff and Vale employed a gynaecologist called Dr Anthony Madu and paid him nearly £100k pa (the Betsi pay Martin Jones and Grace even more). Anthony Madu has just been sent to prison for two years, after failing to repay the NHS over £70k as ordered by a previous court – £70k that he defrauded them out of, by continuing to work as a locum whilst he was initially suspended and then on extended sick leave for ‘stress’. Whilst receiving sick pay from Cardiff and Vale, Madu worked at Middlesborough’s James Cook University Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital Birmingham, Scarborough General Hospital and the Royal Oldham General Hospital, Greater Manchester. I have a friend who lives in Scarborough who tells me that Scarborough Hospital has a similar reputation to the hospitals in north Wales and thus good doctors won’t work there. I suspect that the other hospitals that Madu moonlighted at will also have had similar problems. Madu had actually been found guilty of fraud in 2014 but had been spared jail on condition that he repaid the £70k. He appealed against the decision, lost but failed to repay the money anyway, hence the prison sentence. Although he was only ordered to repay £70k, the cost to the hospitals was calculated to have been £240k and he transferred £95k to a Nigerian bank account in an attempt to cover his tracks. So Madu was being treated pretty leniently. Yet there had been problems before he started fiddling – in 2009 he was suspended by Cardiff and Vale as a result of allegations relating to his conduct towards other staff and allegations that he’d falsified his post-graduate training record. And it seems that the GMC knew all about him! They had investigated him and placed restrictions on his practice – which he ignored. He also failed to co-operate with investigations. But no, they didn’t strike him off, so he just turned up at other hospitals in England. But Madu had been in trouble before he ever arrived at Cardiff and Vale. He had previously worked at the Royal Bolton Hospital and had mismanaged a labour so badly that the baby died. Weeks later Madu was employed by Cardiff and Vale. The inquest on the baby wasn’t held until 2012, but when it was held the coroner denounced Madu as an ‘unimpressive witness…largely unreliable’. No charges were brought against Madu, although the Royal Bolton did apologise to the baby’s parents.

At the conclusion of Madu’s previous trial, Judge David Wynn Morgan praised Cardiff and Vale for taking action against Madu when they caught him fiddling and stated that ‘it may be that tragedy was avoided by the timely actions of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’. Tragedy wasn’t avoided – a baby had already died, but not at Cardiff and Vale. No doubt had Madu caused any tragedies at Cardiff and Vale no-one would have been told anyway. Had Cardiff and Vale been told about the dead baby at Bolton when they employed Madu? If so, why did they employ him? Did they know about his run-ins with the GMC? If they didn’t know about any of this, why didn’t they? Who supplied Madu with references, either for Cardiff and Vale or any of his other jobs? Is there going to be an investigation into any of this or indeed into the GMC failing to stop him? I very much doubt it. Madu was known to be a problem at the Royal Bolton and they did what is always done with problematic doctors – they passed him onto someone else.

I can only compare the case of Madu, who had killed a baby and then swindled again and again yet was given chance after chance, with that of Dr Sian Caiach. Sian was a surgeon working in Wales who in about 2000 discovered two of her colleagues perpetuating a fraud by using NHS facilities to treat private patients without declaring it. Sian reported them to the Wales Audit Office. The WAO investigated and found that the fraud reported by Sian had indeed been committed. Those doctors were not dismissed. Nonetheless, Sian was suspended, sacked and eventually prevented from practicing by the GMC. At one point the rationale for stopping her working was that she would damage the ‘mental health’ of her colleagues. Presumably they might feel a bit anxious lest she discover what they were up to. Years later Sian was permitted to practice again after being subjected to the most offensive comments from the GMC – but only under very restricted circumstances. Honest whistleblowing surgeon with a commitment to the NHS? Christ we hadn’t better let her loose. It seems that Sian is too honest for party politics as well – her name was on the Plaid candidate list but was removed. Yet numerous members, councillors and politicians of that party were involved in colluding with the abuses in the mental health services and children’s homes in north Wales.

I mentioned earlier that a Betsi spokeswoman had stated that they needed to improve their quality and their performance. So how are they doing? Well, according to the BBC News Wales site, it’s business as usual. A 75 year old lady was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and died shortly after, having experienced the sort of dreadful care of the elderly that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is well-known for. The old lady suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clywd in Nov 2015 after a fall at home causing her to break her femur. She was given surgery and transferred to the HDU (High Dependency Unit). The trouble occurred when she was then transferred to an orthopaedic ward. Her family raised concerns when they discovered her sitting in her own faeces and after they had to visit her out of hours to give her food and drink because this wasn’t being done by the staff. The old lady’s son was told by a nurse that she had been ‘spoiled’ on the HDU (where presumably the staff actually did what they were paid to do). The old lady then developed pneumonia and died. At the inquest the conclusion was recorded as accidental death with the fall as a contributing factor. Which would seem to be a complete lie. The old lady’s family took their complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who upheld their complaint, stating that there had been inappropriate communication, inadequate nursing care and that the elderly lady had been admitted to an inappropriate ward. To show how seriously that the Ombudsman took the matter of an old lady being left sitting in her own crap whilst being given no food or drink, subjected to non-existent ‘nursing care’ – whilst her family were insulted by the staff – and then dying, he awarded the old lady’s family the grand total of £250. Martin Jones spends about that on a pair of his infamous cufflinks. As always though, the learning has been embedded and the service users empowered. The Betsi has stated that it has tackled the problem by appointing doctors from a range of backgrounds to support geriatric patients on orthopaedic wards, with a consultant to lead the service. Which seems to be missing the point – in this case it was the Angels who had disgraced themselves rather than the Top Doctors. Furthermore, ‘staff have received training in dignity and respect for patients’. Should this have been needed? If I were looking after a bed-ridden friend or relative even I would not leave them sitting in turds. But then I’m not an Angel.

As with Huw Vaughan Thomas, Mark Drakeford, HIW et al, there is a legacy involved with the problem that this old lady encountered. Elderly care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been absolutely dreadful for many, many years as detailed in my post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’. Staff ensured that their own families did not end up there and some ten years ago a retired Professor from Bangor University, Clare Wenger, was so appalled by what she witnessed as a patient there that she compiled a dossier and sent it to over 100 people. Clare Wenger’s specialism was in old age care and she had led a major 20 year study into this which was funded by the Department of Health. Notwithstanding all this, Clare Wenger was denounced as a stuck up old cow who expected special treatment. The elderly continued to be neglected and abused and throughout it all the former CEO of the Trust that ran Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before the Betsi was created, Gren Kershaw, was awarded the accolade of Best Chief Executive in the UK by ‘Nursing Times’. Kershaw has now retired and works as a ‘management consultant’. And the elderly are still neglected and abused by the staff who voted for him to be given an award by ‘Nursing Times’.

Now another story from the Daily Post online, combining two common themes of this blog, politics and the Betsi. It has been announced that Plaid and the Tories have gone into coalition to run Conwy Council. So the Counci leader is now Gareth Jones and his Deputy is Cheryl Carlisle. Gareth is a Plaid Councillor and is the former AM for Aberconwy. Many years before that Gareth was a member of a panel that conducted one of the numerous investigations that was held into the sexual abuse of children in care in Clwyd. So Gareth knew that there was a serious problem – but like so many people he’s remained silent for years. However he has announced that the new Cabinet is an ‘open administration based on inclusiveness and transparency’. If Gareth is now going all inclusive and transparent it’ll be a first for him. As for Cheryl – well she’s a Conservative and is a member of the Betsi Board! Cheryl now holds the Cabinet portfolio for ‘children, family and safeguarding’. We should just be thankful that it’s not Gareth overseeing those particular matters. The Plaid group in Conwy seem to have done something odd. There had been a previous agreement for Plaid, Labour and the Independent Group to work together, but this backfired when much of the Plaid Group voted for Gareth Jones in the leadership election. What can be going on? But then something else peculiar happened this week involving Plaid. Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym, a policy advisor for Plaid, publicly announced that they would be willing to support the Tories on ‘some matters’. Now some people are saying that they have no problem with that if it benefits Wales, but Leanne Wood – Plaid’s leader – and many of her colleagues, loathe everything about the Tories and have made ‘no deals with Tories under any conditions ever’ a central theme within Plaid. How does Leanne feel about her colleagues snuggling up to the Tories? Plaid are really proud of Eurfyl ap Gwilym because he famously floored Paxman on ‘Newsnight’ a few years ago. However, he does sometimes take surprising stances. I was at a conference where he spoke some years ago and he provided a devastating critique of Blair’s H.E. policy. I much appreciated this, because Blair imposed an ill thought out policy on UK universities which was never going to work with the staffing and funding available and it did very great damage, resulting in, among other things, a vicious snobbery between different universities. But Eurfyl seemed to be firing his ammo at the wrong people. After stating that he was an ‘unashamed elitist’, he went on to put the boot into graduates from less prestigious universities who had found themselves working at Tesco, saying that they didn’t deserve anything other than a job in Tesco. Those graduates were very much the victim of the problem not the cause. Most of them did not know that a degree from Glyndwr University doesn’t have the same currency as a degree from a Russell Group institution – New Labour led them to think that once one had a degree, one would waltz into a well paid professional job immediately after graduation. They were conned and it was not their fault. Furthermore, going to university on large amounts of borrowed money was sold to them on the promise of high salaries after graduation – no-one mentioned widening their horizons or gaining a liberal education or critical thinking skills, it was the mythical ‘graduate premium’ that was used as the carrot. Meanwhile the kids of Cabinet Ministers carried on applying for places at Oxbridge because their parents knew that there was a difference in status between institutions. As for deserving to work in Tescos – I’m not sure that anyone deserves the fate of that particular regime, where it’s minimum wage on the tills and insults from harried customers as well as a supervisor of questionable quality breathing down your neck. Perhaps Eurfyl would like to give it a go himself. I did try to speak to Eurfyl after his presentation when everyone started on the wine and nibbles, but he blanked me and proceeded to work his way around the room only speaking to the most important people there. People nearly as important as him.

Plaid’s cosy relationship with the Tories has echoes of the historical arrangement that this blog has revealed with regard to the child abuse in the north Wales children’s homes in the 70s, 80s and 90s. That abuse – as well as the linked abuse in the mental health services – was facilitated by many members of Plaid and their representatives, whilst certain Tory Ministers sat at the top of the tree concealing the whole mess. Meanwhile the likes of Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and Conservative MP for Chester, and Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, actually abused the children in care themselves. The state bureaucrats who grossly mismanaged the local authorities, as well as the health and care professionals, occupied various positions in the pecking order below them. Thus a whole structure was kept in place. The only people who didn’t benefit were the kids/patients – they were coerced into providing sexual services and either died, or spent a lifetime travelling in and out of places like Risley Remand Centre or the North Wales Hospital if they dared complain about what was happening to them.

Now I have arrived at one of my running themes on the blog – highly paid people who are pissing all over the rest of us whilst caring – I can report that my mates the BMA have been in the news again. Specifically the BMA GPs representatives. A Dr Sophie Quinney, representing a group called ‘Wales For GP Survival’, has been making claims that GPs are retiring early or cutting down their hours ‘to stay sane’. Which is odd, because I thought that they retired in their mid 50s because their pension pots were so big that they didn’t have to go on until they dropped. Furthermore, despite any stress that their job does involve – and if you’re a GOOD GP it is stressful – the GPs that I know who chose to work part-time were all honest enough to admit that they were so well-paid that they could just work three days a week and still live very comfortably. But members of the BMA representing GPs have been crawling out of the woodwork everywhere with their tales of woe and they all seem to be giving out the same message – that is, if the Gov’t doesn’t do what we say, we will all stop working and then what will you do? I presume that there has been a BMA conference somewhere and they all voted to take a leaf out of the book of Violet Elizabeth Bott i.e. that they would thcweam and thcweam until they were thick.

Indeed, one of those participating in the thcweaming is someone known to me, Dr Graham Thomas, who works in the Corwen Health Centre. Graham has appeared in the Daily Post online urging ‘politicians and patients to put pressure on the Betsi Board to help the practice out’. Graham is rattled because his surgery is in danger of losing it’s Rural Support Payment of £52k which it has received – presumably from the Betsi – for the last 15 years. The Post reports that this is a ‘cry from the heart’ and that Graham, as a GP, ‘speaks from experience’. Graham states that if the Betsi takes over the management of the practice – Graham is suggesting that if the Rural Support Payment is not forthcoming that is what will have to happen – patients will have longer waiting times. He makes reference to the time a few years ago when he assisted at the practice when it was managed by the Betsi and says that ‘I just knew that I was unable to give the time and attention that some of those patients required’. Now I happen to know that although he is a very capable doctor, Graham Thomas is also capable of very great deceit and like Councillor Gareth Jones mentioned earlier, Graham often keeps schtum about terrible things when he shouldn’t. I know this because I used to live in the same village as him, I was in the same hill walking club as him and I used to know him very, very well. He made quite big efforts to cultivate my company, just at the time when I had started making it known that I intended to publish my truly dreadful experiences with the mental health services. Graham knew exactly how bad those services were because he used to work at the Hergest Unit and he saw the neglect, the abuse and indeed the deaths himself. He did not raise any concerns with anyone. He still did not raise any concerns when he left the Hergest Unit and worked in the area as a GP. He still said not a word when he became a more senior GP. He knew that the Hergest was dreadful and he didn’t even bother to send his own patients there, but he did not raise a concern. Neither did he raise concerns when members of the staff at the Hergest Unit were perjuring themselves in an attempt to ensure that I ended up in prison. He knew about it, because I lived just down the lane from him at the time and he used to regularly ask me what I was going to do about the threats and harassment that I was receiving from his colleagues. Although Graham knew how bad many of the staff working in the mental health services were, he was still happy to ensure that they acquired yet another dodgy doctor. On one occasion I got into conversation with a psychiatrist in the hill walking group who had just taken a job at the medium secure unit in Llanfairfechan. I asked him why he had come to Wales and he told me that he hadn’t been able to gain employment after some unspecified hoo ha in his last job. But Dr Graham Thomas had very kindly helped him out and got him a job in north Wales! At one point some charming character threw dog turds at my house. Graham admitted that he knew who did it. I told him that I wanted to report this matter to the police – so Graham refused to reveal the identity of the culprit. He also knew that his colleagues were slandering me. I only discovered the extent of this when he asked me for advice. He had fallen out with a charity that he had been involved with – although I wasn’t ever sure of the details – but it seemed that he believed that they were accusing him of unlawful practices. He was worried that his reputation would be damaged and didn’t know what to do to challenge it. So he asked me for advice, as someone whom he knew to have been subjected to a smear campaign – by his own colleagues. The last time that Graham and his wife spoke to me was after I told them that I had finally had a bellyful of the mental health services and that I had instructed my lawyers to begin action and that I had every intention of one day publishing everything that I had witnessed. Graham and his wife Casi never spoke to me again.

I suspect that as in the case of Professor Catherine Robinson, someone else who was colluding with a great deal of wrongdoing, Graham only ever befriended me to find out what I knew about his colleagues and where or when I was going to publish and was very probably relaying everything that I told him straight back to those we know and love. Two other very odd things happened to me during the time when I was socialising with Graham and Casi. I was looking for a house to rent and I viewed one near where they lived. I told them that I had viewed it and they were very encouraging about it. So I handed over the deposit, rent etc and moved in. After a few weeks it was clear that not only did the landlady have quite serious problems herself but that there were a lot of structural problems with the house that were so bad that they constituted a health and safety risk. I mentioned them to Graham one day who, it transpired, knew all about them. He also knew that previous tenants had moved out of the house after discovering what I had discovered and had also had problems with the landlady. I didn’t remember him telling me about any of that when he encouraged me to move in. The other experience was even more weird. One day after my car broke down, Graham made a very generous offer. He had a car that he could sell me, at an incredibly low price. He said that he was more than happy to do a favour for a friend and I greatly appreciated being able to acquire the car. About a month later, I was driving the car when I was rammed from behind by a man who then became phenomenally aggressive when I asked him for his details. I persevered and eventually I extracted his name, insurance details etc from him. I discovered later that he was a retired officer from the North Wales Police – who I had begun to have quite a lot of problems with by then. In fact during the time that I lived a few doors down from Graham an awful lot of bizarre things happened to me, usually at the hands of people who I then discovered were friendly with Graham and Casi. After I left the village, I found out that Graham and Casi had over the past few years been asked to leave numerous chapels, community organisations and charities. Like me, a lot of people had some very odd experiences with them. I’m glad to hear that it’s onward and upward for them though – Casi is now aiming for ordination in the Church In Wales! And Graham obviously is going to thcweam and thweam until he’s sick. At the time that he was so keen to discover what action I was planning to take against his negligent, abusive, criminal colleagues, Graham was the BMA’s representative for the GPs group in north Wales.

Graham has already recruited one politician to his cause. Llyr Huws Grufydd has publicised Graham’s demand for £50k as a ‘cry for help from a busy rural GP practice’. But then Llyr described Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing home’ Ty Gwyn as a ‘beacon of excellence’, as it imploded after the population gradually realised what a scam it was. Llyr is a Plaid AM for north Wales. Unless he’s joined the Tories by now.

The Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu was alleged to have said that ‘if you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by’. As far as I can see if you watch the north Wales media for long enough the names of the people involved in the most dreadful abuses of their positions will float by.