Little Things Hitting Each Other

In my post ‘Compare And Contrast – The Case Of Two Doctors And The General Medical Council’, I discussed the disciplining of Dr Ann Dally by the GMC for prescribing controlled drugs to addicts in the 1980s. I noted that Dally had been vigorously pursued by the GMC for doing exactly what Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was known to be doing (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’), except that Dafydd was facilitating the Westminster Paedophile Ring as well, which afforded him considerable protection from the authorities. I wondered who had been so keen to nail Dally and why even her connections to the Royals – her husband Dr Peter Dally had attended Princess Margaret at the behest of Lord Snowdon – hadn’t been enough to keep her out of trouble. In that post I stated that I would read the book that Ann Dally wrote about it all to see if I could work out what was going on.

I have now read Ann’s book, ‘A Doctor’s Story’, which she finished writing in the late 1980s. I think that I have worked out what was going on and it’s gobsmacking, as are the activities of some of the people involved in the drama.

Ann Dally wrote convincingly about the problems that drug addicts faced when trying to gain treatment, either for their addiction or anything else. She stated bluntly that doctors hated addicts, that psychiatrists usually refused to treat them and that in the 1980s some GPs surgeries even had notices up stating that they would not treat addicts. She stated that psychiatrists took the view that addicts should be disposed of within the prison system and that if a female addict became pregnant social services usually removed their child as a matter of routine. All this is true. I heard these opinions of addicts being openly articulated by people when I worked in the London medical schools in the late 1980s/90s. I was told by a number of people working in the NHS in north Wales that the reason why Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was given the remit for treating all the addicts in the region was that the other psychiatrists all refused to treat them.

However I also knew from my friendship with a man who had been a drug abuser himself that addicts will speak highly of any doctor who gives them drugs – they do not care about anything else other than securing the drugs. This is not merely my interpretation of what I saw, the former drug user told me this himself. I also witnessed him tell one of the nurses at the Hergest Unit this everyday story of drug using folk. Both this man and I were objecting to Dafydd Alun Jones being allowed into the Hergest Unit in the face of so many allegations of his serious misconduct and in the wake of the serious complaints that I had made about him going completely uninvestigated. The nurse tried to defend the Hergest Unit by saying ‘those patients want to see him, they like him’, to which my friend responded ‘of course they like him, he gives them drugs and I should know because I used to be like that myself’. Both I and this man heard addicts openly boasting that Dafydd was great because ‘he’ll give you anything you want’.

The medical treatment of addicts became a hot potato in the 1980s. There had been an ideological change driven by a very influential, indeed overtly powerful part of the medical establishment. Until the mid-1970s, Drug Dependency Units (DDUs) in NHS hospitals prescribed maintenance therapy for addicts – in other words opiate substitutes such as methadone were prescribed without ever asking the addict to withdraw. The addicts were given repeat prescriptions for the same (sometimes high) dose for as long as they requested it. Prescribing was often very generous and cocktails involving stimulants and depressants were frequently prescribed. Addicts could also be prescribed heroin and cocaine if the doctor saw fit to do so. A lot of addicts – and doctors like Ann Dally – argued that this was by far the best approach, that the actual drug itself did little harm and that the real problems were caused by what addicts did to get the drugs if they couldn’t receive them on prescription. It was established that addicts turned to crime to acquire the money to buy drugs, that they lived in terrible conditions because their time and money was spent in pursuit of drugs and nothing else, that they acquired blood borne infections through sharing needles with other people and that their lives descended into chaos. Dally et al argued that addicts could actually live productive lives that were indistinguishable from non-addicts if they were prescribed maintenance drugs. There was evidence that for some addicts this was true.  From the latter half of the 1970s, there was great pressure from certain parts of the medical establishment on NHS DDUs not to provide maintenance doses, but to instead make it a condition of treatment that addicts must withdraw – quite quickly as well – and become completely drug-free. Eventually very few DDUs would actually provide maintenance therapy, so in the 1980s an increasing number of addicts began seeking out doctors in private practice who would prescribe maintenance therapy – obviously this was a service that addicts had to pay for. It hadn’t previously been an issue because when NHS clinics had prescribed freely and generously, addicts had less to gain by going to a private practice.

Ann Dally alleged that the driver for the refusal to prescribe maintenance therapy was coming from the ‘Maudsley Mafia’, a small group of psychiatrists in teaching hospitals like the Maudsley who were incredibly powerful. Why they wanted to push through this change to clinical practice is open to debate. Work published since that time states that very little was actually known about drug dependence and how to treat it, even by the specialist NHS DDUs, so people were just floundering about in the dark. Dr Thomas Bewley, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and allegedly a drug dependency expert, was to say later that ‘no-one had the faintest idea of what they were doing and were all expected to solve the problem of drug dependence’. There seems to have been a lot of truth in this confession.

It has been widely speculated that the change in clinical practice resulted from Margaret Thatcher’s administrations doing as they were asked by the US administrations at that time, when the Reagan and later Bush were holding their much publicised ‘War On Drugs’. Thatcher was so keen to maintain the ‘special relationship’ that she simply went along with US policy. Whatever the reason, by the mid-80s there was very great pressure on the private doctors who had been prescribing maintenance therapy not to do so anymore, so doctors who did prescribe found themselves greatly in demand. Something though was not working, because by the mid-80s, drug use was increasing greatly, even in provincial areas like north Wales. The advent of HIV-AIDS increased the problems of intravenous drug-users and provided an extra layer of complexity.

Until 2007, the Drugs Branch in the Home Office were responsible for monitoring controlled drugs and Home Office Drugs Inspectors visited doctors prescribing controlled drugs at least once every two years. If doctors were thought to be prescribing irresponsibly, under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1967) they could find themselves called by the Home Office before a Tribunal, which could remove their powers to prescribe controlled drugs. They could then be referred to the GMC – although this rarely happened. Doctors wanting to prescribe certain drugs needed a Home Office licence.

I remember the growing problem of drug use in north Wales at the time. In 1984 the corrupt GP Dr D.G.E. Wood – who was concealing the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al – told me that ‘heroin is now a local problem’. Dafydd himself was appearing at public meetings dispensing his wisdom concerning the problem and there was much ranting in the local newspapers and on Welsh TV. In north Wales a lot of people got very excited and did not seem to be able to distinguish occasional cannabis users from heroin and cocaine addicts. Just to confuse matters, it became clear that there was a big problem with police corruption, especially in drug squads. I witnessed a bit of this in north Wales – the corrupt officers were busy pursuing students and hippies and if necessary planting drugs on them, whilst organised criminals involved in importing and distributing drugs were left to carry on doing business. I knew that the same thing was happening in the west country and in Manchester and it will no doubt have been happening in London. What I knew about in Bangor though was poor people taking drugs – people on the council estates in Caernarfon, Bangor or Holyhead, or in rural locations such as Anglesey.

Ann Dally’s patients were rather different. Ann and Peter Dally were society doctors. They both came from privileged families themselves and trained at St Thomas’s, which is considered to be the medical school of the privileged classes. Ann Dally’s own account explains that they were both completely committed to the NHS – they qualified very soon after the establishment of the NHS – and never expected to move into private practice. As a young doctor Peter Dally worked as a psychiatrist under the dreadful Dr William Sargant at St Thomas’s and built up his private practice when Sargant went away for a few months and Peter Dally took over his patients for him. Sargant returned, but Dally found himself in such demand that he began renting consulting room space in the same building as Sargant. Dally was a consultant at Westminster Hospital as well, but eventually found that he didn’t have time to do both the NHS work at Westminster and his private work, so he gave up the NHS work. Ann Dally had a lot of children and began her family soon after qualifying, so she worked in Family Planning clinics and did work with women and children, because that fitted around her family. She moved into private work through ‘helping Peter’ with his practice.

Ann Dally writes very convincingly as a compassionate doctor who is angered by suffering and injustice. There are inconsistencies though. Although at one point she mentions that she only ever went into private work because the NHS did not reach up to the idealistic expectations that she had of it, she maintains that she rarely met anyone working in the NHS who was cruel to patients or malicious and that no-one working in the NHS was judgemental. Dally’s story is that EVERYONE was working for the benefit of the patients, even if they had their foibles or clashed with their colleagues. Yet she provides first hand anecdotes of appalling practice. As a very junior doctor working in obstetrics, she has a patient in labour whose condition is such that she will die if a caesarean is performed – although there is concern about the baby. Dally is faced with a senior registrar who is a devout Roman Catholic and wants to perform the caesarean to save the baby, although he knows this will kill the mother. Dally is so horrified that she goes to seek help from a higher authority and gets a grade A bollocking for having brought the unfortunate views of the senior registrar into the light of day – although everyone knew that he was about to kill a patient. A fudge is undertaken, the senior registrar is persuaded to go elsewhere for a few hours whilst someone takes over the care of the woman in labour, preventing a murder. It is made clear to Dally that much embarrassment has been caused and that she must never interfere in such a manner again. Again and again Dally recounts tales of patients being treated appallingly, of psychiatry having such a poor reputation that good medical graduates run away from it screaming, of mad incompetent sadistic psychiatrists who have no idea of what they are doing, of ‘research’ in psychiatry that was laughable and of realising that if she is looking after someone with psychiatric problems she needs to do her best to ensure that they aren’t ever admitted to a mental hospital (particularly Tooting Bec). As for never meeting anyone malicious working in the NHS – she witnesses a young woman who had taken an overdose being deliberately sent to the back of the queue in casualty by the nurse on duty ‘to teach her a lesson’. The delay in treatment is such that the young woman dies. Documentation is then altered to conceal the delay in treatment. The coroner knows what happened but he colludes and asks no questions.

Dally maintains that when she was working in obstetrics and gynaecology, most beds were taken by women who were in need of treatment following illegal abortions. I have been told this by others who worked in the NHS in the 1950s, it’s one reason why so many staff welcomed the 1967 Abortion Act. However Dally admits to something that I have never heard or indeed read before. That at St Thomas’s there were at least two consultants openly performing illegal abortions – and a lot of them. Dally knew all about it because she assisted them – because they had identified her as a junior doctor who would agree to help them with this task. Dally must presume that her readers are complete ignoramuses – she breezily explained that they were not breaking the law. They were. I understand what the law was at that time and Dally and her colleagues were breaking it in a very big way. Dally also mentions a Professor Dugald Baird who performed abortions on ‘any women who didn’t want to have babies’, stating that this was legal. No, it was not. I am very glad that the law changed and I can understand the sympathy that Dally and her colleagues had for those women with unwanted pregnancies, but that lot were completely flouting the law and they will have known it. So who was Professor Dugald Baird? He was one of the most ‘distinguished’ names in obstetrics and gynaecology at the time and had a Chair at the University of Aberdeen. He was a pioneer in Family Planning Clinics. His son Professor David Tennant Baird was instrumental in gaining approval for the ‘morning after pill’ RU-486 to be made available in the UK. Dugald Baird’s other son, D. Euan Baird, before he retired in 2003 was Chair and CEO of Schlumberger, the biggest oilfields service company in the world. Ann would probably describe it as a wind farm. The Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen, named after Dugald and his clan, is due to open in 2020.

So Ann was capable of bending the rules, reassuring everyone that she was not, denying some real horrors which led to disastrous results for patients and giving a good impression throughout all this that she was a radical, caring doctor who only had the best interests of her patients at heart.

Ann Dally became famous for her clashes with the GMC over her prescribing for addicts, but there’s a few lines in the book that point to a other problems as well. Dally did a great deal of work in what she calls ‘medical journalism’ and ordinary ‘journalism’ when she was young to earn money. She stresses that she was always very careful never to accept patients who had contacted her on the basis of articles of hers that they had read, because that would contravene the GMC rules on advertising. So if they did contact her, she sent them off back to their GP – who then referred them to her anyway. OK, I can see how that could be constructed as adhering to the rules, but as a youngish doctor Ann was investigated when an article that she wrote turned up in a porn magazine no less. Ann’s story was that someone had sold an article on gynaecology ‘behind her back’. So what the hell was in that article? I have read numerous books and articles on obstetrics and gynaecology and they really are not written in the style or indeed in the language that a reader of a porn magazine would be interested in or in which most of them would even understand. Particularly articles dating from the 1960s. Even work by the likes of Masters and Johnson which was considered explicit and most controversial would have had difficulty appealing to soft pornographers. Ann doesn’t explain in her book how she ended up being investigated – she only mentions it because when she first trots off to get advice re the charges of irresponsible prescribing, one of the legal advisors from the MDU remembers her from twenty years previously, from the case with the porn mag.

So after witnessing no-one ever misbehaving themselves in the NHS, Ann and Peter went into private practice in the early 1960s. They began by practicing from their family home in Dulwich – it was only some years later that they purchased a lease on a building in one of the most prestigious locations in Harley Street. But business booms at Dulwich. Ann mentions that Peter has some very ‘grand’ patients. Although they are running an extensive private practice they do not have a secretary or ‘anything official’. The children are taught how to answer the phone and the kids are also told that if they do answer the phone and it’s someone who says they are ringing from Buckingham Palace, the children must not think it’s a joke because it will be someone ringing from Buckingham Palace. Ann mentions that one does not charge a fee when one treats Royalty, one has to be available at any time of the day or night and one must treat them in secret. Ann finds treating the Royals a bit of a pain, but it does wonders for one’s reputation. As well as the Royal Family, Ann mentions that their patients included holders of accounts at Coutts, aristocrats, heirs to famous family fortunes, City brokers, property developers, writers, musicians, senior people from the BBC, journalists, solicitors, pop stars and civil servants and the families of these people. She mentions that they have international patients including many Arabs, and have treated the children of some of the wealthiest and most publicised people. One of her patients was a princess from a Gulf state and Ann goes to visit her at the Wellington Hospital. A suite of rooms has been booked for relatives, ladies-in-waiting and servants – as well as a group of ‘pubescent girls’ dressed identically, whom the translator explains to Ann are ‘slave girls from Nubia’. Ann observes that she’s never met slaves before. One of Ann’s patients was a Cabinet Minister who was ‘raving mad and almost naked, chasing his boyfriend around the clinic’. Ann was called to attend another patient who was a fraudster who ‘went mad’ in an hotel whilst developing up a huge scam – another psychiatrist who was initially called to deal with him had tried to become a partner in the scam. It was left to Ann to save the day. She remarks drily that the GMC never got to hear about this. So she didn’t report any of it then.

The most worry anecdote regarding the Dallys’ interesting patients though is one about a retired Army officer. He had consulted Peter Dally after he had amputated his own leg at the knee and couldn’t explain why he had done this. An ’eminent psychiatrist’ had paid them all a visit at the Dallys’ place but no-one could find anything wrong with the retired officer. With Peter’s therapeutic skills though, they eventually got to the truth. The retired officer ‘had a fantasy’ that his mission in life was to model artificial limbs and have sexual relationships with amputees. As he was now getting on in years, he felt that it was time to ‘put his fantasy into practice’. Police had found literature from artificial limb suppliers in his house and they had founds stacks of anatomy and surgery textbooks which contained detailed instructions on how to perform amputations. The Dallys’ noticed that their patient had made a very good job of his own amputation.

I think that I know what had been going on and it wasn’t what the Dallys’ claimed. Amputating limbs is a highly skilled business, one needs to be shown how to do it, one needs to practice and one needs the right drugs and equipment. Diagrams in surgery books, even the best ones, don’t look anything like the unholy mess that one is faced with if one cuts oneself open. You need to learn from someone who already knows and you need to learn how to interpret surgery manuals as well. That retired officer had operated previously, probably quite often. And someone trained in surgery had taught him. He almost certainly had an amputee fetish – I can’t remember the word for the syndrome now, but it is recognised – and he had been amputating other people’s limbs as well as his own in order to have sex with them. And he was obviously supplying the prosthetics as well. The Dallys had discovered a very worrying situation there. Not that there is a word about how they resolved it, let alone who taught the retired officer to operate or who supplied him with the drugs etc necessary. It’s just written up as an example of ‘people do the funniest things’.

Ann and Peter are acutely aware of how discreet they must be when they are dealing with very rich law breaking patients, particularly those who are famous or in public life. Ann explains that a psychiatric diagnosis must be avoided at all costs and freely admits that lies are told and elaborate pantomimes are set up with other Top Doctors and hospitals. Ann explains that a statement is sent out to the press explaining that the person concerned is going into hospital for medical or surgical problem – heart, kidney or whatever – and a surgeon or physician is sent in through the front door of the hospital to have a few words with the reporters, whilst the psychiatrist goes in through the back entrance.

So the Dallys must have had a reputation as being pretty useful if you were filthy rich and either up to something embarrassing or unlawful. No wonder their practice was so popular.

Not only would you have needed much dosh to have afforded to consult Ann Dally if you were a drug addict, but you would have needed to prove it. Ann didn’t treat plebs. Or people who looked dirty or unkempt or anyone rude or aggressive or even anyone that her secretaries (by the time that she was treating addicts she was employing secretaries) ‘didn’t like’. She asked for income tax returns and pay slips to show that you could afford to pay. Not only did you have to pay Ann (she helpfully details her prices for prescriptions in the book), but you had to pay the chemist too. Furthermore, if you were a patient of Ann’s you had to only go to one of the chemists that was on the list that she gave you, for some reason you couldn’t just go to any old chemist – although that would have been quite legal. Ann states that she very much prefers working with intelligent patients and that she didn’t treat anyone who was psychotic because treating such patients caused her so much anxiety. They also need looking after and can’t just be sent out of the door with a prescription.

If you had the money to pay – and of course the money for designer clothes so people who were very obviously addicts popping in to pick up their scripts didn’t actually look as though they were – Ann certainly provided a good service. She got the social services off your back if you were a parent who was in danger of having your kids removed and she undertook medico-legal work as well, having a ‘moral obligation’ to go to Court ‘for a patient who needed my help’. Ann would even turn up to a Court case the very next day if necessary – presumably if the Royal had been arrested and had found themselves in the cells waiting to appear before the Magistrates for the first hearing – and she’d cancel everything and if necessary travel many miles if the Court case was outside of London. Ann also doubled up as Santa – she kept a drawer full of gifts for older children who were visiting the dealer with their parents and the children were allowed to choose a gift on every visit. Ann observed that it made her very popular with the children. So they’d obviously say the right thing to the social services or the judge.

Truly a Dafydd for the upper classes and rich and famous!

Ann does tell the truth at times in her book re drug addiction – again, it’s when she describes some of the grim practices of the NHS drug clinics. She relates that the ‘detoxing’ that the clinics forced on people was no more than a box-ticking exercise, that drugs were freely available in these clinics on the black market, that addicts took them and that the staff knew about this but nothing was said as long as the patients weren’t caught doing it. The clinics wanted to pretend that the patients were detoxing successfully because the clinic would then boast of their success, the patients went along with the charade because they had often been sent to the clinic as an alternative to prison and although the care provided by the clinics was very poor and neglect was the order of the day, the patients preferred being in hospital to prison. The patients would then be discharged as ‘drug free’ no matter what sort of state they were in. Some of the UK’s ‘leading authorities’ in drug dependency presided over clinics like this.

This description of Dally’s pretty much equates to everything that I ever heard about Dafydd’s ‘drug unit’ at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh.

So although Dally was no doubt quite correct in her descriptions of the loathing that nearly all doctors had for addicts and the very poor ‘care’ that they received from the few psychiatrists who would agree to treat them, there was something about her practices that caused the GMC to haul her up before them three times over a period of a few years, whereas they nearly always left it to the Home Office alone to deal with ‘irresponsible prescribing’. I have mentioned that Dally attributed her problems to a group of powerful doctors in the medical establishment who really had it in for her, although their own clinics were very mediocre, corners were cut and rules and laws were flouted. Dally was definitely clashing with certain Top Doctors, although some of them were so obnoxious it would be difficult not to clash with them. She did have a lot of support though – from a number of other high profile Top Doctors and from swathes of the liberal media who really did take the view that she had been wronged. At the time there was acres written about her case along with the cases of Dr Wendy Savage and Dr Marietta Higgs, who also clashed with the higher echelons of the medical establishment in the mid 80s.

The common theme was that these were three ‘powerful women doctors’ and the misogynist old gits who ran medicine just couldn’t bear strong wimmin, so the boys’ club went after them. I believe that this is a misreading. The cases of these three women were all completely different – although Wendy Savage and Ann Dally supported each other and were quite friendly. (Wendy Savage wrote the foreword to Ann’s book.) The lay press interpreted the Savage case as Mrs Savage being a female, feminist, Labour Party supporting Top Doctor who was encouraging childbirth with less medical intervention than most of the allegedly Tory hi-tech birth supporting male colleagues surrounding her. But there were plenty of Top Doctors who weren’t Tories, plenty of ones with an interest in low-intervention births and even a few who liked to think of themselves as feminists. And lots of younger female obstetricians were in training. It was common knowledge in London that Wendy Savage and the Professor of her department hated each other, had done so for a very long time and a civil war had broken out. He saw his chance and put the boot in and tried to get rid of her. Dr Marietta Higgs had caused havoc in Cleveland for the local hospital by removing hundreds of children from their parents on the grounds that she believed that they had been anally raped. She had so many kids taken into care that foster homes couldn’t be found for them all and they were placed in the local paediatric wards. There were no beds left for sick children, parents were protesting on hospital premises, writs were flying and chaos had broken out. This happened as Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were writing to politicians and Ministers raising the alarm about events in north Wales – I have previously speculated that Cleveland provided a very useful distraction to allegations in north Wales that children were being sexually abused by the social services themselves and that there seemed to be a widespread network of professionals colluding with this. I have no idea whether Marietta Higgs really believed that all those children had been abused or not – she certainly won’t have been a worse doctor for being a woman, but if somebody wanted to manipulate her in the way that I suspect that they did, being a woman will have been a bonus. After all, women are caring and could never be colluding with or concealing the organised abuse of children could they? It’s why female social workers, Top Doctors and Angels were repeatedly told by Dafydd et al to tell the police that I’d threatened them or that they were terrified of me – it looks better coming from a Woman In Fear.

The case of Ann Dally was completely different from either Wendy Savage or Marietta Higgs. It was also driven by a rather different group of people, although the public scrap was among Top Doctors. From what I can gather from Ann Dally’s book, it was the police who very much wanted to nail her.

The police were so keen to demonstrate that Ann Dally was up to no good that they routinely questioned drug addicts in London as to whether they knew Ann Dally or if any of their friends knew her, they sent officers undercover who then purchased drugs from patients of Ann’s, former police officers were employed as private detectives to investigate the chemists to which she sent her patients and at one point Scotland Yard held an investigation into her. Paperwork from her accountant was examined -although that had been at the request of one of Dally’s barristers in an attempt to help her – and all of her financial affairs were probed. There was an attempt to bring a charge of deception against Ann.

The results were varied. One of Ann’s patients claimed that the police drafted his statement implicating her and he just signed it. One undercover officer did succeed in purchasing drugs from one of Dally’s patients. When prescriptions were examined it was discovered that Dally had been prescribing very generously for a lot of people. Dally herself talked of ‘1000s’ of addicts phoning or dropping in at her house. By Dally’s own admission, no-one could understand her accounts – not even her and Peter (Ann and Peter divorced in 1979 but remained on good terms and continued to run the practice together). Her rationale for this was that their accountant was unbeknown to them an alcoholic who was having a nervous breakdown. The Dallys were psychiatrists who specialised in addiction problems – were they too busy with Princess Margaret to notice their poor accountant disintegrating in front of them? I mentioned in my post ‘Compare And Contrast – The Case Of Two Doctors And The General Medical Council’ that the property owned and lifestyle enjoyed by Ann Dally as described by the GMC wasn’t that different from that enjoyed by many Harley Street Top Doctors at the time – they all trousered a lot of money. However, I note that in Ann’s book she states that a police officer was alleged to have made a comment to one of Ann’s patients about the amount of money that she must be making after he’d performed a few calculations. The police often get things badly wrong but one thing that the police are very good at is spotting when people seem to be in possession of a rather more money than one would expect, I’ve been very impressed with the police’s talent in this area. This morning someone who knew that I was researching the Dally case mentioned that there was cash stashed everywhere, not just in the Dallys’ bank account. It seemed to be complaints and questions sparked off by the police that landed Ann in trouble on each occasion.

One of Ann’s patients ended up in the secure prison on the Isle of Wight serving a three year stretch for supplying drugs. This man had been referred to Ann by a GP who ‘was under threat from the Home Office’ and who didn’t want to prescribe for him anymore. The patient had been an addict for many, many years, had a criminal record and told Ann that he was interested in qualifying as a social worker – he was undertaking a preliminary course at Coventry Poly and had been receiving treatment from a doctor at the Poly. Ann explains in her book that he had ‘exploited’ the ‘drug doctors’ of the 60s, Lady Frankau and Dr Petro and had received huge quantities of drugs from them. Lady Isabella Frankau and Petro were legendary. Frankau was acknowledged as being the mainstay of the flourishing illicit heroin market in the early 1960s – the Home Office considered her very harmful. She also prescribed cocaine and told other doctors to do this, which led to a cocaine market developing. Her prescribing was so bizarre as to be indefensible. Frankau was basically a drug dealer to high society. Petro was struck off. Ann’s patient who had previously acquired his goodies from Frankau and Petro also broke into the surgery of the doctor from Coventry Poly. I don’t know what his excuse for doing that was, but he told Ann that he hadn’t been supplying drugs, one of his friends was suffering from withdrawal symptoms so he’d lent him some drugs.

I have mentioned that the Home Office Drugs Branch were responsible for inspecting and monitoring doctors prescribing controlled drugs. Ann seemed to have a remarkably friendly relationship with some of those Inspectors, although she noticed that as the 1980s rolled on, the Inspectors were getting tougher and tougher on prescribing doctors. The Chief Inspector of the Drugs Branch between 1977 until his retirement in 1986 was Bing Spear. He had first entered the Drugs Branch of the Home Office in 1952 as an Inspector and was Deputy Chief Inspector between 1965-77. Bing Spear seems to have lingered on in the memories of many people who had doings with the world of addiction before he retired. He was of course a civil servant, but he seems to have been quite an unusual one. Spear had an excellent knowledge of the doctors working in drug dependency – he will have definitely known Dafydd – as well as of the voluntary bodies, Gov’t officials, police and customs officers. He also spent a lot of time mixing with addicts in the West End and personally knew nearly all of them. Not only that, but he knew who the dealers who initially had sold them drugs were, how long they’d been addicts, where there current supplies were coming from and who their current girlfriends were. He was known to be good friends with a number of addicts and would even turn up with them to attend the seminars of Prof Arnold Trebach – an American ‘legalise all drugs’ campaigner – when Trebach was in London. Bing was famous for being someone whom the addicts could go to ‘for help’. Bing’s stated ambition after he retired was to run an addicts union and ‘get the addicts organised’. (Dally was also enthusiastic about addicts establishing their own groups to lobby for their rights – she assisted in setting up one such group and her sons provided the group with free office space.) Bing was not a drugs outreach worker, he was a civil service Mandarin.

Bing Spear didn’t just prove helpful to addicts, Ann Dally really rated him too. He made it known that he ‘didn’t like’ the NHS DDUs and ‘encouraged’ Ann in her work with addicts. It was Bing who first warned Ann about the ‘mafia’ of Top Doctors working in drugs dependency – Bing was good enough to give Ann the names of those involved and provide her with the low-down on their techniques. It was also Bing who warned her when the mafia had their knives out for her. Ann’s first encounter with Bing was interesting. As her business boomed, she rang Bing for advice and was told by him that he had been waiting for her to ring because he thought that she’d need his help.

Bing certainly stuck his neck out on behalf of Ann. Ann maintained that the Top Doctors who condemned her were an ‘amorphous powerful’ group, comprised mostly of London DDU consultants, supported by a few others outside of London. Bing publicly identified the group in an interview in New Statesman. They had a number of connections with the Royal Colleges and the GMC and were especially influential because they had the confidence of David Mellor, the Minister at the Home Office. Mellor frequently appeared on TV explaining how he was ‘determined to beat the evil’ of drugs.

Ann got on very well with Bing’s colleague John Lawson as well – Lawson was the Senior Home Office Inspector for Drugs for London and the South East. Bing and Lawson were usually the Inspectors who visited Ann. As the authorities clamped down more and more on the prescribing of controlled drugs – and pursued Ann – by 1985 John Lawson had been transferred to Bristol, where he was responsible for the South West and Wales. Ann’s perception was that Lawson had been transferred because he was ‘too soft’ on doctors and the Home Office wanted a ‘hardliner’ in his place. But Lawson wasn’t demoted – he was transferred and given responsibility for WALES. So at the time that Dafydd was building up his empire in north Wales, John Lawson, a notoriously soft Inspector where questionable prescribing was concerned was transferred to Wales – where he would be responsible for inspecting and monitoring one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones.

Bing Spear retired in 1986, although Ann’s book suggests that he resigned, supposedly out of disgust at the way that her colleague Dr John Marks was being treated. Long before he retired however, Bing was in poor health.  Ann talks of him as being ‘yellow’ and having to go into hospital frequently for extended stays because of his heart and kidney troubles – there was usually a crisis when this happened because once Bing was indisposed, unfortunate things would happen to Ann at the hands of the authorities and Bing wouldn’t be there to fix it.

As I read the accounts of Bing and his somewhat unusual lifestyle for the most senior civil servant in the Home Office Drugs Branch, I couldn’t help wondering if perhaps Bing dabbled in a bit of chemical recreation himself. He hated the mafia who were restricting the supply of controlled drugs, didn’t seem too keen on helping the police or even his own colleagues in the Home Office, provided mountains of helpful advice and warnings to Ann when people were about to launch an investigation into her and he was a yellow colour and had extended stays in hospital. We know from Ann’s own account that some of her patients were civil servants and that if such folk had to be admitted to hospital for drug or psychiatric problems a pack of lies was told and it was all blamed on medical or surgical problems.

Ann Dally ended up appearing in front of the GMC on three separate occasions, on a number of charges. She was never struck off but was suspended and at one point banned from prescribing controlled drugs for 14 months – she appealed against the decision but lost the appeal. Her view was that until the early 1980s the GMC adopted a rather benign attitude to doctors treating addicts as well as to many other matters. Ann felt that their attitude changed ‘with a vengeance’ after Lord John Richardson retired as President – the GMC became much more of a prosecuting body and began hiring prosecutors, some with Old Bailey experience, in order to secure convictions against doctors.

The GMC were going through a torrid time during the years in which they were demanding Ann’s presence in front of the fitness to practice committee. There was public dissatisfaction with them because doctors were just never removed no matter how gross or lethal their misconduct – it was at this time that complaints were pouring into the GMC about Dafydd Alun Jones but there was zilch action taken – but doctors too were rising up against the GMC. The source of the doctors’ dissatisfaction was the GMC’s request a few years previously for an annual fee in order to retain their registration with the GMC. Doctors went ape and – among junior doctors in particular – there was a mass rebellion. Dr Michael O’Donnell – who was by then working as a full time journalist rather than a doctor – was a key figure in organising the revolt which resulted in O’Donnell being voted onto the GMC committee and then thousands of doctors refusing to pay their fee to the GMC. The GMC threatened to strike them all off and Keith Joseph, the then Secretary of State for Health, had kittens at the prospect of a shortfall of doctors in the public workforce. He set up a Public Inquiry Chaired by the nuclear physicist Sir Alec Merrison in order to try to placate the Top Doctors. Michael O’Donnell remained on the GMC committee and was as difficult as he could be. He was sympathetic to Dally – he had been a student at Tommy’s with her – and at the beginning of one of the hearings into her fitness to practice he walked out of the committee and did not return. Although O’Donnell was known for making those sorts of gestures.

Ann Dally did a number of things after she was banned from prescribing that confirmed the suspicions of those who believed that she was a purveyor of drugs. After the sentence was announced, there was a short lag before it actually came into effect – Dally had to receive written notification before it was effective. So she went back to Harley Street and literally churned out prescriptions until the very second that she was legally prevented from doing so. It was rather like the last day of the sales. It transpired that Dally had been confused about the rules and that she actually could have spent a few more hours dishing out the goodies. She only found out about this when she was told by a worker in a drugs organisation – she was on very good terms with these bodies as well – that her addicts had all complained about her because she could have prescribed for longer than she did.

As my friend observed re Dafydd – of course they like him, he gives them drugs…

Ann’s fan club dwindled quite suddenly when she was no longer dispensing. She made another little slip though – she did stop prescribing opiates but she continued to prescribe other controlled drugs. She was caught and a lot of people were very cross. Her supporters feared that this was it, she would now be struck off, although amazingly enough she wasn’t. Ann’s story was that she ‘didn’t know’ the drugs that she prescribed were on the controlled list. Which would seem to be an inexplicable lack of knowledge for a specialist in addiction who is being monitored by the Home Office – particularly one who had just been suspended by the GMC for irresponsible prescribing.

The fate of some of Ann’s patients after she could no longer treat them could be used to support either her view of good clinical practice or her opponents. A number of them were caught dealing and ended up in prison, some were involved in other criminal offences and some of them sadly died. There were indications that some of her patients were rather less vulnerable and knew how to survive in the big bad world. To illustrate how important it was for her to be allowed to continue to prescribe whatever her addicts requested, Ann Dally recounted anecdotes of them saying things like ‘oh well I’ll just have to commit a robbery then’. One man explained immediately that he’d return to Pakistan and begin importing heroin. Another patient was a ‘local authority worker with the elderly’ – presumably a social worker or similar – and told Ann that his elderly patients trusted him and had confided in him where they had hidden money and valuables. This man told Ann that if she were to stop prescribing and he was left without his fix, he didn’t think that he’d be able to resist turning the old folk’s houses over. Dally claims that she knew that a number of her patients did make arrangements to turn to serious crime.

In the aftermath of Ann Dally’s suspension there was substantial media interest both in her case and in the debate regarding the best way of treating drug addicts. She made TV and radio appearances and a flurry of articles in the press were published. The publicity surrounding her own particular case eventually died down, but the treatment of drug addicts remained problematic. Dr John Marks, who ran a clinic in Widnes on Merseyside, also treated addicts using maintenance therapy. Unlike Dally, Marks had the support of the police – the Cheshire police carried out some fairly sound research and concluded that there had been a huge decrease in drug-related crime as a consequence of Dr Marks’ practice. Dealers also stopped frequenting the area because there was no demand for their wares. Dr Marks’ locality was one of the few areas in the UK where there was no HIV-AIDS cases at all. Nonetheless, Dr Marks’ clinic was closed down by sleight of hand – a local authority reorganisation took place which led to the disappearance of his Health Authority and thus his clinic. Dr Marks emigrated to New Zealand. A previous post describes how Dr John Marks wanted to relocate to north Wales but Gwynedd Health Authority blocked his appointment on the grounds that he was ‘controversial’. They gave the contract for substance abuse services to Dafydd Alun Jones instead.

So that’s an overview of the Ann Dally case. As ever, if we really want to shed light on the more interesting aspects of it all, we need to take a look at those who played leading roles in the drama, including both those who supported Dally and those who opposed her.

 

Dally knew influential people and public figures from her earliest days. She was from a well-known family and Marie Stopes was among the family’s friends. She was at Somerville College with Margaret Thatcher – although they weren’t friends – and scores of people whom she studied with at Tommy’s became big names in medicine. She was of course taught by many big names in medicine. We have seen the sort of patients whom she treated – even the most modest of them were solidly middle class and affluent and some were members of the Royal Family. Someone like Ann Dally would be able to muster a great deal of support when they encountered difficulties of any sort. I suspect that the fact that so many of her friends and patients worked in the media may have been responsible for much of the sympathetic coverage that her case received.

Although Dally and her mates didn’t seem to like Thatcher at all when they were at Oxford, when in 1983 Dally was invited to Downing Street in her capacity as an ‘expert’ in drug dependency to meet Thatcher, she clearly felt that she would be in a position to influence her. Dally seemed to have changed her view about Thatcher once Thatcher became PM. She had previously thought that Thatcher was rather boring and not really worth spending time with – shortly after Thatcher was elected as an MP, Thatcher had been invited to a gathering of Somerville Alumni to give a talk. The talk had been so yawningly dull that afterwards people demanded that Thatcher never be invited back again. But now that she was PM Dally saw qualities that had been well-concealed. Dally thought that she was making headway with Thatcher, but she did detect a certain frostiness from the other person present at their meeting – Dr Pamela Mason, whom Dally describes as the Senior Doctor at the Drugs Branch of the DHSS.

I have found a copy of the Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from Dec 1985, summarising Parliamentary News, Feb-July 1985. This document was compiled by this blog’s old friend Professor Robert Bluglass, the man who concealed the criminal activities of Dafydd et al in north Wales in 1988! There are loads of names from the past mentioned in this document, one of which was Dr Pamela Mason’s. Mason is described as being the Director of the Mental Health Division in the DHSS. Things were certainly not going well in the Mental Health Division. Not only was Pamela presiding over the chaos and criminality in the north Wales mental health service, but this Bulletin reminded me of a few other problems from that time.

John Patten MP, a Minister in the DHSS, had announced that the DHSS was funding three studies into solvent abuse. One of those studies was to be undertaken by Professor R.H. Anderson at that den of corruption, St George’s Hospital Medical School. In 1985 Oliver Brooke who was later imprisoned for the possession of huge quantities of child porn was still employed as the Professor of Paediatrics at St George’s. The rest of the crooks who covered up for Dafydd et al in 1990/91 were busy down there as well.

The Bulletin mentions that David Mellor of the Home Office announced that there were no plans to increase the level of medical cover and no intention to provide special counselling and advisory services for self-harming prisoners in Holloway. Holloway at that time had a terrible reputation – there were scores of women in there whom everyone acknowledged had serious mental health problems and histories of abuse who were constantly injuring and killing themselves. The response to this was to drug them up to the eye-balls – which was clearly going to continue after Mellor’s statement. There was one part of Holloway that was too embarrassing even for Thatcher’s Home Office though. The Bulletin tells us that the Holloway Project Committee – which included Dr Pamela Mason – is to review the role and future of Holloway (Holloway was eventually closed but it took until very recently for that to happen). Lord Glenarthur -a previous star of this blog – stated that the Gov’t accepted the Report from the Committee that C1 Unit for ‘disturbed women prisoners’ was not meeting the needs of the inmates within. Glenarthur confirmed that there would be an urgent reassessment and immediate steps to improve conditions at the unit. C1 Unit was notorious – it was known as the ‘muppet house’ amongst the prisoners and contained scores of prisoners whom everybody accepted should never have been in prison, were severely mentally ill but somehow were never transferred to hospital. The other prisoners would hear the wails and screams from the muppet house day and night and suicides were common there. The muppet house will have contained many women who will have been abused as kids in care or by the mental health services – which is probably why Holloway had such trouble finding beds for the muppets in psychiatric hospitals. Just look what the Top Doctors were up to – a lot of those muppets will have been destroyed by the Top Doctors themselves because they’d witnessed or suffered a few things that the Top Doctors and others were desperate to keep quiet.

The Bulletin contains an interesting little bit about Wales. In May 1985 the Secretary of State for Wales stated that all Health Authorities, Local Authorities and Family Practitioner Committees were required to form Committees which included representatives of the voluntary sector to provide services for mental illness. So MIND were now officially part of the landscape of ‘service’ provision – the MIND which was at the time also colluding with the criminal activities in north Wales, whilst Tessa Jowell and William Bingley held senior positions there. The Secretary of State for Wales referred to was Nicholas Edwardes, now Lord Crickhowell. Edwardes had admitted that there was ‘much to be done’ to decentralise psychiatric services and the Welsh Office had arranged for a further independent review of mental illness services jointly by the NHS Health Advisory Services and Social Work Services of the Welsh Office between 1985/86-87. So the crooks in the NHS ignoring the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al in were going to get together with the crooks in the Social Work Services who were ignoring a paedophile ring operating in Clwyd and Gwynedd Social Services to ‘independently’ review the mental health services. No wonder the patients continued to die and go to prison after being stitched up for crimes that they had not committed. 1985, 86 and 87 were the very years that Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and me all presented evidence of the most serious abuses and corruption in the mental health services and children’s services in north Wales. The ‘independent review’ managed not to investigate our allegations.

So the culprits at the helm of the massive cover-up were Dr Pamela Mason, Nicholas Edwards, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security Norman Fowler and the Home Secretaries covering that period, which were Leon Brittan and Douglas Hurd.

The horror of what was happening is confirmed by another piece that appears in the Bulletin. In June 1985 John Patten confirmed that under the complaints procedures for special hospitals managed directly by the DHSS ie. Broadmoor, Ashworth and Rampton, a proportion of complaints went straight to Ministry Officials at the DHSS. Patten stated that the procedures for dealing with the complaints were ‘well-established’. Referring to a matter that was reported in Oct 1984 that was requested to be investigated – although details of the matter concerned were not revealed – the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration expressed satisfaction with the way in which complaints made by a Broadmoor patient had been dealt with.

It is now known that in 1985, patients in the special hospitals were being physically and sexually abused, that child porn was being passed around these ‘hospitals’, that children were taken onto the premises to visit patients who were paedophiles and that nearly all the women patients had been sexually abused before they ever got near these places. The DHSS clearly knew about this as well. Not long after Bluglass wrote this Bulletin, Baroness Trumpington thought that the answer to all this was to appoint Jimmy Savile as manager of Broadmooor. What could ever go wrong?

The Bulletin also reveals that in July 1985 the Minister for Health Ken Clarke stated that the determination of the criteria for registering nursing homes lay with the District Health Authority in whose area the home was located. Clarke was satisfied that the existing codes of practice were of sufficiently high standard without being too strict. In the event of a dispute between a proprieter of the nursing home and the DHA, the matter would be determined by an appeal to the Registered Homes Tribunal, which the Gov’t had set up.

In 1985 complaints of abuse and neglect of patients in ‘nursing homes’ run by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones were common. The situation in one of these ‘homes’ for psychiatric patients in Llandudno, Holyrood House, was so bad that it eventually became a national scandal and was even featured by Esther on ‘That’s Life’. Patients were being beaten up and a drug addict from Liverpool was responsible for the drugs cabinet. Before Holyrood House hit the national media, MIND knew what was going on there, Jones’s colleague Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) knew what was going on, as did the Local Authority covering the Llandudno area. The Health Authority will have known as well. As for the Registered Homes Tribunal – a previous post mentions that Councillors in Clwyd were sitting on those Tribunals. Clwyd County Council knew that a paedophile ring was operating in it’s children’s homes and did nothing. Some people – such as Tory MP Beata Brookes – sat on both Clwyd County Council/Social Services and Clwyd Health Authority. Clwyd Health Authority was the employer of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones.

This was a system that could not have been designed by accident.

We can see that it was no accident from another feature in the Bulletin, which makes a reference to Lord David Ennals holding a debate on the future of St Thomas’s Hospital. Tommy’s was indeed under threat in the 1980s. Tommy’s remained unscathed. I wonder why that was? It only educated and employed all those leading lights in the British medical establishment – including the Dallys – who then all went to war on each other when the police started investigating Ann Dally.

The Bulletin reveals that in July 1985-86 the Minister of Health estimated the cost of the Mental Health Act Commission to be £1,022,000. A previous post details how the Mental Health Act Commission colluded with the north Wales mental health services and lied to me after I complained to them about being unlawfully detained in north Wales by Dafydd et al. Tessa Jowell was a member of that Commission.

So Norman Fowler was happy to spend approx. 1 million pa to conceal organised crime involving child abuse in the British welfare state, including the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

The Bulletin reveals that the Chairman of the Social Services Committee in the Commons at this time – who would have been in a position to ask some very awkward questions about this catalogue of horrors but noticeably didn’t – was a Renee Short.

Short was the Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East and was considered a ‘firebrand’, a female politician on the left of the party. Renee championed women’s and children’s issues! I think that we have been here before. Short was sponsored by the TGWU, was mates with trade unionist Jack Jones and was a member of Labour’s NEC, 1970-88. Short was the representative of the Wimmin’s Section. Short co-sponsored Neil Kinnock for the leadership of the Labour Party. Short’s obituaries tell us that she campaigned on ‘social issues’, including women in prison and on behalf of junior hospital doctors no less. So appreciative of her efforts were the Top Doctors that they made Renee a lay member of the MRC. Short ended up in a battle in her own constituency and was deselected – it was blamed on Militant, but one wonders whether she’d pissed a few other people off as well. She resigned after making a deal with Kinnock that if she did this, she would be rewarded with a peerage – although Kinnock wasn’t able to stump up one of those for her. In 2007 the Daily Mail carried an article about Renee’s granddaughter, who had become ‘hooked on drugs at 15’. Renee’s granddaughter bangs on about the irony of this, as her grandmother had been a well-known ‘anti-drugs campaigner’. I hate to disillusion Renee’s family, but if Renee had really wanted to make a difference in this area, all she needed to have done was make the activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones public during all those years that she Chaired the Select Committee on Social Services, ie. 1979-87. But Renee remained completely silent, as well as remaining silent on the reality of what was happening in children’s homes, in the special hospitals and indeed in women’s prisons. Because speaking out would have upset the Top Doctors as well as the numerous other people who knew that children were being sexually abused by politicians from all parties, as well as others.

I can only wonder why Short didn’t end up in the Lords along with all the others who colluded with and concealed organised child abuse. Why ever did old Kinnock fail to come up with the goods?

On 2 Sept 1985 Barney Heyhoe replaced Ken Clarke as Minister of Health. Clarke accepted an appointment as Paymaster General.

The Bulletin also published an angry letter concerning junior doctors training from a Dr Julie Hollyman, of the College Trainees Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. A previous post details how by 1990 Hollyman had become a truly vile consultant at Springfield Hospital, the psychiatric unit attached to St Georges who was hated by her colleagues. Hollyman was given management responsibilities at Springfield. A number of patients were raped and sexually assaulted on her watch. She was then appointed to lead Broadmoor.

Can I ask Lord John Patten, David Mellor, Ken Clarke, Dr Pamela Mason, Lady Tessa Jowell, William Bingley, Lord David Ennals, Lord Simon Glenarthur, Lord Crickhowell, Norman Fowler, Leon Brittan – or at least those of them who are still alive – how they manage to sleep at night in their expensive residences surrounded by everything that they ever need as their glorious careers approach their end?

 

 

Now for a bit of background on some of Ann Dally’s friends and supporters.

Ann was at Tommy’s with Dr Michael O’Donnell who was sympathetic to her and seems to have used his position to muster support for her. O’Donnell came from Yorkshire where his own father had been a GP. O’Donnell himself practiced as a GP in Surrey for 12 years and then gave up medicine completely to pursue a media career. He had never spent that much time doing medicine anyway – he boasted about being a ‘part-time’ medical student, as a result of spending so much time pursuing other interests, including cricket, theatre and writing. O’Donnell knew many people who later became very big in the media world – such as David Frost and the members of Monty Python – from his time in Footlights at Cambridge. He later became a ubiquitous presence on Radio 4 and BBC TV, presenting light entertainment shows. Some of his programmes came under fire for being too shallow and flippant, even for BBC light entertainment. O’Donnell also worked for Yorkshire Television and Associated Television. O’Donnell edited World Medicine for 16 years, a sort of cliquey self-congratulatory publication of the sort that Top Doctors really love. He was forced to resign in 1982 after a dispute with the publisher. The senior editorial staff resigned in sympathy and the publication folded two years later. O’Donnell worked as a Times columnist but resigned when the editor Sir Harold Evans was forced to resign.

One of O’Donnell’s many jobs was as scientific advisor on the Lindsay Anderson film ‘O Lucky Man’. ‘O Lucky Man’ is a film which highlights corruption within the British establishment, including medicine. Some parts of ‘O Lucky Man’ are frighteningly accurate. Yet throughout his career O’Donnell made no real attempt to challenge the terrible reality in medicine that he undoubtedly knew about. He was rude about the ‘medical establishment’ and liked to think if himself as a rebel, but he was far too busy farting around on ‘Stop The Week’ or ‘My Word’ to raise serious questions about the institutionalised corruption that was ruining lives and leaving some people dead.

O’Donnell mobilised massive support for his campaign to reform the GMC, but the results were so limited that he might as well have not bothered. The GMC continued to protect dangerous doctors and put patients at risk – O’Donnell himself sat on the GMC Council until 1996 and for the last two years he was Chairman of the Standards Committee. Dafydd et al continued in their own sweet way, as of course did Harold Shipman.

O’Donnell’s own explanation was that the ‘reform’ of the GMC stopped when Sir (later Lord) John Richardson retired as President.

John Richardson was President of the GMC 1973-80. He was President of the BMA 1970-71 and of the Royal Society for Medicine 1969-71. He was Chair of the Joint Consultants Committee 1967-72. He trained and worked at Tommy’s, as did most other people involved in this story. Richardson had at one point attended King George VI and was Harold Macmillan’s personal physician for 40 years – he became good friends with Macmillan. Like O’Donnell, Richardson was from Yorkshire – Richardson’s own father was a solicitor from Sheffield. Richardson retired from Tommy’s in 1975. In his capacity as President of the GMC he regularly met Ministers, including Barbara Castle whilst she was Secretary of State at the DHSS, 1974-76, when she did battle with the Top Doctors over pay beds in the NHS. Richardson was also Vice-President of the RCN from 1972 – it helps to have the Top Doctors controlling the other professions who know what they get up to.

Richardson was also consulting physician to King Edward VII’s Hospital for Officers; Consultant Emeritus to the British Army and Consultant Physician to the Metropolitan Police 1957-80. He was given a peerage in 1979 and campaigned from the Lords to stop the proposed closure of A&E at Tommy’s.

Richardson’s obituary in the Guardian described him as a ‘networker’ who was ‘never one to miss an opportunity’, ‘who did no significant research and was not a brilliant physician’. He was ‘ambitious, sometimes fawning’ and the medical students at Tommy’s tagged him ‘Sir John’ before he actually acquired his baronetcy – which was given to him by Macmillan in 1960.

Richardson retired to north Devon. Did anyone really expect a man with his biography to ‘reform’ the GMC?

 

Along with Michael O’Donnell, Diana Brahams was another high profile medical writer who was sympathetic to Dally. Brahams was everywhere in the 80s and 90s, she was usually invited to comment on ethical or medico-legal issues of that time. I have only just learnt that Brahams worked for the MDU – that was certainly never made clear when she was presented in the media as a ‘barrister’ who was an ‘expert’. Documents in my possession demonstrate that between 1985-1992 (at least) the MDU knew the extent of the wrongdoing in the north Wales mental health services and continued to act for Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) even though they knew that he was perjuring himself and they themselves had advised him to not to pursue litigation against me. Nonetheless, in 1991, Sir Robert Francis QC, whilst acting for the MDU, attempted to have me imprisoned on the instructions of Tony Francis.

Brahams seems to be based in north London near St John’s Wood and is a founder member of ‘Healthwatch’, which states that it is for ‘science and integrity in medicine’. Members include Professor Michael Baum the surgeon, Professor Susan Bewley (the daughter of two other Top Doctors, Thomas and Beulah Bewley, of whom I will be writing more later in this post) and Heinz Wolff, the man who starred on the BBC in an attempt to incite an interest in science among people of my generation when we were children. The Patron of ‘Healthwatch’ is Lord Dick Taverne – someone else known to this blog.

Brahams is also a Trustee of the Medico-Legal Society – a ‘charity’, whose registered address is Hempsons offices in London. Hempsons are the solicitors of the MDU. The stated object of the Medico-Legal Society is ‘to promote medico-legal knowledge in all its aspects’. Their meetings take place at the Medical Society of London.

Another Trustee of the Medico-Legal Society is Dr Kate Allsopp. Dr Kate Allsopp is mentioned regularly in Ann Dally’s book. Kate was a friend of Ann’s. Ann mentiones in her book that Kate was a useful person to have on side because she was shortly to become the Joint Deputy Secretary, ‘the second in command’ of the MDU. Ann was also on good terms with Dr John Wall, who later became Secretary of the MDU.

The President of the Medico-Legal Society is Dr Daniel Haines. Dr Haines doubles up as the honorary treasurer of the Royal Society of Medicine. After serving in the Falklands conflict – during which time he was taken prisoner – Daniel returned to London and worked as a GP, as well as a police surgeon with the Metropolitan Police. Daniel is now involved in expert witness work – he specialises in rape and child sexual abuse no less. Well Daniel, as an expert in the field, you certainly have an awful lot of colleagues who have worked for the MDU whom you can quiz for details…

Another medical writer who supported Dally was Dr Ian Munro. Munro trained at Guy’s and was Deputy Editor of the Lancet, 1965-76 and then Editor, 1976-88. Munro wrote many of the Lancet’s anonymous editorials, including one in 1983 which was a robust attack on the Secretary of State Norman Fowler, demanding his resignation – but not because of a high level cover-up of the Westminster Paedophile Ring, rather because of NHS strikes. If only they’d have all stayed on strike, they wouldn’t have been facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales and flogging drugs. Or perjuring themselves in order to try and imprison people who’d dared complain about them.

Ian Munro was also an early and consistent champion of Wendy Savage.

Munro was known to have been ‘accessible to his colleagues in Fleet Street even in unsocial hours’. Top Doctors Calling, Top Doctors Calling…

Ian Munro was also from Yorkshire – from Bradford. He retained a lifelong involvement with Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

 

One of Ann’s friends from Tommy’s was Dr Elizabeth Fletcher – Fletcher acted as a character witness for Ann. Elizabeth Fletcher’s claim to fame was that after working as a GP, she became Chief Medical Officer at the BBC, 1975-80. She’ll have known about Savile then. Ann’s book mentions that among her patients were a number of senior employees of the BBC. Frank Bough was famously publicly identified as enjoying coke and prostitutes and of course Stephen Fry that well-known MIND ambassador boasted of snorting coke in Buck House – they won’t have minded Stephen, they were patients of the Dallys – but there will be many more at the BBC who enjoy recreational chemicals who haven’t been outed by the tabloids. Perhaps because the tabloid journos had become friends with them after meeting them in Ann Dally’s waiting room.

Austen Kark was another character witness for Ann. Austen was a journalist and a BBC Executive. Austen started at the BBC in 1954. He was mostly involved with the World Service and was its MD, 1984-86.

Austen was part of the comfortable north London set as well, he lived in Islington.

A third character witness for Ann was Lady Zaida Ramsbotham. Ann states frankly in her book that her lawyers had selected Lady Zaida as a character witness because of her title – Ann was told that ‘it helps’. (Sir Jimmy Savile???) Zaida only became Lady Zaida after she married Sir Peter Ramsbotham, Britain’s former Ambassador to Washington – who was appointed by Ted Heath. Ramsbotham was described as an ‘old fashioned snob’, which his friends maintained was a ‘gross’ ‘unjust’ charge. Even if being a Lady meant that his wife was useful to a dealer when she was in hot water. Ramsbotham enjoyed a warm friendship with President Jimmy Carter.

When he retired in 1980, Peter Ramsbotham became a Trustee of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation; Chair of the Ryder-Cheshire Mission for the Relief of Suffering; a Director of Lloyds Bank and of the Commercial Union Assurance Co. He was a member of the Garrick and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1992.

Zaida married Peter in 1985 and thus acquired a title that impressed people. Before that she was Dr Zaida Hall. Her obituary from the British Journal of Psychiatry tells us that she was one of the first women students at St George’s Hospital Medical School and that she did her psychiatry training at the Maudsley. In 1971 Zaida Hall was appointed as the first female consultant psychiatrist at Southampton University/the Royal South Hants Hospital. She built up the psychotherapy dept and also worked at Red Hatch Remand Centre in Winchester for ‘delinquent girls’. Zaida was honest enough to admit that most of the ‘delinquent girls’ had been physically or sexually abused. Zaida started group therapy for female survivors of sexual abuse and later for male survivors as well. Zaida Hall used her position to publish and promote women’s mental health. Hall famously did battle with the group of therapists who publicised the notion of ‘false memory’. Which is a minefield. The wonderful thing about the notion of false memory is that it can be used to discredit the claims survivors of sexual abuse. But then so can the notion that false memory doesn’t exist. It all depends upon who’s accusing who and who the therapist is. But then nearly all psychotherapeutic notions can be used to discredit people who have been abused. Which is why the discipline has proved so useful. St George’s specialise in it and Dafydd learnt at the knee of Bob Hobson, one of Britain’s most prominent psychotherapists at the Maudsley.  So you can’t argue with that. As Dafydd once told me himself in 1987 when I accused him of the most appalling corruption – after he had me arrested on trumped up charges of ‘trying to stab a psychiatrist’. The psychiatrist who made the statement maintaining that I had done this worked for Dafydd and later admitted that I hadn’t tried to stab him after all. He was never disciplined or charged himself, although I would have gone to prison if the police had not got to the truth. In fact Dafydd was so certain that this scam would be successful that he even wrote to the Mental Health Acts Commission and told them that I had been sent to Risley Remand Centre for trying to stab a psychiatrist – and they wrote back to him confirming it!

You jumped the gun there boys…and the incriminating letters are now in my possession.

A  close friend of Ann’s was Dr Dale Beckett, again someone based in Islington. Dale Beckett had interests in drug addiction, hypnotherapy, NLP and the ‘spiritual aspect of emotional disorders’. Beckett acted as an expert witness for Dally.

Another friend was Roger Toulmin who had worked as a radio producer for the BBC and for the Times. Toulmin then became a civil servant in the DHSS. He guided the Committee of Top Doctors, nurses and midwives under the Chairmanship of Dame Alice Munro which resulted in the 1985 Report ‘Maternity Care In Action’. Ann stressed that Toulmin was a ‘bachelor’ which made his interest in the welfare of women and young children all the more impressive. Unfortunately though dear old Roger and Dame Alice didn’t manage to improve anything – Maternity Care In Action in the UK is still not what it should be and we have mortality rates for mothers and babies that are worse than some of the countries that we enjoy sneering at and imagine that their citizens are all trying to make their way to the UK to use our glorious NHS.

Ann was also friendly with Dr James Willis, who ran the drug dependency service on Merseyside before Dr John Marks took it over. I mentioned John Marks (not to be confused with the Dr John Marks who was head of the BMA for many years) previously. Marks acted as an expert witness for Dally. He ran the Chapel Street Clinic in Widnes, where he legally prescribed maintenance doses of heroin and cocaine. Great results were claimed, including by the Cheshire Drug Squad – the thing that everyone was most impressed with at the time was that none of John Marks’ patients died from AIDS. John Marks was basically hounded out and the clinic shut down in 1995. Marks himself maintains that he believes that his clinic was shut down after the US current affairs programme 60 Minutes screened a programme about his clinic in 1990. The US Republican administration became aware of the clinic, it’s methods and it’s success and Marks alleges that they put pressure on the British Gov’t to close it. Bing Spear was an enthusiastic supporter of John Marks’ clinic and rang Marks a few months after the programme was screened, claiming that there was ‘real heat’ from the embassy in Washington and that Thatcher had ‘got her knickers in a twist’.

It is alleged that Bing resigned after Marks’ clinic was closed and was replaced by an Alan MacFarlane, who considered John Marks to be ‘dangerous’.

There is a discrepancy here that I have not been able to get to the bottom of. It is alleged that Bing resigned as a consequence of Marks being shut down. Yet Bing Spear retired in 1986 – the TV programme wasn’t screened until 1990 and Marks’ clinic didn’t close until 1995. So at least some of this story isn’t true.

However, I can well-imagine that Dr John Marks, if he was running a highly successful clinic for drug addicts which was becoming famous, would have faced opposition from just about everybody. There would be the usual complaints from the neighbourhood of ‘we don’t want these sorts of people here’ – and the neighbours would be really worried about that clinic expanding. There would be the anxieties re property prices and the fate of neighbouring businesses. But Marks would also be loathed by the rest of the medical establishment as well – they were screwing up big time, so they really won’t have wanted him up in Widnes showing them up for the fools that they were. Furthermore, Marks’ clinic was alleged to have put local illicit drug dealers out of business – there was no call for their products anymore. Organised drug trafficking is big business and involves many ‘respectable’ people – they’ll have wanted John Marks out of the way. And of course there was the utter embarrassment that was Dafydd just down the A55 in north Wales – a whole pyramid of corruption and bad practice depended upon the continued presence of Dafydd and John Marks would have presented a major threat to all of it. Addicts were not going to waste their time and money with Dafydd if there was a man just next door on the Wirral from whom they could receive a service.

So Dafydd stayed in business and Dr Marks emigrated to New Zealand.

Nice result US Republican party, whose members did not have to live with the effects of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Other writers who supported Dally included George Mikes, a journalist known for his humorous articles. Papers that he wrote for included the Observer and the Times Literary Supplement. Mikes’ had worked for the BBC’s Hungarian Service. Mikes was a member of the Garrick and was a good friend of Arthur Koestler – who was alleged to have been highly abusive to women. The journalist Jill Tweedie wrote an article in her later years describing how Koestler had violently raped her when she was young. Andrew Veitch also covered the case sympathetically – Veitch was born in Wrexham no less. His journalism received awards from, among others, paedophiles’ friends the Royal Television Society and the Terence Higgins Trust. Andrew Tyler wrote a piece for Time Out that Ann really loved – a ‘frank’ article that ‘frightened’ the Home Office and the drug dependency establishment. Tyler was a rock journalist who had worked for the NME. In 1996 he became the Director of Animal Aid. Sadly he developed Parkinsons – he chose to die at the Dignitas clinic.

Bill Nelles was also a supporter of Dally and a former addict patient of hers. Nelles was the Drugs Education Officer at the Terence Higgins Trust at the time. He went on to work for West Berkshire Health Authority, training doctors and drug users. He later became the HIV co-ordinator for North Birmingham Health Authority, the HIV co-ordinator for Harrow and Hillingdon NHS Community Trust and then in 1999 the CEO of the Methadone Alliance. He now lives and works in Canada.

Dally received a substantial amount of TV coverage, particularly after her case. She had much contact with John Ware the producer of Panorama, although she was disappointed at the Panorama programme that was eventually screened. She complained that it featured such unsavoury matters as ‘housing estates and crime on Merseyside’. Which doesn’t look quite as good as Harley Street and Belgravia, which were the stamping grounds of Ann’s patients. Dally later discovered that Ware had done a deal with the GMC and had only screened what they had approved.

Ann featured in ‘Hypotheticals’, a TV programme in which a barrister questioned people on opposing sides of an argument. Dally’s book noted that the ‘young barrister’ hosting the programme was a Jane Belson. Jane Belson eventually became Mrs Douglas Adams of ‘Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy’ fame. After graduating from Oxford, Belson worked for the Treasury. She lived with Adams in Islington and after a few diplomatic incidents they got married. They moved to LA, then to California and later returned to London. Belson and Adam were networked to an enormous circle of celebs, including many at the BBC.

Sir Henry Yellowlees also took part in the ‘Hypotheticals’ programme, opposing Ann – Yellowlees had been on the GMC panel for one of her hearings. Yellowlees was Chief Medical Officer for the DHSS, 1973-84. He had previously held a sequence of appointments on the Regional Hospital Boards (one of the Regional Hospital Board’s ran the North Wales Hospital Denbigh in the era when Gwynne the lobotomist was busy as well as Dafydd); he was seconded to the Ministry of Health in 1963 as Principal Medical Officer, after which he received promotion regularly; in 1976 he was appointed Sir George Godber’s Deputy. Godber was CMO, 1960-73 – he has a God-like status in NHS history because he was instrumental in forming the NHS. Yellowlees had battles with Barbara Castle between 1974-76 when she was trying to remove pay beds from the NHS – this led to industrial action from the Top Doctors and then industrial action from the ancillary staff who refused to provide services for patients in pay beds. So there was great trouble from those self-sacrificing NHS staff.

Yellowlees was the son of a psychiatrist himself. He left the DHSS in 1983 and then spent a year at the MoD, working on a new structure for the medical staff in the armed services; he was also a consultant to WHO. Yellowlees was a member of MRC for 9 years and a member of the GMC for 10 years. He sat on the NHS Supervisory Board for 10 years. Yellowlees served under Secretaries of State Keith Joseph, Barbara Castle, David Ennals, Norman Fowler and Patrick Jenkin.

Ken Clarke’s autobiography maintains that Yellowlees was a dreadful old bugger who’s main concern was to ascertain which Top Doctors would receive which honours.

 

Someone who appeared on ‘Hypotheticals’ in support of Ann was one of her patients, Carlin Wilkowski. Carlin still has quite an internet presence – she describes herself as an ‘addict mother’ and seems to be based in Highgate.

Dr Cindy Fazey, a criminologist from Liverpool, offered to act as an expert witness for Dally. Fazey has been the Professor of International Drug Policy at Liverpool University since 1998. She is the former Chief of Demand Reduction for the UN Control Programme. Fazey’s husband may well have proved useful to Dally as well – Ian Fazey is a journalist. He was the northern correspondent for the Financial Times during the 80s and worked for the paper until 1996. He and Cindy met whilst they were students at Aston University and Ian began his career on the Birmingham Post. He then moved to the Liverpool Daily Post where he became Deputy Editor, before becoming the General Manager of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo in 1976.

The Liverpool Daily Post is the sister paper of the Daily Post which serves north Wales. The Daily Post is a real laugh because for years it has so obviously served as a PR sheet for the paedophiles’ friends. Dafydd himself was regularly featured in there as the centre of flattering profiles until he became very elderly. The most offensive thing that I ever read in the Daily Post was an ‘interview’ with Dafydd back in the early 1990s, in which Dafydd was asked a series of utterly obsequious questions, including one which made reference to Dafydd being known to be ‘attractive to women’ and asking him why he thought this was. This was a man who was sexually exploiting female patients – whom he had unlawfully imprisoned in a hell-hole of an asylum – whilst facilitating a paedophile ring. What did the Daily Post think that they were doing? Dafydd’s patients were universally revolted by him – not only was he unpleasant and unhinged, but he was filthy. He smelt, his teeth were green, his clothes were dirty and he was always covered in dandruff. A copy of the Daily Post was circulated around the psychiatric ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd on the day that article was published and I actually witnessed two male psych nurses – two with a sense of humour – being told that there was a photo of Dafydd in the paper. One of them yelled out ‘have they captured the dandruff?’ and they then both fell about laughing because even in the photo, you could see that Dafydd had his regular covering on the shoulders of his suit. This man worked in hospitals where the degree of ‘illness’ in patients was partially judged on whether their ‘personal hygiene’ was up to scratch. It was utterly nonsensical, like most of UK psychiatry.

Jeremy Laurance wrote articles in a number of publications about Dally. The article he wrote for New Society was described by Dally as ‘disappointing’. She was cross because Laurance had ‘invented’ a bit about Dally treating an addict in the Royal Family. Dally also became vexed with the Sunday Times for having the temerity to publish that she had a pop star among her patients and surprise surprise, they had even ‘got hold of the idea that I was psych to Princess Margaret’. How did these publications ever draw such conclusions? Because Peter and Ann Dally talked about it that’s how.

Dally intriguingly states that ‘later Jeremy was converted to my way of thinking’ and along with his Editor David Lipsey, became a ‘useful supporter’. David Lipsey ended up receiving a peerage from Tony Blair – he was named and shamed as one of Tony’s Cronies. Lipsey worked on the Sunday Times, the Sunday Correspondent, the Times, the Guardian and the Economist. He had been an advisor to Tony Crosland when Crosland was in opposition and an advisor to No 10. He was Chair of Streatham Labour Party, 1970-72 and Chair of the Fabian Society, 1982-83.

 

Obviously with Ann Dally entering into battle with the police, the Home Office Inspectorate, the GMC and the Court of Appeal at various times during the 80s, she had extensive dealings with lawyers. Although from what I saw in north Wales the MDU do an excellent job of defending Top Doctors even when they know that the Top Doctors concerned have been involved in serious criminal conduct, Ann Dally had a low opinion of the MDU, repeatedly stating that she did not trust them and was disenchanted with them. Her poor opinion of them seems to have stemmed from an incident when she had acted as an ‘expert witness’ for another Top Doctor who stood accused of questionable practices with drug addicts. Dally arrived at the Temple for a legal conference regarding this man’s case, only to be told by the clerk that no conference had been arranged. The solicitor from the MDU arrived and was told the same thing. It transpired that a conference HAD been arranged, but no-one had told the Counsel, so he’d gone home. Therefore the conference would have to be rearranged. The main concern of the man from the MDU was how expensive this was. Yet everyone involved had been retained by the MDU – so whoever had screwed up was working for the MDU.

The solicitor upon whom Ann relied extensively was a friend of hers, John Calderon, who did not work for the MDU but who worked in the City. Calderon recommended Christopher Sumner as Counsel. John also wanted Dally to use Hempsons, the MDU solicitors but she flatly refused. Despite this, the MDU did agree to pay for John Calderon’s representation, although the MDU wanted to be present at all meetings with lawyers. The MDU also funded Dally’s (unsuccessful) appeal to the Privy Council House of Lords Judicial Committee after she was barred from prescribing by the GMC.

Calderon wanted a Top Doctor to sit in with the lawyers and comment on the scientific evidence in Ann’s case. The Top Doctor selected to do this was none other than Dr John Harman, Harriet’s dad. One of the many comments following my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ mentions the role that John Harman played in defending John Bodkin Adams, a Top Doctor who killed his patients. Dally describes John Harman as having ‘one of the best brains I knew for exposing medical guff’.

Dally liked Christopher Sumner. Sir Christopher Sumner as he became was appointed a Circuit judge in 1987, a High Court judge in 1996 and ended up in the Court of Appeal. He worked as an advocate and a High Court judge in the Family Division.

When John Calderon was unavailable for Dally’s appeal – he was on holiday – Dally used the services of another solicitor, John Kelleher. Kelleher is now a partner in Carey Olsen and practices in Jersey. In 1994 Kelleher became an Advocate of the Royal Court of Jersey and in 2017 he was appointed President of the Law Society of Jersey. As the appeal approached, Calderon told Dally that ‘the Law Lords feel that they need to keep in with the doctors’. The barrister Diana Brahams believed that the Privy Council took the view that doctors are the best people to discipline other doctors. Dally observed that there is a close relationship between the GMC and the Privy Council (who hear appeals against GMC decisions) – they hand out honours to each other.

In one of Ann’s hearings, William Gage was the lead barrister who was engaged by Calderon. Ann didn’t take to Gage and told Neil Taylor QC – Counsel who was also advising – that she felt uncomfortable with him. She was told by Taylor that it wasn’t Gage’s job to make her feel at ease, he was there ‘to get you off’ and that he was good at getting clients off. Gage is now Sir William Gage. He became the presiding judge of the South Eastern Circuit, then a High Court judge in 1993 and then a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2004. Gage Chaired the Public Inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa.

After Dally lost her appeal, the MDU paid for the opinion of Anthony Lester QC, who specialised in European law, with a view to taking the case to the Court of Human Rights, although Dally didn’t end up following this course of action.

At one point the MDU instructed Anthony Johnston of Beachcrofts to act for Dally.

 

Dr David Marjot acted as an expert witness for Dally. Dally describes Marjot as a critic of the drugs dependency establishment who ran a DDU clinic himself. Dally stated that he was the only such doctor in London who was in such a position and that he too had suffered after ‘speaking out’. Marjot was one of the few doctors who held a heroin licence. Between 1976-93, he was consultant psychiatrist for the Regional Alcohol and DDU at Ealing. He was visiting consultant psychiatrist for Wormwood Scrubs, 1976-99 and locum forensic psychiatrist for Broadmoor, 1994-96. Yes, another one who stood and watched as Savile did his worst… In 2014 David Marjot wrote a very angry letter into the BMJ concerning the case of a surgeon who had been in front of the GMC for shouting and swearing at colleagues. Marjot had penned a blistering attack on the GMC, quoting the Francis Report into the Mid-Staffs scandal, reminding everyone that even in that case, the failings had been institutional rather than personal. Whilst I would agree with Marjot that staff working in the NHS can be seriously hampered by a foolish managerial regime in which an obsession with targets is pursued at all costs, that cannot always excuse what happens in the NHS and it didn’t excuse what happened at Mid-Staffs. By the way Marjot – when you were working at Broadmoor, the crazy regime of targets was not in place. But that didn’t stop Savile and others grossly abusing the patients – and it wasn’t targets that bought your silence on the matter.

After Dally was prevented from prescribing, a Dr Colin Brewer took over many of her patients. Dally described Brewer as a man who had ‘had a change of heart’ and had converted to her way of thinking. He certainly did. Brewer didn’t just open one clinic to prescribe for addicts on a private basis, he opened several – and then expanded rapidly. Brewer was a roaring success until 2006 when he was struck off by the GMC for inappropriate drug prescribing. His clinic – the Stapleford Addiction Clinic, based in Belgravia – was described as a ‘drugs grocery’ and his patients included Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty. A consequence of the ‘inappropriate prescribing’ which saw Brewer struck off was the death of a patient. The patient had been sent home with a DIY detox kit containing 16 different drugs, including a heroin substitute. Colin Brewer has found a new way of earning a few quid since he was struck off. He now carries out ‘assessments’ for Dignitas. The Daily Mail have taken an interest in Colin Brewer and revealed that he has ‘helped’ at least twelve people to die by saying the right things in his assessments for Dignitas. A lot of those people were not terminally ill. When challenged, Brewer said that because he was no longer on the Register ‘no-one can tell me what to do’. An undercover journalist posed as a thirty-five year old woman with mental health problems and Brewer was prepared to recommend her for the chop as well.

When asked about the activities of Colin Brewer, our esteemed DPP Alison Saunders stated that the CPS was less likely to prosecute doctors assisting in deaths of patients who were not under their direct care – critics say that Brewer exploited this.

 

So who were the Top Doctors who sat in judgement over Ann Dally and who found her wanting but didn’t actually put her out of business, even when she continued to prescribe controlled drugs after she was barred by the GMC? I have mentioned that one was Sir Henry Yellowlees.

Another was the President of the GMC at the time, Sir (later Lord) John Walton. Walton was a neurologist who held every big job in medicine. He was President of the BMA 1980-82; President of the GMC 1982-89; President of the Royal Society of Medicine 1984-86.  He was knighted in 1979 and after his distinguished stint at the GMC – during which all those very serious complaints about Dafydd were not acted upon, even the one that involved a death – Walton picked up his peerage in 1989. So how did this lethal old bastard climb to the top?

Walton qualified at Newcastle Medical School, when it was still part of Durham University. In 1959 he was appointed consultant neurologist at the University of Newcastle Hospitals and in 1968 he was awarded a Chair in neurology at Newcastle. Walton was a specialist in muscular dystrophy. In 1971 he became Dean of the Medicine at Newcastle, a post he retained until 1981. He also sat on various hospital management committees. In 1983 he was appointed Warden of Green College, Oxford.

Walton was Vice-President of the World Federation of Neurology in 1981 and then President, 1989-97. He was President of the Association for British Neurology, 1987-88.

Walton arrived in the Lords whilst the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was passing through Parliament, which allowed experiments on embryos for up to 14 days after fertilisation. Walton supported the Bill and Lord Stallard (Jock Stallard, a former Labour MP) was so opposed to it that he tried to prevent Walton becoming Chair of the Medical Ethics Select Committee. Stallard failed in this – well Walton was a Top Doctor wasn’t he, of course he would be the best choice where ethics were concerned. Walton also remained loyal to his old medical school once he arrived in the Lords – he used his position to gain GMC approval for Newcastle’s development of a medical school in Malaysia and much more recently he secured Parliamentary approval for Newcastle’s work on mitochondrial research (that’s the really controversial work that a lot of people are very worried about). In 2014 Newcastle University opened the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre.

Walton remained a very influential figure in the north east and was made Freeman of the City of Newcastle.

I suspect that Walton occupying that Chair of the Ethics Committee may have caused a great deal of damage. As I am fairly certain did Walton himself for many years. Walton came from NEWCASTLE – Dr Neil Davies and Prof Bob Woods who colluded with the wrongdoing in north Wales were both working at Newcastle before they arrived to work in the mental health services in north Wales. The Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal happened on Walton’s old patch – which provided such a useful muddying of the waters where organised child sexual abuse was concerned just when some of us were trying to draw attention to the wrongdoing in north Wales.

There is one position that Walton held which is completely inconsistent with his whole career. Between 2012-15 he was President of the Association of the College of Occupational Therapists. Apart from Alison Taylor the Gwynedd social worker who was sacked by her boss Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress – back in the late 1980s, there has only ever been one whistleblower in Gwynedd. That was a senior occupational therapist at the Hergest Unit, who for years blew and blew and blew. Although he undoubtedly saved a few lives by actually looking after his patients, this man’s grave concerns were ignored. The small team of occupational therapists working with him were all excellent as well. The whistleblower was sent to Coventry by virtually the whole hospital and retired a few years ago – after he retired, every one of his colleagues was hounded out. This man was offered a job to build up occupational therapy as a discipline in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University but turned it down because of the bad practice that he knew was prevalent in that School. The job was instead taken by a Louise Ingham, who had previously worked as an occupational therapist for mental health patients in the community in Gwynedd. Who knows exactly how dangerous and corrupt the mental health services in north Wales are and who neglected her own patients shockingly – I witnessed one case of this myself.

So who on earth invited John Walton to preside over the occupational therapists at a national level?

One of the members of one of the GMC panels before whom Dally appeared was Dr Betty Tylden. Betty Tylden had worked under William Sargant at Tommy’s – as had Ann’s husband. Tylden’s expertise was in addiction – and child abuse, cults and mind control.

The hearing of the GMC into Dally’s conduct that occurred as a result of her continuing to prescribe controlled drugs after the GMC had barred her from doing this was Chaired by Professor Robert Duthie. Duthie was an orthopaedic surgeon from Oxford. In 1971 he had acted as an advisor to the DHSS. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on Civil Liability and Personal Injury. Duthie was President of the British Orthopaedic Association in 1984. So he’ll have known the corrupt Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, who concealed the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al in the late 1980s – Owen was Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Liverpool University.

On the panel alongside Robert Duthie was Professor Rhilip Rhodes, an obstetrician. Ann Dally had been friends with him when she worked in obstetrics at Tommy’s.

 

As for the ‘drugs dependency establishment’ whom Dally loathed and who opposed her, a leading light among them was Dr Thomas Bewley, whom I mentioned earlier – the man whom many years later admitted that none of them actually knew what they were doing.

Bewley sat on a lot of Committees, he particularly enjoyed doing that. He was the first sub-dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the second Dean, the fifth President, 1984-87 and a member of the Council until 1996.

Bewley had an interesting early career. He was from Dublin and qualified there – his was from a well-known family who founded a small Quaker hospital, Bloomfield and both his father and grandfather ran that. Bewley came to Britain as a young man and took up psychiatry but was repeatedly rejected for training at the Maudsley. He was finally accepted on his fourth application. Bewley stated that he didn’t want to train at Tommy’s because he feared being damaged by William Sargant. In the 1950s Bewley completed his MD thesis at the Maudsley on alcoholism. He then spent time working in psychoanalysis in the US. He returned to run Tooting Bec Hospital (the hospital which so appalled Ann Dally when she was young), where he became a consultant. Bewley went to Tooting Bec because ‘they took people who couldn’t get in anywhere’ – he had difficulty getting a job because he had left the Maudsley ‘prematurely’ and his qualifications were Irish.

Bewley began treating heroin addicts and published in the Lancet. He ‘knew little, but more than everyone else’. Despite this career which involved being almost unemployable and not knowing his arse from his elbow, in a 2007 interview with the British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin, Thomas Bewley observed that ‘one of the advantages of having an index-linked psychiatrists pension is we can go to the opera as often as we like’. Whilst you ignore a nutter in north Wales who is a colleague of yours who participates in organised crime.

Thomas Bewley’s wife is Dame Beulah Bewley, an epidemiologist. Beulah Bewley was a member of the GMC for a number of years. In fact she was a member of the GMC when her husband reported Ann Dally to them. Beulah Bewley was a Woman In Medicine and even wrote a book about this after she retired. She had been the President of the Women’s Medical Federation on the GMC and was also the treasurer. Despite advertising her credentials as a Woman, Beulah never managed to reign in Dafydd during her time on the GMC as he shagged and sexually harassed his way around north Wales. Beulah boasts of having met many Top People during her career, rubbing shoulders with Royalty as well as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor – yeh, well that makes sense, her husband ran a drugs and alcohol clinic.

Someone else who opposed Dally was Professor Robert Priest, honorary consultant at St Mary’s Hospital and one time Chairman of the BMA.

Dr Philip Connell was another Top Doctor with whom Dally clashed. Connell was the first person to identify amphetamine psychosis. Connell liked sitting on Committees even more than Thomas Bewley, Connell sat on just about everything possible, particularly in the field of addiction.

Connell was a Barts graduate who did his postgrad training at the Maudsley. In 1959 he was appointed consultant for developing a children’s and adolescent service at Newcastle General Hospital, in association with Durham University. Six years later he returned to the Maudsley as a consultant where he remained until his retirement in 1986. Connell was a member of Baroness Wootton’s Committee On The Use Of Cannabis; Chair of the Advisory Council On The Misuse of Drugs, 1982-88; Vice-President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; and a member of the GMC – the Preliminary Screener for Health Procedures. Connell will have known Dafydd then – Dafydd famously claimed to suffer from a ‘nervous illness’ which was used as the excuse when he did something really deranged which couldn’t be concealed in the usual manner.

In the Indie’s obituary of Connell, it was observed that he had ‘an addiction for power and influence in medical organisations, especially those which had an interface with the public and legal affairs’, that ‘his efforts to gain and utilise power were based on self-interest’, that he ‘could be quite boastful’, that he had a ‘tough and barbed exterior’ and that he ‘enjoyed mingling with the great and good’.

Obituaries usually highlight the nicest aspects of people, so I can only presume that Philip Connell was as obnoxious as they come.

Dr John Strang was someone else who did not approve of Ann Dally. Strang led the drug addiction group at the Maudsley for many years. Then he was the Director of the National Addiction Centre; the Head of the Addictions Dept at Kings College London and the Leader of the Addiction Clinical Academic Group of Kings Health Partners.

 

All these Top Doctors who opposed Ann Dally will have known that Dafydd was building up a drugs empire in north Wales. At one point in the 1980s this lot even held a conference in Llandudno, which was the heart of Dafydd’s drugs and nursing homes empire. So whilst they quaffed and supped, just down the road the residents of Holyrood House were being beaten to a pulp and throughout the region the paedophiles were busy.

 

There was one Top Doctor whom Dally spoke of approvingly, a man who Knows How It Is because he was an ex-addict himself. That man was Dr Brian Wells.

Life has certainly been good to Dr Brian Wells. He now runs a company called Leading Healthcare International (LHCI), which describes itself as ‘bespoke’, ‘discreet’ and operating by ‘word of mouth’. He set up LHCI in 2002 to provide ‘facilities for patients and families on a global basis’. Brian Wells is also listed at three different London facilities on the BUPA website. But Brian has another website as well – this advertises The Cabin at Chiang Mai in Thailand. Wells is Group Medical Director at The Cabin Addiction Services Group. He explains that his career has been ‘varied’ and that among other things he was the ‘tour doctor’ to a ‘number of well-known artists in the entertainment industry’. The Cabin’s contact details are in Thailand and the website advertises counsellors, mindfulness and meditation. Wells claims that The Cabin uses CBT, the 12 Steps programme and Mindfulness. The Cabin has a ‘partner office’ in the Netherlands and outpatient centres across the globe, including in Bangkok. Although The Cabin is principally concerned with drugs and alcohol addiction, the accompanying blog explains that The Cabin now offers help for porn addiction at the Chiang Mai centre. Presumably Dr Brian will arrange for a few ladyboys to pop over from the Bangkok branch to assist with the therapy.

Brian Wells actually has the letters FRCPsych after his name. He has the official stamp of approval.

Brian was the Medical Director of the main refugee camp during the Cambodian relief operation of 1979/80. He then returned to the UK. He worked at the Maudsley as a consultant psych and set up the largest NHS substance misuse service in the UK, including SHARP, a ‘charitable intensive day-programme’, as well as the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour at Imperial. Dr Wells was also the Medical Director of the then Riverside Mental Health NHS Trust, Central London.

Wells has been clinical advisor to a number of international organisations, including health insurance companies and the GMC.

So has anyone rung the drug squad yet to discuss Dr Wells’s business activities with them?

 

I need to mention one more Top Doctor who receives a passing reference in Dally’s book. That is Dr Dorothy Black, who worked in the Drugs Dept of the DHSS in the 1980s. Like Dr Pamela Mason, a Top Doctor in the employment of Thatcher’s Gov’t whilst this chaos was happening. Dorothy Black’s name cropped up in 1984, in the wake of a truly damning report into Kendall House, a home for ‘girls with problems’ which was run by the Church of England’s Council for Social Responsibility in Gravesend, Kent. The ‘girls with problems’ – what’s the betting that the problem that most of them had was that they had been molested and wouldn’t shut up about it? – were being forcibly injected by a Top Doctor – describing himself interestingly as a ‘psychotherapist’ –  with huge doses of anti-psychotics, although none of the girls had diagnoses of mental illness. A TV programme was screened about the Kendall House in 1980 but no action at all was taken. It was only in the wake of the report in 1984 that Dorothy Black felt obliged to comment, stating that she was ‘extremely concerned’ about the ‘storage, monitoring and administration of psychotropic drugs’. In 1986 Kendall House was closed. Many of the girls who were resident there later gave birth to babies with various disabilities – the incidence of birth defects among these babies was so high that many believed there was a link to the huge doses of drugs that the mothers of the babies had been given when they were teenagers at Kendall House.

This sort of mistreatment of young people who dared allege that they had been sexually abused was absolutely routine throughout the 70, 80s and 90s. Everybody who worked in the field knew that it was going on – and huge numbers of the people involved are now employed at the highest levels in the UK’s health and welfare services.

 

This post has described the idiocy, the lack of integrity and the craziness of many of the people occupying senior positions in the mental health services in the 1980s.

As for the confusion and dilemmas involved in how to approach the problem that was Ann Dally, with the MDU, the GMC, Top Doctors and various lawyers and the Law Lords all bouncing the problem back and forth between them – I rather suspect that this was a result of Princess Margaret’s dealer being placed under investigation by the police. No-one knew what the hell to do so everyone started hitting each other – no wonder Dally wasn’t ever actually struck off. I also suspect that there was corruption in the Home Office Drugs Branch and the DHSS – it would explain why Dally was actively friends with some of the Inspectors and why John Lawson the Senior Inspector who was a soft touch was transferred to cover Wales. Anyone for a War On Drugs?

Thoughout it all, Dafydd conducted business as normal. Supplying boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring leaves one even more untouchable than being the purveyor of recreational chemicals to the Royals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Man Standing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sordid Role of Sir Robert Francis QC

Recent blog posts (eg. ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’, ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter the Arena’ and ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists from London’) describe how the mental health services in north Wales became increasingly desperate to, put crudely, stitch me up, in the face of my very serious allegations against them. I have described how there were clues, indeed evidence, available to the many people and organisations who had colluded in all this that indicated that all was far from well in the mental health services in north Wales and that I might not have been a ‘dangerous’ nutter making baseless complaints after all. Many of the people that I’ve mentioned in previous posts are well-known names in medicine and law, but probably won’t mean much to anyone outside these circles. However, there was one person involved in all this who has become a household name and has been constructed as a near-hero by those sections of the media interested in NHS failure. That is Sir Robert Francis QC.

In ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’ I gave an account of the circumstances in which I decided to leave London and move back to north Wales permanently, after yet another (failed) attempt by the mental health services in north Wales to have me imprisoned (this was on the basis of very serious charges which had to be withdrawn). In early 1991, within weeks of me leaving London, the mental health services brought yet another case against me. I do not have any documentation relating to this case, so I am working from memory and unlike some of the other incidents I do not therefore know what was said to whom about me behind the scenes and who provided ‘information’. I know enough however to understand that yet again, something very nasty had been carefully planned.

Previous blog posts have described in detail how much of a mover and shaker behind the scenes a psychiatrist from Ysbyty Gwynedd whom I call Dr X was, regarding the attempts to have me declared ‘dangerous’ and incarcerated in some way. (For readers who may not have read back far – I am not using this man’s name on the blog because he killed himself some four years ago and his widow, who was also a psychiatrist at Ysbyty Gwynedd, still lives in north Wales.) Dr X had worked very hard to gain a High Court Injunction against me as I have previously explained, but this was gained on the basis of ‘evidence’ that was actually little more than scare stories and speculation driven by Dr X himself and a number of his colleagues whom I had made complaint about as they were involved in the serious abuse of patients and law-breaking. Dr X and his wife had written repeatedly to the BMA and the Medical Defence Union about the ‘danger’ that I represented, yet from documentation recently made available to me, it seems that what Dr X and his colleagues – who were lending a considerable helping hand in all this – actually wanted was to find a method by which I would be unable to even write to them in the pursuit of my complaints. Dr X and his wife had access to unlimited legal advice provided by Hempsons, the solicitors used by the MDU. They had corresponded extensively with Hempsons regarding the ‘problem’ that was me and my pursuit of my complaints and I have been able to obtain some of that correspondence. It would seem that Dr X and his wife had actually been told repeatedly and quite frankly by their legal advisors that they were ‘over-reacting’ and on at least one occasion Dr X had been advised by his own legal team not to begin legal action against me – advice that he ignored.

The solicitor from Hempsons that Dr X and his wife were dealing with was a lady called Ann Ball. At some point during 1990 I actually had a long telephone conversation with Ann Ball as injunctions and threats to imprison me rained down upon my head. (Of course at that time, I had no idea that Dr X was ignoring advice from Ann Ball et al and was actually being told by them to stop all the litigation against me.) The thing that Dr X found so distressing was the letters that I was writing – it is true that I was writing an awful lot of letters, but as previous posts have described, I had witnessed very serious abuses in the north Wales mental health services and none of my complaints were being addressed. I had been constantly threatened by these esteemed ‘professionals’ and on one occasion an attempt had been made to bribe me into dropping my complaints. My letters regarding all this were being constructed by Dr X and his fellow travellers as ‘harassment’. I have copies of these letters and again and again I was describing law breaking and abuses on the part of the mental health services so serious that it would have been worthy of a police investigation. All these lawyers were reading these letters. Indeed Ann Ball had read these letters and it was this that I discussed with her on the phone. I told Ann Ball that very serious malpractice was happening in north Wales, particularly at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and on the part of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and that people were colluding with or at best ignoring this. Ann Ball acknowledged that she had read my letters with the details of the abuses, but she used a very interesting argument. She told me that ‘poor’ Dr X was nothing to do with any of it and that he had assured her that he ‘didn’t know anything about’ what I was alleging was happening. She was actually very nice and chatty and said that she could see that I was very upset and felt strongly about all this, so why didn’t I approach Mencap or someone and get an investigation undertaken. (Ann Ball did of course get her charities wrong, Menap represents people with learning disabilities, but a lot of people make this mistake.) Ann was ignoring something here. I had indeed tried to do this and had been trying at that point for three years to tell EVERYONE what was going on in the North Wales Hospital. I had tried MIND, I had tried other high profile mental health campaigners at the time such as Marjorie Wallace and dear old Esther, I had told lawyers, I had told other medical practitioners and I had told the Mental Health Act Commission. I had told just about everybody that I could and none of them responded. (Of course I do now have documents demonstrating that the Mental Health Act Commission, the lawyers and the other medical practitioners whom I told were enjoying a very chummy relationship with the north Wales mental health services and were actively collaborating with them.) I told Ann this and she continued to maintain that nonetheless Dr X wasn’t involved and did not know.

Documents recently released to me demonstrate that not only was Dr X working very hard to get me locked up somehow, but he was also telling a lot of barefaced lies to a lot of people in order to try to achieve this. I did not know this until very recently. But what about Dr X’s protestations to Ann Ball of ‘I know nuzzing?’ He did know. He knew because I told him for a start. And if he chose not to believe me, he would have known from other sources. By this time, Mary Wynch had won her legal case against Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the North Wales Hospital Denbigh for false imprisonment and Dr X would have known about that. Dr X would have known about the damning inspection reports being made about Denbigh and the psychiatric facilities that he helped to ‘manage’ at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Dr X continued to work at Denbigh as well himself, so he knew perfectly well how bad conditions there were and what some of the practices there involved. Regarding Dafydd Alun Jones’s activities outside of the NHS, Dr X knew about those as well. Dafydd Alun Jones had been involved in sending his patients to ‘accommodation’ in Llandudno called Holyrood House where patients were being beaten up by ‘staff’ and this had been the subject of a TV expose. Dr X definitely knew about this because I saw a copy of a document written by Dr X in which he described this accommodation as being in no way suitable for psychiatric patients and that assaults upon them there were ‘common’. Regarding my allegation that Jones was sexually exploiting female patients which upset Dr X so much – this was common knowledge and widely gossiped about. Jones was cohabiting with patients and I read a document stating that five patients had given statements claiming that they had had sexual relationships with Jones. It would have been highly unlikely that all this had escaped Dr X’s attention. But just supposing it had, there was another reason why Dr X would have known exactly how unsavoury Dafydd’s activities were – Dr X’s wife had worked at Denbigh and had found Dafydd and his conduct so unpleasant that she had been desperate to transfer to a job at Ysbyty Gwynedd. So Dr X knew alright and so did Dr X’s wife. But it seems that their answer to this was to shut me up.

Despite more heroic efforts at the beginning of 1991 to have me denounced as dangerous and have me ‘contained’ (please see blog post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’) I returned to Wales. But not to any peace. Within a very short time, I received communication that Dr X was demanding my ‘committal to prison’ on the grounds that I’d breached his Injunction. As I have stated I do not have documentation relating to this so I cannot quote exact dates, extracts from the statements etc. But it was so soon after me leaving London that when the inevitable newspaper report about the case appeared it printed my London address, which I had only just left. (I remember the glorious headline ran ‘Scientist In Court – Harassment Must Stop’.) And it was one Robert Francis QC (this was before he was knighted) who was leading the fray. Now like Ann Ball, Robert Francis had read those letters that he argued constituted ‘harassment’. Letters detailing criminal activity on the part of psychiatrists and gross abuses of patients. And Robert Francis QC ignored the lot and instead chose to assist one of those psychiatrists involved in those abuses in silencing me. Like so many other people in this story, Robert Francis was a lawyer. He would therefore understand that illegally imprisoning patients, threatening them, trying to bribe them, assaulting them and sexually exploiting female patients were all highly illegal. But he came after me instead of asking the obvious questions about what on earth was happening in north Wales.

Since that day in Court in 1991 when dear old Robert Francis did the dirty work on behalf of some very unpleasant people, he has become famous. He appeared in his capacity as a barrister on behalf of the GMC (I’ll be blogging about their shameful activities soon) in the Richard Neale scandal and also appeared as a barrister in the Alder Hey retention of children’s organs scandal and the Bristol Heart Scandal. He has also chaired a number of major NHS inquiries, including the care of Michael Stone, the care and treatment of Peter Ryan and Richard Loudwell at Broadmoor, the first Stafford Hospital enquiry (2010) and the full Stafford Hospital scandal enquiry which followed that. Since then, Robert Francis became President of the Patient’s Association and a non-executive member of the Board of the Care Quality Commission. He also chaired the report into NHS whistleblowing, the Freedom To Speak Up Review. A Patient’s Champion! However, the cracks are there. A lot of people were unhappy with the Mid-Staffs reports – allegations were made that Francis had very carefully worded his reports to suggest that things weren’t quite as grim as they actually were and to carefully spread ‘blame’ so widely and so thinly that ultimately no-one in a senior position could be held responsible. Indeed they weren’t – a number of nurses were clobbered, but no doctor involved was ever disciplined and no senior manager ever found that their career came to an end. Two people involved, Cynthia Bower and David Nicholson, actually moved onto bigger and better things. Cynthia ended up at the Care Quality Commission (just like Robert Francis!) and the dreadful David Nicholson was knighted (this is sounding familiar) and ended up virtually running the whole of NHS England, despite the Daily Mail denouncing him as ‘the most hated man in Britain’. Nicholson went a bit quiet for a while after this but I’ve seen indications that he’s creeping back into polite society again. Whistleblowers were actively angry at Francis’s Freedom To Speak Up Review and claims were made that it did not go nearly far enough and was a cop-out. NHS whistlebowers are still being sacked and finding that they never work in the NHS again.

Four years ago the Guardian published a glowing profile of Robert Francis, describing him as ‘formidable’, ‘forensically exceptional’, ‘highly skilled at getting to the truth’ and ‘a man of great integrity and insight’. So what did he think was happening some twenty five years ago he was asked to imprison a patient who had done no more than write a lot of letters alleging that terrible things were happening in north Wales and that the psychiatrist demanding her imprisonment was involved? Fortunately for me I wasn’t imprisoned, but this was in spite of, not because of, Robert Francis.

As my friend Brown speculated with Robert Bluglass, there was probably a reason why Francis was given all these high-profile roles. He is no patient’s champion, but a very good friend of the medical establishment and can be relied upon to produce reports that give the impression of being thorough and hard-hitting but are carefully written to ensure that they do not reveal just how deep the rot goes and ensure that no senior person will ever be held to account. Robert Francis knows where his bread and butter (or probably in his case champagne, lobster and truffles) comes from and it is not from defending patients.

In 2014 Robert Francis QC was knighted. Arise Sir Robert, you played a shabby part in a witch-hunt against someone who was trying to draw attention to a horror. Oh and the colleagues of the man that you assisted in doing this were also involved in facilitating the activities of a vicious paedophile ring. As Chaucer would have said ‘A veray fyne parfit gentil knight’.

 

 

 

Socio-Political Context of the North Wales Mental Health Services in the 1980s

My blog posts ‘How I Arrived At Denbigh’, ‘Behind The Scenes – At The North Wales Hospital Denbigh’, ‘Massive Over-Reaction – Or Something To Hide?’, ‘A Very Cosy Relationship – And Some Serious Smears’, ‘An Expert From England’, ‘The Blog Post That Was Hacked Can Now Be Read’ and ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ make it clear that the gross abuses and criminality pervading the mental health services in north Wales in the late 1980s were known to the Welsh Office, the Mental Health Act Commission, the Medical Defence Union, the GMC and leading figures in psychiatry in the UK medical establishment. Not only did the people in these organisations do nothing to put a stop to what was happening, but they were going to considerable lengths to conceal it and to ensure that it continued. Even if I had been a lone voice, my allegations were so serious – and there was a substantial amount of documentary evidence suggesting that much of what I was alleging was true – that all of these organisations should have been recommending an investigation with police involvement. But I was not a lone voice. In the late 1980s there were many indications that some terrible things were happening in north Wales.Movie Passengers (2016)

Alison Taylor, a social worker employed by Gwynedd County Council, had approached councillors, the police, Health Minister Tony Newton and even Margaret Thatcher regarding her concerns that serious abuse of children in care was happening in north Wales and that an organised paedophile ring was operating in the region via Gwynedd Social Services and Clwyd Social Services. My blog post ‘The Blog Post That Was Hacked Can Now Be Read’ details how some of the things that were happening to me seemed to be happening in parallel with Alison’s attempts to be heard.

My constant attempts to draw attention to people in authority regarding the activities of the mental health services in north Wales were ignored. I presumed at the time that people outside the region simply didn’t realise what was happening. Of course that was not true. It is instructive to look at the wider socio-political context of the north Wales mental health services at the time.

Gwynedd Health Authority was known to be in serious trouble by the mid-1980s, although as ever with the NHS, the cause of it coming under scrutiny was financial mismanagement. My blog post ‘A Visit To Gwynedd Archives’ details this and provides references to the parts of Hansard documenting debates in Westminster between Dafydd Wigley (then MP for Caernarfon), Ieaun Wyn Jones (MP for Ynys Mon) and Wyn Roberts (MP for Conwy and Minister of State at the Welsh Office) that had taken place regarding Gwynedd Health Authority. (I had by the time of these dates written to Wyn Roberts regarding my problems with the mental health services but received only a bland reply. I did however later write to Dafydd Wigley as well and received an incredibly supportive reply.) Hansard records that the Welsh Office had sent in a team of management consultants to Gwynedd Health Authority – so although the Welsh Office knew that this Health Authority was a nightmare and was being seriously mismanaged, at the same time they went to very great lengths to protect people in the mental health services in Gwynedd and Clwyd. When I visited Gwynedd Archives I noticed that in 1990 David Hunt, by then the Secretary of State for Wales, had written to Noreen Edwards (Chair of Gwynedd Health Authority) such were the problems in Gwynedd. I note that many of the letters about me that were being sent without my knowledge were being copied to Noreen. I also found another interesting reference in the archive, that is that the Welsh Office were questioning the integrity of a senior official in Clwyd Health Authority – I seem to remember the person named was Laurie Wood, who was the manager of the North Wales Hospital whilst I was imprisoned there (when Dr Peter Higson took over that role, Wood moved on to occupy another very senior position in Clwyd Health Authority). But the Welsh Office had colluded with Laurie Wood over my complaints regarding Denbigh, so of course they’d have known that he had no integrity.

So by the late 80s, politicians in north Wales and Wyn Roberts, the Minister of State, knew that the mental health services and wider NHS in north Wales were a car crash. (At this time, the post of Secretary of State for Wales was considered a ‘less important post’ in Cabinet. Events in Wales clearly weren’t a priority for Margaret Thatcher. The Secretaries of State for Wales during the 1980s were Nicholas Edwardes and Peter Walker. Neither of them seems to have actually taken much interest in Wales and the remit seems to have been left in the hands of Wyn Roberts, who was knighted in 1990 and then given a peerage in 1997. So someone was clearly very grateful to him for something, despite that fact that chaos reigned in the NHS on his watch and that a paedophile ring was operating through the social services.)

This was pre-devolution, so the NHS in Wales was still the responsibility of Westminster. So what were Health Ministers doing whilst all this was going on in north Wales? Tony Newton was Minister for Health between 1986 and 1988 after a reorganisation at Whitehall and it was Tony Newton whom Alison Taylor approached regarding the abuse of children in north Wales. Clearly no-one responded to her concerns. Prior to Tony Newton’s appointment, health was the responsibility of John Moore, who’s main interest seems to have been facilitating the privatisation of the NHS. Both Tony Newton and John Moore later received peerages. Tony Newton was succeeded by Ken Clarke, who was Secretary of State for Health between 1988 and 1990.

I am not a Tory but I have rather more time for Ken Clarke than I do for many of his colleagues. I can remember his time as Secretary of State for Health very well and the thing that I remember most was his battle with the BMA. They hated him and at one point ran an advertising campaign across the UK featuring posters with the slogan ‘What do you call a man who ignores medical advice? Ken Clarke.’ For his part, Ken Clarke made his famous observation regarding doctors who were ‘feeling for their wallets’. I was involved in biomedical research at the time and although I knew many junior doctors who were appallingly bullied and exploited, I had become very aware of just how self-interested, and frankly corrupt, parts of the medical establishment were. The less scrupulous junior doctors whom I knew were also very obviously aiming to become part of that establishment – that was the only reason they were accepting all the drudgery. So I suspected that Ken Clarke probably had a point. (Ken Clarke recently spoke out about the BMA once more, describing them as ‘virulent’. Indeed the BMA are so virulent that most Health Ministers daren’t speak publicly about them – Ken Clarke is the only one that has had the guts to do so, although all Health Ministers have found the BMA very difficult.)

However Ken Clarke had a problem on his watch – a junior Health Minister called Edwina Currie. It has now been revealed that it was Currie who appointed Jimmy Savile as chairman of the ‘task force’ to manage Broadmoor Hospital in 1988. (Savile of course had close connections to Margaret Thatcher who, it was recently revealed, personally lobbied for Savile to be knighted, although she was warned that there were concerns about his ‘private life’. But then Professor Bluglass ignored my concerns about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘private life’. Thatcher was also a friend of Augusto Pinochet, which says an awful lot about her.) After Savile’s extensive sex offending became public, Currie made some extraordinary comments regarding her rationale for appointing Savile to the management committee at Broadmoor. Most ‘nurses’ in the special hospitals at that time belonged to the Prison Officers Association (POA). The POA was causing havoc, particularly at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Savile had made a number of comments to Currie regarding the abuses being carried out by the POA. There were of cause allegations that the POA were grossly abusing patients, but Savile and Currie’s concerns seem to have centred upon the financial swindles that POA members at Broadmoor were alleged to have been involved in. Savile had told Currie that he would beat the POA into submission by a number of frankly unlawful methods and by utilising his connections with tabloid newspapers. Dear old Edwina was so impressed that she let this prolific predatory sex offender loose on the management committee of the hospital. There were some very odd practices going on at Broadmoor at the time regarding the appointment of people in senior positions. A friend of Savile’s, Alan Franey, who had met Savile years before when Franey was the assistant general manager at Leeds General Infirmary, was also appointed to the ‘task force’ and soon became Chief Executive of Broadmoor. Franey later admitted in a book that he wrote that he was appointed to the ‘task force’ after having an ‘unusual meeting’ with Government health officials at the Athenaeum club in London. Savile enjoyed boasting about his membership of this club (which has a high number of medics and academics among it’s membership) – Franey later admitted that Savile was present at the meeting. Broadmoor was a very troubled institution well before the advent of this ‘task force’ (the task force had been appointed because people were at their wits end as to what to do about Broadmoor), but it would seem fairly obvious that appointing Savile and his mates to run the place was not a particularly good idea. Although the official line regarding Savile by just about everyone now is ‘ooh but we never knew’, I was friends with two young researchers in 1988 who had been students at Leeds – they told me that Savile had been in trouble in Leeds for sex with underage girls. So if students at Leeds University knew, I’m sure an awful lot of other people did as well. I also remember at the time that a lot of people in the medical establishment were horrified at Savile’s appointment – it was certainly not uncontroversial. However, it would seem that the problems went even higher than the management of Broadmoor. In the 1987 Brian McGinnis was the Under-Secretary for Mental Health with responsibility for high security special hospitals. It was McGinnis who was ‘instrumental’ in forming the ‘task force’ with the inclusion of Savile. Yet many years later, McGinnis was accused of sexual offences against children. He was never convicted but was prevented from working with children by Croydon Council in 2005 and three years earlier Bromley Council had ended his involvement with services for children with learning difficulties.

But Broadmoor was not the only troubled special hospital in the UK in the late 1980s. Ashworth Hospital in Liverpool, receiving patients from Wales, also had terrible problems with the POA.  (Savile was a regular visitor at Ashworth.) The abuse that the POA members were inflicting upon patients was so severe that there was a Public Inquiry into this led by Louis Blom-Cooper QC which reported in 1992. The report made grim reading. Ashworth had been formed by the merger of two other hospitals, Moss Side and Park Lane. Whilst I was in Denbigh, I was assaulted by a particularly unpleasant SEN, Stephen Rose. My complaint about him was never investigated – I was simply eventually told by the authorities that he no longer worked at Denbigh, as he now had a job at Park Lane. So that’s what happened to the most abusive member of staff at Bryn Golau Ward at Denbigh when someone complained about him. The problems at Ashworth were so entrenched that although action was promised after Blom-Cooper’s report, another Public Inquiry was held into Ashworth, led by Peter Fallon QC, which reported in 1998. And guess who was a member of Fallon’s committee? None other than Professor Robert Bluglass, who had so successfully done nothing about the dreadful abuses at Denbigh (please see blog post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). It gets better – the Fallon Inquiry relied upon opinions from, among others, the Director of Nursing at Bluglass’s Reaside Clinic in Birmingham. One member of the committee that investigated the murder of a patient at Ashworth was one Mr W. Jones, the Chief Administrative Nursing Officer from Clwyd Health Authority. So Bluglass, who knew exactly what the practices endorsed by senior officials from Clwyd Health Authority involved, was happy to rely on one of them to investigate a murder. At this time, Bluglass was busy publishing articles arguing that the special hospitals should be shut down. Bluglass was obviously not a man to be concerned with abuse of patients or criminal activities on the part of hospital staff so one can only speculate as to why he wanted to see the back of special hospitals. Was it because they were being run by the POA rather than the psychiatric establishment? Some of his published work suggested that the remit of the special hospitals should be passed to regional secure units – such as Bryn Golau at Denbigh…. The Fallon report was also highly critical of the Mental Health Act Commission, the body allegedly protecting detained patients ‘rights’. By now, the Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission was William Bingley – who, when he was still legal director of MIND a few years earlier, had told me all about Dafydd Alun Jones at Denbigh.

Now much of this information will only have been of interest to professionals and academics. But the problems of the north Wales mental health services and the mental health services per se in the UK had become very public by this time. Mary Wynch (please see blog post ‘The Mary Wynch Case -Making Legal History’) had begun her legal action against Dafydd Alun Jones and two psychiatrists at Risley Remand Centre and that had been widely reported in the press. Risley Remand Centre itself, where many mental health patients from north Wales ended up, had an appalling reputation for suicides as well as brutality towards inmates and was the subject of much media coverage. A Welsh language TV programme had run an expose of Holyrood House, a hostel for people with mental health problems in Llandudno, run by a woman called Margaret Richards. Patients were being violently assaulted and the drugs cabinet was overseen by a drug addict. It was subsequently discovered that all the patients in this place were patients of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. Holyrood House gained even more publicity when Esther Rantzen ran a report about it on her TV show ‘That’s Life’. At about this time, the ever-caring Esther ran a campaign on mental health. I wrote to Esther giving her a full account of the Denbigh experience. I did not receive an acknowledgement. Esther soon lost interest in matters mental health and moved on to campaign on drug problems and then really hit the big time when she took an interest in child sexual abuse and established ‘Childline’. After Savile was exposed, Esther maintained that she only ever heard ‘gossip’ about Savile, not firm evidence. An abuse campaigner subsequently claimed that she had told Esther of allegations that she’d heard about Savile many years before. Esther could not remember anything about this. So presumably should the horrible truth about Dafydd Alun Jones and Denbigh ever find its way into the London based media in a big way, Dame Esther (as she is now) will not be able to remember my letter either. There was another public figure at the time who was also making a name for herself by mental health campaigning. That was Sunday Times journalist Marjorie Wallace, who founded the charity SANE. I wrote to Marjorie as well, but never heard back. (For more details on Marjorie and her sterling work please see blog post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’.)

So during the 1980s the mental health system in the UK was plagued at all levels by negligent, violent people or people with a history of sexually exploitative behaviour, if not actual sexual offending. Because of the stereotype of the patients who ended up in secure mental health units no-one was interested in the welfare of these patients. Whilst many of the male patients were violent or sex offenders, many of the female patients were there because they were serious self-harmers after having been subjected to sexual violence themselves. A group of campaigners were so worried at what was happening to women patients in these places that they established a charity, ‘WISH’ (Women in Special Hospitals), in an attempt to draw attention to the plight of women who had been sexually abused and were then being brutalised and sexually abused all over again in the special hospitals. WISH had enormous trouble gaining support because the public thought that they were being asked to help murderers. But there were of course people like Professors Bluglass and Robert Owen who knew exactly what was going on behind closed doors and concealed the lot.

We are now living in an era in which people are obsessed with sex offenders and believe that a paedophile lurks on every corner. However my blog post ‘A Very Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ describes how all is still far from well at Ashworth Hospital and similar establishments.

 

 

 

 

A Network Stretching Back Decades…

This morning I heard on the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme that Jeremy Corbyn has made another appointment that is expected to cause further discord in the Labour Party. I missed most of the feature but I did hear it mentioned that he has appointed an advisor who has connections with Irish Republicanism. And this reminded me of something surprising that I first heard about many years ago…

These days, I pay particular attention to what people who are dispossessed and dishonoured say, because I’ve learnt that it can lead to some interesting places, even if one is sceptical about the accuracy of what one is being told. These are of course the very people whom are seldom listened to – so in many cases what they’ve got to say is not widely known. I have already mentioned in my blog post ‘The Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd’ how Dr Dafydd Alun Jones used to frequent the Hergest Unit and how when he was spotted patients would swap anecdotes about their experiences with him. There was a young woman who used to visit the day centre in the Hergest Unit who was quite seriously ill so was often disbelieved, but she used to come out with brief but interesting comments about Dafydd Alun Jones. On one occasion she told me that he had refused to treat someone who had moved to Wales, telling them that if they wanted treatment they would have to go back to England. Another throwaway comment was that she was friendly with a young gay man and that Jones was trying to persuade him to have a ‘sex change’ (this was at a time when transgender identities were very rarely discussed), even though the young man in question found this quite a terrifying prospect. By this time I was well aware that Jones was capable of saying and doing some very odd things, so I didn’t question the veracity of these comments. But one day, as we were sitting around discussing Jones, this young woman casually said ‘Dafydd Alun Jones is friends with the IRA you know’. I dismissed this comment as fantasy – the young woman concerned was a staunch Conservative, idolised Thatcher and before she became ill had been leading a rather Yuppyish existence in London which had centred around money and material acquisition, and she strongly disapproved of any activism whether it was Welsh language activism, anti-nuclear protests etc. She detested Jones – as did nearly all the patients – so I presumed that she was simply projecting her notions of the worst human characteristics onto him.

Then a few years ago I had a surprise. I was digging around in an archive when I came across a fascinating document relating to Welsh activism in the early 1960s. It described at length the very useful contribution being provided by a medical student in Liverpool, who was making regular visits to Ireland to meet up with Republican activists to learn from them. The student in question was one Dafydd Alun Jones. Later that day I found out that it was also Jones who had recorded Saunders Lewis’s 1962 lecture ‘Tynged yr Iaith’ (Fate of the Language). A few months after this I found out something else that could also well have enabled Jones to gain credibility among activists in north Wales during his early employment at Denbigh – someone from Meirionydd told me that there had been an awful lot of bad feeling because in those days there was no Welsh speaking psychiatric social worker (or the equivalent), so a situation had arisen in which people were being carted off to Denbigh on the say so of someone who could not speak the first language of the person being incarcerated. When I found all this out, it illuminated something that I’d been told many years before – that Jones had managed to ‘dupe’ a lot of people by exploiting his Welsh as first language credentials.

Then I discovered something else – that at one point Jones had stood as a Plaid candidate. I have searched for more details on this – when?, where? how many people were rash enough to vote for him? – but I have yet to complete the picture. (I did speculate that perhaps Jones is now such an excruciating embarrassment that Plaid have more recently carefully air-brushed out all references to this from their history.) And I have long been aware that Dafydd Iwan felt sufficiently inspired to write a song in tribute to Dafydd Alun Jones. And when people first started using twitter, there was Dafydd Alun Jones’s twitter account following dear old Hywel Williams. However Jones clearly hasn’t universally impressed Plaid politicians. The only politician who ever responded in a helpful manner to my written concerns about Dafydd Alun Jones and the North Wales Hospital was Dafydd Wigley.

When Jones was trying desperately to resist retirement in the 1990s, he was a regular on Welsh TV and ruthlessly exploited this. Yet in the late 1980s there had been a documentary on S4C exposing conditions in a dreadful ‘hostel’ in Llandudno for psychiatric patients, Holyrood House. There were allegations that patients were being assaulted and neglected and that the member of staff with responsibility for the drugs cabinet was a drug user. It transpired that it was the patients of one Dafydd Alun Jones who were ending up in this place. The woman named at the centre of this scandal was someone called Margaret Richards, but I was told by someone who had watched the documentary (I hadn’t) that at one point a man’s voice off camera could be heard demanding that the crew stop filming/recording – I was told that the voice was unmistakeably that of Jones. At about the same time I was told that there was a Welsh language journalist who was investigating Jones and the North Wales Hospital. So although that part of dear old Dafydd’s network that is rooted in the Welsh language community and Plaid stretches back many years, there are clearly people in that community who have had some knowledge of Jones’s more undesirable activities for quite some time…