I have been perusing documents and academic publications regarding Ashworth Hospital, hence the comments that I recently added to my post ‘More Than Politics And Local Government’.
This blog has frequently touched on Ashworth. Its location on Merseyside resulted in the paedophiles’ friends of north Wales having a convenient and chummy relationship with that establishment. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al used Ashworth as a dustbin for the patients whom they could not silence through the mainstream psychiatric system or by the use of the Prison Service. Dr David Mawson, one of the first Top Doctors whom I met for a ‘second opinion’, was friendly but quietly ignored the evidence of Dafydd’s wrongdoing – David Mawson worked at Ashworth. Two members of staff at Bangor University who are well aware of Dafydd’s criminality – Professor Catherine Robinson and her former husband John Bailey – knew about the serious criminality at Ashworth (John worked there as a psychologist and Catherine worked at the North Wales Hospital, Denbigh). Stephen Rose, an abusive member of staff at the North Wales Hospital, was transferred to a position at Park Lane Hospital in 1987 (Ashworth was formed from the merger between Park Lane and Moss Side in 1989) and the clients of the monstrous Prestwood Homes who were very obviously being groomed for sex work nearly all came from Ashworth (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’).
I was told about the horrors of Moss Side when I was an undergraduate. I heard stories from local people about it being a terrible place and concerns that young people from north Wales were being sent there despite having committed no crimes or very trivial ones. The thing that I was told repeatedly was that young people were locked up in solitary confinement in cells with no daylight for months on end. Again and again I heard that people were in Moss Side after having been accused of crimes ‘but they didn’t do it’. When I first heard these stories, like many people I presumed that one would HAVE to have done something quite serious to have ended up in Moss Side and that the relatives and friends of these teenagers banged up were probably finding to difficult to accept what their associates in Moss Side had done. I remember sharing a railway carriage with a lady from Chester to Bangor one day who started chatting to me along the lines of ‘my son’s about the same age as you’ who then told me the most dreadful story of him being sent to Moss Side ‘by the doctors’ when he was 17. The lady became very upset, told me that her son had been assaulted by the warders and that he had been kept in a cell with no windows for months. She explained that ‘they said that he did something to a girl but he didn’t’.
Because many of the people from whom I was hearing these stories were disadvantaged and had often had brushes with the law it took a while for the penny to drop, but eventually I realised that people in north Wales who didn’t have much money or education were being treated very badly by agencies like the NHS, the social services and the police. I didn’t know at that time that the NHS, social services and the police were concealing a paedophile gang and that anyone who complained about them would find that their lives became very difficult. It did become obvious though that benign but distressed people were being banged up after lies had been told about them – and that the mental health services were usually involved.
At one point the outrages at Moss Side made it as far as Esther’s ‘That’s Life’ programme. One episode featured the story of a teenaged girl with learning disabilities who had been locked up in Moss Side after I think ‘setting fire to the curtains’ in a children’s home. The usual themes were in evidence – an incident with the social services/ children’s services/mental health services the severity of which had been exaggerated and then incarceration in Moss Side in solitary confinement along with ill treatment from the staff. At about the same time Esther also reported on Holyrood House, a ‘home’ in Llandudno for people with mental health problems run by one of Dafydd’s friends, Margaret Richards. Patients were being beaten up by the resident ‘security man’ and the drugs cabinet was the responsibility of an addict from Liverpool. Esther stopped reporting such matters when she became a mental health and child abuse campaigner.
I then heard that Moss Side had closed. It had actually simply metamorphosed into Ashworth – the same Top Doctors were employed and the same bunch of thugs who had abused the patients.
There had always been very serious problems at Ashworth. Media reports stressed that the patients within were criminally insane or convicted criminals and the arrival of Ian Brady at Park Lane in 1985 after he was transferred from Gartree Prison fuelled the stereotype of the place being full of murdering loonies. Ian Brady’s presence at Park Lane from 1985 was certainly convenient for the paedophiles’ friends. Brady was handed over to Dafydd’s friends just when Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were producing evidence of very serious criminality in north Wales on the part of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends. Obviously a news report only had to remind everyone that Ian Brady was in the institution where others were alleging injustice and brutality for allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the Top Doctors to be completely ignored. There were murders happening, but what can one expect from folk like Ian Brady.
The conduct of Ashworth staff (and the staff at its preceding institutions Park Lane and Moss Side) was probably unbelievable to those unacquainted with the institution. Most of the ‘nurses’ were members of the POA (Prison Officers Association) and many of them were involved in National Front activity. David Mawson and other former members of staff at Ashworth admitted to me that there was a full scale civil war between the Top Doctors, the psychologists and the POA. Neither of the three professional groups liked or respected each other and they were all mistreating the patients -many of the ‘nurses’ in the POA were simply thugs. Patients were routinely beaten, sexually assaulted as well as psychologically abused and patients who were known to be violent would be ‘accidentally’ left alone with more vulnerable patients with obvious consequences. There was an allegation that a patient had been beaten to death by staff and the POA also launched violent attacks on other staff – car tyres were slashed, paint was thrown, fires were set and death threats were sent. The targets were well aware that they were under attack by people who were involved in violent racist activity outside of the workplace and were basically frightened of them. The Top Doctors and psychologists claimed to be appalled by the POA but regular readers will know that they did not conduct themselves as they should have – they were concealing the abuse of vulnerable people by the mental health services and organised child abuse. They also knew that some of those banged up had not committed the crimes of which they had been accused and were not dangerous as faithfully documented by everyone.
The first Public Inquiry into Ashworth was requested on 25 April 1991 by William Waldegrave, Secretary of State for Health in John Major’s Gov’t, after a TV documentary screened on 4 March 1991 alleged the serious ill-treatment of patients, including the death of a patient after a beating by staff. The Inquiry was Chaired by Louis Blom-Cooper QC.
Blom-Cooper’s previous included Chairing the Inquiry into the 1984 death of Jasmine Beckford, whilst she was in the care of Brent Social Services. Blom-Cooper’s panel included a community medicine specialist and the Assistant Director of Barnardo’s. A number of people involved with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had been employed by Barnardos. Blom-Cooper’s Report was submitted in Dec 1985 and was highly critical of magistrates, teachers, health visitors and in particular social workers. He described Jasmine’s death as a ‘predictable and preventable homicide’. Blom-Cooper’s Report was submitted to Brent Borough Council and Brent Health Authority. I had always assumed that Blom-Cooper had been commissioned by the Gov’t to Chair that Inquiry – he hadn’t, it was Brent Borough Council who appointed him. At the time of Jasmine’s death and the submission of Blom-Cooper’s Report, Ken Livingstone, the leader of the GLC, was after the nomination for the Labour candidacy of the constituency of Brent East. The sitting MP Reg Freeson was Labour but he was a centrist and Ken was keen to oust him. Ken had friends in the constituency and was delighted when he did oust Reg and was elected himself as Labour MP for Brent East in 1987. If I know anything about Inquiries, whoever appointed Blom-Cooper will have only appointed him if they were confident that he would say the right things and point the finger at the right people and not at anyone in responsibility who might be severely embarrassed. In 1987 Paul Boateng was elected Labour MP for Brent South. Boateng had been an executive member of the NCCL whilst it was affiliated to PIE. His wife Janet was a social worker and Councillor in Lambeth and was Chair of Lambeth Social Services Committee when Tyra Henry was killed whilst in the care of Lambeth Social Services (see post ‘A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions’). Paul Boateng was working as a solicitor for B.M. Birnberg when Birnberg acted for Mary Wynch in her case against Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).
Louis Blom-Cooper was a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey, 1988-96. In 2006 a major investigation began on Jersey into historical child abuse abuse. The allegations centred on the Haut de la Garenne children’s home where, some people alleged, terrible abuse had taken place which may have even included the murder of children. A few people were eventually convicted for assaults on children, but like some other recent high profile child abuse investigations, some people alleged that only a fraction of what had gone on had been uncovered whereas other people maintained that ridiculous hysterical allegations had been made. The police themselves admitted that the investigation had been ‘a mess’.
In 2006 Jimmy Savile began legal action against ‘The Sun’ after it alleged that he had visited Haut de la Garenne and had abused children there. Savile denied ever having visited Haut de la Garenne but then someone produced a photo of him there, surrounded by children and he remembered that he had been there after all.
Blom-Cooper was Chair of the Mental Health Act Commission, 1987-94 – the Mental Health Act Commission which colluded with and concealed the criminal activity of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends during those years. The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Act Commission, 1990-2000, was William Bingley. In his previous incarnation as legal director of MIND, 1985-1990, Bingley had also colluded with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends to conceal their wrongdoing. Blom-Cooper, William Bingley and the rest of the Mental Health Act Commission knew exactly what was happening at Park Lane, Moss Side, Ashworth and in the mental health units in north Wales.
Whilst Blom-Cooper and Bingley led the Mental Health Act Commission Jimmy Savile was a regular visitor to Ashworth. Savile was a personal friend of Thatch who was Prime Minister between May 1979-Nov 1990.
Blom-Cooper’s report into Ashworth was absolutely damning. It was published on 5 Aug 1992 when Viginia Bottomley was Secretary of State for Health. It inevitably elicited comments and headlines of the ‘never again’ variety and there was much discussion of a ‘rotten culture’ at Ashworth. The information was presented as though none of it was known to the authorities – it was.
Blom-Cooper maintained that Ashworth was irretrievable and ought to be closed. MIND echoed his call.
The Mental Health Act Commission was the body responsible for monitoring the use of the Mental Health Act and the patients’ welfare at Ashworth. The Mental Health Act Commission was one of the bodies which had been failing to respond to the pleas from the Ashworth patients and indeed to my own pleas concerning the criminal activity of the mental health services in north Wales. The Mental Health Act Commission’s office which covered north Wales was the Liverpoool office. The Liverpool office covered Ashworth as well. The man at the Liverpool office who was colluding with Dafydd and the paedophiles as well as the members of the National Front employed at Ashworth was David Ewart. Blom-Cooper’s fellow lawyers also knew what was happening. A charity called WISH (Women In Special Hospitals) was established in 1987 in an attempt to help the female patients – Helena Kennedy was involved with some of the cases taken up by WISH. Like Esther Rantzen, for some reason WISH didn’t publicise the brutality and sexual abuse to which the female patients in the special hospitals were subjected for long (see post ‘Close Your Eyes And Make A Wish’). WISH went very quiet in the mid-90s and remained quiet. Blom-Cooper knew how bad those institutions were. Waldegrave who commissioned the Inquiry and appointed Blom-Cooper to Chair it will have known. Waldegrave was a member of a Gov’t who had overseen appallingly corrupt practices in the Welsh Office in order to conceal the abuses of the paedophiles friends in north Wales. It was known that mental health patients in north Wales were ending up in Risley Remand Centre or Ashworth sometimes without even being convicted of any crimes at all if Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends refused to treat them or maintained that they were ‘dangerous’.
Following the publication of Blom-Cooper’s Report the standard position of ‘we will change the culture and turn Ashworth around’ was adopted by Gov’t. All three special hospitals – Ashworth, Broadmoor and Rampton – were ordered to report directly to the NHS Chief Executive Alan Langlands. Langlands had worked in the NHS at a senior level for years – did anyone really think that a culture change would result from the involvement of a long serving NHS insider such as Langlands? The Social Services Inspectorate were ordered to conduct three inquiries into social work aspects at secure hospitals – the SSI which had colluded with the large scale neglect and abuse of children in care and the abuse of mental health patients before Blom-Cooper ever got near to Chairing an inquiry. It was the failings of the SSI which led to the death of Jasmine Beckford – which was followed by an inquiry Chaired by Louis Blom-Cooper…
In the mid-90s the HAS ( Health Advisory Service) – the Director of which was Dr Richard Williams – published a review of Ashworth stating that there had been ‘major advances’ made in the management of the hospital and that ‘great progress has been made in addressing the unhelpful aspects of the previous hospital culture’. The nation could rest easy once more. What had gone on was an aberration and of course the staff should never have behaved as they did but well those patients are criminally insane, it’s a difficult job looking after them, they’ve all killed children and things like that haven’t they, I don’t think that I could do that job…
In Sept 1996 Stephen Daggett, a long term Ashworth patient, absconded and got as far as Amsterdam. When Stephen got to Amsterdam he made a phone call and stated that he would give himself up if various allegations that he was making about Ashworth were investigated. Stephen had detailed them in a document entitled ‘My Concerns’. He made some incredibly serious allegations. Stephen claimed that the Personality Disorder Unit at Ashworth – consisting of five locked wards – was awash with porn (magazines as well as videos) and that a lot of it featured bestiality, sadomasochism or children. Daggatt also maintained that patients had access to drugs and alcohol pretty much whenever they wanted. Daggett claimed that an eight year old girl was being taken into the unit on a regular basis where she visited patients who were paedophiles.
The Fallon Report mentioned that the child identified as being at risk as a result of being taken into Ashworth was in the care of Bradford Social Services. It was stated that although the child was being groomed for the purposes of sexual activity, no sexual activity involving the little girl had taken place. Of course it hadn’t. In exactly the same way that St George’s Hospital Medical School reassured everyone in 1986 that their Professor of Paediatrics Oliver Brooke had never abused any of his patients after it became public knowledge that he’d been jailed for the possession of child porn which he had kept in his offices at the hospital. Bradford Social Services has been identified recently as having one hell of a problem with the abuse and trafficking of children it its care. It has been attributed to criminal gangs of Asian men, as opposed to criminal gangs of Top Doctors, lawyers, Gov’t regulatory bodies and charities.
Daggett gave himself up – only for the hospital to dismiss his concerns. However Daggett’s parents took the matter to their MP, the Labour MP for Halifax, Alice Mahon. It was only when she compiled a 60 page dossier that Ministers listened. It was concluded that the ‘progress’ that Ashworth had made as documented by the Health Advisory Service not so long before must have ‘stopped’. As that bit of progress didn’t last long and couldn’t have amounted to much, one wonders what ‘great progress’ the HAS actually saw – I doubt that questions were ever asked about the discrepancy between the great progress as reported by the HAS and what Daggett alleged less than two years later. Ashworth later admitted that all of Daggett’s allegatons were true.
On 7 Feb 1997 John Major’s Secretary of State for Health Stephen Dorrell announced that there would be another inquiry into Ashworth, this time Chaired by His Honour Peter Fallon, a judge. The Inquiry team would consist of Peter Fallon, Professor Robert Bluglass, Professor Brian Edwards and Mr Granville Daniels.
Robert Bluglass has featured on this blog nearly as often as Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. Bluglass Chaired the investigation into my complaint about Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales in 1988 (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). Bluglass ignored huge parts of my complaint completely, including everything relating to Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Gwynedd Social Services. He received written and oral evidence from staff at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh that Dafydd had indeed had me unlawfully arrested and illegally imprisoned but Bluglass failed to state categorically that Dafydd had broken the law in his report. Bluglass stated as fact every one of the barefaced lies that Dafydd had told about me, although I could demonstrate that Dafydd was not telling the truth. Every point that I made was noted by Bluglass as a ‘claim’ – every lie that Dafydd told was documented as fact.
Bluglass was the man who wrote the Mental Health Act which Dafydd had broken. William Bingley had written the code of practice to accompany the Mental Health Act which Dafydd had broken.
Bluglass concluded his report into my complaint by stating that the paedophiles’ friends were caring people who could not be expected to put up with my ‘harassment’ and that I had caused them great annoyance. Bluglass was a close colleague both of some of the people with whom Dafydd had trained at the Maudsley and of Tony Francis’s former boss. I later received correspondence from someone whose mentally ill son had been murdered in a young offenders institution – Bluglass Chaired the inquiry into his death. This young man’s parents told me that Bluglass used exactly the same techniques in that investigation to exonerate the institution which he used to conceal Dafydd’s criminality. Their son should never have been in the young offenders institution – he had not been convicted of a crime, he was on remand following a trivial untrue allegation because no-one found him a bed in a hospital – in the same way that I should never have been banged up in Denbigh. Yet Bluglass wrote about both of us as though we were legally detained people who had been convicted. Bluglass wrote about me ‘absconding from Denbigh’. Yes I did escape – but I was being held illegally, so the staff actually broke the law all over again when they physically dragged me back into the hospital. As far as Bluglass was concerned this incident was akin to a breakout from Wormwood Scrubs. The son of the couple who wrote to me had a degree in astrophysics from Cambridge, but had taken a job as a bin man because he wanted to work after a period of illness. Bluglass made much of the fact that the dead man was a bin man and noted that he was ‘dirty’. Bluglass had ‘misheard’ – he had been told that the dead man was ‘thirty’. So Bluglass was investigating the death of a smelly old dustbin man who was in prison after committing a crime, not the brutal murder – the murderer ate part of the young man’s body – of a Cambridge graduate who was trying to recover from a serious illness and who should never have been in the institution .
Professor Brian Edwards was the Professor of Healthcare Development at the University of Sheffield and the former General Manager, Trent Regional Health Authority and Regional Director (West Midlands). It is highly likely that Edwards knew Bluglass – Bluglass had been a leading light in the NHS in the West Midlands for many years and was the Chairman of one of the NHS authorities there. Furthermore, one of the senior nurses who worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd and who will have known what Dafydd and the paedophiles were up to ended up as a Professor of Nursing at the University of Sheffield.
Granville Daniels was General Manager of the Millbrook Mental Health Unit, Central Nottinghamshire NHS Trust.
Fallon’s panel were supplied with a legal team which included John Royce QC, who is now Sir John Royce, a High Court judge. Royce attended the Leys School, the headmaster of which was Alan Barker, the husband of Baroness Jean Trumpington. Before taking up the post as head of the Leys School, Barker was a master at Eton. Barker taught Douglas Hurd at Eton, who remained a close friend of Barker’s until Barker died. Hurd himself later gave Trumpington at least one of her jobs in politics and Trumpington was the junior Health Minister who appointed Jimmy Savile to the Management Board of Broadmoor. Hurd was Home Secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s Gov’t, 1985-89. So Hurd was responsible for the prison service when Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis tried to have me framed for ‘trying to stab a doctor’ and sent to Risley Remand Centre – David Ewart from the Mental Health Act Commission was involved with the plan and believed that it had worked and that I had been imprisoned in Risley (see post ‘Workers Play Time’). Hurd was Home Secretary in the Gov’t in which Sir Peter Morrison also served, whilst Morrison sexually molested children in care in north Wales. After the Leys School, Sir John Royce went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Royce presided over the 2009 Plymouth child abuse trial – the defendants received IPPs (indeterminate sentences for public protection). IPPs were introduced under Blair’s Gov’t by Home Secretary David Blunkett in the wake of Blair’s concerns about Dangerous Mad People. They were abolished in 2010 after it was discovered that some of the people being imprisoned without limit of time weren’t that dangerous and had only committed trivial offences – as a result of mental health problems. Royce also presided over the 2013 trial of the rock singer Ian Watkins whom he sentenced for a string of offences against babies and young children. Watkins’s girlfriend had told the police of her concerns that Watkins was a paedophile but she was ignored. So were the concerns of six other people. An IPCC report stated that South Wales Police ‘missed opportunities’ to stop Watkins.
The Secretary to the Fallon Inquiry panel was a Dr Tim Baxter. I think that it was the Dr Tim Baxter who joined the Department of Health in 1991 and who was appointed Deputy Director of the Public Health Development Unit in 2010 – in 2016 Tim became Deputy Director for Healthy Behaviours. That will be something to do with ‘Nudge’ – hey Tim haven’t you noticed that ‘Nudge’ doesn’t work in an endemically corrupt health and welfare service which pathologises the patients? In 2009 Tim took a year out to work as the Director of Strategy at University Hospital Lewisham NHS Trust.
The Fallon Report, published in Jan 1999, was every bit as damning as Blom-Cooper’s Report had been – Paul Lever, who had been the Chair of Ashworth Hospital Authority for the past three years, resigned upon the Report’s publication. The acting Chief Executive of Ashworth Peter Clarke claimed that ‘significant changes had been made’.
The Fallon Report concentrated particularly on Lawrence ward in the Personality Disorder Unit. A raid on Lawrence ward on 17 Jan 1997 discovered that the ward shop contained 41 hard core porn videos. More than 800 videos were found on the ward, 700 of which had been recently wiped or had traces of porn recordings. The porn included bestiality, sadomasochism and child abuse. The ward also contained a video machine for copying. In one patient’s room alone there were 225 videos. Women’s and children’s underwear was also discovered on the ward and one patient was running a ‘computer consultancy business’. Searches of the ward were irregular to say the least. During one search, the nurse conducting the search sat down on the bed and read the patient’s porn and upon leaving the room marked down the porn as part of the search.
The Fallon Report was highly critical of Charles Kaye, the Chief Executive of the Special Hospitals Service Authority. Five members of staff were suspended including Ashworth’s Chief Executive Janice Miles. Miles was subsequently cleared by an internal investigation in July 1997 but resigned anyway. Janice Miles’s successor was Dr Hilary Hodge who resigned herself one year later. The Top Docs at Ashworth expressed ‘grave concerns’ about Hilary’s management style.
The Fallon Report made it clear that what had been discovered in the Personality Disorder Unit – particularly on Lawrence ward – was deeply shocking. The whole thrust of the Fallon Report was that the Personality Disorder Unit was full of twisted offenders obsessed with sex who had ‘taken over’ the Unit – it was stated that the Unit was ‘effectively run’ by the 115 inmates rather than by the staff and that a ‘therapeutic nihilism’ prevailed as a result of staff beliefs that the patients were untreatable. Where did the idea that people with personality disorders are untreatable come from? Er – from Robert Bluglass and his colleagues. Again and again in everything that Bluglass et al have ever published it is stressed how incorrigible and what recidivists these patients are – indeed part of the process of diagnosing a patient with a personality disorder is the belief that the patient will not respond to treatment. The Report notes that what was discovered at Ashworth was ‘scandalous’ but ‘scandalous behaviour’ and ‘personality disorders’ tend to go hand in hand. Therapeutic nihilism anyone?
At least one of the people who compiled this Report – Bluglass – just a few years previously had concealed the serious criminal activity of a psychiatrist who was sexually exploiting patients and facilitating a paedophile ring. Furthermore, as part of the cover-up of Dafydd’s activities, Bluglass was happy to agree with Dafydd that I had a personality disorder and then went on to make silly Gothic horror comments about me being destined for a ward for the criminally insane – perhaps he had Lawrence ward in mind for me. When Bluglass was asked to investigate a murder of a patient at Ashworth, his team consisted of one of the senior nurses from his own unit in Birmingham, the Reaside Clinic – and a senior nurse from Clwyd Health Authority, who was also concealing Dafydd’s criminal activity. Dafydd was sending both patients and his own abusive staff to Ashworth Hospital.
There are a few other familiar names mentioned in the Fallon Report. A William Bingley was called upon in his capacity as the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Act Commission. It was explained that one of the founders of the Personality Disorder Unit in 1982 was Dr Chris Hunter. In 1989 Chris Hunter felt able to hold a ‘case conference’ about me in Gwynedd, without my knowledge or consent, whilst I was living and working in London. Chris Hunter at that time worked in south Wales. The case conference received evidence about me from Dr Tony Francis – who had already perjured himself in Court in an attempt to secure convictions against me – and two employees of Gwynedd Social Services, Keith Fearns and Jackie Brandt, who had also previously perjured themselves in Court in order to obtain a High Court injunction against me. When Fearns gave his evidence at the case conference, I had never met him. I had met Brandt once – when she unlawfully detained me at Ysbyty Gwynedd (see post ‘A Very Cosy Relationship – And Some Serious Smears’). At this time, there was a paedophile ring operating within Gwynedd Social Services. Chris Hunter’s conclusion from the case conference was that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and he offered to write a Court report about me. I was not facing any outstanding charges when he made this offer. For full details of these extraordinary events, see post ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’. I have seen references elsewhere to a Dr Hunter who was Clinical Director of Ashworth at one point – presumably this is the Dr Hunter whom I never even knew existed until last summer when my lawyer forwarded the poisonous nonsense that he wrote about me years ago. Other people knew about Chris Hunter denouncing me as extremely dangerous though – Dafydd and Tony Francis told the occupational physician at St George’s Hospital Medical School where I worked that I had been assessed as being extremely dangerous by a forensic psychiatrist.
So the Clinical Director of Ashworth and the founder of the Unit under investigation had concealed a paedophile ring and a member of the Fallon Inquiry panel had concealed the same paedophile ring – and the victims of the ring which they had concealed were being diagnosed with personality disorders and sent to the Unit under investigation. Things aren’t looking too good for you are they Bluglass?
Are we really surprised that business was not being conducted at Ashworth as it should have been?
I think that we should also be very sceptical of Fallon et al’s claim that the Unit was being run by the ‘inmates’. This was a hospital where the ‘nurses’ were members of the National Front, conducted violent campaigns of terror against their own colleagues as well as patients and had beaten a patient to death. Jimmy Savile dropped by whenever he felt like it and is suspected of having abused patients. The patients were locked inside a high security prison and ‘restrained’ and drugged whenever the members of the National Front felt like it. Now how exactly did the patients manage to take over that Unit? Why was that Unit teaming with porn? The clue was in the account of the ‘search’ that was given earlier – porn was getting into that hospital because the ‘nurses’ were reading and watching it alongside the patients. If in the North Wales Hospital Dafydd could encourage teenagers to have sex with each other as part of their ‘therapy’ and the Angels would gather around to watch the live action, pretty much anything could have gone on at Ashworth. The Top Doctors and Angels were sicker than and every bit as criminal as the patients and that was the problem. That was why nothing ever improved at Ashworth. I’m sure that the senior managers were hopeless, but at least they resigned after every scandal – the Top Doctors didn’t, they stayed in post and within months, bingo, another scandal.
The solution to every scandal was to stress how dangerous the patients were – no-one ever mentioned that some of those patients had NEVER committed any crimes, they had just been banged up because Chris Hunter et al declared them dangerous on the basis of evidence from a paedophile gang. I am not denying that there are some patients who are dangerous in institutions like Ashworth – although why they have evolved into the people that they are has certainly never been explained by the Top Doctors – but the general public would be horrified if they actually knew the circumstances in which some patients in Ashworth had been sent there. For women patients it is very often because it is they who have been repeatedly sexually assaulted – often as kids in care – and they simply spend so much time injuring themselves or trying to kill themselves that no ‘ordinary’ mental health unit (most of which are grossly inadequate anyway) will accept them. Dafydd, Bluglass and Chris Hunter are not the answer to their problems.
The general public do not know that people like Dafydd, Bluglass and Chris Hunter are the ‘experts’ upon whose opinion the Courts and the Gov’t rely, so of course after the Fallon Report we heard a great deal about Dangerous Untreatable Patients. There were of course changes in the management at Ashworth.
BBC News in March 1999 reported that Laura Roberts, the executive director of Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, would spend the next year as Assistant Chief Executive at Ashworth to draw up proposals demanded by Secretary of State for Health Frank Dobson. Dobson had described matters at Ashworth as a ‘systematic shambles’. That’s the Frank Dobson who ignored the abuse of kids in care and the systematic shambles that was the mental health services on his own doorstep in Camden (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part IV).
The Waterhouse Report contains references to people employed in the social services in north Wales whilst the paedophile gang raged within those services who had connections to Trafford.
The Fallon Report was manna from heaven to Blair’s Gov’t. Blair’s use of the ‘rights and responsibilities’ discourse left people with severe mental health problems in a very difficult position – they were constantly urged to ‘take responsibility’, even when their clinical condition meant that they were unable to do this. Extreme stupidities resulted such as people sectioned under the Mental Health Act being charged by the police because they had shouted or sworn at Angels or suicidal people being served with ASBOs for repeatedly attempting suicide and then being imprisoned when they attempted suicide again and broke the ASBO. The Hergest Unit demanded that the police threaten a teenaged girl who was both psychotic and sectioned with arrest because she kept dialing 999. The Angels told the police officer that the seriously ill young woman sitting in a locked ward had to ‘made to take responsibility’. For all the rubbish spouted about ‘service user involvement’, New Labour’s authoritarianism and the continued use of the mental health services to conceal organised child sexual abuse left ‘service users’ in an increasingly difficult position. More and more people found themselves diagnosed with ‘untreatable personality disorders’ including people who had received other diagnoses years previously which had never been questioned. In north Wales at least it was very obvious that people were receiving a diagnosis of personality disorder when the Top Doctors simply didn’t want to treat them – often because the patient had made a complaint.
In tandem with this, there was more and more discussion about patients with DANGEROUS personality disorders and legislation proposed to incarcerate people diagnosed as such even if they had never committed a crime. Something interesting happened as a result. Top Docs such as Bluglass – who had spent much of their career maintaining that personality disordered patients were untreatable but nonetheless dangerous and who could therefore be incarcerated by Bluglass et al if it was convenient for them – collided with the Gov’t. Blair and his Home Secretaries such as Jack Straw and David Blunkett decided that all these personality disordered people had to be Treated and the Top Docs were the ones to do it. Of course the beauty of the notion of a personality disorder is that it is entirely in the eye of the Top Doctor – patients would find that if it was of benefit to the Top Doctors for them to be sectioned and treated, then that would happen. However if the NHS then wanted to wash its hands of them, within hours the sort of disorder that they were allegedly suffering from had turned into a personality disorder which would not benefit from intervention by a Top Doctor and they’d be discharged with no support. When Blair mentioned the possibility of obliging Top Doctors to treat personality disordered patients the Top Doctors went apeshit and MPs reported receiving thousands of furious letters from Top Doctors stating that they would not treat these patients no matter what legislation was passed and that was that. Later on in 2003 the Gov’t published a policy document, ‘Personality Disorder: No Longer A Diagnosis of Exclusion’. The Top Docs were as good as their word – the document was ignored and personality disorder continued to most definitely be a diagnosis of exclusion.
So when the Fallon Report was published with its sorry story of Dangerous Criminals taking over a high security hospital and maxing out on porn, drugs and booze, the response of Blair’s Gov’t was to turn its attention to matters of security rather than to therapy or treatment – well Bluglass himself had told everyone for years that personality disorders were untreatable and that these patients Don’t Change. In the wake of the Fallon Report Blair’s Health Secretary ordered a review of security in the high security hospitals to be led by Sir Richard Tilt, the former Director General of the Prison Service. Tilt’s panel did not include any clinicians.
Sir Richard Tilt was educated at the University of Nottingham and joined the Prison Service in 1966 as as Assistant Governor. He became a Governor, including of Bedford Prison and Gartree Prison in Leicester. He was DG of the Prison Service, 1996-99.
Whilst Tilt was helping to run the prison service he didn’t have much to boast about. There was the dreadful state of the buildings, the long-lasting shame of slopping out, the bullying and the violence, the riots, the self-injury and the suicides, the enormous drug problem, prisoners spending almost 24 hours in their cells with absolutely nothing to occupy them, the constant dreadful reports from HM Inspector of Prisons and the admission that the UK prisons were far worse than those in most of the rest of Europe.
So Richard was obviously just the man to advise on three high security hospitals which were in an even worse state than the prisons and which were giving Jimmy Savile free reign.
Richard picked up his knighthood in 1999 and was appointed a member of the Sentencing Advisory Panel.
In April 2000 Tilt became the Chair of Northamptonshire Health Authority. Between 2002-06 Tilt was Chair of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority.
In Jan 2005 BBC News reported that in 2002 Dale Pick, a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’, was allowed to leave Beaumont ward, Bradgate Mental Health Unit in Leicester, although some staff had warned that he was unwell and he had told them that he was hearing voices telling him to hurt other people. Eight days later Mr Pick stabbed Michael Doherty to death in an alley in Leicester. Mr Pick was convicted of manslaughter but with diminished responsibility and was detained under a hospital order by the Courts. An independent report into the care of Mr Pick noted that there were bed shortages at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and that Beaumont ward had not had a consultant psychiatrist for five years. Richard Tilt the Chair of the Strategic Health Authority responsible offered a ‘full apology’, admitted ‘a catalogue of errors’, stated that it was ‘a tragic case and one which we must learn from’ and that ‘some aspects of the care provided to Mr Pick by the mental health service could and should have been better’.
In Oct 2006 Tilt took up the appointment of Chair of Northamptonshire Primary Care Trust. The minutes of the Board meeting of 13 Oct 2006 list ‘representatives of mental health users and carers and members of the public’ as ‘being in attendance’. One item on the agenda was the consultation outcome on the proposed changes to the mental health services. The appropriately named Pat McCarthy – a senior manager who was also the Trust’s Mental Health Commissioner – mentioned that there had been a big response from service users, carers, members of the public and staff to the consultation. There was unanimous opposition to the proposals to close down certain services and letters and petitions had been submitted expressing fears that both patients and the public would be put at risk. The Board members ‘were sympathetic’ but ‘felt they had been given no other viable options which would achieve financial balance’ – the Trust was deeply in debt.
There is a clue as to why the Trust was so deeply in dept. At the same Board meeting the Board supported the Full Business Case for the PFI scheme for the modernisation of the inpatient facilities at the Princess Marina Hospital site. Northamptonshire Health Authority had previously supported the Outline Business Case in 1998. Pat McCarthy assured the Board that this significant capital investment was part of the long term mental health strategy and had been for several years.
At the same meeting the Board discussed the Financial Recovery Plan for the Trust.
Richard Tilt had such a following that, as I discovered from a copy of a newsletter produced by Oxleas NHS Trust Newsletter, Winter 2013/14, Issue 33, ‘Oxleas Exchange, Speaking Up For Others’, a thing called the ‘Tilt Project’ was named after him. The Tilt Project is described as ‘high support residential care for men with a history of complex and challenging mental illness who have spent long periods in hospital following contact with the criminal justice system’. An example of a ‘Tilt Success Story’ was given, namely Steve. Steve was physically and sexually abused as a child and since the age of 17 has spent 7 years in prison and 11 years in Broadmoor. Presumably Sir Richard would want Steve kept banged up in conditions of maximum security. If Steve spent 11 years in Broadmoor at least some of that time will have been during the Savile years although Speaking Up For Others didn’t speak up about that.
The story foregrounded by the Oxleas Exchange wasn’t the Tilt Project and Steve the success story though, it was a story about one of the Angels – Nina – who is employed by Oxleas attending a ‘prestigious awards ceremony’ held by the ‘Nursing Times’ at a Top London Hotel (the Grosvenor House Hotel). There is a photo of Nina and other ‘Nursing Times’ nominees drinking champers in the plush surroundings of the Grosvenor House Hotel. That wasn’t all that Nina had been up to – Nina had been to Clarence House to meet Prince Charles. Nina is one of the Oxleas team ‘looking after prisoners’ at Maidstone Prison. The dire reports that continue to emanate from the Prison Service, particularly concerning prisoners medical care, suggests that Nina and her colleagues aren’t very effective. But awards ceremonies at sumptuous hotels attended by NHS staff during which champagne is drunk is what healthcare is all about these days. I am not suggesting that NHS staff should not enjoy themselves or indeed be recognised when they really have achieved something, but a quick scan of publications like ‘Nursing Times’ or ‘HSJ’ (Health Services Journal) or indeed the websites of NHS Trusts demonstrate that awards are being given out constantly at over the top ceremonies including to people whose track record is failure and the neglect of patients in very troubled services. I have received e mails from people asking me if I know that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – currently in special measures after a major scandal involving the abuse of mental health patients – is constantly picking up awards for its ‘excellent’ mental health services. I was told last week that the Betsi has now been given an award for its ‘control of violence and abuse’ work – this is a Board whose mental health services have been dogged for years by patients complaining of having been assaulted by the staff. The Betsi remained firmly in denial until an undercover recording made by a whistlelower showed naked patients crawling around on floors covered in urine and faeces whilst nurses swore at them. One patient had an untreated broken arm. The only member of staff disciplined was the nurse who blew the whistle – she was sacked, arrested, suspended by the NMC and received death threats.
Sir Richard Tilt was a Governor of De Montfort University, 2001-10 – during which time De Montfort University was a very unhappy place. He was Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee and was the Social Fund Commissioner for Great Britain and N Ireland, 2000-10.
Richard Tilt has been a Trustee and a Patron of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which claims to support paedophiles to change their behaviour. Unfortunately the Lucy Faithfull Foundation doesn’t offer any concrete support or counselling for paedophiles at all – I know someone who was supporting a paedophile who desperately wanted to change his behaviour and they drew a complete blank with the dear old Lucy Faithfull Foundation. That’ll be OK with Richard though – the prison service doesn’t offer any help to change paedophiles’ behaviour either, it just bangs them up for a few years then sends them back out into a society containing people who beat them up if it is discovered why they were imprisoned.
Another Patron of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation is Richard Monk, a former Commander at Scotland Yard who established the first paedophile squad. That will be the squad which discovered that it had a few paedophiles in its ranks and were using the seized material for their own gratification. The Lucy Faithfull Foundation hit the jackpot with another Patron though – it is none other than Valerie Howarth, whom Esther appointed Chief Executive of Childline. Howarth was friends with Esther’s sister who was a social worker at Lambeth – Howarth had been her boss, whilst Lambeth children’s services were rife with abuse. Howarth left Lambeth and moved to Brent as Director of Social Services – Howarth was Director when Jasmine Beckford was killed. Howarth is now in the Lords.
In 2012 Sir Richard was appointed Chair of the Internet Watch Foundation, an organisation which seeks to reduce the availability of child porn on the web.
The Tilt Report was published in 2000 and it made the Top Doctors very, very cross because its emphasis was entirely on ramping up the security in Ashworth, Broadmoor and Rampton. Blair’s Gov’t implemented all of the more than 80 recommendations in the Report. This was confirmed by Jacqui Smith, then the Minister of State for Health, in the Commons. Jacqui Smith subsequently became Home Secretary and was a source of national entertainment when it was revealed that her husband had hired porn films and claimed for them on Smith’s Parliamentary expenses.
The publication of Tilt’s Report was greeted by the Top Doctors suddenly coming over all compassionate about patients whom they had spent decades loathing. Didn’t Richard Tilt understand that Therapy Matters and how could Trust be built up and Therapy take place with all this emphasis on locking patients in their rooms in buildings surrounded by high fences with dogs patrolling? The Top Docs forgot about all the beatings and the patients dying at the hands of the staff. It is tempting to suggest that perhaps they feared that the sordid role that some of them were playing in concealing paedophile gangs and the sexploitation of patients might emerge if a shift towards nothing but custody took place – there’d be no excuse for taking porn into the hospitals or discussing sex with patients or spending endless hours in Therapy with the purpose of tying the patient up in knots because they had complained about being molested whilst in care or at the hands of a Top Doctor…It will also have been territorial of course, nothing galvanises the Top Doctors like a threat to take some of their power away from them.
In 2003 the Top Doctors took to the British Journal of Psychiatry to argue the toss with Tilt – the row was kicked off by Professor John Gunn and Dr Tim Exworthy who came out in defence of the oppressed patients. Did Gunn and Exworthy have a track record in liberating those deemed criminally insane? No.
John Gunn is the Emeritus Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London. Gunn undertook his medical training at the University of Birmingham, 1956-61 and his training in psychiatry at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry, 1963-66. So Gunn may well have been at the Maudsley when Dafydd was ‘training’ there then. Gunn was a senior registrar at the Maudsley, 1965-71 and then a consultant, 1972-2002. He was Clinical Director of Forensic Psychiatric Services, 1993-95. Gunn was Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College Hospital, 1978-02 and Emeritus Professor after 2002.
So Gunn was at the Maudsley whilst leading lights there such as Bob Hobson and Paul Bowden concealed the criminality of Dafydd and continued to provide him with glowing testimonies when people like me raised concerns or made complaints about him. Psychiatrists at the Maudsley colluded with and concealed organised child abuse for years and dear old Raj Persaud spent many enjoyable years working there whilst he plagiarised other people’s work. Gunn was a leading figure in UK forensic psychiatry whilst Jimmy Savile was appointed the manager of Broadmoor and allowed to abuse patients in the special hospitals as he wished. Like Bluglass – whom he will have known – Gunn will have been fully aware that forensic psychiatrists were perjuring themselves and that innocent people were ending up in prison or in high security psychiatric hospitals for decades as a result.
Between 1976-78 John Gunn was employed by the DHSS as the Director of the Special Hospitals Research Unit. At the time the special hospitals were murderous places answerable to absolutely no-one. I can only imagine what ‘research’ took place in them under Gunn.
Gunn is a member of the Athenaeum – as was Savile, whose job at Broadmoor was arranged over a clubbable meeting with some senior civil servants from the DHSS which was held there.
In 2006 John Gunn was appointed a member of the Parole Board of England and Wales, which had previously counted Robert Bluglass, Chris Hunter, David Mawson and Colin Berry – the man who assisted Bluglass in concealing Dafydd’s criminality in 1988 – among its members.
Dr Tim Exworthy is a forensic psychiatrist who qualified at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1985 and has worked in many different places, including at Broadmoor where he spent five years as a consultant. He spent many years as a visiting senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry and was Clinical Director and consultant forensic psychiatrist at St Andrew’s Healthcare, 2011-17. St Andrew’s Healthcare describes itself as a charity which provides mental healthcare but the main feature on its website is a search facility allowing people to find various psychiatrists, so St Andrew’s Healthcare seems to act as a referral centre for Top Doctors.
In Sept 2017 Tim ‘joined the team’ at Cygnet Stevenage as a consultant forensic psychiatrist. Tim mentions on their website that he’d previously worked with some of the team at Cygnet before! Cygnet is an American medical company which is currently rapidly expanding and colonising the UK mental healthcare market. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe, who wrote even more lies about me than other ‘expert witnesses’. Kehoe managed to include in his ‘report’ – which was so full of elementary errors that Brown suspects that Kehoe didn’t actually write it himself but delegated the task to someone else who may not have even been medically qualified – that Brown was a ‘mental health professional’ whom I ‘was infatuated with’. Before Kehoe – or someone else – wrote the pack of lies he had been supplied with detailed statements from people who had witnessed the years of neglect, threats and harassment that I had received from the mental health services in north Wales. One of those statements was from Brown who explained that we had known each other since the sixth form and used to live together. For further details of Kehoe’s work of art see posts ‘An Expert In Resistant Service Users’ and ‘A Very Succinct E Mail From A Reader’. One of Kehoe’s Cygnet hospitals in Yorkshire advertises itself as specialising in ‘resistant service users’ – presumably those service users who, along with their lifelong friends who double up as mental health professionals with whom they are infatuated, have acquired masses of documentation demonstrating that the Top Doctors have involved themselves in very serious crime. Some Cygnet hospitals provide ‘services’ for learning disabled service users. People with learning disabilities do not usually suffer from mental health problems – the purpose of a psychiatrist in a unit for learning disabled people is to prescribe the huge quantities of anti-psychotics with which they are dosed up to ‘calm them down’ ie. chemically cosh them when they are distressed, sometimes because they are being abused by the staff.
Tim has a Masters in Mental Health Law from Northumbria University, is a member of the Mental Health and Disability Committee at the Law Society and is also the Chair of the Special Committee on Human Rights at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2006-12.
Tim’s principal medico-legal interest is in the assessment of restricted patients as part of their application to Mental Health Tribunals.
Another person who put pen to paper in 2000 regarding the Tilt Report – but who spouted off in the Guardian rather than the British Journal of Psychiatry – was Ray Rowden. Rowden worked at the Dept of Health as Director of Commissioning for the high security psychiatric hospitals, 1993-95. Rowden then ‘supervised’ those hospitals whilst Savile was busy inside of them.
Rowden left school with no qualifications and worked as a painter and decorator until he decided to become a psychiatric nurse in 1970. Rowden began his training at St Augustine’s Hospital Canterbury where we are told he helped expose scandalously inadequate care which prompted an inquiry. This may well have been true – there were a number of student nurses in the late 60s and 70s who did create a stink about the abuse of patients. Sadly some of those students used their early deeds to gain credibility and kudos which they used as an umbrella in the later stages of their careers when they concealed serious wrongdoing themselves.
I know of one former social worker in north Wales who definitely knows who was involved in the paedophile ring that operated in the region and who knew about the criminality of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends – he told me that he was one of the students who helped expose the Ely Hospital Scandal. This man later became a social work tutor in north Wales and then the Director of the Vale of Clwyd MIND. He is not as dim as many of his colleagues and he knew just how serious the wrongdoing on the part of numerous people and institutions – including MIND – was. It was actually far worse than the Ely Hospital Scandal. He has kept completely silent. I was told by another Gwynedd social worker – who has also been a Gwynedd County Councillor for many years – that of course he was never involved in the abuse of children in care and that he gave evidence against his colleagues at the Waterhouse Inquiry. I can’t find any references to this man’s evidence in the Waterhouse Report and furthermore no-one at the Inquiry except for the former residents of the children’s homes admitted that any abuse had happened. Everybody else lied – it was a case of I know nuzzing on the part of everyone. The people who wouldn’t collude with or conceal what was happening to those kids simply left their jobs – the only whistleblower was Alison Taylor who was sacked by Gwynedd County Council. Everybody else kept quiet or abused the kids themselves. It would not have been possible to have worked in social work in north Wales in the 1970s, 80s and 90s and not know what was happening. In the same way it would not have been possible to have worked in forensic psychiatry during the last few decades and not have known that patients were being grossly abused. But of course at dinner parties, everyone was a whistleblower.
I suspect that Ray Rowden might have known of a few more scandals as well as St Augustines which he didn’t expose. In 1989 Ray became the Chief Executive of West Lambeth Community Care NHS Trust – that was the Trust which was treating, or more probably refusing to treat – the fomer kids in care from Lambeth who had been abused, trafficked for sex and some of whom were dying of AIDS having contracted HIV whilst working as prostitutes. West Lambeth Community Care NHS Trust later became part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.
Ray died recently and the tributes paid to him from former colleagues are intriguing. Ray was ‘one of the first openly gay NHS leaders’ who was a true radical, was always on the side of the patients and fought the oppressive structures. One thing that Ray did was organise trips to Covent Garden for service users. This will have undoubtedly provided a bit of relief for some of the service users who will have been living in poverty and experiencing neglect at the hands of Ray’s colleagues, but my first thought was how did Ray find the dosh for that? It transpired that Ray doubled up as the ballet correspondent for a south London newspaper in order to obtain free tickets for the ballet performances. OK – but ballet is quite a minority activity. Some of the patients will have loved it, but it seems a bit weird that Ray was organising trips to the ballet rather than for example to a rock concert or the football which would probably have appealed to more people in the client group. Then I read on some of the other online tributes to Ray that his main interest was ballet.
The tributes to Ray also mentioned that he ‘loved champagne’ and partying. Ray might have become a senior official at the Dept of Health and been busy at the ballet and knocking back the Krug but his obituaries stressed that he was ‘always a nurse at heart’. In fact Ray was delighted when he became a Fellow of the RCN in 2013. What was Ray doing when he was recognised by the RCN? The nurse at heart had left the UK and was running a bar and restaurant in the Costa del Sol with his partner Tom.
Ray was only 62 when he died of pancreatitis. Most cases of pancreatitis are the result of long-term heavy drinking.
Ray’s obituaries described him as a ‘trade unionist’ with a ‘reforming zeal’ who provided ‘support as a union rep when someone needed a friend’. Was Ray a leading light in COHSE perhaps, that organisation which for years was led by David Williams, a former ‘nurse’ from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, which provided support and legal advice for Angels who had abused the patients (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’)? No, I’m glad to say that Ray didn’t lead the patient batterers. Ray’s ‘union activism’ was actually carried out in his capacity as a member of MiP, Managers in Partnership. MiP is a union which represents healthcare managers. A quick look at the website of Managers in Partnership reveals that the concerns of this union are member discounts, legal support, financial advice and employment rights for managers. This is one of the organisations which ensures that NHS execs never face disciplinary or legal action no matter how great the disaster was or how many patients died. I didn’t have time to search the MiP website, but I suspect that I wouldn’t have to have looked too long before I found the bit where private health insurance for their members is advertised.
So what was Ray’s take on the Tilt Report? Naturally Ray was horrified, but he saw a shining light on the horizon which would lead the service users and staff to liberation – Professor Louis Appleby, the National Director for Mental Health aka the Mental Health Tsar, appointed by Blair in 2000. Ray commented that with the likes of Richard Tilt on the loose ‘thank God for Louis Appleby’.
Louis Appleby is a Professor of Psychiatry who led the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England and was Director of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness. Appleby runs the Centre for Mental Health and Safety at Manchester University. He spends much of his time appearing in the Guardian – they love him – and tweeting fluffy comments regarding his concerns for people with mental health problems. Somehow Louis never manages to explain why the mental health services have been so bad for so long, particularly as he was the Tsar for ten years and was responsible for reforming the mental health services. Louis is still tweeting away, about poverty, about discrimination, the lot. Mental health patients are still being criminally neglected by those paid to care for them, it is acknowledged that the ‘services’ are broken and the patients who do succeed in bagging themselves a bed on an inpatient unit are sometimes managing to kill themselves whilst being ‘observed’. This however is all par for the course for the Top Doctors and their colleagues. But there is something else about Louis that has both worried and puzzled me for a long time.
Many years ago one of my neighbours was a paedophiles’ friend of the highest order. She had discovered that I was daring to challenge them and declared war on me. The Poisonous Cow told other people in the village that I was a danger to their children, that I had swindled people out of money, that I ‘abused’ people and told local builders not to undertake work for me because I would never pay them . When there were no witnesses about, both the Poisonous Cow and her boyfriend would hurl abuse at me and threaten me if they saw me out and about. I ended up finding out just how much trouble this woman tried to cause for me because eventually some of the other villagers told me what she had been doing. They apologised for not warning me previously and told me that she began doing very similar things to them. I was told how she carried out such a campaign of harassment against one person who was terminally ill that this person became too frightened to leave her house. The Poisonous Cow also contacted the police alleging that a man with mental health problems living in the village had sexually abused her daughter. The man was placed under investigation and although no evidence of the alleged offending was discovered, the accusation was enough to break up his marriage. More recently the Poisonous Cow established a cafe which was advertised as a charitable venture for people on low incomes. Before long, there were allegations that the Poisonous Cow was harassing a vulnerable woman who lived in the flat above the cafe and cafe volunteers began walking out on the grounds that the Poisonous Cow was mistreating them.
Poisonous Cows are not that rare – although this one was quite an extreme example of the species – but the thing that really shook the villagers was what the Poisonous Cow did for a living. The Poisonous Cow worked in mental health. She did a degree in psychology at Bangor University and I was told by other students on her course that she fell out with the School of Psychology so badly that she was banned from entering the building after she had graduated. The Poisonous Cow had wanted to go into social work – indeed her husband was a social worker on Anglesey – but wasn’t accepted on the course. (I cannot think why, she’d have got on brilliantly with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team.) It was alleged that at least one of the lecturers at Bangor was telling people who asked for references for the Poisonous Cow that he really could not recommend her for any type of employment. Yet somehow the Poisonous Cow began to land jobs working with people with mental health problems. Not only that, but I was told that she was sacked from at least one such job on the grounds that she was a danger to vulnerable patients. Someone then told me with incredulity that the Poisonous Cow was working in Manchester with mentally ill women in prison. I made a few enquiries and discovered that the Poisonous Cow was working for Louis Appleby, it seemed on his flagship Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide. Furthermore, she was using the work for a PhD – which was odd, because she had encountered quite serious academic problems as an undergrad.
I and a few other people began wondering who was supplying the Poisonous Cow with references, particularly references good enough for her to secure a place to do a PhD with the Mental Health Tsar. Before long, a neighbour told me that history had repeated itself and that the Poisonous Cow had been dismissed from Appleby’s team – for constituting a danger to vulnerable women in prison. Having heard this, I presumed that the Poisonous Cow’s career in wrecking the lives of people with mental health problems would finally be over. Surely the Mental Health Tsar would flag up that there really was a problem with the Poisonous Cow? He didn’t seem to. Within months the Poisonous Cow landed a job at Warwick University, in the Dept of General Practice. I knew someone working at Warwick at the time who knew of her – I was told that she would be out of there within three months. It took a bit longer than that, she did battle with Warwick but they finally gave her the boot after about six months. The story had not yet ended.
Some years ago the Poisonous Cow held a celebration – on the receipt of her PhD as a result of her outstanding work with Louis Appleby’s flagship team. The team from which she had been sacked and with whom she did not ever work with for long enough to complete a PhD. The PhD was also awarded years after the Poisonous Cow departed from Appleby’s team.
Upon receipt of her PhD the Poisonous Cow set up a catering business after telling the local newspaper that she was a ‘health psychologist’ who had decided to ‘leave academia’.
So Professor Appleby, can you explain why you employed Dr Denise Baker-McClearns aka Denise Baker, after she had been identified as being completely unsuitable to work with vulnerable people and furthermore who supplied her references? More importantly, why did you enable her to secure yet another job with vulnerable people and where did that PhD come from years after she left your employ?
Somewhere along the line the Mental Health Tsar has done something that he shouldn’t.
Louis Appleby qualified in Edinburgh and then did his psychiatry training with the Top Doctors at the Institute of Psychiatry, some of who concealed the wrongdoing of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales. Appleby has worked in Manchester for many years. Dr Tony Francis of the paedophiles’ friends worked as a psychiatrist with a team at the University of Manchester before he joined Dafydd et al in north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’).
In 2015 Appleby was engaged to improve the way in which the GMC deals with doctors facing fitness to practice hearings who are experiencing health problems. In 2016 Appleby recommended that the GMC should bring fewer investigations and that investigations should be paused if the root cause is a health problem requiring treatment. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr Tony Francis and a junior psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit all mentioned putative mental health problems in the face of complaints about them. The junior psychiatrist had sex with other staff on hospital premises during working hours, carried out such a violent assault on his dog that the dog nearly died and the vet threatened to prosecute him and then violently attacked his wife so severely that she was sectioned such was her distress. A previous wife had already left him and refused him access to their son on the grounds that he was a danger to them. His two children with his second wife were taken into care on the grounds of serious neglect. Ysbyty Gwynedd had received complaints about this doctor but robustly supported him and called the patients liars. The psychiatrist has now been struck off – it was his wife being taken to a secure unit for her own safety and his kids going into care that did it, even the GMC couldn’t cope with the fall out from that.
Ray Rowden was mentioned in a Daily Telegraph article in Oct 2012 after Jimmy Savile’s activities became public knowledge. It was mentioned that Ray took up his job in the special hospitals in 1996, one year before Alan Franey’s retirement. Alan Franey was the man who was appointed Chief Exec of Broadmoor when Savile was given the job as General Manager. Franey was a long time friend of Savile and had been Assistant General Manager of Leeds General Infirmary before bagging the job at Broadmoor. Ray told the Torygraph that he was shocked that both Jimmy Savile and Diana Princess of Wales seemed to turn up at Broadmoor whenever they felt like it. Not that Ray said a word about this at the time. Di did visit Broadmoor in the company of Savile and those visits were not a secret. The TV cameras were there in force and footage of those visits appeared in news items and in PR documentaries about Broadmoor. By the time Di was making those well-publicised visits I had begun to get wind of exactly what was happening to people in Broadmoor and I knew that the Top Doctors were prepared to perjure themselves and frame people in order to have patients who had been abused or had found out about their criminal activities labelled dangerous and banged up in there. It was very obvious to me that those visits by the People’s Princess were being used to reassure the nation that the nutters behind the walls were being catered for rather well and even enjoyed the odd Royal Visit. The reality was that they were being abused by the staff, raped by Savile and some of them died ‘from their medication’ or ‘committed suicide’ whilst supposedly under constant observation.
Ray Rowden may not have known when Di was going to drop in at Broadmoor, but other people will have known. Di enjoyed Royal protection and bodyguards at all times, was supplied with cars and drivers to ferry her about and someone will have been keeping her diary. So who in Buck House was arranging these PR trips to Broadmoor?
There is another person who may be able to enlighten us all regarding the very strange – and in some cases lethal – happenings at Broadmoor. That is a man called Phil Scarfe. I had an unpleasant encounter with Mr Scarfe when I was doing my PhD. Phil Scarfe had appeared in somewhere like the Guardian in his capacity as a mental health welfare officer at Nottingham Trent University and had made comments about the problems encountered by students with mental health problems. Part of my PhD thesis was concerned with this and Brown and I had just submitted a journal article on the subject, so I contacted Phil Scarfe thinking that he would be someone with similar interests to Brown and me. I had a phone call with Mr Scarfe who was actually quite a difficult man to hold a conversation with. I learned through the course of this phone call that Phil Scarfe had difficult relationships with some of the academics at Nottingham Trent and that they obviously didn’t find him very helpful. However I wondered if perhaps he was just having a bad day and I sent him a copy of the paper that we’d just written. I received an appalling e mail from Phil Scarfe in return, extremely aggressive and personally very rude. Brown was so concerned at the nature of the e mail that he wondered whether Scarfe was going to try to prevent the publication of our paper and my PhD supervisor kept a copy of the e mail because he thought that we might need legal advice if Mr Scarfe decided to e mail me again.
Mr Scarfe had previously worked as a social worker at Broadmoor. One reason why he sent me such a dreadful e mail was that Brown and I had been writing about the very high numbers of mentally ill people ending up in prison. Scarfe was very angry that we had drawn attention to this and told me that the explanation was simple – it was because so many of them were illiterate. Que??
After sending me the offensive e mail Phil Scarfe turned up as a mental health advisor at De Montfort University!
Well Phil would you now like to make a police statement about the abuses that were rampant at Broadmoor whilst you worked there as well as about Mr Savile’s activities and the reasons why none of you raised the alarm? Or can it all be explained by the patients not being able to read and write?
Someone else took an interest in my work on students with mental health problems and the shortcomings of the mental health services whilst I was a PhD student – Professor Les Ebdon, the Vice-Chancellor of what was then Luton University, but I think that it calls itself the University of Bedfordshire now. Les knew exactly what Brown and I knew – that the crisis in students mental health wasn’t a crisis caused by the universities, it was a crisis caused by the mental health services which were no longer functioning. I had an exchange of correspondence with Prof Ebdon and he was rather nicer than Phil Scarfe. So imagine my surprise when I found out that Les Ebdon had only gone and awarded an honorary degree to Jimmy Savile. They had a lovely photo of themselves taken together in their academic gear.
I have long since suspected that there was a direct connection between the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales and Broadmoor. Back in the mid-1990s in the spirit of ‘service user involvement’, an Independent Advocacy Association was set up in north west Wales to handle patients’ concerns about the mental health services. It was so Independent that it was funded by Gwynedd Health Authority and I know one advocate who walked out after she was told by her manager not to support patients who were making serious complaints. I know of another person who went to the Independent Advocacy for help after her son died as a result of the negligence of the Hergest Unit – the Independent Advocates were far too frightened to take up the case with Gwynedd Health Authority. Which was hardly surprising because not only were they funded by the Health Authority but the advocates were all mental health patients – you had to be, it was ‘peer support’ – and they were all far too terrified to challenge the service lest they were refused treatment and had their benefits stopped. So a bunch of terrified vulnerable mental health patients served as the ‘watchdog’ for a lethal service run by a gang of paedophiles’ friends. It was an arrangement that suited the Hergest Unit and its corrupt manager Alun Davis very well. Of course because the care of patients was so bad, the advocates themselves often suffered at the hands of the service which they were allegedly holding to account. One of the leaders of the advocacy service was a woman called Marilyn. Marilyn was gay and her partner was also a patient. Marilyn’s partner was one of the many patients who committed suicide and following that disaster Marilyn had a breakdown and resigned as an advocate. She then disappeared from Bangor and I asked someone where she had gone.I was told that Marilyn had been given a job as an advocate at Broadmoor. Jimmy Savile must have thought that Christmas had come.
I can’t remember Marilyn’s surname, but I can remember the full name of the woman who had one of the few paid jobs with the Independent Advocacy Service and who ran it. She oversaw the mess and she and Marilyn held vacuous training sessions for would-be advocates which consisted of ‘ice breakers’ and ‘getting to know you’ games rather than seminars in mental health law. She was a Sarah Ryan. Would you like to explain how Marilyn got that job at Broadmoor Sarah and why you stood by in silence whilst patients were fitted up for serious offences and died?
I know that the Top Doctors like to pretend that they’re not at all custodial and that all they care about is Therapy and Mindfulness, but their faux outrage at the Tilt Report was somewhat disingenuous. Some years before the Fallon Report let alone the Tilt Report, I and another patient at the Hergest Unit got so sick of our – and other people’s – very serious complaints about Dafydd not being investigated and the constant arrests on trumped up charges, that one day when Dafydd arrived we followed him into his office – no patients were present, we weren’t taking up anyone’s appointment time. We both stood opposite him and we simply repeated the list of names of the many people who we knew had complained about him or died under his ‘care’ or had claimed that he had propositioned them and gave full details of offences involved. Dafydd sat on his chair yelling ‘security security, assistance assistance’ and within minutes the office was invaded by Angels who threw us out because of the trauma that Dafydd was sufferering. Dafydd and the Angels made statements to the police about the murderous threat that I posed to him and Gwynedd Health Authority installed an alarm system and a panic button in Dafydd’s office at great expense so that he would never have to suffer such a terrible experience at my hands again.
Complaints continued to go uninvestigated. The Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate in England and Wales. But at least Dafydd never had to listen to anyone detailing his crimes again and Marilyn got a job at Broadmoor.
Footnote: Since completing the above post about 30 mins ago I have just discovered a few things about Erville Millar, the acting Chief Exec of Ashworth in 1997. Erville was Chief Exec of the West Lambeth Healthcare Trust, 1993-99; Director of Service Development, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2000-01; Chief Exec, Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust, 2000-06; Chief Exec, Kent and Medway Partnership NHS Trust until 2011 when Erville mercifully retired.
One would have thought that after Ashworth no-one would have ever employed Erville again, but his being as the helm at Camden and Islington 2000-06 explains why Camden had the highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales. The second highest suicide rate was in north west Wales.
The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health was founded by Lord David Sainsbury who is a major donor to, and now the Chancellor of, Cambridge University. Sainsbury donated millions to the Labour Party under Blair and has made donations to Progress. He is associated with the IPPR. David Sainsbury was one of the first peers to be questioned as part of the cash for peerages investigation. Before pledging his money and allegiance to New Labour, Sainsbury was a fan of Dr Death and provided the continuing SDP with office space.