Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?

I resorted to purchasing a copy of the ‘Times’ this morning, although I loathe encouraging Murdoch by doing this. I splashed out however because in today’s ‘Times’ magazine, Theresa May’s former press office manager Katie Perrior has written a tell-all piece about the chaos reigning at Number 10 as a result of May’s reliance on her two notorious Chiefs of Staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy. Perrior’s revelations confirm what I have long suspected about May – that she’s not that bright, not that confident and relies on vacuous twats to advise her, which is how she ended up doing things like wittering on about her kitten heels and posing in a pair of not very nice overly expensive trousers which allowed her opponents to comment on the gulf between her lifestyle and that experienced by the rest of the nation. I was interested to watch this phenomenon damage May so badly because it is of course what all female politicians have subjected themselves to ever since the manufacture of Margaret Thatcher. Idiots like Hazel Blears purchased handbags costing hundreds of pounds and described such bags as ‘aspirational’ rather than ‘over-priced’ and politicians like Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood have very obviously spent a lot more time taking advice on their hairstyles, shoes, the precise length of their skirts and the style of those boring little Young Margaret Thatcher jackets that are de rigueur for female politicians than they ever have reading economic or political theory. That’s why none of them ever make any intelligent comments about gender, health policy, social inequality, economic policy etc. Compare what comes out of their mouths when they’re busy on their way to smash glass ceilings and show the boys how to do it with what comes out of someone like Yanis Varoufakis and our lot are laughable. It’s not as if there aren’t any good female economists around to advise them as well if they wanted a testicle free zone.

Perrior does indeed drop a few pearls of wisdom whilst giving a resume of her career. Perrior’s career as a spin doctor for the Tories started in 2000 when she was interviewed for a junior role by William Hague’s Press Secretary. Perrior was taken on and describes the asinine tasks that she and her colleagues were given to do. She mentions that they were ‘doing jobs way above our pay grades but there simply wasn’t anyone else to do it’. Interestingly she notes that ‘more than 20’ of these rather air-headed young gofers are now ‘either MPs or lords’. Perrior went onto work for Theresa when she was Transport Secretary and Party Chair, but Perrior then left to join the ITN news department because of the allegedly low pay. She subsequently worked for Channel 4 News and as Press Secretary for David Davis. After that she established ‘The Research Shop’ with Nick Timothy. A Jo Tanner who worked with her is now Head of Press at the British Chamber of Commerce. Following this Perrior worked on Boris’s mayoral campaign with the appalling Lynton Crosby in 2008 for ten months, then on the lame ‘Women2Win’. After the successful Brexit campaign she ‘offered her services’ to Theresa during the leadership race and ended up as Director of Communications at Number 10. She’s now dished the dirt on them.

It is entertaining to have my suspicions about Theresa’s reliance on dipsticks confirmed, but unlike a lot of people I’m not that interested in Fiona Hill or Nick Timothy. It is well-established that they are a pair of shites who have damaged the Tories, but it was fairly clear that they were a liability when Theresa was Home Secretary because they were causing problems them.

The person that I am interested in is the woman who gave Katie her big break, Hague’s Press Secretary when he became Tory leader in 2000. It was Amanda Platell – the right wing hate filled scribbler for the ‘Daily Mail’ who is the ultimate example of the sort of female journo satirised by the ‘Private Eye’ Glenda Slagg column, although Platell has a deeper interest in politics. The ‘Eye’ has described Platell as being ‘one of the killer Bimbos of Fleet Street’. I’m interested in Platell because Hague became Tory leader after he assisted a lot of people out of a very tight spot by organising the whitewash of the organised child abuse in north Wales that was the Waterhouse Inquiry when he was Secretary of State for Wales. I have mentioned many times how Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and MP for Chester, was known to be abusing under-aged boys and was visiting children’s homes in north Wales. It is only relatively recently however that I learned that the kids being abused in Ty’r Felin, the children’s home in Bangor, were being trafficked to London where they were being used to provide sexual services after being introduced to a Tory lobbyist and businessman who was also one of Thatcher’s speechwriters (see post ‘Are You Local?’). This man occupied space in the notorious Dolphin Square apartments in Pimlico and Edwina Currie and William Hague claim to be friends of his.

Platell only met Hague ‘a few months’ before her appointment as his Press Secretary ie. Head of News and Media at Conservative Central Office, but she was described as ‘very much Hague’s appointment’. At the time she was described as being ‘a friend’ of Hague’s new wife Ffion and Ffion was said to be a ‘strong supporter’ of Platell’s appointment. Ffion has featured on this blog before (see post ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’). She met Hague when she was a senior civil servant in the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office that had concealed the paedophile ring for decades, the Welsh Office that employed a crooked solicitor Andrew Park, who concealed the criminal activities of the two psychiatrists Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), who were associates of Lucille Hughes the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who colluded with that paedophile ring. So people involved with the cover-up of a vicious paedophile ring, many of whose victims had been found dead in suspicious circumstances, ensured that Amanda Platell was appointed as Press Secretary at Conservative Central Office. The Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. Amanda was Hague’s Press Secretary between 1999-2001. Did Hague think that he might be particularly in need of a good Press Secretary sometime in 2000? In 1999 no-one knew how much of a cover-up Sir Ronald Waterhouse would publish, but they did know that hundreds of former children in care in north Wales had told the Waterhouse Inquiry how they were beaten, flogged, kicked, punched, starved, forced to do unpaid labour, sexually abused by the ‘care’ staff and other visitors, taken to other places where they were sexually abused by people whom they did not know, transferred to other even more abusive institutions if they complained about being abused or ended up in the mental health system. Everybody did know that even if Ronnie turned out to be a star performer, the shit was going to hit the fan when that Report was published and a bit of nifty work with the media would be needed.

Let’s look at why Hague might have thought that Amanda was the right woman for the job.

Amanda is an Aussie, from Perth, who arrived in London in 1985. Her father was a journalist too, on ‘The West Australian’. In London she worked as a freelancer for the ‘Observer’ and the ‘Sunday Express’. She was a member of the start-up team when Eddy Shah launched ‘Today’ in 1986. Murdoch’s News International purchased it in 1987, and as well as hosting Amanda, ‘Today’ employed Alastair Campbell as political editor and his partner Fiona Millar as news editor. Platell left ‘Today’ for a short while to work for Robert Maxwell’s short-lived ‘London Daily News’ but returned to ‘Today’ in 1987 when David Montgomery was deputy editor. In 1993 she became managing editor of the Mirror Group, but moved to the Independent in the same year, first as marketing director and then as managing director.

The allegations concerning dreadful wide scale child abuse in north Wales and a paedophile ring that possibly involved public figures and politicians emerged in the London media in the early 1990s. Amanda could not have missed those stories.

In 1996 Platell was acting editor of the ‘Sunday Mirror’ and was the senior colleague of Alastair Campbell. In 1998 she became acting editor of the ‘Sunday Express’ but was sacked by Rosie Boycott after Amanda published a story about Mandelson’s gay relationship with his Brazilian partner. The publication of this story followed a spat between Platell and Mandelson at the Labour Party conference. So Platell discovered what could happen if one published a story that embarrassed a high profile politician. She’ll also have worked out the power and advantages that one would enjoy if one suppressed such stories.

Following Hague’s lacklustre performance as leader, Platell left her job at Conservative Central Office and in 2002 became a freelancer for the ‘Daily Mail’. Her bile filled column goes under the title of ‘Platell’s People’. Well now the readers of this blog know who ‘Platell’s People’ actually are, let’s look at a few more of these people and their contacts in greater detail.

David Montgomery. Platell seems to have thrived whilst working under Montgomery – she worked with him on ‘Today’ and when he moved to head the Mirror Group in 1994, she became group managing editor with a place on the Board. David Montgomery was originally from Northern Ireland. In 1973 he worked for the ‘Mirror’, then in 1979 the ‘Sun’. Between 1985-1987 he was editor of the ‘News of the Screws’ and Director of News(UK)Ltd, a subsidiary of News International owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation. Between 1987-91 he edited ‘Today’ whilst it was owned by Murdoch. Following the death of Robert Maxwell in 1991, between 1992-1999 Montgomery was Chief Exec of Mirror Group PLC. During his tenure at Mirror Group PLC Montgomery took a stake in the ‘Independent’ and the ‘Independent on Sunday’. It was the ‘Independent On Sunday’ that former senior police officer Gordon Anglesea sued for libel in 1994 after they published allegations that he’d sexually abused boys at Bryn Estyn. For details of some of the puzzling aspects of the trial and the conduct of the judge and the lawyers involved see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’. In 2016 Anglesea was imprisoned after he was convicted of abusing boys at Bryn Estyn.

In 2000 Montgomery founded the Mecom Group, a London-based investment company, specialising in the mergers and acquisitions of newspaper and media companies in Europe. In 2005 they purchased Berliner Verlag – the purchase was made in partnership with an American private equity firm. A number of journalists employed by titles owned by Berliner Verlag were most unhappy at the direction in which they felt that the new owners would take the company.

So Amanda had a Big Mate in Montgomery and both of them were undoubtedly in a position to have received much information relating to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

But Montgomery is related to a few interesting folk as well. He married Sophie, the daughter of the 3rd Baron Birdwood. The second wife of Sophie’s grandfather, Lady Jane Birdwood, is politely referred to as a ‘politician’ on the family’s wiki entry. Lady Jane Birdwood was a one-off as a politician, she was famously bonkers in that she was so anti-Semitic and right-wing that she denounced a leader of the National Front as a ‘socialist’, although at one point she was a member of the National Front herself. Presumably she became disillusioned when they moved to the left. She ended up in hot water legally on a number of occasions because of her penchant for distributing race hate literature and maintained that the Jews died in the Holocaust as a result of typhoid. Jane Birdwood was not the only notable relative of Montgomery’s wife. Sophie was the ex-wife of Simon Marquis (Sophie married three times, each time to a peer!), the 3rd Earl of Woolton. Simon’s mother married again to Owen Lloyd George, another British peer and became Countess Lloyd George of Dwyfor (in north Wales). Owen Lloyd George succeeded to the Lords in 1968 and was the Deputy Lieutenant of Dyfed – although he was from a family with their origins in Llanystumdwy, north Wales (he was the grandson of David Lloyd George ie. THE Lloyd George), he did not have a home in Wales until the mid 80s, when he purchased a house in Pembrokeshire. The family were of course a massively influential north Welsh political family and Owen Lloyd George carried the sword at the Investiture of Prince Charles in 1969 at Caernarfon. Owen’s mother was from the McAlpine family.

People familiar with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal will recognise the name McAlpine. In 2012 Lord Alistair McAlpine was named on ‘Newsnight’ by a former resident of Bryn Estyn, Steve Messham, as having been the man who had sexually abused him whilst Messham was in care at the home. McAlpine denied this and successfully sued a number of people who repeated Messham’s claims, including George Monbiot and Sally Bercow, the wife of John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons. Steve Messham later stated that he’d been mistaken. McAlpine died in 2014 at his house in Italy. I can only presume that like Matthew Parris, the former Tory MP and ‘Times’ journo, McAlpine liked Italy. Parris has a house in Catalonia, but in his autobiography he wrote about holidaying at a place in Italy with his political friends that they named ‘the villa of shame’ – he noted that there were some good parties at the villa with ‘boys’ who were ‘always willing’.

Alistair McAlpine spent a lot of time in Perth, Western Australia during the 60s and 70s. That’s where Amanda Platell came from! He had business interests out there and in quite a big way as well. He was an advisor to Thatcher and raised millions for the Tory party. He raised money from Asil Nadir who featured in my post ‘A Stalker’s Network’. Nadir of course stole millions from his company Polly Peck and later was imprisoned, but not for very long and managed to escape even that for many years by fleeing to Cyprus. McAlpine was on record as saying that the funds that were received from Nadir should be given to Polly Peck’s creditors. McAlpine also cultivated the company of Mohamed Al-Fayed. McAlpine was Chairman of the Conservative Party between 1979-1983 but joined Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in 1996. It is recorded that McAlpine was ‘very critical of the Conservative Party under William Hague’. I don’t know why because I would have thought that everyone had a great deal to thank Hague for, after organising the cover-up by Ronnie Waterhouse. I suspect that some people were so grateful that they even felt like making him leader of the Party.

After McAlpine sued the various people who repeated the claims that he had abused a boy who was in care in north Wales, he kindly donated the damages that he was paid to the BBC charity Children In Need. One of the many who presented Children In Need was Esther Rantzen, who claimed that she did not know that Jimmy Savile was a child abuser and could not remember being contacted by someone who later appeared in the media saying that she had told Esther that Savile was a child abuser. I contacted Esther in the 1980s when she maintained that she was campaigning for better mental healthcare and detailed the abuses happening at the hands of psychiatrists in north Wales – who were also concealing the paedophile ring. Esther didn’t write back and I expect that she’s forgotten about my letter as well. A number of children who had been abused in care claimed to have contacted Esther’s charity Childline but did not receive help. Childline’s first CEO was Valerie Howarth, the former Director of Social Services for Brent – four year old Jasmine Beckford was abused and murdered on her watch. Esther had got to know Valerie because Valerie had trained Esther’s sister when they both worked as social workers for Lambeth Council. Whilst Lambeth Council’s children’s homes were infiltrated by paedophiles.

I’m glad to say that there was one person with a bit of sense associated with Children In Need though and that was Sir Roger Jones, who at one point was Chairman of the charity. Sir Roger had made a point of keeping Jimmy Savile well away from Children In Need whilst he was Chairman because he had heard rumours about Savile’s interest in young children, thought that Savile was deeply unsavoury and was on record as saying that ‘the biggest thing to guard against was paedophiles – they were just like flies around the honey pot’. Before Sir Roger became Chairman, Savile had been involved with Children In Need in 1984, 1987 and 1989. Sir Roger was on the BBC Board of Governors between 1996-2002, so one wonders how the lowdown on Savile had escaped others in the BBC. Such as Esther. Sir Roger was the Governor from Wales. As a good proportion of those kids being abused by organised paedophiles had been trafficked from north Wales, perhaps Sir Roger took a rather more dim view of the activities of Savile and his ilk than the media twats in London who think that they’re the centre of the universe and will do pretty much anything to get what they want, including ignoring the serious abuse of sheepshaggers’ children.

Another one of Platell’s People was Rolf Harris, a friend of Jimmy Savile. Amanda was horrified when Rolf was convicted of sexual assaults on children and got himself imprisoned and she penned an article about her inner turmoil for the ‘Daily Mail’ in July 2014, which ran under the headline ‘My Old Friend Rolf Groomed Me Too’. Amanda was deeply traumatised: ‘It was inconceivable to me that the man I’d come to love and trust as a true friend had been serially assaulting girls for decades’. Amanda explains that she was ‘in denial’, because her and Rolf went back a long way. She blames herself for having being duped by Rolf by having been exposed to him on the TV when she was young. In fact Rolf was so successful at grooming the youthful Amanda over the airwaves all those years ago that as a special treat, Rolf turned up to her 40th birthday party in 1998, whilst ‘this star’ was ‘at the height of his fame’. He drew some cartoons for her and she sat on his knee and this was the beginning of a friendship that lasted for the next 16 years, but ended when she realised that she had been ‘conned by a cunning and manipulative paedophile’.

This is a woman who had worked in a senior capacity for Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch and had been Alastair Campbell’s boss. Furthermore, everyone in their 50s was exposed to a good dose of Rolf if they had watched TV when they were kids. I saw Rolf on his lame TV show when he used to appear with someone dressed up as a Koala calling themselves Coojee Bear – presumably Amanda continues to think that was a real Koala. I had a particularly lethal dose of Rolf because my gran used to buy me a comic called ‘Teddy Bear’ which had a cartoon story featuring Rolf and a Koala in every issue. My friend Brown used to read ‘Teddy Bear’ as well when he was little, so he too was dangerously exposed to Rolf. Now we did not consider ourselves groomed by Rolf and even if we were London media twats and in a position to invite Rolf to our 40th birthday parties I don’t think that we would have bothered. And I certainly wouldn’t have sat on his knee. Because I would have been 40 not 4 and he was a complete idiot anyway.

Amanda  shared further insights with the readers of the ‘Daily Mail’: ‘pathological  offenders…the really clever ones, spend…99% of their time grooming people around them…Was Rolf always truly evil, a psychopathic monster, like Jimmy Savile, who gleefully manipulated all those around him? Looking at the picture of him published this week, posing with Savile on a trip to Broadmoor, the similarities are chillingly apparent. Could Rolf have been as dark, as sick, as twisted as that monster beside him?’

I’ve got an answer for Platell and her People. Rolf and Savile were probably about as dark, as sick and as twisted as the monsters that run the UK media, who failed to report on the activities of very serious criminals with links to public figures, including some in the Houses of Parliament, who were molesting children and even found it worth their while chucking a petrol bomb into a building where some of their victims were holding a party when those victims had finally started to talk about what had happened to them and it looked as though there might be a few prosecutions on the horizon. The very worst of those monsters in the media were personally employed by the politicians who were covering all of this up.

In Nov 2011 the infant who was groomed by Rolf was accused at the Leveson Inquiry by the actor Hugh Grant of performing a ‘hatchet job’ on him in the ‘Daily Mail’. This was a reference to a particularly poisonous article that Platell had written after Hugh Grant’s partner had given birth to their baby. I have read the statement that Grant submitted to the Inquiry and it makes for sober reading. One evening whilst Grant was appearing on ‘Question Time’ discussing the closure of the ‘News Of The World’, Murdoch and press standards, Grant’s partner received an anonymous phone call from someone who said ‘tell Hugh Grant to shut the fuck up’. Grant goes on to explain in his statement how he did not accompany the mother of his baby to hospital when she gave birth because they were trying to avoid a media scrum and he had ‘too many experiences of hospital staff being paid to leak information to the press’.

Yes, the Top Doctors and Angels do that.

Hugh Grant then goes on to state that nonetheless  that there was a leak to the ‘Daily Mail’ regarding the details of his visit the following day to his partner and their baby and the ‘Mail’ had also discovered the assumed name of Grant’s partner which they had used for the hospital booking. The ‘Daily Mail’ repeatedly rang Grant’s PR people in New York for a comment – they had somehow managed to obtain a number that wasn’t publicly known as well. The ‘Mail’ threatened to print the story, but Grant suspects that the reason that they did not was because they had obtained their information unethically and illegally from a hospital source. The ‘Mail’ had also acquired the mobile number of Grant’s partner and rang her on that. A story about the birth then appeared in ‘Us’ magazine in America. The UK tabloids subsequently printed ‘garbled/twisted’ version of the story. Grant’s partner’s home was then besieged by press and photographers, as was his own house. The mother of Grant’s partner was harassed by the press. Neighbours were doorstopped. Grant gives details of the extreme harassment that they all faced from the press, which included one incident of a car being driven at one of them. Grant noted that the ‘reporting’ on behalf of the ‘Daily Mail’ was done by Keith Gladdis, who had previously worked for the ‘News of the Screws’, which was of course closed down after the methods that were being used to obtain personal information about people for stories – including phone hacking – were revealed. It was at this time that Platell’s character assassination of Hugh Grant was published in the ‘Daily Mail’.

All this about London hospitals leaking info, Hugh Grant and Amanda working as the Press Manager for a politician who organised the cover-up of the paedophile ring in Wales brought back a few memories for me. Previous posts have described the grossly unethical conduct that I witnessed whilst I worked in London medical schools and how I now have documentation demonstrating that the psychiatrists who were concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales were in contact with people whom I was working with in London medical schools. I have mentioned how I was bullied out of a job at St George’s Hospital Medical School just at the time that the victims of the paedophile ring in north Wales had started speaking to the media and that a close friend of mine – whose parents knew what had happened to me in north Wales and who worked in the media herself and who wanted to make a documentary about it all – was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society at exactly the same time. That was in the spring of 1991. I came across a reference the other day to there having been a big scandal brewing involving a paedophile ring with connections to Westminster but it had ‘all been covered up in 1991’.

One of my more obnoxious colleagues at St George’s who did all that she could to make my life unbearable was a particularly vile and aggressive researcher, who seemed to hold a lot of influence with our supervisor Dr Cathy Wilson. This researcher wasn’t ever one for sensitive behaviour – she shagged one junior doctor in the laboratory – but she certainly had a real downer on me. I never found out what this researcher’s problem with me was, but she slammed doors in my face as I walked into laboratories and offices, she refused to allow me access to laboratory equipment and then told Wilson that I wasn’t doing any work, she never communicated with me in anything other than an angry shout and I understand that she told various people that it was going to be ensured that I ‘went back to Wales’. This woman came from quite a privileged background and used to spend much time name dropping to let the rest of us know how many aristos that she hung out with, but she also spent a lot of time ingratiating herself to luvvies. There was one young male luvvie that she was in hot pursuit of at the time – in 1990 – who was beginning to become very famous but was still based in London. I am pretty sure that it was Hugh Grant. Just before he became – HUGH GRANT????!!!!! I don’t know who exactly encouraged the dreadful Mandy Leigh to treat another researcher in the way that she did but I have a message for her: I was bullied out of that job and subsequently nearly framed for a very serious crime that I did not commit because I had crossed the paths of some Top Doctors who were facilitating a paedophile ring you obnoxious over-privileged sharp elbowed bullying cow. There are now a number of police investigations going on into the activities of the people who were determined to ensure that I ended up outside of polite company and back in the clutches of those who were colluding with organised crime. Would you like to contact whichever police station that you are now in close proximity to and make a statement naming the people who told you to behave in the way that you did?

Amanda Platell ironically suffered at the hands of the Top Doctors herself. In 2012 she penned a column for the ‘Daily Mail’ about the evils of the NHS offering IVF. Amanda reveals that she too had IVF but she Paid For It Herself, which is obviously a rather more worthy thing to do than access it on the NHS. The joke was on Amanda though – Amanda didn’t get pregnant despite handing over many thousands and then found out that in women over 40, IVF and associated interventions have a very low success rate but no-one told her. No Amanda, they won’t have. Because a lot of Top Doctors running IVF clinics are very unscrupulous (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’) and they see people like you coming a mile off – you have a lot more money than you do scientific knowledge and they will lie to you and milk you dry, whilst conning you that ‘going private’ will buy you something better than the plebs who are treated under the NHS get. Furthermore they know that if they keep their expensive smiles frozen on their faces and carry on lying to you, you’ll even write articles in publications like the ‘Daily Mail’ encouraging other mugs to part with their money as well.

Lest anyone think that I’m being somewhat unsympathetic to Amanda’s fleecing at the hands of the Top Doctors, I’m experiencing compassion fatigue because in a way Amanda brought this upon herself. Because Platell and her People won’t publish anything about one of the worst scandals that a lot of Top Doctors have been involved with – the concealing of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I know this because before Amanda published poison about Hugh Grant and before she published her tale of woe about ripped off by the Top Doctors, two people with media links told me that the evidence that I had regarding the Top Doctors and the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was so damning that I ought to go to the London-based media, because the Welsh media would be far too frightened to publish it. They both gave me the contact details of ‘Daily Mail’ journalists. I was very iffy – I didn’t feel that comfortable at the idea of getting into bed with the ‘Daily Mail’ – but I was told that what the Top Doctors were getting up to was so serious that I really should get it out in the public domain in any way that I could. I sent the story to two different ‘Daily Mail’ journos – I didn’t ask for any money. I received an enthusiastic e mail back immediately upon receipt of each e mail. Then a long silence…. never heard another word. Not even when three years ago or so Tom Watson unleashed the hounds of Hades when he went public on allegations that children had been sexually abused by people with links to Westminster. You’re quite right Tom, they had been. But Platell and her People worked for the very politician that covered it all up.

Of course Hague’s successor Theresa has now organised the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse – which is falling apart at the seams. I notice in today’s ‘Times’ dear old Murdoch has let the world know that the Home Office have now been fined £366,000 by the Treasury for breaching Whitehall rules regarding the salary of the latest Chair for that Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay. Jay was the ‘choice’ of the current Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Rudd implied that the previous Chair – who has walked out and returned to New Zealand – Judge Lowell Goddard, had been up to no good. However it transpires that Lowell Goddard withdrew because Rudd was trying to force a team of Home Office officials onto her to run the ‘Independent’ Inquiry. Which would have not made it an Independent Inquiry led by Lowell Goddard. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, a group of former residents of children’s homes in Lambeth who suffered abuse whilst they were there, walked out of the Inquiry for the same reason. They also stated that Alexis Jay, a former social worker, was turning the Inquiry into a ‘social workers talking shop’. Yes, that’s exactly what she’ll do. Because it is the social work profession that was infiltrated by paedophiles that caused havoc and social work as a profession still has not come to terms with it and will not admit it. And to remain in that profession at any senior level one will just have to have turned a blind eye to some fairly sordid things. So when they are confronted with what went on, social workers start talking about the need to fight stigma and to safeguard children and to make sure that no other child ever suffers and how everyone must feel safe but no-one must be blamed. What they will not do is name the paedophiles or their colleagues who allowed those paedophiles to commit offences against children in care. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association however have done exactly that on their website. They are still in touch with Lowell Goddard.

The Waterhouse Inquiry whitewashed what went on in north Wales because Hague appointed Ronald Waterhouse, a man who had personal connections with many of the people who actually facilitated the paedophile ring in north Wales, along with a team of lawyers and officials from the Welsh Office who knew what was going on at the time and colluded with it, to run the Inquiry.

I think that it’s about time that I did a bit of research on Amber Rudd and her connections to see if I can work out why she not only had such faith in Alexis Jay, but was prepared to break Whitehall rules in order to appoint her.

 

 

 

‘One Of The Safest Pairs Of Hands At The Criminal Bar’

The title of this post is a quote that can be found on the online profile of Timothy Cray. Who he? Timothy Cray is the barrister who acted for Henry Hendron – a barrister himself – who ended up receiving much media coverage in 2016 as a result of the ‘chemsex trial’. Hendron is a barrister in his mid-thirties who was arrested and charged after his 18 year old Columbian boyfriend was found dead at their flat after Hendron had supplied him with chemsex drugs. I will return to this case later. But first I want to discuss a friend of Hendron’s, whom Hendron himself had previously provided with legal advice – Nigel Evans.

Nigel Evans is the Tory MP for Ribble Valley who in 2014 stood trial for a series of assaults on seven men. Evans was acquitted of all charges – one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted sexual assault and two indecent assaults. So Nigel Evans was somehow either accused quite wrongly by a series of people independently of each other of very serious offences – or he had a very good barrister, obviously yet another safe pair of hands at the Criminal Bar. The circumstances of the alleged offences were all rather similar – they were committed by Evans, a senior Tory in his mid-50s, against much younger men who were working in Westminster or aspiring to do so, after sessions of very heavy drinking by Evans. Following Evans’s acquittal there was an enormous outpouring of support and sympathy for Evans from his fellow politicians and not just from Tories. Evans waxed lyrical about his ordeal and described in detail his distress at being charged and his colleagues rallied round stressing what a lovely bloke he was. Stephen Crabb, the Conservative MP for Preseli in Pembrokeshire, tweeted that his ‘friend’ Evans was ‘a good man’ and Ann Widdecombe – not known for her sympathy towards promiscuous gay sex when blind drunk – described Evans as a ‘truthful, considerate and kind individual’.

Now when Evans was arrested he was known as an MP representing a constituency in the north of England. But I knew of Evans as a rather unusual man, a Thatcherite Tory who actually came from Wales. Evans grew up in Swansea where his family ran a small business, went to Swansea University and only became the MP for Ribble Valley in 1992 after unsuccessfully contesting seats in south Wales. Before he was an MP Evans was a County Councillor in West Glamorgan (elected in 1985) and in 1990 became deputy Tory leader of that Council. He stood down as a Councillor in 1991.

In 1993 Evans became PPS to David Hunt, the Secretary of State for Employment and he remained Hunt’s PPS when Hunt was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1994. Readers will remember that David Hunt was Secretary of State for Wales on two occasions, between 1990-93 and again for just one month in the summer of 1995. Hunt was in that post when there was a total failure by the Welsh Office to respond to the serious abuse that was rife in children’s homes in north Wales or to the abuses that were happening in the north Wales mental health services. The Welsh Office knew about these matters and actively concealed everything. In 1995 Evans became PPS to Tony Baldry, Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Then in 1996 Evans was appointed PPS to William Hague when he was appointed Secretary of State for Wales by John Major. William Hague’s biggest task in that post was of course arranging the public inquiry into child abuse in north Wales. Previous posts have detailed the many reasons why I think someone worked very hard at selecting those who were involved with the Waterhouse Inquiry. As Hague’s PPS, Evans will have been deeply involved in the leg work relating to that Inquiry – and Evans knew Wales very well indeed, even if Hague didn’t. Hague is a very able man and would soon have been able to research everything that is officially on record about Wales, but Evans will have known what it is really important to know and what you only find out by living and working in Wales – the gossip and the lowdown.

So Evans was involved in the most enormous cover-up of organised child abuse in Wales – child abuse that involved under-aged boys ‘in care’ being sexually molested by older men, including it would seem at least one senior Tory, Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s PPS and deputy Chairman of the Party. Some of the boys giving evidence to Waterhouse maintained that they were taken to other locations where they had sex with multiple older men unknown to them. John Allen, who owned and managed the Bryn Alyn Community, a collection of children’s homes where some of the worst abuse took place, is currently serving a life sentence for abusing boys in his care. Waterhouse described John Allen as ‘kind’ and ‘generous’ as a result of John Allen buying presents and giving money to boys whom he was having sex with. Allen owned what Waterhouse called ‘unsuitable accommodation’ in London and Brighton in which some boys lived after they left children’s homes in north Wales. The boys themselves claimed that Allen owned brothels in London and Brighton and some of them worked in those brothels after they left ‘care’.

Evans could well have heard about some of this before he worked for Hague as a result of coming from Wales and being involved in local politics there, although he never mentioned it. But Evans didn’t mention something else either and he didn’t mention it until 2010. That he was gay. Not only did Evans not mention that he was gay, but he actively concealed it and states himself that he pretended to be a ‘red blooded’ heterosexual lest being openly gay damaged his political prospects in a party that was perceived as being highly homophobic in the wake of passing Section 28 in the late 1980s. Evans even voted against reducing the age of consent for gay men in 1994 and again on two following occasions. (I also seem to remember Evans appearing on a TV show arguing against reducing the age of consent for gays in 1994.) Evans also ensured that he was absent from the Commons vote on civil partnerships, he missed three votes on gay adoption and in one vote he opposed the move. In 1993 a piece appeared in ‘Private Eye’ claiming that Evans had been seen ‘canoodling’ with a young man. Evans personally phoned Ian Hislop to deny the story, although the Eye never published a retraction or an apology.

Evans came out as gay to the press in 2010 claiming that he was sick of living a lie. But he only did so after a Labour MP threatened to out him. After he came out as gay Evans constructed himself as some sort of gay rights champ for Westminster and stressed how many gay politicians there were, many of whom had not yet publicly admitted it. He also said that when he first entered Parliament he had known of loads of gay politicians who were concealing it. Evans formed an LGBT networking group in Westminster, Parliout. In the light of what was revealed during and after Evans’s trial, I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that there wasn’t any need for Parliout, Evans and others seemed to have already established a gay network at Westminster.

Young male parliamentary workers who gave evidence at Evans’s trial described how they were groped or kissed by Evans after getting completely bladdered with him in bars at the House of Commons or in Soho. Allegations then emerged in the press of a heavy drinking culture at Westminster – I had heard that from a friend years ago. But the revelations in the media became increasingly more sordid. It wasn’t just excessive drinking that was commonplace – it was alleged that there was a big problem with senior politicians expecting sexual favours from wannabes and if wannabes were unhappy with this there was no effective redress. Supplying sexual favours would ensure that your career advanced but complaining would bring it to a rapid halt. After Evans was acquitted, much was made of some of the witnesses saying in court that they had not wanted the case against Evans to go ahead, that they didn’t feel like victims and one of them claimed that after getting pissed with Evans and finding Evans’s hand down his trousers it was just a case of ‘crazy crazy Westminster’. (Why don’t women want to be politicians? Ooh it’s because they all have low self esteem and need role models like Harriet! It cannot possibly be because they do not regularly get bladdered and participate in mutual groping sessions with tosspots. Except to be fair, some of them do, a Lib Dem who believes that she’s broken the glass ceiling in Wales comes to mind.) Evans’s defence was considered to have been given a considerable boost when the judge, Justice Timothy King, instructed the jury to find Evans not guilty on one alleged offence. There was a major attempt to construct Nigel Evans’s activities as the high drunken jinks of a harmless gregarious man who had been hung out to dry by the police and the CPS. His excessive drinking was explained as the result of him having difficulty ‘coming to terms with his sexuality’ and of course the death of his dear old mum who had no idea that he was gay. Evans continued the misery memoir by explaining that the one sadness in his life was that he had never had a regular boyfriend. One suspects that Nigel Evans’s lifestyle would mitigate against a regular relationship.

There was however one witness at the trial who did not claim that he had no problem with Evans’s harmless drunken groping. That was the 22 year old man who claimed that Evans had raped him. Evans’s account was that he and this young man had participated in consensual sex ‘in a number of different positions’. The young man – who gave evidence from behind a screen and was described as ‘nervous’ and ‘whispering’ – had been a university student at the time of the incident, had stayed at Evans’s house and had maintained that he woke up to find Evans on top of him. Media accounts stressed how this young man ‘wasn’t believed’. He’s not going to have a career in politics now is he – but those spoke fondly of Evans in court and who never wanted the case against him to go ahead will still be in with a chance.

The way in which the police came to hear about the allegations against Evans is significant. One young man, a politics student, had been befriended by Evans in 2008 on Facebook. This student was later described as ‘ruthlessly ambitious’. (Just like Evans had been when he was a young man.) This man alleged that he had stayed at Evans’s house overnight in 2009 and that Evans had ‘groped his penis’. The young man told of his encounter with Evans to Adam Price (Plaid), Michael Fabricant (Conservative) and Iain Corby (a Tory policy boss). A few days later he recounted the story to the then Tory Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin and his deputy John Randall. The student had wanted Evans to resign, which was described by McLoughlin as a ‘big ask’. Patrick McLoughlin is now Sir Patrick and in July 2016 was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party. Randall is an MP for Derbyshire – he was elected to Matthew Parris’s seat when Parris stood down in 1986. The Matthew Parris who wrote about having sex with boys who ‘were always willing’ along with his political friends when on holiday. McLoughlin is also Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. John Randall has also been knighted but stood down from Parliament in 2015. He is now a Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Human Trafficking Foundation – a man who was unable to respond when he was told of an allegation of sexual assault perpetrated by someone who had previously been involved in a cover-up of the sexual abuse and trafficking into prostitution of children in care. The allegations against Evans went no further – until the student told Dr Sarah Woolaston, Tory MP for Totnes. A friend of this student then revealed to him that he too had been assaulted by Evans and so he contacted Sara Woolaston. Woolaston contacted John Bercow the Speaker, who said that it was for the two young men to go to the police. But then after receiving legal advice from the Speaker’s Counsel, Michael Carpenter, Bercow’s secretary told Sarah Woolaston that the Speaker ‘cannot handle this’. Sarah Woolaston is a Top Doctor who claims experience in dealing with matters of sexual abuse and readers will guess that under most circumstances I would roll about laughing at the notion that a Top Doctor might actually know how to conduct themselves in such a situation, but to Sarah’s credit, she seems to have been the only person who had engaged her brain. Frustrated by the response from the Speaker’s office, she told the two young men that they had a responsibility to report Evans to the police because there was no telling whom he was going to do this to next and gave them a police number. Sarah also in 2013 brought the allegations to the attention of the Palace of Westminster Police. So that’s how the ball started rolling.

Yesterday’s post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’ described how over decades the CPS have worked very hard at not prosecuting people involved with the sexual abuse of young people, particularly if there are connections to political figures. It was of course the CPS who bit the bullet in the case of Nigel Evans and prosecuted. They certainly had a lot of shit thrown at them for daring to do this after his acquittal. Evans’s case was categorised with the cases of two Coronation Street actors, Michael Le Vell and Ken Roache, who had also been acquitted of sex offences. Although the cases of Le Vell and Roache were very different from Evans, Evans and his supporters discussed the three cases as if they were all very similar, ie. people making claims for which there was no evidence against public figures. Vicky Entwhistle, an actor from Coronation Street, appeared in public at Evans’s trial to support him. Not that the actors in Coronation Street have proved themselves to be particularly good judges of character – John Stalker’s book boasts of how he hung out with the Coronation Street crowd and William Roache is a former Patron of St David’s Hospice Llandudno, which seems to act a repository for disgraced NHS staff from north Wales who either left their jobs under a cloud or concealed the paedophile ring (see posts ‘The CEOs Of St David’s Hospice’ and ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’). In the wake of all this, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve demanded an explanation from DPP Alison Saunders why Evans’s prosecution had gone ahead, even though Saunders hadn’t been DPP when the decision to prosecute had been made. Saunders track record suggests that she never would have prosecuted Evans. I note that when Evans was prosecuted Saunders was actually working for the CPS as the regional case manager in London. Which explains an awful lot – sex offences against young people aren’t only committed in north Wales and a lot of high profile and powerful people live in London. Jack Straw also had a go at the CPS, suggesting that the DPP might be more cautious in bringing high profile sex offence cases in the future – the Jack who was years ago a Councillor in Islington Council when it’s children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles, the Jack who was a leading light in New Labour which was so hopelessly compromised because of ignoring the institutionalised sexual abuse of children (see post ‘The London Connection’).

Evans angrily told the media that he had spent his life savings – £130,000 – on his legal fees and he demanded that the CPS repay him. Which was deeply ironic because the legislation that caused Evans to cough up in his particular circumstances was passed by the Coalition Gov’t of whom the Tories were the leading partners. Evans also had the support of an incredibly powerful man in the Commons, who constantly ends up in scandals himself – dear old Keith Vaz, then Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, who considered holding a separate inquiry into the prosecution of Evans. I have a friend who often expresses at length her amazement at what Keith Vaz has got away with – the expense scandals, the constant conflicts of interest or failure to declare interests, the failure to declare payments, the business of the passports and the Hinduja brothers, his narrow escape from being prosecuted by Leicestershire Police after making false allegations against a former police officer, his leading a march through Leicester demanding the banning of ‘The Satanic Verses’ after a fatwa had been issued against Salman Rushdie and much more. In Sept 2016 Vaz resigned as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee after he was caught in a tabloid gay prostitution and cocaine expose. One month later he was appointed to the Justice Select Committee. My mate keeps asking me how he does it particularly as no-one seems to like him or trust him.

So how did Keith Vaz, a senior solicitor to Islington Council in the mid 80s (when Islington Council’s children’s homes were rife with paedophiles whilst the Council was stuffed full of Councillors who would later become some of the biggest figures in the New Labour Gov’t), then a solicitor in a Leicester Council funded law centre between 1985-87 (when Frank Beck, a Leicester social worker was abusing kids in care in Leicester along with it seems Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West until he was elevated to the Lords in 1990) ever get himself so well thought of in the Labour Party that he was selected as candidate for Leicester East? Could it have been the support from his mother, who was a Labour Councillor on Leicester City Council for 14 years, from the point at which Keith was selected as a candidate? Or could it have been that a lot of people were very grateful to him for something? He continued to impress once he was elected to the Commons. By 1997 Vaz was PPs to the Attorney General John Morris – the John Morris who was Secretary of State for Wales when children in children’s homes in north Wales were being abused and trafficked by paedophiles, the John Morris whose constituency is in West Glamorgan, Nigel Evans’s old stomping ground – and between May-Oct 1999 Vaz was PPS to the Lord Chancellor’s Dept, the Lord Chancellor being Blair’s mate Lord Goldsmith. Vaz just went onwards and upwards. Surely there’s a clue somewhere in that CV as to the root of his Teflon qualities…

As in the case of Vaz, I suspect that the overwhelming ‘popularity’ of Nigel Evans is Parliament speak for ‘a lot of us are very grateful to him for something’. He was welcomed back into the Commons after his acquittal – although it transpired that a lot of his constituents in the Ribble Valley had been expressing concerns for some time about Nigel’s activities.

Whilst Evans and Hague were helping everyone out of a tight spot by employing the talents of Ronnie Waterhouse and co, there was of course a change of Gov’t. In 1997, during the Waterhouse Inquiry, Blair won the election. Blair chose to axe the post of Welsh Secretary from the Cabinet, a decision that Evans opposed. This morning I found a photo of Nigel carrying a spoof ‘Tony Blair Estate Agents’ placard, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Wales Office For Sale’. Indeed the Welsh Office had been for sale for years – the whole lot of them sold themselves to a paedophile gang and a bunch of criminals who worked in the health and welfare services as documents in my possession demonstrate. Although the Tories didn’t have any seats in Wales after the 97 General Election, John Major put Evans on his shadow frontbench as spokesman for Welsh Affairs. Evans was obviously a man who could be relied upon. When Duncan Smith became Tory leader, Evans was a member of the shadow cabinet and between 2001-2003 was shadow Secretary of State for Wales. Evans returned to the backbenches on principle (is this a man who has any principles?) when Michael Howard became leader and took the role of shadow Secretary of State for Wales outside of the shadow cabinet. Evans remained a member of the Trade and Industry and the Welsh Affairs Select Committees in 2003. In Nov 2004 he became Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party, with specific responsibility for overseeing Conservatives Abroad. With Cameron’s election in 2005 Evans returned to the backbenches. He was one of the Speaker’s three deputies until he resigned after being arrested in 2013. Although Nigel was very cross when his own party’s changes to legal aid hit him in his own pocket, Nigel isn’t too keen on other people keeping afloat financially. He voted against the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999 and voted against every increase afterwards. In 2009 he was one of 11 MPs to back the Employment Opportunities Bill, which aimed to make the minimum wage optional. Presumably Nigel’s idea of employment opportunities is to sell one’s body to predatory older politicians and indeed many young people who were kids in care in north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s were trained or forced to do this. But what are they supposed to do for a living when they’re too old for politicians to be interested in them?

Although Parliament opened it’s heart to Nigel throughout the trial and afterwards, I would have thought that as in the case of Ken Dodd and the allegations of tax evasion, the evidence against Nigel was quite substantial. So I did what I enjoy doing in such cases, I did a bit of reading regarding the barristers and judge involved. The judge was Timothy King, who in 2006 had defended the BNP leader Nick Griffin against a charge of inciting racial hatred.

So who acted for Evans? There seems to have been two barristers involved. Evans’s friend the aforementioned Henry Hendron and Peter Wright QC. I’m not sure whether Hendron acted for Evans in a paid capacity, but he did boast about advising him during the trial – I will return to Hendron later. Peter Wright was the name that appeared in the media as Counsel for Evans.

Well Evans certainly didn’t take any risks when he sought advice, Peter Wright knows how to extract people from very deep slurry pits indeed. Wright boasts of having acted in cases of organised crime – including people who have accused of committing organised crime – and people who have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. Peter successfully defended a gang of armed robbers who shot a policewoman dead, a company that ran a care home that was prosecuted by the HSE when an elderly resident died as a result of scalding and a nurse who managed to kill a three week old baby boy whilst performing a circumcision for cultural reasons. He successfully defended a Detective Chief Inspector who was accused of misconduct in public office after leaking the identity of an IRA bomber to a journalist and a senior officer at HM Customs and Excise who was accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office which involved his links to organised crime. One case that must have really made Peter feel good about himself was his defence of someone who petrol bombed a family’s home leading to the death of eight members of the family. But Peter doesn’t just act for your everyday murderous scumbag. No, Peter was Counsel in the LIBOR scandal (now you know why bankers never go to prison even when they cause the global economy to collapse!) and in Operation Elveden (the police investigation into corrupt payments between journalists and public officials, which resulted in the prosecution of Cameron’s mates Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson as well as a few others).

In 2006 Wright was appointed as Senior Treasury Counsel by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith. Wright boasts of being the first person to be directly appointed to this post – so presumably Goldsmith noticed his talents in defending petrol bombers, crooked bankers and Murdoch’s employees and decided that the Gov’t could utilise those talents. In 2010 Wright stood down again as Senior Treasury Counsel – well he had all those bent bankers and press barons to get out of trouble – but he continues to advise the CPS, the Attorney General and the Treasury Solicitor. Which sounds rather like multiple conflicts of interest to me.

So Evans hired the man who had worked for the Gov’t that Evans was part of. But what of Evans’s ‘friend and barrister’ Henry Hendron? We know that everyone loves Evans, even Ann Widdecombe and that poor old Evans only gets rat arsed and gropes people because he misses his mum and didn’t come out as gay when he should have. Evans’s mate Henry has fought personal demons too. Particularly after he was arrested for supplying the drugs that killed his teenaged boyfriend. The Torygraph online published a real tear jerker of an interview with Henry’s brother Richard who was also a barrister (and before that an Inspector with the Metropolitan Police) just before Henry’s trial in 2016. As well as being represented by Timothy Cray, Henry was also being advised by Richard. Richard gave the Torygraph full details of Henry’s downward spiral after his boyfriend had been found dead in his flat. How did Richard know that Henry was grieving? Because Henry ‘binged on drugs’ to mask his grief and attended chemsex parties on a non-stop basis. He collapsed at one such party after overdoing the drugs and was rushed to hospital – this was one week after his boyfriend Miguel’s death. The nation’s widows really don’t know how to grieve properly do they, all they do is rely on the cat for company.

At Henry’s trial he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply. The circumstances were that he purchased £1000 of goodies from a BBC producer called Andrew Parkin with the intention of flogging them to other people at chemsex parties. He gave some to his boyfriend and it killed him and when the police searched his house afterwards they found methodrone and GBL. Parkin was given 200 hours of community service and Hendron 140 hours. (That’s what I got when I was prosecuted for calling a corrupt NHS manager who was assisting in concealing a paedophile ring a fat idiot.) It was revealed at the trial that Hendron had three previous convictions – for drink driving.

Something else came to light among all the publicity around Hendron after his trial. That he had previously been fined £2000 by the Bar Council for professional misconduct. The particulars of the misconduct being that on the eve of the starting date of Nigel Evans’s trial Hendron had described the witnesses due to give evidence against Evans as ‘manipulative and duplicitous’ online. I cannot help wondering what other pressure may have been applied to those witnesses. The media hype concerning Hendron mentioned that his clients included Nadine Dorries and the Earl of Cardigan. A bit of history was dredged up as well – that as a teenager Hendron had appeared at the Tory Party Conference arguing for the reintroduction of corporal punishment. This appearance had resulted in him being tipped as a future leader. He’d be able to add S&M (or in his case probably just S) to his chemsex-drink driving-killing of teenaged boyfriends repertoire.

Prior to his trial Henry worked as a barrister at Strand Chambers and before that at 2 Kings Bench Walk. Between 2006-2008 he worked for the CPS ‘advising senior civil servants and ministerial teams’. Including the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health.

After the trial the NHS and BMA made public statements regarding the major problem that is chemsex. Well if they’re not careful all the other lawyers that they use will be struck off by the Law Society as well after they’ve woken up next to a corpse resulting from the binge the previous night.

Henry himself commented after the trial that he did accept that perhaps he might not be able to work as a barrister again, although one day he hoped to. Meanwhile, he is comforting himself with regular trips to the family of his boyfriend who died – who live in Columbia. I cannot help but wonder whether with Henry’s track record Columbia might hold attractions other than the relatives of his boyfriend. Indeed I was surprised that there were no media comments at the time of Miguel’s death regarding the unlikely domestic set-up of Henry – a barrister with a passion for chemsex whose friends include a senior middle aged Tory who has faced multiple charges of sexual assault on young men, living with a teenager from Columbia who worked as a café assistant.

So how ever did this self-indulgent binging twat with so little regard for the safety of other people end up with community service after he’d managed to kill someone? Could it have been the skills of Timothy Cray, his barrister, one of the safest hands at the Criminal Bar? Cray’s online profile tells us that he has ‘unique knowledge of international organised crime’ and ‘extensive experience of defending in allegations of sexual misconduct with emphasis on sensitive and high profile cases’. Cray acts for the Serious Fraud Office – of course – and in Jan 2014 he was appointed by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve as Senior Treasury Counsel. Because he is of course used to defending criminals who work in the professions with links to Gov’t.

As for the judge who felt that a few boring but not too dreadful hours working in a charity shop or clearing footpaths was going to ensure that Henry mended his ways, that was Richard Marks QC who was appointed a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in 2012 by the Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke. Before this, one of Marks’s responsibilities was as a legal member of the restricted patients panel. Who will have been banged up for a lot less than overdosing their teenaged partners and in many cases won’t have committed any crime at all. In 2015 Marks precipitated a lot of media coverage after he was removed from a trial involving ‘Sun’ journalists who were alleged to have bribed public officials for information. The ‘Sun’ was very angry and maintained that Marks had been replaced with judge Charles Wide ‘in secret and against his will’ because Wide was perceived as being more likely to secure a conviction. This rationale was angrily denied by Sir Nigel Sweeney, the judge who was alleged to have had something to do with the decision. Sweeney had a fairly shameful history (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’) and I do wonder if he might have been worried what those ‘Sun’ journalists might dig up if they continued to bribe public officials for information.

There seems to be a great many safe pairs of hands at the Criminal Bar, protecting a great many people. I don’t really mind if politicians get ripped to the tits and participate in gay or indeed heterosexual orgies, but I do mind when they employ their extensive networks to protect people who have forced ‘looked after children’ to take part in such things with them. Or indeed protect people who perjure themselves repeatedly in an attempt to imprison the likes of me because we unwittingly walked into the whole sordid mess when we discovered what the Top Doctors were colluding with.

It is indeed a Criminal Bar.