Always On The Side Of The Children

Readers familiar with previous posts will be aware that some rather surprising people have been employed as civil service mandarins with responsibilities for Gov’t Departments concerned with health and welfare. My post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’ introduced Bing Spear, who was the Home Office’s Chief Inspector in its Drugs Branch, 1977-86 and before that was Deputy Chief Inspector, 1965-77. Bing certainly kept odd company for a mandarin – his intimate knowledge of addicts down on their luck as well as of their sexual partners, their dealers and their drug habits, together with his personal friendships with Top Doctors who had a tendency to find themselves accused of dealing drugs, his transferring of a particularly ‘soft’ Inspector to cover Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s patch in north Wales and Bing’s mysterious health problems suggest that Bing was an addict himself and very likely corrupt to boot.

My post ‘Socio-Political Context of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’ describes how, from 1987, an even more worrying mandarin, Brian McGinnis, was employed as Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health in the DHSS, with responsibility for high security hospitals. McGinnis was the man who was instrumental in forming the Broadmoor task force which included Jimmy Savile among its members. After McGinnis had retired and was taking on voluntary work, in 2002 Bromley Council ended his involvement with children with learning disabilities and in 2005 Croydon Council banned him from working with children.

Rupert Hughes was another mandarin from that era, the civil servant who was responsible for the Children’s Act 1989, which has since caused a great many problems. The Children’s Act was drafted and passed in the wake of the chaos of the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal in 1987, but one only has to look at what is happening to ‘looked after’ children today to know that the Children’s Act has failed dismally. Rupert Hughes is described as being the ‘father’ of the Act and Brenda Hale – now the President of the Supreme Court of the UK – the ‘mother’. See post ‘In The Courts’ for further information concerning Brenda and why she is not the feminist hero that she advertises herself as being. Rupert Hughes was the Assistant Secretary of the Children’s Division in the DHSS – he joined the civil service after graduating from Oxford and initially worked in the MAFF. Later he moved to the Cabinet Office and then in 1984 he joined the DHSS. He enjoyed the support of Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the Lord Chancellor – who kept the lid on the sleaze and horror which swirled around the wife-beating drunken alleged child molester Sir Nicholas Fairbain (see post ‘More On Baroness Patricia Scotland QC – And Her Very Sleazy Friends’)  – and the Health Secretary Ken Clarke, whom I have now concluded did absolutely nobody any favours but himself (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’). Rupert Hughes was described as having a ‘fairly free hand’ with the DHSS. After eleven years at the top of the Children Services Division of the DHSS, years during which there was scandal after scandal involving the serious abuse of, the trafficking for sex of and even the deaths of children in care, Rupert retired in 1995. After retirement Rupert Chaired the Michael Sieff Foundation and was a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy at Dartington, Devon, Chairing the Centre for three years. Rupert was a member of the Reform Club and his partner was Priscilla Campbell Allen. The Reform Club was traditionally associated with the Liberal Party although today is has no official political affiliation. Jeremy Thorpe was an enthusiastic member of the Reform Club.

Regular readers will know that whatever the excesses of Rupert, the problems in the UK’s child care system started a long while before Rupert got his hands of the levers of power. There have been problems with children in care being abused for decades – although in previous eras sexual abuse didn’t get much of a mention, the issue discussed was usually that of ‘cruelty’ – but things seemed to escalate rapidly in the 1970s, which saw the large scale infiltration of children’s social services right across the country by paedophiles operating in gangs which were connected with each other and who had links with paedophiles and traffickers overseas.

The person who was appointed to the top of the tree by Ted Heath’s Gov’t in 1970 was Barbara Kahan, a social worker who was the Home Office’s Deputy Chief Inspector of the Children’s Dept. At that time the Home Secretary was Reginald Maudling who ended up resigning after he was involved in a major scandal linked to large scale corruption in business dealings. When the remit for child care was taken over by the DHSS in 1971, Kahan transferred to that Dept, to work under Secretary of State Sir Keith Joseph.

Barbara Kahan was someone who was at the heart of a system that was rotten throughout her whole career and became a good deal more putrefied whilst she was at the highest level. Kahan came from a Labour Party, Methodist family and in 1939 went to Newnham College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge she re-started the University Labour Club, also worked for Richard Acland’s left-leaning Commonwealth Party and joined the Peace Pledge Union. After Cambridge, Kahan undertook a social science course at the LSE.

Kahan began her career in Dudley, West Midlands, where she was a child care officer, 1948-50 – she opened the first children’s home in Dudley. After that Kahan went to work for Oxfordshire Children’s Dept, which became absorbed into the social services in 1970 at the end of her time there. In 1964 Kahan became President of the Association of Childcare Officers.

When Kahan first began her career, most child care officers were women – often women like her ie. well-educated women from middle class backgrounds, frequently with a touch of radicalism. A lot of those women will have been very genuine. However by the late 60s/70s when the very real problem of residential homes for children being literally infiltrated by paedophile gangs began to grow, women served a very useful purpose – exactly the same purpose that women serviced in abusive institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. They were there to reassure the public that nothing dreadful could be going on – certainly not sexual abuse, because women are caring and they would never collude with such activity. Sadly they did and they did so regularly.

In my own case, Dr Sadie Francis (Dr X’s wife), Janice Davies, Jackie Brandt, Maggie Fookes and Bridget Lloyd all lied about me in statements to the police and in Court because Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) et al wanted to construct a picture of me as mad, bad and dangerous to know. That is much easier if it is women making the claims of being terrified – nothing shifts the criminal justice system like A Woman In Fear. Especially an Angel. If the children of the Woman In Fear can be mentioned to the police or in Court, so much the better. When I discovered that these women  were claiming to be terrified of me, I wrote to them to apologise and to say that if anything that I had ever said or done had frightened them, I was sorry. Those letters turned up in my medical records – along with documents written by those women themselves saying that they were not frightened of me and that in Bridget Lloyd’s case she knew that I wouldn’t recognise her even if I saw her. There were also letters and memos from managers and Top Doctors (most frequently Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services in Gwynedd and Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services) and also from the crooked solicitor in the Welsh Office – Andrew Park – urging these people to contact the police and tell them that I had threatened them and that they were terrified. It was a conspiracy involving perjury on an industrial scale and their status as women who were ‘victims’ of mine was ruthlessly used by people who were facilitating a paedophile ring.

Other patients from north Wales who had cause to complain have shown me documents relating to their own cases in which the very same techniques were used which, in some cases, involved exactly the same ‘women in fear’. One man, after months of sheer frustration at the misconduct of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – of which Brandt, Lloyd and Fookes were members – threw a cushion across the room in their office, snapped a leaf off of a pot plant and walked out, slamming the door. The police were called, told that he had threatened the Little Women, thrown furniture about and had broken the door. He was not told that such serious allegations had been made, but Tony Francis ordered him to write to the Arfon Team and apologise for upsetting them. So he did. Years later when his lawyer obtained his files, this man discovered that his letter of apology had been attached to the fictitious account of what had happened – so it looked as if he was indeed apologising for the heinous crimes that they had alleged and documented without his knowledge.

Again and again patients in north Wales told me that this had happened to them. The stories were remarkably consistent – that patients had been insulted or physically assaulted by male staff in the Arfon Team such as Keith Fearns and Bob Ingham, only to find that after they had complained about this the police would be on their doorstep because the Little Women had made statements. Little Women whom the patients often had never heard of.

One of the internal investigations into the serious abuse of children in the care of Clwyd County Council revealed the key role of Irene Train, a nurse who was promoted to senior management and colluded with the most appalling conduct (see post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’).

The Waterhouse Report – the cover-up of all cover-ups – mentions ‘caring’ women social workers who claimed to have been ‘just playful’ when children had complained of being kneed in the groin by them, slapped around the face, forced to strip, dragged along by their hair or had even been subjected to attempts to suffocate or smother them.

They may have been women but they were colleagues of a paedophile gang. The evidence against Lucille Hughes was so damning that even Sir Ronald Waterhouse named her as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation but failing to act. Lucille was Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s mistress.

Barbara Kahan will have known that the abuse of children in residential care was endemic. In her obituary we are told that she ‘believed in residential care’ ‘long after this approach had gone out of fashion’. Residential care went ‘out of fashion’ because it was realised that the system was brutal and attracted predators.

Whilst Kahan worked in Oxfordshire she introduced the payment of a special enhanced rate to people who fostered ‘difficult’ children. In north Wales and other regions, there is evidence that this policy resulted in callous, inappropriate people fostering numerous children because it was very profitable (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’). Foster carers should be paid because it is a valuable and difficult job, but it is essential that they should be appropriately vetted. Paying sexually abusive thugs a lot of money to foster five or six children is not a particularly good idea.

Kahan’s obituary in ‘The Guardian’ observed that she never became Director of Social Services in Oxfordshire because she made ‘too many enemies’. One way of making enemies is to blow the whistle – but Kahan didn’t do this. Kahan didn’t become Director of Oxford Social Services, but in 1970 she was appointed Deputy Chief Inspector of the Children’s Dept by the Home Office. In 1970 the Home Office was directly managing Bryn Estyn, as well as Axwell Park Approved School in Gateshead. Axwell Park was at that time employing Matt Arnold and his friend Peter Howarth and there were complaints of boys being abused. In 1973 Arnold and Howarth both transferred to Bryn Estyn to work – where boys were abused. Howarth later died in prison after being convicted of a number of counts of sex offences against boys in his care. In 1971 Barbara became Assistant Director of the Social Work Service at the DHSS under Secretary of State Sir Keith Joseph. The Keith Joseph who consistently refused to hold an investigation into the deaths of more than 40 children at the notorious home The Beeches.

It was Keith Joseph who took receipt of the Finer Report in 1974 – the Finer Committee sat between 1969-73 on the subject of one parent families. Barbara Kahan was a member of the Committee.

Sir Keith Joseph was a barrister who was the Conservative MP for Leeds North East, 1956-87. Right where Savile, the paedophiles and their corrupt police officer friends were busy for the whole duration of Joseph’s time in Parliament. Joseph served as a Cabinet member in the Gov’ts of Harold Macmillan, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher. Joseph was Secretary of State for Social Security, 1970-74. He was the intellectual force behind what became known as Thatcherism, but his own campaign for the Tory leadership died a death in Oct 1974 after he made a speech in Edgbaston about the ‘cycle of poverty’ among the lower orders and was rash enough to remark that what with the council house people breeding like rabbits and single mothers, ‘the balance of our human stock, is threatened’. There was outrage and he was never taken quite so seriously again. The speech had actually been written by Alfred Sherman, one of Thatcher’s gurus, which explains a lot. Papers released under the 30 year rule at the end of 2011 revealed that Joseph had considered that there should be a ‘managed rundown’ of Merseyside.

In 2014 former Tory activist Anthony Gilberthorpe claimed that whilst he was a young man he discovered that a number of Tory Ministers were holding sex parties with under-aged boys. Keith Joseph was one of the Ministers whom he named. Gilberthorpe maintained that he handed a detailed dossier about these matters to Thatcher in 1989.

 

I don’t think that there was any danger of Barbara blowing any whistles at all – and she obviously didn’t blow any when she reached the dizzy heights either. She remained as Assistant Director until 1980, by which time children were being trafficked to Europe by the paedophiles ‘looking after them’ and in north Wales and elsewhere were being found dead. By 1980 there had been a number of convictions of child care workers for physical assault and various sex offences in north Wales, as well as in other regions of the country – but Babs didn’t click. Babs retired from the civil service in 1980, but she didn’t put her feet up.

In 1980 Babs launched the Gatsby Project, a distance learning project for residential child care workers, and she directed the project until 1991, when it was absorbed into the Open University. It sounds great doesn’t it – except that Babs carried out the Gatsby Project with Peter Righton, who was an active member of PIE and was convicted of the possession of child porn in the early 1990s. Righton’s special interest was social work education.

Peter Righton was a leading social work teacher and academic who argued in his work that sexual relationships between adults and children were not damaging. He worked at Keele University in 1965 as a lecturer in social work and in 1968 he was appointed as a senior lecturer with, and became the Director of Education for, the National Institute of Social Work. The National Institute of Social Work was located in Tavistock Place, just down the road from BMA House. Tessa Jowell was a Fellow of the National Institute for Social Work, as of course was Babs. In 1971 Righton joined the NCB (National Children’s Bureau) and subsequently set up a unit there – he came out as gay in the same year. In 1973 Righton delivered the annual Barnardos lecture. He was also a Governor at a school for children with special needs.

Righton was close friends with Charles Napier, a paedophile teacher who had been banned from teaching in the UK. Charles Napier worked in a number of different countries and his correspondence with Righton includes discussions between the two of them regarding the high quality and beauty of the boys that Napier was encountering in various overseas destinations. Napier ended up obtaining a senior job with the British Council in Cairo before he was removed from his post as a result of trouble with the authorities concerning his sexual activities with children. Righton was based in the UK but he made frequent trips to Europe where he met up  and kept company with under-aged boys. Righton’s colleagues explained Righton constantly keeping company with teenaged boys by making reference to his commitment and abilities with children. Such explanations for paedophiles’ behaviour were certainly used in the 1970s. I can remember two teachers at the school that I attended whose conduct in relation to children was explained thus – one of those people was very deceptive and I don’t think that his colleagues did realise that his conduct towards the girls was very questionable, but the other one was a PE teacher who was so notorious that the kids nicknamed him ‘Fiddler’. Boys would openly tell people that they didn’t want to go into the showers if Fiddler was there and I watched Fiddler chase boys around the school trying to smack their bums for non-existent crimes. The teachers at that school undoubtedly knew what Fiddler was doing – he was promoted to the post of Deputy Head and in retirement coached boys at a football club in Bridgwater. The company that Righton kept and his activities I suggest put him in the same category as Fiddler – it was obvious to everyone that he was abusing children, but everyone was tying themselves up in knots to explain why he wasn’t.

In 1982 Peter Righton helped draft the Barclay Report, Sir Peter Barclay’s Report into the roles and tasks of social workers in England and Wales. The early 80s also saw Righton link up with Babs to deliver courses in child care.

Righton contributed a chapter to a notorious book by Brian Taylor, ‘Perspectives On Paedophilia’ (1981). Righton makes it clear in his chapter that he has no problem with adults having sex with children. Another contributor to the book was Belfast child psychiatrist Dr Morris Fraser who was convicted of a sex offence against a child but was nonetheless allowed to continue practicing by the GMC. The GMC legal assessor who worked on Fraser’s case was Patrick Mayhew, who later became Attorney General and Secretary of State for N Ireland under Thatcher. It was Patrick Mayhew who, when he was Attorney General, backed the mounting of cases against me brought by Gwynedd Social Services (see post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’) and then by Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’), in which my imprisonment was sought for contempt of Court. In both cases the witnesses had perjured themselves and I now have documents that demonstrate that their own lawyers knew this – presumably Mayhew knew it as well. Morris Fraser later worked at UCL and at Springfield Hospital, the psychiatric hospital attached to St George’s Hospital Medical School. I was a patient at Springfield when the north Wales mental health services tried yet again to have me imprisoned on the basis of their perjury – Springfield witnessed all of it and did not lift a finger to help me, either medically or legally (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’).

Documents forwarded to me from my lawyers last year show that what Springfield staff Dr Robin Jacobson, Dr Ruth White and Dr Alice Levinson were doing were having telephone conversations about me without my knowledge with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis – Tony Francis had helpfully suggested that they should also speak to Lucille Hughes about my ‘dangerousness’. I had never met Lucille Hughes. Correspondence had passed between Lucille Hughes and the social work dept at St George’s about me without my knowledge – although I had never had any contact with the social work dept at St George’s and was never offered any. Robin Jacobson had admitted in correspondence to his colleagues that Dafydd was sexually involved with patients. Despite knowing this, Professor Nigel Eastman told me that he thought that I ought to return to live in north Wales. Where presumably I could be shagged by Dafydd and then imprisoned for offences that I had not committed.

Morris Fraser was involved with the Azimuth Trust, a charity in Cornwall which provided sailing holidays for children. Fraser was eventually featured in a TV expose – as was Righton – by which time he was living in Southampton.

By the late 1980s Righton was living in Evesham and held a senior role at the Open University. In 1991 he contributed to the review of the Charter for Children. At this point Righton was charged – and later convicted – for child porn offences. He was sacked from the team working on the Charter. Babs was interviewed about her close working relationship with Righton and maintained that he was of course an evil genius who had conned her and many others in the world of social work and how upsetting this was. Which was certainly interesting because not only had Righton spent years explaining the beneficial effects of sex with children to his colleagues, but he had admitted to at least one of them that he had been involved sexually with children but they kept it quiet out of loyalty to a colleague. Babs also mentioned that Peter Righton was gay and being a social worker she didn’t discriminate against anyone on the basis of their private life.

The concept of a private life is one that is frequently deployed by professional people if others dare question their illegal or unethical conduct. Dr Tony Francis wrote furious letters to third parties about me accusing me of commenting on the ‘private lives’ of Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd. Not only were their lives anything but private – half of north Wales openly discussed their wrongdoing – but privacy is no defence against sexually exploiting patients, facilitating a paedophile ring and involving oneself in serious criminal activities. Yet according to Francis it was me who  should be investigated by the police and banged up – as should whoever gave me the info about the ‘private lives’ in question – because my comments about private lives just demonstrated how twisted and dangerous I was. I was interested to discover that in 1976 when Cyril Smith was investigated for child abuse, he wrote to the BBC expressing his concern that they might investigate the ‘private lives’ of politicians (see post ‘Dr Death’).

Other high points of Righton’s career included his role assisting with the Home Office Children’s Dept in 1970 – well Babs was working there, of course he’ll have been assisting – and his regular contributions to the journal ‘Social Work Today’, 1976-85. In some of those articles Righton promoted sex between children and adults. Righton also shared a platform with Sir Keith Joseph whilst Joseph was Secretary of State at the DHSS and was of course working with Babs.

After his conviction for child porn, outing as a paedophile and enforced retirement, Peter Righton moved into a cottage on the estate of Lord Henniker (see post ’95 Glorious Years’ for details about Lord John Henniker). Whilst Righton lived on the estate, children from Islington Council were taken to the estate for visits. There was at least one allegation that Righton had abused a child during one such visit.

In 1993 the Utting Report by William Utting noted that Righton was suspected of a ‘trade’ in young victims in Malta.

In April 1992 John Rea Price, the former Director of Social Services at Islington Council, was appointed Director of the NCB. Price had recently resigned after twenty years at Islington. Just after he resigned, the scandal of the paedophile ring that had operated in Islington children’s homes for years became public.

Babs Chaired the NCB, 1985-94 and was Vice-President, 1994-2000. Babs certainly mixed with the best. ‘The Times’, 1 Oct 1987 reported that a luncheon was held for the NCH (National Children’s Home) ‘to help children in danger and families in need’ at the Waldorf Hotel. The host was Lady Henrietta St George and speakers included Angela Rippon, Nerys Hughes and Norma Rose, the National Co-Ordinator of NCH Careline. Also present was Babs, a number of aristocrats and the wives of a variety of MPs, including David Heathcote-Amery’s wife.

Following her retirement, between 1983-99, Babs was a professional advisor to the Commons Select Committee on Social Services. So Babs advised that Committee whilst scandal after scandal in children’s social services exploded – and whilst politicians including Sir Peter Morrison, Cyril Smith and Greville Janner abused children in care. Babs advised throughout the Staffordshire Pindown Scandal, the Frank Beck Scandal in Leicestershire (see post ‘Radical Leicester And Some Other Free Radicals’), the Islington Scandal, the Lambeth Scandal, the Cleveland Scandal, the Satanic Panics in Nottingham, Rochdale and the Orkneys and the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

If I was Babs I would have concluded from this that I must have missed something during all those years at the top, not simply that Peter Righton was an evil genius who had duped me. Not Babs. No – Babs was considered such a sage that after the Staffordshire Pindown Scandal was exposed, Allan Levy QC who, in 1990 was appointed to Chair the Inquiry into Pindown, specifically requested that Babs be his Co-Chair. Not that Levy had ever met Babs or so he reassured everyone – Levy just knew about Babs’s towering reputation.

The events comprising the Pindown Scandal occurred in Staffordshire, 1983-89. Tony Latham – a social worker who sounded remarkably like Keith Fearns of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team in that he was aggressive to clients, intimidated staff and ran a variety of businesses incompatible with a job as a social worker – had developed a ‘method’ of ‘behaviour control’ for children in care which he termed the ‘Pindown’ method. It wasn’t rocket science – Latham locked errant children in rooms by themselves in their nightclothes and frequently with no access to a bog. He didn’t just keep the children in isolation for a few hours. Or days. Or a week. The kids were locked in by themselves for months. Latham and the meatheads who worked as minions under him did this to 132 children in four different homes. Two children attempted suicide. I had information that things in Staffordshire were rather worse than even Pindown suggested. When I lived in north Wales I met a retired headmistress who had previously lived in Staffordshire and been a foster carer for Staffordshire Social Services. She fostered teenaged girls and one of them told her that she had been sexually abused by a social worker. The lady whom I met contacted the Social Services immediately and told them of her foster daughter’s allegations. Both girls were removed from her care hours later. She never saw them again. Her husband was then arrested and charged with sexually abusing the girl himself. He was remanded in prison. He was eventually found not guilty, but his wife was a headmistress – their lives in Staffordshire were over. They retired but the accusations and harassment continued – they ended up living in near hiding in north Wales.

Allan Levy QC was brought up in Lancashire and went to Hull University. He sat on the Committee for the Family Law Association, 1987-97; was a Committee Member of the Bar Council for two years; from 1988 was on the Council for JUSTICE; was a member of the Council of the Medico-Legal Society from 1990; and from 1990 until his death in 2004 Levy was the honorary legal advisor to the NCB. He also Chaired the BMA Steering Group which published ‘radical’ guidance concerning children’s and young people’s health in 2000. Levy was a supporter of the charity Young Minds and was an early advocate for the establishment of the post of Children’s Commissioner.

One of Levy’s high points was in 1987 when he acted for the official solicitor – representing the interests of a 17 year old girl with Down’s Syndrome, he took the case to the House of Lords to gain approval for the girl to be sterilised. The case caused a furore, but Levy got his way – those tubes of that teenager were ligated. In 1992 Levy Knew Best once more when he acted for the father of an adult accident victim who was a Jehovah’s Witness and refused blood transfusions. Old Levy obtained a Court Order forcing blood transfusions upon this adult with capacity.

Mark Fisher, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, 1983-2010, was full of praise for Kahan and Levy’s Report into Pindown. Fisher was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge and was Principal of Tattenhall Centre of Education, Cheshire, 1975-83. He was a Councillor on Staffordshire County Council, 1981-85. So I suspect that Mark Fisher might have known quite a bit about the mistreatment of children in the care of Staffordshire long before the rest of the world found out about Pindown. The paedophile ring that operated in north Wales did of course also operate in Cheshire. Fisher was Principal of that College in Cheshire whilst Sir Peter Morrison was MP for Chester and was known to be abusing boys in north Wales and Cheshire.

Mark Fisher is the brother-in-law of Tory MP Sir Michael Grylls, who was involved in the Ian Greer Associates cash for lobbying scandal in 1987 along with Neil Hamilton, Michael Brown and Peter Morrison. Hamilton was MP for Tatton at the time, the neighbouring constituency to Chester and used to attend social events with Peter Morrison. Fisher is the uncle of Bear Grylls.

Mark Fisher has been the Patron of the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged since 1986. He was a member of the BBC’s Advisory Council, 1987-97, was a Council member of the Institute of Policy Studies, 1985-97 and was Deputy Pro-Chancellor of Keele University, 1989-97.

In the Parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009 it was revealed that Mark Fisher claimed over £17k in expenses, none of which he was asked to repay. He was the MP who claimed for a bottle of Toilet Duck and a 34p Kit Kat.

In 2009 it was discovered that Mark Fisher had been receiving £67k pa from the Qatar Museums Authority for ‘advice on the development of the Museums Authority’s plans’. Fisher was required to attend three Board meetings a year.

 

Babs asked her old mate Peter Righton for his advice whilst she was working on the Pindown Inquiry and Righton subsequently gave evidence to the Inquiry.

Kahan and Levy’s Report as a result of the Pindown Inquiry led to a Dept of Health initiative in 1998, ‘Quality Protects’, which was going to transform children’s services. So that’s why at present twenty years after Quality Protected almost every local authority in the country has a problem with children in care being sexually exploited and trafficked, why over thirty social service departments in England are in special measures and why there’s been a documentary on ITV tonight about endemic abuse in children’s homes.

Levy Chaired the ‘Vladimir and Barbara Kahan Trust’. Like Rupert Hughes and Jeremy Thorpe, Allan Levy was a member of the Reform Club.

Allan Levy did not ever marry or have children.

 

Babs died in 2000 and her obituary mentioned that ‘in recent years’ she had been employed as an expert witness for solicitors representing children who had been abused in residential care. I suspected that Babs might have generated a few bob by providing this service, in much the same way that Professor Nigel Eastman and his colleagues provide expert opinions in cases in which Top Doctors with whom they have worked or are even mates have damaged or killed people. It was not for no good reason that Nigel took over from Professor Robert Bluglass as the UK’s leading forensic psychiatrist. Top Doctor for hire – chimneys swept, gardens dug, drives tarmaced, criminal misconduct/sexual abuse/deaths concealed.

In 1955 Babs married a Top Doctor herself, Dr Vladimir Kahan, a child psychiatrist based in Oxford. Babs assisted Vlad with the work for his book ‘Mental Illness In Childhood’, published by Tavistock Publications. The ‘research’ for the book was conducted between 1959-65 at West Stowell House, a unit for ‘psychotic and severely disturbed children’, managed by Babs and funded by Oxford Regional Hospital Board. Of course at that time one group of children who were routinely labelled as ‘severely disturbed’ were those children who were known to be participating in sexual activity – even if they had clearly stated that they had been coerced into that activity. Vlad died in 1981.

 

Peter Righton wasn’t the only questionable person whom Babs worked with. Babs was the manager of Louis Minister when he worked for Oxfordshire Children’s Dept as a child care officer in 1966. Prior to that, Minster had been a child care officer in Hertfordshire for the NCH – some of those named in the Waterhouse Report had worked for the NCH. After two years at Oxfordshire, Minster was appointed as a community development officer in Liverpool in 1968. In 1971-72 Minster was Deputy Director of Social Services for Sunderland County Borough Council. At a later date, the Director of Social Services at Sunderland, Colin Smart, alerted police to the abuse of children at Witherwick House in Sunderland in the 1970s and 80s. In 1972 Minster was employed as a senior social work lecturer at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology, Aberdeen. In 1975 Louis Minster was appointed as Director of Social Services for the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames – he remained in post until 30 Oct 1984 when he was sacked, after a full meeting of the Council which was a closed meeting due to the ‘confidential’ nature of the business discussed. Minster himself claimed that his removal was ‘political’ – the Lib Dems had taken over control of the Council 11 months previously after a long period of Tory rule. Minster received a pay off, a pension and a new post in Glasgow training social workers.

Minster may have claimed that his removal was political but a great deal had happened to suggest otherwise. Whilst Minster was Director of Social Services in Richmond, it was alleged that children in the care of Richmond were taken to the notorious Elm Guest House nearby in Barnes, where they were molested at parties. Some of those alleged to have visited the Elm Guest House were Sir Peter Morrison, Cyril Smith, Anthony Blunt, Jimmy Savile, Sir Peter Hayman, Leon Brittan, Donald Naismith (the Director of Education at Wandsworth – Wandsworth Social Services provided the social workers who worked with St George’s Hospital Medical School/Springfield), Colin Peters QC and a number of police officers. Another alleged visitor was a man called Louis Minster.

It is alleged that the abuse at Elm Guest House began in 1977 and continued until at least 1982, when it was raided by the police. Richmond Council staff were given advance warning of the raid. Terry Earland, Head of Children’s Services at Richmond, stated that he had ‘no doubt’ that children were being abused at Elm Guest House. Because of this, Terry knew that a social worker would need to be present during the police raid, so he informed his boss Louis Minster of the need for a social worker. So if Louis was booked in to let his hair and trousers down at the Elm on that day, presumably he would be able to change his arrangements. The only surprise is that Louis didn’t double up as the social worker on duty himself.

Louis Minster was the boss of John Stingemore, the manager of Grafton Close children’s home in Richmond. In 2015 Stingemore was found dead shortly before he was due to stand trial, along with a priest, for a number of sex offences against boys as young as nine. It is alleged that boys from Grafton Close, as well as other Richmond homes, were taken to Elm Guest House to be used for sex.

The activities at Elm Guest House were the focus of Operation Fernbridge, 2013-15.

After the 1982 police raid on Elm Guest House, Carole Kasir, who ran it, was convicted of keeping a disorderly house. Police claimed that they did not find evidence of child abuse – so the warning to Louis Minster that a raid would be happening had been effective then. Carole Kasir advertised Elm Guest House as a gay rendezvous in ‘Gay News’ and elsewhere. In 1990 Carole Kasir was found dead, allegedly having committed suicide by an insulin overdose. Her friends dispute this and believe that she was murdered.

Louis retired to Malta. He lectured in social work at the University of Malta,  1988-97, then on an occasional basis until 2002. Minster also trained assistants to work on cases involving drug abuse. In Malta Louis also developed an interest in gerontology. The UN had established an Institute of Ageing on Malta and in 1989 Louis attended the Expert Group meeting as a representative of the University of Malta.

Malta would seem to be a bit of a magnet for child abusers – one of those recently arrested as a result of Operation Pallial who had abused children in north Wales was discovered living in Malta. The only thing that springs to mind re Malta for me is that Lady Juliet Bingley, who was Chair of MIND, 1979-83, whilst MIND colluded with Dafydd and the paedophiles in north Wales – Lady Juliet’s son William later became legal director of MIND and he then continued her sterling work in concealing Dafydd’s criminality – spent a few years living in Malta from 1959 as a result of her husband Admiral Sir Alec Bingley being Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Royal Navy. Whilst she was in Malta, Lady Juliet busied herself by setting up health and social care establishments and becoming a personal friend of the former PM of Malta, Dom Mintoff. Mintoff resigned as PM which resulted in Malta being governed directly from London. Juliet Bingley served as a ‘messenger’ between Mintoff and the Governor throughout the 70s and 80s.

 

There are a few familiar  names associated with Richmond-Upon Thomas – for a start Dr Alice Levinson who worked at St George’s/Springfield whilst they concealed the criminal activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles lives there and bases her private psychotherapy practice in Richmond. Levinson is too young to have been protecting paedophile gangs whilst Louis Minster reigned supreme at Richmond, but interestingly enough a Keith Vaz was the solicitor to Richmond Council in 1982. Keith also later popped up as a solicitor for Islington Council and at a law centre funded by Leicester City Council, whilst Islington and Leicester had problems with organised child abuse (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part I’).

The Chairman of the Social Services Committee in Richmond Council whilst Louis was busy was Dr Jenny Tonge – she is now Baroness Jenny Tonge. Jenny was a Richmond Councillor between 1981-90.

Jenny was born in Staffordshire and her parents were teachers. She went to Dudley High School, 1951-59 and then trained as a Top Doctor at UCL, graduating in 1964. Jenny joined the Liberal Party whilst she was at UCL. Jemmy has membership of the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Between 1968-78 Jenny worked as a GP and in family planning and was senior medical officer for the Women’s Services, Ealing, 1992-96.

One thing that Top Doctors who work in what is euphemistically called ‘family planning’ do get to hear about is women and girls being coerced into sex or sexually exploited – because they’re giving out the contraceptives or dealing with the resulting pregnancies and/or STDs.

In the 1992 General Election Jenny stood as the candidate for the Lib Dems for Richmond and Barnes. It was considered the Party’s most winnable seat but Tonge was not elected. I have found a reference to a ‘blaze of publicity’ which surrounded Jenny in 1992 but I haven’t discovered what the blaze was actually about.

The person who did win the seat of Richmond and Barnes in 1992 was the Conservative candidate Jeremy Hanley – Hanley was the sitting MP, having been first elected in 1983.  Jeremy Hanley was Conservative Party Chairman, 1994-95) and openly made jokes to his Parliamentary colleagues about Peter Morrison’s homosexuality.

Keith Vaz had stood as the Labour candidate in Richmond and Barnes in 1983 – he later found a home for his talents in Leicester East in 1987, in a constituency just down the road from that of Greville Janner.

Jenny Tonge made it into Parliament in 1997 when she won the newly created constituency of Richmond Park. She was the Lib Dem Commons Spokesperson for children, 2003-04. In Jan 2004 Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy sacked Jenny from the post – not because she had spent many years sitting on a Council and then was Chairman of the Social Services Committee whilst a paedophile ring raged within that Council’s Social Services, but because she made some inopportune comments about suicide bombers in Palestine.

Nonetheless Jenny was given a peerage in 2005.

In Jan 2009 Baroness Jenny was appointed the Lib Dem spokesperson for health. Cleggy sacked her in Feb 2010 over bizarre allegations that in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, an Israel Defence Emergency Aid hospital in Haiti was secretly harvesting organs. There were more fireworks in 2012 after Tonge made further remarks that were deemed anti-semitic and offensive. She ended up parting company with the rest of her party and sitting as an Independent Lib Dem. After Corbyn was elected as Labour Leader, Tonge stated that she was thinking of joining the Labour Party. The Deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson said that Jenny would be most welcome, although it seems that she wasn’t tempted. Jenny resigned from the Lib Dems in Oct 2016.

Jenny was married to another Top Doctor, the late Dr Keith Tonge, whom she met in 1959 when they were students at UCL. Keith Tonge was a neuroradiologist at St Thomas’s Hospital – the hospital that tends to accept the most privileged people as medical students. St Thomas’s is located very close to Parliament. Top Doctors at Tommy’s tend to know a great deal of sensitive information about people who work in Westminster. A stranger who follows this blog told me that sexual relationships between the staff of St Thomas’s and our esteemed representatives and their minions in Westminster are common. Whether they ever attended parties at Elm Guest House together I do not know – but Jenny and Keith would.

 

The MPs of other constituencies within spitting distance of Richmond-Upon-Thames are worth considering as well. Just down the road was the constituency of Kingston-Upon-Thames. The MP for Kingston-Upon-Thames, 1979-95, was Norman Lamont. Norman Lamont’s highest profile job in Gov’t was as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1990-93 in John Major’s Gov’t. Norman was famously on duty on Black Wednesday – his political advisor who had helped cause the crisis was a man called David Cameron (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’). Lamont was a member of the Cambridge Mafia, a group of people who knew each other from their time as members of the Cambridge University Conservative Association, who all played key roles in Thatcher’s and Major’s administrations. Other members of the Mafia include Ken Clarke, Michael Howard, John Selwyn Gummer and Leon Brittan. These people served in Gov’t with, and knew that, Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and Tory MP for Chester, was molesting children. Norman Lamont was Minister for Trade and Industry, 1983-85 – he was succeeded by Sir Peter Morrison. Lamont’s father was a Top Doctor – a surgeon – who practiced in Shetland. A very influential Top Doctor had connections to Kingston-Upon-Thames – Professor Hugh Bentall. Hugh Bentall’s family own the upmarket department store in Kingston-Upon-Thames, Bentalls. Hugh Bentall was a cardiac surgeon at Hammersmith Hospital – other staff there grumbled about the enormous influence that he wielded within Hammersmith Hospital/Royal Postgraduate Medical School. When I was there in 1986/87 we were given lectures in anatomy by a woman who aroused the ire of nearly all other staff. It transpired that the root of the discord was the feeling that she had secured her job unfairly. She had been a secretary who became Bentall’s mistress. He arranged for her to do a degree in anatomy, then a PhD and then a lecturing job for her materialised…

Hugh Bentall’s son Richard knows all about Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends. Richard Bentall is a clinical psychologist who trained at Bangor and who worked at Bangor University’s School of Psychology for years. Richard Bentall knows how dreadful the mental health service is in north Wales and he knows how questionable much of the mental health research that has been conducted there is.

In 1991 it was discovered that a sex therapist called Lindi St Clair who also used the name Miss Whiplash was selling her services from a flat owned by Norman Lamont. He knew nuzzing. Norman Lamont was given a peerage in 1998. In the same year, when Spain indicated that they wanted to put Augusto Pinochet on trial for torturing and killing all those people in Chile when and after he seized power in a coup, killing Chile’s democratically elected leader along the way, Norman Lamont agreed with Thatcher that Pinochet was one of the good guys and described him as ‘a good and brave and honourable soldier’.

Surbiton is another constituency close to Richmond. The MP for Surbiton, 1983-97, was Conservative Richard Tracey. Tracey is a law graduate of Birmingham University. He was a leader writer for the Daily Express, 1964-66. Then between 1966-78 Tracey was a presenter and reporter for the BBC, working on TV and radio current affairs programmes. He then worked as public affairs consultant, 1978-83. Tracey is a JP and was a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, 2008-10. He is now the London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth. Remember where the social work team who served St George’s was based – and the job of one of the alleged visitors to Elm Guest House?

Richard Tracey was preceded as MP for Surbiton by Conservative Sir Nigel Fisher, who held the seat between 1955-83. Prior to that Fisher had been MP for Hitchin, 1950-55. Fisher had been PPS to Gwilym Lloyd George, one of the Lloyd George dynasty from Gwynedd, members of whose extended family challenged Edwina Hart’s attempts to confront the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales (see posts ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ and ’95 Glorious Years!’ ). Sir Nigel Fisher was the father of Mark Fisher, who so admired Levy and Babs’s Report into the Pindown Scandal.

 

I obtained much of my information about Babs for this post from her obituary that ‘The Guardian’ published in 2000. The obituary of this deeply compromised woman who was well-networked with paedophiles equated to a hagiography. It was written by a Terry Philpot. In much the same way that Tam Dalyell churned out kind words in the event of the most unscrupulous, sleazy politicians dying, Terry Philpot busied himself stressing how recently deceased people who managed social service departments shot through with serious abuse of children were selflessly dedicated to the welfare of those in their care. Babs was of course ‘always on the side of the children’.

Who is Terry? Terry is a PR man for social workers, including it would seem those who were also child abusers. Terry  has written for ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Independent’, ‘The Tablet’ and ‘New Society’. Terry was Editor of ‘Community Care’, the in-house magazine for social workers which is so far removed from reality that it can fairly be described as delusional. John Allen used to advertise for staff for the Bryn Alyn Community in ‘New Society’.

Terry Philpot also wrote the obituary of Brian Roycroft, which appeared in ‘The Guardian’ in 2002. Brian Roycroft was ‘one of the most charismatic and influential social services directors’ – Roycroft was Director of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne City Council Social Services, 1971-93. Before Roycroft was Director, he had been children’s officer, Director of Education and Chief Executive of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne City Council for short periods of time. He had worked for the City Council since 1967 and for the three years before that Roycroft had worked in Gateshead as a children’s officer. So Roycroft will have known – if not known personally, then certainly known about – Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth whilst they were working at Axwell Park School in Gateshead and Howarth was abusing children there.

The City of Newcastle sent children on placement to the Bryn Alyn Community and continued to do so even after Newcastle police were told of allegations that children from Newcastle had been abused at Bryn Alyn. When questioned about this after the shit hit the fan over the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, Roycroft stated that thousands of children had passed through the system and he really couldn’t remember a thing about matters Bryn Alyn. Which is odd because former residents of Bryn Alyn who were sent there by Newcastle City Council remembered Brian Roycroft turning up at Bryn Alyn to open an extension. They thought that Roycroft’s memory problems were farcical because whilst at Bryn Alyn he came face to face with the dreadful conditions – but continued to send kids there.

One boy from Newcastle who was sent to Bryn Alyn maintained that he was threatened at gun point by a staff member demanding sex. Now you won’t read about that in ‘Community Care’ – or indeed in the Waterhouse Report.

The man who sent kids from Newcastle into the arms of John Allen’s organised crime network in north Wales was a very big name in social work. He was President of the Association of Directors of Social Services and Thatcher appointed him as a European Social Commissioner.

Roycroft’s most famous client was Mary Bell, the 10 year old who killed two small boys in 1968 – Mary was from Newcastle. Gitta Sereney wrote an acclaimed book about Mary Bell, ‘Cries Unheard’. The book contains extracts of interviews that Mary gave as an adult about her time in care. Mary maintains that on one occasion she was taken on a day trip by her social worker and plied with alcohol. Sereney makes a point of saying that the social worker had emphasised that this had never -indeed could not have – happened. Sereney makes comments about how children’s memories play tricks on them. Whereas the memories of Directors of Social Services don’t function at all when they are asked why they’ve been handing kids over to a branch of an international paedophile ring.

In his obituary of Roycroft, Philpot observes that Roycroft was born into his job – literally. His mother and father were houseparents at the NCH home in Frodsham, Cheshire. Brian Roycroft trained as a social worker at Birmingham and Leeds Universities. In 1957 he became a child care officer in Hertfordshire, in 1961 he was appointed assistant area officer for London County Council’s children’s dept and then in 1964 he went to the north east to join the paedophiles up there. A lifetime of networking and continuous professional development!

Roycroft continued with his giving after retirement. He Chaired a local Housing Association that he founded and was also Chair of the Alzheimers Disease Society. It continued after his death – Roycroft left dosh in his will which was used to establish the Brian Roycroft Fund. Mike Worthington, Chair of the Fund, described Brian as ‘an inspirational leader’. Not ‘a friend and business associate of one of the country’s most dangerous paedophiles’.

Whilst Roycroft was Director of Newcastle Social Services, the Sunday Times magazine reported that other Directors of Social Services voted Roycroft ‘the Director’s Director’.

I have described many of the links between the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales and the north east in previous posts eg. ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’. I previously mentioned abuse at an institution in Durham, the Aycliffe Centre (it seems to have undergone several name changes during its long and unhappy history). So whilst researching for this post I was fascinated to discover that Derek Brushett, a Children’s Inspector for the Welsh Office, had worked at a former approved school, Aycliffe Secure Remand Centre/Community Home. Brushett had been the Deputy Headmaster at the educational part of the establishment, 1967-74. Could a network facilitating these sorts of connections explain why Matt Arnold at Bryn Estyn earned more than his manager in Clwyd County Council and was known to have a hotline to the Inspection Dept at the Welsh Office and would only take his instructions from them?

 

So in the face of all this, Babs Kahan only ever had the interests of the children at heart. She somehow missed the presence of a pan-European paedophile ring – which was well on the way to developing into an international ring – under her nose. One which blossomed during the years that she occupied some of the most senior positions in children’s social work in the UK. Politicians and diplomats named in the House as child abusers by Geoffrey Dickens and crucial information re the abuse of children by politicians and others lost by Leon Brittan whilst he was Home Secretary (see post ‘A UK Network’), the conviction of Oliver Brooke Professor of Paediatrics at St George’s for the possession of child porn (much of it from Europe), the presence of a brothel catering to interesting sexual tastes just down the road from St George’s which included Top Doctors, judges, politicians, clergymen, lawyers and peers among its clients (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III’) and scandals in children’s social work blowing up all over the UK repeatedly involving people popping abroad to work or go on holiday or indeed owning properties abroad. Oh – and nearly everyone who blabbed subsequently being found dead. Babs and her colleagues didn’t notice a thing.

International child sex trade facilitated by professional people including politicians, some of whom were paedophiles themselves? What absolute nonsense. As for those sick evil fantasists claiming to have been sexually abused by eminent people – well they should be prosecuted. Broadmoor’s the place for people like them. As Jimmy Savile knew…

All together now – ‘We didn’t know…’

 

There will be another post regarding events in the north east of England coming soon, looking specifically at the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal and those professionals involved.

 

 

 

Dr Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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