Update On Cases of Susan Brooke and Sara Thornton

In previous posts (‘So Who’s Path Had Susan Brooke Crossed?’ and ‘More On The Susan Brooke Case’), I speculated that a woman imprisoned for abducting a baby from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in north Wales in 1995 might have been targeted by Dafydd and the gang. I was particularly interested in the judge who presided over the trial at Chester Crown Court, Justice Scott Baker – later Lord Thomas Scott Baker – and how on earth he managed not to see what could be happening to Susan Brooke. Well, my newly recruited co-researcher has dug up another link to Scott Baker, as a result of doing some research on the Sara Thornton case for me. I covered the Sara Thornton case in my post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’.

My co-researcher has sent me some of the documentation from the Sara Thornton case. Sara Thornton’s appeal against her conviction was handled by Michael Mansfield QC and one of the psychiatrists who gave evidence on her behalf was a Professor Brandon – this will have been Sydney Brandon, the former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Leicester. So he will have been a colleague of Dr James Earp, one of the ‘expert opinions’ who managed to fail to comment on the criminal activity of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al in north Wales (please see post ‘An Expert From England’). As I have mentioned before, there was the same problem in Leicester as there was in north Wales – a paedophile ring was operating in the children’s services in the area, involving a notorious social worker called Frank Beck and of course Lord Greville Janner. This sort of activity has a profound effect on mental health services – people who have been the victims of sexual abuse tend to end up in the hands of the mental health services, who then all too often bandy psychiatric labels about to discredit them.

I have now read the judgement in the Thornton case and the evidence against her was pretty damning. As I suspected, the very same features of Sara’s alleged ‘personality disorder’ which were used to argue for mitigating circumstances after she murdered her husband were the very same features that were used by psychiatrists in north Wales – and undoubtedly elsewhere – to refuse patients care, to state that they were not ‘ill’ and had to ‘take responsibility’ for their actions and to even imprison them. The diagnosis and ‘symptoms’ are identical. So something else is at work.

Sara Thornton’s appeal was heard by three judges, who allowed her appeal against conviction. Her retrial took place in December 1996 at Oxford Crown Court and was heard by Thomas Scott Baker. Her sentence was reduced and because of the time that she had already spent in custody she was released immediately. So Sara Thornton, who had killed someone, was treated very differently by Scott Baker than Susan Brooke was, who had not killed anyone. Neither could this be attributed to Scott Baker mellowing with age, or gaining very much more experience in the field or a change in public opinion – the two cases were only a year apart.

My original question stands – who had Susan Brooke pissed off then? Somebody in an influential position certainly had it in for her. There is also the question of Scott Baker’s move from the Chester and Wales Circuit – where he was in 1995 – to Oxford a year later. This part of his career is not covered by his wiki entry, there is a very obvious chronological gap in information, although wiki does mention his role on the parole board between 1995 and 1999. I am intrigued by this, because Scott Baker’s career seems to have involved some interesting moves which do not constitute a natural career progression, culminating in him presiding over the inquest into Dodi and Diana’s deaths – his first ever inquest! Unlike a number of other people featured on this blog, Scott Baker is still alive – would he be kind enough to add some further details to his wiki entry to clear up a few mysteries? If he doesn’t want to do this, perhaps a helpful stranger will…