A Stalker’s Network

My post ‘Top Of The Cops’ mentioned some possible reasons why I suspect that there may have been a connection between Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and his contacts and John Stalker, former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and his contacts. Stalker’s book ‘Stalker’ mentions a number of names of people with whom he associated. Some of these people, such as Councillor Norman Briggs, Chair of the Police Committee, Stalker seems to have had an ambivalent relationship with, sometimes maintaining that they were sound honest people, but at the same time questioning certain actions of theirs. There are a number of people however about whom Stalker is entirely positive, referring to them as ‘friends’ or ‘supporters’. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these people – and what they have got up to since Stalker’s book was published in 1988.

One person whom Stalker identifies as being the man without whom he would not have got through the investigation into his activities and who became a close friend of his was the Manchester solicitor Rodger Pannone. Stalker maintains that unidentified ‘legal contacts’ of his put him in touch with Rodger Pannone and that Pannone was particularly good because he wasn’t phased by media attention. Indeed, it would seem that Pannone positively encouraged media attention – he held press conferences regarding the Stalker case and was obviously adept at using the media. Pannone and Stalker seemed to have had the sort of relationship with the media that the Princess of Wales did – they really hated all the media exposure and the intrusion, which is why they always seemed to be available for photos and interviews. Indeed Stalker’s book has a whole series of pages entirely devoted to snaps of him in uniform as a young man and as a senior officer with various bigwigs, including Royalty. When Stalker enlisted the help of Pannone, Pannone was already well-known in Manchester legal circles, but since then Pannone has really made it big and it would seem effectively helps run Manchester.

Pannone was originally from Bristol but moved to Manchester in 1964. In 2010 a media profile described him as having been ‘a leading light of the city’s legal scene for decades’. In 2010 he won an award for ‘outstanding achievement’ at the first Manchester Legal Awards. Pannone himself is of the opinion that lawyers in Manchester are now as good as those to be found anywhere in the UK, although in previous years this was not always so. Pannone retired as the senior partner in his city centre legal firm in November 2009, after joining the firm in 1973. Pannone is certainly proud of the sort of influential thriving city that Manchester has become and has paid tribute in public to those whom he considers to have done much to achieve this, including the Labour MP for Blackley, Graham Stringer (former leader of Manchester City Council), his successor Sir Richard Leese and the city’s Chief Exec, Sir Howard Bernstein. Pannone’s activities extend outside of the law. He is Chairman of the biotechnology business Renovo, was for many years Chair of the University of Manchester’s Council and oversaw the University’s merger with UMIST, was Chairman of the College of Law and a Governor for 17 years, was Chairman of the Forensic Science Service for ten years, is the North West Regional Chairman of Emmaus (a homelessness charity) and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 1999. He is a member of St James’s Club and Wyresdale Anglers. His wife will also have some clout – she sits as a magistrate. But it is of course in the field of law in which Pannone is a Very Big Name.

Pannone had already clocked up a very big success by the time that he advised Stalker. In 1985 Pannone was a leading light among the group of lawyers that represented the relatives of the people who were killed in the Manchester Airport Disaster, when a Boeing jet due for Corfu caught fire at Manchester Airport killing over 50 people. The settlements were enormous and Pannone is on record as commenting that the damages were less than would have been achieved if ‘we’d sued in the American Courts, but more than if we’d sued in the British Courts’. I don’t know which Courts Pannone used to bring the action, but obviously by 1985 he was a big hitter, working on an international scale. He also had influence at Gov’t level as well. Hansard (Feb 1985) reveals that when the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, set up his inquiry the Civil Justice Review, Pannone was appointed as a member. In 2010 Pannone was described as having advised ‘successive Lord Chancellors’ on civil justice. He was President of the Law Society of England and Wales in 1993 and 1994 and before that he had been Deputy and Vice-President. Whilst he was President, he challenged the relationship between the solicitors and the Bar and Pannone is credited as playing a role in achieving higher rights of audience for solicitors. Pannone described himself as a ‘close friend’ of one of the four solicitors who have become High Court judges, indeed the first one to be appointed, Sir Michael Sachs (who died in 2003). Another solicitor who became a High Court judge was Henry Hodge. Henry was of course husband of Dame Margaret Hodge, who was the leader of Islington Council when it’s children’s homes were pervaded by paedophile gangs. Henry himself had been involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties when it was infiltrated by PIE, a group who lobbied on behalf of paedophiles (see post ‘The London Connection’). Pannone was also a founding member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. By 2010 he was a member of the Board of Co-operative Legal Services, described as being ‘well-placed to capitalise on the changes from the Legal Services Act’, which seeks to liberalise and regulate the market for legal services in England and Wales. One can only wonder whether Pannone was involved in the development of the Legal Services Act himself, in his capacity as an advisor to successive Lord Chancellors.

It is clear from his profile that Rodger Pannone will have known many of the people named on this blog. But the senior partner in Rodger Pannone’s law firm will also know many of the people mentioned in previous posts. That is Michael Napier. Napier too was President of the Law Society, as well as a founding member, the Secretary, Vice-President and President of the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers. So he’ll know Patricia Scotland’s husband (see post ‘Even More About Baroness Patricia Scotland QC’). For 30 years Napier was a senior partner for Irwin Mitchell – he retired in May 2012. I know of Irwin Mitchell as one of the legal firms that are very good at bringing substantial claims against the NHS and a lot of people have certainly become a lot richer (but not as rich as Irwin Mitchell) as a result of those actions. But what I and a few others have noticed is that for some reason some people whose lives have been wrecked by criminal activity and malpractice on the part of the NHS still don’t succeed in winning  – particularly in cases of learning disability and mental health, two groups who are being literally wiped out by the NHS. Of course a lot of claims against the NHS are now on a no win no fee basis and many people allege that it is this that is encouraging ‘ambulance chasing’ lawyers. Napier is described as a ‘central figure’ in ‘helping others understand the no win no fee model’. Napier was appointed to the Legal Services Board in 2008 and since 2001 has been the Attornery General’s pro bono envoy.

Rodger Pannone’s success – and perhaps his integrity – is illustrated by the cases of two of his most famous clients, Ernest Saunders and Asil Nadir. Pannone acted for both of these men after he represented and became a close friend of John Stalker.

Ernest Saunders was one of the ‘Guinness Four’. Between 1981-86 he was Chief Exec of Guinness and was known to employees as ‘Deadly Ernest’ as a result of his ruthless cost-cutting. After attempting to manipulate the share price of Guinness in relation to a company take-over, in August 1990 Saunders was found guilty of fraud, false accounting and theft. The amounts of money involved were huge, the trial was complex and I think that it was the Guinness trial which was one of those where questions were raised about the use of jury trials in fraud cases, on the basis that the trial was so complicated that lay people couldn’t understand it. The charges against Saunders and his colleagues resulted in a number of investigations and a Department of Trade and Industry report subsequently described Ernest as a man who does ‘unjustifiable favours for friends and himself’. The case of Ernest though became notorious – and a long running joke in ‘Private Eye’ – not only because of the sums of money involved, but because Ernest, it transpired, was a mystery to medical science.  After his conviction, Ernest was sentenced to prison, but his sentence was slashed by half on appeal by Judge Patrick Neill. The sentence was cut after the Court heard evidence that Ernest had developed pre-senile dementia and was suffering from Alzheimers. Three expert medical witnesses gave evidence. A neurologist for the Crown maintained that Ernest actually was suffering from depression. Another man, described as a ‘forensic pathologist’, maintained that Ernest had Alzheimers. Not only did this man claim that ‘tests’ had revealed Ernest’s brain to be smaller than expected which was likely to be due to shrinkage as a result of Alzheimers, but he also maintained that Ernest couldn’t recite backwards a sequence of three numbers, or use a door and believed that Gerald Ford was President of the USA rather than George Bush. It was the evidence of this expert who convinced Patrick Neill. So who was the expert? It was a Dr Patrick Gallwey.

Patrick Gallwey – who died in 2014 – had been the founder, in 1980, of the South West Thames Regional Forensic Service at St Georges Hospital in London! The daddy of that shameless bunch of lying crooks who in 1991 colluded with the north Wales mental health services and Gwynedd Social Services – although they knew that those from north Wales were involved in criminal activities (please see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and that Dafydd and Dr X/Dr Tony Francis had ‘lost their boundaries’ with patients. Patrick Gallwey moved to Devon in 1988 to ‘pursue his dream’ of living on a small holding. Until 2001, Gallwey worked at the Butler Clinic, Langdon Hospital, Dawlish. So Pannone knew whom to seek out and where to find him. After 2001, Gallwey worked as an ‘independent forensic consultant’. And no doubt was much in demand after his evidence resulted in Ernest being released.

Nowhere in any of the information that is available about Gallwey is he described as a ‘pathologist’ – except in relation to the evidence he gave concerning Saunders. He is consistently described as a forensic psychiatrist with a speciality in psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy. Furthermore, if he was a pathologist – or at least an honest one – he would have admitted that Alzheimers can only be confirmed for certain after death, by post-mortem. It does result in changes to the brain, but these can only be seen by examining the brain tissues. Alzheimers does result in the brain shrinking among other changes, but the ‘small brain’ evidence of Gallwey is flaky because brain size varies and is notoriously unrelated to brain function or capacity (remember all those allegations from a previous era about women and people who were a suspicious shade of brown or black having smaller brains?) But then Ernest didn’t have your common or garden variety of Alzheimers. Ernest had the sort of Alzheimers from which one can make a full recovery, although Ernest is the only person in the history of medicine who experienced this type. After leaving prison, Ernest’s condition improved rapidly and within five years of release he was once more one of the world’s leading businessmen, commanding enormous fees for his advice and sitting on the Board of an international company. Unsurprisingly, a lot of questions were asked in the wake of Ernest’s Lazarus-like recovery, but rather than Ernest becoming the object of scientific enquiry as one would expect, people’s curiosity centred upon Gallwey and his evidence. Ernest himself in 1994 simply claimed that he had never been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Gallwey in 1996 stated that ‘it can be very difficult to make a diagnosis, so we did not make one, we expressed worries about it’. Gallwey did not explain why he was for the purposes of the Court case described as a pathologist when he was no such thing.

Most people who make it big in science and medicine are well-known for doing very little else but science or medicine and this usually intrigues or frustrates those around them. Spouses complain that they never go on holiday or even take a full weekend off, adult children have memories of rarely seeing their eminent parent and they are often very difficult to interview by the likes of Kirsty Young and Libby Purves on media shows, because they’re not really suited to dinner party chat – all they do is work and that’s what they like to talk about, to other people who work in the same field. But Gallwey was rather different to this. Before he ever took up medicine he tried a bohemian existence as an artist, but gave that up after a while and went off to St Thomas’s Medical School. For the rest of his life Gallwey enjoyed sailing, a variety of cultural pursuits, socialising and of course pottering about on his smallholding. I don’t know what Gallwey’s family background was, but Tommy’s has always been considered to be a bastion of serious privilege – it attracts students who include aristocrats who fancy dabbling in medicine. It was always known as the ‘poshest’ London medical school. If Gallwey wasn’t well-connected by the time that he arrived there, he would have been by the time that he graduated. Gallwey had subsequently worked as a forensic psychiatrist at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. Just like Dr Paul Bowden, who was a colleague of the charlatans working at St Georges in 1991. The Paul Bowden who worked at the Maudsley – where Dr Dafydd Alun Jones did his ‘training’. The Paul Bowden who co-authored with Professor Robert Bluglass – the Bluglass who was utilised by Professor Robert Owen of the Welsh Office to whitewash the criminal activities of Dafydd and his colleagues in north Wales (please see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE..’). Between 1970-79 Gallwey worked at the Portman Clinic (now part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust), which according to his obituary, ‘underpinned his breadth and understanding of the psychopathology of dangerous people’. Like the other lying scumbags at St Georges and like Bowden and Bluglass, this slippery customer was used to supply ‘evidence’ that determined whether ‘dangerous people’ had committed serious crimes if there was an absence of forensic evidence, or whether they remained banged up or not. Presumably ‘dangerous people’ who had complained that they had been molested whilst in children’s homes or who had found out what Dafydd and his mates were doing. Gallwey’s obituary mentioned his monthly seminars at the Institute of Psychiatry and his ‘legacy’, which was ‘several staff specialising in psychodynamic psychotherapy’. Including Dr Alice Levinson, who knew exactly what I had discovered going on in the north Wales mental health services but who nonetheless wrote an extraordinary letter about me in which she admitted that I showed no signs of psychosis at all, was suicidal because of the harassment that I was receiving at the hands of the north Wales mental health services, but nonetheless concluded that I was probably psychotic and should be referred to the forensic services for ‘containment’. Alice, who did a group of people protecting a gang of paedophiles such a big favour, is now practicing as a psychodynamic psychotherapist in leafy Richmond and is involved in supervising other psychotherapists.

The legacy of Gallwey and his crooked accomplices will be far bigger than Alice though. The ‘model’ of the forensic service at St Georges was not the usual model, that of one medium secure unit, but was a series of small secure units scattered throughout the hospitals in the region, with the St Georges charlatans ‘building relationships’ with staff in these units, planning meetings and running supervisions and training opportunities. There was opposition to this, with people maintaining that if secure conditions were needed for people who really were dangerous, then scattering them throughout the region presented a danger to everyone involved, but Gallwey’s model was nonetheless the one imposed. It might have put everyone in danger, but if Gallwey et al wanted to find a way of maximising their power and influence, I cannot think of a better way of doing it. Of course, some of the ‘dangerous’ people with whom Gallwey worked were sex offenders. And from what is known about sex offenders, some of them will have become sex offenders after being sexually abused themselves – whilst for example in children’s homes… So Gallwey and his colleagues will have known which institutions in the UK were host to paedophile activity and they will even have known the identity of some of the paedophiles! Just imagine if any of those paedophiles were well known political or public figures or celebs…

So much for the ‘medical expert’ that provided such a helpful service to Pannone’s client Ernest. What about Judge Patrick Neill, the judge who swallowed the hogwash that he’d been told about Ernest’s Alzheimers by a psychoanalyst who misrepresented himself as a pathologist? Lord Patrick Neill was a crossbencher in the Lords who died in 2016. He’d had a pretty good innings though. From 1977 he was the Warden of All Souls at Oxford, a post that carried a considerable amount of academic clout. Readers of my vintage will remember the hostility of Thatcher’s Gov’t towards the universities and how things reached boiling point in the mid 80s with Peter Swinnerton-Dyer and the UGC cuts (see post ‘Not Seen Since The 80s – Carwyn’). Norman Tebbit had been famously rude about the well-stocked wine cellars of Oxbridge and then there was the most enormous row because in 1985, someone at Oxford, in a vain attempt at toadying, had suggested that Thatcher should be given an honorary doctorate. The dons hit the roof and turned out in force to vote against the proposal, particularly the scientists who were seething at the damage that they considered Thatcher to be inflicting on British science. It was Patrick Neill who proposed that Thatcher should be given the honorary doctorate – he was Vice Chancellor of Oxford between 1985-89. Neill was also the Chairman of CTI (the City watchdog) between 1978-85, so presumably he wasn’t very effective in that particular role. Neither was he successful at reigning a few other people in with regard to their excesses – between 1978-85, he was Chairman of the Press Council. Those were the years when the ‘Sun’ published whatever it wanted, even fictional interviews with alleged widows of soldiers who’d been killed in the Falklands and photos of injured ‘Argies’ but there was never any comeback. In 1997 Tony Blair appointed Neill Chairman of the Committee for Standards in Public Life. Which is as good as Bluglass being appointed to investigate that murder in Ashworth Hospital whilst assisted by one of Dafydd’s senior nurses from Clwyd Health Authority. In 1997 Neill was elevated to the Lords and became Baron Neill of Bladen. Lord Neill’s name popped up amid the recent fall-out in the wake of the exposure of Jimmy Savile as a prolific child sex offender. In 2016 Neill claimed that many years previously he interviewed Tony Blackburn in a 1972 investigation after a teenager killed herself. The teenager had claimed to have been involved sexually with an unidentified Radio One DJ and the finger of suspicion was pointed at Tony Blackburn. Blackburn maintained that he had no such involvement with the teenager concerned, but more interestingly Blackburn maintained that at no point had he ever been interviewed by Neill. Blackburn became embroiled in a Grade A row with the BBC, which resulted in him being fired. Blackburn began legal proceedings against the Director General of the BBC, Lord Tony Hall for libel, maintaining that serious misrepresentation had gone on regarding the details of the 1972 investigation. Blackburn was reinstated – although one does wonder why he actually wanted to go back to work for them again. Neill maintained that he ‘remembered’ interviewing Blackburn.

Lord Neill has a number of children, one of whom is married to Sir Christopher Geidt, who is Private Secretary to HM the Queen!

I want to now return to a name that I mentioned earlier, Sir Michael Sachs, the ‘close friend’ of Rodger Pannone. Sachs was such a good mate that when Pannone was awarded his accolade at the first Manchester Legal Awards, he dedicated his award to Sachs. Sachs, the first solicitor who became a High Court judge. It is of course only natural that Pannone would admire Sachs, because Pannone was one of the key figures in ensuring that solicitors could become High Court judges. Sachs was appointed a full circuit judge in 1984, at which point he left his own law firm and worked for 18 months in Manchester and Liverpool. He became a High Court judge in 1993 and died in 2003. He was President of Manchester Law Society between 1978-79, a Member of the Law Society Council between 1979-84. Sachs presided over a high profile case in 1997, in which he gave a suspended sentence and a supervision order to a former psychiatric nurse who had killed her 14 year old disabled daughter. Sachs stressed that passing this non-custodial sentence should not be interpreted as him endorsing euthanasia.

However, I’m rather more interested in another case that Sachs presided over, in 1989-90. This was the 16 week trial of Manchester ‘businessman’ Kevin Taylor – along with three others – on charges of conspiracy to defraud. Sachs ruled some of the evidence inadmissible and the trial ended as no other evidence was presented. Taylor was acquitted. Kevin Taylor was the contact of John Stalker’s over whom concerns were raised which led to the investigation and suspension from duty of Stalker. Stalker was known to have associated with Taylor and it was alleged that Taylor had criminal contacts. As an example of how flimsy the allegations were, in his book Stalker explained that one concern involved a boat that had once been owned by Kevin Taylor – a boat upon which Stalker himself had sailed – which Taylor had sold and which had somehow ended up in the hands of someone who was investigated for importing drugs into the UK. (Stalker had previously been head of the drug squad.) I mentioned in my post ‘Top Of The Cops’ the similarities between Stalkers style of writing and Dafydd’s and how, like Dafydd, Stalker presents himself as an honest man being wrongly and outrageously investigated by people who are smearing his good name. Stalker’s defence when he stood accused of associating with people who had criminal connections was exactly the same as Dafydd’s in such circumstances – oh but I meet so many people in the course of my life, this sometimes happens and furthermore just look at the people my accusers are associated with. In his book Stalker constantly stresses that he only met Kevin Taylor now and again. One such occasion was at Kevin Taylor’s birthday party – which Stalker tells us in his book was also attended by doctors, lawyers, councillors, at least one local Lord Mayor, one MP, and a few members of the cast of Coronation Street. Another occasion was the Autumn Ball in Manchester’s Hotel Piccadilly in Nov 1985. Stalker was an ‘official guest’, along with two MPs. This knees up was sponsored by the local Tory Party, Kevin Taylor being a Member of the Committee.

At one point in his book, Stalker describes Kevin Taylor as ‘a man of unblemished character’. He remained an unblemished character after his trial in 1990, presided over by Michael Sachs – the close friend of Rodger Pannone, who was a close friend of Stalker. No doubt Kevin Taylor remains unblemished to this day. After the trial Kevin Taylor maintained that he had been targeted to smear his friend John Stalker.

Before we leave the subject of Stalker’s close friend Pannone, who seems to be a close friend of an awful lot of very powerful people himself, I want to just remind readers of who Pannone’s other high profile client, Asil Nadir, was. Asil Nadir was the Chief Executive of Polly Peck. Polly Peck collapsed in 1990 after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Nadir faced 70 counts of false accounting and theft. Between 1993 and 2010 he lived in Northern Cyprus in order to escape trial -there is no extradition treaty with the Turkish Republic of Cyprus. After paying bail of £250,000 and securing an agreement not to be remanded in prison until his trial, Nadir returned to the UK. In 2010 he stood trial at the Old Bailey on 13 specimen charges of false accounting and theft totalling £34 million. He was found guilty on 10 counts totalling £29 million and in 2012 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In August 2016 he was transferred to a Turkish prison after repaying the £2 million that he’d received in Legal Aid (Pannone’s other multi-millionaire client Ernest Sauders also received more than one million in Legal Aid). In Dec 2016 Nadir was spotted in a restaurant in Northern Cyprus. I doubt that he was employed there as a waiter.

For some reason as I was researching Pannone and his contacts, the phrase ‘sleeping with the fishes’ kept coming into my head.

Rodger Pannone is not the only buddy of John Stalker’s who receives a mention in his book. Stalker refers to his good friend the MP Sir Fergus Montgomery, as well as another MP who was a ‘supporter’ ie. Cecil Franks and two other MPs who campaigned on his behalf, Stuart Bell and Tony Lloyd.

Sir Fergus Montgomery, who died in 2013, was Tory MP for Altrincham and Sale between 1974-1997. (Prior to that, he held two other seats for the Tories, Newcastle East and Brierley Hill.) Montgomery entered Parliament at the same time as Margaret Thatcher and remained good friends with her until she died, Montgomery and his wife visiting her regularly throughout the whole time. Montgomery was PPS to Thatcher during the latter part of her tenure as Secretary of State for Education and throughout the time that she was Leader of the Opposition. He was instrumental in Thatcher’s election as Tory leader. Despite remaining on excellent terms with Thatcher throughout her life, he resigned as her PPS in 1976 and never held a front bench role whilst she was PM. In 1977 he was arrested and convicted of stealing two books from a shop. His conviction was overturned on appeal and his explanation was that he’d been suffering from the effects of prescribed drugs that he’d been taking in order to lose weight. Thatcher supported him robustly throughout this time. I presume that the drugs that he was taking would have been amphetamine based – Thatcher herself of course was always reputed to have been taking amphetamine based drugs in order to sustain her work schedule. There were rumours of a very helpful person in Harley Street and I suspect that it was with this person’s assistance that the myth of the superwoman who only slept for three hours a night was built. In 1996 Montgomery claimed that he had been forced to resign twenty years earlier as a result of his previous friendship with John Vassall. Vassall worked in the British Embassy in Moscow, was gay and had been blackmailed into passing state secrets. The Vassall scandal occurred just before Profumo and the combination of the two are considered to have spelled the end of Harold McMillan’s Gov’t.

Montgomery was on the hard right of the Conservative Party. He supported the apartheid regime in South Africa and when he was MP for Brierley Hill he praised Enoch Powell for raising the issue of immigration. In 1969 Montgomery stated that ‘coloured immigrants’ had become a ‘favoured class’. He was a supporter of Eddy Shah with regard to his battles with the print unions at Warrington and he introduced Shah to Thatcher at a reception marking Montgomery’s 21 years as an MP. Montgomery was particularly exercised over the possible release of Myra Hindley from prison and campaigned to keep her in there. When he was told that she had received cosmetic surgery to change her appearance – with the implication that she was being prepared for release and a new identity – he actually went to visit her to check out the rumour. Montgomery’s wife served as Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.

Cecil Franks was a solicitor from Manchester and Tory MP for Barrow-in-Furness between 1983-1992, who died in 2014. He had previously been a Member of Manchester City Council and lived at Altrincham. He was described as ‘confrontational and highly litigious’, although there was admiration for the ‘work’ that he had done in Barrow-in-Furness for the Tories – he was credited for actually getting bigwigs like Thatcher, Heseltine, Portillo and Jeffrey Archer up there, although it was considered a rather out of the way location.

Stuart Bell was a lawyer who was the Labour MP for Middlesbrough between 1983-2012. Bell was knighted in 2004 and died in 2012. Bell was the Shadow Spokesman for N Ireland in Kinnock’s opposition team in 1984, but resigned to campaign on the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal. It was in connection with the Cleveland Scandal that I remember reading about Stuart Bell. The Cleveland Scandal occurred between February and July in 1987, as a result of two paediatricians in Middlesborough ordering a huge number of local children to be taken into care because they, along with the local social services dept, believed that they had been sexually abused. The Top Doctors concerned based their beliefs on the use of a rather flaky technique which many people maintained demonstrated nothing. The controversy raged in medical journals at the time and most discussion in those journals pivoted on whether this technique was reliable or not. However the problem hit the lay press because scores of parents came forward to say that their children had been removed from their care as a result of lurid allegations. So many children were removed from their homes that many of them had to be housed in the children’s ward of a local hospital and it caused the havoc – the staff of the children’s ward complained of the chaos presiding. One of the paediatricians involved, Marietta Higgs, was given a particularly dreadful time by the tabloid press, but a number of people who worked with her maintained that she was a genuine woman who did believe that all these kids had been abused. The Cleveland Scandal is interesting because no-one ever seemed to work out what went on. Lord Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss presided over a public inquiry and published her report in 1988, but not much became clearer. Higgs’s supporters maintained that society was in denial about the extent of child sexual abuse and that she was being scapegoated, whereas her detractors maintained that she really had got this badly wrong. Some years after the scandal had faded I read an account written by a parent who maintained that they’d been wrongly accused and whose children had been returned to them – but they maintained that they believed that some of the children had been abused and that the abusers had hidden under the campaign established to clear the names of the other parents. I suspect that may have well been an accurate analysis. I doubt that the children’s services in Cleveland were any better than they were in other parts of the UK at that time and it was obvious that the relationships between the paediatricians and their colleague from social services (a social worker called Sue whose surname I can’t remember) and everyone else were dysfunctional and ended up breaking down completely. However there will have been children in the region who were being abused – abused in the care of the local authority as well – as well as people wrongly accused. Who could ever tell whether Marietta Higgs, her colleague Geoffrey Wyatt and ‘Sue’ were concealing sexual abuse – including abuse carried out by their own colleagues – wrongly blaming innocent people, or trying to protect children? In the midst of all this, one thing I do remember was Stuart Bell not being very popular – even among those very worried about what Higgs and her colleagues were doing. There was a police surgeon involved as well who was alleged to have been as much of a problem as Bell and the ‘campaign for justice’ was very much spearheaded by the two of them. They seemed to particularly loathe Sue the social worker and it was obviously a very personal battle between all the individuals involved. The only aspect of Cleveland that ever touched my own investigations was when some years ago someone who grew up in that region told me that her father had been a child psychiatrist there and he had sexually abused her and her sister when they were children… One thing that I did notice about the Cleveland Scandal though was that it happened just after Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I had all started writing to Ministers and others about the wrongdoing in the children’s services and mental health services in north Wales! Stuart Bell became the centre of another controversy more recently when it was alleged that constituents were unable to contact him and that he hadn’t held a surgery since 1997, despite his wife being on the payroll as his ‘office manager’.

Tony Lloyd is the newly elected Labour MP for Rochdale – he was previously the Labour MP for Stretford between 1983-97, and then again between 1997-2012 after a reorganisation resulted in it being renamed Manchester Central. Between 2012-2017 he was Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Between 2015-2017 he also served as interim Mayor of Greater Manchester. He did put his name forward as Labour’s candidate for the City Mayor’s post but was beaten by Andy Burnham, who has now been elected as Mayor. So that was the choice – Stalker’s ‘supporter’, or the man who concealed the slaughter at Mid-Staffs. Lloyd was Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1997-99. Patricia Scotland was Minister in the same office between 1999-2001! Lloyd was Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party 2006-12. Profiles of him describe him as being a big ally of Gordon Brown.

 

So there we have it. The ordinary cop who was the victim of monstrous slurs who only hung onto his sanity because of his wife and daughters has some very powerful friends who have even more powerful friends, some of whom are very unpleasant. And they all seem to be doing favours for each other as well as a few other people.

I was pointed in the direction of John Stalker’s book because someone noticed the similarity between his writing and Dafydd’s statements in Court about me – and as a result of my interest in Stalker and his Friends In The North I noted a few other possible links, as mentioned in the post ‘Top Of The Cops’. But there were two other people working in the mental health services in north Wales who had very direct connections to Manchester – Dr X/Dr Tony Francis and Dr Tony Roberts. Tony Francis, directly before taking up his post in north Wales in the mid 80s, had worked as a psychiatrist in Manchester for quite some time. I always wondered why Francis took a job in north Wales. He had an MD (the medics version of a PhD) which was virtually unheard of among psychiatrists in north Wales then and the North Wales Hospital Denbigh so obviously only employed the unemployable. Although documentation recently released to me demonstrates that Francis was lying, perjuring himself, encouraging other people to do the same and attempting to have innocent people imprisoned in order to conceal the activities of Dafydd, Lucille Hughes and the paedophile ring, I had no idea of the depths to which he was sinking and I doubt that many other people did either. He did have mental health problems but he wasn’t conspicuously unhinged like Dafydd was and he had much better social skills than Gwynne the lobotomist. When Francis arrived in north Wales he was actively promoted as a breath of fresh air in comparison to Dafydd and Gwynne. I have always wondered if he got into some sort of trouble in Manchester – no young ambitious psychiatrist who had gone to the trouble of completing an MD with quite a big name in psychiatry would ever want to join Dafydd at Denbigh. Tony Roberts worked at the North Wales Hospital and later became a psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit. Tony Roberts was much more of a candidate for a job at Denbigh – he was crazy, sadistic, had no social skills, fell out with the local GPs, continued to blame everyone else as all his patients died and in the end was one of the key players who brought the Hergest Unit to disaster. I can well imagine that after graduation he had no other option but a job at Denbigh. Tony Roberts had studied medicine at the University of Manchester. Although he is an utter fuckwit himself, I have traced, via dedications in publications, connections that he had in Manchester and Leeds with people who have not been publicly outed as dangerous doctors (although I bet that they are). And of course as I have previously described, the former Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust – which employed both Tony Roberts and Tony Francis – Elfed Roberts, was a senior policeman who left the North Wales Police under a cloud, was Facebook friends with a number of serving and retired officers from the Manchester area. I understand that their hobnobbing destination was a wittily named place in France, Chateau de Cop. We know from Stalker’s own book that senior police officers and their contacts – contacts with unblemished characters of course – ended up at the same social events in Manchester as doctors, MPs, councillors, lawyers and showbiz folk.

Now let’s suppose that dear old Dafydd did have access to Stalker’s network. It would solve some of the Great Mysteries of North Wales. One being – who handles Dafydd’s business for him? One thing I have been repeatedly told about Dafydd – and was first told as long ago as the late 80s – was that everybody knew that Dafydd was involved in bankrolling and managing facilities where patients were abused and neglected, facilities that were frequently investigated, featured on the media and then closed down in the ensuing scandal, yet Dafydd was never held to account because his name would NEVER be on any documents. Likewise his accounts. Dafydd was alleged to be a very wealthy man, yet the accounts and profits of the businesses that he was alleged to be involved with were opaque. As with CAIS, the charity that he founded and still Chairs, everyone would always be asking ‘where’s all the money going?’ Dafydd was definitely involved up to his eyeballs – staff working in these establishments would freely admit that they were working for Dafydd and that he was the ultimate boss and the patients being abused and neglected would always explain that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had recommended that they go into ‘his’ home for ‘care’. So Dafydd has had access to some very sharp lawyers, business advisors and accountants for a long while. Lawyers not afraid to threaten key institutions in north Wales as well. Some years ago a particularly abusive chain of ‘care homes’ in north Wales – homes that involved the residents being emotionally, physically and sexually abused – were sending their ‘service users’ on courses at Bangor University and the local FE colleges. Because the ‘service users’ had been sexually abused and generally driven nuts themselves, a number of them exhibited sexually unacceptable – or indeed – aggressive behaviours. One young woman behaved in such a way that male students in one of these institutions refused to sit in classes with her – they had been sexually assaulted by her. The students and their parents complained to the authorities and the college concerned wrote to the ‘care home’ explaining that they would not be able to accept this student any longer as she presented a risk to other students (which she did). I was told that the college then received a ferociously aggressive letter from lawyers acting for the ‘care home’ threatening to finish them off using the Disability Discrimination Act if they dared refuse to accept any of this home’s residents as students. This was of course a complete misinterpretation of the Disability Discrimination Act, but the college concerned was so frightened that they simply wet themselves and provided the girl involved with individual tuition, by herself, in a class by herself, with two teachers to ensure that they weren’t assaulted or indeed falsely accused. (Lest readers think I am exaggerating the difficulties posed by the conduct of some of the residents of this care home, there was at least one rape of a support worker there carried out by a resident – no doubt the lawyers dealt with that problem as well.) Now I don’t think that the sort of lawyers or accountants one finds in Bangor or Llandudno would be able to advise on these sorts of matters. But I bet that Mr Pannone knows people who could.

I have mentioned in previous posts, that when Dafydd appeared in Court himself some years ago, it was noted that this wealthy man had somehow secured Legal Aid. Just like Ernest Saunders and Asil Nadir did. It will obviously be a coincidence, but CAIS has moved into the homelessness business – Pannone is of course involved with a homelessness charity in Manchester. CAIS’s principal remit however is substance abuse (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’). At one point Stalker was head of the drugs squad.

I think I might have solved another Great Conundrum – the one that has surrounded Dafydd for three decades, ie. How the fuck does he get away with it all?

I’ll expect to wake up to a horse’s head in bed with me any day soon.

I mentioned earlier that Lord Neill, the judge who so helpfully accepted Patrick Gallwey’s evidence that Pannone’s client Ernest Saunders was suffering from dementia, was Chairman of the Press Council during the days when the ‘Sun’ constantly ran offensive articles and headlines. The headline that everyone remembers was of course

GOTCHA!

 

 

Author: Sally Baker

I am a writer and a sociologist, originally from Somerset, but I've been based in Wales for most of my life. I had my first encounter with a mental health professional in 1984 at the age of 21. My GP described this man to my then partner - who also became a sociologist - as someone who had experienced 'considerable success'. My meeting with this psychiatrist was a disaster and we attempted to complain about his insensitivity and highly inappropriate behaviour. That was the first time we were threatened and pressurised to withdraw a complaint against a mental health professional. This man is long dead - he was a retired psychiatrist from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, T. Gwynne Williams, who was working shifts in the student health centre at University College of North Wales (now Bangor University). We discovered years later that this 'successful man' was notorious - he had been an enthusiastic lobotomist...

4 thoughts on “A Stalker’s Network”

  1. I’m interested to hear where you got your information from reading Dr Tony Francis’ qualifications. He didn’t have an MD.

    I’m sure you know how common it is for people to relocate from the North West of England to North Wales.

    1. I obviously know rather more about his career than you do – but there seems to be a lot about Tony Francis that you don’t know.
      I know that you were a friend of his, but although loyalty to one’s friends is an admirable quality, I think that your loyalty in this case was misplaced. As indeed was mine when I defended him on so many occasions…

      1. Obviously you don’t, as he categorically never had an MD.

        You’re obviously free to believe what you like about me being misguided or taken in – but I can assure you that is not the case.

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