I’m just reading Craig Brown’s book about Princess Margaret at present, ‘Ma’am Darling, 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret’. Since Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon have turned their toes up, rather a lot has been published regarding just how unpleasant they both were, some of which I have mentioned in passing on this blog.
Brown’s book tells me some things that I did already know, but there are a few interesting things in there which are new to me. Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret’s marriage went sour quite quickly and accounts are now emerging of just how much they loathed each other – it all seems to have been a bit ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ Margaret seems to have been seriously over-privileged and insulted everyone else on the planet as a matter of routine, but Snowdon is a stereotypical abusive husband of monstrous dimensions. He leaves notes for her about their house (well palace, to be precise) saying ‘I hate you’ and tells her that she resembles a ‘Jewish manicurist’. Much of his behaviour comes close to the conduct of the man in the famous play/film ‘Gaslight’, in which someone tries to convince their wife that she’s mad, using techniques such as misplacing things around the house and maintaining that she’s done it or constantly adjusting the gas lamp, swearing blind that he’s done no such thing and convincing her that it was all her work but that she hasn’t realised.
The north Wales mental health services were one big gas lighting machine. ‘What do you mean, Dr Jones is behaving improperly with female patients? Why NO-ONE else has ever made such a complaint.’ ‘You’ve been feeling depressed recently? No you haven’t, I know that you haven’t.’ ‘You were raped as a child. Yes you were, I know you were. That’s why you’re making these OUTRAGEOUS allegations about Dr Jones.’ Believe me, when one or two Hergest patients are gathered together in Dafydd’s name, the most extraordinary experiences are swapped and much entertainment can be derived.
Anyway, as well as participating in much gas lighting, Lord Snowdon took a leaf out of Lord Lucan’s book – told his wife that she was mad and sent her off to consult a Top Doctor. I’m very surprised that she agreed to go actually, but she did, although she didn’t bother to return after the initial consultation.
Snowdon despatched Ma’am Darling to a Dr Peter Dally. Peter Dally died in 2005 and his obituary in the Indie tells us that he was a specialist in anorexia/eating disorders (although there’s nothing in any of the accounts of Ma’am Darling to suggest that she experienced this sort of distress). Dally studied medicine at St Thomas’s, where he met his wife Ann. After house jobs at Tommy’s in 1955 he began training as a psychiatrist at St Ebba’s Hospital in Epsom. He then returned to Tommy’s where – like Dr Death did at about the same time – he worked for the lethal and unhinged William Sargant as a research registrar (for a brief overview of how much damage Sargant did to patients, see post ‘Dr Death’). Dally acted as an assistant in the writing of Sargant’s notorious 1963 text, ‘Introduction To Physical Methods Of Treatment In Psychiatry’. In 1961 Dally was appointed as Consultant Psychiatrist at Westminster Hospital where he remained until he retired in 1988. Although Sargant became utterly discredited and was seen in many quarters as a dangerous practitioner, like Dr Death Dally seems to have shown a high degree of loyalty to him. Dally’s book on anorexia, published in 1969, was dedicated to Sargant. In 1972 Dally helped open the psychiatry unit at Queen Mary Hospital Roehampton. Although he and Ann divorced in 1969, they remained on good terms and continued to share the same consulting rooms at 13 Devonshire Place after their divorce. Dally continued in private practice until 1993, after his retirement from the NHS in 1988.
Dally’s obituary in the BMJ tells us a bit more about him. Before he went to medical school Dally was in the Royal Navy. When he applied to study medicine he chose Tommy’s because his batman was going there. His batman was in the same year as Dally at Tommy’s and during their studies there continued to call Dally ‘Sir’.
Although Sargant held psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in complete contempt and only ever wanted to drug patients or subject them to ECT, insulin comas or lobotomies (or indeed all of these), the BMJ states that Dally ‘believed in’ both psychological and ‘physical’ treatments.
The BMJ also reveals that Dally’s reputation really took off when in 1961 – whilst Dally had already landed his consultancy at Westminster – Sargant asked Dally to look after his patients whilst he was away. According to the BMJ, it was at this point that patients began beating a path to Dally’s door. It may well have been because Dally was not so obviously as monstrous as Sargant, in the same way as north Wales believed that Tony Francis (Dr X) was a very great relief after Dafydd. Sadly Tony Francis was doing an awful lot of things that he should not have been doing and was doing a lot of them to conceal the activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles.
The person that I am more interested in though is Ann Dally, Dally’s wife. Ann Dally became very well-known in the 1980s when she encountered a great deal of difficulty with the GMC.
Ann Dally was a very impressive woman. Her first degree was in history and she was a contemporary of Margaret Thatcher’s at Somerville College, Oxford. Her background was very different to Thatcher’s however. Ann Dally was the daughter of Claude Mullins, a well-known London magistrate and law reformer and Gwendoline Brandt, the daughter of a German banking family. Ann’s family were involved with progressive causes – the family were friends with, among others, Marie Stopes. Ann was sent to fashionable progressive schools – she was expelled from one for ‘being a bad influence’. After Oxford, Ann decided to read medicine and in 1947 she was one of the first three women students at Tommy’s.
Ann encountered the sort of prejudice that women doctors of her generation all did. Furthermore, she embarked upon a family – she ended up having six children. Her early years in medicine were occupied with working in women’s and children’s health and out-patient clinics. She did this because it was the only sort of work that she could fit around her family, although she still encountered much naked discrimination.
In 1979, Ann began treating heroin addicts. This started when she treated one patient who had been receiving maintenance treatment but which was withdrawn. His life disintegrated and he lost his job. So Ann restarted him on maintenance therapy and his life stabilised again. Ann began taking a big interest in the treatment of drug addiction and soon acquired many such patients.
During the 1960s, the Drug Dependence Units in the UK routinely prescribed maintenance doses of heroin or methadone for addicts. The argument was that if this was done, they could live normal lives, hold down jobs, support themselves/their families and would not fall into crime in order to finance their habit. A lot of Top Doctors involved in the treatment of addicts robustly argue that this is undoubtedly the best way of treating people with heroin addiction. However in the mid 70s, a group of Top Doctors whom Ann Dally termed ‘the Maudsley Mafia’ made maintenance therapy increasingly unavailable. Ann continued to prescribe maintenance therapy.
Presumably somebody must have believed that Ann Dally knew what she was doing, because by the early 80s she was a member of the Gov’t medical working group on drug dependence. Yet in 1983 Ann ended up in front of the GMC. She was found guilty of overprescribing and was admonished.
In 1987 Ann Dally was back in front of the GMC again. This time she was charged with taking on more addicts than she could properly look after, prescribing excessively and taking on patients who could not afford to pay her fees without resorting to crime. She was cleared of that lot, but found guilty of another charge, that of prescribing irresponsibly to an unemployed roofer and not properly examining him or monitoring his progress. The police had set up a ‘sting’ and had produced ampoules dispensed to the roofer which had been found in the possession of another addict.
Ann Dally appealed to the judicial committee of the Privy Council but lost. Lord Goff was on that committee. The upshot was that Ann was not allowed to prescribe or posses controlled drugs for 14 months. She did continue in private practice but not for addicts.
Ann Dally received a huge amount of support from some Top Doctors and others who all maintained that she had been unfairly hung out to dry. People stated that she looked after her addicted patients far better than the Maudsley contingent cared for theirs – it was alleged that they weren’t even SEEING their patients – and that Ann listened to her patients and paid attention to their emotional well-being in a way that most other Top Doctors did not. Most Top Doctors hate addicts anyway – I witnessed this myself when I worked at St Georges, they really loathed them on the basis that addicts are often stealing from the other patients to fund their habits, trying to con the pharmacy or lying through their teeth about something else with a view to acquiring drugs. There is certainly some degree of truth in this, I witnessed all this in an addict whom I knew well some years ago. He was completely incapable of telling the truth if the acquisition of drugs was on the agenda. Ann Dally however seemed to have a much more sympathetic view of addicts and their problems.
Jean Robinson, a lay member of the disciplinary committee at the GMC said of Dally that she ‘made an appalling impression at the GMC’. She had ‘far too many patients to look after properly and they were vulnerable people who needed protection’. The committee were also shocked at the money that Ann was making through consulting and dispensing. Robinson stated that Dally had purchased a house in Hampstead as well as a Sussex farmhouse and earned £75,000 pa.
My initial reading of the case of Ann Dally conjured up one image – DAFYDD. The allegations that the GMC levelled at Ann are exactly those that have been levelled at Dafydd Alun Jones, including by me (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).
But the picture is a little more complex. Ann openly supported maintenance therapy and was frank that she was doing this. In the 1990s Dafydd went on TV programmes boasting about how he had replaced methadone with huge quantities of benzodiazepenes and what a miraculous cure for heroin addiction this was. Dafydd was most critical of methadone maintenance therapy in public. But in private, drug using patients of Dafydd’s were openly telling people that Dafydd was great because he’d ‘give you anything you asked for, anything at all’. My post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’ describes how I and other patients watched Dafydd build up a huge practice of addicts at the Hergest Unit and then take them with him when he ‘retired’.
Although Ann Dally ended up in front of the GMC, no-one was ever able to produce the shit on her that they have produced on Dafydd. It seems that she WAS looking after her addicted patients. Dafydd wasn’t, they were in the most appalling state of decay – whilst they cheerily told people that he was flogging them drugs and writing them helpful Court reports in the wake of them being arrested. I was told that some helpful Court reports were written for some very serious offences, including armed robbery and rape. So Dafydd’s practice wasn’t keeping anyone away from crime.
As for Jean Robinson’s condemnation of the money that Ann Dally made – readers will know that I am very rude about troughing Top Doctors. But Ann Dally’s lifestyle was no more excessive than that of other Top Doctors in London in private practice at that time. It was pretty much standard for them to have a house in a location such as Hampstead or Wimbledon and another place in the countryside in the home counties. Neither is the income that was quoted for her that excessive – they earned a lot of money.
The case of Ann Dally simply brings home how much of Dafydd’s misconduct was being ignored by the GMC and others. Dafydd really was doing everything that Ann Dally was accused of – and Dafydd was doing much more besides. The GMC knew as well. By the time that Ann was in front of the GMC in 1987, Dafydd was being sued for false imprisonment, had been the subject of numerous complaints to the GMC – at least one which involved a death and during the course of one month alone five complaints were made about him – and of course I’d made my complaint about him by then, which was another complaint of false imprisonment with attempted bribery and threats into the bargain.
In the early 1990s at least one patient in north Wales rang Crimestoppers and gave them a detailed account of a number of criminal offences committed by Dafydd, with the names of the victims. The same person rang Crimestoppers AGAIN weeks later, after it was obvious that no enquiries had been made. No enquiries were ever made. Subsequent to this, someone rang the North Wales Police and reported one of Dafydd’s ‘addicts’ who could be seen openly flogging class A drugs to school kids in Bangor – again, nothing was done, although this was at a time when the North Wales Police regularly banged on about their fight against drugs and how no-one must be reluctant to report criminal activity. Unless of course Dafydd was at the root of it.
I am interested in Ann’s use of the phrase ‘the Maudsley Mafia’. Dafydd was of course being protected by the Maudsley Mafia himself – it was many moons ago that he passed through the hands of dear old Bob Hobson at the Maudsley, but Dafydd knew enough to drop Hobson’s name whenever he received a telephone call from a Top Doctor in another part of the UK enquiring about a patient. In fact the mention of Bob Hobson was so effective that it even prevented Top Doctors asking anything more in the face of Dafydd describing a young female patient as ‘attractive and seductive’, a patient who had already told the enquiring Top Doctors that Dafydd was sexually exploiting female patients. It really couldn’t have been more obvious. The Top Doctors at St George’s quaintly described Dafydd as having ‘lost his boundaries’. He lost his trousers and underpants on a number of occasions as well.
So how did Ann Dally ever come to the attention of the GMC in the first place? Who was it that reported her? And why did the police ever set up a sting involving her patient? Someone really wanted to nail Ann Dally.
Ann Dally wrote a book about her ordeal at the hands of the GMC – I am going to try to get hold of a copy. I suspect that I may recognise some of the names involved in the shafting of a Top Doctor, who seemed to have been genuinely caring for a difficult group of patients who are usually explicitly rejected by other Top Doctors. Not even a former husband with Royal connections could save her bacon. Which is another weird aspect of her case. The reason why the London medical schools have so much clout is the fact that so many of them have Royalty, senior politicians or celebs as patients. The presence of VIPs among the patients means that a great deal of crap is concealed on everyone’s part. Craig Brown’s book mentions that Roddy Llewellyn, the notorious toy boy of Ma’am Darling’s, at one point overdid the drugs, the alcohol, the shagging and the partying so much that he was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital for three weeks. Ma’am Darling herself had been so overwhelmed just previously to this that she’d taken an overdose, so Royal duties were suspended and the Palace announced that Princess Margaret was suffering from a ‘heavy cold’. A London hospital and a Royal personage takes one into a different paradigm. Ma’am Darling herself, after a life-time of heavy smoking, memorably had part of her lung surgically removed. That doesn’t tend to happen with the average pleb – when emphysema or a carcinoma sets in, the patient is told that this is a condition with a very poor prognosis; there’s a token effort made, but that’s usually the end.
So there’s really only one thing that provides more protection than Royalty – playing a key role in the Westminster Paedophile Ring.
I really have missed the career opportunity of a lifetime. I could have been the biggest and most successful blackmailer that the UK has ever seen. From the late 1980s I could have demanded regular payments from Dafydd, Tony Francis, Lucille Hughes and the gang in north Wales, then money from Hammersmith, then from Vincent Marks at Surrey, then from old Bluglass and Robert Owen and associates at the Welsh Office and then hit the bigtime at St Georges – Burns, Mitchell-Heggs, Eastman, Jacobson, Levinson, Ruth White. Then I could have tapped a few others for a few bob, like Esther and Marjorie Wallace, Donald Acheson and of course the whole of the GMC. Plus a few lawyers and judges and Thatcher herself, as well as an assortment of other politicians. And from what I’ve been reading recently Lord Snowdon probably as well.
Unfortunately I just tried to tell many of the above what was going on…