Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People

Whilst I was having a break from blogging, I took the opportunity to read a book that I’ve heard quite a lot about over the years but have never got around to reading, although it was originally published back in 1993. The book in question is ‘Eve Was Framed’ by Helena Kennedy QC.

I used to be a great admirer of Helena Kennedy because of her work in some high profile miscarriages of justice over the years – Kennedy is also of course well-known as a feminist barrister who has worked hard in the fight against the gender stereotypes at work in the Courts. Kennedy is now a Labour member of the House of Lords. However I had always noticed one thing about Helena Kennedy – like a lot of other radical campaigners she has not ever really frankly spoken out about abuse in the mental health system. She has represented so many people who have been through the psychiatric system that she must know how bad and how entrenched the abuses are, but there has never been a word about them. I did know that she was married to a London surgeon and I wondered if that was why she has never gone for the jugular regarding what the NHS mental health services actually do to people, but the other day after Helena Kennedy had appeared on TV I was discussing her appearance with a friend who remarked that Helena Kennedy was the ultimate member of the London elite and seemed to be turning into a ‘mad old lady’.

So when I came across a copy of ‘Eve Was Framed’ in a second hand bookshop a few days ago I was delighted. Well I’ve finished reading it now and it was certainly enlightening, but not in the way that I thought that it was going to be. There is a lot of very good analysis of the gender factors at work in Court when women are on trial and although a lot of what Kennnedy discusses is now mainstream, when she wrote this in the early 1990s it wasn’t. Kennedy mentions many trials and cases that I remember well – some of which have become cause celebres – but she also mentions a few people that I know too!

The ‘acknowledgements’ are particularly revealing. Kennedy thanks a number of people, including radical campaigners whose names I remember well. But there was one particular acknowledgement that leapt out at me – ‘I was given particular help by one of our finest forensic psychiatrists, Dr Nigel Eastman, who has worked with me on many cases. He has a profound understanding of the interface between law and psychiatry and knows how to make that relationship work in the courtroom. I have learned greatly from our collaboration’. Well! Regular followers of this blog will remember me discussing Dr (now Professor) Nigel Eastman.  He was a forensic psychiatrist employed at St Georges Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital who knew damn well what was happening to me at the hands of the mental health services in north Wales and was colluding with them (please see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’). Furthermore, Eastman was involved in this very sordid business in 1991 – if Kennedy’s book was published in 1993, she was probably writing it and receiving ‘particular help’ from Nigel Eastman just at the time that he was reading evidence that psychiatrists employed in the north Wales mental health services were sexually exploiting patients, were participating in criminal activities and were trying to get me banged up because I had complained about them. Nigel and his colleagues in London of course were being urged by the bunch of crooks in north Wales to obtain evidence of my ‘dangerousness’ from one Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who in 2000 was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but was failing to respond.

When I read that acknowledgement I considered what I always consider when I find the names of those we know and love tangled up with seemingly decent or even admirable people – that Kennedy might have had no idea just how filthy Nigel Eastman’s hands were. After all he was a Top Doctor and as Helena herself observed, one of London’s finest. One would not expect him to be colluding with people who were concealing a paedophile ring. But the rest of ‘Eve Was Framed’ contains much discussion regarding the use of psychiatric testimony in Court and Kennedy is clearly very well aware that such testimony can be used to unfairly undermine innocent people and truthful witnesses. Kennedy is not naïve in this respect, she knows exactly what can be done with an ‘expert witness’ who is a psychiatrist. Which is no doubt how she developed such a close collaboration with Nigel Eastman…

But Eastman is not the only person whom I have encountered who gets a mention in ‘Eve Was Framed’. Dr James Earp gets a mention as well, another psychiatrist who was aware of what was going on in north Wales but who failed to breathe a word (please see post ‘An Expert From England). Dear old David Southall is also mentioned (please see previous posts) – mercifully I’ve never encountered Southall, but there was such concern about his activities that even the GMC managed to strike him off at one point. Earp and Southall are mentioned completely uncritically, as useful expert witnesses who have assisted in the pursuit of justice.

One of the criminal cases that Kennedy discusses is that of Sara Thornton. This was a very high profile case and set a legal precedent. Sara Thornton was imprisoned for killing her husband Malcolm Thornton – her case was taken up by Women For Justice and Sara was constructed as someone suffering from ‘battered wife syndrome’. Malcolm Thornton was an alcoholic bully and the relationship was violent. However it was argued by the defence that Sara was also a heavy drinker, was a ‘pathological liar’ and had not attacked her husband in self-defence or in the heat of the moment, but had carried out a pre-meditated killing. Sara lost her first appeal in 1991. I remember it well – because that appeal was taking place in the same building when I was in there facing prison because of fallacious allegations against me made by the north Wales mental health services! I was not imprisoned and as I walked out of the Court I ran straight into the Justice For Women protesters holding a demo on behalf of Sara. Once more, no-one asked any questions as to how and why a bunch of psychiatrists in north Wales had managed to drag a young woman into the High Court in London no less because she was doing no more than writing letters alleging that they were involved in criminal activities…

Sara Thornton was eventually released but not for another few years. She won her appeal on medical evidence – a helpful psychiatrist testified that she had an ‘abnormal personality’ and experienced episodes of ‘dissociation’. Which is a real laugh because those were exactly the allegations that the north Wales mental health services bandied around about me, but used such allegations to argue that I should be locked up for life – unlike Sara I hadn’t killed anyone. I have not yet found out who the psychiatrist was whose evidence resulted in Sara winning her appeal…

Justice For Women and Helena Kennedy were involved in securing the release of another young woman from prison in the mid 1990s in a blaze of publicity. That was Emma Humphreys, who had experienced a very troubled life, being taken into care as a child and becoming involved in prostitution as a teenager. Emma was jailed for killing her violent partner, who was also her pimp, when she was 17. She was released some 10 years later as a result of psychiatric evidence – specifically that she had a ‘borderline personality disorder’ no less, just like all those patients at the Hergest Unit who were then left to kill themselves! Emma’s story did not have a happy ending – although she was released from prison within a short while she died alone in her flat as a result of an overdose of prescription medication, namely chloral hydrate. It was alleged that she had been prescribed this in prison and had become addicted to it, using it to sleep. Now, if I were Justice For Women and Helena Kennedy I’d be showing a great deal of interest in the way in which Emma died. Chloral hydrate is a somewhat unusual drug for Emma to have been prescribed – it was used for insomnia but that was many decades ago, it has been virtually entirely replaced by the benzodiazepines. Even the North Wales Hospital Denbigh wasn’t prescribing chloral hydrate. However chloral hydrate is used as a date rape drug…

I have discovered something else about Emma Humphreys. She was born in Dolgellau no less. Emma’s troubles had begun when she was very young, as a result of her parents having serious problems. Press reports after her release described her as having had a life of ‘care and institutions’. So it’s highly likely that when she was young Emma had contact with Gwynedd Social Services – that would have been in the 70s and 80s, just when allegations that the most serious abuse of children in the care of Gwynedd Social Services was taking place. But like the chloral hydrate, there is a dearth of information about this, although feminist campaigners wrote much about Emma’s life after she died. She somehow ended up in Canada for a while and then returned back to the UK. I have also found out that one of the judges involved in Emma’s appeal was Mr Justice Kay (later Sir John Kay). Justice Kay was the man who so obligingly issued a High Court Injunction against me at the request of Gwynedd Social Services – on the basis of untruthful affidavits sworn by one social worker who had met me at most twice and a ‘senior social worker’ who had never met me at all. Please read my post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’ for full details of the perjury involved…

Emma Humphreys was released from prison in 1996. By 1996 the allegations of a paedophile ring operating in north Wales had been widely discussed in the London based media. An awful lot of people who had been in the care of the north Wales social services had by then been found dead – and of course the notorious fire in Brighton had happened, killing a few more of them (please see post Further Information On Garth Angharad ‘Hospital’). The first report into the presence of a paedophile ring in the children’s homes in north Wales, the Jillings Report, was compiled in 1996. That was the report that was not published and was ordered to be pulped on the grounds that what had happened in north Wales was so dreadful that the local authorities would be uninsurable if it were made public.

As I promised in a previous post, I am about to publish more regarding the north Wales child abuse ring, it’s links to the mental health services and to ‘services’ in other parts of the UK. I have been constrained so far in that I am doing all this singlehandedly and there is an awful lot to research. However yesterday I received a most generous offer from someone following the blog – they have offered to carry out research for me. I told them that I thought that the best way to proceed would be for me to write a post to provide a lead, then perhaps they could see if they could dig up anything further.

So I hope to provide more information about the life and death of Emma Humphreys soon. And I won’t be utilising the assistance of Nigel Eastman or Helena to do it.

Helena has of course fared rather better than Emma Humphreys. Helena’s website gives full details of her many activities, positions and her numerous honorary positions – I’d love to go through them all with a fine tooth comb, but there are far too many. But two worth mentioning are – a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a Fellow of the City and Guilds (presumably that’s the same City and Guilds that Rhian Huws-Williams, former Chief Executive of the Care Council for Wales is now involved with – please see post ‘Still Lost In Care’). Of course Helena as a practicing barrister is a member of a Chambers – that Chambers is Doughty Street Chambers no less. That’s the Doughty Street Chambers where Theodore Huckle QC practices – the Theo Huckle who was Counsel General for Wales until very recently, who managed to ignore thousands of pages of documentary evidence demonstrating criminal activity in the mental health and social services in the case of one Sally Baker! (Please see post ‘Theo Huckle QC’.) But as Helena’s website tells us, she has tirelessly worked to ensure that the powerless have a voice, so it’s good to see that she is also a member of the Patient’s Association! Of course the President of the Patient’s Association is one Sir Robert Francis QC – the Robert Francis QC who demanded my imprisonment at the behest of a psychiatrist from north Wales in 1991! (Please see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’.)  I will have to ask my co-researcher if he can find out whether there are actually any patients involved in the Patient’s Association…

Of course, Helena’s book on gender in Court also had information regarding the trial of Cynthia Payne, the famous brothel keeper who was based in Streatham, south London. Cynthia’s brothel at Ambleside Avenue was famously raided in 1978 and the case came to trial in 1980, after which Cynthia was imprisoned. Media reports at the time glorified in commenting that at least one peer and one MP, as well as a number of vicars and company directors, were found in action when the brothel was raided by the police. All the high profile guests were granted anonymity and to this day they have never been named in the press. When I went to work at St Georges one of the first things that I learnt was that a number of consultants from there had been in the brothel when the police raided. Cynthia Payne was of course famous for providing out of the ordinary services, including S&M. I have no problem with consenting adults paying for such activities, but one consequence of a brothel providing those services would be people with a mutual interest in such activities getting to know  each other. Should the brothel in question be entertaining people occupying senior positions in for example, law, politics and medicine, whose fetishes may have led them to breach the law, the consequences could be very worrying.

 

 

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…

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