History Repeats Itself, First As Tragedy, Second As Farce

A story in the Welsh news yesterday certainly illustrates Marx’s famous quote.

In my post ‘Police 5, April 20 2017’ I reported on the case of a custody sergeant, Jethro Christie, at Caernarfon Police Station who had been cleared of breaking a prisoner’s collar bone after holding him in a double arm lock. The prisoner concerned, Jason Pritchard, maintained that Christie – described as an ‘international martial arts expert’ – had held him in a ‘full Nelson’ and dropped him. A Top Doctor helpfully provided evidence at the disciplinary hearing at Colwyn Bay’s North Wales Police HQ that Mr Pritchard most probably broke his collar bone when he fell off the bed in his cell. Beds in cells are quite near the floor, I would imagine that it would be difficult to sustain a bruise by falling off one, let alone a broken collar-bone. My previous post mentioned a few other things about Jethro Christie’s account that didn’t quite add up.

Sgt Christie starred in the Daily Post Online again yesterday. He was the victim of a Horrible Crime – again the action involved a prisoner in custody at Caernarfon Police Station when Christie was on duty. Christie had been assaulted by a lady called Christine McKeever. The assault in question was the accidental spilling of a drink of hot chocolate over Christie. There was no mention of Christie being scalded, so it doesn’t seem to be like one of those McDonalds Apple Pie cases that became notorious in the 80s, in which enthusiastic Mac’s customers sustained injury after biting into the Apple Pies containing fillings well beyond temperatures that should be in contact with the human mouth. Ms McKeever explained to the Court that she didn’t mean to knock the hot chocolate over Christie. None the less, she was fined £150 for assaulting him and £155 costs.

As with the two well-built aggressive male Angels employed by Ysbyty Gwynedd, Stephen Gallagher and Alan Roberts (see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’), Sgt Christie doesn’t have much luck when he’s on duty. This international martial arts expert who – like all police officers these days – will be well kitted-out with protective body armour, truncheon/cosh, spray to squirt into people’s faces and probably a taser as well (who knows, he’s probably carrying a gun too), finds himself in the company of prisoners who sustain serious injury after falling a matter of inches from their bed onto the floor – after CCTV confirmed that Christie has held them in a full Nelson and dropped them – and a lady who carries out a vicious assault upon him, accidentally, with a hot chocolate.

After Christie didn’t break Jason Pritchard’s collar bone, Richard Eccles, the Secretary of the North Wales Police Federation, commented that the disciplinary committee had produced the ‘right result’ and mentioned the ‘impact’ that the case had on Sgt Christie and his colleagues no less. So the whole station was traumatised after Christie did not break Jason’s collar bone. The North Wales Police Federation supported Gordon Anglesea until the day that he was convicted of molesting boys in care. The dear old Fed were even planning to support him in an appeal against his conviction, but most ungratefully Anglesea died in prison. So instead the North Wales Police Federation turned out in force at his funeral.

I await a statement from the North Wales Police Federation regarding the trauma suffered by Jethro after some hot chocolate was accidentally spilt in his presence, the amount of sick leave that was necessitated because of this and of course the counselling that was needed as a result of the PTSD that he subsequently developed. God knows how the rest of the station coped with the horror of it all, they’ve probably all booked themselves in for Indian head massages to relieve the stress.

 

Another case of history repeating itself in Wales now, but sadly this is yet another tragedy following on from a previous tragedy. BBC News Wales Online have been reporting on the death of 12 year old Ryan Morse in Dec 2012. Ryan died at his home in Blaenau Gwent from Addisons disease, after being ill for four months but remaining undiagnosed, despite being repeatedly seen by two GPs. Addisons is treatable – Ryan’s death was avoidable. Two GPs involved in the case have stood trial at Cardiff Crown Court for manslaughter. One doctor was cleared in May and the other doctor, Dr Joanne Rudling, has just been acquitted on the direction of Mrs Justice Nicola Davies. Dr Rudling still faces trial on a charge of perverting the course of public justice.

Like Jethro Christie, Nicola Davies is an old friend of this blog and featured in my post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’. Nicola, whilst she was still a barrister, was the QC whose opinion was sought by the Welsh Office during the Jillings investigation as to whether a public inquiry should be held into the abuse of children in care in north Wales. Nicola maintained that it would ‘not be in the public interest’ to do so. Nevertheless, the difficult questions just wouldn’t go away and the following year William Hague organised the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Inquiry. Nicola became a judge the year after Hague organised the whitewash.

Nicola has had many high points in her career. She was junior counsel to Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt in the wake of the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal, which certainly proved a useful distraction to the activities of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales (see posts ‘A UK Network’ and ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’). She moved onto greater things – she represented the dangerous surgeons in the Bristol Heart Scandal who operated beyond their competence and killed their young patients; she represented Sir Roy Meadow before the GMC, the High Court and Court of Appeal after he invented a new illness and made up silly statistics in the witness box, resulting in the wrongful imprisonment of a number of mothers for allegedly murdering their children; and she really hit the jackpot when she defended a man called Harold Shipman. Although in Court Nicola styles herself Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, Nicola is actually Dame Nicola. Of course she is after defending all those lethal Top Doctors. In 2014 Nicola was appointed Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit, which is how she came to be sitting in Cardiff Crown Court the other day acquitting yet another Top Doctor who had killed someone. What’s the betting that Nicola will preside over Dr Rudling’s trial for perverting the course of public justice as well? A charge that some of us might be tempted to suggest that Nicola herself should probably face.

Ryan is not the first schoolboy to die of Addison’s disease in south Wales after a series of GPs who were consulted failed to diagnose it. In 1990, 10 year old Robbie Powell died in Morriston Hospital in Swansea – after four months of ill-health and seven consultations with five different GPs in the two weeks preceding his death. The GPs involved in Robbie’s neglect had told so many lies and altered so many medical records that a police investigation took place. Oh guess what – no-one was convicted of anything. Robbie’s parents only found out after his death that a hospital consultant had recommended months before he died that he should be tested for Addison’s disease. This was not done. The fact that Robbie was even in hospital at all at the time of his death was bugger all to do with the lying, document-altering GPs – Robbie’s dad had driven him to hospital after Robbie collapsed at home and the GPs had refused to call an ambulance.

The full story about Robbie’s death was never revealed. What was revealed only ever became public because of Robbie’s dad William, who fought for twelve years before an investigation was carried out by Lesley Griffiths, the then Health Minister. On 9 Oct 2012, BBC News Wales online carried a report entitled ‘NHS Must Learn Lessons From Boy’s Death’. Well that’s why it’s happened all over again then. Lesley Griffiths compiled a report after the investigation and admitted that there had been a ‘catalogue of failures and missed opportunities’. Robbie’s dad maintained that Griffiths’ report was a ‘complete whitewash’ and a ‘waste of public money’ and he asked for a public inquiry into Robbie’s death. He didn’t get one, although Carwyn Jones apologised and had said that he’d be writing to the police to ask questions about the way in which the investigation into the GPs was handled. Carwyn admitted that Robbie’s family had been ‘let down badly by a system that should have protected’ Robbie.

In Jan 2013, Wales This Week reported that it had been discovered that Carwyn Jones had made 18 redactions to the Report into Robbie’s death.

Regular readers will know how often I and others are simply not believed when we tell our stories of serious institutionalised NHS corruption. I have found that if, after being accused of making it all up, I then produce some of the (mountains of) evidence that I have, a very common reaction is for the unbeliever to then tell me that ‘something might have gone wrong with your case, but the NHS treats thousands of people every day and they get excellent care’. (This line was trotted out in the face of complaint about Mid-Staffs.)

Well look what was reported by BBC News Wales as part of Lesley Griffiths’ statement in the Senedd when the (redacted) report into Robbie’s death was presented – Lesley Griffiths was quoted as saying that ‘thousands of people receive excellent care from the NHS every day but when things go wrong the service must take every opportunity to learn from these mistakes’. Not that the service ever does, because the service is screwing up constantly, misconduct is routinely covered up and denied and if some awkward sod does prove that their complaints are well founded, they’ll be given the ‘thousands of people every day’ patter. There will only very rarely be a public inquiry into a monumental cock-up and a report will often be redacted lest anyone find out just how badly things went wrong.

Now not only did Lesley know that among the ‘thousands of people receiving excellent care’ there were some of us who were not only being unlawfully refused all care after nearly dying at the hands of the NHS, but that we were being harassed and threatened as well by NHS staff. Lesley also knew that ‘the service’ was doing anything but ‘taking every opportunity’ to learn from its mistakes. How do I know that Lesley knew all this? Because at the time that she was reciting this glib, dishonest sanctimonious clap-trap, I was e mailing Lesley Griffiths about the appalling things that were happening to me at the hands of the NHS in north Wales. And I did not receive any replies – although I was writing with details of serious misconduct, in some cases criminal misconduct.

Of course the outrages that I was enduring at the hands of the NHS were nothing new, but they did become a lot worse after 2005 or so – when Brown and me started appearing in the press and academic journals discussing mental health service failure. As well as the usual arrests for ludicrous reasons and refusal to provide appropriate care, I was also being openly threatened and harassed. Some of these incidents were witnessed by members of the public who were so aghast at what they had seen Top Doctors and Angels doing that they made statements and complained to the senior managers of the North West Wales NHS Trust. Following this, these people were then threatened and harassed themselves. Whilst some of this was going on, Edwina Hart was Health Minister.

Now initially I believed that Edwina was ignoring my correspondence, because all I’d get would be a thank you and an acknowledgement and then it would go quiet. But then a friend somewhat more worldly than me stated ‘when letters like this land on a Minister’s desk they’re so hot they’ll be handled with tongs’. This man assured me that something WOULD be going on behind the scenes but because I was in a position to sue the arse off so many people in view of what was happening to me, Edwina would have to be careful what she said. He turned out to be right – following the initial acknowledgements, Edwina came up trumps, she took up my case with Martin Jones and Elfed Roberts, the two barking mad idiots running the North West Wales NHS Trust. They were rude to her and flatly refused to carry out her request to investigate my complaints. The threats and harassment continued. Edwina really did try – she acknowledged and replied regularly and when I realised just what a bloody nightmare Martin and Elfed were, I decided that it would be easiest for Edwina if I just sent her info about what was happening to me and let her deal with it, without me demanding details and updates. Edwina abolished the North West Wales NHS Trust, which in view of what was happening to me and many others at their hands was probably the only thing that she could actually do. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board came into being – and the BMA hounded Edwina out of her job. She was moved to another Ministry.

The new CEO of the Betsi, Mary Burrows, was a very different kettle of fish to Martin and Elfed, she was actually very nice and very obviously tried to take on the institutional corruption in the Betsi. And was she hated for it. I have described elsewhere the witch-hunt and vendetta against Mary from the BMA, the Top Doctors and the paedophiles’ friends. Unfortunately Martin Jones was now the Director of Workforce in the Betsi and was causing havoc – for Mary and me. I was told by a mole in the NHS that Martin blamed me for the abolition of the NW Wales NHS Trust and hated me with a vengeance. A lot of rather extreme things started happening to me – my office was rifled through on a number of occasions, post arriving at the university for me was opened and presumably read before I picked it up, my car was tampered with repeatedly and broken into on a number of occasions, someone tried to get into my house late one night but my dog saw them off, cars were driven recklessly in my direction at a high speed, a lorry tried to run me off the road, there was an attempt to run Brown and me off the road one day when we were out in the car together, a poison pen latter was sent to the authorities at the university where Brown worked stating that he was a ‘known paedophile’ (the letter was postmarked Cardiff) (see post ‘A Nasty, Ludicrous Poison Pen Letter’) – and I was followed and threatened by a policeman with a gun which I don’t think should have been in his possession. Amidst these highlights, every time I went into Bangor or Caernarfon, I would find myself followed and insulted by members of staff from the north Wales mental health services. I ended up having to move house twice and then live at an undisclosed location.

Whilst this was happening Lesley Griffiths was Health Minister. I presumed that like Edwina, Lesley Griffiths would find it easier to act if I just gave her info and left her to it for a bit without hassling her asking for answers. So I sent Lesley an awful lot of e mails, detailing just some of what was happening to me. And I waited. A long time. I do not think that I received one reply. And no, she did not seem to be acting behind the scenes either. As far as I could see, Lesley Griffiths completely ignored the very serious matters that I was e mailing her about. She knew how bad things were in the north, she’d witnessed what Edwina had to deal with.

At first I presumed that Lesley Griffiths might be a good choice for Health, because before she had been elected for Wrexham, she had been a medical secretary in Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Medical secretaries know an awful lot about troubled hospitals, they handle the letters of complaint and those threatening litigation. Wrexham Maelor, like all the hospitals in north Wales, was very troubled indeed. As Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths would have a lot more power than as a medical secretary – and she would know exactly where the problems lay. When she did absolutely sod all, I wondered if she was perhaps like a previous Health Minister, Jane Hutt – a drip of an ex social worker who was frightened to challenge the Top Doctors and co. But two years ago I attended a lecture by Lesley Griffiths in which she talked about her brilliant career. She explained that before she became an AM, she was a Councillor in Wrexham and it was really great because as a Councillor she could get streetlights fixed and ‘help the mums’ of the local kids. She could Change Things.

For what were the Councillors of Wrexham most well-known? Colluding with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Apart from Malcolm King, none of them would stick their necks out at all and ask the questions that needed to be asked about the serious abuse of kids at Bryn Estyn, the children’s home on the outskirts of Wrexham, or the Bryn Alyn Community nearby. Local doctors also colluded with the paedophiles of Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn. Those kids were turning up at GPs surgeries and local hospitals with broken bones and other injuries and no questions were asked. Sometimes the kids were sent away untreated. One teenaged boy went to a local GP with a ruptured anus. He was told that he had ‘piles’. He had been anally raped repeatedly. Meanwhile Lesley fixed the street lights and helped the mums – not the mums whose kids had been taken into ‘care’ by a gang of paedophiles obviously, they were ignored, as I was.

Earlier this summer, I was forwarded some more documents concerning the failure of the NHS to investigate my complaints. Among the many bizarre documents detailed elsewhere on this blog, there were some copies of e mails written by two notoriously dreadful NHS managers in north Wales, Simon Pyke and Adrian Jones. Pyke and Jones are no longer employed as managers by the Betsi, but they were notorious for failing to investigate complaints or respond to whistleblowers and for telling barefaced lies. Readers may remember their names from comments that other people have left on my blog. I have a copy of a seriously weird e mail written by Adrian Jones, in which he states that ‘SB’ (ie. me) has been complaining to Ministers in the Welsh Gov’t again and what a ‘nuisance’ I am. There is no record of any attempt to address the very serious matters that I was raising with the Welsh Gov’t. The Ministers that I wrote to – unsurprisingly – were the Health Ministers. Judging from the date on Jones’s e mail, he was referring to my correspondence to Lesley Griffiths and perhaps also to Mark Drakeford, who took over from Griffiths after a reshuffle. The only correspondence that I sent to Mark Drakeford detailed the major research fraud perpetuated by Professor Mark Williams at Bangor University. I did not receive a reply but a few weeks later, Drakeford took part in a photocall with Williams’s colleagues, in a PR piece promoting the research fraud that I’d given him full details of. Mark Drakeford is a former social worker who worked in Dyfed. Where a paedophile ring existed which was ignored by the social services. Dyfed Social Services were asked by Ioan Bowen Rees, the former Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, to ‘review’ Gwynedd Social Services children’s homes, after abuse was alleged. The abuse continued, so presumably that ‘review’ wasn’t very thorough. Before he was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, Bowen Rees was the County Secretary of Dyfed County Council (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).

So somehow Adrian Jones knew that I had written to the Welsh Gov’t about the NHS. I never wrote to Adrian Jones or indeed his colleagues. Yet Jones wasn’t given a copy of any of my complaints to respond to. So how did he know that I had written to the Health Ministers? I cannot help wondering if someone who once worked as a medical secretary in Wrexham might have known Adrian or one of his colleagues and told them that a nuisance was writing to Ministers about them. Heaven forbid that the same person might have told the paedophiles that the kids were complaining about being beaten and molested when people came to her with such matters in her previous incarnation as a Councillor.

‘Take a letter Ms Griffiths. I’ve killed yet more of my patients and I’m intimidating complainants so severely that they are moving house, leaving the area and going into hiding. I’m sure that I can rely on you to write exactly the same meaningless shite in response to the serious complaints that you have so helpfully written so many times before. By the way, I can see that you have abilities that far exceed those of your average medical secretary. How do fancy becoming a local Councillor? You could even move into national politics from there. Because with all these dead patients and investigations into organised child sexual abuse in the region, we could certainly do with a tame, lame, spineless fuckwit in the National Assembly representing Wrexham, where all the action is.’

Since Griffiths and Drakeford ignored my correspondence, the barrel of shit that was Tawel Fan exploded, it was admitted that the obs and gynae services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd were so dysfunctional that a hit squad was sent in by the Welsh Gov’t to ‘achieve normality’ and the recruitment crisis in the north Wales NHS has got worse and worse and worse. The Daily Post Online today reported that 37% of all medical vacancies in Wales are in the Betsi. No-one wants to work with insane, vindictive criminals who are killing and abusing their patients. Sian Gwenllian, the AM for Arfon, has Spoken Out yet again on the subject of how a medical school in Bangor is the answer. No Sian it is not. Because the medical school will be run by the criminals as well – no-one else will want to work or study there.

For fuck’s sake Carwyn, launch a police investigation into the north Wales NHS. The only good Health Minister that we’ve had has been Edwina and the biggest mistake ever was to allow the Top Doctors to hound her out. Appointing Paedophiles’ Friends to run Wales’s NHS has not been a good idea.

An article appeared on the Daily Post Online this afternoon explaining that the Councillors of Wrexham have voted against a proposal to take a pay cut in the face of their financial crisis. Services will be cut instead. I am sure that in the face of the local council tax payers complaining and becoming nuisances, the proud Councillors of Wrexham can rely on the support of their old mucker Lesley who’s showing What Women In Politics Can Do. And helping the mums whilst she Changes Things.

 

 

 

 

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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