Mr Thomas Waterhouse – An Apology

In my post ‘Pets Win Prizes’ I alleged that Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s son Thomas on one occasion played a joke on his father, by arriving to meet him in a hired Rolls Royce, only to explain to his father that the Rolls Royce wasn’t actually his, his own car was a mere Bentley.

Having just read the relevant chapter in Sir Ronald’s autobiography again, I realised that I made a terrible mistake. Thomas Waterhouse did indeed own the Rolls Royce in question – the joke was that it was a Rolls Royce that Thomas had bought second hand, but for a moment Sir Ronnie believed that Thomas had purchased the Rolls NEW!!! No, it was just a second hand Rolls and the Bentley that I mentioned was, in Sir Ronnie’s words, Thomas’s ‘splendid’ ‘second car’.

I do apologise to Thomas. As I repeatedly stress when I receive e mails from the paedophiles’ friends telling me that one day I’ll be sued and oooh I’ll be in trouble then, I am always happy to correct anything on the blog which is inaccurate.

Sir Ronnie encountered Thomas’s second hand Rolls Royce when in March 1997 Ronnie took a welcome break from his onerous duties Chairing the Waterhouse Tribunal and visited Thomas in Hong Kong. Ronnie was quite fed up listening to the tales of woe from former kids in care in north Wales and as Ronnie emphasised himself they were talking of things that happened a very long time ago…

Yawn. God it’s tedious listening to people banging on about being gang raped and buggered when they were twelve and then locked in a dungeon at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and subsequently falling into a sad life of crime and poverty. We told them as they were moaning on about it when they were kids that we really didn’t want to hear about it, couldn’t they have taken the hint then?

As Ria Stanley – the former nurse manager of the Hergest Unit – told me when she bumped into me in Tesco in Bangor before I had to flee north Wales, ‘best not to talk about it’. At least Ria had the decency to start crying when she walked away which is more than Ronnie fucking Waterhouse did.

Anyone for a good dinner at the Garrick?

Ria was the nurse on duty in the Hergest Unit on the first occasion that a sectioned Hergest patient was tasered by the police for ‘refusing his medication’. I was told that this was the first occasion in the UK that an inpatient had been tasered. Not many of us knew that it had happened – it was kept very, very quiet…

The North Wales Police soon got the hang of it though, as did the Angels. The police were thereafter regularly summoned to the Hergest Unit to wave the taser about at distressed people who had been assaulted by the staff. The North Wales Police really pushed the boat out on one occasion when they tasered an elderly man with dementia who had ‘run away’ from his ‘care home’ in Llandudno. The rationale given by the police was that they had to taser him to save his life because he had picked up a broken bottle and was threatening to cut his wrist with it.

Police: he was an elderly man with dementia. It is not possible to kill oneself quickly with a broken bottle even if one is young and strong – it takes a great deal of sawing through flesh and arteries and then many hours of slow bleeding which will not result in death anyway unless one has sliced through certain crucial vessels. Next time that you encounter a distressed elderly man who is suicidal, try offering him a cup of tea. It works wonders.

Mark Polin, the Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, is retiring in a few weeks time. In the autumn he will be taking up the post of Chairman of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – which is still firmly in denial in the wake of the Tawel Fan Scandal which involved the abuse of elderly patients with dementia.

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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