BBC News Wales, the ‘Daily Post’ and the ‘Western Mail’ have reported that 71 year old Bryan Davies has been found guilty at Mold Crown Court of 29 historical sex offences against boys who lived at the ‘private children’s home’ Ystrad Hall in Llangollen in the late 1970s, where Bryan Davies was Deputy Principal.
Yes, Bryan Davies is one who has been apprehended as a result of Operation Pallial. During the trial three more men came forward to say that they’d been abused by Davies as boys. The Operation Pallial team re-interviewed eight other men who had previously made complaints against Davies.
Davies was initially arrested in Oct 2013 in relation to him contacting three boys over the internet and inciting them to take part in sexual acts. While on bail Davies fled to Malta but was arrested under a European arrest warrant and extradited to the UK. Davies had been living in Sussex.
It was reported that Bryan Davies went on the run during the trial, was found in an hotel in Folkestone, slit his throat and was taken to King’s College Hospital in order to be operated on. I think that is why sentencing has not taken place yet. Davies is due to be sentenced on June 1.
Bryan Davies is one of those who was somehow not apprehended by the 1991-93 North Wales Police investigation into the abuse of children in care and of course the £13 million Waterhouse Inquiry also missed Bryan Davies. From what is being reported, boys complained about Davies assaulting them years ago. So there is now a 71 year old paedophile in King’s College Hospital following a suicide attempt.
I have argued previously on this blog that pursuing the now elderly sex offenders who were afforded complete protection by every part of the British state whilst witnesses and victims were murdered is farcical. However, it seems that Bryan Davies has continued his sex offending into old age, so yes, bringing him to trial can be justified because he was still active.
Sadly many of the people who knew about Bryan Davies’s offences years ago and protected him will never stand trial because they were all guaranteed legal indemnity if they agreed to give evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry, even if they lied. For example these people:
Neither will the people who protected the people pictured above ever stand trial.
Such as the man on the left in this photo:
Neither will any of the many people who looked the other way as some of us were screaming as loudly as we could ever stand trial. Such as:
Many others who passed by on the other side can be found in the Commons, in the Lords, running the UK’s health and care system or in the Inns of Court. I’m sure that they will be delighted at the conviction of one 71 year old man and use this to reassure us that there is Zero Tolerance re sex offences in our nation.
Another glass of champagne Professor Bluglass?
My post ‘Feet In Chains’ suggested that Dafydd, the paedophiles and their friends should all be detained in one of Dafydd’s own ‘nursing homes’ under the Mental Capacity or Mental Health Act – they would be treated far worse in there than they ever would be in prison. If pigs started flying and Dafydd was ever put on trial and imprisoned, he would be one of those celebrity prisoners who receive special treatment because of their links with organised crime, such as Ronnie Kray did when he was in Broadmoor. When it was revealed that Ronnie Kray was being supplied with luxuries and privileges and that the Angels of Broadmoor deferred to him, a number of politicians appeared in the media fuming. What did they expect? Jimmy Savile and his mate had been appointed managers – by Thatcher’s Health Minister Trumpers – and two of the civil service mandarins in the Dept of Health at the time were known associates of paedophiles (see posts ‘Socio-Political Context Of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’ and ‘The Old Devils’). Furthermore, it was Top Doctors like Dafydd and Bluglass who decided who ended up in Broadmoor and it was their Top Doctor mates at Broadmoor who decided what ‘treatment programmes’ patients were placed on.
Whilst pondering on the Ronnie Kray and Broadmoor business, I remembered another high profile villain of yesteryear who did so well out of the inadequacies of the British criminal justice system that I can only conclude that like Ronnie Kray – who was mates with various well-connected people such as Lord Bob Boothby, the bisexual swinging Conservative politician who had an affair with Harold Macmillan’s wife Dorothy as well as a great many other people – this man had help from people in high places. I am thinking of Ronnie Biggs.
My post ‘So Who Was Angry About What?’ mentions that in late 1962/early 1963, two west country farmers in financial difficulties received a letter from a London solicitor inviting them to a meeting where they ‘would hear something to their benefit’. The farmers had barely visited London in their lives and had never heard of the solicitor, Theodore Goddard. They were then visited by a rep of Theodore Goddard who offered them cash to the value of their farm but didn’t actually want to buy it off them. Theodore Goddard wanted them to move out of the farm for a few months, allow the clients of Theodore Goddard to ‘use the farm’ and then move back in. The farmers were terrified and presumed that they were dealing with crooks, so refused the generous offer. The farmers subsequently put their farm on the market and as they were shifting all their stuff out, the farmer’s wife told me that Theodore Goddard turned up again with literally cases of used notes, telling them what idiots they were not to do the deal. The Great Train Robbery happened months later and the farmers noticed the similarity of the farm used by Biggs et al to their own. They had no proof that the weird letter and worrying men from Theodore Goddard were connected to Mr Biggs et al but they never stopped wondering. They kept the letter for years which was how they were able to give me details of what was in it.
A further twist was that one reason why the farmers had ended up in such financial difficulty was that they had done business with a company with which Harold Macmillan’s son was a Director and they had been ripped off – along with a lot of other farmers. The company had contracted farmers to breed and raise pigs on their behalf, but no-one was ever paid – I was told that it was quite a well-known scandal at the time and that a lot of people lost a lot of money, after having been duped into doing business with a company starring Maurice Macmillan, because after all he was the PM’s son, so it had to be OK.
I was reminded of all this last summer when I read a biography of Bertrand Russell. Russell used his solicitors to really shaft people, including his own son John, who had mental health problems. Russell’s solicitors were Theodore Goddard. My post ‘So Who Was Angry About What?’ details the trail of havoc and broken lives that Russell left in his wake and his highly sexually exploitative ways. Members of Russell’s family had a penchant for acquiring diagnoses of schizophrenia and Russell was always ready to stress their unacceptable and unfathomable behaviour and what a trial for him it was to have Mental Illness In The Family. People close to Russell’s Mad Relatives told a story of Russell behaving appallingly, of abuse and intimidation and of Top Docs being asked by Russell to bang up those bloody relatives who were making such a nuisance of themselves.
One of Russell’s relatives who had a particularly hard time was his granddaughter Lucy, who set fire to herself and as a result died at the age of 26. Lucy had been virtually brought up by Russell, after he succeeded in having her father deemed as too crackers to have custody of his own daughter. Like her dad, Lucy was told that she had schizophrenia. Before this diagnosis Lucy had told people that she felt very uncomfortable about her grandfather’s behaviour towards her…
Russell spent his later years living at Penrhyndeudraeth in what is now Gwynedd. It was there that Lucy lived with him for extended periods of time. The area in which Russell lived was an interesting one sociologically because of the presence of an Anglo-Welsh aristocrat nearby, Clough Williams Ellis. Clough owned an estate in Cwm Croesor and let his properties out to his friends – many of whom were well-known bohemians, activists and writers – during the middle years of the 20th century. A great many well-known people passed through Cwm Croesor. The most famous ones were people like Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson, but a bit of digging throws up a picture of, it seems, nearly every high profile artist/writer/activist crashing out there for at least some time. They were referred to as the Welsh Bloomsbury set.
Some of Clough’s circle were moneyed aristocrats. I recently bought an extract from Bertrand Russell’s diaries in which he recorded his visits to Clough’s place with his friends and most of those mentioned are landowning gentry from across north Wales, such as Lord and Lady Aberconway. Russell also spent time with Woodrow Wyatt – Wyatt was a man who, although he was a Labour MP, ended up as an adviser to and friend of Margaret Thatcher (An Appalling Vista’).
So Cwm Croesor attracted a curious mix of posh people, bohemians, Communists and peace activists, some of whom wanted to start a revolution. Then there were the local people – Welsh speakers who worked in quarrying or farming. Croesor was probably the first Welsh speaking area in north Wales which experienced mass inward migration of English people. I collected data for a community study of Croesor some six years ago and I found that although at one time the local people seemed to live quite harmoniously with the visitors, by the early 1970s relationships had become quite fraught. Various people made various suggests as to why that was, but I don’t want to publish that here.
What is salient regarding this blog is that I discovered that Dafydd et al had impacted on Croesor. Which is hardly surprising – Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist impacted everywhere. In 1964 the social anthropologist Isabel Emmett published ‘A North Wales Village: A Social Anthropological Study’, a community study of Llanfrothen, the village just down the road from Croesor. Isabel was a social anthropologist from Manchester University who married a man from Llanfrothen and she knew the community well. Her book caused a degree of aggro because some of the villagers felt that she’d sleighted them. Isabel mentioned for example that there was a high rate of illegitimacy in this Nonconformist Welsh speaking village. One of the villagers made the point to me in defence of his village’s reputation that ‘all those illegitimate children belonged to one mother’.
Another book was written about life in Croesor by Philip O’Connor, ‘Living In Croesor’ and another of the writers who lived there wrote a novel based on people whom he knew in the village.
Material written about Croesor/Llanfrothen often contains the observation that there was a degree of distress and dysfunction on the part of some people in the area. That is of course true of everywhere, but in some of the relationships between people in Croesor/Llanfrothen there were substantial power differentials. Isabel’s book mentions that certain Top Doctors and lawyers in the wider region were in such powerful positions that people really did fear crossing their paths, because ruination would result. When I read that, I immediately wondered ‘Dafydd and Gwynne?’ I now wonder ‘William Mars-Jones?’ as well.
Then I read a terribly sad account of a young woman who had been taken down to Croesor by her new husband in the 1950s/60s, a man much older than her, where they lived in very difficult circumstances. Or at least she did. He buried himself in his poetry and writing, drank very heavily and went out to see his mates. He then left her for another woman. What happened to her? Er – she was declared mad and taken to the North Wales Hospital where she stayed until it closed decades later. Or as we now know, until only parts of the hospital closed. She was finally released in the 1990s, an old lady, who was parked in Betws-y-Coed to live out her days. The precipitating factor that caused this woman’s crisis was, I seem to remember, a pregnancy that her husband wasn’t too happy about…
I know enough about Dafydd and Gwynne to know that influential yet exploitative/abusive people with money who might want to shut someone up would find Dafydd and Gwynne very useful. Bertrand Russell was living at Penrhyndeudraeth when he was informing Theodore Goddard that members of his family were insane and should be locked up in their own interests.
Dafydd! Did you perchance ever have dealings with a Nobel Prize winning polymath peace campaigning friend of Tariq Ali who wasn’t quite what the wider world thought that he was? I think we should be told.
I was told by one of my interviewees that there had been a big problem in the area because until – I think – 1968, there was no Welsh speaking social worker available, so Welsh people were being hauled off to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh on the basis of an interview conducted in a foreign language. An advance had allegedly been made when a Welsh speaking social worker was appointed, from the locality. Of course I think that people should be assessed in a language that they speak – and feel comfortable with – if they are at risk of being hauled off to an asylum. But this is Dafydd and Gwynne we are talking about. They could have offered interviews in English, Welsh and Japanese and decisions would still not have been taken in the best interests of the patient.
Dafydd and Gwynne were running a hell-hole with a dungeon in which they incarcerated the victims of a paedophile gang. The Welsh-speaking social worker would have been working for Dafydd and Gwynne.
I was not given the name of the Welsh speaking social worker who’s presence at Croesor was supposed to constrain the activities of the paedophiles’ friends, but in about 2004 I had an encounter with a Welsh speaking social worker who lived in Croesor.
This was at the height of my battles with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team, after I had narrowly escaped prison following yet another attempt to frame me and after many years of enduring Keith Fearns’s unpleasantness and harassment in the face of Gwynedd Social Services flat refusal to take action against Fearns.
So some thirteen years ago I decided to try and obtain a copy of my records from Gwynedd Social Services. Someone had told me that Fearns et al now had a new manager who was actually trying to address their dreadful conduct. That manager was a man called Merfyn Hughes. I ended up having a phone conversation with Mr Hughes – it was a fraught conversation because Mr Hughes insisted on referring to me as a ‘service user’. I told him that I wasn’t a ‘service user’, I was a human being and furthermore I had never received a ‘service’ from Fearns and the Arfon Team, only constant aggro. However to be fair to him, Mr Hughes told me that he would request a copy of the records that the Arfon Team had compiled on me (even though I had never been a ‘client’ of theirs). Further telephone calls to Mr Hughes revealed that the Arfon Team were ignoring his requests. So Mr Hughes told me that he would personally visit the Arfon Team’s offices and retrieve the records himself. I understand that he did do this. I did eventually receive a copy of these records, although the harassment from Fearns et al continued. However I was later told that Merfyn Hughes had never managed to get the Arfon Team under control and that he had now retired.
In 2011 I was told that a man who had once been Elfyn Llwyd’s electoral agent (Llwyd is a barrister and the former Plaid MP for Dwyfor Meirionydd) had been found dead in rather strange circumstances. This job description didn’t mean anything to me – but I was then told his name, Merfyn Hughes and that he’d been a social worker with Gwynedd. I realised that this was the man who had braved Fearns and extracted my files in person.
I googled the story and found this newspaper report detailing Mr Hughes’s death http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/man-died-after-falling-down-1845258
So the inquest at Caernarfon held by the notorious Dewi Pritchard Jones heard that Merfyn had been drinking in the Bron Danw Arms and that the pub landlord had said that he ‘wasn’t sober’. He left the pub at 2 am to walk home. He never got home – his body was found 36 hours later in the garden of somebody else’s house, behind a greenhouse, at the bottom of an embankment and could not be seen from the road or the house. Detective Inspector Brian Kearney stated that there were marks on the footpath above the embankment consistent with someone having rolled down the embankment and that one of Mr Hughes’s shoelaces was undone. A post-mortem showed no signs of a head injury and tests showed little alcohol in his blood at the time of death. Pathologist Mark Lord said that death was due to hypothermia.
Dewi recorded a verdict of accidental death and then reached a quite extraordinary conclusion as to how Mr Hughes’s death occurred, even by Dewi’s standards – ‘he somehow slipped and fell down the embankment but nothing to show he tried to get out. It appears that he fell asleep, the cold took over and he later died’. Now I don’t know about Dewi, but if I fell down an embankment in the early hours of the morning and landed in someone else’s garden, I don’t think that I’d then decide to have a nap on the spot rather than try to get out. And even if I did make such a decision I very much doubt that I’d be able to get such a good night’s sleep that I’d die of hypothermia somewhere along the way. And if the pub landlord had stated that Merfyn ‘wasn’t sober’, why was there ‘little alcohol’ in his blood at the time of death? It’s also fascinating that at some point after falling down the embankment, going to sleep and dying, Mr Hughes managed to conceal his body behind a greenhouse in a spot where it could not be seen from the road or house.
People in Gwynedd have become used to reading Dewi’s bizarre speculations when people with mental health problems have been found dead – but it would seem that people working in the mental health services are also found dead in inexplicable circumstances, only for Dewi Pritchard Jones to conjure up a most unlikely explanation for their death.
Anyone for re-opening an investigation into Merfyn Hughes’s death? Let alone for doing a bit of digging regarding the identity of the tame Top Doctor whom Bertrand Russell had on tap and finding out how many vulnerable people who had been stung by Russell’s mates were hauled off to Denbigh, suffering from the vapours/a wandering womb/spermattorrhea/cottage ignition syndrome/paranoid schizophrenia/manic depressive insanity or other serious conditions that Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist knows all about?
‘Denbigh is unique’ – Dafydd, circa 1994.
To return to Ronnie Biggs, who may perhaps have known a firm of solicitors called Theodore Goddard.
John Theodore Goddard founded the law firm bearing his name based in London. The firm merged with Addleshaw Booth & Co in May 2003 to become Addleshaw Goddard. Theodore Goddard was the solicitor appointed by Wallis Simpson as an adviser to her during divorce proceedings. When King Edward VIII’s intention to marry Wallis became known, Goddard became closely involved in the abdication negotiations, at the behest of PM Stanley Baldwin. Goddard personally negotiated with Wallis, the King and the PM.
Theodore Goddard’s early reputation enabled him to attract as a valuable client the newly created office of the Public Trustee. It was the Public Trustee who collaborated with Dafydd when he fleeced Mary Wynch decades later.
John Theodore Goddard retired as senior partner in 1950 and died in 1952. The 1950s saw a period of further growth through amalgamation with, in particular, the City firm of Deacons & Pritchard (founded in 1834) and the firm of Rhys Roberts & Co (founded in 1883 by future PM David Lloyd George, a partner of the firm until his Parliamentary duties grew too burdensome).
The firm was again caught up in the Profumo Affair. In 1963, then senior partner Derek Clogg was instructed by Profumo. At the time of the Profumo Affair, Lord Astor was married to his third wife, Bronwen. Bronwen went to school in Dolgellau and was the daughter of a Welsh judge. See post ‘In Memoriam – Bronwen, Lady Astor’ for details of the Profumo Affair, the involvement of Trumpers and others. Theodore Goddard & Co was referred to in Hansard as ‘a solicitor of the highest reputation and widest experience’ who ‘has had great experience in cases dealing with libel, with divorce and all those matters where human frailty and possible lying may come into account’. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Theodore Goddard & Co attracted many company clients and the commercial side of the practice grew rapidly.
More recently Theodore Goddard has retained a strong media and entertainment law practice alongside a private client capability (including private tax work for members of The Rolling Stones and David Bowie). The firm occasionally gave rise to high-profile cases involving celebrities including the firm’s instruction in relation to the ‘Hello!’ magazine dispute over photographs of Catherine Zeta-Jones wedding to and its appointment by Michael Jackson to advise on the ‘Living With Michael’ documentary.
Ronnie Biggs was born in Lambeth and in 1947, at age 18, Biggs enlisted in the RAF. He was dishonourably discharged two years later, after breaking into a local chemist shop. One month after that, he was convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to prison. On his release, he took part in a failed robbery attempt of a bookmaker office in Lambeth. During his incarceration in HMP Wandsworth, he met Bruce Reynolds, The Brains in the Great Train Robbery.
After his third prison sentence, Biggs tried to go straight and trained as a carpenter. In Feb 1960, he married Charmian. Biggs, who needed money to fund a deposit on the purchase of a house for his family, was working on the house of a train driver who was about to retire. The driver’s real name is unknown, since he was never caught. He was the one who introduced Biggs to the train robbery plot.
The gang then stopped the mail train from Glasgow to London in the early hours of 8 Aug 1963. The robbery yielded the participants £2.6 million (equivalent to £49 million in 2017); Biggs’s share was £147,000 (equivalent to £2,824,900 in 2018). Three weeks later, Biggs was arrested in South London, along with 11 other members of the gang. In 1964, nine of the 15-strong gang, including Biggs, were jailed for the crime. Most received sentences of 30 years. Lord Edmund-Davies was the judge who presided over the trial and many thought that the sentences were too severe. Edmund-Davies was one of the paedophiles’ friends of Wales.
Biggs served 15 months before escaping from Wandsworth Prison on 8 July 1965, scaling the wall with a rope ladder and dropping onto a waiting removal van. He fled to Brussels by boat, then sent a note to his wife to join him in Paris where he had acquired new identity papers and was undergoing plastic surgery. During his time in prison, Charmian had started an extramarital relationship and was pregnant by the time of his escape to the Continent. Choosing to support her husband, she had an illegal abortion in London and then travelled with their two sons to Paris to join Biggs.
So thus far, it sounds as though there were some helpful prison officers who didn’t see anything or hear anything and some Top Docs willing to assist without asking questions.
In 1966, Biggs fled to Australia. By that time Biggs and his family had spent all but £7,000 (equivalent to £119,700 in 2018) of his £147,000 share of the train robbery proceeds: £40,000 (equivalent to £683,800 in 2018) on plastic surgery in Paris; £55,000 (equivalent to £940,200 in 2018) paid as a package deal to get him out of the UK to Australia; and the rest on legal fees and expenses.
LEGAL FEES?? He was an escaped robber…Was the bill from Theodore Goddard?
In 1967, Biggs received an anonymous letter from Britain telling him that Interpol suspected that he was in Australia, so he moved from Sydney to Melbourne. Biggs had a number of jobs in Melbourne before undertaking set construction work at the Channel 9 TV studios. In Oct 1969, a newspaper report by a Reuters correspondent revealed that Biggs was living in Melbourne and claimed that police were closing in on him. Biggs fled his home, staying with family friends in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Five months later, he fled on a passenger liner from the Port of Melbourne, using the altered passport of a friend; his wife and sons remained in Australia. Twenty days later, the ship berthed in Panama and within two weeks Biggs had flown to Brazil.
Following disclosure of Biggs’ fathering a child in Brazil, Charmian agreed to a divorce which was completed in 1976. Allowed by authorities to remain in Australia, she sold her story for £40,000 to an Australian media group to enable her to purchase the rented house that the family had lived in at the time of Biggs’s flight to Brazil. Charmian later became an editor, publisher and journalist. Her sons—who later visited Biggs a few times in Brazil— live anonymously. In 2012 Charmian acted as a consultant on the five-part ITV Studios docu-drama Mrs Biggs.
In 1970, when Biggs arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil did not have an extradition treaty with the UK. In 1974, ‘Daily Express’ reporter Colin MacKenzie received information suggesting that Biggs was in Rio de Janeiro. This confirmed and the story broke. Jack Slipper of the Yard arrived soon afterwards, but Biggs could not be extradited because his girlfriend, nightclub dancer Raimunda de Castro, was pregnant. Brazilian law at the time did not allow a parent of a Brazilian child to be extradited.
During 1974, in Rio, Biggs, collaborated others to record Mailbag Blues, a musical narrative of his life that he intended to use as a movie soundtrack. This album was left undiscovered until it was finally released in 2004 by whatmusic.com.
In April 1977 Biggs attended a cocktail party on board a Royal Navy frigate which was in Rio for a courtesy visit, but he was not arrested. Though in Brazil he was safe from extradition, Biggs’s status as a known felon meant he could not work, visit bars or be away from home after 10:00 p.m. To provide an income, Biggs’s family hosted barbecues at his home in Rio, where tourists could meet Biggs and hear him recount his involvement in the robbery. Biggs was even visited by former footballer Stanley Matthews. Around this time, “Ronnie Biggs” mugs, coffee cups and T-shirts also appeared throughout Rio.
Biggs recorded vocals on two songs for The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, Julien Temple’s film about the Sex Pistols. Not only did Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungeon come to their ends in questionable circumstances, but one who knew them, Adam Ant aka Stuart Goddard, had some very bad experiences with the Top Docs, experiences which Stuart Goddard was prevented from talking about in the media.
In March 1981, Biggs was kidnapped by a gang of British ex-soldiers. The boat they took him aboard suffered mechanical problems off Barbados and the stranded kidnappers and Biggs were rescued by the Barbados coastguard and towed into port. The kidnappers hoped to collect a reward from the British police; however, like Brazil, Barbados was found to have had no valid extradition treaty with the United Kingdom (a fact which chess player David Levy claimed to have paid lawyers to unearth) and Biggs was sent back to Brazil. In Feb 2006, Channel 4 aired a documentary featuring dramatisations of the attempted kidnapping and interviews with the ex-British Army soldier who carried it out. The ITN reporter Desmond Hamill paid to accompany Biggs on the private Learjet returning him to Brazil and secured an exclusive interview.
Biggs’s son by de Castro, Michael Biggs, eventually became a member of a successful children’s programme and music band, bringing a new source of income to his father. In a short time, however, the band faded into obscurity, leaving father and son in financial difficulty again.
In 1991, Biggs sang vocals for a German punk band and in 1993, Biggs sang on three tracks for an album by an Argentinian punk band.
In 1997 the UK and Brazil ratified an extradition treaty. Two months later, the UK Gov’t made a formal request to the Brazilian Gov’t for Biggs’s extradition. Biggs had stated that he would no longer oppose extradition. English lawyer Nigel Sangster QC travelled to Brazil to advise Biggs. The extradition request was rejected by the Brazilian Supreme Court, giving Biggs the right to live in Brazil for the rest of his life.
In 2001 Biggs announced to ‘The Sun’ newspaper that he would be willing to return to the UK. Having 28 years of his sentence left to serve, Biggs was aware that he would be detained upon arrival in Britain. His trip back on a private jet was paid for by ‘The Sun’, which reportedly paid Michael Biggs, Ronnie’s son, £20,000 plus other expenses in return for exclusive rights to the news story. Biggs arrived on 7 May 2001, whereupon he was immediately arrested and re-imprisoned.
Michael said that, contrary to some press reports, Biggs did not return to the UK simply to receive health care. On 14 November 2001, Biggs petitioned Governor Hynd of HMP Belmarsh for early release on compassionate grounds based on his poor health. He had been treated four times at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich in less than six months. His health was deteriorating rapidly and he asked to be released into the care of his son for his remaining days. The application was denied. On 10 Aug 2005, it was reported that Biggs had contracted MRSA. His representatives, seeking for his release on grounds of compassion, said that their client’s death was likely to be imminent. On 26 Oct 2005, the Home Secretary Charles Clarke declined his appeal stating that his illness was not terminal. Home Office compassion policy is to release prisoners with three months left to live. Biggs was claimed by Michael to need a tube for feeding and to have ‘difficulty’ speaking.
On 4 July 2007, Biggs was moved from Belmarsh Prison to Norwich Prison on compassionate grounds. In Dec 2007, Biggs issued a further appeal, from Norwich Prison, asking to be released from jail to die with his family: ‘I am an old man and often wonder if I truly deserve the extent of my punishment. I have accepted it and only want freedom to die with my family and not in jail. I hope Mr. Straw decides to allow me to do that. I have been in jail for a long time and I want to die a free man. I am sorry for what happened. It has not been an easy ride over the years. Even in Brazil I was a prisoner of my own making. There is no honour to being known as a Great Train Robber. My life has been wasted.’
In Jan 2009, after a series of strokes that were said to have rendered him unable to speak or walk, it was claimed in the press that Biggs was to be released in Aug 2009 and would die a ‘free man’. Michael had also claimed that the Parole Board might bring the release date forward to July 2009. On 13 Feb 2009, it was reported that Biggs had been taken to hospital from his cell at Norwich Prison, suffering from pneumonia. This was confirmed the following day by Michael, who said Biggs had serious pneumonia but was stable. News of his condition prompted fresh calls from Michael Biggs for his release on compassionate grounds.
On 23 April the Parole Board recommended that Biggs be released on 4 July, having served a third of his 30-year sentence. However, on 1 July Jack Straw did not accept the Parole Board’s recommendation and refused parole, stating that Biggs was ‘wholly unrepentant’. On 28 July 2009, Biggs was readmitted to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with pneumonia. He had been admitted to the same hospital a month earlier with a chest infection and a fractured hip but returned to prison on 17 July 2009. His son said: ‘It’s the worst he’s ever been. The doctors have just told me to rush there.’
On 30 July 2009, it was claimed by representatives of Biggs that he had been given ‘permission’ to challenge the decision to refuse him parole. However, the Home Office stated only that an application for the early release on compassionate grounds of a prisoner at HMP Norwich had been received by the public protection casework section in the National Offender Management Service. Biggs was released from custody on 6 August, two days before his 80th birthday, on ‘compassionate grounds’.
Following his release from prison, Biggs’s health improved, leading to suggestions that he might soon be moved from hospital to a nursing home. In response to claims that Biggs’s state of health had been faked, his lawyer stated, ‘This man is going to die, there is going to be no Lazarus coming back from the dead, he is ill, he is seriously ill.’ Biggs himself stated, ‘I’ve got a bit of living to do yet. I might even surprise them all by lasting until Christmas, that would be fantastic.’
On 29 May 2010, Biggs was again admitted to hospital in London after complaining of chest pain. He underwent tests at Barnet General Hospital. Michael stated that ‘he’s conscious but he’s in a lot of pain’. In Aug 2010, it was claimed by the ‘Sunday Mirror’ that Biggs would be attending a gala dinner where he would be collecting a lifetime achievement award for his services to crime.
On 10 Feb 2011, Biggs was admitted to Barnet General Hospital with another suspected stroke. Michael said he was conscious and preparing to have a CT scan and a series of other tests to determine what had happened. On 17 November 2011, Biggs launched his new and updated autobiography, Ronnie Biggs: Odd Man Out – The Last Straw, at Shoreditch House, London. He was unable to speak and used a Word board to communicate with the press.
On 12 Jan 2012, ITV Studios announced it had commissioned the drama Mrs Biggs. Charmian Biggs acted as a consultant on the series and travelled to Britain from Australia to visit Biggs in Feb 2012, just before the filming.
In March 2013, Biggs attended the funeral of fellow train robber, Bruce Reynolds. In July 2013, The Great Train Robbery 50th Anniversary:1963–2013 was published, with input from Biggs and Reynolds.
On 18 Dec 2013, aged 84, Biggs died at the Carlton Court Care Home in Barnet. The Rev Dave Tomlinson officiated at Biggs’ funeral, for which he drew public criticism; Tomlinson responded to critics by reminding everyone ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’.
Ronnie Biggs got a rather better deal out of the British criminal justice system and certainly from the NHS than any victim of Dafydd and the paedophiles ever did. Somehow they never managed to escape from prison, although a lot of them were found dead on the ‘medical wing’ in Risley Remand Centre. They didn’t continue to live for years after Top Docs stated that they should be released on compassionate grounds because the end was imminent, indeed a lot of them told Top Docs of serious health problems only to be told in response that there was nothing wrong with them. Neither were they feted by the media. They were denounced as nutters and addicts who had been ‘feral children’ or ‘out of control’ when they were young. If they ever demonstrated that they had been fitted up for crimes, they would be reminded that they were ‘no angel’ and ‘had got away with lots of other things’. But then they didn’t have access to the services of people like Theodore Goddard.
There were people who did object very strongly to the making of a folk hero out of Ronnie Biggs, but in his defence Biggs and co reminded everyone that he was an honest thief, he never killed nobody. The son of the train driver who was coshed on the head during the robbery pointed out that his dad never recovered from his injury. Biggs’ supporters retorted that the train driver died years later of an unrelated condition. Not only do head injuries have long term devastating consequences, but the Top Docs seemed to be keen to help Biggs et al and could well have decided not to flag up the degree of damage done to the train driver.
Even if Biggs et al had not injured anyone, the thing that worries me is the number of crooked professional people who were prepared to help Biggs and his mates. At least some of them will have been among those who helped Dafydd and the paedophiles. That is why, 50 yrs after John Allen opened the Bryn Alyn Community and after two police investigations, one ‘independent’ investigation and a £13 million Judicial Inquiry into the abuse of children in care in north Wales since 1974, a 71 year old paedophile is currently in King’s College Hospital after escaping during his trial, when he was finally charged with numerous offences that he committed 40 yrs ago. And still we are told that there was no cover-up in north Wales.
Career criminals like Brains Bruce Reynolds make contacts with corrupt professional people via many routes. However I note that before he embarked on his life of crime, Reynolds worked in the Middlesex Hospital. Which was where Gwynne the lobotomist trained and which supplied an alumni network that protected him until the day that he died. In old age, of cancer. Not by hanging in Risley Remand Centre when he was 19 after he complained of being repeatedly sexually assaulted.
Other news from north Wales is that a carer at the Heddfan Unit has been jailed for more than five years after appearing in Caernarfon Crown Court for having sex with a patient ‘young enough to be his daughter’. Not just once, but on a number of occasions. Neither did this sound like a Mills and Boon hospital romance – the carer was involved in a relationship with his ex-wife as well as another woman. The patient has stated that she now realises that she was exploited. Presumably Dr Peter Higson, the Chair of the Betsi Board, is now investigating complaints of staff sexually exploiting patients. That’s a new direction – Higson ignored complaints about Dafydd doing this for years when Higson was the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. The carer concerned had worked at the Heddfan Unit since 2001.
In 2006 the Heddfan carer was convicted for ‘outraging public decency’ in a ‘flashing incident’, but the Health Board didn’t know and his employment continued. Can someone explain how his employers didn’t know about that? In 2006 the Betsi Board had not been created – the Heddfan Unit was still managed by the Welsh Gov’t, but by a previous NHS Trust. In 2006 Gangster Gibbons was Health Minister – Gangster Gibbons wrote to me at that time telling me that ‘this correspondence is closed’ when I told him that I had documentary evidence of serious criminal activity in the mental health services in north Wales. Gangster Gibbons knew as well as the rest of us that staff should have been regularly CRB checked to guard against this sort of event. So why didn’t that happen then Gibbons? Furthermore, I know that Martin Jones at the NW Wales NHS Trust wasn’t carrying out CRB checks on his staff either, two different moles told me. Until very recently Martin Jones was Director of the Workforce at the Betsi. Martin Jones’s wrongdoing was one matter about which Gangster Gibbons closed down correspondence with me. For more details on Gangster Gibbons and his deep and meaningful relationship with another fraudster of south Wales, Julian Tudor Hart, see post ‘The Human Stain’.
The sex fiend of the Heddfan Unit was not the only carer in north Wales in trouble. An ‘incompetent care worker’, Lee Woods, employed by Wrexham County Borough Council, has been struck off by a Social Care Wales fitness to practice committee, who concluded that he posed a risk to young people and could not be relied upon the deliver a service ‘to individuals’. The concerns were that Woods failed to carry out his boss’s instructions, which included failing to complete housing and welfare rights applications for clients and submitting inaccurate expense claims. Once more, I can only suppose that standards are improving. For years social workers – including senior social workers such as ‘team leader’ Keith Fearns – employed by Gwynedd Social Services flatly refused to give scores of people any ‘service’ at all. Those people did not know about the benefits to which they were entitled so they lived at sub-benefit level and had no chance of gaining accommodation unless they rented or purchased privately because to gain social housing, mental health patients in Gwynedd needed their application endorsed by the Arfon CMHT. The reason for their refusal to assist certain clients was always the same – that they had ‘upset people’. Translated that meant that they’d complained about Dafydd and the paedophiles.
I don’t know if the Arfon Team submitted fraudulent expense claims, but I’d imagine that they’d find that particular temptation hard to resist. They did used to sit in Bangor Morrison’s cafe every morning from 9-30 until 11-30 enjoying a cooked breakfast when they were supposed to be on duty down the road in their office. But then the team alcohol counsellor Tom Harney was an alcoholic who ran a pub on the north Wales coast. When Mary Burrows kicked Harney out, he got a job with Dafydd’s charity CAIS. As an alcohol counsellor of course.
Members of the Arfon Team faced no action even as a result of their threats and harassment of patients until Mary Burrows, the former CEO of the Betsi, launched an investigation into them some six years ago and they were sacked for seriously neglecting clients. None of them were struck off. Keith Fearns, Julie Evans and Maggie Fookes simply set themselves up as therapists. They are still working.
The Social Care Council has only been in existence since 2016. Lee Woods had worked for WCBC since 2005. Until 2016, the body responsible for regulating Lee’s standards at work was the Care Council for Wales. There is no mention in the reports re Lee that his standards had slipped – according to WCBC he had always been hopeless, lied when he was caught out, refused to undertake training and could not be improved. The Care Council for Wales missed all that then. Who was the CEO of the Care Council for Wales throughout its entire existence? Step forward Rhian Huws Williams.
Rhian has been a paedophiles’ friend for 35 years now, as a result of her long career in social work in Wales, which began at UCNW back in the 1970s. Rhian spent some years as a training officer for mental health social work in Wales. Rhian has lived through it all – the deaths of witnesses, the police investigations, the Jillings Investigation and the Waterhouse Inquiry. She knew nuzzing. Just as she didn’t know about Lee Woods. Rhian was made a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards in 2014. She doesn’t write Cynghanedd or anything like that, so I presume that Rhian has got in there by being a mate of Dafydd’s or Robyn Lewis’s.
Teachers who are members of the NASUWT at Connah’s Quay High School have gone on strike on the grounds that they are ‘fearful’ of senior management. My post ‘I Warn You…’ describes the dreadful senior management of Holyhead School some 16 years ago – although the regime was in place for a few more years after that – by the Head Margaret Chantrell and her total fuckwit of a Deputy, Gerald Hewitson. The whole of north Wales knew how serious the problems were and the classroom teachers were being scapegoated. Most of the teachers at Holyhead were actually very good but they were constantly undermined by Chantrell and Hewitson. Chantrell and Hewitson did have one accomplice on the staff however – the vile Gill Dennis. Dennis volunteered to be a mentor for student teachers on placement from Bangor University and systematically tried to blow them all out of the water. According to Dennis, in the year in which I did teacher training (2000-01), none of the student teachers but one were sufficiently competent enough to qualify. Dennis came gunning for me as well, but I didn’t link her activities with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends because before she even met me she tried to completely ruin the career of one student teacher who had been on placement at Holyhead School the term before me. Bangor University had to step in and protect all the student teachers whom Dennis tried to fail or force to withdraw from the course. I mentioned that there was one student whom Dennis did find acceptable – Dennis had such a high opinion of her that she told her to apply for a vacancy as a science teacher that was coming up and also told her that she would almost certainly be offered the job, so impressive was she. On the big day, this candidate was not offered the job. She never understood why. Gill Dennis later commented that she didn’t get the job because she wore a jumper for the interview rather than a blouse. (It wasn’t a Gyles Brandreth jumper – it was an upmarket lightweight jumper made of fine wool, which she wore with an equally upmarket suit.)
The irony was that Gill Dennis was very obviously rather unkempt and neglected herself. Her standard wear was nylon trousers with a plastic jacket, she was usually pretty grubby and unusually for someone in a professional job she had very bad teeth – they were well on the way to being blackened stumps. I’m not making these observations simply to kick Dennis in the chops – although she richly deserves it – but because I and another person noticed that those choppers of hers did resemble the sort of decaying teeth that long term amphetamine users often end up with…
On the day before I finished my placement at Holyhead, Gill Dennis told me that she’d had a bellyful of Holyhead School, she hated us, she didn’t care about us or the school and the only reason why she volunteered to be a mentor to the student teachers was to get a good reference from Gerald Hewitson in order to secure another job near Merseyside. Dennis didn’t even live in north Wales, she lived on the Wirral and drove to Holyhead every day.
Because Gill Dennis couldn’t actually point to anything that the trainee teachers had done wrong, she maintained that none of us should be allowed to qualify because we ‘lacked professionalism’.
Gerald Hewitson sexually harassed one of the trainee teachers whilst she was on placement at Holyhead School.
As Holyhead School finally imploded, Margaret Chantrell whined about the people of Holyhead in a media interview and complained that they were such a load of gits that they wouldn’t even support their ‘community school’. The school to which one of Chantrell’s prized members of staff commuted from her home in another country and couldn’t wait to escape.
If anyone knows the reason for Gill Dennis’s desire to destroy the careers of student teachers or whether her teeth had suffered because of amphetamine use, please let me know.
The ‘Daily Post’ has reported that raids conducted by the Merseyside Police across Merseyside, the Wirral and in Wrexham have resulted in the seizure of drugs and guns, including a machine gun.
Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team was interviewed by the media after the team were called out to rescue walkers who were not only alleged to be very ill-equipped but were also suspected of not being in need of rescuing but just fancied a lift back down the mountain. I know that such things do occasionally happen and when they do, Mr Lloyd and his colleagues get seriously pissed off. What was of interest was the identity of two local rent-a-gobs who also commented, neither of the rent-a-gobs being members of the Mountain Rescue team themselves.
The rent-a-gobs in question were the leader of Conwy County Council, Gareth Jones OBE and the Tory MP for Aberconwy, Guto Bebb. Bebb stated that people rescued by the Mountain Rescue team should have to fund their own rescue and Gareth Jones said that he shared Bebb’s sentiment, that no-one likes to see public money wasted, but that enforcing payment would be difficult.
Gareth Jones OBE has featured on this blog previously. He is the former Headmaster of Ysgol John Bright and in 1991 was a member of the Cartrefle Panel of Inquiry, which investigated the serious sexual assaults perpetrated on children in Cartrefle, a Clwyd children’s home. Every member of the Panel was someone who had previously concealed child abuse and one member was H.H. Ellis, the crooked County Secretary of Gwynedd County Council who had tried to frame and imprison me (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’).
Not that Gareth Jones needed to have sat on that panel to know what was happening to kids in care in north Wales. Gareth was born in 1939 in Blaenau Ffestiniog, went to Swansea University and then became a teacher and returned to north Wales. He couldn’t have missed that paedophile gang.
Gareth was the Plaid AM for Conway, 1999-03 and for Aberconwy, 2007-11. So Gareth sat in Cardiff Bay when the Waterhouse Report was published and said not a word. £13 million quid that Report cost Gareth – that will be rather more than was spent rescuing the dipsticks from the hills the other day. If you and your associates hadn’t have concealed the criminality of Dafydd et al, that £13 million could have been put to better use.
Gareth lives in Craig-y-Don, Llandudno. Dafydd holds clinics there and has a ‘nursing home’ there as well.
Before Gareth was elected for Aberconwy in 2007, he was Cabinet member of Conwy County Council for finance and resources, as well as leader of the Plaid Group. So Gareth was on that Council whilst Conwy County Council passed homes owned by Prestwood People Trafficking Ltd as being suitable, whilst clients were assaulted, injured and groomed for sex work (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’).
In the 2007 Assembly election, Gareth campaigned on a Save Llandudno Hospital ticket, although the Labour Party denied that downgrading was planned for Llandudno Hospital. I know people who were treated at Llandudno Hospital and they spoke very highly of the care that they received. One is a good friend of mine and I have no reason to disbelieve her. However I also know that Prestwood clients were being taken to Llandudno Hospital with injuries and after suicide attempts and no questions were asked. They were only ever allowed to go for medical care in the company of Prestwood staff and then they were patched up and returned to Prestwood.
Gareth Jones was a member of the Llandudno Hospital Action Group and is a Trustee of St David’s Hospital. St David’s Hospital is run entirely by paedophiles’ friends, Alun Davies was the Chief Executive after he ran the Hergest Unit into the ground and now Trystan Pritchard is Chief Exec. Trystan is a former corrupt NHS manager who, along with Martin Jones, refused to investigate complaints of Ysbyty Gwynedd staff abusing patients when Trystan worked for the NW Wales NHS Trust. See post ‘The CEOs Of St David’s Hospice’.
Trystan is a Freemason. As I am fairly sure is Gareth Jones.
Gareth is also a Board member for Aberconwy Women’s Aid and a Patron of Tyddyn Bach, an HIV centre at Penmaenmawr.
Gareth’s political interests are social justice, the Welsh language and education. So that is why he ignored a paedophile ring that spilt over into the schools and who targeted Welsh speaking as well as English speaking kids.
Guto Bebb went really apeshit about those whom he alleges abuse the Mountain Rescue service. Guto stated that they ‘should be made to take responsibility, both moral and financial, for their actions’.
Guto hasn’t yet featured on this blog but he certainly needs to. Guto Bebb has been the Tory MP for Aberconwy since 2010. He’s been involved in a few controversies in recent years. In 2014 Guto became embroiled in a twitter spat with a constituent who has Aspergers and Guto told him that people with mental health problems should not ‘publicly comment’ no less. Then in 2017 Guto told a constituent who challenged his voting record that he was ‘talking out of his arsehole’. There was more trouble in 2017 as well – Guto was the subject of outrage after he hired his wife as a translator and office worker just before Parliament blocked the practice of MPs employing their relatives.
Guto was born in Wrexham in 1968. As Guto was growing up, the kids in the care homes just down the road from his birthplace were being battered and raped into oblivion. Not that many of them should have been allowed to publicly comment, because so many of them had mental illness diagnoses. They’d only have been talking out of their arseholes. Guto will have been delighted that so many of them didn’t ever comment, having been imprisoned or died so young.
Guto went to Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen, along with some of the kids who were being abused. But they were quietly ignored. Far better to involve oneself with the children of Dafydd Wigley who also went there. Guto then studied history at Aber, when it was run by the paedophiles’ friends (see post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’).
Guto hasn’t always been a Tory. He used to be a Plaid activist and was Chairman of Caernarfon Plaid. Er – Guto, it was Plaid-dominated Gwynedd County Council with their HQ in Caernarfon who knew that their children’s homes were full of paedophiles but took no action wasn’t it?
One of my friends knew Guto. She went on a business course and Guto was doing some of the teaching. Guto told the class how hopeless the Welsh Assembly are at matters business. They probably are Guto, but nothing rivals the fuckwittery, corruption and nepotism re ‘business development’ that prevails at Gwynedd County Council.
I don’t know Guto but I think that he might know me. I was next to him shopping in Caernarfon Morrison’s once – he was pushing a trolley full of small children – and he was very icy towards me. I only knew who he was because I recognised his photo. Yes, Guto, that was me, that fucking cow who just would not shut up about Dafydd and the paedophiles and who even wrote books and academic articles about the abuse of mental health patients by mental health staff. I know that I shouldn’t be allowed to publicly comment but I’ve written well over 500 posts on this blog now…
Anyone interested in Welsh political history knows of Guto’s grandfather, Ambrose Bebb. Ambrose was one of the founders of Plaid, along with Saunders Lewis. Dafydd was a mate of Saunders Lewis and I bet that Dafydd was a mate of Ambrose Bebb as well. Ambrose Bebb also knew J.E. Daniel, the father of the corrupt judge Huw Daniel who was looking forward to imprisoning me in 2004 on the basis of the perjury of Angels from the Hergest Unit.
Ambrose went to Aberystwyth Univerrsity when an earlier generation of paedophiles’ friends ran the place and when it produced scores of law graduates who became corrupt lawyers and judges who concealed the crimes of Dafydd and the paedophiles. When Ambrose was a student at Aber he published an article in support of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland which was banned by the College authorities. Ambrose spent much of his life teaching at Coleg Normal, the teacher training college which trained scores of paedophiles’ friends.
Ambrose Bebb was one of the early members of Plaid who gave Plaid the tag of being a fascist – even a Nazi-supporting – party. Ambrose Bebb did not support the Nazis, he was one of a number of Plaid leaders who had links with French Catholic nationalist far-right groups.
I don’t agree with everything that your grandfather wrote Guto, but I would never have told him that he didn’t have the right to publicly comment. But then I’m not an offensive hypocrite of a paedophiles’ friend am I.
‘They should be made to take responsibility, both moral and financial, for their actions’. £13 fucking million on a rigged enquiry Guto. So that your associates didn’t go to prison.
The Mountain Rescue teams in north Wales get a great deal of good PR and I’m sure that for the most part they do a worthwhile job, but there are members past and present of the Mountain Rescue teams who could give police statements about certain matters. One member of the Ogwen team is Phil Benbow, who is a senior nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd and for a long time was a senior nurse in the Hergest Unit. Phil Benbow did not abuse patients himself but he bloody well knew that it was happening. Phil was walking onto wards where patients had just been assaulted and had visible injuries. He was told how those injuries happened as well. Time to speak out Phil? Patients died up there. Not on your shifts, but you knew that place was crawling with dangerous violent Angels and that patients were not safe.
One abuser who was involved with Mountain Rescue in north Wales – but I don’t think that it was the Ogwen team – was dear old Stephen Gallagher (see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’). A past leading light in the Ogwen team was the late Tony Jones, a lecturer at Bangor University, who was close friends with many corrupt officers in the North Wales Police and used to get his mates to arrest students that he didn’t like just for a laugh. An aspiring policeman also volunteered with the Ogwen team. He didn’t get into the police force – something was found on his record when he was 19 that caused the North Wales Police to turn his application down. He was very angry about it at the time, but the North Wales Police wouldn’t budge. So he joined the Mountain Rescue team and then became a paramedic! I was told that the past event that the police had objected to was a violent incident. So someone put him in a green jump suit and stuck him in the back of an ambulance instead.
Vaughan Gething has announced that the Welsh Gov’t is to outlaw smoking in the fresh air in the grounds of public buildings, including hospitals, because of the risk to people’s health from passive smoking. Sharing thousands of cubic meters of fresh air with someone puffing on a fag is not the same as a newborn sharing a box room with someone chain smoking High Tar No 6 or Woodbines Vaughan. Before you worry about first world problems, I suggest that you ask yourself what else might be going wrong in the mental health services of the Betsi after the Tawel Fan Scandal and now the imprisonment of the flasher who was employed as a carer for having sex with a patient.
Carwyn has made a speech at Wales’s annual TUC conference in Llandudno. Carwyn told a lot of lies about the NHS – it is of course excellent – and talked about other achievements of his that the Wales TUC might not have been that impressed with, because Carwyn isn’t Jeremy Corbyn. Not that the Wales TUC will be in a position to point the finger at anyone now that it has been made public that Edwina Hart – the former Chair of Wales TUC – when she was Minister for the Economy and Finance, dished out business support funding in return for sexual favours (see post ‘Criminals Are Getting Away With It’).
Lastly I am delighted to be able to report another breakthrough from CR UK, who seem to have discovered many earth-shattering new things since this blog provided details of the previous research frauds conducted by people funded by CR UK. The latest breakthrough has been made by a research team from Cardiff (where else?). We are told that a method has been found of completely destroying cancer cells in ovarian cancer whilst leaving healthy tissue untouched. Details of viruses which have been ‘trained’ to recognise cancer cells were provided, along with info about the everyday habits of viruses, accompanied by the obligatory diagrams of the double helix. (Which might have to stop because somebody has just popped up with a challenge to the double helix model.) The main problem with ovarian cancer is diagnosing it in the first place and the Cardiff team don’t seem to be addressing that. Although we were told that the ‘cure’ ‘could soon be a possibility’, I note that the experiments have been conducted on mice and the work has not yet reached clinical trials. Work on mice takes many years before it translates into interventions in the clinic. Furthermore, the attrition rate of those procedures is very high – the vast majority of new drugs etc fall at the many hurdles between ‘it’s worked on the mice and the mice haven’t died’ stage and the ‘safe and effective in humans, ready for the clinic’ stage. Cardiff are jumping the gun.