‘Twas The Night Before Christmas And The Culprits Were Named…

Previous posts such as ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’ have mentioned how useful the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal in 1987 was in terms of distracting attention from the reports emanating from north Wales that something dreadful was happening there which involved the abuse of mental health patients and kids in care by those responsible for caring for them. Those posts also detailed some of the connections between healthcare professionals in north Wales and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Two of the key players in the paedophile ring which operated in north Wales – Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth – had previously worked at Axwell Park Approved School in Gateshead, where there had been allegations that Howarth had abused boys.

So let’s take a closer look at the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal.

 

Between Feb and July 1987 a series of extraordinary events in the child protection services in Cleveland in the north of England achieved international media coverage and made history.

The rest of the UK became aware that something very odd was happening in Cleveland when in May 1987 the media reported that an enormous number of children had been removed from their families and taken into care after it was alleged that they had been sexually abused. The media reports were a result of angry parents whose children had been removed from their care holding a protest. It transpired that so many children had been taken into care that the system couldn’t function – the authorities had run out of foster places, so children were being kept on the children’s wards in Middlesborough General Hospital in north Yorkshire. Because the wards were full of children who had allegedly been abused, there were no beds for children with medical conditions, the conditions on the wards became insanitary and unsafe as a result of the overcrowding, confidentiality was lost and nurses couldn’t cope because they were not kept informed about the legal status of the children or even who some of the people arriving on the wards to attend case conferences were. One nurse described the treatment of children and their families as ‘disgraceful’ and nurses were so concerned at what was happening that they made complaints to their managers and to the South Tees Health Authority. At one point the police were called in to maintain order on one of the wards as distraught and angry parents turned up to confront staff.

The thing that finally caused the system to stop functioning however was the complete breakdown in working relationships between the local professionals involved in child protection – paediatricians, social workers, the police and the police surgeons. Stuart Bell, the Labour MP for Middlesborough, became involved as a result of being contacted by a number of parents who maintained that they had been wrongly accused of abusing their children and who claimed that the professionals involved had not conducted themselves properly.

During the scandal, the mother of one child attempted suicide and two of the men accused of child abuse killed themselves in Durham Prison. After the death of one man evidence emerged suggesting he was innocent – the other dead man’s name was cleared when the real offender (in this case a child really had been abused) was convicted and sentenced. The mother of the dead man began litigation against Cleveland Constabulary and the Home Office. Not that the prison gave a stuff – the Top Doctors working at the prison described the dead INNOCENT man as ‘upset and mentally hysterical’.

So who was the Home Secretary whilst this was happening? Step forward Douglas Hurd, former pupil and good friend of Alan Barker, husband of Trumpers aka Baroness Jean Trumpington, who only months after the Cleveland Scandal appointed Jimmy Savile to the Broadmooor Hospital Management Board in her capacity as a junior Health Minister…

The Northern Regional Health Authority and Cleveland Social Services were thrown into complete chaos as a result of the events of 1987.

The very high number of children taken into care was a direct result of the work of three people  -two paediatricians, Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt and a ‘child abuse specialist’, social worker Sue Richardson. They had very little support from colleagues either in the north of England or anywhere else – except for a small clique, the highest profile of which was Dr Jane Wynne, a paediatrician from St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

Higgs, Wyatt, Richardson and Wynne have never accepted that they were ever mistaken or misguided. Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson robustly defended themselves – even after they were removed from child abuse work because their senior managers were unable to defend their practice. The line taken by Higgs et al throughout was that child sexual abuse was a very much bigger problem than anyone dared admit and that they were receiving a hostile reception because they were daring to draw attention to this.

Higgs et al were of course right in that in 1987 there was a major problem with child sexual abuse. Whilst I am sure that the abuse of children by families, family friends etc was underestimated, the thing that was being actively concealed was that in many parts of the UK the children’s services themselves had been infiltrated by gangs of paedophiles who were abusing and trafficking the children in their care. Huge swathes of society’s infrastructure – including the mental health services, the police, the legal/criminal justice system and charities – were colluding with what was happening in the care system. It is now admitted that gangs were in operation in north Wales/Cheshire/Shropshire, in the north east of England, in Yorkshire and Lancashire, in Birmingham, in London, in Belfast, in west Wales and in Scotland. These gangs had links with each other and were involved with organised crime on a pan-European basis. Corrupt professionals were involved including doctors, police officers, social workers, lawyers, judges, teachers, academics and people from the Third sector. The icing on the cake was the active involvement of a small number of politicians from across the political spectrum who were actually abusing children in care themselves and the desire of their colleagues not to ever let the wrongdoing become public for fear of the effect on their party at the ballot box.

The result was a massive cover-up and the consequent corrupting of much of the country’s infrastructure, the legacy of which the UK is still experiencing today.

There was a very obvious aspect of the Cleveland Scandal that suggested that the concerns of Higgs et al were not simply the concerns of professionals who simply believed that child sexual abuse was under-reported – that was the near obsession of Higgs and her colleagues with the idea that the numerous children whom they saw had been anally raped. Evidence suggests that most sexual abuse of children actually involves unwanted touching/groping of children or the enticement of children to indecently touch the abuser.  The anal rape of children is much less common. One situation in which the anal rape of children did occur however was during the abuse of male children by the paedophile gangs in areas like north Wales, where the gangs were targeting boys as much as girls.

Higgs and her colleagues famously relied entirely upon a now discredited technique – reflex anal dilatation (RAD) – upon which to base their ‘diagnosis’ of sexual abuse. Higgs and co always referred to their use of this technique to justify their actions – yet it was Dr Jane Wynne and her colleague from Leeds General Infirmary Dr Christopher Hobbs who were responsible for having claimed in the first place that it was reliable. Jane Wynne was close to Higgs and had mentored Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson – so they all referred to each others ‘expertise’, having previously declared themselves experts. The most ferocious row raged in the medical press with the majority of doctors maintaining that RAD was absolutely not a reliable test at all – some doctors made a point of demonstrating on their own babes in arms that using RAD ‘proved’ that their own babies had been anally penetrated. Other doctors maintained that a ‘positive’ response could result from something as simple as constipation. I have seen film footage of Jane Wynne explaining exactly how RAD develops as a result of anal rape – Wynne’s ‘explanation’ was not based on any science at all. This will have been why Wynne was challenged by medical practitioners rather than by social workers or journalists. Jane Wynne took a leaf out of the book of ‘Dr’ Gilliam McKeith and spent a few minutes garbling pseudoscience which would have sounded convincing to someone who had no knowledge of anatomy and physiology but the response of someone educated in those disciplines would be ‘sorry, it doesn’t work like that’. Jane Wynne might as well have thrown in a few references to the healing powers of crystals and Stonehenge for good measure.

Another glaring elephant in the room was that if children have been repeatedly anally raped – or in the case of babies/very young children, raped at all – they sustain injuries. Children’s anuses are not adult vaginas – there are no elastic tissues, they are damaged if things become too brutal. Indeed the boys in care in north Wales who had been raped by the paedophile gang were presenting to doctors with anal injuries, only to be dismissed by those Top Doctors colluding with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles in north Wales with idiocies such as ‘you’ve got piles’. If all these infants encountered by Marietta Higgs et al really had been anally abused, Higgs et al would have seen a good deal more than RAD.

Higgs and her colleagues really did seem to descend into a madness that was evident to everyone but them. Whilst I accept that children who have been abused show a variety of behaviours/symptoms that may not be obvious or may be complex, some of what went on in Cleveland in 1987 was inexplicable by any standards. On one occasion Dr Geoffrey Wyatt rang a social worker and demanded that all 120 pupils of a local school for learning disabled children be brought to his clinic at Middlesborough General Hospital by 5 pm that day for anal examinations. A child with learning disabilities taken to Middlesborough General Hospital for a brain scan because of epilepsy and no other reason at all was given an anal examination lest they had been abused. One child taken along to the hospital because of an ear problem ended up being taken into care after their anus was examined and found wanting. Higgs and Wyatt were appearing on the children’s wards at midnight equipped with torches to conduct anal examinations of children, including those who had been admitted by other paediatricians for other reasons. Some children were given anal examinations ten or eleven times. Gobsmacked parents were asking incredulously ‘what ARE you doing?’, nurses were in tears and telephoning managers to report their deep concerns at what was happening and eventually the police photographer refused the requests of Higgs and colleagues to photograph the suspect anuses after proffering the opinion that this was abuse itself. When the police refused to photograph any more bottoms, social workers did it instead.

The insanity reached such epic proportions that Viz magazine began a cartoon strip called ‘The Bottom Inspectors’ in which uniformed Official Bottom Inspectors patrolled the nation and waylaid passers-by with the blood curdling cry of ‘bare your bottoms now’ in search of bottom crimes such as ‘labourer’s cleft’, for which people would be sent to a Bottom Correction Centre for re-education. Which hordes of young people thought was absolutely hysterically funny at the time, but a more sober reading of what happened in Cleveland in 1987 strikes one as having been every bit as ridiculous as the best that Viz conjured up.

In July 1987 it was clear that the chaos had to be brought to a stop. Higgs was suspended from child abuse work and Lord Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (she was called Lord Justice back then because Butler-Sloss was the only female Lord Justice that there had been and it was beyond the wit of anyone to think of calling her ‘Lady Justice’) was commissioned by the Gov’t to Chair an Inquiry into the events at Cleveland. The Inquiry sat between 4 August-17 Dec 1987 and final submissions were heard from the end of January. and Butler-Sloss submitted her Report in July 1988.

Even after Butler-Sloss’s Report, there was not that much clarity regarding the events of Feb-July 1987 in Cleveland. Although some accounts deny this, Butler-Sloss concluded that the majority of children taken into care by Higgs et al in 1987 had not been sexually abused and that RAD wasn’t a reliable technique upon which to base a diagnosis of anal rape. Out of the 121 children taken into care during those months, 94 were returned to their parents. However Butler-Sloss did not attempt any meaningful analysis of what on earth had led to the havoc in Cleveland – it was explained as basically all the result of a few genuine but misguided people who had a misplaced faith in a ‘controversial technique’.

But then Butler-Sloss could not have afforded to dig too deeply, let alone expose a child protection system that was rotten to the core and facilitating the large scale serious abuse of those in its care, abuse which was  concealed by the very professions in which society places the most trust and gives the most power. Butler-Sloss’s brother was Sir Michael Havers, the Attorney General for Margaret Thatcher’s Government, 1979-June 1987. Havers was in post virtually throughout the whole saga. He was succeeded by Sir Patrick Mayhew – who in his capacity as Attorney General authorised two prosecutions against me for contempt of Court on the basis of the perjury of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales in the years following Cleveland. In 1981 in response to a question in the House from Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, Michael Havers admitted that he had blocked the prosecution of Sir Peter Hayman – a former diplomat who was alleged to work for MI6 – who was a paedophile and had been caught in possession of obscene material featuring children. Furthermore Thatcher was a personal friend of Jimmy Savile, who was a paedophile active in north Yorkshire – as well as in other locations –  and who called the shots at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, where Dr Jane Wynne worked. Savile’s friend Alan Franey was Assistant Manager of Leeds General Infirmary, where Dr Christopher Hobbs worked. St James’s Hospital was the subject of constant good PR from the BBC as a result of Savile’s connections there. Whilst Butler-Sloss was writing her Report Savile and Alan Franey were appointed to the Senior Management Board of Broadmoor Hospital via a highly irregular process by Thatcher’s junior Health Minister Baroness Jean Trumpington. At the time the civil service serving the DHSS also contained corrupt and dysfunctional mandarins (see posts ‘The Socio-Political Context Of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The Late 1980s’, ’95 Glorious Years!’ and ‘Always On The Side Of The Children’). Whilst insanity in Cleveland prevailed, Sir Peter Morrison -who was abusing children in care in north Wales – held the post of Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and when Butler-Sloss was keeping herself busy writing her Report, Morrison occupied the position of Minister of State for Energy.

Like her brother, Butler-Sloss was a Tory. She had previously stood for election as a Conservative candidate. She has every right to be a Conservative, but since Cleveland, Butler-Sloss has demonstrated that she cannot always act impartiality. She was Theresa May’s first choice to Chair the IICSA (Independent Inquiry On Child Sexual Abuse), but stepped down after questions were asked about her being compromised by her brother’s refusal to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman. It was then revealed that Butler-Sloss had wanted to ensure that abuse perpetrated by people in the Church of England wasn’t included in the IICSA – Butler-Sloss is a leading light in the Church of England.

I have just finished reading Stuart Bell’s 1988 account of the events in Cleveland in 1987, ‘When Salem Came To The Boro’. Bell, the Labour MP for Middlesborough, was one of people who came under attack in numerous Guardian articles (which were usually uncritically supportive of Higgs et al) at the time. Bell was portrayed as a shamelessly opportunistic politician questioning ‘experts’ who only had children’s best interests at heart. Much was made of allegations that Stuart Bell’s ‘interference’ had made a lot of people very angry and that he lost political friends because of it. I bet he did – no-one would have wanted him taking a close look at what was happening. After all what does the reputation, welfare and freedom of a few little people matter when there are the careers of politicians and the reputations of the medical establishment, child protection system, criminal justice system, legal profession and judiciary to consider? In 1979 Lord Denning had claimed that if the convictions of the Birmingham Six were to be overturned it would mean admitting that such a degree of corruption existed in the criminal justice and legal system that the result would be an ‘appalling vista’ – such an appalling vista that it was better to keep six innocent men in prison. Likewise who would ever want to admit that a dangerous old nutter in north Wales was being allowed to practice psychiatry whilst he unlawfully imprisoned young women whom he wanted to have sex with and facilitated a paedophile ring with the knowledge of the whole medical establishment? This was yet another vista which was so appalling that it was obviously better that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was allowed to continue uninvestigated by the GMC and unhindered, even if his patients and kids in care did keep turning up dead.

Stuart Bell’s book is actually meticulously researched and based on documents compiled at the time by those involved and interviews with a very wide spectrum of people holding varying views and allegiances. It is a very thorough account which provides full details of the events throughout 1987, along with times and dates.

Bell describes in his book some of the things that I witnessed in north Wales in the wake of my daring to complain about Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends. Most noticeably, Marietta Higgs, Geoffrey Wyatt and Sue Richardson would work with virtually no-one else except Jane Wynne, their mentor and partner in crime. Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson complained that it was other people who wouldn’t work with them – but that was very obviously because other people found their practices so concerning that they challenged them, only to be met with serious hissy fits. Thus other practitioners backed off, leaving Higgs and Wyatt the elbow room to declare domain over ‘their’ patients. This is exactly what went on with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones in north Wales – no sane practitioner wanted to get involved in any patient’s case with Dafydd because everything about him stunk and everyone knew it. A lawyer told me in 1987 that once a patient had been referred to Dafydd, they’d had it – it was known in the region that no other doctor would agree to take over that patient’s case, no matter how badly things were going with dear old Dafydd. Like Dafydd, who also had a very small number of acolytes with whom he ‘worked’, Higgs, Wyatt and Richardson referred patients to each other – or to Jane Wynne. They backed up each other’s diagnoses without question and used every strategy possible to exclude other practitioners, including police surgeons – which considering that they were dealing with children who had allegedly been the victims of serious crime was extraordinary.

As already mentioned, Wynne, Wyatt and Higgs established themselves as experts in RAD and then referred to their own expertise to defend themselves. I saw this model of practice again and again in north Wales – for example, Dafydd was an ‘expert in PTSD’ and Professor Mark Williams was an ‘expert in MBCT’. In other words they stated that they were an expert, published something questionable, then their immediate circle were ‘trained’ by them and before you knew it an empire had been built and a nationwide expert created.

Higgs et al dominated an organisation called BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse), which had been established by Higg’s former mentor Dr Christina Cooper in 1984-85. Prior to this Cooper had turned herself into something called the Ciba Foundation. Higgs was a member of BASPCAN, as was Jane Wynne, Sue Richardson, Christopher Hobbs and two people who did their bidding, Margery ‘Madge’ Bray, a social worker and Marjorie Dunne, a senior nurse with South Tees Health Authority and designated officer for child abuse in the Langbaurgh district of Cleveland. Higgs also formed the Cleveland Sex Abuse Group. BASPCAN and the Cleveland Sex Abuse Group were used as vehicles by this small group of people to rebuff challenges to their practice and to back each other up when under fire, under the umbrella of training and professional development. Mark Williams’s mindfulness retreats and practices in north west Wales served a similar function.

The other thing that was familiar when I read Bell’s account was the way in which everyone was just utterly impotent in the face of the sheer chaos that in the end threatened to stop the regional NHS and social services working. Readers unfamiliar with north Wales in the 1980s and 90s will find it hard to understand just how much trouble Dr Dafydd Alun Jones caused – it was havoc. Of course it was, he was doing completely crazy things much to the embarrassment of other professionals. After he had me unlawfully arrested and detained, a few days later he turned up at the North Wales Hospital to ‘visit’ me at midnight – the nurses got me out of bed. I was told some years later by a former member of staff from Denbigh that Dafydd would hold ward rounds at 3 am and that for most of the time he was so ‘floridly manic’ that it was impossible to work with him. Another former member of staff was frank enough to say that ‘he was mad, he was chaotic and he was dangerous’. People were horrified – like the nurses in Middlesborough were who witnessed Higgs and Wyatt turning up at midnight to inspect a few bottoms and then telling the nurses to get other children out of beds because their bottoms needed inspecting as well – but no-one actually felt able to say ‘stop it or you will face disciplinary action’. Serious complaints about Wyatt and Higgs from patients and other staff were responded to by the senior managers holding yet another meeting with Higgs and Wyatt where their actions would be ‘discussed’, only for Higgs and Wyatt to robustly defend themselves and then return to business as usual as soon as they left the meeting. Which was exactly the response of the authorities in north Wales to Dafydd – even in the events of patients dying or taking legal action.

Like Dafydd, Marietta Higgs was in conflict with the Health Authority over other matters – there had been an exchange of letters over ‘funding’ (well that was inevitable) and Higgs was demanding that she be allowed to establish a whole new Family Assessment Unit, in which she, Wyatt and Richardson could place all these families whose children’s bottoms were suspect under intensive surveillance.

Higgs also kept the medical records of the children whom she’d had taken into care in her office in another hospital – so the staff looking after the children on the wards of Middlesborough General couldn’t access even the records of children who also suffered from serious medical conditions. Higgs also removed certain pieces of crucial information from children’s medical records. This was going on in north Wales with my medical records but I didn’t realise it until last year when my lawyer forwarded some more documents relating to my case to me. There was a letter in there written to a Top Doctor and signed by Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services for Gwynedd Health Authority, asking for my medical records back because Alun Davies usually kept them with him! Davies also mentioned in the letter that he had read through my medical records himself to see if he could find anything in them which would result in the Health Authority being sued. Davies – the fact that you, a non-clinical member of staff, were keeping my records and had even read them was enough in itself for the Health Authority to be sued.

Most worryingly in Cleveland, as with Dafydd and his colleagues, there were complaints that patients were finding their encounters with Higgs and Wyatt incredibly distressing. Parents reported being treated harshly as a result of being suspected of having abused their children. But some very distressing things happened to some of the children whom Higgs et al claimed to be protecting. There were accounts of Geoffrey Wyatt swearing at children – although he denied this – shouting at others, losing his patience with frightened or distressed children and physically hurting them during the bottom inspections.

Those of us in north Wales who tangled with Dafydd and the gang noticed that we always seemed to end up in the hands of certain police officers, social workers or magistrates if Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends were hoping to have us imprisoned. Pwllheli Magistrates Court was a favourite venue if corruption was at play – people would be transported all the way to Pwllheli from Bangor, Bethesda, Caernarfon, Llanberis, Anglesey, anywhere really, even on days when Magistrates Courts in the local towns would be sitting. Likewise Huw Daniel was a favourite judge of the mental health services if someone needed to be prosecuted and hopefully imprisoned on the basis of mental health staff perjuring themselves – great efforts were made to ensure that dear old Huw would hear the case all the way through. In the case of Cleveland, Stuart Bell discovered that nearly all the place of safety orders obtained by Higgs/Wyatt/Richardson – and there were a great many, 276 applications between 1 Jan and the end of July in 1987 which is what led to questions being asked – were obtained by an application to a JP at home, rather than before a Court. The Social Services had a yearbook of all the Magistrates home addresses, so presumably Richardson et al could leaf through and approach those who could be relied upon to sign the care order quietly without asking any questions. The Magistrates were certainly good at doing what they were told – in one single day in June 1987, 59 care orders were signed.

Just to reassure everyone that the Magistrates would know what they were doing, Marietta wanted to Train them in the art of Bottomology. After the police refused to photograph any more bottoms, Marietta explained that she needed the photos to ‘educate’ the Magistrates. The Magistrates were pretty keen to educate themselves as well – Leonard Davies, the Chairman of the Teeside Juvenile Court panel and Alan Glyn Cooke, the Clerk to the Teeside Justices, met at a seminar on juvenile justice held by Teeside Poly where Davies was the speaker. Davies expressed concerns about what was happening.

Bell’s book describes an incident which I do not remember ever being reported anywhere at the time. One of the social workers responsible for interviewing the children who had allegedly been abused, Kathleen Anguoin, had conducted a series of – literally – interrogations of a small girl, in an attempt to get the girl to describe how a male relative had abused her. As with some of the accounts of other similar scandals eg. the Orkneys and Rochdale, the ‘interview’ was so leading that had the police conducted it in order to gain evidence, it would have been inadmissable in Court. To Kathleen’s frustration the little girl repeatedly denied that anyone had done anything untoward to  her bottom or any other part of her anatomy and she was uninterested in the ‘anatomically correct’ dolls given to her (ie. dolls in possession of bigger genitals than any human being that I have ever encountered). Kathleen spent several days ‘interviewing’ the little girl and ended up so desperate that when the little girl began playing with a stuffed snake – interestingly enough she shoved the sake into Kathleen’s mouth – Kathleen asked her what the ‘willy-snake’ had done and whether the willy-snake was wet or dry when she had played with it. The little girl still said nothing incriminating. Kathleen handed over two tapes of interviews to be used as evidence but destroyed another tape of interviews. She then wrote a suicide note, left messages for her nearest and dearest and on July 20 1987 drove to the north Yorkshire moors where she disappeared. She was found on the moors in a bad way by a search and rescue party two days later and was taken to Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. Cleveland County Council subsequently withdrew the tapes that Kathleen had submitted as evidence.

Marietta Higgs had only been in post as a consultant paediatrician for a matter of weeks before she caused havoc in Cleveland. Furthermore she had actually been employed as an intensive care neonatologist, a role unconnected with child abuse.

I’ll now provide a brief overview of the key players in the Cleveland Scandal.

Higgs grew up in Australia and when she was in her late teens her mother remarried a Duncan Halliday. Halliday’s brother-in-law was a prominent gynaecologist in Dundee, Scotland. After a visit to Scotland where she witnessed her step-uncle at work in 1967, Marietta applied to study medicine at the University of Western Australia – she failed some crucial exams and was unable to take up the place. She married her boyfriend Donald Higgs and in 1968 started a family – she eventually became a mother of five. After re-taking exams, Higgs took up a place at medical school and qualified in 1975. She spent her pre-registration and then a subsequent year working at the Royal Adeleide Hospital, where her mentor was Prof George Maxwell, the Head of the Peadiatrics Dept at Adelaide University. Maxwell had trained in the UK at Edinburgh, then worked at the University of Wisconsin and in 1959 moved to Australia. Maxwell had pioneered child abuse work in Australia in the early 1960s.

In 1976 Higgs and her family relocated to England. She worked as a locum in Nottingham, then as an SHO in Chatham, Kent and in 1979 took up a post in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with a research team investigating cot deaths. In 1980 Higgs embarked upon a two year scheme for registrars with the local Health Authority. It was then that Higgs developed an interest in child abuse. She worked with Dr Christina ‘Tina’ Cooper in Newcastle, who thought that Higgs should play a more active role in child abuse work. As part of her rota Higgs worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, where her boss was Dr Simon Court. Higgs also attended regular sessions at the Nuffield Child Psychiatry Unit in Newcastle – where she may well have met some of those we know and love who ended up working in north Wales or at least knew those in north Wales.

In 1983 Higgs attended a two day conference on child sexual abuse organised at the Northumbria Police HQ.

By 1985 Higgs was working as an intensive care neonatologist at the Princess Mary Maternity Hospital and also worked at the Fleming Hospital next door. The Fleming housed a Family Assessment Unit run by Dr Hans Steiner and Higgs wanted to set up a similar unit on Teeside. It was Higgs’s boss at Newcastle, Dr Edmund Hey who told Higgs of a consultant paediatrician vacancy at Middlesborough General Hospital.

Dr Geoffrey Wyatt qualified at Liverpool University in 1973 – this blog has previously given details of the numerous alumni of Liverpool medical school who played key roles in the north Wales NHS, including Dafydd himself and Dr Terry Maxwell, the clinical director of Ysbyty Gwynedd. After graduation Wyatt spent three years working in South Africa. He returned to the UK and worked in Manchester in neonatology, then in Portsmouth and then in oncology in Southampton. In 1983 Wyatt was appointed as a consultant paediatrician at Middlesborough General Hospital by the Northern Regional Health Authority. Wyatt was in conflict with many of his colleagues as well as with South Tees CHC and the South Tees Health Authority – he was co-signatory to a letter with Higgs alleging ‘asset stripping’.

Geoffrey Wyatt lived in an unidentified village in north Yorkshire. North Yorkshire was the centre of a paedophile ring.

Sue Richardson was appointed as ‘child abuse consultant’ by Cleveland Social Services in June 1986. Richardson had worked for Cleveland Social Services since 1975 and had specialised in social work for 15 years. Richardson had met Higgs through BASPCAN – she had already met Higgs twice and established a friendship with Higgs by post before Higgs arrived to work on Teeside. The close working links between Cleveland and Leeds developed when Richardson suggested to the Leeds contingent that her service at Cleveland should work in close co-operation with them after Richardson, Jane Wynne and Christopher Hobbs all attended a meeting in Leicester at which Wynne and Hobbs gave a presentation. At the time a paedophile gang was at work in Leicestershire Social Services, a key player of which was senior social worker Frank Beck – Beck’s mate Lord Greville Janner was also involved. After Sue Richardson was appointed child abuse consultant, she was responsible for the child abuse register and handled consultancy, advice, preparation and planning.

So what prompted Cleveland Social Services to appoint Sue Richardson as child abuse consultant? Richardson was appointed in the wake of Louis Blom-Cooper’s Report following the murder of Jasmine Beckford whilst Jasmine was in the care of Brent Social Services. Although Brent Council, Brent Social Services and Brent District Health Authority had all ‘made mistakes’, – indeed they probably ‘failed Jasmine’ – Blom-Cooper stressed that no blame could be attributed to any individual. Which was just as well because a few high profile names were involved with Brent at the time – including Ken Livingstone and Paul Boateng. Harriet Harman and Mr Harriet Harman aka Jack Dromey helped the needy by working in Brent Law Centre. Unless the needy were people being neglected and abused by the idiots in the local authority or the local NHS, in which case the plight of the needy was ignored.

Blom Cooper was a member of the Mental Health Act Commission whilst the Commission colluded with the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales and also led one of the Inquiries into Ashworth Hospital – one of the institutions to which Dafydd was sending patients.

Someone else was Profoundly Affected by Blom-Cooper’s Report on Jasmine’s death as well – Dame Esther. In fact Esther was so moved that she launched a campaign, Childwatch and the notorious Childline, what with Esther Caring About The Children and not knowing about Jimmy Savile. Esther knew about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones though once she launched her mental health campaign, because I wrote and told her about him, although Esther didn’t reply. Esther followed up Childwatch and the mental health campaign with Drugwatch. So Esther made her name and bagged herself a CBE and a fancy title as a result of her campaigning on child abuse, mental illness and drug use. That’ll be why children are still being sexually exploited and trafficked by gangs whilst in the care of social services, why the mental health services don’t even pretend to look after their patients anymore and why business is booming re the drug trade. Thanks Esther, you’ve made a real difference – you made things far, far worse with your foolish propaganda and collusion with the very people causing the problems. The ever wise Esther appointed Valerie Howarth as Chief Exec of Childline. Valerie Howarth had been the Director of Brent Social Services when Jasmine was murdered. More importantly Valerie was a friend of Esther’s sister – Esther’s sister was a social worker among the paedophiles of Lambeth Social Services and Valerie had been her boss. Paul Boateng’s wife was also a social worker among the paedophiles of Lambeth and Tessa Jowell had been a childcare officer working among the paedophiles of Lambeth. Thank goodness Esther set up Childwatch – particularly as Valerie Howarth was unemployable post-Jasmine and needed a job. Valerie is now in the House of Lords along with Tessa and Paul Boateng, so all’s well that ends well.

Esther launched Childwatch on 23 Oct 1986.

Sue Richardson subsequently persuaded her boss Mike Bishop, the Director of Cleveland Social Services, to hire Deborah Glassbrook who had worked with Esther and Childwatch.

Esther didn’t only galvanise the Official Bottom Inspectors of Cleveland into action – Childwatch led to Lothian Social Services mobilising 36 social workers to handle the expected flood of referrals (a similar number were mobilised in Cleveland). Esther’s claims that the nation’s kids were all being sexually assaulted by their families and friends weren’t confirmed by the calls to Childline. Over one period of monitoring, 3395 children called Childline, but this only resulted in 76 referrals to social services on a nationwide basis. Children were calling Childline, but it was usually about bullying at school or problems other than child sexual abuse. Of course it is now known that children in care – including some from north Wales – did call Childline about being sexually abused but those calls were not responded to. I expect that Esther ignored all the calls about Jimmy Savile as well – she has been accused of ignoring at least one woman who maintained that she told Esther about Savile in person.

Now here’s a mystery for readers to puzzle over for Christmas. In Oct 1986, three months BEFORE Higgs arrived in Middlesborough to take up her post as a neonatologist, Sue Richardson sent her a briefing document prepared in anticipation of the first Childwatch programme – this document mentioned Higg’s desire to establish a Family Assessment Unit on Teeside. Richardson had certainly been a busy bee before Marietta arrived in Middlesborough – as well as the PR material for Esther’s scam, Richardson had sent to Higgs’s home address in Newcastle the full details of the Cleveland child abuse register of 30 June 1986 – some of the info had been personally typed by Richardson. Richardson also sent Higgs the report regarding the working party on child sexual abuse published in May 1986. Furthermore, although Higgs’s appointment was in neonatology, Richardson identified child sexual abuse cases for Higgs’s consideration prior to Higgs’s arrival – Higgs had made contact with Richardson via BASPCAN in preparation for her new post. Sue Richardson’s role did not involve the care of neonates.

Therefore Higgs, who was due to take up a post in neonatology, was supplied with a ‘blueprint’ on how to deal with child sexual abuse in Cleveland – which was sent to her home address – months before her arrival in Middlesborough. It rather sounds as though Richardson and Marietta expected to find a great many cases of child sexual abuse once Marietta arrived – in the same way that Esther knew what a huge problem child sexual abuse was. The Esther who had no knowledge or experience of paediatrics at all, but who had a sister whose friend was a Director of Social Services in very deep shit and a colleague – Jimmy Savile – who had visited Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wales and participated in child abuse, a children’s home that was now the centre of allegations of child abuse by a whistleblower in north Wales. The Jimmy who was mates with Margaret Thatcher who’s Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Sir Peter Morrison was abusing kids in north Wales – including kids from Bryn Estyn.

At a meeting at the end of May 1986 called to discuss the conflict between the Social Services and the police, the police representative was told that Higgs had been appointed by South Tees Health Authority as a paediatrician with special responsibility for child sexual abuse – so Higgs’s job description had been amended after she took up her post. The police were informed at this meeting that there would be no further involvement of police surgeons in the examination of children alleged to have been abused – this was to be the exclusive domain of Marietta Higgs. Well she was an expert wasn’t she. Furthermore it was later discovered that Mike Bishop, the Director of Cleveland Social Services, rewrote the rules regarding child abuse investigations – without the knowledge of the police, Councillors or the officers of Cleveland County Council. The new rules not only excluded the involvement of police surgeons but stated that a ‘medical diagnosis’ by Higgs would be sufficient by itself for an application to take a child into care immediately. Bishop ‘implemented’ the technique of RAD in Cleveland without any discussion with the Social Services Inspectorate at the DHSS.

Dr Ellis Fraser was a supporter of Jane Wynne and Marietta Higgs and was called upon to back them up when it looked as though they were going to end up in hot water. Fraser had graduated from Edinburgh in 1941 and had worked at the Edinburgh Hospital for Sick Children. She  subsequently worked as a GP in South Shields for 15 years and was a member of the Northumbria Police Women Doctors Group which was set up in 1983. Fraser was involved in examinations in cases of rape and child sexual abuse. Fraser had been working in the region for so long that she must have known about the paedophile ring that was operating in the region of which Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth had been members. Unlike the Cleveland Constabulary whose officers found what Marietta Higgs et al were doing very worrying indeed, Northumbria Police worked closely with Higgs and with BASPCAN.

Marjorie ‘Madge’ Bray was a social worker who left local authority work in July 1984 and set up an agency with another social worker, Mary Walsh, which offered advice to the social services in cases where children were already in care – ‘SACCS’, the ‘sexual abuse child consultant services’. SACCS conducted ‘disclosure interviews’. Madge was retained by Cleveland County Council after she was recommended to the Council by Sue Richardson. Madge had previously held a management post in fostering and adoption with Shropshire County Council. The tentacles of the North Wales Paedophile Ring reached into Shropshire – John Allen, the owner of the Bryn Alyn Community who was not only abusing children in his care himself along with his staff but was trafficking them into brothels in London and Brighton which he owned, also owned a children’s home in Shropshire.

Dr Alistair Irvine, a GP, had worked as the senior police surgeon in Cleveland Constabulary since 1982. Alistair Irvine loathed Marietta Higgs and Sue Richardson and they loathed him. Alistair Irvine was the subject of a lot of very negative press coverage by the Guardian during the Cleveland Scandal. The Guardian didn’t give any examples of wrongdoing on his part, they simply kept stressing that he was a big man with a loud voice. In other words, ‘mouthy old git’ – as compared to the calm composed quietly spoken Marietta and compassionate Sue.

Two other people who occupied senior positions whilst all hell let loose were Bruce Stevenson, the Chief Executive of Cleveland County Council and Ian Donaldson, the District General Manager of South Tees Health Authority.

Dr Liam Donaldson was the Regional Medical Officer of the Northern Regional Health Authority, the employers of Higgs and Wyatt. In 1986 Donaldson stated that he had ‘become aware that the problem of child sexual abuse was a growing one’. So what advancements in science, medicine or social sciences had elicited Donaldson’s ‘awareness’? Which publications by which world leading researchers and academics had Donaldson read on the subject? Well none actually. Donaldson’s awareness had been raised by Esther Rantzen’s Childwatch programmes of Oct 23 and 30 in 1986. Many years later Liam Donaldson was rewarded for his failure to ask or indeed to answer any questions about the Cleveland Scandal by being appointed Chief Medical Officer under Blair. In Feb 2007 – 30 years later – Liam finally fessed up that ‘mistakes were made’ in Cleveland. Liam Donaldson is now Chancellor of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University.

Mike Bishop was Director of Cleveland County Council’s Social Services. Not only did Bishop rewrite the guidelines for investigating child abuse without consulting or telling anyone, but on 12 May 1986 Bishop addressed a meeting of South Tees CHC regarding services for the elderly and people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. He told the CHC that the only group with a DECREASING need was children in care – yet Middlesborough General Hospital at that point was overflowing with ‘abused’ children. After this meeting Bishop was accused of needing to justify Cleveland’s policy of closing children’s homes and transferring the children to foster care.

The Chief Constable of Cleveland Constabulary was Christopher Payne. Payne found that any requests for children who had allegedly been abused to be seen by a police surgeon were being refused by Higgs/Wyatt/Richardson. Payne’s officers also took the view that the interviews conducted with the children by social workers were ‘leading’. The North Yorkshire Police were involved in some of the cases – in one case they had requested that the child involved be examined at the Friarge Hospital in Northallerton but were told by the social worker that their dept ‘preferred’ to use Higgs for such work.

So who was the biggest wig of all the players in the Cleveland Scandal? It was Professor Sir Bernard Tomlinson, the Chairman of the Northern Regional Health Authority, 1982-90. Bernie was the man who would have agreed to advertise the post of consultant paediatrician at Middlesborough General Hospital – which Marietta was helpfully told about by Dr Edmund Hey before it was advertised – and who OK’d Marietta’s appointment in the summer of 1986. Bernie will also have had something to do with subsequently amending Higg’s contract to include the remit for child abuse. It was Bernie who didn’t sack Higgs and Wyatt – Higgs and Wyatt were never disciplined and were never referred to the GMC. They were simply removed from child abuse work after Butler-Sloss published her Report – they both continued to work in the region as paediatricians.

Bernie was acting with authority from the very top – he Chaired the Joint Planning Appointments Committee of the DHSS, 1986-90. The Secretary of State for the DHSS at the time of Higgs’s appointment was Norman Fowler. It was Fowler who had appointed Bernie Chair of the Northern Regional Health Authority in 1982.

Tomlinson was a neuropathologist who is known as the ‘father of Alzheimer’s Disease neuropathology’ and who carried out work with Professor Sir Martin Roth. He graduated in medicine from UCL in 1943. He joined the Socialist Health Association as a young man and campaigned for the NHS in the 1945 General Election. In 1949 he took up a post in pathology at Newcastle General Hospital, which was the beginning of a very long association with Newcastle-Upon-Tyne General Hospital and University. Tomlinson was Prof of Pathology, 1973-85. In 1991 the Secretary of State for Health William Waldegrave asked Tomlinson to produce a Report on healthcare in the London. The subsequent report, the Tomlinson Review, recommended a move to primary and community facilities, involving the closure of Charing Cross Hospital, the Middlesex Hospital, St Bartholemew’s Hospital, the merger of Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals and the closure of ten smaller hospitals. There was uproar. Such uproar that most of Tomlinson’s proposals were rejected because they were far too controversial even for the Tories who had commissioned the Review. The Middlesex closed and Guy’s and Tommy’s merged, but that was about it.

There was a very entertaining interview with Tomlinson in the Indie in Oct 1992, the day after his Review was published. Tomlinson certainly got out the onions and the violins. He explained to the Indie that he had ‘agonised’ over recommending the closure of such fine old London institutions. However Tomlinson reassured the Indie that he had never experienced ‘a word or a whisper’ of political pressure during the Inquiry which led to the Review, that if he had he ‘would have packed the job in straight away’, that he had ‘no political affiliations’ and had been ‘a solid NHS man all my life’. He added that on the one occasion on which he had been an NHS in-patient, he had received ‘marvellous care’. Tomlinson also mentioned that he ‘believes that the new emphasis in the NHS on purchasing and providing is benefiting the patients’. Not that standards would ever slip in the NHS because ‘standards are stern’. So that was why Tomlison allowed himself to be pressured by someone in the DHSS to appoint a grossly abusive and quite mad doctor to cause a moral panic which led to two innocent people killing themselves in prison, the massive traumatising of more than 100 children, allegations of serious crime against scores of innocent people who had simply taken their children to the local hospital for advice on medical ailments and the breakdown in the functioning of the local NHS and social services. All this to detract from a vicious murdering paedophile gang in north Wales which was being facilitating by the local Top Doctors.

By the time that Tomlinson’s Review was published, five witnesses to the paedophile gang in north Wales had been killed in a firebomb attack (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’), I and my friends who knew what had happened to me in north Wales had all been hounded out of our careers – and one of my friends had been killed – and I had been forced into penury and had had to sell my house. Good to know that the standards in the NHS are ‘stern’ and can’t possibly slip!

So when John Major’s Gov’t and Waldegrave wanted to restructure the NHS in London they called on their old running dog to help – but they were told to fuck off by the Top Doctors who fiercely fought to keep their fiefdoms. The running dog and John Major had to give in to them, because the Top Doctors in London knew about the horrors in north Wales – the Top Doctors in London who had been called upon to collude with the cover-up when I was at Hammersmith Hospital/Royal Postgraduate Medical School (whilst the Cleveland Scandal was in full swing) and then when I worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989-1991. Furthermore, Prof Vincent Marks, my head of dept when I worked at Surrey University, had also helped them all out – Vincent Marks’s brother John Marks was the Chairman of the BMA at the time and fighting with Ken Clarke, the then Secretary of State for Health.

So this bunch of worthless turds battled with each other constantly and it always ended up in stalemate – because they had all concealed serious crime and they were all tied up together. No-one could bring anyone else down. So people carried on being abused and dying in north Wales.

No-one can ask Bernie exactly who ordered him to do the dirty deed and create a vacancy specifically for Marietta who had been primed to cause havoc, because the old bastard died in July. But for the benefit of anyone who still thinks that I’m on the biggest grassy knoll in existence, let’s correlate a few events which took place prior to the Cleveland Scandal, during the scandal and in the aftermath.

By 1986, Alison Taylor, the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the child abuse in north Wales, just would not stop approaching the authorities making allegations that children in care were being seriously abused. I was bellyaching about the mental health services as well – I had been threatened constantly by Top Doctors and my medical records were being unlawfully witheld. I had also been lied to repeatedly.

In Feb 1986 Alison Taylor took her allegations of abuse to a County Councillor, Keith Marshall. Alison and Councillor Marshall met with a police officer, DCS Gwynne Owen, to discuss the allegations. In March Alison detailed the allegations in a statement to the police. Between April and September 1986, DCS Gwynne Owen denigrated Alison, stating that her complaints were ‘false’ and ‘unsubstantiated’. As for me, I was receiving increasingly aggressive letters from Gwynedd Health Authority which failed to investigate or explain anything. On July 22 1986, Ian Muir, the Headmaster of the school attached to the Bryn Alyn Community, was convicted at Mold Crown Court of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under 16 yrs old. Muir was sentenced to six months imprisonment. The victim had been resident at Bryn Alyn for three years and was 15 yrs old when she left.

In July 1986 Marietta Higg’s appointment as a neonatal paediatrician at Middlesborough General Hospital was confirmed.

In September 1986 I was unlawfully detained at Ysbyty Gwynedd by Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), a Dr Perera and Jackie Brandt, a social worker employed by Gwynedd Social Services. The following morning Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told me that if I continued to make representation about the mental health services he would have me arrested. I made a formal complaint and wrote to the Mental Health Act Commission about all of it.

In Oct 1986 DCS Gwynne Owen sent a report to the CPS criticising Alison Taylor. By this time I had begun an MSc at Hammersmith Hospital/RPMS.

In Dec 1986 Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress and Director of Gwynedd Social Services, ie. Alison’s boss – informally suspended Alison. In the same month a former child in care from north Wales made allegations to DCS Gwynne Owen that they had been abused. Gwynne Owen ‘failed to substantiate the allegations as true’. I was unlawfully arrested and detained in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd in this month.

On Jan 13 1987 – less than two weeks after Marietta Higgs started work in Middlesborough – Alison was officially suspended by Gwynedd County Council. On Jan 6 1987 Dafydd let me out of Denbigh and told me that if I did not leave north Wales immediately he would have me arrested and detained in Risley Remand Centre. I had not committed, or been charged with, any offence. I was given a one way ticket to London – paid for by the NHS no less – and two nurses drove me to a railway station where I was literally put on a train to London. As soon as I got to London I made another formal complaint – and wrote to the Mental Health Act Commission. Who hadn’t yet responded to my first complaint.

On Jan 17 1987 Alison wrote to Margaret Thatcher, explaining that she had personally witnessed the abuse of children in care in north Wales.

Over in Cleveland the bottom inspections had begun…

In March 1987 David Gillinson was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for gross indecency against a boy in care in north Wales. Gillinson was a prominent member of the Chester branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.

In Cleveland children had begun to be taken into care on the grounds that they’d been sexually abused at an inexplicable rate.

In the summer of 1987 I received a letter inviting me to a meeting in Ysbyty Gwynedd to discuss my complaint. When I arrived in July there was no-one with whom to discuss my complaint but a junior doctor who told me that I was mentally ill. I was then arrested for attempting to stab the junior doctor. I hadn’t attempted to stab anyone and was later released from police custody after a nurse who had been in the room made a statement confirming that I hadn’t tried to stab anyone (see post ‘Workers’ Play Time’). Whilst I was at the police station, Janice Davies – a nurse from Denbigh – and Tony Francis both rang the police saying that I’d threatened them. I was charged with a public order offence – which was later dropped – but before I left the police station Dafydd turned up and told me that he thought that I should be in prison. The police let me out once Dafydd had departed. I returned to Leicester where I was by then living with Brown and some other friends. Brown enquired about the possibility of prosecuting the lying junior doctor for perjury regarding his allegations about me attempting to stab him but was told that because he didn’t swear his statement in Court we couldn’t.

It was after this that I sought advice from MIND in Leicester and MIND’s legal director in London, William Bingley – I did not know at the time that Bingley was colluding with Dafydd and concealing the wrongdoing in north Wales.

I made further formal complaints and wrote to the Mental Health Act Commission yet again. I heard nothing from the MHAC. Many years later I discovered that it had been documented upon my medical notes that I had been detained in Risley Remand Centre after stabbing someone with a knife and that someone had told the Mental Health Act Commission this as well – a David Ewart from the Liverpool MHAC office had even written to Ysbyty Gwynedd saying that he understood that I was in Risley Remand Centre after attacking someone with a knife, so he would therefore reply to my complaint at my home address in Leicester. I never actually received a letter from the Mental Health Act Commission, so presumably David Ewart thought that I’d been framed by Dafydd et al as planned and was incarcerated in prison so he didn’t even bother to go through the motions of sending the letter to the address where he thought that I wasn’t (see post ‘Workers’ Play Time’).

Dr Liam Donaldson and the Northern Regional Health Authority finally suspended Higgs and Wyatt from working with cases of child sexual abuse in the same month that Dafydd et al had tried to frame me – which some people mistakenly thought had been successful. Butler-Sloss was then appointed by Thatcher’s Gov’t to hold an Inquiry into Cleveland. Thatcher had won the recent General Election which had been held on 11 June – as advanced plans to frame me were underway and while William Bingley and MIND were no doubt feeding back everything that I was saying about Dafydd et al to corrupt people in high places. After Thatcher won the election, Sir Peter Morrison was appointed Minister for Energy.

In Oct 1987 DCS Owen wrote a second report to the CPS re Alison stating that ‘there is every likelihood…she will manipulate others in the future to make similar complaints’. On 3 Nov 1987 Alison was dismissed from her job by Gwynedd County Council.

On 28 Feb 1988 – by which time Butler-Sloss had started writing her Report about Cleveland – Alison Taylor wrote to Tony Newton the Secretary of State for Health, describing a brutal assault that she had witnessed herself.

I was then told by the corrupt Medical Ombudsman at the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen, that my complaint against Dafydd et al was going to be fully investigated by two independent consultants.

Between May and June 1988, the Nottingham Satanic Panic occurred.

In July 1988 Butler-Sloss published her Report.

 

Exactly one year later in July 1989 Professor Robert Bluglass and Colin Berry ‘investigated’ my complaint. They failed to investigate any aspects of my complaint relating to Dr Tony Francis, Dr Perera and Jackie Brandt/Gwynedd Social Services, as well as any aspects of my complaint relating to the threats made towards me and the attempts to frame me for serious offences. They did not investigate an assault on me by Steven Rose a nurse in Denbigh and no action was subsequently taken against Dafydd. A ‘discussion’ was held with him and he was told to ‘raise his clinical standards’. Bluglass and Berry stated in their report that I had caused a great deal of annoyance to many caring people and that Top Doctors really couldn’t be expected to put up with me. Bluglass told Dafydd that he thought that I would end up in a ward for the criminally insane and Dafydd observed that it was a ‘chilling prediction’ (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’).

Dafydd carried on running the paedophile ring and sexually exploiting patients. I later found out that Bluglass was mates with a number of people who had worked with Dafydd and that one of Bluglass’s close colleagues at Birmingham University was Tony Francis’s former boss and will have written his reference when Francis applied for the job in north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’).

Of course, throughout all this, Mary Wynch sued Dafydd for wrongful imprisonment and won – but Clwyd Health Authority and Risley Remand Centre then simply refused to pay the agreed compensation (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).

Whilst Dafydd ran riot in north Wales and Marietta Higgs created hell in Cleveland, two psychiatrists in Yorkshire – William Kerr and Michael Haslam – were raping and sexually abusing their female patients. People had complained about them repeatedly – there was no action taken against them until the late 1990s, by which time Kerr and Haslam had reached the age of retirement. One of them did go to prison for a brief spell. They both saw out their days on fat NHS pensions. A subsequent Inquiry into their activities reassured everyone that it could never happen again (see post ‘All The Ingredients Of A Scandal’).

Cleveland reared its ugly head again some ten years later when a Channel 4 TV documentary was made in which Sue Richardson ‘spoke out for the first time’. The documentary foregrounded the views of Sue Richardson and Jane Wynne and misrepresented many matters – including Butler-Sloss’s admission that most of the children taken into care had not been sexually abused and that RAD was not a sound technique. Richardson revealed that once the media had lost interest in the plight of the wrongly accused families in Cleveland, two years later Richardson et al went after them again and ‘re-referred’ them for molesting their children. This PR piece for Richardson and co was screened in 1997. Just as the Waterhouse Tribunal began to hear the harrowing accounts of the abuse suffered by the children who had been in care in north Wales. And just as the dear old mental health services tried to frame me yet again and recommended that if found guilty I should be transferred to a forensic team with a view to having me sent to a high security psychiatric hospital. I was acquitted of all charges. There was no investigation into the perjury which had been committed by the mental health services, but I was beginning to get used to that.

Bernard Tomlinson is dead but perhaps those still alive would like to answer a few questions.

Stuart Bell’s book mentions that the Earl of Stockton followed the Cleveland Scandal in detail, with great concern and interest. The Earl of Stockton was of course Harold Macmillan, who was very frail but still alive in 1987. The Harold Macmillan whose name will always be associated with the Profumo Affair and the sex scandals which swirled around his Gov’t as well as his own family members and friends. Sex scandals which again and again involved people in Gov’t sexually exploiting disadvantaged much younger people for sex – young people who had often been in the care of state and who seemed to have been introduced to prostitution by people involved in the welfare services. Some of those young people ended up in the hands of Top Doctors after ‘becoming psychotic’, others were found dead. Rather like north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s. One of the weekenders who partied at Cliveden in the 1960s with Bill Astor, Jack Profumo, the teenaged call girls and the Russian spies is of course still alive – dear old Baroness Trumpington (see post ’95 Glorious Years!’). She’s going to be a guest editor on the Radio 4 Today programme next week. I know that I ought to listen, but I don’t think that I’ll be able to bear to hear the smug old bat chortling away presenting herself as an elderly wag with a sense of humour. I keep thinking about all those kids in care and psychiatric patients from north Wales who were found dead.

 

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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