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The ‘were babies murdered’ case


I know that this has been attracting a lot of attention of my commenters, and that it has been quite divisive. As I said at the time, I didn’t know the full facts and from what little I had it sounded like an incredible story that would require compelling evidence to be true.  I don’t think that any of the cases alleging Satanic abuse have ever amounted to be anything more than fantasies or concoctions.

The High Court, having examined the evidence reaches the conclusion that none of the lurid allegations are true. And also that the people who had been shouting the loudest about the allegations had abused the children to get them to say these things, had been giving them cannabis and had caused them injuries.


P and Q (Children : Care Proceedings: Fact finding) 2015


I am going to be clear from the off here – whilst I am happy for people to comment and debate on this story, I will take down any post that asserts or insinuates that the people named in this judgment as being wholly innocent of these dreadful accusations has done any of those things. There are probably dozens of places on the internet where you can do that if you want to, but this won’t be one of them. Nor will I allow any comments which name the children. [If you want to say “I believe the mum and Mr Christie” then I think you are utterly wrong about that, but I won’t stop you saying that]



I know that there will be people who remain convinced otherwise, who have seen the films for themselves, made up their own minds and will view this as being a cover-up. Nothing I say is likely to change your mind about that.


For those of you who don’t know, what is this case all about?

  1. The subject children have been named repeatedly on the internet. Their photographs and film clips in which they feature have been published and re-published widely. Filmed police interviews of the children have been uploaded on to publicly accessible websites; so, too, intensely personal information relating to both children. As at 10 March 2015, more than 4 million people worldwide had viewed online material relating to this case.
  2. It is inevitable that a large proportion of those have a sexual interest in children. Any rational adult who uploads film clips to Youtube featuring children speaking about sexual activity must be assumed to realise that fact.
  3. I considered but ultimately rejected the suggestion that the children’s names should appear within the judgment. My priority is to protect them from further harm of whatever kind. Those who have posted material identifying the children have done so with flagrant disregard for their welfare interests. I see no good reason for adding to the damage already done. Only those with prurient or unhealthy curiosity will take steps to identify the children. My faith in humanity indicates that the overwhelming majority of individuals will do nothing because they, like me, have no interest in inflicting further harm.
  4. In the period before 13 January 2015, there had been some relatively limited online publication of court and other relevant material. It had been my hope that after discussion with the mother and her McKenzie Friend on 13 January, there would have been withdrawal of material from the internet. Since about 26 January the volume posted in a variety of formats on different sites has increased markedly; and the claims made against the father, the children’s former head teacher, other teachers, professionals and a very large number of parents at the children’s former school have proliferated.
  5. Many of those individuals are now living in fear because they have been identified on the internet as abusers of children and their contact details including telephone numbers, home and email addresses have been published. Lives have been disrupted. Several of those implicated have received malicious, intimidating ‘phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night from all over the world. For example, “Hey cock. We’re coming for you. You scum paedo.
  6. It has been necessary for the police to protect worried parents and children at the gates of the school in Hampstead at the centre of the allegations. Prospective parents have wondered whether to withdraw their children from allocated places. Existing parents have been uniformly supportive of the school and every member of the teaching staff.


The Court had been asked as part of care proceedings, to consider all of the evidence and reach conclusions as to whether these allegations were true.


They all arose from two children, P and Q, and specifically from films that were taken of them making very strong allegations, principally about their father but then involving many other people.  These films had been taken by their mother and her partner. The films had then found their way onto the internet and had been viewed by millions of people (many of whom took them at face value)


  1. This necessarily lengthy judgment has one essential purpose. It is to provide definitive conclusions upon a quantity of evidence at the end of a thorough-going hearing. I have surveyed the relevant history as well as all of the significant developments in a wide-ranging police and social services investigation. Everything of importance on all sides of the dispute has been considered so as to enable me to arrive at authoritative findings.
  2. These are care proceedings brought by the London Borough of Barnet relating to two children, P and Q who are 9 and 8 years old respectively. Their parents are Ella Draper and Ricky Dearman.
  3. In September 2014, lurid allegations of the most serious kind were drawn to the attention of the Metropolitan Police. In a variety of ways, it was suggested that P and Q were part of a large group of children from north London who had been sexually abused, made to abuse one another and that they had belonged to a satanic cult in which there was significant paedophile activity.
  4. Specifically, it was said that babies were supplied from all over the world. They were bought, injected with drugs and then sent by TNT or DHL to London. The assertions were that babies had been abused, tortured and then sacrificed. Their throats were slit, blood was drunk and cult members would then dance wearing babies’ skulls (sometimes with blood and hair still attached) on their bodies. All the cult members wore shoes made of baby skin produced by the owner of a specified shoe repair shop.
  5. Children, it was alleged, would be anally abused by adult members of the cult using plastic penises or “willies.”
  6. Christchurch Primary School in Hampstead was said to be where the “main action” occurred but at least seven other local schools were named. East Finchley swimming pool was identified as one of the other meeting venues for the paedophile ring. Rituals were performed, so it was claimed, in an upstairs room at the McDonald’s restaurant where the “boss” allowed child sacrifice because he was a member of the cult. Human babies were prepared, cooked in the ovens within a secret kitchen and then eaten by cult members.
  7. It was alleged that the children’s father, Ricky Dearman, was the leader of the cult and that others included the children’s headteacher, Ms Forsdyke, another teacher, Mr Hollings, the priest at the adjacent church, a large number of named parents of other children, social workers, CAFCASS officers and police officers. It was said that, in all, more than a hundred people were involved in ‘doing sex‘ to the children.
  8. I am able to state with complete conviction that none of the allegations are true. I am entirely certain that everything Ms Draper, her partner Abraham Christie and the children said about those matters was fabricated. The claims are baseless. Those who have sought to perpetuate them are evil and / or foolish.


But, some people will be saying, the children said these things – they must be true, or why would they say them?

  1. All the indications are that over a period of some weeks last summer, P and Q were forced by Mr Christie and Ms Draper, working in partnership, to provide concocted accounts of horrific events. The stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is a strong word but it is the most accurate way to describe what was done to the children by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms Draper.
  2. The children were made to take part in filmed mobile ‘phone recordings in which they relayed a series of fabricated satanic practices. Subsequently, at the instigation of Abraham Christie and Ella Draper, the children repeated their false stories to Jean-Clement Yaohirou, Mr Christie’s brother in law, in a late night discussion. It lasted for about three hours; Mr Christie and Ms Draper did most of the talking.
  3. P and Q were ABE (Achieving Best Evidence) interviewed on 5, 11 and 17 September 2014. On the first two occasions, they supplied information about events they claimed had occurred, similar in their overall content to the mobile ‘phone video clips and audio recording. On 17 September, in ABE interview, both children withdrew their allegations. Each stated they had been made to say things by Abraham Christie, the mother’s partner, which were not true; and they gave very full details of the way in which he had secured their compliance.
  4. Ms Draper and Mr Christie have not participated by being present in court. I am as sure as I can be that their absence has been deliberate. They have chosen to remain away; but the internet campaign has continued. Countless online articles have been posted in which the truth of the satanic abuse claims is asserted repeatedly. Notwithstanding injunctions restraining Ms Draper and Sabine McNeill, one of her supporters, from publishing information from the proceedings on the internet or elsewhere, such material continues to be uploaded. Efforts to persuade internet servers to remove material have been of only limited value. As soon as information is removed by one provider, it emerges elsewhere.


You may pick up as you read the document, that the mother was not present in Court for most of the hearing, and no doubt a Telegraph journalist is already preparing a piece about how she was refused a voice. Just to clear that particular topic up – she was entitled to free legal representation, she had that representation and sacked them, she had a McKenzie Friend and refused to come to Court.

  1. The mother’s and Mr Christie’s participation
  2. In the initial stages of the proceedings, Ms Draper had the advantage of representation by experienced Solicitors and Counsel. On 10 December 2014, at court, she dispensed with her legal team. My first involvement with the case was on 13 January 2015. Dates were secured for this hearing as follows: 17 – 20 February, 3 – 6 and 10 – 12 March. On 13 January, the indications from Ms Draper were that once again she would avail herself of legal representation.
  3. Until 26 January 2015, the mother appeared as a litigant in person assisted by McKenzie friends. On 9 February my clerk notified the parties, by email, that there would be a hearing the following day. Ms Draper failed to attend court on 10 February when mandatory and prohibitory injunctions were made against her. Ms Draper has not filed further evidence nor any schedule of the detailed findings sought as directed by my order of 20 January. Arrangements had been made for her to attend at the offices of the local authority to collect the final bundle and Practice Direction documents. Ms Draper did not attend although her email communication had suggested she would.
  4. The oral evidence began on 17 February. At 08.51 that day, my clerk received an email from Ms Draper in which she asked permission for her McKenzie friend, Belinda McKenzie to represent her and her parents’ interests in court. Ms Draper stated that she had been “prevented from being present in the court” and that Ms McKenzie had her “formal instruction to convey (her) position.” Ms McKenzie reiterated that request at the beginning of the hearing. But, as I explained to Ms McKenzie, in circumstances where the mother herself was absent, the Practice Guidance relating to McKenzie Friends expressly prohibits such an individual from acting as the litigant’s agent or from conducting the litigation on her behalf. In Ms Draper’s absence, it seemed to me that there was no proper role for Ms McKenzie.
  5. In response to my inquiry, it was established that Ms McKenzie remained in contact with Ms Draper. She assured me she would pass on a message urging the mother to participate by coming to court and informing her that the hearing would continue in her absence. Outside court on 17 February, Ms McKenzie apparently indicated to the local authority’s legal team that Ms Draper was in the process of instructing a lawyer. However, at no stage, has there been any contact with anyone purporting to act on behalf of Ms Draper.
  6. The mother has remained absent from the court. Her partner, Abraham Christie was outside the front entrance of the building on 17 February as part of the group campaigning for the “return of the ‘Whistleblower Kids’ to their Russian family.” A witness summons was issued requiring his attendance to answer questions on Friday 20 February. Attempts to serve that summons were unsuccessful.
  7. Earlier attempts at securing Mr Christie’s participation in the proceedings because of the likelihood that the local authority would seek findings against him were wholly unsuccessful. A series of communications from the local authority’s Solicitor went unanswered.

There is no substance in the assertion that the mother has been prevented from participating at this hearing. If she had been arrested on 12 February in connection with harassment allegations, the overwhelmingly likelihood is that she would have been released on bail enabling her to come to court on 17 February. If she had been remanded in custody, I would have been in contact with the police and prison authorities so as to make appropriate arrangements for Ms Draper’s attendance at court.


The mother instead chose to fight the case on the internet rather than in Court.


  1. Within her position statement for 26 January hearing, written for her by Ms Sabine McNeill as she later revealed, the mother made a thinly veiled threat as to what would happen if the children “were not returned to their mother and grandparents with immediate effect.” Ms Draper stated that the consequence would be “high level embarrassment.” An open letter to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, posted on the internet, explicitly states that the Position Statement was “our offer NOT to expose this scandal in exchange for returning the children.”
  2. The clear message from recent events is that whilst Ms Draper is prepared to campaign using the internet she is not willing to take part in this inquiry.


The Judge goes through the detail of the films that were taken of the children in which the mother and Mr Christie draw these allegations out of the children. They make for very depressing reading. I haven’t the stomach or heart to put them all in. Please though, if you are immediately wanting to line up with the parents against the evil State and the corrupt and wicked Courts, read the judgment first and see if these are people that you really want to give your support to.

I’ll just give you the final bit

Towards the end of the recording there is a passage when the children and Mr Christie are all shouting, excitedly, “Kill, kill, kill.” Mr Christie urges the children to “Say it… Say it how they say it.” A. “Kill, kill, kill.” …. Mr Christie, “What’s the word that you say?” A. “Kill.” Mr Christie, “Say it more for me. I want to hear it…. I like the sound of it. Can you say it together, say it, let’s all say it together.” There is then repeated chanting of the word “Kill” and a little later of the phrase, “Kill the baby.” Once more Mr Christie urges the children on saying, “Let’s say it together. Let’s say it together. Kill the baby.” And they do.


The Judge, who had read everything, watched everything, and seen the witnesses give evidence, had this to say about the children’s presentation in the ABE interviews they originally gave to the police after the mother and Mr Christie made their complaint and provided them with films.


  1. Again and again, as I watched the interviews of 5 and 11 September my sense was that the children, for the most part, were in the realms of fantasy. There was an urgency and an excitement about what they were saying as the detail became ever more elaborate. It was as if they had been transported away from reality and into dream land. There were obvious parallels in what P was saying with some aspects of the story line in C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.’
  2. There was no change in the presentation of either child when they described apparently horrific acts as experienced by them and others. There did not appear to be any emotional connection with what they were saying except that they seemed energised.
  3. The other significant deduction is that material supplied by P relating to the physical abuse of both children by Mr Christie in order to get them to talk should alert any sensible observer to the potential for false reporting.



The conclusions are stark

  1. Overall conclusions in relation to Ms Draper’s allegations
  2. In addition to my findings already made both within the opening paragraphs of the judgment and subsequently it is necessary to consider how and the extent to which the children have been harmed.
  3. Both P and Q have suffered significantly. Their innocence was invaded. Their minds were scrambled. Their grip on reality was imperilled. They were introduced to sexual practices of which they had no real understanding at a time when they should have been shielded from such things.
  4. Perhaps most significantly of all, the children were made to absorb and repeat on film and in interview grotesque claims against so many blameless people including the father whom they love.
  5. I have no doubt but that the physical injuries described by the children as having been inflicted by Abraham Christie were, indeed, caused by him. I reject as baseless Ms Draper’s suggestion that instead Mr Dearman was responsible. A straightforward conclusion given that neither child had seen him for about three months at the time of Dr Hodes’ examination and subsequent police photography. Those photographs clearly show recent rather than healed injuries.
  6. There is good evidence to find, as I do, that in the three months leading to their reception into care both children ingested cannabis. Scientific analysis revealed that both children had metabolites of the drug (THC) in their hair – a finding which could not be explained by ingestion of ‘hemp based products’ because none would contain sufficient levels of cannabis to produce the metabolite. It is impossible for the analysts to say whether the children had ingested the drug whether by passive smoking or oral ingestion. However, the children were clear in interview when describing the way hemp was made into soup using the juicer.
  7. The amounts found in the children’s hair samples suggested their ingestion had not been, as Ms Cave of Lextox described, a “one-off” but regular over the period. It is hard to imagine how any parent could deliberately expose a child to an illegal drug. But it may have been part of Mr Christie’s and Ms Draper’s plan so as to gain the children’s compliance. I need hardly say now profoundly damaging it was to administer illegal drugs to a child.
  8. The posting of film clips featuring the children speaking about sexual matters has exposed P and Q to the potential for very serious embarrassment and humiliation in the years ahead maybe, even, throughout the whole of the rest of their lives. Doubtless they will grow and develop so that their visual appearances will alter. But it may be difficult to shield them from unwelcome interest and reputational damage unless radical steps to divert attention are taken.Final thoughts about the investigation
  9. If there is one key message at the end of this inquiry it is that it is not and never will be sufficient to consider just one or two evidential features in isolation. It is always necessary to take account of all the material not just a selection. Those who arrived at their own early conclusions on the basis of partial material were woefully misguided.
  10. The individuals who have watched online film clips, read online articles and believed in the allegations would do well to reflect that ‘things may not be what they seem’ and that it is all too easy to be duped on the basis of partial information. There are many campaigning people, sadly, who derive satisfaction from spreading their own poisonous version of history irrespective of whether it is true or not.
  11. Proper consideration should always be given to the context within which allegations are made. In this instance, years of court conflict over the issue of contact and Ms Draper’s antipathy for Mr Dearman provided fertile territory for the creation of false allegations and their reiteration by the children.
  12. The history of the key protagonists may also play a part in untangling the intrigue so as to get at the truth. Mr Christie has a background of criminality for drugs offences, violence and dishonesty. More recently, he received a police caution for assaulting his adolescent son.
  13. Finally, that it is never possible to predict how a court inquiry of this kind will unfold. Against the preconceptions of many including my own, when the maternal grandparents gave evidence on 4 March 2015 they made their views about the allegations plain. They consider them to be “total nonsense and fantasies.”
  14. This is a summary of my salient findings – • Neither child has been sexually abused by any of the following – Ricky Dearman, teachers at Christchurch Primary School Hampstead, the parents of students at that school, the priest at the adjacent church, teachers at any of the Hampstead or Highgate schools, members of the Metropolitan Police, social workers employed by the London Borough of Camden, officers of Cafcass or anyone else mentioned by Ms Draper or Mr Christie.

    • The children’s half brother, his father and stepmother – Will and Sarah Draper – are likewise exonerated of any illicit or abusive acts involving the children.

    • There was no satanic or other cult at which babies were murdered and children were sexually abused.

    • All of the material promulgated by Ms Draper now published on the internet is nothing other than utter nonsense.

    • The children’s false stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is the most accurate way to describe what was done by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms Draper.

    • Both children were assaulted by Mr Christie by being hit with a metal spoon on multiple occasions over their head and legs, by being pushed into walls, punched, pinched and kicked. Water was poured over them as they knelt semi-clothed.

    • The long term emotional and psychological harm of what was done to the children is incalculable. The impact of the internet campaign is likely to have the most devastating consequences for P and Q.


Having had a discussion with Ian from Forced Adoption this week, I said that I had very mixed feelings when a Court imprisons a parent for speaking out about their case – I’m not at all sure that it is the right solution for a difficult problem and I would rather it didn’t happen.  I would not have those mixed feelings in this particular case.


About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

37 responses

  1. Like this blog’s author, I’ve commented before about the need to judge each case on its merits, as opposed to making sweeping statements like “the parents are always right” or “the social workers are always wrong”.

    In this case I would sincerely hope that the extent of the abuse clearly meted on these children by the mother and Mr Christie, in a deliberate attempt to implicate the father, school teachers and others, will mean that those who offer blind support will no do so in this case.

    The reason I say this is that I genuinely believe that miscarriages of justice do occur, and that on those occasions the parents need all the support they can get.

    However, to fail to even attempt to separate those subject to miscarriage, from those who are clearly guilty, and to instead offer _both_ groups blind support, does everyone a deep disservice, most especially the children who have been so badly mistreated.

  2. stella aka toni macleod

    having had this same discussion on a well known social media site i will repeat my views on here…..

    i have watched the footage (not at great length admittedly) i did say at the time it looks like theyve been coached due to the lack of emotion fear or even shock shown by them

    what that couple did is horrendous i have no doubt that in this twisted sick world we live in there is undoubtedly satanic sex rings about lurking in some sordid underground venue however to force children to make this type of thing up is barbaric inhumane and sadistic in itself

    there is a very VERY vast difference between campaigning against having your children removed and to use abuse and make a show of them in this way them children WILL be scarred for life known public faces for the rest of their lives and that will carry that dark shadow with them for the rest of their lives

    as a campaigning parent who does wholeheartedly admit to naming my kids on the internet and intentionally disrupting any adoption placements that come about i do this to ensure my kids know i fought for them tooth and nail every single day and that i will never ever give up on them and will always be close by in their lives whether im known to be there or not i always know their addresses and keep track of their whereabouts achievements and to make sure their being cared for in my absence until we get justice and they come back home

    which is a stark contrast to what those ‘parents’ and i use that term loosely VERY loosely have done to their kids which is nothing short of evil

    they clearly need some serious psychological and psychiatric treatment

    if the judicial system seek to use this as their motivation of blanket banning parents campaigning and naming their kids in the future they need to consider carefully that no loving parent would use their kids in this way us campaigners who do name our kids are completely different to these people and should not be tarred with the same brush !! we do it out of love not lunacy

    stella xx

  3. just wanted to say thanks for posting this

  4. Those poor children, whatever the truth, they’ve been damaged for life 😦

  5. Thanks for providing the ammunition if anyone suggests this might be true. There are times when passion is necessary, and times when however hardened you are it gets too much to bear with equanimity.

  6. totallyconfused

    As someone who knows the ‘McKenzie Friends’ involved; I knew this was wrong from minute one….They are self serving self publicity seeking people. (Melissa Liard anyone; I happen to know her mother and the story put out by these people is the farthest from the truth possible.)

    I in my own way have been in the media and assist others but only when it is so clear that an injustice has occurred.

    It is rare that Stella and I agree (for she has attacked me multiple times and threatened me) but in this instance, she is correct.

    As someone who has been slapped with a Sect 91 (even though the Judge admitted ‘You have never made a single application to the court; EVER’) and then imposed no gagging order on me (How is that consistent?) I am able to speak out. I have never named my child in the media or allowed him to be filmed or transcribed. (OK so from that you get he is a boy; oh, and he is 13! He is not allowed home because a)his Father committed an offense in 1999 which he was arrested for in 2003!!!- so committed it before I met him and he didn’t know he did so- credit card fraud! and Father refuses therapy because he minimises his crime – according to them- and b) Since Mother will not accept the risk Father poses and has an ‘anti-authority attidude’ she must be taught ‘socially acceptable attitudes.’)

    My day to day parenting skills have not been brought into question, my mental health-nope- (except for the report they got that said ‘Mother only struggles to cope with incompetent social workers’), health, welfare, medical not questioned.

    To return to the original topic: something is going on….and it is not this case….

    • frances markey

      Remember it was the MacDonalds where they do the staff training in Finchley which is a huge building with lots of rooms. It has been also proved in satanic US that they do use the skin of the babies to make things with, look on the net not just in this case.

  7. Society of the spectacle.. what a sordid story, worthy of a Berthold Brecht play. A society that can not deal with the abuse of children through it’s very own authorities and is so deep in corruption as the UK is – it had to come to a story like this.

    I question how “timely” and convinient this case has come after all these revelation of pedophile murders through politicans and cover ups of child sexual abuse through local authorities (Rotherham aso). The McKenzies involved are in my view shills (in service to disinform and distract) who have helped – yet again – to publicly dicredit those who seek justice from the UK authorities for the rampant and pandemic abuse of children.

    • I thought I’d anticipated most angles on this story, but that one hadn’t occurred to me.

      • I have watched plenty of “House of Cards” 🙂


      • Here alas is yet another family court handling criminal matters with family court procedures.I cannot say whether the children’s allegations were 100%true,50%true, or 100%false but on the evidence provided neither I submit can the judge ! The children gave detailed descriptions of tattoos ,scars,and other marks on the bodies of adults they should otherwise never have seen.At the very least they should have been checked for accuracy.The medical evidence of long term sexual abuse was disregarded.
        My own feeling is that there was at least some truth in what the children said but that the mother and her partner forced them to make the same mistake so many of the critics of the system make “exaggeration” .
        This has the effect of reducing credibility instead of enhancing it.
        Whether the children were truthful or not in their initial stories the effect has probably been to deter other children from reporting sexual abuse because they now know that they will not be allowed to testify in person in court ,and will simply not be believed .

      • Would you have believed two years ago that a group of high ranking politicans, secret service men and police are engaging actively in pedophile sex parties and murder of children and in the cover up of the same?

      • If there was evidence, yes. As I said before, compelling claims require compelling evidence. Would I have believed ten years ago that Jimmy Saville was a paedophile? I would have thought it was possible, yes. Would I have believed a claim (without evidence) that hospital staff and police turned a blind eye and facilitated that? No. Did I believe it once the compelling evidence emerged? Yes.

        There’s no compelling evidence for the P and Q claims being true, but very compelling evidence that the children were coached.

  8. I have watched my share of “House of Cards”

  9. There are those that want these sort of allegations to be true and do not tread very carefully or worse still actually play their part in reinforcing the allegations (even to other “victims”) througth their “evidence gathering” (or should that be brainwashing or false memory implants).

    Including police officers and social workers, like Liz Mclean who “interviewed” the children in the Orkney child abuse scandal and before that in the 1990 Rochdale satanic abuse case, her interviews were going down the path of the mother and her partner in this case.

    Both the public and the authorities can turn these sort of cases into witch hunts or start them in the first place.

    I still do not think that social workers and others have learnt from the past sex abuse scandals, even today with ABE interviews many of them can raise questions about the techniques used and people (especially social workers and female police officers in public protection units) can project their own thoughts/prejudices onto the cases (look at the behaviour of the police and the cafcass guardian (Suzi Smith) in the coupland case.

    Also I think lawyers all across the country must cringe inside when a mother says to them I have a recording/video of my child talking about neglect/abuse at the hands of their father.

  10. Lyn Saddington

    We have two children’s lives destroyed here and parents who will be forever more associated with this story, just when they think it’s forgotten someone in life will bring it up!
    Worse still is that we now again see that the people shouting corruption and injustice are the very people attempting to cause it!
    Even worse in my book is we have parents claiming they have common sense and are capable of looking after their children yet believed and hung on every word of the story!
    I did have to check when I saw the video it wasn’t a trailer for the local ameture dramatics society at Hampstead theatre though to be honest.

    • with regard to the first point you make, you are spot on… I was talking to a young women a couple of years ago that had been on the jeremy kyle show, she told me that since she had suffered abuse where ever she went from 10 year olds to OAP’s and what made it worse was that the episode she appeared on was still being repeated.. the internet will repeat this case forever….

  11. It is untrue to state that “the medical evidence of long term sexual abuse was disregarded’.

    It was examined in considerable detail, as set out in the judgement; the doctor had to retract many of her claims after peer review i.e. other experienced paediatricians looking at the evidence thought her vew was completely untenable. During oral evidence she was reduced to suggesting that the children should be reviewed by an experienced psychologist/psychiatrist, notwithstanding the fact that the children had already been reviewed by a leading specialist, who had concluded that there was no evidence of sexual abuse and a great deal of evidence that the children had been physically and psychologically abused by their mother and her new partner.


    • I don’t think you understand the meaning of ‘peer review’, nor the place it has in the practice of medicine.

      Dr Hodes was unable to persuade a panel of her fellow consultant paediatricians that her findings were correct. That was why she had to keep changing them. She then demonstrated her disrespect for her professional obligations by apparently forgetting that another ‘leading light’ of the profession had already examined the children very carefully and come to conclusions very different to her own.

      In the circumstances it is unsurprising that the Judge rejected her claims; if she couldn’t persuade her fellow consultant paediatricians that she was right than she certainly couldn’t convince the Court.


      • Do you have a reference for the case, on Bailli or elsewhere? It’s incredibly difficult to say anything sensible about it without knowing the facts. The judge in this case made it very clear that she was concerned about the doctor’s actions, but it is for the GMC to decide whether a doctor is fit to practice.

        I don’t think this is about ‘institutions’ so much as the willingness of some people to behave in a thoroughly despicable manner. My own definition of hell is what happened to the children in this case, and others, so we must part company on that…

      • I do have a case reference number but do not have permission to share it. What I can say is that the similarities in both cases regarding Dr Hodes’ evidence and how the court reacted to Dr Hodes are indeed striking.

        However, as you already pointed out, it is very difficult to take a balanced view when confronted with so much material and when missing so many details of how events unfolded, how people got involved and why. We are always left with doubt in sexual abuse cases that are contested by experts. Dr Hodes voiced her concerns, that is her professional duty. Her findings are, that there are medical signs of historical sexual abuse (it does not say by whom). This finding of her stands opposite of a pychological finding which claims no abuse has taken place. Without going into any detailed argument – if the evidence scenario would have been such, that the psychological evidence would state sexual abuse has taken place and the medical evidence states it has not – what would the court have decided?

        I see in these questions the real path to shed more light on how “objective” courts deal with “hard” and “soft” evidence (or not).

        As a final note, I may add, that there are many hells and one can never pass a judgment on who deserves to be in there and who does not until it is your own turn.

      • Well, no, Dr Hodes did not produce ‘medical signs” of sexual abuse, historical or otherwise; that was the problem she had in Court. She couldn’t convince her fellow consultant paediatricians that there was physical evidence of sexual abuse. It wasn’t a case in which her physical findings were opposed by the psychiatrist; it was a case in which she had no physical findings to support her claims.

        Her last throw of the dice, as it were, as a witness when all else failed was the suggestion that the children be examined by a psychiatrist, overlooking the fact that they already had been. To make matters worse, at least for Dr Hodes, the psychiatrist who examined the children, and strongly disagreed with her, is someone regularly pilloried for her alleged desire to remove children from their loving parents on trumped up charges of abuse.

        There is no doubt in my mind that the children were dreadfully abused by their mother and her lover; the judge described what they did as torture, and I entirely agree with her. The fact that they wish to carry on torturing the children is painfully obvious…

      • The judgment is very plain as to why Dr Hodes’ evidence was not relied upon. If you are a paediatrician and the Judge is raising the Cleveland Inquiry when talking about your work, that’s a really bad sign. [Obviously, I can only talk about this particular case – I’ve had a quick look online and can’t see any other judgments which criticise her, and she is clearly a paediatrician who was well thought of enough to be asked to jointly conduct the paediatric review into what went wrong in the Baby P case]. RAD, the diagnostic tool in this case has had several criticisms made of it, one being that a differential diagnosis CAN BE constipation. If you see something in a child and it might be sexual abuse or it might be constipation, that has the risk of creating a false positive.

      • About the only thing worse which I can imagine is the Judge referring to the Newcastle case, in which the doctor admitted to having exaggerated her findings in order to increase the amount of money payable in compensation. Taking part in fraudulent behaviour is not something any doctor should be doing.

        It was a libel case, of course, so perhaps it is unsuitable for citing in proceedings in the Family Court, but Eadie stressed how unwise it was for any paediatrician to become closely involved. So did Justice Paullfrey. The doctor involved in the end accepted that her actions had done serious damage to a number of children; it is a truism that investigating abuse can in itself be abusive.

        She was referred to the GMC, who, in the end, exonerated her on the grounds that she was seriously overworked. Of course, the reason she was overworked was because she was diagnosing very large numbers of children as having been sexually abused when there was, in fact, no evidence of sexual abuse. As I recall there was a subsequent review of her work in other cases in which she had diagnosed non-accidental injury; there was certainly one decision overturned and there may have been more. It’s been a while since I last considered this.

        Eadie’s judgement runs to many hundreds of pages, but if you have the time to glance at the opening and closing sections you will certainly feel like it’s déjà vu all over again…

      • I can’t get that Bailii link to work, Stevie, but I would be interested in reading it if you can post it again.

      • And it does! It is a very, very long judgement, but it is, I think, worth reading in its entirety should you ever get a spare week or so.

        Otherwise, as I said above, the opening and closing few pages will, I think, be very helpful in giving an overview of just how much damage can be inflicted on children in cases like this, where adults are driven by their own obsessions without any consideration for the wellbeing of the children involved.

        It is also noteworthy for those adults being completely indifferent to any idea of natural justice; the concept was apparently entirely alien to them.

      • Just read the conclusions and now reading the paediatric section. I think I’d better make it plain that the paediatrician complained of here was not the same one as in the P and Q case. (That doesn’t make what happened any better, but someone reading the comments chain might mistakenly think that it was Dr Hodes being criticsed by Mr Justice Eady)

      • Indeed; in my post immediately below, dated 26th March, I had quoted the Judges remarks identifying Dr San Lazaro – the doctor involved in the Newcastle case- in one of the ‘shaken babies’ appeals, and thought that sufficient to distinguish her from Dr Hodes. The difficulty with being familiar with a particular case is that sometimes one assumes every one else is…

  13. And this is the one I mentioned above which I recall, for rather obvious reasons; it’s hard to forget:

    “In conclusion we are struck in this appeal by the very radical change in the Crown case; the jury considered one case, shaking, yet that case is now rejected and we have been asked to consider a totally different allegation of multiple blows to the head. During the summing up at trial the jury were told that Dr San Lazaro was “very, very experienced” and “specialises in child protection and abuse” cases. They were also reminded that Dr San Lazaro had said “I am as certain as you can be in medicine” in her opinion that this was a shaking injury. This “certain” opinion from the Crown’s principal witness is now rejected by Crown experts who are equally firm in their own opinion. We have to consider the evidence in its totality, both at trial and before us. There are, as we have observed, now five different explanations put forward by experts for N’s injuries.”

    In the circumstances it probably comes as no surprise that the appeal against conviction was successful.

  14. (Sorry Suess for posting this again, I have problems with these nested comments… )

    It is remarkable how easy it is for the court and the public to agree that certain medical evidence is not valid for them in certain case. While other medical evidence is highly welcome, in particular certain care proceedings that end up in forced adoption, however flimsy that evidence may be. The medical evidence in this case is clear: There is anal scarring on both children. It is a fact, and not speculative. it is not an evidence that can be just dismissed and declared as void of a fantasy, but alas, in court in can be declared to be just that. If the mother would have the ability and the access to appeal this case together with a good lawyer, she could get this judgment shredded into pieces (at least the sexual abuse part of it), but most women don’t know how to do that and the court, SS and the perperatrors have their ways to silence dissent.

    It is the lack of oversight, procedural accuracy and judicial responsibility that is common and extremely disturbing in all sexual abuse cases that are dealt with at the Famly Court. it is comical how certain people go around pontificating with such judgments that are so obviously flawed.

    Do re-phrase it – how about a statistical insight: How many sexual abuse cases that were dealt with in Family Courts and had a private law background (speak: Residency and /or Contact proceedigns) actually turned out to be in favor of “sexual absue took place”. How many mothers lost custody and were told by the court that they are liars and malicous and harmful for their children. How about a little statistical play? Well, it is nearly 100%. Now, we can take this statistic as evidence and declare that inter-familiar sexual abuse does no longer exist in the UK? Hurrah for that! Problem solved. 😛

    Dr Hodes knew very well that her ship was sinking and nobody would listen to her, at least the judge, and her recommendation for “psychotherapy” was the last straw she could throw to the children, in the hope that perhaps somebody would actually think it would be a wise idea for these 2 children to have somebody totally independent to talk to. However, as many people are painfuilly aware wisdom does not rule the Family Courts, and for many people justice is nothing but a play of arguments and tactics on the back of children – your future generation.

    • I don’t think it is anywhere close to 100%. In my experience, sexual abuse allegations that are found to be fabricated are exceptionally rare – I have seen less in an entire career than I could count on the fingers of one hand, whereas the ones where the children had actually been abused and were proved to have been are dozens.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree about whether the medical evidence is persuasive of anything at all. The differential diagnosis is something that’s a really common medical complaint that would have absolutely no abuse connotations at all.

      The mother of course had legal representation in this case, and she sacked them. I don’t suppose she sacked them because their opinion was that they were going to shred the case against her to pieces.

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