The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 13:09

Submission to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, Northern Ireland

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Following his recent expose of the disgraced paedophile psychiatrist Morris Fraser, Dr Niall Meehan has made this submission to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (Hart Inquiry) in Northern Ireland.

Dr Morris Fraser was employed by the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority as a child psychiatrist from 1 August 1970. He occupied the post of senior registrar in psychiatry in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on the Falls Road.

A recent episode of the Spotlight current affairs television programme examined the career of this disgraced paedophile psychiatrist. [1] 

Watch with Caution May Cause Triggering!

The Spotlight programme brought important new information into the public domain and revealed that the General Medical Council intends to send to you information in its possession concerning Dr Fraser.

Because of time limitations the programme did not foreground some information of particular concern to society in Northern Ireland. I would like to bring this information to your attention. I hope you can obtain explanations from those responsible. I include also some new information.

My report on Dr Fraser pointed to three key institutional failings:

 1.    POLICE FAILURE
Police (RUC, Metropolitan) failed to inform the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority that their employee, celebrity child psychiatrist Morris Fraser, was convicted on 17 May 1972 in Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, London, of abusing a 13-year-old-boy. The abuse occurred at 6 St Augustine’s Mansions, Blomberg Street, London, between 27-30 August 1971. Fraser was fined £50 and was conditionally discharged for three years and seven days. The case was not reported in newspapers. Fraser was effectively tried in secret. Your inquiry might attempt to discover why and how these things happened, and the extent of RUC and/or Metropolitan Police responsibility.

The above information points to an attempt by police to manage Dr Fraser's disgrace. This is compounded by the fact that research revealed that a second, 10-year-old, boy was abused in the same place at the same time. An Ian Bell was charged with this crime, though he appeared separately from Fraser. Bell pleaded not guilty and was sent to Crown Court after two more Bow Street hearings. Bell informed me, by telephone 14 June 2016, that he pleaded guilty on advice in Crown Court and was sentenced to six months, suspended. Bell also informed me that Fraser brought three boys to London and that he permitted them to drink alcohol over the course of the weekend. This was, claimed Fraser, part of their therapy in escaping from their blighted lives.[4]

An intention by police to cover-up Fraser’s conviction is indicated by failure to forward certification of conviction to Fraser’s employer in May 1972.

However, the Bow Street Magistrates’ Court record reveals that a certificate of Fraser’s conviction on 17 May 1972 was sent to the NI Hospitals Authority one year later, on 11 May 1973. Undoubtedly it was dispatched then because of Fraser’s highly publicised New York arrest six days earlier, on 3 May 1973 (this is dealt with in more detail under point 2, below).

The probability of a relationship between Fraser and security forces is further reinforced by refusal in 2015 of a Freedom of Information request concerning Fraser, partly on ‘national security’ grounds.[5]

Finally, since Fraser was conditionally discharged in May of 1972 in London, he should have been brought back in front of a UK court after his US arrest, guilty plea and conviction on child abuse charges, in 1973-74. This further lack of action constitutes additional failure by police.

Each of the above failures contributed to Fraser’s continued capacity to abuse children and to the abuse of children by paedophile networks with which Fraser was associated in Northern Ireland, in Great Britain, and elsewhere.

2.    GMC FAILURE
The General Medical Council (GMC) failed to adequately investigate and to properly sanction Fraser’s criminal and unethical behaviour. 

On 3 May 1973 Fraser was arrested in New York, USA, as a participant in a paedophile network with seven other men. They were accused of abusing 15 boys. US, London and Belfast newspapers (plus one in Dublin) reported Fraser’s arrest on days following.

The GMC’s Disciplinary Committee then charged Fraser with professional misconduct.
However, when it met in July 1973 the GMC ignored Fraser’s US arrest. Subsequent meetings ignored Fraser’s guilty plea on 28 February 1974, plus conviction and sentence on 21 June 1974 in Suffolk County, New York.

The GMC instead investigated (and thereby revealed for the first time) Fraser’s previous effectively secret May 1972 conviction for child abuse.

The GMC ignored also Fraser’s co-accused Ian Bell and the other abused child.

The flat where the abuse took place in August 1971 was apparently set up as a paedophile den, with elaborate games, train sets, etc.. This was not mentioned. There were three men, including Fraser, in the London flat in August 1971. Fraser brought the three boys with him from Belfast. This significant fact, confirmed by Bell, is also not in GMC documentation. However, Disciplinary Committee spokesperson John Phillips mentioned it (or perhaps let it lip out) while talking to the press in July 1973 (Belfast Telegraph, 18 July 1973).

The Disciplinary Committee was enabled by means of these omissions to present Fraser as involved in a single ‘sordid’ act as an innocent doctor corrupted by a drug-addicted homosexual child, rather than as engaged in a predatory paedophile conspiracy. The GMC discussed Fraser’s case on four occasions, 16-21 July 1973, 11-13 March and 15-18 July 1974, before concluding over 14-16 July 1975 that psychiatric treatment had been successful (note: future Attorney General and NI Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew was a legal assessor at the March 1974 hearing).

Fraser stated publicly after his last GMC encounter in July 1975 that he was permitted to practice without professional restriction. Fraser was a career paedophile who continued, courtesy of the GMC’s failure, to make use of his professional standing to abuse children and to enable abuse by fellow paedophiles.

3.    MEDIA FAILURE
The media failed to note in July 1973 the GMC revelation that Fraser had been working for a year in the RVH as a convicted child abuser and that he had been convicted effectively in secret in May 1972. Furthermore, no media in Ireland or Britain reported Fraser’s US guilty plea in February 1974. No newspaper reported Fraser’s US conviction and sentence in June 1974. Media organisations promoted Fraser’s research on the alleged affects of the Troubles on children, even after becoming aware of his suspected and actual paedophilia. In addition, reputable book publishers in Britain and the US published Fraser’s Northern Ireland-based research in 1973, 1974, 1977 and 1979. Newspapers reviewed Fraser’s book positively after they reported his New York arrest (the Irish Times promoted and also reviewed his book after not reporting the arrest). The book’s findings were based partly on examination of children Fraser either had abused or had targeted for abuse (as a predatory paedophile).

Apart from establishing that Fraser’s US conviction was ignored by the GMC and that the doctor’s body had defamed Fraser’s victim, the Spotlight documentary was unable due to time restrictions to explore elements of the Fraser story noted above.

Bell was not mentioned as Fraser’s co-accused. Nor was the second 10-year-old abused boy. Police failure to inform Fraser’s employer was not mentioned. The programme did not state that three men and three boys were in the flat in London in August 1971.

The programme concentrated on the GMC’s failings with regard to Fraser that extended to the mid 1990s. In a valuable contribution to the public interest, it examined Fraser’s continuing paedophile activities and the GMC’s ongoing negligence.

It noted also an additional, fourth, Fraser conviction in 1995.

The programme interviewed anonymously a retired RUC police officer who took Fraser’s confession and the 13-year-old victim’s statement during 1971-2. He did not speak, it appears, about RUC failure to inform the Royal Hospital Belfast that Fraser was a convicted child abuser.

The RUC interviewee said on the programme that he was ‘totally and absolutely shocked’ to see Fraser playing a church organ ‘in a place of worship’ on a BBC Songs of Praise programme broadcast on 6 March 1977.

It may be inquired as to why this interviewee was not similarly shocked one week after Fraser’s 17 May 1972 conviction. According to the Irish Times, on 25 May 1972 Fraser spoke at a National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) conference at the Ulster Polytechnic in Jordanstown. The recently convicted child abuser warned that ‘all Northern Ireland’s children were at risk’, though not from him. Police failure made Fraser’s grotesque, in the circumstances, utterance possible.

Why was the RUC interviewee not shocked, also, at Fraser appearing on television in his professional capacity as a practising child clinician? This for a full year after Fraser’s May 1972 conviction. He was reported similarly, regularly, in newspapers.

Fraser posed a more serious and continuing danger to children than to church organs.

July 1973 GMC Disciplinary Committee minutes name RUC Detective Constable Samuel Reginald (Ronnie) Mack as giving evidence on ‘the circumstances leading up to the facts in the charge’ that resulted in Fraser’s arrest and conviction. Mack is named as such also in my report. I mentioned similarly Metropolitan Detective Inspector Tony Rich, who appears also in GMC minutes. Rich is noted on the Bow Street Magistrates’ Court record as having charged Fraser.[6]

Mack went on to serve later in a senior capacity in Sir George Terry’s 1983 inquiry into abuse at the notorious Kincora Boys Home. It appears that Fraser was not a focus of that investigation, even though he allocated vulnerable children to institutions including Kincora. In 2015, and on the Spotlight programme, Kincora victim Richard Kerr accused Fraser of abusing him and of being involved in sending him, underage, to Kincora. Fraser should have been considered a person of interest by the Terry investigation, particularly as one of the team was aware of Fraser’s crimes and of his work with vulnerable children in Belfast in the early 1970s.

The Spotlight programme exposed the GMC’s role in protecting Morris Fraser from adequate sanction, and in failing to protect children from Morris Fraser.

The RUC and the Metropolitan Police also have questions to answer. Please do your duty and ask them.

Niall Meehan,  Faculty Head, Journalism & Media, Griffith College Dublin14 June 2016

*Copy to Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Goddard Inquiry), England, Wales

Footnotes:

[1] Broadcast 7 June 2016, BBC 1 NI, repeated BBC 2, 8 June, presenter Chris Moore, producer Denise O’Connor. The programme, ‘Dr Morris Fraser: the Paedophile Doctor’, is available at, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXGVLA8BHJ8.

[2] Published by SpinWatch on 31 March 2106. A PDF is available at, http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/northern-ireland/item/585....

[3] See in particular 4 April 2016, statement on Morris Fraser by Dr McKenna based on my research, http://www.hiainquiry.org/index/module_13_-_lissue_hospital/m13_ d195_transcript_red_opt.pdf, pp21-24.

[4] According to Bell, the alcohol fuelled children shouted abuse at Londoners (for example, ‘Fuck the Pope’). A closed National Archives file mentioning an Ian Bell exists. Its description states:

MEPO 26/344 - George Wayne JACOBS, Ronald William FORTUNE and Brian Arthur JOHNSON: convicted of indecent assaults on three boys at Orpington, Kent, in May 1974. Ian BELL and Peter Frank HICKMAN, members of the same paedophile gang, convicted of indecent assaults on other boys.

On 28 April 2016 I requested that the file be opened. I received an email from the National Archives on 13 June 2016 stating ‘we are required to conduct a public interest test in relation to your request and we will let you know the result of this by 11 July 2016’.

[5] Mick Browne, James Hanning, ‘Northern Ireland authorities refuse to reveal details of paedophile with links to former government adviser on national security grounds’, Independent, Saturday 11 July 2015.[6] As Detective Chief Inspector, formerly operational head of the Drugs Squad, Tony Rich was reduced to the rank of constable and was dismissed from the Metropolitan Police in November 1981, for failure to account for and to safeguard property, disposing of it, and for making a misleading statement about the disposal. In 1978 Rich had been found not guilty ‘of conspiracy to obtain, possess, supply, deal in, and steal cannabis resin’, Alan Doig, Corruption and Misconduct in Contemporary British Politics, Pelican, 1984, p244.


Source - http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/northern-ireland/item/587...


The Full Report can be read at the following Link

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