— Conflict of interest —

The fostering industry in te UK and Ireland

Core Assets is a giant in British and Irish fostering, in the hugely profitable business of taking the burden of fostering from local authorities and dealing direct with foster parents or with the association of foster carers which it also owns.

Core Assets has, or has had, directors who are also directors of Camhs Consultants, which has operated 'a wide range of successful children and adolescent mental health services projects, large and small, over a number of years. It has expanded to cover the whole of England and receive regional and national commissions from both the Department of Health and the Department of Children, Schools and Families'.

Core Assets also owns Fostering First in Ireland which receives millions from the HSE for providing foster care.

Bad? Wait for it!

Carter Brown advises Social Services and the courts about the removal of children from their parents. It uses around 200 'expert witnesses', paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists and 'independent' (quotes added) social workers with experience in both family law and criminal law proceedings. These earn big fees giving 'expert testimony'. It is on their word that judges remove children from their parents.

They work for and are paid by the company which makes vast profit from fostering the removed children. Carter Brown has recently been acquired by Core Assets.

Experts who advise Social Services and the courts about the removal of children from their parents, who also work for the companies which earn big money by taking these children from their parents, are not just involved in a conflict of interest but are engaged with their partners in criminal activity. Some cynically call it the 'perjury industry'.

If you look for the foster carers association in the UK you would expect to find an association of foster carers, not a big company, but the Foster Carer's Association (FCA) in the UK is a trading name of Core Assets Fostering Limited. http://www.thefca.co.uk/)

So in 50 locations across the UK, Core Assets owns the foster carers. But, you might say, it's just good relations with an important part of its client base, the foster parents. But what about its other client, the Local Authority in the UK and the HSE in Ireland?

It openly boasts about its partnerships with each. Apart from placing children, it is supplying a multi-faceted advisory service to each and to their Social Services officials on the key aspects of child removal, including expert advice and independent expert assessment. In their own words "We have our own Foster Carers, Social Workers, Therapists and Education Liaison Officers." In other words it is being paid by local authorities for advice about whether or not to place children into its own hands at considerable profit.

But the worst is that this child placement industry operates through secret courts 'for the protection of the children'. One of the few professionals allowed into these courts to influence the child removal decision is the expert witness.

This is what Carter Brown say on their web site: "We're happy to work with your local authority to ensure the assessment needs of children and families are met. We're already working with a number of local authorities throughout the country, and our assessments can take as little as two weeks."

So the circle is complete. The people advising judges in the secret family courts to take children from parents are being paid not just for this advice but given huge sums to place them with their own foster carers.

The legal profession

The legal profession is looked at here only from the viewpoint of families in trouble needing help from a State which appears hell-bent on taking their children. It is also orientated towards the UK and Ireland.

Families with experience of how the legal profession fails to protect them from child protection agencies or Social Services, known as the 'SS' in the UK, see solicitors and lawyers as 'lazy, indifferent and greedy'. Ian Josephs, the creator of the help network for families in trouble, calls the legal people 'professional losers' because they get paid whether they win or lose for a family.

The indifference towards families is manifested over and over by the number of solicitors who when approached by parents for advice in dealing with hostile social workers say, "Cooperate with them." Those with experience of helping such families are aware that this is the worst possible advice as it opens the way for the social workers to build the case for taking the children.

The indifference and bad advice are boosted by the real possibility of a conflict of interest, often not obvious. Social Services and their local authority or health services employers are big users of the legal profession and if individual legal people are not already on panels they may want to be, so it is not in their interest to assist parents in hostile action against potential future customers.

However there is a bigger problem facing parents who have had their children seized by the State or are in danger of this happening. The system itself, the legal profession and the judiciary, is stacked against them.

Many of the families who flee to Ireland to prevent their children being seized by British social workers can find justice in the courts, but before achieving it may be broken by the cost and time that the process requires.

Background

History may judge our legal profession to have been the most predatory and malignant social development of our age. Its comparisons with the Church of the medieval inquisitions are striking. The medieval Church represented God, both as his agent and manifested presence in this life, and acted as the mediator in disputes or transgressions between God and humans. The legal profession represents the law and by implication justice and acts as the mediator in disputes or transgressions between individuals with each other or society. Thus, at least in the perceived sense, one is the face of God and virtue while the other is the face of law and justice. If neither is true then each must have achieved deceptions of the grandest historical proportions.

The medieval Church, as the face of God and divine goodness, created, codified and managed the first inquisitions, which were an expression of hellish evil, more the face of a devil rather than that of a benign god. The legal profession, as the face of the law and justice, creates and maintains injustice. Both maintained their power and codified their practices through large documented codes of practice, from the time of the invention of printing in published volumes.

The Malleus Maleficarum, also known as The Witch Hammer, written by Dominican monks, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger and published probably in 1486, was the official manual for the persecution, torture and execution of mainly women under the excuse of witchcraft. While the Malleus reigned supreme for centuries and was used to justify death and torture, it was eventually seen as spurious and discarded. The Malleus Maleficarums, of today, employed by the judiciary, the legal profession and its agents are comprised by thousands of laws which we call 'legislation' and a manual with an uncanny similarity with the original Malleus. This is the DSM IV, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, the manual physicians, psychiatrist, psychologists, therapists, and social workers use in order to diagnose mental illness. Where medical science draws upon scientific laboratory testing, Malleus is decided by committees of self-interested psychology 'professionals' in a manner very similar to the academic committees that supported the mechanisms of the Inquisition. For heretic one can easily substitute inappropriate or deviant behaviour, behaviour that can sometimes also be non-conformist or aggressive or simply greedy and anti-social. A devastating criticism of the DSM is that it had only a handful of so-called mental or social diseases half a century ago but a list of thousands today.

Significantly, the DSM is used by psychiatrists to advise the military on the interrogation of suspect in detention camps. The DSM is also used by psychiatrists to diagnose what were formerly seen as social variations in adults and children as expressions of mental illness and to prescribe drugs to manage them.

The difficulty in obtaining an adequate defence

The remarks which follow apply also to the judiciary as it is at the head of, or central to, the legal profession. It is also based on what is happening in the US as this author has experience of trying to find justice for a lifer there.

One of the extreme instruments for denying the right to defence in the US is the state's practice of removing all means of finance from defendants before their trial. This ensures both speedy plea bargains and convictions. A raid or an arrest can be accompanied by the seizure of all one's bank accounts and the freezing of all other assets. Parents, if alive and wealthy, may have to re-mortgage their own home in an attempt to raise enough money for a defence. A second instrument for removing the right to defence is to ensure that defence lawyers work in the first instance for the judge and prosecution, not for the defendant - that is, except in show trials that will be seen by millions around the world on television. If a defendant can raise the finance, he must go 'lawyer-shopping'.

A first one may be upbeat and confident that the situation will soon be sorted out, because 'justice will prevail'. This is a great illusion which will soon be shattered, because it is very difficult to find a lawyer more interested in justice and defending his client than in maximising his revenue and deferring to the court.

The prosecution can demand and obtain court approval to deny the admission of vital evidence and incompetent or lazy defence attorneys can simply not bother to demand it. Overwhelmingly, however, both prosecution and defence will pressurize that defendant into plea bargaining - that is accepting the demand for an early plea of guilt for a lesser crime whether committed or not under the threat that to refuse will result in a more draconian sentence. One can end up believing that all defence attorneys in fact work for the court and for the prosecution and judge. Finally, most judges are promoted prosecutors, so it has become a prosecutorial system.

Hard on the heels of incompetent defence lawyers come the corrupt expert witnesses.

Corrupt expert witnesses

In the early inquisitions, learned scholars, who were often from universities, testified against heretics and those accused of witchcraft on behalf of the state. These were 'expert witnesses', but the idea of an 'expert witness' for the defence did not exist. Today, this is either not known to, or forgotten by, those who find assurance in the belief that 'qualified' experts will speak up for a defendant with accuracy and honesty. This is often far from the case.

Expert witnesses are commonly found in cases where damages are sought for injury suffered either in accidents or in the use of purchased products or services. Typical cases involve road accidents, trips and falls caused by poor footpaths or slippery floors and other areas of public use. In these cases, experts may be employed by the injured party for both analyses of the technical defect that caused the alleged accident and for a medical or psychiatrist assessment of the physical or mental damage suffered. In such cases it is virtually certain that the expert will give evidence that supports the case being brought by the plaintiff.

Expert witnesses are central to all class actions where a large group of people are claiming to have suffered damages because of their use of a product, which they are claiming to be faulty or the cause of alleged damage. As with the experts who work for individuals in cases where compensation is sought, the experts' findings will invariably be beneficial to the claimant. There may be few if any cases on record where an expert thus employed found in favour of the defendant accused of causing the damage.

In criminal cases, with rare exceptions, such as medical or psychiatric experts being used to help claims of diminished responsibility, virtually all experts who are central to the examination of the main evidence work for the prosecution and police. This situation is at its most extreme in the United States and in most totalitarian regimes.

A defendant may not have access to an expert witness nor the means to pay for one, whereas the prosecution can afford the best including all the forensics laboratories. Indeed, from a European point of view, it is interesting to read the accounts of a celebrity arrest and trial and to see the absence both of expert witnesses for the defence and the lack of interest in them. The experts are the state, the FBI, the prosecutors and the judges. When even defence attorneys bow to the authority of prosecutors and judges in the US, what expert witness would dare offer an opposing view? Not only would all future business from the state be withdrawn, but retribution from the police and prosecution itself could follow.

Areas where expert witnesses tend to work only for the prosecution are computer forensic investigators and drugs testing. On the psychiatric front, one may find psychiatrists working only for the military in cases of suspected terrorism and even advising on 'interrogation methods' - that is, torture.

From the above one can see that there is a serious new threat to justice in the emergence of our technological society. As technology spawns both more opportunities for new crimes and even more new opportunities for falsely accusing innocent individuals, the need for honest and independent expert witnesses grows, but we find that in a number of instances that most, if not all, so-called 'expert witnesses' work only for the police and prosecution in criminal cases. So to summarise, except in a minority of issues, such as claims of diminished responsibility, expert witnesses tend to work for those seeking compensation in civil cases and for the police and prosecution in criminal cases.

The UK uses what is known as an adversarial legal system, which means that experts will be appointed by the prosecution or the defence whose theories best fit the slant being followed by either party. In the earlier inquisitions, the expert supposedly investigated the matter impartially and then reported to the court directly. In a criminal trial, this results in a 'hanging judge' scenario. This, however, is more and more the case in the use of experts in British courts today, where in criminal trials the expert's duty appears to be to assist the court, not the defendant, and seldom the truth.

When the crime involves computers, and particularly whether or not the accused is guilty of knowingly viewing illegal images, computer forensics evidence is of critical importance, however, even in the UK, virtually all computer forensics experts work only for the police and prosecution. Few experts want to work for a defendant as the big money is in working either for the police or compensation claimants. There is little money to be earned from those accused of crimes, in particular those designated as 'sexual perverts', and if you do take on such a case out of altruism or human rights, you can probably say good bye to any more lucrative work from the police. Even worse, however, can happen to you should you dare give expert witness for the defence in criminal cases, and especially in the face of the prevailing moral ideology. It will not please your local police force.

The independence of forensics laboratories

Both expert witnesses and independent laboratories have been called 'hired guns' because of bias in the work they do for the police and prosecution service.

As this is being written, the integrity and independence of forensics laboratories are being questioned in the UK because the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) means a wider distribution of testing, including vital police and court tests, to different laboratories, many operated by the police, which do not meet the relevant requirements of ISO standards.

A survey of forensic scientists carried out by the New Scientist found that 78% of them believed that miscarriages of justice will increase. Seventy per cent felt that there will be a reduction in the impartiality of the interpretation of evidence; 65% of them felt that it would make it harder for defence teams to challenge the interpretation of evidence and a similar number felt that there will be a lessening of openness and transparency. Nearly a third of respondents admitting they sometimes feel pressured to produce a particular result, while three-quarters say they sometimes have insufficient time to evaluate cases.

Imagine your life depending upon such experts.

Most commentators on the survey, however, missed the real point

The Forensic Science Service, now replaced was a UK government-owned company, so virtually all of the forensic laboratories were and are:

government-owned
police-owned
private but getting most of their business from the police and prosecution service

All are an extension of the already corrupted expert witness industry, which submits reports skewed towards its paying client wants to see and, in the case of the laboratories, biased towards giving results that their paying masters want to see. Doctor Frank Skuse, the forensic scientist for the North West Forensic Laboratories based in Chorley in Lancashire, 'doctored' the test results which resulted in the great miscarriage of justice of the Birmingham Six. 'Skuse' could have become synonymous with 'skew', but he has been conveniently air-brushed out of history, together with North West Forensic Laboratories.

This situation creates a major breach of several of the articles in the European Convention on Human Rights, which demands a level playing field for defendants. One can go so far as to say that independent forensics expert witness can be virtually impossible for a defendant to obtain.

The issue, relating to the UK, is a major element in a petition currently before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

See the New Scientist report here.

Compensation manufacturers

For how much longer will Western societies tolerate the disgusting practice of solicitors trawling for 'victims' to claim compensation for perceived or invented 'abuses' or accidents? This practice has contributed to the destruction of good neighbourliness and volunteering and trust between women and men and between adults and children. It has also damaged clubs and venture sports and supported the dominant narrative that all adults require criminal record vetting if they are to be in contact with children.

The disgusting practice is supported by equally disgusting solicitors advertising for 'victims' over television. This malevolent process needs to be seen for what it is and countered.

The psychiatric profession

The selected target areas are

1.The influence of the psychiatric profession on social workers in child protection and the consequent alliance of social workers and the psychiatric profession.

2.Poor standards and corruption in the supply of expert witness reports in the family courts.

3. Psychiatric professionals prescribing mind-altering drugs to children

Poor standards and corruption in the supply of expert witness reports in the family courts.

One high profile case has been chosen as an example of what is going on in the employment of psychologist expert witnesses in the family courts, beginning with a story by John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor of The Telegraph, published on 10 Dec 2015. The title is 'Father unable to cope because of own parent's Holocaust ordeal.' It can be read here.

It attempts to be all the more convincing by added images of children in extermination camp dress and the railway lines leading into the camps.

The summary says, 'Boy taken into care amid claims father suffering 'vicarious trauma'.'

Melanie Gill, a psychologist who acted as an expert witness, told the court the father appeared to be suffering a form of 'vicarious trauma' - a term more commonly used by counsellors to describe a phenomenon associated with accounts of extreme suffering or pain. Ironically, or fittingly, she was acting for the father's barrister, although her report appears to be used by the judge against him.

Judge Veronica Hammerton said that the father did not accept his parents' suffering as the explanation for his problems and, in support of the psychologist, "Her view was that the father was suffering from unresolved trauma described as a 'vicarious trauma' from his parents' experience of the Holocaust. - - - the father is 'continually overwhelmed by his traumatic antecedents, associated with both his and his parents'traumatic past with the result that he is sometimes unable within his thought processing to consistently represent J accurately as a child separate from himself'."

What we are not told

From what follows, make your own judgement about how much you can believe from a state with compliant 'expert witnesses' and journalists.

The father is a Russian-born concert pianist who was living with his 12 year old son in a London region. Before the events culminating in the court ruling above, the boy had already been taken into 'care' for over a year, which action the father believed had damaged him. Despite being returned, the father defied the confidentiality demands of both the local authority and the courts and publicly protested about what he believed to be a breach of family rights. A major motivation for these protests was what he believed to be continuing hostile Social Services intervention. Also as an artist he may have placed too much reliance on media interest.

During the summer of 2014, the BBC filmed some of his public protests outside the offices of the local authority and the court. They also sent a journalist and camera to Ireland to film and record Brian Rothery (the writer of this web site), co-ordinator of the Ectopia help network, giving him advice by telephone, while another camera filmed him in London at the other end of the line. All this footage was suppressed by injunction initiated by the local authority and at the same time the father was threatened with both imprisonment and mental sectioning.

In March 2015 Russia Today (RT) took up the story, making him one of the main families in a near hour long documentary on the UK's forced adoption scheme. Despite court rules, they both filmed and named father and son and identified the local authority. The documentary was screened world-wide and brought responses from as far away as Argentina and the US. To the surprise of all who believed that RT were outside the jurisdiction of the UK courts, the local authority sought and obtained not just an injunction against RT but an order threatening to seize the UK assets of RT (which has a bureau in London) unless all versions of the documentary worldwide were taken down. RT removed all English language versions.

A supporter of the father re-uploaded the suppressed video in the hope that others will copy it and replace it online should this version be removed also.

The expert reports

There were two expert reports at the heart of this human tragedy, the second, mentioned above, requested by his barrister - the Gill report and used by the judge to take his son for the second and apparently final time.

The first was a damning report used when they took his son for the first time into foster care for over a year, commissioned by the local authority. This was the Celest Van Rooyen report which will be examined first.

The Van Rooyen report

It is purely co-incidental that this expert was severely criticized in a later case by a judge. Her report was chosen because it was both used in a high profile case and made available to us by the father. Its inclusion here does not imply that we believe her intentions to have been dishonourable.

Critique of the Van Rooyen report

The Gill report

This report was chosen because it was both used in a high profile case and made available to us by the father. Its inclusion here does not imply that we believe the expert's intentions to have been dishonourable. We believe her to have been well-intentioned but wrong.

Critique of the Gill report

Go to the search for honourable professionals.

Psychiatric professionals prescribing mind-altering drugs to children

Contact us at ed-ectopia@live.ie

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