Click here for Christopher Booker's ForewardClick here for latest news on the Janet Hughes story.
Jan 29 2003 ~ Janet Hughes is charged £17,000 for daring to question the postcode killing of the FMD policy and the new draconian provisions of the Animal Health Bill
To our disgust, we hear that DEFRA have demanded expenses of £17,000 from Ms Hughes. Bailiffs apparently went to her home yesterday and listed her personal belongings, including her car. These are to be impounded in five days if the money is not paid. Ms Hughes' son is 12 years old . He has supported his mother throughout. As a result of the bailiffs' visit he has become frightened and is described as "inconsolable". The family does not deserve to lose any more - they have given so much in a fight they thought was a just one and from which they could hope to gain nothing.
Read about Ms Hughes at http://www.blaikiewell.com/saveoursheep and consider sending some financial support (even a small amount would help.) We are well aware that many (who may not even be aware of their motives for thinking so ) have considered her actions ill-advised - nevertheless Ms Hughes has been fighting for all those who were and will be adversely affected by knee-jerk legislation. Such legislation - deplored even by Lord Haskins and many others - is based on science yet to be proved sound. It is a disgrace that such a well meaning and altruistic stand should be punished with such swingeing costs - presumably both to "punish" her presumption and discourage others. Please do help if you can. Visiting the site above allows for an easy donation to be made. We understand that questions are now to be asked in Parliament about this case and should be very grateful to hear more. The contiguous cull was a disaster. When, as we sincerely hope they will be, the epidemiological data are made public, it will be seen that Janet Hughes' attempt to save the Brecon Beacons sheep and subsequent court actions for justice were wholly justified.
Jan 30 ~ Janet Hughes
The item on Janet Hughes yesterday remains very important. As we said, her family has suffered a great deal in standing up for all who have been threatened by the knee-jerk legislation. To demand £17000 in costs is surely a cowardly act on the part of DEFRA. Please make cheques/postal orders payable to:- 'Save the Sheep Appeal Fund'
Send them to:- Laurels Cottage. Churchstoke. Montgomery. Nr.Powys. SY15 6SR
Jan 31 ~ "Defra claim they have no option but to take Miss Hughes' possessions to recover taxpayers money,
after she failed to pay their court costs...." What do they mean - no option - and where is mention ever made of taxpayers' money - millions of pounds of it - wasted on the lunatic culling policy against which Ms Hughes so gallantly fought ?
Read the report in today's Shropshire Star
Donations to help can be made payable to "Save Our Sheep Appeal", Laurel's Cottage, Churchstoke, Montgomery, Powys, SY15 6SR, Telephone/Fax: 01588 620 591. Or paid into any branch of the Nationwide Building Society Trust Acc no: 0863/703 560 350, Sort Code 07-00-93, 33333334
Alistair McConnachie writes: "....Dafydd Morris, from the Council of the Welsh Highland Shepherds believes that had it not been for her, then DEFRA would have continued to slaughter throughout the Brecon Beacons and into North Wales. On the 30 January 2002, Janet Hughes appealed in Cardiff against being denied a Judicial Review, but was unsuccessful there also. Janet Hughes has demonstrated an astonishing degree of selflessness and social conscience. Farmers throughout Wales have a lot to thank this woman for, and it is a national scandal that her efforts are so little known or appreciated, especially by those who ought to be thanking her."
Feb 1 ~ Janet Hughes and the demand from DEFRA for £17,000 in costs
It has been suggested that there are those at DEFRA who do have a heart - certainly many there do have a certain amount of sympathy with the opposition to the "postcode" contiguous culling of 2001. A tactful email or letter to DEFRA from those who feel that Janet Hughes' legal stand was the altruistic act of a courageous woman might do some good. Politely to request that she should now be left in peace rather than harried for money that she quite evidently hasn't got might reach the desk of someone who can intervene. Example letter.
FMD Science and General Policy Team
Animal Movements and Exotic Diseases Division
Defra Area 610, 1A Page Street, London, SW1P 4PQ
GTN 3290 6984 Tel 020 7904 6984 Fax 020 7904 8123 Email address: email@example.com
Feb 2 ~ the arguments used to persuade the farmers to part with their flocks in the Brecon Beacons were based on the assertion that these flocks must have been heavily infected. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Those who may not be aware of why Janet Hughes was so driven to act in the Brecon Beacons should be aware - as we were at the time - of how little infection there was. The whole of the Brecon Beacons were only ever found to antibody positive - there were no clinical signs of disease at all. See information from Parliamentary Question 2164 (slow to load) - alternatively, see summary Extract: ".....in Powys:
It is patently obvious that if there had been any infection being harboured in the flocks, it would have shown up in the sample tested. Many of the arguments used to persuade the farmers to part with their flocks were based on the assertion (which was itself decreed by the epidemiological models) that these flocks must have been heavily infected, and needed clearing out. Nothing could have been further from the truth...." More
- a total of 392 premises were slaughtered out but only 44 were actually shown to have FMD. NB they only tested 90 of the 392 premises.
- of all the tests on SOS and DC premises (12 out of 14 SOS premises and the 11 out of 304 DC premises) not a single positive result was obtained. The controversial mass slaughter policy of the Beacons was "justified" by classifiying the premises as DCs. There were 304 of these DCs, and yet none of the sample tested yielded positive results. (This figure includes the contiguous premises).
Feb 2 ~ "Defra fights dirty with anti-cull campaigner"
is the first item in this week's Sunday Telegraph Booker's Notebook
Extract:"During the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, Janet Hughes, an environmental sciences teacher, spent her life savings in a bid to have the cull of 10,000 healthy sheep on the Brecon Beacons declared illegal. When her case was dismissed last year, Defra announced it would pursue her for its costs. .....She argued that the Assembly had no power to carry out a "contiguous cull", since the 1981 Animal Health Act only authorised the killing of animals that had been infected or directly exposed to infection. Having exhausted her funds, she continued on her own until, in January 2002, Lord Justice Latham dismissed her case in the Appeal Court by ruling that, if a minister believed there was a reason for the contiguous cull policy, the courts must accept his opinion. ...... It was Defra's legal department that insisted, following Latham's ruling, that Miss Hughes must pay the ministry's £17,000 costs, even though it was not against Defra she had brought her case.The law was clear to anyone with any sense. The flocks in the Brecon Beacons were healthy and the 1981 law did not permit slaughter for political reasons only. The Animal Health Bill had to be rushed through Parliament at such speed to change this. The EU FMD final Report states
After months of silence, Miss Hughes was last week astonished to have a visit from the bailiffs, combing her house for goods they intended to seize..." read in full.
" The mode of transmission of the virus did not play any part in the models, according to statements by the head of the British Government's scientific advisory group. The appropriateness of the unvalidated models used to plot the course of the epidemic remains scientifically controversial and in particular is challenged by veterinary scientists with FMD expertise. The models used ultimately resulted in the proposal at the end of March 2001 for the novel 24/48 hours contiguous culls (i.e. slaughtering susceptible animals at infected farms within 24 hours of the infection's being diagnosed and slaughtering susceptible animals at neighbouring farms within 48 hours) - a strategy which was fraught with inevitable lax biosecurity and documented infringements of animal welfare law....The 3 km cull...may not have had a basis in domestic law, irrespective of the question of the practicability and proportionality of this measure.Janet is being hounded for money she gave voluntarily in her bid to get common sense from the English Courts. That she failed and that DEFRA's legal department now sees fit to demand £17 000 from her is likely to seize the imagination of the fair-minded - especially now that the Media are interested. ( We note this article in the Independent yesterday (external link): "New citizens will be told to respect the equality of women and people of different cultures, and to adopt British "values of toleration, fair play, freedom of speech and of the press". They will be told about the legal system and the democratic process." Old citizens might like to write to Defra - See yesterday's item)
Feb 3 ~ Concern for Janet Hughes continues
We hear from one emailer:
"My mother, who has really not got terribly "involved" in FMD4, greeted me with the (Christopher Booker) article as soon as I arrived this morning. She actually said that Defra were absoute b......... Now for my mother to use such a term is virtually unheard of!! She was obviously upset about the veterinary point of view (healthy animals being slaughtered), but what really hit home was Janet's plight and the fact they were taking the youngster's belongings. She found that staggering. This will have done DEFRA not the slightest bit of good, ... "Janet Hughes herself writes: "This situation is terrible for Matthew. He's been so supportive of me, and has come to all the court hearings in London and Cardiff, but now it is all too much for him. It is just not right for Matthew to be going through this. It feels like persecution. I managed to find out from the bailiff's office that DEFRA applied to the High Court for a warrant of seizure of possessions on 5 November 2002, just a few day after my application re: the TSE regulations/ AHBill. It does seem very much as if they are trying to punish me for attempting to seek justice.
DEFRA forced their way into the case in August 2001 because the Welsh Assembly would not admit any responsibility. However, I have proof that the Assembly were making decisions regards the culling. So in fact DEFRA chose to be the main defendant and therefore why should they demand these vast costs?"
See SUMMARY OF BRECON BEACONS CASE
Feb 7 ~ Janet Hughes, still waiting to hear for herself that she has won a last-minute reprieve.
The Shropshire Star report (external link): ".......Miss Hughes, who has waged a battle against the Government's foot and mouth disease livestock culling policy, is faced with the huge bill after losing her case with the Department of Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs to force a judicial review. Miss Hughes, of Churchstoke, took Defra and the Welsh Assembly to court last year to try to stop their policy of foot and mouth culling on the Brecon Beacons. Now she has barricaded herself into the home she shares with her partner Glyn and 12-year-old son Matthew and has said she will not leave until the matter has been resolved. "
Feb 12 ~".. local reporters have been finding out as much as they can for me from DEFRA , and otherwise I would have been kept quite in the dark."
A letter from Janet Hughes, who still has no idea what is going to happen to her.
"DEFRA have made their statements to the press and I therefore hope that they will not rescind on their statement that they have over-charged me - and also that the bailiffs will not act until a decision has been made." Janet's letter
Feb 14 ~" I have written to the judge, Mr Justice Stanley Burnton, who made the order for costs against me on 11 October 2001..."
writes Janet Hughes, "...and I have requested a meeting with him in order to try to discover his reasons for making the costs order against me - this in spite of the Civil Procedure Rules supplementary notes to part 54 which state that if a defendant or other party attend a permission hearing for judicial review ( which the hearing on 21 August was in fact ), then the court will not generally make an order for costs against the claimant ( myself)."
Feb 14 ~ Janet Hughes' cheque already processed - but High Court denies receiving the application
The extraordinary case of Janet Hughes becomes more and more bizarre. She writes today: "I have found out this afternoon that the cheque which accompanied my application for a 'stay of execution' sent on 31 January , was processed by the High Court but they maintain that they have not received the application. When I have telephoned them they have told me they are unable to find it, and there has been no reply to a letter which I faxed through last Monday.
Do the Courts not realise that a record of the cheque payment is at my bank and that this is proof that they received the application? This issue is also going to be included in the remaining documents that I am sending to the ECHR next week.
We now have over £4,000 in donations and I shall be asking DEFRA if they are prepared to take even more tax-payers' money. Any donations not used towards the costs will be used for animals. ...."
Feb 17 ~ Janet Hughes' property is still under threat from DEFRA
Janet Hughes writes, " I have received a letter from the Sheriff's office informing me that they have removed Matthew's jeep and quad bike from the seizure list, but everything else remains on it including my car - which is essential to me for potential employment. This is in spite of my offer to DEFRA to pay £30 per month. Apparently DEFRA is still considering the offer.
A DEFRA press officer has told a reporter on the Daily Post (North Wales), that they were unaware of my appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Therefore, I do wonder if they have assumed that I did not in fact make an application to the ECHR, even though I fully informed DEFRA Legal Dept in the spring of 2002 that I was intending to make the application.
The whole case of the Brecon Brecons is in the ECHR as well as the issue of a fair hearing in the courts, and the issue of costs. Eight months have now elapsed since I made the application . A decision may be forthcoming in the next few weeks as admissibility decisions can take up to a year."
Feb 19 ~" The High Court has still not acknowledged my application, even though I have telephoned them and written to them twice"Janet Hughes' nightmare continues: " I have received a letter from DEFRA Legal Dept demanding £150 per month, or if am prepared to pay £200 per month they will waive the interest. They are stating that interest is still accruing - which is incorrect as it should have stopped as soon as the writ was issued at the High Court.
The High Court has still not acknowledged my application, even though I have telephoned them and written to them twice.
Effectively they are demanding approximately a quarter of our income, and if I am unable to pay, then they appear to feel able to seize my car, so preventing my gaining any employment.
I really do find it astonishing that they feel able to act in this manner when the case has yet to be decided in the European Court of Human Rights. They state that their "offer is open for 14 days", and if they do not hear from me then they will consider their options. "
Feb 21 ~ Defra Dilley-Dalleys over Janet Hughes.
It seems that DEFRA sent out emails yesterday to those who had contacted them asking for a measure of leniency over the Janet Hughes case. Here is the reply
Thank you for your email of 1February 2003 concerning the recovery of costs from Janet Hughes of Montgomery, Powys.One emailer comments dryly, "Well. It may be two years on but DEFRA are just the same. I wrote a polite letter asking them to draw a line, to please leave her alone and call it a day. This is the reply. Seems that they can waste up to £10 billion poundsworth of tax payers money murdering nearly 11,000,000 animals and wrecking the lives of thousands of people and even whole communities (and who is able to seek to recover that?) I asked that they show some compassion in the hope that maybe they have actually learnt something.
Janet Hughes was ordered by the Court to pay Defra's legal costs following an unsuccessful Judicial Review claim. The Department has a responsibility to protect public expenditure. Janet Hughes should have been made fully aware of the possibility of having to pay costs for unsuccessful litigation by her legal advisers at the time. Defra has given her a number of opportunities to put forward payment proposals. No such proposals were made. Defra had no option but to seek to recover taxpayers' money by taking enforcement action. Mrs Hughes has now made an offer and we are in correspondence with her.
Seems that they will still not listen."
Feb 21 ~ "the newsdesk has been holding onto his reports on the issue," says Janet Hughes
- and adds that there is "Still no response from either the High Court or the judge. It is a week since he received my letter by special delivery so he has had adequate time to reply in the circumstances.
The Western Mail put in an awful report today. Thank goodness it is small but I have complained to them and they have promised to correct it tomorrow. It states that we are "living on donations from people from all the UK."..!! I really do wonder if someone has done it deliberately because the local reporter would certainly not have written that. It seems possible that it is an attempt to put people off giving towards the fund. The local reporter has said that the newsdesk has been holding onto his reports on the issue. The paper seems very much orientated towards the Welsh Assembly - and who knows what DEFRA may be telling the Assembly to do...?"
Feb 21 ~ "..the bailiffs left no contact number, gave no ID nor notice of authority."
The Janet Hughes saga continues with ever more bizarre instances of irregularity. She writes "I am forwarding you this form which I have discovered should have been served on me on 28 January. As it was, the bailiffs left no contact number, gave no ID nor notice of authority."
Feb 22 ~"I confirm that Defra will not take any further action against you at the present time."
Janet Hughes writes that a brief letter from DEFRA's legal department seems to offer what might be positive news. This would be one a glimmer of hope in a very grim week. How grateful we should all feel if there are those at DEFRA who can find it possible to relieve Janet's family of the black cloud that has been hanging over them for so long.
Feb 24 ~" I can show that they have certainly not acted in accordance with the law in this instance.."
Janet Hughes, although still worried, is feeling a little more positive about the likely outcome of DEFRA's demands for costs. She has written to thank those who have given her support. ".. The media has been very supportive, and our local reporters have done a great job in keeping up the pressure, and getting the information into the public domain. If this had not happened I know things would have been grim for us as a family. It was brilliant to have Christopher Booker highlight the issue on 3 February in the Sunday Telegraph.
Now that I have discovered that the necessary notice was not served on me I can show that they have certainly not acted in accordance with the law in this instance. I have still not been able to track down the High Court reference number for their claim; they have been using my old judicial review claim number from 2001, and should have been issued with their own claim number for the writ..."
Feb 26 ~ "The way in which the High Court has acted has made me very angry indeed."
Janet Hughes has received a letter sent by the High Court giving her notice that her application of February 6th has been refused. No reasons have been given. The letter is dated February 21st and it had been franked at Welshpool, Powys. Janet had to pay £1.13 in order to receive it because no stamps had been put on it and it had not even been franked in London. This all seems rather bizarre, offhand and contemptuous. Can this really be our English High Court?
No answer has yet been received from DEFRA to Janet Hughes' letter of February 19th.
Feb 27 ~ Janet Hughes' worry goes on and on
Janet has written correcting our erroneous impression that the unstamped letter actually contained a reply from the High Court. No such luck. It contained only " my documents of application for a "stay of execution" and a statement on one of my forms that it had been refused. The court has still not replied even though three letters have been faxed to them..." Read the rest of her message - particularly the irony over the warrant: "...one of the main provisions that I was complaining about in the TSE Regulations; the obtaining of a warrant in the absence of the owner / occupier. DEFRA seems to have obtained a warrant for seizure of my possessions even before 14 days had expired from the initial costs order on 9 October 2001, and before any attempt on their part to request any form of payment. ..."
We should like to see a generous gesture to end Janet Hughes' anxiety.
March 2/ 3 ~ Defra courts confusion
Booker's Notebook in the Sunday Telegraph "There have been curious developments in the case of Janet Hughes, whose 12-year-old son Matthew's toys were due to be seized by bailiffs, thanks to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Defra pursued her for £17,000 in legal costs after she failed to have the killing of thousands of healthy sheep on the Brecon Beacons declared illegal during the last foot and mouth epidemic.
The demand included interest post-dated to January 2001 - before the epidemic began and six months before she launched her case.
Following my report a month ago, the bailiffs removed Matthew's toy quad bike and jeep from their seizure notice, where they had been clearly recorded as "child's toys" - a clear breach of the rule that children's property cannot be seized. But they still announced their intention to remove other property, including the car that Janet needs for her work as an environmental science teacher.
On January 31 she applied to the High Court for a stay of execution, with a cheque for the £25 fee, on the grounds that her case was still with the European Court of Human Rights. When she rang several times to find out how the application was going, the High Court insisted that it had not been received, although it had already cashed her cheque. Last week she had to pay £1.13 to collect an unstamped envelope in which the High Court had returned her papers, with no explanation other than a scrawled "application refused, February 6".
Meanwhile, on February 22, she received a letter from the legal department at the ministry, which said: "I confirm that Defra will not take any further action at the present time."
Watch this space." Christopher Booker's Notebook Sunday Telegraph
March 24/25 ~ "It is so deceptive. They say they have no idea as to how the warrant was in fact issued."
Janet Hughes writes, "Having written again to the High Court, this time the Administrative Section, I have been told on the phone today that they have no record at all of having issued the warrant. One court official told me that they were sent a copy of the warrant. It is so deceptive. They say they have no idea as to how the warrant was in fact issued. Someone in the court office knows because their official seal has been used on the writ, dated 5 November 2002.
This instance is an isolated case but what if Defra tried it again in obtaining a warrant to enter premises to kill animals in the owner's absence or take computer equipment and so on? If they have been able to obtain a warrant falsely this time then it will surely happen again.
The Office Manager in the Admin section of the High Court has told me that the matter is being investigated. I hope that I will be given a truthful answer as to how the warrant was issued. I do not believe that Defra has sufficient grounds for obtaining the writ and this is why they have done it in this underhand fashion. There is no judge's order expressly ordering me to pay them anything; only an order refusing permission for judicial review in August 2001. Of course they have not cited that order on the writ - presumably because it does provide them with the rights to enforce a so-called debt against me. "
March 28 ~ I am sending you a copy of a letter faxed through to the High Court today.
The letter is based on a dictated letter to me by a solicitor in London, who has been helping this last week free of charge. Thank God that people like this still exist.
He has had several conversations with various court officials including court lawyers, and the conclusion is that there is in fact no order for costs against me. So Defra has definitely acted unlawfully by obtaining a writ to seize all my possessions to cover their so-called costs. I am hoping that the various people concerned will act more properly with the involvement of a legal professional at last. With this proposed change of law on bailiff actions (Telegraph (external link)) it seems crucial for people to know that the government feels able to obtain warrants illegally. If the Bill became law then bailiffs would be able to force entry on the first visit to a property, which is not the current situation. If the occupier was absent they could return to an emptied house, and it is fully possible that their possessions would have been seized unlawfully.
April 5 ~ The collusion between the High Court and the government really needs a public airing
Janet Hughes writes today about further bizarre goings on in connection with DEFRA's demands for £17,000 costs. It was Defra's legal department that insisted, following Lord Justice Latham's ruling, that Miss Hughes must pay the ministry's costs, even though it was not against Defra she had brought her case. (See article by Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph on February 2.
"... They are now informing me that it is possible to amend the court order so that it orders me to pay Defra's costs. The court officials are lying about what they have said to me on the telephone. One official, as I believe I mentioned to you, has told me they have no record of the writ having been issued and that a copy was sent to the Court at a later date. Now he is denying saying such a thing ".... I was telephoned the other day by one of the Sheriff's Officers for Powys and Glamorgan, and his rudeness quite took me aback. He informed me of the White Paper (external link to Lord Chancellor's Dept website) , which I already knew about, and said that I would be able to see "where the government is going on this". It felt like a veiled threat that they would be able to return and force entry to our home."
The unfolding events of this strange and , as we are not alone in thinking, deplorable case can be read here.
June 1 2003 ~ "just wanted to let you know what is happening re this issue of Defra etc."
"The ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) is considering the case this coming week and I do hope that the Court will not reject it in view of Defra's actions recently. I'll let you know what the decision is as soon as I hear.
Defra is stalling in replying to the local solicitor and it now seems as if an application will have to be made for revocation of this Writ. It has definitely been obtained improperly and the High Court has colluded with Defra on this. "
(We later heard that the Court of Human Rights had not accepted the case.)
August 14 2003 ~ "This Defra business looks as if it is coming to an end at last. .."
writes Janet Hughes. "In response to a letter from the solicitor informing Defra legal department that I had secured public funding to return to court to revoke the writ, Defra wrote back with an offer to accept £4,000. They seem extremely angry that I was granted legal aid. The £4,000 must be as a result of their having read that there was £4,000 in the trust fund. ... Payment will be on the assurance that the writ is null and void, and that there will be no further attempts of enforcement of any more costs. Defra will also be informed that the payment is from the fund of donations. They have referred to this fund in their most recent letter.
So Defra's argument of having no option but to take my possessions to recover taxpayers' money will be seen to be completely spurious. I am hoping that Christopher Booker will do a final piece. Several folk have rung to ask what has happened as they have been looking out for an article from him after the one where he'd written ' watch this space.'
Aug 17 2003 ~ "Yesterday I handed over the cheque to the solicitors and DEFRA will receive it on Monday."
"They have been fully informed in the accompanying letter that the payment is from donations given by the public who supported me in the matter. The cheque bears the name of the fund, Save our Sheep Appeal Fund, so let's see if DEFRA feels able to cash it ! I felt really despondent after I had handed it over but I was left with little choice, having exhausted any further avenues."
DEFRA, the government department whose behaviour throughout has been extraordinary, now has their money - emptying the fund given freely by many generous, ordinary people in support of Janet's selfless bid for sanity in animal health.
Aug 28 ~ Janet Hughes' story appears in Private Eye
The Muckspreader column concludes:
"Various friends and sympathisers were meanwhile rallying to her support, contributing a further £4000 to the 'Save Our Sheep' appeal fund, and for months there appeared to be a stand-off while the bailiffs and Rosa's officials worked out what to do next. Last month came their final demand. If Mrs Hughes would send in all the £4000 in the appeal fund, they would not trouble her further. So Rosa's lawyers are £13,000 out of pocket, which is tragic. Matthew can keep his toys. For Janet a two-year nightmare is finally at an end. Of course the Defra officials were well aware that their pre-emptive cull policy was illegal (tests showed that, as elsewhere, not one of the tens of thousands of sheep killed on the Brecon Beacons was infected). But in 2002 they took the precaution of rushing through an Animal Health Act which now gives them powers to kill any animal they want, without having to give a reason. As a final joyous twist, under the new Act it will even in future be a criminal offence for people like Mrs Hughes to dare to challenge their actions. "So ends the painful story of Janet Hughes' courageous stand. Warmwell salutes her.
Aug 30 2003 ~ A footnote to the Janet Hughes story.
She writes, "DEFRA have still not acknowledged the payment ( or taken it out of the SOS trust account as of Tuesday, though they may have done by now). They have also not let the bailiffs know that the case is finished. The bailiffs are therefore refusing to relinquish formal control of my goods. It is quite ludicrous. The solicitor does not know what to make of it all.
The other thing is the response in Wales to the report from Cardiff Law School. BBC Radio Wales did pieces on it yesterday and asked me to go along to give my comments on it, and I felt proud to be asked. It was live and I was so glad to be able to get the point across that the AHAct 2002 gives DEFRA the legal powers that they did not have in 2001. The interviewer said that DEFRA would say they were just tidying up things. I said No they changed the law to legitimise their illegal actions of 2001. I also said about the false evidence in the CVO's witness statement in 2001 ( DEFRA, or some Assembly official, so cleverly put it in to make their argument back in Aug 2001. Scudamore probably just signed the statement without even bothering to check the information. It wasn't just a case of embellishing information but actually inserting false information) and that there was no live FMD on the Brecon Beacons. You have such a short space in time to get the points across but I hope someone heard the important bits, and not the phrases that these pro-government officials keep trotting out.
The NFU Cymru and FUW officials are still maintaining the propaganda of the government. Will they ever take notice of the widespread information that there were in fact so few actual cases of FMD ? and so many millions of animals culled needlessly ? I doubt if they are capable of seeing the truth if it hit them."
December 28 2003 From Booker's Notebook round-up of 2003 Sunday Telegraph
"I reported how bailiffs acting for Defra tried to seize toys belonging to the 12-year-old son of Welsh teacher Janet Hughes, and the car needed for her work, to pay legal costs incurred when she vainly tried to get the High Court to declare illegal the slaughter of healthy animals during the "pre-emptive cull" recommended by EC vets during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis.
Although her case had been against the Welsh Assembly, Defra intervened and was now claiming £17,000 costs. When it was pointed out that seizure of the toys and the car, as a "tool of trade", would themselves be illegal, the bailiffs backed off. Cardiff law professors later confirmed that Defra's cull had indeed been unlawful. Defra eventually agreed to settle its claim in return for £4,000 sent to Miss Hughes by members of the public shocked at her treatment."
June 23 2004 The Killing Pens
~ We're grateful to Sue from the Remus Horse Sanctuary in Essex for sending this message about Janet Hughes' forthcoming book.
"...My book contains evidence of not only ineptitude, but also of pre-meditation for the eradication of our small farms. It is the only means left to me to place this evidence in the public domain."More
July 3 ~ Ordering "The Killing Pens" Janet Hughes will be unable to complete the printing
unless those wanting to pre-order a copy remember to send the cost (#10) and p&p (#2) with their order. See note and please do not delay if you are supporting Janet and want one of the first copies.
More than ever this week we need to remember the wrongs so successfully hushed up. There has never been a critical retrospective post-mortem of the modelling that inspired the killing.
September 7 2004 ~ The book is now published.
Janet Hughes' book, The Killing Pens The Foreword has been written by Christopher Booker.
Order the Killing Pens from Amazon.
December 3 - 7 2004 ~ Chief vet Jim Scudamore's signed witness statement a "fiction"?
Janet Hughes sank her life savings into fighting the illegal mass cull in Wales. In the Private Eye Muckspreader column about the taxpayers' missing #600 million, we read that when DEFRA intervened in Janet's court case against the Welsh Assembly, the then CVO James Scudamore's signed statement, produced at the last minute, asserted that " in one case no fewer than 140 rams had all been found clinically diseased....a "heavy weight of infection..."
"... She tracked down the site where they (the rams) had allegedly been slaughtered and the farm from which they were supposed to have come. It became obvious there was no way so many rams could have been included in the sheep slaughtered in that area: that there could have been as many as 140 was physically impossible. It seemed those infected animals which had swung the case were a complete fiction."Muckspreader shows us the contempt for the law and for the truth shown by those in high places, and their attempts to silence and humiliate anyone who tried to inject sanity into the official madness . Janet herself writes
" My book ... is the only means left to me to place this evidence in the public domain. The Government hid behind a wall of excuses, and escaped any accountability with the weak promise that lessons would be learned..."Order the Killing Pens from Amazon.
January 16 - 22 2005 ~ The Killing Pens "pulls no punches when singling out those she considers to be the main culprits: countryside minister Carwyn Jones, Wales chief vet Tony Edwards and UK chief vet Jim Scudamore..." An article in the North Wales Weekly News describes Janet Hughes' book and her legal fight in detail. Read in full
The Ecologist, March 2005THE KILLING PENS
Janet Hughes, with a foreword by Christopher Booker
Laurels Publications, 2004, #12
In July 2001, when the foot and mouth epidemic was past its peak, the Welsh Assembly decided to round up and slaughter 20,000 sheep in the Brecon Beacons. Janet Hughes, a local teacher, then discovered a document that showed the chief vet from the now obsolete MAFF had falsified the evidence in claiming the sheep were diseased. Hughes was prevented from presenting the damning evidence in court, however, and found herself instead facing legal costs of #17,000 and the bailiffs knocking on her door. Thanks to Private Eye(itals) veteran Christopher Booker, her case became a cause celebre and the world learnt of the government's barbaric and unnecessary pre-emptive culls. Hughes' account of these events makes for a scary reminder of governmental incompetence and maladministration.
Reviewed by Charles Miller
July 23 2007 ~ "I request a full, proper explanation and a thorough investigation into why he was refused intensive care and into the events surrounding and leading up to his sudden death." Readers of warmwell will be distressed to learn of Janet Hughes' bereavement - and of her continuing efforts to discover why her partner, Glyn, was hospitalised under the wrong patient number, wrong GP Practice and why his death certificate also had the wrong number. She is very concerned that his treatment was wrongly administered. She is still hoping for answers. On the day of the inquest
".. the coroner tried to stop me from reading the statement out. In the end I did manage to, but had to leave out certain sections, including the section about the pathologist. The coroner sent the public out and we had to argue it out without them being there to hear. Now I have one month left in which to make a claim for a judicial review of the coroner's decision. It is a very painful time, and all we have left is to fight for some justice in memory of Glyn in the hope of preventing the same thing happening to someone else...".
N THE MATTER OF
THE INQUEST OF WILLIAM GLYN OWEN
STATEMENT OF JANET HUGHES
JANET HUGHES of Laurels Cottage, Churchstoke, Powys, Mid-Wales, SY15 6SR
WILL SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. My partner of 18 years, Mr William Glyn Owen (Glyn) died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on 18 February 2007, aged 69 years.
2. In June 2006 Glyn was diagnosed with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer. Dr Dhinakaran, the locum oncologist at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, refused to provide radical radiotherapy treatment, even though the registrar to Glyns consultant, Dr Perks, had suggested that Glyn was fit enough for aggressive treatment. Dr Dhinakaran placed Glyn in stage 4 disease, insisting that there was metastasis to the liver. This was not the case, as an ultrasound scan had confirmed that there was no spread to the liver. My understanding is that there is an international system in place for the staging of lung cancer: the TNM system. T = tumour, N = lymph nodes, and M = metastasis. Dr Dhinakaran placed Glyn as being in stage T3, N3, M1, (exhibit 1.1) whereas Dr Garcia-Alonso in July 2006 placed Glyn in stage T3, N3, M0 (exhibit 1.2).
3. Glyn obtained a second opinion from Dr Garcia-Alonso, consultant oncologist at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl, Denbighshire. Following a consultation with him on 22 July 2006 Dr Garcia recommended an immediate course of chemotherapy and this started on 26 July. Glyn underwent four courses of treatment (palliative), and coped very well throughout.
4. Dr Garcia saw Glyn at intervals during the treatment and at the end of it, following a CT scan, offered him radical radiotherapy of 52.5 Grays over four weeks. Documentation regarding this treatment is attached to this statement (exhibit 2). Glyn travelled the 160-mile round trip to Glan Clwyd Hospital daily for the four weeks to receive this treatment, which ended on 8 December 2006 and felt fairly well at this time.
5. Over Christmas Glyn developed influenza and felt poorly for several days. In late January his breathing worsened and we requested oxygen for him at home. This was delivered on 30 January 2007. He used it very infrequently and still went shopping to the local supermarket every few days. On 2 February Glyn had a consultation with Dr Garcia at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Dr Garcia requested a CT scan in view of Glyns breathlessness and to rule out a pulmonary embolism. The scan was done that same afternoon and a Dr Smith told us that no evidence of an embolism was apparent. He told us that the scan had showed emphysematous change. The final report, which was not relayed to Glyn, states that the patients shortness of breath is most likely due to infection on a background of emphysema. This report is attached to this statement (exhibit 3).
6. On Monday, 12 February, the Macmillan nurse, Eirian Thomas, who had been coming to see Glyn periodically, visited us. She said that she would ask for some help with Glyns breathlessness and that she would be coming to see us the following Monday.
7. On Tuesday, 13 February Glyn went out to the supermarket but felt very unwell. By Friday, 16 February his condition had worsened and at 6.30pm I telephoned the out of hours ShropDoc service. A Dr Evans called to see Glyn at 8.45pm. He examined his chest and back and told us that Glyns chest sounded quite good and felt that he might be experiencing panic with his breathing and advised him to continue with the oxygen. We explained to him that Glyn was due to see a Dr Smith in Wrexham Maelor Hospital on the following Monday 19 February as Dr Garcia was away on holiday. The doctor left at around 9.15pm. Glyn then had supper of chicken and vegetables.
8. Glyns condition worsened during the night and at around 10.30am the following day, Saturday 17 February, I telephoned the advice line. The lady who answered advised me to telephone for an ambulance. The ambulance crew arrived at around 10.45am and felt it necessary to take Glyn to hospital. They left at around 11.15am. He was taken to the A&E department of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. I telephoned an hour or so later and was informed that Glyn was having x-rays taken. I telephoned again about an hour later and was told that Glyn had been transferred to the Medical Emergency Centre at the hospital.
9. In the afternoon I went with our son Matthew to visit Glyn and at that time, around 3.30pm, he was still in the Medical Emergency Centre. A nurse explained to me that Glyn was being treated for bilateral pneumonia. I then told Glyn that he had pneumonia. He had obviously not been told this, as he seemed fairly shocked. We stayed with him and approximately an hour later, at around 4.30pm, a nurse came to say that a bed had become available on Ward 21. I later discovered that this was the ward for cancer patients and could not understand why Glyn was being placed on this ward when I had been told that he was being treated for pneumonia. As Glyn was taken to the ward a medical officer came to speak with Matthew and myself. He took us into a room and informed us that they were giving Glyn two types of intravenous antibiotics for bilateral pneumonia. He went on to say that they would monitor his response for around 6-24 hours. He told us that the next stage for patients, in the absence of a positive response to the antibiotics, would normally be intensive care. However, to my dismay, he told me that this option would not be provided for Glyn. I asked if this was because he had cancer and the officer told me that this was the case. He also told me that Glyn had agreed to this. I do not believe this to be the case at all. Glyn was so ill at this time and did not even know which hospital he was in. He thought he was in Wrexham Maelor hospital and would have been devastated had he known they would not be offering him intensive care.
10. We then went to sit at Glyns bedside on Ward 21. I told him I had brought his wash bag and he asked if I had put his toothbrush in. He asked me what ward he was on and I told him. He asked me why he was on a cancer ward. I had no proper answer but tried to reassure him by saying they knew how to help him. He told us that he really would like a cup of tea and I asked a nurse if he could have one, as I had also done in the Medical Emergency Centre. However, nothing had been provided there. A nurse brought him a cup of tea and I helped him drink a little of it. He was being given oxygen through a mask alternated with, I think, a nebuliser of prednisolone which I understand to be a steroid. He told me that he was hungry and hadnt eaten at all. I gave him some egg sandwich and asked a nurse if he could be given some food. She said some would be provided but this does not appear to have happened.
11. He said that they kept asking him if he was in pain and that he told them he had no pain. The cancer was under control; he had pneumonia which I understand to be a reversible and treatable illness, for which he required critical care. He asked me if they would be letting him come home that day and I said that it would not be that day but very soon.
12. Whilst Matthew and I sat by his bed Glyn was given more intravenous antibiotics. He was also given an anticoagulant injection into his stomach.
13. A nurse asked if we would like to stay for the night. She said that a bed could be made up next to Glyn in a side room. I explained that we had to return home as our dogs were shut in and needed to be fed. Before we left, a doctor came to look at Glyn. He said nothing to any of us and did not examine Glyn. He then went to speak with a nurse at the desk nearby. At approximately 7pm we left to come home to feed our cats and dogs. Glyn was still having difficulty with his breathing but seemed a little more at ease and his colour was better. He was hungry but still no food had been brought for him and I do not think he was given any food at all throughout the whole day.
14. At 9.30pm I telephoned the ward as I had been advised to do. A night nurse called Marjorie told me that Glyn was very poorly and mentioned the fact that I could stay there for the night. She said that he had said he would like to settle down for the night but wanted to go to the loo. She said he had agreed to a catheter. She also said he had refused to have blood taken. I do not understand this, as this was highly contrary to Glyns nature. Marjorie said they needed more blood as an earlier sample had haemolysed. I told her to say to him to allow them to take the sample. At around 10pm I decided that we would return to the hospital in view of the nurses comments as to his condition and I telephoned the ward to tell the nurse that we would return to the hospital to be with Glyn.
15. At 10.30pm I drove back to the hospital with Matthew. We arrived on the ward at around 11.30pm and were taken to see Glyn who was now in a side room on his own. I asked the nurse, Marjorie, if she had taken any blood but she said she hadnt done it yet. I was surprised at this, as it had been deemed important over an hour prior to us arriving there. Glyn was very pleased to see us and I noticed immediately how much better he looked. I felt so relieved. I remarked that the antibiotics must be working, and the pneumonia obviously responding to the treatment. We told him that Matthews friend Nathan was worried about him and Glyn asked if we had seen Nathans father. He was able to speak without being breathless. I asked him how his breathing felt and he said it was more tolerable now. He told us he had had a shot of morphine. Both my son and myself wondered why. The nurse named Marjorie, came back into the room and told us she was going to give Glyn some morphine and that he had agreed to have it. She said it was to calm him down. I was very confused because he had just said that he had already had some. She put an amber ampoule onto the bed and went out of the room. I almost picked it up to look at it but she then returned. She administered the injection to Glyns stomach. This was at approximately 11.40pm. A few minutes later she took some blood samples. We stayed with Glyn until shortly after midnight and then said goodnight. I told him we were just around the corner in the accommodation and said to him that we would see him in the morning. I wanted to let him get some rest.
16. I said to Matthew that I felt Glyn would be better by the morning, as he was responding so well to the antibiotics. Around an hour and a half later, just after Matthew and I had settled down to sleep, a knock came on the door. A nurse said that his condition was deteriorating. We quickly followed her and found him slumped back on the pillow, with very depleted, congested breathing. He was trying to gasp for breath, but died within a couple of minutes. No moves at all were made to resuscitate him and the nurse said he was taking his last breath. The whole situation was completely overwhelming and dreadful. I sat by his side for a few moments but the nurse then said she must straighten him out. I noticed how stiff his arms were and his fists were clenched.
17. The nurse, Marjorie, said to me that Glyn was no longer in any pain. I told her that he had not been in any pain. She looked blankly at me.
18. We sat with Glyn for quite a long time. A couple of hours earlier he had been looking so much better and I had been so relieved. Now he was dead.
19. We went back to the accommodation room eventually at around 3.45 am, after telephoning Glyns daughter to tell her what had happened. She had planned to come to see her father the next morning with his grandchildren.
20. Before we left the hospital the next morning we went and collected Glyns pyjamas and watch. His body was still there in the side room, some 6 hours later. We then left the hospital, at around 7.30am on Sunday 18 February.
21. On Monday, 19 February I telephoned the hospital to ask about the death certificate. I was informed that because Glyn died within 24 hours at the hospital, his death had to be referred to the coroner. By Wednesday morning this had still not been done. I had to request repeatedly for it to be sent to the coroner and on Wednesday it was sent through.
22. I then requested a post-mortem, as I was not satisfied that the hospital had done all they could to save Glyns life whilst he was in their care. The post-mortem took place in the afternoon on Thursday 22 February. The pathologist was Dr Kenneth Scott. It was completed before 4pm and I was told that Dr Scott had concluded that Glyn died of natural causes and that the 2.5mg of diamorphine had not contributed to his death. It was not until the following day that I discovered that diamorphine should not be administered to a patient who is suffering from chronic obstructive airways disease, as Glyn was and is stated in his hospital records. It is also not prescribed for someone with pneumonia.
23. I requested that there be a blood test, as the pathologist did not order one. In his evidence given regarding the Harold Shipman case, he cited morphine as being highly dangerous for patients with respiratory problems, such as asthma. This is recorded in the British Medical Journal among other publications and the relevant page from the British Medical Journal is attached to this statement (exhibit 4).
24. Glyn was given diamorphine and a further drug, which we saw being administered at around 11.40pm on Saturday 17 February. I understand that diamorphine comes in clear glass ampoules as white powder to be reconstituted for injection and morphine as a clear solution in clear glass ampoules. The drug I saw being administered must have been a light-sensitive drug as it was in an amber/brown-coloured ampoule and was not in powder form.
25. My understanding is that the manufacturers product information sheet clearly states that diamorphine is contra-indicated for obstructive airways disease and this information is attached to this witness statement (exhibit 5). This information is also contained within the current Medicines Compendium, held by pharmacists including Boots the Chemists. This sheet is also attached to this statement (exhibit 6). NetDoctor, a web site with medical information for members of the public and health professionals, contains information on diamorphine. It states that diamorphine is not to be used in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (exhibit 7).
26. Glyns pneumonia was beginning to respond to the antibiotics within just a few hours, as both our son and myself witnessed just two hours before he died and I believe that he would have recovered had he not been given diamorphine. His condition was not deteriorating.
27. I have had the opportunity to read Glyns hospital records and I understand that a non-resuscitation order was made at or about 1.30pm on 17 February 2007, only an hour and a half following his admittance to the hospital. This decision was made whilst he was still in the A&E section and it was made under an incorrect patient number. Glyns patient number was 033908A, but he was given a wrong number of 788764 and a wrong GP Practice, in Donnington, Telford, Shropshire. The certification of his death is also under the wrong number of 788764. Shropshire County Primary Care Trust Policy on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, states at 4.3, that responsibility for the DNAR order lies with the Consultant or GP in charge and must be communicated to all relevant health professionals. It is also their responsibility to enter the DNAR decision in the patients medical records including the rationale for the decision and those who are involved. The same standards are contained within the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Standards for Clinical Practice and Training: A Joint Statement from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Intensive Care Society and the Resuscitation Council (UK), (exhibit 8.1). The decision to place a non-resuscitation order on Glyn was made by a Senior House Officer (SHO), in the A&E: not the consultant Dr Metcalf. No rationale for the decision was placed in his records. The decision not to provide CPR seems to have been made under an assumption that Glyns condition was terminal and that he had received palliative radiotherapy, when in fact he had received radical, curative radiotherapy at Glan Clwyd Hospital. Pages with the relevant sections from the Resuscitation Policy document are attached to this statement (exhibit 8.2).
28. The NICE Guideline for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease states that patients with exacerbations of COPD should receive treatment on intensive care units and this information is attached to this statement (exhibit 9). I request a full, proper explanation and a thorough investigation into why he was refused intensive care and into the events surrounding and leading up to his sudden death.