Another dodgy Nigerian doctor
Worked in NHS for 5 years!
To the outside world she was a respected NHS hospital doctor who lived in a £500,000 home and sent her children to private schools. But Nigerian-born Florence Olaye was carrying out an extraordinary deception using two identities.
She used a fake name to retake an English test required to practise medicine in Britain – and officials are not even sure she was a proper doctor. She also had a false Home Office letter claiming she had indefinite leave to stay in the country. And the 61-year-old had two marriages to Portuguese men half her age, using separate identities for the weddings.
Her web of lies was so complex that even after she was jailed for a year yesterday, the UK Border Agency is uncertain how and when she entered the country. Olaye claimed to have qualified from medical school in Moscow. She is believed to have travelled to Britain on her real passport, which states that she was born in 1949.
But she also had a second passport in the name of Florence Gberevbie, giving a birth date of 1958, backed up with the false Home Office letter. She used both passports to repeatedly take language tests required to prove she could communicate with English patients. Eventually she passed and was allowed to practise under the name Gberevbie.
She supplied the bogus passport to join an employment agency in October 2007, which led to five months working in general adult psychiatry at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. This contract was worth around £30,000.
She had four children with her first husband, who she divorced in 1999. They are now in their 30s – one is an engineer, two are pharmacists and one is a doctor. In Britain she married two Portuguese men. The first was Rui Carlos De Melo, who she wed in 2000 and divorced in 2004. Weeks later, she married Jose Tavares, but divorced him last year.
She used the name Olaye for the first wedding and Gberevbie for the second, when she stated on the certificate that she was a nurse and spinster living in Belfast.
She was finally exposed when she applied for a job with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust in 2008. A human resources officer spotted discrepancies in her application and alerted an NHS counter-fraud squad, which launched an investigation.
Yesterday Helen Guest, prosecuting, told the Inner London Crown Court: ‘A false passport, a Home Office document and a no time limit stamp were used to prove that she had a right to live and work in the UK for the purpose of securing the position of doctor in the NHS. ‘She has worked in the NHS since registering with the GMC in 2005.’
The jury rejected Olaye’s defence that she had reverted to her maiden name Gberevbie because her married name had been ‘cursed’ following her first divorce.
Olaye has been unable to work as a doctor since her arrest in February 2009, and has been claiming £132 a week of pension credit. Passing sentence, Judge Clive Million said: ‘You knew the documents were false and you had obviously knowingly obtained them to maintain two identities, which you used to apply for registration as a doctor.
‘The reasons are unclear, but it must have been to profit in some way from the deception. ‘It was probably to avoid the disadvantage of having failed several times the English proficiency tests required for registration in this country. Practising as a doctor in the UK carries great responsibility.
‘The system relies upon people to be honest and reliable – you have been shown to be neither.’
Outside court Mark Weller, an NHS counter-fraud officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, said: ‘This result demonstrates that such frauds will be investigated and that courts are prepared to mete out custodial sentences for them.’
This should make most Brits weep tears of blood
In Third-world Britain, getting your garbage collected can be quite a hassle
The following email was sent to me by a lady who has recently taken up residence in a small town in New Zealand:
“Another thing I want to mention was about our garbage collection. Our wheelie bin is collected each Thursday morning and Simon and I managed to fill it to the brim with the lid poking up over the top.
We unfortunately slept in on Thursday and didn’t get the bin out in time so it wasn’t collected. We thought we would just leave it there anyway and deal with the rubbish later.
At about 4pm that afternoon the rubbish truck sped past then noticed our bin and reversed back to our house and emptied it!! We were amazed! How nice. We really are living in the country when you get service like that.”
Picture below of the lady concerned enjoying the sunshine with her baby beside her local New Zealand river
Why do people stay in a messed-up place like Britain?
Left-wing, shallow and oh-so politically correct… my verdict on the BBC, by Michael Buerk
Michael Buerk has launched a withering assault on the BBC’s ‘creed of political correctness’. The veteran presenter accuses staff at the Corporation of an inbuilt ‘institutional bias’ and warns that they read the left-wing Guardian newspaper as if it is ‘their Bible’.
Reviewing a memoir by his former colleague Peter Sissons, Buerk endorses his view that the BBC is warped by the prejudices of its staff.
He says fellow reporters have ‘contempt’ for business and the countryside – and that a left-wing culture means the national broadcaster has been cast ‘adrift of the overriding national sentiment’ on issues such as climate change.
Criticism from such a well-known figure is likely to unsettle his bosses. Buerk, who presents Radio 4’s Moral Maze, is one of the most respected broadcasters of his generation. He made his name with a series of moving broadcasts on the Ethiopian famine in 1984, which prompted the Live Aid campaign, before becoming the main presenter of the BBC’s flagship evening news programme. His son Roland Buerk is the BBC’s Tokyo correspondent.
In Sissons’s memoir, which was serialised in the Daily Mail last month, the former Nine O’Clock News and Question Time presenter denounced the ‘zealotry’ of the BBC over the issue of climate change and ‘the culture of political correctness’.
Buerk, who has previously voiced criticisms of fellow newsreaders for being overpaid, autocue-reading ‘lame brains’, praises Sissons for attacking ‘Autocuties, “Elf ’n’ Safety” and ‘its culture of conformity’.
Buerk also accuses BBC reporters of an ‘uncritical love affair with environmentalism’. He condemns the ‘flatulent masses of its middle management’.
The BBC has no way of distinguishing between competent managers and the ‘totally transparent t***ers’ who populate the Corporation, writes the former news anchorman in Standpoint magazine. ‘What the BBC regards as normal and abnormal, what is moderate or extreme, where the centre of gravity of an issue lies, are conditioned by the common set of assumptions held by the people who work for it. ‘The Guardian is their bible and political correctness their creed.’
He also attacks BBC bosses for their ‘vulnerability to political pressure’ and condemns ‘the callow opinionising of some of its reporters’.
Buerk admits that some of his own bosses, including Director General Mark Thompson, were ‘extraordinarily bright, decent and effective’, but adds: ‘Of course, there were, and are, plenty of totally transparent t***ers.’ He adds: ‘The BBC’s difficulty is that it has never been able to tell the difference. In any case, it is the institution that increasingly seems to be the problem.’
And he warns: ‘It’s often notably adrift of the overriding national sentiment.’
BBC bosses are already on the back foot. They were humiliated after losing an age discrimination case to Miriam O’Reilly, the 53-year-old presenter of Countryfile. And they are also under pressure from the Government to disclose full details of how much big stars are paid.
The BBC said: ‘While Michael is entitled to his opinion, it has been some time since he has worked for BBC News so it’s interesting he feels in a position to comment. We certainly do not recognise the picture he has painted and nor would his colleagues. ‘Impartiality is critical to our success as a news broadcaster and is always at the centre of what we do.’
A nation divided: Britain is no longer split by class. Instead the social chasm is between taxpayers and the public sector
Last weekend’s march in London, protesting against The Cuts, highlighted the only social divide that matters in modern Britain. It is not between rich and poor, North and South or even Arsenal and Manchester United supporters. It is between those employed in the public and private sectors of the economy.
The march — a howl of anguish to which Ed Miliband lent his presence and absurdly extravagant rhetoric — was a partisan demo by Labour’s six-million-strong client vote, the employees of the state who have become Britain’s new privileged class.
Watching TV images of the marchers snake through the capital, I reflected that they should rightfully have been wearing wigs and powder, because they are the modern-day counterparts of pre-Revolution French aristocrats, enjoying advantages such as the rest of us can only dream of.
Once upon a time ‘civil servants’, as they were called before both words became satirical, enjoyed lifelong job security, to compensate for the fact that they received much more modest financial rewards than their private-sector counterparts.
The humble little bureaucrat taking the bus to the council office every morning from suburbia, wearing a Burton suit and Terylene tie, was the stuff of TV sitcoms. Not any more.
Margaret Thatcher galvanised British business, but conspicuously failed to reform the public sector. Subsequent Labour governments showered good things on state employees — ‘our people’.
Gordon Brown, doctrinally committed to a belief that the man in Whitehall knows best, boosted the state payroll by almost a million, so that today it constitutes one-fifth of Britain’s workforce.
Of course, teachers, nurses and other front-line workers in the public sector do hugely valuable jobs. But these people have become by far the most formidable, unionised and muscular interest group in the country. Labour voters almost to a man and woman, they enjoy job security, early retirement rights and better pay.
Yet they are statistically 2,000 per cent more prone to take industrial action than private sector workers — as the Prison Officers’ Association seems about to remind us with widespread walkouts by staff in protest against the use of private firms to run jails.
In 1997, median public sector salaries were already 2.5 per cent higher than those in business and industry. By 2009, thanks to Mr Brown’s largesse, that premium had increased to 12.5 per cent. Calculated on an hourly basis, the independent think-tank Policy Exchange reckons public sector workers get 29 per cent more than their private sector counterparts.
While there is a case for paying a few top officials big money to get quality, there is no rational argument at all for overpaying rank-and-file workers, save as a shameless political bribe for their votes.
And while the private sector has been closing final-salary pension schemes as unaffordable, public sector inflation-linked pensions remain guaranteed — and the rest of us pay for them. According to the National Audit Office, the state paid £14.9 billion towards the £19.3 billion cost of the UK’s four largest civil service schemes, while staff provided £4.4 billion.
Those figures are getting much worse. The cost of public sector pensions to taxpayers — not to the employees themselves — is expected to double over the next five years, as many people who joined the civil service on generous terms 30 to 40 years ago approach retirement.
The scandal is that in many cases these pensions are not drawn from money that is set aside — as in the private sector — but instead come from current taxation income. So when interest rates rise, as they obviously will, taxpayers’ contributions to state sector privileges will become even more painful.
Three thousand public sector workers have pension pots worth more than £1 million, which would take an average earner 600 years to fund.
For instance, the chief executive of the South West Regional Development Agency has a pot worth £1.3 million. Several senior executives of the BBC, which has come to resemble the banks in being run chiefly for the personal enrichment of its senior executives, have recently retired on pensions in excess of £200,000 a year.
Yet there is nothing the Government can do to claw back these privileges for existing employees because legal experts say employees’ contracts cannot be retrospectively rewritten.
Gordon Brown was widely criticised as Prime Minister for striking deals for the construction of two absurdly costly aircraft-carriers (which would guarantee jobs for Scottish Labour voters) on contractual terms that made cancellation almost impossible. In precisely the same fashion, Brown fixed unbreakable, gold-plated deals for state employees which taxpayers will be funding for decades.
The truth is that if current Coalition Government spending cuts damage schools or hospitals, it will be because the state’s budget has ballooned so much over recent years and is now being controlled by its employees.
This week, the Cameron Government has faced fierce criticism from the arts lobby for imposing a very modest reduction of the £2 billion subsidy arts organisations receive.
In truth the Arts Council, under the influence of its Labour commissars, has become a mechanism for distributing money for welfare projects, especially to ethnic minorities, through its ‘diversity and equal opportunities’ units.
If cash for the Arts Council’s social engineering operations was cut off — which is not being done — there would be no reason for Britain’s ‘real’ arts and theatres to suffer at all.
Meanwhile, local authorities are still squandering money on non-jobs and unnecessary functions. Why does Manchester Council need a graphic designer earning £120,000 a year, or a ‘climate change officer’ on £37,206? Why is Barnsley Council employing two ‘European officers’ and Hackney four ‘diversity officers’?
Also, many Labour councils are cutting services while hoarding large cash reserves.
Barnsley has recently stopped free swimming for local residents, blaming this on government cuts, while continuing to fund 38 full-time trades union posts at a cost of more than £1 million a year. It spends more than £2 million a year on ‘publicity’, and last year recruited for an ‘Athletics Network Development Officer’.
Haringey Council spends £386,665 on translating its mountainous output of paper into ethnic minority languages. It employs two political advisers, three climate change officers, and four-and-a-half diversity officers who cost £245,839 a year.
Last weekend’s London demo represented a protest by the most pampered sector of society — state employees — against this Government’s desperate efforts to curb their unaffordable numbers and rights.
The BBC reports government cuts as if these constitute a brutal assault on the British people. The real mugging, however, is that conducted by the taxman, who takes away the money of ‘hard-working families’ to fund the new state elite.
Last weekend’s events highlighted the chasm between today’s two Britains. One is populated by taxpayers who generate profits; the other by Labour’s vast client vote which spends it, as of right. Far from the Government’s spending cuts being cruel or unreasonable, if properly implemented they could be much tougher, because waste is so great.
Britain will never be a healthy society until cured of its addiction to the opiate of excessive state spending.
Home at last: The twins snatched by the British State after innocuous remark sparked social services witch hunt
Leaning over the hospital incubator, Tara Norman smiled proudly down at her tiny newborn twins and whispered: ‘You should see what you have done to your Mummy’s body.’ It was the kind of rueful joke that any exhausted new mother might make after a traumatic emergency Caesarean section. Implicit, of course, was the emphatic message that she would do it all again in a heartbeat, for the sake of knowing the joy of motherhood.
Throughout her pregnancy she had dreamed of the day she and husband Adrian would leave hospital as a family. She couldn’t wait to take their son and daughter, Ashley and Olivia home, and settle them into their nursery. But she had no idea that this passing remark about her figure — lovingly spoken, in a private moment — was being secretly documented by a nearby nurse or that it would set in motion a Kafkaesque nightmare which would tear her family apart.
Observing that Tara appeared ‘bitter’ towards her twins, the nurse updated the babies’ daily diary — a set of notes that are kept as standard practice on neonatal wards to help staff keep track of each premature baby’s progress.
The incident — if one can call it that — was never mentioned to Tara or Adrian. And if there were any other signs that something was amiss, the Normans, as new parents to two premature babies, were understandably too preoccupied to notice.
In fact, they knew nothing of the problem until days later, when a woman from Havering Social Services arrived at their home in Hornchurch, Essex, and announced: ‘I’m here because we want to take your children into care and we want you to agree to it.’
The Normans, whose twins were yet to leave hospital, were left bewildered and the woman made no mention of the comment Tara had made about her body.
Speaking exclusively to the Mail, Tara says: ‘We couldn’t believe what was happening. I made a silly joke and suddenly they were ripping our family apart. We told her we’d never agree to our children being taken away. So she said: “Then we will see you in court.”’
Any loving parent would have been panic-stricken by such a threat — but for the Normans it was even worse. This threatened their only chance of having a family. Owing to a rare hormone disorder, Tara is unable to conceive naturally. The couple had endured five gruelling rounds of IVF and suffered a miscarriage before she eventually fell pregnant with twins.
There could be no doubt of their desire to become parents or their commitment to care for their children, yet social workers claimed that Tara had made ‘emotionally abusive’ comments towards the twins. In their professional opinion, Tara and Adrian could not cope with the demands of first-time parenthood with two premature babies.
Havering Borough Council, acting on information supplied by Whipps Cross Hospital in East London,warned that Ashley and Olivia were at risk of ‘significant harm’ and launched court proceedings to take the six-week-old twins into care. According to the hospital, the Normans were struggling to care for the twins, born six weeks early and weighing only 3lb each.
As evidence of their ‘inadequate parenting skills’ and failure to bond with the twins, nurses cited Tara’s comments and occasions when the couple had not fed the children the recommended amount of milk or changed their nappies properly.
‘No one is born with parenting skills, but we were learning as we went along, just like anyone else,’ says Adrian, a 43-year-old former Post Office worker. ‘If we had been given some help we would have been fine. But they only seemed interested in taking the children away.’
Whatever the fears of the nursing staff, who no doubt felt they were acting in the best interests of the children, what happened next seems to be a gross overreaction. Within days a protection order was granted at a secret Family Court hearing and the six-week-old twins were discharged from hospital and placed in a series temporary foster homes.
The twins were placed in a foster home, but moved within 24 hours to a placement with a foster family near Southend, Essex, an hour’s drive from the Normans’ home in Hornchurch. Tara and Adrian were allowed just five hours’ supervised contact a week.
Adrian and Tara acknowledge their inexperience and insist they would have welcomed support from social workers. But instead, Havering began care proceedings.
They were told to get separate solicitors and warned that it was possible custody would be awarded to just one of them, meaning they would have to live apart after five years of marriage.
It was, without doubt, an extraordinarily cruel punishment for a non-existent crime. Without evidence that any violence or abuse had ever taken place, huge decisions were made in haste. As a result, the twins spent their first precious year in the arms of strangers.
And even when, in March 2009, the twins’ court-appointed guardian formally recommended they be returned to their parents as soon as a parenting assessment was completed, nothing could halt the wheels of officialdom. When Tara protested, social workers noted that she had ‘anger problems’. She admits she once threw her handbag at a wall in fury, and it hit a social worker on the arm — she accepted a police caution over the incident.
Two social workers also claim she threw her mobile phone at them. Her understandable frustration was regarded as proof of the risk she presented to her children. ‘They had taken my children away from me. How was I supposed to react?’ she says.
In January 2010, more than a year after their birth, the twins were allowed to go home with their parents under a court supervision order. Key to this was Adrian’s decision to take voluntary redundancy to help Tara to care for the twins.
Health visitors and social workers visited the family’s house at least once a fortnight and consistently reported that Ashley and Olivia were ‘happy and content children’.
Tara said: ‘I had imagined taking two tiny babies home from hospital, but by the time they were finally allowed to come home they were one-year-olds. ‘The first minutes on our own in the house were almost unbelievable — it had taken a year to get to a point where we were finally alone with our own children.’
Now toddlers, Ashley and Olivia cling to their parents and demand constant attention, but the Normans hope they will not remember their separation as they grow up. No further concerns were raised and the court supervision order expired in February this year.
The Normans, who are considering taking legal action against the council, have received no formal notification from the court or the council, although Family Court officials have confirmed to the Mail that the case has been closed.
But they cannot shake the fear that officials will find a pretext to take their children again.
A spokeswoman for Havering Borough Council said: ‘We have worked hard with the family and are pleased that after a year of supervision and Mr Norman’s decision to be at home during the day, we have closed our orders.’
British schools failing to promote the classics
Classic literature risks dying out in schools as hundreds of thousands of pupils are allowed to complete GCSEs without studying a single book written before the 20th century, Michael Gove warns today. Fewer than one in 100 teenagers who sat the most popular English literature exam last year based their answers on novels published prior to 1900, says the Education Secretary.
Only 1,236 out of 300,000 students read Pride and Prejudice, 285 studied Far From the Madding Crowd and just 187 completed Wuthering Heights as part of the test, he claims. At the same time, more than 90 per cent of answers were based on the same three books – Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Mr Gove says the disclosure underlines the extent to which England’s “constricted and unreformed exam system” fails to encourage children to read.
He says Britain also has some of the best modern children’s writers in the world, including Philip Pullman, JK Rowling, Michael Morpurgo and Anthony Horowitz, but many young people are “growing up in ignorance of their work”.
It follows the publication of a major international study in December showing that reading standards among British teenagers had slumped from 7th to 25th in a decade.
“We’re not picking up enough new books, not getting through the classics, not widening our horizons. In short, we’re just not reading enough,” he says.
Mr Gove’s comments were made after a tour of independent “charter schools” in American last month. He claims that a love of reading is promoted in many schools opened in tough inner-city areas, praising one that issued children with a challenge to read 50 books in a year.
But in a dig at the teaching establishment in England, Mr Gove says many children in this country are held back by an “anti-knowledge” culture that prevents them from reaching their potential. “The children I met were smart and lively. But they were also, overwhelmingly, from the most disadvantaged homes,” he says.
“That didn’t mean their teachers lowered the bar. Quite the opposite. They wanted to give those children a chance to enjoy the glittering prizes – so they set expectations high.
“I want the same culture here. I want to take on the lowest-common-denominator ethos, the ‘let’s not be too demanding’, ‘all this smacks of targets’, ‘the poor dears can’t manage it’, ‘the idea of a canon is outmoded’, ‘it’s all on the internet anyway’ culture which is anti-knowledge, anti-aspiration and antithetical to human flourishing.
“Instead, I want a culture in which the more you read, the more you are celebrated. “That’s why I have said we should set our own 50 Book Challenge. And that’s also why I want to develop a stronger and more durable culture of reading for pleasure.”
Anger as British schools ban Gideon Bibles to avoid upsetting other faiths
“The Gideons have become famed for handing out signature red Bibles to young children during school assemblies. But they have been told to stay away from some classes because it may spark complaints from different faiths.
Abbot Beyne School and Paget High School near Burton On Trent in Staffordshire have made the controversial ban. Maggie Tate, deputy head teacher of Abbot Beyne, said: ‘The reason we stopped the Gideons coming in is that we are a comprehensive multi-faith school. We felt it was inappropriate to allow one faith group to distribute material in school.’
Headteacher at Paget High School in Branston, Don Smith, also cited multiculturalism as the reason behind the decision to abolish the tradition.
The decision has caused outrage among Christians, who have accused the schools of trying to silence Christianity. Gideons supporter Barry Martin said: ‘We live in a Christian country. I think that if the Gideons want to offer Bibles to children then they should be allowed to do so.
‘Banning them is not right because these schools are trying to silence Christianity and we must fight to defend it. Christians make this world a better place.’