‘Better safe than sorry’: What doctors told patient after removing his bowel by mistake because blundering staff wrongly said he had cancer
A man who went to his GP with a stomach upset has told how doctors removed part of his bowel after wrongly diagnosing cancer.
James McLeish was left having to wear a colostomy bag and was not even told of the disastrous cancer mistake until he returned to hospital for a check-up.
A surgeon told him: ‘I’ve got some good news for you. You haven’t got cancer after all.’
When the retired bus driver, who had previously enjoyed good health, expressed his astonishment, the consultant said: ‘Better safe than sorry.’
The Mail on Sunday has seen a confidential report which exposes a catalogue of incompetence and failure of leadership at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where Mr McLeish was treated.
In one of the most glaring mistakes, the phrase ‘no dysplasia’ – referring to an absence of abnormal cells on an ulcer found in Mr McLeish’s body – was read at a case conference as ‘dysplasia’. The omission of the word ‘no’ led doctors to believe cancer was likely and on that basis they went ahead with the operation.
The document also reveals that:
A biopsy was wrongly interpreted as showing signs of cancer;
Surgeons operated without first reading his pathology report, which plays a vital role in cancer diagnosis;
Consultants were given incomplete medical notes;
Three surgeons had expressed concern about hospital procedures but their complaints were apparently ignored.
Mr McLeish is to receive £60,000 compensation from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust after his negligence claim was settled out of court.
The sequence of events began when the 69-year-old widower, from Havant, went to his GP after a bout of diarrhoea. He was referred to the Queen Alexandra where he underwent a series of tests and was told that a tumour had been found in his colon.
In November 2011 surgeons removed part of his bowel and he spent two weeks in hospital recovering from the operation, which left him needing to use a colostomy bag.
He moved in with his son and, when he eventually returned home, became a virtual recluse, too embarrassed to see friends and family.
Mr McLeish said: ‘I changed my lifestyle and didn’t see anyone. I would not leave the house as the bag would tend to burst on me. I had to change it at home which made me very sick and it was very inconvenient. I was in good health until all this happened.’
He had another operation to repair the colon and remove the colostomy bag but this still left him with major problems with everyday life.
It was only when he returned to the Queen Alexandra for a routine check-up that he was told his suffering had been entirely unnecessary because the cancer diagnosis had been wrong.
Trust chief executive Ursula Ward has now written to him, apologising for the substandard care.
Mr McLeish’s solicitor, Paul Crook, of law firm Ross Aldridge, said: ‘As a result of an appalling clinical error Mr McLeish was subjected to extremely invasive and wholly unnecessary surgery.
‘While no amount of money will turn the clock back, the settlement does in part recompense him for all the unnecessary pain and suffering he has endured and will continue to live with.’
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: ‘Patients deserve to feel confident that their prescribed course of treatment is clinically right.
‘Trusts need to ensure their procedures prevent avoidable surgery which can have devastating long-terms impacts on the quality of patients’ lives.’
Allowed to work in the NHS, the doctors guilty of abuses abroad
A Sunday Telegraph investigation has found that scores of medics have been able to practise in NHS hospitals even though regulators in their home country have taken action against them.
The cases include a doctor found guilty of manslaughter, a psychiatrist who used his position to seduce patients and a medic who was able to con thousands of pounds from British patients despite having been repeatedly suspended by authorities in South Africa.
Data from the General Medical Council (GMC), obtained using Freedom of Information laws, shows that since 2006 it has become aware of 138 cases of doctors who were allowed to work in this country despite records of misconduct abroad and, in some cases, criminal convictions.
The cases came to the attention of the authorities only following tip-offs from patients, other doctors or overseas regulators, and experts warn that the number is likely to be the “tip of the iceberg”, with other foreign medics with similar records still working here undetected.
The experts say the figures highlight “alarming” loopholes in measures put in place to check the standard of foreign doctors working in Britain.
There have been increasing fears about the risks posed to British patients from doctors trained overseas, and cases where medics have been allowed to work here despite poor English and unfamiliarity with NHS systems.
In December an investigation by this newspaper disclosed that three quarters of doctors who were struck off the medical register last year had been trained abroad.
Last month the Government announced new powers that attempted to plug some of the loopholes, by allowing the GMC to test the language skills of medics from European Union states.
Yet doctors who were found guilty of misconduct abroad have still been allowed to work in Britain, often for years.
Since 2005, all doctors who register for work in this country have to present a certificate in which regulators in countries where they have most recently worked provide details of disciplinary actions taken against them. This is supposed to allow the GMC to bar from work those with an unsatisfactory record.
However, the system depends on the accuracy of the information provided by overseas regulators — who can decide how far back to examine a doctor’s disciplinary history. And there are no retrospective checks for doctors who registered for work before such requirements were introduced.
The new figures represent cases in which the GMC became aware that doctors had been allowed to work here, despite records of misconduct abroad, with some even having been struck off the medical register overseas.
In some cases, information emerged during investigations into their conduct in this country. In others, overseas regulators belatedly passed on information, and on other occasions the disciplinary procedures abroad occurred after a doctor first registered for work in this country.
Experts said that in many more cases, a doctor’s past could remain hidden, leaving the public at risk.
Julia Manning, the chief executive of 2020 Health, a centre-Right think tank, said: “The figures are scandalous, and it is alarming that these are only the cases of which the GMC has become aware.
“When we have got doctors working in this country who have been found guilty of misconduct abroad, or even struck off their medical register, the risks to patients are clear.”
Niall Dickson, the chief executive of the GMC, said the system relied on the quality of information provided by overseas regulators, who did not always alert the British body when doctors already registered to work here were found guilty of misconduct abroad.
“The safety of patients must come first,” he said. “That means we need to know about any disciplinary action taken against a doctor before we decide whether they can practise in the UK.
“That is why we carry out regular checks on doctors seeking to come here. We tell other regulators around the world when we take action against a doctor. We believe every regulator should do this — at the moment many do not.”
Among the cases uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph is Dr Marcos Ariel Hourmann, 53, from Argentina, who moved to the UK after facing charges for killing a patient in Spain in 2005.
Dr Hourmann was finally struck off by the GMC in 2010, a year after he was convicted in Spain
He worked as an Accident and Emergency doctor for West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, and as a forensic medical examiner for police in Wales, before finally being struck off by the GMC in 2010, a year after he was convicted in Spain.
Dr Hourmann had claimed that the lethal injection administered to his 82-year-old patient in Spain was a “mercy killing”.
Another case involved Dr Maurice Saadien-Raad, a South African, who practised in hospitals across Britain for four years despite warnings that he was already known to be a danger in his native country and in Australia. He came to Britain aged 54 and worked as a locum in nine NHS hospitals despite being suspended twice in South Africa, and sacked from a job in Australia because of concerns about his competence.
By the time Dr Saadien-Raad was suspended from the British medical register in 2007 he had given the wrong drugs to seriously ill patients, sexually harassed women he was supposed to be treating and even conned £50,000 out of one depressed patient who was undergoing psychiatric treatment. He was finally struck off in June 2011.
Dr Graham Craig, a psychiatrist, came to the UK in 2001, aged 61, after being suspended from the medical register in Australia over an inappropriate relationship with a patient.
Even when it emerged in 2006 that he had been having an affair with another patient, who was almost 40 years younger than him, he was able to keep working as a locum doctor for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS trust. He was finally struck off in 2010 for abuse of his professional position.
When Dr Sartori registered to work in Britain, he had already been banned from working in five different states of America
Dr Hellfried Sartori, from Austria, registered to work in this country in 1995 and remained on the register until 2008 — despite a string of convictions for fraud and practising medicine in countries that had barred him.
When he registered to work in Britain, he had already been banned from working in five different states of America. He told patients that cancers were caused by “acute emotional shocks” and that he could cure 100 per cent of them within three months.
Even two spells in US jails in the 1990s for practising medicine without a licence did not come to the attention of the British authorities.
In 2005, coroners in Australia blamed him for hastening the deaths of four cancer patients who had received his “alternative cancer therapy”, which involved injecting them with a dangerous cocktail of minerals and industrial solvents and paint strippers.
In 2008, the GMC held disciplinary procedures investigating Dr Sartori and decided that he should be barred from practising in this country.
Yet, because the regulator keeps no employment records, and the NHS is not required to disclose its staff lists to them, it was unable to say where he had worked before the ruling was made.
Hospital patient discharged at 3.30am without a coat in sub-zero temperatures is found ‘tearful, frozen and wandering the streets’ by police
A hospital investigation has been launched after a confused patient was discharged at 3.30am without a coat in sub-zero temperatures.
Michael Atkinson, 64, was discharged from the Royal Bolton Hospital in Greater Manchester before being found by police tearful, frozen and wandering the streets more than half a mile away. He had hurt himself after he fell while he was lost and was ‘very distressed’ by his ordeal.
He was also wearing a hospital wristband bearing the name and details of a two-year-old girl.
Earlier this month, Jonathan Hastilow-Sands, a 90-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer, was reported missing from the same hospital. He was discovered in Bristol, 175 miles away.
This week it was also revealed that an unnamed 76-year-old male patient walked more than a mile from the hospital in his pyjamas and dressing gown before he was stopped and taken in by a hairdresser.
Hospital bosses have now launched a ‘full review’ into what happened to Mr Atkinson on March 6.
His wife, Helen, who had been told her husband was being admitted to the hospital for a brain scan following a stroke, is also calling for action to be taken against the hospital for ‘negligence’.
Mrs Atkinson, from Breightmet, Bolton, said: ‘When the police brought him back, he was in a terrible state. I was distraught and he was crying. He was like a bag of ice. It has made him worse.
‘Something is very wrong at that hospital. You don’t discharge a man in his state at 3.30am.’
She has told how she called the hospital to find out why she had not been contacted to collect him and said she was told they ‘couldn’t find my number in his notes’ and that her husband could not remember his phone number.
Mr Atkinson suffered a stroke in 2005 and has been taking morphine for a slipped disc that has trapped a nerve. He suffers from emphysema and lung disease and has had pneumonia three times.
Mrs Atkinson said her husband had been due to be collected by an ambulance for a brain scan, following a possible second stroke, between 3.30pm and 7.30pm on March 5. However, an ambulance did not arrive at the couple’s home until 11.40pm that night.
Mrs Atkinson said the ambulance staff did not know why they were collecting her husband and, when at the hospital, no scan was carried out.
After her husband was brought home by police at 4.30am the next morning, the 64-year-old said she was ‘livid’.
He was found without his coat, which had been a Christmas present, and was missing his medication.
Mrs Atkinson believes if he had not been found he could have got hypothermia and died.
Mr Atkinson was re-admitted to the Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment, but has since been discharged and is back at the couple’s home.
His wife has complained to the hospital and has contacted solicitors.
She said: ‘I am so upset that my poor husband has suffered for so long unnecessarily. It is disgusting.
‘Every time I walked in there to go and see him I took notes because I don’t trust them.’
Heather Edwards, head of communications at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘We are aware of Mrs Atkinson’s concerns and a full review is taking place to understand exactly what happened.’
Last year hospitals were told to end the ‘obviously unacceptable’ practice of sending elderly or vulnerable patients home in the middle of the night.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, ordered an urgent review of how the service is discharging hundreds of thousands of patients amid concerns some are being left to fend for themselves.
His intervention came after The Times newspaper obtained figures showing 293,000 patients at 100 hospital trusts had been sent home between 11pm and 6am in 2011.
Racist graffiti daubed on sign in one of UK’s most exclusive communities where villagers are fighting over planned Sikh school
A race row has erupted in one of Britain’s wealthiest villages after offensive graffiti was plastered on the site of a proposed Sikh school. If the Khalsa Secondary Academy is built it would see more than 1,000 people flock into Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, from as far afield as West London.
Tension in the village has grown over the past fortnight with angry locals venting their anger online and at parish council meetings.
Now one racist hooligan has daubed ‘NO P*** SCHOOL’ and ‘DON’T SELL TO P*** SCHOOL’ on a sign at the proposed site. [The graffiti probably used the term “Paki”, which is just an abbreviation of “Pakistani” but is considered highly offensive in Britain. Sikhs are of course neither Pakistanis nor Muslims. Their home is Panjab State in India and their founder is guru Nanak, not Mohammed. Like Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Sikhism is monotheistic]
Residents in Stoke Poges have condemned the thugs responsible for the graffiti, claiming their objections to the school have nothing to do with race.
But they feel the Slough Sikh Education Trust (SSET), which is behind the proposed faith school, could be fuelling rumours it is a race issue by circulating images of the graffiti.
Saera Carter, vice chairman of the Stoke Poges Parish Council, said: ‘It was discovered at 8:30am in the morning and seven villagers scrubbed it off within the hour.
‘As a village we were offended by it. We don’t want to offend our Asian neighbours or the SSET as we are a peaceful village.
‘Sikhism is a peaceful religion but this is immature and inflammatory behaviour and it wouldn’t surprise me if the SSET is turning this into a race issue.’
Stoke Poges is known for the exclusive Stoke Park estate which featured in the James Bond classic Goldfinger. Recent figures ranked Stoke Poges as having the eighth highest concentration of £1 million properties sold in Britain.
It is understood Mr Kandola has also sent the image to Dominic Grieve, the Conservative MP who represents Stoke Poges as part of the Beaconsfield Ward.
Locals have said their opposition to the school is based on the proposed site – the current UK headquarters for Pioneer – being on greenbelt land.
They say Stoke Poges doesn’t have the infrastructure to deal with 1,000 people entering the village each day and also fear children will lose their right to free bus travel if the multi-million pound taxpayer-funded school opens on the site.
When 222 parents at the village’s primary school were asked if they would send their child to the Khalsa Academy, 93.25 per cent said no.
The chairman of the Slough Sikh Education Trust yesterday has described the racist graffiti as ‘unfortunate’.
Nick Kandola said: ‘The incident of graffiti at the proposed school site is unfortunate. ‘We would much rather things like this weren’t happening and, as a Trust, we would prefer to focus on the more important questions of how we can best deliver a new school in this location and serving this community. ‘We do not want to draw unnecessary attention to this incident.
‘We want to address the more fundamental questions about improving local educational choice and bringing forward an excellent planning proposition.’
University College London bans hard-line Islamic group which tried to segregate men and women at a debate held on university premises
A Muslim group has been banned from a university after segregating men and women during a debate. Visitors to the event at University College London were told to use men’s or women’s entrances.
Organisers Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) told women to sit at the back, while men and couples were sent to the front. Three people who objected were ordered to leave.
The segregation was halted only when one speaker, US scientist Lawrence Krauss, stormed out. Ignoring audience jeering, he told an organiser: ‘Either you quit the segregation or I’m not interested.’ He returned when staff allowed men and women to mix.
The public debate on Saturday was on the subject ‘Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?’ Atheist Mr Krauss was joined by another guest, Greek Islamic convert Hamza Andreas Tzortzis.
Audience member Dana Sondergaard wrote on her Facebook page: ‘After watching three people be kicked out of the auditorium …. Dr Krauss bravely defended his beliefs of gender equality.’
Yesterday, Mr Chagtai told MailOnline: ‘In all normal Islamic events people will naturally often separate themselves: men with men and women with women.
‘It is de rigueur, in a way that is not too dissimilar to practices in Orthodox Jewish communities.
‘The issue that UCL had is that it it can’t be enforced. But because of the limited space of the auditorium, there were a number of ladies who used their free will and didn’t want to sit with the opposite sex, so we needed to cater for that.’
He said iERA had been told by UCL that segregation was against their ethos, and had intended ‘to stick to what they said in letter and spirit’.
Mr Chagtai said his organisation was now conducting an internal investigation into what happened on the day. He added: ‘We need to take their criticism like this very seriously. We feel it’s the honourable thing to do to see if there was anybody that influenced segregation on the day from our staff.’
Atheist writer Richard Dawkins called the segregation ‘sexual apartheid’ and called it a ‘disgraceful epsiode’.
Writing on his blog, he said: ‘University College London is celebrated as an early haven of enlightened free thinking, the first university college in England to have a secular foundation, and the first to admit men and women on equal terms. Heads should roll.
‘Isn’t it really about time we decent, nice, liberal people stopped being so pusillanimously terrified of being thought “Islamophobic” and stood up for decent, nice, liberal values?’
UCL’s press office issued a statement saying iERA would never again be allowed to hold events on the university’s campuses. It said: ‘We do not allow enforced segregation on any grounds [but]… it now appears that, despite our clear instructions, attempts were made to enforce segregation at the meeting.
‘We are still investigating what actually happened at the meeting but, given IERA’s original intentions for a segregated audience we have concluded that their interests are contrary to UCL’s ethos and that we should not allow any further events involving them to take place on UCL premises.’
The anti-Semites mistaken for mere eccentrics
Why are race-hate outbursts by the likes of the Labour Party’s Lord Ahmed not punished sooner?
By Stephen Pollard
It would be nice, just for once, if we could change the record. Even though I’m the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, there are all sorts of things I’d rather write about than anti-Semitism. The weather. Traffic. House prices. Pretty much anything, as it happens.
But with a regularity that is as relentless as it is depressing, some idiot comes out with an anti-Semitic rant. This week, it was Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer. Last month, it was David Ward, a Lib Dem MP. Next month, it will be someone else’s turn.
Perhaps it’s because I lack sufficient self-awareness that I can never put myself in the mindset that holds the Jews – that is, me – responsible for all the world’s ills. Then again, for Lord Ahmed, it’s not just the world’s ills that I’ve caused – it’s his own, too.
In 2009, he was sent down for 12 weeks after he smashed into a stationary car, having sent a series of text messages while driving his Jaguar on the M1 at 70mph. The other driver died. You might think 12 weeks rather lenient. Apparently not. According to Lord Ahmed, in an interview given on Pakistani TV last April, which has only just surfaced, he was sentenced so harshly purely because of a conspiracy by Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels”. The judge, he added, had been specially chosen because the Jews wanted to punish him for supporting the Palestinian cause.
It seems that as well as running the media, banks and business, we Jews also spend our time monitoring motorway CCTV tapes and looking out for supporters of the Palestinian cause in the hope that we can get a compliant judge to send them down. Of course, I shouldn’t be flippant – because flippancy is the default reaction of so many people to the likes of Lord Ahmed, who are treated essentially as figures of fun.
That certainly seems to be the attitude among the Liberal Democrats. In January, an obscure MP called David Ward decided that the most appropriate thing to do after signing the Holocaust Memorial Trust’s book of remembrance was to sound off about how “the Jews… could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new state of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza”. Not the Israelis – the Jews. Apparently, I and others have failed to absorb properly the lesson Hitler was teaching our ancestors in the Holocaust.
While it might be easy to dismiss such rants, there is a bigger point here. Mr Ward remains an MP. His chief whip decided a fortnight ago, after weeks of inaction, that the only necessary response was to suggest that Mr Ward might meet with the Lib Dem Friends of Israel – compounding the problem by conflating support for Israel with opposition to naked anti-Semitism.
Mind you, the Left does seem to have developed a remarkably laissez-faire attitude when it comes to Jew-baiting. It took the Lib Dems years to impose serious sanctions against Mr Ward’s companion in arms, Baroness Tonge. She spoke understandingly of suicide bombers and how, in the Palestinians’ circumstances, she “might just consider becoming one myself”. The response? Nothing. She then revealed how the “pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western world, its financial grips. I think they have probably got a certain grip on our party.” Again, nothing.
The Lib Dems only took action after she said there should be an inquiry into claims by a fanatically anti-Israel journal (of which she happened to be patron) that the Israeli army was using its presence in Haiti not to offer humanitarian aid after the 2010 earthquake, but to harvest body parts. She kept the whip, but lost her job as health spokeswoman. She only resigned from the party last year, after Nick Clegg demanded that she apologise for saying that Israel would disappear. She refused.
The problem is that while the liberal Left pays lip service to anti-racism, there is at least one form of it that is regarded as odd, but not worth making too great a fuss over, especially when the culprit is Muslim. For example, in 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted Israel Shamir, a notorious anti-Semite, at a meeting in the Lords. When Shamir’s speech was full of the usual stuff – “Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media… the Jews like an Empire…” – Lord Ahmed refused to distance himself, and Labour refused to utter a word of criticism.
Eight years later, the remarkable thing is not that Lord Ahmed has now been suspended by the party, but that he still held a whip to be suspended. If a Labour or Lib Dem representative had said, of Muslims, something similar to Lord Ahmed or Mr Ward’s comments about Jews, you can bet your life that they’d have been drummed out of Westminster before you could say “racist” – and quite rightly.
But when it comes to anti-Semites, the villains are dismissed as eccentrics, and thus given a form of licence to indulge their racism. Soon, the show will move on from Lord Ahmed. And nothing will have changed.
British council placed four-year-old in foster care of suspected paedophile then spent £23,000 trying to keep blunders a secret
A council spent £23,000 of taxpayers’ money trying to gag reporting of a case where it had placed a four-year-old in foster care with a suspected paedophile.
Bristol City Council tried and failed to obtain a High Court injunction which would prevent embarrassing details of the case being made public.
Social services took nearly three weeks to remove the girl from a foster family, despite the father being under suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.
He later killed himself after police took a laptop away from the property which contained a cache of child abuse images.
Despite the little girl and the children of the suspected paedophile being automatically granted media anonymity, the council still tried to obtain a blanket gagging order.
On the final day of the two-week hearing in October last year, the council’s barrister Jo Lucas went to the civil court to get an injunction banning any reporting of the case.
Temporary restrictions were then put in place to prevent publication of Bristol City Council, or the names of the social service workers who failed to protect the little girl.
But these were overturned in London’s High Court in January following a costly three-month legal wrangle.
Mr Justice Baker ruled it was in the public interest for the story to be published, but that the identities of the girl, her family and foster family should all be protected.
A Freedom of Information Act request has now revealed that the ‘external cost’ of the legal wrangle to Bristol City Council came to £23,528,40.
But the true cost is likely to be much higher as the quoted figure does not include the time council employees spent working on it.
The hefty bill included £11,730 for legal advice, preparation and representation by Robin Tolson QC for two High Court hearings in London and one in Bristol. The council also paid the legal costs for the foster family, which came to £3,623.40.
However, a spokesman for Bristol City Council today insisted the legal action was only taken to protect the identity of the child. ‘The object throughout was only to protect the identity of the child,’ he said.
‘It is important to realise that automatic reporting restrictions in respect of children subject to care proceedings do not last once the proceedings have ended…
‘The council did not think that this was in the child’s best interests and, as the press were already involved and had attended some of the hearings in relation to the care application, we considered that we had no option but to seek to protect the identity of the child beyond the care proceedings.’
The case at Bristol’s Family Proceedings Court heard that concerns were first raised in March 2012 when the girl had been living with the family for three months. Police informed social services that child sex abuse images had been accessed at the house for the second time.
Unlike the first incident, which was blamed on a foster child at the house, the police strongly suspected the father had accessed the sick images.
But despite being informed by police, social services did nothing for two weeks, leaving the little girl where she was.
The child also told her real father and a social worker that she had been ‘strangled’ by another child at the foster home, but still she was returned to the house.
Social worker Sherilyn Pritchard told the hearing, chaired by Annette Young, that there was ‘not enough information to justify immediate removal’ of the girl when the allegations arose.
The child’s appointed legal guardian said: ‘I think we have to bear in mind that she may have been sexually abused in that foster placement.’
Chairman of the magistrates Mrs Young criticised Bristol City Council for not following child protection procedures, saying: ‘These matters concern us greatly and we believe should be thoroughly and forensically investigated and reviewed in an independent forum.’
No disciplinary action has been taken against anyone from social services following the council’s internal review, but an independent review has not yet been published.
High Court judge Mr Justice Baker said the authority’s bid for a gagging order was ‘unjustified’, adding: ‘It is in the public interest for these matters to be published.’
The girl is now in a new foster home. But speaking at the time of the court hearing, her natural father said: ‘I am livid. ‘They said she wasn’t safe at home but they put her where someone had been downloading child abuse images.’
He added: ‘There is a danger that those who practise in the family justice system fail to give proper consideration to the Article 10 rights of the media. This must now cease.’
Robert Oxley, Campaign Manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘This was a shameful attempt to suppress the media from reporting council bungling.
‘It’s a disgrace that Bristol City Council have spent taxpayers’ money trying to hide its involvement in a very serious and disturbing case.
‘Questions must be asked not only of those responsible for the mistakes in the original fostering case but also of whoever authorised the use of taxpayers’ money for the legal action to cover it up.’