Imagining a guilty plea


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution against Sloven is scheduled for 2pm Monday at Banbury Magistrates Court. If the Trust plead guilty it will be a short hearing adjourned until a sentencing date in the next few months. This is a criminal prosecution. A guilty plea is pleading guilty to a crime. A crime that caused LB’s death.

Katrina Percy, then CEO, consistently distanced herself from the dire happenings she presided over between 2011-2016 with the apparent blessing of those who should know better.  Even after the jury at LB’s inquest found serious failings:


An ‘absolutely tragic failure’. I don’t know what these words mean. Other than it was nothing to do with me guv. But no one (no one) who should have, challenged them. For Percy, the unit and not her leadership was to blame. Before and during LB’s inquest, the argument was LB died of natural causes and it was my fault. The difficult mother and the pesky blog.

Sloven smeared here and they smeared there. Across the years. Embarrassing briefings outlining the wrongdoing of #JusticeforLB campaigners. Hacking, trolling and persecuting hapless staff members. And more. Blaming staff. Blaming everyone but themselves. There was no looking glass among the Sloven senior exec. Or Oxfordshire County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. No reflection whatsoever.

A tawdry soup of typically self-serving, smug, arrogant and sometimes nasty individuals. With inflated salaries and no understanding of what it is to be human.

Percy took her massive pay off, disappearing in to the early winter sunset last October. Waiting in the wings to re-launch herself as a leadership consultant on Linkedin.

Meanwhile, the new and remaining board members took it upon themselves to exonerate her in the recently published (and now suddenly removed from their website) 2016/7 annual review. She displayed neither “negligence or incompetence” apparently “during her time with the Trust to the extent that would warrant her dismissal”.  Despite two prosecutions underway.

Psst… board members – past and present – do you really not understand that patients have experienced serious harm or died under Percy’s leaky leadership?


Imagining a guilty plea

Just imagine. A guilty plea from a Trust who have forced us to fight every step of the beyond distressing way for accountability. Full pages of black redacted pages while other people leaked key quality reviews, briefings and more. Lies, more damn lies and non-disclosure across 51 months to us, to the coroner, and I assume to the police… Smears, delay and prevarication. Desperate attempts to prevent an Article 2 inquest and jury.

Valerie Murphy recently sharply shifted from a four year blanket denial of failings to partial admittance at her tribunal. Will Sloven, having steadfastly trawled through the darkest of dark practices, suddenly shift to a guilty plea?

If they plead guilty what does it mean? Can we can expect an apology for everything we’ve endured since LB died? The mother-blame shite. The staff witness statements with their ‘my relationship with Dr Ryan’ sections. The #fuckingpest commentary from the Berryman board member’s son. Will the abusive caller acknowledge I wasn’t a vindictive cow…?

Will there be recognition that we were collectively trying to get accountability for LB’s death?

Will Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group hold up their hands and finally admit their role in commissioning and enabling crap care on their watch?

Will people/organisations actually take responsibility for LB’s death and their subsequent actions?

An unexpected call

On the bus to work this morning, my phone rang. It rarely rings. Sloven CEO, Julie Dawes. Ringing to update me about Monday. She wanted to run her statement by me, given we’ve been upset about earlier Sloven statements. Reflecting on our upset over previous statements is good. The statement she read out was an improvement on previous Sloven statements. More heartfelt and human.

It was missing any reference to the impact of Sloven’s actions on us since LB died though. What they forced us to endure. Walking through Cornmarket I tried to explain to Julie what it was like to listen to the Sloven barrister argue that drowning was a natural cause of death during LB’s inquest. Just one example of the slippery dishonesty the Trust demonstrated. I tried to explain how damaging this process has been.

Julie listened and said she’d try to reflect this in the statement. She said she wouldn’t attend the hearing on Monday ‘for various reasons’, she recognised how distressing Monday will be be and said if there was anything she could do to help I should get in touch. She reiterated this a couple of times. She asked if I was going to read out my witness impact statement on Monday. No, I said.

I thanked her, hung up and an hour or so later wondered why she, or the board chair, weren’t going to attend the hearing. It’s a criminal prosecution and most people don’t get to not attend ‘for various reasons’. If nothing else, it’s a simple sign of respect.

Given the earlier offer of ‘anything she could do…’ I thought I’d call her back to ask her. Number withheld. She could phone me, generating distress, but I couldn’t call her back.

I’m left wondering how much of the call this morning was driven by an underlying concern about reputation and managing comms. I mean if the Trust seriously wanted to demonstrate evidence of change the CEO or Board Chair would attend the hearing on Monday. And I wouldn’t be asked if I’m going to read out our victim impact statement.

The day after LB died Sloven wrote ‘Mother’s blog may cause a risk to the reputation of the organisation’. Over four long years later the only risk to this organisation remains themselves. And their actions.


18 thoughts on “Imagining a guilty plea

    • Probably. Although I do believe the court or quasi judicial court can find an individual guilty and order them to pay a fine and/or serve a custodial sentence particularly where that person (or persons) caused an increase in court costs due to their unreasonable behaviour

      • It is very hard to pin a corporate charge on an individual (I know, in this case it should be possible). I am not sure if a custodial sentence is available but an unlimited fine is. The Judge can certainly take unreasonable behaviour into account, not only in awarding costs but also in assessing the fine. You must have posted this, whilst I was writing mine. We agree and mine has some additional points – please see below.

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  2. I think we can expect a guilty plea: if the Court has allocated only Monday, it cannot be a full adversarial hearing. Sloven’s ‘gun for hire’ might make a ‘statement in mitigation’ though goodness knows what possible mitigating circumstances could legitimately be argued. Also, by pleading guilty, it should influence the Judge on any ‘costs’ he awards against Sloven.

    HSE received no costs from a ‘guilty’ Health Board in Scotland, I suspect as a result of a ‘guilty plea’. The Health Board also escaped lightly (fine circa £65,000), which makes me suspect that they reported themselves to HSE.

    As we know, Sloven did not self-report – they tried to get away with it. It should be at least £0.5 million: anything less than £250,000 should be appealable. Yes I’m sorry, WE pay as taxpayers but there may be a central fund rather than our money at Sloven,

    It is a disgrace that the Interim CEO will not be attending: I have some sympathy in that she is relatively new but someone very senior should have the balls to attend. Moreover, if the Interim CEO has not spent so much time harassing me last week, she might have had time to rearrange her diary so that she could attend.

    In my opinion, for the sentencing hearing, I hope that Sara (or her legal advisors) can make representations to the Judge to summons Katrina Percy and Lesley Stevens to appear. Then the real cause of the problem will be revealed. Percy could probably afford to hire a helicopter!

    I placed two comments on Sara’s previous post, the second of which suggests that we are starting to make significant (if slow) progress. I suspect it explains why the Interim CEO was so unhappy with me last week. I (along with Sara and about 12 others), Interim Chair Alan Yates and our friends in the media made it happen – and we were recognised for it – even though someone else tried to take all the credit, having done (it appears) sod all!

  3. My understanding is that this Trust was starved for funds – to keep it’s buildings in good repair for example – far less keep it’s vulnerable patients safe and well, at a time when Ms Percy was paying a former colleague over 5 million pounds for training activities . Services, which were – it could appear – rather ‘loosely’ contracted and very lengthily implemented, without tangible and agreed measures of success.

    Measures for example – of tangible cost savings – and or tangible and measurable improvements in avoidable deaths…. directly – out of of this… plated ‘training’.

    The aims of which were.. ?

    Has this expensive failure to Govern…any place in this hearing ?

    • Weary Mother – this Trust is not starved of funds, it has cash in the bank and a reasonable balance sheet when last reported. If Sloven has “suddenly removed” the 2016/7 annual review from its web site, I suspect it is a result of the backlash, which I have witnessed twice. The Board Members, who signed the review, had no way of recovering the money owing to what Interim Chair Mr [Not-so] Smart said at the time Percy was ‘paid off’ but I do believe they should have qualified their statement, if only to distance themselves. Fortunately, I had already saved a copy in pdf so if anyone wants a copy, please request it via – by phone or email please.

      I suspect your last two questions are rhetorical but in case other readers don’t know – the aims of ‘Going Viral’ was Percy and her chum’s idea to develop top class leadership (pass the sick bag). Unfortunately, failure to govern has very little (if any) part in this hearing, which relates to a single event – Counsel for the prosecution might illustrate a pattern of behaviour in trying to persuade the Judge to take it into account (as exemplary and/or aggravating circumstances) in assessing the fine.

      With all these comments today, I should stress that I am not a qualified lawyer – though I feel like one (‘by experience’) having dealt with Sloven for 6 years – still without justice. Ironically, I had an epileptic-type seizure in 2011 and a slovenly Consultant mistook the well-known after-effects as mental illness and sectioned me to a slovenly unit without telling them about the seizure. But then, it was 7pm on a Friday… ? Had Sloven learned from my experience, Connor might still be alive … alternatively, I could have died if I’d had a second seizure. Even if I had drowned, probably it would not have helped Connor because Sloven never learn, despite their repeated duck-billed platitudes.

      Sara knows details of my case, which I suggested she passes to the Crown Prosecutor if she feels it would help if the Judge knew of my incident – nearly two years before Connor died.

      I’ve spent loads of time writing on Sara’s blog recently but none on mine tonight. It’s a quicker way of getting a message across. If I find time to load the 2016/17 accounts onto my blog, I will let you know. Goodnight!

  4. If this works the same way as when an individual is in court for a crime, a guilty plea will give the best result for the perpetrator if they’re flat out busted… the magistrate or judge will take a very dim view of a not guilty plea if it’s bloody obvious they did it.

    As already said, this is just damage limitation.

  5. Good luck with it all Sara, I really do wish you the best. But sadly in my experience the NHS can break the law, participate in serious criminal activity, perjure and conspire to pervert the course of justice, maim and kill and even if the evidence is documented or recorded on CCTV – no-one is ever prosecuted and only very rarely are they disciplined. You ending up at the door of an HSE prosecution reminds me of a case in mid-Wales some years ago when a young woman called Sylvan Money with severe depression hung herself whilst in the ‘care’ of Powys LHB. Sylvan should never have been left alone – she was supposed to be on suicide watch – but two of the staff WENT SHOPPING when they were supposed to have been observing Sylvan. Another member of staff was illiterate and admitted after her death that he hadn’t been able to read the hand-over notes – he’d been employed at the LHB for years…

    I knew Sylvan’s parents – we got together because they heard that I too had evidence of the most appalling malpractice in the mental health services in Wales. Like all of us, Sylvan’s parents were made to walk uphill backwards all the way. At Sylvan’s inquest the Coroner found 36 failings. No-one was sacked and no-one was struck off. Sylvan’s family’s hope was, as with you, an HSE prosecution – there was certainly discussion of that, but I’m not sure if it did happen. It rarely does.

    The NHS kills vulnerable people in great numbers with complete impunity. Those of us who dare challenge them inevitably end up with a bucket of slurry emptied over our heads. The criminal activity that I witnessed in the NHS was directly linked to the North Wales Paedophile Ring, which is supposedly being investigated as part of the much publicised Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Chaired by Alexis Jay and currently falling apart as survivors walk out in despair at how it is being managed. I have 30 yrs worth of documents – nearly 10,000 documents in all. They include letters written and signed by psychiatrists, social workers, senior managers and Gov’t lawyers which openly discuss and plan how they will discredit me, refuse to hold an investigation into my complaints and finally frame me for serious offences which they admit that they have no evidence that I committed. If any other section of society had done this, they would have received hefty prison sentences. But it was the statutory welfare services doing it – they are completely untouchable.

    Four million pounds has now been spent on the latest investigation into historical abuse in north Wales – they have arrested a grand total of eight people. For years, I, another patient and a whistle blowing social worker jumped up and down screaming as loudly as we could and wrote repeatedly to Ministers, MPs and Ombudsmen about what we had witnessed. We were ignored. Scores of people were involved in the north Wales abuse scandal and many more were involved in the cover up. Their names are all over my documents. But no-one would answer my e mails or look at the evidence. I have given up. It is quite clear that no-one wants to know who was responsible.

    As the icing on the cake, a few months ago I obtained copies of FORGED DOCUMENTS that were found in possession of the GMC, purporting to be letters from me. The Police National Computer was illegally altered to record serious convictions against me that were never incurred. And a forged document relating to me was found in possession of Chester Court. My correspondence to the police about these matters has been ignored.

    I took a leaf out of your book Sara – I wrote a blog. I have named everyone involved after I watched you do that. It is the only recourse left open to us in the face of an institutionally corrupt NHS.

    Obviously I hope you do get a guilty plea with the HSE prosecution, but please don’t collapse into a heap if you don’t. You set a trend with your blog – I know other people, like me, who watched you, and just thought ‘sod this for a game of soldiers, I’ll do the same’. It seems to be the only glimmer of hope that there is where holding the welfare state to account is concerned…

    • Sally – there’s a second Sloven prosecution in the pipeline: notice has already been served. I am confident there will be a guilty plea – otherwise, the hearing would not be listed for only a half-a-day. Remember that ‘we’ – a group of about 14 (including Sara) – with the help of Interim Chairman, Alan Yates and the media – have been responsible for a complete change of Directors at Sloven – in just 12 months. This has been acknowledged. Please see my two comments (especially the second) on Sara’s post, ‘Trivialising trauma’ – I know I am leaving myself open to, “I told you so” comments if it doesn’t work out but we have to have hope. Have you visited the Virginia Mason website? It is inspiring – given the will, everything is possible.

      • No, I haven’t visited the Virginia Mason website, I’ve been so busy for the last few months that I haven’t even kept up with Sara’s blog, I’ve just noticed her updates on Twitter.

        I do know that you’ve moved mountains re Sloven, my comment was in no way trying to detract from your achievements, they are impressive, usually nothing shifts these crooks at all. I just continue to be gobsmacked at what the NHS gets away with. Connor DIED at the hands of Sloven and so did many, many more patients – where are the corporate manslaughter charges??? If any other business had a safety record like Sloven – or many other NHS bodies – people would have been jailed. Likewise the GMC and the way it conducts itself – I did take the time to read of Sara’s encounter at the hearing. The GMC is disgusting, utterly shameless – Sara and others like her are treated as though they are defendants in a criminal trial. I know that fitness to practice hearings do need to give the practitioners concerned a fair hearing, but a fair hearing does not have to extend to a character assassination or a mental bludgeoning of the bereaved mother of a patient who it was already established died as a result of neglect whilst in the ‘care’ of the doctor concerned.

        But the GMC don’t only lie – they forge documents. E mails to the Chairman and Chief Exec go unanswered….

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  8. Sally – I agree. I had an excellent investigator at the GMC but as soon as it was escalated everything stopped. The records Sloven disclosed were inaccurate and incomplete but the investigator was not permitted to issue Notice on Sloven – the precursor to a Court Order to obtain them. Instead, he worked with me for almost 12 months to remedy the records – only to have my complaint chucked out. And that was alleged false imprisonment by two doctors!

    You can add the NMC to your criticism – they appear to treat nurses as badly as complainants. Read, ‘The Busy, the Bossy & the Bully’ and ‘NMC Survival Guide’ by Lucy la Zouche (a penname) – I know Lucy and the names of characters in his (yes, his) book., including the Cruella da Ville, who remains in the same job despite allegedly bullying a Mental Health Trainer to the point of suicide. contains links to retailers.

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