May 30, 2012

This is what happens when people Mess with my family . I expose and shut them down.

Filed under: Secret family courts — Granarchist @ 4:11 am

Dr George Andrew Hibbert. Before national media exposure this is what was on my blog Hibbert complained of defamation and wordpress set my post to private. Is the Pope a Catholic ?

February 21, 2010


Filed under: Secret family courts,Staffordshire — nojusticeforparents @ 12:51 pm Edit This


I cannot divulge my own case at the moment as it is currently under investigation but i believe this Dr is making alot of money by writing unfavourable reports about parents to secure that he still gets plenty of work from the secret family courts.

Organisations seeking information on him and others are

This is an urgent request for information on the experts in both Public and Private law proceedings from ELC and FLINT are seeking information on the following experts whom we have concern about;
Dr. George Hibbert of Tadpole cottage and Windmill Hill centers who is an adult psychiatrist.
Professor Zeitlin
Dr. Bentovim
Dr. Mumford
Further areas we are extremely worried about are play therapy, personality disorders and diagnosis, drugging children with drugs such as Ritalin and similar drugs (almost half a million UK children are on such drugs for ADHD) and Prozac.
We will accept material on all other experts working in family law and/ or with children whose procedures and actions are suspect. Please note all information will be treated confidentially and neither your family nor children will be identified but we will identify the expert and his or her allies etc. A legal letter of authority will have to be signed before we can accept the material for consideration.

Past story about his underhanded methods

Melanie’s Cornwall
County Council hell
Cornwall’s Corrupt County Council
In November Cornwall County Council
Social Services told Melanie she could
not look after her own children, and forced
her out of her parents house. Mr and Mrs
Garvey, in their 40’s and experienced parents,
with six lovely daughters of their own,
four now grown up, continued to look after
In December 2005 a Dr Metcalfe put Melanie
on heavy medication for over a year
(600mg a day of Quietepane “enough to
bring a grown man to his knees”). In May
2006 social worker Ken Phillips came to
their house and left saying “I’m off on a
snatch now.” That was a foretaste of the
Snatched by Ken Phillips
In June 2006, Social Services snatched
Melanie’s two children, both under four
years old, from the safety of the Garvey’s
loving family home and put them in foster
care with a view to having them adopted.
They were devastated.
A Dr Choudry wrote a report in September
2006 saying Melanie had learning
difficulties. This is extraordinary; Melanie
has 10 GCSE’s, and a City and Guilds in
hairdressing and beauty treatments. He also
accused her of substance abuse; she’s never
taken harmful substances and has hair
strand analysis reports to prove it.
Threats by Social Services
Then Melanie was told she would have
to live with her children in an assessment
centre in Swindon, Wiltshire if she wanted
them back. After a further 4 months she
passed the assessment with flying colours,
even though drugged with Quietepane
while being assessed. Cornwall County
Council said they would stop the adoption
and look for a house for Melanie. Mr
and Mrs Garvey suggested a second house
owned by a family member, and then a flat
they could rent. Cornwall County Council
rejected both.
Just before Melanie left the assessment
centre one of the staff verbally assaulted
her son and shook him violently, and Melanie
complained. Dr Hibbert, who runs the
assessment centre, changed the report from
good to bad. Ken Phillips and Dr Hibbert
got Melanie in a room and told her she had
to sign the children over for adoption or
they would be split up and put in different
foster homes. Melanie, who said she feels
like a zombie on Quietepane, still had the
sense to refuse.
Isolated and controlled
This has been the pattern; each time Melanie,
or her family, try to stand up for her,
Social Services wreak their vengeance on
Melanie tenfold. With their threats against
her children, they control her completely.
In February 2007 Melanie and the
children were moved in with a foster family
in an isolated hamlet north of Dartmoor.
There are three caged dogs in the house
which concern her. Ken Phillips has seen
them; is that why he chose that foster family?
When her family complained Phillips
visited and again threatened Melanie with
the children being moved up country and
being split up.
Rigged trial No. 1
Melanie spent the 19th to the 23rd March
2007 in Truro County Court. Cornwall
County Council had a barrage of “Expert
witnesses” falsifying their statements to
Continued on Page 6
EU methods and corruption are sweeping through our councils, courts and legal profession.Independent
Melanie’s hell from Page 1
suit the Social Services line. The trial was
effectively rigged – the only person to speak
up for Melanie was the CAF-CAS representative.
Judge Vincent ruled in favour of
the council – we ask is he incompetent or a
member of Common Purpose?
The barrister appointed for her was equally
useless, and Melanie quotes her as saying
“I’m off to get my money now; don’t worry
you’ll see your children in 16 years.” (Barristers
have to get a legal aid signature from
the court before they can be paid.)
The Judge granted Cornwall County
Council both a care order and a placement
order for adoption. Now Melanie had lost
her children, the Garveys were told she
would be taken off the Quietepane – but now
she seems to be back on it.
Injunction – Statement under duress
Social Services staff had recommended
Foot Anstey, Plymouth Solicitors to represent
Melanie. They did not seem to present
any evidence in her favour her or fight her
corner in court. In fact their main contribution
has been to write threatening letters to
Mr. Garvey, and get an injunction against
him to force him out of the proceedings and
the appeal hearing altogether, to further isolate
Melanie. She phoned to say she was under
duress when they took her statement.
Foot Anstey have completed Melanie’s
isolation; she’s cut off from all avenues of
The solicitors organised an appeal on
the 9th May 2007 at the Appeal Court in
the Strand, Westminster London. The court
costs were astronomical – and delayed matters
further by ruling for a full retrial in
July. The total costs to your taxes are probably
already over a million; clearly Social
Service plan a larger jackpot on this case.
The Garvey’s have seen the Barristers fees
quoted at £35,000 resulting in one hour in
Police threats to Paul Garvey
As all Paul Garvey’s attempts to get his
grandchildren back through official channels
have been blocked, he has put signs
up on the main A39 and outside his house
telling the public Cornwall County Council
are child snatchers. The police are threatening
to arrest him, and called round several
times; Mr Garvey had the good sense to be
out or hide and pretend he was out.
Demonstrating, with or without signs,
is of course not an offence. But under the
governments new legislation he could be arrested
on this trumped up charge – or indeed
no charge at all, and held for 18 days. Every
knock on the door is a worry – presumably
that was the intent behind the threat.
Malicious arrest warrant
That injunction was pure character assassination,
and prevents him from doing things
Mr Garvey would never do, but much of
which Foot Anstey are doing right now, including
harming his daughter. Mr Garvey is
now not allowed to see Melanie.
Foot Anstey then falsely accused Mr
Garvey of breaking their injunction, and set
a warrant for arrest hearing with three days
notice. Melanie was in court, guarded by
three staff, to ensure she could not get help
or speak to her family.
The trial date was set for 6th June. This
necessitates employing a solicitor to defend,
and Mr Garvey’s been quoted £5,000
in fees. The crooked solicitors’ cartel wins
again. But the simple fact is he has almost
no chance of a fair trial, with most of the
judges hand in glove with the solicitors. We
are watching perversion of the course of justice
up close.
Staff responsible for this abuse
The Director of the Social Services division
for children is Dean Ashton. He knows
all about this case. We have documentary
evidence that Cornwall County Council is
working to adoption targets – they plan to
snatch children regardless of the rights or
wrongs of the case.
Maurice Emberson is his assistant, and denied
this abuse is happening in reply to both
the front page of the Falmouth Packet newspaper,
and their columnist, the Skipper, who
rightly deplored Cornwall County Council
Social Services actions in this matter.
Alex Dashwood is Phillips’ manager,
(and stated Melanie had “a severe learning
difficulty” which is a lie.) These two seem
more like sadists than social workers, and
in our view should not be allowed to work
with children.
The council buries complaints
Mr and Mrs Garvey have been to the Council
Complaints Department. The Garveys
were warned no one who’s children have
been snatched get past the first level of three
levels, and their complaints are buried. Elisabeth
Taylor and Gill Dunstan are the Council
complaints managers.
The Head of Council Legal Services is
Richard Williams, in it are Karen Jackson,
Ian Kennaway, Deborah Stoleworthy; they
know what’s going on and allow this horror
to continue.
Mr and Mrs Garvey have been to the top –
to the Ombudsman, who won’t be involved
until the case is decided. By the time he consents
to be involved, the children are usually
adopted and its too late.
Fire these abusive staff
We ask Cornwall County Council that Dean
Aston, Maurice Emberson, Alex Dashwood,
Ken Phillips, are fired immediately without
compensation, and barred from all government
or public posts for life. It appears their
actions are closer to embezzlement and child
abuse than social work.
We ask for an investigation into the extent
to which Elisabeth Taylor, Gill Dunstan,
Richard Williams, Karen Jackson, Ian Kennaway,
Deborah Stoleworthy have perpetrated
this miscarriage of justice.
We ask that Cornwall County Council bar
members of Common Purpose, which is behind
this and most council corruption, from
both public office and employment within
the council.
We ask that Foot Anstey be barred from
all council, legal aid and public contracts
until those involved, such as Nicki Cozens,
have been dismissed from the firm, and their
fees for this “work” be withheld.
Criminal charges against social services
We ask the police and Crown Prosecution
Service to investigate all the above on
charges of abusing children and the fraudulent
misuse of public funds. Providing there
are enough honest, non Common Purpose
people left in the police and CPS to carry
out a lawful and proper investigation.
We ask that a permanent restraining order
be put on Social Services, preventing them
from contacting Melanie or her children at
any time, now or in the future.
Sheila Healy and David Whalley
The two people ultimately responsible are
Cornwall County Council’s chief Executive,
Sheila Healy, and David Whalley, the council
leader, both Common Purpose. We ask
for the resignation of both Healy and Whalley
for encouraging this horrific abuse and
fraud in scores of similar and worse cases,
to go on unchecked.
And finally we ask Cornwall County
Council that Melanie and her two children
are immediately returned to the loving family
home from which they were stolen.
Luke 17:2 “It were better for them that
a millstone were hanged about their
neck, and be cast into the sea, than
that they should harm one of these
little ones.”

other people that have contacted me comment …

Dear Jane,
Thankyou for geting back to me so fast. I have had personal experience of this Dr and believe his methadology to be flawed and harmful to those involved in the sensitive area of child care proceedings. I have a vested personal interest. I did not want to go into too much detail as I was not sure how publicly the message would be displayed. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask. I hope to hear from you soon.
Miss H
Dear Jane,
I understand your concern. I feel exactly the same. Without going into too much detail as I still worry about the privacy of emails etc. I am someone who is in the middle of care proceedings. The local autority had agreed my child was returing home and I had one assessment with this man and everything changed. I am now in court desperately fighting for my child. His report on me has been described by other professionals as “barbaric”, “flawed”, and “unorthodox”.  I hope this helps to put your mind at rest a little.
Miss H
Dear Jane,
I am so very grateful you got back to me. I thought I was on my own with all this. I can’t believe what is happening to myself and my son as a result of this man’s report. He misquoted me, generalised, some of what he wrote was tantemount to slander. He was rude to me, and had not even been supplied with the proper background information. The local authority seemed shocked when they got his report, but they had to take action as he criticised their decision to return my son to me without an “expert opinion first”. I would be very happy to discuss any part of my case with you. Maybe it would be possible to talk on the phone. Seeing your request for info on him and knowing their are others who feel the same has made a real difference to me. I hope we can stay in contact. Thankyou again.
Miss H
Hi Jane
Dr Hibbert certainly needs investigating. I believe he will not allow a government inspection team to view any of his records and he only allows them to inspect his premises. he’s probably got a lot to hide. I believe the government body is ofsted.
I hope you hear from the GMC soon. If you do get any information please let me know because it will be helpful to me.
Many thanks.
It is of help to me me that that I know that you were in Tadpole Cottage and actually got Dr Hibberts evidence overturned. Unfortunately the information you have given me has so far not been enough to halt the process of the young lady going into Tadpole Cottage. As far as the social services are concerned they have no ‘evidence’ of any wrong doing.
A little about me I am the ex-foster carer of the young lady in question. She was with us for about 9months when she was 15yrs old. We were not given the full reasons for why she was placed in care (her first time) or I would have fought for her not to go home (she did not want to go). She has had a really bad time but from my observations and involvement with her she is an amazing mum who has just not had the love and support of her own family.
I was a foster carer for in excess of 20 years and also a family aide for 5years. I loved my job helping children and families. On more than one occasion I have had cause to disagree with social services decisions and had to act against them. One of whom said of a cleared parent that they had ‘ONLY BEEN FOUND INNOCENT IN THE EYE OF THE LAW’. For daring to do this my husband and I were ‘rested’ for about 6months for not having a full understanding of ‘the role of the social services’. There are good social workers and foster carers out there but there are also some who are really bad, who I would not trust or leave my dog with!
I have many stories about my time with social services that I have decided to write and talk about when this case is over. There are some good stories but they are are outweighed by sad ones.
I have been on the freedom of information sight that you have used. (it came up when I typed in Dr Hibbert and Tadpole Cottage). I will follow this to see if you get all the information you need.
I don’t know if you can answer this for me, but when your baby was taken away did you immediately appeal? Having met Dr Hibbert I am amazed that you have done so well. Have you done all the research and represented yourself? or do you have a very good solicitor and/or barrister.
When you have finished with your case (hopefully you will win) I would really be obliged if you could let me know the outcome as I feel we may have to go down the same road.
Thank you
Jane , I found your comments whilst looking for information
about Dr George Hibbert and Tadpole Cottage. I have concerns after
a visit with a young mother who might be going into tadpole cottage
with her baby and would like to know of any information there is
available. I am worried as we feel she could be being ‘set up to
fail’. Do you know where I can find any statistics for his success
Ms Fromow

The following is an article from Pink Tape who even after mainstream media wrote a very biased article.

Research by Dr Hibbert
Shrinking the Lawyers
January 19, 2008 by familoo
There is a really interesting article in the December issue of Family Law (Fam Law [2007] 1107) entitled ‘Attachment Problems Among Lawyers’. In it Dr George Hibbert, a consultant Psychiatrist, writes about the issue of attachment in the family courts.
Ordinarily family lawyers come across attachment theory in expert court reports, particularly in care proceedings, where the attachment between parent and child is explored, and often attachment problems in children are identified. This article however looks at the impact of attachment issues in litigant parents and legal professionals may affect or be affected by the legal process.
Its easy to see that in cases where there are difficulties in parenting leading to attachment problems in a child there is likely to be an element of attachment difficulty in the parent(s) perhaps arising from their own childhood and experience of being parented. Where else do we learn how to parent but from our own parents – for better or for worse. And family lawyers have much first hand experience of how a parent’s own psychological and emotional makeup or difficulties impacts upon their ability to handle and understand the court process and to work with and get the most from their lawyers. The family court system is difficult to handle for most of us, but as this article rightly points out it is the challenging, probing nature of the family court system into the very private or very personal, and the constraints of the formal process which litigants find extremely hard to accept or work within.
What is most interesting however, is Dr Hibbert’s remarks about attachment problems in lawyers themselves, particularly the susceptibility of some lawyers to manipulation by dyfunctional clients with their own attachment issues. He suggests that clients with attachment difficulties may be expert at manipulating the feelings of other including their lawyers. I for one certainly recognise the scenario where a lawyer loses his or her objectivity and is unable to maintain a professional distance from the client. It often results in aggressive or inappropriate behaviour in discussions and negotiations between counsel and an inability to properly consider proposals for compromise. It appears to affect some lawyers in particular cases, whilst other lawyers adopt this over-personalised approach to counsel-to-counsel discussions as a feature of their representational style, taking on the persona of their client, and taking points against them as personal affronts. My heart sinks when I receive and read a brief which is full of righteous outrage on behalf of the hard-done by client – this is often a portent of a one-sided approach to the case which blinds the solicitor to the weaknesses of the case and puts counsel in the insidious position of having to impart bad news without support from the solicitor. For some lawyers this approach to client care appears to be a deliberate choice, the result of a belief that believeing a client or accepting their point of view is a core part of the professional service. I tend to disagree – the job of a lawyer, of counsel in particular, is to advise the client objectively and to represent the clients view or interests as best as is possible, regardless of one’s own opinion or viewpoint. Often that involves telling a client extremely unpalatable things, which can put a strain on a professional relationship. That however is far better than the decidedly unpleasant experience of explaining after the event why something utterly unexpected has happened to a client whose unrealistic expectations have not been tempered in advance.
Dr Hibbert cautions against becoming drawn in by clients, on becoming too emotionally involved in a case to meet one’s own emotional or attachment needs. I am sure that this is a real danger for even the most psychologically stable of us, and I for one can recognise cases where I have been far more strongly affected and more heavily invested in the outcome than in others, none thankfully where I think I have overstepped the invisible line. I for one find it hard to identify why a particular case has drawn me in and affected me, but I do recognise it when it happens. And in my experience this heightened empathy is as often for the family as a whole or the children as it is for the parent-client him/herself.
Where I begin to disagree with Dr Hibbert’s article is this: he says that a professional who is seriously affected by the client’s attachment behaviour ‘will no longer be able to assist the court in finding a good solution for the children because he / she has become an extension of the dysfunctional client..[and]…the professional’s greater articulacy, knowledge of the system and professional weight add credibility and power to the client’s dysfunctional voice’. I think this is to confuse the role of expert, whose role is to give their opinion by way of advice to the court, with the role of lawyer, whose role is precisely to amplify the client’s voice (dysfunctional or not) without regard to their own opinion. It is the role of the court, having heard all the expert evidence and all the representations made on behalf of the various parties (all of whom will have a lawyer representing their own view of the matter with equal force), to decide what is right decision. Not only is it not part of our role as professionals to judge our client’s viewpoint, but we are simply not qualified to properly assess how dysfunctional our clients are save in the most crude way based upon our day-to-day experience.
Towards the end of his article, Dr Hibbert goes so far as to warn us against being drawn by clients ‘into complicity with continued child abuse’.All of us in the family courts want the best for the children involved in these sorry cases. But we also want what is best for our clients. And we are employed to do our best to represent that client. It is the Judge who is paid to bear the burden of ensuring that the child’s interests are met. I am not sure if this was the intention but the article appears to suggest that in doing our job properly and with equal vigour for the sensible and the misguided, the balanced and the dysfunctional, we may should be critised as complicit with child abuse. That is an unfair burden to place upon lawyers and the wrong approach to parents – it is perhaps those parents with the biggest emotional and psychological problems who need most to have assistance from lawyers in order to articulate their position and wishes clearly, and to ensure that the decision of the court is based upon a proper and full exploration of all the factors bearing upon a complex case.

Here he does not allow Ofsted access to client records ……….. mmmm suspicious I wonder why ?

The inspection took place over two days and was conducted by two inspectors. Written
information was provided in advance and other material was seen during the inspection
including staff personnel files and the centre log books. The inspectors were able to tour the
premises and had access to residents and staff.
The inspectors did not have access to individual resident’s case files. Prior to the inspection
a lead solicitor challenged the right of the inspectors to have access to their clients’ personal
information without applying for leave of the court. Dr Hibbert confirmed that he had received
the same legal advice and therefore that he felt unable to allow inspectors to have direct
access to any of the three residents case files. This significantly limited the depth and range
of the inspection. A Commission legal advisor has been consulted over the action that
should now be taken.
Purpose and Function (Standard 1)
This Standard was not met

And here he is again with his cannabis company

Pot luck for celebrities

Cannabis grower made fortunes for early supporters but others feel let down

A champion jockey, a 1970s pop star and a roll-call of expert advocates for the legalisation of soft drugs were among the private backers of GW Pharmaceuticals, the firm developing drugs from cannabis.

According to documents filed at Companies House, GW was supported prior to its £175m flotation in June by a list of prominent people, many of whom saw the value of their investments surge five-fold in the public offering.

GW’s flotation infuriated analysts and fund managers, who claim the offering was hyped and over-priced.

Immediately after the flotation, shares in GW went into freefall as investors dumped stock. The price has dropped 44%, triggering accusations that the public offering was poorly handled.

GW is Britain’s biggest legal grower of cannabis, with more than 40,000 plants under guard at a secret location in the south of England. Although its flotation was six times over-subscribed, the firm has received a mauling in the City since. One analyst described GW as “an incredibly over-priced greenhouse”.

Among GW’s biggest backers was Colin Blackbourn, a trader at Shore Capital who is known in the City as the Black Prince for his ability to pick small investments. Mr Blackbourn invested £147,000 in GW early last year, then saw his shares valued at £765,000 on flotation.

John Francome, winner of seven National Hunt titles, was another beneficiary, investing about £20,000 in GW prior to flotation. Now a television commentator, he was introduced to GW by a young jockey whose family had an interest in the business.

‘It’s cheap at the moment’

“I wouldn’t know a drug if it was sitting in front of me,” Mr Francome says. “But I think GW’s a great idea. If you can help people who are ill, that’s a good thing.”

Unusually, GW had almost no institutional backing before going public. Most of the shares were held by individuals. David Dundas, best known for his 1970s hit Jeans On, had 39,984 shares on flotation, worth £72,000. He paid less than £25,000 for the stock in a private fundraising by GW last November.

The son of the Marquess of Zetland, Dundas’s work includes composing the four-note jingle used to introduce Channel Four programmes. He says: “I just heard through a friend of the things GW was doing. I liked the company and, long term, I think it’s going to be a good one.”

Under licence from the Home Office, GW began trials of a cannabis-based mouthspray last year. The company’s admirers say that if clinical trials are successful the commercial potential could be vast. Garry Waanders, an analyst at stockbroker Peel, Hunt, believes sales of GW’s cannabis-based treatment for multiple sclerosis could reach £250m by 2004, and he values the business at £400m. “I think it’s very cheap at the moment.”

But a recent move towards wholesale decriminalisation of cannabis has damaged the investment case, raising the possibility that patients could simply grow their own. GW rejects this, insisting that smoking cannabis is much less effective than its purified form of cannabinoids, the active ingredient inside the drug.

GW’s founder, former hospital doctor Geoffrey Guy, has lobbied the government hard to permit prescriptions of cannabis-based drugs. He says the Home Office has pledged that if GW’s clinical trials are successful ministers will reschedule cannabis to permit its use in pharmaceuticals.

Other private backers include Lady Angela Chadwyck-Healey, a noted art collector. She paid £98,000 in spring 2000 for shares which were valued in June’s flotation at £509,000.

Philip Robson, a psychiatrist at Chilton Clinic, Oxford, is on the shareholder register alongside his colleague George Hibbert. Dr Robson, an advocate of decriminalisation, is the author of “Forbidden drugs: understanding drugs and why people take them”, a respected work on the subject. Another investor is Arnold Cragg of market research firm Cragg Ross Dawson, which analyses the government’s anti-drugs messages.

City names include David and Guy Mace, the brothers who used to run leisure firm Vardon, which owned the London Dungeon and the Sea Life centre.

Venture capitalists Peter Mountford and Adrian Bradshaw of Bradmount Investments, which backed the Aim-listed firm Internet Direct, are big personal backers. Mr Mountford and his family had 480,000 shares on flotation, worth £873,000, while Mr Bradshaw had 240,000 shares, worth £435,000. They bought their stakes for £300,000 and £150,000 respectively in November.

Stephen Noar, the entrepreneur who purchased Geoffrey Robinson’s Lutyens mansion in Hampshire for about £5m last year, was another investor in GW’s November fundraising. His family paid £525,000 for shares which were valued on flotation eight months later at £1.5m.

The huge paper profits made by these pre-float investors will frustrate those who bought shares in the public offering, only to see an immediate slump in the price.

GW blames misinterpretation of a report in the British Medical Journal which questioned the effectiveness of cannabis in treating pain. The company says this had few implications for its cannabinoids.

Others suggest that the price has fallen because private investors were not locked in after flotation. There has been criticism, too, of the small number of shares handed out to each institutional investor on flotation by broker Collins Stewart. Some fund managers, it is alleged, were left with such small parcels that they decided the equity was not worth hanging on to.

One analyst said: “People were promised that it would be over-subscribed, and it would double on its first day. That’s the only reason why a lot of them took it.”

Jonathan Kwok, a biotechnology analyst at Old Mutual Securities, said: “The shares were definitely overpriced when the company went to the market.”

GW’s management declined to discuss the flotation yesterday. A spokesman said the big profits made by private investors were “not atypical of pre-float finance”, and only a small number of early backers had sold after the offering.”Clearly, the performance of the stock post-flotation has been disappointing and the company shares that disappointment.”

Andrew Richmond of Collins Stewart rejects the idea that the flotation was hyped, maintaining that it was handled no differently from any other offering.

GW’s shares rose 0.5p to 103.5p yesterday, against a flotation price of 182p. The share price has been sluggish despite news this week that the firm has begun trials of its cannabis spray in Canada, where medicinal use of the drug has just been legalised. Chief executive Geoffrey Guy has little to smile about following the share price fall: the value of his personal stake has dropped from £47m to £26m.

On September 7, the firm expects to announce detailed results of its latest clinical trials. As far as investors are concerned, they had better be stunningly good.

MailOnline - news, sport, celebrity, science and health stories

The doctor who broke up families: Psychiatrist who damned hundreds as ‘unfit parents’ faces GMC probe

  • Dr George Hibbert could be struck off over his conclusions that hundreds of parents had ‘personality disorders’
  • Millionaire is now being investigated over shocking suggestions he distorted the assessments to fit the view of social services
  • Lib Dem MP writes to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke demanding a full parliamentary inquiry


PUBLISHED: 22:41, 16 March 2012 | UPDATED: 09:24, 17 March 2012

Extraordinary: Dr George Hibbert faces claims he deliberately misdiagnosed parents with mental disorders ¿ decisions which meant their children were taken away from themExtraordinary: Dr George Hibbert faces claims he deliberately misdiagnosed parents with mental disorders – decisions which meant their children were taken away from them

A leading psychiatrist faces extraordinary claims he deliberately misdiagnosed parents with mental disorders – decisions which meant their children were taken away from them.

Dr George Hibbert faces being struck off over his conclusions that hundreds had ‘personality disorders’ after assessing them at his private family centre.

He was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by social services for the reports which tore children from their parents – many of them young mothers.

He is now being investigated over shocking suggestions he distorted the assessments to fit the view of social services.

In one case, he is alleged to have wrongly diagnosed a ‘caring’ new mother –  named only as Miss A – with bipolar disorder because her local authority wanted the  baby adopted.

After being confronted with this allegation, Dr Hibbert offered to surrender his licence to practise as a doctor rather than face a General Medical Council inquiry.

But his request has been rejected by the GMC which says there are still ‘unresolved concerns regarding his fitness to practise’. He will now face a full fitness to practise hearing.

Yesterday John Hemming MP, who has raised concerns about Dr Hibbert in Parliament, described the claims as shocking.

The Lib Dem MP – alerted by a whistle-blower – said he had since spoken to ‘three or four’ other families who said the same had happened to them.

He has written to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke demanding a full parliamentary inquiry.

Mr Hemming said: ‘He is someone about whom a number of people have complained. I am told that at least one person has refused to work for him because of what she saw as his unethical provision of reports to suit the demands of local authorities.

Rich: Two Porsches can be seen parked outside the home of Dr Hibbert near Swindon. He is worth more than £2.7millionRich: Two Porsches can be seen parked outside the home of Dr Hibbert near Swindon. He is worth more than £2.7million

‘Much of the decision making in care proceedings rests on reports from experts such as Dr Hibbert,’ he told Parliament.

He added that supposedly independent experts such as Dr Hibbert, 59, were often little more than ‘the hired gun of the local authority’.

The lack of transparency over such experts was leading to ‘thousands of miscarriages of justice in care proceedings’.

'It seemed like nobody got out without their baby being taken away'

Earlier this week, a study for the Family Justice Council revealed how life-changing decisions about the care of children are routinely being made on the basis of flawed evidence. A fifth of ‘experts’ who advise the family courts are unqualified.

Dr Hibbert charged local authorities £6,000 a week for every family in his care and £210 an hour just to read documents such as medical records.

By 2007 his company, Assessment in Care, was making a profit of around £460,000 a year from  his lucrative arrangement with social services.

He is now worth more than  £2.7million. Last night a black Porsche Turbo, thought to be worth around £120,000, and a grey Porsche 911 Carrera, worth around £80,000, were parked on the gravel driveway outside his £500,000 country cottage.

A former honorary lecturer at Oxford University, who has previously advised the government on care assessments, Dr Hibbert left the NHS to set up his private assessment centre in 2000.

Since then, hundreds of parents in contact with social services – usually mothers and babies – have been referred to his centre to  be assessed.

Concerns were first raised in 2007, when mother Miss A complained that Dr Hibbert had wrongly diagnosed her with a bipolar disorder.

One consultant psychiatrist accused Dr Hibbert of having ‘no evidence’ for some of his claims and of deliberately ‘exaggerating’ and ‘misrepresenting’ aspects of the woman’s behaviour.

Her report is among a number of documents being examined by the GMC with regards to Dr Hibbert.

Miss A, who has seen her son just a few times since, said Dr Hibbert was ‘corrupt and evil.’

‘Nothing will ever make up for what he has done to me and my child,’ Miss A said. ‘I want to make sure this man is exposed and that he can never do this to anybody else.’

In a letter sent to Miss A, a GMC investigations officer confirmed Dr Hibbert ‘has now applied for voluntary erasure from the medical register’.

In demand: Dr Hibbert was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by social services for reports which tore children from their parents ¿ many of them young mothersIn demand: Dr Hibbert was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by social services for reports which tore children from their parents – many of them young mothers

The letter continued: ‘He has no intention of returning to clinical practice in the future.’

However, the GMC officer concluded it was in the ‘public interest’ for his request to be denied ‘in view of the nature of the performance allegations and in the view of the conduct concerns.’

He has not been available for comment at his two-storey detached cottage in the small village of Blunsdon near Swindon. His assessment centre next to his home appeared to be closed.

From Wednesday's Mail

A spokesman for Dr Hibbert at the Medical Protection Society, the indemnity organisation for doctors, said professional confidentiality meant Dr Hibbert was ‘unable to comment on allegations raised in relation to care of a patient’.

Paul Grant, of Bernard Chill & Axtell Solicitors, who represents Miss A, said: ‘Our client has instructed us to launch proceedings against Dr Hibbert and the local authority.

‘We believe this distressing case may be the tip of a very big iceberg.’

Doctor ‘distorted diagnoses for local authorities’

A consultant psychiatrist is being investigated over claims that he distorted his assessment of patients to suit the demands of local authorities, it was reported last night.

Dr George Hibbert

Dr George Hibbert
Dr George Hibbert faces being struck off after he allegedly misdiagnosed parents as suffering from personality disorders, it is alleged. In one case, he is claimed to have concluded that a new mother, named only as Miss A, had bipolar disorder because the local social services department wanted her child to be adopted, according to the Daily Mail.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Miss A confirmed that they had been instructed to begin proceedings against Dr Hibbert and the local authority.

Paul Grant, of Bernard Chill & Axtell Solicitors, who represents Miss A, said: “We believe this distressing case may be the tip of a very big iceberg.”

John Hemming, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, who has raised concerns about Dr Hibbert in Parliament, said he had spoken to “three or four” other families who had had a similar experience. He has written to Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, demanding a full parliamentary inquiry. Referring to Dr Hibbert, Miss A said: “Nothing will ever make up for what he has done to me and my child.”

Mr Hemming told Parliament: “He [Dr Hibbert] is someone about whom a number of people have complained. I am told that at least one person has refused to work for him because of what she saw as his unethical provision of reports to suit the demands of local authorities.”

Dr Hibbert charged local authorities £6,000 a week for every family in his care and £210 an hour to read documents such as medical records. His company, Assessment in Care, made a profit of around £460,000 in 2007 from its arrangement with social services.

In a letter to Miss A, a GMC investigations officer said that Dr Hibbert “has now applied for voluntary erasure from the medical register”. “He has no intention of returning to clinical practice in the future,” the letter added.

A spokesman for the Medical Protection Society, the indemnity organisation for doctors, said professional confidentiality meant that Dr Hibbert was unable to comment on the allegations.

HOME > NEWS / SHOWBIZ > UK NEWS > Doctor faces adoptions scandal axe



Sunday March 18,2012

By Ted Jeory

A WEALTHY psychiatrist who faces being struck off over claims he deliberately misdiagnosed parents to please social workers once tried to persuade a committee of MPs to make his techniques a national standard, the Sunday Express can reveal.

Porsche driving Dr George Hibbert is under investigation by the General Medical Council over claims he falsified psychiatric reports on parents so he could rake in business from local authorities.

It is claimed he misdiagnosed parents with mental disorders so that social services could persuade judges to issue care orders.

It is thought many children have been taken away from their natural parents and adopted with new families for life in what could be one of Britain’s biggest scandals.

Dr Hibbert’s Assessment in Care business earned hundreds of thousands of pounds by charging councils around the country £6,000 a week for each parent in his care.

The Sunday Express, which has led the way in exposing dangers of relying on single expert witness testimony in court proceedings, can now reveal that such was his confidence in his lucrative work that he supplied evidence to the Justice Select Committee two years ago.

Porsche driving Dr George Hibbert is under investigation by the General Medical Council over claims he falsified psychiatric reports on parents so he could rake in business from local authorities

He and family solicitor Jill Canvin, who lives with him at his country home in Wiltshire, produced a dossier for MPs in August 2010 in which they boasted the merits of their methods.

They said the Government would save £125million a year if it adopted their Tadpole Parenting Assessment software, named after their Tadpole Cottage assessment centre.

They said their techniques should be the basis for a national standard for social services so that delays and administration in the family court system could be reduced.

“We have a proposal which would provide a rational basis for [Court] Guardians to reduce their workload,” they said, adding: “This would be achieved by enabling social services to make more consistent, reliable and fair assessments of parenting.”


They told MPs that their recognition of the “poor” standard of social services was “endorsed” by Barnardo’s , which was at that time headed by Martin Narey, who is now the Coalition’s Adoption Tsar and acclaimed by David Cameron.

Dr Hibbert and Ms Canvin said their methods should be run in a pilot scheme that would test the IQs of parents and monitor their behaviour.

They sell their Tadpole Parenting Assessment via their website.

As a result of the GMC investigation, a lawyer acting for a mother known for legal reasons as ‘Miss A’, who had her child removed after she says she was misdiagnosed with bipolar by Dr Hibbert, now believes a massive class action against the Government is in store.

Paul Grant, of Bernard Chill & Axtell Solicitors, said he had already been contacted by several other parents who have been allegedly misdiagnosed by experts like Dr Hibbert all over the country.

He said: “This is a wider problem than just one case. These experts start out as clinicians but then they seem to get corrupted by money and the commercial opportunities.”

Lib Dem MP John Hemming has through the pages of the Sunday Express previously called for a national inquiry into the use of single expert testimonies in court proceedings because he believes they can be “hired hands doing their masters’ bidding”.

Neither Dr Hibbert nor Ms Canvin could be contacted, but a spokesman for the psychiatrist at the Medical Protection Agency, the indemnity organisation for doctors, said professional confidentiality meant Dr Hibbert was “unable to comment on allegations raised in relation to care of a patient”.

‘I never saw him observing parents with children’: The woman who said she was forced to take babies from their mothers by the ‘expert’ who played God

  • Keira Roberts worked for Dr George Hibbert at Family Assessment Centre in Swindon
  • He set parents odd tasks, like changing a car tyre while caring for a child
  • Keira: ‘We had to put only bad things in our reports’
  • Dr Hibbert made more than £40,000 a week


PUBLISHED: 23:16, 27 April 2012 | UPDATED: 08:55, 28 April 2012

'Playing God': Dr George Hibbert specialised in helping local authorities identify dangerous or neglectful parents‘Playing God’: Dr George Hibbert specialised in helping local authorities identify dangerous or neglectful parents

Anyone who works in child protection will tell you that one of the worst aspects of the job is having to take a youngster from its mother’s arms, possibly for ever.

It is heart-breaking enough, even when you are 100 per cent sure that being taken into care is the best thing for that child. But what if you are forcibly removing a child from a mother you believe to be a good and caring parent?

Keira Roberts never imagined that she would find herself in such a position when she accepted a job with an eminent psychiatrist who specialised in helping local authorities identify dangerous or neglectful parents.

Dr George Hibbert was regarded as one of country’s leading experts on child abuse, had lectured at Oxford and had advised MPs on the family courts system.

When Keira agreed to work for him, it was at one of his Family Assessment Centres — places where families who had come to the attention of social services departments were referred. They were placed under round-the-clock observation while it was determined what should happen next.

It was a very intrusive set-up, but Keira assumed that Dr Hibbert — who was highly trusted (and very well paid) by a string of local authorities — knew what he was doing.

And in the wake of the Baby P scandal, she understood how important it was for any concerns about parental abuse to be acted on.

But protecting children is one thing. Ripping families apart — apparently for little reason — is another. Yet this is what Keira claims Dr Hibbert did, and on a scale that is staggering.

From the Mail, March 17From the Mail, March 17

Alarm bells first started ringing when she felt Dr Hibbert wanted his staff to concentrate on recording only the negative aspects of what they observed.

And she became dismayed when the parents were set bizarre and, she felt, unfair tasks, to assess how they coped.

She watched one young mum struggle to vacuum the stairs while carrying a baby. Another was sent off to the supermarket with her child in tow to grapple alone with a huge shop for 14 people.

But her bemusement at Dr Hibbert’s methods turned to horror when she realised that when parents ‘failed’ to complete these tasks to Dr Hibbert’s high (or ‘impossible’, as she puts it) standards, it counted against them and their children were being taken.

And what haunts her is that she was sometimes the one doing the forcible removal of the children.

The case that still keeps her awake at night involved a young mother called Anna — a woman Keira had been observing for 14 weeks, and considered a good mother. She had come from a difficult background, but there was no evidence that she was abusive or neglectful towards her child.

Under investigation: Dr George Hibbert, pictured outside the Family Assessment Centre in SwindonUnder investigation: Dr George Hibbert, pictured outside the Family Assessment Centre in Swindon

Indeed, Keira was impressed with what a good job she did of caring for her baby.

Yet at five o’clock one morning when she was working at the assessment centre, Keira was confronted by a sobbing Anna. She was cradling her baby, rocking from side to side and weeping uncontrollably, and begging for Keira’s help.

‘She was convinced she was going home without her baby because she thought she had failed. She was hysterical. She kept asking: “Don’t you think I am a good mother?” I did, but there was nothing I could do. Dr Hibbert had made his decision.’

‘When I was watching the parents in the same room, I would sip water or do a crossword so they wouldn’t feel too watched’

Eventually, Keira was the one who had to take the baby from her arms. ‘It was the worst thing I have ever had to do,’ she says.

But Anna wasn’t an isolated case. Quite how routinely babies were removed from their parents as a result of Dr Hibbert’s practices is not yet known. But Keira was not the only one to fear that her boss was abusing his powers.

Earlier this year, Dr Hibbert offered to surrender his doctor’s licence when the General Medical Council launched an investigation over accusations that he had deliberately misdiagnosed mothers as suffering from mental disorders to fit in with the view of social services.

The GMC refused to accept Dr Hibbert’s offer, and is investigating his fitness to practise.

This is the first time a member of his staff has come forward to talk about what they say went on inside one of his assessment centres.

Keira spent over a year working for Dr Hibbert at Windmill House, Swindon. Her account — given on the condition we protect her identity — paints a horrifying picture of the lives of the parents he told the family courts were ‘unfit’ to look after their children.

How many families were ripped apart by Dr Hibbert is not known, but Keira confirms there must be ‘many’.

From the Mail, April 14From the Mail, April 14

Between four and eight families would live at Windmill House at any one time, with Keira and her colleagues watching them 24 hours a day, scrutinising their every interaction with their babies.

It was ‘just like the Big Brother house, she says, ‘but 100 times worse because they knew if they did something that was deemed wrong, they risked losing their child.’

Even at night, Keira claims, staff listened in to their parenting — and, in the case of couples, their intimate conversations — using baby monitors.

She says mothers were not even allowed to breastfeed in private. ‘I always felt it was very intrusive,’ Keira says.

‘When I was watching the parents in the same room, I would sip water or do a crossword so they wouldn’t feel too watched.’

Perhaps such intrusion could have been justified had honest observations about the parents’ interaction with their children been made.

Keira says things started in a balanced way, with staff being told to write, in the margins of their copious notes, a small ‘G’ for good parenting, ‘B’ for bad or ‘R’ for routine.

But later, she says, they understood they should write down only the bad aspects of parenting they observed.

She says: ‘Dr Hibbert said: “All I want, all I need you to do is highlight anything that’s bad.” We did not include any good parenting because the courts would take it as read.’

Staff were horrified, believing this was going to give a ‘skewed view’.

‘I don’t think anyone thought it was right,’ Keira says, ‘but he said we had to cut down the amount of paperwork we were giving him.’

Another of Dr Hibbert’s methods was to set the parents bizarre tasks, such as changing a car tyre while caring for a child.

‘The assessments were ludicrous,’ Keira says. ‘A lot of the staff said that if we found ourselves in their situation, we’d fail. It was a totally unrealistic, false environment.’

Incredibly, though, the mothers would often succeed against all odds. ‘They were so desperate to pass,’ Keira recalls quietly.

While she and her colleagues had to watch the parents round the clock, Keira claims Dr Hibbert was rarely at Windmill House.

Staff would occasionally see him driving in and out of the car park in one of his two Porsches — one black, one silver — or popping into the office to pick up one of his designer suits, which staff would have dry-cleaned.

But Keira claims she ‘never’ saw the psychiatrist actually observing parents with their children before he wrote his reports for the family courts — which would be extraordinary if this was always the case considering this was a man charging the taxpayer thousands for an ‘intensive and multi-faceted assessment’ of a mother over 12 weeks.

Rich: Two Porsches can be seen parked outside the home of Dr Hibbert near SwindonRich: Two Porsches can be seen parked outside the home of Dr Hibbert near Swindon. At one point in 2010, when he had 11 residents in the centre at one time, Dr Hibbert was raking in more than £40,000 a week

‘In the year I was there, I never once saw him watch a parent with their child,’ says Keira. ‘It was ridiculous. How can he have had an expert opinion on their parenting if he didn’t even observe it?’

Dr Hibbert accepted he limited his direct interactions with parents because of the powerful effects he believed that could have.

Yet few would have suspected how little he seems to have observed people parenting their children.

Not only that, the sums Dr Hibbert charged for his family assessments are staggering. The courts were paying him thousands of pounds a week for his opinion.

Each parent and child at the unit earned him £4,100 per week. This rose to £6,150 per week for a couple and a baby, or £8,200 for a couple with two children.

At one point in 2010, when he had 11 residents in the centre at one time, Dr Hibbert was raking in more than £40,000 a week — plus the £210 he charged for every hour he had to read the parents’ paperwork.

His bill was split between local authorities, the child’s legal representative and the parents’ legally-aided solicitor. Public money in other words.

Despite their huge costs, Dr Hibbert’s assessments appear to have relied to a great extent on notes made by his staff — some as young as 19.

‘We weren’t experts, none of us were,’ Keira confirms. ‘Some were totally unqualified. Yet we were the ones actually watching the parents with their children’

Keira insists Dr Hibbert usually saw parents for no more than 20 minutes per week. The workers — who were paid a starting salary of £16,500 a year — were left to observe the parenting for him.

‘We weren’t experts, none of us were,’ Keira confirms. ‘Some were totally unqualified. Yet we were the ones actually watching the parents with their children.’

With parents paying for their own food, and made to do all the cooking and cleaning themselves, workers often commented that Dr Hibbert ‘must be raking it in’ from his family assessment centre. Yet this was just one of his many lucrative sidelines.

He also made a fortune attending court as an expert witness — which he charged an eye-watering £1,800 per day. Incredibly, he even invoiced £105 per hour just for the time he spent travelling to and from court — plus 45p per mile for petrol.

‘I don’t know how often he went to court, but it was about once a month,’ Keira remembers. He was not, Keira says, a caring employer. She claims he was subject to ‘foul moods’ and prone to ‘stomping about’ if he as angry. She describes him as an ‘intimidating presence’.

‘He looked down on me,’ she says. ‘He was more intelligent, he was the one who knew everything —  we were just his lackeys. I had never come across someone who was quite so full of himself. He  also thought he was God’s gift  to women.’

In the year she worked at the centre, a number of staff resigned over what Keira believes were concerns about Dr Hibbert.

And it wasn’t long before she began to have serious doubts. ‘With some mothers, it didn’t seem to matter what we wrote,’ she says. ‘He seemed to have made his mind up about them from the beginning.’

Others, she felt, were criticised ‘for nothing’.

One young father was accused of having ‘paedophilic tendencies’ after staff observed him lying on the floor with his daughter watching television.

Another was said to have an ‘intrusive’ parenting style because he liked to tickle his baby daughter — something Keira says the baby ‘absolutely loved’.

But most bizarre of all was the case of a married mother who liked to write to-do lists. ‘Dr Hibbert told us that writing a to-do list wasn’t normal behaviour. He said it was obsessive. ‘All of us staff said, hang on — we do that too!’

But the patients couldn’t win.

‘If parents didn’t trust him they were branded paranoid,’ Keira remembers. ‘If they got upset, then he would say they weren’t stable.’

Her final clash with Dr Hibbert came when she observed a meeting he held with a woman who was describing how she had once been raped.

The psychiatrist’s reaction left Keira stunned. She says: ‘I saw him put his fingers in his ears and say: “Na na na, I’m not listening to you.” I really just couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. I didn’t get the impression he had any empathy.’

In early 2010, Dr Hibbert opened an extra four rooms in his assessment centre.

But then just a few months after this extra building — known as The Annexe — was opened, he abruptly shut the entire assessment centre down.

Staff were told that business from local authorities was drying up due to the economic climate, and that they would all be losing their jobs.

‘It was all very strange,’ Keira remembers. ‘Something about it wasn’t right. He has spent all this money getting it kitted out, and we were still getting phone calls to the office from local authorities asking us to take more parents in.’

It was only later that Keira discovered what she believes is the real reason the centre shut so abruptly: her former employer was facing an investigation by the General Medical Council.

A young mother had claimed he deliberately misdiagnosed her with bipolar disorder — a decision which resulted in her losing her son.

Last night, a spokesman for Dr Hibbert said: ‘The Medical Protection Society, on behalf of Dr Hibbert, confirm there have been no findings made against Dr Hibbert by the General Medical Council or any other body.

Dr Hibbert is unable to comment upon ongoing investigations due to his duties of patient confidentiality and his professional obligations.’

As for Keira, she says she wants to go to the GMC to tell her story.

She adds: ‘Personally, I’d like to see him prosecuted, stripped of his assets and sent to prison. What he did was unforgiveable.’

Some names have been changed.

Read more:

The expert who played God… and the real-life Big Brother house where he tore families apart with bizarre tasks to test if parents were fit to keep their children

PUBLISHED: 23:24, 13 April 2012 | UPDATED: 03:40, 14 April 2012

Few places could have been more fitting for a memorial to one of Britain’s most celebrated and respected ambassadors.

In the Crypt Chapel of St Paul’s Cathedral, representatives of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, as well as diplomats from around the world, had assembled for a service to remember Sir Reginald Hibbert, the former Ambassador to France.

With the stone sarcophagi of Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington within touching distance of the congregation, Sir Reginald’s son, Dr George Hibbert, could not help but be moved by the turnout for his father, who had died, aged 80, from cancer. Delegates from the Foreign Office, Diplomatic Service, the Royal Hussars, where Sir Reginald once served, and Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied, were also present that crisp February morning in 2003.

Under investigation: Dr George Hibbert, pictured outside the Family Assessment Centre near Blunsdon, SwindonUnder investigation: Dr George Hibbert, pictured outside the Family Assessment Centre near Blunsdon, Swindon

And although he was very proud of his father, Dr George Hibbert could also later claim that his own career was flourishing as the self-proclaimed expert and psychiatrist called on by local authorities from across the country to assess whether hundreds of young mothers were fit to be parents. After the service, as he got into his black Porsche Turbo to drive home, he probably thought that, like his father, he would one day be respected and esteemed by the great and good of his profession.

But today, Dr Hibbert is famous for very different reasons. He is being investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC) following accusations that he deliberately misdiagnosed parents as having mental disorders to allow social services to take their children into care.

This week, it was revealed that applications by local authorities to take children into care in England have reached an all-time record, soaring to 10,000 a year. Since 2008, the figure has more than doubled as the authorities decide ever-more parents should have their children taken away from them.

In the UK as a whole, there are at least 90,000 children in care. And it is to ‘experts’ such as Dr Hibbert that authorities turn to for court evidence to back up their applications.

Hibbert has offered to surrender his licence to practise medicine but still faces a full GMC inquiry. The scandal of Dr Hibbert — accused in Parliament of being little more than a ‘hired gun’ for local authorities trying to take children into care — has shone a spotlight on a family courts system normally shrouded in secrecy.

Crucially, it raises the question of whether a single ‘expert’ should be allowed to determine the most fundamental rights of parents to bring up their own children. Even the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, the minister responsible for Britain’s family courts — where Hibbert gave many of his judgements — has been asked to launch a parliamentary investigation.

Now some of Dr Hibbert’s fellow psychiatrists are pouring scorn on the hugely controversial methods that helped him amass a fortune of more than £2 million.

The doctor who broke up families

But how did this privileged son of a respected British ambassador end up in such an embarrassing scandal at the age of 59? Born in Vienna in April 1952, while his father was working at the consulate in Austria, George Hibbert became accustomed to life as the son of a distinguished dignitary.

His father received Foreign Service postings in Bucharest, Guatemala, Ankara, Singapore and Mongolia, to name but a few. George was the middle of three children with an older sister, Jane, and younger brother, William, who is now a barrister.

At 13, he was packed off to board at the historic public school, Charterhouse. Eager to follow in his father’s footsteps, he went to Worcester College, Oxford, where he graduated with a BA in psychology, philosophy and physiology in 1974.

He then gained his medical qualification at the University of London, and began work as a psychiatrist.

In 1977, the year he completed his medical studies, he married Krystina Tysler, a midwife from Essex whom he had met through work. They bought a family home on a Thirties estate in Oxford and had three daughters, Katharine, Rosalind and Elizabeth — all now grown up.

The scene seemed set for a perfect family life and career, perhaps almost as distinguished as his father’s.

But that was not to be.

A psychiatrist who worked with Dr Hibbert at the Warneford Hospital, a specialist mental health unit in Oxford, in the Nineties, recalls a vain man with an eye for the ladies.

‘His nickname was “Gorgeous George” because he was so full of himself,’ she says, speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘He was incredibly vain and was often seen looking at his reflection in the window.

‘His hair was immaculately styled, and while most consultants would just wear chinos and a jumper, he would wear expensive suits and arrive at work in a sports car.

Former Charterhouse pupil and Oxford graduate Dr Hibbert is the son of a privileged British ambassadorFormer Charterhouse pupil and Oxford graduate Dr Hibbert is the son of a privileged British ambassador

‘He was a massive show-off, very arrogant and looked down on people.’

It appears snobbery was not his only failing. The psychiatrist told us that he revelled in the old school tie network, and expressed antiquated views about the role of women.

‘I often heard him making very laddish comments about women he considered attractive,’ the psychiatrist continues. But some nurses would be flirty and he would love it. I think it made him feel powerful.’

At first Hibbert specialised in patients suffering drink-and-drug addiction problems. Before long he was running the addiction unit, and, it is said, told colleagues he planned to join a march in 1998 organised by the Independent on Sunday newspaper calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis. It was the talk of the hospital — we were so shocked,’ the psychiatrist continues, explaining that heavy cannabis use can lead to psychosis. ‘Here was a consultant psychiatrist treating people with cannabis addiction, preparing to publicly support the legalisation of cannabis.

‘To say it raised eyebrows was  an understatement.

‘It was inappropriate.’

He also viewed the drug as a way to make money. He became a sizeable shareholder in GW Pharmaceuticals, a company that secured a Home Office contract to grow and develop medicines from cannabis.

By 2000, Dr Hibbert decided to part company with the NHS to make ‘real money’ and fund the kind of lifestyle he had become accustomed to as the son of a diplomat. In March that year he set up the consultancy Assessment in Care, making himself its director and psychiatrist, and offering its services to local authorities. His business partner was Jill Canvin, a solicitor specialising in representing children in care proceedings.

For premises they paid £390,000 in 2001 for Tadpole Cottage, a detached four-bedroom house near Swindon in Wiltshire. It would house up to four families at any one time as they were assessed at the request of local authorities to see whether children should be taken into care. Methods Dr Hibbert used to assess parental skills were bizarre and unorthodox.

‘He tried to tell my Dad that because my baby’s father and I were not together, it proved I was a bad mother’

Staff monitored and made notes on everything parents did with their children during their stay, which could last as long as three months.

He set them stressful challenges. He made some mothers vacuum the stairs while holding their baby.

Or he told parents to take a car journey with their infant strapped in the back seat and then simulate a breakdown to add stress to the situation as a test to see if they were fit to keep their children.

Former residents have claimed their time spent at Tadpole Cottage was like a nightmare version of the Big Brother household on television.

But, for Hibbert and Canvin, it was a lucrative business that resulted in their company being valued at £2.7  million last year. Local authorities paid £6,000 a week to have a family in his care. He charged £210 an hour simply to read a report from their social services departments.

But Dr Hibbert’s gilded life began to unravel when, in 2007, a mother complained that he had wrongly diagnosed her with bipolar depression. The GMC began to investigate.

Other parents began to tell their of their shocking experiences. Many of them claimed they were in a ‘no-win’ situation: if they were too attentive to their babies, they were deemed to be ‘trying too hard’, while if they worked at seeming to be less conscientious, they were accused of being distant.

A whistleblowing member of staff, who has agreed to give evidence at the GMC inquiry, claims Dr Hibbert was in the habit of putting his fingers in his ears and chanting ‘Nah, nah, nah. I’m not listening’ when he wanted to ignore an aggrieved mother.

At Tadpole Cottage, staff-recorded details about a number of parents reveal the true extent of the impossible situation they faced.

It included details of what time a mother or father got up, what they wore, what they ate and even the telephone conversations they had.

It would be noted that a three-month-old baby ‘did not seem to respond’ when told she was a good girl by her mother.

That apparent failing became the basis for an accusation that  the mother was not ‘in tune’ with her child. Another mother was said to be unable to ‘prioritise her child’ because she had bought herself hair conditioner during a trip to a pharmacy. Yet another mother, who liked to bake cakes, read books and was chatty and outgoing, was reported to have worn ‘a bright orange sundress’ and ‘inappropriate socks and trainers’.

Yet another was criticised for ‘a blank expression’ while doing the cleaning chores. Some parents who stayed there felt Hibbert’s demands for perfection were not only excessive, but also hypocritical. By then, the psychiatrist had split up with his wife and moved from their Oxford home into a cottage adjacent to the Wiltshire centre —Ms Canvin lived in a flat above the centre’s garage.

A woman who Hibbert had chided as a bad mother because she had split from her husband recalls him becoming ‘very aggressive’ when he was asked about his own family life.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, tells of how her father once attended the cottage and challenged Dr Hibbert over his views on single mothers.

‘He tried to tell my Dad that because my baby’s father and I were not together, it proved I was a bad mother,’ the woman says.

‘He said it showed I had problems forming relationships.

‘My dad was stunned and asked: “Have you never had a failed relationship?” Dr Hibbert became really angry and aggressive.

He snapped back: “We’re not here to discuss me — we are here to discuss your daughter”. Later on, we found out from a member of staff that he was going through a divorce at the time.

‘We just thought: “What a complete hypocrite.”‘

While the psychiatrist’s career has not ended as successfully as his esteemed father’s, he did inherit a reputation for being combative and abrasive (a trait that was noted about Sir Reginald in one newspaper obituary).

We have obtained a letter Dr Hibbert sent in response to Kristina Hofberg, a consultant psychiatrist, who was critical of his methods when she reviewed his care of one mother.

In it, he rounds on his fellow medical professional, accusing her of having an ‘apparent difficulty in interpreting English words in common usage’.

He concludes: ‘Her reinterpretations consistently imply that it is our behaviour and judgement, rather than our patient’s, that is at fault.’

The question the GMC will have to answer is whether Dr Hibbert’s methods were ethical and professional and, if not, how many children were torn needlessly from their mothers. Inevitably, many women — some as young as 16 — spoke of a deep sense of despair and stress while in his care.

During her period of assessment, one told a member of staff that she ‘hadn’t spoken to anybody in days except for my baby, but she doesn’t talk back’. It was observed how one mother ‘was tearful and began to swear, saying: “I am fed up here — fed up of being watched.” ’

On another occasion, the same mother tried to withdraw to a  quiet room but was followed there by staff.

When staff looked in and asked if she was all right, she snapped back: ‘Can I just have five minutes on my own please?” and was crying.

A woman who was at the centre with her eight-week-old son told us that she became alarmed when she arrived because she believed that no one left the establishment with their babies. ‘It was like something from Victorian times. I started to panic,’ she recalls. ‘It seemed like no one got out without having their baby taken away. You would see them screaming and crying, begging not to have their babies taken away.’

Her premonition came all too tragically true. She was ordered to leave without her son after Hibbert ruled that she was suffering from a bipolar disorder.

Two other psychiatrists later criticised his findings, insisting she had no such condition. By then, however, her child had been adopted and she could not get him back.

The centre is now closed. And the company website, which featured a picture of Dr Hibbert smiling reassuringly, has been taken down.

Although we made regular calls and left messages for Hibbert, he has refused to comment.

Instead, he relies on the Medical Protection Society. A spokesman says: ‘Dr Hibbert is limited in the amount of information he can provide about his actions or advice.

‘He is unable to comment on allegations raised in relation to care of a patient due to his professional duty of confidentiality.

‘We can confirm that Dr Hibbert is co-operating with an ongoing GMC investigation and that no findings have been made against him.

‘The questions raised with regards to Dr Hibbert’s personal life constitute a wholly unacceptable intrusion into his private and family life and as such he does not intend to respond further.’

In the meantime, families torn apart as a result of Dr Hibbert’s findings into their personal relationships are trying desperately to rebuild their shattered lives.

Read more:

The doctor who took my baby away

As Dr George Hibbert, an ‘expert’ child-care psychiatrist, faces being struck off, we talk to one mother who was labelled unfit, while a whistle-blower gives an insight into his unconventional methods

Dr Hibbert faces being struck off by the General Medical Council following claims that he misdiagnosed many of his patients with mental disorders and tailored his conclusions to suit the view of the relevant social services departments - The doctor who took my baby away

Dr Hibbert faces being struck off by the General Medical Council following claims that he misdiagnosed many of his patients with mental disorders and tailored his conclusions to suit the view of the relevant social services departments Photo: SWINDON ADVERTISER

“I miss my daughter so much when I’m not with her,” says Maria, staring longingly at a photograph of the pretty three‑year-old. “People who’ve seen me with her know I’m a good mother, but what Dr Hibbert said about me meant that I wasn’t allowed to keep her.”

The 36-year-old is talking about Dr George Hibbert, a controversial psychiatrist whose damning verdict on her character and personality resulted in Maria (not her real name) losing custody of her only child.

Maria’s story raises disturbing questions about the power one man could exercise over those he judged to be unfit parents. Between 2000 and 2010 he was commissioned by social services departments throughout England (who paid him around £6,000 per case a week) to determine whether the parents referred to him were fit to keep their children. As a result of his reports, dozens of children were separated from their mothers or fathers.

But in a sudden turn of fortune, Dr Hibbert, 59, now faces being struck off by the General Medical Council, following claims that he misdiagnosed many of his patients with mental disorders and tailored his conclusions to suit the view of the relevant social services departments. And it is indicative of the doubts being raised over Dr Hibbert’s methods that his assessment that Maria was suffering from mental health problems – which led to custody of her child being given to the father – was later contradicted by an eminent psychiatrist, who concluded that there was no evidence she was an unsuitable parent.

“If it wasn’t for Dr Hibbert, I could still be with my baby,” says Maria. “It has been terrible. Being without her, and only seeing her for short periods, is very upsetting. I feel so sad whenever I have to say goodbye. I miss her very much.”

The controversy surrounding Dr Hibbert comes at a time of growing concern over the activities of child‑care experts on whose opinion courts rely to determine whether a parent is a fit and proper person to bring up their own child. Only a few weeks ago a report by Professor Jane Ireland, a forensic psychologist, warned that decisions about the future of thousands of children are being based on flawed evidence from well-paid “experts”.

Maria, who is originally from South America and whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons, is a domestic worker in Oxfordshire. A naturally emotional woman, her tough life experiences have left her with a deep distrust of authority figures, and she has often – to her own detriment – clashed with social workers and those with influence over her child’s future.

Social workers originally become involved after Maria suffered a period of postnatal depression following the birth of her daughter in May 2009. She then entered into a dispute with the father of the baby over custody. The couple were estranged and their relationship had been troubled, at times violent.

Oxfordshire County Council referred her to Dr Hibbert because they believed her to be impulsive, volatile and unable to prioritise the needs of the child.

Maria was sent to the Windmill Hill Centre near Cricklade, Wiltshire, one of two residential family centres run by Dr Hibbert, the other being Tadpole Cottage outside Swindon. She was one of hundreds of parents sent there over the years, who spent up to 14 weeks at a time having every aspect of their behaviour and interaction with their children monitored and recorded as part of their assessment. The opinion of Dr Hibbert – who trained as a psychiatrist in Oxford and worked in the NHS for 20 years before setting up in private practice – was key in deciding whether a child should be allowed to stay with its mother or father.

As part of their assessment, Maria and the other parents were set a number of weekly challenges. These included doing a large supermarket shop for about 14 residents and staff and involved loading and manoeuvring two heavily laden trolleys while simultaneously looking after their child. Another “challenge” required the parent to vacuum the stairs at the centres while holding their child.

But the tyre-changing exercise was the one Maria and the others dreaded most. This required the parent to wait until it was nearly time for the baby to be fed before driving into the country, accompanied by an assessor. Once in an isolated spot – by which time the child would, in all likelihood, have started crying for a feed – a “breakdown” would be staged. The parent would then be required to change the tyre while looking after the increasingly fractious baby. The challenge was designed to observe the parent’s interaction with their child in what was undoubtedly a stressful situation.

“I’d never changed a tyre before in my life,” says Maria, “but fortunately my baby was only whining a bit, so I could go back and forth from her to the tyre, comforting her and then working on the wheel. I managed to change the tyre and drove the six miles back to the centre to feed her.

“The stair-vacuuming task I passed easily, too, carrying my baby in one arm and hoovering with the other,” she continues. “But one poor 17-year-old girl failed. She was really upset.”

Maria maintains that she did all that was asked of her during the residential assessment, and that towards the end of the 13-week period Dr Hibbert indicated to her directly that he would recommend her as a fit mother.

“He told me he thought I was a good mother, even if I could be a bit emotional and temperamental,” she says.

A few days later, however, following a row between Maria and Dr Hibbert over what she claimed was the inappropriate behaviour of a male parent at the centre, he appeared to change his mind. Indeed, he is understood to have told social services that she had a level of personality dysfunction which, under stress, would lead to behaviour indicative of a personality disorder.

Maria was left shattered by Dr Hibbert’s comments – and by what happened next.

After receiving his report, together with the advice of social services, the family court ruled that Maria should not be given custody of her baby. In May 2010, after a period of foster care, custody was awarded to the father of the child. Maria was initially allowed only two hours a week contact under the supervision of social workers.

“Dr Hibbert said I behaved in an unpredictable way,” says Maria. “But everyone who knew me and saw me with my daughter said I was a good mother.”

Those impressions were confirmed by a whistle-blower who worked for Dr Hibbert until the Windmill Centre’s closure in August 2010. “From what I saw, Maria was a perfectly normal, loving mother,” she says. “She was caring and organised. She had problems with Dr Hibbert because he would deliberately push her over the edge, but I couldn’t see that she had any problems with her baby.”

The whistle-blower, speaking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, has more than 20 years’ experience of working with children. “Dr Hibbert would deliberately needle people,” she continues. “The entire assessment situation was set up as a deliberately unnatural environment for a mother or father, in order to make them feel very uncomfortable.”

She claims that on one occasion Dr Hibbert put his fingers in his ears and chanted, “Nah, nah, nah, I’m not listening”, when one mother tried to raise her concerns with him.

She also claims that another woman who had a habit of writing “to do” lists as a way of organising her day was deemed to be obsessive; while a young father was judged as having paedophile tendencies after Dr Hibbert saw him lying on the floor cuddling his four-year-old daughter while they watched the BBC’s CBeebies together.

The whistle-blower has subsequently raised her concerns with John Hemming MP, who campaigns for greater transparency in family courts, and is now prepared to give evidence at the GMC hearing.

Dr Hibbert’s work was lucrative. Companies House records show that profits for his company, Assessment in Care, rose from £23,000 in 2001 to a peak of £468,000 in 2007. The company – which he ran with a solicitor specialising in child-care cases – is now understood to be worth £2.7 million, while his family home, set amid the rolling Wiltshire countryside, is worth an estimated £500,000.

But in what seems to have been an attempt to limit any action the GMC could take against him, Dr Hibbert closed the assessment centres and wrote to the council offering to voluntarily withdraw his name from the medical register, stating that he had “no intention of returning to clinical practice in the future”.

The GMC refused his request. It decided that it was in the public interest for the matter to be fully investigated “because of the unresolved concerns regarding his fitness to practice”.

Dr Hibbert was unavailable for comment. Speaking on his behalf, a spokesman for the Medical Protection Society says: “Dr Hibbert is unable to comment on allegations raised in relation to care of a patient due to his professional duty of confidentiality. We can confirm that Dr Hibbert is co‑operating with an ongoing General Medical Council investigation and that no findings have been made against him.”

As for Maria, when her case returned to court earlier this year, matters took a turn for the better. In contrast to Dr Hibbert’s opinion, experts found no problems with Maria’s mental state and no evidence that she posed a risk to her daughter. As a result, the court ruled that Maria should have increased access to her daughter, including an overnight visit once a fortnight on top of six hours together every Monday.

In time, Maria hopes to be allowed by the court to spend more time with her daughter. But she remains bitter about her treatment at the hands of Dr Hibbert.

“I’m so happy that I’m seeing my baby for longer now. It’s lovely being with her,” she says. “But I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for Dr Hibbert. Other mothers have suffered in the same way because of him – and it must not be allowed to continue.”


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