Hoaxtead FAQ: The medical evidence

Over the past several days we’ve been working to build a ‘frequently asked questions’ page on this blog, to enable newcomers to understand the Hampstead SRA hoax better, to clear up misinformation, and to help jog the memories of longer-term Hoaxtead watchers. Today we’re going to tackle a particularly sensitive area: the forensic medical examinations performed by Dr Deborah Hodes on P and Q, the two children who were forced to make the original allegations.

This is an especially sensitive matter, as the issues we’re raising are not just academic: they pertain to real, live children, whose lives are likely to be deeply affected by what’s published about them online. Thus we’re going to keep speculation to a minimum, and stick to exactly what is known about the examinations.

1. I’ve heard that the medical examinations proved conclusively that both children were sexually abused.

This is not true.

According to Mrs Justice Pauffley’s fact-finding judgement of 19 March 2015, Dr Hodes examined the children on 12 September 2014 in the left lateral position as recommended by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Review of 2008. This distinction is important.

In Child P, she found “three linear scars extending almost to the anal verge, as well as anal laxity after 10 seconds of gentle buttock traction”. In this examination, she found no sign of reflex anal dilatation.

In Child Q, she found “one anal fissure scar and no sign of reflex anal dilatation”.

These signs, in and of themselves, did not point specifically to sexual abuse.

However, Dr Hodes decided to conduct re-examinations of the children a few days later, on 16 September. At that time, the children provided graphic details of how they had been sexually abused, including the use of Vaseline on their “bottoms and willies”; they both said they’d experienced bleeding after the abuse, and that they’d been given tissues with which to wipe themselves.

The second examinations were done in the knee-chest position, and in this position Dr Hodes was able to see reflex anal dilatation in one of the children, P; in Q, she confirmed only a scar from a healed anal fissure.

Interestingly, when Dr Hodes took her findings to a peer review meeting in December 2014, she changed her mind about the significance of her original findings, and stated instead that the “previously confirmed fissures” were instead “irregularities in the ruggae” (folds, wrinkles, or ridges) of the anal area. At this time, she described their clinical significance as “possible normal variant”.

It’s hardly surprising that people are confused about Dr Hodes’ findings, which seem to veer from “possible” to “definite” to “possibly not” sexual abuse.

It’s also important to note that most doctors do not involve themselves this heavily in the cases for which they provide forensic examinations.

Dr Hodes not only examined the children twice, but also offered an opinion as to the validity of the children’s retractions, and held a long interview with Ella Draper after the children had retracted their allegations. In this interview, unsurprisingly, Ella reiterated the allegations as though they were true, and stated that RD, and not Abraham Christie, had been responsible for the signs of physical abuse detected in the children (bruises, contusions, ruptured ear drum).

The other troubling issue is that reflex anal dilatation, which Dr Hodes saw only in P, has been discredited as a definite sign of anal sexual abuse. It is seen in about one-third of children who have been anally abused, but it is also seen in up to 49% of non-abused children.

In her written reports, Dr Hodes made it clear that she believed the story the children had told, even after they had retracted it. In other words, she did not conduct her examinations in a neutral, fact-finding fashion, but rather went looking for signs that would confirm what she already believed.

Although her findings basically boiled down to one finding of reflex anal dilatation, which is not in itself diagnostic, Dr Hodes stated her belief that the children’s original claims were true—despite the fact that they were unsupported by evidence, and had been retracted. Even when confronted with the fact that Ella had given the children repeated enemas, and asked whether this would affect her conclusions, Dr Hodes stated that it would not; “it’s another source of trauma”, she said.

This is not the first time that Dr Hodes’ medical judgement has been clouded by her personal beliefs. Here’s a link to a blog post from March 2016, looking at another case in which she tried to use a finding of reflex anal dilatation to bolster a case in which no evidence of child sexual abuse could be found.

2. Why was Dr Hodes’ evidence not used during the investigation to trigger arrests and seizure of phones and computers from those alleged to have abused the children?

On 12 September 2014, DS Fernandez contacted Social Services to obtain the results of Dr Hodes’ first medical examination, but were told that the file had not been updated yet. He then spoke to a social worker involved in the case, and was informed that the medical results were inconclusive in that the injury was not consistent with sexual assault.

Later that day, DS Fernandez spoke with Dr Hodes, who told him that she was alarmed at the accounts from the children, which she believed to be true; Child Q had one scar in his anus which could have been the result of passing waste; Child P had three scars and a degree of laxivity; Child P’s vaginal area was intact; both children claimed a degree of loss of hearing on the left side; and Child Q had a perforated eardrum which might have been caused by Abraham Christie.

The photographs which resulted from Dr Hodes’ second examination of the children were never passed to the police. Her 22 September report was finally handed to police in January 2015, long after the case had been closed.

Based on Dr Hodes’ verbal communication—that while she believed the children’s reports, her medical findings had been inconclusive—the police had no reason to use her medical evidence to advance the case and start making arrests.

stethoscope and medical report

stethoscope and medical report

117 thoughts on “Hoaxtead FAQ: The medical evidence

  1. Excellent work, Mr. C., and very sensitively tackled.

    This screenshot from one of your previous posts speaks volumes:

    http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume1/j1_3_1.htm

    https://hoaxteadresearch.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/why-the-anal-scarring-argument-doesnt-hold-up

    And these are Justice Pauffley’s findings re. Dr. Hodes’ medical “evidence” in full:

    “132. Overall, I feel impelled to observe that the level of Dr Hodes’ involvement in this case was unusual. I remind myself of the several cautionary considerations when a court is considering the contributions made by experts as comprised within Re U; Re B [2004] EWCA Civ 567 – i) The cause of an injury or an episode that cannot be explained scientifically remains equivocal. … iv) The court must always be on guard against the over-dogmatic expert, the expert whose reputation or amour propre is at stake, or the expert who has developed a scientific prejudice.

    133. I was dismayed to find, twenty seven years after the Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland 1987 that Dr Hodes adopted so definite a view as to the likelihood of sexual abuse to which she then adhered notwithstanding several noteworthy contraindications. One of the cardinal messages from Cleveland was as to the importance of multi agency collaboration so as to understand amongst many other things the context in which suspicions arose.

    134. In her very last report, Dr Hodes said that “the current evidence is that prolonged reflex anal dilatation (the finding in P) is associated with anal abuse;” and cited the Royal College of Paediatrics 2008 Review. The Review also reflects, I would observe, that there continues to be a debate about the significance of RAD. It is a sign seen in up to a third of children with a history of anal abuse although it can also be seen in small numbers of children selected for non abuse (the evidence base is very limited and unclear on this).

    135. I was troubled too that the children were subjected to intimate examinations to search for further signs twice in five days. I regret that Dr Hodes was not asked exactly what she hoped to gain by the second examination positioning the children differently. The 2008 Review suggests, arising out of Myrhe’s 2001 study, that there are differences in the muscle tone in the two positions.

    136. I consider it unusual, to say the least, that Ms Draper was invited to discuss her version of the history at a lengthy separate interview with the paediatrician and her SHO at a time when the social work team as well as the police were undertaking inquiries.

    137. I was perturbed that Dr Hodes was prepared to conclude and then confirm the presence of fissures when subsequent peer review resulted in them being described as a normal variant. Similarly, I found it curious that even although the physical signs had reduced in number to a single finding of RAD in P, nonetheless Dr Hodes adhered to her view saying that lubrication was used which “added to the probability of abuse.”

    138. When confronted, in cross examination, with the evidence about Ms Draper’s treatment of the children with enemas, Dr Hodes did not pause before saying, “No, it does not affect my conclusions. It’s another possible cause of trauma.”

    139. I was bemused by Dr Hodes’ suggestion of further psychiatric or psychotherapeutic intervention when she knew that Dr Clare Sturge – one of the leading and most experienced child and adolescent psychiatrists in the country – had already supplied two reports, the first arising out of her assessment of the children after interview.”

    http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/26.html&query=ZC14C00315&method=Boolean

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, SN. The judge really was telling Dr Hodes off, albeit in a judge-like manner. I would hope that this result might keep Dr Hodes from becoming involved in any more cases of child sexual abuse, but I have no evidence one way or another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The public would expect better things from a medical professional and her behaviour just gave the fruitloops something to feed off as they don’t care if something is inaccurate or not as long as it fits their beliefs.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Matthew Scott’s was one of the first really sensible pieces I read on this, shortly after Mrs Justice Pauffley’s judgement was released. I’ve followed his blog ever since.🙂

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    • What I find fishy is the fact that Sabine, who was involved in the Hollie Greigg fiasco, just happened to be a good friend of Ella’s prior to the cult allegations. Ella had been giving her cannabis concoctions (Ella and Abe’s raw hempstars dream cream, LOL). What are the chances? That needs looking into as it implies a conspiracy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t doubt for a second that the hoax – the fraud – was inspired by and concocted with reference to Malcolm Konrad Ogilvy’s failed attempt to frame his partner’s father by a very similar method. Ogilvy of course is directly connected to the Hollie Greig fraud, as is Belinda McKenzie who is McNeill’s known associate, some might say ‘Boss’.

        Nothing fishy or conspiratorial about it at all. This sort of crime is carried out on an ‘industrial scale’ and basis. Draper and Christie were simply waiting inthe wings and ‘up for the part’. – I seem to recall someone comparing it to the production of a ‘show’….. Cast, Director, Executive Producer….. The only question is what script they’re working on now?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think the ‘fishy’ bit could have been one person, say the ‘producer’ of the Hampstead hoax (who was also involved in the Greig hoax), recalling MKO’s tactic and thinking to herself, “Hmm, this could work rather well here! Two pretty blonde children talking about lurid details of sexual abuse, in 16 short videos? We could release them one at a time, build an audience…I foresee a viral sensation!”

          And yes, it would be very interesting to know what script she’s got up her sleeve now. Starchild, Charles 7, and Hollie G. all eventually tanked, and Hoaxtead is moribund. Belinda bears watching.

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  2. Given her track record I’m left asking the question – who called Dr Hodes? And who allowed Dr Hodes to conduct this evidential examination in this way? Yet again we seem to have a situation here which was designed to yield questionable evidence. – Designed to fail.

    Bear in mind here that had there actually been credible evidence of abuse, that too would be open to question given Hodes’ methods/behaviour. In this case Dr Hodes has fuelled a hoax, and the exploitation of those children. In other circumstances she might well have sewn the weak seams in a case such that a child-abuser walks free. I would suggest she was already an unsuitable person to be doing this type of work when she was called in to examine the Hampstead kids. At this stage, if she has a grain of integrity, she should recognise her own unsuitability for this kind of thing and refrain from undertaking any such tasks in future.

    Likewise, law-enforcement professionals and prosecutors should also be wary of her. And I would question the wit and wisdom of anyone or any body supervising an investigation that does not see achieving best evidence as something rather more than a tick-box exercise. – For instance here were the procedural safeguards that might have prevented Dr Hodes’ view being influenced by someone possibly complicit in the alleged abuse?

    Liked by 1 person

      • This is a really excellent question, to which I don’t know the answer. I don’t know the procedure for assigning physicians to cases, but in the judgement, Dr Hodes is introduced this way:

        43. On 12 September, both children were examined by Dr Hodes, a consultant community paediatrician at both the Royal Free Hospital and University College London Hospital.

        I don’t know whether they draw names from a hat, or whether there’s a roster and physicians take whichever cases come up, or whether some bright spark thought that given her prior experience tainting the evidence in a previous case, she’d be a perfect fit for this one.

        In any case her evidence, such as it was, has served as rich fuel to the Hoaxtead mob in the months since, as they are able to claim that it ‘proves’ the original allegations.

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    • I agree, Joe—anyone with integrity would recuse themselves from further work like this.

      However, as Mrs Justice Pauffley rather tartly pointed out, “The court must always be on guard against the over-dogmatic expert, the expert whose reputation or amour propre is at stake, or the expert who has developed a scientific prejudice”.

      As just such an over-dogmatic, over-invested, biased ‘expert’, it’s highly unlikely that Dr Hodes would recognise her own failings, and thus she’d be unlikely to voluntarily step down from such cases. That said, I don’t know what repercussions, if any, she’s suffered from this case, so I don’t want to draw any premature conclusions.

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  3. Why has Dr Hodes not been reprimanded? If I were the father, I might consider whether she has assets and whether a large proportion of the blame, suing her for defamation, might be worthwhile. And yes, in the meantime ‘if she has a grain of integrity’, she should resign from such work, and indeed, offer an apology and restitution to all those who have been affected by her lack of judgement, even amidst criticism from her colleagues. Has anyone thought of complaints procedures, and why should this be up to the public, or her victims, anyway? Should an enquiry not have been triggered after the remarks of a senior Judge? What about public protection?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh she’s ripe for a lawsuit. I’d be ruthless.

      RD has nothing to lose and everything to gain and if I were he I’d be enjoining every God damned one of them to a lawsuit for damages that could be used to ensure his children’s financial future as well as his own.

      Imagine the chaos among the Defendants when some own assets and some are potless. I envisage desperate attempts at a financial settlement before the case went to court.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The quite ludicrous claim that these children were abused by 100s of people and every Wednesday or even other days by dozens of people in swimming pools and such show Hodes’ hysterical claims to be ridiculous.

    That aside, imagine, when they reach the (difficult) age of 14/15 and have to read the inner most personal observations about their bodies spread by these thoroughly evil hoaxers.

    I hope by then some hoaxers are in jail and much of the internet websites have been removed. Surely they have a right under the Right To Be Forgotten ruling to have Google , Facebook etc enforce this EU ruling.

    That would of course mean politicians cracking down on these internet giants who not only leech off the majority of taxpayers but pay lip service to legal rulings and CPS guidelines let alone common decency.
    If ever there was a cause for a politician to seize upon as a crusade even for their own personal publicity reasons, this has to be one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I worry for the children as well. I hope that most if not all of the Hoaxtead mob’s speculations and false allegations will have been removed or made inaccessible by the time the kids are in their teens.

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      • One day in the long distant future, the two kids will reach the age where they start doing their own blogs, videos etc. I wonder whether we’ll ever see some anti-hoaxer rhetoric from them. Give me a call in 10 years time – this could get interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Is Dr Hodes still employed, and by whom? I remember NHS headed paper being involved in her medical opinion, ie she was very probably employed by NHS team called upon by the police when cases necessitating such examination of children arise.

    Is Hodes still operating in her former role? Seems like there could be reason to re-examine all the cases Hodes has ever contributed to, in a substantial way, or given her ‘expert’ opinion on, that could have had grievous consequences on innocent parties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I knew the answer to these questions. And yes, it seems to me as well that if her ‘expert’ opinion has helped convict others, it would be wise to re-examine those cases in light of this one, as well as the previous in which she allowed her personal beliefs to interfere with her professional duties.

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  6. I think Dr Hodes may be guilty of believing her own hype and agree with Pauffley that she went beyond her remit. Though there is debate in the medical field whether doctors should get so involved in such cases. With some doctors believing that the examiner should purely view the person/child and report what they see, while others believe the doctor should be taking histories and any other information they deem relevant.

    I can see value in both. Just reporting what they see would make it less likely that their subjective opinion could influence a court/police into making the wrong decision. Having said that, Dr Hodes did take some valuable information when it came to the injuries caused by Abe.

    I can also to some extent understand why she would take her position in court. Judges, prosecutors, defence and jurors all want something as concrete as DNA, which a medical examination can never provide. If she said that no abuse took place, and it turned out they were abused, she would face huge criticism. However, if she sticks with ‘the allegations should be taken seriously and are possibly true (not exact quote)’, she is covered either way. Any wrong decision would be the blame of the court, because she is not saying abuse definitely took place and is not saying abuse definitely didn’t take place. It’s therefore inviting for any medical examiner to place the burden of responsibility on the court, by saying that abuse could very well have taken place, but it’s up to the court to decide whether it did or not. Being the person that failed to recognise abuse is worse than being the person that told the court to take the allegations very seriously, and the judge got it wrong. At least in the eyes of the examiner.

    I think it’s also important to remember that Dr Hodes opinion on her findings were an opinion on the chances of sexual abuse occurring. Not her opinion on the chances of a wide spread satanic cult. For all we know she may have had suspicions that Abraham had done something to the children, having seen the other injuries he had caused. And wanted the court to take the allegations of sexual abuse seriously, not necessarily who they said abused them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I take your point, Dave, and I agree that it would be very wrong to view the alleged victim of rape as merely a thing to be examined and reported upon. I also agree that her other medical findings were useful in building the picture of what actually happened to the children while they were in Morocco with their mother and her boyfriend.

      Where I call Dr Hodes’ methods into question, though, is in her apparent over-involvement in the case: the fact that she saw fit to subject the children to two such examinations in the space of a few days, that she clung to the idea that RAD is in fact diagnostic of anal rape, and that this is not the first time she’s done this all seem to me to point to something more serious than just ‘trying to get it right’.

      There’s a difference between taking allegations seriously, which should always happen unless there are very compelling reasons not to, and believing all allegations and trying to find evidence to back up one’s beliefs. In my opinion, Dr Hodes took the latter course.

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      • The fact she tagged on the statistics relating to child retractions does imply she was letting her own opinion cloud her judgement. I guess that highlights one of the problems with all examiners like this. They maybe brilliant at identifying fissures, scars, RAD…etc (though there are even questions concerning Hodes ability to do that), but that doesn’t make them good judges of character, context, plausibility and probability.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that Dr. Hodes actually believes in the diagnostic value of RAD, despite the evidence against it as a confirming sign, and is thus neither scientific nor impartial when examining children for signs of sexual abuse. That she saw fit to intimately examine the children twice, whilst believing that they were the victims of severe, long-term sexual abuse is very disturbing. I would like to know her motivation here, since to me, it looks like she didn’t get enough evidence to fit her preconceptions about RAD first time and was hoping for another result second time round.

    Either way, it is unsettling to think that someone who could decide, on the basis on a discredited diagnostic (and evidence of another possible cause), that a child had been sexually abused.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One thing that seems endemic with the hoaxers is a great inability to speak the truth or to tell anything with accuracy.

    A good example of this is Neelu’s latest post about Sabines friend Maurice kirk.

    The “kidnap” was simply an arrest.

    The “caravan” was in fact a dangerously loaded and defective trailer. The car was seized as it was not insured.

    From the local paper (published today)

    http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/14800309.Flying_vet_appears_in_court/?ref=mr&lp=1

    “CHARGED: 71-year-old Maurice Kirk appeared in Taunton Magistrates Court after being charged on two driving offences by police

    FLYING vet Maurice Kirk has appeared in Taunton Magistrates Court today (October 13) after he was arrested yesterday outside the Market House.

    Police charged the 71-year-old with “driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence” and “using a motor vehicle without insurance”.

    When asked to confirm in court if his address was Llantwit Major, a town in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, Mr Kirk said he would rather not as there were “more pressing things” to discuss.

    Mr Kirk, who appeared in court after being held in custody overnight, did not enter a plea and the case was adjourned until October 26 at 10am.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why doesn’t the old goat just pay his damned insurance so all drivers are protected if injured during an accident?
      How many others were arrested for the same offense that day? I expect several and probably dozens every week all over the country.

      Why do these ratbags persistently moan and screech about this one repeat offender when 1000s every year are done for traffic offences?. They aren’t very consistent are they?

      I get pissed off with these Freeman loonies who love to break laws which are in place to protect all of us. The rotten scroungers get into cars which are a lethal weapon and the only reason that car doesn’t burst into flames and grill their idiotic brains & bodies is because legislation forces manufacturers to adhere to certain standards of safety.

      And this galoot has a pilot’s license ! If I lived near him I’d be terrified a wing would drop off and plunge through my roof. Congratulations to Taunton police for being on the ball and keeping us all safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh no.In a desperate attempt for more cash Angie has lured some unsuspecting youngster to share her apartment.The mother of said flatmate is “big in child protection”, what has the poor boy done to deserve this fate?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Angie pleading for folk to send her confidential disclosures she can share.

    Someone called Aaron Folkstone seems to have gotten her goat.Her mentioning Cliff Richards case being dropped must have caused some cognitive dissonance.Honestly she is all over the shop tonight and effectively talking to herself out of her arse.Nothing new there mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am surprised the good people of Oldcastle have not had a whip round to keep her out in Lanzerote.I am sure the local Garda and her kids would happily chuck in the pot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Open challenge to Angie: SHOW US THE BLOODY SCREENSHOTS!

      It’s academic anyway, as she says that death threats are ok. At least they are when they come from Quaintance, Dover and her other creepy mates.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Angela Power-Disney couldn’t lie straight in bed. Like all sociopaths when collared for their blatant and persistent lies they feel no shame whatsoever and simply carry on regardless often using one lie to cover up for the previous one. Donald Trump is a classic example as a serial liar who denies his lies even when there is recorded proof on film.

    As for this charlatan claiming she checks two sources, she is an insult to genuine investigative journalists who do no such thing as “two sources” means sod all. What real journos do is get out of their house and pound the streets, not simply surf the internet. You don’t need to go far in Power-Disney’s timeline to find porkies:

    Snopes busted this tale ages ago as coming from a fake news and ‘satirical’ website called Scooper. What a chucklehead phony she is
    http://www.snopes.com/uncounted-sanders-ballots-clinton/

    Liked by 1 person

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