Mental Health Social Stigma: Disability Hate Crime in Caldicot
I was first locked inside St Cadoc’s Hospital under Section of the Mental Health Act on 2nd April 1997. As horrific as experiences inside a mental hospital can be, once you are released back into the community things can be equally horrific if not more so.
In the 22 years of non-consensual Mental Health treatment I have received for a misdiagnosed condition, I have never once disrupted or hurt any individual or group either in the community or inside the hospitals. I have a zero criminal record that I am very proud of.
I can remember after a couple of months in hospital in 1997, finally getting out, and making a mad dash for the local pub. Before I went into hospital as a successful DJ and party promoter I had a very good standing in the community and a lot of respect. I loved my hometown of Caldicot with all my heart.
As I walked into the Haywain for a much-needed pint, the place went silent. Everyone was just staring at me. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone, even those closest to you and even those who have always tried to treat me the same as they always have before and after 02.04.97, do treat you differently. I’ve learnt to deal with it in my own way over the years.
The public perception of mental illness is really bizarre. I blame tabloids covering horror stories of schizophrenic knife attacks or banging on about famous Broadmoor prisoners such as the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.
The facts are that a diagnosed schizophrenic is less likely to commit a violent crime than a member of the general public and they are more likely to be the victim of crime.
Social stigma is a weird thing. As the years have progressed and the popularity of mental health has entered the mainstream, people are, in general, more accepting and less judgemental. However, you find it really strange talking to people. They sort of gaze at you, look through you and you can see their minds wandering off as you talk. They believe that anything that is emitted from your mouth is lunacy and insanity. You can’t strike up a sensible conversation with somebody who is doing this. They might interrupt and say the common phrase, ‘Oh, and how are you in yourself?’ I love that question – I just say ‘ well, it’s been a while since I’ve been in someone else but I guess I’m doing OK inside me.’
I’ve never actually heard a schizophrenic voice in my life. I don’t know what mental illness is, but by heck do I know the social stigma of mental illness. People with prams will cross the street. People you’ve known all your life will walk blindly past you. You’ll openly get abuse – disability discrimination if you like, in the pub, in the shops, in your own home. People have their own ideas on mental health and judge accordingly. Again, I stipulate, there is a difference between thought crime and reality. I’d rather be judged by my own actions and not by public perception of possible actions. Gwent Police have been one of the worst perpetuators of mental health discrimination against me, using extreme violence and brutality, including shooting me through my letterbox with a taser. The information shared around is often so false and far from reality it is shocking – and there is very little you can do to combat the paint with which you are tarnished.
In this article I want to demonstrate just one example of an incident of the sort of nonsense that a psychiatric survivor can expect from the community on discharge from hospital. It’s quite controversial and I post it here only really as a last resort, having completely exhausted all other avenues of justice.
I lived in my old council flat for 16 years. I’d got the flat with my ex partner Nicola and we had made it our home together after originally meeting within the mental health system in 2002. Our relationship had turned sour over the past few years and we had split up. At the old Oakley Close address during the past decade or so I had experienced some rather nasty police operations against me where they had shot me, sent riot police, regularly cuffed me and on a section event there would be maybe 50 or so police officers rammed into the cul-de-sac, all operating extra-judicially and illegally in the manner in which they dealt with me. Plenty of examples of this can be noted in many previous End Of Terror articles.
At the moment there are big refurbishments in all the flats in my local area. Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA), the landlords, have been moving people from property to property so that they can do the necessary works to bring the housing stock up to spec. I had planned on staying put, but MHA housing officer, Terry Maccoll and his sidekick, Holly, made me an offer of moving slightly up the road to a fully refurbished flat in Oakley Way, on the ground floor (instead of middle floor) and with carpet throughout, wooden floors, new bathroom and kitchen. They were supposed to be giving me a big cash injection also to assist with the move. I agreed and as nervous as I was, I set about moving home for the first time in 16 years. The neighbours in my old block of flats were wonderful – I had nicknamed the communal back garden ‘Alton Towers’, all the lovely work they had put in to turn it into an adventure playground for their children. I was going to be sad leaving this bunch of neighbours behind and just hoped that I’d get lucky and that the new neighbours would be OK.
I was waiting for a move date to get into my new property. MHA workmen were hard at making changes to the ‘new’ flat. MHA said that I had a month to wait. I went down to my local pub with my mate Connor one Saturday night for a few sherbets. As I arrived one of the neighbours in the new block was sat outside on the beer garden benches. Lee Lines (Leanne Thomas – also uses name Bull) was three sheets to the wind already. As we approached she started screaming at me: ‘Oh, by the way Wez you aren’t moving into the new flat. The move has been cancelled by MHA and Gwent Police as you are a convicted child sex offender and there are children living in the new block’. My mate Connor saw me starting to rage and just immediately said ‘calm down Wez, ignore it’. I actually listened and heeded the advice. I thought right, I want to know what your snide little plans are, woman.
I’d met Lee Lines a few years ago via a mutual friend. She had come down to my flat as she was experiencing serious mental health issues that weren’t being dealt with by the State services and one of the things I do through End Of Terror, is give advice and help to those in need. I’d had to delete her from my social media shortly afterwards due to a separate hate crime incident involving mental health in the same local pub. Lee was supporting her alcoholic friend who had launched into me with some rather nasty hate crime malice. I’ve learnt in the age of social media that at the first sign of trouble, just get rid of the links to these people and forget about them.
I’d recently been chatting to Leanne and had re-added her on Facebook. She passed the coffee shop where I go most mornings during her daily work routine. She was now a delivery driver for My Hermes and also she had delivered me an Indian takeaway from one of the local restaurants. She seemed to be a bit more well-balanced. She was one of two ladies that I already knew at the new MHA address.
I immediately explained to Leeanne that I wasn’t a convicted child sex offender. I had no criminal convictions at all. I said to her that should she wish to check this she could do so using either Sarah’s Law or Clare’s Law which reveals any child sex convictions of somebody or their domestic abuse history. I explained to Leeanne that I had in fact spent a long time working for both Newport and Monmouthshire councils as a government appointed DJ teacher, working with thousands of local kids and that nothing had flagged during that time. I asked her how she had obtained this information. She said that they had arranged a petition and that MHA had agreed that I couldn’t move in. She said clearly at that point that she had the full backing of MHA and Gwent Police. I knew that I’d have to check this myself and was a bit annoyed. I thought I’d find out where she was coming from exactly and sound her out. It’s nice to learn as much as possible about your enemies. I was stone cold sober and she was pissed so I sat and pretended to be friendly and bypass the child sex comment. (which half the pub had heard)
Within ten minutes she was openly boasting to me how her father was in the nonce wing of a jail where he was serving a massive sentence for serious child sex offences. She said that he was top dog in the nonce wing and ran a big paedophile ring from there. I just looked dumbfounded at Leeanne not quite believing what she was saying. She could see I had some doubts and as if to verify the proud tale that she was recounting, she called over her mother who was also drinking in the pub (Maria Lines) and said ‘Mum, Wez doesn’t believe the story I’m telling him about Dad’. Her mother sat down and as proud as Leeanne started telling me about how she had married a big nonce and that everything Leeanne had said was true. I thought, yeah. Class, I guess that explains why you’re having these fantasies about me….
Later at the bar, Leeanne was absolutely wrecked. She’d had a big fight with her female drug dealer business partner, a brutal massive argument followed by fisticuffs. She had been boasting about how she racked up 500 miles a day in her vehicle whilst delivering speed (amphetamines) all over South Wales. Leeanne leaned over to me at the bar and said how clinically suicidally depressed she was. I said’ but you seem to be doing well, you’ve got a normal job with My Hermes and seem to be getting on with life.’ She said that she aimed to purchase a shotgun and to blow her own head off in her flat. I really started worrying about just how much of a nightmare this new neighbour was going to actually be. She managed to cop off and pull another local DJ and took him home. She later accused him of raping her and has systematically set out to ruin his life in the same way in which she has set out to ruin mine.
The following day I reported the matter to Terry Maccoll and MHA and they denied all knowledge and said that they had nothing to do with situation and that the move was going ahead as planned. A month later and with much stress and effort I moved into new flat.
I was just starting to settle in – must have arrived on about the Thursday or Friday. On Saturday night I was just on my own, chilling in my dressing gown. At about 3am there was a wild bashing on the door. I thought ‘Oh Fuck, here we go, Heddlu already….’ And went to open door. Leanne was there, totally wrecked with two local blokes, also drunk. She started waving her hands and was right in my face, threatening me with physical violence. She said how I wasn’t welcome, that I’d abused kids, that I had to do something to stop the stream of underage girls into my new flat and that I was running a youth club there. She said that all the neighbours were united in complaining about my illicit child sex activities. I don’t hit women and never have done. I was just eyeing up the two blokes and was just about to batter them for having the cheek to show up at my front door at that time supporting this nonsense from a clearly deluded woman with family ties up to her neck in the world of child sex offending. The guys seemed to recognise that I was rather unhappy with situation and calmed Leanne down. I shut front door and they fucked off. The next day I went out to coffee shop and on the way managed to bump into one of the blokes from previous night and had it out with him on street and to be fair to him he apologised.
I reported this matter to MHA immediately and they said that they would investigate. At this point I removed all social media contact with Leeanne. (Lee Lines). Through mutual friends of ours I became aware that over the next three days she ran a direct frontal assault on me on social media, explaining to her thousands of friends about her beliefs about me. I started getting private messages in their droves and loads of people started coming up to me in street and pub to explain what they had been hearing. It was obviously not going to go away. I was struggling to piece together as much evidence as possible on the situation as I was pretty sure that for any court case I’d need as much ammo as possible. I am completely innocent of all accusations and can’t, with the businesses and life I have, afford such vile libel and slander.
I let my own social media audience know as much as possible about what is going on. I didn’t really want to be promoting the sort of slurs she was making as when mud is chucked some does stick and the crimes were so vile. I thought ultimately it’s got to be a police matter but was reluctant to go to Gwent Police as I am at war with them as an organisation and I know how useless they are and that they actually support paedophiles (See Dr Darryl Watts). I sent as much evidence to MHA, Terry Maccoll and met with him and Holly. I wanted an injunction served immediately on Leanne to try and nip it all in bud and prevent a continuance of harassment of me in my home. MHA said that there wasn’t enough evidence and they sent her a warning letter but that was it. As the case has built and evidence started to pile up, I’ve been sending them everything and they just refuse to act. They have said that eventually if I collect enough evidence that they will serve a second warning but that they won’t be considering an injunction for quite some time. What is happening is a clear breach of the MHA tenancy agreement and is illegal. MHA are therefore backing crime and antisocial behaviour. They had managed to serve an inunction on me at my old address for no reason at all so I know exactly what powers they have.
The matter soon became the talk of the town and hundreds of people were coming up to me and chatting about it. She had been running a slick social media campaign and was clearly well ahead in the war that she had started. She told her ex boyfriend, Karl Guscott) Karl Williams that I had tried to poison his dog. I had history with Karl as he was an old neighbour and after his ex missus turned up on my doorstep in her knickers one night, covered head to toe in blood, after a domestic assault, I had gone to court as a witness in his trial. He’d been harbouring vengeance for some time. He rang me and threatened to murder me in my bed and then after I hung up as I was in a restaurant in Cardiff he proceeded to detail his little threats. I told him straight that I had no idea what he was on about and that it was probably Lee Lines behind the whole story. She has also been claiming that I have threatened to stab her which is complete nonsense. I tried getting Karl done for ‘Threats to Kill’ but Gwent Police were having none of it.
Leeanne claimed that I’d assaulted a local 19 year old friend in my flat and started spreading rumours to that effect. I told the lady in question what was being done so that she could sort it out her own way. At this point Leeanne started using her own children as bait. She said that I had raped all 5 of her kids. I knew she had a 19 year old daughter (Abbie Bull) who I had seen with her at the coffee shop. She said that I was standing naked in my flat, wolfwhistling at Abbie every time she goes past, that I’d attacked her sexually and that I’d raped her plus all of her brothers and sisters. I can’t wolfwhistle as I am missing two front teeth and it’s just a complete cock and bull story. After about a month of her banging on about the rape of her children I learnt that in fact her children don’t even live with her as they are all in the care of social services and had been taken off her. This is where I really started to see how insane she was. Apparently she was shortly due to be getting her kids back from care and moving in with her. Having been openly accused of raping these children who I’d never seen or met I thought the last thing I want is to have them living in the same block so I registered a complaint with the child duty team at Monmouthshire Social Services. I’d already informed the mental health teams about Leeanne and suggested that she was severely mentally ill and required treatment but again, this was ignored.
Leanne was the local delivery driver for courier company, My Hermes (Hermes Europe). My parcels from My Hermes and indeed Amazon and Ebay all started disappearing. I had evidence that they were initially being signed for at her address, then they were falsely being signed for at my address under false names. I lost about £200 worth of goods and had to contact all the delivery companies I use on the internet to explain about the thieving nuisance neighbour. I wrote 4-5 emails in detail to the head of Hermes Europe, CEO Martijn De Lange. I wanted to let him know what sort of trash he was employing. I’ve managed to be speaking back and for to about ten different people within the My Hermes complaints department and they have asked to be kept in the loop about any developments although at this point they have retained Leanne in her work position.
I haven’t contacted the curry house she works for yet. I do think that she is a clear and present danger to the public.
I managed to catch her on video as she drove home from work the one day. She was screaming at me from the street, in front of a guest of mine who had just left. She said how blah de blah I was this and that and that she had full backing of Gwent Police who were going to arrest and assault me and that she had housing (MHA) totally on her side. She also said, rather more chillingly, that she had a gang of about 30 male vigilantes who wanted to assault me due to what I had done. I mean having this sort of shit said about you will anger people even if it is all nonsense.
One thing that really pissed me off was that I had started taking a local lady out. We’d been for a meal and on her first visit to my flat she was intercepted at the front door by Leanne and her daughter, Abbie, and told how she shouldn’t enter as I was a convicted child sex offender. That relationship was ruined. I realise that while I live here I’m going to have to continue dealing with this vile sick woman and that I will have to take into consideration all of her actions. One thing MHA did do was board up my letterbox and install an external postbox so that I couldn’t be attacked from that angle by Leanne.
Eventually after waiting a month after submitting evidence and reporting it to them I met with Gwent Police. I told them everything that I mention in this article. I provided about 8 emails rammed full of attachments of evidence. After a one and a half hour grilling I was just threatened by the police officer for raising my voice. He said that no crime whatsoever had been committed and that there would be NFA (No Further Action) He wasn’t even interested in the paedophile ring being run by her nonce father or the serious amphetamine dealing. Not crimes to Gwent Police. They went on the record several years ago telling me officially that they no longer tackle crime in this area, just deal with ‘vulnerable people’.
MHA have also regarded the matter as a closed case and will not be pursuing anything.
This leaves me to crack on and as the crime escalates on a daily basis I shall just have to learn to live with it. She has empowered the community. Her mother screams ‘dickhead’ at me and tells me I’m going to be sorted when I sit at the local coffee shop. Her son has now started having a pop on social media even if I don’t know who he is. I’ve had to cull all her supporters from my own social media. The neighbour in flat above me blames me entirely for whole saga and says I started it as soon as I moved in. I had all my business posts about Dragon Translate language teaching banned from the Caldicot Community Facebook group as it is seen as a non welcome business in this town due to the allegations being made.
I can sleep easy knowing that I have not committed these crimes. As the end of the day, it’s obviously gained Leeanne much popularity around the town and furthered the social stigma hatred against me due to public perceptions of mental health. I would question her supporters’ integrity and suggest that they are in fact supporting serious child sex offenders by listening and acting on Leeanne’s lies. I don’t think that it portrays Caldicot in the best of lights really. I denounce the whole group involved in persecuting me as ‘The Caldirot Nonce Mafia’. I’m pretty sure they’ll move on eventually and target other people.
Eventually I shall have to take up civil litigation about the whole issue and am currently researching this as the Criminal Justice System and Landlords are so obviously supporting the crimes and not doing their jobs properly. I have other issues being raised with both bodies through their persistent involvement in my mental health situation and will use this whole incident as further ammunition in the war that I wage with them in my quest for justice.
I’ve got a police complaint in about incident which will soon hopefully be raised out of local area and sent to IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) . I’ve also written to MHA chief executive John Keegan who has ignored me so far. I will be writing an official complaint about MHA. I have various other external bodies also addressing the situation.
Social stigma can be a lot more damaging and hurtful to a patient and in the community life can be an awful lot more difficult and lonely than even inside the locked wards of the Mental Hospitals.
I’ll keep this post updated with any new developments.