Margaret Fleming

This woman probably died in 1999. That’s when she was last seen by her GP and by anyone at all who wasn’t her carer. Until 2016 NO ONE NOTICED. Margaret had learning disabilities. Her carers claimed benefits on her behalf until 2016 when benefits officials FINALLY paid a visit to her home. Her carers, I use the term loosely, claimed she was at the house in 2017 and ran off when police arrived to search for her. They’ve now been convicted of her murder. This report and image come from the Scottish Daily Record, but it’s not the only instance … Continue reading Margaret Fleming

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Michael Gilbert, murdered by the people he lived with

This is the man whose name I could not find. It was on a news item that preceded a programme I had recorded and I am relieved that I did not imagine it but horrified that the details were far worse than I had thought. here are some quotes from the newspaper: ‘Michael Gilbert, 26, was used as a ‘dogsbody and slave’, shackled to a bed and attacked by the group’s pet pit bulls.’ ‘Mr Gilbert finally died after a new form of torture was devised, involving members of the family jumping on his stomach.’ ‘They then hacked his corpse … Continue reading Michael Gilbert, murdered by the people he lived with

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Vulnerable Victims: a new page to record our shameful society

People with learning disabilities used to be unseen members of our communities, hidden away in institutions with no voice and little contact with their more advantaged neighbours. The changes in philosophy that came with Wolfensberger’s ‘Normalisation’ thrust in the early 1980s led to closure of institutions and the end of inappropriate incarceration for people whose only ‘fault’ was one of intellectual limitation. I have worked in some of those institutions and I have also worked in services at the leading edge of change. In the 21st century, it is the norm for people to live as independently as possible with … Continue reading Vulnerable Victims: a new page to record our shameful society

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Another man with learning disabilities murdered

The news item appeared a couple of days ago. It reported on the perpetrators of years of abuse and dreadful attacks made on a vulnerable man who was unable to defend himself. This family had taken him in when he was homeless but not, it seems, for his care and protection, more to meet their own needs for a servant who could be scapegoated and beaten for amusement. The Court was shown mobile phone footage of this man being hit in the face, seeing the blows coming but having neither the wit nor the will to protect himself. He died, … Continue reading Another man with learning disabilities murdered

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