Originally published on www.richardfelstead.com June 20, 2011.
Daniel Foggo – Published: 12 June 2011. Copyright ‘The Sunday Times‘, 2011. If you wish to reproduce extracts from it please place the relevant copyright notice with it. The article is a slightly edited version of the one printed in the first edition of ‘The Sunday Times’ for that day, and has some sentences removed which neither add to nor detract from the story.
Bear in mind when reading the article that no police investigations of the Felstead family ever took place, at any time; no court case ever took place, at any time; and that no series of attacks at the hands of Tory politicians, at Conservative Party Headquarters, ever took place, at any time. Nor was a childhood friend killed in front her, nor was her social worker murdered by an escaped lunatic. Carol’s delusions were unquestionably created by the therapy she received at the hands of callous, unprincipled doctors who projected their fantasies onto her for their own warped ends. It can now be proven without a shadow of a doubt that Carol was perfectly healthy, both physically and mentally, before she received medical treatment, and that the impossible fantasies imposed on her by her treating doctors while under the influence of massively powerful, mind-altering drugs, was nothing less than brainwashing. The end result of which was illness, depression, psychological disturbance, and early death. – Richard Felstead.
A woman whose death in 2005 remains a mystery had her wild beliefs of abuse nurtured by her doctors, say her family.
A family have described how their daughter’s life went into terminal decline after she was treated by psychiatrists and doctors who fostered false beliefs in her mind that she was the victim of satanic abuse.
Carole Myers was treated for 20 years by experts — including a former head of ethics for the British Medical Association (BMA) — yet the family say her deluded claims went unchallenged. She even alleged she had been abused at Conservative Central Office by two former cabinet ministers.
Myers eventually died at 41 in mysterious circumstances. A report by a Scotland Yard officer, Detective Sergeant Grant Lander, stated that he found it “quite incredible” that the satanic abuse claims were taken at face value by experts when they were demonstrably untrue.
Her case has alarming parallels with the satanic abuse cases of the late 1980s and early 1990s in Cleveland, Orkney, Rochdale and Nottingham — where parents were separated from their children on the basis of uncorroborated claims from self-professed victims of ritual exploitation.
Since Carole’s death in 2005, her parents and brothers have pieced together much of her medical history and the murky events surrounding her death.
Carole was registered as mentally ill for the last 13 years of her life, and she first expressed her claims of ritual abuse only after she was given therapy to recover “lost” — in reality, false — memories.
Her family are directing much of their ire at Dr Fleur Fisher, 75, head of ethics at the BMA from 1991 to 1996, who treated Carole for psychological problems in the mid-1980s. As well as referring her to other experts, Fisher, an expert in healthcare ethics, struck up a close friendship with her.
It was Fisher who rang 999 on June 29, 2005, while on a train to Manchester, to ask police to check on Carole’s wellbeing.
An hour and a half later Carole had been pronounced dead. She was found lying naked from the waist down in her flat in Wandsworth, south London, surrounded by medication. Questions remain over how she died, because there were no dangerous levels of drugs in her system.
Fisher began making arrangements for Carole’s cremation. She told police and the coroner’s office that she was Carole’s next of kin, and handed over a document purportedly written by her late patient detailing her childhood history of alleged family abuse.
It claimed Carole had been satanically abused “in every way conceivable or imaginable” by her family, who had supposedly also killed her sister and placed Carole on top of the body; set the family house on fire, and also murdered Carole’s own children by ritual sacrifice. There is no independent evidence that Carole had children. It is possible that Carole’s account drew on a series of real life family tragedies that took place before she was born. Her fifth brother was stillborn; her baby sister died a natural death from a hole in the heart, and there was also a fire at the family home.
Fisher temporarily took Carole’s car after her death, calling the insurers to tell them she had been her “unofficial daughter” and asking to be insured to drive it so that she could get to her Devon home as the train system was in chaos. Fisher also cleared Carole’s flat of her possessions, giving them to the Salvation Army.
Carole’s family have since obtained a tape recording of a call made by Fisher to the insurers in which she claimed that Carole had been subjected to “brutal family abuse over many years”. When asked what should be done with the £357 refund on the policy, Fisher asked it to be sent to her in order to help pay for Carole’s funeral.
Carole’s father, Joseph Felstead, a 68-year-old retired engineer from Stockport, his wife Joan, and their sons, Kevin, David, Anthony and Richard, heard of her death only when the coroner’s office rang the day before the planned cremation.
They had no inkling of the gathering crisis that had swallowed up Carole over 20 years. “Carole had been a lively, happy child,” said her father. “She qualified as a nurse and then left home and eventually moved south to pursue her career. Her contact with the rest of the family became less, perhaps twice a year, but we thought it was because she was so busy.”
Her medical files show that by 1986 Carole was seeing Fisher for “psychosexual counselling”. A succession of psychiatric professionals, many of whom believed in the existence of ritual abuse, went on to deal with her.
By 1998, Carole Myers, who had changed her name by deed poll from her birth name of Carol Felstead, had succumbed to even more extreme delusions.
She talked of her parents as being high priest and high priestess of a satanic cult, stating that they had stabbed her sister to death at the age of 10. She claimed a friend she had confided in as a teenager was murdered by the cult in front of her, and that she had been regularly fed urine and faeces. In 1999 she told one consultant psychologist that two Conservative former cabinet ministers had satanically abused her at party headquarters.
Over the years Fisher remained heavily involved with Carole as a friend, often accompanying her to medical appointments.
The week before she died, Carole suddenly contacted her younger brother, Richard, saying she wanted to come back to her family in Stockport. She never made it. Richard wrote a letter to his sister on June 29, the day she was found dead. This was found by Fisher and given to the Coroner’s Office, who called Richard on July 14.
Carole’s parents, who until then had known nothing of Carole’s medical history, stopped the cremation — she was later buried — and only then found out about the allegations Carole had made against them. “That led to a great unravelling while we pieced it all together,” said Joseph Felstead.
To his horror, Felstead found that he and his wife, who died last year, were logged on the Metropolitan police computer system as having stood trial for satanic abuse in Manchester in 1990, another of Carole’s unsubstantiated claims.
She had made an allegation that year to police in Manchester about abuse, which officers had discounted without ever contacting her family. After a complaint was made against her by Felstead, Fisher was questioned under
caution in 2009 about her attempt to assume control over Carole’s body and estate. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute, as it would have been difficult to show dishonest intent.
However, in a report that was sent to the family, the investigating officer, Lander, wrote: “I find it quite incredible that Dr Fisher seemed to take everything Carole told her on face value.
“The reviewing lawyer from the CPS notes that this seems to have had a snowball effect, and the other professionals seem to have accepted what was said by Carole and what was recorded in her medical notes.”
Adding that there was no evidence that Carole’s family had ever abused her, he said: “The relationship Dr Fisher developed with Carole in my opinion was misguided.” Joseph Felstead said: “We want answers. My late wife did not even know how her daughter died.”
Fisher said she had acted in good faith. “Carole went to great lengths to distance herself from her family,” she said, including changing her name. Fisher said that Carole had “no knowledge” of any ritual abuse when she first saw her.