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DOC 'DRUGGED CHILDREN AND ABUSED THEM' Hospital chief alleged to have injected 'truth serum'.

Byline: ISAAC CROWSON Special Correspondent

POLICE are investigating 58 allegations of abuse against a late doctor at Aston Hall Hospital where child patients were drugged and thrown into padded cells.

A string of allegations has been made against the now closed children's hospital near Derby and its boss Dr Kenneth Milner, who died 41 years ago.

The psychiatrist and hospital chief superintendent is alleged to have injected children with the 'truth serum' sodium amytal before sexually abusing them.

Dozens have said that Milner, who had worked at Broadmoor and Rampton Hospital before going to Aston Hall between 1947 and 1975, was trying to "normalise" naughty children. He died in 1976 just one year after he left the institution. Police launched Operation Hydrant with health and social workers to investigate the abuse claims.

Now, police confirm they were investing 58 allegations of abuse against Milner - with more potential victims coming forward.

In a letter to the alleged victims, Derbyshire Police said they have recorded "58 crimes regarding various offences involving the actions of Dr Milner and treatment at Aston Hall".

It adds: "We are continuing to see further individuals coming forward. We also have a large amount of information regarding previous staff members.

"This is being reviewed. We will then make a decision as to which staff members will be approached by the investigations team. We are in possession of a report regarding the practices at Aston Hall. Based on this, we are currently in the process of recording various crime types in relation to accounts given by former residents.

"Once we are satisfied all accounts have been obtained, we will prepare a report for the Crown Prosecution Service."

David Martin, 55, says he was abused twice by Dr Milner at Aston Hall while aged just 12 and 13 - and even on his very first day at the hospital.

The dad-of-five said: "I was kicking and screaming on my way to Aston Hall. I remember being with some people from social services.

"When I was there, I was grabbed and put in a cell. That night Dr Milner and two nurses came into the cell. He gave me an injection and put a mask on me when I was tied down. He then gave me ether. But after that I don't remember what happened. It made me go to sleep.

"I was experimented on while I was asleep. It happened to me twice and it was wrong.

"I was never perfect and I did get in trouble - but there was nothing wrong with me."

Another alleged victim, Trevor Bell, 62, says he was forced to take drugs when he was 13 after Milner labelled him an "uncontrollable child".

Mr Bell, who now lives in Sydney, had been in and out of care homes since the age of two.

"When I first went in I thought it was going to be just another home," he said. "But it wasn't. I couldn't run away from this one.

"I met Dr Milner on my second day and he explained about my treatment. He called it narco analysis but it was sodium amytal. They stripped me, put me in a white padded room.

"They gave me an injection, then put a pad over my face, covering everything except my nose. Then he poured ether on my face.

"They said they wanted to find out where things had gone wrong when I was a kid, why I was misbehaving. I was 13 years old. I didn't understand a thing."

Trevor is now working with a lawyer to gain access to his medical records.

Sodium amytal is a strong barbiturate described as a "truth serum" because it makes the recipient lose all inhibitions. Dozens of former patients have made allegations of sexual abuse.

Amanda Solloway, MP for Derby North, who has raised the issue in Parliament, said: "I think it's very important that this has come in the public domain and the update from the police shows that anybody who was ever abused at any point in their life should feel confident to come forward because it will be taken seriously."

CAPTION(S):

| David Martin says he was abused whilst in care at Aston Hall, above

| Kenneth Milner, who has been accused of using drugs to experiment on children at Aston Hall hospital. He is now dead
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 16, 2017
Words:720
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