The Crown Court
Quayside Newcastle Upon Tyne
21st March 2002
JUDGE WHITBURN: Penelope Mellor, please stand.
“Penelope Mellor, you were convicted by a jury of a wicked conspiracy to abduct [XXXX] in February 1999. A woman of ability, determination and tenacity, you have been a self-appointed advocate for those, amongst others, whose children are taken into care on the basis of what was known as Munchausens Syndrome By Proxy, now known as Fictitious Illness Syndrome.
Your view, expressed to the Jury, was that this was a misdiagnosis, designed to cover up medical negligence. Impervious to debate, convinced you are right, you have traduced, complained about and harried dedicated professional people working in this difficult area. I do not punish you for that, let me make it clear, however tiresome and eccentric your views are, the toleration afforded to you who expressed them, by those who hear them, is part of the price we gladly pay for living in a liberal democracy.”
It is not part of a price that registered medical practitioners gladly pay for self-regulation of the profession, or regulation of the profession, which is what the GMC’s sole source of income for carrying out its statutory duties is. Ms Mellor should receive no expenses nor other funding from the GMC.