snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Crime » Hysterical mob attacks pediatrician?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Hysterical mob attacks pediatrician?
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 88 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Comment: In the UK it is "common knowledge" that during the
child-abuse/paedophilia hysteria of the late 90's, early 00's, a gang of
vigilantes (frequently said to be in Portsmouth, scene of a very nasty
child sex-murder) attacked the home of a paediatrician in the mistaken
belief that it belonged to a paedophile.

I just don't believe it...

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joe Bentley   Author's Homepage   E-mail Joe Bentley   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Sadly this is somewhat true, although the real incident happened in London not Portsmouth and could probably be better described as "harassment" rather then an "attack."

It happened to Dr. Yvette Cloete, a specialist in Pediatric Medicine at Royal Gwent Hospital in London and the OP is correct in that the police's working theory is that the attack did come about due to the confusion of the term pediatrician and the term pedophile.

In August 2000, Dr. Cloete was forced to flee her home and seek police protection after her windows and doors were spray painted with "Paedo," a common English contraction of Paedophile.

However Dr. Cloete was not "attacked by a mob." Her home was vandalized by an unknown number of assailants, but Dr. Cloete was never harmed nor even met her harassers face to face.


BBC Article

--------------------
"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

Posts: 8929 | From: Norfolk, Virginia | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Felessan   E-mail Felessan   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I recall seeing a cartoon in "Private Eye" magazine from early 2000 or late 1999 which had a man running from an angry mob, shouting desperately, "I'm a paediatrician!" Perhaps the cartoon, somewhat prophetic as it was, has passed into folklore...

--------------------
You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

Posts: 2480 | From: Australia | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bonnie Dundee
Christmas in Kill Barney


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bonnie Dundee   E-mail Bonnie Dundee   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Actually the attacks did happen in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Not to a pediatrician but to a convicted paedophile. See BBC link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/865633.stm.

--------------------
Tommy
Keep on running

Posts: 11 | From: Stonehaven, Kincardinshire, Scotland | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Boots - no longer muffin with honey
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Boots - no longer muffin with honey   Author's Homepage   E-mail Boots - no longer muffin with honey   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Man! If your gonna start a gang of vigilantes, atleast get your terms right! I was never against vigilante groups...this makes me want too, just because of the pure ignorance of the groups.

I bet they think they were justified in doing this to because they thought she was a paedophile.

--------------------
Come on! Ninja kick the damn rabbit!

Posts: 273 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganzfeld     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Hannan:
Actually the attacks did happen in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Not to a pediatrician but to a convicted paedophile. See BBC link

The link doesn't work correctly with the period so:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/865633.stm

Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Tarquin Farquart   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I remember when all of the above happened.

If I remember correctly, the vast majority of the problems happened in Portsmouth - which wasn't the scene of a child murder as far as I can recall although I could be wrong - and was in fact "inspired", as is said above by the News of the World campaign.

Also, there was someone attacked who wasn't even a sex offender, but someone had decided to spread vicious rumours about them and so they were attacked as well.

Got to love vigilante justice!!

(A slight digression but while wrting this I remembered that someone told me once that the News of the World has one of the highest circulations of any newspaper in the world. I find this hard to believe but it could be in other countries there tends to be more "localised" newspapers. Can anyone confirm / refute this?)

--------------------
I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

Posts: 802 | From: London, UK | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
nod
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for nod     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Tarquin, being a Brit, you must be well aware that although the News of the World LOOKS like a real NEWS paper, it's about as accurate as a 6 month weather forecast....

I know a podiatrist who has had anti paedophile grafitti scrawled on his office door, as if a paedophile would advertise their perversion like that!

--------------------
Many a True Word Spoken in Jest!

Posts: 73 | From: Devon, UK | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard W   E-mail Richard W   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Bentley:
Sadly this is somewhat true, although the real incident happened in London not Portsmouth ...

It happened to Dr. Yvette Cloete, a specialist in Pediatric Medicine at Royal Gwent Hospital in London

BBC Article

Er, the Royal Gwent Hospital is in Gwent, south Wales - Newport to be exact...

That's the incident referred to, though. Oddly I thought that it happened in Portsmouth too, because as the other article shows that was where most of the vigilante problems occurred.

So the incident is real but the "myth" is that for some reason everybody thinks it happened in Portsmouth...

(eta) Often people say that they attacked the house because they had "tried to look up paedophiles in the phone book" and misunderstood the word "paediatrician". I doubt that even vigilantes are that stupid. The article says that the incident was believed to be connected to the woman's job - it's possible that the people did know she was a paediatrician but assumed she was a paedophile too. After all, I would assume that parts of a paediatrician's job involve examining naked children. Perhaps they once misinterpreted something that a paediatrician may have done during an examination, or just assumed that to have that job you must have dubious tendencies.

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Tarquin Farquart   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Tarquin, being a Brit, you must be well aware that although the News of the World LOOKS like a real NEWS paper, it's about as accurate as a 6 month weather forecast....

I meant newspaper in the most loose sense possible...

--------------------
I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

Posts: 802 | From: London, UK | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ulkomaalainen
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ulkomaalainen     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
So what is the circulation of NOTW? German tabloid "Bild" (which, as well, is a newspaper only in the sense that it is a pile of paper with new ink blots each day) is rumoured over here to be Europe's biggest paper with a acirculation of close to 4 million and an estimated reader figure of about 12 million.

I think the US are more localized, I'd like to know about Russia or China though.

--------------------
Movie characters never make typing mistakes.

Posts: 586 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Tarquin Farquart   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
According to these guys, the NOTW circulation is 3.7 million and on their own website they claim 9 million readers. So I think Bild beats it but it is a close run thing.

--------------------
I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

Posts: 802 | From: London, UK | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ghost on Toast     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hmm, I think we are getting in to the presumptious trap here yet again of claiming the NOTW is unreliable. I know I defend all newspapers as an ex-hack but while yes the Screws does 'sensationalise' stories, is isn't a lying rag. That would be the Sunday Sport.

It makes me laugh how many people think these newspapers just sit around making stuff up. We do have libel laws and the PCC for a reason you know and while the NOTW isn't immune to lawsuits, it isn't fair to call them as reliable as a 6-month weather forecast.

--------------------
It's been a while but I'm back!!

Posts: 884 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
nod
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for nod     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
5 Day then!

While I agree that the NOTW doesn't actually fabricate stories, it has been known to stretch the truth as far as it can (and on occasion beyond). As for the Sport rags - I'll take your word for it. I prefer my toilet paper soft - preferably quilted!

--------------------
Many a True Word Spoken in Jest!

Posts: 73 | From: Devon, UK | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Tarquin Farquart   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I never meant to imply the NOTW made things up. However I do think that it "inspired" the vigilante gangs to attack and vandalise peoples houses.

On the subject of the Sunday / Daily Sport I remember a recent headline being something along the lines of "Giant Space Cabbage Killed My Mate".

--------------------
I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

Posts: 802 | From: London, UK | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Grand Illusion
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Grand Illusion   Author's Homepage   E-mail Grand Illusion   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
In an old Three's Company episode, Janet mistakenly thinks that Jack's new girlfriend is a prostitute (she's really a psychiatrist). Her mistake is accentuated when she sees the girlfriend's business card, which identifies her as "The rapist" (really "Therapist").

Also, never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups.

--------------------
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" - The Brain

Posts: 587 | From: Colorado | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Casey, making hot chocolate   Author's Homepage   E-mail Casey, making hot chocolate   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
People can be that stupid, certainly. I've never heard of this happening, but it may.

--------------------
"To be or not to be! That is the question! Now, will you answer, dare, double dare, or take the Physical Challenge?" --Mark Summers as Hamlet
Countdown: 177 days and counting... or less. My blog. 14 keyboards owed.

Posts: 5584 | From: Ohio | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
James G.
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for James G.   Author's Homepage   E-mail James G.   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Sorry to resurect an old thread, but I felt it was relevant given this BBC news article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4719364.stm

--------------------
This is a public service announcement. The board is moving. Check Announcements Photos[/URL]

Posts: 1302 | From: Edinburgh, UK (Currently Nr. Swindon, UK) | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard W   E-mail Richard W   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by James G.:
Sorry to resurect an old thread, but I felt it was relevant given this BBC news article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4719364.stm

Hmm, did you notice this?

quote:
Yet on a discussion board of a website that focuses on strange events, one contributor says the incident took place in London.
... and Joe Bentley says (above):

quote:
It happened to Dr. Yvette Cloete, a specialist in Pediatric Medicine at Royal Gwent Hospital in London...
Are they talking about us?

Joe did get the right incident, anyway!

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Danvers Carew         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
A 'Peter File' was attacked in his car this evening but I have to say: if your surname was File would you call your son Peter?


--------------------
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Posts: 2372 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
James G.
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for James G.   Author's Homepage   E-mail James G.   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
]Hmm, did you notice this?

quote:
Yet on a discussion board of a website that focuses on strange events, one contributor says the incident took place in London.
... and Joe Bentley says (above):

quote:
It happened to Dr. Yvette Cloete, a specialist in Pediatric Medicine at Royal Gwent Hospital in London...
Are they talking about us?

Joe did get the right incident, anyway!

Yeah, I had noticed that, and the same had occured to me. However while the description, 'a discussion board of a website that focuses on strange events' is applicable to us, it isn't exactly the most appropriate description. But then again a quick glace (Possibly through noticing referees to the original BBC article) would give that impresion.

--------------------
This is a public service announcement. The board is moving. Check Announcements Photos[/URL]

Posts: 1302 | From: Edinburgh, UK (Currently Nr. Swindon, UK) | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Archie2K   Author's Homepage   E-mail Archie2K   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
@Ulkomaalielen: Bild has an estimated readership of 4 million in a country of 80 million. The Sun/News of the World has a readership of about 3 million in a country of 60 million. They both are read by about 5% of their respective populations. Which scares the living crap out of me. That both papers seem content to indulge in political smearing (Sun against the Lib Dems and Bild against the Linke Partei) that they could have so much influence on elections.
Posts: 1985 | From: Reading, England | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2