Family Campaign to Change the Law Over Therapeutic Abuse

Another case relating to the therapist Anne Craig (see Family To Launch Landmark Legal Case Against Therapist). The parents of Laura Hue-Williams claim that after their daughter went to see Anne Craig her personality changed completely, and she was encouraged to separate herself from them. They believe that the therapy she received was a damaging form of psychological manipulation.

Timothy Hue-Williams commented:


‘As a father, the hardest thing to understand is that Laura is lost to us but there is no reason for it.
‘There is nothing in her childhood, her upbringing or her adult life to explain it. There has not been a massive argument. She literally just drifted away and then the drawbridge came up.
‘It is heartbreaking. Laura was everything you want from a daughter. Now she has no recognition of us as parents. It is like she has gone to a different place.
‘It is a really, really sad scenario and I hope we can find a way to stop it. The law has to be changed to cover circumstances like this.’
Mrs Strutt [her mother] added: ‘It is terrible for her friends and family, but it is even more terrible for Laura herself.
‘She is in a psychological prison, without even knowing it, and separated from everything a human being values. Isolation is the worst form of punishment.
‘The change in the law we are campaigning for is not just about Laura. There are thousands of people affected by psychological manipulation. Mental abuse should be treated as seriously as actual bodily harm.’

The article in the Mail on Sunday claims that the government is now thinking of intervening in the matter, with Michael Gove and Oliver Letwin considering how to clampdown on psychological abuse.

The family of Victoria Cayzer and that of Laura Hue-Williams have joined forces to try to get the law changed. They have secured the backing of Sir Edward Garnier QC, the MP for Harborough and a former Solicitor General, and leading QC Sir John Nutting.


‘David Cameron is well aware of this question. It is fair to say he would like something to be done about this,’ said Sir Edward, who wants new measures to replicate laws in France and Belgium, where it is an offence to exploit vulnerable people.
He added: ‘There is plenty of law to protect those under 18 and those over the age of retirement, but we do not have much to protect vulnerable adults in between those ages.’
Charles Cayzer, the father of Victoria, lives in the Prime Minister’s constituency, and in a letter to him, Mr Cameron described her disappearance as a ‘sad and miserable situation’.
Graham Baldwin, whose charity Catalyst helps the victims of psychological manipulation, said: ‘We have been campaigning for 20 years to have a criminal law in place to deal with psychological manipulation.
‘I think the time has finally come to deal with this growing problem once and for all.’

Sir John Nutting QC has written:


The trouble is this: it isn’t an area covered by law, and that is really our complaint. It should be and must be covered by the law, so that vulnerable adults, like vulnerable children, can be protected.
There is no offence under English criminal law that captures the activities of these kind of people and it is hard to set down the principles by which they could be sued in a civil court.
The difficulty in either a criminal or civil case is getting the victim to give evidence.
The essence is that loyalty lies with Anne Craig and her like.
And the absence of a victim’s testimony makes it difficult to frame the legislation which might catch them.
Yet other countries, such as France and Belgium, do have laws in this field, and I believe that our Government, too, can be persuaded to legislate.
I have spent my life as a criminal barrister and it is in the field of criminal law that I would want the Government to act.

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