Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Assange barrister jumps in front of train.

I have only just come across this story via a 'Facebook' post, but despite the passage of time, I thought it worthy of a little consideration. Perhaps some of the readers will be unaware of it also.


On the 18th August, 2016, St Pancras Coroners Court heard that at about 7 am on 18th April, 2016, John Jones QC, a 48 year old barrister who worked on war crimes trials at The Hague, had died instantly when he jumped in front of a moving train at West Hampstead Thameslink station. Although not referred to in the proceedings, it was well known that he represented Julian Assange, stilled holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy, in his legal fight against extradition to Sweden on an accusation of sexual assault. (1)

Some have suspected and suggested that his death was not as 'accidental' as it has been suggested, and that there are more sinister reasons for it, possibly involving covert action by the intelligence services of Britain and/or America. Certainly there is no doubt that Assange has been a great inconvenience and embarrassment to the UK authorities, and 'Wikileaks' a thorn in the side of the US Government. 

Only recently Hilary Clinton refused to answer a question as to whether she at one stage had called for his assassination! So his fears of extradition, 'rendition' or even assassination appear to be well placed. Whether such a threat would extend to his defending barrister is a matter of conjecture, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility. (2)

However set against this, is the Coroner Mary Hassell's assurance that she had seen the video footage of the event -and was satisfied that “nobody else was involved”. It was not shown to the jury as she said she thought it would be “too distressing”.  Such decisions, though understandable, can of course fan suspicions of intrigue. 

What is beyond doubt is there are some very strange and inexplicable elements to this tragedy, that have not been fully or convincingly explained, including why a man with suicidal thoughts was prescribed drugs that are likely to make matters worse, why he was allowed to remain isolated in his room, why active therapies were not applied and why he was allowed to leave the hospital at five o'clock in the morning, with no arrangements in place or any form of supervision?

John Jones, a highly respected QC, took his own life after he was allowed to leave private hospital The Nightingale to go for a 5am walk

A school trauma thirty (?) years before

It would appear from reports of the proceedings (3) that Mr Jones (who it might be noted had a passing resemblance the then Prime Minister, David Cameron!) had suffered from mental issues since a traumatic event when at school in America when still a youth. After this he then attended another boarding school in America where he became “deeply unhappy”, leading to psychiatric intervention before returning to the UK where he attended a private sixth form college before winning a place at Oxford University.

Referring to the initial expelling incident he wrote:

“Every morning I wake up with the mental pain of the fact that I was expelled from Exeter... the pain has not diminished... I feel that facing up to it may leave me unable to function... I need to be able to know that I suffered an adolescent trauma, that I’m not loopy now. I have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for the past 30 years... It’s a bit like Tom Cruise’s character in (the film) Vanilla Sky.” 

Perhaps rather coincidentally the film made in 2001 was released on Blu-ray on June 30, 2015 in North America. (4) He also referred to "being triggered" by  certain words and films he had seen, any mention of which would set off his negative thought patterns - a classic feature of mind-control experimentation. The question as to whether he was ever targeted by government agencies at any stage, cannot be avoided.

"Vanilla Sky"

As the film is referred to specifically, we should note that the plot centres around a love affair, resulting in a former partner trying to kill the main protagonist, David Aames, played by Tom Cruise. This in turn results in her death and his disfigurement, requiring him subsequently to wear a mask. The two females become interchangeable in what appears to be a waking dream-like guilty state, with overtones of involvement by a mysterious agency referred to as "Life Extension", that specialises in cryonic suspension. In the Blu-ray version he wakes up in bed and a voice tells him "Open your eyes. You're going to be fine." The word "personality" it should be noted comes from the Greek root, meaning "a mask".

All of this has certain resonance with the well known CIA mind control programmes of the post war period, called MKUltra. (5) Sadly the film culminates rather prophetically in the subject, David Aames, conquering his final fear by jumping off a building, his life flashing before his eyes, before he hits the ground.

Phillips Exeter Academy

His mother is quoted as saying, he was expelled from a prestigious boys’ boarding school, 'Phillips Exeter' in New Hampshire, for “several ill-judged, high spirited antics” – a source of regret which troubled him for the rest of his life. What this could have been, sufficient to play on his mind for so long after, was not revealed. We can only surmise as to whether it subsequently influenced his choice of career and client. What is hard to believe is that it could have been a major factor some thirty years later in the reckless decision that would surely end his life. Could it be that that the reference to this film specifically was intended to reveal a deeper truth regarding his psychological state and past or present circumstances? (6)

High Profile Legal Career

Apparently the move back to Britain from the Hague had been fraught with unspecified practical and emotional difficulty and he had problems settling into the the Doughty Street Chambers shared by such luminaries as Geoffrey Robertson QC, St Pancras MP Keir Starmer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, Helena Kennedy QC, and many more - even Amal Clooney, recently appointed to the UK Attorney General’s expert panel set up to advise and represent the UK government in cases involving public international law. (7)

Returning from The Hague in September 2015 his mother said he was in good spirits, but in his new home he became “increasingly agitated and stressed”.  In early 2016 he had trouble sleeping and talked about suicide “only in the abstract” telling her he would never take his life because of his children.
In March he tried to get an adjournment on the Assange case as he was unable to work, his mind foggy with medication, but the judge refused, pushing him into “a dark, depressive phase”, according to his wife. Dr Pereira added he thought this was a significant factor in his emotional decline. He was quoted as saying: “He was very disappointed at not being able to do the case. He felt his career was beginning to unravel.” 

Mental Deterioration, Diagnosis and Treatment
Mr Jones’ wife said they had a “wonderful relationship” although John was someone who “often needed encouragement”. She described how his difficulty sleeping left him exhausted and worried about his ability to perform at work. “He started doubting himself and all the decisions he had made in his life. He felt he was useless and had failed.
At no stage in the inquest does it appear that medical decisions relating to the chosen medication and the part it might have played was questioned, although the diagnosis of "bi-polar disorder" after a one hour meeting with Dr Pereira surprised his wife because she said: “John could be obsessive, and could ruminate, but he didn’t have highs and lows.” 

His Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Stephen Pereira from his CV appears to be an highly qualified and experienced
Consultant Psychiatrist. He states on his page, 
"With 26 years of experience in Psychiatry and 30 years experience in Behaviour and Cognitive Therapy (CBT), I trained at the Institute of Psychiatry in Behaviour Therapy and at Oxford in Cognitive Therapy (which has a worldwide reputation in this area).  I am also Chairman of NAPICU ( which formulates National Standards of Clinical Excellence in Intensive Care Psychiatry and Severe Mental Disorders. I have over 20 years of experience in dealing with the whole spectrum of mental wellbeing issues in the ‘City Financial District’ and those affecting high achieving individuals in politics, film, media, fashion and music.  I am one of a very few Consultant Psychiatrists (medically trained) who also have been formally trained in CBT." (10)
The Coroner Ms Hassell was critical of the fact that Mr Jones was allowed to isolate himself in the hospital and had not been made to engage with the various forms of therapy on offer and of the “perfunctory” tick-box risk assessment form apparently carried by the patients themselves. Mr Jones' mother was unimpressed with the ethos of the hospital and considered the relaxed atmosphere was "out of sync with seriousness of John's condition". She also formed the opinion that Dr Pereira was "trying to break her son" (which he denied) who appears to have been over medicated with a drug with suicidal side effects. Despite his depression and suicidal thoughts (which materialised) Dr Pereira none the less took the view that "he had not  met the threshold for sectioning" - despite harm to self or others being part of that assessment. And finally despite his known condition, he had been allowed out at 5 am without supervision or any sense of potential alarm. Mr Jones’ wife, lawyer Misa Zgonec-Rozej, expressed the view that, “I feel horrified that he was allowed out so early in the morning, in such a fragile state and without having slept properly for days." 
All of these factors sit rather uneasily with Dr Pereira's undoubted expertise.
The Nightingale Private Hospital, Marylebone, London

The exterior of Nightingale Hospital. Image: Nightingale Hospital
So we may conclude that Mr Jones was under medical supervision and prescribed anti-depressants from at least January 2016 but it is not clear if Dr Pereira or some other doctor/GP had been in charge of him and if so who this might have been.  By March he was "foggy with medication". It appears it was Mr Jones parents - Ms Jones and her husband, Hugh - who had their son admitted to The Nightingale Private Hospital on Dr Pereira’s recommendation. It is reported he had been signed off sick from Doughty Street and had been receiving treatment for only a few weeks when he died. One might have expected the juxtaposition of treatment and intentional death might have led to questions about the treatment.

The role of Chlonazepam and other medications not revealed
The Inquest did reveal that whilst at the Nightingale, Mr Jones decided to stop taking 'Chlonazepam', a benzodopiate, a couple of weeks before he died, as "the combination of medication he was taking was making him drowsy and unable to concentrate."  So we should note that Chlonazepam was not the only medication prescribed as it states 'the combination of medication'. Yet these other drugs that also either singly or in combination may facilitate suicidal urges is not recorded which is surprising. (9) Chlonazepam is specifically so noted. 

From Wikipedia we have this: "It may increase risk of suicide in people who are depressed."(8) 

The drug patented in 1964, and therefore regarded as 'older generation', is often prescribed for anxiety and to prevent muscle spasm. For a specialist to prescribe this drug to someone depressed with suicidal thoughts appears to be hard to explain, particularly if in combination with others as seems to be the case. The day before he died he met his mother Peggy, in a local park. She told the inquest: “I was shocked at how thin he was. He couldn’t stop shaking, and I wondered what effect the medication was having.” No specific information of the drugs, their dosage and dates taken - critically important in any consideration of the part played by the drugs - appears to have been made publicly available to the inquest!

Highly questionable decision to allow him out alone at 5 am.
Another very strange aspect, given the known background and symptoms of Mr Jones, was that he was allowed out alone at the unseasonal hour of 5 am after what appears to be peremptory and superficial "risk assessment". It was said because he had not been 'sectioned' as allowed for under the mental health acts, he could not be forcibly prevented from leaving at that hour, but there appears to have been no attempt to dissuade him, to discover his intentions or to advise his next of kin. Nor is there any indication of an agreed time time limit, or specified destination or of any attempt to look for him when he didn't return. In under two hours he was dead! No information is provided as to when the hospital learnt of his accident and demise.  For a specialist institution with detailed relevant information at their finger-tips, to take such a relaxed, some might say negligent, attitude to a patient, certainly raises questions above and beyond whether he did or did not sufficiently engage in 'social activities'.

Absence of critical information on travel and accident itself

Between just after five in the morning and seven he had travelled about three miles to the north east to arrive at the West Hampstead Station. No information was given how he got there. Did he walk as he said he would or take some other form of transport? Did he go there directly or did he take a circuitous route? Did he meet or interact with anyone on the way? Why did he end up in that particular station? Had he purchased a ticket to get there or from there to somewhere else? What did the station CCT cameras record immediately before the accident. Only the train driver is mentioned as witnessing what he described in a written statement as "a deliberate act". This still begs the question if he was alone on the platform - surely not at 7 am on a Monday morning - and if so who else was there and why not one other was referred to as a witness?


This is yet another tragic case it would appear of a depressed person taking their own life. The fact that this was a highly educated man , with a wife and family that cared for him, with a high-profile profession dedicated to representing the oppressed, adds to the touching nature of the case. How could such a person regard his life as a failure unworthy of preservation. How could an event so long ago that had resulted in him being expelled from one of the most prestigious American schools, caused such trauma, that it remained with him for the rest of his life, and likely contributed to his death? What could have been so bad that in his view had he admitted to it, in the words of his psychiatrist "he was convinced he would be “banished from the world” if he did, and that he felt “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea”"? That aspect remains a mystery to all but his immediate family.

But in addition to the central psychological features, it is reasonable to analyse the secondary factors surrounding the sad event. Did they contribute in any way to his premature demise and are there any lessons to be learnt? We are at a stage in history in the West, when we have never been more affected by damaging psychological disorders or taken more drugs to control them, issued by GP's and hospitals. In America it is recorded that “nearly 52 percent of deaths were related to prescription drugs and across the country, 44,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2013, more than double the number in 1999.(11) In Britain the total number of prescriptions (excluding dressing and appliances) has almost doubled from circa 661 million in 2000 and 1,239 in 2014. (12) The number of antidepressants given to patients in England has doubled in a decade. In 2015 there were 61m such drugs prescribed and dispensed outside of hospitals. They are used to treat clinical depression as well as other conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic attacks.(13) Yet despite this we seem no happier, indeed there is evidence to suggest it may make matters worse. An analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants - involving more than 18,000 people - found they doubled the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviour in under 18s. (14) Both society and the medical profession needs to be re-educated in this area.

There is little doubt in just this one isolated case, it may well have been a factor linked to what appears to be a general apathetic approach to the dangers. Whether others behind the scenes had in the past contributed to the condition or encouraged or facilitated the solution is impossible on the available evidence to say. The fact that John Jones QC, represented Julian Assange, a person that elements of the American political establishment have made clear it would like to assassinate, may in fact have no bearing on his unfortunate and premature demise. However we may be sure that 'a cause un-looked for, will never be found', or per the more succinct aphorism, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". END.







Phillips Exeter Academy: "A leading representative of this trend, who coined the term “personal computer,” was Stewart Brand, MK-Ultra agent and founder of the influential Whole Earth Catalogue. Before studying biology at Stanford University, Brand attended Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious American private prep school in New Hampshire, one of the oldest secondary schools in the US. The Economist described the school as belonging to “an elite tier of private schools" in Britain and America that counts Eton and Harrow in its ranks. Exeter has a long list of famous former students, including Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, novelist John Irving and Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and the Masonic-inspired The Lost Symbol."



A website antidepaware was recently set up to track deaths by suicide or misadventure or related that are related to antidepressants. It has logged over 1600 UK suicides involving antidepressants of which 43% were recorded as suicides by the coroner, 26% as narrative verdicts, 19% as open verdicts, 5% as death by misadventure and 7% as accidental.







  1. Ian Davis Tim Veater excellent stuff, it amazes me how quickly you pull this research together. Something doesn't smell right. Why did the judge say it was too distressing to watch the cctv? Surely the only relevant part was the immediate preceeding moments leading to the point at which he "jumped"? I don't see why this would be too distressing for anyone to watch. There would be no need to show the impact with the train. Secondly, if he was not under section he was free to come and go as he pleased. There would be no option to detain him? A mental health act assessment would be needed to section him before being legally able to detain him. So the "risk assessment" served no practical purpose. Also, if the private hospital was so exclusive why were they using outdated drugs known to increase suicidal ideation (which is why it is no longer recommended) with a patient known to have expressed suicidal thoughts. There are better alternative treatments. Brilliant stuff mate. Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy not the Uruguayan. ;-)


    WikiLeaks Offer $20,000 To Find Murdered DNC Staffer’s Killer
    Posted on August 10, 2016 by Baxter Dmitry in News, US

    Rich, 27, who worked for the DNC as a data analyst on voting issues, was shot and killed in Washington D.C. in the early hours of July 10, 2016, and his murder remains unsolved and without leads. “Police have found little information to explain his death,” said The New York Daily News.

    Various theories have sprouted up about Rich’s death, fueled in part by the WikiLeaks dump of almost 20,000 DNC emails, which led to the resignation of the chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz and three other senior staff, and mainstream acceptance that the DNC colluded with the Clinton campaign to see off the insurgent challenge of Bernie Sanders.

  3. Ecuador says it cut WikiLeaks founder's internet over interference in US election
    Officials confirm government cut off internet access for Julian Assange following a raft of leaked emails targeting Democrats


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