Two days ago we wrote about an update we received from a mother who spoke out about Dr Hibbert’s treatment of her, and many others, whilst staying at Tadpole Cottage. Dr Hibbert, an approved family court psychiatrist and leading expert in his field was accused of emotionally abusing these mothers whilst in his care and misdiagnosing them.
Hibbert appeared before a Fitness to Practice Panel, where he was subsequently exonerated. The Panel’s decision was not a welcome one, not least of all because the Panel did not definitively prove Dr Hibbert was free of wrongdoing – simply that no proof could be found to show to the contrary.
Since being cleared by the General Medical Council, Dr Hibbert has not chosen to keep a low profile and go back to his work. Instead, he has set about trying to track down the mothers who spoke out.
Thanks to one brave mum, we can now reveal that Dr Hibbert has been contacting judges presiding over these women’s cases and requesting that he be sent the documents being used in these cases. And rather than file a formal application for this request, which is required, Dr Hibbert has tried to get these judges to simply send over the information.
This is not only not allowed, but for an allegedly leading family expert who has been working inside the courts for many years, a very concerning lack of professional conduct.
Luckily, the judges know their stuff and have required Hibbert to file the proper application for this request, which also requires him to submit evidence as to why he should be entitled to these files. This application will then be sent to all the parties to the process, so they will be able to see what Dr Hibbert’s reasons are for making the application in the first place.
We wonder now whether Dr Hibbert is setting out to see whether he can sue for defamation using these documents, should he find anything less than positive about him within them. Even so, that certainly wouldn’t require access to all the files in each case, nor would it make a compelling case for a law suit. Most communications in family law cases, as we understand it, are protected and it is highly unlikely that Dr Hibbert would be able to sue using them.
The only other alternative that we can think of, is that Dr Hibbert is actually not very well and needs psychiatric help.
Added below is an extract from a letter written by a lawyer which explains Dr Hibbert’s activity and the court’s response:
“Even though Hibbert wrote to Justice [edited] requesting permission to disclose the documents to third parties, he has been told that he will have to make a formal application to the Court. That application will have to be accompanied by evidence in support of why such permission should be given. The application will have to be served on all the parties in the proceedings…. All parties will then have an opportunity to respond to the application and make submissions to the Court.
The Order has stated that the application hearing will be listed at the same time as the local authority’s application… Hibbert might ask for his application to be heard sooner, dependent on what he wants the documents for.
Basically, he has tried to be cheeky and ask for the documents rather than making a formal application. In family court’s an application MUST be made. So he has now been told that.”