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30 YEARS ON: Girls drugged by a doctor in a care home are now having DISABLED BABIES

11th Jan 2009 | in Kendall House Child Abuse News

Women who were given a cocktail of drugs by a controversial doctor when they were girls in care are now giving birth to disabled children, according to extraordinary new claims.

At least six women who were drugged in their teens at the notorious Kendall House home in the late 1970s and early 1980s now have children with genetic defects.

Back in 1980, the home caused a storm when the levels of drugs being prescribed by psychiatrist Dr Marenthiran Perinpanayagam were revealed in a TV documentary.

Girls in his care were given pills designed for schizophrenics, psychotics and Parkinson’s sufferers…without having been diagnosed with any of these conditions and often held down and forced to take them. Nearly 30 years later, the children of girls in his care have learning difficulties, cleft palates, water on the brain and brain growths.

One of the women, Teresa Cooper, 41, said: “They turned us into zombies with those drugs. But we’re only just starting to find out that it may have affected our children as well.”

During 15 years as consultant psychiatrist to Kendall House - run for girls with problems by the Church of England’s Council for Social Responsibility in Gravesend, Kent - Dr Perinpanayagam wrongly prescribed girls drugs. Valium was given at four times the recommended dose for an adult male. When his methods were exposed on TV it caused outrage although it seems no action was taken.

Despite having no mental health problems or history of violence, daily logs written by staff show Teresa was on a dozen drugs without any diagnosis. And workers pinned her down to force her to take them - with other children forced to help. The brutal regime at the house is similar to the notorious “pin down” system of discipline used at the same time in Staffordshire children’s homes.

Now - 25 years on - one of Teresa’s sons was blind until the age of two and has learning difficulties. Another has unexplained lumps on his lymph nodes. And her daughter has a cleft palate and Pierre Robin Syndrome, a facial abnormality.

But, after she published a book called Trust No One about her time in Kendall House, other women who were administered drugs at the home got in touch with Teresa - and many of them also have children with abnormalities and disabilities.

She said: “Eight out of the 10 women I am in touch with have had problems like these - and the two who didn’t were not on drugs. It’s too much of a coincidence. Dr Perinpanayagam must have treated over 200 women during his 15 years working for Kendall House, so God knows how many more are out there who I don’t know about.”

Last night an expert on birth defects said drugs could influence future children, even if the victim was not pregnant at the time. Betty Mekdeci, director of Birth Defect Research for Children, said: “High doses at a certain age can have permanent consequences.”

Dr Perinpanayagam, who described himself on his notepaper as “Psychotherapist to the Home Office”, died in 1988. In 1977 he wrote to a medical journal to describe his experiments with tranquillisers on girls in an unnamed “secure home”.

Teresa said she believes he was trying out drugs to invent a way of treating problem children and make a name for himself. She said: “It is terrifying to think how many children’s lives his actions could now have affected.”

Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard stood up in the Commons 14 years ago to attack the Church of England over the drug regime at Kendall House, which closed in 1986. Last night he said: “If the link between the drugs and these children’s conditions is proved, there must be an official investigation.”

If you were drugged at Kendall House and think it has affected your children call us in confidence on 020 7293 2232.

‘God knows how many there are’

Pill doc turned teens into zombies

In 1980, Dr Mahenthiran Perinpanayagam’s massive doses of drugs at Kendall House first came to light.

A television documentary quoted another doctor saying he thought one girl’s prescription must have been a misprint.

Meanwhile, Radio 4’s Professor Laurie Taylor co-wrote a book describing how girls at Kendall House had been “reduced to zombies” by the drugs they were given - often without a diagnosis.

By 1984 a report into the home by the Department of Health and Social Security was scathing about the drugs given to the girls.

Inspector Dr Dorothy Black said she was “extremely concerned” about “storage, monitoring and administration of psychotropic drugs”.

She wrote: “The home needs close and urgent attention.”

Two years later Kendall House closed.

Tot’s birth defect

As a frightened 13-year-old, Jules (left) was given huge doses of Valium and other drugs in Kendall House.

Her son was born with a life-threatening birth defect. Jules said: “He has a cyst on his brain’s temporal lobe. He has a crater the width of a golf ball on his head. I didn’t think this had anything to do with Kendall House until I heard about other children.”

Trapped & drugged

“Lisa” Remembers being sent to the “timeout room” - a tiny room with bars on the windows and a lock on the door. There, she was given massive doses of drugs.

She said: “My 16-year-old daughter was born with hydrocephalus. She also has heart problems and neurofibromatosis - little tumours on her nerve endings.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind that all the crap they gave me was the cause of my daughter’s problems.”

We want answers

“Sarah” Believes a string of problems with her two sons are down to the drugs she was given at Kendall House.

She was held down and given injections of Haloperidol and up to 120g of Valium a day. Now her oldest son is dyslexic, with learning difficulties and behavioural problems. And her youngest son has been diagnosed with dyspraxia and dyslexia, and may have Asperger syndrome.

She said: “We all want answers.”

Wasted memories

“Claire” Spent three years in Kendall House in the late 1970s, where records show she was given drugs including antipsychotic Sparine.

She said: “I was like a zombie for a lot of the time, and a lot of my memories have gone. And all my memories before Kendall House have gone.

“When my daughter was born, she had hypermobility syndrome, which is a genetic disease that affects the joints.”


  • On 11th Jan 2009 at 11:01 PM andrea said...

    i to was at kendall house and nobody should never ever have to go through what we did. There needs to be an investigation but as with most things when involving so called ‘professionals’ there would probably be a cover up.  I was in the care of London Borough of Redbridge when placed in care, I was sent to kendall house as it was seen as a childrens home with education actually it was a house of abject horror systematic abuse.

  • On 11th Jan 2009 at 11:04 PM andrea said...

    Having just read iin the mirror it bought it all back to me the screams and noise the fact that even the juice they gave you during lunchtime was powdery and tasted wrong. everday was systematic abuse sexualand physical by both lady and men members of staff an absolute nightmare. There needs to be a thorough investigation.

  • On 11th Jan 2009 at 11:09 PM andrea said...

    there needs to be an investigation I wioukld like to speak with theresa as i am sure we may have been at kendall housde at the same time.

  • On 12th Jan 2009 at 08:43 PM karen said...

    andrea you are not alone,i was at kendall house in 1975 to 78,3 years of hell on earth,drugged and abused mentally and physically,sadly those memories do not fade,miss law,dr perin and in my time there the notorius needle happy mrs gregory,she was my worst nightmare,it would be interesting if any other girls remember her,i have already spoken to teresa last year and mrs gregory had left when she went there,teresa is a very strong and brave lady,and her fight for justice for herself and other girls is to be admired because she doesent and wont give up.

  • On 13th Jan 2009 at 12:58 AM deborah said...

    My sister was in that place in the late 70s and she as been ill all of her life, she came out of their at 16 a drug addict and has been a drug addict ever since, her whole life was completely ruined from a child ... she is going into hospital this week for a operation, drug related. she is very ill , she was jumped upon as a child and injected with drugs… she lived in a living Hell supposedly being cared for.. i thank Teresa that this has come to light as i have all my life said that place my sister was sent to as child was the reason for all her addictions and problems… but nobody cold actally beleive whati was telling them as it happened such a long time ago and to be perfctly honest is very unbelievabe… i cry for my siter how at such a young age her whole life was totally ruined by these evil people… words cannot decribe the injustice of it… i was only a child myself i did not no where my sister had gone, she only mentioned to me a few times the things they used to do to her their… but it stayed with me i never forgot… my siser blanks it out with more drugs… i feel bad for her…what can i do… nothing.. shes ruined…gone…

  • On 13th Jan 2009 at 07:49 PM karen said...

    im so sorry deborah for your sister and you,i can feel the pain and sadness your both going through,i was 13 when i went there in 1975 and 16 when i came out in 1978,yes it was a living hell and sadly its damaged all us girls in one way or another,unrepairable damage because the memories never go,please tell your sister shes not alone,maybe i know her if she was there late 70s,all you can do is support her the best you can and be there for thoughts are with you both.

  • On 13th Jan 2009 at 07:52 PM michaelmac said...

    To all MPs The prime minister claims to care about the welfare of
    children, The story in the sunday mirror proves he does not

    If the government cared about the welfare of children they would order
    an inquiry into the Sunday Mirror story, About Kendal House Kent, Since
    David Cameron raised the question about baby P in the commons, The
    government have asked for a review of social services, But what about a
    full review of Ofsted, Because if they had done the job they were

  • On 13th Jan 2009 at 08:06 PM Teresa said...

    Hi Deborah

    I am sorry to hear about your sister who was at KH and it is very sad :-(

    Some have survived but not unscathed and I do fear for those who didnt or arent.

    If you email me on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) it would be good to hear from you and to get your sister and yourself support

    Teresa xxx

  • On 13th Jan 2009 at 08:34 PM michaelmac said...

    Teresa has spent tens of thousands of pounds over the years, gave up her life and dedicated it to researching the kh abuse and her fight for justice.

  • On 14th Jan 2009 at 08:54 AM michaelmac said...

    To all Mps Why is the prime minister and others silent about the ill treatment of children in care
    If the government cared about the welfare of children as they claim, After my email on Tuesday January 13 2209, I would have had loads of emails asking questions about my email and the alligations i wrote in it, But instead there is utter silence, The prime minister talked about accountability when he attacked the BBC over Ross and Brand, But when government ministers and social services and Ofsted are in the spot light, There is utter silence from him, That sends a clear message children DO NOT MATTER

  • On 29th Jan 2009 at 01:38 PM jane hine said...

    I was a patient of Dr. Peri in 1969.I had a genuine problem. He asked me a few questions I believe to test abstract reasoning and to walk along a white line. Later he told me I had without a doubt, schizophrenia and that I could be given shock treatment and modern drugs.I was 15 and I had no classic symptons.I was put in a local psychiatric hospital.Iwas sexually abused by an adult who was supposed to be helping me.The dignosis was lifted in 1981 I have never been able to recover the pain of it all and the condition of depression

  • On 29th Jan 2009 at 06:08 PM Teresa said...

    Hi Jane

    Hugs and we are all here for you xxx and if you ever need to talk about it let me know

    Do you know what hospital he saw you at or can you describe what it looked like outside?

    Was you in care at the time?

    Your welcome to email me on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    He gave girls at KH shock treatment too and some without sedation and it is one of the things he was researching, ECT and it is mentioned in my files as he was called away to a meeting about something that had happened and was urgent.

    I do not believe that man didnt manage to kill anyone given his mental health problems combined with the ability to do so much damage to the girls because the government, social services, church and MP’s let him


  • On 4th Feb 2009 at 05:25 PM Kelly Kingshott said...

    I don’t know if anyone can help me but my real mum was pregnant with me whilst she was at kendall House back in 1976 her name was Diane sidey and i think i may have even been born there i’m not sure if anyone can remember i would be grateful to find out.
    Sadley my mum passed away 3 years ago she had to many demons in her closet and she turned to alcohol but i did find a diary of her sad life after she died and it did mention kendall house in gravesend being really frightened locked up with bars on the window and a grey and burgandy uniform which she said always got her caught whenever she ran away she also mentioned being told to call a woman aunt winnie.
    If anyone could remember i would be grateful to find out.#
    Thanks Kelly

  • On 4th Feb 2009 at 10:01 PM Teresa said...

    Hi Kelly

    I am sorry to hear about your mum and it must of been a shock to read your mums life in writing through her diary. Does your birth certificate indicate the area you were registered under? Was you adopted, put with another family or did you get to stay with your mum? I ask as there are adoption records held in Kent of children born to the mums at KH.

    I am keeping track of girls who were at KH and can confirm there was a girl named as Diane at the time although wasnt sure of her surname.

    Ex KH girls are coming forward slowly but surely and I am gathering as much information as I can and will enquire regarding your request for information.

    Alot of girls were pregnant at KH over the years and some went onto have children born whilst in the care of KH. Some were adopted but do not know how many and unsure how many kept their children.

    Do you know if your mum was ever given drugs?

    Winnie was one of the staff at KH and her role was a cross between a cleaner, general assistent, laundry assistent and cat feeder.

    She was an older woman who originated from Ireland and had a dog called Gipsey.

  • On 4th Feb 2009 at 11:10 PM karen said...

    hi kelly,i was at kendall house from 1975 to 78 and yes i remember diane very well,she was always running away and was gone for about 4 months in one go but came back pregnant,she had a little girl whilst at kendall house,the baby was born in hostpital with mrs gregory at her side who was a member of staff and a previously a midwife,diane was brought straight back to kendall house with the baby after she was born,diane and the baby spent alot of time in the sick bay room,i think diane was about 15 when she had her baby,i remember diane had short hair and she liked to dye it also she loved wearing her make up alot.i knew winnie very well and she was irish and was a nice lady with her dog gypsy,im so sorry to hear diane died thats so sad kelly,i hope this information is of some help for you and if you need to ask anything else please ask ok.xxxxxxxx

  • On 4th Feb 2009 at 11:14 PM kelly kingshott said...

    Thankyou for your reply i’ve dug my birth certificate out and i was born at gravesend hospital but my usual address on it was 46 pelham Rd Gravesend.
    She never mentioned being drugged in her diary but she did say that she really went through hell there she was at a home in maidstone before she went to kendall house a place called Gatland house but she kept running away from there too thats why they told her she was going to kendall house.
    I was kept in the family and brought up believeing that Diane was my sister i found out the truth when i was about 11.
    Diane did have a birthmark on her cheek if that would help anyone remember her.
    I will speak to my family and see if there are any bits they can remember i think me and diane was there for about 2 weeks after i was born

  • On 5th Feb 2009 at 08:18 PM karen said...

    hi kelly,thats sounds about right i know it was a local hostpital in gravesend and 46 pelham road was kendall house,yes i remember the birthmark on dianes cheek,a red mark and quite big but she was a very pretty girl nonetheless,im pretty sure it was longer than 2 weeks she was there after having the baby,how old was she when she had you,im sure she was about 15,im 46 now and she was about a year older than me,she was classed as a runner because any chance she had she was gone,im sorry to say but i do remember her being drugged and locked in the detention room when she was caught and brought back to kendall house,she was quite a loner though and did not mix with many girls there,always seemed to want to be on her own,if there is anything else you want to ask me please feel free too ok,kind regards karen xxx

  • On 5th Feb 2009 at 10:06 PM kelly said...

    I have spoken to my aunt who said that whenever they went to visit my mum Diane she said it used to be mainly a saturday that she often said to my nan do you think that diane was slurring her words and seemed quite spaced out.
    that was all she said and they were allowed to walk with us around gravesend in a old black and white pram.
    Karen thankyou very much for your information she did used to love dyeing her hair and her make up she used to let me raid her handbag for her lipsticks when she used to visit when i was a child and perfume estee lauder she used to wear it by the bottle.
    I just wish things could have been different then maybe she c ould have had a better life but i really do feel she’s at peace now because she was tormented terribly you always saw saddness in her eyes.Thankyou again.

    (next post went missing in the system. Kelly can you email me to let me know if your getting any error messages when posting a comment xxx)

    Thankyou very much to the peron who replied to me you have helped fill in quite a few blanks
    I am the baby that diane had and was then brought up by my grandparents do you know how long
    Diane was at kendall house for i was always under the impression that she was only there when she was
    pregnant i did’nt realise she was there that long. Can you remember when she left i was told she was able to come home
    to look after me but then left me with my grandparents and ran away again but she did suffer a very tormented life she went on
    to have 3 more children Ashley sadley died of a cot death Hayley she spent most of her life from the age of 6 upwards in care
    and chantelle who is 15 almost was in care from the age of 3 then was adopted when she was 5 but since Diane died i have got back
    in touch with chantell and her parents which is good.
    But thankyou again it is very nice to fill in some blanks
    take care kelly xxxxxxxxxxx

  • On 6th Feb 2009 at 08:10 PM karen said...

    hi kelly,it was the drugs that made her words slur and being spaced out,sadly she was not alone alot of us girls were drugged and abused on a regular basis,im sure diane was very tormented in her mind as alot of us was and still are,but some deal with it better in later life than others,im glad you feel she is at peace now and im sure she is,she doesent have to suffer anymore,and always keep your happy memories of her in your mind,im sure she loved you very much but just had to do what she thought was right for you and her at that time in her young life,she adored you as a baby at kendall house,i remember her always holding and cuddling you keeping you very clean and well dressed,none of the other girls got much of a look in to hold you very much as she was always reluctant to hand you over,i wish you all the best kelly and hope you have a happier and peacefull life,if you ever need a chat or anything else you want to ask please do so ok anytime,these messages come straight through to my email address,please have a chat to teresa too she may have more info from other girls about your mum as teresa has more direct contact with other kendall house girls than i do,im sure she will help you in anyway she can,take care and kind regards karen xxxx

  • On 6th Feb 2009 at 10:23 PM Teresa said...

    Kelly, this is all probably a shock to you and sadly none of us have any idea if your mum was drugged or not but we can help try and establish as much information as possible to help you.

    It would be beneficial to you if you could put a request into Gravesend Hospital for your medical records.

    What social services was your mum in care with?

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