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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 06:10 GMT
Clinic examines 'crime diet' link
Prof Steve Baldwin
Professor Baldwin opened the Cactus clinic in 2000
A pioneering clinic set up by a Teesside scientist who died in the Selby train disaster is to be re-opened.

Professor Steve Baldwin was among 10 people who died when Gary Hart's Land Rover plunged from the M62 on to the East Coast Main Line, causing a passenger train to collide with a freight train in February 2001.

The clinical psychologist was an expert in the childhood condition Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Now a special centre which examines the link between juvenile delinquency and youngsters' diets is to open at Teesside University.

Prof Baldwin had established a clinic at the site, the first of its kind in the UK, which looked at links with food and drug additives and offered alternative treatments and counselling to affected youngsters.

After his death, the Counselling And Clinical Training Unit (Cactus) closed and work was continued by colleagues in Scotland until now.

Behavioural disorders

Prof Baldwin worked closely with Janice Hill, who runs the Overload Network, an Edinburgh-based charity for children with behavioural disorders.

His work centered on children and teenagers who had been prescribed the controversial drug Ritalin as treatment for ADHD.

But Ms Hill said the clinic's work is being expanded to include the links between all food and juvenile delinquency.

She said: "Steve's work was extremely important, but after his death it was decided to call a halt to the clinic at Teesside University.

"We carried on the work at the Overload Network and now feel it is time to come back to Teesside to continue Steve's work.

"As part of the that the Cactus clinic will reopen on 28 February."

Nutritional deficiencies

The clinic will study what children with behavioural difficulties regularly eat, then treat them with nutritional medicine and psychotherapy.

The clinic's full-time consultant will be Peter Bennett, a former officer with West Yorkshire police.

In 2002 a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggested that reoffending by juvenile delinquents could be slashed by a quarter if they improved their diets.

Ms Hill added: "The children we see have psychological problems linked to physical problems, often caused by nutritional deficiencies.

"Children should have access to basic tests that can quickly establish nutritional status rather than having their knuckles perpetually rapped."

Her own daughter, Debbie, now 17, has suffered from ADHD since childhood and was disruptive and aggressive.

She identified the foods that prompted outbursts and found that high doses of vitamins and zinc calmed her daughter down.





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SEE ALSO:
Lead link to youth crime
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